Purity of Essence

Wichita Ponders Great Question Of Our Time: Water Fluoridation

Perfectly reasonable concernsElection Sideshow Update: The city of Wichita, Kansas, is voting on a ballot measure that would, if passed, add fluoride to the city’s water for the first time since the John Birch Society pushed a referendum to ban fluoride in 1964. The measure, which deals with an issue that most municipalities in the country decided fifty years ago, was placed before the voters as the result of a petition drive by doctors and dentists, after the City Council had punted on the matter for decades. Happily, in today’s more-enlightened times, the citizens are discussing the measure solely on its scientific merits, free of the paranoia and hyperbole of those earlier debates. Ha-ha, we are joking — of course people are going bugfuck crazy over this.

The Wichita Eagle, in what is easily the most complete story on municipal water fluoridation we’ve ever read, indicates that the pro and anti-fluoridation campaigners are equally passionate, one side arguing for “the public good,” the other arguing for “freedom of choice.” They talk to a pro-fluoride pediatrician who expresses frustration that it’s 2012 and Wichita still hasn’t taken a fairly basic public health measure, and an anti-fluoride campaigner who has looked stuff up on the internet:

“I’m a very strong believer that the government has absolutely no right to put a medication in my body that I don’t want and in fact that I know is going to cause trouble with multiple organs in my body and probably does no good or very little good for my teeth. I flat absolutely don’t want that…By golly if I want to go out buy a tube of toothpaste and swallow it all and die from it, so be it. My life, freedom of choice.”

So both sides have some pretty strong positions! For instance, there is the worry that fluoride is a byproduct of industrial waste! But if we tried to eliminate all of those, we’d have to give up Hot Pockets, too (this is a science fact). While the article does note that the 1964 referendum against fluoridation included claims that the public health measure might “give the Communists the machinery and the materials to destroy us by simply opening a valve in our water supply,” we were very disappointed that there was no direct reference to this important historical documentary on the subject:

[Wichita Eagle]

About the author

Doktor Zoom Is the pseudonym of Marty Kelley, who lives in Boise, Idaho. He acquired his nym from a fan of Silver-Age comics after being differently punctual to too many meetings. He is not a medical doctor, although he has a real PhD (in Rhetoric and Composition).

View all articles by Doktor Zoom
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120 comments

  1. actor212

    One reason Obama MUST get re-elected.

    If we get Romney, Dok will spend the next four year inundating us with Brony shit.

    THIS. MUST. STOP!

      1. Biel_ze_Bubba

        But they're evil!

        Doc, when you're done with the Xtian world "history" book, you can just pick any page at random here — there's more material than you could lampoon in a lifetime.

  2. UnholyMoses

    I have many friends and family from Kansas. They all ask and wonder why their state is mocked so relentlessly.

    This is a reason why.

  3. skmind

    "By golly if I want to go out buy a tube of toothpaste and swallow it all and die from it, so be it."

    I'm in for a carton. Where should I be mailing it?

  4. Loch_Nessosaur

    Fluoride is just a – "Communist subversion and the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids."

  5. Joshua Norton

    For instance, there is the worry that fluoride is a byproduct of industrial waste!

    So given this gem of logic, all places that floridate their water, like California, are now barren windswept deserts with populations that died off years ago.

    Oh, wait…..

    1. Biel_ze_Bubba

      A "byproduct of industrial waste"?

      Yeah, well so is chloride. I'd like to see them try to get by without that.

  6. ChillBill

    They should ban the Koolaid too. I mean, how else do you explain the Creation Museum, Intelligent Design in their school's science curriculum, etc…

  7. GemlikeFlame

    Well, at least they're not out to get my precious bodily fluids. Seriously, the LD-50 of the fluorides they use in water treatment is around 125 mg/kg, about the same toxicity as caffeine.

    I'll start worrying about fluorides when the FDA bans coffee and Mountain Dew.

  8. Estproph

    We used to have a saying in Missouri – the trees in Missouri all lean west, because Kansas sucks.

  9. An_Outhouse

    Most of your water is used to wash your clothes or flushed. Flouride is a waste of money. Your dentist can apply it directly to your teeth.

    1. Biel_ze_Bubba

      Fluoride, please. Flouride is for loosers.

      If you see your dentist daily, that just might work. It's interesting to note, however, that even with fluoride in just about every toothpaste on the shelves, people's teeth continue to rot in towns without a fluoridated water supply. You want fluoride in the system, where it can get incorporated into kids' teeth as they form.

      Some lucky cities have fluoride in the water naturally, without benefit of commie plots to enslave the population. The fact that they get along just fine, without dropping like poisoned flies, is, well, a mere fact. And we know how much weight mere facts carry among the nutters.

  10. savethispatient

    I'm voting to keep di-hydrogen oxide out of my water supply. Inhaling a small amount of it can kill you!

    1. Incitefully_Joe

      Lies! The Bush administration proved that the inhalation hazard posed by dihydrogen monoxide was completely pseudoscientific mythology, and in fact a sufficient amount of the chemical, when inhaled, could have important therapeutic effects. Proved with lawyers!

  11. zumpie

    Hilariously, the Great Fluoride Debate of 2012 is not just a wingnut freak out issue. Here in PDX, it IS the most hotly contested current issue. Bear in mind we have a ballot measure to legalize marijuana, a casino measure, huge bond measures, etc—nope fluoridation.

    I lurk/troll on a whiny mommy blog (while they think they're all progressives, they also all pretty much yearn to be trophy wives, just wanna be hipster trophy wives who raise chickens, wear second hand stuff and eat organic)—I've seen certain posters compare fluoridating Portland's water to enslavement by storm troopers (no, I'm not exagggerating). Voting in todays election, otherwise? Not a peep.

    Sad to say, the stupid is alive on both ends of the spectrum

    1. horsedreamer_1

      The far left & far right are why herd immunity has gone the way of the buffalo.

      So, we can't only blame homeschoolers in Oklahoma. Gluten free bakers in Oregon deserve our scorn, as well.

  12. kckitty

    I was born and raised in KS, and it USED to be a "moderate" red state. Also, the Koch Brothers are from Wichita, so that probably explains what is going on. UGH.

  13. edgydrifter

    Oh, you laugh… fluoridation is on the city council's docket here in enlightened Portland, too, and the arguments are exactly the same. It's weird when hippies and Birchers agree on something, but this is a town that likes to market its eccentricities.

    1. VodkaGoGo

      Are the hippies all in a tizzy over autism or do they just on principle reject chemical additives that don't get them really fucked up?

  14. neiltheblaze

    I remember the crazy John Birch Society pamphlets in the early '60's – all about how fluoridation was a Russian plot – apparently to deprive us of our inalienable right to chronic tooth decay.

  15. rickmaci

    "Do you realize that in addition to fluoridating water, why, there are studies underway to fluoridate salt, flour, fruit juices, soup, sugar, milk, ice cream? Ice cream, Mandrake? Children's ice cream!…You know when fluoridation began?…1946. 1946, Mandrake. How does that coincide with your post-war Commie conspiracy, huh? It's incredibly obvious, isn't it? A foreign substance is introduced into our precious bodily fluids without the knowledge of the individual, and certainly without any choice. That's the way your hard-core Commie works."

  16. SmutBoffin

    You know who else liked to form an abiding relationship with fluorine?

    Most elements on the periodic table, really. It's pretty reactive.

  17. Serolf_Divad

    I'll hold judgment on the pluses and negatives of fluoridation until Michelle Bachmann reports what some lady on the campaign trail told her.

  18. edgydrifter

    A toxic sedative that you add to water and causes kidney damange, you say? Sounds like the bottom shelf of my liquor cabinet.

  19. actor212

    By golly if I want to go out buy a tube of toothpaste and swallow it all and die from it, so be it. My life, freedom of choice.

    Allow me to assist. I can get you cases of the stuff. Help yourself.¹

    ¹with votes!

  20. OneYieldRegular

    This will only be an improvement if Wichita also votes to get rid of the lead pipes that are obviously causing neurotoxic effects among its citizens.

  21. Poindexter718

    True fact: government fluoride can have a nasty and volatile reaction to fracking chemicals in the water.

  22. VodkaGoGo

    [...] the pro and anti-fluoridation campaigners are equally passionate, one side arguing for “the public good,” the other arguing for “freedom of choice.”

    I can't help but wonder, if Obummer would just let the free market work it's magic, we wouldn't have to waste are time with this tomfoolery. If only you could buy water in a container of some sort. We faked putting man on the moon fer chrissakes!

  23. RufusTFirefly

    True story–some of the Greens in NJ ran on banning fluoride in the water in 2003.

    I replied with the "Women sense my power…" line from Doctor Strangelove, but none of them got it.

    I knew I didn't have much of a future in the Green Party after that.

  24. Crank_Tango

    Hmm why is it that I can't comment on the Tebow post? It shows me logged in, but wants me to log in…

    1. MissTaken

      I got the same thing, too. Maybe they have a way to shut that whole thing down after Tebow is really a legitimate parody?

  25. CommieDad

    Every night I give 1 drop of systemic fluoride to my 1 year old twins and a chewable tablet to my 3 year old. The county of Spokane, WA has decided, based on a review of Dr. Strangelove, that fluoridating water is bad.

    Please note that "systemic" fluoride is some weird type of fluoride that gets into your body and not at all similar to the fluoride that is in your toothpaste. I am not a chemist, so that's all I know. My three your old explained it to me: "No daddy, I chew it before I brush my teeth. It's sta stemic."

    Not off topic: Our water needs to be chlorinated to kill some bacterial contamination. Apparently the water I drink is in the ground beneath me.

    Off topic: I have asked my kids to not pee on the lawn anymore.

  26. Naked_Bunny

    One of the best-known side effects of water fluoridation is how it impairs one's ability to make bullet points grammatically parallel.

  27. mbatch

    Oh for fuck's sake, again? They're fighting through this shit again? The first time they had this battle, my dentist announced that fluoride was bad because it cut into his business. And citizens with fluoride do, in fact, have fewer expensive cavities to fill. Maybe some of those "scientific authorities" are DDS's trying to protect their livelihoods.

  28. unclrobot

    can't they opt out/not drink the water, and maybe buy whatever water suits 'em better?? sounds like there's market solutions galore, so no problem!

  29. Baba_NinjaCat12

    Forget fluoridation, Wichita really needs clozapina in their water supply to cure their wing-nut syndrome.

Comments are closed.