This Just Doesn’t Make Sense

I have really bad pollen allergies. I also have severe allergic reactions to cats.  Getting married to a woman who had two cats and moving to Virginia (where my nose constantly runs because of the pollen) was a bad combination.  So, I’ve been taking Claritin-D every day since 2007.

One of the main ingredients of Claritin-D is pseudoephedrine and because pseudoephedrine is the main component in the illicit production of methamphetamine, I have to produce identification when purchasing my Claritin-D. Now if you have allergies like I do, then you know the drill: go to Wal-Mart, stand in line at the pharmacy, take out your driver’s license, and let them scan it. Now there’s a record of what I bought and how much I bought.  Presumably, if I tried to go to another Wal-Mart immediately, the computer will scan my ID and inform me that I just bought all the Claritin-D that I need for now at another store and Wal-Mart won’t allow me to purchase more drugs.

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Freedom of Choice?

Every December, I renew my membership in the IEEE (formerly known as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers). I keep this membership to stay somewhat connected to my educational roots as a systems engineer, even though my career path took me in a different direction some years ago. The IEEE has a Code of Ethics for its members, something I presume all members have read and, by maintaining a membership with the organization, subscribe and adhere to.

According to the first item in the code, I “agree to to accept responsibility in making decisions consistent with the safety, health and welfare of the public, and to disclose promptly factors that might endanger the public or the environment.” Now you may think this isn’t a big deal–after all, we’re just talking about engineers--but members of this organization are engineers that work in all aspects of life, from designing weapons systems to electric power plants to the brake controllers for freight trains. In essence, members of this organization touch our lives each and every day in countless ways that we don’t even know about.

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