Just as newly christened potential vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan told his supporters that he was “thrilled to be a part of America’s comeback team”, the Obama campaign released another endearing nickname for the political duo: “The Go Back Team”. It is inexplicable why these Republicans keep desperately clinging to the belief that the miserably failed trickle down economics fraud that already drove our country off a cliff is still somehow a viable solution.
Yale University released a study this week that could drastically change the way that scientists, doctors, midwives, and parents view the decision to give birth vaginally or by cesarean. According to the new research, vaginal birth – but not C-section – releases a mega dose of a certain brain-boosting chemical in newborns.
One of the most significant books published this year is Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt, a gripping graphic novel reportage mix which skillfully exposes the extreme exploitation and poverty that flourishes on the disenfranchised burned out edges of our nation. This brutal compelling work is a collaboration between Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Chris Hedges, and the revolutionary cartoonist and foreign correspondent, Joe Sacco.
Sandor Katz’s The Art of Fermentation is a handsome hard cover volume which provides many easy to understand recipes explaining how to make everything from succulent sauerkraut, pickles and beer, to sourdough bread, cheese and tofu. However, this great work is also much more than just a cookbook. This essential reference book delves into fermentation concepts and food history from around the world, and explains relevant scientific concepts, like how bacterial cultures work.
Jon Stewart spoke with Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz about how the extreme concentration of wealth in the hands of a few plutocrats is destroying the very principles upon which our country was founded:
“It seems like people are not angry at wealth or success, they get frustrated by what appears to be an entirely different set of rules put in place by the wealthy, who then say: ‘Hey man, I’m just playing by the rules’, as though those rules were an arbitrary design of the free market.”
The Exxon-Valdez is in the news again — this controversial ship is set to be disassembled, and its scheduled dismantling is bringing light to important issues such as how to preserve the health of workers and how to protect the environment from the ships toxic elements.
Recently, the notorious Exxon-Valdez ship was transported to Indian waters for dismantling; but its toxic reputation had preceded the vessel, which began drowning in a quagmire of litigation, controversy and concern. The ship is a 27-year-old behemoth that grabbed the headlines in 1989 with one of the worst oil-tanker spills in all of human history.
The right of consumers to know whether the foods they eat have been genetically engineered is moving closer to being law. This November the California Right to Know Act will appear on the state ballot as Proposition 37. If passed the measure would be the first U.S. law that requires GMO foods to be labeled.
Each year millions of US citizens are being prevented from voting, simply because they are incarcerated. A new report by The Sentencing Project analyzes the growing scope of voter disenfranchisement among prisoners, as well as ex-offenders. The study also found that minority populations are disproportionately impacted by this growing problem of systematic voting restrictions.
A polluted 28 acre site in New York was once a massive illegal dump, but has now been cleaned up and transformed into a local food hub distribution center.
A visit to Alaska is an eye-opener for the environmentally sensitive. Its immense natural beauty is also a reminder that we humans have pretty much destroyed many such regions around the world. We all — not just environmental groups or nature lovers — must wake-up and initiate immediate action if we want to preserve what is left of such wilderness.
Two years ago the worst onshore oil spill in United States history was caused in Michigan by a Canadian company named Enbridge. Over one million gallons of tar sands crude spewed out of a ruptured pipeline into the Kalamazoo River, and the attempted clean up has only just been completed, sort of. The NTSB has released a report analyzing the extreme negligence that led to this environmental disaster, and found that the company knew five years beforehand that this burst pipeline was sorely in need of repair, but did nothing to fix it.
As our nation’s economy continues to flounder, an increasing number of municipalities are incarcerating people who can not afford to pay for tickets and misdemeanor fines. Some regions have turned over government services, such as probation, to private for-profit companies. Their court systems are attempting to raise income by imprisoning the most vulnerable — trying to balance their budgets on the backs of the poorest and most disenfranchised people in our society.
Just like Anderson Cooper this week, I also feel compelled to come out of the closet and highlight a very obvious fact about myself: I am child-free, never ever wanted to have kids, and I embrace these choices openly, with pride. Our culture often treats those who have no desire to be parents as abnormal, and there is still not much societal support for deciding to not increase our planet’s rapidly expanding population.