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Weekend Update 04-23-2011

Posted: April 23rd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Weekend Update | Comments Off on Weekend Update 04-23-2011

Below is a video from TEDxAustin by Robyn O’Brien on the unhealthy truth about our food.

These 14 points of fascism are worth reading. We’re sliding a bit too far for comfort in that direction.

No, the FDA and the USDA are not able to protect our food any longer. It’s a combination of factors. On the one hand, Republicans have gutted their personnel and ability to regulate effectively over the last few decades. And on the other, the same corruption and close ties to the industry supposedly regulated that permeates the SEC and other financial regulatory agencies also controls the agencies that regulate the safety of our food. I don’t know how to fix the problem at this juncture, since it continues under either party. And if Americans don’t even care when this failure is injuring and killing our children in ever increasing numbers, I don’t know if there’s anything that get us to care. I don’t know any motivator more powerful than a threat to my children. But the response of most of the country seems to be apathy instead. The same thing can be said for growth hormones.

The NY Times has a long article, Is Sugar Toxic?, that’s well worth reading.

And there’s antibiotic resistant staph in much of our meat supply in the US. That shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who has paid attention to the way we have shifted our meat production.

If you missed it in the comments of last week’s weekend update, this is well worth reading.

Robert Reich wrote on the extortion politics of the GOP. It would wreck our economy (and probably much of the global economy as well), but this is beginning to have the same feeling as negotiating with terrorists. If they’re bluffing, then at some point you have to call their bluff. If they aren’t, then they’re collectively insane.

If you read the chart, the country with the most government expenditures as a percentage of GDP, Sweden, also has no net debt. In fact, they have a small net surplus. That’s not a net deficit, mind you; it’s net debt. You can also find the US on the chart. So when Republicans spout their line about “a spending problem” just be aware that they’re lying again. It’s getting to the point that the old joke about politicians in general applies more and more to the GOP. How can you tell a Republican is lying? His lips are moving.

Personally, I think it’s about time the Republican party made the dismantling of Medicare an official part of their platform and backed it up by a party line vote in the House.  After all, it’s what they’ve always wanted. Now, at least, it will be a little harder to credibly pretend they support Medicare.

I enjoyed Leeds’ Shocking News! I particularly enjoyed this one:  “Shockingly, they [S&P] “believe there is a material risk that US policymakers might not reach an agreement on how to address medium and long-term budgetary challenges by 2013.”  (Apparently, they detect some sort of extreme partisanship that the rest of us have missed.)

Is it time for the Republican Party to collapse and fade away like the Whigs did? Probably not, but one can dream. Still, when people like Ryan start getting booed by their core constituency, it does fuel the dreams.

My wife’s cousin’s band, Explosions in the Sky, is playing ACL Live on June 17.

Patients are not consumers. Exactly. And the whole turn of our health care system from largely non-profit to a massive for-profit industry that really took root in the 1990s is disgusting and sickening.

Sam Richards. A Radical Experiment in Empathy.

Maybe we do get the government we deserve. Maybe, as a country, we really are stupid enough to deserve these idiots. It’s hard to tell sometimes.

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