Sunday, May 8, 2011

Elitism is Dead: The New Debate for the Good Food Movement

A review of food policy and debate in the wake of The Future of Food symposium recently put on by The Washington Post at Georgetown University. Prince Charles' presentation regarding the perils of industrial agriculture, soil erosion and many other issues, based on his Duchy Originals organic farming experience, were largely marginalized with talk about organic food being elitist. In fact, what is really undemocratic about US food policy is the concentration of so much power in the hands of so few corporate productions and their government acolytes. Good reading on an issue that affects each and every one of us.

Mass Arrests, Tear Gas, Sound Weapons used Against WIU Students

This disturbing footage of riot police cracking down on college students with tear gas and sonic weapons took place in MaComb, Illinois last Saturday. Is this America? How can we allow such blatant violation of constitutional rights as these to take place? This account, supported by video footage, shows the students peaceably assembled on their front lawns yet the riot police illegally entered homes without warrants and used pepper spray against the students.

Police, SWAT Teams Storm College Block Party With LRAD Sound Cannons, Tear Gas, Riot Gear for No Reason

WIU Parent Wants Answers After Police Use Pepper Spray,0,7847957.story

Calling on the Power of Moms

Food & Water Watch chooses Mother's Day as an opportunity to highlight the dangers of the endocrine disruptor Triclosan, that is found in many household products. While this is news to me, the site details a host of problems with this industrial compound and reveals that both the FDA and EPA are investigating its safety.

Has Elizabeth Warren Won Over the Banks?

This update on sentiment in the banking community regarding Elizabeth Warren and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau offers some encouragement regarding her eventual nomination to head the consumer watchdog group. While the GOP still seems set on undermining the CFPB and its mandate, some in the banking community have warmed to Warren and credit her knowledge of the industry as well as her dedication to consumer advocacy. This may make it more likely that Warren could survive congressional hearings to head the bureau should Obama finally decide to formally nominate the law professor to the post.

Fox Business Fails To Disclose Industry Ties Of Drilling Proponent

In an age of decreasing budgets for journalism and the increasing reliance on 'expert' commentary in TV news, this sort of thing is occurring all too often. It's well-known that viewers tend to give more credence to non-partisan 'experts' on hotly debated issues but shouldn't we be told if a commentator has financial ties to the industry their commentary supports? The featured 'expert' in this Media Matters expose happens to have PR clients who own millions of acres of potential oil fields in Alaska. To present such a voice as independent is nothing short of a travesty that constitutes propaganda of the most insidious sort.

This week in the War on Women

This column reviews details on a host of laws that are being enacted around the country to restrict women's right to choose and cut funding for women's healthcare and, abortions. It's really an all-out assault on American women that is not only a threat but an insult to all women.

Voter ID Bill Under Scrutiny at the Capitol in Wisconsin

The nationwide push for voter ID laws in several states is actually a trumped-up legislative assault on a non-issue as voter fraud has been shown to be a negligible problem in America. Nonetheless, several states, including Wisconsin, are pushing voter ID laws that target the least stable residents, ethnic groups and students, and if approved would work to reduce turnout of likely Democratic voters.

As voter ID bill heads toward passage, the only certainty is a high price tag

PR Industry Fills Vacuum Left by Shrinking Newsrooms

This story highlights a distressing pattern, a declining number of journalists increasingly dependent on PR releases and video news releases for their segments. The PR industry has grown not only in numbers but also in the sophistication of their tactics, presenting a compelling information problem for the masses.