Tuesday, March 21, 2006

random things

Slate Magazine shows us the dark side of the organic food industry, especially Whole Foods' advertising. I would not disagree with the assessment, while finding certified organic better than most of the alternatives. However, like the writer, I would favor local produce over organic (it is best when it is both) and the small farm over the large corporate farm (even when it is organic). The idea is to eat healthy, thoughtfully, justly and sustainably, making conscience decisions regarding food that are not simplistic, but considering the body and the entire eco-system. As Theologian Stephen Webb says, "the unexamined meal is not worth eating."
In other sad organic and natural news, another independent natural company (following Odwalla, Stoneyfield Farms, Ben and Jerry's, Boca, etc.) has been cobbled up by a major conglomerate. My favorite little toothpaste manufacturer, Tom's of Maine, has been bought out by Colgate. Tom Chappell, founder and author of seminal books on ethical business practices, says it will change nothing and allow more people to buy these wonderful products. I can only hope.

As a family that uses Tom's for its toothpaste, soap, deodorant and shaving cream, I can hope to see its products on more shelves. As a Christian, I can hope that its mission of responsibility to all parties, including God and philosophical underpinnings based upon the teachings of Hans Kung, Jonathan Edwards and other teachers continues. As a person that speaks to corporate leaders about volunteerism and stewardship, I can hope that they continue to be a model giving high percentages to charity and allowing their workers paid time off for volunteer work.
link to story
link to commentary by Sojourner's David Batstone
Zbigniew Brzezinski, former National Security Advisor offers something the Democrats cannot seem to get around to offering, an actual plan for America to bring stability to Iraq and get out. Listen here

He also calls the President's Victory in the Iraq War a horizon, which is a place you can always see, but never attain because everytime you move towards it, it moves farther away.
In American Theocracy, Kevin Phillips, author of the classic The Emerging Republican Majority, which proved his prophetic prowess, warns readers that the Republican Party is headed for disaster (and may attempt to drag America down with it) because it has traded its historic principles of moderation, conservatism, fiscal sense and sensibility for the dangerous triumverate of Radical Religion, Oil and Borrowed Money.

I do wish my Republican and Christian Right friends would see these dangers of the Party they are loyal to and its leadership (Bush, Rove, etc.) which has led them down this frightening road.

I never thought I would long for the days of Republicans standing for small government that stays out of people's lives instead of a big nanny state, which just happens to be conservative. People wonder why I favor a TAX and SPEND approach to government instead of the present Republican led BORROW and SPEND approach.

Meanwhile, it is rare that I agree with the Leaders of the Religious Right (Mohler, Perkins, Colson) and even rarer that they agree with European Leadership more than their own President, but on the issue of the possible execution of an Afghan man for conversion to Christianity, both the right wing and Germany (and Italy) have been most bold in their condemnation and call for his release, while the US government was more "diplomatic" than it should be with the nation it occupies.

Some think this could cause the Religious Right to question their loyalty to US military policy in the Middle East.

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