A friend sent me this link by Michael Pollan, whose books you have seen reviewed here from time to time. The article is an interesting critique of the food industry in the United States and some suggestions for improvements. While I think some of these are worthwhile ideas, they probably present certain difficulties of their own. Pollan's ideal is one for each person to strive for, but whether you can remake an entire industry in their image remains to be seen.
Critiques & Controversies: November 2008 Archives
Unlike those dire and mordant souls who wish to tell me that the apocalypse is just around the corner with the Antichrist firmly seated on the throne, I wanted to share what I saw as two shining rays of light in all of the nonsense of the past year.
First, it is extremely gratifying to me to see that the United States seems to be coming of age. I was of the opinion that Obama's skin color would be sufficient to keep him from office, and I found that a sad statement (if a desired result). Indeed, it did not, so we have an undesirable result (King Herod rules again) but a wonderful statement regarding possibility for persons of color. That is extremely gratifying.
Yet another gratifying result, to which I was able to contribute my own little bit, were the results on Constitutional Amendment 2 in Florida and Proposition 8 in California. I should start by saying that I have vanishingly little interest in what the government chooses to see as a marital union. Whether given the name or not, persons living together in whatever aegis should have certain recognized rights and privileges--such as visiting one another in the hospital, etc. I know we will all disagree vociferously, but I hope civilly on that point. However, I deliberately voted for Amendment 2, not so much as a statement on marriage, although I must admit I'm also not particularly interested in the social engineering much of government seems so set on these days, but because I suspected that Obama would win the election. If so, I wanted to send a clear signal:
While you may have been able to gull and cully a small majority of the voting populace into thinking that they were going to get something other than Washington business-as-usual (I'm afraid those people are in for a most painful awakening), there are those of us who have no interest in "change" for the sake of change.
In short, I wanted to send a message that said--do what you want with raising and lowering taxes and playing the political games Washington is so fond of, however, keep your hands out of the "great society" thinking that you want to inculcate.
Now, the efficacy of this is in question. However, when it comes to these matters, no matter how I feel in reality about domestic partnerships, I will invariably vote to maintain long-established tradition because reckless and foolish social experimentation is what has brought us to this cusp of an election with no acceptable candidates. Starting in the late 50s and early 60s we have changed a great many things about society have been changed--some of them good--the present seeming color-blindness, as I pointed out before, is extremely gratifying; some of them bad--recently overheard at a party--"I don't care about integrity, character, or morality, we need a change. But almost all of them to society's detriment. I do not feel now that I live, overall in a better world than did my grandmother. With the recent election and the likely liberalization of abortion and removal of nearly every barrier to abortion and even to infanticide, along with the explicit statement from our president elect about his desire to overturn the Federal Marriage protection act, thus undoing the protections the individual states have instituted, we see the end results of change for the sake of change and social engineering.
Those who voted for Obama implicitly voted to continue social engineering and experimentation. If I felt that this had resulted in an over-all better society and way of living in the past thirty years or so, I might be moved. But I have seen nothing but an increase in violence, callousness, and casual brutality starting with the death of anything approximating courtesy from most people. By voting for Amendment 2 and proposition 8, and having them pass, the American People have said, "Enough with the social experimentation--get about the business of governemental leadership and leave societal experiements as a whole to the people." Let's hope that Amendment 2 and proposition 8 keeps these social engineering tendencies in check and gives us all a respite from the continual ramming of the agenda of a very small number of people onto the vast majority. (In FL Amendment 2 passed by a margin of 24 percentage points (62-38), which was reported by the local newspaper as "passing by a slim margin"-- sign of what mechanisms are already in place.