Big Meat did a collective knee jerk this spring when President Joe Biden proposed a 50% cut in greenhouse-gas emissions. While cars and coal plants were the chief targets, gross concentrations of cows, pigs, etc., by industrial ag are also major generators of those gases, so the industry and its right-wing media mouthpieces decided to make a ...Read more
As a tyke, I never dreamed of growing up to be a political activist/ commentator, but here I am, and it's worked out pretty well for me. I've been lucky enough to have a voice in public matters and eke out a modest living running my mouth as an independent populist agitator. Still, I have to confess to the sin of Job Envy. Not in the sense of ...Read more
In its ranking of business values, corporate America proudly provides a special place for elevated moral behavior. That place is the trash can.
Indeed, several years ago, free-market extremist Milton Friedman actually decreed that the only ethical obligation a corporation has to society is to deliver as much profit as possible to its big ...Read more
There's a sports cliche, often applied to political races, that devalues strong-but-losing contenders: "Close only counts in horseshoes," they snort.
For building a progressive movement, however, candidates, staffers and volunteers who lose a vote but run good campaigns -- especially in tough political terrain -- are, in fact, winners. Their ...Read more
In 1971, Susan DeMarco, Susan Sechler and I teamed up in a Washington-based public interest group (rather wonkily named Agribusiness Accountability Project) to launch a muckraking foray into the little-examined, multibillion-dollar labyrinth of America's farm and food policies. But other progressive activists back then were bewildered by us. ...Read more
Ho-ho-ho, wait till you hear about the gifts I gave to some of America's power elites for Christmas.
To each of our Congress critters, I sent my fondest wish that from now on they receive the exact same income, health care and pensions that we average citizens get. If they receive only the American average, it might make them a bit more humble ...Read more
Who needs farms and ranches when food industrializers have petri dishes, fetal bovine serum, and cell vats?
Today's most explosive front in the epic struggle pitting "agri-culture" against "agri-business" is in the realm of meat, including hostility over the very meaning of the word. But this is not hamburgers versus veggie burgers, both of ...Read more
'Tis the season, right? Traditionally, the time around the winter solstice is one of reflection, spirituality and festivities -- including Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa.
In modern-day America, however, this season largely serves as a signal for the faithful to gather from afar in monumental temples to worship our nation's supreme secular ...Read more
In the board game Monopoly, the goal is straightforward: Accumulate property, control the board and ruin all the other players. It was created in 1903 as The Landlord's Game by ardent anti-monopolist Lizzie Magie to educate people about the economic and social destructiveness of concentrating land ownership in private cartels. (Not for nothing ...Read more
In December 1972, I was part of a nationwide campaign that came tantalizingly close to getting the U.S. Senate to reject Earl Butz, Richard Nixon's choice for secretary of agriculture.
A coalition of grassroots farmers, consumers and scrappy public interest organizations (like the Agribusiness Accountability Project that Susan DeMarco and I ...Read more
Here they come again -- the usual gaggle of Washington politicos and pundits who keep assailing President Joe Biden's package of FDR-ish proposals that, at long last, would begin lifting up America's infrastructure and working class.
"Too big," screech these small thinkers and servants of the established plutocratic order. "Too costly, too ...Read more
From our school years forward, the Holy Keepers of the Corporate Order drum it into our little heads that -- HALLELUJAH! -- we Americans are blessed to live in a "free market" economy. Wow -- let's all thank our lucky stars!
But what exactly is a free market?
Well, explain the mystics, it's an economy ruled by the invisible but ...Read more
Ralph Waldo Emerson told about a dinner guest in his home who spent the entire evening prattling on about his belief in virtue, honesty and his own integrity: "The louder he talked of his honor," Emerson wrote, "the faster we counted our spoons."
Today, America has not one, but six guests in our national home babbling about their integrity. ...Read more