Friday, May 21, 2004

Santa Cruz Organics
I had the following exchange with Santa Cruz Organics:

my email:
The bottom of my SCO chocolate syrup container has a Smuckers label. Are you affiliated with Smuckers, or is there some other explanation as to why their corporate name would be on your packaging?

their response:
Santa Cruz Organic was purchased by The J.M. Smucker Corporation over ten
years ago. We still do the manufacturing here, but it has allowed us to
produce a much better product and have much higher standards.

Thank You,
Tiffany Geha
-------------
This depresses me. It's right down there with finding out that Cascadian Farms is a subsidiary of General Mills. Both Cascadian Farms and Santa Cruz Organics have statements on their packaging talking about how great the US federal "organic" standard is. Not surprising considering how hard the huge food corporations lobbied for watered down "organic" standards.

Another element that surprised me was that SCO did not have any mention of being owned by Smuckers on their web site. It's as if they know they should be embarrassed. Cascadian Farms says pretty clearly on their web site that they are actually General Mills.

It's getting harder and harder to find foods I feel good about buying even in the organic sections of the grocery store. :sniff:

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Democrats fight back against the hard right bishops
The New York Times > Washington > Democrats Criticize Denial of Communion by Bishops
This issue is important enough to me that I wrote an open letter - cc'd to my parents - that Catholics of conscience should leave the Church. I included that I was "embarassed" to once be Catholic. As with most of my furious rants, it got little response, except from a highly respected and dear friend who asserted hid belief in the progressive nature of the Church. I know the progressive wing is in there - I used to be part of it. From the outside throwing rocks, it's nice to see some prominent left wing Catholics fighting back.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

British Child Slave Labor for new Potter film?
BBC NEWS | Scotland | School keeps Potter profits
After the kids were in the movies, their school announces it's keeping all their wages. Isn't that just dandy?

Monday, May 17, 2004

Kerry Rally
Well, the whole family went downtown today to see the John Kerry Rally. It was great. Kerry and all his special guests really hit the right notes with the crowd. Kerry struck me as enthusiastic, determined, and on the right side of the issues. He offered an elegant, damning critique of the Bushies and contrasted their ineptitude with his vision of how things will be after he takes office. I came away with an even higher opinion of our candidate than I had going in.

But the best part was the crowd. We had tickets and could not get in. There were tens of thousands of people in the square, and tens of thousands more people outside of and around the square. People were lined up outside the barricades on all four sides of the square cheering like mad. I was lucky to get a view of the candidate while he spoke. (lucky being tall!) I heard they were planning to have about 25,000 people show up, but I'd guess they had at least twice that. And it was threatening rain. I've never seen people in this country this engaged in their democracy. Which makes me think we've got a damned good chance to kick Bush back to Crawford Texas come november.

Update: Unbelievable - the AP is reporting about 4,000 people showed up for the rally. What is that based on? I've been in plenty of arenas and stadiums - I know what 20,000, 40,000, and 60,000 people looks like. I'm guessing that there was at least 35,000 people there - and that's a conservative estimate. I'd say 35 to 60. 4,000 is like a sick joke. That person must have some agenda.

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Read this! This is the future
The New York Times > Business > Tight Oil Supply Won't Ease Soon
Demand is way up. Supplies are being produced as fast as possible and can't keep up. The supply is by it's nature, finite. Oil will die. Prices may go down again before the election, but the prices are going to steadily rise from now until the supply is gone. Upside? Sales of SUV's are starting to dip. Alternative fuel research is the only thing that makes sense. Energy is abundant in the world. We just need to learn how to efficiently tap it and convert it. There's tides, there's winds, there's geo-thermal, and most obviously, there's the damned Sun. Whomever learns the best ways of turning these sources into the most usable energy will be in position to dominate the world after the oil is gone. So it's patriotic to support alternative fuels.

My ideal world will have every house or every neighborhood with their own power supplies. Slap a solar cell on your roof, and say good bye to the grid. Have batteries in your basement that look like today's water heaters. Share your excess with neighbors for free.

And don't even get me started on how desalination plants will solve the water crisis.