Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘FDA

Midweek Midday

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* There’s really only one label for the pathetic exercise we’ve just witnessed in South Africa: deceit. The whole climate-change negotiation process and the larger political discourse surrounding this horrible problem is a drawn-out and elaborate exercise in lying – to each other, to ourselves, and especially to our children. And the lies are starting to corrupt our civilization from inside out.

* Aaron Bady: The case for making a storm in the ports. I feel certain 90% of the impetus for this piece was the desire to use that pun.

* Oh, UVM. You know better.

* Judge: Obama Administration May Have Politicized Morning After Pill Approval Process. May have?

* Plutocracy watch: More than 80 percent of giving to Super PACs so far has come from just 58 donors, according to the Center for Responsive Politics analysis of the latest data, which covers the first half of 2011. The Republican groups have raised $17.6 million and the Democratic groups $7.6 million. Those numbers will balloon, with American Crossroads, the main Republican Super PAC, aiming to raise $240 million.)

The exceptions are two public employee labor unions, whose massive donations match those of some of the largest moguls. The rest are individuals with vast fortunes at their disposal.

* Ladies and gentlemen, Andy Serkis: Official plot synopsis for The Hobbit. Rise of the Planet of the Apes director shares his sequel plans.

* Government shutdown, again? Really? Well, I guess it’s been a few weeks…

Wednesday Night!

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* So many amazing things happened today, from the simultaneous implosion of both the Perry and Cain campaigns to Occupy Cal and Occupy Harvard to riots at Penn State in support of Joe Paterno (of all people). And I can’t give proper attention to any of these amazing things because I spent 6 hours hanging out with John Hodgman on behalf of the Regulator Bookshop. Here’s a nice interview with the man himself from Independent Weekly‘s Zack Smith.

* Not to pile on poor Rick Perry, but abolishing the Department of Energy doesn’t make sense even on his own terms.

* Needing a weatherman to know which way the wind blows: Young adults agree that college is becoming increasingly unaffordable in today’s economy even as it is becoming more important, according to a recent poll released on Wednesday by Demos and Young Invincibles, two research and advocacy groups.

* For people looking to transition #Occupy back into traditional electoral politics—and for people who want to make sure that doesn’t happen—Occupy Des Moines is going to be pretty important.

* LGM celebrates Wake County’s repudiation of de-integration.

* Some podcasts from the ASA, including my advisor Priscilla Wald’s presidential address on Henrietta Lacks.

* Cormac McCarthy’s Yelp page.

A Conspiracy of Hogs: The McRib as Arbitrage.

* Howard is one of the chief architects of the “Cleveland Model” — an effort to create good jobs in depressed urban neighborhoods by fostering for-profit cooperatives founded on a principle of environmental sustainability. The neighborhoods targeted by Howard’s Evergreen Cooperative Initiative suffer from 40 percent unemployment, but he suggests tossing out any preconceptions one might have about whether or not desperately poor people care about the environment. Howard recounts one cooperative worker telling him, “I thought I’d have to move to Portland to become part of the green revolution, and now I can say that we lead the way in Cleveland.”

* The bastards have stolen your honey.

* And some breaking news via Bitter Laughter: The odds that you’d exist at all are practically zero. So enjoy it! A wise man once said, it ain’t no sin to be glad you’re alive.

Wednesday Wednesday

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* A brief history of profanity in the New Yorker.

* Sasha Volokh (last seen arguing that sacred libertarian principles demand that we allow asteroids to destroy civilization) has a new entry in his ongoing project to discredit libertarianism: prison vouchers.

In this Article, I invite the reader to indulge in a thought experiment. What would the world look like if, instead of assigning prisoners to particular prisons bureaucratically, we gave them vouchers, good for one incarceration, that they were required to redeem at a participating prison?

You know what? Let me stop you right there.

* Rand Paul is also pioneering new frontiers for liberty.

* Via MetaFilter, the Egyptian military is defending “virginity tests” performed on arrested protestors from Tahrir Square.

“We didn’t want them to say we had sexually assaulted or raped them, so we wanted to prove that they weren’t virgins in the first place,” the general said.

Let me stop you right there.

* Prominent Republican governors are throwing in the towel on scorched-earth opposition to health care reform. Here’s why:

For those who oppose the PPACA, or believe it to be unconstitutional, doing anything to support the law can be problematic. However, refusing to prepare the exchanges is a real risk. It’s unlikely the law will be repealed soon. Should it not be found unconstitutional and thrown out entirely, the exchanges will still stand. The PPACA clearly says that if a state doesn’t have an exchange, then the federal government will create and run one for it. It’s going to take some time to set one up, and if 2014 rolls around and states don’t have an exchange ready, then it will be the feds, not locals, who will dictate terms.

* The House GOP hopes you don’t like eating food.

* Salon takes a trip to the race war raging inside Matt Drudge’s head.

* The fools in the national press corps are still talking about Anthony Weiner’s weiner. The story would be completely irrelevant even if it weren’t almost certainly a lie.

* And even right-wing nutjob Donald Trump… oh, forget it.

PB & Apocalypse

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Peanut butter apocalypse: FDA urges people to avoid peanut-butter products. Peanut butter sold in jars “appears to be safe.” More links at MeFi. If this extended to peanut butter in jars it would cut my diet in half…

Written by gerrycanavan

January 18, 2009 at 4:10 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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Greenwashing and the Market

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Upon seeing the top 15 “green brands”, my first response was “There’s no such thing as a green brand.” But that’s not true—there really are companies with superior products and decent practices, it’s just that consumers have no ready access to reliable information about them. And the high social importance of ecology in recent years has actually made matters worse, not better, with the greenwashing that is increasingly common across all industries only further muddying the waters.

Apple, for instance, and despite its many other virtues, may be greener than it used to be but it’s still not especially green. But it feels green, so it makes the list.

This is a failure of the culture, and really a failure of our government—in both cases by design. Simple labels work; they worked in Britain for nutrition, and they could work here, not only with regard to health but along any number of ecological and social-justice vectors as well.

It may be that consumers would still make bad choices even if they were well-informed, but the evidence from Britain suggests otherwise. I think you’d see a significant shift in consumption practices almost immediately.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 6, 2008 at 12:07 am