- Heads up, babies are supposed to be fat. Under 6 months, the fatter, the better. There's no earthly frakking reason, barring an extremely rare case of genetic obesity, that anyone should ever have a conversation about putting an otherwise healthy baby, especially if they're breastfeeding, on a frakking diet. Ever.
- The press corps' silence favors the powerful in their quest to steal everything that isn't nailed down, then come back with a pry bar for the rest.
- Why corn and soybeans rule the farm in Iowa and elsewhere. It's not the participants, but the system, that's wrongheaded.
- The takeaway from a recent roundup of Avedon's: the American public needs health care, more effective expressions of anger. Also, she alerted us to our threatiest threat, which is in your closet and coming to get you now. Eeek.
- I really feel for the Obama White House, being expected to come through on their promises, since it's true that changing the system is very difficult. Though maybe these yippee-ki-yay campaign gladhanders should have realized this earlier and thought through the "YES WE CAN!" theme a little bit better. Perhaps instead of having to hope today that we'll forget what they said last year, they should have run a 'maybe we could' campaign, or an 'incremental improvements are within reach' campaign. But they didn't. So now they're sitting up there in their fancy suits telling us pinstripe-challenged peons that they're unqualified for the jobs they applied for, and also that they were lying. Yet this reflects badly ... on us?
- You may have seen Michael Moore's Capitalism: A Love Story already. (If you haven't, please go see it.) For either follow up or studying in advance, this is the Citigroup plutonomy memo, part 1 (pdf) (via) and the Citigroup plutonomy report, part 2, (pdf) (via), describing the sorry state of our kleptocratic system of governance. Also, a blogger at the Wall Street Journal helpfully distilled the plutonomy report so you can get the gist of it straight from an eager acolyte of our overlords.
- The problem with change is that, as it was once rightly said, power concedes nothing without a demand. Nonetheless, word your demand too politely and you will get exactly no response. Act like a bunch of violent anti-abortion, Operation Rescue-style terrorists, and the only kind of change you can guarantee is that you will shift the world by varying margins towards fearful authoritarianism, hatred and isolation along class, gender and/or ethnic lines - which makes violence a non-starter if you care about getting to a progressive end goal.
So what should we do? Peaceful protest won out for the abolition, women's suffrage, anti-colonialism and civil rights movements, yet they all required great masses of people to demonstrate over periods of years. Though unlike other countries with active national strike cultures, not only has a strike ethic diminished in stature as an option in the activist toolkit, the national media barely reports on such events unless they are violent, represent authoritarian ideologies, or can readily be mocked. People seeking peaceful change in the US are often effectively isolated from sympathetic peers around the world and at home and turn only rarely to collective action solutions to shared problems.
Maybe an idea like these Common Security Clubs, which try to gather small groups of neighbors to talk about economic issues face to face, could help. It's hard to say. But the injustices piling up in this world and this country have got to be addressed.