Nightly Reader: Oct. 30, 2012

Apologies for the Hurricane Sandy-induced hiatus. Normal blogging resumes, starting now….

1) A Pox On Both Your Houses: Chris Hedges makes the case against casting your vote for EITHER Romney or Obama. I can’t resist posting the intro here:

The November election is not a battle between Republicans and Democrats. It is not a battle between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. It is a battle between the corporate state and us. And if we do not immediately engage in this battle we are finished, as climate scientists have made clear. I will defy corporate power in small and large ways. I will invest my energy now solely in acts of resistance, in civil disobedience and in defiance. Those who rebel are our only hope. And for this reason I will vote next month for Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, although I could as easily vote for Rocky Anderson of the Justice Party. I will step outside the system. Voting for the “lesser evil”—or failing to vote at all—is part of the corporate agenda to crush what is left of our anemic democracy. And those who continue to participate in the vaudeville of a two-party process, who refuse to confront in every way possible the structures of corporate power, assure our mutual destruction.

I actually did vote for Stein (voting by absentee ballot in Maryland). But I have to admit that I did so knowing that Obama is almost certain to win my state, Maryland. I agree with Hedges that neither Obama nor Romney are addressing the real issues. But, that said, there is a chasm between what they mean for America, and that is a chasm that matters. But Hedges has a point, regardless.

2) Orangutan Agony: There is no more poignant, or tragic, example of the conflict between the human agenda and the conservation agenda than the ongoing eradication of orangutan habitat (and orangutans) resulting from the inexorable expansion of palm oil plantations in Indonesia. Palm oil is a popular cooking oil in many poor parts of the world. But much of the demand for palm oil also comes from food processors who turned to it as an alternative to switching from trans fat. Lesson: every action, every choice, has consequences. Our responsibility is to understand what those consequences are beyond our own lives.

3) Oh, The Humanity: Speaking of food choices that don’t wipe out orangutans or involve animal suffering, here’s a handy website from Humane Farm Animal Care that you can use to find stores near you that sell Certified Humane food products. Yes, is dominated by Whole Foods locations. But it’s nice to be able to find a few other stores that care to carry Certified Humane products.

4) Picture Storm: We can’t forget Hurricane Sandy, the force of nature that just altered the lives of millions of Americans and the daily business of a nation. And a great collection of 54 pictures is the best way to convey the drama, power, and destruction. Here are just three:

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