Sunday, January 6, 2008

Sunday Reader: January 6, 2008

I'm back from finishing the semester and a delightful vacation to Galena, Il and Chicago. I'll blog about those over the coming week as we found lots of yummy, vegetarian/vegan restaurants and I have a number of things that I'm interested in blogging about and hopefully you're interested in reading about. And as promised, I want to start my post a day initiative where I do something worth blogging about every day. Though when I was a child and tried to journal daily, my entries sometimes devolved to lists of what tv shows I watched so be forewarned! Today's post is a roundup of interesting articles I'm reading, mostly in the NY Times since, well, that's where most of the interesting articles are.

Burt's Bees

Burt's Bees is owned by Clorox. Apparently this happened a few years ago and Tom's of Maine is mostly owned by Colgate. Both of these develop products that I use daily and which include little blurbs about how they started as small companies and their current dedication to workers and so forth. So it was a bit of a shock to read they are part of larger companies. Apparently Clorox bought BBs for an enormous sum of money and is working to adopt some of their practices. This is great! The only way to really effect environmental change is to change the way everyone does business. But as I've really started delving into the environmental movement, part of what attracts me is the independence of these companies. So I'm torn about how to react to big-box companies, whose own products are often far from environmentally enviable, buying little organic companies. Other thoughts?

California vs. EPA/Bush admin

This is a pretty straightforward editorial that says it all: let California make its own standards for fuel consumption if they can make better ones than the federal government. This shows bureaucracy and federalism at their worst when it not only perpetuates the status quo, but stands in the way of real change. The problem, of course, is that if California (and 16 other states) diverge from the federal government's standards, car makers have to respond; which would make the federal standards irrelevant. This is a problem only from the federal government's standpoint, though. So, go California!

Voting machines

Finally voting machine failures are getting the attention not just of liberals and conspiracy theorists, but the general population. Even if there is no concerted effort to have votes counted for one party or another, inaccurate counts are disturbing -- no matter how many votes are lost, or not lost. I support the idea where you vote by touch-screen and then a report is printed, which you verify and sign. Then in tight races an accurate vote recount can occur. While we're on the topic of voting, kudos to Wyoming for a Saturday primary -- all elections should be held on the weekends to encourage voting.

There were other good looking articles -- Frank Rich on Obama and Huckabee for instance -- but I had nothing to say to them other than, good article. But now for some frivolous fun!

Sequin Dresses

People has a list of top 20 must have sequin dresses. I have no where to wear a sequin dress, but some of these are really neat. Check out Hilary Duff's (number 12) which is my current favorite. They missed my favorite, though perhaps it's not precisely a sequin dress: Leighton Meester's great green dress.. The kind of dresses which make you want a cocktail party. :-)

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