Which Dangerous Toxins Are In Pot?

Mother Jones

In 2004, California organic farm inspector Chris Van Hook submitted an unusual request to the US Department of Agriculture: He wanted permission to certify a medical marijuana farm as organic. He’d already inspected three pot farms, he says, before word came back that weed couldn’t be organic because it wasn’t a federally recognized crop.

So Van Hook founded Clean Green, a certification program for medical marijuana farmers that’s nearly identical to the USDA’s organics program—except that it can’t legally use the term “organic.” Since launching in 2004, Clean Green has certified 80 medical marijuana growers who last year produced 8,000 pounds of cannabis valued at as much as $33 million. It’s the only inspection service aimed at pot smokers who want their ganja to be farmed as safely and ethically as their organic salad greens.

Rebooting the American Dream — Chapter Twelve: Conclusion: Tag, You’re It!


This final chapter offers time-tested strategies for rebuilding a true middle class and restoring American prosperity – without peremptorily squelching the dream for future generations. It asks the question, “Will our republic survive as a democracy?” The answer comes in the form of what Hartmann calls history’s most important lesson: “Presidents can lead on behalf of the people, but only when the people demand that they do so.”

As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there’s a twilight where everything remains seemingly unchanged, and it is in such twilight that we must be aware of change in the air, however slight, lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness. – William O. Douglas

Thank you Supervisor Hamburg and Sheriff Allman (Updated)


Editor, Ukiah Daily Journal:

Thank you, Dan Hamburg and Sheriff Allman, for expressing your views and defending your jobs strongly and passionately. In tough times we need more leaders who care and you are showing our community just how much you do care.

As for the Ukiah Daily Journal’s coverage calling it “yelling”, and in your one-sided editorial opinion (1/30/11) accusing Mr. Hamburg of “shouting” and “losing it”, give me a break. Now you’re sounding like right-winger David Anderson exaggerating to make a point. Checking the exchange on Ukiah Valley TV clearly shows strongly stated views, but yelling and shouting? No. Losing it? No.

Please, allow our county leaders to show both passion and compassion as we all work through these tough times, and stop “losing it” with your own coverage.

Americans must realize what makes NFL football so great: socialism


New Rule: With the Super Bowl only a week away, Americans must realize what makes NFL football so great: socialism. That’s right, for all the F-15 flyovers and flag waving, football is our most successful sport because the NFL takes money from the rich teams and gives it to the poor teams… just like President Obama wants to do with his secret army of ACORN volunteers. Green Bay, Wisconsin has a population of 100,000. Yet this sleepy little town on the banks of the Fuck-if-I-know River has just as much of a chance of making it to the Super Bowl as the New York Jets – who next year need to just shut the hell up and play.

Now, me personally, I haven’t watched a Super Bowl since 2004, when Janet Jackson’s nipple popped out during half time, and that split-second glimpse of an unrestrained black titty burned my eyes and offended me as a Christian. But I get it – who doesn’t love the spectacle of juiced-up millionaires

10 amazing truths you already suspected

SF Gate

Did you already know? I bet you already knew. Or at the very least, had a sneaking suspicion…

1) The end is near-ish! Government overspending will be the death of us all! Massive, crushing debt will blot out the sun and ruin your lawn! Buy gold and hoard it in your small intestine for the End Times that are coming soon! The GOP and Glenn Beck hath spoken!

Yes, it’s the everyday puling of the Republican right, a common refrain about how the liberal gummint is dead-set on bankrupting the nation as fast as possible. And the Tea Party eats it up like the giant sourball of falsehood it very much is.

Ironic, then, how it’s actually the Tea Party-riffic

If you’re eating at Taco Bell there’s something wrong with your head


The word spread like wildfire across the internet: An Alabama law firm had filed a class action lawsuit against Taco Bell in California, saying its meat fails to meet the definition of beef set forth by the U.S. government (and even that’s a pretty low hurdle, if you ask me). The lawsuit claims Taco Bell’s meat cannot be honestly advertised as “beef” because it claims tests showed the meat was only 35% beef, not the 70% beef required by federal standards.

“It’s mainly soy and oats, and there’s lots of other stuff in there that I don’t even know how to pronounce,” said attorney Dee Miles.

Taco Bell responded quickly, saying their meat was “88% beef” and that they buy the same brand of beef sold in supermarkets — Tyson Foods.

Oh well, that clears it all up, then. Tyson Foods.

Organic Taco Salad Recipe

From Around The Web*

Taco salads might be the best kind of salad out there. It’s a meal that can be served in a dish that will be eaten; deliciously easy cleanup. A crispy tortilla shell filled with beans, meat, cheese and veggies can satisfy even the pickiest salad eater.

During a recent trip to my local Bed Bath & Beyond, I found taco shell pans. These pans help create a perfect taco shell in 10 minutes. Better yet, these pans defy tradition by allowing you to make the shells without frying them. Can you think of anything better than a healthier alternative to traditional taco salads? [Uh, actually yes I can… -DS]

Try this delicious recipe that can be modified to your specific tastes and can help create a meal in 30 minutes or less! I’d suggest browsing the refrigerator for leftovers before making any of the fillers from scratch.

Organic Taco Salad Recipe

Take Action! The Organic Elite Surrenders to Monsanto: What Now?


Take Action Here

“The policy set for GE alfalfa will most likely guide policies for other GE crops as well. True coexistence is a must.”   –  Whole Foods Market, Jan. 21, 2011

Whole Food’s Dirty Little Secret: Most of the So-Called “Natural” Processed Foods and Animal Products They Sell Are Contaminated with GMOs

In the wake of a 12-year battle to keep Monsanto’s Genetically Engineered (GE) crops from contaminating the nation’s 25,000 organic farms and ranches, America’s organic consumers and producers are facing betrayal. A self-appointed cabal of the Organic Elite, spearheaded by Whole Foods Market, Organic Valley, and Stonyfield Farm, has decided it’s time to surrender to Monsanto. Top executives from these companies

Hamburg Vs. Allman — Time to Take the Gloves Off


At the Mendocino Board of Supervisors meeting held on January 25, the gloves came off between newly-elected 5th District Supervisor Dan Hamburg and Sheriff Tom Allman. The issue was the continuing budget struggle that the county is facing. Allman updated the board on how his department is working to reduce the budget overage that is projected while Hamburg felt that Allman was trying to make it “his way or the highway”. Watch the drama unfold.

Video here

From the MCN listserv
Thanks to Anna Taylor

“If you watch and listen to the tape, you get a different impression than what the UDJ article says. On tape, Allman comes across as a loose cannon and Hamburg doesn’t yell.” -Mary Weaver on UDJ comments.

[Looks to me like Sheriff Allman, a local hero, is passionately defending his department, while Supervisor Hamburg, just as passionately, is doing the job he was elected to do. You decide…-DS]

Roping a deer in the wilds of Yorkville



I had this idea that I could rope a deer, put it in a stall, feed it up on corn for a couple of weeks, then kill it and eat it. The first step in this adventure was getting a deer. I figured that, since they congregate at my cattle feeder and do not seem to have much fear of me when we are there (a bold one will sometimes come right up and sniff at the bags of feed while I am in the back of the truck not four feet away), it should not be difficult to rope one, get up to it and toss a bag over its head (to calm it down) then hog tie it and transport it home.

I filled the cattle feeder then hid down at the end with my rope. The cattle, having seen the roping thing before, stayed well back. They were not having any of it. After about 20 minutes, my deer showed up — three of them. I picked out a likely looking one, stepped out from the end of the feeder, and threw my rope. The deer just stood there and stared at me.

Survey Finds “Buy Local” Message Benefitting Independent Businesses


For the fourth year in a row, a national survey of independent businesses has found that those in communities with an active “buy local” campaign have experienced markedly stronger revenue growth compared to those located in areas without such a campaign.

The survey, which was conducted over an 8-day period in January, gathered data from 2,768 independent businesses, including retailers, service providers, restaurants and others. It found that those in places with a “buy local” initiative reported revenue growth of 5.6% on average in 2010, compared to 2.1% for those elsewhere.

Among independent retailers, which accounted for nearly half the respondents, there was a similar gap in holiday sales performance, with those in “buy local” communities seeing a 5.2% increase in holiday sales, while those elsewhere

New Study Ranks Metro Areas on the Vitality of Their Independent Retail


A groundbreaking new study, the Indie City Index, ranks all 363 metropolitan areas in the U. S. according to the vitality of their independent retail sectors.

Produced by Civic Economics, the index analyzes the share of retail sales captured by independent retailers and assigns a score to each metro. In regions that score above 100, independent retailers capture a larger than average share of spending, while chains are more dominant in those metros that score less than 100.

Topping the list are Ocean City, NJ; Bellingham, WA; Medford, OR; Carson City, NV; San Jose, CA; Barnstable, MA; Austin, TX; Dalton, GA; Harrisonburg, VA; Gainesville, GA and Glens Falls, NY.

The Indie City Index also ranks cities within their region and within their population class, identifying those that outperform their peers.

Overall, the study found that independent retailers are strongest in the Mid-Atlantic, Pacific,

Readers Write About Their Love Of Tree Groves


[Over at The Contrary Farmer blogsite, readers respond to Gene Logsdon’s post: An Affinity For Tree Groves… -DS]

Gene: What an outpouring of response! (See Below) I love you all. W.A., you guessed it correctly, I am starting a book about woodland, which is what prompted me to ask readers what their thoughts were on the subject. As to your question about planting seeds or transplants, my experience is that in four years or so, you can’t tell the difference as far as growth goes. But the transplant is more apt to die in the first year or two. On the other hand, the seed is liable to get eaten by some wildling. But planting seed is much easier than transplants.Brad Brookins: I prefer living on the edge of woodland too, not in deep forest. The years we lived in a log cabin in the heart of a tree grove, we sometimes felt the days were a bit on the gloomy side or that we needed bigger windows. If it had been my property, i would have cut down more of the trees in the yard to lighten up the scene. Granny Miller: I am burning some cherry now too,

Mendo Island Transition: Gross National Happiness


Bhutanese Prime Minister Jigmi Y. Thinley on Gross National Happiness, his country’s traditions, and the importance of democracy.

Bhutan has pioneered the use of Gross National Happiness (GNH) as a measure of progress, instead of the more commonly used GNP. GNH measures not only economic activity, but also cultural, ecological, and spiritual well-being.

YES! Magazine Contributing Editor Madhu Suri Prakash attended a meeting of educators from around the world, convened by the government of Bhutan in December 2009, to encourage them to make the happiness of all people the central organizing principle of their philosophy of education. In September 2010, Bhutanese Prime Minister Jigmi Y. Thinley visited the United States to promote GNH education and economic theory.

The Farmer and the Horse

The film’s website here

This video available for rent at Mulligan Books

Mendo’s Own Live Power Community Farm (CSA) in Covelo

Live Power Community Farm is a 40-acre, biodynamic/organic Community Sustained Agriculture (CSA) farm that provides fresh, high-quality food for 160 households in the San Francisco Bay Area and Mendocino County. We also host on-farm school visits, apprentice training, and farm-related workshops. Our innovative approach to farmland ownership, economics, and food distribution revitalizes the culture of land stewardship by creating a conscious, mutually supportive relationship between farmers, consumers, and nature.

Draft Proposal for a Mendocino Community Based Farming Network


As the energy crisis and climate pollution deepens and the need becomes more acute

Gene Logsdon: An Affinity For Tree Groves

The Contrary Farmer
Upper Sandusky, Ohio

I have been cuddling up lately to the woodstove and giving thanks for my good fortune in being able to do so. When we could finally afford to buy our own land, my wife and I were determined to get a tract that had a woodlot on it and fortunately we were able to do that. My thinking, even in the early seventies was that I wanted my own source of fuel and in my mind, that meant some established woodland so I could commence staying warm immediately. But thinking about that while sitting by the fire, I was overcome by what I believe everyone refers to today as an epiphany. I realized that practical considerations about staying warm were probably not the real reason I wanted to live in the woods. It was suddenly apparent to me that I had spent almost all my life in or next to groves of trees. Even when I went to work in Philadelphia, we found, in the suburbs, a house that had a wild tree grove at the back end of it…

Complete article at The Contrary Farmer

The SOTU In Three Words


NPR asked listeners what they heard last night:

Right after President Barack Obama finished his State of the Union address, we asked our listeners to describe his speech in three words. We received responses from more than 4,000 of you. We’ve run them through a word cloud generator …

Technology’s False Promise

Thanks to Ron Epstein

Kevin Kelly’s new book, What Technology Wants, is a dense but fascinating exploration of technology’s past, present, and future. And while I’ve highlighted a bevy of sections in my copy of the book, there’s one thought in particular I want to share with you today.

Kelly begins Chapter 10, titled “The Unabomber Was Right” (um … yeah), with a series of references to inventors and technological commentators from the 1890s to the 1970s who genuinely believed that technology was on the cusp of producing world peace. For instance, Hiram Maxim — the inventor of the machine gun — insisted his invention would “make war impossible.” And Kelly’s list goes on:

  • Orville Wright believed the aeroplane would “have a tendency to make war impossible.”
  • Jules Verne believed the submarine and other improved “war material” would make war “impossible.”
  • Alfred Nobel (founder of the Nobel Prize) believed his invention, dynamite,

Rebooting the American Dream — Chapter Eleven: In the Shadow of the Dragon


The motivating force of the theory of a democratic way of life is still a belief that as individuals we live cooperatively, and, to the best of our ability, serve the community in which we live, and that our own success, to be real, must contribute. – Eleanor Roosevelt

There was a dragon here hundreds of years ago, here in the Basque country in northern Spain, a place steeped in tradition, a hilly expanse between the mountains and the sea. Local lore has it that the Basque language, the only European one with no known root language, is a remnant from the time of Atlantis, which may have vanished into the Atlantic Ocean not far from here eons ago.

Standing on a hillside overlooking an early autumn valley, Louise and I were amazed by the simple beauty of the mountain of the dragon, its gray and balding peak towering above the town like an ancient ziggurat. This is Mondragon,

Washington State Joins Movement For Public Banking

Web of Debt Blog

Bills were introduced on January 18 in both the House and Senate of the Washington State Legislature that add Washington to the growing number of states now actively moving to create public banking facilities.

The bills, House Bill 1320 and Senate Bill 5238, propose creation of a Washington Investment Trust (WIT) to “promote agriculture, education, community development, economic development, housing, and industry” by using “the resources of the people of Washington State within the state.”

Currently, all the state’s funds are deposited with Bank of America. HB 1320 proposes that in the future, “all state funds be deposited in the Washington Investment Trust and be guaranteed by the state and used to promote the common good and public benefit of all the people and their businesses within [the] state.”

The legislation is similar to that now being studied or proposed in states including Illinois, Virginia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Maryland, Florida, Michigan, Oregon, California and others.

The effort in Washington State draws heavily on the success

The World Is Dying — And So Are You

For The Future (2001)

At the heart of the modern age is a core of grief.

At some level, we’re aware that something terrible is happening, that we humans are laying waste to our natural inheritance. A great sorrow arises as we witness the changes in the atmosphere, the waste of resources and the consequent pollution, the ongoing deforestation and destruction of fisheries, the rapidly spreading deserts, and the mass extinction of species.

All these changes signal a turning point in human history, and the outlook is not particularly bright. The anger, irritability, frustration and intolerance that increasingly pervades our common life are symptoms associated with grief. The pervasive sense of helplessness and numbness that surrounds us, and the frantic search for meaning

The Healthy Money Summit — Free Live Seminars Happening On-Line Right Now 1/25/11

The Healthy Money Summit

With so much fear and confusion about the economy now and high unemployment across the U.S., we truly need to create a new relationship with money and new stories of hope for our communities.

Join us for the Healthy Money Summit, where you’ll learn to shift to a healthier, happier, more productive relationship with money. From the personal to the collective, you’ll learn all about:

  • New currencies that favor connection and community over hoarding and lack
  • New economies that favor Main Street over Wall Street, and prioritize community well-being as the new bottom line
  • New ways of earning and spending that liberate your time and passion for your real life’s work

Herb Ruhs: Derrick Jensen and The Happy Doomer

Anderson Valley

I don’t know why I end up defending Derrick Jensen (Beyond Hope). He is pretty good at that himself.

What I observe is that folks who read Jensen enthusiastically uniformly fail to understand him and that those who react badly to him are understanding him at a level they are compelled to deny in their conscious thoughts. The things that we don’t like about ourselves annoy us most in others. I think of Jensen as like a real life Ender from Card’s novel Ender’s Game. Like Ender he is unavoidably flooded with reality while all around him are sleep walkers. Being awake while participating in “civilized life” can be excruciating and causes sufferers to flee to monasteries and hermitages, but some brave souls like Jensen choose to stay involved and end up calling themselves activist. No greater gift than from those who confront insanity directly.

Downtown Ukiah Entering Its Death Throes


It’s just a matter of time now: Costco will move into Ukiah’s Big Box Heaven; the main Post Office will be closed and moved to the Annex off 101; the Courthouse complex will be built just far enough east toward 101 to make it more convenient to walk east rather than west, and visitors from 101 will park before they ever make it into town. Along with the killing of Economic Development funds, and the library finally jerked off life-support, that will just about do it. And maybe DDR will finally be able to buy the swing vote they need to build the Monster Mall they’ve so long coveted despite overwhelming democratic opposition. Very sad.

The only hopes for an enlivened downtown that I hear about is the Co-op expanding into downtown; the city government organizing a volunteer task force (rather than hire yet more expensive outside consultants)

Main Street As It Once Was (Eggs 8¢ Dozen)

Thanks to Mondra Rose

Full Size Version Here

Michael Laybourn: PG&E ‘Smart Meters’ — Dumb Idea


Smartmeters do not save electricity. They are a grab for stimulus dollars and a reason to cut jobs. To think they are some kind of gentle green good is nonsense.

From the Wall St Journal: Meters are expensive, often costing $250 to $500 each when all the bells and whistles are included, such as the expense of installing new utility billing systems. And utilities typically pass these costs directly on to consumers.  <http://online.wsj.com/public/quotes/main.html?type=djn&symbol=CNP> CenterPoint Energy Inc. in Houston, for instance, recently began charging its customers an extra $3.24 a month for smart meters, sparking howls of protest since the charges will continue for a decade and eventually approach $1 billion.

WikiLeaks’ Most Terrifying Revelation: Just How Much Our Government Lies to Us


Wikileaks has shown that our government and military form a ‘vast lying machine’ that perpetrates mass murder in our name.

“Try as I may I can not escape the sound of suffering. Perhaps as an old man I will accept suffering with insouciance. But not now; men in their prime, if they have convictions are tasked to act on them.” — Julian Assange, 2007 blog entry

Do you believe that it is in Americans’ interest to allow a small group of U.S. leaders to unilaterally murder, maim, imprison and/or torture anyone they choose anywhere in the world, without the knowledge let alone oversight of their citizens or the international community? And, despite their proven record of failure to protect America — from Indochina to Iran to Iraq — do you believe they should be permitted to clandestinely expand their war-making without informed public debate?

Beyond Doom, Beyond Sustainability

Transition Voice

Wars, peak oil, climate change, continuing global economic crises. We live in such uncertain times.

It could be so easy to throw up our hands in frustration and disgust, to go down that dark road of disillusionment, of morbidly chalking it all up to human nature. It could be so easy to buy into the thinking that we’ve destroyed ourselves, and it is just a matter of time before the bomb we’ve set explodes in our faces.

Or, we could play for the best in humanity:

Peak oil is as inevitable as death and taxes. But for every convert that peak oil’s doom-and-gloom extremism sweeps up, it alienates plenty of people who might otherwise climb down from their SUVs. -Toby Hemenway in “Apocalypse, Not”

When hope is more realistic than despair

Do You Do Nothing or Do You Resist?

Via Adbusters

And if you did not fight, would you see yourself as noble? Or cowardly?

I say to every red-blooded American, every European, every human: If someone comes into your home, threatens your family, imprisons and even kills your family what do you do? I do not care if every Westerner of any station is afraid to say it, it is part of my purpose in life to say it: I would fight. In fact I would kill before I would allow my family to be harmed. I would fight to the death.

I say to my American brothers and sisters in particular: Can you not see that the Iraqis, the Afghanis and the Palestinians are people? They are mothers and fathers, uncles and aunts, brothers and sisters and sons and daughters. They love their family every bit as much as you. Imagine that you were in their shoes. Would you be passive? Would you sit by and watch your wife and child being violated? Or would you fight?

Shasta and Goliath: Bringing Down Corporate Rule

From MoveToAmend.org
Sign the National petition here

Mt. Shasta, a small northern California town of 3,500 residents nestled in the foothills of magnificent Mount Shasta, is taking on corporate power through an unusual process—democracy.

The citizens of Mt. Shasta have developed an extraordinary ordinance, set to be voted on in the next special or general election, that would prohibit corporations such as Nestle and Coca-Cola from extracting water from the local aquifer. But this is only the beginning. The ordinance would also ban energy-giant PG&E, and any other corporation, from regional cloud seeding, a process that disrupts weather patterns through the use of toxic chemicals such as silver iodide. More generally, it would refuse to recognize corporate personhood, explicitly place the rights of community and local government above the economic interests of multinational corporations, and recognize the rights of nature to exist, flourish, and evolve.

Mt. Shasta is not alone. Rather, it is part of a (so far) quiet municipal movement making its way across the United States in which communities are directly defying corporate rule

Jim Houle to Ukiah City Council: Why Costco?

Redwood Valley
Member of the County Council of the Green Party

To the Editor:
The following was presented to the City Council of Ukiah on January 19th:

You, the City Council of Ukiah, are scheduled today (Jan. 19th) to approve, in secret session, an Exclusive Negotiating Agreement with Costco. Most of your fellow citizens are at a loss to understand why you would sell 15 acres of land bought with Redevelopment Funds to a retail emporium when it is well established that our real need is affordable housing, not more stores. We hold you answerable to us for your actions and ask for your response to the following questions:

Why is it OK in your view to place a Big Box Retail Outlet in Ukiah after we the voters resoundingly defeated such a Big Box Complex at the Masonite site

Derrick Jensen: Beyond Hope

Orion Magazine
Thanks to Sean Re

The most common words I hear spoken by any environmentalists anywhere are, We’re fucked. Most of these environmentalists are fighting desperately, using whatever tools they have—or rather whatever legal tools they have, which means whatever tools those in power grant them the right to use, which means whatever tools will be ultimately ineffective—to try to protect some piece of ground, to try to stop the manufacture or release of poisons, to try to stop civilized humans from tormenting some group of plants or animals. Sometimes they’re reduced to trying to protect just one tree.

Here’s how John Osborn, an extraordinary activist and friend, sums up his reasons for doing the work: “As things become increasingly chaotic, I want to make sure some doors remain open. If grizzly bears are still alive in twenty, thirty, and forty years, they may still be alive in fifty. If they’re gone in twenty, they’ll be gone forever.”

But no matter what environmentalists do,

Gene Logsdon: Human Manure Shops Are A Hot Business In North Korea


Last week I said that everywhere I turn these days I seem to run into manure  It keeps on happening. The latest example comes from  www.minyanville.com, which is a serious financial and business website, no gaming around here with male bovine excretory droppings. A story by Justin Rohrlick on Dec. 29 reports that Kim Young-soo at Seoul’s Sogang University in South Korea has been interviewing recent defectors from North Korea. One of the questions he asks them is about the hottest new consumer products in their country. Among several commodities at the top of the North Korean want list is human excrement, available at “human manure shops.”  Now this is not April 1, even in Korea, and that is just too far out to be made up. Human manure shops (I can imagine what I call them) are in fact quite logical. Fertilizer is in short supply in North Korea where people are starving in alarming numbers, and survival means

The Progressive Liberal Agenda


“The Liberal Agenda” has been falsified and bastardized by the Conservative and Fundamentalist radio hosts of this country, and the Right has been hacking away at our safety nets since Reagan became President.

The Progressive Liberal agenda has always been about caring for and empowering the least among us (Matthew 25), and setting a secure floor under our citizenry. Teddy Roosevelt’s Square Deal: a living wage, a basic safety net; Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal: Social Security; Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society: the elimination of poverty and racial injustice, and Medicare/Medicaid. It’s been about building America from the ground up using government only for what is absolutely necessary and providing a basic standing point: free public education, free medical care, and care for the needy and elderly as in all other developed countries in the world. And, yes, tax the wealthy and very wealthy more than the middle class folks

Today’s Inequality Report: Calling Out The Right Wing


A hard-hitting study of the social effects of inequality has profound implications

Epidemiologists Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, authors of The Spirit Level, don’t soft-soap their message. It is brave to write a book arguing that economies should stop growing when millions of jobs are being lost, though they may be pushing at an open door in public consciousness. We know there is something wrong, and this book goes a long way towards explaining what and why.

The authors point out that the life-diminishing results of valuing growth above equality in rich societies can be seen all around us. Inequality causes shorter, unhealthier and unhappier lives; it increases the rate of teenage pregnancy, violence, obesity, imprisonment and addiction; it destroys relationships between individuals born in the same society but into different classes; and its function as a driver of consumption

Rebooting the American Dream — Chapter Ten: Wal-Mart Is Not A Person

Article with footnotes here

The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error. —John Stuart Mill

In 2003, after my book Unequal Protection was first published, I gave a talk at one of the larger law schools in Vermont. Around 300 people showed up, mostly students, with a few dozen faculty and some local lawyers.