Web wandering on a Thursday morning…

This story caught my interest the other day.

A Factory Farm Near You – New York Times

Once upon a time, only a decade or so, it wasn’t hard to know where factory hog farms were because they were nearly all in North Carolina. But since those days, the practice of crowding together huge concentrations of animals — hogs, poultry, dairy cows, beef cattle — in the interests of supposed efficiency has spread around the country.Wherever it appears, factory farming has two notable effects. It threatens the environment, because of huge concentrations of animal manure and lax regulation. And it threatens local political control. Residents who want a say over whether and where factory farms, whose stench can be overwhelming, can be built find their voices drowned out by the industry’s cash and lobbying clout.

These farms are spreading so rapidly that it’s been hard to get an accurate, up-to-date picture of where they all are. A research and advocacy group called Food and Water Watch has released an interactive map — www.factoryfarmmap.org — that allows users to track the proliferation of factory farms by state and county, number of farms, type of operation and even number of animals. The only thing that would make this map more useful — and we hope it will be an ongoing project — is the ability to track changes over time, showing how rapid and pervasive the growth of factory farming has been.

Whenever the supposed efficiencies of the factory are applied to non-manufacturing pursuits, trouble seems to ensue. This appears to be particularly true in the field of agriculture. Unfortunately, we have yet to understand the full effects of what has been wrought as a result of the past 50 years of “Agricultural Progress”.

When the data is all in, if it ever is, I have a feeling that a lot of the health problems in this country will end up being laid at the feet of two industries for very similar reasons. Industrial Ag and the Pharmaceuticals both seem to think the unintentional results of their business practices are not their fault. Both industries are filling the bodies of Americans with chemical’s whose longterm consequences have not been tested. As a member of the lucky generation who has been used as a guinea pig by these industries in the name of higher profits, I am not amused. America’s obesity problem, along with many other ailments, keeps being blamed on lifestyle. They are right and wrong. The lifestyle that is killing America is the lifestyle of the CEO’s from those two industries. Their profit driven, cut costs, speeding up of the process is what has brought about the health problems. The constant use of hormones and antibiotics both by Doctors and animal raisers has to have unintended effects on the bodies of Americans. Add in all of the industrial byproducts we now live in and there is no telling what the consequences might be.

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On other matters, I had a Molly Ivins’ moment reading a story in the Houston Chronicle today…

Students must remember ‘God’ in Texas pledge | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle

Texas students will have four more words to remember when they head back to class this month and begin reciting the state’s pledge of allegiance.This year’s Legislature added the phrase “one state under God” to the pledge, which is part of a required morning ritual in Texas public schools along with the pledge to the U.S. flag and a moment of silence.

State Rep. Debbie Riddle, who sponsored the bill, said it had always bothered her that God was omitted in the state’s pledge.

“Personally, I felt like the Texas pledge had a big old hole in it, and it occurred to me, ‘You know what? We need to fix that,’ ” said Riddle, R-Tomball. “Our Texas pledge is perfectly OK like it is with the exception of acknowledging that just as we are one nation under God, we are one state under God as well.”

Don’t you just love when you walk into someone else’s “big old hole” and they think they have to “fix it” for everyone? Hell, I grew up here and I love my Texas history. But…I could not quote you the Texas pledge if my life depended on it. I know I never had to say any such thing in school. Back in my day they had enough trouble just trying to get everyone to say the Pledge to the US Flag. There was this little trouble in SE Asia that had all the young men approaching graduation just a bit unsettled back in the early 70’s…Oh, but then I read it has only been in the last five years that they have requires students to stand at attention and pledge to both the country and the state.

Is it just me? Doesn’t that seem just a bit presumptuous in this era of mobility, when families move around the country at will, to expect allegiance to a state?

Makes me “proud” to be a Texan…Yes it does. Molly would be so proud of them. They’ve raised the bar again on governing in Texas.

Finally… Astrologically speaking…This weeks horoscope for any other Aquarians out there.

Free Will Astrology : Aquarius Horoscope

It’s the Season of Burning, Churning Yearning. Here are three of the most important things I’ve ever told you about how to get what you need. (1) If you don’t precisely articulate your conscious desires, your unconscious patterns will come true instead. (2) If you want your conscious desires to trump your unconscious patterns, speak or write your conscious desires every day. (3) It’s better to have three huge, soaring, potent desires than 25 puny, scrabbling, half-assed desires.

I can never be sure what it is about Rob Brezsny’s Free Will Astrology, but every week he comes up with some gut checking advice. Does it really have anything to do with Astrology? Does it matter?


North Carolina Mountain Dreams

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