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Friday, June 30, 2006

La Lucha Continua - Part 1

Yes, folks. It’s feast or famine over here at Ye Olde Presse. Seeing as though I’ll have a long weekend coming up, expect more updates than usual (ie., more than once every two weeks).

Hey, remember that post a while back where I got all up in your face and political on your candy ass? Ok, ok – I know that happens often, but really I wanted to revisit that type of post and so today I’m running through a few news headlines and happenings and doing my part in the never-ending struggle to bolster the proliferation of food-related infotainment.


First, let’s start with the United Farmworkers. Oh yes. Them again. Aren’t they ever satisfied? Geez, you think bending over in a field all day, enjoying the sun and the fresh air, would put them in a better mood. But, nooooo!

There I was, trying to enjoy the drag queens and the Gay Catholics at the Pride parade last Sunday when I’m handed a sticker that says "boycott" something or other. It turned out to be a UFW thing so I stuck it on my t-shirt (my House of Beef one), because a.) I like the people who pick my food and b.) I’m such a sucker for stickers I probably should start an album or something. I even wear the “I Voted” sticker.

What a nerd.

Anyway, boycott Krug and Mondavi wines until they negotiate a good contract with their workers. For you recovering alkies like me, the only dilemma you may have is “how do I boycott something that I don’t buy in the first place?”; to which I suggest you make stickers (here I go with the stickers again!) that read “Voted Best Wine by Ann Coulter Three Years In A Row” and stick them on every single Krug/Mondavi bottle you see.

Oh, and while you’re at the UFW website, what the eff is this all about? Threemile Canyon Dairy: you are some sick and shameful Ann Coulter lovers.


Speaking of cruelty to animals and people alike, our least favorite animal rights group has been scratching up dust in Salinas dressed as disabled chickens and generally annoying that fat guy in front of you trying to pick up his 6-piece Original Recipe chicken combo at KFC.

Now I agree that the conditions that chickens live under in factory farms are pretty awful and outrageous and now Rainbow Grocery lists which of their eggs come from chickens that have or haven’t been de-beaked, so kudos to them. I’m all for humane, range-roving, un-genetically modified chickens.

But I pretty much hate PETA.

Says a construction worker/dilettante Biologist in line waiting to order chicken strips “chickens are pretty dumb animals”. To which a rare fully-clothed, non-celebrity member of PETA replies, “no, they’re inquisitive and interesting.” Said the woman dressed in a chicken suit and being pushed around in a wheelchair in the hot, mid-day, Salinas sun, “it’s better than being boiled”. And said the college student observing the protest “it’s outrageous" but "interesting”.

I swear, I can’t figure out who or which species is more dumb or inquisitive, but at least they’re all “interesting”!


At least if you get your wangs in Oakland, you can rest assured there will be no CFCs at your KFC. Oakland became the latest city to ban Styrofoam in take-out packaging. Of course, this solves nothing regarding the intense garbage that surrounds most fast food joints and the burger wrappers crumpled up and thrown on the sidewalk, bus, or what have you. To do that, several thousand litter bugs would have to either be lined up and shot or put through intensive, severe Soviet/Mao-era reeducation camps.

I’m all about totalitarianism when it comes to people who litter....and having the trains run on time.


Something’s fishy in the state of California! (So, what's new?)

Seems like what was once a sustainable way of life for both Fishermen and Native Americans who relied on the salmon from the Klamath River has now been wrecked and it seems that very few are rushing in to help. Especially not the Bush Administration.

For years, the Chinook salmon have been dwindling due to a change in water temperature and a resulting bacteria caused by algae along the Klamath River caused by dams. The dams are part of an irrigation network that sustains large (and small) farms, most of whom are already subsidized by YOUR MONEY. Most Big Ag folks who depend on the reservoirs oppose destroying the dams, owned by a Scottish company, which is what the treehuggers, the fishermen, and the Indians want.

In the meantime, the fishermen are asking for Federal Assistance, since they're like "What else is there left for us to do? Sell Crystal?", but Bush is like “talk to the hand cause the brain don’t understand”. The Big Ag folks, as represented by the Klamath Water Users Association, say “oh, but we support the fishermen, only we’re opposed to any government regulations that protect the very fish they rely on that’s endangered of becoming extinct because it interferes with our irrigation practices.”

Although I’m new to this issue, it seems to me that if there are no fish to fish because the Big Ag and Little Ag are unwilling to budge, then there probably would be no fishermen to fish them – thereby what the KWUA says about “supporting the fishermen” is, well, fertilizer. Of course, if you really want to know what the KWUA think, just take a look at their lawsuits, as represented by the fine legal team over at the Pacific Legal Foundation, a pro-business (at any cost), anti-environment rightwing den of buttheads.

I love the web. I also love to go to these peoples’ websites and see who sits on their board of governors or trustees. It always says more about the organization and how it’s supported than anything.

Hmm. It seems that one of the trustees is no other than John C. Harris, owner of Harris Farms, Inc.

Who or what is that? Well, you know that big stinky feedlot on Interstate-5 you pass on your way down to LA? That’s Harris Ranch. Harris Ranch also has a famous restaurant (NOT the one on Van Ness – that’s Harris’ Restaurant – no relation). Harris Ranch, by the way, also supplies most of the beef used in In-N-Out burgers (sorry, but I had to share...I know. I like In-N-Out too) and even the halal beef you find both in Berkeley and San Francisco.

John C. Harris, being your typical, Central Valley rancher, is a major contributor to politicians who are anti-environment and pro-business, i.e., Republicans. But in addition to contributing to the Bush/Cheney campaign of 2004, guess who also got a little sumpin’ sumpin’?

Why no other than our very own Senator Dianne Feinstein! Or should I say Dianne (estimated worth between 25 & 30 million dollars) Feinstein. You know, anti-free speech, unabashed warmongering Dianne Feinstein.

Democrat, "Harris Ranch Steak" Dianne ($36.95) Feinstein.

So to wrap up: big, juicy, tasty Chinook Salmon from the Klamath river are rapidly dying off because Scottish-owned dams used to provide water to wealthy Mega-Farms (who are already subsidized by the American taxpayer) are destroying their natural breeding ground and because of that, Indians and Fishermen are in danger of starving to death, even though they have the lip-service support of the Big Ag folks who are represented by an anti-environmental law firm (thereby, naturally opposed to the Fishermen and Indians demands of destroying the dams to save the fish) whose board of trustees includes one of the wealthiest factory farmers who gives money to dastardly Republicans and odious *Limousine Liberals.

Tweakers, take notice. Cheap meth may be coming to a Klamath River community near you soon!

*I hate to admit, but to her credit, she at least joined Boxer (who was the main sponsor) on this.


While we're taking care of big business, let's talk about Horizon so-called Organics. It seems they ain't all that and a bag of chips like we believed. First, they were bought out by a Backwasher in 2004 and since then the party has been over for California Happy Cows. A group of meddling do-gooder investors have issued a shareholder proposal challenging whether Dean Foods, the owner of the Horizon brand, Silk soymilk, Berkeley Farms, and is the largest dairy corporation in the U.S., is violating the spirit and standards of the Organic label as understood by the USDA and American organic consumers. It seems large-scale, 5000-head dairy farms isn't what most people who buy organic think of when they see that cartoon cow jumping for joy on the box of Horizon brand products.

Actually, I think of pink-tutu'd cows with straw hats jumping over shiny, happy clown cars filled with big, people-sized talking tomatoes singing the Banana Splits song while lollipops float overhead in a sparkling diamond and marmalade sky.

But, then, my standards are pretty high.



Blogger mingerspice said...

I love the political posts. Keep 'em coming! I never trusted that Feinstein. She creeped me out ever since I read about her in that book about Harvey Milk. I don't remember what exactly it was, or even what she did, but she creeped me out (or rather, Randy Shilts' description of her creeped me out).

The meat industry makes me want to want to be a vegetarian.

5:03 AM  

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