Krystal Ball

Reversing the Apocalypse: Hijacking the Democratic Party to Save the World by Krystal Ball, available only as a Kindle version. I prefer a printed version in most cases, but a print version is not available so I purchased the Kindle version which downloaded automatically to the free Kindle application on my laptop. The download costs $9.99 and is worth it. Her solution is a version of universal basic income which she calls Social Security for All and single-payer healthcare.

Please see Universal basic income

We are what we eat

We are what we eat and what we eat is shortening lives and driving up healthcare costs. Salt Sugar Fat, How the Food Giants Hooked Us by Michael Moss. The Chain, Farm, Factory, and the Fate of Our Food by Ted Genoways. Farm Sanctuary, Changing Hearts and Minds about Animals and Food by Gene Baur. Only the wealthy or those of us with iron self-discipline can afford to eat healthy foods. We treat our food animals like slaves, only worse; we didn’t eat our slaves.

Our food animals are currently raised in close confinement on factory farms where their treatment is generally a closely held secret. Ag laws in some states prohibit the exposure of conditions on factory farms. Utah’s ag law was recently declared unconstitutional. I recently drove to Minersville, Utah, to see for myself one of the largest pig farms in the US. The Circle 4 farm west of town consists of sheds approximately 750 feet long in groups of three that house the pigs. There is a distinctive smell in the air from the waste lagoons, two per set of three sheds. I was not able to see inside the sheds, but from the account of others, I know that pigs are confined in small spaces with barely room to move. If we did that to humans, it would be torture.

We are what we eat and what we eat is factory farmed meats and processed foods loaded with sugar, salt, and/or fat engineered to make them irresistible, what the industry calls the bliss point. For the most part, the food industry is interested only in increasing sales with low costs to maximize profit; they do not care about the health of consumers. And it shows in increasing obesity and rising rates of diabetes in the US. It takes an iron will and a fat wallet to eat healthy foods. I believe that natural foods (non GMO) raised naturally without large amounts of dietary supplements and antibiotics fed to the animals is the way to eat and maintain our health.

Henry Waxman

The Waxman Report, How Congress Really Works by Henry Waxman with Joshua Green published in 2009. Henry Waxman was a Democratic member of the US House of Representatives from 1974 until retirement in 2015. For six years prior to that he was a state assemblyman in Sacramento, California. The key to accomplishment in politics is organization–and patience is a necessary virtue. Through concrete examples, he demonstrates what it takes to get laws passed. Almost nothing major is enacted without bipartisan support. Definitely a must-read.