In other words, the liberal class has become complicit with the corporate state out of fear or greed, leaving the majority of the population without any type of protection. If you've been wondering where the Tea Party came from, I think that Mr. Hedges has offered a plausible answer. There's a large segment of the population that is unemployed, penniless and facing foreclosures on their homes who need a champion or some type of "incremental reform" to lend them a hand, and there's no one in either of the US parties offering any support.
And this isn't limited to the US; it's happening throughout the Western world. In Canada, we just have to look at our outrageous banking charges, the ever-changing billing practices of telecommunications companies or the election of Rob Ford as Mayor of Toronto to see that we are experiencing the same thing right here. Mr. Hedges even quotes federal Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff, who, while still living in the US in 2003, told the Guardian that "I still think that Bush is right when he says that Iraq would be better off if Saddam were disarmed and, if necessary, replaced by force." It's a small wonder that our minority Conservatives are still in power; our own Liberal leader appears to be liberal in name only.
|Selling Kale at the local St-Dominique Market|
I thought of environmental activist Laure Waridel's book Acheter c'est voter, or buying is voting. Now, more than ever we need to consider this when we make our purchases.
But finding local products is time-consuming. And how do you know if the product is good? Where do you get decent recommendations from someone who isn't a corporate shill?
It would seem that resorting to word-of-mouth among networks of friends and like-minded people is once again one of the more trusted methods, which would explain the huge success of social media.
Word-of-mouth: a new non-toxic local product
On Thursday, I was buying organic vegetables from a health food store on Laurier East. There was a man in his thirties who asked me if I wanted to try a sample of Oneka Elements shampoo that he and his wife were selling. I stopped to have a look. As some of you may recall, after reading about the Dirty Dozen or all the carcinogens, toxins and industrial ingredients used in commercial cosmetics, I tried making my own shampoo and moisturizer. The moisturizer was a hit, but my husband was not keen on the shampoo. I needed an alternative in case my next recipe was unsuccessful.
As I strained to read the ingredients on the sample bottle, I told the salesman that I had learned about all the toxins used in commercial cosmetics from the David Suzuki Foundation (DSF). He immediately blurted out that the reason their list of ingredients was so long was because he and his wife had listed them in French and English together.
You may recall that the DSF instructs consumers to buy cosmetics with the fewest ingredients. I went through the list and was pleased to see that the shampoo did not contain any Dirty Dozen ingredients. In addition, there was an asterisk next to the certified organic ingredients, and they had even indicated the ingredients that had been picked in the wild. I was also given an explanation as to the best kind of shampoo for a particular hair type. The best part--the shampoo sample was large enough to wash your hair at least three times to see if you liked it or not.
Okay, I was sold! Here, we have a husband and wife team going to health food stores to give out samples and explain their line of dirty dozen-free hair care products. What's more, it's a local product from St. Armand, Quebec. But the best part is that I tried the shampoo, and it does a great job.
Even more endearing, they deliver their product by bike with a bike trailer.
As I've said before, I'd much rather support the efforts of individuals trying to do the right thing than give my money away to a largely unaccountable, unsustainable multinational corporation.
Check out the Oneka Elements website here.
DIY: Home Spa Salt Scrub
DIY: Moisturizer and Shampoo
Cosmetics: the Dirty Dozen
Dirty Dozen in my Personal Care Products
Living Downstream by Sandra Steingraber
Airing our Dirty Laundry
The Mile End Buzz around Beekeeping