RIP Molly Ivins
I was heartbroken to read that Molly Ivins died yesterday (article). Every Monday morning I read her columns online from the previous week. Then around November, the columns stopped. I couldn't figure out what was going on until I read that she was being treated for breast cancer and was expected to be back writing in January. In January, she issued one last column blasting the Iraq war and then that was it. I'm going to seriously miss her funny, fiery, and above all, well-argued takes on politics. She was one of the best.
Also, I wanted to throw in a quick review and recommendation of a sheep-related political book that I just read. It's written by a woman, Linda Faillace, who owned a dairy sheep farm in Vermont along with her husband and children. The sheep had been imported from Europe in 1996, under the supervision of the USDA. All was going well until a couple years later, when the "Mad Cow" scare started reaching US shores. The USDA started an all-out witch hunt against the Faillaces and their sheep, claiming that the sheep may have been exposed to mad cow, despite all evidence to the contrary. It appears that these actions may have occurred under pressure from the big agribusiness industries to turn the spotlight from their extremely nasty and dangerous factory farming practices that were the actual cause of mad cow. However, the Faillaces have never truly found the answer to why they were so persecuted.
This book shows very clearly what happens when big money interests take over our government and how it ends up hurting the little guy. The Faillaces were basically driven to financial ruin by what happened. I did read an internet rumor that this book may be optioned for a movie, I sure hope it's true! It was very hard to read from an emotional standpoint (I definitely bawled at a couple points), but extremely riveting. I even got my boyfriend to read it and he stayed up until 4 AM to finish it (and was also crying)! Definitely check this book out!