Short Takes: News From All Over: July 1, 2004

USDA Classifies Frozen Fries as ‘Fresh Vegetables’
By Andrew Martin, Organic Consumers Association
Apparently, a daily allowance of deep fried junk food is good for you (especially if they are called Freedom Fries). Andrew Martin reports that the USDA quietly changed the regulations last year to appease the French fry industry, ‘which has spent decades pushing for a revision to the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act.’ Frozen French fries are now defined as ‘fresh vegetables,’ and should be served in lieu of greens at every opportunity. — Jacob Wheeler

Weapons Makers Turn to Medicine
By Kristen Philipkoski, Wired
‘[Developing medicine] feels much better than to destroy,’ says Amir Maksyutov who now works on vaccines for HIV, flu, and malaria. During the Cold War, Maksyutov sang a different tune. The Soviet Union employed him to develop virulent strains of influenza and other infectious agents for potential use as bioweapons against the United States. — Jacob Wheeler,1286,63759,00.html

Never Again: Act Now to Stop Genocide in Sudan
By Staff, Africa Action
If we weren’t bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan, our government might be able to allocate the resources necessary to stop a real humanitarian disaster. How does one define real? According to Africa Action, ‘With 30,000 people already killed, Darfur now faces the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. Even if relief arrives now, 350,000 people may still die.’ Write to Secretary of State Colin Powell and convince him to recognize these atrocities in Sudan as constituting genocide. — Jacob Wheeler

Rehearsing with Gods
Photos by Ronald T. Simon; Text by Marc Estrin, Chelsea
Peter Schumann and his Bread & Puppet Theater are likely the most important, and surely the longest lasting, contributors to modern American theater history. Now you can follow the theater’s saga in Rehearsing with Gods, a collection of Ronald T. Simon’s photos and essays by Marc Estrin. ‘I never thought a book could do justice to the magic, the beauty, the power of the Bread and Puppet. But Rehearsing with Gods does just that,’ writes Howard Zinn, author of A People’s History of the United States. — Jacob Wheeler

Pledge 3
By Staff, Stand And Be Counted
How far are you willing to go to make sure George W. Bush doesn’t steal the White House again? Stand And Be Counted suggests that just voting against him, yourself, might not be enough. Why not quadruple the result? Just find three people who did not vote in the last presidential election (either because they weren’t registered or because they were unwilling to be part of the system), get them registered if necessary, and then literally accompany them to the voting booths in November. — Jacob Wheeler

The Illustrated Daily Scribble
By Charles Pugsley Fincher, The Illustrated Daily Scribble
‘What blogs are to political commentary, the Daily Scribble is to the editorial cartoon,’ writes Joshua Micah Marshall, a pioneer of the blogosphere. ‘I keep coming back for more.’ Though Charles Pugsley Fincher would do well to find a stage name, his daily scribbles are nothing to scoff at. Plain and simple, on lined yellow scratch paper, yet they speak volumes. — Jacob Wheeler

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