AC Editorials: Walmart, Pres. Bush and Human Harvesting

Let’s face it, there’s no shortage of places on the web to either express your own opinion or read someone else’s opinion. Next to porn, opinion probably accounts for more words of text than any other single type of content on the internet. I think AssociatedContent stands out from the crowd however, in two ways. Firstly, they are willing to pay for editorialists who can consistently and intelligently provide opinions while also managing to create traffic to their submissions. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, AssociatedContent also has a policy of nonpartisanship that allows opposing opinions to be expressed simultaneously. That freedom of speech-that WELCOMING of speech-is rare today, even on the internet. In addition, even if you don’t get paid for contributing submission, it is still probably the single best way to build up a portfolio for yourself.

AssociatedContent has produced a lot terrific writing on pretty much every subject imaginable. It is my intention with this column to single out those writers who consistently produce thoughtful, provocative opinions as well as those well-informed individuals who put their all into a single topic that hits closest home to them. It is my fervent hope that over the course of this column’s life I will introduce you to every editorialist who ever publishes something genuinely striking and informational. Although my own political leanings are hardly difficult to figure out, I also will bend over backward to choose for the spotlight those writers who make a reader think, regardless of where they sit on the political fence; whether to the left, right or directly in the middle.

As this is my first column, the structure may not be what it will be a month from now. This week I want to take the time to introduce you to a couple of opinion contributors who first piqued my interest with a single article, and whose work I now always seek out. Over the next few weeks, however, I intend to broaden my horizon significantly to the point where I hope to find the time to read every single article published in the op/ed section of AssociatedContent, as well as opinion-oriented submissions that wind up elsewhere. I shall also be picking out my own personal Opinion of the Week. This choice will be derived from my own opinion on what I consider to be the one article published the preceding week that no visitor to AssociatedContent can afford to miss.

I truly urge all of you who are interested in political ranting to read the work of Jeff Musall. It probably comes as no surprise that Jeff and I agree on pretty much everything as far as the Bush administration goes. We have both written extensively on the various challenges to democracy that we sense in this current administration. I also have had the privilege of reading Jeff’s novel, at once hysterically funny and chillingly frightening; it is a peek into the near future when a Bush-like dynasty has virtually destroyed the America that existed prior to the day the Supreme Court ignored the will of the majority of voting Americans and handed over the Presidency to W.

Jeff Musall’s writings here at AssociatedContent have exposed the squalid underbelly of the Bush regime’s involvement in rising gas prices, lying about the Iraq war, and placing obstacles in the path of affordable health for all Americans. I don’t ask you to agree with everything he has to say-dissent is what makes writing here so much fun-but whether you agree or disagree, you can find information in Jeff’s writings that you won’t find on the nightly newscasts.

You will also find Jason Cangialosi on my list of Favorite CPs. There is a reason for that. Not only is Jason one of the most incredibly talented writers you will find on AssociatedContent, but he is also unafraid to tackle some complex subjects. I doubt seriously that you will find very many articles here or anywhere else that attempts something as unique Jason’s article entitled “Marx’s Theories on Social Class Applied to Modern-Day Brooklyn.” Another example of how unique Jason’s writing can be is exemplified is in his approach to film. While you can find a million articles on the films of Alfred Hitchcock, you’d probably be hard pressed to find another article that provides such insight into the symbolism of stairways in Hitchcock’s films. (Yeah, you read that right: stairway symbolism.) That’s the thing about Jason Cangialosi that I like so much. He can make you appreciate something almost banal by virtue of its familiarity simply by asking that you look at it from another familiar perspective. It’s quite amazing, really. (Although he still didn’t get me to look at Elia Kazan as anything but a hackneyed rat bastard who should have been strung up by his hypocritical tongue!)

I also want to welcome Autumn Bittick to AssociatedContent, and look forward to reading more of her conservative takes on current events. Autumn’s recent article on fetal tissue research and abortion is, as you might suspect, completely at odds with my own view on those topics. Although I do disagree with, well, everything that Autumn writes, I must admit I find her article refreshing because she approaches it with equal parts emotion and logic. She does raise issues that should be of concern to those, like me, who support fetal tissue research and she does it without resorting to the name-calling and religious justifications so common in articles written from the conservative side of the spectrum. In fact, Bittick even turns the tables on secular arguments by invoking the scientific definition of life that we have all heard in school at one time or another. If Autumn’s subsequent submissions are anything at all like her first, I am confident that I will probably disagree with point of view entirely, but I am also confident that I will find her message engaging and thought-provoking.

I think if there is any one thing that ties the overwhelming majority of us together-whether we consider ourselves conservative or liberal, whether others consider us broadminded or narrow-minded, whether we prefer Coke or Pepsi-it is that at one time or another we’ve all probably shopped at Walmart, whether we really wanted to or not. Unless you’ve been either living in a cave, or hanging out with Paris Hilton, for the past few years you’ve no doubt been exposed to the increasing opposition to Walmart and their business practices. Entire cities have been banding together to keep this corporate behemoth from negatively affecting their economies in the way that it’s been alleged they have affected other cities. My choice for the one op/ed submission you shouldn’t miss this week is “Walmart Survival” by Sabah Karimi.

Sabah’s take on Walmart brings it right down to the consumer level. This article tackles the effect that a trip to Walmart has on personal economies. Walmart’s strong selling point is lower prices; if you buy your detergent, cereal and meat there you’ll save significantly over buying the same things at that closer grocery store. But Sabah asks an important question: Are you really saving money on the things you need to buy when you walk out of Walmart with two or three other items you didn’t plan to buy and couldn’t have bought at your local grocery store?

Read it. It just may change the way you look at Walmart’s vaunted lower prices.

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