So proud !! WooHoo…

Aren’t you too ? Incarceration Rates. YAY!! WE WIN !!

things that make you go incandescent… from The Pump Handle

[[WHAT COULD GO WRONG… those pushing this
are evil fools…]

Reality check on USDAs claims about its plan to privatize poultry inspection

Posted by Celeste Monforton, DrPH, MPH of George Washington University School of Public Health & Health Services on January 28, 2014

Several recent newspaper editorials have gotten under USDAs skin. Editors at the Charlotte Observer, , Bellingham (WA) Herald and are skeptical that the USDAs plan to modernize the poultry slaughter inspection process is a wise move.

In Feds proposed shift in poultry rules troubling, the Charlotte Observers editorial board wrote this on January 20:

Warning horns should blast full force around the Obama administration approving a change in federal law to replace most federal inspectors on poultry processing lines with company workers who would watch for problems. Worker advocates concerns that such a change would be a risk to both food and worker safety have considerable merit. A 2008 Observer series about working conditions in the poultry industry highlighted the problems of allowing companies to self-report on injuries at their plants. Our series found employers failing to report injuries that they should, and workers afraid theyd be fired if they reported such injuries. This change could have both following the same pattern with troubling consequences for all of us.

On Janaury 24 in Dont let poultry-processing industry police itself, Bellinghams editors wrote:

Somewhere in that proposal is a joke about letting foxes guard henhouses. Well leave that to the Jon Stewarts of the world, but theres nothing funny about what the proposed changes could mean for American consumers. Many workers in the industry suffer from repetitive-motion conditions and other work-related injuries but often are reluctant to report them because they need the job so badly. Speeding up processing lines is likely to exacerbate that problem.

The acting Under Secretary for Food Safety, Brian Ronholm, quickly responded with a letter to the editor. Each of his statements appear below, broken up by my offering of a reality check.

Ronholm: The Observer falsely asserts that USDAs proposal to modernize poultry inspection would reduce federal oversight of food safety at the expense of consumers and workers.

Reality check: For the last several years, the Obama Administrations proposed budget for USDA would eliminate 800 poultry inspectors. How does that not reduce federal oversight of food safety?

Ronholm: A 15-year pilot program demonstrates that the proposal would enhance oversight, prevent at least 5,000 food-borne illnesses per year, and not adversely impact worker safety.

Reality check: In August 2013, the Government Accountability Office chastised USDA for asserting that its pilot project demonstrates its proposed changes will be more effective than the current system. GAO found that USDA didnt even collect and analyze its data to draw such a conclusion. GAO launched the same criticism at USDA in a 2001 report.


Reality check: USDA ignores the evidence about the harsh and dangerous conditions experienced by poultry plant workers. Musculoskeletal disorders, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, plague poultry workers, and line speeds in the plants are a key contributor for these injuries. USDAs proposal will allow production line speeds to increase from 140 to 175 birds per minute.

Ronholm: It would require industry to prevent contamination and conduct testing at two points to ensure pathogens such as Salmonella are being controlled; currently there are no such requirements.

Reality check: USDAs plan is for the poultry industry to come up with its own standards for testing pathogens. The industry will even make the decision on how much salmonella is acceptable. On top of that because the standards will be voluntaryUSDA would have no authority to enforce them.

Ronholm: This enhanced inspection process would allow USDA inspectors to focus on critical food safety tasks that would result in lower prevalence of contamination and greater compliance with sanitation requirements.

Reality check: USDA still has not explained how this enhanced inspection process is going to occur. How many more sanitation checks will occur per eight hour shift? How many more samples will be taken for food borne pathogens? How many USDA inspectors will be assigned in each plant per shift to perform these additional tasks? Will USDA have the authority to take action against the plant for violating voluntary food safety and wholesomeness standards?

I know the views of newspaper editors may not sway the White House into telling the USDA to ditch its plan. But perhaps the Obama Administration will be convinced by such calls from the Congressional Black Caucus. The groups chair, Marcia Fudge (D-OH), made clear their position on USDAs plan. Quoted in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Fudge said:

Most of the people who work in these plants are women, and they are primarily women of color. We care most about the health of the employees. Right now, it is bad. It will just get worse if they increase the line speed.


rhino “hunter”

That Texas guy who bought the right to kill a black rhino?
For $350,000? Yeah, that guy. Here’s his Christmas card.

the Trans-Pacific Partnership is a criminal conspiracy

The Fall of June Psychology Today Oct. 8th 2013

The Fall of June

Eulogy for a Mother

Published on October 8, 2013 by G.A. Bradshaw, Ph.D., Ph.D. in Bear in Mind

Lynn Rogers, June, and Sue Mansfield

lynn rogers-june bear-sue mansfieldLeaves are turning quickly now. Red maples are living up to their name, and aspens are mostly yellow. Leaves are just beginning to fall. All will be down within 3 weeks if they hold to their usual schedule. —Lynn Rogers and Sue Mansfield, September 27, 2013 [1]

Little did the researchers realize that two days later, their fall soliloquy would turn to an obituary— the obituary of a victim. Her name was June. She was the mother of Ember and Cole, and only twelve years old. [2]

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources might have referred to her death as just a “kill.” After all, June was a black bear. She and another, Dot, were well known and part of a long-term partnership. The Wildlife Research Institute considered both Dot and June to be “research partners. We worked with them and learned from them. They knew us as well or better than we knew them. . . [they] are irreplaceable.” [1]

Juxtaposed to the Cambridge Declaration of Non-Human Animal Consciousness, the claim of “just a kill” appears hollow, and June’s death, a murder. [2]

Political hyperbole? Not at all. Because science, our culture’s pundit of rationality that guides social ethics and law, declares that “key differences in human and animal brains, mainly found in the frontal cortex, do not play a role in the phenomenon we associate with consciousness.” Further, the “weight of evidence indicates that humans are not unique in possessing the neurological substrates that generate consciousness.” In common speak, bears share with us sentience, awareness, subjectivity, feelings, cognition, sense of self, agency, and, importantly, something that humans seemed to have lost: executive control. [3, 4]

June was fully conscious, fully capable of intentional behavior, fully capable of experiencing joy, grief, curiosity, wonder, remorse, consternation, puzzlement, ambition, exhilaration, tenderness, anger, love, shame, and all the 31 plus flavors of emotions and mental states that we experience ourselves. The capacity for consciousness means that bears may reflect on the existential and spirituality. Bears may believe in a God and have their own story of how the universe was created. Perhaps, bears even have a Big Black Bear Bang theory.

This speculation is not meant to be humorous. It is meant to encourage humans to think beyond the narcissistic confines of anthropocentrism, beyond the political agenda masked by selective use of scientific fact.

The time is past for speaking with forked tongue, celebrating science on one hand and using it selectively on the other hand for the sole purpose of appropriating power. In spite of itself, science has exploded a millennia-old myth that causes bears and other animals to suffer immeasurably. Individually, and as a society, we are compelled to translate this knowledge into ethics and law.

Cinnamon With Charlie Russell

Cinnamon With Charlie Russell

June’s children are now orphaned. The scorching blast of the bullet that laid their mother down has torn at the delicate tissue of their consciousness. They will recover in some sense. Remarkably, victims of genocide can somehow manage to scavenge a way to survive. But they will remain haunted and hunted until humanity ceases its cruel and angry scourge to obliterate those who simply live to love.

Literature Cited

[1] Rogers, L and S. Mansfield. 2013. The Wildlife Research Institute.

[2] Nelson, T. 2013. June the research bear killed by hunter. MPR News., Retrieved October 8, 2013.

[3] Cambridge Declaration. 2012. The Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness. Retrieved July 9, 2013 from

[4] Francis Crick Memorial Conference on Non-Human Animal Consciousness. 2103. Website. Retrieved October 8, 201

We beat them in 1865. We can beat them now.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013 EB Misfit

NSA Chronicles: Another Day, Another Lie Exposed, and Yet, the Tea Party Doesn’t Give a Shit

Only this time, the leaker was Sen. Feinstein, who inadvertently disclosed that the NSA is collecting and keeping cellphone location data.

The NSA has repeatedly [denied] that they are doing this. But they are. Since it’s a pretty safe bet that you have a cellphone, the NSA knows where you are and where you have been.

The NSA is also tracking everyone’s use of social media because they want to know your personal relationships and who your friends are. They’re collecting your browsing data (why are you still doing online banking).

This needs to be fixed.

Which brings me to the point of this post: How the Tea Party and the conservatives are wrapping themselves around the post on trivialities. They have shut down the Federal government over whether or not people who have not had heath insurance can have access to health insurance and medical care. Providing a national version of Romneycare is, according to them, the clearest and presentist danger to the Republic that has ever existed.*

Yet when clear evidence is presented to them of Federal government intrusion: Tracking what people do online, who they talk to on their phones and what they talk about, what they purchase with their credit/debit cards and where they are, well, all you hear from the Right is silence.

This is the Tea Party calculus:

  • Government providing health insurance to millions more people- that’s tyranny! Shut down the government!!
  • Government actually spying on all Americans- meh. Nothing to worry about.

They are fucking insane. And no, I am not engaging in bombast, they are truly fucking drooling strait-jacket-ready batshit-crazy lunatics.

And they are holding our nation hostage to their delusions.

We are so screwed.

But fuck it, if they’re going to try and wreck our country, let them do their worst. Let’s have this fight, right here, right now. Let’s get it over with.

We beat them in 1865. We can beat them now.

Let’s do this thing. [[ ]]

Warning lands Batavia teacher in hot water –

Kids are forced to incriminate themselves on a voluntary mandatory non-anonymous anonymous survey so teach acquaints them with their 5th Amendment rights not to disclose shit, so The Powers That Be get all nuclear on him… It’s just for your own good kids, honest