Sunday, February 9, 2014

Good Sunday. Contrariness on Fukushima, food recalls and testing,

Snow fell all day yesterday--sometimes small and light flakes, sometimes large and fluffy.  Looks like, perhaps, 3 inches.  I don't know where they will put it when they get around to clearing out the streets and sidewalks.  I hope they don't block the mail boxes--again.  We didn't get mail all last week because the mail carrier couldn't get to them.  I really should get some pictures.  Our new mountains are rather impressive.

I didn't see anything I wanted to comment on yesterday.  Glad you stopped by, Kay, and I agree the trend Wise Father blogged about is an astounding reversal of the notion that people should be judged on their merits.  I am also glad to be retired and out of that rat race.  Glad you had a nice outing.

I found this by way of Naked Capitalism.  We used to have a saying that one of the biggest lies you can hear is "I'm from the government and I am hear to help."  Another category of big lies would be anything that comes from an energy company dealing with the crisis of the moment.  Whatever their national affiliation their basic loyalty is their own skin and profits.

To continue in much the same vein, consider this.  I think it illustrates a couple of my contrary views expressed lately.  You can't really trust the government to protect the food supply.  Food inspections and testing are among the first expenditures cut when budgets get tight.  We have seen the same trend on this side of the Atlantic.  Even though a recent poll indicated that 75% of Americans wanted more government oversight of the food supply, the recent budgets "compromises" have actually cut the funds for such oversight.  But there is another major problem: how much of the regulation of the food supply has actually been written by the food industry through their tame legislatures?  This morning TV news noted that a couple of fast food chains were going to follow Subway's lead and remove azodicarbonamide from their breads.  However, as this article notes, our FDA approves it for use in foods--unlike the EU and Australia.  The only way that chemical, or any other chemical, allowed by the FDA out of our food is to choose foods that don't contain it.  Which is why we should have a right to know and the food industry should have a duty to tell us what is in the foods they are selling us.

I saw this story on the morning news and thought I misheard the details.  Imagine a full year's worth of meat products recalled because the company processed diseased animals.  The waste of this offends me as much as the (as yet unspecified) diseased conditions which should have precluded the animals being processed for human consumption.  And it leads to a question: why was the company not inspected during that entire year?

I read about this a couple or so months ago--long after the fact.  It sounded so bizarre that I checked it out on line and found local articles giving some of the details.  But every time I see a new article the story gets more serious.  The original stories down played the incident as much as possible.  Officials, company and law enforcement, attributed the damage to some one (singular) shooting randomly while playing up their quick actions to prevent a blackout.  Later stories upped the ante to, maybe, two shooters hitting transformers.  Now the account says definitely multiple shooters who not only targeted the transformers but also cut the phone lines.  I wonder how much worse the story can get.  Slyck News has a more detailed account here.

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