Ban Sushi, The Time Has Come

Ban Sushi, The Time Has Come

This article by Chris Freind is being republished with his kind permission.

Sorry to disappoint, but the 2012 presidential election may prove to be anti-climatic, since it appears the federal government has solved all its problems, from illegal aliens to drug smuggling, from energy independence to protecting the environment. They must have even found a way to eliminate the $14 trillion debt.
Why? Well, based on all the resources the feds are putting into the eradication of a mammoth problem, one that strikes fear in the heart of all citizens, it would seem that all its other troubles have been solved. It’s an issue of such importance that pollsters surely find it at the top of every survey:
The production, sale and voluntary consumption of raw milk.
The threat is so great that armed federal officials find it necessary to routinely raid farms that produce that product. And rightly so, since the incidence of bovine malfeasance has obviously surpassed that of drug dealers, rapists, child predators, and murderers.
The latest saga involved armed federal agents who, after months of “investigation,” raided an Amish farm in Pennsylvania, whose owner was allegedly selling raw milk across state lines. After assessing civil penalties, the government is now trying to shut down the farmer’s operation in federal court.
It’s another example of a government out of control, with gun-toting storm troopers swooping down on a farmer’s property. And there’s little doubt it came about because the extremely powerful dairy lobby once again flexed its political muscle, demanding that this increasingly popular practice be squashed. Given that there are over 10 million raw milk drinkers in the U.S., why else would so much attention be given to such an innocuous business?
At issue is whether raw milk is dangerous for human consumption because of the potential presence of E. coli, salmonella and other bacteria, as opposed to the pasteurized milk that kills such germs and is common on store shelves. Raw milk advocates, both producers and consumers, claim that milk in its raw, natural form, free of chemical treatment, helps the human body maintain an overall level of healthiness. They state that during the pasteurization process, key proteins are destroyed that help promote digestion and improve the immune system.
Even though federal officials counter that the bacteria in raw milk can be deadly, people across the country go out of their way to obtain such milk, sometimes paying in excess of three times the price of regular milk. Not only have they lived to tell their story, but most claim they and their children are significantly healthier. In the past decade, only two deaths have been officially linked to raw milk, and even they were suspect, as the contaminated substance in question was Mexican cheese.
Given that raw milk is legal to sell in 29 states, and in the other 21 there are many legal loopholes to do so (such as labeling the milk for animal consumption, and selling “cow-shares” so that owners are entitled to a percentage of the cow’s yield as opposed to buying milk outright), such heavy handed conduct on the part of federal officials is troublesome.
Here’s the rub. If government is going to interfere in people’s lives and threaten their livelihoods, then they should be consistent. It certainly wouldn’t make their decision right, but at least they would avoid the appearance of favoritism. If the major issue in the consumption of raw food is the possibility of it containing “harmful” bacteria, then many more businesses should be concerned about being shut down by government agents.
Fair is fair.
So why aren’t the feds closing all restaurants that serve sushi, or at least banning it from the menu? Sushi, a delicacy loved by millions, is simply raw fish. And the best sushi is categorized as being from the “highest grade” fish.
Sounds like class warfare in the pelagic community.
The reality is that the “highest grade” fish is still served raw and can contain both bacteria and parasites. As an added bonus, the concentration of mercury in many of these fish is quite high because of their status as apex predators, meaning that, since they are at the top of the food chain, they often have the highest concentration of mercury.
Isn’t mercury bad for us, too?
And what about the significant risk of contracting hepatitis from eating raw seafood? It is a very real possibility, even when eating in a five-star restaurant.
While we’re at it, let’s ban steak tartare (made with raw beef) from all restaurants, as well as Caesar dressing concocted with raw eggs.
Come to think of it, the citrus and vegetable industries have problems too, given the occasional presence of E. coli on those products, due in part to manure laden irrigation water and fertilizer.
So let’s ban tomatoes, too. Oh wait, the FDA did exactly that several years ago after announcing a salmonella outbreak, throwing countless Americans out of work. Only one problem. There was absolutely no evidence that tomatoes were the offending food, and, after completely decimating an entire industry, the FDA (Federal Destruction Administration) cavalierly announced that it didn’t actually know what caused the outbreak.
If only the FDA was red-faced and apologetic after its misstep, willing to make amends, some of the animosity towards government would have been mitigated. But it was as arrogant as ever.
The specter of bureaucrats who are 52 cards short of a deck yet hold the power to destroy Americans’ lives — with no repercussion when they are wrong — is simply un-American. And the fact that Congress and presidential administrations allow such intrusion to go unchecked simply makes the sin mortal.
Government clearly has more important priorities than trying to put raw milk producers out of business, especially when it operates in such a frightening manner. If people want to drink raw milk for its perceived health benefits, they should be able to do so without fear, and without being forced to act like rumrunners during Prohibition. And if government is so concerned about the safety of these individuals, it could make them sign a waiver of liability.
Of course, then we would be sifting through pages of litigious material every time we entered a restaurant, which would just thrill the bureaucrats.
Or maybe our taxpayer-funded government could actually try to hold up its part of the bargain by enforcing the laws that are designed to keep us safe and secure, but are routinely ignored. Spending no more than it takes in and sealing the border are just two that come to mind.
A wise man once wrote that government should be “…of the people, by the people, for the people”.
Well-funded lobbies controlling an ever-intrusive government is not what Mr. Lincoln had in mind.


Ban Sushi, The Time Has Come

House Vs Senate On Teacher Furloughs

The Pennsylvania House and the Pennsylvania Senate have competing bills to allow school districts to furlough teachers for economic reasons, an action the traditionally union-dominated state has long prohibited.

House Bill 855, introduced March 1  by Scott Boyd (R- 43) would  allow the furlough decision to be guided by several factors including the teacher’s specialization and performance evaluations.

The good ol’ boys in the Senate Appropriations Committee, however, did not think of the children or the taxpayer but listened to the lobbyists and cut out all factors but seniority — with one minor caveat  — from Senate Bill 612, which was introduced Feb. 18 by Mike Folmer (R-48).

The caveat is that tenured teachers who have been placed on an improvement plan due to poor evaluations would not be protected by seniority. This would only apply to very few teachers who are the worst of the worst and one wonders why such teachers are protected from anything now.

Think of the children.

SB 612 was referred to the House Education Committee, May 11, where HB 855 has remained stuck since it was introduced.

Bill Carpenter, Hometown Hero

This Memorial Day let’s remember William Stanley Carpenter Jr., a 1955 graduate of Springfield High School (Pa).

While Carpenter survived his intense combat in Vietnam and would go on to retire as a lieutenant general, his accomplishments are overlooked in a time of a politically correct establishment media dominated by mindless pop culture.

Carpenter was seven when his father died fighting in the Ruhr pocket in 1945 shortly before VE Day in World War II.  An article in the Philadelphia Inquirer a few years back indicated this inspired a desire to take vengeance on the Nazis leading to a military career.

At Springfield, he was a star in  football, basketball and track. He was a member of the school’s inaugural Athletics Hall of Fame inductions in 1992.

From there he would go on to West Point being admitted in July 1956 and become a football legend at that school as “The Lonesome End”, the title coming from the unusually long distance he would be from his fellow linesman at scrimmage. Army ended up ranked Number 3 in the nation in 1958 and Carpenter received much national exposure being named an All American in 1959.

Carpenter would also receive All American honors the next year for lacrosse, a sport he had never played before entering West Point, which is a bit ironic as Springfield, which did not adopt the sport until the mid-70s, has developed a reputation for it.

Carpenter was graduated from West Point in 1960 and entered the Army as a second lieutenant. Four years later, he found himself assigned as an adviser to a Vietnamese airborne brigade which came under heavy fire when it was inserted into a sugar cane field. Carpenter was shot in the arm while changing rifle magazines and his radio set was hit by another bullet. He found the bunker from which the fire was coming and knocked it out with a hand grenade. He was awarded the Silver Star.

In 1966, Carpenter, now a captain in command of C Company, 2/502nd Parachute Infantry of the 101st Airborne Division, found his company about to be overrun by North Vietnamese in a battle near Dak To. Carpenter radioed for a napalm strike on his position saying “We’re overrun, they’re right in among us. I need an air strike on my position.”  While several of his soldiers were wounded in the strike, his company was able to regroup and break free. He was awarded another Silver Star which was upgraded to Distinguished Service Cross.

Carpenter became the first commander of the 10th Mountain Division after its reactivation in 1984, and then became commander of U.S. Army Field Forces Korea before his retirement.

He now lives in Montana.

Carpenter  married Toni M. Vigliotti in 1961 and had
three children: William S. Carpenter III (1962), Kenneth Carpenter
(1964), and Stephen Carpenter (1965).
Bill Carpenter,  Hometown Hero

Bill Carpenter,  Hometown Hero

Elwha Dam Or Why Global Warming Not Happening

Federal workers on Wednesday, June 1, will turn off the generators at the Elwha Dam on the Elwha River in Washington State and begin the largest dam removal project in U.S. history and probably world history since it is hard to imagine any other nation than Obama’s America doing anything this stupid.

Slated to be removed are the 105-foot Elwha Dam built in 1913 and the 210-foot Glines Canyon Dam eight -miles upstream built in 1927.

The cost to remove the dams and cut off greenhouse-gas-free electricity capable of supplying 1,700 homes is $324.7 million.

The idea is to save the noble and endangered salmon which you can buy at the fish counter of just about any supermarket in the nation.

One could sympathize with the dream of rivers filled with good eating game fish running free to the sea but if one really believed CO2 and other gases from the coal and natural gas power plants, which will inevitably be used to replace the hydro-electric ones, are going to destroy Planet Earth, one would think that one might have a different set of priorities.

One would think that such a person would fight to save these dams at least until a wind-powered, solar cold-fusion plant  becomes practical

But no, the same group that insists on privation to stop global warming insists on ripping down these dams.

Global warming is not happening. What is happening is a power play by those who are driven to rule others.

Hat tip FreeRepublic.Com


Elwha Dam Or Why Global Warming Is Not Happening

Elwha Dam Or Why Global Warming Is Not Happening


Bible Lesson For Community Organizers

Proverbs 16-19:

There are six things the LORD hates,
seven that are detestable to him:
haughty eyes,
a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,
a heart that devises wicked schemes,
feet that are quick to rush into evil,
a false witness who pours out lies
and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.

You think Barack Obama ever heard Jeremiah Wright preach this?

Big Man Gets $800G And PSU Wants More From Taxpayers

The Chronicle of Higher Education is reporting that the total cost of employment to Penn State University for President Graham  Spanier is $800,592.  The figure comes from adding  salary– which in Spanier’s case is $620,000 — to things like housing, bonuses, deferred compensation, retirement set aside, car allowances, tuition assistance and related spousal pay.

On the basis of salary, Spanier does not rank in the top 10 of public college compensation. When everything is included he jumps to number five.

Number one in both categories is Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee who has a $1.322 million salary and $1.818  million total cost of employment.

Penn State, like Temple, Pitt and Lincoln, is a “state-related” school in that while it gets public money, its governance is independent of the state.

The budget  passed May 24 by the State House would give PSU $252 million in tax dollars this year, which is $81 million less than last year. Spanier is upset about this but he is not as upset about this as he was about Gov. Corbett’s proposed budget which sought to cut $168.76 million in tax funds from the institution.

It should be noted the state contribution has traditionally made up about 10 percent of Penn State’s budget.

There is nothing wrong with someone earning $800 thousand in compensation despite what some, such as Philadelphia Inquirer cartoonist Tony Auth, might think. There is a lot wrong, however, with someone getting that money when some of it is obtained through the threat of force which is how taxes are obviously obtained.

If Spanier wants to be among the filthy rich his school should not get a penny in state subsides.

And yes, that applies to Joe Paterno, about whom you can actually make a case that he objectively earns his paycheck, too.

For the record, the House budget provides subsidizes of

  • $125 million to Pitt, which is a cut of $42 million
  • $129 million to Temple, which is a cut $43 million
  • $10.3 million to Lincoln, which is a cut of $3.4 million.

Hat tip to Tea Party activist Bob Guzzardi.

Will GOP Sup Court Candidate Unite 3rd Parties?

Pennsylvania’s big-government Green Party and the no-government Libertarian Party have a candidate to unite them namely Victor Stabile, the Republican nominee for state Superior Court judge.

Unfortunately for Stabile, the unity is to keep him off the bench.

Stabile easily beat Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Paula Patrick, who had sought Tea Party support,  in the May 17 primary election to win the nomination for a seat on the 15-member Superior Court which is the intermediate appellate court for civil and criminal cases from county Common Pleas Courts.

He faces Democrat David Wecht in November.

Stabile, who has been a managing partner with the law firm Dilworth Paxon LLP since 1992, was the hired gun who led a failed attempt to keep the Libertarians off the ballot in the 2008 presidential race and has boasted about being successful in keeping the Greens and Libertarians off the ballot in the 2010 state races.

Meanwhile in the Commonwealth Court race, the Department of State awaits the official county tallies to determine if the margin of victory by activist attorney Kathryn Boockvar over Barbara Ernsberger is enough to avoid an automatic recount to determine the Democrat candidate. Unofficial totals have Ms. Boockvar beating Ms. Ernsberger by 3,258 votes out of 615,308 cast which would put her above the half of one percent threshold for the automatic recount.

The winning Democrat will face Republican Anne Covey, who was strongly endorsed by conservative groups and easily beat Philadelphia Common Pleas Court judge Paul P. Panepinto.

Commonwealth Court is a nine-member body
that is the intermediate appellate court for issues involving taxation,
banking, insurance, utility regulation, eminent domain, election, labor
practices, elections, Department of Transportation matters, and liquor

Hat tip GrassrootsPa.Com

It’s The End Of Family Radio As We Know It

Harold Camping, the  president of  Family Radio who predicted the world would end Sept. 6, 1994, has doubled down and picked another specific date for this event, namely tomorrow, May 21, and this prediction has  found  traction in the public psyche. It's The End Of Family Radio As We Know It

Expect rock stations to add a particular 1987 hit from R.E.M to their playlists — that’s great, it starts with an earthquake as Camping and Michael Stipe seem to agree — and  expect Family Radio stations — 106.9 FM is the one for the Philadelphia area — to have record listenership as multitudes tune in for a front row seat to the Apocalypse.

And to take pleasure in the dashing of the hopes of basically decent people.

Maybe Camping will decide to mess with their heads and only broadcast white noise.

Family Radio is a Christian radio network of 52 full-power stations along with a few dozen translators. Much of its programming is gentle and uplifting with the only downside being the goofy theological advice Camping gives on his call-in show. During the malicious and aggressive secularism of the 1980s and 1990s it was about the only place one could find Christmas music that made sense.

One suspects that May 21 will be the end for it albeit not the world.

Anyway, keep Camping, who is 89, in your prayers. May 22 is going to be a real bummer for  him.

It’s The End Of Family Radio As We Know It

Adolph Says Vote Likely On Pa. NoBamaCare Bill

The man accused of bottling up a bill that would make much of Obamacare hard to enforce in Pennsylvania told the Delaware County Patriots, Thursday, May 19, that it will likely come up for a vote this year.

State Rep. Bill Adolph (R-165), who chairs the House Appropriations Committee has been accused of sitting on HB 42 by Tea Party activists. The bill has been tied up in Adolph’s committee since Feb. 8.

HB 42, introduced by Matthew Baker (R-68) on Jan. 19, says A law
or rule shall not compel, through penalties and fines, directly or
indirectly, any individual, employer or health care provider to
participate in any health care system.

It also specifically
says that an individual or employer may pay directly for lawful health
care services and shall not be required to pay penalties or fines for
doing so; and specifically allows  health care providers to accept
direct payments without penalties.
It also prohibits state law enforcement and regulatory agencies from
participating “in compliance with any Federal law, regulation or policy”
that would compromise the “freedom of choice in health care” of any
resident of the state.

Adolph told the group, which met at Knights of Columbus hall in Newtown Square, that the biggest budget problem facing the state was the expiration of federal stimulus money. He said  last year’s $28 billion budget contained $3.1 billion of the fed dollars.

The $27.3 billion budget proposed by Gov. Corbett places a heavier burden on the state taxpayers despite it being smaller. House Republicans have tweaked the budget by easing some of the cuts the Governor had made to education while adding cuts to welfare. Adolph said the House budget gives state higher education 75 percent of what it had gotten last year, while Corbett would have cut the outlay in half.

Adolph said that the House budget actually ends up being few hundred thousand dollars less than the Governors.

Concerning the questions fielded by Adolph — and HB 42 was one — he said:

— He supported in principle privatizing the state-owned liquor stores but would not commit to any specific legislation as the “devil was in the details”.

— He supported giving school boards the power to furlough teachers for economic reasons. He, however, ducked the other half regarding his position on ending the requirement that school districts and municipalities pay prevailing wage for renovation and construction projects.

–He is not familiar with the First Suburbs issue which is starting to be discussed in Tea Party groups and appears to be an attempt to use government programs such as Section 8 housing to economically “diversify” Philadelphia’s older suburbs in accordance with the preferences of academics and activists.

–He supported abolishing the inheritance tax.

–He voted for and supports HB 1330, which expands the state’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit, and that he was only aware of the highlights of SB 1, the school choice bill bottled up in the Senate. He said he supports school choice in principle.

–That teachers should not be allowed to strike.

— He supports voter ID.

— He believes in state sovereignty.

— He supports cutting the size of the state legislature.

The only matter on which he incurred the crowd’s wrath concerned state pensions, and his unwillingness to condemn former State Sen. Bob Mellow’s $300,000 pension in significantly vociferous terms. He said Mellow’s pension plan had been grandfathered from before 1974, and that he should get it. He did not seem to get that it may fairer and more just to change the terms of an old poorly conceived contract rather than make a widow who was not party to it lose her home trying to fulfill it.

Ride Boldly Ride For Eldorado

Rio Bravo was on one of the stations last week and that naturally leads one to think of El Dorado.

And that leads us to think of the poem by former Philadelphia resident Edgar Allen Poe that was recited throughout that film by James Caan

So here it is:


Gaily bedight,
A gallant knight,
In sunshine and in shadow,
Had journeyed long,
Singing a song,
In search of Eldorado.

But he grew old-
This knight so bold-
And o’er his heart a shadow
Fell as he found
No spot of ground
That looked like Eldorado.

And, as his strength
Failed him at length,
He met a pilgrim shadow-
“Shadow,” said he,
“Where can it be-
This land of Eldorado?”

“Over the Mountains
Of the Moon,
Down the Valley of the Shadow,
Ride, boldly ride,”
The shade replied-
“If you seek for Eldorado!”

Ride Boldly Ride For Eldorado

Ride Boldly Ride For Eldorado