Regulation? Baa humbug. Conservatives and most of the media have convinced many American that regulation is bad for business and consumers. While welcome friends on many issues libertarians have told us that government doesn’t really have to regulate business because ultimately business will act in the best interest of the community if just left alone; this is the point where optimism and faith in one’s fellow man reaches a certain level of absurdity. Slave Labor, Poisoned Toys Give Global Capitalism a Black Eye
And then there are the poisonous products–the killer toothpaste containing diethylene glycol found at a Dollar Store in Miami. The questionably “organic” herbs and food products. William Hubbard, the former deputy commissioner of the FDA who now runs an organization called Coalition for a Stronger FDA told NPR about the Chinese food shipments FDA officials turn back at ports after labeling them as “filthy”–that’s the term of art for smelly, decomposing, chemical-laden and otherwise obviously unfit food. On NPR, Hubbard described how an inspector found an herbal tea factory where herbal tea was processed by driving trucks over it: “‘To speed up the drying process, they would lay the tea leaves out on a huge warehouse floor and drive trucks over them so that the exhaust would more rapidly dry the leaves out,’ Hubbard says. ‘And the problem there is that the Chinese use leaded gasoline, so they were essentially spewing the lead over all these leaves.'”
And, “That lead-contaminated herbal tea would only be caught by FDA inspectors at the border if they knew to look for it, Hubbard says.”
As food imports to our country have exploded, with China leading the way, the FDA’s food inspection unit is shrinking. Hubbard estimates that 1 percent of food imports are actually inspected by FDA officials. And funding for food inspection has shrunk from half to one-quarter of the agency’s budget since he started his career in the 1970s.
No one wants to over regulate or be a complete protectionists, but incidents like this add up and what we’ll have action, but we’ll also have a degree of over reaction. Sensible well maintained agencies that are staffed with professionals can stop the merry-go-round of too much and not enough regulation. We’re obviously on that arc in the curve under the Bush administration where a few dead pets and people are just an acceptable price to pay so that the corporations that are infatuated with cheap labor and imports can make add a few more bucks to the bottom line.
Even after years of being something of a well traveled netizen and thinking I’ve seen or heard it all people still come up with some new odd, interesting and even amazing themed sites. Running From Camera – this gentleman finds someplace to set up his camera and sets the timer. Only he doesn’t pose with his cockatoo or the same old sofa, he starts to run as far as he can before the camera timer winds down and takes his photo.
Life in an FBI muzzle is no fun. Two Connecticut librarians on Sunday described what it was like to be slapped with an FBI national security letter and accompanying gag order. It sounded like a spy movie or, gulp, something that happens under a repressive foreign government.
Like habeas corpus one of the cornerstones to our justice system was the ability to face a jusry of your pears. These librarians couldn’t even attend their own hearing, they could only watch the proceedings on a monitor miles away because they were considered under the ironically named Patriot Act to be security threats. But hey you can still spend your pat check at Wal-Mart.
I wasn’t crazy about Nancy Pelosi’s statement around the last election that impeachment was off the table. A sentiment also echoed by Howard Dean. But things have changed. While there isn’t a big majority of Democrats in either House there are enough to know that there are some guardians of democracy at the gate and that even as arrogant and power mad as Bush and Cheney are that they would take note that its a different game. They apparently need a bound copy of the Constitution slapped upside their pointed heads or they need impeachment proceedings to start to wake them from their mental bunkers. Sure Rethuglicans will scream and cry and jump up and down on their Lazy Boy recliners, but Bush and Cheney have no one but themselves to blame. Democrats didn’t force Bush to ignore the Geneva Conventions, to sell the invasion of Iraq like it was some new improved deodorant. Nor did Democrats force Bush, Cheney, Rove and Alberto Gonzales to use the Justice Department as a political tool of the RNC. They criminalized politics not Democrats. The RNC and the Bush administration has simply become Organized Conservative Crime Inc. and threats and finger wagging isn’t going to stop zealots bent on having their way. Pushing the Envelope on Presidential Power
Cheney and his allies, according to more than two dozen current and former officials, pioneered a novel distinction between forbidden “torture” and permitted use of “cruel, inhuman or degrading” methods of questioning. They did not originate every idea to rewrite or reinterpret the law, but fresh accounts from participants show that they translated muscular theories, from Yoo and others, into the operational language of government.
She writes in her AEI mouth-piece blog as follows:
“Question: Will these photos be blared across the front pages of the international media with as much disgust and condemnation as the photos of Abu Ghraib or the manufactured Gitmo Koran-flushing riots?
The Right manages to fit that blame America doggerel into his about every word they write. I think they even put it in their chocolate chip cookie recipes. They’re welcome to keep doing so, but it is a glaring reminder that the Right thinks Republicans and the rabid Right are America, so when those of us that are not as rabid as M’s Malkin point out how abominable their behavior is, according to their ever present straw man, we’re criticizing America. No point of fact is that Republicans are not America, Bush is not America, Bush’s policies are not the military. The Right who keeps saying they have all the BIG IDEAS can’t make these simple elementary distinctions of reality. That being the case conservatives are many things, but they are not capable of sustaining and nurturing a democracy. This is not even a case that requires Occam’s razor, conservatism is a misguided and frequently dangerous political movement within America, it is not America. Be brave Michelle and cohorts, stop hiding your unhinged political views behind the flag or a uniform you’ve never worn.
“What do we mean by patriotism in the context of our times? I venture to suggest that what we mean is a sense of national responsibility … a patriotism which is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime. ” – Adlai Stevenson
“Naturally the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.” – Hermann Goering. Herman inspires more of America’s modern Republican mentality then Jefferson or Madison.