Core of Federal Meat and Poultry Inspection Hasn’t Been Updated Since 1906


Trump wants right-wing talk radio hack to be USDA Chief Scientist

❝ For many high school students in the United States—myself included—Upton Sinclair’s novel The Jungle has been required reading. The book exposed health hazards and unsanitary practices in the American meatpacking industry and played a pivotal role in the enactment of the Federal Meat Inspection Act of 1906. Central to this federal oversight system were government inspectors, which for the first time had to be present in slaughterhouses and processing plants to ensure the safety of the produced food.

These inspectors play an important role, not only to protect food safety but also to detect animal diseases, such as classical swine fever or foot-and-mouth disease. To ensure safe foods, inspectors seek to keep the animals that are unfit for human consumption out of the food supply and verify that the slaughter operation has systems in place to minimize contamination that results in human illness.

❝ When the current meat and poultry oversight system was developed more than a century ago, it aimed to detect the most significant food safety risks at the time, such as tuberculosis, brucellosis, and trichinellosis, using the technologies available then. Inspectors had to rely primarily on their senses of sight, smell, and touch to determine whether an animal was infected. Luckily, these diseases — which today are no longer among the top food safety risks in the United States — were detectable in that way. This, however, is not the case for the diseases that currently present major foodborne hazards — such as Salmonella, Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, and Campylobacteria…

To improve protection, the U.S. Department of Agriculture should better align its inspections with the risks posed to human health, a determination that should be made based on a range of relevant factors, including the particular animals slaughtered, products produced, and food facilities involved.

Mail me a penny postcard when our Fake President and the Congressional Clown Show gets this done!

Turkey’s schools start to drop evolution — and add jihad

❝ From September Turkey will have a new education curriculum and this 38-year-old mother is among many parents who are worried. The changes affect first, fifth- and ninth-grade students, and the main controversy surrounds the exclusion of the theory of evolution from secondary education.

“In classes, nine- and 10-year-old students have been memorising prayers from the Koran. I believe religious education should be given at home, not in schools,” said the woman, who did not want to be named, due to security concerns.

❝ Other controversial changes include shortening the time allocated to studying the life of Turkey’s secularist founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, an introduction to the concept of jihad and more classes on religion…

❝ The secular opposition in Turkey says President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the governing AK party are trying to move the country away from its founding values, and make society more Islamic and conservative. Mr Erdogan has repeatedly expressed his ambition to raise pious generations…

RTFA. The changes are only a beginning. Enough to warm the cockles of any religious reactionary in other lands. The anti-science brigade doesn’t especially care which religion supersedes science in which country. The backwardness of the Dark Ages is a satisfying start – for them.

Black Cop doing his job, protecting KKK scum, speaks out

The officer stands calmly as a group of white supremacists act out behind him. One man’s outstretched right arm signals a Nazi salute. Another wears a red hood. A third rests a Confederate flag on his shoulder.

❝ The provocative scene that Saturday afternoon in Charlottesville, captured with an iPhone, was shared with a modest public following but would attract a wide audience. “Confederate flags, Nazi salutes, and Klansmen having their rights protected by a black police officer,” reads a tweet posted on Aug. 12 by Ubadah Sabbagh, a Ph.D. student at Virginia Tech. “This picture hurts.” James P. O’Neill, commissioner of the New York City Police Department, shared the image and commended law enforcement in Charlottesville “for handling today’s events with true professionalism. Much respect.” Tim Hogan, a former member of the Hillary for America communications team, tweeted it, too: “A picture worth a thousand words.” A writer, Yashar Ali, suggested the image be nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. “A black police officer protecting a group of men who wish him harm,” he wrote in a tweet. “Incredible.”

He prefaced that remark with a question common during breaking news: “Who took this photo?”…

❝ The image spread further after a speeding car smashed into counterdemonstrators—sending bodies flying, killing one woman and injuring 19 others…As the retweets entered into the tens of thousands…A reverse image search on Google pointed…that the image was not from Aug. 12. Among the comments was a link…“This picture was taken at the KKK rally July 8th in Charlottesville, Virginia.”…

A school resource officer at Charlottesville High School, Darius Nash, confirmed to TIME on Aug. 14 that it was he in the photograph…

❝ “I don’t feel like I’m a hero for it,” Nash wrote…”I swore to protect my city and that’s what I was there to do. I don’t think it makes me a hero, just doing what I believe in.”…

Nice job of journalistic research. Even better job by the Black cop standing up for Constitutional principles – protecting the scum of the Earth from retribution outside the law. Doing his job.

In Trump’s Amerika, we need a calendar to track potential protest carnage

❝ People are freaking out about a potential clash between a ‘gang’ of ‘outsiders, misfits, and weirdos’ called the Juggalos and far-right Trump supporters…

Juggalos — fans of the Insane Clown Posse — and a far-right, pro-Trump coalition are both staging marches in Washington, DC on the same day.

And, with both groups promising enormous crowds, a clash between the two groups on September 16 seems likely…

❝ Organizers announced the pro-Trump “Mother of All Rallies” on Sunday, describing the event as the “Woodstock of American Rallies” to defend what organizers call traditional American values and culture. While the march is explicitly nonviolent and inclusive, organizers such as the Alt Knights have stated missions of street activism and “confrontation,” and were involved in organizing the Charlottesville “Unite the Right” rally.

A “Woodstock” of super-patriots, the chickenshit flavor of bigots who crank out lies in the tradition of Establishment politicians, differ from Charloteesville Nazis and Klan members only in levels of hypocrisy. The intent, direction and funding for much of this crap is interchangeable with any other cell of Right Wing losers.

❝ Meanwhile, Juggalos are marching for a very different issue — to protest being classified as a “loosely organized hybrid gang” by the FBI.

While the Insane Clown Posse draws thousands of fans to festivals, many people are in the dark on what Juggalos actually are. According Juggalos, they’re one of the most misunderstood groups of people in the US…

Freaks in the Frank Zappa sense can be useful, even productive, against bigotry, conformity to reactionary culture, social and political backwardness in general. You can also end up with nothing but intellectual laziness, the Lumpen ethos that has characterized déclassé revolt probably since the first Children’s Crusade.

I haven’t confidence in either side of this confrontation having the political savvy, discipline or direction to produce anything other than confrontation theatre. On the 16th, I’m more likely to be watching Liverpool at West Brom on television than a DC clash between uptight, sterile, rightwing stiffs and a herd of pretend clowns convinced they’re relevant to civil liberties.