A group of law professors have written to the House and Senate blasting a controversial amendment to the farm bill currently undergoing negotiations.
Originally published in a study, the letter penned by 14 law professors was obtained by the San Francisco Chronicle and not released publicly. In it, they reportedly criticize the Protect Interstate Commerce Act introduced by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), an amendment that seeks to limit states’ power to supervise their own farming standards. If passed, the amendment would ban states from requiring agricultural and livestock conditions that are stricter than those in other states, so long as the products are intended for out-of-state sale.
The experts allege that the amendment is a food safety risk, writing that there is “a significant likelihood that many state agricultural laws across the country will be nullified, that public health and safety will be threatened, and that the amendment could ultimately be deemed unconstitutional.”
A major target of the amendment is California’s Proposition 2, a 2008 law that enforced higher standards for farm animals’ living quarters. The law later expanded to require all eggs sold in California be produced under Prop 2’s standards. The statute was put into effect to keep out-of-state egg producers from taking advantage of Californians’ high standards and outpricing in-state farmers.
You know how its been said that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic?
And in case you don’t believe the video has proof that its real!
So I saw an article linked from FARK this morning that, while brief, was absolutely unhinged in its tone. Since the source article is so short, I’m only going to link it here rather than posting an excerpt. However, I do want to talk about its source article: A Washington Post report on the FBI surveillance of a suspected terrorist. The key point I wished to raise from this article, totally refuting the hysterical claims of the Gizmodo article, is here:
The ability to remotely activate video feeds was among the issues cited in a case in Houston, where federal magistrate Judge Stephen W. Smith rejected a search warrant request from the FBI in April. In that case, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, Smith ruled that the use of such technology in a bank fraud case was “extremely intrusive” and ran the risk of accidentally capturing information of people not under suspicion of any crime.
Smith also said that a magistrate’s court based in Texas lacked jurisdiction to approve a search of a computer whose location was unknown. He wrote that such surveillance software may violate the Fourth Amendment’s limits on unwarranted searches and seizures.
Notice that this is at least two cases where the judges rejected the use of this surveillance. The FBI can’t just go installing malware on anyone’s computer willy-nilly. Gizmodo has totally overblown this story into a hysterical meltdown about the FBI’s invasiveness, but just like with all dudebro complaints, it falls apart when you examine the actual circumstances of its use.
Signs of the Evangelical Industrial Complex; AKA Salem Communications, owner of several hard right media outlets.
In a comment thread originally found at Spiritualthere is an evangelical celebrity machine that is more powerful than anyone realizes.Sounding Board before it was removed, and has since been re-posted by Warren Throckmorton in his blog on Patheos with Schlueter’s permission, she writes, “I was a part-time, topic producer for Janet Mefferd until yesterday [Tuesday] when I resigned over this situation. All I can share is that there is an evangelical celebrity machine that is more powerful than anyone realizes. You may not go up against the machine. That is all. Mark Driscoll clearly plagiarized and those who could have underscored the seriousness of it and demanded accountability did not. That is the reality of the evangelical industrial complex.”
She continued, “…I’ve read much speculation online, which is understandable given the confusing situation, most of it dead wrong. Being limited in what I can share, let me just say that truth tellers face multiple pressure sources these days. I hosted a radio show for 23 years and know from experience how Big Publishing protects its celebrities. Anything but fawning adulation for those who come on your show (a gift of free air time for the author/publisher by the way) is not taken well. Like Dr. Carl Trueman so aptly asked yesterday in his column at Reformation 21, does honest journalism have any role to play in evangelicalism now?
More at Warren Throckmorton’s “Patheos”
After looking into it, I think Mr. Driscoll has some explaining to do. Mefferd put together two pdf files of material which I examined. The material which triggered the original allegations is, to me, less convincing than the material she then located. In the case of Peter Jones and Driscoll’s new book, I believe Driscoll should have cited Jones more than he did. He should have made it clearer that his use of terms was derived from Jones as the source. However, the second wave of claims raise more direct concerns of using material, word-for-word, without citation.
Look at the following two block quoted paragraphs. Who should we think is telling the truth? If one examines this via politics and advocacy it’s a pretzel. Energy company killing eagles=Bad. But wait it’s a renewable energy company. Good. The Eagle advocate claims it’s a blank check. Bad. But Interior says permits for careful attentive applicants only. Good.
“Instead of balancing the need for conservation and renewable energy, Interior wrote the wind industry a blank check,” National Audubon Society President David Yarnold said in a statement. “It’s outrageous that the government is sanctioning the killing of America’s symbol, the bald eagle.
“The new regulations would extend the permits to a maximum of 30 years and be issued only to “applicants who commit to adaptive management measures to ensure the preservation of eagles,” the Interior Department said in announcing the rules.
So, maybe lets stop looking at this via politics, parties and raw advocacy.
I have two points to make. It’s time to stop making the perfect the enemy of the good on energy and our environment. Two, to get there, we have to start telling the truth. Stop the sour sound bites. Start disseminating the real data. Stop catering to ratings. Start showing some loyalty to the facts.
Now, everyone knows how poorly fast-food jobs pay. They also know why this is supposed to be okay: fast-food workers are teenagers, they don’t have kids or college degrees, and it’s an entry-level job. Hell, it’s virtually a form of national service, the economic boot camp that has replaced the two years our fathers had to give to the armed forces.
Every one of these soothing shibboleths was contradicted by what I saw in North Carolina. These days, fast-food workers are often adults, they often do have children, and I met at least one college grad among the protesters in Raleigh. Why are things like this? Because a job is a job, and in times as lean as ours, the Golden Arches may be the only game in town, regardless of qualifications and degrees.
What people who repeat these things also don’t know is how much effort has gone into keeping fast-food pay so low, despite the enormous profits raked in by the chains. In fact, the conditions of employment have been engineered almost as carefully as the brands and the burgers — engineered to achieve the complete interchangeability of workers.
In his classic Fast Food Nation (2001), Eric Schlosser describes the industry’s manic pursuit of standardization. The food arrives at the restaurant mostly frozen; the machines that do the cooking are foolproof; virtually no skills are required. “Jobs that have been ‘de-skilled’ can be filled cheaply,” writes Schlosser. “The need to retain any individual worker is greatly reduced by the ease with which he or she can be replaced.”
More: [Easy Chair]
I remember Floppy Disks!!!!
WASHINGTON — The technology troubles that plagued the HealthCare.gov website rollout may not have come as a shock to people who work for certain agencies of the government — especially those who still use floppy disks, the cutting-edge technology of the 1980s.
Every day, The Federal Register, the daily journal of the United States government, publishes on its website and in a thick booklet around 100 executive orders, proclamations, proposed rule changes and other government notices that federal agencies are mandated to submit for public inspection.
So far, so good.
It turns out, however, that the Federal Register employees who take in the information for publication from across the government still receive some of it on the 3.5-inch plastic storage squares that have become all but obsolete in the United States.
Now government infrastructure experts are hoping that public embarrassments like the HealthCare.gov debacle will prompt a closer look at the government’s technological prowess, especially if it might mean getting rid of floppy disks.
The IRS is taking aim at the growing political role of tax-exempt social welfare groups. It’s a category of American politics where spending has increased 80-fold in the last decade. Donors can give as much money as they want to these groups, and their names are not disclosed to the public. The IRS wants to roll back the social welfare politicking, after a summer of controversy over the way it treated Tea Party groups applying for tax-exempt status.
NPR’s Peter Overby reports.
PETER OVERBY, BYLINE: Social welfare groups are also known as 501(c)(4) organizations under the tax code. But whatever you call them, they’ve become favored vehicles for big donors giving big money while avoiding public scrutiny.
The IRS would upset that arrangement for 501(c)(4)s. One significant restriction targets a growing activity
The other day I read something extremely appalling on Hubpages that captured my attention. It was so appalling I created a HubPages account just to comment on how crude it was. The hub pertained to how “disgusting” poor people are and how “we should just get rid of them,” because I’m sure they don’t have beating hearts or anything. This author even had the audacity to justify his claims by referencing to the Bible. As a Christian Baptist, I was extremely offended. Whether or not one believes in Christianity, there is absolutely no logical interpretation of the Bible which states “The poor are clearly disgusting which is why Jesus helped them, but it was for absolutely no reason.” Before I get carried away I will say I am neither Republican nor Democrat for that so much political turmoil has left me undecided, but one thing I do know is I have a strong belief in helping the less fortunate.They aren’t human because they survive off of what they can acquire in our garbage, right? Wrong. Poverty should not be classified as a social issue because it is a making-our-country-a-better-place priority.
The second reason why this argument is repugnant is because some poor mothers who wish to work so they can feed their children already do. In a Chicago Impact Research Project, it was proven that 800-1,000 women become prostitutes every year to fight the war on poverty. So with this being stated, I hope it clarifies any misconception regarding the homeless/poor with unemployment.
7. Try to avoid getting beat up by someone they love.
According to some estimates, half of all homeless women in America ran away to escape domestic violence.
(Source: National Coalition for the Homeless, 2009)
2. Entitlements are the problem
No, they’re not. The evidence is overwhelming. Social Security is a popular and well-run program. As summarized by Bernie Sanders, “Social Security, which is funded by the payroll tax, has not contributed one nickel to the deficit and, according to its trustees, can pay 100 percent of all benefits owed to every eligible American for the next 21 years.” Dean Baker calls it “perhaps the greatest success story of any program in US history.”
Medicare, which is largely without the profit motive and the competing sources of billing, is efficiently run, for all eligible Americans. According to the Council for Affordable Health Insurance, medical administrative costs as a percentage of claims are about three times higher for private insurance than for Medicare. And it’s just as popular as Social Security.
Rick Santorum: Nelson Mandela Fought ‘Great Injustice,’ Just Like Republicans Are Battling Obamacare
“Nelson Mandela stood up against a great injustice and was willing to pay a huge price for that. That’s the reason he’s mourned today, because of that struggle that he performed,” Santorum said. “But you’re right, I mean, what he was advocating for was not necessarily the right answer, but he was fighting against some great injustice, and I would make the argument that we have a great injustice going on right now in this country with an ever-increasing size of government that is taking over and controlling people’s lives, and Obamacare is front and center in that.”
The statement, pointed out by Slate’s Dave Weigel in a tweet Friday morning, came after Fox News host Bill O’Reilly claimed Mandela “was a great man, but he was a communist.”