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-   -   The proper role and scope of government (http://cellar.org/showthread.php?t=26074)

piercehawkeye45 03-11-2012 04:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by classicman (Post 800956)
So Obama is or isn't pushing forward with more drilling?

Obama is going to push for more drilling. Alternative energy use is going to quickly grow in the next few decades but that growth will still be less than the global demand for fuel. Fossil fuels will remain our primary source of energy for at least the next 25 years.

Quote:

How, specifically has this administration made it now safe to drill in the same location where we just had a major drilling disaster?
From what I know about sites like these, precautions can be taken but so much uncertainty exists it is impossible to make a site completely disaster free.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ibram
Gas companies are still making record profits. Record as in they are the most profitable companies that have ever existed in the history of the world. i don't think they need their subsidies

This is a complicated issue. If all gas and oil companies are capitalist then I would completely agree with you but unfortunately these subsidized companies need to compete with nationalized companies from China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela, etc. That is why only major or merged oil companies exist any more; the investment philosophy is completely different. That is not to say the process isn't corrupt. It is. But capitalist companies might require subsidies in order to make the risky investments that are needed right now.

Lamplighter 03-13-2012 05:27 PM

While some have focused on the "contraception" issue, I've posted previously
that this is a fight by the Council of Bishops that goes far beyond birth control.

But the push back from the public is giving some Bishops concern,
and the thrust of their fight may be changing in more obvious ways.

Reuters

Stephanie Simon
DENVER | Tue Mar 13, 2012

Bishops consider broader focus in birth-control fight
Quote:

(Reuters) - Facing small but clear signs of discontent within their own ranks,
U.S. Catholic bishops may be poised to rethink their aggressive tactics
for fighting a federal mandate that health insurance plans cover contraception,
according to sources close to influential bishops.

There are no indications that the bishops will drop their fight against the federal mandate.
But dozens of bishops, meeting this week in Washington, are likely to discuss concerns
that their battle against the Obama administration over birth control risks being viewed
by the public as narrow and partisan and thus diminishes the
church's moral authority, the sources said.<snip>

One sign of a coming recalibration: A sweeping statement on religious liberty, now circulating
in draft form, that aims to broaden the bishops' focus far beyond the contraception mandate.
The draft statement, slated to be released soon to a burst of publicity,
condemns an array of local, state and federal policies as violations of religious freedom,
said Martin Nussbaum, a private attorney who has consulted with the bishops.<snip>

Polls have shown that a majority of Americans, including most Catholics,
support President Barack Obama's policy of requiring health insurance plans
to offer free contraception, including sterilization and the morning-after pill.

<snip>
There are some indications that the bishops would come to negotiations
with more flexibility. Earlier, they called for rescinding the birth-control rule altogether
and for allowing even secular employers to opt out if they had a moral objection.

The Obama administration, however, has made clear
it's not interested in negotiating changes to the policy.
Instead, an administration official said the White House would value input
from the bishops on practical questions such as how to accommodate Catholic institutions
that provide their own insurance and don't want to pay for birth control.
But such accommodations would not change the bottom line:
"Women will still have access to preventive care that includes contraceptive services,"
the official said, "no matter where they work.
"

Lamplighter 04-03-2012 09:02 AM

The Republicans are right, we don't want any more "activist Judges appointed to the US Supreme Court.

Tell you kids they better return those overdue books to the library.



NY Times

By ADAM LIPTAK
Published: April 2, 2012

Supreme Court Ruling Allows Strip-Searches for Any Arrest

Quote:

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday ruled by a 5-to-4
vote that officials may strip-search people arrested for any offense, however minor,
before admitting them to jails even if the officials have no reason to suspect the presence of contraband.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, joined by the court’s conservative wing,
wrote that courts are in no position to second-guess the judgments of correctional officials
who must consider not only the possibility of smuggled weapons and drugs,
but also public health and information about gang affiliations.<snip>
.
If it's not the Judiciary who can control the judgments of correctional officials, who is ?:eyebrow:
.

Clodfobble 04-04-2012 09:14 AM

The local populace, who elect the sheriff, and depending on the area may either elect the chief of police, or elect the mayor who appoints the chief of police.

Lamplighter 04-05-2012 11:26 AM

Corporations have essentially won the war to reduce their taxes to zero.
Their next goal is to downgrade governmental regulations to the same endpoint.

The Dept of Agriculture has a mission to foster and the support production and distribution of food,
and so the U.S.D.A. puts that at a higher priority than regulating the quality of that food.
To wit:

NY Times
By RON NIXON
April 4, 2012
Plan to Let Poultry Plants Inspect Birds Is Criticized
Quote:

WASHINGTON — Federal food safety inspectors said a proposal by the Agriculture Department
o expand a pilot program that allows private companies to take over the inspections at poultry plants
could pose a health risk by allowing contaminated meat to reach customers.
<snip>
In affidavits given to the Government Accountability Project, a nonprofit legal-assistance group
for government whistle-blowers, several inspectors who work at plants where the pilot program
is in place said the main problem is that they are removed from positions on the assembly line
and put at the end of the line, which makes it impossible for them to spot diseased birds.<snip>

The inspectors also said the Agriculture Department proposal allows poultry plants to speed up
their assembly lines to about 200 birds per minute from 140, hampering any effort to examine birds for defects.

“It’s tough enough when you are trying to examine 140 birds per minute with professional inspectors,”
said Stan Painter, a federal inspector in Crossville, Ala., a small town near Huntsville.
“This proposal makes it impossible.”
And by coincidence, the following article appeared the same day...

NY Times
March 4, 2012

Arsenic in Our Chicken?
Quote:

Big Ag doesn’t advertise the chemicals it stuffs into animals,
so the scientists conducting these studies figured out a clever way to detect them.
Bird feathers, like human fingernails, accumulate chemicals and drugs
that an animal is exposed to.
So scientists from Johns Hopkins University and Arizona State University examined feather meal
— a poultry byproduct made of feathers.

One study, just published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, Environmental Science & Technology,
found that feather meal routinely contained a banned class of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones.
These antibiotics (such as Cipro), are illegal in poultry production because
they can breed antibiotic-resistant “superbugs” that harm humans.
Already, antibiotic-resistant infections kill more Americans annually than AIDS,
according to the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

The same study also found that one-third of feather-meal samples contained
an antihistamine that is the active ingredient of Benadryl.
The great majority of feather meal contained acetaminophen,
the active ingredient in Tylenol.
And feather-meal samples from China contained an antidepressant that is the active ingredient in Prozac.

Poultry-growing literature has recommended Benadryl to reduce anxiety among chickens,
apparently because stressed chickens have tougher meat and grow more slowly.
Tylenol and Prozac presumably serve the same purpose.<snip>

The other peer-reviewed study, reported in a journal called Science of the Total Environment,
found arsenic in every sample of feather meal tested.
Almost 9 in 10 broiler chickens in the United States had been fed arsenic,
according to a 2011 industry estimate.

classicman 04-05-2012 08:47 PM

Same issue as having Wall Streeters become/work in/for the administration.
You say we need people with working knowledge within the industry, well now you have it. You should be pleased. :rolleyes:

Lamplighter 04-30-2012 11:23 PM

Yet again...


The Oregonian

Lynne Terry
April 30, 2012

Oregon health officials suspect two more illnesses linked to outbreak of raw milk from Wilsonville farm
Quote:

Oregon health officials suspect two more illnesses are part of
a raw milk outbreak traced nearly three weeks ago to a farm near Wilsonville.

William Keene, senior epidemiologist with Oregon Public Health, said
the two adults had both consumed raw milk from Foundation Farm,
including one person who continued to drink it after being warned about the outbreak.

Keene said one was sickened by campylobacter, the other by cryptosporidium,
making 21 likely cases in the outbreak. Nineteen others were infected with E. coli.
One of the worst foodborne pathogens, E. coli O157:H7 was on rectal swabs
from two of the farm's four cows. Milk and manure from the farm also tested positive for the same bacteria.

State epidemiologists did not test for campylobacter or cryptosporidium
so they don't know for sure that the two new cases are linked to Foundation Farm milk,
but Keene said it's likely.

Cryptosporidium and campylobacter repeatedly turn up in raw milk,
he said, along with other harmful bacteria.
"There is a long list of pathogens that people can get from raw milk," he said.

Four children who drank the milk were hospitalized
with acute kidney failure, which is associated with E. coli O157:H7.
As of Friday, they were still in the hospital, Keene said.

Two of the patients -- 14 and 13 -- are Portland area middle schoolers. The others are 3 and 1 years old.
A fifth child from Lane County, who drank the milk while visiting relatives in the Portland area, was hospitalized and released.

Foundation Farm, located on five acres in the Stafford area,
had a herd-share operation for a least a year, selling parts of cows to 48 families.
In return, they had regular access to the raw milk.

Brad Salyers, owner of the farm, has not returned calls seeking comment.
He provided Oregon health officials with contact information for the families and advised them of the outbreak.

Health officials also interviewed most of the families.
They were surprised that one person continued to drink the milk even after being advised that it was contaminated.
Keene said the second patient went looking for a new source.

Just under 3 percent of Oregonians drink raw milk, according to a survey by Oregon Public Health.
They tend to be passionate about it, despite public warnings.

"We've documented yet another unfortunate incident where people
missed the boat on one of the great advances in public health
-- pasteurization," Keene said.

classicman 05-01-2012 09:58 PM

Quote:

"We've documented yet another unfortunate incident where people
missed the boat on one of the great advances in public health
-- pasteurization," Keene said.
Whats this have to do with the Gov't?

Ibby 05-02-2012 12:56 AM

...because the standardised, regulated practice of milk pasteurization is a government regulation, i assume?

TheMercenary 05-04-2012 08:09 PM

Washington State is about to make the headlines as one of the most fucked up states in the history of public health....


http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/0...ssis-epidemic/

Griff 07-02-2012 08:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ibby (Post 809780)
...because the standardised, regulated practice of milk pasteurization is a government regulation, i assume?

I've been reading up on the subject and still think the risk is worth it to me because it is more than balanced by the likely health and lifestyle benefits. In poisonings per portion it still falls behind deli meats and shellfish. Size of serving plays a factor in all food poisoning cases so people need to use common sense. I don't have firm conclusions about the large scale producers of raw milk products. This is a case where the USDA's ruination of the "organic" label has a real impact. If dairy cattle have enough pasture you avoid a lot of the manure handling and feed issues that are sources of problems.

This argument really illuminates the issue of government over-reach because it is far more than a left vs right or rural vs urban issue. It comes down to choice. From my classroom experiences, I know that people given choices are much happier than people forced to comply. People choosing balance their own needs and values, becoming at the same time more responsible for themselves.

richlevy 07-04-2012 01:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Griff (Post 818135)
I've been reading up on the subject and still think the risk is worth it to me because it is more than balanced by the likely health and lifestyle benefits. In poisonings per portion it still falls behind deli meats and shellfish. Size of serving plays a factor in all food poisoning cases so people need to use common sense. I don't have firm conclusions about the large scale producers of raw milk products. This is a case where the USDA's ruination of the "organic" label has a real impact. If dairy cattle have enough pasture you avoid a lot of the manure handling and feed issues that are sources of problems.

This argument really illuminates the issue of government over-reach because it is far more than a left vs right or rural vs urban issue. It comes down to choice. From my classroom experiences, I know that people given choices are much happier than people forced to comply. People choosing balance their own needs and values, becoming at the same time more responsible for themselves.

At issue is the fact that the government has to get involved at some point. Until the passage of the Clean Water Act, it was a free-for-all as far as pollution was concerned. We are paying for this today since it is virtually impossible to find completely uncontaminated seafood. This is also something that the consumer cannot do for themselves. It is possible to smell a fish going bad. It is not possible to know if the fish or shellfish came from contaminated waters or if rules about placing them in uncontaminated waters to detox were followed.

We basically allowed a giant 'tragedy of the commons' to occur for decades with the air and water that we consume. Even if someone were to eat organic food and drink water from a source miles from the nearest city, a blood test would still show trace amounts of compounds in their blood that probably did not exist 100 years ago.

It seems that scientists are constantly reassessing safe exposure levels since the data takes large population samples and decades to quantify. Drinking so much of this at once will kill a person. Being exposed to so much will increase the risk of cancer by such a percentage.

For everything that modern chemistry has given us, it has also made us human guinea pigs.

classicman 01-05-2013 12:51 AM

Bumpity boo ...

New Study Finds CRA 'Clearly' Did Lead To Risky Lending

Quote:

Democrats and the media insist the Community Reinvestment Act, the anti-redlining law beefed up by President Clinton, had nothing to do with the subprime mortgage crisis and recession.

But a new study by the respected National Bureau of Economic Research finds, "Yes, it did. We find that adherence to that act led to riskier lending by banks."

Added NBER: "There is a clear pattern of increased defaults for loans made by these banks in quarters around the (CRA) exam. Moreover, the effects are larger for loans made within CRA tracts," or predominantly low-income and minority areas.

To satisfy CRA examiners, "flexible" lending by large banks rose an average 5% and those loans defaulted about 15% more often, the 43-page study found.

The strongest link between CRA lending and defaults took place in the runup to the crisis — 2004 to 2006 — when banks rapidly sold CRA mortgages for securitization by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and Wall Street.

CRA regulations are at the core of Fannie's and Freddie's so-called affordable housing mission. In the early 1990s, a Democratic Congress gave HUD the authority to set and enforce (through fines) CRA-grade loan quotas at Fannie and Freddie.

It passed a law requiring the government-backed agencies to "assist insured depository institutions to meet their obligations under the (CRA)." The goal was to help banks meet lending quotas by buying their CRA loans.

But they had to loosen underwriting standards to do it. And that's what they did.

"We want your CRA loans because they help us meet our housing goals," Fannie Vice Chair Jamie Gorelick beseeched lenders gathered at a banking conference in 2000, just after HUD hiked the mortgage giant's affordable housing quotas to 50% and pressed it to buy more CRA-eligible loans to help meet those new targets. "We will buy them from your portfolios or package them into securities."

She described "CRA-friendly products" as mortgages with less than "3% down" and "flexible underwriting."

From 2001-2007, Fannie and Freddie bought roughly half of all CRA home loans, most carrying subprime features.


Read More

Adak 01-06-2013 03:13 AM

All done with gov't support and insistence.

Serving up one big fat mortgage crisis!

Lamplighter 02-16-2013 07:40 AM

The litigious behavior of Monsanto is well publicized,
including a TV documentary about them suing farmers for plants growing
in their fields from seeds that blew in from neighboring farm(s).

NY Times
ANDREW POLLACK
Published: February 15, 2013

Farmer’s Supreme Court Challenge Puts Monsanto Patents at Risk

Quote:

<snip>At stake in Mr. Bowman’s case is whether patents on seeds
— or other things that can self-replicate —
extend beyond the first generation of the products.<snip>
The decision might also apply to live vaccines, cell lines and DNA used
for research or medical treatment, and some types of nanotechnology.

Mr. Bowman’s main defense is patent exhaustion
— the concept that once a patented object is sold,
the patent holder loses control over how it is used.
<snip>

The Supreme Court affirmed this principle most recently in a 2008 case
involving Intel computer chips containing patented technology licensed from LG Electronics.
The court ruled that once Intel sold the chips to computer manufacturers,
LG’s rights were exhausted and LG could not control how the manufacturers used the chips in their machines.

Mr. Bowman said that for his main soybean crop, he honored Monsanto’s agreement,
buying new seeds each year containing the Roundup Ready gene,
which makes the plants immune to the herbicide Roundup.

That technology is hugely popular, used in more than 90 percent of the nation’s soybeans,
because it allows farmers to spray fields to kill weeds without hurting the crop.<snip>
So starting in 1999, he bought commodity soybeans from a grain elevator.
These beans were a mixture of varieties from different farmers, but, not surprisingly,
most of them were Roundup Ready. So Mr. Bowman sprayed Roundup on his late-season crop.


“All through history we have always been allowed to go to an elevator
and buy commodity grain and plant it,” he said in an interview.

The courts, however, have not agreed. After Monsanto sued Mr. Bowman in 2007,
a district court in Indiana awarded the company more than $84,000.
The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which specializes in patent cases,
upheld that decision, saying that by planting the seeds Mr. Bowman had created newly infringing articles.

“I was prepared to let them run over me,” Mr. Bowman said, “but I wasn’t getting out of the road.”
Mr Bowman admits to spraying Round Up on his second crop.
But if he had not used it (to his advantage), would he be in a better legal position ?


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