The Gun Report: September 10, 2013 – NYTimes.com

An 11-year-old boy shot himself in the foot at his home north of North Platte, Neb., Saturday afternoon. The boy took a .22 caliber single-shot rifle from the top shelf of a closet so he and his friends could shoot birds in their homemade fort. The boy’s mother drove him to the hospital. Officials say no charges will be filed.

via The Gun Report: September 10, 2013 – NYTimes.com.

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan: Wind down Fannie and Freddie, confirm Mel Watt – Charlotte Business Journal

Trust commercial banks to care about home ownership? I trust them to take us back to a time when few could afford homes!

wind down enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, ask private dollars to support more of the mortgage market and launch a new federal entity to replace Fannie and Freddie.

via HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan: Wind down Fannie and Freddie, confirm Mel Watt – Charlotte Business Journal.

Photo of the Day: Eco-Friendly Dairies

Scientists are looking at whether changing the surface of a barnyard from soil to sand or wood chips can help reduce the amount of gases that vaporize after cattle urinate. The information will be used to help farmers make their dairies more environmentally friendly.

via Photo of the Day: Eco-Friendly Dairies.

 

Makes little sense when you are milking and housing 1,000 or more head but looks good for press.

China’s Food Supply Dilemma – Not!

According to Deere & Company CEO, Sam Allen, China’s population is outpacing its food supply. Allen suggests that a strategic combination of increased food imports and increased food production in the country is needed to feed 1.35 billion mouths.

via China’s Food Supply Dilemma.

(People, it seems, will say nearly anything to get in print. If China needs food for its people, all it need do is export less of it outside of the country – or do what we will all be doing in the future – grow more of everything in green houses, organically – using less water and polluting less and using less space. Field farming will give way to replanting forests and letting natural ecology recover where it can to better support itself and us!)

6 tons of seized ivory to be crushed in US in crackdown on illegal trafficking

(“Too bad wrong-headed gun rights advocates want to prevent this solution to confiscated guns from illegal trading and crimes”)

Wildlife officials are planning to crush more than 6 tons of ivory as part of a push by the United States to combat illegal trafficking worldwide.

The ivory was seized around the country in an effort to block imports of tusks from elephants that have been slaughtered for their tusks.

The seized items include whole tusks that have been carved into scenes from daily life.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said the illegal industry has become a $10 billion one.

via 6 tons of seized ivory to be crushed in US in crackdown on illegal trafficking.

Eat Drink Better | Cooking, healthy food, and sustainable eating!

Even so, U.S. shrimpers look like Boy Scouts compared to Asian and South American “shrimp barons,” who are clearing huge swaths of ecologically sensitive mangrove habitat to create shrimp factory farms. It’s estimated that one-fifth of mangroves worldwide have been lost since 1980, mostly because they have been razed to make way for shrimp farms. Shrimp that comes from cleared mangroves is estimated to have a carbon footprint 10 times higher than beef from cows raised on cleared Amazon rain forest.

What about farmed shrimp?

Overseas shrimp farms are commonly cesspools of antibiotics, fertilizers, banned pesticides, contaminated water, and other waste. According to Canadian journalist Taras Grescoe, “The simple fact is, if you’re eating cheap shrimp today, it almost certainly comes from a turbid, pesticide- and antibiotic-filled, virus-laden pond in the tropical climes of one of the world’s poorest nations.”

If local villagers object to the farms, which have been blamed for polluting or siphoning the water supply and contaminating agricultural land with salt water and waste, their concerns are often ruthlessly quashed—sometimes with violence, including beatings, rapes, arson, shootings, and even murder. In Thailand, Burmese migrants are press-ganged into working on fishing boats that supply feed to shrimp farms, and workers report appalling conditions—and even executions at sea.

Considering the devastating ecological impact of cheap shrimp—in addition to the accompanying human rights abuses—isn’t it time to put an end to “endless shrimp”?

via Eat Drink Better | Cooking, healthy food, and sustainable eating!.

My 30 Years as a Poultry Inspector | Food & Water Watch

(Pogo – the old cartoon opossum – said: “We have met the enemy and he is us.” We vote for people who want to gut government at all costs as a matter of faith and trust in the market to “protect” consumers. I trust the market to look the other way until a hundred or a thousand die quickly from a blatant incident.)

When I was a USDA inspector, we went bird by bird to assure that plants were producing clean, wholesome products. But that won’t be the case if the USDA’s plan to privatize poultry inspection goes forward. I worked with the pilot phase of this plan to privatize the inspection of our poultry, but it could soon be approved for broader use… and it turns the “inspection” of our food into a sham. In plants where they’ve been testing this new process, line speeds have been permitted to run as fast as 200 birds per minute. That’s faster than any human could possibly inspect all those birds.

Privatizing inspection means shifting the actual hands-on inspection of the birds from highly trained, taxpayer-funded, unbiased, Federal employees to plant employees who are not required to have any training at all — and in doing so, the USDA had to change the name of these employees to “sorters” in lieu of inspectors, because what they’re doing is not inspection.

It is a sad state of affairs when our government is more concerned about saving money than it is about people’s health, but that’s what we’ve got here: a money-saving system that makes it impossible to do adequate inspection of our poultry. A properly trained inspector utilizes ALL of their senses to make a decision about the wholesomeness of the bird. I have no idea of how checking carcasses flying by at unregulated speeds of three per second, without any authority to touch the products, turn or do anything else, can be called “inspection.”

via My 30 Years as a Poultry Inspector | Food & Water Watch.

Despite Obamacare, 31 million will be uninsured by 2023 – Birmingham Business Journal

Federal health reform is projected to extend insurance coverage to 25 million Americans over the next decade.

Those efforts, widely known as Obamacare, still will leave 31 million people without insurance by 2023, The Washington Post reports.

Those left behind by the health care overhaul include undocumented workers, and the poor who live in the 21 states that have not followed the mandate to expand.

via Despite Obamacare, 31 million will be uninsured by 2023 – Birmingham Business Journal.