Don’t believe there’s a racial element to the War on Drugs? As a former U.S. marshal and special agent for the Drug Enforcement Agency, Matthew Fog witnessed the astonishing inequity of the War on Drugs firsthand. This is his story.
A pilot program meant to identify contamination at meat plants has been failing to do so for the past 15 years. The USDA plans to roll it out nationwide, anyway. From the Washington Post:
The program allows meat producers to increase the speed of processing lines by as much as 20 percent and cuts the number of USDA safety inspectors at each plant in half, replacing them with private inspectors employed by meat companies. The approach has been used for more than a decade by five American hog plants under a pilot program.
But three of these plants were among the 10 worst offenders in the country for health and safety violations, with serious lapses that included failing to remove fecal matter from meat, according to a report this spring by the USDA inspector general. The plant with the worst record by far was one of the five in the pilot program.
This specific fecal matter didn’t make it to the mouths of consumers, because government officials caught it at the last minute. But these and other international incidents documented by the Post, including some that weren’t caught in time, demonstrate that the program has serious flaws.
In New Zealand, a representative of the inspectors union describes how “tremendous amounts of fecal matter remain on the carcasses,” adding, “Not small bits, but chunks.” The Post points out, parenthetically, that “both fecal matter and partly digested food may contain concentrated and complex strains of bacterium such as E. coli and listeria, which can be deadly.”
Straight Comedy Moment Of The Day…
The SMALLS FAMILY - Warning
THE SMALLS FAMILY is an experimental comedy based on the timeless lyrics of THE NOTORIOUS B.I.G.
Biggie Smalls is considered by most to be one the great lyricists in the history of hip-hop music. His untimely death on March 9 , 1997 changed the face of hip-hop and left a legacy behind that has yet to be duplicated.
In the past, many great works of classic writers and poets have been reinterpreted over the years…most notably the works of Shakespeare.
In similar nature THE SMALLS FAMILY strives to pay homage to Biggie’s incomparable language….while refreshing it to a new audience.
This is everything right now…. HILARIOUS!!!!
Holding children responsible for the debt incurred by their parents is a feature of historical feudalism and a few modern third-world shitholes.
Developed countries, by and large, assume that a debt dies with the person who willingly incurred it, or at least stops with his or her estate. “By and large,” I write, because the U.S. government has broken with centuries of tradition holding individuals responsible for their choices, opting to withhold tax refunds from children whose parents incurred vague and often ill-documented obligations to the feds.
A few weeks ago, with no notice, the U.S. government intercepted Mary Grice’s tax refunds from both the IRS and the state of Maryland. Grice had no idea that Uncle Sam had seized her money until some days later, when she got a letter saying that her refund had gone to satisfy an old debt to the government—a very old debt.
When Grice was 4, back in 1960, her father died, leaving her mother with five children to raise. Until the kids turned 18, Sadie Grice got survivor benefits from Social Security to help feed and clothe them.
Now, Social Security claims it overpaid someone in the Grice family—it’s not sure who—in 1977. After 37 years of silence, four years after Sadie Grice died, the government is coming after her daughter. Why the feds chose to take Mary’s money, rather than her surviving siblings’, is a mystery.
Across the nation, hundreds of thousands of taxpayers who are expecting refunds this month are instead getting letters like the one Grice got, informing them that because of a debt they never knew about — often a debt incurred by their parents—the government has confiscated their check.
The new multi-generational debt collection practice required a two-step policy change. One was the elimination of the 10-year statute of limitations on debts to the federal government. The other involves the Social Security Administration insisting that if tiny tots indirectly benefited from public assistance collected by adults decades ago those now-grown ex-tots are responsible for any overpayments the feds may claim.
Multiple employees of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have been caught campaigning for President Barack Obama while on the job in 2012, putting them in violation of federal law.
The Office of Special Counsel (OSC), an independent federal agency, announced it had uncovered three cases of IRS workers violating the Hatch Act of 1939 (pdf), which bars federal employees from engaging in partisan campaign activities.
The illegal activities ranged from employees encouraging callers to vote for Obama to in-person conversations with taxpayers in which Republicans were disparaged.
One IRS staffer allegedly encouraged taxpayers to reelect Obama by “repeatedly reciting a chant based on the spelling of [the president’s] last name,” according to OSC, which filed a complaint with the Merit Systems Protection Board against the customer-service representative. The employee faces “significant disciplinary action,” the watchdog agency said.
Another IRS worker, a tax-advisory specialist, was suspended from work for 14 days after she made critical remarks about Republicans in front of a customer. The employee was quoted as saying: “Republicans already [sic] trying to cap my pension and … they’re trying to take women back 40 years.”
The third case involved multiple workers at an IRS taxpayer-assistance center in Dallas who brought pro-Obama paraphernalia (stickers, buttons, etc.) into work, which violated federal workplace rules.
More serious and extensive violations of federal laws and regulations occurred under President George W. Bush. Prior to the 2006 midterm elections, numerous White House staffers and seven cabinet secretaries violated the Hatch Act by doing campaign work for Republican candidates, OSC reported in 2011. During a six-year period, the White House Office of Political Affairs was used to aid Republicans running for office, with agency officials delivering briefings at government agencies urging “the electoral success of the Republican Party, and possible strategies for achieving it,” according to an OSC report (pdf) on White House political activities in the Bush administration.
In addition, the administration systematically misused federal resources, according to OSC, by having cabinet members travel to congressional districts for “politically motivated” reasons and later declare the trips were official business so the government could pick up the tab. There were more than 100 such trips taken by Bush cabinet members, including the secretaries of the Interior, Transportation, and Veterans Affairs, according to OSC’s three-year investigation.