My brother just emailed me a link from Seattlepi.com that made my stomach turn. Then again, animal cruelty, like all torture, always does, but the abuses in this story are especially egregious. I want those responsible for these atrocities– and those abetting them– to be exposed and for the entire article to be more widely read, so I hope you’ll share:
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — An undercover video that showed California cows struggling to stand as they were prodded to slaughter by forklifts led to the largest meat recall in U.S. history. In Vermont, a video of veal calves skinned alive and tossed like sacks of potatoes ended with the plant’s closure and criminal convictions.
Now in a pushback led by the meat and poultry industries, state legislators across the country are introducing laws making it harder for animal welfare advocates to investigate cruelty and food safety cases.
Some bills make it illegal to take photographs at a farming operation. Others make it a crime for someone such as an animal welfare advocate to lie on an application to get a job at a plant.
Here’s my brother’s comment:
Such “laws” are clearly a corruption of the intent of our legal system. And I wonder why more news organizations haven’t jumped on this story.
Maybe if we spread the word (tweet, post, write letters to the editor), the news media will get the hint. Or maybe their negligence has something to do with ALEC’s influence:
Formal opposition to the California bill comes from the ASPCA, the Teamsters, the HSUS and dozens of others. They say these attempts by the agriculture industry to stop investigations are a part of a nationwide agenda set by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative think tank backed by business interests.
ALEC has labeled those who interfere with animal operations “terrorists,” though a spokesman said he wishes now that the organization had called its legislation the “Freedom to Farm Act” rather than the “Animal and Ecological Terrorism Act.”
You all remember ALEC, right? It’s an organization of state legislators that favors federalism and conservative public policy solutions. They literally write legislation for Republican Congress members, who then do whatever they can to pass it. The Nation:
Of all the Kochs’ investments in right-wing organizations, ALEC provides some of the best returns: it gives the Kochs a way to make their brand of free-market fundamentalism legally binding.
The videos in question were shot, for the most part, by undercover operatives who got hired by the meat processors and who were tenacious and gutsy enough to reveal shockingly gruesome footage of scenes like “a worker standing on a downed dairy cow’s nostrils to suffocate it and others repeatedly shot in the head.”
If that bothers you as much as it bothers me, you’ll feel compelled to get this report around as quickly as possible.
The Denver Post has a story up about Coloardo state Rep. Cheri Gerou (R) who filed an ethics complaint against gun lobbyist Joe Neville. She told Neville to ”(expletive) off” after demanding that he stop “scaring her constituents” by claiming she was going to support four gun bills that she actually voted against.
The gun lobbyist didn’t take too kindly to being told to f*** off and replied, “You just earned yourself another round of mailers in your district.” Of course, he interpreted her anger as an attempt to silence Second Amendment supporters.
Apparently his “another round of mailers” sentence broke a rule that says lobbyists must not influence lawmakers “by means of deceit or threat … or political reprisal.”
Gerou is probably grateful Neville didn’t whip out a Glock instead.
Anyone else sensing a familiar odor reminiscent of ALEC? No, not Baldwin, he probably smells pretty good. I’m referring to another ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council), an organization of state legislators that favors federalism and conservative public policy solutions. They literally write legislation for Republican Congress members, who then do whatever they can to pass it.
Which brings us to Wisconsin, where records made public by the liberal group One Wisconsin Now show that mining officials requested modifications on a bill before it was introduced. And naturally, those modifications would make life easier for themselves, their industry, and their wallets. Because you know how annoying those pesky regulations can be, the ones that provide for people’s, you know, lives and safety.
Once again, under Gov. Scott Walker’s watch, we see all kinds of footsies being played:
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Drafting records show a company looking to open a huge iron mine in far northwestern Wisconsin made suggestions on language in a Republican bill that would streamline Wisconsin’s mining regulations.
Paging Gov. Walker, Koch brothers on line one! Let’s take a trip back in time to 2011: The ALEC-Koch pipeline to Wisconsin Legislators and the Mining Bill:
The Mining Bill released by Assembly Republicans late last week is clearly a case of Legislative patronage to a corporate sponsor– in this case, Gogebic Taconite Mining, LLC. Not surprising, but more disturbing, are the covert links to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), Koch Industries, and closer to home, Hamilton Consulting in Madison.
All three have created an expressway of influence to Wisconsin Legislation for co-opting state resources – creating record profits for themselves (which they will ultimately pay little tax on) and untold burdens on middle class taxpayers and the environment.
Land o’ Goshen, Montana’s getting kind of kinky! Or one of their legislators is, anyway. He’s appears to be into… spanking. Okay, maybe kinky wasn’t the right word. How about misguided? Or just plain nuts?
I mean, come on, flogging is so Les Miz ago.
Memo to GOP: Violence is not the answer. Guns are not the answer. Beating, flogging, spanking, or otherwise harming other human beings: none of these is the answer. Common sense laws are, reasonable punishment is, you get the idea.
The bill proposed by Rep. Jerry O’Neil (R-Columbia Falls) includes the following:
A BILL FOR AN ACT ENTITLED: “AN ACT ALLOWING A DEFENDANT TO BARGAIN FOR THE IMPOSITION OF CORPORAL PUNISHMENT IN LIEU OF OR TO REDUCE THE TERM OF ANY SENTENCE OF INCARCERATION AVAILABLE TO THE COURT FOR IMPOSITION; AMENDING SECTION 46-18-115, MCA; AND PROVIDING AN APPLICABILITY DATE.” BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
NEW SECTION. Section 1. Corporal punishment in lieu of incarceration. (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, a person convicted of any offense by a court in this state, whether a misdemeanor or felony, may during a sentencing hearing as provided in 46-18-115 bargain with the court for the imposition of corporal punishment in lieu of or to reduce the term of any sentence of incarceration available to the court for imposition.
(2) The court and the person convicted of an offense shall negotiate the exact nature of the corporal punishment to be imposed, which must be commensurate with the severity, nature, and degree of the harm caused by the offender. If the court and the offender cannot agree on the exact nature of the corporal punishment to be imposed, the court shall impose a sentence as provided in 46-18-201.
(3) The imposition of a sentence under this section must be carried out by the sheriff of the county in which the crime occurred if the sentence for corporal punishment reduced or eliminated the term of incarceration in the county jail or by the department of corrections if the sentence reduced or eliminated the term of incarceration in the state prison. Any imposition of sentence pursuant to this section must be carried out within a reasonable time.
(4) For purposes of this section, “corporal punishment” means the infliction of physical pain on a defendant to carry out the sentence negotiated between the judge and the defendant.
No, he’s not kidding.
Corporal punishment, according to Merriam-Webster:
Infliction of physical pain upon a person’s body as punishment for a crime or infraction. Such penalties include beating, branding, mutilation, blinding, and the use of the stock and pillory. The term also denotes the physical disciplining of children in the schools and at home. From ancient times through the 18th century, corporal punishment was commonly used in instances that did not call for capital punishment, ostracism, or exile. But the growth of humanitarian ideals during the Enlightenment and afterward led to its gradual abandonment, and today it has been almost entirely replaced in the West by imprisonment or other nonviolent penalties.
H/t: The Lowdown
Keep ripping, RepHankJohnson:
Congressman Hank Johnson, who represents the eastern suburbs of Atlanta in the U.S. House of Representatives, talks about the “American Legislative Exchange Council,” which influences state legislatures to pass pro-corporate legislation, including “Stand Your Ground” laws.
Look at that poor woman. Via and Deanna, @KnittingRad on Twitter. That f’r is actually telling that woman to her face that her child was “viable”. Cannot take this shit anymore.
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