The history of congressional discussion of the threat of bioterrorism has always been a bad business. When it’s time to discuss threats and risk management, the only people who get called are generally lobbyists for the bioterror defense business, people who can be counted on to immediately call for more bioterrorism funding, recite various frightful scenarios, and talk about how — under no circumstances — should the United States allow on-site verifications in the Biological Weapons Convention.
This transcript and its bag of bad-faith witnesses, with the sole exception of the Monterey Institute’s Jonathan Tucker, was no different. As usual, the process is almost entirely rigged, allowing for staged recitations and no critical questioning, only more raids on the taxpayer for the benefit of a security industry.
Rather than take it apart piece-by-piece, it’s more illuminating to contrast statements from the various witnesses and politicians with events happening right now in the real world.
“As I said, biological science has led to great advances in addressing our food shortages and [in the development of] famine resistant crops. However, the agriculture sector in our nation’s food supply can be a very enticing targets for acts of bioterrorism.
As our agriculture sector, as I mentioned, is known as the bread basket of the world, it is important to note that any attack on the food supply could have devastating effects for the rest of the world.” — David Scott, D. Georgia
A sudden outbreak of salmonella has prompted a third recall by some of the biggest egg producers in the country in only two weeks. The Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.) has warned that hundreds of millions of eggs may be affected. Ironically, this latest food safety breakdown is happening only a few weeks after new guidelines for egg production were issued by the agency. Now federal health officials say that contamination with salmonella in eggs may be a more serious problem than they had anticipated at the time when the new rules were established …
Consumer advocates and animal rights activists have long pointed to industrialized farming facilities as potential breeding grounds for bacterial contamination of egg-laying hens … — a Seattle newspaper
Democratic leaders on the House Energy and Commerce Committee want more information surrounding the recall of more than half a billion eggs potentially contaminated with salmonella.
In letters to Iowa’s Hillandale Farms and Wright County Egg, Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), chairman of the committee, and Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), who heads the committee’s oversight subpanel, requested a long list of details about the companies’ operations and a response to the contamination.
Among the requested data, the lawmakers want to see “a description of the identity and source of that contamination;” documents “sufficient to show all … internal protocols and standards for monitoring and analysis;” and “all documents relating to any allegation of violation of any health, safety, environmental, or animal cruelty laws.”
Waxman and Stupak have requested the information by Sept. 7.
Earlier this month, both companies launched voluntary recalls of eggs they discovered could be tainted with salmonella. The episode “is the largest egg recall that we’ve had in recent history,” Margaret Hamburg, head of the Food and Drug Administration, said Monday on NBC’s “Today Show.”
No one has died from the contamination, federal health officials have emphasized, but hundreds have fallen ill. — The Hill
Envision 10 terrorists spreading highly weaponized anthrax in ten cities around the world: Nairobi, Warsaw, Tokyo, Mexico City, etc. Assume not a single American is touched by any of these attacks, none of which happen on American soil. Would anyone suggest that we are unharmed?
“If instead, a smallpox pandemic is ignited , killing perhaps millions worldwide, if Americans are effectively immunized, does that mean that we are ok? …
After the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, which displaced 1 million people and came as the U.S. economy continued to crumble, the American Red Cross joined with U.S. cell phone carriers to give Americans the ability to donate a few dollars by sending a simple text message. The campaign raised $31 million within days, generating as much as $200,000 per hour, a relatively small piece of the $2.5 billion that relief groups would raise for Haiti by late March. Some aid groups warned that they were so awash in cash they were incapable of distributing it all.
In August 2010, a similar text message campaign was launched in response to the flooding in Pakistan, which has so far displaced 5 million people and put 13 million, particularly children, at risk of water-borne diseases such as cholera because they lack access to clean drinking water. The United Nations has declared the flooding, which is expected to worsen, already worse than the Haiti earthquake, the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, and the 2005 Kashmir earthquake combined. But the Red Cross’s recent text message effort yielded only $10,000, about 0.03 percent of what it earned for Haiti.
The disappointing campaign has been another in a series of alarming reports from aid groups and even the United Nations that they do not have enough money …
As many in the U.S. have pointed out, the flooding in Pakistan has received light and undramatic TV news coverage relative to Haiti and other humanitarian disasters. The New York Times’ Neil MacFarquhar described the floods as not being as sufficiently “dramatic, emotional, [or] telegenic” as the earthquakes and tsunamis that so opened American wallets. Others have described the floods as a “slow motion” disaster that cannot be effectively conveyed in a single photograph or piece of video — The Atlantic
The worst floods in Pakistan’s history washed out independence day celebrations Saturday, as the U.N. confirmed the waterborne disease cholera has been found in the disaster zone.
U.N. officials confirmed the first case of cholera in Mingora, in the northwestern district of Swat. Other cases of the deadly disease are suspected and aid workers are treating thousands of cases of acute watery diarrhea. — Voice of America
“There was also great concern about [inspections resulting in false positives]; that unlike the nuclear area, unlike the chemical area, the things that biological weapons inspectors would be looking for — you know, an anthrax spore…
These things occur in nature. Highly enriched uranium does not occur in nature. If an inspector goes to a lab and finds highly enriched uranium, there is not a legitimate reason for that … In the biological area, when we are dealing with germs of one type or another, they could be man made or naturally occurring. So the fact that inspectors detect something really does not tell you much.” — Stephen Rademaker, a lawyer/lobbyist for the bioterrorism defense industry, in an argument for prohibiting any inspection regimes for biological weaponry
In December 2001, Fort Detrick was busily engaged in analyzing contaminated mail. And it was during this period that a number of anthrax contaminations occurred at the facility, surprisingly reported by Bruce Ivins. At the time, the contaminations were attributed to minor negligence and complacency.
However, only in hindsight do they apparently point to something greater and one can speculate that this is what contributed to the FBI suspecting Ivins.
An Army report on the contaminations said that Ivins had indeed discovered anthrax contaminations but had not reported them. And he had started doing the unauthorized samplings in December 2001 …
Ivins undertook the disinfection of contaminated surfaces with bleach. And he set about another round of unauthorized samplings, including his office, as late as April 15, 2002.
Col. David L. Hoover, the Army scientist who had prepared the report on contamination at Fort Detrick, could not determine where the anthrax came from …. The Army apparently asked Ivins to explain further unauthorized samplings in April of 2002 …
Of course, perhaps this is all circumstantial … Or maybe it pointed to someone attempting to feverishly cover their tracks. — me, at the Register
It’s Ray Bradbury’s 90th birthday and so the Los Angeles Times and friends are sponsoring a well-earned extended celebration for the famous sci-fi author. Who doesn’t like being called a sci-fi author, apparently.
There are no words to express the outrage Americans would have expressed if the Japanese government had proposed to build a memorial to their fallen soldiers at Pearl Harbor immediately following World War II. We can only hope President Truman would have ordered our military to carpet-bomb and firebomb the Japanese again for being so rude and stupid.
Slice it any way you want, but the Muslim community is being tremendously rude and stupid for wanting to build a mosque so close to Ground Zero in New York City. Instead of using the $100 million for their proposed mosque, I recommend that the Muslims donate the cash to the U.S. military so we can build more smart bombs to kill more radical, voodoo Muslims.
“Not all Muslims are religious whacks who deserve a bullet,” though, the Nuge adds.
By now, it’s obvious Ted Nugent simply cannot write a column that isn’t reprehensible. It’s why the WaTimes opinion page loves him. It gives the newspaper’s editorial art department an opportunity to monster someone in cartoon form twice a week.
So the cant is always standard crazy and depressing Ted. And a machine could have predicted he would recommend we carpet bomb Islam for having such bad manners as to start this mosque affair.
Remarkably, Nugent has spent the entire summer race-baiting and spreading intolerance from the stage and in his columns. And only one journalist — a woman at the Dubuque newspaper — called him on it. In every other interview — he does them all by e-mail — and concert review, Nugent has been passed off as mostly a colorful wacky fellow, an amusing guy, with controversial right-wing views. He has been part of the mainstreaming of ignorance and extremism as the new normals.
Here’s another example of the stenography Nugent gets. Asking him about hunting, the reporter doesn’t bring up Nugent’s latest travail. And Nugent does not take the opportunity to enlighten:
“Hunting, fishing and trapping are the last perfect natural environmental positives available to mankind, and my ultra-intense soulful American music is the soundtrack of defiance against the brain-dead denial of political correctness against my hunting lifestyle.”
The rest is here. But there’s no point in going to it.
While Nugent’s deer-baiting news generated quite a few short stories, not a single sportswriter on the hunting beat in American newspapers chose to call him up mid-tour and quiz him on it.
All the more remarkable because it had been on television as part of his cable show, Spirit of the Wild, in February.
It illuminates another part of Nugent’s career and audience.
I’ve referred to them regularly as bottom-out-of-sighters, a term pulled from Paul Fussell. In the book Class, Fussell described bottom-out-of-sighters as uneducated white people of such shallow pocket, no advertisers were interested in them. They were, he said, those who watched roller derby and old pro-wrestling on Saturday morning. Or people who traded videotaped highlights of the best hockey brawls.
Nugent’s cable TV audience is the same. Hunters knew about Nugent’s screw up in February. It’s how he was caught and prosecuted. But Nugent’s audience is so small and isolated from the rest of the mainstream, an audience so undesirable — the likes of power-drinkers and fans of ultimate fighting or crush video — by the money-makers in mass media, the news didn’t leak out. (Paradoxically, Nugent knew all this was coming down for months. He had time to get ahead of it, to prepare some statement.)
The news didn’t even carry in the outsdoorsman community, which gave Nugent some award for being the most admired celebrity hunter about a month ago. In the real world, this would be like Sports Illustrated honoring Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens for clean lifestyle.
As Nugent has traveled the country and given his e-mail interviews this summer, it’s become obvious that has a standard set of answers — a script for recitation. In interview, he uses the cut-and-paste function of his e-mailer.
He relies on stock phrases and stories, repeating them without variation. He is the soul man. He plays soul music, all his heroes are black. And another of his favored riffs has been on the ‘drooling, puking and dying hippies’ of those olden days.
A form of this appeared in a number of newspapers this summer:
“I give enormous credit to my hunting and outdoor lifestyle for fortifying me to make smart choices in life. Not only was I forbidden to indulge in any substance abuse growing up, but once I witnessed the pathetic, stinky, drooling, puking, dying hippies.”
You see the mainstreamed face of extremism, those who hold the central belief that it’s the others — the lazy poor who will take your money, the enemy within which hates the soldiers, those who don’t pray in public — pitted against all the good people, now in rebellion, who believe in guns and the bible.
Skynyrd’s profile now, beyond the Nugent bottom-out-of-sight casino circuit, is boosted only by classic rock radio oldies programming and the involvement of Fox News, in this case — Sean Hannity.
Ironically, it’s their only leg up in the music world. Although revered by every act on country music television, the industry will never play this Lynyrd Skynyrd. With an eye to building a younger audience, one that likes Taylor Swift and Lady Antebellum way more than Toby Keith, they’re atavistic bad news. (Even despite Van Zant’s hit, “Get Right With the Man,” from a few years back.)
Consider the title of the band’s latest album, “God & Guns.” Besides being one word away from being U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe’s platform since 1994, the song contains the following lines:
“There ain’t nobody safe no more
So you say your prayers and you thank the Lord
For that peace maker in the dresser drawer
God and guns keep us strong
That’s what this country was founded on
Well we might as well give up and run
If we let them take our God and guns.”
It’s a long way from the sentiments expressed in the band’s 1975 song, “Saturday Night Special,” which includes the lines “Hand guns are made for killin’/Ain’t no good for nothin’ else.”
A little more than the reporter lets on.
Most of Lynyrd Skynyrd is long dead.
Half of the band was wiped out in the famous plane crash of 1977, one which ended its recording career. Almost all the rest — gone from hard-living and the disease and misadventure associated with it since. The only surviving member actually in the band now is guitarist Gary Rossington.
One could make a discussion about how this band’s writing differs from the subtlety of “Sweet Home Alabama” and the mythology that evolved from the song over the years:
“In Birmingham they love the governor/Boo boo boo”
But it’s probably more logical to attribute the loss in intellect and spirit to the fact that 90 percent of the act is dead. And now they do what they can do for the Nugent circuit. Boo boo boo.
Like so many others, it’s quite something to make the mass delusion — “they’re gonna take my guns and my bible” — your defining world view as well as the backbone of a record by a band with a famous name.
Mass delusion, in fact, may be a little too mild a term.
Shared psychosis is more accurate, a sickness built on group fear in a hard time, nourished and stimulated by cynical and very real villainy, Fox News’ broadcast of barely veiled intolerance, always directed at the others. It’s a search for scapegoats and backstabbers. You’ve tuned into Glenn Beck and one day he’s jabbering about the Weimar Republic and how a video snip of Liza Minelli in Cabaret is sexually decadent, the next — how the country was founded to be a theocracy and that this has been expunged from history books.
It may be cause for alarm in other western nations. Observers can’t help but see that a noticeable portion of the country appears incapable of rational thought, unreachable through reasoned argument.
Ignorance and Fox News alone, for example, do not precisely explain why one in five people believe the president is Muslim, today’s big news.
What’s certain is that this won’t turn around anytime soon. The old journalist structures left in the mainstream media aren’t up to the task. To them, the one-in-five story is just another news item, one to be leavened with a paragraph saying the president does go to church and pray. (Or worse, finding a semi-egghead in 30 minutes to provide a few quotes for something that takes on an air of refinement and reason, blithely putting most of it away to human nature.)
You think the Skynyrd 2.0 or 3.0 guys believe what they read in newspapers? Rhetorical question.
Those who pay attention to these things may have noticed that a good number of modern country artists scurry sub rosa to Fox News when presented with the opportunity. For example, the musically apolitical Trace Adkins — his new album, Cowboy’s Back in Town, is actually quite good — is the latest example.
Another mental inconsistency in the white man’s country music is how so many of the manly guy artists make a big deal out of supporting the troops. They do it in song. They blabber it in interview. God bless ‘em, they even play overseas and publicize it as much as they can. But for all the public devotion to the honor of service, not one single man among them, strapping men of action as they are portrayed by Nashville, took the example of Pat Tillman and ran with it.
DD has it figured this way: It’s overcompensation. As committed as they are to the mythology of their music and reverence to Uncle Sam, they’re subconsciously feeling guilty as hell over not stepping up to be in the war. So they feel they can work it off with penance.
It’s a mark of the stupid times we live in when Ted Nugent is forced into a statement of regret, not for regularly cursing the president and over half the country on a regular basis, but for the bad publicity over misdemeanor charges from screwing up at one of his greatest loves — hunting.
Charges that the strict law-and-order throw-the-book-at-em man had his lawyers plead downward.
And no, I’m not smirking. It’s too sad and pathetic.
Rocker and celebrity hunter Ted Nugent is facing a $1,750 fine after pleading no contest in Northern California to baiting a deer and not having a properly signed hunting tag.
California Department of Fish and Game spokesman Patrick Foy said game wardens saw Nugent kill an immature buck on a February episode of his Outdoor Channel TV show “Spirit of the Wild.”
Investigators found that the deer had been eating bait called “C’mere Deer.” Baiting wildlife is illegal in California.
Nugent originally faced 11 charges, including killing a deer too young to be hunted. In a deal with Yuba County prosecutors, attorney Jack Kopp entered no contest pleas Friday to the two misdemeanors on behalf of Nugent, who did not appear in court.
A Nugent spokeswoman did not immediately return messages left late Tuesday.
Actually, Ted’s been silent about this since televising it almost half a year ago.
When not in superhero costume, these men, like Iron Man, exploit women, flaunt bling, and convey their manhood with high-powered guns.
Well — not precisely. It’s repulsors and fists. At least in the comic book that was my favorite, now decades past.
Tony Stark was a pretty good man. And Marvel gave him a drinking problem.
He was a standard good guy, fighting bad guys — many of them ludicrous — like the Mandarin.
And there was a departure into Cold War rivalry, Iron Man in an extended story battling the Titanium Man, the Soviet Union’s much bigger, stronger, clumsier and more stupid fellow in an armor suit.
Stark constantly battled tragedy in his personal and business life, like most Marvel heroes. But he was always left with hope and he always had a heart.
Robert Downey did a fairly good job, along with the movie scripts, in getting at least half the essence of that. He plays Stark as more self-centered and narcissistic than he was in the early comic book. But he still throws himself into harm’s way for his friends and people on the street without a moment of hesitation.
Worse, it is said:
Boys are told, ‘if you can’t be a superhero, you can always be a slacker.’ Slackers are funny, but slackers are not what boys should strive to be; slackers don’t like school and they shirk responsibility. We wonder if the messages boys get about saving face through glorified slacking could be affecting their performance in school.
Given what everyone sees they’re facing as a future in this country, being slack is a natural, even logical, response. We can’t all be Elon Musk. And, face it, there are already way too many Elons for the maintenance of good national mental health.
So, good heavens, don’t shirk responsibility. Be a young lickspittle now. Put your nose to the grindstone in school and march resolutely and with great vigor toward your multiple minimum wage job future. You may not even be able to afford a decent comic book.
If you are a soulless bloodsucker and actually like Fedzilla in all its glowing inefficiency, then you ought to feed the beast with your tax dollars and not expect others to pay your fair share. If not, do America a favor and set sail for Cuba where you can join other commies on their commie colony of hopeless dependency.
Words from man, again emphasizing soul, his surplus of it and the deficiency of same in bloodsucking enemies.
A brief aside: Have you noticed how Nugent adopts little verbal tics like General Jack Ripper in Dr. Strangelove?
With Ripper it was fluoridation as a commie plot, sapping and impurifying his precious bodily fluids.
With Nugent, his vitality is sapped by soulless bloodsuckers.
In Strangelove, Ripper told Mandrake women naturally craved his sexual essence, which he denied to them.
As for Nugent, he believes women crave him, too. And while he did not formerly deny them, now that he rapturously praises his spouse, and given that he has been caught in poor situations more than once, he may be more circumspect.
Over the weekend, the California news of Nugent’s fine lit up a few hunting boards. One example is here at ArcheryTalk.
However, more interesting was talk from when Nugent had actually broadcast the bag on his cable show in February.
Looks like the Internet is lighting up with criticism of him and the episode. I suggest the vocal Nugent-Nazi’s criticizing me here for pointing out the obvious, ought to watch the show first. The other forums don’t seem to have unleashed any Nugent loyal attack-dogs.
“Last night I watched Ted Nugent hunting blacktails in California. I hate to be negative about someone who stands up for hunters and gun owners but that show really rubbed me the wrong way. First,he takes a broadside shot at a spike and hits it in the neck. It could happen to anyone but he proclaims it was a heart shot and that the buck was mature. Either later that day or the next day,he shoots a huge blactail square in the hindquarter. The buck was walking away at a fairly steep angle when he shot.Just a stupid shot to take in my book. To make matter worse,he gut shoots another buck at 20 yards but manages to get another arrow in the deer as it’s standing 40 yards away. Unfortunately,that arrow hits the deer just above the back legs.”
The other forums are about 99% critical of him and the episode. Guess they watched the show first.
We all make bad shots on occasion, but he made four and should have never aired it. Shooting a buck in the arse while it’s walking away, another in front of the shoulder, the other in the lower gut, then the rear leg, while surrounded by houses, and arguing with the neighbor to go retrieve the deer, then airing it all on TV will do a lot of harm to our sport.
To see someone come in and take a “sitting duck” out of someone’s backyard garden does nothing to excite me… might as well go to the butcher shop IMHO.
I thought it was a spike he shot as well. If you listen to what he says, he calls it a forked horn. I went through it frame by frame and thought it may have been a tiny fork on the deer’s left antler. Sure didn’t look like it though and only found a couple frames where it looked like there MIGHT be a fork. Don’t know why he would call it a fork if it wasn’t and why he would put it on TV if it was illegal. Who knows though?
Ted is a great entertainer but by no means a great hunter. He is a great proponent of gun and hunting rights and freedom. I saw the episode and was embarrassed for Ted. I like the fact that he shows his mistakes and love the way he is as excited as a kid getting his first deer no matter how big or how easy or hard it was. That is what hunting is about. I’m sure Ted would say anyone who does not like the fact that he shoots over bait when it is legal can KMA. I think hunters should all hunt legally and not help anti-hunters by wanting more laws against things like baiting and high fences or anything else other than good conservation and the best use of animals as a renewable resource. And for sure do not condemn people for shooting backyard bucks or missing shots.
Lede from a review of a California casino gig, in the Palm Desert Sun, over the weekend:
Let’s get one thing straight: If you go to a Ted Nugent you’d better be prepared to ingest a strong dose of his political proclivities.
He gave a good idea of his ideology with the stage set — a bank of 20 humongus amps (that he purposely overdrove so that everything sounded a bit distorted all night) decorated with an M-16 sniper rifle, a 50-caliber machine gun, giant hand grenade, a couple of buffalo skulls and a caricature Uncle Ted, dual machine guns blazing, plowing down the likes of Michael Moore, Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi, along with Osama bin Ladin and Adolf Hitler, in an Abrams tank.