technocracygirl: Cartoon Raven from "Teen Titans" glaring at you from over the top of her book (Default)
I don't know if y'all know, but the FDA recently seized all the cheese at Estrella Family Creamery and warned people to toss any that might still be on the shelves.

Was this justified? In MY OPINION, (and not those of anyone else, especially not the FDA), boy howdy, are they ever. The Washington State Ag Department (WADA) first started investigating them back in February. The WADA and the FDA tested and/or inspected four more times; in all cases either cheese, production areas, or both tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes. The creamery was asked to engage in a voluntary recall. They refused. So on the 21st, Marshals and inspectors went to the creamery and seized all the product.

At this point, I was very sorry for the business owners. It's a small local business. They do raw milk products, which means they're under a microscope, and that sucks. They just had their livelihood yanked out from under them, and that really, really sucks.

So even though I've read the affidavit (linked on that FDA link) and it looks justified to me, I still felt really sorry for these folks, and I was hoping that they'd get their act cleaned up fast and be back in production soon.

Right up until tonight, that is.

Because I read the comments attached to the Seattle Times story about the seizure, which had a repost of something that was originally posted by Kelli Estrella on her blog. I couldn't find a direct link, but according to Bill Marler at his food outbreaks blog, that's because she took it down. The entire post from Kelli Estrada can be found in the comments of that blog, but here's the bit that titled my post:

This is happening to us because we live in a nation that, as a whole, has rejected God's commandments. Check out the 10 commandments found in Deut. 5:6-21 if you don't know them. What part of "Do not kill" do we not understand? Everybody knows in their heart that the unborn are living human beings. Do we think that God doesn't see the carnage? Do we really think that our nation will continue to be blessed if we ignore his laws? I would suggest that if our nation does not repent, we will soon be reduced to losing a whole lot more than special cheeses. We will be like the prodigal son who found himself reduced to eating out of a pig trough.



Please, if you need to, go to the wikipedia link about L. mono that I posted up there. Even better, read the article on listeriosis, which is what you get from L. mono. Listeriosis causes miscarriages, stillbirths, and preterm labor. Listeriosis kills unborn children.

In person, I went on a bit of a four-letter rant after reading that lovely little bit of hypocrisy. But I try to be more polite on something that I can never get back, so here's the politer version.

Lady, if you follow the rules, no one would bother you. The FDA is going after you because listeria kills people and fetuses, more often fetuses. Your cheese is a murder weapon waiting to happen, and you refuse to unload the metaphorical gun. So the FDA and WADA are going to do it for you.

And I say thank G-d for them. Because it could have been my child that you killed. Or my sister's, or my cousin's, or my friend's. You could have killed any number of children. You may have already done so. They're making sure you don't kill any more.
technocracygirl: Martha Jones in a lab coat, leaning over with a stethoscope (science)
I am very angry about people who think that it's okay to kill other people because the other people work for the US Federal Government. I am very angry because one day a nice older man went to work one day and never came home.

I didn't work for the USDA when two federal inspectors and one state inspector were gunned down execution-style because they were official representatives of the government and they wanted to stop a factory owner from breaking the law. But I've been to the memorial garden and I've heard from people who knew the inspectors. They were trying to do their jobs and protect the public. And they were murdered for it.

I didn't work for the federal government in 1995, when a few people decided to strike a blow against their oppressors by blowing up people who were at work. And their kids; don't forget that. Nineteen children died. And another one hundred and forty-nine other people left for work that day and never came home, ninty-nine of whom were federal employees. What were they doing? I don't know. But they were going to work, and trying to serve the public, and they died for it.

I do work for the government now. I don't know that I make a lot of difference, but I know I make some. My job is a little easier to justify than others: I do the scientific tests that show if foods and drugs are safe or are contaminated. It's easy to tell that to people, and (IMO) easy for them to grasp exactly what impact I have on their lives. (Generally beneficial, one hopes.) But that doesn't make me safe. We have guards. We have procedures. We have people making sure that the guy cutting through the parking lot is cutting through to get to his office building from the bus stop, as opposed to stopping in front of our building with a gun.

Vernon Hunter went to work on February 19, 2010. His job was probably one of the most hated in America, but he did it for 15 years. I can't say why he did it, but I think that he wanted to keep serving his country, and this was a way to do it. Vernon Hunter died because his murderer didn't think that there was a person sitting at Mr. Hunter's desk, but that The Other was there. The nameless, faceless, uncaring, unresponsive Federal Bureaucrat. But the murderer was wrong. Vernon Hunter was there. He had a wife. He had four older brothers. He played the bass. He had at least one child, a son. He served in the military for 22 years, including two tours in Vietnam. And he was strong enough to take every single sling and arrow, every nasty look and terrible joke, and be an IRS agent for 15 years.

The federal government is a labyrinthine bureaucracy. But so are most giant corporations. Dealing with the federal government can be annoying and frustrating. Again, so can dealing with most giant corporations. And the people who work for the federal government are pretty much like the people you work with. Average, ordinary people.

They are not nameless. They are not faceless. They are not The Other. And they sure as [bleep] aren't pawns on a gameboard to be knocked over to prove a political point.

F you, murderer. There's a name that we gave to the last people to fly planes into buildings, and it applies to you too. Because that's exactly what you wanted. You wanted to make a point, to show the world that you were right and they were wrong, and you would prove it in blood. And you would make all the other IRS agents wonder, "Is this person going to kill me? What about this one?"

Terrorist. That's what you are, Joe Stack. You're a terrorist. You wanted people to be scared of you. F you. Just...f you.

And just like they did today, and will do tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that, Americans will wake up, and they will go to their duty stations, and their federal buildings, and their rented office areas, and they will do their jobs to serve the American people, Joe Stack. You don't win. Mr. Hunter does.

May Mr. Hunter's family find some peace in the memory of his good name.


technocracygirl: Cartoon Raven from "Teen Titans" glaring at you from over the top of her book (Default)

June 2012

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