Friday’s Forum

FILED UNDER: Open Forum
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Teve says:

    TRUMP’S INNER CIRCLE IS REPORTEDLY SOILING ITSELF AT THE LIKELIHOOD OF CRIMINAL CHARGES, AS IT SHOULD BE

    As you‘ve no doubt heard by now, on Tuesday, The Washington Post broke the news that the Manhattan district attorney has convened a grand jury to hear evidence against Donald Trump. According to legal experts, this is a major development in Cyrus Vance Jr.’s criminal investigation; as former assistant district attorney Rebecca Roiphe told the Post, it’s unlikely that Vance’s office would have taken such a step without believing it can prove Trump, the Trump Organization, or a Trump Organization executive committed a crime. “The prosecutors are convinced they have a case,” Roiphe said. “That’s at least how I read it.” As former U.S. attorney Preet Bharara told CNN, “It’s significant…they must have come across some evidence as to somebody’s state of mind. That the misconduct they were investigating does not seem to be the product of negligence or recklessness or mistake but intentional criminality.” And as a result, people surrounding the ex-president are said to be more than a little freaked out, as they probably should be!

    According to Politico Playbook, which spoke to members of “Trump world” after the news came out, “There’s definitely a cloud of nerves in the air.” One adviser told the outlet that while Trump is no stranger to legal issues, this situation feels different, in part because prosecutors are pressuring Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg, who’s described himself as Trump’s “eyes and ears” at the company, to flip. “I think the Weisselberg involvement and the wild card of that makes the particular situation more real, because there’s no sort of fluff and made-up fictional circumstances around the guy,” an adviser told Politico. “The fact that they’re dealing with a numbers guy who just has plain details makes people more nervous. This is not a Michael Cohen situation.”

    According to Politico legal affairs contributor Josh Gerstein, the grand jury “is expected to go beyond assembling records by hearing live testimony from various witnesses—which will give prosecutors an opportunity to present a narrative that could persuade jurors to return an indictment in the coming months. Coupled with [New York] Attorney General Letitia James’s recent decision to team up with Vance and Vance’s hiring of veteran mafia prosecutor Mark Pomerantz, the move to a new grand jury suggests a steady progression towards criminal charges against some person or company in the Trump orbit.”

    Of course, despite the fact that Trump may very well be privately shitting himself over the news, his public response was a typical meltdown and rehashing of things he’s said in the past—namely, that all of this is a “witch hunt” and that he’s a saint beloved the world over. In a statement, he wrote, or more likely dictated to some poor scribe: “This is a continuation of the greatest Witch Hunt in American history. It began the day I came down the escalator in Trump Tower, and it’s never stopped…. This is purely political, and an affront to the almost 75 million voters who supported me in the Presidential Election, and it’s being driven by highly partisan Democrat prosecutors. New York City and State are suffering the highest crime rates in their history, and instead of going after murderers, drug dealers, human traffickers, and others, they come after Donald Trump. Interesting that today a poll came out indicating I’m far in the lead for the Republican Presidential Primary and the General Election in 2024.”

    As for Trump’s actual political aspirations, he will undoubtedly tease another White House run until the very last second before making an actual announcement, though aides have claimed to Politico that “he’s missing being president terribly,” and supposedly gets angry when people question if he’s serious about running again. He’s also inserted himself in the 2022 midterm elections, despite the fact that his endorsements are actually the kiss of death. Per Politico:

    A bit more at the link.

    1
  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: Vance’s hiring of veteran mafia prosecutor Mark Pomerantz,

    This part makes me wonder if they are looking into the Russian money laundering angle.

    3
  3. CSK says:

    @Teve:
    Well, I suppose being tried on racketeering, money laundering, and various other charges might put a crimp in one’s presidential aspirations.

    2
  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Arizona is so desperate to get their kill on, they’ve decided to use Zyklon B in their “refurbished” gas chamber.

    2
  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: I can’t wait for trump to run his campaign from Cell Block D-23.

    1
  6. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Maybe, like James Michael Curley, he thinks he can occupy elected office while occupying a prison cell.

    4
  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Amazon’s mental health kiosk mocked on social media as a ‘Despair Closet’

    Amazon was lampooned on social media Thursday after sharing a video highlighting “AmaZen”, a small enclosed booth installed in an Amazon warehouse where employees can go to “focus on their mental wellbeing”.

    The human-sized box has an interactive kiosk inside, where workers can watch videos about “mental health” and “mindfulness practices”. Critics of the company, which has come under fire in the past for not allowing workers sufficient bathroom breaks, putting them in danger of frequent injury, and forcing them to spend hours on foot, said the company’s money would be better spent supporting its labor force.

    Alex Press
    @alexnpress

    the AmaZen “ZenBooth” is here! a Porta Potty would be more useful to its intensely exploited and surveilled workers but I appreciate Amazon’s commitment to the bit https://twitter.com/amazonnews/status/1397592570528735236

    These guys are a caricature of Scrooge.

    1
  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: I wonder what Secret Service protection is going to look like.

    1
  9. Teve says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: according to some dude on Pod Save America, technically there’s nothing that would stop one from being president from a jail cell.

    1
  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: Yeah, I read about that. My reaction was “What about voters?”

    1
  11. CSK says:
  12. CSK says:

    The interior looks like a cross between an airport departure lounge and a dental clinic. The less said about the exterior, the better.

    http://www.nypost.com/2021/05/27/darth-vader-house-in-houston-on-market-for-4-3-million/

    No, thanks.

    3
  13. Teve says:

    @CSK: I think this was the year I officially got Old because I started checking out Better Homes & Gardens from the library. Man, the interior of that house is heinous. That place should be burned to the ground, and the rubble thrown into Lake Baikal.

    1
  14. Teve says:
  15. Teve says:

    Despite little evidence of fraud, Wisconsin Republican leader hires retired police to probe 2020 election

    By
    Katie Shepherd
    May 27, 2021 at 2:24 a.m. EDT

    A top Republican lawmaker in Wisconsin announced Wednesday that he is hiring retired police officers and an attorney to investigate the November election, joining GOP leaders in several states who have continued to probe election results months after President Biden took office under the cloud of unfounded claims of voter fraud.
    Rep. Robin Vos, Wisconsin’s state assembly speaker, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the investigators would spend three months probing tips about election problems or voter fraud and pursuing the most credible ones.

    “A sizable chunk of people believe the election was illegitimate,” Vos told the Journal Sentinel. “And democracy cannot flourish if both sides don’t believe in the end both sides had a fair shot.”
    Yet Vos also acknowledged that Biden won his race in Wisconsin and said he does not anticipate the taxpayer-funded inquiry will lead to changes in the election results. His office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Washington Post on Wednesday evening.

    Earlier this week, the state’s Elections Commission released a report identifying fewer than three dozen possible cases of fraud among the 3.3 million ballots cast in the 2020 presidential election.
    The Wisconsin Democratic Party accused Vos of wasting money to investigate baseless claims.
    “Wisconsin Republicans won’t fund healthcare, schools, or infrastructure … but they will authorize unlimited funds to desperately prove conspiracy theories about the 2020 election,” the party said in a tweet late Wednesday.

    1
  16. CSK says:

    @Teve:
    Welcome to middle age. Yes, that dwelling is an abomination.
    @Teve:
    Enough already. By which I mean enough already with this fraud bullshit. Speaking of that, two guys got bounced out of a Yankees game for hosting a giant “TRUMP WON” banner in the stadium.

  17. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The trendy “farm to door” meat purveyor Belcampo has admitted to misrepresenting the origin of meats sold at a store in Santa Monica, after an employee posted an Instagram video that charged the company’s products were not all they claimed to be.

    The San Francisco Bay Area-born company is well known for its high-end butcher shops, where organic beef and other meats can sell for over $30 a pound. It’s website promises that its meat comes from vetted partner farms – “meat you can trust start to finish” – and says it tracks its animals “from birth to butchery to your plate”.

    But the company found itself in hot water earlier this week after a former employee of the Santa Monica Belcampo store, who identified himself only as Evan, posted what he claimed were photos of a plastic-wrapped roast from an Australian meat company, boxes of supermarket-brand chicken and a freezer-style turkey, taken in what appeared to be the backroom of a company store.

    “This company claims to be selling meat from their farm. It’s not true,” he said. “The filet you’re buying for $47.99 is from Tasmania. Don’t let these people take your money.”

    “I apologize to all the customers that I lied to for the past 2 and a half years in order to keep my job,” he said.

    What part of $30+ a pound doesn’t scream “ripoff”?

    2
  18. CSK says:
  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Linky no Worky.

  20. Mikey says:
  21. Mu Yixiao says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    What part of $30+ a pound doesn’t scream “ripoff”?

    The meat department at the local store sells organic boneless/skinless chicken breasts for $12/lb (given recent prices, I’m betting that they’ll be even more this summer). The FIBs buy them all the time–even though the “Amish” chicken is in the next slot for $3.50/lb.

    I used to refer to it as “gold-plated chicken”.

  22. Jon says:

    @Mikey: Heh, they misspelled ‘necessary’ in the 2nd one. Looks like somebody thought it was spelled wrong in the first one and ‘fixed’ it. That feels way to close to something I would do.

  23. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mikey: Thanx.

    @Mu Yixiao: Organic feed is insanely expensive. If I could afford it, I’d use it. Hopefully someday fairly soon it will become common enough that the price becomes reasonable. Until then, I give my birds good high quality feed and plenty of room to roam.

  24. CSK says:

    @Jon:
    Ha! I couldn’t figure out what the problem was with my link. You did. Thanks.

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Because I can spell, apparently.

    1
  25. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mikey:

    “The Second Amendment is about maintaining, within the citizenry, the ability to maintain an armed rebellion against the government if that becomes necessary.”

    Hey Matt? Art III Sec 3: Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.

    That pesky constitution thingy you swore to defend kinda disagrees with you. Maybe you should read it sometime.

    5
  26. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: You pointy headed elitist.

    1
  27. Jon says:

    @CSK: I’d bet your link was correct (at first), unless you manually typed the whole URL out rather than copy/paste. I assumed somebody at DB looked at the headline and thought it was misspelled so tried to fix it, resulting in the URL also getting changed.

    1
  28. grumpy realist says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Our local grocery store sells something that is labeled “organic maple syrup” (and the branding company is very proud of it.)

    I’m still scratching my head over how in the heck you get NON-organic maple syrup….

    2
  29. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    I’m proud to be a pointy-headed elitist.

  30. Joe says:

    @grumpy realist: Same place you get non-gluten free water.

    1
  31. Mikey says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Gaetz’ reading of the 2nd Amendment is historically and textually ignorant. Still, it’s pretty common among the American right, who have given up trying to interpret the meaning of the amendment’s first half and are simply pretending it doesn’t exist at all.

    1
  32. CSK says:

    The title says it all:
    “Trump isn’t ‘the former guy.’ We’re stuck with him.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2021/05/26/trump-biden-mccarthy-greene/

    @Mikey:
    Thanks for providing the proper link.

  33. Mu Yixiao says:

    @grumpy realist:

    I’m still scratching my head over how in the heck you get NON-organic maple syrup….

    I can do you one better. The woman who runs the garden dept at the hardware store says she gets people coming in asking for “organic manure”.

    We’ve got a running joke now. If we see each other in the store we’ll ask about “free range lumber” and “gluten free salt”, etc.

    2
  34. CSK says:

    @grumpy realist:
    No pesticides or chemicals are used on the maple trees.

    3
  35. OzarkHillbilly says:

    .@Mikey: it’s pretty common among the American right,

    Yep, and it pisses me off.

    @CSK: Only a pointy headed elitist would be proud of being a pointy headed elitist speller.

  36. Kathy says:

    @Teve:

    I’ll still wait for the perp walk. No one ever saw perps walk, you know. many people say that.

  37. Mikey says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    “free range lumber”

    https://youtu.be/9D_x-oUjClE

  38. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    One of the keys to passing the legislation for the 9/11 Commission was to not let Al Qaeda vote on it.

    8
  39. Stormy Dragon says:

    @grumpy realist:

    I’m still scratching my head over how in the heck you get NON-organic maple syrup….

    By mixing it with corn syrup and a ton of chemicals so that’s it’s really maple flavored vegetable oil but still allowed to fraudulently sold as maple syrup because of the way the regulations are written.

    But yeah, laugh at the people who just want to make sure they’re actually getting what they’re paying for.

    2
  40. Stormy Dragon says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    What part of $30+ a pound doesn’t scream “ripoff”?

    When I buy animal products, I want the animal to have been raised humanely and led a decent life, which turns out to be way more expensive than buying a chicken that was basically kept in a shoebox it’s entire miserable existence.

    But again, I supposed that if like most people you’re fine with torturing animals as long as the people doing it are willing to hide the details of it from you, it’s easy to laugh at the people who care and try to do something about it.

    1
  41. KM says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    For these sorts of folks, “organic” has come to mean a new type of kosher-like status “non-tainted by scary chemical names, verified by the ritual of my preference”. These people have been trained to be believe all chemicals are bad and the source of all the world’s health problems and have zero idea what those things actually are. They refuse to accept that all matter is made up of chemicals and treat them like magical ingredients that can offer stat boosts or debuffs on command. There’s likely a distinction between fertilizer (toxic, artificial explosive crap full of things like PHOSPHATES OMG) and manure (“natural” result of a “natural” diet) in their minds and the question was really “did the cow that pooped this out ever have hormones given to them?” like that’s going to give their peppers early puberty or something.

    That being said, being the smartass that I am I’d have directed those people to the restrooms but told them availability is limited to first come, first serve. 🙂

    @grumpy realist:
    Its easy to get non-organic maple syrup in their eyes. Was the tree or ground it grew in exposed to pesticides or “chemicals” at any point in it’s life? Boom – “tainted” syrup that’s non-organic. Remember, “organic” is a purity pony thing, not a logical state of being.

    4
  42. Mu Yixiao says:

    {sigh}

    Ohio lawmakers want to abolish vaccine requirements—all vaccine requirements

    The bill would let people off the hook for vaccine requirements set by virtually any entity. The bill lists them, naming: individuals, businesses (like day cares), corporations, trusts, business trusts, estates, associations, partnerships, cities, counties, townships, municipal corporations, school districts, health districts, a city’s health board, any public official, public offices, or any state agency (defined as any institution or organization that receives any support from the state).

  43. MarkedMan says:

    @grumpy realist: Organic, fine, but does it come from cage-free trees?

    1
  44. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    We’re a vanishing breed. We must be protected and cherished.

  45. Mu Yixiao says:

    @KM:

    did the cow that pooped this out ever have hormones given to them?

    That’s against federal law–which they would know if they actually had any information on how animals are raised. Though… I also cringe at the packages that proclaim boldly “No hormones!”*

    ====

    {tiny print at the bottom} *Federal law prohibits the use of hormones in beef/pork/chicken/etc.

  46. Stormy Dragon says:

    @KM:

    (toxic, artificial explosive crap full of things like PHOSPHATES OMG)

    The problem isn’t the phosphates itself, it’s that phosphates are produced by mining rocks that also contain huge amounts of cadmium, lead, and uranium, which the mining companies tend to just leave sitting around in giant piles where they leach into drinking water supplies. The Trump administration even repealed the regulation against dumping mine waste, so right now they can throw it directly into our rivers and streams.

    In a just world, the government would be stopping companies from doing stuff like this, but since they don’t people have to go to crazy lengths to avoid being complicit in things they don’t think should be happening.

    But again, it’s easier to laugh at them and just go along with it as long as you can pretend it’s not happening.

    2
  47. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Stormy Dragon: I raise my own chickens, both layers and meat birds. They are happy, healthy, well fed hormone free, antibiotic free, free range chickens. I buy my pork from a friend. He raises happy, healthy, well fed, hormone free, antibiotic free, free range pork.

    While it certainly costs more than the $1.98 a pound CAFO mush one buys at Walmart, I can assure you, none of it costs anywhere near $30 a pound. If that is what you are spending, you are getting ripped off. But if it makes you feel superior to people who actually know what the fuck they are talking about than maybe it is worth it.

    5
  48. KM says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    There’s a difference between someone genuinely concerned about problem issues like mercury in fish vs someone who’s fretting over vegan water being really vegan because it might have oxygen an animal may have used (yes, that’s a thing).

    If you are the former, I completely understand why you might get tetchy being lumped in with the latter. However, you cannot deny there are idiots out there who have ZERO idea about what they are asking for and only want it because they were convinced it was good or trendy.

    Working in customer service, you get a lot more of them because savvy, informed customers will do their research and know what to look for while the idiots loudly ask people if the free-range chickens were raised in cages. If you are worried about the purity of your maple syrup, you’re not bothering the stocker who has no damn idea what you’re talking about but reading the labels or already know what brands to avoid. We’re talking about those who read something on the internet and decided to make it some poor worker’s problem by asking them if tabbouleh makes you warlike or if this is the same chemical listed in the pasta ingredients is the one that’s in yoga mats (probably, doesn’t mean it’s toxic or unnatural though).

    4
  49. Stormy Dragon says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I’m not spending near that much. I’m just pointing out WHY people are willing to spend that much. People are getting taken advantage of by agriculture producers and some people trying to avoid that are getting taken advantage of in a different way. But it seems weird that the target of your derision is the people trying to do their best with the partial information they have and not the people committing the fraud.

    2
  50. Kathy says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    You wish!

    Most “maple syrup” sold has never been within a hundred miles of a maple tree.

  51. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Basically, there’s a huge market failure created by the degree to which the US lets corporations openly get away with defrauding their customers and the self-help consumers have resorted to in order to avoid that is driving people crazy.

    3
  52. CSK says:

    @Joe:
    I always enjoy it when I see a sign over the apples or grapes or lettuce proclaiming that the produce is “gluten-free.”

    2
  53. gVOR08 says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Years ago somebody marketed cholesterol free beer. When someone pointed out to their marketing guy that no beer has cholesterol, the guy didn’t miss a beat – that’s right, and ours doesn’t either.

  54. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    It’s pretty easy to buy the real thing here in New England. It’s not cheap, though, even direct from the producer. You have to boil down 40 gallons of maple sap to get one gallon of syrup.

  55. Stormy Dragon says:

    @gVOR08:

    A lot of mass market beer did actually have small amounts of cholesterol in it at one time because industrial brewers used various animal products as clarifying agents during the production process. You are correct that they’re almost all cholesterol free now though–because they use plastic (specifically powdered PVPP) as a clarifying agent instead.

  56. DrDaveT says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Organic feed is insanely expensive. If I could afford it, I’d use it.

    Serious question: why?

    Since there’s no such thing as inorganic chicken feed — they can’t eat rocks — I assume you mean “organic”, as in certified “organic” according to current packaging laws. As best I can tell, that label indicates little more than egregious regulatory capture by a specific cartel of producers. It’s possible to be crappy feed and qualify as “organic”, and it’s possible to be fantastic feed and not qualify as “organic”. Ditto for human food.

    Am I missing something?

    3
  57. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Kathy:

    Most “maple syrup” sold has never been within a hundred miles of a maple tree.

    We’re fortunate around here. We have large maple forests up north, and we make real, 100% maple syrup. And it’s not that expensive, either.

    When I was young, we’d go up north every spring to visit a friend of the family. On the way home, Dad would keep an eye out for smoke in the woods. He’d drive in–making us stay in the car in case it was moonshiners, not maple syrupers–and ask to buy directly from the still. We’d get a big 2-gallon jug. MMmmmmmmmm!

  58. DrDaveT says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    We’ve got a running joke now. If we see each other in the store we’ll ask about “free range lumber” and “gluten free salt”, etc.

    The flip side is that you can actually buy something labeled “organic salt”. I can assure you, if your salt is not 100% inorganic, you really don’t want to be eating it.

    3
  59. Kathy says:

    @gVOR08:

    We’ve been asked for cholesterol-free vegetable oil.

    But that pales in comparison to “sodium free table salt.” they meant sodium free table salt substitute, naturally.

    The absolute worst was one who wanted the fish to come from a federally certified slaughterhouse.

    1
  60. DrDaveT says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    “free range lumber”

    @Mikey went for the mustering of the Ents, but my mind flashed to “‘Til Burnham Wood to Dunsinane is come…”

  61. DrDaveT says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    But yeah, laugh at the people who just want to make sure they’re actually getting what they’re paying for.

    But that’s not what “organic” means here. The word that tells you that you are buying maple syrup and not corn syrup is “pure”. If your Mrs. Butterworth is made with “organic” corn syrup, they can call it “organic” and not be breaking the law.

  62. DrDaveT says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    But again, it’s easier to laugh at them and just go along with it as long as you can pretend it’s not happening.

    You’re missing the point. The point is that the definition of “organic” that has made its way into law does nothing to mitigate the problems you are talking about. Indeed, it actually harms efforts to improve the situation by making it look as if something effective has already been done.

    Yes, people should absolutely care about what’s in their food. No, asking whether it’s “organic” is not an effective way of doing that.

    1
  63. Stormy Dragon says:

    @DrDaveT:

    But that’s not what “organic” means here.

    Yeah, I agree a lot of time “organic” is a square peg that’s being forced into a lot of round holes by consumers because it’s the closest thing the market offers to what they actually want. But again, that’s a problem with the market, not with the consumers.

    1
  64. Mu Yixiao says:

    @DrDaveT:

    @Mikey went for the mustering of the Ents, but my mind flashed to “‘Til Burnham Wood to Dunsinane is come…”

    Oddly enough, Birnamwood is where we would get our maple syrup. 😀

    1
  65. CSK says:

    @DrDaveT:
    Birnam Wood today–or at least as of 2017–consists of exactly two trees: the Birnam Oak, and the Birnam Sycamore. The oak is over 500 years old.

  66. inhumans99 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Someone may have already brought this up this morning, but I wonder how long it will take someone to scratch out the Amazen name on the booth and replace it with Suicide Booth, and if the workers are extra-creative they can attach a coin deposit slot where you can insert a quarter.

    Anyone who watched Futurama will appreciate that.

    1
  67. Mu Yixiao says:

    More Individualism Means More Altruism

    The United States scores highest on individualism, followed by Australia, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and New Zealand.

    “The United States of America is the world’s most generous country over the last 10 years,” the 2019 report notes. Others in the top 10 include are Myanmar, New Zealand, Ireland, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Canada.

    3
  68. just nutha says:

    @CSK: Certainly not to my taste–although I could live in a walk-in closet (and lived in places not much larger)–but I can see the appeal to people who like open-space concept architecture and a “cool colors” palate.

  69. just nutha says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Conspicuous consumption. It’s not just for the Uber riche anymore.

  70. grumpy realist says:

    @Stormy Dragon: I’m from Upstate New York. We used to regularly make 2+ gallons of maple syrup each year boiling down sap from our own trees.

    I know what real maple syrup is. ALL “100% natural maple syrup” consists of sap boiled down from maple trees. By the time a tree gets large enough to be able to be tapped, it’s old enough that there is no bloody way you can truthfully “certify” the tree was never exposed to those horrible chemicals in its life, or was completely grown in organic soil, or all of the other requirements in order to make a food product “organic.”

    “organic” maple syrup is a scam. You’re not getting anything more than you would with ordinary maple syrup.

    And as for that stuff made with flavouring and HFCS, that’s not “maple syrup” and should not be labeled as such. “Imitation maple syrup” is what I’ve seen it labeled as.

    1
  71. just nutha says:

    @grumpy realist: By using chemical fertilizer/pesticides/fungicides/whatnot on the groves or by watering them using irrigation system water are two ways that come to mind just off the top of my head.

  72. just nutha says:

    @Mikey: For what it’s worth, almost no lumber in the PNW comes from forests that haven’t been/aren’t being managed/reforested by human effort.

  73. just nutha says:

    @Stormy Dragon: That’s certainly another way to do it, true enough.

  74. Kathy says:

    Confession time. I’ve used both natural vanilla extract, made from actual vanilla beans, and artificial vanilla flavoring in a variety of recipes, mostly deserts*, and I can’t claim with any honesty I sensed any difference in the end result.

    *Sometimes I use it in my attempts at mocha. I see no difference there either.

  75. CSK says:

    @just nutha:
    The exterior is a trifle off-putting, don’t you think?

  76. Christine says:

    @grumpy realist: I do food labeling for a major CPG company. The first rule is ‘is the label truthful?’ We adhere to the letter of the law. Yes we get asked to make all kinds of claims. I see so many prices misbranded – simply because it’s a small manufacturer. No money in going after them but my company faces litigation for things you would not believe (or maybe you all would seeing this community has a large % of lawyers). 21 CFR contains the standards of identity for FDA foods; 9 CFR for USDA foods. Maple syrup can be found at 21 CFR 168.140 if interested. Easy google search.

    1
  77. Christine says:

    @Christine: *products not prices.

  78. Christine says:

    @grumpy realist: Imitation means it is nutritionally inferior to the standard.

  79. just nutha says:

    @grumpy realist: I find that products labeled “pancake and waffle syrup” come closest to the predominantly brown sugar-flavored syrup that I prefer having grown up in a relentlessly blue collar family where the only maple sugar we ever encountered was in the 3 or 4 small maple sugar candies I got for Christmas (corn allergy, no conventional candy allowed–except chocolate).

    1
  80. Scott says:

    @Kathy: According to America’s Test Kitchens, they couldn’t either especially in baked goods.

    https://www.americastestkitchen.com/taste_tests/1924-vanilla

    1
  81. wr says:

    @KM: “Remember, “organic” is a purity pony thing, not a logical state of being.”

    Wow. Your contempt for anyone who doesn’t think exactly like you is inspiring.

  82. just nutha says:

    @CSK: No, the description for the exterior that came to my mind was “relentlessly stupid looking.” Still a matter of taste, though. For example, the guy who I subbed for yesterday with the room full of Star Wars and MCU tchotchke–including Baby Yoda–would probably say, “Wow! What a cool looking house! I wish I had $4 million or so; I’d definitely buy it!”

    1
  83. Pete S says:

    @grumpy realist:
    Here in Ontario most commercial syrup is labelled “table syrup”, not “maple syrup”. Maple syrup is the real 100% boiled down from sap.

    There used to be a product available that was mostly corn syrup with 15% “real maple syrup” in it. I don’t think I have seen that in about 30 years though.

  84. wr says:

    @DrDaveT: “The point is that the definition of “organic” that has made its way into law does nothing to mitigate the problems you are talking about.”

    Okay, but you’re not complaining about the lawmakers who passed this faulty definition or the corporations who paid them off to do so. You’re making fun of people who are trying to use what limited knowledge they have to eat better. They, for some reason, are deserving of your contempt, and not, say, pork producers.

    1
  85. CSK says:

    @just nutha:
    Oh, hell, if you can have chocolate, what else do you need?

    @just nutha:
    Certainly it’s a matter of taste. In this instance, I would call it very bad taste.

  86. wr says:

    @Mu Yixiao: ““The United States of America is the world’s most generous country over the last 10 years,” the 2019 report notes. ”

    Which is complete bullshit, of they type Reason prefers. Oh, look, Americans give some money to their churches so their pastors can buy Gulfstreams. But they scream and yell and kick like babies if they are asked to pay taxes to support the whole of their community.

    This is “generosity” as performance. Typical of “libertarian” thinking.

    2
  87. Jen says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I am hoping that bill has not a chance in hell of passing. What idiocy.

    Polio still exists. Measles still exists. Mumps still exists.

    Giving any one of these diseases a chance to take hold again in this country would be horrifying. These legislators are dumb and irresponsible.

    1
  88. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Christine:

    Maple syrup can be found at 21 CFR 168.140 if interested. Easy google search.

    From said regulation:

    (a) Maple sirup is the liquid food derived by concentration and heat treatment of the sap of the maple tree (Acer) or by solution in water of maple sugar (mapel concrete) made from such sap. It contains not less than 66 percent by weight of soluble solids derived solely from such sap. The concentration may be adjusted with or without added water. It may contain one or more of the optional ingredients provided for in paragraph (b) of this section. All ingredients from which the food is fabricated shall be safe and suitable.

    (b) The optional ingredients that may be used in maple sirup are:

    (1) Salt.

    (2) Chemical preservatives.

    (3) Defoaming agents.

    So up to a third of the maple syrup, by weight, can be a “defoaming agent” and you can still call it maple syrup. Guess what counts as a defoaming agent?

    Oil based defoamers

    Oil based defoamers have an oil carrier. The oil might be mineral oil, vegetable oil, white oil or any other oil that is insoluble in the foaming medium, except silicone oil. An oil based defoamer also contains a wax and/or hydrophobic silica to boost the performance. Typical waxes are ethylene bis stearamide (EBS), paraffin waxes, ester waxes and fatty alcohol waxes. These products might also have surfactants to improve emulsification and spreading in the foaming medium.

    So you can make your “maple syrup” a third corn oil with some stearic acid mixed in, and claim it still counts because it’s just a lot of defoamer.

    1
  89. Scott says:

    @wr: True, the definition of charity is flexible. Americans donate a lot to their churches. Having been on the church vestry and paying attention to the budgets, I can say that even though my donation is 100% tax deductible, I would say only about 10% goes to what most people would say is a charity. The other 90% is basically club dues, paying the salaries of clergy and other employees, utilities and the mortgage.

    2
  90. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Scott:

    If I pay a therapist for marriage counselling, no one considers that charity. But if I give money to church and get marriage counselling from the pastor, suddenly it does.

    If I pay to join a rec softball league, no one considers that charity. But if I give money to church and join the church softball team, suddenly it does.

    If I pay to join a country club, no one considers that charity. But if I give money to church and goe to the fellowship dinners, suddenly it does.

    Churches are largely away for middle class suburbanites to launder a lot of their personal expenses into tax free payments.

    2
  91. Christine says:

    @Stormy Dragon: The defoamer is a processing aid. Adding nearly 1/3 defoamer would affect the flavor and too costly. Water is what is making up the rest. No manufacturer uses processing aids in that amount. Likely used in insignificant amounts (<1%), not functional in the finished food and does not need to be labeled. The salt and preservatives would always need to be labeled.

    2
  92. Kathy says:

    In what may be a sign of good news, registration for vaccines for the 40 to 50 age group opened today, and the server timed out when coworkers at the office tried to access it. Assuming this was due to a high volume of requests, that’s a good sign.

    On real good news, the lady who cleans up after us at the office (and who is the nicest of my coworkers), got the first dose of Pfizer yesterday.

    2
  93. Mu Yixiao says:

    @wr:

    Which is complete bullshit, of they type Reason prefers. Oh, look, Americans give some money to their churches so their pastors can buy Gulfstreams. But they scream and yell and kick like babies if they are asked to pay taxes to support the whole of their community.

    This is “generosity” as performance. Typical of “libertarian” thinking.

    Who pissed in your Wheaties this morning?

    Anecdotally: I live in a community of less than 10,000 people (in 5 small municipalities). There are 75 charitable/volunteer organizations, a food/clothing bank run entirely by volunteers and donations, a national trail maintained entirely by volunteers, and not a god-damned megachurch in sight.

    Factually*:

    63 million individuals (25% of all adults) volunteer and average of 139 hours per year for a total of 8.7 billion hours.

    65% of religious persons and 50% of non-religious person give to secular causes.

    Foundations give $55.3 Billion per year. The top 5 are:
    1) Bill & Melinda Gates (promoting world health)
    2) Ford Foundation (reduce poverty and injustice, strengthen democratic values)
    3) Susan Thompson Buffet Foundation (college scholarships)
    4) Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (health care)
    5) Walton Family Foundation (improving education and protecting waterways)

    The US–through government and private monies, gives 9 times more to less-developed countries than the next one–the UK. Private donations to overseas aid come in at $43.9B (which is $10.8B more than government aid).

    Philanthropy Roundtable

    (oh… and lefties give about the same as righties).

    But don’t let any facts get in the way of your “jesus people BAD!” mind-set.

    =============
    * As of 2016

    2
  94. gVOR08 says:

    @wr:

    This is “generosity” as performance. Typical of “libertarian” thinking.

    Libertarian, yes, but I would say more fundie religious. The important thing about charity is not that helps anyone, but that I have displayed (dare I say “signalled”) my virtue.

    1
  95. Mu Yixiao says:

    @gVOR08:

    Libertarian, yes, but I would say more fundie religious. The important thing about charity is not that helps anyone, but that I have displayed (dare I say “signalled”) my virtue.

    Does the same hold true for the liberals and progressives who donate to the ballet and the opera so they can be seen at the Angel party and show off how generous they are?

  96. Mister Bluster says:

    When Panera started their Clean Food promotion I asked if that meant they ran the Bagels through the dishwasher. The cashier thought it was funny and laughed out loud.

    One of the local “natural” food stores had a big banner over the entrance…NO GMOs!
    When I asked them why they didn’t like Pontiacs they didn’t get it.

    4
  97. wr says:

    @Mu Yixiao: “But don’t let any facts get in the way of your “jesus people BAD!” mind-set.”

    It’s not “jesus people bad.” It’s this country’s culture, which worships billionaires and chooses to believe that people who are poor are poor because they deserve it and the way we know they deserve it is because they’re poor.

    It’s great that your corner of Eden has all these wonderful volunteer opportunities. Still, you wouldn’t need a food/clothing bank if people could afford food and clothing — maybe if the privately generous employers in the area paid living wages instead of paying as little as possible to everyone but themselves. It’s great that people value the national trail so much that they’re willing to volunteer to care for it — but it’s a NATIONAL TRAIL that should be maintained by the people of the United States, except we are too cheap to maintain that which we own.

    And it’s lovely that the Gates’ and Waltons and all the rest are willing to give away a tiny corner of their obscene fortunes for their pet charities. They do that because our government has been purchased by them, so that they barely have to pay any taxes to support the country that has given them so much.

    Oh, and we give ten times as much to other countries as Britain? That sounds astonishing… until you realize that our GDP is basically eleven times bigger than theirs.

    Not saying America and Americans are uniquely awful in this regard. We are possibly as good as mediocre. But the rah-rah America fuck year we number one crap you read in Reason is just the same kind of lies that insist that we have the best healthcare system in the world, and prove that by citing all the international billionaires who come here for care.

    4
  98. KM says:

    @wr:
    It *is* a purity pony thing the way it’s being handled right now. A marketing gimmick instead of a true marker of ethical processes or unpolluted ingredients. It’s abused to the point where it doesn’t mean what it was intended to mean but rather is something along the lines of birthday cake flavored cake -absurd if you think about it but you feel like it’s better then just plain ole’ cake.

    This conversation seems to be breaking down of people defending the concept of “organic” as a better or healthier item vs people with experience of people being absolutely ridiculous in their expectations of it. Organic as a concept is not a bad idea but in execution is badly handled, misunderstood by most buyers and taken advantage of by marketers. We don’t have a logical way to define when something stops being organic because it’s extremely difficult to ensure a product or ingredient remains 100% untouched in it’s entire existence so at some point, an arbitrary line gets drawn. *Where* that line lands is the purity pony part; is the maple syrup organic till you toss in corn syrup, when you put pesticides or fertilizer around the tree or if the land ever had any sort of man-made chemical used upon it? ​Again, I’ve had clients ask me for explicitly vegan bottled water and get pissy when it’s pointed out that all water is inherently vegan.

    2
  99. CSK says:

    @Mister Bluster:
    Little GMO, you’re really lookin’ fine,
    Three deuces and a four speed, and a 389,
    Listen to her tachin’ up now,
    Liaten to her whine,
    C’mon and turn it on, wind it, blow it out, GTO.

    Great song.

    2
  100. CSK says:

    @CSK:
    …wind it up

    2
  101. Hop blacks commission to investigate the 1//6/21 insurrection

    Of. Ourse they did.
    There were at least 10 investigations of the Benghazi incident. No wrongdoing was found on the part of President Obama or Secretary Clinton.

    In the case of 1/6/21 we know there was wrongdoing and criminal acts committed because we saw it unfolding on live television.

    As I said earlier to not investigate the insurrection is a breach of the Congressional oath of office. If the Senate refuses to support an investigation the House should conduct one on its own.

    4
  102. Gustopher says:

    @CSK: If you’re recruiting a Legion of Doom, you have to meet certain standards if you expect anyone to take you seriously.

  103. Gustopher says:

    @KM:

    Again, I’ve had clients ask me for explicitly vegan bottled water and get pissy when it’s pointed out that all water is inherently vegan.

    First, we crush the corgis like grapes, and then we run the corgi-water through a set of screens to remove large chunks, and a patented corgi-centrifuge to separate out the heavier and lighter impurities.

    We triple filter the result, and then boil it, and condense the vapor, giving us the purest water that you will drink — Corgi-Water(TM).

  104. CSK says:

    @Gustopher:
    Meaning…? What? The house in Houston? Because when I click on my name in your comment to see what you’re referring to, that’s what it goes to.

  105. Mister Bluster says:

    @Doug Mataconis:..National Hamburger Day.

    Stupid Questions Answered
    Why are hamburgers called hamburgers if they are just burgers and not ham?

  106. Mister Bluster says:

    Junk Food Junkie
    Well, at lunchtime you can always find me
    At the Whole Earth Vitamin Bar
    Just sucking on my plain white yogurt
    From my hand thrown pottery jar
    And sippin’ a little hand pressed cider
    With a carrot stick for dessert
    And wiping my face in a natural way
    On the sleeve of my peasant shirt
    Oh, yeah

    1
  107. Mister Bluster says:

    @KM:..I’ve had clients ask me for explicitly vegan bottled water and get pissy when it’s pointed out that all water is inherently vegan.

    These vegan creatures should consider converting to Breatharianism.

    breath·ar·i·an
    a person who believes that it is possible, through meditation, to reach a level of consciousness where one can obtain all sustenance from the air or sunlight.

    I am quoting Oxford Languages

  108. dazedandconfused says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    Just wondering, but is someone from Hamburg a Hamburger or a Hamburgarian?

  109. CSK says:

    @Mister Bluster:
    Dick Gregory aspired to be a breatharian. He got as far as being a fruitarian.

  110. Mister Bluster says:

    Dick Gregory attended Sleepytown U on a track scholarship in 1951. I have read somewhere about how he was denied entrance to white establishments here. He did not return for school after he was discharged from the Army.

    Some of his quips:

    Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. I understand there are a good many Southerners in the room tonight. I know the South very well. I spent twenty years there one night.
    Last time I was down South I walked into this restaurant and this white waitress came up to me and said, “We don’t serve colored people here.” I said, “That’s all right. I don’t eat colored people. Bring me a whole fried chicken.”
    Then these three white boys came up to me and said, “Boy, we’re giving you fair warning. Anything you do to that chicken, we’re gonna do to you.” So I put down my knife and fork, I picked up that chicken and I kissed it. Then I said, “Line up, boys!”

    “Segregation is not all bad. Have you ever heard of a collision where the people in the back of the bus got hurt?”

    I’ve always had an affinity for him as his family name is my given name.

  111. CSK says:

    @Mister Bluster:
    When I was a kid, I recall seeing my uncle reading From the Back of the Bus. He had always liked Gregory.

  112. CSK says:

    Well, she got her daddy’s car
    And she cruised to the HAMBERDER stand now…

    Damn you, Mr. Bluster. Now I can’t get these songs out of my mind.

  113. JohnMcC says:

    @Mister Bluster: Had a friend — may he RIP — who as long as I knew him thought it was hilarious that JFK had told the crowds at the Brandenburg Gate that “Ich bin ein Berliner!”

    He said that the US President had actually said: “I am a filled pastry!”

  114. a country lawyer says:

    @Mister Bluster: In the ’60’s a couple of college friends and I took a summer road trip out West. We made a special trip to San Francisco to see Dick Gregory at the Hungry I, but we got there to find he was on a few week break. His fill-in was Bill Cosby

  115. CSK says:

    @a country lawyer:
    Whose bid for parole was just denied. Apparently he wouldn’t do the mandatory sex 0ffender programs, on the grounds that he’s innocent of committing any sex offenses. He expects to serve his full ten year sentence.

  116. Kathy says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    In one of his many collaborative novels, Niven comes up with the idea of mineralianism (or something like that). I gathered such people synthesize proteins, fats, etc. from minerals, and that’s all they ever eat.

  117. just nutha says:

    For a change of topic late in the day.🙁

    On the other hand, this graph of rising climate militancy has been accompanied by an even steeper graph showing CO2 emissions. In 1995, Malm was among the demonstrators outside the first U.N. Conference of the Parties summit, in Berlin, chanting: “Action now! No more blah-blah…. Action now!” In the quarter-century since, more carbon has been spewed out than in the 75 years before. And investment in fossil infrastructure has continued just as relentlessly: “Two-thirds of capital placed in projects for generating energy in the year 2018 went to oil, gas, and coal—that is, to additional facilities for extracting and combusting such fuels, on top of that already spanning the globe.” These investments, chasing quarterly returns, have very long-term effects: Plants, refineries, and pipelines commissioned in 2020 will generate emissions down through 2060.

    Even if we’re not past the tipping point (and I think we are, but I could be wrong), it may not matter.

    1
  118. just nutha says:

    @CSK: All depends on what one is used to, I suppose. I also have been just as happy at times putting Tate and Lyle’s on my toast as putting honey on. As few pancakes and waffles as I eat outside of restaurants also makes my syrup preference immaterial.

    1
  119. DrDaveT says:

    @wr:

    Okay, but you’re not complaining about the lawmakers who passed this faulty definition or the corporations who paid them off to do so.

    I’m not? Which part of “regulatory capture” did you not understand?

    You’re making fun of people who are trying to use what limited knowledge they have to eat better. They, for some reason, are deserving of your contempt, and not, say, pork producers.

    OK, gonna have to call you on that one. Which comment of mine above do you feel rises to the level of “contempt”?

  120. just nutha says:

    @Stormy Dragon: If you join a country club and do not figure out a way to cost it as a business expense, you need a new tax accountant.

  121. Gustopher says:

    @CSK: Yes.

    https://dc.fandom.com/wiki/Hall_of_Doom

    It resembled Darth Vader since it’s first appearance on “Superfriends” in 1978, and was the meeting place for a variety of DC comics villains (Lex Luthor and the like), who would gang up to try to defeat Superman, Batman, etc.

    I hope that this house is snatched up by either Jeff Bezos or Rick Scott, both of whom are rocking a Lex Luthor style.

  122. JohnSF says:

    @Mister Bluster:
    You need to be careful with the Vegans; they’ve got this really sneaky Orbital Fort that will f’ you up if you don’t watch out.

    1
  123. CSK says:

    @Gustopher:
    At a mere 4 million, Bezos might use it as a garden shed.

  124. JohnSF says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    So total US private and state aid is around $77 bn; European official aid alone (’cause I don’t have private figures to hand and too lazy to look) = $100 bn+
    Not too shabby, I’d say.

    1
  125. JohnSF says:

    @Kathy:
    In Peter F. Hamilton’s Fallen Dragon there’s a side plot about the rebellious protagonist falling in with an underground hippie carnivore, and being so disgusted when he discovers her shocking secret he shops her to the cops IIRC.
    🙂

    1
  126. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Stormy Dragon: But it seems weird that the target of your derision is the people trying to do their best with the partial information they have and not the people committing the fraud.

    The target of my derision is the suckers being taken in by the hucksters. If they are working on partial information, who’s fault is that? It’s all out there, all they have to do is look. I find it interesting that you feel the need to “educate” folks who know far more about the realities of raising meat than you ever will, and when I point out your ignorance you feel the need to lecture me further about my *callousness* towards those who “care” but don’t care enough to learn.

    Here, let me educate you about this: I care a hell of a lot more about my birds and my pork than you ever will for the ones you plunk way too much money down for. I invest time, money, effort, and knowledge in every pound. Here I am, a resource on sustainable meat for you to mine, and you are doing your best to piss me off.

    Hmmm, seems you don’t care all that much after all.

    4
  127. Stormy Dragon says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Okay, so which of the 15 brands of eggs at my supermarket should I buy? Because like you, they all talk about how much they love their animals on the package and I’m sure no one would ever live about that. But you’re right, I haven’t personally visited all of their farms in person (and I’m sure they’d be happy to let me wonder around since they all lover their animals so much), so clearly it’s my fault I worry about whether I’m choosing the right ones.

    2
  128. wr says:

    @DrDaveT: “OK, gonna have to call you on that one. Which comment of mine above do you feel rises to the level of “contempt”?”

    I think I was confusing some of your posts with those of KM. Sorry.

  129. wr says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Your vast superiority over everyone who does not share your lifestyle is noted.

  130. flat earth luddite says:

    @grumpy realist:
    SWMBO hates walking through the produce department (among other departments) listening to me saying “Boy, I’d sure hate to eat an INORGANIC tomato” and the like. I blame my Organic Chem prof back in 74. Her rousing introduction to the joys of organic chemistry still rings in my head (along with tinnitus).

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    I feel your pain. As someone who grew up when 300 dairy cows was a MASSIVE herd, I’m cringing on your behalf.

  131. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @DrDaveT: Am I missing something?

    Since there’s no such thing as inorganic chicken feed — they can’t eat rocks

    Yes, for starters, they do in fact eat rocks. It’s called “grit” and it helps to grind up the grain they eat in their crops (their first stomach).

    I assume you mean “organic”, as in certified “organic” according to current packaging laws. As best I can tell, that label indicates little more than egregious regulatory capture by a specific cartel of producers. It’s possible to be crappy feed and qualify as “organic”, and it’s possible to be fantastic feed and not qualify as “organic”. Ditto for human food.

    OK, first off, you have hit on all my problems with current “Organic food” regulations and why I don’t bother buying organic feed for my birds or insist on it for my pork. Also why I don’t insist on eating organic food. Last year my tomatoes, organic to the core, tasted watery as f8ck because it never stopped raining. I couldn’t do a damn thing about the weather. HOWEVER…

    Organic practices, in my opinion, are far better for the environment than the current factory farming practices of the over appliance of chemicals to solve every problem. Applying a pesticide to control cabbage worms does not only kill cabbage worms, it kills all caterpillars. The same can be said for treatments for flea beetles on eggplants. Organic practices aren’t perfect, but they are more targeted to the specific pest.

    Right now, we are in a crisis of collapse of insect populations. If you hate bugs, you might think this is great news. If you like eating, not so much, because what ecosystem is not dependent on insects?

    1
  132. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mu Yixiao: We’d get a big 2-gallon jug. MMmmmmmmmm!

    Sadly, for me I guess, I don’t have a very discerning palate. Real Maple syrup is wasted on me. My wife on the other hand…

  133. Teve says:

    Stormy Dragon says:
    Friday, 28 May 2021 at 18:31
    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Okay, so which of the 15 brands of eggs at my supermarket should I buy? Because like you, they all talk about how much they love their animals on the package and I’m sure no one would ever live about that.

    Look for eggs for sale on Craigslist. I live in a rural podunk town and there are multiple people within 5 miles of me who are happy to let you come by and see their backyard chickens. A dozen free range eggs costs me $3.

    2
  134. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Chances are that if you’re buying your eggs at a supermarket, they’re all coming from high volume factory production model egg farms. You’re best bet might be to look for the brand that has the smallest inventory at the store, but even that may not be a reliable measure.

    1
  135. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Okay, so which of the 15 brands of eggs at my supermarket should I buy?

    I wouldn’t know, I eat only my own.

    @wr: BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA…. Gasp… wheeze… Got any more jokes? Because I’m not preaching. You do whatever the f*ck you like. But if you choose to remain ignorant, don’t whine to me about the choices you make.

    @flat earth luddite: Oh FO. In case you didn’t notice, this all started with someone trying to educate me on the proper ways to eat meat. You can live, or die, however you like, I really don’t give a rat’s ass. Me? I am doing the best I can. If you find fault with that, that is your problem.

    1
  136. Zachriel says:

    @Mu Yixiao: packages that proclaim boldly “No hormones!”*

    It’s toasted

  137. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: Or go to farmer’s markets, ask questions, go see.

  138. Zachriel says:
  139. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Oh, and this has bothered me for half the damn day:

    @Mu Yixiao: That’s against federal law–which they would know if they actually had any information on how animals are raised. Though… I also cringe at the packages that proclaim boldly “No hormones!”*
    ====
    {tiny print at the bottom} *Federal law prohibits the use of hormones in beef/pork/chicken/etc

    .

    From the US Food and Drug Administration (Content current as of: 04/13/2021):

    Bovine Somatotropin (bST)

    Bovine somatotropin (bST), also known as bovine growth hormone, is an animal drug approved by FDA to increase milk production in dairy cows. This drug is based on the somatotropin naturally produced in cattle. Somatotropin is a protein hormone produced in the pituitary gland of animals, including humans, and is essential for normal growth, development, and health maintenance.

    I am sure Mu can direct me to a link more fully explaining what he was speaking of, but strictly speaking, not 100% true.

  140. OzarkHillbilly says:

    More from the FDA: Steroid Hormone Implants Used for Growth in Food-Producing Animals Content current as of:
    04/13/2021

    Since the 1950s, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a number of steroid hormone drugs for use in beef cattle and sheep, including natural estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and their synthetic versions. These drugs increase the animals’ growth rate and the efficiency by which they convert the feed they eat into meat.

    All approved steroid implant products have a zero day withdrawal. This means that the meat from the animal is safe for humans to eat at any time after the animal is treated. Unless otherwise approved and labeled for reimplantation, only one ear implant may be given to an animal during a specific stage of growth. No steroid hormone implants are approved for growth purposes in dairy cows, veal calves, pigs, or poultry. All of the steroid hormone implants are available for over-the-counter purchase in the U.S. and are generally given by the livestock producer at specific stages of the animals’ growth.

    The FDA approves these drugs only after information and/or studies have shown that the food from the treated animals is safe for people to eat, and that the drugs do not harm the treated animal or the environment. The drugs also have to be effective, meaning that they work as intended. The labeling for each product provides all instructions for safe and effective use and is approved by FDA. For each approved product, the FDA also makes available to the public via its website a Freedom of Information Summary that summarizes the information that FDA used to determine that the drug is safe for the treated animals, the animal products (edible tissues such as meat) are safe for humans to eat, and that the product is effective.

    These steroid hormone drugs are typically formulated as pellets or “implants” that are placed under the skin on the back side of the animal’s ear. The implants dissolve slowly under the skin and do not require removal. The ears of the treated animals are discarded at slaughter and are not used for human food. Using scientific data, FDA establishes the acceptable safe limits for hormones in meat. A safe level for human consumption is a level of drug in the meat that would be expected to have no harmful effect in humans based on extensive scientific study and review.

    Much much more at the link, go read it all if so inclined.

    I have not the time just now and I have to admit I would not trust it if I did because of regulatory capture, but when I recently mentioned my disbelief at the fact of my preteen granddaughter’s boobies, (I have eyes) a butcher buddy of mine noted the prevalence of bovine growth hormone in our beef/milk.

    Make of that what you will.

  141. gVOR08 says:

    @Mu Yixiao: You mean liberals and progressives like the late David Koch? But yes, arts donors are virtue signaling. But with, I suspect, less of a feeling of being one of the Calvinist elect and more a desire to buy a position in society. Also, a deal more concern for actually having an opera or ballet or symphony or gallery than conservatives have for actually providing for the poor. And few of these arts donors would object to a little government funding.

    1
  142. KM says:

    @wr:

    I think I was confusing some of your posts with those of KM. Sorry.

    I’m calling you on this too – you quoted him in the reply where you specifically accuse him of being contemptuous of people with “limited knowledge” but now it’s my fault? *Neither* of us, nor anyone else on this thread that gave real world examples were referring to people trying to make good choices nor being contemptuous of them. You and @Stormy on the other hand were quick to jump on all of us because you’re lumping together a group of people we aren’t. Someone asking for gluten-free water or organic manure doesn’t have “limited knowledge” but rather a complete lack of understanding of the concept and are likely just trying to be trendy.

    I think you took this personally and can’t remember who you’re mad at. Yes, you meant @DrDaveT because you cited him (scroll up if you don’t believe me) and didn’t answer his question. What did he say that rose to that level?

  143. Kurtz says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Did you read the paper?

  144. grumpy realist says:

    @gVOR08: I donate to the local opera company in lieu of other potentially more “useful” charities, but that’s because I’m hoping that if I whine enough (which I do each time I donate) they’ll get around to putting on my favourite obscure Lehar operetta.(C’mon, guys–there’s more Lehar wrote than The Merry Widow!)

    ….sort of like trying to get any Rossini opera aside from The Barber of Seville.

    2
  145. Wr says:

    @KM: Sorry, but you can’t call people “purity ponies” and then get all offended when someone calls you out for your condescension.

  146. Jax says:
  147. KM says:

    @Wr:
    *sigh* I called the concept of organic a purity pony thing, not people. Kindly go back and re-read the original statement. Doesn’t explain why you said essentially the same thing to @DrDaveT though.

    However, you are making me reconsider my stance on it as you’ve kinda proven my point. You’ve been condescending to us the whole thread for not having your point of view on the subject or agreeing with your framing when you’re not even talking about the same group we are. You keep insisting we’re insulting unrelated people to who we were discussing or don’t understand what we’re talking about so yeah, purity pony is in play.

    I’ll echo @Mu: Who pissed in your Wheaties this morning?

  148. Mikey says:

    @jilltwiss
    “Friends” ended in 2004 and had a reunion this week, which means the cicadas think it was on the whole time

    https://twitter.com/jilltwiss/status/1398459342098153476?s=20

    1
  149. DrDaveT says:

    @JohnSF:

    You need to be careful with the Vegans; they’ve got this really sneaky Orbital Fort

    Oh, well played sir! That was my favorite SF book when I was… 13? 14?

    IMT
    Made the sky
    Fall!

  150. DrDaveT says:

    @wr:

    Sorry.

    Accepted.

  151. Scott O says:

    Surly there are more worthwhile things to argue about than food preferences? Eat whatever you want, cannibals excepted. Up till about 50 years ago anyone would have considered our 2021 food options unimaginable. I’m pretty sure most of this planet’s population is more concerned about getting another meal rather than how that meal was raised.

    2
  152. Kurtz says:

    @Scott O:

    Eat whatever you want, cannibals excepted.

    If you think about it, cannabalism is unfairly maligned. I understand refraining from eating a dead person if the family of the decedent objects. But if no one speaks, everyone should forever hold their peace.

    Of course, I’d only do it if the departed is certified organic and free range.

  153. de stijl says:

    Is there a place so disheartening as the poorly lit sickly green of an Oakland BART station?

    It is institutionally designed to make you feel like your deity of choice just vomited on you.

    Oakland always gets the raw end of the stick.

  154. de stijl says:

    If you are looking for traces of institutionalized classism and racism look at the infrastructure of public transportation.

    Poor people get shitty digs. In poorly run cities this is true not only as a general rule, but axiomatically.

    You can gauge public integration at how well the municipality standardized public transport across the network.

    These are are conscious choices. Build-out and maintenance are planned activities.

    Communities say a lot in how well they keep clean public infrastructure in disparate neighborhoods.

    They choose.

    1
  155. wr says:

    @Kurtz: “Of course, I’d only do it if the departed is certified organic and free range.”

    And who among us can truthfully claim to be both of those these days…