Friday, June 14, 2013

And News So Bad You Should Call and Yell At Somebody

Boring! (Imagine that sung out Jo Anne Worley style, as in "Laugh In".) But "boring" is when they go and try to sneak something awful past you, knowing you won't be paying attention.

It's called a Farm Bill. Lotsa stuff about crop insurance, sugar subsidies, etc. Mostly boring, never affects us non-farmers, pretty straightforward every year. Right?

Not this time.

Remember the Tea Party? You know, those take-no-prisoners folks who believe government is bad so less government is better, taxes are bad so we should get rid of them, regulations are terrible because we should all be free to do whatever we want. Remember those guys? They've been having fun with the Farm Bill.

You like food that's safe to eat, right? Lots of the laws that help ensure that are eliminated. You know, those big corporate farmers need to keep more of their own earnings, and costly regulations are burdensome.

But they're just getting started. Food stamps are in there. Or rather, many fewer are in there. And the cuts aren't just general, where everybody gets ____% fewer. That's bad enough. Some are targeted. Take felons, for example. Know any? Well, nevermind. Eventually they serve their time, pay their debt to society, and get out of prison. We all know that it's even harder for them than the rest of us to get a job at that point. If they're gong to succeed as functioning members of society, they likely need some help at first. Like, say, food stamps. Nope, not any more. Not only do they no longer qualify to get food stamps, neither do their families!

Tell me, just what did those families do to deserve to starve? And how much punishment do we demand of our criminal offenders? So do they have options other than returning to crime and having the prison system feed and house them again?

How about animal cruelty? We can start with living conditions, say where chickens are required to have enough room in their cages they can at least move. We can go on to humane slaughtering, where a cow has to be  unconscious before we slit its throat. Or even non-agricultural animals, where we outlaw dog and cock fighting. There's an amendment being proposed before the House on Tuesday by Iowa Rep. Steve King (not to be confused with the author, who actually shows some humanity) which proposes to eliminate hundreds of hard-fought state laws protecting animals. It's wording suggests that all these laws need to be replaced with a single system of federal laws. Of course, it doesn't provide any federal laws of the sort. In that vacuum, only the least restrictive law in any state becomes the law to be followed by all 50 states. Nobody can be better than the worst, demand higher standards.

Still bored?

How about a call to your representative by Tuesday letting him/her know you're paying attention and think this is outrageous? Or the only things/people having any protections at all will be the big corporations.

No comments: