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Pot Luck

by: JayinPhiladelphia

Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 19:17:45 PM PDT


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Pot Luck | 63 comments
My first local roast... (4.00 / 1)
Picked up a bag of Burlap and Bean today.  Newtown Square, PA, out in the western suburbs.  The "Heritage" blend.  I'm not quite sure why when I think about it, but I always go for whatever is described as the "breakfast" coffees.  Or occasionally a 'medium' roast.  Not a fan of dark roasts, never have been.

Anyway, will try it for the first time probably Friday, as tomorrow I have to clean my coffee maker.  I will finally be fully unpacked by tomorrow.  Until now, I was just buying a cup every morning from the coffee shop 2 minutes and 10 seconds (at a leisurely pace) around the corner on York Street, and yes I timed it on my cellphone's stopwatch.

Went grocery shopping here for the first time this week.  I love Reading Terminal Market!  Hit the Italian Market / South 9th Street Curb Market last Friday, too.  Only picked up a sandwich then, but I'll be there often too.  Not too often, as it's a decent distance across the city down South Philly, and not really for groceries, but I love the feel of the place, and its liveliness and the history everywhere and all that.

Have I mentioned how much I love Philly?  :-D


Glad you're settling in so well! nt (4.00 / 2)


Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

[ Parent ]
Thanks! (0.00 / 0)
Every day I love it here a little more, and just this morning I was wondering why on earth I spent the first 30-something years of my life not in Philadelphia?!?!

;)

Well, I guess I know why but I'm glad I finally made it here regardless.  Heh.


[ Parent ]
Better late than never. (4.00 / 1)
I feel the same way about Mulino.

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

[ Parent ]
Uncle Sam Wants YOU! (4.00 / 1)
or at least he wants to hire someone to watch you.

USDA is asking for contractors to conduct surveilance on people engaged in selling animals for pets and people engaged in the horse business who haven't paid the proper fees or obtained the proper licenses from the federal government. The contractor will act as a dataminer for the USDA and will conduct surveilance on domain registrations, blogs, chat rooms, and any other place they can think of where people gather on the internet.

Folks, it looks like 1984 is finally here. Say hello to the nice dataminer if he/she shows up here and lets all make him/her welcome.

Here's the proposal and application

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.


Nothing new, really. (0.00 / 0)
What worries me most is I've simply become accustomed to the omni-present ads on public transit encouraging us to be suspicious of the person next to us and to snitch on everybody if they so much as seem to cock their eyebrows the wrong way, and I don't even really notice the advertisements any more.  The subways and buses here are almost as bad as New York on that count, I've noticed.

[ Parent ]
Yup (4.00 / 1)
on the other hand, everything on the internet is public. Well except certain secure locations such as banking, etc. Anyone can surf the web as long as they have a connection of some sort. I do my own datamining. So I'm not all that surprised.

The thing that gets me about this is that they are conducting surveillance in order to find people who are engaged in selling pet animals and engaged in equine activities (showing, buying, selling, etc.) without a license.

I swear to god that by the time the government gets done, you'll have to buy a license to breathe.

Did you hear about the guy last year or the year before who got damn near thrown in jail for selling rabbits? He sold over 200 (if I remember the number right) without a federal license from USDA. I didn't even know you had to have permission from the federal government to sell rabbits. And if he had been selling them for slaughter he wouldn't have had to have the license. But because he was selling some of them for pets, how he's an evil rabbit mill.

And don't even get me started on what Michigan is doing to small scale pig breeders working with heritage breeds. Apparently if you're not a big confinement hog grower and you're working with heritage breeds of pigs you're working with "feral" pigs and your animals must all be destroyed. Of course, if those pigs were classified as livestock the state would pay you for their taking. But feral pigs are considered an invasive species and the state has the right to just come onto your property, shoot your livestock and walk away. Maybe they'll send you a bill for the privelage.

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.


[ Parent ]
Lessons learned about Philadelphia this week... (0.00 / 0)
1.  Never visit Reading Terminal Market on a weekday at lunch time and expect to pick up lunch.  Or to move.

2.  The 89 bus knows when you are waiting for it (at the York-Dauphin MFL stop), and it will never come when you want and / or need it to.

3.  The greatest Irish dive bar in the world is in Fishtown, only three blocks from my apartment, and I wish everyone could have been there with me tonight to discover it as well.


Tom Vilsack is a corporate prostitute (4.00 / 1)
Pink slime is crucial to combatting childhood obesity, says he. What a squirmy, twisted concept!

Secretary travels to Iowa for press conference to affirm safety of lean, finely textured beef; notes that it's in the National School Lunch Program because it's cheap; and says product doesn't require labeling because it's "safe"...

Though the White House does not serve it on its menus, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack traveled to Des Moines, Iowa on Wednesday to join Governor Terry Branstad for a special press conference to defend the safety of "lean, finely textured beef," aka "Pink Slime." The subject of a national firestorm of negative media attention, Vilsack and Branstad reaffirmed the safety of the cheap, chemically treated ground beef filler, following the Monday announcement by the producer, Beef Products Inc. (BPI), that it is closing three of its four production facilities due to a drop in demand. (Above: Vilsack and Branstad at the presser)

Vilsack made the argument that the product is crucial to fighting childhood obesity, the signature initiative of First Lady Michelle Obama.

"This product is safe," Vilsack said. "There's no question about it. We've said that hundreds of times and we'll continue to say it."



3 governors lobbying for the Pink Slime industry (4.00 / 1)
In addition to federal government employee Tom Vilsack lobbying the the privately-held Pink Slime industry.


[ Parent ]
Video not playing (4.00 / 1)
@Crider

What format is the video you posted?


[ Parent ]
Hmm... (4.00 / 1)
It's still playing for me this morning. It's a Flash Player clip of Stephen Colbert from Comedy Central.

[ Parent ]
On a Mac? (0.00 / 0)
I am, and it doesn't play for me either.  That may be it...

[ Parent ]
Hmmm . . . . (4.00 / 1)
It plays in Safari, Chome and Opera. Doesn't play in Firefox. I wonder why?

[ Parent ]
You know (4.00 / 1)
the thing that gets me about the whole LFTB issue is that the proponents say it's the only thing that keeps the price of ground beef down. Now, it's the LFTB that makes it possible for the ultra lean (90% - 95%) ground beef to even be available. And that stuff's always the most expensive.

I used to buy those patties because when I cook them they don't shrink to nothing as all the volume (fat) is cooked off. It's the 75% - 80% lean that's the cheap stuff and I think it's the ground beef without the LFTB. I use a George Forman grill to cook meat patties, and the poor little drip tray couldn't handle all of the fat that renders off of one of the fatty patties.

The only products that I've seen tht have LFTB in them that are cheaper are hot dogs and things like bologna. On those it's right on the ingredient label and it's called mechanically seperated beef.

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.


[ Parent ]
Nice! (4.00 / 1)
I hate those signs, too.

HE'S NOT LOOKING to sell gold or to unload extra diabetic test strips. He has no interest in selling his home in a few seconds, doesn't need a new roof, and doesn't own a junk car that he can donate to help a needy family.

But Christopher Sawyer, 34, sure has a thing for the so-called "bandit" signs that advertise these offers and services on utility poles all over the poorer sections of the city. Bandit signs pollute Sawyer's eyeballs. The Texas native hates them so much that he's dedicated a website - banditproject.org - to eradicating them and to calling out the people who post them.

Sawyer's an industrial-software engineer, an occasional skydiver, and an avid follower of city legislation. On a recent Sunday afternoon, Sawyer, in sunglasses and wearing a Phillies hoodie, spotted more than 100 signs - most offering deals for junk cars - nailed and stapled to telephone poles in the Kensington area and Northeast Philly.

He tears off just about every sign he can reach, with little concern for personal safety. "I carry my ice pick with me to pry the signs off, so I don't really worry," he said.

Those signs are illegal.

Kensington now has a veritable army of residents who don't think twice about tearing down a sign, and many credit Sawyer as an inspiration. Recently, Sawyer set up a contest to reward people who tore down the most bandit signs in the 19125 ZIP code, encompassing parts of Kensington, Port Richmond and Fishtown. Winners will get an Amazon Kindle and cash prizes, he said.

19125!  :-D


So a few minutes ago... (0.00 / 0)
...on my way back home, a gentleman approached me on the sidewalk and inquired as to whether I was interested in purchasing whole chickens and fish from the cooler in the back of his pickup truck.  An experience I can not say I have ever had before.  I love this neighborhood even more now, though!

I did not buy.

And I'm betting he did not have the same licenses Jo has, either. ;)


Heh I'll bet he didn't have any licenses (4.00 / 1)
Although, in some states chickens slaughtered under the 1,000 bird USDA excemption I think can be sold at things like farmers markets. But I think they have to be labeled as having been slaughtered under the 1,000 bird exemption or the 20,000 bird exemption.

Oregon was supposed to have recognized that 1,000 bitd exemption last year but there were some glitches that I think have been straightened out. Still though, in Oregon, you can not sell birds that have been slaughtered under the exemption off the farm (1,000 bird exemption) or without a meat sellers license off the farm (20,000 bird exemption).

I tell ya, any more you almost have to be a lawyer to grow and sell food.

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.


[ Parent ]
The system (4.00 / 1)
It seems that the "system" only works for
the people who own the "system".

Drop out!  Live in a sane world that is
serving sane people.


Sorry for this odd combination of items... (4.00 / 1)
First wanted to plug for a recipe I made for the first time the other day (if you don't have breadfruit, any potato-like veggie will probably do).  Quite tasty (and filling).

This is more serious:

Under the current rules, the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is responsible for inspecting all chicken and turkey carcasses for things like bruises, bile, and yes, shit, before they're sent for further processing. The proposed HACCP-Based Inspection Models Project (HIMP) would remove those USDA inspectors from the lines, leaving poultry plant employees, who already stand in a fast-moving, I-Love-Lucy-style line, to flag unsanitary or otherwise flawed birds.


"If a man is as wise as a serpent, he can afford to be as harmless as a dove" Cheyenne

Finally some nice weather (4.00 / 2)
I've got trays seeded to mustards, arugula and cilantro. I've got trays of 2" pots seeded to sweet corn, cucumbers and squash as well as to bush beans. I'm not taking a chance on seed rotting in the ground again this year. I've decided to start everything except some root crops, in trays and pots this year. I can germinate the seed in the greenhouse or the house if the weather outside is too cold.

As soon as trays start to germinate I'll be moving them out to the tunnels to make way for the next group of trays.

I also got the rough in layout done for the next blocks of tunnels. There will be 9 per block with 2 blocks. When they're done I'll have a total of 31 tunnels and then I'll be building more tunnels in the cow's current pen when I move her out in a couple of weeks. That'll get her out of that pen so I can work in there and it'll get her to fatten on spring grass so I can have her slaughtered in June or July.      

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.


Wow, that's a lot of tunnels (4.00 / 1)
They must be working out very well!

[ Parent ]
Yup (4.00 / 1)
I love my tunnels. I need to have around 70 built and stocked with crops by winter.

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

[ Parent ]
Have I mentioned lately... (0.00 / 0)
...how much I love Philadelphia?

:-D

Changed my cell phone number today, and switching my license over to Pennsylvania this week.

Decided for 100% certain this week that I'm never gonna leave North Philly, and that I do want to buy a home here eventually.  So the other evening I took the MFL eastbound to the end of the line at Frankford Transportation Center and walked back home from there under the El the entire way, with occasional straying to adjacent blocks, and figured I'll probably end up with a rowhouse somewhere around the Somerset or Allegheny stations in Kensington in about five years.

I know I won't be able to afford anything where I am now, as the gentrification zone is already about ten blocks south of me and by the time I'm ready to buy something, it'll certainly have engulfed us by then.  They'll never reach that part of Kensington, though!  ;)


Saturday night... (0.00 / 0)
...music.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

I swear this is the sound outside right now. :)


I got your new number (4.00 / 1)
Cant wait to walk around your neighborhood.

I am now carting in my trunk buckets and a metal windowbox We can figure meeting this week.

The TSOP. Much as I liked they didn't have the Funk Brothers:)

Happy Easter


[ Parent ]
And... (0.00 / 0)
...my neighborhood was in the news this morning.

KENSINGTON - April 9, 2012 (WPVI) -- Two Philadelphia firefighters were killed battling a fire sparked by a massive factory fire in Kensington Monday morning.

The 5-alarm blaze broke out at an abandoned factory near the intersection of Jasper and York Streets. The flames spread to an adjacent discount furniture store at Kensington Avenue and Boston Street - and that's where the firefighters were killed.

The fire was first reported around 3:15 a.m. inside what was the Thomas Buck Hosiery Factory, which has been abandoned since the mid 1970s. Hot embers whipped up in strong winds starting fires at six nearby homes and several surrounding businesses, including the furniture store.

Firefighters were trying to extinguish the flames inside the furniture store when a rear wall collapsed, trapping five firefighters. Other firefighters tried to rescue them but they couldn't save 60-year-old Lt. Robert Neary and 25-year-old firefighter Daniel Sweeney, both from Ladder 10. [...]

Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers told reporters Monday morning that the last time the department lost a firefighter was in 2006, and the last time multiple firefighters were killed in action was back in August of 2004.

Shit.

Just a few blocks from here, along my usual walk to the train.


[ Parent ]
That happens (4.00 / 1)
Harold used to tell me that where he worked they figured that if a firefighter survived the job his first 5 years then he'd probably make it to retirement. Probably.

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

[ Parent ]
I reject that. (0.00 / 0)
I understand his sentiment, but whoever set this fire (it was certainly set) needs to be caught immediately, and they need to never see sunlight outside of a prison wall again, ever in their lives.

I reject the death penalty on principle, and at the same time I'd also fight to make sure this scumfuck will never, ever, ever be eligible for parole.

Someone took the lives of two of our good civil servants today, and at the same time also destroyed one of the most beautiful buildings in our city in one fell swoop.  That animal should never be free to roam our streets again.


[ Parent ]
I never said that who ever was responsible for the fire shouldn't be punished (4.00 / 1)
I only said that firefighters do get injured and some do die.

Sometimes, firefighters are so traumatized by what they see on the job that they get out also. There was an incedent that Harold would tell me about from time to time back when he was on the LA county fire department.

The station he was at at the time got a call on a jumper. So they go out and sure enough there was a fellow on a tower who was threatening to jump. As the guys got the thing out that they catch the jumpers with and ran over to where he'd land if he jumped, the guy on the tower launched himself. The guy hit the ground right in front of the firefighters. Killed him and it was pretty messy.

There were 3 new boots (firefighters who were fresh out of training and still on probation). They almost quit because of that. Harold said the chaplain was able to talk them back into continuing, but that's one of the dangers of the work.

I also saw pictures of a firefighter who had been caught in a forest fire. The fire had flashed over him and burnt him bad enough that he litterally crawled into one captain's tent and died right then and there of his wounds.

Firefighters are the civil servants whom I have the utmost respect for. They are the ones who we require, on a regular basis, to put their lives on the line to save people and property. Cops have a dangerous job as well, but we don't require them, as a regular part of their job, to enter a burning building just to save it. Even if there are no people in the building, as there shouldn't have been in this one (I can't imagine that the furniture store would have had employees in it at 3 in the morning), we still require them, by law and by contract to go into a building, and even to sacrifice their lives to save that.

As nice as this building may have been, was lumber, steel and mortar and paint really worth those peoples' lives? Society says yes it is.

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.


[ Parent ]
There were almost certainly... (0.00 / 0)
...people living in the warehouse, too.  Possibly dozens.  No word on how many people died (horribly) inside there.

[ Parent ]
its been all over the local news (4.00 / 1)
what a sad story  

[ Parent ]
Free Kindle book today (4.00 / 1)
My county supervisor, who also has a farm and walnut orchard, recently published a book and is offering a free download today, just today.

The amazon page: Tending the Soul's Garden: Permaculture as a Way Forward in Difficult Times


Cool! (4.00 / 1)
Just got it. Thanks for the heads up!

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

[ Parent ]
Well it looks like the days of small farms (4.00 / 1)
having access to affordably priced antibiotics is coming to an end. Antibiotics for livestock will require a prescription FDA says.

For all that some people are celebrating this, what they don't understand is that those big "Factory Farms" that are using all the antibiotics at subtheraputic dosages already have vets on staff, or vets that they work closely with. For farms that are growing animals for integrators, like the poultry farms, they don't, but the integrator does. The integrators have vets and animal nutritionists on staff and formulate their own feed. Requiring a prescription will only make their staff vets have to write out another piece of paper. It won't do squat as far as their use of antibiotics.

But, what it will do is require me and other small farmers like me as well as private livestock and poultry owners to either have a vet come out to our farms ($50+ just for the trip), do an exam and write a presctiption. So what would have cost us $5-$20 will now cost us more like $100+. How many people do you think will treat their animals under those conditions? I see a lot of herbal home remedies being used and when those don't work, I see a lot of euthanasia of ill animals. Animals that could have been treated with a small dose of penecillin, tetracycline, etc.

So on behaf of small farmers and private livestock/poultry owners everywhere, I'd like to thank y'all for this burden.

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.


One size fits all... (0.00 / 0)
Not a good idea, eh?

[ Parent ]
The problem with drugs is that one size fits all is the only way to regulate them (4.00 / 1)
they're either OTC or not. If you make a drug prescription only, there's no way to write a rule saying that "OK, if you only have 10 animals you can get it OTC, but if you have more than that you have to go to a vet". And anyway, like I say, the big companies and farms that everyone has their knickers in a twist over already have vets. It's nothing for them to get a prescription.

This new rule will do NOTHING. Except make common antibiotics so expensive they'll be out of reach for people like me.

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.


[ Parent ]
Not necessarily. (0.00 / 0)
Exemptions can be carved out, just as with anything else.  I'm not a legislator of a pharmacist, but exceptions can be made for anybody or anything.  As long as they have enough lobbying power, I guess...

[ Parent ]
Drug laws are one of the things where there are no exeptions (4.00 / 1)
Unless it's something like pot, where people can grow their own. But it's kind of hard to grow your own tetracycline. If the only way you can get it is by perscription, short of armed robbery, you just ain't gonna get it.

I'm sure that's how the people who lobbied for this rule were thinking. They probably figure that the people running "factory farms" don't bother to consult with vets, or even know vets. Most of them figure that those farmers don't give a damn about their animals. But most of those farmers do give a damn and they do have vets. Which means that the vets will prescribe the low dosage antibiotics (which they already are doing right now by the way) and the people who WON'T have access to the antibiotics will be people like me.

I have tried time and time to tell people this, but the idiots have it in their head that the world ain't the way it is, and so now the people who get hurt are the ones who those people were trying to 'protect'.

All I have to say is, please go 'protect' someone else. Because all your 'protection' is doing is putting me out of business.

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.


[ Parent ]
The exemptions... (0.00 / 0)
...would have something to do with the vet bills on the small farmer end, I'd imagine.  There's no reason they wouldn't be able to carve out some kind of rebate (not sure if that's the right word?) program, or allow it to be written off somehow by those whose income is under a certain threshold, or some such thing.  Obviously not ideal, but there's no reason it can't be done.  Except for the lobbying power thing, perhaps.

[ Parent ]
Rebates and write offs are irrelevent (4.00 / 1)
when you don't have the money to pay the vet in the first place Jay. That'd be like telling you, "Hey, just go to the doctor and you'll be able to write it off when you file your taxes". But, if you don't have the money to pay the doctor in the first place, the write off is irrelevenat.

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

[ Parent ]
Well... (0.00 / 0)
Am I the one who passed the law, Jo?  You don't need to tell me these things.

[ Parent ]
Jay, I know you didn't pass the law (4.00 / 1)
I was attempting to explain why your logic (just have a rebate) won't work.

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

[ Parent ]
Of course... (0.00 / 0)
Was just thinking out loud.  Trying to make garlic yogurt sauce from lemons, and all...

[ Parent ]
Aaaaaand... (0.00 / 0)
...just got my security deposit back from Portland.  Final electric bill from out there was paid this week, all addresses are updated, phone number is changed, getting my PA license and registering to vote here next week.  Even my blog username is changed!  By next Wednesday or so, all I'll have left of Oregon are the memories...

Oh, wait... (0.00 / 0)
My mother has one of those 'green heart' stickers on her car.  I see that every time I'm up there in Jersey.  That came from Portland, of course.  Oh, and I have a Trail Blazers tee shirt.  I'll still root for them if they ever make it to the Finals.  Unless they're playing the Sixers, of course.  ;)

Ducks, too.  Hope they win it all soon.  I won't be following them like I once did, though.  Hmmm.  There aren't any big college football rivalries around here.  I'll miss Civil War week, and the week leading up to UO - UW, and stuff like that.  Rutgers should have had something like that with Penn State (uh oh, I'd be in 'enemy territory' for that one!) years ago, but it never happened because Paterno got pissed at Rutgers for something back in the 70's and never forgot it.  And refused to play Rutgers for years.  Maybe if Rutgers had a real rivalry, they wouldn't have historically sucked for most of the 90's and early 00's, either...

Home and homes against Arkansas, UCLA, Miami and... Penn State(!) all over the next few years for Rutgers, though.  Good to finally see some good out of conference games in the regular season schedule.  The first Arkansas game is this year, on the road September 22.  They'll come to Piscataway next year.

Bah!  Why is it still five months 'til college football starts again?!


[ Parent ]
As usual I am working at the polls (4.00 / 1)
although this time I said I don't want to be  Judge of Elections cause of the new voter id laws.

[ Parent ]
What are the new voter ID laws? nt (4.00 / 1)


Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

[ Parent ]
A current government-issued... (0.00 / 0)
...photo id must be shown at the polls in order to vote.  Similar to the very same laws now being challenged and / or tossed out in Wisconsin, Texas and South Carolina.

After all those years in Oregon, I am NOT looking forward to standing in lines around the block on Tuesday nights again.  Bah.


[ Parent ]
And of course, nothing says... (0.00 / 0)
...'Small Governmenttm' like "Show us your government-issued photo ID before you attempt to exercise your rights, citizen!"

Republican consistency in action.


[ Parent ]
Jay (4.00 / 1)
do you have to show that you're a citizen in order to register to vote? Now, I can understand that if you don't have to show proof of citizenship in order to register to vote, then you shouldn't have to show citizenship in order to actually cast a vote.

For that matter, if you shouldn't have to show ID in order to register or to cast a vote, why should you have to show ID in order to prove that you're old enough to vote, or even that you're a resident in the area you're voting in?

You have to show ID in order to get government benefits, in order to open a bank account, in order to get a job, etc. Why shouldn't you have to show proof of citizenship in order to vote? Last I looked there aren't any parts of the USA that allow non-citizens to vote. Do they let people who are not US citizens to vote in Philly? Does that mean that anyone can vote in any election regardless where they're from?

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.


[ Parent ]
And hey (4.00 / 1)
as long as we're not going to require people to show that they're citizens in order to vote, I think it's unfair that a person should have to show that they're from a certain area in order to vote in local elections, for local ballot measures, etc.

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

[ Parent ]
That's what voter rolls are for... (0.00 / 0)
If you're on it, you vote.  Signature matches are how we did it in NJ.  If the signature didn't match, then you'd maybe be asked for some id.  Didn't have to be in current (once a drivers license has expired, does that mean your name, date of birth and your face have changed?) government-issued photo form.  Trust is how they do it in your state.  System works fine there.  Once again, if you're claiming there's systemic voter fraud in Pennsylvania, you're going to have to prove that.  You can't though, because there isn't.

[ Parent ]
Actually in Oregon (4.00 / 1)
while we do have vote by mail, and you're supposed to show ID at some time in your life when you register (remember, you can register by mail), it's not very common for anyone's registration to be checked.

Oregon's had issues with ballots being mailed to people who aren't even living in the state (people who have moved, and students who are out of state and not supposed to be voting). And even though the signature is on the envelope when it's mailed in (in fact, if a person doesn't sign the envelope, the vote isn't supposed to count), I don't think they check every signature. I think a percentage of the signatures are checked and I have heard that some people who have voted have had their ballot disqualified because their current signature doesn't match the way they signed when they registered.

In Oregon, at least, I think the ballot innitiative signature sheets are checked more stringently than the actual ballots are.

And because we're all vote by mail here, Oregon's not a very good state to compare with states that still do vote in person at poling places. I mean, in Oregon your utility bill counts for more than any state issued ID. And the system really doesn't work fine.

I remember when I first started voting. I did have to sign a book and I did have to show photo ID. Driver license. It had my picture on it. That's state issued photo ID. And now with the Real ID act, I think all the states have photo ID.

Personally I like photo ID. I have a friend who's worked for DMV for a couple decades. She's stopped quite a few people who were trying to steal identities and it was all because there was a photograph of the driver license or ID holder in the database. That's why, when you go to Oregon DMV it takes a few minutes between when they take the picture and when you get the card. It's not because it takes that long to print and laminate the card. It's because someone's back there looking at the picture they just took and comparing it to the picture of you that was taken last time.

And I don't hold with people saying that it's voter suppression to require state issued photo ID. I agree with you that there isn't much if any voter fraud going on. I think there's about as much of that happening as there is voter suppression.

Add to that the fact that you have to have state issued photo ID to do just about anything any more. Get a job (unless it's casual day labor where no taxes are being witheld and you're paid in cash)? Gotta have it. Open a bank account? gotta have it. Get insurance? gotta have it. Need a professional license of any kind? gotta have it. Hell, I took Harold's death certificate into the phone company last week and I had to provide state issued photo ID for me just to get his name taken off the account. When I got my liability insurance for the farm I had to have a state issued driver license or state issued ID card. When I registered my business name, I think I had to provide that too. When I opened my business accounts with Wells Fargo, and in the past when I've opened personal accounts with Washington Mutual (now Chase) and Bank of America, I had to show state issued ID.

I could understand people getting their nickers all in a twist if having state issued photo ID was the exception and not the rule. But in our society, it's pretty much the rule any more. About the only people who don't have it are kids too young to vote (and some of them may have government issued student body cards with their picture on it, I know I did when I was in highschool), possibly some homeless who haven't had the ability to renew and a handful of very elderly people who have not renewed. My younger brother's mother in law is in her mid 80s, was born in rural Missouri and SHE'S got state issued photo ID and the paperwork to get her driver license renewed.

About the only people who don't have to have state issued photo ID at some time are people who are living in a cash only system. And those are few and far between.

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.


[ Parent ]
And... (0.00 / 0)
...photo id is shown here too, when one registers to vote.  Along with numerous proof of address information (lease agreements, utility bills, etc).  As is done everywhere else.  What isn't done everywhere else (and which is an unnecessary burden, as judges in Wisconsin and the US Justice Department agree) is being forced to show a current government-issued photo id every time one goes to the polls.

That is the problem with this and similar measures.  It's placing additional, and unnecessary, obstacles in the way of people exercising their right to vote, for no reason other than that Republicans now control the entire governmental apparatus in Pennsylvania for the first time in a while, so they can.

Add to that the fact that you have to have state issued photo ID to do just about anything any more. Get a job (unless it's casual day labor where no taxes are being witheld and you're paid in cash)? Gotta have it. Open a bank account? gotta have it. Get insurance? gotta have it. Need a professional license of any kind? gotta have it.

None of those things are constitutional rights.


[ Parent ]
There is not now... (4.00 / 1)
...nor has there ever been, any evidence of voter fraud which would require this.  They passed it simply because they could.  As much as they claim to hate the guy, Republicans have much more in common with folks like Hugo Chavez than they'd ever like to admit.

This is just the latest in the long string of attempts at vote suppression by Republicans.  Who, again, seem to have no problem with Big Gub'mint's Boot Heels when those Boot Heels are stomping on those unlikely to vote for them.  Nor, for that matter, do they have respect for religious and personal privacy, which they so often pay lip service to, in this case, either.

Similar measures were just blocked by the US Justice Department in Texas, and was ruled unconstitutional by a judge in Wisconsin.  The ACLU and the NAACP are suing Pennsylvania now, so they're also costing the taxpayers millions.  Oops, yet more Republican hypocrisy in their quest to suppress votes.

I don't understand any of your questions.  Can you provide evidence that non-citizens are swinging elections?  No, that's simply a ludicrous proposition.  And creating a law to prevent that is like forcing every American transit agency to buy and make two tin foil hats for every one of its employees and estimated daily riders in the event that martians with ill intent may perhaps launch their invasion of earth by simultaneously boarding the Washington Metro, the Detroit People Mover and buses in Glendale, AZ.


[ Parent ]
Btw... (0.00 / 0)
...I thought you were against government poking its nose into places where it shouldn't, just because it can?

[ Parent ]
Well, for one thing (4.00 / 1)
I never said that the government regulating drugs was it poking its nose where it doesn't belong. I said that the people (most of whom are in the local food and animal welfare movements) getting the government to regulate antibiotics the way that new rule is going to do it will do nothing to stop the subtheraputic use of antibiotics by 'factory farms'. What it will do is to hamstring the very farms and private citizens that they claim to want to support.

All of the people who would want to use the drugs will be regulated the same (because the drugs will be regulated the same) and the big farms will continue on the way they already have been (the new rule will require them to do what they're already doing - using the drugs under the recomendation and supervision of a veterinarian) while stopping us small people from careing for our animals.

In that case, government is doing exactly what it's supposed to be doing - regulating drug use. It's just been goaded into doing so in a way that hurts the very people the activists claim to support and does nothing to the farms that the activists claim to not like. I'm not pissed off at the government. But I AM royally pissed off at the people in the local food and animal welfare movements who pushed the FDA into this. And make no mistake, if it hadn't been for those activists, FDA wouldn't have done this.

And in the second place, it's government that holds and certifies the elections. Now, if we want, we can say, anyone can vote. Don't have to be a US citizen, hey, you don't even have to live in the area. But that's not what we've done. It's illegal to vote if you're not a citizen (except in some cities where they don't care if you're a citizen if you're voting on a local issue, just that you live there and even that's a residency requirement). Like I say, if it was highly unusual for people to have state issued photo ID, I could see where there would be an issue with voter suppression. But it's not. So ya got the ID, just show the card. Or if you don't want to show the card, then sign up for absentee ballots. I think every state has those. You've voted in Oregon I think. If so, you should be used to vote by mail.

And for boot heels, well there's boot heels and then there's boot heels. Neither side has much love of boot heels unless it's their boot heel, then they love it just fine. Republicans want to run our life one way and the Democrats want to run it another. For every boot heel the Republicans have I can match it up with one that the Democrats have. Maybe that's why we call them the 'left' and the 'right'. Kind of hard to walk around with only one boot now. Especially if that boot has a heeled sole.

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.


[ Parent ]
Strawman. (0.00 / 0)
Now, if we want, we can say, anyone can vote. Don't have to be a US citizen, hey, you don't even have to live in the area.

Who's arguing or advocating for that?  Certainly not me.  

What I am arguing against (and again, judges in other states and the US Justice Department agree to varying degrees) is the placing of unnecessary obstacles in the way of people exercising their constitutional rights, by a political party just because they can.  I'd argue against it in the very same way if it were Democrats doing it or something similar.  This isn't a partisan issue.

It's illegal to vote if you're not a citizen

Yes, it is.  And if you're not a citizen, you can't register to vote in Pennsylvania, and you wouldn't be on the voter registration rolls in the first place.  Problem solved.  There isn't a need for anything like this in the first place.

Like I say, if it was highly unusual for people to have state issued photo ID, I could see where there would be an issue with voter suppression.

There are actually very many people without a current state-issued photo id, even these days, and a disproportionate number of them are students and urban poor, who overwhelmingly vote Democratic.


[ Parent ]
If you think these voter ID laws have anything to do (4.00 / 1)
with actually combatting voter fraud, well, you are sadly mistaken. No one has been able to document any amount of voter fraud anywhere in the country. What these laws are meant to do is throw up more roadblocks to stymie the poor, the old and the young when they attempt to vote.

Many people lack government issued photo ID. People who don't drive often lack this ID. The poor, for whom the cost of a license of state ID is prohibitive, lack this ID. Students, who for years have been allowed to vote in the town where they attend college, often do not have state issued ID. They have school photo ID, but these laws do not accept that for voting.

Some of these laws make it very hard for people to get the right ID. In Wisconsin, for example, while the law did have a provision that required the DMV to issue a free photo ID (not a drivers license) to people who wanted ID for voting, Scott Walker's minions ordered DMV workers NOT to tell people that they could get the free ID. Also, Walker closed several DMV locations and cut the hours. This made it very hard, in many cases impossible, for those without a car and flexible work hours to even get to a DMV.

And how hard is it for an older woman to get voter ID? Well, if my 83 year old mother lived in Wisconsin (among other states) she would need to go to the DMV and present these documents:

1. A certified copy of her birth certificate. No problem for me as I was born post-WW ll and in a hospital. Many older citizens were born before the issuing of birth certificates was standard practice. What are they to do? And getting that certified copy, if the county of your birth has it on file, costs money. Money not everyone has.

2. If our woman voter has the birth certificate, but she has been married and took her husband's name, she must also present the government issued marriage license. The pretty one from the church, like the one my grandma had framed on the wall, does not count. It must be the original from the government. What's that? You moved 12 times over the past 60 years since your wedding and you can't find it? Tough luck. Oh, there was a house fire and it burned up. Too bad.

3. Now, if my old and married then divorced mother had taken back her birth name back at the time of the divorce, she must also present the legal documents that allowed that name change.

And if she cannot come up with each and every one of those documents, she cannot vote.

These voter ID laws are about voter suppression. The only goal of the Republicans who enact them, and it is always Republicans who do this, is to prevent groups the Republicans believe are regular Democratic voters from voting. Democrats never propose these stupid laws.

I have no great love for either party, but dammit, only the GOP tries so hard to shut citizens out of the process.


[ Parent ]
Too hot! (0.00 / 0)
81 today.  90 tomorrow.

Just got back home with some Delaware asparagus from the Fair Food Farmstand at Reading Terminal Market.  Better roast it now, before I can roast it on the couch just sitting there...

Picked up a falafel platter for lunch on the walk home from the El from these guys.  They've been open for about two weeks now.  I've been looking for something like the Aybla cart back in Portland, haven't found it yet.  These guys are okay but not great.  Good to have them just down the street, though.  I'll be back to try the kefta platter next week, probably.


Pot Luck | 63 comments
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