Usda

USDA Wrongly Targets Wyoming's Food Freedom Act

A raid last month targeted a vendor who was selling chili at a farmers market.

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Chili
Ehrlif | Dreamstime.com

Earlier this week, in one of several related announcements, the USDA proudly declared that its MyPlate, MyState program, which the agency bills as "an effort to celebrate homegrown pride, foods and recipes and bring communities together around healthy eating," was entering a new phase.

"Through MyPlate, MyState, USDA is working to make the connection between healthy eating and more than 160,000 farmers and ranchers nationwide that are selling into local markets through… farmers markets, farm stands and community supported agriculture (CSA) programs," reads an agency release the USDA emailed to me and others this week.

You'd have to forgive some folks who sell their food at a small farmers market in Wyoming if this USDA self-promotion rings a bit hollow. That's because late last month, agents from the USDA's Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) showed up at a farmers market in Gillette, Wyoming, and ordered a food vendor at the market to destroy his food.

Specifically, the FSIS agents ordered John Thompson, who makes Big John's Chili and sells it at the market, to dump out all of his jars of chicken green chili. Thompson complied, despite the fact the inspectors failed to respond to at least one request to identify themselves, and ordered at least one person at the farmers market who was taping the raid to cease filming, lest FSIS cite him for intimidating federal agents.

What's the big deal with a guy selling jars of chili? In short, nothing. While details of the raid are still fuzzy, I'm not aware of any legal justification for the FSIS action.

To be certain, if Thompson hadn't been selling the chili but had been donating it, or making it for friends to serve at home, or serving it at a church dinner, the USDA food-safety inspectors would never have gotten on their high horse and traveled (rumors say all the way from Colorado) to Wyoming. But because an impossibly small vendor decided to can and label the chili, it appears the USDA felt compelled to act.

But that doesn't mean the agency had the authority to act.

"In my opinion the FSIS didn't have the authority to inspect that food because it didn't involve interstate commerce," Wyoming State Rep. Tyler Lindholm told County 17, a local news site.

He's right. While federal law doesn't empower FSIS to act as it did, it's also true that Wyoming state law protects Thompson's right to sell his chicken chili at a farmers market, thanks to the state's Food Freedom Act.

State Rep. Lindholm knows a thing or two about the Wyoming Food Freedom Act. He co-sponsored the bi-partisan bill, which breezed through the state senate on its way to becoming law. It "allow[s] for the sale and consumption of homemade foods and to encourage the expansion of agricultural sales by farmers markets, ranches, farms and home based producers" who produce and sell food and drink agricultural products—including produce and poultry, but not pork, lamb, or beef—wholly within the state of Wyoming, and only for home consumption. The reason pork, lamb, and beef aren't sales aren't protected under the Wyoming law is that Congress, in the late1960s, prohibited the commercial sale of those meats unless they were processed in a USDA-inspected facility.

In an older photo, one of the jars of Thompson's green chili appears to list pork as an ingredient. That could have raised agency red flags. Its sale wouldn't be protected under federal or state law. But the food the USDA forced Thompson to dispose of was chicken chili, not pork chili.

I interviewed Lindholm in March 2015, shortly after the Food Freedom Act's passage. I also spoke with him this week.

"Maybe they haven't read the Wyoming Food Freedom Act," Lindholm suggested in a video he posted on Facebook after learning of the recent USDA action. Lindholm is also perplexed by the agency's actions because they run counter to what the USDA told him as he was drafting the bill that became the Food Freedom Act.

"A poultry producer could slaughter and process their own poultry without any controls and sell them at a farmers market and to other individuals as far as the USDA is concerned," said Lindholm in the Facebook video, while reading from a USDA letter on the Food Freedom Act.

I have no doubt the USDA fears the Wyoming law because, as I noted last year, the Food Freedom Act is doing what we want good laws to do: it's spreading to other states.

John Moody from the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund argued recently that the Wyoming Food Freedom Act may turn out to be "a test case for how far the federal government will go to stomp out food freedom in the individual states, and how far states and their communities will go to protect their freedoms and their folk from government run amok." I agree.

If this sounds like a story ripped from the pages of my book, Biting the Hands that Feed Us: How Fewer, Smarter Laws Would Make Our Food System More Sustainable— which I'll be discussing in a book talk and signing today at 1 p.m. at Politics & Prose, Washington, D.C.'s preeminent independent bookstore—that's because it is. Literally so.

In addition to highlighting Lindholm's work and Wyoming's Food Freedom Act, I also detail the many problems with federal meat inspection laws and regulations, along with overly aggressive farmers market regulations in several states that have taken the "farmer" out of the farmers market.

This latest USDA crackdown has rightly put farmers markets in other states, including South Dakota, on notice. But that doesn't mean a little levity isn't warranted.

"Watch out for chicken chili," Lindholm warns toward the end of his video. "Because it's rampant. It's out there. It's delicious."

NEXT: Was Patty Hearst Brainwashed?

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  1. Piggly-wigglies run rampant! Time to eat some pork!

    1. Eat moar chikken!

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  2. I wonder if that John Thompson gets harassed by the TSA like I do.
    – John R. Thompson, Port St. Lucie, Florida

  3. You will never know when agents from the USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) will show up to inspect your food.
    Central committee keeps FSIS’s schedule Top Secret and is for your own good.
    So keep your kitchen safe and in compliance with FSIS dictates.

    1. The compliance industry ain’t growing by leaps and bounds for nothing.

  4. He should have claimed to be muslim. Then the feds would leave him alone; or possible ask if he needed any help with the sales.
    Or maybe just claim to be a US citizen who does not have to obey orders from persons who refuse to identify them selves? This story is even more lacking in clarity than usual. If they did not identify themselves as federal agents, why did he dump the chili? How can you “intimidate” a federal agent who is not a federal agent? As in has a federal identification badge / paper / something to prove he is what he claims. Where were the local constabulary? If I am in a public place, and unknown unidentified persons begin to attempt to direct my actions, there will be a bit more to the story. At the least I will hit them with my cane and claim elder abuse in violation of the ADA!

  5. Where are the spaghetti noodles, the mound of cheddar and the oyster crackers?

    That’s picture does not represent good chili.

    1. Ooh, chili chauvinism and REGION WAR!!!111!!!

      1. A five way is worth going to war over.

        1. You, Banjos, Lucy, ENB, and… Kennedy?

          1. You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful libertarian women?I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star Buckeye, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.

            1. Are you going to be sleeping on the couch after Banjos reads this? 😉

              1. Banjos is the one who called Robbie a pussy.

                1. Grab him by the pussy!

              2. Nah. She has a sense of humor and perspective, unlike some reason “journalists”.*

                *journalists that just so happened to go to TSUN, by the way.

                1. I can’t believe I missed all that. I decide to go to bed early one night and Robby drops that. I can’t believe it. I can’t even bring myself to read the comments, but are they all that I would hope?

                  1. They missed a certain je ne sais HM.

                    1. Ok, but please tell me John was involved.

                    2. No. But they did have essentially the entire cast coming out to give a bow, and the villains especially were celebrated.

                    3. Please tell me Hercule returned for an appearance. And Hihn. And Cytotoxic. And Bo Cara. That post certainly deserves Bo Cara.

                    4. Bo Cara… now there’s a name I’ve not heard since November before last.

                      I guess he graduated?

                  2. Reason staff sockpuppet All Stars Shriek, AmSoc, and Tony are summoned by the click-Gods.

                  3. are they all that I would hope?

                    It gets a little ugly, so yes.

                    1. I wonder…am I considered one of the uncouth trolls now that I “defend”* Trump on pure principle.

                      *by defend I mean point out the glaring hypocrisy and idiocy in how he is reported on relative to his main opponent who has actually participated in the state’s murdering of American citizens not charged with crimes.

                    2. You’re deplorable, at the very least.

        2. You’re dead to me.

      2. Do you still hate Ohio State with the same fiery passion you did the last few years? Or am I mistaking you for someone else?

        1. You mean everyone outside of Ohio State fans?

          1. ::sigh::

            It’s true. We’re almost as reviled as fans from The University Of The Southeastern Conference.

            1. SEC fans are the worst.

              1. One of the more enjoyable moments of my life* was while at the 2015 Sugar Bowl, when the Buckeyes took a pretty big lead in the fourth quarter. Our section was about half Buckeyes fans and half Bama fans…and I started the idiotic “S-E-C! S-E-C!” chant fans of the conference do when they’re playing someone in a big game they’re winning. All of the Buckeyes fans in our section and the adjacent ones joined in and a lady that was probably in her 70s turned around and started yelling “fuck you! Fuck youuuuuu!” At all of us to the point she had to be restrained.

                It was wonderful.

                *Of course we had to endure the endless pregame boasting of how bad we were gonna get our asses kicked and how unworthy we were to be sharing the field with Bama and the “this is just gonna be ugly for you guys” from their fans right after the game got going and they jumped out quick. So it was all the more delicious watching those stupid fucks leave with their tails between their legs.

                1. God, I hate so many of those fuckers.

    2. Yeah, I noticed that. The token cheese shreds are for the photo (I have done commercial food photography) and not for actual consumption. I pile the cheese on my chilli so that every spoonful leaves long strings when I lift them out of the bowl.

      (Oyster crackers? They still make Ritz crackers you know)

    3. WTF, sloopyinTEXAS? You’re in Texas. Spaghetti noodles in chili? People have been hanged for less. And, WTF are “oyster crackers”? Those bland gross things that turn to school paste in a New England clam chowder? Why pollute a good chili with such a culinary abomination? Sounds like a chili recipe from New York City. Next thing somebody’s going to be saying that beans are essential to chili.

      1. Get thee to Cincinnati, Cato, post haste. And gorge on the greatest food creation in the history of mankind: the Skyline five way.

        1. I don’t like Skyline. It’s just not good food. I make kick ass chili and also kickass spaghetti. I don’t put pasta in my chili, I do put crackers in my bowl though. Saltines although I suppose oyster would do in a pinch. I do love good chili dogs.

          1. It’s certainly a love it or hate it food. But to those of us that were raised in the 513, it’s serious business. It’s the same level of importance to us as deep dish (casserole) is to the mongoloids from Chiraq.

            1. I suppose it’s like White Castles in a way. Unless you’ve done the late night drunk White Castle’s runs as a yute, I can understand not having that appreciation.

        2. My wife and I went down there for a long weekend last year and had a great time. prolly do that again soon.

  6. The reason pork, lamb, and beef aren’t sales aren’t protected under the Wyoming law is that Congress, in the late1960s, prohibited the commercial sale of those meats unless they were processed in a USDA-inspected facility.

    Presumably the big farmers and the processing facility owners got Congress to enact that law.

    1. Seriously, I’ve bought plenty of all three from local framers and ranchers in the past. They were never processed anywhere.

      This is to ensure the right people are persecuted when they get out of line by using selective enforcement.

    2. In the late ’60’s chickens weren’t yet a consolidated industry as they were too expensive to move long distances (a 500-pound chicken would be another story) just like snack foods and baked goods and hamburgers. Your bread, your potato chips, your hamburgers, and your chicken were probably locally produced because the economies of scale just weren’t there for national production. Just as Frito-Lay figured out with snack foods, and McDonald’s figured out with hamburgers, Frank Perdue figured out national advertising could get consumers to pay a premium price for a national brand of chicken. And Pepperidge Farms remembers when your local brand of bread wasn’t produced by a regional bakery that produced all 15 “competing” brands of bread on the grocery store shelves, too.

      Pork, lamb, and beef – like canned goods – were commodities shipped nationwide so without doing any research whatsoever I’m going to guess that 2 or 3 processors effectively controlled the markets and you are absolutely correct to guess “regulatory capture” as the answer to the question as to why chicken was not treated the same as pork, lamb, and beef.

      1. Interesting, thanks

      2. I’m not sure what you are referring to as locally produced.

        In the late 60s era you reference I was growing up * on a productive farm. We jad 3 chicken houses. Three houses that raised 36,000 baby chick to maturity every 6 weeks on contracts with different major egg and poultry producers. Ralston Purina , Holly Farms among others I remember. Ever 60 days we got a new batch of baby chicks.

        It wasnt mom and pop farmers market type chicken industry even in the late 60s.

        *and worked my younh ass off like a grown farm hand

  7. What he should have done is call the local cops when FSIS agents entered his operation without authority. And if that failed, he should have bashed the first one that entered in the head with a jar of the chili and then claimed self defense since they entered without legal authority.

    1. Maybe not to the level of violence but more or less agreed. If someone comes to your business, refuses to identify themselves, and demands that you shut down you should call the cops. I know this site isn’t the biggest fan of police but defending your rights is exactly what the man with the gun and the badge is paid to do. At very least he’ll make sure that any supposed federal agents show some ID and proper paperwork for abusing you, at which point you can then take it to a lawyer.

      1. But if the cops don’t help then you can bash their head in with a jar of chili, right? RIGHT?!?!?!?!

      2. You see these guns boy. That’s our id. Government equals mafia.

        1. Chili isn’t worth dying over, but at some point, something has to be.

          1. chili may not be worth dying over. The principle of free association is.

            Soon, people will start associating shit like this as a violation offer association rather than something to do with chili. And then the government goons will need to rethink how badly they want to stroke their authority boner in public.

  8. No one expects the Chili Inquisition

  9. So, that Trump thread really brought the retard.

    1. If we’re being honest, the article had enough retarded conjecture in it that the comments were bound to.

    2. And then there are the people who bitch about why H&R posts so many stories on Trump. Obviously it brings more eyeballs and clicks.

      1. I think Reason posts so many negative Trump peices is because the Kochs are #neverTump.

        Sometimes the easy answers sre the right ones.

        1. I also think it has to do with a lot of the writers being more afraid of the unknown that the readers are. And a lot of us embrace the unknown relative to the known (as it applies to our government) and are somewhat flummoxed that the writers don’t share our feelings.

  10. OT: Has anyone in the US heard moral panic stories about Carfenfanil? Apparently it’s an opioid much more powerful than morphine.

    I listen to various international broadcasters via podcasts, and there was a story about it out of Canada, so I’m wondering how long until all the news organizations in the US start going nuts about it.

    1. About as long as it takes for another Hillmail scandal to crop up.

    2. (carefully spells out for shopping list) C-a-r-f-e-n-f-a-n-i-l

    3. A painkiller so powerful it is only approved for end-of-life palliative care of blue whales that are allergic to fentanyl.

      1. (adds note to shopping list) buy several

    4. Did a google search, the panic has started.

  11. “Maybe they haven’t read the Wyoming Food Freedom Act,” Lindholm suggested in a video he posted on Facebook after learning of the recent USDA action. Lindholm is also perplexed by the agency’s actions because they run counter to what the USDA told him as he was drafting the bill that became the Food Freedom Act.

    I’m not sure what connection what federal regulatory agencies tell state legislators has at all to do with what those agencies’ armed bureaucrats do to the legislators’ constituents.

  12. Starting to wonder what’s the point of prosperity when it breeds discontent among the wealthy and gives rise to busybody bureaucrats who make comfortable livings doing this sort of thing.

    Burn it to the ground rather than let these Tonies live off the largess of productive people, I say.

  13. “In my opinion the FSIS didn’t have the authority to inspect that food because it didn’t involve interstate commerce,” Wyoming State Rep. Tyler Lindholm told County 17, a local news site.

    They elect retards or libertarians in Wyoming? Everything involves interstate commerce. Not engaging in interstate commerce involves interstate commerce. That’s the actual damn law.

    1. -1 Filburn, +1 Wickard

      BTW, who was Wickard?

      1. Secretary of Agriculture at the time.

        1. “At the time” being 1942 when Harlan Stone was Chief Justice. Harlan Stone, a Republican, who favored judicial restraint, AKA “deference”: “Courts are not the only agency of government that must be assumed to have capacity to govern.”

          “The great mass of our citizens subordinated their individual conscience and their opinions to the good of the common cause” while “there was a residue whose peculiar beliefs…refused to yield to the opinions of others or to force.” Harlan Stone, explaining why he had no patience for the candy-assed pussies trying to claim conscientious objector status during the late unpleasantness. Just in case you were under the impression that fascism within the GOP is a recent phenomenon. We were all fascists back then.

          The Supremes at the time included such legal luminaries as Hugo Black, Felix Frankfurter, William O. Douglas, and Robert Jackson. Wickard was a unanimous decision.

          1. John Roberts, I’m assuming, is a Harlan Stone fan – whatever sorts of knots you gotta contort yourself into to justify deferring to the God-Kings who are our masters, as long as you don’t question the presumption that they are generally allowed to do what they will with the burden of proof being placed on the plaintiff public to show where exactly in the Constitution whatever it is they’re proposing is prohibited. The only privileges you have are those granted to you by the Constitution – subject to whatever reasonable limits the government is inclined to impose and who are you to question what the government finds reasonable, of course – and everything else is reserved to the government.

      2. Don’t forget about Gonzales v. Raich, which extended the boundary of FvW beyond the twilight zone.

        At least the sophistry of FvW could stand to reason. In GvW, the Nazgul had to find that the cultivation of a crop that could not legally be possessed, transported, distributed, marketed, or sold in interstate commerce, which was intended exclusively for personal use within single state wherein such cultivation was legal, somehow affected interstate commerce.

        The decision in FvW was obviously absurd but at least one could pretend that it was reasonable. But the very reasoning of GvR was absurd.

        GvR should have put any doubts to rest regarding the Nazgul’s concern about the actual words in the written Constitution.

        And it should put to rest any doubts about the effective constitutionality about the scope of power and authority of federal agencies.

  14. Why isn’t this article about me?

    1. No pussies were grabbed

  15. Vegan mom charged with malnourishing 11-month-old son

    CBS Pittsburgh reported that 33-year-old Elizabeth Hawk followed a strict vegan diet and sometimes imposed her extreme nutrition views to her family members.

    “She was going to live on water and sunlight,” Hawk’s sister-in-law Brandy Hawk recalled her saying, according to the news station.

    1. I cannot believe you’re commenting with this bullshit when there’s somebody who said something which might be construed under a certain light as a little bit rapey.

      1. Remember kids, women are strong, smart, tough, fierce, and every bit as capable as a man – maybe even more so. Unless someone says something awful about them. Then they are fragile eggshell figurines in need of male protection.

      2. Sometimes the only way to win is not to play.

        1. Making tasteless comments and starting a nuclear war are _almost_ the same thing, dontcha know.

    2. At least the government protected the child from uninspected chicken chili.

  16. “…the inspectors failed to respond to at least one request to identify themselves, and ordered at least one person at the farmers market who was taping the raid to cease filming, lest FSIS cite him for intimidating federal agents.”

    I wonder if you can sue the cops for threatening you to get you to stop filming or if they have to physically stop you and/or arrest you before you can sue their balls off?

    1. You need to get arrested to monetize it.

      1. That is easy enough to accomplish.

    2. lest FSIS cite him for intimidating federal agents.

      Listen, if you’re an armed agent of the state and you’re intimidated by a camera….then you should probably go home and hang yourself Carradine-style.

      Also, I’d really like to see someone charged with that and have Obama’s DoJ prosecute the case. The contortions leftists would make alone would be worth the price of admission.

      1. I would absolutely love to be threatened like that, guaranteed payday.

  17. “A raid last month targeted a vendor who was selling chili at a farmers market.”

    That’s what you get for putting beans in your chili.

    1. What kind of neanderthal doesn’t put beans in their chili?

      1. One who knows how to make chili.

        And God help you if you deign to put tomatoes in there as well.

        1. Beans I get but come one tomatoes are essential.

        2. No tomatoes, not chili. There are all kinds of meat sauce with no tomatoes but chili aint one of ’em. And all this time I thought HM knew all there was to know.

          *slowly shakes head*

          1. The only ingredients in chili are meat and chilis, and water. Spices exempt.

            Anything else is a stew.

            Soak dried chilis overnight in water.
            Remove the skins.
            Puree with water and spices to taste.
            Brown meat of choice.
            Simmer meat on low in sauce until tender.

            Or eat some concoction of meat stew.

        3. Tomatoes absolutely essential. GTFO (beans)

        4. Chili=meat + chilis. End of discussion
          /Chili Colorado fan

    2. I cant believe you people. No bean chili? Oyster crackers? Spaghetti noodles?

      Other than a bowl of spicy meaty chili with black beans, extra sharp cheddar and ritz crackers in front of the fireplace the only other acceptable way to eat chili is by piling spicy meaty chili with black beans and extra sharp cheddar over a plate with two open-faced hot dogs in front of the fireplace.

      1. I say this with good humor. When Suthen posts about food, my reaction is either “Holy shit! That’s fucking delicious!” or “This is the culinary equivalent of pedophilia.” There has never been an in between.

        Guess on which side that one registers.

        1. My wife wants to know why I am laughing.

          1. Just post a recipe for an oyster po’ boy and all is forgiven.

            1. Oyster Po-boys are easy. Soak your raw oysters in Tabasco ( or your favorite hot sauce) for half an hour or so then sprinkle with flour and mix until the oysters have a thick sticky paste on them. This helps the batter stick and won’t flake off when you fry them. Gently put the gooey oysters into a corn meal/ flour mixture (cornbread mix works well – mix some garlic powder and cayenne in. Don’t add salt, the hot sauce has plenty) cover with the dry batter and press down gently. Pick them up and pass back and forth between your hands to shake off the excess dry batter and then fry at 375 for 4 minutes or until the batter is golden brown.

              Mix up your tartar sauce: Mayo with finely chopped onion, minced garlic, a pinch of cayenne and some sweet pickle relish (pickle/jalepeno relish if you can find it), a small amount of sugar and add a touch of lemon juice if it needs thinning.

              Generously slather both sides of a 10 inch section of french bread cut in two with the tartar sauce and then place as many of the fried oysters on there as will fit. Some people like crispy lettuce on theirs. Iced tea or lemonade are perfect for washing that down.

              1. Thank you for posting this.

          2. Also, given your oriental connections here is a twist for eating spicy meat: Given that chili without tomatoes is a misnomer for taco meat you can wrap a tablespoon or so of that meat in a wonton wrapper and deep fry it (375 for about three minutes). When you finish cooking and spicing your meat, while it is still in the pan and very hot melt in a moderate amount of cheese. Stir well. This helps the meat hold together and of course is delicious. Get your wife to help wrap them all up before beginning to fry. It doesnt matter how many you make they will all get eaten so make lots of them.

            After you finish frying these little gems up ( I roll them like tootsie roll wrappers so they make better finger food) dip them in your favorite salsa and then in sour cream. Yum. Perfect finger food for when you are watching a good movie. One platter piled high with wontons, one bowl of salsa and one bowl of sour cream for you and wife. Better make a second set of that for the kids so they don’t put boogery fingers in your sour cream.

        2. As I understand it, for some, those two sentiments are equivalent.

    3. It was made out of chicken – it wasn’t even chili. Chili is chunks of beef stewed all day long in a pot of spicy broth, tomatoes and sauce, onions and peppers. You can throw some chunks of pork in there, too, and still call it chili I suppose, but chicken chili is as much an oxymoron as vegetarian chili. You gotta have the essential oils that can only come from saturated fat and chickens ain’t got the requisite lardasses.

      1. “vegetarian chili”

        I don’t even know what that is or what it would be. No matter if you live the perfect life and always give to others, preparing this concoction would surely earn you a one way trip to hell.

  18. This election proves a prior enunciate these that there is no such thing as peak retard and Reason staff will gladly grease the wheels.

  19. Cuba documentary making the rotation on PBS around here the last couple days. Summary: Cuban ministers, ageing red guard figureheads and government propagandists say their piece, some foreigners that lived there for a semester say there is plenty of political freedom, common people talk about hoping to engage in the car parts trade, and ends with a Miami based defector saying in Spanish he will never ever want to go back.

    1. I don’t see the commie pukes here getting on rafts and dog paddling from Florida to Cuba. I wish they would. Put your money where your mouth is you pinko bastards.

      1. The documentary is surprisingly watchable, I recommend it. Funny that the Imperialists don’t steamroll in and topple the regime. The state of everything in Cuba id all so pathetic and regular people are caught in the middle.

        1. “The state of everything in Cuba id all so pathetic …”

          I have spent some time looking at the panramio photos on google earth. It is depressing as hell. Everywhere everything is dilapidated, peeling paint, falling down. Livestock in the streets, barefoot people walking everywhere, children squating in the mud and open sewers. It looks like going back in time 100 years.

          1. I watched the Cuba v. USA friendly soccer match yesterday – first one since before you-know-who came along, at least in Cuba.

            You’d figure a country would trot out its best stadium for such an affair but this place was a complete and total dump. The ball couldn’t even roll along the grass, which could not be watered because there was no running water there. I was actually wondering if they didn’t play it there to score some pity points or something, because it’s hard to believe they don’t have a proper stadium.

            1. I went to visit a friend once where he was running a gold mine in Bolivia. He had offered the local village some infrastructure; running water, a sewer system, pave some roads, electricity…whatever they wanted. All they had to do was decide what they wanted. They holed up in the church for a few days and debated.

              They decided they wanted a soccer field. At first he was relieved because that was the cheapest thing they could have asked for. Grade a field and put in some bleachers and lights. After it was built they didn’t come to work for three weeks so they could play soccer. The mine had to shut down for three weeks.

              No good deed…

              1. Starring Michael Douglas and Seth Rogen. In theaters this xmas.

      2. Yeah, and nobody does medical care tourism to Cuba, either. But that doesn’t stop the commie pukes from producing and praising Cuba for its “free” health care system.

      3. Not until Havana gets a Chipotle. You know, so they can go there and bitch about it.

  20. Moonbeam gob-smacked by reality:

    “Why California is sputtering along the electric highway”
    […]
    … Hybrid electric and fully electric cars have been stuck at only 3 percent of new cars sold in the state. … “People who are wealthy buy electric cars to drive in the carpool lane and get to work quicker,” he said. …”
    http://www.sfgate.com/search/?…..ctric+cars

    Paywalled, but one anecdote was amusing:
    Guy buys an electric car, sales guy says ‘how are you getting it home? The batteries won’t take you that far’.
    And it looks like we’re (that’s you and me, fellow taxpayers) gonna be paying more’n $13K of the cost of a car.

  21. I dumped *my* chili, and the feds didn’t make me do it.

    /gross, unfunny joke

    1. Eddie, that isn’t a “joke.” Please stop making “jokes.”

      1. You’re just begging for a Civil War anecdote about chili.

      2. I grossed out Crusty Juggler himself!

  22. Through MyPlate, MyState, USDA is working to make the connection between healthy eating and more than 160,000 farmers and ranchers nationwide that are selling into local markets through… farmers markets, farm stands and community supported agriculture (CSA) programs

    Juuust leave us the fuck alone. If we want to make the connections we’re totally able to do that.

  23. “‘In my opinion the FSIS didn’t have the authority to inspect that food because it didn’t involve interstate commerce,’ Wyoming State Rep. Tyler Lindholm told County 17, a local news site.'”

    Just about everything we do–or don’t do–involves interstate commerce.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wickard_v._Filburn

  24. I understand Elk is so good that people who have it find beef unappealing by comparison.

    But I guess you can’t sell wild game?

    And who wants to give away Elk steaks if they’re better than beef?

    In Utah, anyway, they say Elk are a pain in the ass to hunt, too. Not only are they gigantic to pack out, the land and foliage are such that it’s hard to get a shot off at closer than 400 yards. They told me that because the males stick to the center of the herd, you need the herd to start moving, too, in order to get a clear shot.

    I’ve heard that a resident’s shot at getting a permit for Elk are supposed to be one-in-three or four, but that if you aren’t Mormon or a tourist going on a guided hunt, your real chances of actually landing a permit are next to nothing.

    How’s a fella supposed to try an Elk steak if he can’t buy one at a farmer’s market or something?

    1. I’ve had elk in stew and it was meh. probably not the best example; it was in a restaurant.

      my experience with game-meats is that they don’t have nearly enough fat to be tasty, so they need to be cooked in things/ways to distract you from the fact that they’re just stringy, dense-protein without much distinction.

      wild boar i liked.

      1. You haven’t had much in the way of game meats, then….

        Last deer I shot was almost buttery. Could be because I’m in the middle of some prime farmland, and they have plenty of fruits and grains to graze on, but damn that was good stuff.

      2. Camel was good… It was beefy, but a little darker, and it had this hint of sweetness to it.

        Kangaroo was fucking awesome, but it has almost no fat, so you have to cook it very carefully.

    2. Simply google ‘elk meat sale’ and you will find a few places that sell it. Before spending your money on elk try buffalo. Buffalo is orders of magnitude better than any other red meat. The same places that sell elk sell buffalo.

      http://www.elkusa.com/buffalo_…..gQodL3MEtA

      1. I like buffalo more than elk.

        I went on one elk hunt as a kid and got skunked. My father went on a bunch in Wyoming after I had left home and did very well. He would share his elk with my family and I thought it was OK, but not something that I would replace beef with.

        Elk is a lot like venison in that if you leave the fat on it can lead to a gamey taste. We always trim all the fat off our deer and my father said the same about elk. The result is that you don’t get a steak from elk or venison that has that big tasty strip of fat.

        I like elk, but I agree with Suthen that bison is much better (way more like beef).

        Really though, I like hunting deer more than anything. I should go out to Wyoming with my boys now that they are grown and hunt elk.

        1. I didn’t find that the fat on the deer I used to take from the wheat fields was that way. The ones further up in the mountains was that way, but not the ones from the fields. The fat seemed different too. It was a subtilly different cornsistency and it was laid on the meat different. It’s been forever since then, but I remember the difference being apparent during butchery, and that the wheatfield venison fat wasn’t so inclined to imparting an unfortunate gusto to the meat.

    3. I haven’t had elk for a long time, but I do remember that it was pretty damn tasty.

    4. Elks is also pretty easy to farm. At any rate, it is one of the deliciousest meats, especially in the mountains. If there’s antelope, I think it’s about like elkflesh but better. Mountain goat is about the same, but even harder to come by, and no matter how good not worth the trouble. Full grown muttons can get pretty tasty too. That’s everything at the top of my list. I’d put ratmeat higher up the list than I would beef. Beef doesn’t even compare, though it is semi-edible if it’s grown right. Or if it’s tripes. Or liver. And if I’m using ground elkmeat for something, I may add some ground mutton to offset the often horrific dryness of elkmeat.

  25. ‘themselves, and ordered at least one person at the farmers market who was taping the raid to cease filming, lest FSIS cite him for intimidating federal agents.’

    And remember, this is the same Obama administration that seeks to reform local policing around the country.

    1. Most transparent administration ever!

    2. Seeking and saying you are seeking are two different things.

  26. I can’t get the phrase “The nation is reeling” out of my head.

    Only the voice in my head is speaking it in a heavy-lisp. ‘weeelwing’

  27. Children inherit their intelligence from their mother not their father, say scientists

    Genes for cleverness are carried on the X chromosome and may be deactivated if they come from the father

    Er, in mice. We think.

      1. I read the breathlessly provocative “study irrefutaby shows!” article yesterday, and giggled.

        No sciencing sciencer am I, but in general I find that any irrefutable evidence which finally proves one gender to be superior turns out to be inconclusive at proving that unless you want it to.

    1. How many of the studies published nowadays are replicable?

  28. So what the hell happened to the global warming that was scouring the east coast of Florida into an uninhabitable wasteland and killing millions? I turned on the news this morning and it’s not wall-to-wall coverage of the Category 11 Killstorm all of a sudden.

    1. I turned on the news this morning and it’s not wall-to-wall coverage of the Category 11 Killstorm all of a sudden.

      That’s because Trump wants to get handsy.

    2. Jack, trueman and Tony will soon be along to tell us: IT KILLED THREE PEOPLE! MORE THAN DIED A YEAR AGO! YOU MUST BE A DENIER!
      Just once, I’d like an answer to this question:
      Please tell us of one specific prediction which turned out to be true.

      1. I predicted that global warming would turn out to be a scam. There is that one.

  29. Where the fuck is the agency that protects thinking Americans from the fanatical narrow-mindedness of their own fucking bureaucracies?

  30. Fuck you. Fuckin fuck. Ran in to an Aussie at the bar claiming I had white privilege. Made an argument for why the entire concept of privilege based on race is nonsense and in fact bigoted in itself. If you’re dealing with this shit on a daily basis in the U.S., I couldn’t blame you for going alt-right. Prefer you go libertarian, but I really can’t blame you for going that way.

    1. Ran in to an Aussie at the bar claiming I had white privilege

      how does that work, exactly?

      were you in line for the bathroom, and they just announced it?

      1. His white privilege allowed him to call out my white privilege. Seriously, is it this nuts in the states?

        1. I haven’t been accused of exercising my white privilege yet, amazingly. I’m sure to have gobs of it, somewhere.

        2. My impression of the thing is it seems to be a very juvenile trick whereby 1 person immunizes themselves from criticism by pre-emptively accusing others

          YOU ALL HAVE COOTIES

          – uh, you have cooties too?

          NO TOUCHBACKS

          I think the expression, “Fuck off” is well-understood among Australians, and is probably appropriate anytime some schmoo starts whinging about ‘privilege’

    2. Don’t you live in Japan straffin? Who knew white privilege festered even in majority non-european societies? Especially Japan.

      You are wasting your time debating with a useful idiot. Remember what Bezmenov said – “No matter how much information they have they cannot draw a sensible conclusion”. He wasn’t exaggerating.

      1. Yes, 20 years here. Used to Japanese collectivists, but not smug, racist Westerners.

        1. Used to Japanese collectivists, but not smug, racist Westerners.

          You might want to stay away from the US for awhile, then.

          1. Been 10 years. I realized tonight maybe I have no idea what bs people are actually going through in the states. My blood is boiling.

  31. Gary Johnson publishes long speech about Foreign Policy in the National Interest

    Between pussy-grabbing, wikiweaks, and hurricane boring… don’t think anyone will read it, but you guys might. Its not terrible.

    It should be noted that he makes no appeal to any particular libertarian principle. He talks about “interests” and “assessing potential consequences” and making clear what we expect other nations responsibilities to be – i.e. incentivizing others to pursue their own interests rather than pre-empting their own decisions.

    Its realism, not Ron Paul-ish moralism; and there’s zero appeal to any idealized ‘neutrality’ where we avoid relations/entanglement on principle. He even seems to acknowledge that the US maintains de-facto primacy in the international order, and should stay that way =

    e.g.

    I often say we must “rule the world with diplomacy and free trade.” That isn’t just a slogan. What is missing from our foreign policy is the idea that we must operate from a position of economic and, therefore, diplomatic strength. Right now, we are wringing our hands because Russia and China are imposing their wills across the globe, and we appear powerless to influence their decisions or ambitions….

    …anyway, so there’s that.

  32. Noted Nobel Prize-winning economist snorts at the idea that economics is at all important, holds forth on issue totally outside his area of expertise.

    But if we’re worried about the longer-term implications of current policies, the buildup of greenhouse gases is a much bigger deal than the accumulation of low-interest debt. It’s bizarre to talk about the latter but not the former.

    On the other hand, if he doesn’t know that that “low-interest debt” regularly gets rolled over into whatever-the-current-rate-is debt, maybe economics isn’t his area of expertise either.

    1. it seems stupid to compare those 2 things

      a nation’s debt levels is something which it can unilaterally address with its own policies.

      e.g. reducing the nation’s debt doesn’t need some massive coordinated effort between nations which is guaranteed to include lots of cheating and corruption and rent-seeking.

      Whereas “trying to monkey with the climate of the entire planet via some bullshit international regulatory super-structure”? Isn’t something a nation can unilaterally do.

      Which makes it completely inappropriate as part of a presidential debate. Both could either agree or disagree entirely about the subject, and it wouldn’t make any fucking difference because the process itself would be a giant multilateral clusterfuck anyway *(presuming you even think its worth doing – which, as Kyoto showed, it wasn’t)

    2. “But if we’re worried about the longer-term implications of current policies, the buildup of greenhouse gases is a much bigger deal than the accumulation of low-interest debt. It’s bizarre to talk about the latter but not the former.”

      There is an argument to be made that when the market offers you incredibly large amounts of credit at incredibly low interest rates, you should take advantage of that opportunity. And that’s where we are right now.

      And if you think the expense to government from global warming in the future will be larger than the expense to government from borrowing and spending money now to avoid those expenses, then what he’s saying makes sense.

      I think the problem with what he’s saying is that 1) the ultimate solution to climate change (assuming the models are accurate) involves a change in consumer behavior not government spending and 2) consumers are also taxpayers and voters. If they don’t already want to change their behavior, then they won’t support politicians, policies, massive spending, the busting of the debt ceiling, and massive taxes to force them to change their behavior, either.

    3. Sometimes economists lose sight of the fact that market forces aren’t parametric equations. Market forces are people making choices. Their choices are driven by qualitative considerations because they’re people and not equations. If people are not willing to sacrifice their own standard of living now for someone else’s benefit in the future, then the cheapness of debt isn’t really the issue. If the solution doesn’t address people’s qualitative preferences, then the solution isn’t even addressing the real problem.

      On the other hand, if Lyft-GM cars powered by low carbon intensity electricity offer consumers a qualitatively better transportation option than they have now, then consumers will choose that. If the cost of using transportation like that, additionally, is significantly cheaper than buying and financing the cars we have now, consumers will flee our current transportation model behind like they dumped the horse and buggy. Do you know how much land it takes to feed a damn horse? And they shit all over everything.

      1. And the darn things are only rated at 1HP.

        1. You can’t leave them in the garage and go on vacation. You have to stay home and feed them everyday.

    4. What area of expertise does an economist have? Since we are constantly beset by economic ups and downs it appears to me that economists don’t know anything.

  33. My biggest beef with the guy is that the racist sumbitch doesn’t even acknowledge that Obama’s election already caused the rise of the oceans to slow and the planet to begin healing. Why do they even print this guy’s drivel when it’s obvious he’s just a teathuglican obstructionist out to deny the legitimacy of Obama’s presidency by suggesting that only two rich old white people can posssibly save us all?

  34. “Clinton’s comments to financial firms, if legitimate, would validate what supporters of Bernie Sanders long said about her: Clinton is a fake populist who is really out of touch with the middle class. But the timing of the leaks, well after the Democratic primary and the same night video emerged of Donald Trump bragging about being able to grope women, could blunt any political impact.”
    http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/07/…..index.html

    Yep, that guy Trump can dig a deeper hole than the hag any day of the week.
    He should have closed his yap the day after the debate, and his loss wouldn’t be a YUGE as it’s going to be.

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