Ah, Independence Day is upon us once again. However, for many Americans this year may not be much of one for celebrating. Millions of Americans have seen a tough couple of years and no light seems to appear at the end of the tunnel. With the current state of job losses, debt, bailouts for Wall St., and a continuing scorn for working America one begins to wonder just what in the hell we really think we are free from.
At 11:30 yesterday morning on the corner of Greene St. and Washington Pl. I met Firefighter James M. Sorokac for the first time. I'd never met him before but being the keeper of "The Last Alarm" and a member of the of the FDNY ceremonial unit, his face was far too familiar to me.
In the shadow of the Asch Building he explained that the bell that is rang for the fallen dates back to a time when there was one bell at every NYC fire house. He told me the story of the four fives. When firehouses would communicate to each other across the city by ringing five times in a series of four the message that "a brother has fallen in the line of duty."
Today that bell is rang once by a white gloved firefighter at funerals and memorial services. Yesterday Firefighter James M. Sorokac rang that bell 146 times.
The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) issued a recall on 864,000 pounds of beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7. The meat was packaged by Montebello, Calif.-based Huntington Meat Packing and sold to consumers under the Huntington, Imperial Meat, and El Rancho brands. Some of the meat in question was sold almost two years ago. This is the second beef recall of 2010-the first came on January 11 and was initiated by the Massachusetts Department of Health over 2,500 pounds of beef from Adams Farm Slaughterhouse, LLC.
Each year there are more and more recalls so it may seem that the government is getting a handle on dangerous tainted beef but much of the 864,000 pound recall was already sold and the reason for the Adams Farm recall was that someone got sick.
While recalled beef certainly represents a public health hazard doesn't it also represent an ecological disaster in America?
According to a USA Today story Eating can be energy-efficient, too"The production of 1 pound of beef creates 14.8 pounds of C02, the same amount produced by 20.59 miles of driving." Also "It takes about 15 pounds of feed to make 1 pound of beef."
By that calculation when an E. coli contamination caused 545,699 pounds of ground beef to be recalled last weekover 8 million pounds of C02 was generated. The carbon emissions equivalent of driving from New York to San Francisco 3,867 times were produced for far worse than nothing, produced for poison. Since it would have taken 8,185,485 pounds of feed to get this tainted beef to market, at 43,655 tons the combined total of grain that was mostly left behind as manure and garbage beef placed in landfill are comparable in weight (but far larger in mass) to the ill fated ocean liner Titanic.
This recent recall that also killed two people sounds extremely wasteful but it is only a drop in the bucket when you look at the bigger picture.
(some healthcare for your morning... - promoted by poligirl)
The battle for Progressive change in our healthcare system is being joined. On one side we have those who fully realize that our system is failed, and that millions of Americans who work have no coverage. The other side offers no real solutions and just echoes false talking points that attempt to support the status-quo on America's healthcare system. You can be sure that those who support the current system have health coverage and need not worry about a medical emergency bankrupting them. The really aggrevating part is that they continue to spread falsehoods about Progressive reform to try and undermine those who seek to change a failed system.
For the last several months we've been told not to eat tomatoes, to eat tomatoes, not to eat lettuce, to eat lettuce and then it went on to peppers and whatever else they could think of to make us scared to eat anything good for us. Now....