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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Chicago vs. PETA: Offenders on the Offense!

Before reading this, you might want to catch up by reading the previous parts of this Chicago vs. PETA series:

PART 1: Chicago Bans Food and PETA is to Blame
PART 2: Chicago vs. PETA: The Foie Gras Debate!
PART 3: Chicago vs. PETA: The Lawsuit!
PART 4: Chicago vs. PETA: The Uprising!
PART 5: Chicago vs. PETA: The First Offense!
PART 6: Chicago vs. PETA: A Step In The Right Direction?

And join us in the seventh installment of a series of posts that (in the opinion of the writer) should never have come to be. And PETA is to blame; they shock-videoed the Chicago City Council into agreeing to sign a law banning foie gras from the city. In the second part, I discussed the studies and FACTS proving that the reasons BEHIND the law are unfounded and not based on any facts at all. In the third part I got to speak of the Illinois Restaurant Association (IRA) who believes so strongly in this cause that it's practically paying for both sides of the legal battle, based on the fact that it's unconstitutional to make a city law overturning something the federal government approves, let alone deciding what people can/cannot eat. In the fourth part I got to talk about the restaurants fighting back and how more were serving foie gras than ever once the law took effect. In the fifth part, we learned about the first victim of the law and how little the city even cared, other than the media. In part six, the mayor decided to reconsider his stance on the issue. Part seven revisits the restaurants, several months after the ban went into effect.

And for "offenders" - they certainly are taking the offensive in the foie gras dispute!

Five months after the city ordered restaurants to stop selling foie gras, some fancy restaurants and gourmet shops no longer offer the goose or duck liver delicacy, while others are flouting the ban, listing foie gras on their menus and, in one case, framing the city's warning letter.

That's right, Doug Sohn - owner of Hot Doug's gourmet sausage store - thinks the whole thing is so silly that he framed the warning letter issued by the Health Department and hung it on the wall the way most restaurants hang celebrity endorsements.

And in a way, the notice from the Health Department IS like an endorsement to some of these restaurant owners. In fact, since the ban started over five months ago - there have been a total of NINE complaints. Once again, the result of a first-time complaint is (drumroll, please) a WARNING LETTER. So hanging one of these fabled warning letters is like displaying a limited-edition work of art.

After all, one can only hope that Chicago's aldermen will inevitably pull their heads out of their asses long enough to consider Mayor Daley's proposal to remove the ban that he declared "the silliest ordinance the City Council has ever passed." Once that has been acheived, there will be no more warning letters, and odds are there will have been no fines issued.

One restaurant did come close, as they were almost given a citation from the Health Department for selling foie gras. Fortunately, Bin 36 wasn't actually SELLING the foie gras in question. It was specifically noted that the foie gras terrine was a COMPLIMENTARY addition to the wild mushroom confit salad. Would the salad have cost less without the complimentary foie gras? Sure. But that's not the point. The point is that restaurants are FLAUNTING their foie gras services (and gaining business for doing so) as a mockery of the idiots who put the law into effect and those who support it in general.

Of course, the activists are claiming that the ban is "working".

"Our supporters are going into restaurants, and we're told that they are not selling foie gras," said Gene Baur, president of Farm Sanctuary, a national farm animal protection organization.

Hey, guess what, Gene Baur?

IT'S CALLED LYING! You know, that thing you do when moronic protesters come into your business griping about things? You placate them as efficiently and effectively as possible so they get the hell out - and then resume business as usual.

That's like a cop coming into a Prohibition-era establishment asking if they're serving liquor!

"No sir, officer!"
"Alright, carry on then."
**officer leaves**
**booze resumes flowing**

In fact, that's a very apt analogy - since some restauranteurs have turned the foie gras ban into a new Prohibition, speakeasies and all! A speakeasy was an establishment where you gained access by knowing the password - and at least a few Chicago restaurants will certainly oblige if you ask them for the "special lobster" dish.

But ya didn't hear it from me, see??

Alderman Joe Moore, the ordinance's chief sponsor, said he realizes the Health Department has more pressing issues, but he is dismayed to see restaurants flouting the ordinance. "It evinces a certain degree of arrogance on the part of these establishments," he said.

You can call it arrogance. I prefer to call it "delicious".

Arrogance, sir, is taking a food item that is approved by the United States Department of Agriculture for production and sales - and then claiming that your city is "better" than the United States and its decisions by taking away the rights of citizens to sell or purchase that food.

At least that's one meat-eater's opinion on the matter. What's yours?

Stay tuned for more in the Chicago vs. PETA series - a series we wouldn't have had in the first place if it weren't for PETA sticking its nose in YOUR dinner plate. Read more!

Monday, January 08, 2007

"Dear Parent - Your Child is Fat!"

I was tempted to throw a Humor tag on this post, but then thought again as my laughter at the notion of the article in question quickly turned into fuming outrage by the time I'd finished reading. As if we don't scare the crud out of school children enough with pop quizzes, homework and - let's face it - constant news of school shootings and school-related gang violence, idiots in charge of the Hyannis Elementary School in Boston decided to step things up a notch.

Not only are they singling out overweight and "at-risk of obesity" students, they're including mom and dad in the judgemental concept by putting these warnings in letters sent home.

Hopefully some of you are saying, "No! Surely this is a horrible joke!" Hopefully there's some decency still out there among the populous who is shocked and appalled at poor-health ridicule in the form of letters to parents, wasting time of parents and teachers alike. This monstrocity needs to be stopped, people!

The school is claiming that it can hide behind a state law that requires that a school notify parents of children who are overweight or underweight, or who may be at risk of becoming so. I simply cannot believe that a note needs to be given to parents from a school nurse to REMIND them of their child's possible health problems.

"Dear Mr. and/or Mrs. Parent,
Your child is overweight and is at risk for juvenile diabetes and heart problems and other obesity-related problems later on in life unless changes are made to your child's nutrition, diet and exercise patterns.
Hyannis Elementary School Nurse"

Dear School Nurse,
Being a parent who cares enough about my child to do things like SEE him/her with my EYES, I am well-aware of my child's weight problem. This problem is strictly one facing my child, and hereditarily, myself. I did not need a reminder of my child's weight problem, nor did my child deserve the embarrassment of having me read this letter or the ridicule of other children when confronted on whether or not his parent received such a letter. You may be at risk of legal action and other angry-parent-related problems in your life unless changes are made to your sense of deceny, nosiness and downright lack of respect for my child and the other children of this school.
Mr. and/or Mrs. Parent

And for those of you out there who think that I'm trying to sound like one of the overprotecting liberal boo-hooers I'm usually up-in-arms against - think twice. This isn't about protecting children in my mind - it's about stopping people from being idiot douchebags and wasting everyone's time and effort by stating the obvious and butting into the business of families where they are not and should not be welcome.

You think Vicki Elliott, whose 4-foot-tall, 66-pound daughter was sent home with a letter warning that she was "at risk of becoming overweight," needs a reminder that her daughter might be overweight or at risk of becoming overweight??

I'm willing to bet she's reminded of it enough when her daughter comes home crying because of the mean things kids say to her.

I'm not saying her daughter needs protection.
I'm not saying her mother is wrong or needs to be taught a lesson or given pointers.

I'm saying it's not the school's business, and it's insulting to point out the obvious and undermine parents, who can do a perfectly fine job of raising a snot-nosed brat on their own.

I'd prefer they focused on learning to f*cking count - it'll come in handy when they're forced to count calories later on in life, or at least to maybe count my change correctly while on shift at their McJob!

The original article Read more!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Illegal Immigrants Rewarded for Killing Atlanta Deputy?

Sometimes when I'm looking for things to write about, I'll do a search on a news site, like Google News or maybe Yahoo or something like that. After my last big post about animal rights terrorists, I felt like i'd done by part in the anti-PETA niche for a few days at least - it was time to return to a long-overdue niche about illegal immigrants. I do a search for recent news articles about illegal immigrants, and two articles came up in the Top 5 most recent, right NEXT to each other:

"Ban on renting to illegal immigrants halted"
"Illegal Immigrants Kill Sheriff's Deputy"

If you think that's not noteworthy, you might not know that BOTH of these events took place in Atlanta, GA.

Atlanta Deputy Sheriff Loren Lilly, who was a legal U.S. citizen, was doing his duty protecting other legal citizens and was killed on his way to work by two suspected illegal immigrants in a hit and run crash.

Witnesses say the driver and passenger in the Taurus ran from the scene. Police later arrested the two, 27-year-old Joel Perea, and 23-year-old Maurilio Herrera. Perea is charged with felony vehicular homicide, hit and run, failure to maintain a lane, and driving without a license. Herrera is charged with false report of a crime. They're being held at the Cobb County Jail, and police say federal immigration officials have placed a hold on both.

WND has reported on the growing list of illegal immigrants who have not only ignored U.S. immigration laws, but state laws against drinking and driving as well, killing innocents on the highways in the process.

Okay, so on New Year's Eve - two illegal immigrants driving without a license (well, only one was driving) killed an Atlanta deputy. I'd like to believe that their being "held" by federal immigration officials means they're getting DEPORTED the hell out of our country - though with our system the way it is to day, I have little faith that this is the case.

So what happens less than a week later in Atlanta??

A suburban Atlanta county agreed to delay a new ban on renting homes to illegal immigrants until challenges of similar laws in other states are resolved.

That's right, they're wussing out and delaying the start of a ban that should have gone into effect on Monday, just because the other DECENT cities that passed the same or similar laws banning the rental/sale of homes to illegal immigrants are being challenged by liberal boo-hooers and awaiting a court decision. So rather than make the law go into effect so MAYBE the township will get some use out of it and finally crack down on illegal immigrants in the neighborhood and the landlords who would be breaking the law by renting the home to them - they're delaying it just in case some judge decides to overturn the law in another city and they won't look like "the bad guys" for enacting a law that was passed by the legislature.

"These laws place a wedge in our communities, pitting neighbor against neighbor," said Gerry Weber, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union (who apparently doesn't get the fact that there's a difference between 'pitting neighbor against neighbor' and 'pitting legal citizens against brazen criminals'). It's an outrage that liberals aren't getting it through their thick skulls that illegal immigrants are CRIMINALS and have BROKEN THE LAW by entering illegally, not to mention the large number of FURTHER crimes they commit in addition to their simply being here illegally.

What about a law saying that it's illegal to rent a home to an ESCAPED FUGITIVE who broke out of prison? Surely neighbors wouldn't want to be living next to someone who broke out of jail and will likely commit more crimes! Would you call that law 'pitting neighbor against neighbor'?? There's a reason why most landlords run background checks in the first place - to make sure they're aware of a criminal history or OUTSTANDING WARRANTS. You know, reasons why the tenant might be arrested and therefore unable to be paying rent. Not to mention the legal issue of aiding a criminal.

And in ATLANTA? Where illegal immigrants just KILLED a deputy??

Your town is just ASKING for trouble. Continuing to delay this law going into effect and delaying the chance to crack down on illegal immigrants cluttering up your neighborhoods will only result in more crimes and more deaths.

I sincerely hope no other police officers' lives are taken as a result of this foolish attempt to delay or overturn a law that makes sense and could protect your families from getting killed like Atlanta Deputy Sheriff Loren Lilly.

The deputy article
The rental ban article Read more!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

WARNING! POM Juice Contaminated by Terrorists!

Look out! A seemingly-healthy bottle of POM juice may be one of the 487 bottles that were tampered with by animal liberation terrorists. Anonymous communiques being sent to the Animal Liberation Press Office have been coming in ever since the Animal Enterprise Terrorist Act went into effect. The terrorists, upset that they're now labelled as the terrorists that they are, are resorting to TERRORISM in response. While some of the communiques are lesser-degree terrorist acts under the new law, like gluing the locks of fur/leather stores along several blocks in Manhattan, this act might actually KILL you.

They claim that drinking the tampered juice will result in "diarrhea, vomiting and headaches" - symptoms which could be caused by a chemical that could prove fatal, or could themselves be fatal if consumed by a weak-healthed person trying to drink some healthy juice.

So WHY? Why would they be targeting a company like POM Wonderful, manufacturing pomegranate and other healthy juices, with such a horrific act? Well, because POM apparently tests their juices on animals so they can make the claims that they do. PETA and other more-violent animal rights activist groups have been up in arms at the juice company, protesting for them to join the Naked Juice Company which is a collective that doesn't test on animals.

Here's an excerpt their communique:

"in a well coordinated action, 487 bottles of pom wonderful juices were tampered with along the Eastern seaboard in stores like wild oats, d'agostino's and food emporiums. those who drink the contaminated juice won't die like the animals in pom labs, but the diarrhea, vomiting and headaches will hopefully send a strong message that people will no longer allow innocent defenseless animals to be tormented and killed for a health juice and to line the pockets of profiteers who dont have feelings for those weaker than they are....thanks to feinstein and inhoff and the stupid animal enterprise terrorist law that violates the principles that this country is supposed to be founded on, more and more activists like us will choose to retreat into the shadows and fight for the animals underground"

So rather than protest in a legal fashion at the POM Wonderful headquarters or outside stores that sell POM - you know, LEGAL acts of protest that are NOT affected by the Animal Enterprise Terrorist Act - they've decided to not only threaten the business by tampering with bottles of juice already in stores and out of the liable hands of the company itself, but they're threatening the lives and health of anyone who stumbles upon one of the 487 tampered bottles! That's the DEFINITION of terrorism - harming/killing people or threatening to do so in order to coerce your ideas onto people! That's why the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act was created and signed into law in the first place!

It's sheer idiocy that the creation of a sensible and decent law is resulting in the INCREASE of people willing to break it and BRAGGING (though cowardly doing so anonymously) that they've broken it. Only in the illegal immigration battle is there a more-bold defiance of FEDERAL LAW.

Well, animal liberation douchebag terrorists - I sincerely hope that you've had your fun, because you've now broken a federal law and it's in their jurisdiction - so they get to treat you like the other terrorists out there, and we ALL know how unpleasant of an ordeal that can be! I hope that you not only get pinned for the terrorism you caused, but that they add charges of attempted murder because you neglegently could have killed someone with the additives you put into the juice by tampering with the bottles.

I sincerely pray that nobody DOES die from ingesting the tampered juice - and I pray that these terrorists are located and justice is served.

(And as long as idiots want to BREAK new laws, I suggest we make it illegal to give money/shelter to the homeless, illegal to deport illegal immigrants without jurisdiction, and illegal to give me millions of dollars out of thanks for helping to fight animal enterprise terrorism with my posts.)

Maybe then all of those things would actually get done and we could all live happily and I could live wealthily.

(The full communique)

(click here for a larger list of terrorist acts being bragged about, including this one) Read more!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Idiotic Product: Sauna Belt

Alright, this idiotic product is a standard one. The basic concept is to create a large heating pad with velcro straps so you can wrap it around "problem areas" and claiming that the heat leads to sweating, which affects the "problem areas" in ways other than general dehydration and minor burns by missetting the "Self-Limiting Temperature Control Gauge".

So let's look beyond this general idiocy and try and get a bit more focused on what makes this product and advertisement itself so IDIOTIC:

The article claims "Now you won’t need to leave the house to work up a sweat, with Sauna Belt you can just relax in the comfort of your own home."

Okay, let's dissect this.

They claim a benefit of their product is the fact that now you don't have to leave the house to get sweaty. Maybe it's just me being a fat person, but I've gotten plenty sweaty without needing to leave the house - it's called BEING HOT. Hell, you can close the bathroom door, turn on the hot faucet for the tub, and within 10 minutes you'd have a sauna of more than a belt status.

Of course, you'd have to be smart enough to realize that you can get hot and sweaty without ordering a Sauna Belt, let alone without leaving the house. They should really have said you can work up a sweat without EXERCISING - a more annoying thing than having to leave the house. Speaking of which, the damned thing is electric and has a power cord, so it's not a matter of you "not having to leave the house", it's a matter of you "not being ABLE to leave the house"!

So instead of the fake idea that you have to burden yourself by leaving the house in order to sweat, they've sold you a product that burderns you with not being ABLE to leave the house. One more reason why this is an IDIOTIC PRODUCT.

The ad goes on with a small list:

- CE Approved – Guaranteed Safe
- Self-Limiting Temperature Control Gauge
- Made With Very High Quality Materials
- 68 Inch Built In Power Cord
- Auto-Shut-Off After 50 Minutes

What is the "CE" and what authority do THEY have to approve something or guarantee its safety??

Seriously, I looked all over this ad, and I have no idea what the CE is or why I should trust their judgement. Did the Croatian Embassy approve this product and guarantee its safety? A Chinese Emissary? College Education? I certainly don't feel very safe or guaranteed of anything at this point.

I don't know what makes this temperature control gauge "self-limiting". It limits itself? Then how is it a control gauge if it overrides what you set it to? "I want it at 100 degrees." *now resetting to 85 degrees* "NO! I said 100 degrees!" *now limiting to 80 degrees* I'm sure that it's a great idea to have it NOT go to 200 degrees, but that's why there's a maximum setting. Why have a max setting if it limits itself to never get there?

"Made with Very High Quality Materials"?? Well, thanks for boasting about the quality of the materials you used to create this modified heating pad with velcro straps. I'm so glad I'm getting such "very high quality" for the low price of $19.99 and I'm sure your "CE" approves of the materials used and guarantees their "very high quality".

68-inch power cord? Thanks for letting me know the exact maximum distance my "problem areas" will be able to be from the nearest power cord (unless I bother to use an extension cord for my IDIOTIC PRODUCT)! Good to know that I won't be getting 6 feet away from the wall! I'm so glad I don't have to leave my house to sweat!!

As for automatically shutting itself off after 50 minutes - this is the only semi-decent thing I've read about this product. They bothered to make sure that if somehow the self-limiting temperature causes you to pass out from pain or dehydration or horrific malfunction - it'll only keep burning you for 50 minutes from when you turned it on. It also limits your sauna sessions to 50 minutes at a time, though I'm sure that restarting it after those 50 minutes right away won't cause any real downtime for you.

"Beware Of The Sauna Belt Look-a-Like."

Oh yes, I wouldn't want to waste my money on a look-a-like product that's a mangled heating pad with velcro and ISN'T made with "Very High Quality" materials or approved/guaranteed by... my high school football team, the Chaminade Eagles? No, that would be a COMPLETE waste of my money. The only thing worse than wasting money on an idiotic product would certainly be wasting your money on a LOOKALIKE idiotic product!

Included in the list of things it comes with are "Instruction Booklet And Diet Plan" and "Tape Measure". Instructions are always a great thing to send with a product - thank goodness you decided to AFFIRM that instructions WILL be sent with the purchase of this product! As for the Diet Plan, that's a bit insulting! That's like admitting that your product will never work, and you're much better off throwing it away and following a diet plan if you really wanted to lose that weight or drop sizes in your "problem areas". Speaking of which - nothing reaffirms that your "problem areas" are problematic like the inclusion of a Tape Measure! That's like including a coupon for an x-ray/scan when you buy a nicotine patch to remind you of what crappy shape your lungs are in!

Here's the icing on the cake - Poor math skills!

Mentioned a total of five times is the fact that if you buy one at $19.99, you'll get a second one free and the total value of this super-deal is $140!

Quick digress: Why would you want a second one, even if it's free? It doesn't look like something you should/could use two of at the same time. It's not appropriate to use as a gift. It must be doubt about the "very high quality" materials and saying you have a spare for when the first one craps out. Seriously, WHY give TWO??

Okay - so the total value is $140, and you get two "Sauna Belt"s. Mathematically, that would bring the value of each Sauna Belt to... about... $70. And yet it's being sold for $19.99, right? Well, then THAT must be the value of the item, isn't it? If I sell you a $30 sweater and throw in a second one for free, that makes the total value $60. So why is it that giving me two items costing $19.99 would make the total value $100 more than the ACTUAL total value??

Unless they're saying that the items given OTHER than the belts cover that extra $100 they're boasting is the value of the deal. Let's see, it includes... the belt. Okay, that doesn't count. An adjustable heat regulator, which is built in to the power cord which is part of the belt itself, so that doesn't count either. Okay, you get instructions and the Diet Plan and that tape measure. Which is somehow all worth $100. Yea, I don't even want to venture how wrong that is or ponder a solid-gold tape measure or instructions written on velvet or suede or something.

The math doesn't add up. Nothing adds up.

This is completely and utterly an IDIOTIC PRODUCT!

(Even though it's approved and guaranteed by the "CE".)

See the fabled $140 value for yourself! Read more!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

CEOs Already Done (Compared to You) for 2007

It's what's all the rage right now - Democrats winning and the populous clamoring for that raise in the minimum wage. Well, starting January 1st, a lot of minimum wage hikes took effect, even though many many businesses were closed for the national holiday and whatnot. Of course, if you were a salaried CEO, that wouldn't matter at all - you'd be getting paid no matter what.

Here's the scary part - and the lesson to be learned about the different between the S&P 500 and the Average Joe:

Compared to the Average Joe working a full-time job at minimum wage - the CEOs are already done for the year.

I guess this is where the math comes in. From the various reports I've been reading about the 2005 fiscal year's reports of the salaries of the CEOs for the Standard & Poor's 500 companies, the average salary per CEO ranges from $10.2 million to $13.5 million. Let's take the lowest value and assume that the average salary for a CEO is only $10 million for the year.

$10,000,000 a year =
$192,307.69 a week =
$27,472.52 a day =
$1,144.68 an hour =
$19.078 a minute =
$0.32 a second

That's what they're getting paid every second of every minute of every hour of every day of every week as the paychecks come rolling in - whether they're the kind of CEO who works a 90-hour workweek or sits back and plays golf most days of the week while grunts take care of everything. Now let's do more math with this whole rate hike for the minimum wage.

The Federal Minimum Wage is now $5.15/hr though sometime in early-to-mid 2007 it'll become $7.25/hr. Some states have their own minimum wage laws. In Kansas, the state with the lowest minimum wage (which applies to jobs not covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act), you'd only earn $2.65/hr. The state with the highest minimum wage is Washington, with a wage of $7.93/hr. In fact, a few cities have higher minimum wages - in Los Angeles, if you don't get health benefits, your minimum wage is $10.33/hr. So let's do the math for a full-time employee working a standard 40-hour full-time workweek:

40 hrs x 52 weeks -> 2,080 paid hours
Non-FLSA Kansas: $5,512/year
Now (Federal): $10,712/year
With the hike: $15,080/year
In Washington: $16,494.40/year
In Los Angeles: $21,486.40/year

Here comes the fun math!

So, Average Joe, that's how much you made from an honest day's work of 40 solid hours a week. If enough people complain about my estimates of 40 hrs/week as being too low, or that I should take into account hard-workers and overtime or something, I'll update this. (Let's face it, nobody comments/debates on my posts anymore.) So while you were celebrating the New Year holiday with an actual day off (if you were lucky enough to get that day off) - let's see what the CEOs were earning while they got the day off, too!

By 5:00 AM, before most of the populous had even woken up, the CEOs amassed an average of over $5,700 - passing the annual yearly income in Kansas if you happened to work at a business not covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act.

How long until they earned what Average Joe would earn this year without the rate hike?

January 1st, 2007 - 9:22 AM:
The CEOs just surpassed your annual pay.

But what about after this rate hike up to $7.25/hr?

January 1st, 2007 - 1:11 PM:
The CEOs just surpassed your annual pay.

Okay, okay... How about if I move to Washington?

January 1st, 2007 - 2:25 PM:
The CEOs just surpassed your annual pay.

Fine! I'll move to L.A. and forego health benefits!

January 1st, 2007 - 6:47 PM:
The CEOs just surpassed your annual pay.

Is this scaring you at all?

Before most of the working-class had time to get over their HANGOVERS from celebrating the ball dropping and the new year starting, let alone wake up if they partied hard enough, CEOs already earned in less than one day what minimum-wagers would earn in the entire year.

Then there's taxes. Which affect both sides of this argument quite differently, and may be brought up in a further investigation.

For now, I'll let this sink in - and give you time to sleep on it.

Because after all, in the time you'll spend sleeping - a CEO probably made your annual pay without having to lift a finger, whether fingers were lifted or not.

One report
Another report
The article that started my thinking
Minimum wage info Read more!