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February 16, 2008

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Better testing for 'mad cow'. They won't allow smaller companies to pay for testing, because it makes the big feed yards look bad.

re #27: Best suggestion I've seen is to declare horsemeat as humanly consumable, which puts transportation of horses for slaughter under the same rules as those for cattle and sheep: they have to have food, water, rest, and exercise while being moved to a slaughterhouse, and, IIRC, those that die in the process have to be accounted for. It's more humane that what they get now. That most of us probably won't eat horsemeat (which I understand is actually pretty good when handled properly, but has a short life compared to beef) shouldn't prevent this kind of maneuver.

Why not start at the beginning. Who is responsible for the controlled demolitions of the three world trade buildings? It was most convenient for Bush. It triggered most of the 100 things on your list. Why is there still an almost total media blackout on this obvious treason?

truthseeker, because most people are not blindered conspiracy theorists. Nor am I

Excellent list; thanks for compiling it.

One very small nit to pick: racehorses have been (legally) given steroids in the U.S. for a very long time. The item on the agenda to which you refer will be about whether they should continue to be allowed.

Regards,

Tony C.

good point, Tony, I had missed that. It seems that there is a long history of (undiscouraged) steroid treatment of racehorses that more recently turned into a ban on steroid treatments within one month prior to competition (that sounds fairly arbitrary, not sure what its goal is) and may turn into a general ban. Congress may be investigating this steroid policy itself, or may be looking to find out more about the testing model used by a sport that has been self-policing relatively assiduously for longer than most.

I guess two points, here. First, I'm not sure what it says that racehorses and human athletes are being placed on a similar level. I'm not sure it's good for either of them.

Second, all that aside, I still don't see why Congress wants to get involved here. Maybe my problem is that I have trouble distinguishing professional athletes from other entertainers, who have a long and storied history with performance enhancing drugs -- even the name makes it clear that what a pro athlete does, is to perform. Certainly an entertainer like Jimi Hendrix had his performances regularly enhanced with drugs, and I wouldn't have expected Congress to investigate.

Emptypockets, I am not asking you to be a theorist. I am asking to be objective, unemotional. Pretend you have never heard of the 'theory' just go to google videos and watch. Allow your eyes and reasoning ability to really see.
Never before or since in the history ofsteelbuildings has such an event occured. No plane hit building seven yet it fell into itself cleanly just like the other two. You, like most other Americans have not faced the stark truth.you are in denial.
If, after seeing the evidence, and there is lots of it, you still don't accept it, fine. But give your intellect a fighting chance, give it knowledge from which to feed. Denial is not healthy for you or the country. A lie started the Vietnam war and now the Iraq war. Leaders got away with their treason twice. Do you suppose there won't be a third?

Good job. Although I don't agree with everything on your list, it is still a good job. I am so glad there are people who think about the state of things instead of run the other way when a political or even remotely similar to a political comment is made. Sites like The Next Hurrah are my rescue remedy.

Here are some more things Congress could do instead of mess around hearing about athelete's steroid use:

#64. Take seriously those who bring whistleblower complaints to your attention, particularly those that concern national security or public safety.

#65. Then give REAL protections to those people while you investigate and take action on their complaints.

#66 Investigate the so called "No Child Left Behind" version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, and it's punative method of enforcement, which appears to this observer to be a prescription for assuring no one will escape failure, and do what some conservatives have wanted to do for years...get rid of public education and let them keep their money. They don't care about the good of the whole or the future of our country, and don't want to spend a penny on other people's children anyway.

#67. Investigate how much of our resources go outside of the country and compare that to what it would take to fix all of the things, infrastructure, shrinking government employee roles to do all the jobs that need doing, and then compare the two lists and amounts.

#68. Investigate why there is such a difference and such confusion between defense agencies and non defense government agencies when it comes to interpreting and administering security law and policy. The right hand doesn't know what the left is doing and vice versa. It is like closing and securing the north barn door while your evil twin is leaving the South barn door open to the wolves.

#69. How about investigating our MAJOR trade deficit, created and continually worsened by allowing American companies to move jobs overseas and become international entities who have no loyalty to the U.S. whatsoever.

#70. Investigate all the growing monopoly(s) including media as mentioned before, as well as industries, such as defense and aerospace, which have also been allowed to gobble up their competition to the point where our government is over a barrel when trying to stop corruption and greed, as there is no one else to give the work to but the one mega-industry. When you finally see the problem, then do something about it. Break them up into smaller companies; it's been done before. Besides cleaning things up it might strengthen our economy with renewed competition, creativity and productivity. Remember?

#

#71. Investigate the corruption in the Office of Special Counsel and then disband them and create an office under Congress which may operate without manipulation from the members of the executive branch, or their appointed managers, so that federal employees may finally get a fair investigation and hearing of their complaints and so called "whistleblower" situations.

Just to follow-up on the racehorse tangent...

"Second, all that aside, I still don't see why Congress wants to get involved here."

I certainly agree, in principle, though as I work in the Thoroughbred industry, I actually
consider it to be a good thing in this narrow context. I won't bore your readers with
my reasoning, though will be happy to elaborate if anyone is interested.

Regards,

Tony C.

Tony, an insider's expertise is always appreciated. Do you see federal involvement in thoroughbred racing as an issue of protecting the sport's integrity (seems to me that should be left to the trade associations and fans) or as an animal welfare issue (which is fine, but seems to me I'd start with rodeos and, as mentioned above, the food industry)? I guess the question is, whatever good it brings the industry, could it get done better or cheaper at a more local level?

The shortest of the short version goes something like this:

Federal involvement in Thoroughbred racing is ostensibly about protecting the sport's integrity. And, at the risk of sounding cynical (which I am), it would never have come about were it not for the spotlight which has been thrown on Baseball.

The U.S. Thoroughbred industry is remarkably unregulated. And, I'm sorry to say, the power brokers of the industry (i.e. major breeders) have great incentive to keep the status quo. Therefore they are now, suddenly, showing concern about steroid use in racehorses, because the last thing they want is the government looking into their dirty laundry and – heaven forbid – regulating.

Steroids are a problem, but much like certain other sports (e.g. track and field and cycling), they are hardly the only performance enhancing substances being used. EPO and other cutting edge forms of blood-doping are probably the most insidious. But steroids are a problem, especially with regards to their use in very young horses (which are pumped up in order to sell well at auction).

You see, in contrast to sports in which the athletes are human, drug use in Thoroughbred racing directly translates into huge money for breeders. Leading sires, for example, command stud fees of $300-500,000, and are often bred to well over 100 mares a year. Do the math.

Now, with respect to your logical question about whether or not regulation could be done better or cheaper at a more local level, the answer is no. And that answer is a result of the fact that the U.S. Thoroughbred industry is, and has long been terribly splintered. Each state has different rules and regulations, and the industry has – to it's great detriment – never formed an effective oversight body to deal with these sorts of important issues.

I could go on and on, but for the moment I will say this: I don't have any expectations that federal involvement will take any form other than superficial hearings. But the threat of further involvement is what I see as being beneficial, as it will force the industry to take some positive steps (steroid use is already being seriously reduced and regulated for the first time).

Regards,

Tony C.

I as well was disgusted with the amount of time CONGRESS wasted on such nonsense. Is this really the role of Congress? I would think it would be a committee involved in the Sporting community namely the Baseball league or whatever (not a sports enthusiast). I agree there are more impelling things worrying our country besides who injected what into whomevers rearend...gezus..did we look stupid again to the rest of the world? I would think jobs leaving the country or the housing morgage situation would be more important.

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