Tuesday, May 15, 2007

This and That

I haven’t wrote much lately about baseball and politics. Sometime soon, I need to wake up Nevada Jack from his long hibernation and get him back writing satires, but until then I’ll post a few things on my mind. The psychedelic photograph was taken a few weeks ago when I was out photographing reflections. Someone’s car had leaked a bit of gas that spread across the water giving the colorful swirls. Of course, it’s not environmentally friendly as the gas was being washed into the storm sewer, but it made for an interesting set of photographs.

Sunday afternoon I got to catch the last half of the Pittsburgh Pirates/Atlanta Braves ballgame. Although I would love to see the Pirates back over .500, a nice consolation was to watch them whip up on the Braves 13 to 2. Closer to home, it’s good to see the Detroit Tigers back in control of their division. Once again their Skipper Jim Leyland (the Pirate coach when I lived in Pittsburgh) is showing that he knows baseball.

Who’s working for Fido’s Vote: Have I missed it? I haven’t heard any of these talking heads running for President say anything about the contaminated gluten from China that has corrupted our pet foods and made many pets sick and causing the death of a few. Certainly, one of them has to be a pet lover? All politicians need a dog named Checkers that they can work into a speech when they are in need of sympathy from the votes!

The contaminated gluten incident shows just how vulnerable we in America are to have dangerous products brought into our country without being check. When I read that only a small percentage of shipping containers are checked by security, I wonder what is going on. It seems to me that they all should be checked for bombs or contraband. Furthermore, food products including that which goes into animal feed should be tested. The cost should be bore by the seller or shipper. Certainly this will mean that retail prices will rise a bit, as the price gets passed along, but it’s a small price to pay for security. I know some will see this “security tax” as a tariff. But I think they are wrong, it’s just good economics to make sure that all cost are accounted for. Otherwise, we subsidize the product, borrowing from our future. If there is a massive poisoning or an attack, the cost will be great and the destruction will not just include the physical damage but also damage to the world economy. By paying to have a bit more prevention in the short-run, all of us, the consumer and the supplier, will be more secure in the long run.


  1. Heeeey!!! ease up on the Braves, that ani't "suthern" friendly. Mkaes one wonder what's in your fortune cookie doesn't it??

  2. Environmental disaster, baseball and foreign goods. Quite the coverage for a relatively short entry.

  3. Not only that, but why isn't anyone paying attention to the fact that a majority of the air pollution in both Northern and Southern California can be directly traced to Chinese industrial pollution?

    Where you may see the repercussions from the pet food scare is in the damages people can recover for the loss of a pet. As it presently stands, it is only the cost of the dog or cat, and/or the cost of the medical care; animals are viewed as personal property that has been lost or damaged, and there is no basis for recovering emotional distress. I wouldn't be surprised to see that change with these inevitable lawsuits.

  4. Fascinating design in photo even if not environmentally friendly.

  5. We need to wake up and be vigilant, Sage. Whether it's pet food contamination or Cargo Containers. Good post and loved the art!

  6. I would love to see the Pirates start winning consistently. Their playing is baffling. And this year they have a team that seems to know how to play the game of baseball every now and then.

  7. I think it is a wake up call that we should be more self reliant. We have one of the largest wheat belts in the world and we can't produce enough wheat gluten? We export a lot of wheat (fact) and then buy it back from China? It doesn't make a lot of sense. Think of all the jobs we could create if we just made our own gluten.

  8. Pat--Sorry, my dislike of the Braves goes back to the early 91 and 92 when they beat Pgh in the playoff.

    Murf, I try to be well covered, I'm not an exhibitionist, you know

    Diane, written as if you've got a strong legal mind! Of course, who could you bring a suit against, could it be brought against the CHinese companies?

    Tim, thanks.

    Michael, agreed

    Mistress, GO BUCS!

    Ed, I've wondered about that too-why they were sending gluten here--are they going to begin milling our flour also? I know they grow wheat in parts of China, I was thinking the gluten came as a byproduct of processing their own wheat, not in using our wheat

  9. You shower at the gym. That makes you an exhibitionist.

  10. Murf, that makes me clean and it brings much pleasure, even though they don't realize it, to those I see after the gym. What's your problem with locker rooms?

  11. Well, the first problem is remembering my encounter with a female wearing pantyhose but lacking underwear as she is preparing to go to work after the post-workout shower. You two must be related. :-)

  12. sage - no need to go to China - the sellers of the dog and cat food here are equally liable - and easier to pursue. The challenge will be coming up with a creative cause of action that will allow substantial compensatory and/or punitive damages; I'm guessing it will be something along the lines of intentional infliction of emotional distress, particularly after they knew of the problem and kept selling the food. All it takes is one judge who won't throw out the suit at the pleading stage . . .

    While this may make some people groan about the legal system, it is also how change comes about. The pet food sellers here will make damn sure they inspect what they are buying from China if it costs them in the pocketbook

  13. did you mention baseball, apple pie, and chevrolet!?!

    oh, nope, just baseball...

    'kay, i can handle that!!


    since ya got me started how 'bout...