Mason County News
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Alphabet Scoop
Wednesday, November 10, 2010 • Posted November 10, 2010

A while back, after I wrote about an incident where the TCEQ seriously addressed a complaint about hunters defecating in the woods, quite a few people felt compelled to let me know the exact depth of their regard for that government agency. It seems no one, at least no one who wrote to me, holds TCEQ in high esteem. Or medium esteem, even. Mostly the esteem is pretty low, or non-existent.

One person who wrote to tell me he or she enjoyed the column would not even reveal his or her name, due to the fact that he or she works for TCEQ.

The same thing, pretty much, happened after a recent column about the EPA and its silly attempts to regulate such common occurrences as farm dust. If I worked for TCEQ or EPA I don’t think I’d tell anyone, either, or else I’d wear Kevlar all the time.

After the EPA column alert reader Dennis Voulgaris sent me an article written by Mike Adams for Natural News about the FDA and milk. It seems the FDA doesn’t like raw milk, and doesn’t believe Americans should be allowed to possess it. They even recently passed a ban on interstate sales of raw milk, if you can imagine.

The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund filed suit against the FDA over this ban, and the FDA issued an official dismissal notice to the Iowa District court where the suit was filed. In the dismissal the FDA made it clear that we don’t have the right to eat or drink what we want, but only what the FDA says we can, no exceptions, so there.

In its own words, the FDA said, "There is no ‘deeply rooted’ historical tradition of unfettered access to foods of all kinds," and then, "Plaintiffs’ assertion of a ‘fundamental right to their own bodily and physical health, which includes what foods they do and do not choose to consume for themselves and their families’ is similarly unavailing because plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to obtain any food they wish."

And you thought you had freedom, living in America.

Now, I grew up drinking raw milk. My grandparents ran a dairy for a while, and I remember drinking milk the cow didn’t even know was missing yet. So far as I know it never hurt anyone, but even if it did that’s none of the FDA’s business. I can’t find a place anywhere in the U.S. constitution where the FDA has a right to tell us what we can and can’t eat, or even a place where it says the government has a right to establish the FDA.

But it’s there, and it’s big, and it’s watching you, right down to what you eat and drink. And if you think the FDA is going to stop when America’s milk consumption is curtailed to FDA satisfaction, you’re no more intelligent than Bessy. Venison will be next, in an attempt to stop hunting altogether. Ranchers will be banned from eating their own beef, pork, mutton, and whatever else they raise. Because we have no ‘fundamental right’ to any food not approved by our government.

But government doesn’t think it’s doing its job unless it intrudes into our lives, preferably in the most inconvenient manner possible. That’s what’s happening in Hawaii, on the island of Kauai. School officials there have moved all high school football games from Friday night to Saturday afternoon. The problem was young seabirds that are migrating to the ocean this time of year. They supposedly think the stadium lights are the moon and stars, ‘causing them to become disoriented, drop from the sky and fall prey to cats.’

Mostly it’s a bird called the Newell’s shearwater, which is not doing too good lately. The lights of stadia, parking lots, and hotels cause them to fly around in circles, and they eventually become exhausted and land, and the cats get them. Bummer.

Of course, I care about these birds. I really do. But, hey, we’re talking about high school football here, the only real football left. And it’s supposed to be played on Friday night. I think it’s in the constitution. So a lot of the parents are upset about moving the games to Saturday, when some of them can’t attend because of work or other activities with younger children. Which makes perfect sense.

Besides, if lights confuse these birds, then they really don’t have much of a chance, anyway. If the lights don’t get them something else will. You just don’t survive long in the world if you’re that easily confused. Plus there is no indication that hotels and parking lots have turned off their lights to keep from confusing the birds.

No matter what you do you’re going to irritate someone. Of course, people vote and birds don’t, at least not yet.

Me, I plan to back whoever is in favor of raw milk. I’d hate to be responsible for putting a bunch of cows out of business. Besides, they’re going to poop in the woods anyway. We might as well get something out of it . . .

Kendal Hemphill is an outdoor humor columnist and public speaker who has very little esteem for repressive governmental agencies. Write to him at PO Box 1600, Mason, Tx 76856 or

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