Frontier Former Editor

July 6, 2008

Club Lecter

Those wacky cost-savers in the Bush Administration are at it again . . . .

Club Lecter
Club Lecter

 

You’ve heard of Plum Island. Just think back to when you last saw “Silence of the Lambs.”

Yep, it’s where Jodie Foster floated a false offer to Anthony Hopkins to be imprisoned there and walk the white sand beaches and enjoy the wildlife – near the Plum Island Animal Disease Center.

Now, in a feat of mental legerdemain every bit as awe-inspiring as the Federal Government’s rapid response to hurricane Katrina, the Department of Homeland Security (I snicker my ass off more each day at that title . . .) is evaluating six possible sites for a new National Bio and Agro-defense Facility. Five of them are on the mainland U.S.

According to our good friends at UPI:

“The department wants to build the new lab, dubbed the National Bio and Agro-defense Facility, at one of five potential mainland sites, but is also evaluating the existing site of the lab it would replace, the aging Plum Island Animal Disease Center, in New York state’s Long Island Sound.

The draft Environmental Impact Statement, published Friday, is a 1,005-page federally required assessment of a range of effects the planning, construction and operation of the lab would have at each of the proposed sites.

It says the health and safety impact — including the possibility of an accidental or deliberate release of pathogens from the lab — was “negligible” at all six possible sites, because of its assessment that the risk of such a release “was none to low for all accident scenarios except an over-pressure fire,” which can cause an explosion if flammable gases build up in an enclosed space.

The risk for this kind of accident was “moderate” for all six sites.

The department also assessed the possibility of a terrorist attack releasing pathogens from the lab — which will work on the most infectious animal diseases, like Foot and Mouth; and on those most deadly to humans, like the Hendra and Nipah viruses.

The overall risk assessment for a release at the five mainland sites was “moderate” because of “the potential easy spread of a disease through livestock or wildlife” nearby, the statement said. The Plum Island site overall risk rank was “low or none” because of “the low likelihood of any disease getting off of the island,” the statement concluded.”

It seems to me – pardon my attempt at logical and rational thought here – that one would want to keep a lab dealing in major threats to livestock and humans as remote as possible. Sigourney Weaver grasped the concept quite nicely in the “Alien” movies.

And, according to the Associated Press in a story that ran about two weeks ago, federal officials ran a simulated exercise called ‘Crimson Sky’ to consider the effects of a mass foot-and-mouth disease outbreak . The ‘results’?

  • “Fictional riots in the streets after the simulation’s National Guardsmen were ordered to kill tens of millions of farm animals, so many that troops ran out of bullets.”
  • “In the exercise, the government said it would have been forced to dig a ditch in Kansas 25 miles long to bury carcasses.”

Following that general theme, wouldn’t it be somewhat questionable to consider just how safe putting an animal disease research laboratory in the middle of one of several major livestock centers is when the original laboratory was put out on an island away from such centers?

The only way this could get any funnier is if Halliburton were involved. They aren’t, right?

 

 

September 2, 2007

The joys of re-enacting, or designer SPAM and potted meat

Sometimes I go wandering through my IE favorites to see what stuff I bookmarked for a particular project.

I’ve got a lot of projects. Too many projects.

Being an inveterate modeler, I’ve always found the Internet to be a treasure trove of quick research for all those kits I’ll never build or will partially build. But after last week’s essay on school lunches and canned food at Teeny Manolo, I remembered the time last year when I was working on a figure of a German infantryman and started looking for info on helmet covers (yep, the hobby can get strange . . . .)

And as I scrolled down the faves list, there it was, a website devoted to reproduction field rations.

While I’m a historian by education and often interested in minutae as well as broad strokes, I’m not sure I’d pay the equivalent price of a steak dinner for this:

(more…)

August 29, 2007

And people wonder why we think the nation’s economy and sense of decency are out of whack?

 Queen of Mean? More like a petty bitch to me . . .

                             capt_80ec119a67c04da1b0721b939ad6345e_leona_helmsley_ny111.jpg

Helmsley Dog Gets $12 Million, but Real Estate Billionaire Leaves Nothing to 2 Grandchildren

NEW YORK (AP) — Leona Helmsley’s dog will continue to live an opulent life, and then be buried alongside her in a mausoleum. But two of Helmsley’s grandchildren got nothing from the late luxury hotelier and real estate billionaire’s estate.Helmsley left her beloved white Maltese, named Trouble, a $12 million trust fund, according to her will, which was made public Tuesday in surrogate court.

She also left millions for her brother, Alvin Rosenthal, who was named to care for Trouble in her absence, as well as two of four grandchildren from her late son Jay Panzirer — so long as they visit their father’s grave site once each calendar year.

Otherwise, she wrote, neither will get a penny of the $5 million she left for each.

Helmsley left nothing to two of Jay Panzirer’s other children — Craig and Meegan Panzirer — for “reasons that are known to them,” she wrote.

(more…)

May 27, 2007

Under the ‘ow, quit it . . . stop touching me!’ department

Filed under: fast food, food, food extenders, meat byproducts, public relations — Frontier Former Editor @ 1:03 pm

 Yeah, but at least we don’t roll our burgers around in e coli . . . . .

  

Jack in the Box Ads Called Misleading

Competitor Sues Jack in the Box Over TV Spots Mocking Burger Meat

The Associated Press

CKE Restaurants Inc. sued Jack In The Box in U.S. District Court on Friday over an ad in which executives laugh hysterically at the word “Angus” and another where the chain’s pingpong ball-headed mascot, Jack, is asked to point to a diagram of a cow and show where Angus meat comes from.

adsonar_placementId=1280488;adsonar_pid=43749;adsonar_ps=-1;adsonar_zw=165;adsonar_zh=220;adsonar_jv=’ads.adsonar.com’;

“I’d rather not,” the pointy-nosed Jack replies.

The employee asking the question traces a circle in the air with his pen while pronouncing the word Angus.

A little more here . . .

May 11, 2007

From the man who gave us preggers Britney Spears on a bearskin rug . . .

Filed under: art or something like it, dogs, meat byproducts, muffins, Paris Hilton, whiteploitation — Frontier Former Editor @ 2:39 am

comes this wonderful casting by Daniel Edwards (Reuters):

Prom queen of the dead? Guess Carl Jr.’s better pull those burger ads . . . .

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Sculptor Daniel Edwards thinks Paris Hilton makes a fine subject — as prom queen of the dead in what he says is a warning against drunken driving.

The artist has created a sculpture of the 26-year-old hotel heiress and socialite naked and dead, with cell phone in hand, legs spread and crowned with a tiara.

“The Paris Hilton Autopsy” is a statement about the dangers of drunk driving just as high school prom season rolls around, said Edwards, who also sculpted a giant head of Cuban President Fidel Castro and created a life-size nude of Britney Spears giving birth on a bearskin rug.

Go figure . . .

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