Free Markets, Free People

Cantor, cheese and other stuff

So Eric Cantor went down in flames in the Virginia Republican primary I see.  I can’t say I’m the least bit chagrined.  Cantor is the quintessential establishment Republican.  And like most of that ilk, he was more worried about what the press thought of him than doing what was right by his principles.  I notice the media spin doctors are immediately claiming that he really didn’t lose because of his stand on immigration (i.e. a hard lean toward “amnesty” for illegals although he tried to deny it).  After all if they admit that immigration reform was a reason for his defeat, then they have to admit that its dead for this year (as, given this lesson, no Republican running for reelection in the House  – that would be all of them – is going to touch it with a 10 foot pole).  The spin doctors also know that if it is dead for this year, it may be dead, at least in its present form, for good, if Republicans win the Senate.  One also assumes that Republicans are aware of the polls out there that place immigration reform as a low priority issue for voters right now (yeah, surprise, they’re much more interested in jobs and economic growth than illegal aliens).

I think another reason for Cantor’s loss is a deep dissatisfaction with Republican House leadership – such that it is.  Add his lack of popularity within his own district and an acceptable alternative candidate and you have the prefect electoral storm. Finally, Tea Party candidate Dave Brat’s win signaled, much to the annoyance of the left, that the Tea Party is hardly “dead”.  It’ll be interesting to see how the establishment Republicans react to this upset.

On another subject, yesterday we saw where the FDA had unilaterally decided that it might be necessary to ban the centuries old tradition of aging cheese on wooden shelves.  Because, you know, there’s been such an epidemic of sickness from such practices here lately and over the ages. What?  There hasn’t?  There hasn’t been any real problem at all?  However:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an executive decree banning the centuries old practice of aging cheese on wooden boards.  One bureaucrat within the FDA, without surveying all of the scientific literature, and without public commentary, has rattled hundreds of small businesses across the United States.  Consumers who eat any kind of aged cheese should prepare for a potentially catastrophic disruption in the market for artisan, non-processed cheese.

Now that was yesterday.  Today, yeah, its cave in time.  There has been such an outcry from cheese makers, the public and just about anyone else that could find a forum that the FDA is hastily backing down.  Overlawyered brings us up to date:

Following an enormous outcry from cheese makers, commentators, and the general public, the agency beats a hasty retreat. Commentator/ Pepperdine lawprof Greg McNeil has the details at Forbes (and his earlier commentary on the legalities of the agency’s action is also informative). Earlier here.

In a classic bureaucratic move, the agency denied it had actually issued a new policy (technically true, if you accept the premise that a policy letter from its chief person in charge of cheese regulation is not the same as a formally adopted new policy) and left itself the discretion to adopt such a policy in future if it wishes (merely declaring itself open to persuasion that wood shelving might prove compatible with the FSMA).


This is also a lesson for people in other regulated industries. When government officials make pronouncements that don’t seem grounded in law or policy, and threaten your livelihood with an enforcement action, you must organize and fight back. While specialized industries may think that nobody cares, the fight over aged cheese proves that people’s voices can be heard…

Yes, true.  But … there’s always a ‘but’, Overlawyered points out something that is true and often overlooked.  You have to be willing to fight for it all, not just the popular stuff.  You have to be willing the challenge all the nonsense bureaucrats put out there:

There is a less optimistic version, however. It happens that a large number of editors, commentators, and others among the chattering classes are both personally interested in the availability of fine cheese and familiar enough with the process by which it is made to be un-cowed by claims of superior agency expertise. That might also be true of a few other issues here and there — cottage food sold at farmer’s markets, artisanal brewing practices — but it’s inevitably not going to be true of hundreds of other issues that arise under the new Food Safety Modernization Act. In a similar way, the outcry againstCPSIA, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, rose to a politically effective level only on a selected few issues (publishers and libraries got a fix so that older children’s books would not have to be trashed; youthmotorsports eventually obtained an exemption, and so forth) but large numbers of smaller children’s products and specialties whose makers had less of a political voice simply disappeared.

Absolutely true.  I think of those who want to drink raw milk for instance.  Where does the government get off saying you can’t drink something you choose to drink if you’re willing to take the risk and suffer any consequences?  Something that, until pasteurization, everyone drank?  But since those who prefer raw milk don’t have a large lobby, they’re subjected to government bullying and laws prohibiting them from making that choice.

Choice is freedom.  Limiting of choice is limiting freedom and government is in the freedom limiting business.  The premise is you’re not able to make good choices yourself, so government must keep you from doing so.  Question?  If aging cheese on wood was dangerous to our health and it had been the reason from many deaths over the centuries, how do you suppose the market for such cheeses might have been effected by now?  Right.  It certainly wouldn’t have come down to some government bureaucrat making a unilateral decision in 2014, that’s for sure.

In Iraq, Mosul has fallen to terrorists.  Nightwatch brings us up to date:

ISIL has been trying to take Mosul since earlier in June, but only lately assembled enough forces to rout the security forces and overrun the city.

ISIL now controls two major cities in the Sunni region of Iraq: Fallujah and Mosul. Its fighters tried to overrun several other cities, but failed. Its aim is to create an Islamic emirate that joins Iraq and Syria.

The group had been affiliated with al Qaida for many years, since the time of Abu Musab Zarqawi, according to the National Counter Terrorism Center. In February al Qaida disavowed all links with ISIL because its actions were more extreme than al Qaida and it would not follow orders to stop fighting the al Nusrah Front in Syria, which al-Qaida supports.

On Sunday in Syria, ISIL fighters clashed with the al-Qaida-affiliated al Nusrah Front in eastern Syria, while its Iraq wing fought to capture Mosul in Iraq. This is a formidable group. Only the Syrian Kurds stand in the way of ISIL consolidating large areas in Iraq and Syria under its control.

Mosul’s capture reinforces the judgment that Iraq has re-entered civil war. ISIL is more than an insurgency because it has an effective organization and is conquering territory. By force of arms, it has created a power-sharing arrangement with the government in Baghdad and fragmented the country. A statement by the Muslim scholars association today encouraged ISIL to hold Mosul and to set up an administration. It urged the youth of the city to defend it against the Baghdad government.

ISIL’s control in Syria seems tenuous and contested by other opposition groups. In Iraq, it is the dominant anti-government force and it has broken Iraq, for now.

My position?  If Iraqi’s want a free Iraq, they’d better fight for it.  They’ve been given the time, the equipment and the training.  Now, it’s up to them.

Finally, yesterday I literally had to laugh out loud when I read something Robert Reich, a former Secretary of Labor, had written on his Facebook page.  It simply demonstrates how effing silly – and dangerous to your freedoms – these people are:

President Obama announced steps yesterday he said will make student loans more affordable. It’s probably all he can manage with a grid-locked Congress, but it’s still tinkering with a system of college financing that’s spinning out of control. What’s really needed is to make college free of charge and require all graduates to pay 10 percent of their earnings for the first 10 years of full-time work into a fund that pays the costs (additional years of graduate school means added years of payments). That way, nobody graduates with debts; young people from lower-income families can afford to attend; graduates who go into high-wage occupations in effect subsidize those who go into lower-wage work; and we move toward a system of genuinely equal opportunity. What do you think?

Right … free college for all.  Graduate with no debt!

Question: How in the world does this dolt think that making all graduates pay “10 percent of their earnings for the first 10 years” to fund “free college” doesn’t equal being in debt?  Oh, and who would keep track of all this?  Why the IRS of course – another in a long line of ideas to further centralize control of all aspects of your life at the federal level and add to the federal bureaucracy’s reach and power.

Then add the scam value of this.  Ride the gravy train for 3 or 4 years of free college and then walk away as a non-graduate.  Nothing to pay, right?  I mean the stipulation is that “graduates” pay, so why not hang out in a college dorm, eat in the chow hall, do your own thing while also doing barely enough to stay in school.  That way you can let these other dopes subsidize those years for you.  Then, move, apply to a new school and repeat.  Trust me, there are enough “professional students” in this world that I can promise that would be done.

Oh … and read the comments to the Reich post.  They’ll make you weep.


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37 Responses to Cantor, cheese and other stuff

  • The Great Dismal Swamp that is DC just naturally TENDS to rot everything that comes into its morass.
    Cantor started out a good, strong conservative with a lot to contribute. But the miasma took him.

  • “In a similar way, the outcry againstCPSIA, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, rose to a politically effective level only on a selected few issues (publishers and libraries got a fix so that older children’s books would not have to be trashed; youthmotorsports eventually obtained an exemption, and so forth) but large numbers of smaller children’s products and specialties whose makers had less of a political voice simply disappeared.”
    Wacky hermit of Organicbabyfarm,  who used to comment here, wrote about the CPSIA. I fear she was one of the victims who could not get an exemption as I could not find anything more current than 2011 at her URL.
    I fear Robert Reich has failed to disclose he has a conflict of interest. It is definitely to his advantage that nobody question how much he is paid by the U. of California (Berkeley, of course).

  • Respecting R. Reiiiiiiiiisssssche’s lunatic ravings…
    Good luck convincing engineering and construction management majors they should subsidize a PhD in “Critical Dance Studies” or “Gender Studies”.
    As to food regulations…how is this EVEN a Federal issue?  And, as the EU boondoggle revealed to the embarrassment of bureaucrats, a hyper-sanitary environment simply DESTROYS a lot of the friendly flora and fauna that MAKE great aged foods what they are.  Fermented foods NEED the happy little bugs that create flavor and the character of the products themselves.  You CANNOT make a true Roquefort cheese except in the places they were developed.

  • Reich comments –
    Sure, on the comments you have all those who either have loans, or are paying for their kids loans – free handouts for all!  Yeah!  What could be wrong with that!   It’s the government paying for it!  Ohhh Ohhh Ohhh!
    Sorry, anyone who thinks that’s a good idea doesn’t have a clue and is therefore ineligible to make decisions on it.   Reich included.   Must be nice to live in an insular world that doesn’t comprehend where the frickin wealth for all this ‘free’ crap comes from.
    I suppose we can just take it from the ‘rich’ – once we’ve made sure our riches are protected of course.

  • Meanwhile ‘good and necessary’ happens in Iraq as ‘Arab Spring’ blooms in another place.
    Remember, there’s no right or wrong in beheadings, it’s just different.

    • And appeals of the sentence are very, very rare…  So.  There’s that

      • It will all be better when Persia extends from Mashhad to the Mediterranean.
        I’d have gone as far east as the Hindu Kush, but the Afghanis will kill Persians with the same happy abandon with which they kill everyone else who comes into their country in force.

  • Hey did you see Cantor was beaten by Democrats voting in the Republican primary – yeah, that’s the answer.

    • Are you saying that even Democrats want some of that Tea Party action?

      • Yeah, they’re organized to mount “operation chaos” but they can’t field a candidate for that district from what I read?
        As for Robert Reich…SMH.  Why not just guarantee everyone a job with an $85K minimum salary? Heck, just skip the job part and guarantee the salary. It’s a right or something.

      • Any answer is acceptable.
        Just so long as we’re very very very clear that doesn’t mean people got twisted at Cantor’s talk about welcoming 15 million new citizens into the country NOW, without worrying about their housing, jobs, health, health care, ability to habla ingles or what effect it would have on the current ACTUAL citizens of the country to just on-board another 15 million people who don’t technically have ANYTHING apart from their names and a vote for Democrats.

      • But …..if they vote for the Republican who doesn’t want immigration –
        Doesn’t that make them racists?
        Suppose he wins!

  • As for the cheese … my friends in the food service industry tell me that their state-sponsored food handling instructions for cheese is that if there is mold growing on any part of it … just cut off that part

    • Which is totally sound.  In some specialty cheese shops, certain molds are encouraged.  With other cheeses, mold is simply wiped off.

      • Next they’ll issue regulations that require soured milk to be disposed of before it can present a health hazard.

  • President Obama reminded Democratic donors that “our future rests” on the success of people brought to the United States illegally as children, who would qualify for citizenship if Congress had passed the DREAM Act.
    “About 30 to 40 percent of the kids in this school, by the way, are DREAM kids,” Obama said Wednesday evening. “You wouldn’t know it looking at them, because they are as American as apple pie.
    Um…no.  Our future DOES NOT REST on “Dreamers”, whatever else may be true of them.  And a lot of them are utterly unassimilated into American culture, right up to having no facility with our language.  Others are quite American.  How are we going to separate them?

    • No, our future rests on them…..presumably we’re going to abort all our own kids after the 3rd trimester and Fluke birth control the others preemptively,  so we have to rely on ILLEGAL imports.
      Makes me wonder why I bothered to build a home and have a family and raises them right, here I foolishly, stupidly thought THEY were where my future rested.

      • It goes back to that “stupid or evil” question.
        Baracula is not stupid.  He is…to those of us with American values…evil.

        • it was always a possibility, but I never thought I’d live to see it.

      • So, reproducing is another of those jobs Americans won’t do?

        • Seems like –
          You know, he could collect all those kids and ship em to Japan, I understand they’re having that reproducing problem too.

          • I read just a few days ago we were back into the positive range, reproduction-wise.  Japan, Russia, and Iran are in serious trouble, as is most of Europe.  (After having Erp there, it can only get worse…)

    Dead on accurate.
    Pres. ScamWOW has…
    1. hollowed out our border protections in open defiance of the laws, and…
    2. sent a clear message to people south of the border to bring or send their children here.
    It is a concerted strategy, not a “humanitarian crisis”.

    • Yeah, that’s what I said a couple day ago too, they’ve deliberately engineered the foundations for the crisis, and then went on to create it.
      I shouldn’t be at all surprised to find out that ‘helpful’ people under direct guidance have spread through central America and are using influence with local media to suggest that NOW is a great time for a permanent vacation in the US.
      Was it you who pointed out the mechanics of leaving home, getting through Mexico and arriving on the US border in waves?
      I seriously bet that it’s not just Central America suddenly deciding to move north all on it’s own.

  • No Rags…..Barky is pretty stupid as well

    • I disagree, shark.  I think he is intelligent, though not a stellar intelligence, certainly.
      He is certainly ignorant…on any number of subjects.  He typifies my theory that even intelligent people can elect to be apparent morons by the predicates and delusions they embrace.  But he does have an appreciable native intelligence that is above average.  (Can I say ‘native’…???)

      • ‘Naive’ would have worked just as well.

      • There may be an above-average intelligence in there somewhere, but if there is it hasn’t appeared yet.  All he does is occasionally talk a good game, and that’s only when somebody else puts the words in his mouth.  He’s astoundingly ignorant on a wide range of subjects, which isn’t a failure of intelligence per se, but the fact he’s not bright enough to have figured out that he’s ignorant is.  He makes dumbass mistakes that with even the tiniest bit of thought he could’ve avoided, then not only doesn’t learn from them, but doesn’t even register that he’s made them.  He has no curiosity, no intellectual drive, no drive at all in fact outside of a naked lust for power.  His mind has created nothing of any merit — no innovation, no insight, no elucidation, nothing.

        • All of which is nicely explained by postulating an above-average intelligence with very serious personality disorders…or just one very serious personality disorder.
          Remember: the hardest thing about treating someone for narcissistic personality disorder is…
          narcissistic personality disorder.  They are, sort of by definition, incapable of seeing themselves and reality.  They are very tender egos who REQUIRE delusions.

        • “His mind has created nothing of any merit — no innovation, no insight, no elucidation, nothing.”
          Spot on. Our first affirmative action President, like Chauncey Gardiner, has benefited from other people seeing what they want to see.

  • Unpossible.  The wise ones told us the “tea party” is dead.