How do you know a politician is lying?

The punchline goes, “because his lips are moving.” The following article exemplifies that. 

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that several Republican state representatives voted against bringing major ethics reform to the Assembly floor. The ethics reform bill, 2005 Senate Bill 1, was introduced by State Senator Mike Ellis (R-Neenah) and approved by the State Senate. Yet Assembly Representatives Mike Huebsch (R-West Salem), Eugene Hahn (R-Cambria), and Judy Krawczyk (R-Green Bay) all voted against bringing this bill to the light of day. Now they are touting that they support ethics reform in their campaign literature.

So now you know when a politician is lying.

JS Online article: Reformers join ethics cause late

Advertisements

Safety standards gap identified

The Washington Post indicates that there is a safety gap between agricultural products. It explains that the US Department of Agriculture has higher standards for meat and poultry certification than the Food and Drug Administration’s standards for produce certification. One option in discussion is stronger guidelines established by industry. I’m glad that I’m not the only person thinking about a produce certification program for the US.

Washington Post article: At E. Coli Hunt’s End, A Safety Standards Gap

Produce assurance

I cannot speak about this only as a citizen only because I have researched this as a state employee. But I am home sick today, listening to Wisconsin Public Radio. During a call-in radio show, there was a discussion about the entire spinach outbreak and what can be done to prevent or avoid this. A variety of ideas were presented by the public.

Some suggested purchasing organic. The organic standards for production are more strict than the standards for producing mass-grown products. For starters, pesticides are not permitted on any product that is labeled “organic.” That means that consumers do not need to worry about unwanted chemicals on the produce that they buy. Also, composting methods that are set forth in the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines require organic farmers to compost the manure much more than is required for non-organic farmers. This reduces (not eliminates) the potential for foodborne illnesses.

Continue reading

The facts mean nothing when you’re selling out Congress

Here is a perfect example of useful statistical analysis being sold out to the mighty dollar. The following article shows that US Representative Sensenbrenner (R-Menomonee Falls, WI) would rather ignore statistical analysis and give in to the National Rifle Association lobby than to allow law enforcement to use the tools at their disposal to prosecute those that use guns to commit violent crimes.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “Sensenbrenner said opponents of the bill such as Barrett were ‘attempting to use statistics to take guns away from law-abiding citizens,’ and that the bill protected privacy rights of gun sellers and buyers without limiting law enforcement.” Perhaps Sensenbrenner is not aware that statistical analysis provides objective analysis of data and is used in making business and governmental decisions. He seems to believe that arms sellers have some unwritten right to privacy… I don’t remember reading about that in my constitutional law classes.

Continue reading