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Member since: Sun Jan 3, 2010, 01:16 AM
Number of posts: 2,916

About Me

Was once a republican. long long ago, in a far, far away place. I apologize.

Journal Archives

Michigan Governor- "We see you, we hear you"

Michigan Governor Whitmer, and Lt. Governor Gilchrist, address the death of George Floyd, the civil unrest, the pandemic, and more-


Federal Inspectors Decry Lack of Transparency on Meat Plant Coronavirus Outbreaks

Source: GovExec.com

By Eric Katz, Govexec.com

Federal meat and poultry inspectors are raising concerns about a lack of transparency surrounding the safety of the processing plants where they work, saying local leaders are withholding information relating to the spread of the novel coronavirus at facilities.

The frustration comes as companies are starting to reopen facilities around the country after President Trump issued an executive order seeking to compel a reversal at those that had shuttered their doors due to COVID-19 outbreaks. Employees said the agency has ceased answering their questions and responding to concerns, and state officials have stopped providing information regarding employee safety.

The American Federation of Government Employees, which represents 6,500 Food Safety Inspection Service employees at the Agriculture Department, specifically cited Gov. Pete Ricketts, R-Neb., for his administration’s decision to no longer provide data of infection rates at specific food processing plants. At many communities with large meat processing facilities, coronavirus outbreaks have traced back almost entirely to the plants. The trend has led to facility closures or shift reductions, and thousands of plant employees and hundreds of federal inspectors contracting the virus. Without the data, the union said, employees and inspectors cannot take proper precautions.

“Hiding the number of infections from the public doesn't make the infections go away,” said Gregg James, vice president of the AFGE council that includes Nebraska inspectors. “If anything, it encourages this deadly virus to spread further by giving people a false sense of security.”

Read more: https://www.govexec.com/workforce/2020/05/federal-inspectors-decry-lack-transparency-meat-plant-coronavirus-outbreaks/165451/

Now USDA Management is sending meat inspectors blind into plants that some have never worked in before, without letting them know just how bad it is inside. Inspectors are NOT happy about this- but the only thing they can do is shine the light on government hiding the numbers of infected. Hey- would some reporters please file FOIA asking how many are reporting Sick, and what plants have sick Fed inspectors ? Then publish the data?

So far, more than 200 of my fellow USDA Federal Meat Inspectors have caught Covid-19, and 5 have died. Now they are hiding which plants have current infections going out of control, so that they can put out as much product before the plants collapse from sick workers. Federal Inspectors can’t refuse to work, or else they will get fired.

I put in my retirement paperwork

This week.

I am a federal employee, with 33 years of service, and turn 60 in August. I had planned to work until age 62 or so, but this Covid thing has changed my plans.

I know some meat inspectors - thank GOD I am not one of them. They are being forced to work inside meat plants with no protection. Their only choice is to quit or risk the virus with no PPE gear.

I’m tired of seeing my beloved country, whom I have faithfully worked for these last 33 years- I’m tired of seeing my country destroyed by these people. I’m tired of seeing Republican partisanship damage and destroy the professional non-partisan civil service.
I’m tired of an Administration who gives ZERO Fu$&s about the men and women who go above and beyond on a daily basis to hold thus nation together. I’ve had it.

I will be working from home until my retirement goes through in August. Should they decide to try and make me go back before then, and go back into the office of 100 other federal workers, I’ll simply go in at night, clean out my desk, and leave a note saying goodbye on my computer.

My pension will be small, but will be enough to survive. It will take until August to get my paperwork pushed through for what I hope will be a seamless transition into retired pay with minimal delays.

Then I can spend September through November calling people to vote to get rid of that menace in the White House.

Federal Inspectors Are Fearful, Angry About Trump's Order to Reopen Outbreak-Stricken Meat Plants

Source: Govexec.com

USDA is still not providing masks and is doing "absolutely nothing" to protect workers, inspectors say.

By Eric Katz

USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue, who has lobbied companies and local leaders to keep plants open even as hotspots developed, said the department would keep employees safe. He said USDA would work with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to implement guidelines for reopening plants.

“USDA will continue to work with its partners across the federal government to ensure employee safety to maintain this essential industry,” Perdue said.

Employees, however, said they have received no details on how the department will keep that promise. FSIS is still not providing personal protective equipment—including masks—to its inspectors, instead offering a one-time $50 stipend for employees to procure their own. On Wednesday, FSIS held telephonic town halls with employees, as it has done each week during the pandemic. For the first time, however, FSIS took no questions from employees, citing “inappropriate” leaks to the media and privacy concerns.

“We’re pretty angry about it,” one inspector said of the one-sided town hall he listened to. “They said they would answer the most frequently asked questions but they’re not doing that.”

Read more: https://www.govexec.com/workforce/2020/04/federal-inspectors-are-fearful-angry-about-trumps-order-reopen-outbreak-stricken-meat-plants/165051/

King “”Dump” ordering Federal Employee meat inspectors to work with NO PROTECTION, and it’s illegal for federal workers to refuse to work or strike.

The USDA Management is offering employees ONE TIME $50 to go try and buy some kind of face mask to keep their own snot out of the meat?

USDA MGT doesn’t have a clue what protection is required- it’s just like doctors- if you are elbow to elbow with other workers in a slaughterhouse, a bandanna isn’t the protection you need, and a ONE TIME $50 to try and buy masks, faceshields, and gowns sufficient to protect yourself as a meat inspector?


Let them eat cake.

Shut the meat plants down until Federal Government protects their own employees!

Why Meat Plants are shutting down.

First- context. Here is Trump’s bizarre wandering answer to a reporters question about the sudden appearance of Covid-19 in the food industry- specifically meat packing plants.

REPORTER: I wanted to ask you specifically about one industry in particular, and that’s food-processing plants. Is there a priority to get testing at food-processing plants all across the country?
TRUMP: "Well, you’re asking that because of what happened — it’s a fair question, too — what happened in Denver. Because in Denver, I’ve never seen — I said, “What’s going on?” We’re looking at this graph where everything’s looking beautiful and it’s coming down and then you got this one spike. It’s — I said, “What happened to Denver?”
And many people, very quickly, and they — by the way, they were on it like, so fast, you wouldn’t believe it. They knew every aspect. They had people go and — not only testing, “Who did you see? Where were you? How many people did you meet? Were you out to dinner in somebody else’s home? Where were you?” Where did — where did this number of people come from? How did — they are totally on it.
Now, this just happened. I just saw it this morning. I’m looking at everything smooth, going down, topping out. And then you have this one spike in Denver. It’s like, where did this come from?
So we’ll be looking at that. And we don’t want cases like that happening. This was — but this — this is the kind of thing can happen. This is very complex.
This is a very brilliant enemy. You know, it’s a brilliant enemy. They develop drugs like the antibiotics. You see it. Antibiotics used to solve every problem. Now one of the biggest problems the world has is the germ has gotten so brilliant that the antibiotic can’t keep up with it. And they’re constantly trying to come up with a new — people go to a hospital and they catch — they go for a heart operation — that’s no problem, but they end up dying from — from problems. You know the problems I’m talking about. There’s a whole genius to it.
We’re fighting — not only is it hidden, but it’s very smart. Okay? It’s invisible and it’s hidden, but it’s — it’s very smart. And you see that in a case like a Denver.
But, you know, I think we’re doing well, and they’re on Denver like you wouldn’t believe. I came in this morning; it was a flurry. I said what’s going on? They said, “Denver.” I said, “What happened to Denver?” Because Denver was doing pretty well. And they’ve got that under control. But, yeah, that would be a case where you do some very big testing."- Donald J. Trump, genius.


If you've made it this far, please keep in mind that the Smithfield meat processing plant that has become a COVID-19 hotspot, and precipitated the reporter's question, is the Smithfield plant in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, not Denver. And antibiotics have never solved viruses.

But the next thing you need to realize, is that,

1. USDA Meat inspectors have no PPE.
In fact, they were ordered by USDA Management NOT to wear masks.

2. When the Smithfield plant was closed, the USDA ordered its meat inspectors to go to other Meat Packing plants, including JBS in Greely, Colorado. Guess what? Now JBS has a huge outbreak of Covid-19, and is shut down.

When the South Dakota plant closed down, they ordered the USDA inspectors into other meat packing plants.

And with them- went the virus, carried with the USDA inspectors, who infected other plants.

After the Souix Falls Smithfield plant was shut down, the USDA sent meat inspectors from that plant to Greely, Colorado. Who promptly transmitted the virus to the workers there.

Read more:

Coronavirus Outbreaks at Food Processing Plants Have Inspectors 'Fearful' and Employees Staying Home

USDA is not providing employees protective equipment, and until recently, prohibited the use of masks.

Federal food inspectors are raising concerns about the conditions at their workplaces as several processing plants across the country have seen spikes in employees testing positive for COVID-19.

The outbreaks could impact operations at slaughterhouses and other plants around the country as Agriculture Department employees stay home due to illness, potential exposure or fear of contracting the novel coronavirus. The inspectors' concerns have been heightened by what they view as an inconsistent and incomplete response from their USDA agency, the Food Safety Inspection Service, which has not made protective equipment such as masks available to its workforce.

At the outset of the pandemic, FSIS told employees they were not permitted to wear masks because of the fears it could create in the workplace, according to multiple inspectors. That policy appeared to override existing FSIS guidance that employees could wear N95 masks if they felt comfortable and received permission to do so. The agency reversed course on Monday, now allowing inspectors to wear their own masks at food processing plants. It added, however, the workers must ask the company operating the plant for permission to wear the masks and remove them if the plant makes such a request.

As employees voice their fears, several plants around the country have emerged as coronavirus hotspots. At a Smithfield Foods pork plant in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, more than 80 plant employees have tested positive for the virus. The plant initially refused to close, largely at the direction of the federal government.

“They have been told by the federal government to stay open,” Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken said at a press conference on Thursday. Smithfield’s CEO, Ken Sullivan, exited a call with the mayor on Thursday to speak with USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue so Perdue could stress “the importance of staying open,” TenHaken said.


He is the Anti-Christ

There really can’t be any more doubt.
He’s fooled millions of them.

They flock to his every word, filled with deceit, and anger, and greed, and everything evil and bad. Yet his daily rants don’t push people away- there are still the same number, or more, who buy his snake oil.

I don’t get it.

Except to understand that he is, indeed, the Anti-Christ. And he is stealing tens of thousands of souls as I speak.

Now I am really , really concerned.

For the last two weeks, I have been at home, reading as much as I can, from all over the world, to try and understand as much as I can about this Covid-19. I’ve also asked questions of health care professionals, and of those whom I believe are sick with the diseases. I am much more concerned each day with what I have learned.

Here are my bullet items I have gathered. Please think about these points.

- we are in the very, very early stages here in our country. I believe Italy is definitely similar to what our nation is gong to look like very, very soon. I am sure we are about to run out of ICU beds in about one week (April 1) in many area of the country.
Why we must act now- forecast by state here: https://covidactnow.org

- only those essential employees should be at work now. If I owned a company doing ANY service work, except medical related, I would shut the company down today, and send all employees home, and urge them to prepare. What is essential? The DHS has determined General categories of employees who will be essential through this event: https://fortune.com/2020/03/20/essential-workers-government-list-employees-coronavirus/

- even with “Social Distancing” , we are going to run out of ICU beds in about two weeks- two and a half tops. (April 7-10). The curve isn’t going to be a couple of day “blizzard”- it is going to be a rolling horrible disaster for MONTHS. If we are lucky, it will peak in late May, and the overwhelmed ICU’s will finally be AT MAX Capacity on the downswing again by the end of JULY. I really think THAT is the time frame we are working on.

— The event and the dying isn’t going to be over by then, it’s just going to be down to a 2-3% level again, instead of a 15% level. Yes, when we overwhelm the iCU beds, the death rate will skyrocket as it is doing now in Italy. The death rate won’t fall until we have ICU care available for everyone who gets really sick, and I don’t think that will be likely until late summer at the earliest. I hope I’m wrong. I don’t think I will be.

— Our culture of refusing to heed government direction means we will be more like a third world country in our death rate.

Koreans are less individualistic than Americans. They obey rules for the good of society better than American tend to. The Chinese were able to clamp down on civil liberties to quarantine whole cities. People won’t allow that here. To many are just against rules. It’s American culture to go 80 in a 65 zone. So to will be our failure here.

This virus is very contagious- and some/many who get it will not know they are sick, or will have only minor symptoms, and will carry it to dozens or hundreds of others , many of whom will not survive.

— it comes from another species- we are not yet sure if it was a bat or a bird. In either case, or bodies will not react quickly, and it will stay in us and keep an individual sick longer than typical illnesses we are used to. We won’t fully recover in a few days- it may be 10 days into the really bad part, and it may be a month or more before we recover enough to no longer be contagious. It’s NOT a 3-day flu. But it could be a 30-day horrific experience. When they say 70% of cases are “mild”, they mean 70% won’t need supplemental oxygen or ICU care. It can make people “sick as a dog”, like the worst flu you ever had, for 10-14 days, and if you don’t need oxygen to survive, they are calling that “mild”.’

— it won’t be fully over as a pandemic until either:

A. the majority of people left on the planet have had it, and developed immunity, or

B. A vaccine is successfully developed - POSSIBLY in summer or fall of 2021 or early 2022, AND it is produced in sufficient quantities to inoculate everyone.

—- We SHOULD have an antibody test within a shorter time- a few months, hopefully, that will allow doctors to tell if you already have had covid-19. IF so, then the majority opinion now seems to be that you won’t be able to catch it twice, and you will be able to go back to work. That is how some economic recovery will be able to be started- by those who already have been sick and are well again. This assumes that the virus does not evolve into different strains rapidly. There appear to be two different strains already- but we don’t have good science yet to tell whether they developed slowly, or quickly.

— God help us all- it’s going to get much worse before it gets better.

P.S. my favorite voice right now, on YouTube, is a U.K. nursing instructor named Dr. John Campbell. Go look him up and subscribe to his daily video- it’s extremely helpful in understanding the latest information. Here is one of his videos: watch and learn! Be safe!

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer: All Michigan K-12 schools must close until April 5

Source: Detroit Free Press

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer late Thursday ordered all K-12 schools in Michigan to close until April 5 as the state battles the coronavirus. The order covers traditional public, charter, private and boarding schools in the state.

“This is a necessary step to protect our kids, our families, and our overall public health,” Whitmer said in a statement. “I am working with partners across state government to ensure educators, parents, and students have the support they need during this time, and to ensure our children who rely on school for meals have access to food. I know this will be a tough time, but we’re doing this to keep the most people we can safe. I urge everyone to make smart choices during this time and to do everything they can to protect themselves and their families.”

Michigan State Superintendent Michael Rice said the decision had to happen.

“Closing our K-12 school buildings is the responsible choice that will minimize the risk of exposure for children, educators, and families and mitigate the spread of coronavirus,” Rice said. “The Department of Education will continue to work closely with our partners in state government to help our students and educators in each school district get through this time. This is about protecting the most people in Michigan.”

Read more: https://www.freep.com/story/news/education/2020/03/12/coronavirus-michigan-k-12-schools-close-until-april-5/5039384002/

Every school in the state. Good action by our Governor that is sure to raise a lot of discussion tomorrow.


AP is now reporting Bernie has won both Colorado and Vermont.

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