Friday, May 18, 2012


Here is the URL of your new favorite blog:

Get it?  Cuz I have a J.D. now!  Yeah, I know...

Look, I'm gonna be working with a lot of people in prison and I don't want them and their friends and family and the state's attorneys and their friends and family and the prison employees and their friends and family and judges and their friends and family to be able to just type my name and be able to see all my vacation photos.  You understand, right?

Plus, I can't for the life of me figure out how to merge this with my google account.  Annoying!  So I'm starting over :D   See you there

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Down with the Skinnies! (Or rather, "up" if you're talking about BMI...)

Good news for your daughters- according to an article from Reuters, earlier this week, Israel enacted a ban on underweight models from getting modelling contracts, meaning they are required to have a BMI (body mass index) over 18.5.  That's still low, but it is not freakishly low. 

My favorite quote from articles I've been reading regarding modern models is that "they look like dead girls." Haha, so true. 

Not to pick on her, but every time I see Kiera Knightly's sallow face and her ribs popping out everywhere, I cringe.

Likewise, Italy and India enacted similar laws in the wake of the death of 2 Brazilian models from anorexia. (Interesting side note is that a Jerusalem Post article referenced that eating disorders are also on the rise in the Orthodox Jewish Community.) Australia also issued an initiative to try to stop ultra-skinny models, although I believe it is still an optional initiative. 

This is a great start.  Even though it may be apparent to many of us that being grossly underweight is neither healthy, nor overly attractive, it is the unfortunate truth that the women on billboards who are underweight as it is and then photo-shopped down even further present to our young people an illusion as to what our society's standard of beauty is.  At my undergraduate university, eating disorders were rampant.  So many girls felt like if they weren't the thinnest in their apartment, they weren't the prettiest and they wouldn't be the one to get asked out on a date. 

I almost gagged one day when I saw one of my roommates wrapped in a towel walking from the shower to her room, with every bone in her spine protruding 2 inches out. 

I had a roommate have a breakdown when her brother cooked her chicken for dinner that was not cooked in her George Foreman Fat-Reducing Grill.

I knew a girl who wouldn't even emerge from her room, choosing to cry in her bed all day, because she thought she looked too fat.

Also the grad student who admitted that, at one point, she and each one of her roommates were regularly inducing vomiting in their shared bathroom.  Yes, every single girl in the apartment suffered from bulimia. 

And let's not forget the neighbor who was lactose intolerant and would chug milk in order to get diarrhea in an effort to lose a pound or two.

Not joking.  And, sadly, not surprising. And this is just people that I personally know and came into regular contact with!  And that's just the beginning of the list!

Our girls and women are suffering.  We need a greater awareness of what true health is.  Our society has this inappropriate dichotomy where either you are morbidly obese and we accept it because you're a busy, middle or low class, working parent and so we give you a pass on emotional eating (not true.  your kids need you to be healthy and you need to be healthy for YOU!) or we struggle and strain and deprive in order to reach a computer-enhanced, unattainable, ideal 0% body fat, which will never (and should never!) happen.


Self-love and self-care.

Now, watch this movie (cuz I love it) (this is just the trailer):
Supersize Me

and this clip:
Dove Evolution Commercial

The End.

Monday, March 12, 2012

I couldn't resist

I'll make this quick, but I couldn't resist. 

Regarding Miley Cyrus:

"You are all stardust," she wrote [via Twitter], "You couldn't be here if stars hadn't exploded... So forget Jesus. Stars died so you can live."

Personally, I take Miley Cyrus' thoughts on religion about as seriously as I take Tom Cruise's thoughts on the medical profession, Susan Sarandon's so-called expert political opinions, and Kim Kardashian's opinions on the sanctity of marriage.

Attention Celebrities: no one with any sense at all cares what you think.  You probably don't have a degree in anything worthwhile.  You're only famous because of what your face looks like. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

“Women’s rights are human rights, and human rights are women’s rights.”

{Post delayed a couple weeks due to excess holiday cheer ;) }

An unfortunate glimmer of the true status of the Egypt streets, and insight into its government’s ceaseless cover-ups gained great recognition in an interesting way a couple of weeks ago.  Civilians have been taking to the streets in protest against the depravity and lies of the military; in a nutshell, Egypt is trying to elect a new Parliament, but the military is allegedly blocking this and causing problems because, as soon as the Parliament takes over, the military’s power will decrease accordingly.  Despite the military’s constant assurances and even the assurance of the Prime Minister that no force is being used against protestors, Twitter and other Internet resources bearing videos of military-imposed violence are telling a much different story.  

This is really not too unusual, however, because the commoners of the Middle East have been trampelled by their lying leaders for centuries.  

So what made this particular story the subject of primetime news all around the world?  It was a particular victim of the military violence and a particular video that has now been seen around the world.  This protestor-victim was interesting because, first and foremost, she was a woman.  She was modestly wearing an abaya (long sleeved, ankle length, dark-colored, loose-fitting dress required by the Quran), which her brutalizers quickly stripped her of, revealing a BLUE bra as they proceeded to viciously kick and stomp on her now-exposed midriff.

So in this story, we have a lying government, an abusive military, a conservative Muslim woman protesting in the streets, and…a blue bra.

Do I secretly think that this story caught the media’s attention because it was a perfect opportunity for eye-catching women’s lingerie to flash on the screen—always a trick for getting viewers?  Perhaps.

But I hope that it was more than that.  I find 2 things interesting about this image:

1)                   A conservative Muslim woman was wearing a loose-fitting, modest, black abaya and even a hijab covering her hair & neck, but was wearing NOT white, NOT beige, but a BRIGHT BLUE bra.
2)                   A conservative Muslim woman was alone on the streets in protest against her government.

Both are signs of the expanding role of women in politics and women as independent, free-thinkers.  I know what you’re saying—“A blue bra= free thinking…huh?”  But think about it.  In a religion where modesty is paramount and, in my personal opinion, stifling, boldly-colored lingerie is surely a break from the norm.  In the religious circumstance where a devout woman is expected not to show her arms, her legs, and sometimes even her face or her hands, it naturally flows that this hyper-modesty to shun any sort of sensuality that can arise from the form and features of a woman’s body would also likely extend to hyper-modest, anti-sensual undergarments.  Biased as I may be, loose, white granny panties automatically come to mind.

But not for this woman.  She may be devout on the outside but underneath her stifling religious garb she carries a jewel-toned symbol of her femininity. 

And people have caught on to this.  This abused woman’s undergarment has become a symbol of the subsequent Women’s Protest.

This woman reveals a blue shirt with a bra sketched onto it and the words “Your eyes are cheap.”  I’m not exactly sure what she means by this by this statement, but my guess two-fold. 
First, it is meant as an accusation against the brutalizers of the blue bra-ed woman who, like cheap slobs, stripped her of her clothes in order to sordidly gaze upon her exposed chest.  
Or perhaps, second, it is a criticism to all of the news cameras and of all of us watching the protestors from the comfort of our own homes and not lifting even one finger to make an ounce of difference to their plight, just looking on, sighing, and somewhat amused.

[As a TOTAL side note, I was recently led by a former college buddy named Beau to a surprising article  ~~ written by a single, young Egyptian woman whose argument was that overly-restrictive modesty actually objectifies women by teaching them that they are mere sex objects that will be abused, harassed, and taken advantage of by men who can only see them as objects of their desire at the mere sight of an uncovered ankle or elbow.  When compared to this situation, the words of this seemingly radical blogger ring (at least partially) true.]

 Now, back to the Women’s Protests—which I find, in a word, AWESOME!  Women have actually been a major force in many of the recent revolutions in many Middle Eastern countries.  For example, this article entitled Bahrain Women Take Pridein Vital Protest Role women are given credit for their active role across the Middle Eastern world for their influence in the recent “Arab Spring” that has left more than a few governments either toppled, weakened, or at least shaking in their boots.

            This may not seem like such a big deal in the United States, we see images of women storming the US Capital and marching down Pennsylvania Avenue all the time, be it for Gay Rights, the Abortion debate, or any other controversial news item they feel the need to voice their opinion about.  But 1) The U.S. wasn’t always so accepting of females in the political words, and 2) Middle Eastern countries by and large are still not so accepting of women in the political world.  Rewind U.S. History a little, and you can get a sense of the import of the brave women like those in Bahrain.

            Need I remind you that even former (male!) slaves could vote before women in the United States?

            I am passionate about women in the political realm.  I even did a HUGE presentation on the subject for my Women’s Studies college course and I was so captivating that the entire class voluntarily stayed beyond the end of the class period to watch some relevant video clips I had selected!  OK, so maybe Tina Fey portraying Governor Sarah Palin was really the one who was captivating, but I digress…

            I so greatly admire the pioneering women in this country who left their comfortable housewifery to storm the streets and rally until women were given the right to vote with the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920—a full 42 years(!) after the first draft was submitted by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton to Congress.

            Like the Middle Eastern women of today, Western Women fought against their government 100 years ago and we now revere them as heroes.  They are certainly my heroes.

            These Middle Eastern, Muslim women are doing more than hosting conventions and marching, they are getting beaten and even martyred for their causes.  As the amateur videos from this incident reveal, a women in a red coat named Aza (who, incidentally, did not get her lingerie exposed and [therefore] did not make primetime news) went to help the anonymous blue bra-ed woman and ended up getting struck TWENTY TIMES by military police officers and having her skull fractured to the point of sending her into a coma.  When video footage made the attack undeniable, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, who currently rule Egypt and wish to stay in power at the lost of liberty, gave their “regrets.”  It’s tragic, shameful, and even disgusting.

Warning- the video is not for the faint-hearted:

            These women suffering for their rights and breaking the mold in their culture are, like the suffragettes in my culture, also my heroes.  Rather than the Mary Poppins “soldiers in petticoats,” these brave women are soldiers in abayas and like the suffragettes of the West, their legacy will live on for generations and inspire their daughters’ daughters.  I truly admire them.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Penn State: my school, my perspectives

I have been fielding questions and participating in countless discussions on the Penn State sex scandal that is currently commandeering the headlines.  As I have been sorting out my feelings on the issue, I have been paying close attention to the news, listening to my law school peers, and asking questions to my professors.  In my evaluation, I have approached the situation from several different angles, as follow:

I have been working at the PSU Dickinson School of Law’s Children’s Advocacy Clinic for nearly a year and have served many kids in the contexts of both guardian ad litem and attorney.  Looking at the scandal from this perspective, several facets of the issue disturb me.

1) A bogus email sent by one of our deans.  Disclaimer: this particular dean and I are not on exactly friendly terms.  I find him disrespectful, avoidant, and I feel that he single-handedly makes decisions that impact everyone but him while behind closed doors with no transparency.  Putting my personal vendetta aside, this particular dean wrote ALL of the law school faculty a letter stating that if their class members start talking about the scandal, then they need to re-focus the attention of the conversation on the fact that the law school has a Children’s Advocacy Clinic.  And…so?  I guess that he is saying that we should not be blamed for this because we have a handful of students who regularly work with abused kids, myself included.  He then made some OVERLY generous statements about the Clinic.  

 I don’t have a problem with the trumped up praise, really, but I do have a problem with this forced effort to not let students express their feelings in favor of discussing the Clinic exclusively.  This scandal has affected the students greatly.  At one moment we are wondering if our degree has lost all value, then realizing that ALL subsequent interviews will begin with the question “So what do you think about Joe Paterno?”, then wondering if we should be ashamed based on our PSU affiliation.  It has been nerve-wracking, to say the least, for us students and we have the right to discuss whatever aspects of this issue we find relevant and therapeutic without administrative interference.

2) A lack of focus on the victims.  With all of the media hype surrounding JoPa, you would thing that HE was the one molesting kids!  Not only has the perpetrator nearly disappeared from the media’s eye, but the victims are equally scarce.  I am disappointed with the coverage of this tragedy focusing on the sensational firing of prominent PSU employees, not on the REAL issue, which is harm to children.

3) Mandatory reporting requirements.  The current law in Pennsylvania setting forth the people who are statutorily required to report suspected child abuse is 23 Pa.C.S.A. § 6311.  This statute contains a list of people who are considered “mandatory reporters” including doctors, nurses, school teachers, social services providers, and so forth.  Coach is not a part of that list.  Of course, the list is not exclusive, but arguably JoPa is not covered by the statute at all because his position as head football coach of a university does NOT put him into regular contact with children, as the statute requires.  As far as I know, JoPa was not coaching the Second Mile program where the victims were taken advantage of; therefore, he is arguably excluded from the statute.  This is perhaps why he is not being criminally prosecuted like his superiors (who would be managing both PSU and the Second Mile program) are. 

Additionally, the version of this statute at the time of the incidents in question included additional language which stated that a child must actually “come before” you (ie, if you were a teacher you would see the kid at school with bruises or if you were a therapist the child would disclose abuse to you during a session) OR you had to see the abuse being committed.  If the court applies the statute as it appeared at the time of many of the incidents, I believe that even JoPa’s superiors will be guiltless because they never saw any kids or any foul play.  BUT the graduate assistant (now assistant coach) McQueary who DID see abuse occur likely WOULD be in trouble.  Much to me and my peers’ confusion, McQueary has currently not been charged with anything and not been fired like anyone else.  Only today was he asked to not attend this week’s football game, and that only after a public outcry.  And rumor has it that McQueary’s dad and the perpetrator are very good friends…fishy.

I also have a heart for public defense.  I hope to be a public defender and I spent this past summer working near DC for a wonderful PD’s office.  From this side of the table, several different red flags are raised.

1) Joe Paterno.  I was relieved to hear that he hired a prominent defense attorney— he needs one.  He is a very old man (no offense, Joe) and when I think about him needing to handle these extremely sensitive issues, I think about my own grandfather and how he would feel about handling huge press conferences and having everyone glaring at him, thinking he is pure evil.  It makes me ill.  In Joe’s time, the world was not so educated about sexual abuse and I’m sure this is a difficult concept for him to grasp and understand how to approach.  I think he has been given far more blame than he deserves and I cannot agree that he honestly believed the reports he was receiving about his right-hand man.  I cannot imagine he took the allegations seriously and as such, he did his duty of reporting to his superiors and then left it there, thinking it was all a hoax anyway and not wanting to bury his close friend alive in what he likely believed were unfounded allegations.

So when Joe makes a statement to the press like “In hindsight, I wish I had done more,” I again think of my own grandfather.  I feel that Joe was just trying to do the right thing and make an honest, seemingly sensitive statement like my grandfather would.  He would not be familiar with the legal ramifications of that statement; he would only want to say what he thought was appropriate.  Unfortunately, the defense attorney in my head shouts, “SHUT UP! THEY WILL USE THAT AGAINST YOU!  THAT’S BASICALLY AN ADMISSION OF GUILT!”  But how would he know that?  I think people need to get off his case until more facts become available about what he actually knew and believed.

Additionally, casually calling a prominent coach of nearly 50 years who was literally the face of the university on the phone and just saying “Uhhh…well…you’re fired” is unacceptable.  Completely disrespectful of a great man and I am embarrassed that the Board would think that was okay.

2) Lastly, the perpetrator, Sandusky.  I’m gonna get rotten tomatoes thrown at me for this, but whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty?  When before a grand jury, the prosecutor has an EXTREMELY low amount of evidentiary procedures to follow to prevent false information from coming into the court.  A grand jury is NOT a regular jury.  It is a pre-jury and the prosecution basically ALWAYS wins; thats just the way the system works.  It's just a step that always happens before a regular trial- he has NOT been found guilty!  So I feel that people who jump to the conclusion that Sandusky's guilt has already been proven are uninformed.  I am shocked at the media’s absence of the word “alleged.”  There has been NO genuine judicial fact finding that these events have occurred, so as of now these are only alleged events and alleged victims.  The way the media is treating this as won and done before trial has even begun, coupled with the way they are blasting this on all stations, means that Sandusky will NEVER have the opportunity to be tried before an unbiased jury, as is his Constitutional right.

1) First of all, I’m getting VERY tired of all of the emails from our (new) administration.  Enough is enough.  I respect them trying to keep us in the know, but the recurring theme dominating all of these emails is to guilt trip us into being as honorable as we can since now its apparently our sole responsibility to restore credibility to the university.  Great.  Thanks.  So how about a tuition cut for my stress and trouble?  Emails with words such as these…
Through your conduct every day, you can play a role in restoring the integrity, honor, and pride that have always characterized Penn State…always remember that your actions reflect on the entire Penn State community. Please set an example that will make us all proud.
                                    …don’t exactly inspire confidence.

2) Joe Paterno.  I have no real loyalties to PSU football, but I was sad to see this legendary man go.  I have conspiracy theories that pulling Joe into this was all a scheme to get him out of the way so the school can get into a more profitable conference, but I have really no evidence to substantiate that. 

3) Westboro Baptist Church.  You know times are tough with WBC decides to protest at your school.  These are the deplorable people who protest the funerals of our honorable military heroes with signs like “God Hates Fags” and do forth—absolutely despicable.  Well, apparently we made their godless list too.  I can’t wait to hear them screaming garbage like ‘God hates Penn State because it hires homosexuals and those boys got what they deserved as punishment from God for attending a PSU affiliated program.’  Outrageous.  I’m offended already.  Seriously.

To counter this, law student groups have already decided to organize a peaceful assembly to censor the WBC at Beaver Stadium tomorrow.  Good luck to my fellow students; may God grant you patience and calmness in order to prevent yourself from being sued for punching a WBC member.

4) The riots.  Yet another example of media sensationalism, these “riots” were blown way out of proportion.  The VAST majority of students peacefully gathered at the football stadium and at JoPa’s home, expressing support of him and literally holding hands and singing our school song.  Only a handful of (stupid) students were responsible for tipping a news truck, attempting to light a tree on fire, and so forth.  These kids were probably already drunk and just wanted an excuse to run around town.  Honestly, there’s not too much else to do in State College…  I’d like to think they intentionally chose to tip a news van because they want to protest the media’s skewed coverage of this issue, but I honestly can’t give them that much credit.  This handful of students truly embarrassed the rest of us and, unfortunately, have become the face of all of us across the country.

In sum, I hope that justice and right prevails.  I hope that the (alleged) victims receive all the help and support they need and deserve.  I hope the media figures out that there is SO much more going on in the world than this.  I hope that people will recognize how graciously most of us students are trying to handle this stressful situation.  And I sincerely hope that Tom Ridge is our new university president!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Problem with "Christians"

The problem with Christians is that sometimes they're not.  They're not Christian, ie, they don't act in Christ-like ways and they don't legitimately follow the parameter's of Christ's teachings.  If you recall, I discussed this when we had the embarrassing Hitler-esque burning of the Quran in the south a year or so ago.  Yet again it comes up, and of all places, at a Conservative Christian voter's summit.


Case in point:

Pastor Robert Jeffress announced at this summit that Mormonism is a "cult" and that its followers, ie Mitt Romney, are not Christian.  He claims they are not Christian because they don't embrace "historical christianity."  Actually, if he did a little research, he would discover that the Mormon church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) is actually based on the church that Christ himself organized while he lived.  This church has 12 apostles (like historical christianity) and a top leadership of 3 apostles (think Peter, James, and John- like historical christianity) who lead the church with the priesthood of God (like historical christianity), along with missionaries sent abroad (think Saint Paul in historical christianity), etc.  They are an extension of historical christianity, hence their name- the church of JESUS CHRIST of LATTER-DAY SAINTS- meaning the Church that Christ historically organized as re-instated in these modern times, since the foundation's of Christ's original church have since become corrupted by man and the historical christianity has been lost.

Oh and by the way, they worship Christ as their Savior and redeemer and as the son of God.

The only part of "historical christianity" that the Latter-day Saints do not embrace is the Nicene Creed, which is what these modern christian sects seem to be so stuck on.  But guess what, the Nicene Creed is not the Bible, it is the product of men, hundreds of years after Christ when christians could no longer agree on what historical christianity was anymore.  Christ's teachings and foundations were being altered and the simple basic principle of who and what are God and Jesus were already being modified.  This principle was the subject of heated debate, argument, and lobbying.  It was a very political convention and finally common ground was found just to have something to unite them (can you say Congress??).  Religious truth comes from revelation, not debate, which is why the Latter-day Saints do not jump to embrace the Nicene Creed.  It's not because Latter-day Saints are not Christian, it's because the Nicene Creed didn't come from Christ, it came from scholars.  It's not doctrine or revelation, it's a compromise; therefore it should not preclude an honest group of sincere worshipers and followers of Christ from being considered christian.

But one thing that IS doctrine and DID come from Christ is the Christian value of "love one another", repeated by Christ again and again throughout the New Testament.  Christ's agonizing atonement was made because he loves us and wants to save us ALL from sin, even if we are sinners and even if He does not agree with our politics, and so forth.  As such, I just cannot see how name-calling and labeling people's sincerely religious beliefs, in order to gain one's one political advantage, is something that any real Christian would think is okay for them to do and within their doctrinal parameters.

Looks like that rock star newsman Anderson Cooper thought the same way and he TOTALLY called out Pastor Jeffress in the following news clip:

So maybe being in a cult is not so bad since Pastor Jeffress seems to classify everyone but himself and his followers as being in a cult, he even has some doubts about Catholicism.  Oh, and even if you are not in a cult, he will probably not accept your claim as being a Christian anyway, so there's really no point trying to please this bigot.

I'm sorry, but cult is a VERY derogatory term.  Cult= drinking poisoned purple Kool Aid because some guy you worship told you to.  Yearning for Zion polygamist group in Texas?  Maybe a cult, but I would still say that word is too strong.  Buddism and Islam?  No.  You can't just make these huge offensive claims, and calling something only a "theological cult" does not make it any better.  After all, to outsiders, evangelical christianity is also based on a man starting a social following, that man being Jesus Christ.  It's only their belief in Christ's divinity that takes them, in their view, out of cult status.  But in all these other religions' views, Joseph Smith, Mohammed, Buddah, and so forth where all chosen prophets inspired by a higher power, they are not just "men" trying to make money, gain power and influence, and control people's minds. 

It comes right down to my friend John Skaggs' life motto: think before you speak!

And if you're going to be broadcast on national television, I would not only think, but I would think VERY hard and research before I speak.  I have very little respect for intentionally infecting others with self-imposed ignorance.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Turkey Recall & Why it's all Pharma's Fault

And here comes yet another reason for me to hate the Big Pharmaceutical companies.  Corruption in the inhumane meat-packing industry is encouraged by the evil empire I collectively call "Pharma" who provides US farmers with FOUR TIMES the amount of antibiotics than are consumed and prescribed by humans in the US so that they can keep raising their animals in nasty environments full of other animals that have died from disease and their own animal feces teeming with viruses.  Meanwhile the industrial "farmers" are feeding their animals foods that make them ill (CORN!) because it's cheaper to buy subsidized grain and subsidized antibiotics and pack animals into unhealthy environments than to raise and feed animals the right way.  (see The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan for more details- an EXCELLENT and highly informative book).  And then those corn farmers are encouraged by the government through subsidies to perpetuate the problematic feeding of animals and at the end of the day we are all fat and sick with salmonella from eating diseased animals and high fructose corn syrup all day.  But I digress...

Cargill is pretty much the embodiment of the Evil Empire and so when I heard that this week they recalled 36 MILLION POUNDS of ground turkey, I went right to their website to see what they had to say about it.  So after one death and a whopping 76 people coming down with salmonella (not fun at all), they released the following statements from their president of turkey processing, Steve Willardsen:

“Eliminating food borne illness is always our goal.”

==> Oh, really?!  Then how do you explain the DISGUSTING living conditions of your animals?!  How do you explain the fact that you are intentionally feeding your turkeys grains when they were biologically designed to eat grass and grubs and that the grains make them ill to the point that you MUST prescribe them antibiotics?  If you REALLY were interested in preventing disease, you would feed your animals properly in the first place and give them a -shocking!- sanitary place to live.

Our man, Steve, goes on:

"Cargill is contacting its customers to make certain they know which of their ground turkey products are affected by this recall…Cargill is working closely with its U.S. customers to make certain as much of the product is retrieved as possible"

==> Oh, right.  I'm expecting a phone call from Cargill any minute now, I'm sure they are VERY concerned about me and Mabel next door...

And finally:
“We all need to remember bacteria is everywhere..."

==>  In other words, get over it America!  Someone died?  Meh- people die everyday, its just germs!  Not our fault.  


I then looked to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service and they had some interesting things to say:

'No hormones have been approved for use in turkeys. Antibiotics may be given to prevent disease and increase feed efficiency. In approving drugs for use in livestock and poultry, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) work together. FDA sets legal limits for drug residues in meat and poultry. FSIS enforces the limits FDA sets for drug residues.

A "withdrawal" period is required from the time antibiotics are administered before the bird can be slaughtered. This [arguably] assures that no residues are present in the bird's system. FSIS randomly samples poultry at slaughter and tests for residues. Under the Federal meat and poultry inspection laws, any raw meat or poultry shown to contain residues above established tolerance levels is considered adulterated and must be condemned.'

[NOTE: SALMONELLA IS NOT CURRENTLY CONSIDERED AN ADULTERANT UNTIL IT ACTUALLY MAKES SOMEONE SICK!] the FDA and FSIS says its okay to give antibiotics not ONLY to prevent disease (interesting that it is used to PREVENT disease, not TREAT disease, since they already know that disease is inevitable in their improperly treated animals!) but antibiotics can also be used to "increase feed efficiency."  So this is their license to give animals bad food because its cheaper.  AND I read this as meaning its also okay to give animals antibiotics to help them fatten up quicker, which it does.  And for Cargill, the less time an industrial farmer needs to be feedings their turkey before the slaughterhouse, the better...or at least the cheaper.  And yet again, Cargill the evil empire of food robs the consumer and makes us ill all at the same time.

And clearly this "withdrawal period" is not really working out so well if people are STILL getting sick and STILL showing resistance to common antibiotics as a result of over-exposure via permissible drug residue in our food. 

And then there was NPR to shed some additional light on the issue:

'In 2008, the government found that 78 percent of turkeys testing positive for salmonella were contaminated with strains resistant to at least one type of antibiotics. The USDA says antibiotics may be given to turkeys "to prevent disease and increase feed efficiency."        [so you'll get sick and then your own antibiotics won't work!]

The size of the latest outbreak has renewed calls for the government to take action against the use of antibiotics in healthy food animals.'

Let's hope the outcries can even make a tiny dent this time in the major structural problem our food system has.  But I'm sure Pharma won't let than happen any time soon, so don't count on it.