Dan Goodman's prediction and politics journal.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

The Agriculture Department tested fewer than 21,000 cows last year — compared with millions in Europe — but Secretary of Agriculture Ann M. Veneman has repeatedly said that amount is enough to assure that the country's beef is safe because it focuses on downers, which were more likely to be diseased. If the disease was found in a walking cow, the premise behind the testing system would be undermined.

Asked yesterday whether it was possible that someone in the top ranks of the department could have ordered Dr. Thompson to forge a report, Alisa Harrison, the department's chief spokeswoman, repeated five times: "I cannot fathom that that would happen."

Asked several times if she was saying it did not happen, Ms. Harrison said Ms. Veneman did not order it. Asked if someone else in the top ranks could have, she repeated, "I'm saying I cannot fathom it."

Before this, what I'd seen linking gay rights to gun rights has come from people in favor of both:

Speaking before a Senate committee in Albany, Mayor John H. Shields of Nyack, a village in Rockland County, said he felt compelled to act. He likened the marriages to acts of civil disobedience by women in the suffrage movement or by blacks during the civil rights movement. "All I can say is historically I am in good company," he said.

After Mr. Shields spoke, Mayor West of New Paltz, whose actions served as a catalyst for this debate, walked into the packed hearing room and received an emotional ovation that lasted at least five minutes.

Senator Thomas K. Duane, a Democrat and the only openly gay member of the Senate, was near tears as he lauded the mayor as someone who struck a historic blow for civil rights.

On the other hand, Joseph L. Bruno, the Senate Republican majority leader, sternly rebuked Mr. West, saying: "People ought to obey the laws equally and they shouldn't pick and choose. A mayor like that who defies the law could start issuing pistol permits tomorrow."
Stone Mirror's Suggestions for "Thirteen Evil Things to do at a showing of The Passion":
From EurekAlert http://www.eurekalert.org/pubnews.php
Public Release: 3-Mar-2004
DARPA Technical Symposium
Engineers create exoskeleton that can enhance human strength and endurance
UC Berkeley engineers have developed a robotic exoskeleton that can literally lighten people's loads. In recent experiments, a human "pilot" moved about a room carrying the 100-pound exoskeleton and a 70-pound backpack while feeling as if he were lugging a mere 5 pounds. Such a machine could eventually be used by army medics to carry injured soldiers off a battlefield or firefighters to haul their gear up dozens of flights of stairs.
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

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