Thursday, October 4, 2012

I just have to say this

We watched the 1st Presidential debate last night in its entirety.  I am under no illusions that Romney’s stellar performance last night will have any effect on his doomed campaign but it was fun to see the chosen one umming, ahhhing and looking at his shoes.  What has been even more entertaining is the reaction of the liberal media today.

I can’t stand too much of their pablum so I can’t pretend I have watched every bit of nonsense that CNN and MSNBC spouted today but the general theme seems to be this: Obama failed as a debater.  Apparently that was either due to inadequate preparation (ie. John Kerry’s fault) or lack of enthusiasm for the process. 

What that side of the political spectrum seems to have failed to notice is what I have been saying all along, namely that the emperor has no clothes.  All of his policies have been failures, he doesn’t understand how the economy works and most importantly he doesn’t understand how to lead.  All he understands is how to campaign. 

So when you put him side by side with someone who does know how to lead and does understand how the economy works its no wonder that the chosen one comes up looking like a goof. 

Meanwhile north of the 49th Gerry Ritz was back in the House to face the music over XL Foods.  I usually ignore Question Period, even when I’m in Ottawa, perhaps especially when I’m in Ottawa because ultimately it means exactly nothing.  Particularly under Harper who defends his ministers often past the time when he really should dump them.  But I made a point of watching Ritz in QP today.  Not because I’m any great fan of Gerry but just to see what he had to say.

I think he missed the chance to hammer home the simple fact that he has been in Brooks dealing with the problem rather than being in Ottawa dealing with the press.  That’s exactly what I would have told him to do, had he asked me.  I about blew a gasket this morning when that stupid old fossil Craig Oliver was pontificating about how abjectly derelict Ritz was in his duty to the Ottawa press corps. 

What nobody seems to want to say and yet appears crystal clear is that XL dropped the ball and CFIA failed to pick it up.  Most of you have never been inside a slaughterhouse.  If you don’t want to know what happens there then stop reading now because its not pretty.

The steer comes in off the truck covered in shit and full of shit.  He gets shot in the head, his throat slit and somebody hangs him up by his Achilles tendons so he can bleed out.  Then this huge roller affair pulls his hide off – its kind of like watching your wife pull a tight sweater up over her head, except that the hide goes down not up.  Just think about the opportunities for the clean carcass that is inside that hide to get contaminated by all the shit and bugs and dirt that are on the outside of that hide.  Then his guts come out and he gets chilled and the rest is kind of boring.  I believe that in this case the major failure was that after the hide comes off the hot carcass is supposed to get flushed with hot water – likely steaming hot water.  My understanding is that some of those water jets weren’t working and the ones that were didn’t have as hot of water as they were supposed to have.

At some point the carcass gets checked for bacterial contamination and whenever one carcass reads positive the carcass ahead of and behind that carcass are also supposed  to be pulled off the line.  That wasn’t happening.  And ultimately when CFIA asked for the plant records, XL didn’t provide them for three days.  Its not much wonder they are staying conspicuously silent.  Now that may have simply been because nobody at CFIA thought it was important enough to remind them.  With the benefit of hindsight its easy for CFIA to say that XL was stalling while at the time CFIA may have thought it was no big deal.  What I find particularly impressive is that neither Ritz nor CFIA president George Da Pont have slung much mud in XL’s direction.  That tells me that both of them are more focussed on solving the problem than on casting blame and again, that’s the way I’d want them to handle it.

At the end of the day the guys that will pay for this fiasco are the cow calf producers in western Canada.  Processors like XL just work on throughput.  They won’t cut their margins one iota as a result of this.  What they will do is drop the price they pay feedlots for incoming cattle if the public cuts its beef consumption as they almost inevitably will.  Who wouldn’t with all the crap that fools like Craig Oliver are currently spreading?

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