I attended the Hal Spake fundraiser last night with featured speaker Jim Hightower. I’d heard Jim speak many years ago, and while he didn’t seem to have much fire in his belly, he showed he can still please a crowd with his down-home logic. Hightower did get a little excited about the National Animal Identification System.
Under the program, livestock owners register their animals with the government database, permanently tag the animal and keep track of it, reporting, within 24 hours, every time an animal is tagged, a tag is lost, an animal dies, is missing or is slaughtered, and every time an animal leaves or enters the property. The USDA says the long-term goal is to provide health officials with the ability to ID all livestock that have had contact with a disease within 48 hours after discovery.
OK, what could be wrong with that?
Across the country, every person with even one horse, cow, chicken, pig, goat, sheep, exotic animal or virtually any other livestock animal on their premises will be required to register their homes and property into a database and subject their property and animals to government surveillance.
Each animal will have to be individually identified and physically tagged, in many cases with radio frequency tags or microchips. Every “event” in the animal’s life (including having the tag applied, any movements to and from the premises, and death) will have to be reported within 24 hours.
Well, maybe it could use a little fine tuning.
Fred Harris also made a few comments that I enjoyed. You remember Fred, he was a state senator from 1956 to 1964 and U.S Senator from 1964 to 1973.
Harris did not seek another term in 1972, choosing instead to make a run for President. It was a short-lived campaign that ended with Harris planning a different kind of race in 1976. In 1975 he announced that he would seek the Democratic Presidential nomination in 1976. Harris’ race had at least two unusual features. For one, in order to keep expenses down, he travelled the country in a RV and stayed in private homes, giving his hosts a card which was to be redeemable for one night’s stay in the White House upon his election.
Hal seemed to be an easy going guy, calmly explaining his positions on various issues, like his “cut & run” strategy for the Iraq occupation:
- Withdraw U.S. troops in 6 months.
- Allow Iraq government to choose peacekeeping forces from Muslim nations for replacement.
- U.S. to pay for cost of peacekeeping force.
- U.S. to pay for reconstruction.
- No U.S. contractors.
It’s quite a lot to swallow, but at least Spake has an Iraqi strategy other than “stay the course”. And his message resonated strongly with the crowd of enthusiastic Democrats. Jari Askins seemed to like it. And I admit, it got me thinking too. Not sure about how Republican precinct chair, and Spake supporter, Tom Elmore felt about it. But you can bet he likes Spake’s transportation policies.
There’s a couple more Spake campaign signs in Little Axe today.