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Flip-Flopping Didn't Go Away With John Kerry. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Steve Dittmer   
Thursday, 28 April 2005
AFF Sentinel Vol. 2, #19

Flip Flopping and Hanging Judges Latest Twists in Border Case

We've talked about the preposterous new claim by R-CALF that they didn't really say there was a threat to human health by opening the Canadian border. We're used to politicians claiming that we only imagined what it was we saw on the tape. We don't buy the flip-flop at all. But if someone did, what are the implications?

Now someone is actually asking, "So if we take R- CALF literally, and they didn't raise the question of human health, then where did the judge get all this stuff about 'genuine risk of death for U.S. consumers' and 'catastrophic risk of danger to the beef consumers in the U.S.?'"

That would mean the judge came up with all that stuff on his own. Said judge, with R-CALF claiming it never said anything like that, is left dangling in the breeze. Flip-flopping can leave your allies hung out to dry.

You see, the National Meat Association (NMA) filed suit to intervene in the Canadian border case. R- CALF's brief, filed in answer to NMA's request, said, "R-CALF has never argued that there was a great risk to human health from resumed imports of cattle and beef from Canada."

NMA's reply brief argues that the admission by R- CALF that they never said there was a human-health risk, combined with their ignoring the existence of the Harvard Risk Assessment, "shows R-CALF has abandoned any health-based reason for its lawsuit."

Since the judge based most of his opinion for the injunction on the danger to human health, and now R- CALF is claiming there is none, and an injunction has to be based on the opinion that a case is likely to succeed on the merits, it would appear the key pins have been knocked out from under the injunction. To quote NMA's attorneys, "We now see that there was no factual basis for the District Court's conclusions, having apparently been created out of whole cloth by the Court itself."

NMA is reasoning that if you eliminate the human health elements, R-CALF's case rests mainly on technicalities and environmental issues. Environmental issues, you ask?

If you didn't read the whole lawsuit, a whole section of R-CALF's original suit detailed how the border shouldn't be opened because the EPA had not done an environmental impact statement assessing the environmental effects of all those trucks hauling Canadian cattle to U.S. feedyards or packing plants. They also claim the EPA should have assessed the impact of "feeding and holding" those cattle. (We assume "holding" must imply, "What are they going to do with all that manure?")

I kid you not. It's really in there, in a lawsuit filed with an actual court, regarding the Canadian border and the beef industry in two countries - except for the definition of what "holding" implies. We added that. Did we tell you R-CALF is taking not leaves, but whole chapters from its Liberal Activist Group (LAG) associates?

Question is, did the attorneys for Public Citizen or the Sierra Club or GRACE (Global Resource Action Center for the Environment) come up with that one for them? If they succeed on this one, can you just see the environmental groups using that as a precedent to keep us from hauling calves from Florida to Kansas because of the environmental damage? Don't even make me think where all that could lead!

So, first R-CALF claims they are trying to keep the border closed in part because Japan wouldn't trade with us if they thought Canadian beef was in our beef supply. Then they said the Japanese didn't tell them - at least not real, official Japanese government types - that not opening the border with Canada would damage the changes of trade with Japan.

Then R-CALF said the border should remain closed because of dangers to human health. Then they said they didn't say that.

But long before all this, they said the real reason the cattle market was up was because the border was closed, and for that cattlemen should thank R- CALF. So what are we to believe?

R-CALF's flip-flopping reminds us more of struggling fish flopping around on the beach than cowboys. And Cebull's being hung out to dry by R- CALF's latest flip-flopping gives a whole new meaning to the expression, "hanging judge."

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