Wednesday, May 8, 2013

FDA to Investigate "Any and All" Caffeine Added Products

Mayor Bloomberg is probably skipping around his office throwing confetti and thanking whatever god(s) he thinks are on his side.  The federal government is stepping in and taking the first step towards another NYC style banning.  This time....caffeine.

Reason Magazine and others are reporting that the FDA has announced they will begin investigating caffeinated products.  Not energy drinks.  Not caffeine gum.  But EVERY caffeine added product.

That's right.  The FDA will, in fact, be investigating energy drinks and caffeine gum.  But they will also be investigating Diet Coke and Mountain Dew.  They will investigate the coffee drinks that have an "extra boost" in them.  They will investigate products that you didn't even realize had a little caffeine added to them.

And, let's be real about what the outcome will be here.  This is the government.  Even worse, this is the FDA, one of the most sold out areas of the government.  A government agency that makes decisions based on many, many things other than what's acceptable for our people.

This will end badly.  I fully anticipate that the FDA will step in and put severe limits on how much, if any,
caffeine can be added to a product.  You know, because we are fully incapable of deciding what we want to consume.

And if this happens, you need to be ready for the price of coffee to jump up drastically.  This will happen for two reasons.  First, if caffeine limitations will be in place for products that artificially add them, them consumers will be forced to turn to coffee for their caffeine.  Supply and demand will dictate that the price of coffee will go up.

Second, coffee is the major source of caffeine for caffeine added products.  When coffee producers remove caffeine from coffee to make decaffeinated coffee, they sell that caffeine to other companies to add to their sodas and energy drinks, etc.  Without the revenue generated from selling as much of that caffeine off, then the price of coffee will have to be raised to compensate.

Pay attention to this as it develops, folks.  There's a whole lot more freedom of choice that's about to be limited...again.  Yay.  Go government.

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Indiana Sheriff Vows to Not Enforce Future Gun Laws

FOP Ends Support of Bisard...Why Were They Financing Him in the First Place?

Friday, May 3, 2013

FOP Ends Support of Bisard...Why Were They Financing Him in the First Place?

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've heard that David Bisard got another DUI.  Not uncommon for a person with one DUI to get a second one, really.  Many do.

But the Bisard case is a little different.  Bisard was a cop.  Bisard killed someone (allegedly).  Bisard was drunk (allegedly).  There was very suspicious mishandling of blood testing.  There was very suspicious mishandling of blood evidence. The whole thing was just...well...suspicious.

And his defense costs?  Yeah, they were being picked up by the Fraternal Order of Police.

What the hell?  I understand the being a police officer is a brotherhood.  They love to protect their own.  Okay, fine.  I can understand brotherhoods.

I can also understand the FOP wanting to pick up the tab for the defense of many police officers that are facing crazy litigation from over-zealous criminals that are just looking to screw over a cop.

But this wasn't that kind of case.  The evidence against Bisard appears to be overwhelming.  Even though much of the evidence might have proven inadmissible due to the horrendous "oversights" by other members of the department, there is little doubt among the masses that Bisard did this.

So if the evidence against Bisard is so damning, why would the FOP want to defend him?  Again, I understand brotherhood, but brotherhood is for the benefit of all the brethren.  If a member of a brotherhood fails to uphold their end of the bargain, if they do something that could do serious damage to the brotherhood as a whole, then it is acceptable for the brotherhood to expel him.  And even if expulsion is not the right step, it is also acceptable for the brotherhood to remain neutral.

But that didn't happen in this case.  For Bisard, despite all the damning evidence, the FOP chose to step up and pay for his defense.  Why?  Who knows.  But you can bet your paycheck they are regretting it now.

Hilariously, FOP president William Owensby is quoted in today's Indy Star article about the FOP's recent decision as saying Bisard's arrest, "reflected discredit upon the lodge."

Guess what, Mr. Owensby, the discredit upon the lodge was caused by it's decision to pay for his counsel in the first place.

Indiana Sheriff Vows to Not Enforce Future Gun Laws

Sheriff Bradley Rogers
Elkhart County Sheriff Brad Rogers is no stranger to media attention.  Since his campaign, he has not been scared to speak out loud about his position on laws and their constitutionality.  

That attention is surrounding him again.  On Sunday, Sheriff Rogers told a crowd in South Bend that he refuses to enforce any further gun legislation handed down by the federal government.   This position is not new for Sheriff Rogers, nor is it new for him to discuss it (he's been on CNN talking with Anderson Cooper about his views).  Nonetheless, the media, including this Indy Star article, has grabbed the story and pounced on it.

It's an interesting question....where does a sheriff's loyalties lie?  Is he to blindly enforce any laws that are passed?  Is that his duty?  Can a sheriff prioritize the laws he enforces based on the resources he has available?  Or, as Sheriff Rogers indicates, does his oath of office to uphold the constitution mean that if he finds a law unconstitutional that he is not obligated to enforce it?

Surely a sheriff can not be required to blindly pursue each and every law that is passed.  The reason is resources.  No sheriff has unlimited resources.  Every sheriff is forced to create a budget based on the resources available to them, and thus be forced to prioritize what areas they will focus their enforcement on.  That makes perfect sense.

But where does prioritizing enforcement potentially turn into abandonment of enforcing a law at all?  And is a sheriff that believes a law to be unconstitutional required to not enforce it based upon their oath to defend the constitution?

Myself, Miah Akston, and Sheriff Rogers
These are not easy questions to answer.  Especially as nullification becomes a more common part of society, with states readily nullifying federal laws right now, it becomes harder to answer, and also more controversial.

Personally, I applaud Sheriff Rogers.  He is still confined by a system of checks and balances.  If his community does not support the actions of this first term sheriff, they will guarantee that he never has a second term of office.  As long as those checks and balances are in place, then the sheriff's oath to uphold the constitution comes first and foremost.

Sheriff Rogers recently spoke at the Libertarian Party of Indiana's State Convention.  Although I do not have audio of the excellent speech he gave, Miah Akston and I were lucky enough to have the opportunity to interview him for our show on, The Uncontrollables.  Here's that interview.  It runs about 21 minutes.