Friday Evening News Reads: Murphy NC Tornado Damage, Pink Slime, Spiders and Snakes

Good Evening…

Tonight, for your viewing pleasure, I have videos and images full of destruction…disgust…terror…dated perceptions and bad romance.  Those being a collection of tornado damage, pink slime, wolf spiders, early 70’s Dolly Parton and a song about Women’s Suffrage.

First, we have the debris and destruction part of this evening’s post. I went to Murphy, North Carolina today and shot some video of the damage the town received after being hit by a F2 tornado on March 3, 2012. This town is just a spit from my old house near the border of Georgia and North Carolina. The town may sound familiar to you because it was made famous by Olympic Park and abortion clinic bomber Eric Rudolf...who hid out in the mountains around the town for six years, before being discovered rummaging through a trash dumpster.

My video is short so take a look:

Earlier today, a local Atlanta station had a crew shoot a story about the tornado that hit last week,  a lot of the same things I video taped are in their report…which does explain what you are looking at and interviews some residents and owners of the damaged buildings.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Transcript of the news video here:

– Residents in Murphy, N.C. are still picking up the pieces after a tornado touched down last Friday.

The twister destroyed homes and businesses throughout the town.

Wayne’s Feed Store, a somewhat local institution in the mountain town since 1951, was blown away.

Reggie Cox lost his house, but said he was grateful that his family — including his three children– are safe.

“It was scary, you know winds, debris,” said Cox.

The EF-2 tornado tore through town with winds of up to 125 miles an hour — fast enough to drive a four by four post through the side of a station wagon.

“We had over 100 homes that suffered some type of damage. We had eight that were destroyed,’ said Cherokee County, N.C. spokesman Doug Clement.

Cox’s uncle’s house was one of the those totaled, where a week later a smoke detector was still sounding the alarm.

“They just left about five to seven minutes before it hit,” said Cox. “I don’t think anybody could have survived it.”

Rebuilding has begun, bringing with it a sense of recovery.

“We feel like we are on the road to recovery. Mountain people are survivors. Well indeed make it, I indeed assure you of that,” said Mayor Bill Hughes.

While the storm caused millions of dollars in damage, there were no reports of injuries.

The same storm system did damage in Haralson and Paulding Counties

Now… I bring you the disgusting portion of the evening. I have another video for you to watch, it is from a segment of ABC News last night, and it is revolting!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Is Pink Slime in the Beef at Your Grocery Store? – ABC News

As seen in the movie Food Inc., the low-grade trimmings come from the most contaminated parts of the cow and were once only used in dog food and cooking oil. But because of BPI’s treatment of the trimmings — simmering them in low heat, separating fat and tissue using a centrifuge and spraying them with ammonia gas to kill germs — the United States Department of Agriculture says it’s safe to eat.

The company calls the final product “Finely Textured Lean Beef.” It is flash frozen and boxed. Foshee says it is more like gelatin and not nutritious as ground beef because the protein comes mostly from connective tissue, not muscle meat.

“[It will] fill you up, but won’t do any good,” Foshee said.

ABC News was flooded with questions from concerned viewers following last night’s report on pink slime.

Many, like Dale Rittenhouse, wanted to know where beef with pink slime was sold.

“What stores use pink slime?” Rittenhouse wrote.

So ABC News producers traveled across the country to the meat section to see if its in the ground beef they sell. Most couldn’t tell us for sure.

“There is no way to even know from labels or even from the butchers here whether it contains pink slime,” said ABC News producer Candace Smith in New York.

“The guy at the meat counter said that he had been getting the same question all day,” said Janice McDonald in Atlanta.

ABC News emailed the top 10 grocery chains in America. Only Publix, Costco, HEB and Whole Foods responded, saying they don’t use pink slime. No word yet from the rest.

Geez, we don’t have any of those pink slime free grocery stores in Banjoville…ABC has an update on Where You Can Get ‘Pink-Slime’-Free Beef

At most stores it was impossible to tell for sure whether the beef contained pink slime. At one store there was no way to know from the labels and the butchers did not know the answer.

ABC News emailed the top 10 grocery chains in America and seven responded:

1. Safeway
“We rely on the federal government to help guide us on food safety issues. USDA has been clear in its judgment that Lean Finely Textured Ground Beef is a safe source of nutrition. However, we are reviewing the matter at this time.”

2. Ahold (Stop & Shop/Giant)
“Stores operated by the divisions of Ahold USA do carry ground beef made with Boneless Lean Beef Trimmings (BLBT), also called Finely Textured Beef (FTB). Boneless Lean Beef Trimmings (BLBT) is beef and is absolutely safe for consumption. To make the product, beef companies use beef trimmings, which are the small cuts of beef that remain when larger cuts are trimmed down. These trimmings are USDA-inspected, wholesome cuts of beef. This process has been an industry standard for almost 20 years. Alternatives to the conventional ground beef supply, in the form of Certified Angus Beef and Nature’s Promise ground beef products, are available to customers in stores across all of the divisions of Ahold USA. These products do not include the use of BLBT. Customers are being encouraged to ask any meat associate should they have any questions or would like to be directed to meat that does not include Boneless Lean Beef Trimmings. Our labeling is in compliance with USDA regulations. BLBT is USDA tested and approved ground beef and therefore does not require labeling.”

3. Costco
Does not use pink slime.
“Anything that we sell at Costco we want to explain it’s origins, and I personally don’t know how to explain trim treated with ammonia in our ground beef,” Craig Wilson, vice president of quality assurance for Costco, told ABC News. “I just don’t know how to explain that. I’m not that smart.”

4. Publix
“We have never allowed the use of LFTB (pink slime) in our meat. It’s 100 percent ground beef with no LFTB.”

5. H-E-B
“All our ground beef sold at H-E-B is 100% pure with no additives.”

6. Whole Foods
Does not use pink slime.

7. Kroger
“We do not use finely textured beef in our fresh ground beef. … We are routinely presented the finely textured beef as an option, but have always refused.”

A viewer, Miles Herbert, wanted to know, “Is there any evidence that organic meat contains this pink slim?”

It turns out there isn’t. If your meat is stamped USDA Organic, it’s pure meat with no filler.

There is a petition at  Health Petition: Tell USDA to STOP Using Pink Slime in School Food! …according to an article in the LA Times, Pink slime: In the supermarket and school lunches

Texas mom Bettina Siegel has a petition going at to get the additive out of school lunches.


Meanwhile, over at the Cattle Network, American Meat Institute President J. Patrick Boyle  defended the process as well as the product in an article Thursday, saying the “lean beef trimmings” were “absolutely edible” and that using them ensured that “lean, nutritious, safe beef” did not go to waste.

Boyle goes on to say that media reports create an inaccurate picture.  An opinion piece on the site refers to “pink slime” as a “headline writer’s dream.”

It would indeed seem great fodder for a snarky British tabloid headline, considering that in the United Kingdom lean beef trimmings are banned for human consumption.

Damn, so the UK has banned this “stuff” for human consumption…funny, they banned the TSA’s nude screening cancer x-rays as well…I guess their government officials do not have “connections” to lobbyist that promote the TSA scanners, or get paid over a million dollars by the company that makes that pink slime, like  the under-secretary who approved of this ghastly crap. Yeah, check out what she actually said in regards to what makes this “filler” meat:

“The under secretary said, ‘it’s pink, therefore it’s meat,’” Custer told ABC News.

ABC News has learned the woman who made the decision to OK the mix is a former undersecretary of agriculture, Joann Smith. It was a call that led to hundred of millions of dollars for Beef Products Inc., the makers of pink slime.

When Smith stepped down from the USDA in 1993, BPI’s principal major supplier appointed her to its board of directors, where she made at least $1.2 million over 17 years.

Smith did not return ABC News’ calls for comment and BPI said it had nothing to do with her appointment. The USDA said while her appointment was legal at the time, under current ethics rules Smith could not have immediately joined the board.

Alrighty then, I got some terror for you this evening as well. Do you all remember those floods in Australia last year? Thousands of spiders blanket Australian farm after escaping flood Take a look at some creepy photographs of the wolf spider.

What appears to be snow is actually spider webs blanketing an Australian farm. (Daniel Munoz/Reuters)

Thousands of normally solitary wolf spiders have blanketed an Australian farm after fleeing a rising flood.

Reuters reports that the flooding has forced more than 8,000 Australian (human) residents from their homes in the city of Wagga Wagga in New South Wales. But for every temporarily displaced person, it appears several spiders have moved in to fill the void.

“What we’ve seen here is a type of wolf spider,” Owen Seeman, an arachnid expert at Queensland Museum, told Reuters. “They are trying to hide away (from the waters).”

The Australian Museum’s entomology collections manager Graham Milledge told Reuters that there’s even a term for the phenomenon, “ballooning,” and that it is typical behavior for spiders forced to escape rising waters.

Click image for more photos

I don’t like spiders or snakes…you fool, you fool…
Y’all know that tune?
I remember listening to this song when I was a kid, the video is from 1974…it is very annoying, but check out Dolly Parton…no big hair and no high heels. Oh yeah, this is the part I described up top as “dated perceptions.” It is really more like obnoxious stereo-types but you will get my meaning when you watch it.
The video does present a nice contrast to the last video I have for you tonight, which rounds out our “Bad Romance…”
Hope you enjoyed that wild ride, I will catch y’all in the comments later tonight. There is a strawberry shortcake with my name all over it in the kitchen…and it is calling me. (Well, it is either that or I really am going off the deep end.)

29 Comments on “Friday Evening News Reads: Murphy NC Tornado Damage, Pink Slime, Spiders and Snakes”

  1. Minkoff Minx says:

    Sorry the post is a bit late tonight…now I am off to eat myself some shortcake!

  2. NW Luna says:

    If it’s tissue from a bovine, it’s beef, IMO. Many cultures make thorough use of all parts of the animals they kill for food. Blood pudding, sweetbreads, suet pudding, and the like. As a non-meateater I don’t see the rationale for some animal parts to be less suited for eating than other parts.

    Of course, whether the end product is safely processed and correctly labeled is a separate issue. And important.

    IIRC, the number of food-safety inspectors, particularly for meatpacking, has been drastically cut in recent years. So will Congress do anything about this “pink slime?” I’m not holding my breath.

    • ralphb says:

      I’m just glad that Whole Foods and HEB don’t use it. Most of the meat I use comes from there.

  3. bostonboomer says:

    When there’s a strawberry shortcake calling you, it’s very important to answer that call.

  4. bostonboomer says:

    Here’s one for you, Minx: Georgia lawmaker compares women to cows and pigs.

    Republican Georgia state Rep. Terry England says that his experience with cows, pigs and chickens has proven to him that women should be forced to have their babies after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

    In a debate over Georgia House Bill 954, which would ban abortions after 20 weeks even if the baby is not expected to live, England recalled the time he had spent with livestock.

    “Life gives us many experiences,” he explained. “I’ve had the experience of delivering calves, dead and alive — delivering pigs, dead and alive. … It breaks our hearts to see those animals not make it.” ….

    House Bill 954 easily passed last week by a vote of 102-65.

    Opponents have said that the so-called “fetal pain” bill would force women to carry stillborn fetuses or to have a Cesarean delivery. Doctors could also face 10 years in prison if they are involved in illegal abortions.

    • ralphb says:

      Another in a rather long line of people coming out as pure uncut stupid!

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      Oh, that is exactly what these assholes think…that women are livestock.

      I wrote all the state reps and US congress jerkoffs…do you know how many times I had to cut out the cuss words and snarky remarks. I wanted them to be professional. Oooo, this makes me mad.

    • peggysue22 says:

      They’re coming out of the woodwork anymore! Now we’re delivering pigs and calves. Making a woman carry a dead fetus is beyond cruel and absolutely, positively barbaric.

      Different subject but another critter comparison was used by some state rep in regards to food stamps. We should stop providing food stamps because even forest rangers advise against feeding animals in the wild. It’s not in the interest of the creatures themselves, makes them too dependent. This was actually said on a video.

      The woman [whoever she was] had to apologize for the analogy.

      Gee, ya think!

    • NW Luna says:

      Breaks his heart to see those animals not make it??? Boo-hoo-hoo. Doesn’t seem to get in the way of butchering them to eat. What a hypocrite.

      Carrying a dead — aka stillborn — fetus can kill the mother. Decomposing dead matter and a ready connection to the bloodstream is a recipe for deadly sepsis.

      Rep. England needs to spend some time shut up in a veal pen.

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        Carrying a dead — aka stillborn — fetus can kill the mother. Decomposing dead matter and a ready connection to the bloodstream is a recipe for deadly sepsis.

        I always thought this was the case. These people are hateful.

  5. ralphb says:

    That tornado footage looks pretty bad. Driving a post through a car door isn’t easy,

  6. ralphb says:

    Romney: Regulators Should Make ‘Friends’ With Business

    What a foof! If regulators were any more friendly with business, they’d have to marry them.

  7. ralphb says:

    Lawyers, Guns & Money: How To Speak Wingnut: Some New Definitions

    Downright humorous.

  8. peggysue22 says:

    Anything they have to clean up with an ammonia spritz can’t be good for you! And here I always thought I wanted to go to Australia. Seeing all those webs and thinking about those gazillion spiders—I’ll take a pass.

    Loved the side by side music vids. That Dolly Parton one is God awful.

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      Oh I know, I warned you all it was obnoxious and annoying.

      When I was in my first year of college, I worked part-time as a check out “girl” at Food Lion. I used to see them put bleach on the fish to get the stink out. I really think that ammonia thing is along the same lines. Disgusting.

      • ralphb says:

        I was in NC for about three months worth of contract programming at Glaxo. One thing I learned pretty quickly was that Food Lion was crap for meat of all kinds.

        • Minkoff Minx says:

          Yeah, remember they got in trouble for that. I think it was a 20/20 or 60 Minutes or 48 Hours report on what they did in the meat department. I didn’t work there long, I moved on up to Publix in a few weeks.

      • ralphb says:

        I remember that but it was after I had finished and went home. That was a really bad story and it happened just as they were expanding into Plano TX where I lived at the time. They closed the stores before they got going good.

    • ralphb says:

      Australia is wonderful! A few gazillion spiders, jellyfish, sharks, crocodiles etc are nothing up against the warmest friendliest people you’d ever want to find anywhere.

    • I loved Jim Stafford. He was frequently on The Smothers Brothers. This video kind of reminds me of something that happened to me in elementary school. My first feminist epiphany. In the distance I could see a boy walking up to girls & then the girls running away screaming. I decided to stand my ground & he finally walked up to me. He had put, as I remember 50 some years later, a gazillion green grass snakes in his shirt. They were coming out of his collar and short sleeves. I was scared, but determined not to let him see it. So, I asked if I could hold one. His face melted. He turned away and started pulling the snakes from his shirt and dropping them on the ground. I felt empowered! Haven’t been afraid of snakes since. Now spiders are another matter & wolf spiders in particular.

  9. ralphb says:

    Breaking: Romney won Guam 🙂