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Translating the News

USA TODAY, WASHINGTON, 11/22/06 � Farmers and ranchers won’t be forced to register their cows, pigs and chickens in a nationwide database aimed at helping track the outbreak of disease, the Bush administration said Wednesday.

Translation: Farmers and ranchers are busy. We all know they work hard. If we tell them we�re not going to do this now, they�ll go back to work and forget about how we�re pushing the NAIS through the States, some of which have already initiated mandatory programs.

Hoping to dampen widespread opposition to the animal tracking program, the Agriculture Department has decided it should remain voluntary.

We�ve got to shut up these dissidents. Gags have been used by bank robbers for centuries and they�ll work for us, too. They�re time-tested.

“Really embracing this as a voluntary program … will help the trust issues that some farmers and ranchers have raised about the national animal identification system,” said Bruce Knight, undersecretary for marketing and regulation.

Believe the opposite of what we say. If we juke left, be sure we�re gonna go right. Therefore, read voluntary as �voluntary until we think we can get away with mandatory.�

“I’m certainly hoping to move beyond some of the very emotional debates on animal ID,” Knight said in an interview with The Associated Press.

When you stick a gun in someone�s face, it�s hard to convince them they�re still you�re friend, but, by God we are friendly, in our own sort of way. Why can�t farmers and ranchers ignore the gun and just work with us? It really isn�t fair.

First promised in response to the discovery of mad cow disease in this country, the tracking system would pinpoint an animal’s movements within 48 hours after a disease was discovered.

We�ve gotta have this program. Mad Cow is everywhere. We�ve gotta stop it. What will the gigantic agribiz corporations who own us do without it?

Investigators never found all 80 of the cattle that came to the U.S. from Canada with the infected dairy cow that became the country’s first case of mad cow disease in 2003.

Mad Cow is probably in your freezer. There are at least 80 Mad cows floating around and they�re probably breeding. This was just the first. We�re on the verge of an epidemic. Check your fingernails and toe jam now.

Many cattle ranchers are wary of the program because they want records kept confidential and don’t want to pay for the system. The industry estimates it could cost more than $100 million annually.

The government needs to confiscate this right (that men and women have held since memory runneth not to the contrary), so what�s the big deal about it costing a little money and privacy? Ranchers and farmers always have been a stingy bunch. What�s $100 million to all those rich ranchers? After all, it�s just going to affect them, not us. Why are they so secretive about their records, anyway?