Slop about hogs from a prize boor

Clarice Feldman and Rosslyn Smith
Several blogs have featured this clip of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. testifying before the House .Judiciary Committee that hog producers are a greater threat to the United States than Osama Bin Laden.  What interested me is that during his Kennedy also claimed that every public official in North Carolina has been corrupted by the pork industry!  The environmentalist lawyer's evidence for this sweeping charge was an editorial he recalled in a Raleigh newspaper, "although he also said there may be some exceptions"  

How gracious of him.

At first I thought that perhaps Mr. Kennedy was confusing his brands of pork.  While we certainly have too many corrupt government officials down here, pork barrel spending on causes near and dear to the state Democrat party are more to blame than any activities of North Carolina farmers and meat processors.   A little research, however, shows that Kennedy may still be smarting from the fact that the lawsuit his group Water Keepers filed in North Carolina for alleged environmental damage from large-scale hog farms was
dismissed without a trial for complete lack of legal merit in March 2001.
After the dismissal, Kennedy told the Associated Press that Water Keeper will eventually win because “We have lawyers with the deepest pockets and they’ve agreed to fight the industry to the end. We’re going after all of them.”
Kennedy founded Water Keepers after he did his 800 hours of community service agreed to in his plea bargain on heroin possession charges with the Hudson River Foundation.  Now when most people think of community service work in lieu of prison time for narcotic charges in New York City they picture working with the less privileged on some of the city's meaner streets, not networking with environmental activists in an office in Battery Park, but being a Kennedy does have its privileges, after all.  Water Keepers has kept trying, without result, to bring suit against the large pork processors. A rundown of its efforts made in conjunction with several of the same legal forces involved in the tobacco settlement can be found here.
The Waterkeeper Alliance will insist until pigs fly that their raisons d’etre are clean water and the environment, but consider this: every state, without exception, already has regulations in force mandating environmental standards for hog farmers. All pork producers, both big and small, must follow the law. If Kennedy really believed that America’s environmental laws weren’t being enforced, or weren’t strict enough in the first place, he would be suing the Environmental Protection Agency for better enforcement, or lobbying various state legislatures for tougher standards. And Kennedy wouldn’t need to build a war chest from 15 different law firms to get it done
Like so many of his ilk, Kennedy maintains that he is all for sustainable agriculture.  What that means, in effect, is both a great deal of restrictions on how farmers use their own land and much higher food prices for consumers.
On January 11, 2001, Robert Kennedy was the keynote speaker at a “Sustainable Hog Farming Summit” held on the banks of the Neuse River in New Bern, North Carolina. Multi-millionaire lawyers lectured on “Using Class Actions and Tort Law to Hold Meat Factories Accountable,” while environmental campaigners warned of the evils of “Big Pork” and animal-rights activists touted Sweden’s “humane” hog industry as the example to follow (In Sweden, by the way, pork typically costs the equivalent of $11 per pound).
Several blogs have featured this clip of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. testifying before the House .Judiciary Committee that hog producers are a greater threat to the United States than Osama Bin Laden.  What interested me is that during his Kennedy also claimed that every public official in North Carolina has been corrupted by the pork industry!  The environmentalist lawyer's evidence for this sweeping charge was an editorial he recalled in a Raleigh newspaper, "although he also said there may be some exceptions"  

How gracious of him.

At first I thought that perhaps Mr. Kennedy was confusing his brands of pork.  While we certainly have too many corrupt government officials down here, pork barrel spending on causes near and dear to the state Democrat party are more to blame than any activities of North Carolina farmers and meat processors.   A little research, however, shows that Kennedy may still be smarting from the fact that the lawsuit his group Water Keepers filed in North Carolina for alleged environmental damage from large-scale hog farms was
dismissed without a trial for complete lack of legal merit in March 2001.
After the dismissal, Kennedy told the Associated Press that Water Keeper will eventually win because “We have lawyers with the deepest pockets and they’ve agreed to fight the industry to the end. We’re going after all of them.”
Kennedy founded Water Keepers after he did his 800 hours of community service agreed to in his plea bargain on heroin possession charges with the Hudson River Foundation.  Now when most people think of community service work in lieu of prison time for narcotic charges in New York City they picture working with the less privileged on some of the city's meaner streets, not networking with environmental activists in an office in Battery Park, but being a Kennedy does have its privileges, after all.  Water Keepers has kept trying, without result, to bring suit against the large pork processors. A rundown of its efforts made in conjunction with several of the same legal forces involved in the tobacco settlement can be found here.
The Waterkeeper Alliance will insist until pigs fly that their raisons d’etre are clean water and the environment, but consider this: every state, without exception, already has regulations in force mandating environmental standards for hog farmers. All pork producers, both big and small, must follow the law. If Kennedy really believed that America’s environmental laws weren’t being enforced, or weren’t strict enough in the first place, he would be suing the Environmental Protection Agency for better enforcement, or lobbying various state legislatures for tougher standards. And Kennedy wouldn’t need to build a war chest from 15 different law firms to get it done
Like so many of his ilk, Kennedy maintains that he is all for sustainable agriculture.  What that means, in effect, is both a great deal of restrictions on how farmers use their own land and much higher food prices for consumers.
On January 11, 2001, Robert Kennedy was the keynote speaker at a “Sustainable Hog Farming Summit” held on the banks of the Neuse River in New Bern, North Carolina. Multi-millionaire lawyers lectured on “Using Class Actions and Tort Law to Hold Meat Factories Accountable,” while environmental campaigners warned of the evils of “Big Pork” and animal-rights activists touted Sweden’s “humane” hog industry as the example to follow (In Sweden, by the way, pork typically costs the equivalent of $11 per pound).