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Chuck Grassley
Sen. Chuck Grassley (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

Hats off to Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley for merging the Republican obsessions with child labor and Michelle Obama's anti-obesity campaign:

Concern was raised about the proposed Department of Labor's intent to greatly limit child labor on family farms.

"This farm bill will greatly affect our FFA and 4-H programs," said Grassley. "Kids won't be able to help on farms not owned by their parents.

"It's interesting that this child labor bill goes against Michelle Obama's anti-obesity initiative," said Grassley. "How can kids be active if they are limited by this law?"

Apparently the only way Grassley can think of for kids to be active enough to stave off obesity is helping doing hard labor on farms. And that is what we're talking about—not some idyllic play gardening, but work with heavy machinery and pesticides. Marie Diamond at Think Progress offers some background:

Under current law, 400,000 children working on farms are not protected from exploitation and dangerous labor. The proposed rules would forbid children younger than 16 from working with pesticides, timber operations, handling “power-driven equipment, or contributing to the “cultivation, harvesting and curing of tobacco.”

Contrary to Grassley’s suggestion, the physical activity children endure during farm labor is no picnic. The fatality rate for child farm workers is four times higher than that of nonagricultural child workers.

But if they'd been protected from working the farm jobs that killed them, maybe those kids would have been obese. Also, too, Michelle Obama!

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Wed Jan 18, 2012 at 08:19 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Look like Newt Gingrich just found a runningmate (7+ / 0-)

    "Rick Perry talks a lot and he's not very bright. And that's a combination I like in Republicans." --- James Carville

    by LaurenMonica on Wed Jan 18, 2012 at 08:27:21 AM PST

  •  I am sure their parents (4+ / 0-)

    can find all the work that needs to be done to keep them thin on the family farm.

    Plus, this isn't about just going over to help out at the neighbors' farm in age old tradition at harvest or planting.   This is about real child labor, migrants, other families' who can't make ends meet without putting kids to work.

    •  The misinformaton is being spread deliberately. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tb mare, Matt Z, nellgwen, Calamity Jean

      Remember, Grassley is the guy who first used the phrase "Death panels for Grandma."

      He, and others are deliberately spreading that idea that NO children will be able to do ANY work on farms or ranches. Here in Texas, on a Facebook discussion, I had to point out that we're talking about paid work that is inherently dangerous.....not herding cows or pitching hay or raising a lamb or a calf for the FFA competition.

      Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

      by Sirenus on Sat Jan 21, 2012 at 06:06:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The stupid... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    esquimaux, Statusquomustgo

    it burns.

    By evening’s end, they had melted into an indistinguishable mass of privatizing, tax-cutting opponents of Shariah law. --NYT on 2nd Republican debate

    by wide eyed lib on Wed Jan 18, 2012 at 08:34:42 AM PST

    •  There's nothing stupid about this. Don't make that (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wide eyed lib, tb mare, Matt Z, nellgwen

      mistake.

      This is Grassley. "Death panels for Grandma" Grassley. And don't think that he came up with that phrase himself.

      Always, always remember that the right-wing can afford the best propagandists money can buy and they have no hesitation in using them.

      This is another smart, deliberate attempt to discredit the government and the president and push the idea that "Big Brother" is out to "get" ordinary citizens.  The right wing examines government regulations with a microscope to come up with ammo they can use.  "Farm"..."children"...."prohibit work".....pure gold for the GOP lie masters!

      If we think this is just a matter of being "stupid"....well, stupid is what we'll be.

      Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

      by Sirenus on Sat Jan 21, 2012 at 06:11:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  When will he retire? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Statusquomustgo, OrdinaryIowan

    It is a terrible thing to see and have no vision. ~ Helen Keller

    by Pam from Calif on Wed Jan 18, 2012 at 08:36:12 AM PST

  •  yeah, right. like he gives a shit (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PhilK, luckylizard, Statusquomustgo

    he was almost respectable at one time, now he's just another despicable horse's ass on Rush's payroll.

    Profoundly humbled by DKos generosity of spirit and selflessness of nature. Forever grateful beyond measure.

    by wretchedhive on Wed Jan 18, 2012 at 08:41:20 AM PST

  •  Republicans - always concerned about kids! n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gailwax, Statusquomustgo
  •  I gre up working on an Iowa farm... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    luckylizard, OrdinaryIowan

    didn't stop me from being overweight. of course, that probably has more to do with fundamental flaws in my own character.

    still, Kids helping out on the family farm, or the neighbor's farm is a long tradition here in Iowa. So I can see where Grassley is coming from. While I don't think that the bill is aimed at kids helping out on family farms, it looks to me that it would still effect them.

    Ultimately I think its a small price to pay to prevent real exploitation and putting kids in danger, and Grassley's argument here just doesn't have legs.

    "There is one rule for the industrialist and that is: Make the best quality of goods possible at the lowest cost possible, paying the highest wages possible." - Henry Ford

    by sixeight120bpm on Wed Jan 18, 2012 at 08:52:07 AM PST

    •  on second read... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      luckylizard

      it wouldn't effect kids working on farms owned by thier parents, so Grassley's argument is even less substantial.

      "There is one rule for the industrialist and that is: Make the best quality of goods possible at the lowest cost possible, paying the highest wages possible." - Henry Ford

      by sixeight120bpm on Wed Jan 18, 2012 at 08:55:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  OT question (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sixeight120bpm

      Is your name a musical meter and tempo?

      "The bass player is always right"

      by BigOkie on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 07:09:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  6/8 120bpm is where freedom swings :P (0+ / 0-)

        I like 6/8 a lot, it isn't used nearly enough in popular music, and when it is they rarely get the tempo going fast enough to show off. so yes, sixeight120bpm is taken from my own personal preference of meter and tempo in the music I compose.

        "There is one rule for the industrialist and that is: Make the best quality of goods possible at the lowest cost possible, paying the highest wages possible." - Henry Ford

        by sixeight120bpm on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 07:28:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  The traditional farm diet included bacon and eggs (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calamity Jean

      every day. Milk, cream, butter. etc.
      That was one thing when farming involved walking behind a team of mules and a plow, that changed in the 20th century.
      I'm in favor of encouraging kids to learn to work. The sooner they learn the benefits of self-discipline , the better.
      Etc.
      However, as the diary indicates, the reality of "farm life" for many kids includes exposure to pesticides, exploitation, restriction of their adult opportunities, etc.

    •  And your reaction is exactly what he wants. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calamity Jean

      He wants parents and rural people all over the country to go "What? Could the government do that? DAMN!"

      It doesn't matter if the law actually prohibits kids from working on their family farms--and from what I've read, it doesn't--the only thing that mattes is that people think it might....and are whipped up into an angry rage at the "Big Brother" federal government.

      Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

      by Sirenus on Sat Jan 21, 2012 at 06:15:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Please, Sir, I want some more. (0+ / 0-)

    Gruel, that is. (Oliver Twist just came to mind when I read this.)

    Work keeps kids slim and trim, doncha know.

    •  Cultivation, harvesting and curing of tobacco (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sixeight120bpm

      I my humble opinion, Americans have become far too soft when it comes to manual labor.  A fourteen or fifteen year old young man is more than old enough to work the tobacco harvest.

      I spent two summers working in Maryland's tobacco fields before I was old enough to obtain a work permit.  I cherish those two summers.  The work was hard, dealing with huge yellow jacket nests in tobacco barns was an occupational hazard, but it was an educational experience that I have never forgotten.

      •  And I remember detasseling and carrying hay bales (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ConcernedCitizenYouBet, 2laneIA

        starting at age 14...

        because I am reminded every time I try to bend my fingers now....

        I applied for my Social Security Card at 14 in order for my family to contract for more acres to detassel....the seed corn company would only allow you to reserve so many acres per person at first, then they would come around and beg you to finish the acres that other people had given up on.

        Between detasseling and carrying hay bales by the narrow twine strings, I can barely grip a pen some days.

        But I am one of the lucky ones.

      •  Why are rec and hid buttons off on many of... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        slothlax

        these comments.  I want to rec this but can't for some reason.  There are a few comments that have buttons but most do not.  Is this a fluke or is it a Dkos gorup thing?  

        Yes, I also grew up in a midwestern rural area and most kids worked some kind of summer agricultural job from 14.  Most certainly there has to be some protections but these kids have parents too and it is their job to look out for the best interests of their children.  It's not like the kid is being forced to work--they want to.  Local regs make the most sense for this type of issue.  Having one over riding national law is just going to be a big miss in most cases.

        The more you learn the less you know.

        by quiet in NC on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 07:27:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Check the time stamp (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          quiet in NC, elfling

          The rec/hide buttons expire (maybe 24 hrs?) and this diary was written Wednesday. The original comments are too old. Front page diaries can be "rescued" diaries from the previous days that the moderators think deserve more attention

          "What we really expect out of the Democrats is for them to treat us as they would liked to have been treated." --John Boehner

          by slothlax on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 07:49:17 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks...the idea didn't enter my thought... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            slothlax

            process as these were at the top of the front page and assumed they were new.  

            The more you learn the less you know.

            by quiet in NC on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 07:53:11 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Front-pagers write ahead of time (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              elfling, quiet in NC

              and the articles are queued up for automatic posting, so there are continuous fresh posts throughout the day. If you keep an eye on the Recent Diaries list you can usually catch a preview of some of the day's future front page articles.

              I suspect that some of those FP articles were delayed from actually hitting the front page this week due to major real-time posts from SOPA and the campaign trail. It was an eventful week!

              This is my life. All the pain, all the joy it brings. All through the years, the blood, sweat, and tears, my hopes and my fears -- all that has led me to now. This is my life, and I wouldn't change a thing.

              by harrije on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 08:12:07 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Was about to pick on ya for being new (0+ / 0-)

              Then I checked your uid and saw you're the same "kosage" as me! And I had the exact same question about a week ago ;)

              "What we really expect out of the Democrats is for them to treat us as they would liked to have been treated." --John Boehner

              by slothlax on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 08:14:35 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  The comment above was meant for the diarist (0+ / 0-)
  •  When is this old coot going to bless us with his (0+ / 0-)

    departure from the Senate?

    "By means of shrewd lies, unremittingly repeated, it is possible to make people believe that heaven is hell -- and hell heaven. The greater the lie, the more readily it will be believed." Adolf Hitler

    by pittie70 on Wed Jan 18, 2012 at 10:11:00 AM PST

  •  There are some concerns about the rules (0+ / 0-)

    limiting kids from working on the farms of friends and neighbors.

    For example, "agriculture work with animals" is one of the forbidden categories.

    It's a long tradition in the horse industry for young horse-crazy kids to help out around the barn in exchange for riding lessons - doing stuff like helping beginner riders get their horses ready, moving horses from a stall to a pasture, checking water buckets, and the like. The whole point is that their family doesn't have a farm, and they want to be around animals.

    Another potential issue is if a farm is in partial ownership, say across many siblings, or rented.

    My daughter wants to go help with the neighbor's sheep, as part of learning about their care. I don't think this should be illegal. I don't think it's more dangerous for her to take care of their sheep than it would be to take care of a sheep that she owned.

    I think there's a middle ground between mom & dad's farm and working for Monsanto, and I'm not sure these rules quite find the right line.

    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

    by elfling on Wed Jan 18, 2012 at 12:40:52 PM PST

    •  I sincerely doubt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Subterranean

      that the law would prevent working not for pay, as your daughter wants to do.  And I agree with you that this would be an excellent thing for her.

      A law like this could only be applied if someone complained.  In other words you would still be able to work out anything you wanted with your neighbor as long as no one phoned the authoritehs.

      Still enjoying my stimulus package.

      by Kevvboy on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 07:09:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Who says the daughter doesn't want to get paid? (0+ / 0-)
        A law like this could only be applied if someone complained.  In other words you would still be able to work out anything you wanted with your neighbor as long as no one phoned the authoritehs.

        And who is going to take that risk?

        What happens to the owner of the farm if the friend's daughter gets hurt?

      •  If someone gets hurt (0+ / 0-)

        there will be a complaint - not necessarily from the child or the parents. And there are lots of ways to get hurt around animals, it's true.

        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

        by elfling on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 10:33:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, true. (0+ / 0-)

          But I think the point was, does the law prevent the children working for the neighbor?  No, it doesn't.  It also does not remove all risk for the people in the arrangement, nor did I ever say it did.

          Still enjoying my stimulus package.

          by Kevvboy on Sat Jan 21, 2012 at 08:45:26 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Of course. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Amber6541

      Sheep yes, but "pesticides, timber operations, handling “power-driven equipment, or contributing to the “cultivation, harvesting and curing of tobacco.” , no. I think that's a reasonable start. I think that's a good middle ground to work with.

      Regulation is needed. I don't want the kids handling Metolachlor, you know?

      I write the series Confessions of a Retail Worker here on DK. It documents my life in a non-unionized workplace.

      by Lightbulb on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 07:15:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Or a lawn mower? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elfling

        And what exactly are "timber operations"? I can think of some stuff I did in Boy Scouts that I could call timber operations.

        "What we really expect out of the Democrats is for them to treat us as they would liked to have been treated." --John Boehner

        by slothlax on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 07:31:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Timber Operations (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sixeight120bpm

          Are probably operations that require LTOs (if you're in California) or a Certified Logging Professional (if you're in Maine). Different states call it different things, but if you need a license to do the heavy timber/logging work it's probably more than lawn mowing. I think kids should not be involved in such work.

          I would compare it to construction. If you want your daughter or son to help build a shed, or if 4H wants to help build one to hold seeds/plants, more power to you. But if the site requires a licensed contractor, Dig Alert, and permits, then maybe it's not the best place for small children.

          I write the series Confessions of a Retail Worker here on DK. It documents my life in a non-unionized workplace.

          by Lightbulb on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 07:53:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Lawn mower = power driven equipment (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            elfling

            That was the first thing I thought of when I read that term. And if states already have licensing rules that cover these areas, what's the need for federal regulation?

            "What we really expect out of the Democrats is for them to treat us as they would liked to have been treated." --John Boehner

            by slothlax on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 08:07:53 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Child labor (0+ / 0-)

              Because right now, you have a situation where children are working 10 hour days in the fields, instead of going to school. While such families may have their children working because they need the money for the children to eat, the least we can do in this country is help make sure that they don't die on the job.

              I write the series Confessions of a Retail Worker here on DK. It documents my life in a non-unionized workplace.

              by Lightbulb on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 08:18:36 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I don't see the connection (0+ / 0-)

                Are you saying the states aren't doing a good enough job policing this? Or that kids die on farms at an alarming rate? I am not aware of such problems.

                "What we really expect out of the Democrats is for them to treat us as they would liked to have been treated." --John Boehner

                by slothlax on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 08:32:16 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  That's already illegal so why do you need another (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                slothlax, elfling

                law?  Why not enforce what we have?

                Because right now, you have a situation where children are working 10 hour days in the fields, instead of going to school.
              •  We should be specific (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                slothlax

                about our concerns, and not too broad. These rules prevent kids from working even when there's no school. And those that need to work may end up flipping burgers at McD's or hauling heavy boxes next to you.

                We just need to take care that we're banning what we think we're banning.

                Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

                by elfling on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 10:37:40 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  right, what are "timber operations" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          slothlax

          my family had a xmas tree farm. It was small. Would that count?

      •  Power driven equipment? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        WillR, elfling

        That means a 15 year old can't drive a tractor or a power lawn mower?

        That's pretty ridiculous.

        I started using power equipment under supervision when I was in 7th grade, so 12 years old.

      •  I'd like to see animals deleted (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BluejayRN

        from the list of "can't do" tasks.

        Our 4H has a very popular Small Engines project.

        I agree, I don't think the kids need to be working for Monsanto  or handling pesticides, and I'm fine with keeping them away from the machines.

        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

        by elfling on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 10:35:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Good points but Grassley isn't (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sixeight120bpm, Lightbulb

      going for a logical disagreement.  He's 1) doing the GOPer-down-with-regulations-dance and 2) trying to discredit Mrs. Obama's anti-obesity campaign.

      He's just pandering and being ridiculous.

      The proposed rules would forbid children younger than 16 from working with pesticides, timber operations, handling “power-driven equipment, or contributing to the “cultivation, harvesting and curing of tobacco.”

      When someone is impatient and says, "I haven't got all day," I always wonder, How can that be? How can you not have all day? George Carlin

      by msmacgyver on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 07:43:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Forget his posturing (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        msmacgyver, Tommye

        The point to me is that there is a legitimate concern in rural areas about these rules, as some commenters here are expressing. Forget the inside the beltway partisan language and focus on the actual issue.

        "What we really expect out of the Democrats is for them to treat us as they would liked to have been treated." --John Boehner

        by slothlax on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 07:58:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Limiting Chuck Grassley promotes intelligence (6+ / 0-)
  •  Reaver Industries has a NEW plan for America! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z

    It's pretty much the same plan as we always have had...

    Anybody who disagrees will be shot.

    /snark

    One of these days, I'm gonna learn that I'm only really good at convincing people when I'm being a wiseass. Reviewtopia.net

    by detroitmechworks on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 07:05:19 PM PST

  •  /facepalm (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight

    Does any Republican Senator have a brain?

    They tortured people to get false confessions to fraudulently justify our invading Iraq.

    by Ponder Stibbons on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 07:06:16 PM PST

  •  I think it's an AWESOME idea. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    murrayewv, tofumagoo, Calamity Jean

    We can fire all those union farmers and maybe keep one Master Farmer around who can tell the children which jobs to do.

    Still enjoying my stimulus package.

    by Kevvboy on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 07:07:49 PM PST

  •  And you don't see kids in sweatshops getting (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean

    fat either.

    I'm sure that being a janitor in a school could replace PE.

    These Republinuts...

    "Don't dream it, be it" - Brad, Janet and Frank

    by captainlaser on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 07:08:12 PM PST

  •  Lose weight by losing limbs! n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shuksan Tahoma, Calamity Jean

    But nobody's buying flowers from the flower lady.

    by Rich in PA on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 07:11:04 PM PST

  •  My initial reaction is against this proposal (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    quiet in NC, Tommye

    If it is directed at protecting migrant laborers, it is a good move. But if it tries to interfere in familial and community arrangements, I can only imagine there are already rules to protect minors from abuse.

    "What we really expect out of the Democrats is for them to treat us as they would liked to have been treated." --John Boehner

    by slothlax on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 07:24:20 PM PST

  •  Grassley's been out in the fields too long. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jwinIL14

    But he does look like he's lost some weight! Plus a  little color in his face too,

    "So, am I right or what?"

    by itzik shpitzik on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 07:24:58 PM PST

  •  Wake up you pampered urbanites. Yes farm (4+ / 0-)

    work is dangerous but proposed federal restrictions go way to far on this issue.  I don't know one family farmer (and I know a bunch) who think this is a good idea, that includes little organic growers and big conventional ones.

    A big reason why Democrats consistently have to fight for votes in rural counties.

    “The first principle [in science] is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.” Richard Feynman

    by the fan man on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 07:27:48 PM PST

    •  This pampered urbanite agrees (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sixeight120bpm, the fan man

      I heard the issue discussed on NPR Talk of the Nation and I had a hard time disagreeing with the opponents to this measure.

      "What we really expect out of the Democrats is for them to treat us as they would liked to have been treated." --John Boehner

      by slothlax on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 07:35:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, so far that makes three of us! It's a (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        slothlax

        start I guess. It's also a shame that there is such a knee jerk reflexive attitude towards this rather important issue area.

        “The first principle [in science] is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.” Richard Feynman

        by the fan man on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 08:34:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  its a nuanced issue... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slothlax, the fan man, elfling

      I'm certain that there is a certain amount of exploitation going on, exposing kids to real dangers that they shouldn't be exposed to. however, those dangers change from region to region, crop to crop, and farm to farm. a sweeping national one-size-fits-all regulation is probably not the way to go on this one.

      A big thing is education. Here in Iowa, when I was growing up at least, they had farm safety classes every summer. Each county or township would host a class at an area farm and they'd spend a few days going over the dangers of working around the equipment, teach you how to be safe, and general scare you into being careful for the summer. It was a great program. Kids can work on family farms and do so safely with education and parents who care enough to make sure that the work they put their kids to is safe work.

      This is one issue where I think state level government needs to take the lead.

      "There is one rule for the industrialist and that is: Make the best quality of goods possible at the lowest cost possible, paying the highest wages possible." - Henry Ford

      by sixeight120bpm on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 07:47:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Block grants to states to set up their own (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elfling, Tommye

        safety programs based on common sense protocols embraced by the farm communities they will serve si what I envision. One of my big objections is the "one size fits all" approach. The other is the inclusion of all teens except family as governed by these regs. I know many preteen and teen agers who are neighbors and friends of farm children who seek out work on farms. Yes they drive tractors years before they could get a auto learners permit, they work with animals, including some that would be excluded under these regs. They love the work and god knows we need more young people exposed to and interested in agricultural work.

        “The first principle [in science] is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.” Richard Feynman

        by the fan man on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 08:32:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  localized safety standards? (0+ / 0-)

          You aren't suggesting that?  are you?

          If State A has high standards, then neighboring State B can be more competitive in the regional marketplace, by having lower standards, while State C decides to out-do even State B as it strives to compete against countries who have no standards whatsoever.

          Oliver Twisp comes to mind.

          •  we're talking about kids here. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Tommye, the fan man

            I have no problems with over that prevent exploitation, which is the only time the competition you are talking about would come into play. I'm talking about ways to allow kids to help their parents, or their neighbors in a safe way. Because farming IS so different from state to state and crop to crop, I truly believe that it should be handled by the states, and if exploitation is an issue then maybe a federal plan mandating state safety plans to satisfy regulators.

            corporate factory farms and local family farms are two very different beasts, they should probably not painted with the same wide brush.

            "There is one rule for the industrialist and that is: Make the best quality of goods possible at the lowest cost possible, paying the highest wages possible." - Henry Ford

            by sixeight120bpm on Sat Jan 21, 2012 at 04:37:48 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  You did read "common sense protocols embraced (0+ / 0-)

            by the farm communities they will serve". No farm is going to move anywhere because they can ravage their children in another state, but they could all become Amish, and use a religious exemption.

            “The first principle [in science] is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.” Richard Feynman

            by the fan man on Sat Jan 21, 2012 at 07:08:10 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  What America needs is more jobs for adults . (0+ / 0-)

    Let the kids be kids with adults with jobs , or something like that .

    "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

    by indycam on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 07:30:30 PM PST

  •  How much yuck will Chuck make Americans upchuck (0+ / 0-)

    before schmuck Iowans make Chuck a lame-duck?

    "There's nothing in the dark that's not there when the lights are on" ~ Rod Serling

    by jwinIL14 on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 07:32:41 PM PST

  •  observations from growing up on a farm (6+ / 0-)

    first it is how much you eat and what you eat, not necessarily the amount of work you do so there are kids who work on farms who are obese.
    Also many tasks are mechanized these days decreasing the physical activity needed so riding a tractor all day does not burn many calories.

    Finally farming is third behind mining and fishing as a hazardous occupation.  Children can do permanent damage to their joints and backs as they do heavy lifting before their bodies are mature.  Finally I can list a half dozen kids who were killed working on the farm or permanently disabled,  I was fortunate enough to not have a catastrophic accident until i was 50 though i had many intermediate accidents which my body now bears testament to

  •  Perspective (5+ / 0-)

    So far, I can find no source for the cited Labor Dept. stat that the fatality rate for child agricultural workers is 4x non-agricultural child workers. Table 6.2 on p.60 of this study [http://www.bls.gov/...] suggests that it might be a little less than 2x. That table claims that 200 youths under 18 died in "agricultural, forestry and fishing" employment in the 6 years 1992-98. While that is extremely unfortunate, this is about 35 deaths annually (spread over 3 industries). Compared to the 6000 or so kids who die annually from accident and illness, it's not exactly a shocking ratio. If what we wish to do is to save large numbers of children, there might be better places to put our efforts—not least because virtually all sources studying the issue of children in agriculture agree that it is nearly an impossible matter to police.

  •  What's Wrong With These People? (0+ / 0-)

    Do they hear themselves? Do they know how cracked they sound?

    This head movie makes my eyes rain.

    by The Lone Apple on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 07:47:45 PM PST

  •  I had to drive Grassley once (0+ / 0-)

    For a think-tank I worked for -- had to pick him and deliver to function.

    I realize it was awkward, but I still thought he seemed like a big prick.

    Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

    by FischFry on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 07:55:04 PM PST

  •  Limiting Grassley's tenure in the Senate (0+ / 0-)

    will reduce fatheadedness every which way to hell 'n' back!

  •  How the fuck does he say that with a straight face (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ChadmanFL
    •  Because he's speaking to two audiences (0+ / 0-)

      He's couched legitimate concern about these rules in a partisan attack. Its called politics, we all do it ;)

      "What we really expect out of the Democrats is for them to treat us as they would liked to have been treated." --John Boehner

      by slothlax on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 08:22:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  When people were farmers ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slothlax

    ... everybody worked all the time.  Kids, grandfathers, dogs everybody.

    The family should protect the kids.  The family should be smart enough to keep the kids away from pesticides.

    I don't like Grassley but unless children are being conscripted to work -- leave the family alone to do what it needs to do.  

    I'm not talking about factory farms and indentured children.  That cannot be tolerated.  But a family farm is different.

    •  To preempt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elfling

      This does not apply to the immediate family. But there are questions about how it would play out with extended family and neighbors

      "What we really expect out of the Democrats is for them to treat us as they would liked to have been treated." --John Boehner

      by slothlax on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 08:25:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  How Much Money (0+ / 0-)

    Seriously how much money would it take to get these old, pasty white, homophobic, bigoted, narcissistic, hypocritical, greedy, sanctimonious fucks to leave government work.  These dicks won't be happy until we are living like we were in the early 1900s.  They want the rich to run the country, women barefoot and pregnant and children working in sweatshops. Senator Grassley please go fuck yourself, that goes for you to Orrin Hatch.    

  •  janitor or farmhand: GOP choices for the youth (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean

    See, for the Republicans, America remains the land of opportunity.   The left just wants to send them to school. As if that will do them any good.

  •  We really need an IQ test (0+ / 0-)

    for the Senate, but just walking upright will do for the House.

  •  I grew up on a farm and from the age of 9 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BluejayRN, OldDragon

    I performed the work of a grown man. I could and did lift 100 lb sacks of grain into a bin, 4-wire bales of hay, milk a lot of cows twice a day, irrigated fields, dug post holes, etc.

    In the morning I woke up just before 4:00 am, helped my sister milk cows, toting full milking machines to the vat. Then we cleaned the barn - it had to be spotless - washed, then went to school.

    The cycle was repeated when we returned from school. Then we got to do our homework.

    At the age of 68 I have a lousy back, bad arthritis, had both knees and both shoulder joints completely replaced with titanium, and walk with a cane. Fortunately the arthritis is austio, not the really distorting kind. So I look OK except for the cane.

    My bones were worn down and some away because I did this labor pre and post puberty, the time Newt wants kids to do manual labor.

    He and the folks who agree with him should all burn in a very hot place when they die, because he's condemning so many kids to lifelong skeletal and other problems. Of course, they only want poor kids to do this, so maybe the length of very hot place time should be quite long.

    Do unto others and so on, Newt.

    •  As a former farmer I couldn't agree with you more. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Liberal Granny, Calamity Jean

      My biggest fear was the machinery.   As a nurse I took care of a child who had been run over by a tractor.  He had slipped off and under the wheel while riding with his dad.  Tractors (especially the tricycle type) are very unstable and easily tip over.

      My kids did the easier chores like feeding chickens, collecting eggs, grooming and feeding horses etc...   When they were older I would let them work bailing hay, but mainly because the guy operating the bailer was a good doctor that I trusted.

      "If you're in trouble, or hurt or need - go to the poor people. They're the only ones that'll help - the only ones." John Steinbeck

      by BluejayRN on Sat Jan 21, 2012 at 06:37:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  There must be _some_ fat kids on farms (0+ / 0-)

    who drink tons of HFCS soda. The circle is complete.

    "You can't run a country by a book of religion. Dumb all over, a little ugly on the side." Frank Zappa

    by Uosdwis on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 10:17:35 PM PST

  •  Grassley obviously doesn't know (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean

    anything about modern farming.  Modern farmers tend to be as corpulent as the livestock they raise.  Mechanized farming means long days of sitting behind the wheel of a tractor or at the controls of some other heavy machinery.  

    "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

    by Subterranean on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 10:32:21 PM PST

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