Juvenile Fire-Fighters

Published on: 20:23PM Aug 31, 2015

Juvenile inmates are fighting wildfires in Washington state. What could go wrong? Apparently the use of juvenile inmates for fire-fighting dates back to the 1960s, but the program is in limbo after a 16-year-old escaped last week, assaulted a supervisor and then shot himself with a .22 revolver. He survived, but state officials are reassessing the program. Probation officer Jennifer Redman said the juveniles are not placed “in the midst of heavy flames.” Their mission is to make sandwiches, dig trenches and build fire lines. They can pull 16-hour shifts and earn between 70 cents and $1.60 an hour. The youngest are 15; the eldest, 20.

Defending PETA…

That would be Bill Maher, irreverent comedian, political commentator and 18-year PETA board member. “Unlike lion killers, PETA only goes after fair game,” Maher wrote in a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter. Maher has championed other animal rights issues, such as efforts to stop the sale of eggs from caged hens, and he’s criticized New York’s horse-drawn carriage industry. The killing of Cecil the lion near a game preserve in Zimbabwe by a Minnesota dentist was a PR windfall for PETA and anti-hunter groups. Never ones to miss a marketing opportunity, PETA is promoting  a Cecil the lion Halloween costume called “Cecil’s Revenge,” which features a dentist’s uniform complete with a plush lion grabbing the dental coat from behind. Apparently, dead big cats are popular costumes this year as a lingerie company is selling a “Sexy Cecil the Lion” costume for $118.95.

The Way To A Lady’s Heart?

Beef, of course. At least that’s our take on a new study from the UK’s University of East Anglia that determined eating meat and other foods rich in amino acids can boost cardiovascular health in women. The UEA researchers found “strong evidence” that subjects who consumed the highest amounts of amino acids had lower measures of blood pressure and arterial stiffness.

The Skinny On Beef Demand

The U.S. beef industry is at a crossroads, say Kansas State University economists Glynn Tonsor and Ted Schroeder. While the industry has seen four consecutive years of aggregate beef demand growth, they caution that expansion of America’s cattle herd the next few years will lead to larger beef supplies and they “don’t believe beef demand will grow sufficiently to sully offset” those expected increases in supply.