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Farmers fuming over proposed federal work limits for kids
Waterbury Republican-American ^ | December 19, 2011 | Rick Barrett

Posted on 12/19/2011 1:52:51 PM PST by Graybeard58

Shelly Mayer says she would never do anything to put her three children in harm's way on their family dairy farm, but she worries that proposed regulations could put an end to many jobs for farm kids.

As Americans, Mayer says, we are too protective of our children when it comes to physical labor.

"We have raised a generation of 'bubble-wrap' babies," she says.

"Parents dote so much on kids, they practically need an oxygen mask to go outside. And we wonder why they can't function in society."

Mayer and her husband, Dwight, have children ages 15, 13 and 8 on their farm near Slinger, Wis. They are among farmers nationwide who believe proposed U.S. Department of Labor regulations go too far in restricting what work kids could perform on farms, such as driving tractors and handling livestock.

The changes, they say, could dampen kids' enthusiasm for becoming farmers, especially youngsters who don't live on farms but have part-time jobs to gain farming experience.

Under the proposed rules, according to the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, someone under 18 would not be allowed to do many chores for a neighbor or even their own family's farm if it's set up as a corporation or a business partnership.

Today, many family farms are legally structured as corporations or partnerships.

"It could take away a lot of opportunity," said Mayer, who also is executive director of Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin.

Under the proposed regulations:

-- Anyone under age 16 could not operate any power-driven machines unless the child was under the supervision of a parent or guardian.

-- Youngsters would be prohibited from handling noncastrated livestock older than 6 months, sows with suckling pigs or cows with a newborn calf. They also could not be in situations where an animal's behavior might be unpredictable, such as giving shots, dehorning or breeding.

-- Youngsters would not be allowed to work inside any grain silo, fruit or forage storage bin, nor would they be allowed to handle pesticides. Also, they would not be allowed to work at heights above 6 feet from a floor, including working on ladders.

-- The new regulations would prohibit teenagers from talking on cellphones or texting while operating a tractor.

After receiving thousands of public comments on its proposed regulations, the Department of Labor extended the comment period until Dec. 1 before moving forward with a rule-making process.

Nationwide, a child is killed in an agricultural work site every 3 days, and 41 young people suffer serious farm injuries each day, according to data through 2009 from the National Children's Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety.

"Children employed in agriculture are some of the most vulnerable workers in America," the Labor Department says on its website. "The fatality rate for young agricultural workers is four times greater than that of their peers employed in nonagricultural workplaces."

It has been more than 40 years since the Department of Labor updated child labor regulations for farms.

Farming has changed considerably in that time, with bigger tractors and other machinery that are a common cause of accidents and deaths.

It's time to update the regulations, according to the Department of Labor.

Children who work on their parents' farms are exempt from child labor laws, and they would remain exempt under the proposed regulation changes. They can perform any tasks, even dangerous ones, at any age on a farm owned or operated by a parent, according to the Department of Labor.

Removing the family-farm exemption would help prevent the most serious farm-youth injuries, according to Barbara Lee, director of the National Farm Medicine Center, in Marshfield, Wis.

"We need to think about the kids first," she said. "If you ask any parent whose child was killed in a farm accident, or who had a limb amputated, they would give anything to take that moment back. The injuries and deaths for children in agriculture are really gruesome and traumatic."

Farming is one of the nation's most dangerous occupations.

But while 81 percent of farm parents perceive the work to be more dangerous than other occupations, only 66 percent of those parents felt it was more dangerous for children to work on a farm than at other jobs, according to National Farm Medicine Center research.

Since she was about 7 years old, Addy Gonzales has been taught how to handle animals on her family's dairy farm near Elkhorn.

Now 14, she helps her mother and father with farm chores, provided it's not dangerous work and she has adult supervision.

"She would never be alone doing anything on the farm, even around the cows, because things can happen quick," said her mother, Kim Gonzales.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Extended News; Front Page News; Government
KEYWORDS: agriculture; farming; govtabuse; nannystate

1 posted on 12/19/2011 1:52:56 PM PST by Graybeard58
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To: Graybeard58

This legislation is intended to further the interest of large factory farms and squash small family farms.

I sure wouldn’t want to be the one to tell my 6-yr-old boy that he doesn’t get to drive the tractor until he’s 18... it could get really ugly really fast.


2 posted on 12/19/2011 1:59:21 PM PST by Sopater (...where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. - 2 COR 3:17b)
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To: Graybeard58

If there are any honest liberals left, think about this situation here. More government almost always favors the big guy and crushes the small guy. This is not the exception it is the rule. Are we really making the world a better place with all these over-reaching regulations?


3 posted on 12/19/2011 2:06:47 PM PST by Rippin
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To: Graybeard58

That would end 4-H and FFA.


4 posted on 12/19/2011 2:07:06 PM PST by bgill (The Obama administration is staging a coup. Wake up, America, before it's too late.)
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To: Graybeard58
according to data through 2009 from the National Children's Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety.

Who the F are they?

5 posted on 12/19/2011 2:08:16 PM PST by Texas Fossil (Government, even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one)
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To: Graybeard58

I grew up working summers on my Grandparent’s farm. It taught me a great work ethic, paid for my school clothes, and gave me a sense of independence. They are making the work out to be high risk. It’s probably more dangerous to be spotted on the street with your ipod showing.


6 posted on 12/19/2011 2:08:24 PM PST by formosa (Formosa)
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To: Graybeard58

I was in the cotton field at age five. By age 8 I was picking cotton. Every kid I grew up with drove a tractor from the time he (or she) was 12 years old if his daddy was a farmer.


7 posted on 12/19/2011 2:10:11 PM PST by Terry Mross (I'll only vote for a second party)
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To: Texas Fossil

good question, they are ANOTHER federal funded non productive agency looking for more money:

http://www.marshfieldclinic.org/nfmc/default.aspx?page=nccrahs_welcome
National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety

The National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety strives to enhance the health and safety of all children exposed to hazards associated with agricultural work and rural environments.

The National Children’s Center receives funding from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. In 2008, the center received a five-year, $4.6 million competitive grant to expand its initiatives related to injury prevention on farms. The project period runs through September 2013.

The projects funded cover a variety of research, education, intervention, prevention, translation and outreach to enhance the health and safety of children exposed to hazards associated with agricultural work and rural environments. The funding allows the Center to provide a wide range of services related to children and adolescents living in rural areas and working in agricultural environments.

The National Children’s Center staff has advanced training in injury prevention, health promotion, agricultural safety and related topics.


8 posted on 12/19/2011 2:14:30 PM PST by PeterPrinciple ( getting closer to the truth.................)
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To: Rippin

Are we really making the world a better place with all these over-reaching regulations?


you would be surprised at the number of conservatives here at fr who think we should be implementing OUR rules and regulations because they are “better”.


9 posted on 12/19/2011 2:18:21 PM PST by PeterPrinciple ( getting closer to the truth.................)
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To: Graybeard58

http://www.marshfieldclinic.org/NCCRAHS/

“The National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety strives to enhance the health and safety of all children exposed to hazards associated with agricultural work and rural environments.

The National Children’s Center receives funding from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. In 2008, the center received a five-year, $4.6 million competitive grant to expand its initiatives related to injury prevention on farms. The project period runs through September 2013.

The projects funded cover a variety of research, education, intervention, prevention, translation and outreach to enhance the health and safety of children exposed to hazards associated with agricultural work and rural environments. The funding allows the Center to provide a wide range of services related to children and adolescents living in rural areas and working in agricultural environments.

The National Children’s Center staff has advanced training in injury prevention, health promotion, agricultural safety and related topics.”


That explains it. They are trying to justify their federal funding and their existence.


10 posted on 12/19/2011 2:18:24 PM PST by Texas Fossil (Government, even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one)
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To: Graybeard58

Here is their “explanation” of the proposed law changes:

http://www.marshfieldclinic.org/proxy/MCRF-Centers-NCMF-NCCRAHS-ChildLaborFactSheet_Sept_2011.1.pdf


11 posted on 12/19/2011 2:19:44 PM PST by Texas Fossil (Government, even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one)
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To: Graybeard58

Here is their “explanation” of the proposed law changes:

http://www.marshfieldclinic.org/proxy/MCRF-Centers-NCMF-NCCRAHS-ChildLaborFactSheet_Sept_2011.1.pdf


12 posted on 12/19/2011 2:19:56 PM PST by Texas Fossil (Government, even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one)
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To: PeterPrinciple

You beat me to it. You compose faster than I do.


13 posted on 12/19/2011 2:22:01 PM PST by Texas Fossil (Government, even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one)
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To: Sopater
This legislation is intended to further the interest of large factory farms and squash small family farms.

Amen. Family farms are becoming a thing of the past and the corporate farms are doing everything they can to end them.
14 posted on 12/19/2011 2:27:07 PM PST by af_vet_rr
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To: Graybeard58

They don’t want kids working on the family farm because 1) they want farming taken over by huge corporations and 2) they want the work done by illegal aliens.


15 posted on 12/19/2011 2:29:10 PM PST by hellbender
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To: Graybeard58
a child is killed in an agricultural work site every 3 days

In the third world, maybe, I worked in agri products for over twenty years. I can't recall of ever hearing of a kid killed doing farm work. I saw a teenager lose a finger because he didn't turn off the PTO, before he attempted to fix a chain drive.

16 posted on 12/19/2011 2:35:51 PM PST by razorback-bert (Some days it's not worth chewing through the straps.)
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To: hellbender

They don’t want kids working on the family farm because 1) they want farming taken over by huge corporations and 2) they want the work done by illegal aliens.


And huge corporations are more easily controlled by the unelected bureaucrats in Washington.


17 posted on 12/19/2011 2:50:40 PM PST by The Working Man (The mantra for BO's reign...."No Child Left a Dime")
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To: The Working Man
And huge corporations are more easily controlled by the unelected bureaucrats in Washington.

Huge corporations easily control the elected critters in Congress...
18 posted on 12/19/2011 2:56:55 PM PST by af_vet_rr
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To: The Working Man

You can’t unionize farm kids -
their farm parents don’t want the forced union dues going to Rat’s campaigns, plus unions are for collectivist cowards, are anti-competitive, & stupid.

(hope I’ve explained all issues in one sentence)


19 posted on 12/19/2011 3:01:02 PM PST by 4Liberty (88% of Americans are NON-UNION. We value honest, peaceful Free trade-NOT protectionist CARTELS)
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To: Graybeard58
Where is the epidemic of injured farm kids that this legislation is supposed to give succor to?

Oh, it is legislation NOT passed for the benefit of those legislated upon - but for the increased profitability of major factory farms?

Ok then, they have better lobbyists so they should get the legislation they want./s

20 posted on 12/19/2011 3:06:25 PM PST by allmendream (Tea Party did not send the GOP to D.C. to negotiate the terms of our surrender to socialism.)
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To: Texas Fossil; PeterPrinciple
 
 
Note, all that is under Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation, in Wisconsin at that - the name alone gives it a leftist stink by default. They are also involved in busy-work with pro-abortion and anti-gun efforts.
 
Interesting that they cite that injury rates for children involved with agriculture is going down
http://www.marshfieldclinic.org/patients/?page=newsreleases&id=4311, yet there's still a push for legislation.
 
 
 

21 posted on 12/19/2011 3:18:54 PM PST by lapsus calami (What's that stink? Code Pink ! ! And their buddy Murtha, too!)
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To: af_vet_rr; 4Liberty

It may seem like the corporations control the politicians. And to a great degree they do through campaign donations, etc. But in the end? No, Corporations are at great risk from the politicians and bureaucrats. Just look at Big Coal, Big Oil, all it takes is for the politicians to become indebted to another entity who opposes their former benefactors.

Then the Corporations will be eaten to death small bite by small bite until there is a hollow shell left.

That is why the politicians and bureaucrats are afraid of small business and small farmers. They hire more people and in the end influence far more voters than the big Corporations do.

I would go so far as to say that Big Corporations actually alienate more voters than they influence. After all the Big Corporations are concerned about the short-term bottom line and small businesses are concerned about the long-term future as their business represents the future of their families.


22 posted on 12/19/2011 3:20:40 PM PST by The Working Man (The mantra for BO's reign...."No Child Left a Dime")
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To: Graybeard58

Nationwide three children a day die in agricultural accidents? I wonder how they define their terms....

Nationwide = happens in a nation located on planet Earth. Three = Any non-negative number.
Children = we’re all God’s children, right? (Yeah, yeah I know).
Agricultural = It happens within a 500 mile proximity to a barn.
Accident = Any non-intended outcome


23 posted on 12/19/2011 3:25:48 PM PST by FourPeas ("Maladjusted and wigging out is no way to go through life, son." -hg)
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To: Graybeard58

Nothing like favoring the corporate farm over the family farm ! Like Soviet Russia, the family farms were put out of business in favor of the collective farms !


24 posted on 12/19/2011 3:27:43 PM PST by CORedneck
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To: Texas Fossil
according to data through 2009 from the National Children's Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety.

Who the F are they?


http://www.marshfieldclinic.org/NCCRAHS/

Great news! In 2008 they got a five-year, $4.6 million grant to screw around with family farmers. Ain't it wonderful? Of course they're going to be real busy screwing around with family farmers in the hopes of getting a bigger, longer grant in 2013.

25 posted on 12/19/2011 3:49:17 PM PST by Cheburashka (If life hands you lemons, government regulations will prevent you from making lemonade.)
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To: Cheburashka

Outsiders messing with old farmers is dangerous work. hee hee hee

Not kid’s stuff.


26 posted on 12/19/2011 4:03:18 PM PST by Texas Fossil (Government, even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one)
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To: Graybeard58
-- The new regulations would prohibit teenagers from talking on cellphones or texting while operating a tractor.

I'll admit, I think texting while driving any sort of vehicle is a stupid and dangerous thing to do. But it is not the government's place to regulate stupid.
27 posted on 12/19/2011 4:10:08 PM PST by Ellendra ("It's astounding how often people mistake their own stupidity for a lack of fairness." --Thunt)
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To: Texas Fossil
Outsiders messing with old farmers is dangerous work. hee hee hee

They're from the government and they're here to help you. (I know, technically they're not the government, just a government lobbying group, attempting to get the laws “improved” improved so the government can protect children of farmers from their idiot parents.)

I remember Phil Gramm once got in an argument with some government bureaucrat who tried to claim that the government cared about his children at least as much as he did. Gramm’s response was to say, “If you care just as much, then tell me their names.”

28 posted on 12/19/2011 4:18:42 PM PST by Cheburashka (If life hands you lemons, government regulations will prevent you from making lemonade.)
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To: The Working Man
I would go so far as to say that Big Corporations actually alienate more voters than they influence.

So what? Banker-backed corporations have enough money to control the nomination process. Voters rarely get a chance to make a meaningful choice.

29 posted on 12/19/2011 4:26:53 PM PST by mas cerveza por favor
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To: Graybeard58; Sopater; Rippin; Texas Fossil; bgill; formosa; Terry Mross; PeterPrinciple; ...
Here's how they build their lies:

-Between 1995 and 2000, there where 695 total farm-related youth fatalities on US farms

[why choose just those years? Isn't there data available for 2001-2010?]

-Of the leading sources of fatal injuries to youth on U.S. farms, 25% percent involved machinery (includes tractors), 17% involved motor vehicles (includes ATVs), and 16% were due to drowning

[Every drowning is an accident, but not every drowning is farm related. Did they drown in the creek, swimming pool or local swimming hole? You'd expect an industry with high mechanization to have higher mechanization fatalities. Were the motor vehicles being used recreationally or during work?]

[It only gets worse as you read on:]

Nonfatal Injuries

 In 2006, an estimated 3,601 household youth were injured while performing farm work. 2

 According to data from 2006, approximately 3,026 injuries (26%) occurred to children under 10 years of age living on farms.3

 Nearly 75% of injured children were not actively working when the injury occurred.3

 Falls (40%) were the most common injuring event among household youth.

[Just do the math yourself and you'll see these guys are either innumerate, liars or both. The numbers just don't add up.]

More here: http://www.marshfieldclinic.org/proxy/MCRF-Centers-NFMC-NCCRAHS-ChildAgInjuryFactSheet_July-2011.2.pdf

30 posted on 12/19/2011 4:40:46 PM PST by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: mas cerveza por favor

So what? Banker-backed corporations have enough money to control the nomination process. Voters rarely get a chance to make a meaningful choice.


I agree with you in that it seems like the voters rarely get a chance to make a meaningful choice. But that can be changed and it is as far as I can see at the local level WHEN the voting public gets involved. Unfortunately that doesn’t happen as much as would like to see it happen.

But things do turn around and I see it happening again. It may not be this election cycle or the next one but it will happen. Unhappily I see it happening with bullets instead of ballots, but that’s a discussion for a different thread.


31 posted on 12/19/2011 4:56:05 PM PST by The Working Man (The mantra for BO's reign...."No Child Left a Dime")
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To: 1010RD
 
 
Thanks for looking into that and posting a breakdown of their sloppy and no doubt agenda-driven work output. And to think that folk like you and I paid for that slop with perfectly good tax dollars.
 
 

32 posted on 12/19/2011 6:42:24 PM PST by lapsus calami (What's that stink? Code Pink ! ! And their buddy Murtha, too!)
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To: Graybeard58

This has absolutely nothing to do with farm accidents and everything to do with killing the family farm and having the government take over land so it can “rent” it back to the people. I believe this was tried before in other places like Russia and did not work very well.


33 posted on 12/19/2011 9:18:00 PM PST by Wisconsinlady (DEFUND NPR, PBS, THE TSA AND THE U.N.)
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To: Graybeard58
Work and keep your mouth shut!!

60 years ago i illegaly went to work plastering for my fathers company when I was 14 so I would have a righteous street racer ready when i turned 16 but I was smart enough not to spout off about it.

34 posted on 12/19/2011 9:42:36 PM PST by dalereed (uity wise!)
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To: Ellendra

— The new regulations would prohibit teenagers from talking on cellphones or texting while operating a tractor.

Actually, here’s what the proposed reg would say from MCRF: “The use of electronic devices, including communication devices, while operating power driven equipment, including motor vehicles.”

As I read it, it’s not just limited to cell phones, but also 2-way radios (cb, business band, amateur), digital display broadcast radios, monitors for seeding, spraying, etc. Any tractor or harvesting unit made in the last 30 yrs has come standard with some sort of electronic monitoring display unit. If actually written this way, this leaves the door wide open for whatever level of enforcement the enforcer desires.


35 posted on 12/20/2011 5:13:03 AM PST by farmer matt
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To: lapsus calami

Correct. We’ve paid for the choker collar around our necks and the chain they hold in their hand. Sickening.

Do you know of someone that can work with that data? I’m not a farmer, but I do love liberty.


36 posted on 12/20/2011 5:14:32 AM PST by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: allmendream
Where is the epidemic of injured farm kids that this legislation is supposed to give succor to?

The Fe'ral government wants to keep them whole so that they can send them to Afghanistan to get chewed up in our government's suicidal ROE.

IOW, workplace injuries and death are OK when its directed by the Fe'ral Government.

37 posted on 12/20/2011 5:22:27 AM PST by The Theophilus (Obama's Key to win 2012: Ban Haloperidol)
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To: 1010RD
Nearly 75% of injured children were not actively working when the injury occurred

In itself that statement defeats their purpose. But I bet even that statement is distorted. "Figures do not lie, bu liars figure."

38 posted on 12/20/2011 6:12:48 AM PST by Texas Fossil (Government, even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one)
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To: Texas Fossil

Screw ‘em! For a number of reasons, screw ‘em.


39 posted on 12/20/2011 6:17:22 AM PST by Army Air Corps (Four Fried Chickens and a Coke)
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To: Army Air Corps

We need a list employees of such parasite organizations that have enabled Obozo’s takeover.

This should follow them for the rest of their life.


40 posted on 12/20/2011 6:33:54 AM PST by Texas Fossil (Government, even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one)
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To: Texas Fossil

I could not agree more. They need to be treated as the pariahs that they are.


41 posted on 12/20/2011 6:43:30 AM PST by Army Air Corps (Four Fried Chickens and a Coke)
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To: Graybeard58

How many kids are killed or injured in sports related activities?

How many kids are killed or injured in child abuse cases?

How many kids are killed or injured riding in the car?

How many kids are killed or injured playing outside?


42 posted on 12/20/2011 6:46:14 AM PST by wyokostur
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To: farmer matt

Yeesh, “electronic devices” could be stretched to include somebody’s wristwatch!


43 posted on 12/20/2011 10:38:25 AM PST by Ellendra ("It's astounding how often people mistake their own stupidity for a lack of fairness." --Thunt)
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To: 1010RD

And of course there is a never a baseline. What is ‘normal?’

Also, they never feel compelled to really prove that their reg will make anything better. People on farms get hurt as much having fun as they do ‘working’ I’ll wager. I did some pretty stupid things when I wasn’t working on my Grandfather’s gentlemen’s farm.


44 posted on 12/20/2011 12:10:48 PM PST by Rippin
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To: wyokostur

Not to mention all the kids killed by second hand smoke!/s


45 posted on 12/20/2011 12:11:37 PM PST by Graybeard58 (No Obama, No Romney, No Paul, No Huntsman. We can do better than that!)
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To: Rippin

To me there are two issues:

1. The number zero. Can you really ever live a perfect life? If the numbers quoted were half, they’d still be working to bring them down. We’ve not got meddlers working to reduce things to parts per million. It’s nutty and based on ‘scientism’.

2. American Government’s purpose isn’t to make me safer, but to preserve my liberty. (NB: I do mean American Government. Other governments aren’t like ours)


46 posted on 12/20/2011 12:27:35 PM PST by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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