Open Feynman Lectures

At Quantum Frontiers:

Last Friday the 13th was a lucky day for those who love physics — The online html version of Volume 1 of the Feynman Lectures on Physics (FLP) was released! Now anyone with Internet access and a web browser can enjoy these unique lectures for free. They look beautiful.


Judge agrees to TRO for Rains in confusing order

horseGood news, and confusing news.

Judge Armijo enjoined the USDA from providing inspectors for horse meat processing to Rains Natural Meats, which is good news. However, she did so in a rather baffling order.

Unlike the earlier Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) associated with Valley Meat and Responsible Transportation, the TRO related to Rains is given a termination date of Oct. 4, with the Magistrate Judge then determining whether to extend it beyond this date. The Judge extended the TRO for the other two plants until October 31, 2013, when she expects to have her decision in the case.

So the TRO for one plant ends earlier than the TRO for the other two plants—all for the same case. And the Magistrate Judge is the one to determine if the evidence is such that the TRO should be extended for Rains, when Judge Armijo was the one to determine the length of the TRO based on the legal merits for the other two plants.

I’m reminded again that I’m not a lawyer, because I don’t see any good and logical reason why Judge Armijo would have Judge Scott determine whether the TRO should extend beyond that date, when she didn’t do so with Valley Meat and Responsible Transportation. Perhaps there’s some hidden logic that requires legal training in order to assess the reasoning for issuing such an inconsistent order.

Or perhaps I just need to hit my head against the wall a dozen times in order to understand.

In the meantime, the USDA FSIS sent me a CD with the documents associated with the Administrative Record index for the case. There’s no direct link between the index and the documents; you’ll have to look up the document number in the left column of the index, and then search for the document in the ordered file list.

Interesting reading, even if the USDA did get a little heavy handed with the redactions.

Critters Legal, Laws, and Regs

Emergency motion to stop horse slaughter in Missouri

We have confirmation that Rains Natural Meats was attempting to start up horse slaughter operations on Monday.

Bruce Wagman just filed an emergency motion to ensure that Rains Natural Meats is included in the Temporary Restraining Order issued by Judge Armijo. It’s unfortunate that the TRO isn’t against the USDA rather than the USDA in context with all these companies. The action really is against the USDA.

If you look at the attachment for the motion, you can see that Rains was demanding inspectors by the 23rd, and planned to start operation as soon as possible. He actually wanted inspectors today.

You can directly access the court documents for Front Range Equine Rescue et al v. Vilsack et al. The emergency motion is docket number 156. Judge Armijo has asked the defendant for an expedited response to the emergency motion by Friday at noon. In addition, there’s a Monday, September 23, hearing on the Missouri case that’s currently prohibiting the Missouri DNR from issuing wastewater discharge permits to Rains Natural Meats. In my previous writing I outlined how Rains was going to attempt to get around this order.

Previous writing: Will the first horse meat plant open in Missouri September 23?