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PARIS, THE NEW NORMAL? — Diana Johnstone files an in-depth report from Paris on the political reaction to the Charlie Hebdo shootings; The Treachery of the Black Political Class: Margaret Kimberley charts the rise and fall of the Congressional Black Caucus; The New Great Game: Pepe Escobar assays the game-changing new alliance between Russia and Turkey; Will the Frackers Go Bust? Joshua Frank reports on how the collapse of global oil prices might spell the end of the fracking frenzy in the Bakken Shale; The Future of the Giraffe: Ecologist Monica Bond reports from Tanzania on the frantic efforts to save one of the world’s most iconic species. Plus: Jeffrey St. Clair on Satire in the Service of Power; Chris Floyd on the Age of Terrorism and Absurdity; Mike Whitney on the Drop Dead Fed; John Wight on the rampant racism of Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper;” John Walsh on Hillary Clinton and Lee Ballinger on the Gift of Anger.
An Open Letter to Secretary Johanns

Put a Photo of Mad Cow #2 on a Milk Carton

by JOHN STAUBER

Dear Secretary Johanns,

Is there any truth to the rumor that the U.S. Department of Agriculture will soon print a photo of U.S. mad cow #2 ("Cow Jane Doe") onto the side panel of milk cartons?

Is it true that the USDA is so lost and desperate to find the herd she came from that you are turning to the tried-and-true milk carton method? Are you hoping that some member of the milk-drinking or cow-milking public will recognize her image on a carton and call you?

Using the milk carton method sounds like a good idea at this oh-so-late date, seven months after this mad cow first tested positive, and seven months after she then tested negative at your state-of-the-art (and I do mean art!) USDA lab.

Lots of news reports have suggested that Cow Jane Doe was from Texas, so you could probably save taxpayer money by just printing her picture on Lone Star State milk cartons. (Maybe she belonged to some of the those tough Texas cattlemen who sued Oprah for trying to warn us about mad cow in the USA back in 1996; that would be sweet western justice, indeed!)

Just have USDA print these words under her bovine image on the milk carton: "Do you recognize me? I’m a mad cow probably from Texas. If I look familiar, please call USDA Secretary Mike Johanns at 1-800-MadCow#2 and tell him all about me."

Finally, is anyone’s USDA job on the line for gross incompetence and suspected corruption in this case of the missing mad cow? Or is this one of those national security-type snafus where nobody is held accountable and whoever should be will instead receive a Medal of Freedom from former Texas governor George Bush?

Inquiring minds want to know!

Sincerely,

JOHN STAUBER

JOHN STAUBER works for the Center for Media and Democracy, a nonprofit organization based in Madison, Wisconsin. He is the co-author of Mad Cow USA.