Friday, 5/17/13, Public Square

tea party


by | May 17, 2013 · 6:00 am

34 responses to “Friday, 5/17/13, Public Square

  1. We finally had some much needed rain last night. Still not enough to say the drought was significantly impacted, but we’ll take what we can get.

    I don’t know how many of you noticed the court this week upheld another case for a big ag seed company that sued a small farmer over using his own crop as seed for the next year, saying the big boys owned the patent on that seed. The court has been consistent in these rulings, further strengthening the hand of Monsanto, Cargill, etc.

    That’s why the Rag Blog caught my attention this morning with an excerpt from “Grain of Truth” written by Norman Pagett and Josephine Smith. Here’s one small part that hits home for me.

    “We are pressing ahead with the large-scale manufacture of biofuel because we have convinced ourselves it is a viable alternative, predominantly to liquid hydrocarbon fuel. But a growing consensus of scientific opinion, backed by extensive research, has demonstrated that biofuel is not a practical solution.

    It requires vast quantities of land, which we also need for foods, and consumes more energy in production than is obtained by its use. It is at best only marginally better than 1:1. Putting biofuel into a tractor to cultivate crops to make yet more biofuel would only be done by the kind of farmer who was a regular guest at the Mad Hatter’s tea party, unless of course he was being subsidized at the taxpayer’s expense.


    The science of agriculture and food production changed forever around the turn of the millennium when the United States Supreme Court judged that a patent could be granted on bioengineered seed. While dairy products, fruit and vegetables may still be wrapped in packaging bearing images of the rosy-cheeked farmer, food production is now an industrial process and inherited farming skills are rapidly being lost.

    “Today so few people farm that vital knowledge of how to farm is disappearing.” — Richard Heinberg, “Fifty Million Farmers,” 26th annual EF Schumacher lecture, 2006

    The spread of agribusiness is stripping the world of its family farmers, those who possess skills handed down through generations in tending small parcels of land sustainably.

    Today the typical farmer in both the UK and U.S. is likely to be over the age of 55, and UK farmers are leaving the industry at a rate of around a dozen a week. These trends are being repeated across the developed world. In developing countries small farmers are abandoning rural life to take their chances in the city because they can no longer make their living from the land.

    This shift is of critical importance because the very infrastructure of farming is being destroyed. The inherited link between mankind and the land that supports him is being broken. Once gone, that link cannot be easily reestablished. Farming knowledge is an instinct passed down through generations; it is not something that can be learned from books.”

    People in Eastern Kansas and in more urban areas of the state think the wholesale abandonment of western Kansas has nothing to do with them.

    Maybe it does.

    • But…but… Brother Sammie fixed all that – didn’t he?

      Brother Sammie came up with that tax-free incentives for non-Kansans to move to certain designated rural areas in Kansas.

      But….why would anyone not from Kansas uproot their families to move to rural Kansas with no job prospects?

      I never could understand that about Brother Sammie’s great ‘solution’ to the problem.

      The state is being run by I-D-I-O-T-S ….in my opinion.

      • And when you realize if by chance some wealthy person buys up a bunch of land and builds a mansion in western Kansas because their housing dollars buy much more here, you also know they aren’t employed, they make money off their money and they don’t pay income tax. They’re not going to build many mansions, they’re not even going to spend much time in the one they build. Oh, maybe at hunting season they’ll host a party and leave some of their money in the state. But that money isn’t going into the State Coffers.

        I know Pastor Sammy and his church ladies tell us businesses are going to flock to western Kansas. I don’t plan to hold my breath waiting for that to happen!

      • I can tell you that counties have to put up half the money, and out here, most of them didn’t commit more than $6000, which means… FOUR people get incentives. And most of the people getting them would have come here anyway. They are lab techs, nurses, medical people, etc. The jobs were open, and this money Pastor Sam touted was $3000 per person with the counties putting up half.

        Go figure.

  2. And if you wonder where our western Kansas water is going, it’s going to people in more urban areas, or even other countries, who eat the food we grow. Also from “Grain of Truth”

    “Reduced to its raw essentials, the embodied energy in food represents all the mechanical input of our farming system: the tractors, the fishing boats, and the trucks. It includes the water transported from Portugal disguised as melons, and that air-freighted from Kenya disguised as green beans — 4 litres of water are needed to grow a single bean stem.”


    As fossil fuel energy declines, renewable sources will not be able to maintain our complex, energy-intensive food systems in their present form. As a result, we will not be able to feed our present numbers. Our food production level will return to roughly what it was 500 years ago, when one calorie had to be put in as manual labour or animal manure to produce one calorie to eat. By that reckoning, our food supply system will only support one-tenth of us. To put it bluntly, at least 6 billion people won’t have a future.”

    No wonder Colorado wants us to produce their energy with the coal plant in Holcomb, Ks. They’re using our water and saving their own. And in Greedy Kansas, that’s just fine with us. We’ll gladly sell them our water using electricity, not food, as currency at a rate that amounts to pennies on the dollar.

  3. Sorry, I know those posts are off topic and a depressing way to start the day. But as my neighbors and I contemplate drilling our water wells deeper, and we look at the sorry state of our pastures and crops for the fourth consecutive year, I gotta wonder what will become of us individually and collectively.

    All these scandals and non-scandals this week illustrate another very personal concern about the future of newspapers and their in-depth, as opposed to sound bite, reporting. No one would pay Woodward and Bernstein these days to do the kind of “Deep Throat” reporting that brought down Nixon. What is troubling is not the demise of newspapers as such. What is troubling is the death of real journalism.

    That subject ties in with my posts above and was also addressed in the Rag Blog by Robert Jensen when he said “For those who believe that a robust public-affairs journalism is essential for a society striving to be democratic, the 21st century has been characterized by bad news that keeps getting worse.” Calling for a new ‘apocalyptic journalism,’ Jensen says it’s past time for us “to pay attention to how multiple, cascading ecological crises” should be dramatically changing the mission of contemporary journalism.”

    Good luck with that.

    • Didn’t news journalism die when corporations took over and the dumbing down of Americans went into overdrive?

      Seriously, look around and see what really sells in our society – gossip, innuendos and outright lies.

      And who is sleeping with whom………..

      Hell, even finding out the Catholic Church covered up child molesters for years has not brought that place down………

      Moral Compass? Not in America anymore.

      It’s about GREED and MONEY..

      • The demise of journalism is about greed and money and competition. Newspapers have so much competition for advertising that they don’t have, or won’t commit, the funds for journalism. They are all about selling ads, and, unfortunately, people get much of their news on line and that does not put eyeballs on newspaper ads. So, partly newspapers can’t afford in-depth reporting, and partly they’d rather give their corporate shareholders and masters the money they do make instead of paying reporters.

        Believe me, Warren Buffett isn’t buying newspapers out of the goodness of his heart. He intends to make money and if a little journalism gets done along the way, well, that’s ok. But a return on investment is more important and news doesn’t make money. Ads make money.

  4. Off topic? Here at Triple Ps the topic is what’s on your mind. 🙂

    I read an article this morning in the local newspaper about the state lakes. With Memorial Day weekend coming they were warning most lakes that aren’t on the eastern edge of the state are low and advising caution. Cheney Lake, which supplies most of the water for Wichita, is way down. I don’t understand why some really strict water conservation isn’t happening. People in my neighborhood are watering their lawns (and the street in most cases) on a daily basis. I can’t imagine how much water they’ll use when it really gets warm. Why isn’t the City treating this as a serious situation?

    Skeptical 3rd World Kid. You mean to tell me you have so much clean water, that you shit in it?

  5. I suspect all of us will go on complaining about silliness and choosing sides and not listening.

    I like Ezra Klein and he always makes a lot of sense to me. He wrote this:

    If Obama went Bulworth, here’s what he’d say

    The New York Times reported Thursday that President Obama frequently fantasizes to close aides about “going Bulworth,” a reference to the 1998 movie in which Sen. Jay Bulworth, played by Warren Beatty, drops all pretense and begins saying exactly what he thinks. So I asked a number of ex-Obama aides and political consultants what the president would say if he went Bulworth. This post is based on those conversations — it’s what the people who have heard Obama vent about Washington in private believe he wishes he could say in public. That said, this is the Internet so let’s be crystal clear: This is a work of fiction. Informed fiction, but fiction nevertheless.

    It’s a good read, and the comments are good too.

    What are you going to do — vote republican?

  6. This is one headline: “Obama breaches Marine umbrella protocol.”

    Male Marines are not allowed to use umbrellas while in uniform , CNN explains, in part because doing so makes it harder to salute. But the commander in chief can override that protocol. (For whatever reason, female Marines are allowed to carry umbrellas with service or dress uniforms.)

    President Obama didn’t hold his own umbrella yesterday during a joint press conference with the Turkish Prime Minister. I’m sure the republicans are outraged and I’m sure their outrage deserves lots of attention from the press. Could be a game changer, don’t you think? It’s a scandal! “These guys aren’t valets,” one conservative blogger wrote, though he also guessed that previous presidents had done the same thing “because the optics are sufficiently bad that Team O wouldn’t have tried it without precedent to cite in its defense.” Another wrote, “This is the nuclear version of bad optics.” The conservative Move America Forward PAC put out a fundraising e-mail on the subject.

    Oh, and did I mention BENGHAZI!!!!!!!!!!!

    What are you going to do — vote republican?

  7. Obamacare 37
    Republicans 0

    • But….but…John Boehner explained why he brought this up for a vote again.

      There were new Tea Party Congressional members that did not have a chance to vote on the repeal of Obamacare – and this was his way of giving those Tea Party Mad Hatters their bragging rights ….

      Now they are officially recognized to do their Cocky Rooster Strut….


  8. Did you all hear about this? Of course, the CONS are demonizing their favorite whipping boy – CBS….

  9. When republicans aren’t doctoring White House emails to suit their skewed and dishonest agenda, they’re publishing ‘studies’ rife with errors.

    (from the link) The Heritage Foundation report on the costs of immigration reform co-authored by controversial scholar Jason Richwine has been widely debunked, and Richwine himself has resigned from Heritage in the wake of revelations about his history of arguing that blacks and Latinos are dumber than Jews and Irish people. But Richwine’s study was even worse than previously thought, according to a new Scholars Strategy Network brief (PDF) by Richard Alba, a sociology professor at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York who studies immigration and assimilation. Alba’s review of the report concludes that Richwine and Robert Rector, a Heritage research fellow, made several basic errors that, collectively, overstated the costs of amnesty for the country’s 11 million immigrants by more than $4 trillion.

    What are you going to do — vote republican? I think it’s quite possible that on a national level republicans are already dead, so why do they continue to shoot themselves in the foot so often? It doesn’t matter whether the “scandals” are fabricated or not. The people they wanted to convince are convinced and the truth won’t phase them. It never does.

    • It’s rather comical to watch these Republicans shoot themselves in their foot – but I do have one question – do they have a permit for that gun?

      • I heard an interesting discussion today about there being no such thing as an uncommitted voter any longer. It was contended that everyone has chosen a side and elections could be won or lost by how well you motivate those on your side to get to the polls.

        All these “scandals” have motivated and unified those who chose the “R” side. But, they have to walk a fine line in energizing while being cautious about overplaying their hand. The republicans see political benefits in rekindling the fervor of the Tea Party — a key ingredient in 2010 Congressional victories — particularly given the fact that the I.R.S. was subjecting those very groups to special scrutiny, while also recognizing the challenges that brings in attempts to maintain ‘control.’

        I think there is merit in thinking there aren’t many (if any) who haven’t committed to being an “R” or a “D,” even tho you hear many tell you they are independent. So I understand the GET OUT THE VOTE thinking. But I see the “R” side having a much harder row to hoe because there aren’t enough white males to win at the national level. There is no way the majority of females or minorities is going to vote republican.

        So I see republicans maintaining strength in red states, but making no inroads in blue states. Plus, I see them overplaying their hand, they’re unable to maintain control of the crazies the tea party helped elect. Unless they do something more than cause headaches for President Obama they’ll lose the enthusiasm of the most rabid of their base, but if they try something as stupid as impeachment they lose those who are still sane enough to expect elected officials to govern. Plus, there is nothing more effective at energizing those who’ve chosen the “D” side as impeachment proceedings.

      • Bill O’Reilly and Charles Krauthammer (both staunch Conservatives) have already come and said the Tea Party folks are overplaying their hand on these scandals.

        You know – it’s the first time I’ve agreed with either of those men..

        But…the $64,000 question remains – will the Teapublicans be wise enough to heed their this message?

        One can predict what people will do the when you know their past history. That makes it pretty clear – Teapublicans will continue to screech, scream, yell and rant – and OVERPLAY their hand.

  10. YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK…… Where are the jobs, Boehner?

    Joy Reid at The Grio reports that the Heritage Foundation, the uber-rightwing think tank that Jim DeMint left the Senate to head up, just sent this letter to Speaker Boehner and Eric Cantor:

    Dear Speaker Boehner and Leader Cantor:

    For the first time, the activities of the Obama administration are receiving a sustained public vetting. Americans’ outrage over Benghazi is amplified by the Internal Revenue Service’s intimidation of conservative grassroots organizations and a cascade of negative headlines. There is the real sense the Obama administration has been less than forthright with the American people, the press and lawmakers.

    Recent events have rightly focused the nation’s attention squarely on the actions of the Obama administration. It is incumbent upon the House of Representatives to conduct oversight hearings on those actions, but it would be imprudent to do anything that shifts the focus from the Obama administration to the ideological differences within the House Republican Conference.

    To that end, we urge you to avoid bringing any legislation to the House Floor that could expose or highlight major schisms within the conference. Legislation such as the Internet sales tax or the FARRM Act which contains nearly $800 billion in food stamp spending, would give the press a reason to shift their attention away from the failures of the Obama administration to write another “circular firing squad” article.

    Make no mistake, principled conservatives will still oppose bad policy if it comes to the floor. Rather than scheduling such legislation for consideration, we urge you to keep the attention focused squarely on the Obama administration. As the public’s trust in their government continues to erode, it is incumbent upon those of us who support a smaller, less intrusive government to lead.


    Michael A. Needham
    Chief Executive Officer
    Heritage Action for America

    • In other words – just keep flying under the radar so Americans do not know what RePUKES are really doing?

      I thought Jim DeMInt was such a Godly and morally superior man? He is not above manipulating the message.

      But….I do have to question their assessment of how Americans feel about Obama at this time.

      I have not seen any poll ratings recently – but don’t most of Americans with at least one working brain cell already know how these RePUKES work (or not work in the case of creating those jobs)

  11. There was yet another meltdown in the Kansas Capitol today. It is being reported that Governor Brownback has “removed himself” from budget negotiations, which is quite remarkable at this late hour of the session. Governor Brownback not only created this entire budget mess when he pushed through unsustainable income tax cuts in 2012, but he is also the leader of the state. He runs this show whether he created the mess or not. It seems that Governor Brownback is utterly incapable of bringing people together, even with overwhelming super majorities.

    Governor’s veto threat looms in session’s final days

    • Bob White

      Absolutely a great poster photo for “Kansas Public Enemy Number One!”

    • From the link:

      “The scenario at the forefront of this warning reflects procedural potential of the House voting to accept the Senate’s version of a new state government budget and promptly adjourning without action on a separate tax measure.”

      Um, isn’t that exactly how this f’ed up tax cut was enacted last year? The Senate was “tricked” into just passing what Pastor Sam wanted, and what the House had already passed, with promises the House would fix it in in conference committee? And then the rat bastards in the House adjorned without “fixing” anything? IIRC, that’s what happened.

      Man. Karma. She’s a bitch, no? Or, as we used to say it Texas, “what goes around comes around.”

    • Ya know, as regards Pastor Sam, we had a word for guys like him in Texas.


      Because of course southerners are too lazy to say the entire phrase with all its syllables and such….

  12. One more “off topic” post for today: I woke up this morning and didn’t need my glasses to see. OK, to see out of the surgery eye. I’ve yet to put them on today at all, and except for trying to read the paper, it’s been great.
    If this is how it’s going to be, then I wish eye 2 surgery was scheduled sooner. I’m almost giddy, as I cannot recall ever seeing this well. I’m told it will continue to get better over about 6 months.
    So, for all who face this, unless the doctor fouls up, the inconvenience is worth it. Yes, it is.