Farmers Get Help

Yesterday Our Beloved Supreme Leader had a presser to announce his aid to the American farmer that may have trouble with the tariffs……and they all bow down……

With more than a dozen farmers at his side, President Trump announced a $16 billion aid package to compensate farmers for their losses in the trade war with China. “This support for farmers will be paid for by the billions of dollars the Treasury takes in” from China, he said. That’s not the way it works, the Washington Post points out: China does not pay the tariffs; importers do. Some importers then pass the cost on to American consumers. The administration had announced $12 billion in emergency measures in July. The relief announced Thursday will be distributed to farmers in three installments, with the first payment in July or August, the others in November and January 2020, if the tariffs are still in place.

Randy Spronk, a hog farmer and past president of the National Pork Producers Council who attended the White House meeting, said farmers realize the aid will not make up for their losses in a trade war. “But it makes enough of a difference to keep a lot of farmers so they can survive,” Spronk said, per the Post. The aid for farmers will ultimately come from taxpayers, said one expert, ABC reports. “Do the Chinese pay some of the tariff? Yes, probably in specific cases,” he said. “Do they pay most of it? No, the consumer pays most of it ultimately.” The American Farm Bureau and the National Farmers Union said that they appreciate the help, but that farmers would prefer to have a long-term trade deal with China.

This money was offered last Summer….and I agree with whoever said…”if tariffs hurt farmers then welfare is not the answer”……as always…I have written about the announcement a year ago……https://lobotero.com/2018/09/21/closing-thought-21sep18/

God knows our farmers need the help….but not everyone sees this politicial ploy as the answer to that problem……

President Donald Trump’s snap decision to send billions of dollars in new aid to farmers could be bad for the farm economy and the federal budget.

Many farmers are still deciding what to plant this spring and could be swayed toward crops that receive higher payouts from the aid package, such as soybeans. That would add to already record supplies and further depress prices that have been falling for five year

But the Trump administration’s decision to roll out the program now is drawing critics.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican, told reporters Wednesday that the White House should have been more cautious about the timing of the announcement because farmers are still planting.

“[W]e want farmers to make decisions on how many acres of corn and soybeans to plant based on the market and not something the government’s doing,” he said.

“The timing couldn’t have been worse,” said Jonathan Coppess, an agricultural policy professor at the University of Illinois, and a former head of the USDA Farm Service Agency during the Obama administration.

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/05/23/trump-farmer-bailout-trade-usda-1459840

Our farmers do not want the ‘welfare’ they prefer to earn their money….keep one thing in mind….agri-business also will get this ‘welfare’ and that who it is truly protecting.

Where are the deficit hawks?  They have plenty to say when food stamps are on the agenda….where are they now?

Freaky Saturday–2019 (Part 2)

Saturday my day of mental relaxation and a bunch of “honey dos”……weather is warm for February and seems to linger…looks like our cold weather ended early this year…..

I have been watching the treatments that the medicos are using to try and help people with problems like PTSD…..I posted about the use of seem psychedelics from the 60s…….https://lobotero.com/2019/02/02/freaky-saturday-02feb19/

Since I wrote that there have been more studies that have shown promise on a wide array of mental problems…….

The reputation of the synthetic drug MDMA has changed dramatically since it was outlawed in 1985. Right now, it’s the centerpiece of a Food and Drug Administration-approved Phase III clinical trial on its ability to help heal the damage caused by post-traumatic stress disorder when used alongside therapy. While those trials are underway, scientists are seeking to understand the long-term impacts of MDMA, preparing for a future where it’s widely used to treat illness .

https://www.inverse.com/article/53143-psychological-effect-mdma-drug

Then there is the study of the “demon” of the 60s….LSD……

New neuroimaging research provides evidence that the psychedelic drug LSD alters the capacity of the thalamus to control the flow of sensory information to other areas of the brain.

The thalamus is a small section of the midbrain through which most sensory inputs from the body flow. The new findings, which appear in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, indicate that LSD decreases information filtering in the thalamus — allowing more information than normal to flood into the brain.

“LSD and other psychedelics induce unique effects on perception and emotion. These effects could on the one hand be interesting to understand certain symptoms in psychiatric patients (for example schizophrenia), but they could also be clinically beneficial for the treatment of other illnesses (for example depression),” said study author Katrin Preller of the University of Zurich.

https://www.psypost.org/2019/02/lsd-allows-more-information-to-flood-into-the-brain-by-altering-activity-in-the-thalamus-53062

The use of the drugs could be disastrous if not tightly controlled….but if these can help someone suffering from PTSD or other mental problem then I say give it a chance before it is condemned.

I must go out to the garden and start getting it ready for the crop this year…….hope everyone has a good day and give someone a hug…make their day.

Be Well, Be Safe……

Sucks To Be A Farmer!

I know I spend a lot of time watching and writing on foreign affairs and international situations……I try to keep an eye on the doings domestically……the one that needs attention is our FARMERS.

I have written about what Trump’s tariffs are doing to our farmers….https://lobotero.com/2018/07/25/the-coming-farm-aid/

There is more news that farmers are starting going broke at an accelerated rate……

Farmers in the Midwest are filing for bankruptcy at record rates as a result of President Trump’s trade war.

Bankruptcies in courts that cover the largest farm states in the country were nearly double in 2018 what they were in 2008, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers a region that includes Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin, received twice as many bankruptcy filings in 2018 as it did in 2008, during the height of the Great Recession.

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, which includes Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Arkansas, Nebraska and both Dakotas, saw a 96 percent increase in bankruptcy filings last year compared to 2008.

https://www.rawstory.com/2019/02/midwest-farmers-going-broke-record-rates-thanks-trumps-trade-war/

American farmers feed the world….what will happen when there are fewer and fewer of them to grow food?  Importation will prove expensive…..so forget that…..

We could always depend on lab grown meat……but that may not be all it is cracked up to be…..

High impact: Proponents of lab-grown meat say it could one day supplant livestock—particularly cattle, a huge source of greenhouse-gas emissions.

The problem: Animal-free meat might be worse for the environment, researchers from the University of Oxford argue in a new report. They say previous studies have clumped together all emissions from cattle, rather than analyzing individual gases. Methane, for example, has a greater impact on warming in the short term, but it remains in the atmosphere for only around a decade, whereas carbon dioxide persists and accumulates for centuries, coauthor professor Raymond Pierrehumbert told the BBC. Emissions from the lab will be almost entirely made up of carbon dioxide.

A pinch of salt: It’s eye-catching, but this finding comes with plenty of caveats. Lab-grown meat isn’t even on sale to the public yet, and the researchers are making a lot of assumptions about meat consumption and future availability of lab-grown meat that may prove incorrect. For now, its climate impact may prove one of the smaller barriers to its adoption: for one thing, it’s still ridiculously expensive to produce.

Thoughts?

How About That Farmer’s Bailout?

In one statement…..It is Crap!

The Dear Supreme Leader has decided, in the past, that what the US needs is a good trade war to make everything okay for the future…..his trade wars and tariffs have hit our farmers the worst but not to worry the president has a plan to stop the bleeding of our farmers….a bailout!

SO now that it is in place how is it doing?  Are our framers making out okay?

American farmers are struggling to find storage for crops that would usually be sold overseas, with some being forced to leave produce rotting in fields as a last resort, as the trade conflict between the US and China continues.

Farmers in some US states are being forced into plowing their crops under — effectively burying them under soil in fields — as there is not enough room to store them in storage facilities, and they are unable to sell their products thanks to Chinese tariffs, Reuters reported on Wednesday.

https://www.businessinsider.com/us-china-trade-war-soybeans-left-rotting-thanks-to-lack-of-storage-2018-11

And the bailout?

Well $6 billion has been promised to our farmers to ease their pain and so far $838 million have been doled out….so things are better right?

Well let’s be honest……the plight of the American farmer still sucks!

President Donald Trump’s $12 billion bailout of farmers who had been hurt by his trade wars has been a massive bust politically — and a New York Times report has found that very little of it has gone to the struggling farmers who need it most.

According to the Times, the bailout program “has done little to cushion the blow” of the president’s trade wars, “with red tape and long waiting periods resulting in few payouts so far.”

In fact, the Times estimates, just $838 million of the $6 billion worth of bailout funds that have been authorized so far has been paid out.

https://www.alternet.org/trumps-12-billion-bailout-farmers-hurt-his-trade-wars-has-been-massive-bust-nyt

Will the pain continue for the American farmer or will these tariff thingys do what they were promised to do?

My guess is the promises will not be met…..something that is a reoccurring trait of Trumpism.

Biotech Gone Bad?

The weekend begins and I try to find the stuff that does not make it to the headlines…..basically I try to be an FYI post……

I read disturbing stories and reports all the time but the ones that involve our environment especially when the food supply being tampered with…. like the below report……

How about GMO insects and the possibility of them being used as a bio-weapon?

A team of scientist sounds the alarm in a new Science Policy Forum report about a mysterious US government program that is developing genetically modified viruses that would be dispersed into the environment using insects. The virus-infected or ‘Frankenstein’ insects are being developed as countermeasures against potential natural and engineered threats to the US food supply. The program is operated by the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) could be viewed as an attempt to develop an entirely new class of bioweapons that would prompt other nations to seek similar weapons, they cautioned.

The researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology and the University of Freiburg both in Germany, and the University of Montpellier in France suggest DARPA’s program could likely breach the Biological Weapons Convention, the first multilateral disarmament treaty banning the development, production, and stockpiling of biological and toxin weapons.

https://www.technocracy.news/darpa-developing-gmo-insects-that-genetically-modify-crops/

It should be a crime to use food as a weapon.

Personally, I do not like the idea of anything GMO.  It makes veggies tasteless…..and seeds worthless….I think we would be better off without the burden of GMO anything.

I try to grow my own veggies from non-GMO seeds as much as I can these days…..

Any thoughts?

Cooler mornings, more time in the garden…..I love Autumn!

Closing Thought–21Sep18

An American institution is heading for a fall.  American agriculture is heading for a fall.

It is time for the harvest!

I have been watching this sector of our economy closely….one because the new tariffs could have a lasting effect on the farming in this country…..I have written a couple posts recently….

https://lobotero.com/2017/12/18/closing-thought-18dec17/

https://lobotero.com/2018/07/25/the-coming-farm-aid/

The Wall Street Journal is also watching this sector and their insights are not very good for the coming year…..

The Farm Belt is hurtling toward a milestone: Soon there will be fewer than two million farms in America for the first time since pioneers moved westward after the Louisiana Purchase.

Across the heartland, a multiyear slump in prices for corn, wheat and other farm commodities brought on by a glut of grain world-wide is pushing many farmers further into debt. Some are shutting down, raising concerns that the next few years could bring the biggest wave of farm closures since the 1980s.

The U.S. share of the global grain market is less than half what it was in the 1970s. American farmers’ incomes will drop 9% in 2017, the Agriculture Department estimates, extending the steepest slide since the Great Depression into a fourth year.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-next-american-farm-bust-is-upon-us-1486572488

How sad that a true American institution is slowly withering away….the government will step in but it may be too late for it to save this way of life.

Hunger: The Saddest Injustice

A good friend and blogger (https://beetleypete.wordpress.com/ ) got me to thinking about the issue of hunger….as always I have an opinion on that issue as well…….

There were times during my life when food was a major concern…..I admit that I had gone to bed hungry…..the saddest injustice for me is hunger.

I have tried to focus on hunger here on IST…..

https://lobotero.com/2008/12/22/hunger-is-growing/

https://lobotero.com/2010/02/03/hunger-is/

Then we have TV shows that waste food for entertainment….pumpkin chunking. bowling with raw turkey, etc.  I find all such “entertainment” disgusting……but let’s look at hunger right here in the US, that shining city on the hill…..

  1. 1 in 6 people in America face hunger.
  2. The USDA defines “food insecurity” as the lack of access, at times, to enough food for all household members. In 2011, households with children reported a significantly higher food insecurity rate than households without children: 20.6% vs. 12.2%.
  3. Food insecurity exists in every county in America. In 2013, 17.5 million households were food insecure. More and more people are relying on food banks and pantries. Collect food outside your local supermarket for a local food bank. Sign up for Supermarket Stakeout GL.
  4. 49 million Americans struggle to put food on the table.
  5. In the US, hunger isn’t caused by a lack of food, but rather the continued prevalence of poverty.
  1. More than 1 in 5 children is at risk of hunger. Among African-Americans and Latinos, it’s 1 in 3.
  2. Over 20 million children receive free or reduced-price lunch each school day. Less than half of them get breakfast, and only 10% have access to summer meal sites.
  3. For every 100 school lunch programs, there are only 87 breakfast sites and just 36 summer food programs.
  4. 1 in 7 people are enrolled in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Nearly half of them are children.
  5. 40% of food is thrown out in the US every year, or about $165 billion worth. All of this uneaten food could feed 25 million Americans.
  6. These 8 states have statistically higher food insecurity rates than the US national average (14.6%): Arkansas (21.2%), Mississippi (21.1%), Texas (18.0%), Tennessee (17.4%), North Carolina (17.3%), Missouri (16.9%), Georgia (16.6%), Ohio (16.0%).  (source:  dosomething.org)

Kinda sad from a country that can spend $1.5 trillion on a war that it cannot win.

It is a world problem not just one for the US…..and as the world’s nations grow more wealthy the hunger rate never changes……

It’s impossible to ignore the growth of economic inequality in each corner of the planet. Vulgarity is the order of the day, with the very rich hoarding vast amounts of wealth while the poor scratch the earth for their livelihood. The British-based charity group Oxfam has done an important service by offering an annual indication of the gravity of inequality. This year, Oxfam noted that a mere 42 rich people have as much wealth as 3.7 billion poor people. What is most astounding is that in 2017, 82 percent of the social wealth produced by the world’s people was vacuumed into the bank accounts of the wealthiest 1 percent among us. This is not an ancient problem, in other words, but a current problem posed by the structure of capitalism: goods and services are produced socially, but profit is sequestered privately—and with fewer and fewer hands able to seize this profit.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2018/09/05/hunger-warning

Every generation wants to end world hunger and very generation fails to do so.

I just cannot see a way to make the elimination of hunger  a priority…..words will not feed anyone…it will take action but where will that action come from?