Galatian 4:4 "But, when the fullness of time was come God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
5 To redeem them that were under the law,"
It is the time of year when we remember the Birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. As I shared in the devotional at our children's Sunday School program last week, this event occurred at the exact moment in history ordained by God the Father.
First, the fullness of time. In the Greek,
that which is (has been) filled
a) a ship inasmuch as it is filled (i.e. manned) with sailors, rowers, and soldiers
b) in the NT, the body of believers, as that which is filled with the presence, power, agency, riches of God and of Christ
2) that which fills or with which a thing is filled
a) of those things which a ship is filled, freight and merchandise, sailors, oarsmen, soldiers
b) completeness or fulness of time
3) fulness, abundance
4) a fulfilling, keeping
God put together all the pieces "as a ship fitted for passage" then he sent forth His Son.
What were those pieces?
We know that in Daniel 9, God promises that the Messiah would come 483 weeks/years after the command to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. That was 49 years or 7 weeks until the exiled Jews would return to Jerusalem plus the 434 week/years till the Messiah would come.
We also know that there were numerous other prophecies which had to be fulfilled in the birth of the Messiah. That he would be a descendant of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David. That He would be born in Bethlehem.
That he would be born of a woman, see Genesis 3:15, Luke 1:34, and Galatians 4:4.
All these things God caused to occur just as He fortold, so that at the one moment in time when all of the necessary prophecies were completed or prepared, as ship fit for passage, God sent His method of Redemption.
As you and your family celebrate the birth of the Savior of the World, remember that Christ came at precisely the time God intended for Him to come.
And a question, if the God of the Universe is capable of telling when and how His Son would come, what prophecies are yet to be fulfilled? What does the future hold?
Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
I want to wish all of you a Merry Christmas. And may your future be filled with the hope of a Coming Savior.
Monday, December 24, 2007
Galatian 4:4 "But, when the fullness of time was come God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
Posted by farmer Tom at 9:20 PM
Saturday, December 15, 2007
After you take the test let us know how you did.
I got 9 out of 12. I'll explain later.
Ok, I apologize for not telling all of you that the answers page was no possible to access without taking the second part of the survey.
I would never encourage anyone to lie, but I happen to know that if you answer the questions, put John Smith in the name line, JohnSmith@hotmail.com on the email line and ajdieioajf on the friend section it will pass you through to the answers.
The answers page has pop-ups with dates court cases and other info worth reading.
Posted by farmer Tom at 8:31 AM
Monday, December 10, 2007
Thanks to my friend, and legal advisor, BriantheGreat for this update.
In the post I wrote on November the 7th, I tried to make the case that Rudy is talking about appointing strict constructionist judges because he believes that judges who are strict constructionists will not overturn Roe vs. Wade based on a legal principle called stare decisis.
Read the previous article for a much fuller explanation.
BriantheGreat told me about an interview by Cal Thomas of Rudy Giuliani in todays Des Moines Register.
And this is the money quote, I would say I told you so, but that's not polite. Just read it and see for yourself.
Of greatest interest to social conservatives is Giuliani’s pledge to nominate only “strict constructionists” to the federal courts. Why would a supporter of “choice” on abortion nominate judges likely to overturn Roe v. Wade? “My view of a strict constructionist or originalist judge who sticks with the plain meaning of the Constitution comes from my judicial philosophy. It’s not that I want one particular decision changed.” He added that originalists might have “different views on this” and that precedent might trump even a wrongly decided case like Roe. Or, he said, the justices could overturn it. He cited the Second Amendment case the Supreme Court agreed to consider as a fine example of strict constructionism and noted that Judge Laurence Silberman read “The Federalist Papers” and other writings and speeches at the time the Bill of Rights was written to see what the authors intended.
Let me highlight the relevant point, that precedent might trump even a wrongly decided case like Roe.
He's not hiding it, he's not trying to fool you, he's right in your face with it. I'm going to appoint judges who will not overturn Roe vs. Wade, even though it's bad law, because of stare decisis or using his word, precedent.
There it is plain as the nose on your face. What more can I say?
Posted by farmer Tom at 8:49 PM
Saturday, December 8, 2007
Sunday, December 2, 2007
My analysis of the Des Moines Register articles of Sunday Dec. 2nd.
First, I'm not surprised that Huckabee is now leading in the polls. The anybody but Rudy crowd has hitched their wagon to Mike's horse and they will ignore his big government tendencies, his support until recently of Jorge the Younger's open door policy toward illegal aliens. After all, Mike is a born-again Christian, he's an excellent public speaker, and he's not bad looking either, now that he lost a hundred lbs.
Romney is in free fall. I would not be surprised if he continues to loose support. And his friends aren't helping his cause. The Republican Majority for Choice ran a full page add in todays paper showing Romney's pirouettes on the abortion issue. One day he's pro-baby killer the next pro-life, the next limited baby-killer, the next limited pro-life, only kill part of them, ya know. I quote from the add, Take a stand Mr. Romney. On behalf of the Republican Majority for Choice, ask Mr . Romney to flip-flop just one more time, back to being pro-choice... and stay there. Ouch.
Fred is dead. He will be lucky to finish 5th. He just comes across as, well, old and tired, I don't personally know of anyone still supporting him.
Ron Paul and McCain were tied at 7 percent. Now that is a bit deceiving as McCain is also toast. I only know of one person supporting him and she signed on over a year and a half ago. She is also a party person to the core, so it's his turn in her mind.
Deep in another article is a fascinating piece. In a paragraph entitled
Republicans: Can Paul finish third?
Ron Paul has tied John McCain, an amazing development for both men. But Paul attracts a lot of young people and first-time caucusgoers. Yet based on his rate of gain in a month, Paul could challenge Rudy Giuliani for a third-place finish — if he spends more time in Iowa and some of that wad of money he's raised on the Internet. He needs to show his zealous supporters just how to attend a GOP caucus
This column is written by David Yepsen, a lib, but a relatively fair one. If he thinks Ron Paul has a chance of finishing third, my guess is he knows the numbers are there. He's been a good prognosticator of Iowa elections. In other words Ron Paul is still gaining ground.
Now the other side of the picture. The liberal left (including the entire staff at the Register) hate true Constitutionalists. In this same edition of the paper, where one of their senior news reporters considers the possibility that Ron Paul might finish third on the Republican side ran an editorial article with the title "Recommit to Founding Principles" the issue Civil Liberties
In this article they trash Jorge the Younger for abandoning the Fourth Amendment with the Patriot Act and other attacks on civil liberties. Below this article on the same page is a chart with the candidates positions of the issue. They give all the democrats + scores while giving only John McCain a + score on the republican side(yes the same John McCain of McCain/Feingold). Amazing thing though, Ron Paul is not included on the list. I nearly blew a gasket. One man in the entire campaign, spends time talking about the erosion of our civil liberties and he's completely ignored.
It seems like the Iowa voters are likely to get exactly what they have gotten every time since Reagan. They will choose a good guy who talks the conservative line, and they will get a slow and steady loose of their remaining rights. Instead of voting for a candidate who wants to make a radical move back to the Constitution, they will instead chose the conservation of the here and now, ignoring the fact the we now live under 7 of the ten points of the Communist Manifesto.
Ron Paul Vote for a return to the Constitution
Posted by farmer Tom at 2:58 PM
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Since this blog is supposed to be about more than politics, farming and my ugly face, I want to spend a moment reflecting on this day when we remember the reasons we have to be thankful. I would be willing to wager that if we Googled Thanksgiving today it would be mentioned on thousands of blogs. So we will use the word gratitude instead.
First and foremost I want to express my gratitude to the Creator of the Universe who placed me on this planet, in this country and offered to me the free gift of Salvation through His Risen Son Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:17, 19
17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
Even when all of life's trials and frustrations get us down, we have hope in Jesus Christ.
Secondly, I want to mention my gratitude to God for giving me my wife. I would be a hopeless mess, an unmotivated loser, and probably living in a one room shack with no running water. She is my best friend, my confidante and my lover. I can not imagine life without her.
I also thank God for each of my children. They all have special attributes which are unique to themselves. I'll not go into detail now, suffice to say that our home would be and empty and lonely place without them.
Less important but worth mentioning, I'm grateful for my job, I still live, breath and eat farming. The house we live in, and our church. All of them make our days interesting and exciting.
I'm thankful for the opportunity to teach the jr-sr. High Sunday School Class. It makes me be in the Word, studying to find the words and ideas to explain to them the Truths of God's Word.
As I was taking off my chore cloths this morning I was thankful as well for my wife's new washing machine. We wash hog clothes sometimes twice a day, so it's been a real blessing to have a separate machine to wash the hog clothes in, while washing the good clothes at the same time in the new machine.
Have to go now, family is here for the Thanksgiving Feast.
God Bless all of You on this Day of Gratitude
Posted by farmer Tom at 11:40 AM
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
This post is going way outside my areas of knowledge. I am not an lawyer, nor do I play one on TV, and no I did not stay at Holiday Inn last night. Most of you will already know and understand what I am about to say, good for you. For those who don't, find an honest lawyer, hi Brian, and get him to explain the problems. I first heard about this subject during an interview of Robert Bork on the Mickelson show, (did you hear me today? I talked about this subject with Jan.)
I believe that the Left side of the Republican party is attempting to run a scam on the right wing of the party. I've heard Rudy Giuliani, and Mitt Romney both claim that if they are elected president, that they will appoint strict constructionist judges to the Supreme Court. I have had discussions on the web with many well meaning folks who think we should vote for Rudy because he can beat Hillary, and he will appoint "str. con." judges.
First, I don't believe that Rudy can beat Hillary, because people like me will never vote for a pro-baby killer, no matter what party he or she is in. Besides why vote for the lesser of two evils when you can get the exact same policies from evil personified? Vote for the more evil of the two evils if thats your choice, you don't settle for second worst on most other things in life, go for the worst you can get.
Secondly, you have to actually trust the candidates making these promises, a rather questionable assumption in my opinion. If the one can't keep his marriage vows, twice, why should I believe a promise to appoint str. con. judges?? The other was pro-baby killing up until 15 months ago, why should I believe a man who suddenly changed his mind on the issue of life, just weeks before he declared himself a candidate for President? The Bible talks about not appointing a novice as a leader, heres a guy who didn't know what he believed was wrong less than two years ago??
Thirdly, and this is the main point here, I believe the Strict Constructionist thing is a scam, a ruse to fool the rubes, a gambit intended to convince the uninformed that the justices that these guy will appoint will overturn Roe vs, Wade, when in fact they have just the opposite in mind.
I'm sailing off the edge now, so hang on. From the Manchester Union-Leader.
"Rudy Giuliani today said social conservatives could achieve most of their objectives under his presidential administration, despite his pro-choice stance.
The former New York City mayor said he would appoint strict constructionist judges to the Supreme Court in the mold of Samuel Alito, John Roberts, Antonin Scalia, and Clarence Thomas — all conservatives nominated by Republican Presidents.
There are as many as 200 federal judicial appointments which are at stake in the 2008 election, Giuliani added. “If you get Hillary, there are 200 liberal judges,” he said. “If you get me, there are 200 conservative judges.”
The following is taken form Wikipedia, I realize that it is not an authoritative source but for the purposes of this post it will do.
Strict constructionism refers to a particular legal philosophy of judicial interpretation that limits or restricts judicial interpretation. In the United States the phrase is also commonly used more loosely as a generic term for conservativism among the judiciary.
Strict sense of the term
In its strict sense, strict construction requires a judge to apply the text as it is written and no further, once the meaning of the text has been ascertained (perhaps using tools such as originalism or purposivism). That is, judges should avoid drawing inference from a statute or constitution. Thus, for example, Justice Hugo Black argued that the First Amendment's injunction that "Congress shall make no law," should be construed strictly: the term "no law," Black thought, admitted virtually no exceptions. However, "strict construction" is not a synonym for textualism or originalism, and many adherents of the latter two philosophies are thus misidentified as "strict constructionists."
The term is often contrasted with the pejorative phrase "judicial activism", used to describe judges who seek to enact legislation through court rulings, although the two terms are not actually opposites.
"Strict constructionism" is also used in American political discourse as an umbrella term for conservative legal philosophies such as originalism and textualism, which emphasize judicial restraint and fidelity to the original meaning (or originally intended meaning) of constitutions and laws. It is frequently used even more loosely to describe any conservative judge or legal analyst. This usage is pervasive, but in some tension with the legal meaning of the term. On the campaign trail in 2000, for example, President George W. Bush promised to appoint "strict constructionists in the mold of Justices Rehnquist, Scalia, and Thomas," though Thomas considers himself an originalist, and Scalia leans more toward textualism on statutory questions rather than true strict constructionism.
The meaning of "strict construction", then, may turn on who uses it in what context; an appellate judge asking counsel at oral argument whether the statute should be construed strictly is likely using the term in its legal sense; a candidate on the campaign trail who promises to appoint or oppose strict constructionists is likely using the term as a surrogate for a broader set of conservative legal views.
The term has been criticized, especally from the left, as being a misleading or meaningless term. Few judges self-identify as strict constructionists, due to the narrow meaning of the term. Antonin Scalia, the justice most identified with the term, has said that he is "not a strict constructionist and no-one ought to be," and has called the philosophy "a degraded form of textualism that brings the whole philosophy into disrepute." In contrast, he claims to look for the ordinary meaning of words, not their "strict" meaning.
To a conservative this may sound good, I think that this is why Pat Robertson endorsed Rudy today because he believes that Rudy will appoint conservative judges who will overturn Roe vs Wade. In fact he said something to that effect in his endorsement speech, from Newsday, Robertson said he was willing to overlook Giulani's pro-abortion rights stance because he takes him at his word that he will appoint "strict constructionist" judges to the Supreme Court and federal bench a widely accepted term for judges likely to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion rights ruling.
Here's the scam. Rather than try to put it in my words, which would be very unclear, I'm going to quote from a piece by Charles Krauthammer from May 11th, then I'll elaborate.
Legalizing abortion by judicial fiat (Roe v. Wade) instead of by democratic means has its price. One is that the issue remains socially unsettled. People take to the streets when they have been deprived of resort to legislative action.
The other effect is to render the very debate hopelessly muddled. Instead of discussing what a decent society owes women and what it owes soon-to-be-born infants, and trying to balance the two by politically hammering out regulations that a broad national consensus can support, we debate the constitutional niceties of a 35-year-old appallingly crafted Supreme Court decision.
Just how tangled the issue gets is illustrated by the current brouhaha over Rudy Giuliani's abortion response in the first Republican presidential debate. Spokesmen for the other candidates have gleefully seized upon what they deem to be Giuliani's gaffe -- not only defying Republican orthodoxy but appearing to want to have it every which way.
On repealing Roe v. Wade:
Giuliani: It would be OK to repeal. It would be also (OK) if a strict constructionist judge viewed it as precedent and I think a judge has to make that decision.
Moderator: Would it be OK if they didn't repeal it?
Giuliani: I think the court has to make that decision and then the country can deal with it. ... states can make their own decisions.
Giuliani's response has been almost universally characterized as a blundering two-way pander. I think not. I've actually heard Giuliani elaborate his position on abortion. His debate answer is an overly concise version of it, which makes it so open to ridicule.
Democrats are pro-choice and have an abortion litmus test for judges they would nominate to the Supreme Court. Giuliani is pro-choice but has no such litmus test. The key phrase in his answer is "strict constructionist judge.'' On judicial issues in general he believes in "strict constructionism,'' the common conservative view that we don't want judges citing penumbral emanations and other constitutional vapors to justify inventing new rights they fancy the country needs.
However, one strict constructionist might look at Roe v. Wade as the constitutional travesty it is and decide to repeal it. Another strict constructionist judge could, with equal conviction, decide that after 35 years the habits and mores shaped by Roe v. Wade are so engrained in society that it should not be overturned.
And there is precedent for strict constructionists accepting even bad constitutional rulings after the passage of time. The most famous recent example is Chief Justice William Rehnquist for years opposing the original 1966 Miranda ruling as "legislating from the bench," but upholding it in 2000 on the grounds that it had become so engrained in American life that its precedental authority trumped its bastard constitutional origins. (He used different words.)
In a country with a rational debate about abortion, Giuliani would simply have been asked how he would regulate (up to and including banning) abortion. That's not a relevant question here because neither presidents nor legislatures nor referendums decide this. Judges do. All presidents do is appoint judges.
Giuliani's answer on how to go about picking such judges is perfectly reasonable. It appears to be a dodge about the abortion issue itself simply because -- thanks to Roe -- every such debate becomes tangled with otherwise irrelevant issues of constitutional doctrine and stare decisis.
the doctrine that rules or principles of law on which a court rested a previous decision are authoritative in all future cases in which the facts are substantially the same.
the principle in common law of adhering to precedent when deciding a legal case Latin 'decided matters' law; v phr 'to be bound by precedents'
A Latin phrase that literally means “to stand on the decisions.” It expresses the common law doctrine that court decisions should be guided by precedent.
Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law
New Latin, to stand by things that have been settled
: the doctrine under which courts adhere to precedent on questions of law in order to insure certainty, consistency, and stability in the administration of justice with departure from precedent permitted for compelling reasons (as to prevent the perpetuation of injustice)
When Rudy talks about appointing strict constructionist judges, he is talking about judges who will honor stare decisis. He and many like him,(I think Romney as well) believe that Roe vs Wade is settled law, and that unless there is some compelling reason, the court will never overturn itself, even if there are 9 conservative judges on the bench. Rudy wants Pat Robertson and you to believe that when he says he will appoint strict Constructionist judges he's talking about judges who will overturn Roe vs Wade, when in reality he is talking about judges who because of stare decisis will leave Roe vs Wade just as it is.
So that's the scam. Kind of a heads I win, tails you lose sort of deal.
If you would like to read more on stare decisis, here is a good article.
another interesting article is here,
Well that's our law lesson for today.
Posted by farmer Tom at 8:05 PM
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Now I've known for years that I was not going to win any beauty contests. You've heard all the sayings, Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clear to the bone! He's got a face that would make a train take a side street! When God gave out good looks, you were behind the barn!
I was amazed when my lovely wife actually said yes when I asked her to marry me, I didn't realize she was blind. She is an artist, maybe she saw something in this block of stone that nobody else could see, or maybe she felt sorry for me. On the other hand, my children profess to love me, but it's not like they have another dad to say that too. I mean really, they don't know any better.
Ok, what does that have to do with anything. Well, I've never posted a picture of myself, because I figured it would scare away those of you who comment here. It's one thing to post on a blog as a nameless, faceless person, it's another thing to have a freak of nature post on your blog or to post on the freaks blog. Be patient I'm getting there,...
So it's been raining since last Saturday, and on Sunday it rained close to 5 inches down in Southwest Iowa where I came from. On Monday my youngest brother called saying that the river was out on his corn field. He and his lovely wife were going to get away for a part of the day, kind of a mental break from the stress of farming and did we want to meet them in Ames at our favorite eating establishment, Hickory Park? Now I'm ugly but I ain't stupid, so I called Mrs. farmer told her to start making plans for supper at Hickory Park.
My brother and his wife had a baby in June, I posted about that previously. She is cute as a bugs ear. My girls were looking forward to holding the baby. My brothers wife likes the fact that we have three baby sitters and I was drooling over the BBQ ribs we were going to eat. Everybody's happy, ........not so much!!
This picture is a classic. I believe that this expression is exactly how every woman I've ever met feels when they first see me. The combination of horror, fear and revulsion is amazing. So to prove to you, that I am truly scary to look at, that women are filled with revulsion when they see me, I for the first time am posting a picture which includes my face.
You have been warned. I have it on good authority that Spacebunny still has nightmares after Mrs. farmer and I met her at a homeschool conference. It is entirely possible that your computer screen may break, the hard drive on your computer may go up in smoke, you may be blinded. Do not look at this picture while eating or drinking, it may cause your digestive tract to reverse course.
Please concentrate on the cute little girl I am holding. Pray that she will not be scarred for life. Ok, enough stalling.
Don't ya feel sorry for that cute little doll? In all of her life she may never encounter something so vile and repugnant as this face.
Hope I made you laugh.
Doesn't she look cute when she's not terrified of her ugly uncle??
Posted by farmer Tom at 1:42 PM
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Soybean harvest is moving along. Yields are good. We have had several light rain showers in the last week, so we will combine for a few hours when the ground and the beans are good and dry then wait till the next day/afternoon before we can go again. The ground is damp enough that in the evening when the sun goes down, the header will not slide along the top of the ground, it starts pushing up leaves from the soybeans then pretty soon it makes a clump and starts pushing dirt along with it.
So we are limited to nice dry daylight hours for the harvesting of soybeans.
I spent the afternoon running the grain cart which we use to catch the grain coming out of the combine on the go. That way the combine never stops to unload, it goes on across the field while the tractor and grain cart go over to the truck filling it with the beans.
I don't have any pictures of that yet, need someone else to run the camera.
Normally the Lovely Lady Leah runs the grain cart but she was gone today so I filled in. When she got back, then I returned to my normal tasks, fixing things and driving the truck and/or tractor and wagons back to the bin to unload.
Oct 7th, an Update,
Soybean harvest is over, got done yesterday afternoon. Now we will concentrate on corn harvest and spreading hog manure. Looks like rain for tomorrow, so repair jobs and livestock chores will be on the list. There is no rest for the farmer.
Posted by farmer Tom at 8:09 PM
Thursday, September 13, 2007
We have started chopping ear corn silage. I have no time to blog, hardly time to see my family.
A couple of quick pictures to show the change of seasons.
I do not have a picture of the huge spiders that always appear this time of year in the silo house, the building at the bottom of the silos, where the silo unloaders drop the feed. Each fall they string large webs across every space in the building, so that when I go in there in the morning, I carry a broom, otherwise, I come out looking like some creature from a horror movie, all wrapped up in cobwebs.
The first picture is of the corn as it reaches maturity. Notice how the plant dries up from both the top and bottom. All of the energy in the plant is moving to the grain.
The second show the different maturity rates on a couple of varieties of soybeans planted on the same day in May. Since this picture was taken, the beans on the left have nearly lost all their leaves, and will probably be combined by the end of next week.
The last one was taken this afternoon as I checked to see how full the silo was getting. I hate heights, so I was hanging on for dear life. The lovely Mrs. farmer took the picture.
I've got to run, we load cattle at 5:00 in the morning. Did that today as well, and didn't get home until 8:00pm. Long days.
Posted by farmer Tom at 7:57 PM
Monday, August 27, 2007
I was rereading a section of the book, "Christianity and the Constitution" by John Eidsmoe. I wondered if any of you had ever read this before. I posted the same thing over at Vox's today and then decided I should post it here as well.
From "The New Freedom" by Woodrow Wilson
One of the chief benefits I used to derive from being president of a university was that I had the pleasure of entertaining thoughtful men from all over the world. I cannot tell you how much has dropped into my granary by their presence. I had been casting around in my mind for something
by which to draw several parts of my political thought together when it was my good fortune to entertain a very interesting Scotsman who had been devoting himself to the philosophical thought of the seventeenth century. His talk was so engaging that it was delightful to hear him speak of anything, and presently there came out of the unexpected region of his thought the thing I had been waiting for. He called my attention to the fact that in every generation all sorts of speculation and thinking tend to fall under the formula of the dominant thought of the age. For example, after the Newtonian Theory of the universe had been developed, almost all thinking tended to express itself in the analogies of the Newtonian Theory, and since the Darwinian Theory has reigned amongst us, everybody is likely to express whatever he wishes to expound in terms of development and accommodation to environment.
Now, it came to me, as this interesting man talked, that the Constitution of the United States had been made under the dominion of the Newtonian Theory. You have only to read the papers of The Federalist to see that fact written on every page. They speak of the "checks and balances" of the Constitution, and use to express their idea the simile of the organization of the universe, and particularly of the solar system,— how by the attraction of gravitation the various parts are held in their orbits; and then they proceed to represent Congress, the Judiciary, and the President as a sort of imitation of the solar system. They were only following the English Whigs, who gave Great Britain its modern constitution. Not that those Englishmen analyzed the matter, or had any theory about it; Englishmen care little for theories. It was a Frenchman, Montesquieu, who pointed out to them how faithfully they had copied Newton's description of the mechanism of the heavens. The makers of our Federal Constitution read Montesquieu with true scientific enthusiasm. They were scientists in their way,— the best way of their age,— those fathers of the nation. Jefferson wrote of "the laws of Nature,"—and then by way of afterthought,— "and of Nature's God." And they constructed a goveminent as they would have constructed an orrery,— to display the laws of nature. Politics in their thought was a variety of mechanics. The Constitution was founded on the law of gravitation. The government was to exist and move by virtue of the efficacy of "checks and balances." The trouble with the theory is that government is not a machine, but a living thing. It falls, not under the theory of the universe, but under the theory of organic life. It is accountable to Darwin, not to Newton. It is modified by its environment, necessitated by its tasks, shaped to its functions by the sheer pressure of life. No living thing can have its organs offset against each other, as checks, and live. On the contrary, its life is dependent upon their quick co-operation, their ready response to the commands of instinct or intelligence, their amicable community of purpose. Government is not a body of blind forces; it is a body of men, with highly differentiated functions, no doubt, in our modern day, of specialization, with a common task and purpose. Their co-operation is indis-pensable, their warfare fatal. There can be no
successful government without the intimate, instinctive co-ordination of the organs of life
and action. This is not theory, but fact, and displays its force as fact, whatever theories may
be thrown across its track. Living political constitutions must be Darwinian in structure
and in practice. Society is a living organism and must obey the laws of life, not of mechanics; it must develop. All that progressives ask or desire is permission—in an era when "development," "evolution," is the scientific word — to interpret the Constitution according to the Darwinian principle; all they ask is recognition of the fact that a nation is a living thing and not a machine. Some citizens of this country have never got beyond the Declaration of Independence, signed in Philadelphia, July 4th, 1776. Their bosoms swell against George III, but they have no consciousness of the war for freedom that is going on to-day.
Posted by farmer Tom at 7:08 PM
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Some thoughts about the straw poll.
First, about the voter numbers. In both '95 (Bob Dull) and '99(GW) the winners buses in huge numbers from out of state. There was no provision made to make certain that only Iowans were voting. I have always believed that neither of them would have won if only Iowans had been the voters. So the number of voters was inflated because many simply voted with tickets provided by the campaigns.
This year was much different, when the lovely Mrs. farmer and I voted we had to show our drivers license as proof of Iowa residency then after recieving a ballot, put our thumb on a pad of indelible ink. Then we voted on a paper ballot which was then fed into a Diebold? counter. BTW, the number of tickets sold is deceiving as well, I had signed up with both the Ron Paul and Tom Tancredo campaigns for free tickets. So the wife and I had four tickets. My younger brother had signed up with Tancredo, but his tickets would not allow him to go into the auditorium to hear the candidates speak(there was number limit on that for seating purposes). I gave him two tickets, so he and his wife were able to get in, then the tickets he had been given to vote, but not hear the speeches went unused. I know of several others which signed up for tickets with more than one campaign.
As far as it goes, this system was still better than the last vote at the str-pll. That is why there were so many less votes cast. I heard several people asking how they could get an Iowa id to beat the system, but for the most part I think the vote was honest.
On the other hand, if you have big bucks, Romany had them, then all you had to do to win was get the bodies, warm breathing but unthinking bodies to vote. Romany had buses from every one of the 99 counties in Iowa and large counties had more than one. He had also rented over a hundred golf carts. His strategy was very simple, get as many old geezers as you can, give them a free ride to Ames, don't make them walk from the parking to the event, feed them the best food in town, Hickory Park Barbecue, then carry their stuffed, portly ass over to the voting machine. Along with this plan, never mention change in any other than rhetorical fashion, so mr and mrs geezer think the SS and medicare checks will keep coming, and ta da you gots yourself a winner.
I had several friends and acquaintances there, all of them remarked on the large numbers of geezers in the Romany contingent. Throw in a number of faithful wearing the Holy underoos and it was a slam dunk.
I was surprised that Brownback did as well as he did, there were not a lot of signs of public support. I guessed he was going to lose to Huckabee but I would have guessed that Tancredo would beat him as well.
It was not just presidential campaigns there though, FairTax had a huge presence as well and the NRA, all six in my family got free hats from NRA, several groups lobbying for change in SS law, repeal of Real ID, even a group trying to petition Alan Keyes to make another run for President.
All the candidates had food, I ate a light breakfast at Tancredo's tent, Krispy Kremes and fresh fruit. Most had a stage with entertainment acts, bands speakers etc. There where lots of families. You know the type, us homeshool parents with 4, 5, 6, or more kids in tow, I know one family with eleven was there. Brownback, Paul and Romany had games, slides, inflatables for the kids to play on.
Ron Paul had by far the most volunteer help there. They literally lined the streets and sidewalks with volunteers holding signs and shouting Ron Paul. I think if all of them could have voted he might have won. Saturday morning Dr. Paul's wife was admitted to the hospital with an irregular heart beat, so he was late arriving at the event.
I had to leave at noon to attend a wedding, so I did not get to hear the speeches. According to my brother, who did not hear them all, Romany was perfect, looked perfect(looked like he spent a week in the tanning bed), spoke perfect, no stutters or stumbles, paused at the right times for applause, just did a perfect acting job playing the part of a conservative in the mold of RR. And the geezers ate it up like candy.
Tancredo on the other hand stuttered and stumbled, spoke during the applause, lost his place several times, so had to look at the written copy, not a good performance by any standard.
And yes I voted for Ron Paul.
more info is in the Des Moines Register Sunday edition online.
Posted by farmer Tom at 12:59 PM
Thursday, August 9, 2007
First, let me tell you about my upcoming weekend. Tomorrow, (Friday), I'm taking my first day off in several months. A close friend is getting married on Saturday at 2:00. Friday evening I volunteered to cook the rehearsal supper for his parents. So I'm in the process of loading up the second family truckster(spell check doesn't like that word) with all the necessary things one would require to cook steaks and toast garlic bread on a grill for a group of 50. We will be serving Black Label Certified Angus Beef rib eyes.
Early Saturday morning I will drive from the town where the wedding is to be held, the 15 miles or so to Ames for the Straw Poll. I understand that most of the candidates will start serving food of some kind by 10:00 AM. I think that we can also cast ballots at 10:00 AM. I know that the NRA is having a big shindig, Newt is going to be there shilling for his "think tank"/foundation whatever their calling it these days. Each candidate will give a 15 minute speech starting at noon. I however will need to leave, at or around noon to go back and get dressed for attending the wedding, which starts at 2:00 PM. After the wedding and reception to follow, I will probably change clothes again, then head back to Ames, where they are supposed to announce the winners at 7:00 PM. Then, if I know my wife, she will suggest that we go to Hickory Park in Ames and consume a rack of pork ribs. I tell all of you, with utmost sincerity, they is the best poke ribs I ever done et, period, bar none.
Now the stuff you have been waiting for. Who am I going to vote for?
I will not, nor have I ever to my knowledge voted for a pro-baby killer candidate for any office. So Rudy is out. Since I believe McCain neutered himself with his pro-amnesty position, and I would never vote for anyone who help write, voted for or had anything to do with McCain-Feingold, John is done, stick a fork in him.
I believe that Mitt Romney is one of the most slimy politicians to ever come down the track. This man has changed positions more often than the hands on a clock. I tell you with all sincerity, I would rather have Hillary as a president than this guy. We know Hillary is evil incarnate. The normally spineless Republicans might actually stand up to her. Mitt on the other hand would say and or do anything if he thought it was popular. I think the man would show you his magic underoos if he was convinced it would get a few more votes.
I claim to be a Constitutionalist. I believe that we should treat the founding documents of our secular government exactly how I as a fundamentalist treat the Holy Scripture. Scripture is to be interpreted according to the original intent of the Author. This is why I believe in Sola Scriptura, using Scripture to interpret Scripture. In the same way, we should interpret the Constitution according to the original intent of the writers.
Let me give you an example I mentioned on a previous post. I can find nowhere in the Constitution where the federal government has any authority to be involved in education. In the 2000 race for president, when GWB said that he had a plan called "No Child Left Behind" I refused to vote for him, because that program is outside the jurisdiction of the federal government. He claimed to be a "compassionate conservative" but the first policy he purposed was a vast increase the feds involvement in education.
I referenced an article in the DSM Register about the candidates stand on education. Brownback, Hunter and Tommy Thompson all talked about tinkering around the edges. More teacher, more accountability, more advanced classes, report cards for the schools (Thompson), none of those three mentioned anything about the unconstitutional role the federal government has in doing anything related to education. Romney purposed,(and I'm not making this up) "providing laptops to all middle and high school students". Funny thing, here is the same guy running radio adds in which he claims to be a small government conservative.
The question the Register asked is as follows,
What would you do to ensure U.S. fourth-graders are competitive in academic achievement with their international peers in math science and reading? Only two of the nine candidates gave an answer which fits with my worldview.
I was very disturbed by Mike Huckabee's answer. He said he would create preschool programs and implement a program similar to Arkansas' Smart Start which targets children in kindergarten through forth grade increase standards and accountability measures.
That is not a conservative position. The federal government has no authority to create "mo and better" programs. In fact he sounds a whole lot like GWB on the topic. I will not be voting for Mr. Huckabee. I think he's a nice man, but in the end, he believes that government is the solution to the problem. I believe government is the problem.
Tom Tancredo said, "He does not favor the expansion of the federal governments role in public education." and he would work to repeal "no-child left behind" because it strips away local control.
And Ron Paul said, "he would get the federal government out of the classroom and allow states and local officials and parents to make the decisions that are best for their individual situations."
He also said, " NCLB is unconstitutional legislation that usurped state and local authority over education . He would seek to repeal this law and give the money being spent to America's parents so they could once again be in charge of their children's educations."
So there are two candidates which have actually read and understand the constitution. Ron Paul and Tom Tancredo. All the rest are just liberals, claiming to be Ronald Rega
I will vote for one of the two. I will reveal which one on Sunday evening, since we won't get home till Sunday evening.
So it's Ron Paul and/or Tom Tancredo. I know I left you hanging. I really have not made up my mind. I see positives and negatives for each. Until Sunday evening.
God Bless America
Posted by farmer Tom at 9:43 PM
Monday, August 6, 2007
I went and heard Dr. Ron Paul speak tonight. According to a friend my ample backside made it on TV. The lovely Mrs. farmer Tom went with me, then we went to our favorite Mexican place for supper.
It's 11:00 pm and I have to load cattle at 5:00 AM, I'm going to bed. I will provide comments on Dr. Paul's speech tomorrow.
Posted by farmer Tom at 10:05 PM
Sunday, August 5, 2007
As I've written or said on numerous occasions, Jan Mickelson on WHO 1040 radio and web is my favorite talk show host. I've heard him turn more than one guest into a quivering puddle of flesh after an intense disscussion of the issues. One of my favorites was a Catholic Priest telling Jan that the Scripture was wrong. I laughed for an hour that morning.
Anyway, Jan had Mitt as a fly by guest on Thursday. It got rather heated off air, Jan even said something to the effect that the off-air conversation was better than the on-air one. This morning I found this video link.
Taylor still has not showed me how to create links, so copy this and paste it, then watch the video, very entertaining stuff.
Here's the video.
Posted by farmer Tom at 7:47 AM
Monday, July 30, 2007
I have been pondering the many different political candidates, their statements, speeches, spinning, sniveling, and stupidity, and have been frustrated, exasperated and irritated and once in a while have been pleased with something one of them has said. How's that for a long sentence??
I think that I have reached the point where I have decided who I am supporting and why.
But, I have some personal questions to ask of this particular candidate before I formally commit.
So I am not going to announce yet. I think I'm convinced, but I want clarity on several issues.
Now I realize that this is a tease. I'm talking politics, and not revealing my hand. Tough. I'm not shy, and when I get ready to tell y'all I will speak right up. Until then I am going to pray about it some more, read some more articles, and attend another speech or two.
I have a couple of questions to ask of my reader(s). Are there more than one of you?
Did you see the chart/article on the candidates and their ideas about education in the
Des Moines Sunday Register? I don't care which candidate you think your supporting, which one has the most logical, Biblical, and Constitutional stand on education?
Hint, if you think it's the one that is going to "provide laptop computers to all middle and high school students". (BTW, I'm not making that up.) Then you and I have two totally different views of the world.
If you think creating more preschool and head start programs is the answer, you and I are also seeing the world through different glasses.
In less than two weeks, the Iowa Straw Poll will be taking place in Ames. I am planning to be there, I have arranged for tickets, and I am going to vote in the Straw Poll. Between now and then I will tell you who I have decided to vote for. Until I tell you, I'm praying, reading, listening, and looking to find a man of true principle and character. Are there any in the race?
Posted by farmer Tom at 8:55 PM
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Kucinich hospitalized with apparent food poisoning
CLEVELAND - Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, who is a vegan, has been hospitalized with "severe" effects of apparent food poisoning.
The 60-year-old congressman from Cleveland became sick Sunday night while flying to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to address the national Longshoremen's convention. He went ahead with the speech Monday but immediately returned home and was hospitalized in the Cleveland area.
The name of the hospital wasn't disclosed. Andy Juniewicz, a campaign spokesman, said Kucinich was improving Tuesday night and said no medical update was available Wednesday morning.
Kucinich, a former Cleveland mayor, typically polls in the low single digits.
What a hoot. All these vegans who are worried about their food being tainted and then stuff like this happens, this is high quality humor. Hope you get to feeling better soon, dude. Maybe if you'd eat a steak Dennis, you'd feel better.
Posted by farmer Tom at 7:45 PM
Thursday, July 5, 2007
Since the days of my youth, too many years ago now, the old timers would talk about the corn crop looking good if it was "Knee high, by the 4th of July". Now this saying was directly related to the fact that the corn was typically not planted until after the 5th of May and sometimes the real procrastinators would not be done planting corn till near the 1st of June. Over the years we have learned something about growing corn. Every day after the 15th of May, some are saying the 10th, reduces yield by one bushel. In other words corn planted on the 20th of April should yield 20 to 25 bushel an acre more than corn planted on the 15th of May. Using a price of $3.00 dollars a bushel, we're talking about $60 to $75 dollars an acre for planting early. In the cutthroat farming game, those dollars are far to precious to let slip away. So, most corn planted in north Iowa this year was planted between the 20th of April and May 10th. This planting window allows for rainy days or even a week, multiple fields and other things which are required to produce a crop, such as manure hauling, fertilizer application and spraying.
All of which, helps to explain this picture. The corn was planted on (I think) April 28th, we have so far had adequate rainfall, and warm weather. Corn needs a certain number of "heat units", ie days with x amount of BTU's in sunshine, to reach maturity. I'm not giving a specific number because this number varies according to the number of days a particular varity takes to reach maturity. Some corn takes 98 days to reach maturity, some takes 114 days. A farmer will plant some corn from several different groups to spread his risk, each group will be affected differently by the weather conditions, rainfall during pollination, and other factors such as bugs, fungus, and wind. This corn in the picture has been growing for 68 days. It will tassel, and begin pollination in the next 5 days. Yields will be much better if we recieve rain during pollination. The the pollen falling down onto the silks on the ears of corn will stick and pollinate the plant better if they are wet.
As you can see, this corn is a little past knee high, on my seven year-old.
The crop is looking good. We'll need a rain in the next ten days, and not to much heat, it was over 90 today.
Posted by farmer Tom at 8:17 PM
Monday, July 2, 2007
Before I started this blog I had several on-line converstation with people who asked questions about commercial fertilizer, organic crops and modern agriculture. Now I work on a farm where most of the latest and best agriculture practices are used. Some, maybe even most are related to large scale production, this does not make them wrong, it simply means that the goal of this operation is to produce as many bushels of corn and beans as possible with the lowest possible amount of inputs(costs). Nothing is done that will not show a financial return. Money is not spent on needless trips across the fields, or spraying chemical just to make the paranoid enviromentalist/luddites have a hissy fit.
I would be glad to expand on that paragraph. If you have questions, I'll try to answer, but the post tonight is about the effects of commercial fertilizer. Someone questioned why put good money in the ground by putting on anhydrous ammonia(NH3), as I showed pictures of in a previous post. One of the most important nutrients necessary for growing corn. Without the nitrogen the corn plant is pale almost yellow, it is stunted in height, and most importantly without nitrogen during the pre pollination stage, the corn plant is already determining ear length and the number of rows of kernals. Without nitrogen those things will be considerably smaller, leading directly to reduced yields. And since high yields are the goal, having all the nitrogen available to the plant when it needs it is critical.
The following picture is an excellent illustration of this lack of nitrogen effect. One of the tool bars shown in that previous post, had a plugged knife,(three different operators, none of us noticed the the knife was not working correctly) the part which goes into the ground, injecting the NH3 into the soil. As a result, each pass made with the toolbar left a streak in the field where little or no NH3 was applied. As you can see in the picture, the corn is yellow, stunted (a foot shorter) and generally unhealthy compared to the field around it. A dark green plant, with high levels of chlorophyll is going to be much more effective in the photosynthesis process, turning the energy of the sun, into grain. This particular field was corn on corn, so there was little nitrogen left from the previous year,(remember soybeans add nitrogen back to the soil). On the fields which were corn on beans this streak is not noticable.
On Saturday we went to southern Iowa to see that new baby. It was good to see everybody again. Got to be there on my parents 45th wedding anniversery. I have a couple of pictures from down in the hill country of southern Iowa. Some people have the mistaken notion that Iowa is all flat as a board, with nothing but corn and bean fields interupted by the occasional hog building. Not where I grew up. This is some timber land on the home farm.
Before the summer is over I intend to take my family camping in that timber, as well as any other friends who are tough enough not to have to sleep in a house on wheels. We are going to rough it for a couple of nights, no running water, no electricty and no TV. The next picture is standing in roughly the same spot looking the other direction at a huge old oak tree. The tires in the foreground were used at several church youth outtings sponsored by my younger brother for games, like roll the tire race, run through the tire race, stack the tires over the little kid (just joking).
This last picture I am especially proud of. My second daughter, one of the twins, took this one at dusk, looking west from our yard. We gave her the digital camera for Christmas, and she is beginning to show some real talent in the photography field. I let the kids read the comments ya'll make, so if you like it, say something and she'll see it. Can you see the firefly in the middle?
Posted by farmer Tom at 5:43 PM
Friday, June 22, 2007
I was going to post some more farming pictures, but I took those on the daughters camera, and she has it at Bible camp, so no pictures.
I got an e-mail asking why I hadn't posted on immigration, a good question. Two reasons, well three if you count the lazy thing, anyway, first I believe that Jorge the Younger clearly stated in the 2000 campaign that he was going to push some kind of "amnesty", although he refused to call it that, so I for one am not suprised that he is failing to follow his Constitutional duty to defend this country from invaders from the south. He told us he wanted them to come here, it's one reason I never voted for him. Secondly, I've reached a level of frustration with the media that can not be described. The reponse of the public to this abominable piece of legislation was profound, yet if one were to believe the news vendors, this is no big deal, business as usual, same old same old. I'm afraid if I were to actually say exactly what I thought about the subject I would have some government agency showing up at my door, wanting to know why I had advocated packing illegals into schools buses like sardines and shipping them back across our southern border like lawbreaking trespassers. I'd be accused of being racist or some such foolishness. I don't care who you are and what color your hide is, if you are here illegally,GO HOMEand the sooner the better. I have relatives who would like to immigrate here legally and ya'll are making it impossible for them to get in.
I have also typed up a rather scathing note to the author of the book I reviewed earlier. I gave her book a favorable review, I've even given a few copies to young women that my wife and I know, I like her thoughts on having an "agent". But twice now I tried to post at her blog some comments about her tendency to blame men for all of the problems between the sexes, while refusing to acknowledge that her lifestyle, thought processes and even her own personal description tend to make her sound like a feminist. From her blog, Occupation: Author, Attorney and Homemaker
a Biblical woman would not put her children and husband last. Debbie the proper way to list these things is as follows. Wife, mother, then sometimes author, and if I have to so we don't starve, lawyer. If the lawyer thing is more important than the homemaker thing, her priorities are all out of wack, which is exactly what I've been trying to tell her.
If she keeps refusing to have a discussion about her feminist leanings I'll have to post my entire letter here.
Congrats to my youngest brother. He and his lovely bride had a bouncing baby girl on Monday. Haven't seen her yet, although from what I've been told we can thank the Lord for several things, one, a safe delivery, two, that some minor problems for the baby after the birth seem to be gone, and lastly, the child looks like her mother. Life is hard enough for little girls without being born with the disavantge of looking like your father.
Enough foolishness for now,
Ok a quick story. Two weeks ago Saturday Tom Tancredo was speaking in a town nearby. I worked most of the day hauling cattle floor(crap), onto a recently harvested alfalfa field. The meeting was at 6 I got home from work at 5:25, the Mrs was at a homeschool conference, ran through the shower, told the kids to behave until their mother got home(about 6:00) and hurried out the door and down the lane at 5:40. I can make the meeting right on time if I hurry. I made it three miles before the local county mounty busted me for speeding. I was stopped and sitting on the side of the road, ranting about my bad day, before he hardly had his lights on. I just stood on the brakes and pulled off to the side, stopped so fast he had to drive by and turn around to get behind me. He comes up to the door, asks for license, registration, and proof of insurance. I'm not particually happy, made some comments about what a lousy day I was having, trying to be at a meeting at 6:00 etc. He said, "Don't get mad at me," I said, "I'm not blaming you, I am just having a very bad day". He went back to his car to do his thing, I'm thinking, great, a ticket I can't afford, on my driving record, and late to the meeting beside.
About thirty seconds later he comes running back to my van. He has all my paperwork (license, registration, and proof of insurance) in one hand, he shoves it into my hand, waves his finger on the other hand at me and shouts SLOW DOWN, runs back to his car jumps in, and races away with tires squealing and lights flashing.
Now the question is, is it correct to thank God for keeping me from getting a ticket, or should I be confessing for having been driving to fast? What'da think, thanks or confession?
Posted by farmer Tom at 6:39 PM
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
In the previous post, I put up a column which showed the huge amount of money that has been transfered to production agriculture in the last 10 years. Now with the advent of the ethanol industry, the price for grain has risen, subsidies are no longer necessary, and the livestock industry is actually having to pay a price for the grain it consumes, which reflects a real cost of production, rather than a subsidised cost. After all the money that livestock sector has made in the last few years, one can easily guess the response. They want things the way they used to be. So they are now intent on killing the ethanol/biofuels industry.
I'm posting a link here, which gives more details on this fight. This writer,who I highly respect, has been dead on, in his analysis of the ethanol business, the changes in production agriculture, and the price changes relative to those conditions.
Since I still can't seem to make the links work, you'll have to cut and paste this to your search engine.
Go there and read this column, and any others you see, you'll get some good insite into the farming business.
Posted by farmer Tom at 6:26 PM
Saturday, June 2, 2007
This is a copy of a column written by a guy I read regularly. He tends to see things from a liberal point of view and I do not agree with him alot of the time, but I believe that this one column does a great job of explaining some of the current problems in production agriculture. After you have read this, in a couple of days I will post another column from another writer who will show some of the effects of this problem.
Sir Isaac Newton meets Congress
Newton's Third Law of Motion,
"For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction," has direct application to the physics of Farm Bills.
For example, the 1995 Farm Bill, Freedom to Farm or F2F for short, was to run seven years and cost taxpayers $50 billion. Congress, however, wrote such an unbalanced law that it ended the "market-oriented" experiment a year early after the U.S. Treasury blew through more than $100 billion of your money.
Congress's arrogance of accounting -- "$50 billion? $100 billion? Whatever." -- was matched only by its ignorance of physics. F2F's action of unbridling production and subsidy spending delivered a predictable reaction: a nine-year run of over-production, low prices and enormous subsidies.
The opposite and equal reactions to this cheap grain policy then rippled through the rest of agriculture, according to Timothy Wise of Tufts University's Global and Sustainable Development Program.
In a Feb. 26 paper released by Tufts, Wise calculates F2F dropped U.S. corn prices 23 percent and U.S. soybean prices 15 percent below their respective costs of production from 1997 through 2005.
In turn -- and here comes Newton -- livestock "feed prices were an estimated 21 percent below production costs for poultry and 26 percent below costs for the hog industry."
The cheap feed became a windfall for the big pig and poultry gang. Based upon "available market share information," Wise and Tufts policy analysts estimate the "economic savings for the top broiler and hog producers from (the) below-cost feed from 1997-2005" was a collective $19.75 billion.
The flood of institutionalized, cheap feed lifted the biggest boats the highest. Tyson Foods, calculates Tufts, saved an estimated $2.6 billion in feed costs in poultry operations over the nine years; GoldKist saved $1.13 billion; Pilgrim's Pride $1 billion and ConAgra Poultry $900 million.
The pig boys fattened themselves at F2F's trough, too. Smithfield, estimates Tufts, saved $2.54 billion on feed from 1997 through 2005; Premium Standard saved $680 million. Two other pork giants, Seaboard and Prestage benefited to the tune of $678 million and $426 million, respectively.
The cheap feed caused a chain reaction: huge profits funded the continued integration of the meat industry.
In late 2003, Pilgrim's Pride bought competitor ConAgra Poultry for $590 million and leapfrogged GoldKist to become America's biggest cluck. Then, this past January, Pilgrim's Pride completed its purchase of GoldKist (for $1.1 billion) to become the cock of the walk.
The others giants used their F2F savings to integration ends, also. In 2003, Tyson's bought beef giant IBP for $3.2 billion and, on May 4, Smithfield bought Premium Standard for $1 billion.
The F2F-funded concentration and integration of market power had other, on-farm consequences. For example, the number of independent U.S. pork producers fell from 138,690 in 1997 to 65,540 in 2005
In fact, in 2005, only 115 pork operations, or 0.2 percent of all operations, produced 55 percent of all hogs in America. In 1997, that same ratio was 20 times larger: 4 percent produced 55 percent.
All of the above should serve as inarguable background now that Congress is eyeball-deep into writing the 2007 Farm Bill. Its legislative actions, as in 1995 and 2002, will fuel market reactions. Yet, few Farm Bill writers seem to know Newton's Third Law.
As proof, House aggies already are robbing conservation programs to underwrite a massive, near-doubling of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, a program whose largest beneficiary is big livestock producers.
That action carries this predicable reaction: more and larger animal confinement units, more environmental problems and fewer independent livestock producers.
Farm Bills can do many things, but they shouldn't finance big agbiz getting bigger.
Columnist Alan Guebert has covered food production and ag policy for more than 20 years. He can contacted at email@example.com or by writing to 21673 Lago Drive, Delavan, IL 61734
Posted by farmer Tom at 12:03 PM
Thursday, May 24, 2007
It's has been a long and busy spring. I had my daughter take a few pictures of the different phases of planting a crop. She did a splendid job of excluding my ugly face from most of them. I refuse to post the pic of my ample posterior.
First up is a photo of applying anhydrous ammonia. I'm no chemist, nor do I play one ever, but NH3 is made from natural gas and contains high levels of nitrogen. Nitrogen is an essential for growing corn. Without additional nitrogen the plant is limited in its ability to produce yields above that of the naturally occuring nitrogen in the soil. NH3 is a liquid which expands into a gas. In the field application process, the desired result is to get the liquid into the ground where the nitrogen attaches to moisture in the soil. If it is allowed to come in contact with air, it will turn into its gas form and escape into the atmosphere. So the liquid is literally knifed into the soil at a depth of about 7 inches.
Here are two tractors and tool bars one with 17 knives and one with 19 knives, the tanks that they are pulling (one set, two tanks) each hold about 2000 gallon of liquid NH3. How many acres that will cover is dependent on the rate of application. Assuming a goal of 180 bushel of corn, allow one pound of nitrogen per acre x the yield of the soybeans raised on that ground the previous year, (soybeans put nitrogen back into the soil), average yeilds last year were in the 60 bushel range. So we have 180-60= 120 lbs of nitrogen needed to grow a 180 bushel corn crop. Using round numbers each set of tanks will cover about 60 acres. It's a whole different formula when growing corn on ground which was corn the previous year. Corn takes nitrogen out of the soil and does not put any back, so to grow 180 bushel corn it will require more than 180 lbs of NH3. In that case the same set of tanks will only cover about 38 acres.
In the last photo I'm hooking up the hose which takes the NH3 from the tanks to the bar for distribution to the knives.
Posted by farmer Tom at 7:50 PM
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
The "tolerance" crowd at Iowa State University has proved once again that they really do not want diversity, rather they want to force every one to believe as they do. When a Professor at their school writes a book challenging their sacred worldview, uniformitarianism, their reaction is not a celebration of the diversity of thought and an intellectual discussion of his work. Oh, no, the reaction is to blackball the guy. Iowa State University can not tolerate someone who does not march in lockstep with the atheistic/materialistic worldview.
Follow this link, it shows the book that caused an Iowa State Professor, Guillermo Gonzalez, to be refused tenure.
The thing about this travesty that galls me the most is that the attack on Dr. Gonzalez is being led by Hector Avalos, the associate Professor of Religions Studies at ISU, an avowed atheist. That is a lot like putting a child molester in charge of a day care. Mr. Avalos has stated publicly that he does not want ISU to be known as a school that tolerates a professor who believes in intelligent design. Mr. Avalos worships the god of time/chance and he does not want anyone who disagrees with that view to be given tenure.
An ironic part of this story is that Dr. Gonzalez escaped as a child with his parents from communist/atheistic Cuba for the freedom of our country. Now 35 years later the atheist/godless are going to keep him from acheiving tenure. So much for freedom of speech. Failure to toe the party line will not be tolerated.
Here is a link to a news article about this story.
Posted by farmer Tom at 5:09 PM
Saturday, April 28, 2007
No the lovely Mrs. farmer did not kick me out of the bedroom. I had a little run in with a dead sow and I lost.
An older sow died during pig birthing(farrowing), so her carcass had to be dragged out of the farrowing crate and taken outside. After we got her out of the crate, we used a winch to pull the carcass up onto a two wheeled cart. This cart is a frame of steel rod, the bottom 18" are at about a 30 degree angle to the floor, the total height of the cart is about five feet. The top section is approximately 70 degrees from the floor. There is a cable winch mounted on the back side of the cart, and the cable runs over a pulley at the top end, then down to the deceased critter. Attach the cable to the critter, crank the winch till it pulls the deceased up near the top end of the cart. Then, (in theory) you tip the top end down to make the cart level, and wheel the critter outside.
This particular sow was very long, and very heavy. When we got her cranked up to the top there was still a lot of her on the floor. When I tried to push the top end down, so we could roll her out, I could barely get the weight shifted, so I leaned into for all I was worth. Now I'm not a small boy, 6'2" and more than 270. I got her tipped part way then lost the battle, the top end of the cart came back up, caught me under the ribs and lifted me off the floor.
I now have very sore ribs. Deep breaths, bending over, sleeping in the bed, laughing, and other activities I will not describe, all cause considerable discomfort. So I'm sleeping in the recliner.
And the sow is still dead. Stupid swine.
Posted by farmer Tom at 9:39 PM
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Lately I have become increasingly irritated by the alarmist cries of Al Gore and the global warming crowd. We just had another 8 inch snow in April, something that tends to make any farmer trying to get to the field in early April a touch cynical. Add the fact that the loony left are having their climate change rallies today on the east coast and battling snow storms to get there and the whole thing becomes a ludicrous comedy act.
While I do not listen to Limbaugh all the time, I have heard the parody he is playing of the old Johnny Cash song "Ring of Fire" in which Paul Schanklin portraying Al Gore singing "Ball of Fire" and I laugh heartily every time. I laughed when I heard that a global warming conference being held in Minnesota, (the land of eternal winter) was canceled because of a blizzard. And I laughed when I heard that "all scientists" agreed that the temperature on the earth was 7/10 of a degree higher in the last 50 years, and it was caused by human activity.
As you can tell by now I consider the whole thing to be silly, stupid, chicken little, collectivist types, attempts to exert more control on the population by forcibly restricting personal freedoms. I was very disheartened to read that Newt had conceded the idea that global warming was caused by human activity. I'm not surprised since I have always thought that he was more about gaining power than defending truth. Lastly I think any honest(and there are very few of them) person looking at the evidence would have to admit that the change in global temperature is most likely caused by an increased temperature at our radiant heat source(the sun for you idiots). If the sun is burning hotter(it is) then guess what, it is going to be hotter here. That's the way it works with radiant heat, turn the heater up, voila', it increases the surface temperature of the object it is heating.
As I mentioned in a previous post, my pastor is preaching through II Peter. I read chapter three today. I think maybe Al gore needs to take up his global warming protest with God. After reading the last part of the chapter, I'm thinking this is some serious global warming. Mankind will be somewhat responsible, for it will be God's judgement on the wickedness of the human race. God will judge the earth with fire.
7But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
8But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
9The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
10But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
11Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
12Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
Now that's real global warming. And it should call us to worry less about internal combustion engines, and more about the internal condition of human hearts, are you/they ready for the judgement?
Posted by farmer Tom at 10:43 AM
Monday, April 2, 2007
This is going to be a very short post.
We went on a three-day weekend tour of points south and west, seeing family and friends in the area where I grew up.
Made it to the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha and to the SAC air museum between Omaha and Lincoln.
The highlight of the trip in my opinion is captured in this photo.
When you walk in the front doors of the SAC museum, this plane appears to be flying directly at you. A very cool sight.
Posted by farmer Tom at 11:54 AM
Sunday, March 25, 2007
Welcome to the schizophrenic state, Iowa. One month ago I told you about losing power in the blizzard and freezing rain combination. Today 75 and sunny with a strong south wind at 20 to 25 mph.
My son the youngest child in the family had a birthday yesterday, 7 candles. Both sets of grandparents and my wife's family were here to help celebrate. The kid made out like a bandit, even got a pair of pearl handled cap guns that dad likes to scare the kids with. All in all a good day.
I'm looking forward to the start of the baseball season. I don't expect the Royal's to be much better than last year, but a new season brings new hope, so maybe they will improve.
Don't know what to think about the decision of Steve Alford to leave for New Mexico. Personally I thought that he did a good job with what he had this year. I don't claim the guy is perfect, but I do think he was a committed Christian and I do not like seeing a good guy run out of town by the liberal media in Des Moines and Iowa City. Iowa City is the most liberal wacko place in the state and I know that they(the media) hated him.
Don't know much about Bruce Pearl, but I know he has ties to Iowa in the past, wins where he is at now, and the talk is that he will be the next coach.Time will tell.
Had a good, somewhat long, message at church today from II Peter 2. Peter did not have a lot of nice, kind, considerate things to say about false teachers. I left the service this morning wondering how many of the so called leaders of the "christian church" today are false teachers. Selling the "gospel" as a business plan, looking to get votes, errr, make money off of those who claim the name of Christ. Of course the only way to know those that teach falsehood from the truth is to know the BOOK, II Peter 1:19-21. Only by continually studing the WORD and testing the teachings we hear against that standard can we defend against "damnable heresies".
Posted by farmer Tom at 8:04 PM
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
One of the great failings of the "church" is the continual habit of taking a principle out of a passage of Scripture without the entire context of that passage. Ms. Maken uses I Corinthians 7 in defense of her position "that marriage is a good thing" while failing to include the whole context of the principle that is taught in the passage.
So before we can properly understand I Corinthians 7 a short Bible lesson. The chapter and verse numbers were added years after these books were written. I am not condemning the use of chapter and verses for finding a particular place in the book, rather we should be careful to make sure that just because verse one starts a new chapter, we know what the subject was in the last verse of the previous chapter.
In I Corinthians 6 Paul is rather harsh with the Corinthian believers. vs. 5 "I speak to your shame", vs. 8 "Nay, ye do wrong and defraud, and that your brethren." Then he reminds them who they were, in V's 9,10,11. He is trying to impress on the believers the importance of being different than they were before they accepted Christ. "Ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified," vs. 11 vs. 19 and 20 say "What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price, therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."
And what were they supposed to avoid, what sin were they to resist, because it would make the members of Christ a harlot, vs 15? "The body is not for fornication," vs. 13 "Flee fornication" vs. 18. Without doing a long thesis on porneia, let's use the following definition. Sexual immorality of all kinds.
The faithful follower of Jesus Christ is to avoid sexual immorality. To flee it. Look at chapter 6 vs. 9, the sexually immoral will "not inherit the kingdom of God". He was emphatically telling them that sexual immorality was not compatible with the lifestyle of a believer. He is making it as plain as possible that the gratification of the sexual urges normal to mankind are not to be acted upon by a believer.
Then we can proceed to chapter 7, this is where Ms. Maken starts, she failed to give context to what Paul is saying in chapter 7. I'm going to sum it up in a few words, I quote from Paul, "To avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband,...if they cannot contain, let them marry, for it is better to marry than to burn."(with passion)that comment is from me.
So lets be clear, in God's plan, the solution for the sex drive built into humans, by God, is marriage. "Marriage is honorable in all and the bed undefiled." Heb. 13:4 If you have a normal sex drive, you are to satisfy that drive only in the marriage relationship. If you're using a hooker, pictures on the net and self-gratification, steamy romance novels, soap operas, heavy petting, what ever you are allowing to feed and/or quench that sex drive other than a marriage relationship is wrong.
BTW, I dare anyone to find a Biblical passage that says that God will stop your sex drive with prayer and fasting. I'm getting outside of a review of this book but this is one of my pet peeves. God's solution for sexual desire is marriage. You're having trouble with controlling your urges, find a marriage partner.
This is why Ms. Maken asked a guy on the first date what kind of eunuch he was? A somewhat rude and impertinent question I know, but the point was a valid one. What kind of normal man with a normal sex drive has remained chaste until he is 37? God's solution for a man with normal sexual urges is to find a wife. One can only assume that someone who had not had those kind of urges by the time he had reached the age of 37 must be a eunuch, right?
Now the problem is, that in our culture today, most of the men and women have long since succumbed to the urges and have been engaged in fornication, something that Paul and all other scripture expressly declares to be sinful.
If you have fallen into that sin, then the solution for a believer is to confess your sin, and find a marriage partner, now. Not when the bank balance is bigger, not when you are less stressed, not when a "10" comes along, now.
I think Ms. Maken makes a fine case in the following chapters that men who delay marriage are stealing from women, by delaying the commitment to marriage past the years when women are able to bear children. It is theft, because men want the female companionship, they date regularly, to often pushing for sexual activity, but refuse to commit to marriage out of selfish reasons tied to materialism and love of self. This is why several passages in Scripture talk about "the wife of your youth". Marriage is to be entered into by young people, woman of child bearing age, men who have the energy and stamina to deal with work, family, and serving the wife, while at the same time maintaining a Godly home. Too many men in our culture are only interested in themselves.
My greatest disagreement with anything in Ms. Maken's book is in the chapter titled, The Lack of Male Leadership. Now I hope I am able to articulate the problem I see in a clear fashion. I believe she reaches some correct conclusions, ie, The Lack of Leadership in the Home, and The Lack of Leadership in the Church. I believe that both of those things are probably true. Her mistake is a total lack of understanding of the destruction the feminist movement and no fault divorce have had on men. She also completely skips the facts concerning women and education. I simply do not have time or space here to argue all of these things. Suffice to say that in writing what she did, she shows a total lack of understanding about the current state of the male mind when it comes to marriage. In a culture where any normal man can be figuratively and literally raped by the courts in a no fault divorce. When women are unrepentant whores,.....
I'm going to insert a joke right here to illustrate the problem. A man walks up to the bar and sits down next to a beautiful woman, after a few minutes of small talk, he suddenly asks her if she would sleep with him for a million dollars. The women acts offended, but after a few seconds pass she whispers, yes. He then asks is she will sleep with him if he buys her supper. She slaps his face and says, "What kind of woman do you think I am?" He replies, "We have already established what you are, now we're just negotiating price!!"
When women are unrepentant whores, who use their bodies to catch a man, then deprive him of the marriage bed after she catches him. When it is possible that 50 percent of all marriages will end in a theft of a man's hard earned labor, depriving him of his home, financial stability and in most cases his children. It's no wonder that men are running in fear from women. And I might add even faster from educated women, since the evidence clearly shows that the higher the level of education a women has, the greater probability she will be divorced. In summary Ms. Maken does not understand the multitude of problems which are causing men to chose to remain unmarried.
Let me say again that I believe that she made an effective and clearly Biblical case that marriage is God's plan for the vast majority of men and women, she just misses the boat on why those marriages are not happening.
I find the remainder of the book useful. I personally rejected the dating scene during my single years, when I realized that it was not useful to the goal of finding a wife. I like her use of the Biblical account of Issac and Rebekah as a pattern for the concept of agency. Someone whose goal and desire is to help the single person find a Godly mate. If we as Christians believe that the family was ordained by God as His first and most important societal structure, and I do. Then the search for a proper life mate without the input of the family, and especially the God ordained leader of the family, the father, is destined to fail. And the evidence is that we are getting exactly that.
Overall I believe that Ms. Maken has written a useful book. While her complete lack of understanding of the problems leading to the current low levels of marriage in the church is rather obvious, a return to Biblical patterns and principles is always a good thing. I believe the solutions she suggests are clearly Biblical and worthy of our consideration.
Posted by farmer Tom at 6:57 PM
Monday, February 26, 2007
I haven't written a book review since high school, so this may not be exactly according to accepted form. Then again, I probably never did one right back then, which would explain my less than stellar grades in English literature/writing. Please be patient with me, I'm attempting to use the brain cells that have been laying in hibernation for a long time.
Getting Serious About Getting Married
by Debbie Maken
The introduction explains that Ms. Maken was twenty-eight years old, had a advancing law career, owned her own home, had a nice car, was a committed Christian, active in her church and it's singles program, yet she was not... content. She wanted to be married. She says,"I am NOT content. I am unhappy and sad about still being single. I am not only discontent-I am also angry about being single. So that morning she walked out of her singles class, vowing never to return.
She then tells us that she met her future husband in July of 2001 and was married in March of 2002.
So why did she write the book, she explains, In the 1970's approximately 64 percent of women had married by age 24, 90 percent by 29 and 94 percent by age 34. Thirty years later, 27 percent had =married by 24, 60 percent by 29 and 78 percent by 34. The singles population had tripled or quadrupled in one generation. She believed that there had to be some other explanation than that God just wanted more "gifted singles" in this generation. As she puts it, "there are countless untold stories of women who are dying on the vine, know it, and feel like they can't do a thing about it."
Ms. Maken then asserts that the final authority for a Christian is not culture, pop psychology, or the latest trend. She claims that no matter how radical it sounds, her ideas are based squarely on the Bible. Scripture should be the measuring stick for truth. Women in our culture have been told over and over that,"singleness is a gift. But it's the kind of gift that make us cringe and smile politely while we desperately search for a gift receipt so we can return it."
Her thesis is that Scripture and Christian tradition have never validated wholesale singleness, that we are teaching faulty theology and making something abnormal appear as though it is a sanctified gift straight from the hand of God. The contemporary church is not telling singles the truth, that singleness is actually detrimental to their whole lives. The modern church is placing singleness on an equal level with marriage despite God's clear call to marriage.
The remainder of the book is in three parts, Marriage and Singleness, Rethinking the Gift of Singleness, and Getting Serious About Getting Married. I want to spend most of this review on the first section, throw in a few comments on the second section, and leave the last one for the reader to examine for themselves.
In Genesis 1:25 the Triune God, the Creator of the universe, after having done most of his creative work saw what he had made was good. In 26 and 27 he said, let Us make man in Our image after Our likeness, "So God created man in his own image" Then we read in 2:18 that "God said, it is not good that the man should be alone, I will make him a help meet for him" back to 1:27 "in the image of God created he him: male and female created he them." Mankind created in the image of the God of the Universe was created male and female, not male or female, male and female. The marriage union reflects the image of God far better than singleness does. Man was not complete without woman and woman was taken from the man. God's design at the beginning of creation was for one man and one woman joined together the two becoming one, reflecting the image of the Creator God. The marriage union is the revealed will of God in the created order. "Therefore, shall a man leave his father and mother; and shall cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one flesh. God did not intend for man to be alone, he said, it is not good." John Calvin said, a man without a woman is but "half a man".Any single who is dissatisfied with singleness is merely agreeing with God, "it is not good for man to be alone." Those who say that marriage is an option, but each person has to make their own choice, are questioning the wisdom and authority of God. Are you saying that God was wrong when he said, "it is not good for man to be alone?" Either the Creator God knew what was best for his creation, or we know better. His plan was for the male/female relationship in marriage, one man, one woman, for life.
Secondly, marriage was designed for the Creation of Legitimate Children, "be fruitful and multiply"" Gen 1:28 God who made man in His image told that same man to make offspring in not only man's image, but also the image of God. God did not want man to be alone, he told him that marriage was how man would not be alone, then he told the man and woman " to be fruitful and multiply" John Calvin wrote that when men and women were not connected in marriage, they are like the mutilated members of a mangled body".
One of the things I consider to be the highlights of this book, is her repeated reminders that Scripture is our final authority, Scripture validated Scripture, the Book must be read as a whole, so that in the end we have one coherent, non contradictory understanding. So chapter 2 examines what the Bible has to say about singleness. And she writes" "Scripture does not categorically authorize singleness" Rather it does allow singleness for a limited few and establishes clear parameters by which they can be legitimately single See Matt 19:4-11 I Corinthians 7. Jesus clearly taught that God had ordained marriage. Some of you may say, but Jesus was single, yes he also walked on water, turned water to wine, and raised the dead. When you get that kind of authority and power, you can take it up with God whether or not you have the right to "single out" Jesus as your example while ignoring his teachings. So quit thinking you are spiritual cause you single and read what Christ said, in Matt. 19:10, it is better not to marry? see the answer in 11-12, only a few select people have been given the gift of singleness, three possible reasons a man made eunuch, a someone born a eunuch, or a for the sake of the Kingdom of heaven. (My thoughts, if you have a sex drive of any kind, large, small, or anywhere in between, you are to marry.)Martin Luther said, "apart from these three groups, let no man presume to be without a spouse."
I'll get to Paul and I Corinthians 7, later.
So far I agree with everything Debbie Maken has to say. In the second and third sections I do not.
Posted by farmer Tom at 6:18 PM