Please visit our kind sponsors
Read The Legislation
Having read a press release concerning HR360, and after reading HR360, I have to wonder if the Pennsylvania state representatives have ever read the federal legislation which they unanimously supported.
According to the press release, the federal legislation developed by Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff would strengthen the safety net for dairy farmers. Although this is what Secretary Wolff has been saying, the fact is that the proposed $12.00 per hundredweight (cwt.) target price for Class III milk is completely inadequate in 2007 and beyond. The payments under this plan would result in less money for small farms than what would be provided under the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program. Large farms may benefit slightly over the MILC program.
Representative Hanna expressed support for reauthorizing the Dairy Price Support Program and the MILC program. I wonder if he knows that these two programs would be eliminated under Secretary Wolff’s legislation. In either the MILC program or the Price Target Program, forcing farmers to rely on government payments flies in the face of the religious beliefs of the Amish community, which do comprise a significant part of Pennsylvania’s dairy sector. These payments are also offensive to other dairy farmers. There is money in the marketplace to pay farmers a fair price without being a burden to the taxpayers. Federal Senate Bill S1722 recently introduced by Senators Arlen Specter and Robert Casey, Jr., is the only federal legislation that truly attempts to provide farmers a fair price for their milk based on the national average cost of production.
Secretary Wolff’s legislation would make forward contracting permanent. Forward contracting is primarily designed to benefit processors. I agree with the Holstein Association’s resolution against forward contracting.
Furthermore, Secretary Wolff’s legislation would provide a loan fund for "new processing technologies" i.e. Milk Protein Concentrate (MPC). The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved MPC for use in cheese or ice cream, even though petitions to do so have been before them since 1999. Even so, this unapproved product is widely used. In addition, no safety studies have been done on MPC. To make MPC production a legislative priority under these circumstances is absurd.
The press release to which I originally referred also claims that the Wolff legislation offers "loan forgiveness for students who return to work on the farm after college." This is quite misleading. To qualify for loan forgiveness, the student must take on full-time ownership or operation of a family dairy farm.
Before offering or voting on resolutions to support legislation, elected officials should read the actual legislation rather than base their support on misleading and incomplete information.
What Should Be Done?
Now that the Lanesboro Borough solicitor has confirmed that the increased sewer and garbage funds should not be used for a new building, what should be done? The council budgeted $26,000 for its proposed building project to be funded by sewer and garbage users. Not only have they budgeted $26,000 to cover the expense, but have already spent over $40,000.
For those who are not paying attention, the burden is not going to be carried by the sewer and garbage accounts. It will be the responsibility of all the taxpayers.
Consider that since one mil will raise $5,056, it will take about eight mils to cover the $41,000. Then each year everyone will pay at least (assuming $26,000 a year for the mortgage is enough) an extra five mils. This project is not funded by a grant as was rumored.
There has been much discussion about the fact that the engineering company that designed the building is also the employer of the mayor. This matter has been resolved as the solicitor advised that it is legal.
Other alternatives such as rehab of the historic building, adding to the community center, or discussion with the architect who designed the present community center, should have been a priority. The council seems negligent in protecting the best interests of the taxpayers of the community.
The Day With No Tomorrow
Predicting the future. We can all foresee the near future reasonably well. But what about two seers who looked ahead hundreds of years and described in specific detail the advents and inventions of the present time – and its terrible end?
The first is seeress Janet Southiel, better known as Mother Shipton, 1488-1561. She lived the life of a country maid in England, but her unerring predictions gave her unwanted celebrity. Her prophetic poems were published 80 years after her death. They astound today more than they could have in her lifetime. Here are a few extracts of her visions in verse:
"When pictures look alive, with movements free [TV], /When ships, like fishes, swim beneath the sea [submarines], /When men, outstripping birds, can soar the sky [airplanes], /A carriage without horse will go [cars], /And water shall great wonders do [hydroelectric power], /Around the world men's thoughts will fly, quick as the twinkling of an eye [radio], /In water, iron then shall float as easy as a wooden boat [steel ships], /And yellow men gain power [China], /For in those wondrous far off days, the women shall adopt a craze to dress like men, and trousers wear and to cut off their locks of hair."
Her prophecies conclude with this chilling prediction: "For then shall mighty wars be planned and fire and swords shall sweep the land. Then half the world, deep-drenched in blood, shall die."
Two centuries after Mother Shipton, the same muse visited a German peasant, Matthias Stormberger, 1753-1820. Unlike Mother Shipton, Stormberger was ridiculed during his lifetime because of his fantastic predictions. Outlandish though they were, time has proven them to be accurate.
Stormberger foretold the coming of WW I: "A war will begin to last twice two years. It would be fought with iron fortresses that move without horses [tanks]. Right after this horrible war there will come a time when money will have no value [Germany's hyperinflation in 1923].
"Two or three decades after the first war it will come one a Second [World] War still larger. Almost all the nations of the world will be involved. Millions of men will die, without being soldiers."
Like Mother Shipton, Stormberger foretells a cataclysmic end: "And after the end of the Second Great War, a third conflagration will come. There will be weapons totally new [nuclear]. In one day, more men will die than in all the previous wars. Gigantic catastrophes will happen."
Are we, then, living at the end of days?
The Mayans believed that world events flowed in cycles. They devised a calendar that charted these cycles based on the time it takes the earth to complete one procession of its axis, almost 26,000 years. This was divided into 5,000-year periods. We are living in the eve of one of those rare astronomical events; the completion of a period.
The Mayan calendar could progress indefinitely but it doesn't. For unknown reasons, the conclusion of this last period ends their calendar. That date is December 21, 2012. Will 12/21/12 be the day with no tomorrow? or perhaps the beginning of the Golden Age? or simply just another day? In five years we will know.
New Milford, PA
TO THE EDITOR POLICY
Thank you, Susquehanna County Transcript
For questions, comments and
submissions contact us at:
News | Living | Sports | Schools | Churches | Ads | Events
Military | Columns | Ed/Op | Obits | Archive | Subscribe