The Constitution of the United States is the most radical Document ever penned. It is a social contract, written by ordinary men on behalf of the thirteen former colonies on how they wished to be governed.
Instead of seeing kings as divinely appointed sovereigns to which their subjects were obligated to render obedience, the Constitution gave the common man the governing power. That was outrageous! It revolutionized the way people understood government.
The Framers then shackled their new government with the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution. This addition states that the federal government has only those power expressly delegated to it. The amendment then lists 17 responsibilities; all else remains for the people to adjudicate by their elected representatives in the state legislatures.
The hatred against inherited titles and their presumed divine right to rule was so distasteful that an amendment to the Constitution, the Eleventh, was incorporated into the Constitution. It would strip United States citizenship from any citizen who accepted a title from an "emperor, king, prince, or foreign power."
The oath of office taken by all members of the High Court further emphasized the gravitas of upholding the Constitution: "I, (name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will administer justice... under the Constitution and laws of the United States. So help me, God."
Note that the Court was not to make law but, as stated in Article Three, "to handle cases arising under federal law, as well as other enumerated areas." The "enumerated areas" refers to the 17 areas listed in the Tenth Amendment.
The all-important question is this: How are members of the Supreme Court to be chosen? Three common-sense rules are imperative:
First. The Constitution was written to be understood by everyday citizens; after all, they were the rulers. One need not be a graduate of a top-draw law school with stellar grades (though that is far from a disadvantage). What is essential is a firm understanding that the Constitution was written plainly by design, without stilted or flowery verbiage, or legal jargon, to be understood by the everyday reader then as it is now 230 years later.
Today this is ignored.
Second. Race and sex are not to be among the criteria for selection. The Constitution is not an instrument for social justice or for furthering the cause celebre. On the contrary, both parties are dead set on appointing a woman.
The reasoning is that the deceased woman's position, Ginsburg, should be filled with a woman. What then, a Jew with a Jew, a Catholic with a Catholic, a man with a man? What nonsense! A position is to be filled not by a look-alike, but with the most qualified candidate.
There is nothing wrong with selecting a woman. But to make sex a criterion is wrong. In fact, the Democrats aim to include both race and sex in their nomination.
Today this is ignored.
Third. Nominees are not to be chosen based on "conservative" or "liberal." Such distinctions carry political baggage that should not taint the Court. They imply a particular slant of view that corrupts a strict reading of the Document.
Instead, the Constitution should be understood (not individually interpreted) as it was meant to be understood when written. Such an approach is called "originalist."
Originalism is defined as "the theory that the US Constitution should be interpreted based on the intent of its authors, as determined by examining the evidence of the meaning of its wording in its historical context."
Today this is ignored.
The Constitution is an extraordinarily easy to read legal Document and, by the same measure, extraordinarily easy to ignore. Suppose the Tenth Amendment was not violated (as it is). And suppose the three basic rules for choosing candidates were followed (which they are not), we would be living in a less troubled and far happier land.
Bob Scroggins, New Milford, PA
Dairy farmers should support the "Federal Milk Marketing Improvement Act," otherwise known as the Specter-Casey Bill. This will give farmers a cost of production support price just like the processors get with their $3.00/cwt make allowance taken off the top of our checks. Then subtract out trucking, co-op dues, check-off dues and it's obvious farmers are at the bottom of the food chain for pay. With milk in the $12-14/cwt range occasionally over the past 5 years; means we are working for a 1980's pay price or a 40% cut in pay from 2014. Is anyone else working on a 1980's salary? Nothing has gone down for the farmer except the price of milk.
Mergers and consolidations have ruined farm income, from everything we buy to the milk and beef we sell. We have no competition in milk markets, we cannot promote whole milk, we are competing with plant based alternative drinks, mega farms are turning the public against us and government is promoting a globalist policy over regional food and markets. The family farm that milks their own cows is not contributing to the oversupply of milk, but we still are penalized in price. We support the million dollar salaries of CEO's who profit off our sweat labor.
Long hours and hardships abound in farming and Mother Nature can wipe out a crop in an instant. Just this summer we had a tornado hit our farm and rip 3 barn roofs off; just another expense on top of already low commodity prices. We purchased our farm in 1997 and upgraded facilities to improve cow comfort and handling along with acquiring more land that bordered our farm. We now have a son wanting to continue the farm; will there be a future for the next generation?
Farmers must take control of their product and their price before there aren't any farmers left. Please contact your Congressman to support this bill.
Kathie Ryan, Canajoharie, NY
I met Nelson Troutman a couple of times, and I've always congratulated him on his project of using bales of hay to advertise using whole milk. Also, anyone else who supports and writes about the value of whole milk should be recognized.
Recently, Dieter Krieg, editor of the Farmshine newspaper, recognized Pro-Ag as the first to inform everyone regarding the plight of having whole milk thrown out of our school lunches.
While we've been working on this problem for at least five years, I guess we haven't done enough because whole milk is still not in our school lunch program.
I want to submit a few efforts that Pro-Ag has been involved with and it may give some of you ideas on how you can help.
1) On February 14, 2017, the Elk Lake School Board (Susquehanna County, PA) passed a resolution to have whole milk available in all of our schools. This resolution was sent all over the United States.
2) Later on, a similar resolution was passed on a unanimous vote by the Board of Directors of the Northeastern Educational Intermediate Unit (consisting of Pike, Wayne, Susquehanna, Wyoming, and Lackawanna Counties of Pennsylvania).
3) Four members of Pro-Ag went to Washington, DC and met with the aides and some members of all the Pennsylvania members of Congress. We urged them to sign on and support HR 832, the bill in the House of Representatives to give children in schools the option of drinking whole milk.
4) On March 25, 2019 we delivered letters to 42 members of the Congressional House of Representatives Committee on Education and Labor, asking for them to support HR 832, the whole milk in schools bill. (Presently it is locked up in committee.) We urged the committee to report the bill out for a vote in the full House of Representatives, which still hasn't been done.
5) A few years ago, one of our members, dairy farmer Brenda Cochran, made us aware of Nina Teicholz' book entitled, "The Big Fat Surprise, Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet". We communicated several times with Nina, and Pro-Ag circulated some videos of her work all across the country. In addition, Pro-Ag has distributed thousands of flyers illustrating Nina's work.
6) The American Dairy Association, (ADA) told many dairy farmers that it was Pro-Ag that presented Nina's work to them, and they published some of Nina's work and sent it across the country.
7) On a trip to Washington, these Pro-Ag members delivered scores of thousands of petitions to Secretary of Agriculture Perdue.
8) At a hearing in Washington, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said, "Obesity has gotten worse with our students since whole milk was taken out of the school lunch program." What has the Secretary done about it? Nothing. At another hearing, former Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said, "No matter what the dietary commission recommends, I have the final say as to what goes in the school lunch program." What did he do? Also nothing.
Other organizations are circulating petitions in support of whole milk in our schools. Today, our Superintendent of Schools at Elk Lake, and myself as Board President, have signed a new resolution supporting the need of whole milk back in our schools. Also, the NEIU Executive Director and President have signed a new resolution being circulated regarding the need of having whole milk back in our schools. The NEIU represents twenty schools in Northeast Pennsylvania and an additional eleven other, non-public schools involved in our feeding programs. And to top it all off, at a state-wide meeting of the Intermediate Units, Bob McTiernan explained to the whole state group concerning the concerns about not having whole milk in our schools.
These are a few of the things Pro-Ag has been involved with. We hope everyone gets behind this latest attempt to get whole milk back in our schools.
Pro-Ag can be reached at 570-833-5776.
Arden Tewksbury, Manager of Pro-Ag, Meshoppen, PA
In 1977, my husband Gary and I purchased our local dairy farm. The farm is located between Canton and Troy, PA in the village Granville Summit in Bradford County. Some of Gary's family had owned the farm previous to our ownership.
We felt that living and working on a dairy farm was also a great place to raise a family. We have two daughters and a son. The first few years of dairy farming proceeded as we expected. Unfortunately, as years progressed, we found it more difficult for us to cover our expenses. Now we are like many other dairy farmers, it is difficult to keep our heads above water. Even worse, the fact so many of our family dairy farmers are leaving their farms (maybe forced). In addition to low milk prices, we have also endured some health problems.
During the years we have been dairy farmers, we have lived through the agony of losing our dairy barn because of a fire and lost many of our cattle. Immediately, we were surprised to see so many Mennonite and Amish folks who showed up and a new barn was erected. We will always be thankful to all of these people as well so many of our local people who helped keep us in business.
Unfortunately, if something isn't done, and done soon I question how much longer we will be able to hold on.
Will someone please tell me, why dairy farmers cannot see a pay price based on their cost of production? My lord, every item that we purchase has a cost attached to it that covers the starting cost of production. Please tell me why dairy farmers cannot do the same?
Gary and I have evaluated alternative ways to price our milk. There is no question, the more reliable way is we must have a system to cover our costs (and every dairy farmers' cost). We must have the former Spector Casey bill, the former Milk Marketing Improvement Act, re-introduced and passed into law. I'm sure that some of our legislatures are aware of our problems and this bill must be introduced. If our legislatures want to maintain our family dairy farms, they must get on the ball and get the former Spector Casey bill passed. If this doesn't happen, you will see the majority of our dairy farms disappear. We will also lose the majority of our support business.
We can't wait two years, we must take action and take action now.
Granville Summit, PA