I strongly support your effort and will circulate this information to help the forgotten and marginalized, disenfranchised dairy farmers all across the US.
This is the 4th year in a row that Pro-Ag has spearheaded emergency grassroots citizen recommendations to help dairy farmers get paid an equitable milk price under the current, deliberately defective, federal milk pricing system. So far, government authorities and their globalist dairy corporate/co-op special interest cronies have stubbornly and arrogantly blown off these sensible efforts to improve the dairy farmers' lot ushering in 4 years(!) of unremitting socioeconomic agony.
If, in the past, Pro-Ag's common-sense efforts had been supported by enough individual dairy farmers, so-called "dairy/farm" organizations, self-proclaimed dairy "experts", Capper-Volstead milk "co-ops", rural businesses, etc., then we would not be losing all the dairy farmers now being pushed out of business by these chronic, criminally low milk prices (including organic), and we would not have been stuck with another disreputable "Farm" Bill, now in its 2018 anti-family dairy farmer form, and another globalist "Free Trade Agreement" called "USMCA".
Dairy farmers would be living with some human dignity, paying their bills, properly caring for their cattle and farms, and adequately providing for their families' needs. Instead, we just finished the 4th full year of appalling low milk prices that have ushered in a largely ignored humanitarian crisis on our dairy farms of unprecedented, historic proportion with the surging risk of bankruptcy and suicide challenging dairy farmers daily, as debt escalates astronomically and despair and desperation deepen from the relentless financial pounding dairy farmers are subjected to by the iron fist of the federally sanctioned, corporate global industrialization of all milk and dairy product supplies.
I encourage anyone concerned about the well-being of dairy farmers and a traditional fresh local milk supply to support Pro-Ag's latest petition effort. What do we have to lose?
Again, Arden, I appreciate all your efforts on behalf of beleaguered dairy farming families and the broken rural communities that are also suffering extreme economic losses right along with the dairy farmers.
We sorely need the petition, since most who should be passionately advocating on behalf of higher milk prices for dairy farmers right now are still sitting on the sidelines, parroting the dairy "Industry" propaganda about alleged dairy farmer "milk overproduction", the false god "global markets", corporate dairy industry welfare "safety net" insurance schemes, presumed "tariff" afflictions...doing absolutely nothing to insist on meaningful reform of the feds' milk pricing methodology – and that includes Republicans and Democrats in Congress and in the White House.
It is wonderful that you receive strong consumer support for better milk prices for dairy farmers. But, the feds blow off consumers too. We see that with the inferior milk served in the notorious federal school lunch program!
I appreciate also your insistence – for farmers and consumers – that the feds investigate the huge impact that MPC/UF "milk" "ingredients" have on this entire dairy mess by displacing farmers' milk and extending dairy "products" creating an over-supply of industry warehoused so-called "cheese" – giving the perception of farm "milk over-production". Investigating the "MPC" scandal is definitely needed "in the public interest", particularly since the dairy "Industry" is now clamoring for federal help to get rid of their "cheese" warehouse "surplus" – incredible, but then that's the "dairy industry" for you!
Happy New Year – dairy farmers will have to pray for miracles for that.
Brenda Cochran, Dairy farmer, Westfield, PA
On September 12, 2016, Mother Teresa, now Saint Teresa, gave a speech to the United Nations that should be a part of our daily lives and thinking. Her reality was that God created us to love because of His great love for each of us. She insisted that the greatest threat to our nation and to the world was abortion. "Abortion has become the greatest destroyer of peace", she insisted. "If we accept a mother can kill her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill." You can find more on line of what she said under "Mother Teresa At United Nations".
Her great prayer was, "That in our Country that terrible law of killing the innocents, of destroying life, destroying the presence of God, be removed from our country, from our nation, from our people, from our families".
Before she left the US, in another speech, she insisted that if we continue killing babies our nation will destroy itself. I was reminded of all of this when I read that in 2018, forty-one million abortions had been performed worldwide. Remember, this refers to physical abortions and does not include the abortion pill or other methods of killing the child in the womb.
My joy in my old age are the thousands of youths and young adults who turn out for the March For Life in DC - which now includes young people from many countries who have come to learn how to have a March for Life in their country - those who courageously show films to anyone who will watch an actual abortion - those many who have been threatened and physically abused for daring to tell the truths of abortion - those whose numbers are growing. Watch for yourself when the March for Life is a full day on EWTN television and most of the day on CSPAN. Watch what you will rarely see on TV today - a joy filled, gentle, loving group of thousands of all faiths determined to end this slaughter of our babies and our future.
Annette Corrigan, Jackson Township, PA
We've all seen this con played out on a busy street corner. There are three cards. The mark picks one. The hustler then mixes the cards. Pick the right card and you win the bet, but of course, you don't. It's a con, a ruse to persuade you to believe something that is not true.
We all play this game, not with cards but with three governmental systems: socialism, communism, and capitalism. Pick one, and you're the poorer for it. Why? Let's start with the first "ism"…
Socialism is a form of government that advocates the confiscation of all production by the government to be equitably distributed to the community. It was given a try in 1620.
A group of Christians fleeing religious persecution disembarked from the Mayflower. They agreed on the bylaws for a communal system. For seven years all produce was to be equitably distributed.
But after only a few years of disease, hunger and starvation, the utopian nightmare ended when "every family was assigned a parcel of land" and allowed to keep the fruits of their labor. "This was very successful. It made all hands very industrious," said John Carver, the colony's first governor.
Since that time, socialism has been tried many times and failed in just as many.
Communism is the next "card."
Communism mandates that all property and production must be owned and controlled by the state and then parceled out to each person according to his needs. This system has all the failings of socialism, plus a generous number of its own.
Communism, like its evil twin, socialism, has been tried time and time again. Examples are North and South Korea, East and West Germany, Mainland China and Formosa (now, Taiwan). In each case, it is the same ethnic people, same language, same culture; yet the differences between communism and a free market are as stark as those between day and night.
Nighttime satellite images of the Korean Peninsula show a pitch-black and impoverished North Korea adjacent to a brightly-lit and prosperous South Korea. In Germany, East Germany was a backwater of its western half until the nation was unified. And that break-away from China, the Republic of Taiwan, with a per capita income of $24,000 runs rings around the per capita income of its homeland of $7,000.
More recently, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and Venezuela, once prosperous nations but now destitute, can be added to communism's list of failed states. A third nation, South Africa, is trodding the same road to dystopia.
Last we come to capitalism.
Three of the wealthiest men in history made their fortunes in the early part of the 20th century and even increased their wealth during the years of the Great Depression. Adjusted to 2018 dollars, they are: Henry Ford, $188 billion; Andrew Carnegie, $310 billion; and John Rockefeller, $336 billion.
In the Pantheon of Capitalism, it's a tale oft told of rags-to-riches successes, but better said as a story of rags and riches. The wealth of those three men average a phenomenal $278 billion and this when the average working man's pay was $500/year, or in inflation-adjusted dollars $9,500 – that's $14,500 below the poverty line. At that income, it would take a worker 29 million years to equal their average wealth. 29 million years!
Yes, that's capitalism in action. The math is correct, but the morality is crazy.
Ask yourself: Is it just, for these men, to skim almost all the profits of other men's labor for themselves? Is it even moral for a favored few to live in sumptuous luxury while their employees live in poverty?
But, you say, that was then. Now we have a healthy middle-class. Baloney! Except for a brief 20 years after WW II, the average middle-class worker has always lived a little above poverty and a hefty minority below that.
According to the US Census Bureau, middle-class income for the average household (2.2 people) is $59,000. Though not officially poor, these families are just one paycheck away from poverty. More starkly stated, the vaulted middle-class family leads a paycheck-to-paycheck existence.
All three governing systems have at their heart the expropriation of property or profits to piecemeal out to others – a zero-sum game. Thus their fruits contain the seeds of their downfall.
If something isn't done, and done soon to control runaway government spending and achieve a just distribution of profits, the capitalistic system will complete the triumvirate of failures.
The consequences of this failure, as it was with socialism and communism, will be a revolution, followed by a total breakdown of law and order, ending in a dictatorship.
Bob Scroggins, New Milford, PA
On Saturday, January 12, I picked up the mail delivered to my mail box. One large envelope had a "certified mail" sticker on it. The "receipt" portion had been removed. When I opened the envelope, I discovered that the letter was indeed a "certified, return receipt requested" letter.
On Tuesday, January 15, I visited the post office and asked the Postmaster how I was not called upon to sign for a letter that was "certified, return receipt requested". I asked to see the signed "return receipt", and was handed a copy of the receipt, which bore my forged signature, along with my zip code. I was informed by the Postmaster that the Saturday mail carrier signed my name and that this was allowed! Astonished, I asked how this could be. I was told that since the letter was delivered to the address stated on the envelope, the mail carrier certified that it went to the proper address.
So, let's get this straight. A postal delivery person has the right 1) to sign MY name to a certified mail receipt for a delivery to my home without presenting me with the option of either accepting or rejecting it; and 2) this mail delivery person has the right to FORGE my signature to the return receipt.
I have been the victim of having my personal banking mail delivered to another address, opened and returned to me one week later. Apologies from the letter carrier didn't preclude my having to visit the bank to change my account. I have had to call the publishers of two magazines (every few months) that oddly get waylaid. I have had to return mail to neighbors whose mail ends up in my mailbox.
Now I have to endure my signature being forged on mail receipts because the mail delivery person may be too lazy to come up to the house to get a signature and because seemingly legalized FORGERY is a much simpler way.
A word to those who will receive official notifications by "snail mail", notices of delinquent accounts, legal issues, etc. Do as I did. Tell the Postmaster that this is unacceptable and that only the person whose name is on the envelope (or someone living in the household) is to sign a receipt and that I will not accept my signature being forged by a proxy (the mail carrier).
The person who mailed the letter was defrauded out of $6.58 postage and has a forged signature on the return receipt. The addressee was defrauded because he was not given the right of refusal of an official document and his name was stolen by the letter carrier. The end result is that the post office is keeping false official records.
Bottom line: when is forgery legal?
Bruce Paskoff, Montrose, PA
Dear Mr. Secretary,
I want to personally thank you for the millions of dollars that you have made available to the American dairy farmers. This is the first time that I can remember when a US Secretary of Agriculture has taken a position to make funds available to American dairy farmers. Your action is much appreciated.
The following petition is being circulated by the Dairy Farmers' Freedom Committee in connection with the Progressive Agriculture Organization (Pro Ag).
However, as a result of actions taken or not taken by the United States Congress or the USDA, the number of dairy farmers in the US has declined from nearly 360,000 in 1981 down to the present level of approximately 40,000. The loss of these dairy farmers has had a devastating effect on rural America. The end result is the following: during each of the years 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018, dairy farmers have lost nearly 12 billion dollars, with the loss to rural America of about 60 billion dollars per year.
Actions must be taken to preserve our remaining dairy farms. Therefore we are requesting that you immediately conduct milk hearings across the United States, giving our average dairy farmers an opportunity to tell you how deplorable conditions are on the majority of our dairy farms. There are several things we are asking you to consider at the hearing.
1) It is time for a new pricing formula in our Federal Orders to be changed to consider the dairy farmers' cost of production.
2) If a milk supply management program is needed, it should be patterned after the program contained in the Federal Milk Marketing Improvement Act (formerly known as S-1640 or the Specter-Casey Bill).
3) It is time that an investigation be conducted to determine if the usage of whey protein concentrate and milk protein concentrate is safe to be used, and the impact these products are having on the so-called surplus of milk in the United States.
4) If everything else fails, then a $20 per cwt. (hundredweight) floor price must be placed under milk used to manufacture dairy products.
This letter will be circulated all across the United States. I hope you can act immediately upon it. We are submitting a large number of petitions to you, already signed by dairy farmers and consumers.
Anyone wishing to circulate the petition may remit it to Pro-Ag at: 1300 Rattlesnake Hill Road, Meshoppen, PA 18630.
The petition can be found on change.org.
Arden Tewksbury, Manager of Pro-Ag, Meshoppen, PA