mousie owned!

Agriculture: Food and Fuel Overview

I promised jesus_h_biscuit I would try to contribute something on agriculture to this forum, and just by grand coincidence, it happens to be the day after Earth Day.

Here is my disclaimer: I have mild insight into the field of agriculture, mostly into field crops. I am a journalist who spends a great deal of my time writing about the issue and I have for several years, though it is certainly not my only “beat” nor am I a farmer or commodities expert. I am socially liberal, more fiscally conservative, and my views of global warming are slightly different than what is being pushed as popular these days (and do involve agriculture in a very small way). I will try to present a colloquial quick-and-dirty of some agricultural issues facing us right now as a nation and world, in as objective a manner as I can, just from my observations.

I would not suggest you take any of this for the gospel truth, since I am not providing you my professional information. In fact, I would not suggest you take the gospel truth from any source if you cannot identify its financial and political interest. All this is intended to do is get you interested enough to look up stuff on your own with official and educated sources. Be careful of what sources you trust, especially online – even me – and what news outlets you choose to believe. While some of my information (numbers) comes from the USDA, I keep in mind at all times that such agencies do have politically-appointed directors.

Finally, if you really want to know more about agriculture – ask a farmer, for God’s sake, or call your county extension office (usually affiliated with a university) or Farm Service Agency office (a branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, or USDA). The hundreds of people I’ve dealt with in this part of my career have always been friendly because I treat them like the experts they are, and because I freely confess that I don’t know much about farming.

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vote_smart Widget

You can now use this widget for your own blog if you like - just click the button at the bottom and select "LiveJournal" or whatever other blogging platform you choose to get the code. I'll be adding this widget and any others I think will benefit the community to the sidebar for future reference.

I know that we've been pretty inattentive as of late, but look for more content to be added soon as well as regular postings from myself and the other people coming to add their own voices.

Take care, everyone!
- jesus_h_biscuit

About Open Threads

I'd like to take a quick moment to thank everyone for their input thus far, and also to explain what an "Open Thread" post is and how you each become a part of it - keeping to the spirit of this community as a grassroots involvment of its members.

Open thread:
A thread of comments to a post whose topic is open for definition by those posting to it. Common to blogs with large readerships that visit to exchange views, as opposed to focus exclusively on posts from the blogger.
If I post an Open Thread, I may or may not give it a topic. If the topic interests you, the purpose is to comment and offer your input or questions. If no topic is posted, comment with a question or a message for other community members on whatever issues you choose to spark discussion or exchange ideas with others.

Sometimes an Open Thread will be available to all community members, and sometimes comments will be requested of Guestbloggers only or members with posting access. We will specify inthe post whether or not it is open to all or only posting members.

The subject should read as follows so that there is no confusion: Open Thread
If there is a particular topic one wishes to begin discussion on, the post will ask the question. Finally, we will specify who it will be open to, such as this post:

Open Thread

Topic: None

Open to: All members and watchers

Open Thread - Please Give Your US $.02

I'd like to get some feedback from all of you watching this community as well as the members on what information you would like to see posted from here on out, and what kind of content you're looking for.

At the moment, I am the lone contributor with guestbloggers on the way to write about the issues dear to them, but I would like to know where you all would like to see this community go and what your hopes/interests/desires for it are. Opinion pieces? Candidate endorsements and "Why I Am Supporting ____ ____ In The 2008 Election" style essays?

Comment and let me know what you're thinking so that changes can be made. This is a communal effort, I really want this community to take off and be something that benefits those who wish to learn more!

Community Promo

Now that Iowa has kicked everything off in an official capacity, we need more activity in this community from all angles, and some guest blogging happening. I ask that everyone please go back to this post, and kindly use the code of your choice to promote our community in a post on your own blog or elsewhere. I think we can do wonders in education of others by raising more awareness, which is the whole point.

Many thanks in advance!
- jesus_h_biscuit

The Iowa Caucus Update

The results are in for Iowa:
Democrat: Barack Obama
Republican: Mike Huckabee
Bear in mind that there has only been ONE President elected after winning his party's caucus in Iowa. Only one. Ever.*

And that was GWB in 2000.

Bill Clinton only got 3% of the votes in 1992, and came in 5th place - he also lost New Hampshire and South Dakota. "Unknown/Uncertain" won more votes than he did. Some guy named Paul Tarkin (who?) and George H Bush won Iowa in 1992. George H Bush and Jimmy Carter won in 1980. Bob Dole and Richard Gephardt won in 1988.

*Not counting incumbents; the incumbent president has always won his party's nomination in Iowa.
Vote Smart

Interested In Becoming A vote_smart Guest Blogger?

I am now seeking guest bloggers for this community to write issues related posts in a nonpartisan way that assimilates the facts and allows members and watchers to have a clearer view into the specifics. The goal is in getting information available to people so that they may be better informed and have links to resources. I'm working on the guidelines for acceptable posting formats, and at the moment am thinking of simply writing a copy & paste code so that all guest blog posts can appear uniform.

Issues can be (but are not limited to):
  • Health Care
  • Free Speech Rights
  • Environment
  • Abortion/Reproductive Freedom
  • Gun Control
  • Right To Privacy
  • Civil Rights
  • The War In Iraq
  • Tradtional -Vs- Same-Sex Marriage
  • Federal Spending
  • Foreign Policy
  • Government Reform
  • Crime
  • Drugs
  • Education
  • Immigration
  • Energy
  • Veterans Issues
  • National Security
  • Science & Medical Research
  • Trade
  • Welfare & Poverty
  • Technology
If there is an issue (listed above or unlisted) that you feel strongly about and would like to research it for a future post, comment to this post or email me at angry_biscuit [at] livejournal [dot] com.

Community Poll: Let's Try & Predict Early, Who Is It Going To Be?

Poll #1038086 Who's It Going To Be?

Who do you think will get the Democratic nomination?

Joe Biden
Hillary Clinton
Chris Dodd
John Edwards
Mike Gravel
Dennis Kucinich
Barack Obama
Bill Richardson

Who do you think will get the Republican nomination?

Sam Brownback
Rudy Giuliani
Mike Huckabee
Duncan Hunter
John McCain
Ron Paul
Mitt Romney
Tom Tancredo
Fred Thompson