June 22, 2018

Farm bill facts

Allow me to start with a personal rant. We're entering week 3 of no internet at Goat Rope Farm. It appears that Frontier Communications is out of the customer service business. Anyhow, there is some news about a vital issue in play, to wit the Farm Bill, which will have a huge impact on food security for millions of Americans.

Here's some info from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in DC:

We’ve still got the dueling House and Senate farm bills that propose dramatically different visions for SNAP, which helps 1 in 8 Americans put food on the table. Yesterday afternoon, the House just barely passed their version of the farm bill (H.R. 2), which would cut SNAP by nearly $19 billion and take away food assistance from 2 million people. The narrow and partisan margin of support for the bill — 213 votes in favor, all Republican, and 211 votes against the bill from some Republicans and all Democrats, largely because of the SNAP cuts and harmful changes — strengthens our argument that the House farm bill SNAP title is the wrong approach. It’s also a huge testament to your relentless efforts to drive a narrative about the House farm bill and encourage members to vote no, so thank you for all you’ve done and continue to do!

Meanwhile, the Senate is gearing up to vote next week (starting Tuesday) on a bipartisan farm bill that protects and strengthens SNAP. The bill represents the right path forward and gives us an opportunity to reiterate just how misguided and harmful the House farm bill is. But we can’t take things for granted in the Senate: As we’ve shared before, we remain deeply concerned that amendments could be offered during the floor debate to cut SNAP or make harmful changes that would restrict access or take away food assistance from struggling families who need help.

They urge folks to message senators ASAP opposing any amendments to the bill which would reduce or restrict basic food assistance.

June 19, 2018

The bacillus never dies...

It's been a long time between blog posts, thanks mostly to Frontier Communications, which hasn't been able to get our interwebs going for 10 days or so. Apparently customer service isn't a huge priority there. Since I don't know how long our service will last I'll make this brief.

I just finished re-reading Albert Camus' The Plague for maybe the 20th time. Written during the Nazi occupation of France, it was a parable of fascism. The last paragraph contains a warning that seems way too timely for comfort:

...the plague bacillus never dies or disappears for good; that it can lie dormant for years and years in furniture and linen-chests; that it bides its time in bedrooms, cellars, trunks, and bookshelves; and that perhaps the day would come when, for the bane and the enlightening of men, it would rouse up its rats again and send them forth to die in a happy city.
What's that scurrying sound?