Well, the new year 2014 has barely started and already I’ve acquired an unusual malady, something I’ll call the RCTBOS — Remote Control Thumb Burnout Syndrome. Since the kickoff of college football bowl games, the National Football League season finales and playoffs, and men and women’s college basketball games, my thumb is plumb worn out from punching the ol’ TV remote control.
I’ve mentioned before that I seldom watch live TV sports programs because life’s too short to spend time watching dumb commercials and listening to dumber TV commentators. So, I record the event I want to watch and then fast forward through the ads and talking heads — watching only the real game action. Normally, that’s no problem, but the plethora of sporting events the last two weeks has taken a toll on my right thumb. Guess I need to search the internet to find a new way to get my thumb in shape since I’m not gonna do nuthin’ about the rest of my body.
Since it’s January, 2014, I’ve got a question for our august members of the U.S. Congress — representative and senators alike: Where’s the new farm bill? It’s been years in the making, the old farm bill has been extended numerous times, and still the Congress waffles.
I chuckle when I hear talk about the farm bill reverting to the original federal Agricultural Adjustment Act passed in the 1930s — a law that tied farm commodity prices to the cost of capital and labor (formally called parity prices).
Here’s what I’m talking about. Here are USDA’s listed commodity parity prices for the most common storable commodities for December, 2013: wheat, $18.00/bushel; corn, $12.30/bushel; soybeans, $29.20/bushel; grain sorghum/cwt, $21.50; oats, $7.51; barley, $12.69/bushel; rice, $46.80/cwt and potatoes, $23.20/cwt.
Here are the parity prices for the most common livestock/poultry commodities for the same month: Milk, $49.60/cwt; market beef, $283.00/cwt; beef calves, $388.00/cwt; hogs, $155.00/cwt; eggs, $2.52/dozen and wool, $3.03/lb.
If those prices were enacted through USDA non-recourse commodity loans as the original law required, it would unleash such a cornucopia of new earned wealth on our nation that the economy would rebound in a relative heartbeat — provided that only the actual cost of the commodities were passed along to the consumer and not jacked up by the food and grocery industry. Frankly, that’s such a good idea that it will never happen.
So, I have a solution to get the new farm bill passed in a hurry. Withhold all congressional salaries until a new farm bill is passed. That, too, is such a good idea that it will never happen.
And in the meantime, our nation’s food producers are left in a state of limbo — not having a sound basis upon which to plan for the future.
A social worker from California recently transferred to the Ozark Mountains in Missouri and Arkansas intent on reinvigorating the regional economy with free federal government handouts. She was on the first tour through her rugged new territory when she came upon the tiniest cabin she had ever seen in her life. Intrigued, she went up and knocked on the door.
“Anybody home?” she asked.
“Yep,” came a kid’s voice through the door.
“Is your father there?” asked the social worker.
“Pa? Nope, he left afore Ma came in,” said the kid.
“Well, is your mother there?” persisted the social worker.
“Ma? Nope, she left just afore I got here,” said the kid.
“Sure, but not here,” said the kid through the door. “This is the outhouse!”
That story surely comforts me knowing that folks like the California lady soon will be handling all our medical dilemmas nationwide.
I hear that the good state of Colorado will soon be adding a new slogan to all its vehicle license plates. Soon, those plates will read, “Colorado, The Cannabis State of Euphoria.”
Not looking for a fight, Coloradans, just reporting what I heard.
OK, I’ve run out of ideas here in the first week of January, so I’m gonna close this column with some profound statements that recently came into my e-mail box. Here they are:
Jeff Foxworthy — “You know you’re a redneck if your home has wheels and your car doesn’t.”
Prince Philip — “When a man opens a car door for his wife, it’s either a new car or a new wife.”
Emo Philips — “A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kickboxing.”
Harrison Ford — “Wood burns faster when you have to cut and chop it yourself.”
W. H. Auden — “We are here on earth to do good unto others. What the others are here for, I have no idea.”
I don’t have any idea either, so just have a good ’un. ❖