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May 23, 2012     Farmers Independent
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Wednesday 7 May 237 2012 FARMERS INDEPENDENT, Basle>,, Minnesota - Pae 8 Didn't Boehner learn anything m 20117 He's the biggest sensation in the UK since Susan Boyle. He trounced the competition in winning the big prize on "Britain's Got Talent." And he accepted his $500,000 pound award -- on all fours! Meet Pudsey, the border collie, bichon frise, and Chinese crested cross mix -- a.k.a. "mutt" -- who wowed the judges and took Britain by storm with an amazing display of walking on his hind legs, jumping through hoops, and even dancing the Charleston. That's the difference between a dog and House Republicans. You can teach a dog tricks. Apparently, you can't teach a House Republican anything. They just can't seem to learn. As we discovered with Paul Ryan's budget, for example. Last year, all but four House Republicans voted for the Ryan plan to end Medicare and Medicaid as they now exist and slash programs for the poor, while expanding tax cuts for the rich. His plan never got off the ground, but it still turned out to be a political disaster. Newt Gingrich dismissed it as "right-wing social engineering." And, once back home in tleir districts, Republicans were so clobbered by outraged constituents anxious about losing Medicare and Medicaid that they returned to Washington and practically disowned the Ryan plan. You'd think they'd have learned their lesson. But oh, no. This year Republicans turned aL ound and adopted almost the very same plan, only worse. And Mitt Romney immediately praised the Ryan budget as a "bold step toward putting our nation back on the track to fiscal sanity." He even called it "marvelous." And now, led by Speaker John Boehner, Republicans are displaying the same ignorance -- and arrogance -- on the debt ceiling. Who can forget last year's debacle? Even though raising the debt ceiling so the United States can pay its bills was never before a partisan issue -- Ronald Reagan did it 18 times; George W. Bush, seven times -- House Republicans refused to allow another increase without corresponding spending cuts to domestic programs. For Republicans, this proved to be another public relations disaster. Experts predicted economic collapse. Credit agencies wamed the United States would lose its top rating. The markets tanked. Crisis was only avoided when both sides agreed to the creation of a Super Committee. But that failed, too, when Republicans on the committee refused to accept any increase in revenues. At which point, as agreed, the "sequester" kicked in, requiring $1.2 trillion in cuts split evenly between defense and domestic programs. But now Republicans are trying to break that deal, too, by sparing the Pentagon and taking all cuts out of Head Start, food stamps, and health care. Once again, following such abject failure, you'd think Republicans would have learned something. But, oh no. Speaker Boehner is now throwing the same temper tantrum. This week, he told the Peter G. Peterson Foundation's 20 l 2 Fiscal Summit: "When the time comes, I will again insist on my simple principle of cuts and reforms greater than the debt limit increase." In other words, Boehner is re-opening the debt brawl of last summer by threatening to shut down the government and hold the full faith and credit of the United States hostage to drastic new domestic (only) spending cuts -- and, of course, another extension of the Bush tax cuts. No matter how he tries to wrap it in fiscally responsible rhetoric, Boehner's suddenly rigid stand on the deficit is nothing but pure politics. If not, why did the current four Republican leaders -- John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Mitch McConnell, and Jon Kyl -- combine to vote for increases in the debt ceiling, with no strings attached, 19 times under President George W. Bush? Did they suddenly get religion when Barack Obama was elected? And, if it's so sacrosanct, why does the Ryan budget itself include an increase of $5 trillion in the debt ceiling with no necessary corresponding cuts? Clearly, Boehner's just playing a political game with the debt ceiling. But it's a dangerous game whose failure would have a devastating effect on the U.S. economy. Every government agency, every business, every family would face a much higher cost of borrowing. Thousands of businesses would fail, and unemployment would rise dramatically. It's irresponsible for Boehner to re-ignite last summer's budget brawl. And political suicide. According to Gallup, after last year's pitiful performance, Congress's approval rating sank to a low of 10 percent. This year, Boehner seems determined to get it down to zero. (Bill Press is host of a nationally-syndicated radio show, the host of "'Full Court Press" on Current TV and the author of a new book, "The Obama Hate Machine," which is available in bookstores now. You can hear "The Bill Press Show" at his website: billpressshow.com. His email address is: bill@billpress.com.) SAVE LIVES! DON'T DRINK & DRIVE ! This is a funny kind of recession I remember not so long ago, when if you talked about the coming collapse of the world economy, or even just the U.S. economy, people looked at you funny and probably assumed you had a basement full of canned goods and guns. Well nowadays when you bring up the subject you're more likely to get a discussion about whether it's still avoidable or not. What some economists have pointed out is this kind of thing has happened many times before: heavy indebtedness leading to runaway inflation, currency collapse, etc. What's different now is the economy of pretty much the whole world is in the same fix. And it's so interconnected that the collapse of a single currency could lead to a world-wide depression. The Eurozone is basically Germany, and everybody else. The Germans are getting sick of supporting the rest of Europe and nostalgic for the Deutchmark. One of these days they're going to say, "You've guilt-tripped us long enough, pay off your own credit cards." The dollar is still the world's reserve currency. But U.S. indebtedness, counting the money we owe, the interest, and all the stuff we've promised to pay for down the road, approaches a figure economists call, "all the money in the world." China looks like an Steve Browne Independent Writer Copyright 2012 Stve Browne economic powerhouse, but they hold an awful lot of that U.S. funny paper, and as the U.S. goes .... At no time in the past have so few of the population of the advanced industrialized countries been engaged in subsistence occupations: farming, ranching, and making the basic stuff you need to live and work. In 1930 at the beginning of the Great Depression, 25 percent of the American population was farmers living on 6 million family farms. Today between one and two percent of the population are farmers. The U.S. has more people in prison than living on farms. It's depressing and more than a little scary to think about. But on the other hand, when I look around it just doesn't seem to fit with what i see. It's summer and garage sale season. Driving around town and stopping at the dozen or so garage sales I trip over, I'm impressed with the sheer volume of stuff available for nickels and dimes. I remember when poor folks worried about clothing their kids. My-two kids are still at the age kids grow out of clothes before they wear out. I figure I could probably outfit them in good used clothes for the rest of the year for under $100 for both of them. Everybody talks about the economy, and how jobs are tight, and that's obviously true. But I've got a friend on service-connected disability who makes a decent living painting houses, interiors and exteriors, and is turning away work. Some unemployed women I know are supporting themselves cleaning houses, and have all the work they care to do. The point isn't just that some people are making their living doing work that's not all that pleasant, and which they are way overqualified for. It's that there are enough people out there willing to pay someone to work, rather than do it themselves or let it go until their finances are in better shape. I've never felt flush enough to indulge myself in a new car. But I've got a great used car I fully expect to give good service for up to another 10 years with care. With the machine shops and salvage yards in this country, I wonder how long we could keep our fleet of cars and trucks on the road, even if the auto industry shut down altogether. The housing market is still terrible. But that's why I can afford to rent a nice house about three times larger than I could have a few years ago. Because it wasn't moving and the owner didn't want to rent to students. In terms of the pile of stuff we've got, we're still a rich country. It's the currency and book keeping that's in such bad shape. But what it means and how it'll all shake out, I have no idea. (Steve Browne is an award-winning reporter and columnist who entered journalism by accident while living and working in Eastern Europe from 1991 to 2004. He is the author of two books for English students: "Word Pictures: English as it is REALLY Used," published in Belgrade, Yugoslavia and Novosibirsk, Russia, and "English Linguistic Humor: Puns, Play on Words, Spoonerisms, and Shaggy Dog Stories." In 1997 he was elected an Honorary Member of the Yugoslav Movement for the Protection of Human Rights. He is currently living in his native Midwest, which he considers "the most interesting foreign country I have ever lived in.") What should your child's T-shirt say? To the editor: I sit and rock our three- week old grandson, basking in the joy, beauty and blessings he brings to our family. He is wearing a "onesie" that says "The Best of Mom and Dad." So true. And knowing his mom and dad, I know this will always be true. They will always give him their best. And yet there is also a moment of genuine sorrow for all of the children out there who could be wearing the words "Neglected," "Unloved, .... Unwanted," "Unplanned," or "Discarded." My heart grieves for those children, children of all ages. From the unborn to the grown-ups, the pain on their faces, we see them every day. Today, traditional values are under attack in America - - almost mocked. Almost like they should be tossed out. Almost like, "Out with the old and in with the new!" Traditional values work. Look around. The new morality is not working. It is costing us, as a people and as a nation, more than we can ever, ever pay. Parents who love each other, love their children, and choose to honor God and His word with their lives and teach their children to do the same will always be the strong backbone of our communities and our nation. Traditional values work. Let's wake up, folks. Laurel Jones Clearbrook Who is the liar now? To the editor: administration for their stand guiding our young people to As I was reading our paper, on these issues. He said it is be responsible caring adults. May 16 issue, I read the discrimination and cannot be When are Christians going to Bill Press column and was defended by the Bible either, say enough is enough? totally disgusted, appalled He is totally wrong. Read these Bible passages and dismayed at his column. As an average citizen I if you even know what a How low our nation has am tired of these ideas and Bible is. become. He's praising of so wrongs continually pushed Psalms 10 many wrongs: issues about in my face. Where is our Leviticus 18:22 gays and lesbians (their country going with such evil Mark 10:6-9 choice to be so). Don't ask, i:leas and evil leaders? What Luke 20:34 Don't tell policy that was happened to our great nation, I Cor. 7:2 ended, Defense of Marriage under God? Shame on us Now who is the liar! Act as unconstitutional, same for not standing up for our Shirley Dukek sex marriage, praising our rights, for not teaching and Bagley FARMERS INDEPENDENT Published every Wednesday at Bagley, Clearwater County, Minnesota USPS 187-720 Periodical Postage paid at Post Office, Bagley, MN 56621 By FARMERS PUBLISHING COMPANY, INC. P.O. Box 130 - Bagley, MN 56621 Subscription rates: $24 a year in these towns: Bagley, Clearbrook, Gonvick, Leonard, Pinewood, Shevlin. ($13.00 six months); $28.00 a year or $15 for six months in these towns: Fosston, Gully, Lake Itasca, Lengby, Solway, Trail. All other locations (in USA) $30.00 a year ($16 for six months). Snowbirds: Add $3.00 per year for those in local area who travel south for the winter (those heading south who do not subscribe as "'snowbirds" will have regular subscription shortened by one month to makeup for diff ..... in postage); student 9 .... th rate ,s 52300 Member The Publisher shall not be liable for slight changes and typographical errors that do not lessen the value of an advertisement. The Publisher's liability for other errors or omissions in connection with an advertisement is strictly limited to publication of the advertisement in any subsequent issue or the refund of any monies paid for the advertisement. The Publisher reserves the right to reject any advertisement. This newspaper is printed on recycled newsprint. Thomas Burford -- Manager / Editor Adeline Nelson -- Mailroom Jessien Braaten -- Ad Compositor Janet Schafer -- Mailroom Trieia Mathison Production * Teresa Olson -- Bookkeeper Ciera Hartmann -- Typesetter/Reporter BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Darol Meiby -- President Tamara Edevold -- Vice President * Jim Michel -- Sccretaryrrreasuer Directors: Tom Larson, Carol Lindgren, Mary Hayes and Ted Olson THE MISSION OF THE FARMERS INDEPENDENT: To constantly strive for excellence and integrity in serving a growing community with local news. A Memorial Day message Remember, as we approach free. Thousands have paid the another Memorial Day, some price, so that you can enjoy of the old men you see gave what you have today. you, and all of us, freedom for Here's a quick, easy prayer America. that helps to remember our Thanks are due to those who served and still serve, and to all of those who supported them, and who continue to support them. America is not at war. The U.S. Military is at war. America is at the Mall. Remember, freedom isn't soldiers: "God our father, walk through my house and take away all my worries; please watch over and heal my family; and please protect our freedoms and watch over our troops, who are defending those freedoms. Amen." (Source: anonymous) The president's 'other gospel' It is one thing to talk about "fairness" when it comes to allowing gays and lesbians to marry; it is quite another to claim biblical authority for such relationships. President Obama cited the "Golden Rule" about treating others as you would like to be treated, but in doing so he ignored the totality of Scripture and the Lord Himself, who alone gets to set the rules for human behavior. The president says he is a "practicing Christian." It is difficult to be one while simultaneously holding a low view of the Bible, which his position on several social issues might suggest. The same Book that informs him about the Person he told Pastor Rick Warren in 2008 is his "Savior," also speaks to the beginning of human life (he has done nothing to limit abortions), fornication between adults of the opposite sex (no word yet on his position on that subject), marriage, and adultery, which the Seventh Commandment and New Testament passages condemn. I recently wrote that it is becoming increasingly difficult for people who believe the Bible is God's Word to impose their beliefs on those who disagree with them. But it is something altogether different for those who disagree to claim the Bible doesn't say what it says, in effect calling God a liar. President Obama apparently hopes there are sufficient numbers of biblical illiterates -- and he could be fight about this -- that either won't notice his sleight of hand, or don't care. Thousands of years of human history have sustained marriage between one man and one woman. Even human biology testifies to a natural order. Genesis 2:24 says "...a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife. The two shall become one flesh." Jesus, Whom President Obama likes to selectively quote when it suits his earthly political agenda, honored traditional marriage at a wedding feast in Cana (John 2:1). He also reaffirmed the Genesis passage in Matthew 19:5. Paul, the Apostle of Jesus, wrote in Ephesians 5 about husbands and wives, male and female. Scripture teaches that the marriage union between a man and woman is an illustration of how Christ and the church are one (Ephesians 5:32). It also teaches that since God made us, conceived of marriage and created sex to be enjoyed within the marital bond, He gets to set the rules and establish the boundaries for human behavior, not because He is a curmudgeon who wanls to deny us pleasure, but because He lowswhat is best for us. Liberal theologians have tried to modify, or even change, what is contained in the Bible and there are those in our time who are following their example with the issue of same-sex marriage. People are free to accept or reject what Scripture says. What they are not free to do is to claim it says something it does not. In modem times that's called "spin." In an earlier time it was called heresy. The Apostle John warns in Revelation 22:18-19 about the punishment awaiting anyone who adds to, or subtracts from Scripture. Deuteronomy 4:1-2 has a similar warning. The consequences aren't pretty. There are also warnings not to preach"another. Gospel" (Galatians 1:8, 2 Corinthians 11:4, among others). As he seeks to justify his position on same-sex marriage and other issues that are either questionable at best, or deny Scripture at worst, President Obama might be said to be preaching another gospel. This could possibly lead to a fissure in his solid support among African Americans, costing the president votes in November. It will also likely galvanize the culture warriors. Minorities mostly vote for Democrats, but they don't like their faith denied. That could cause some of them to stay home on Election Day, or even vote for Mitt Romney. The negative reaction the president received from some of the African-American ministers he called last week after declaring his support for same-sex marriage should serve as a prophetic warning. (Readers may e-mail Cal Thomas at tmseditors@tribune.com. ) Marriage amendment website A website at minnesotaformarriage, com presents arguments about the Minnesota marriage amendment that will be on the ballot this November. Once at the website, one can look for the marriage minute videos that take a question and provide an answer about the amendment. SAVING IS EASY WHEN YOU READ THE CLASSIFIEDSI