Contributors

Good News On the Farm

Liberty Road: Good News On the Farm Received my FBNews yesterday, and it was good news for the most part. Their Market basket shows retail food prices declined slightly in the fourth quarter of 2012. And “According the USDA, Americans spend just under 10 Percent of their disposable annual income on food, the lowest average of any country in the world.” The new tax measures that the Congress approved early in January are not all bad news. They did make permanent the $5 million estate tax exemption and extended the 2008 farm bill for nine months. Both issues were huge worry areas for farmers. The EPA has announced that it will retain its current 24-hour standard for coarse particulate matter. To those of you who do not speak “governmentese” they are talking about dust. The EPA will be reassessing these rules in 2016 as required by law. So for now, the specter of only being able to work on a rainy day so that there is no dust has been kicked down the road. So we will keep our heads up and look forward to planting. You can check it out at fbnews.org. ~ Lorraine Newman

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Two Chicken Farmer Stories

Liberty Road: Two Chicken Farmer Stories A Maryland poultry grower has triumphed in the Federal courts against an environmental activist group. Now before you see visions of factory farms in your heads this family, the Hudsons have two chicken houses. Their farm is considered “small compared to the average chicken farm on Maryland’s Eastern Shore”. The family also raises corn, soy beans, hay and a few beef cattle. Their battle began in 2010 when Waterkeeper Alliance (a citizen group) filed a lawsuit in federal court claiming the family had violated the clean water act because they had a long standing manure pile. At Waterkeeper Alliance’s behest the Maryland Dept. of the Environment investigated. The Department found that it was not a manure pile but a lawfully obtained pile of biosolids. They asked the farmers to move it to another location and to spread it in the spring for the next crop growing season. The Department determined no further action was required. Not to be deterred by facts, the Waterkeeper Alliance amended their law suit to include the words “factory farm operation” and made further accusations of air contaminants and moved forward in the courts. Three years and $100,000.00 later the …

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Meet Tommy

“Meet Tommy…Tommy is 10 years old and he is already $817K in debt and counting. Why, because Government has a spending problem. This Saturdays show will feature a nationally recognized youth organization that is working to raise awareness of the fiscal insanity occuring in all levels of government. Benjamin Backer will join the show this Saturday to discuss how Turning Point USA plans to wake-up today’s youth that deficit spending leads to debt and today’s debt will not be paid in full by the generation that spent it, but by the next generation and the many to follow them, unless they stand-up to those who say debt doesn’t matter. Here’s a link to Benjamin’s blog and remember, Benjamin (Benji) is 15 years old! Just knowing that organizations like Turning Point USA and youthful energy like Benjamin’s is out there gives me hope that we can turn this country back into the shining light upon the hillside. ~ Kris Halterman

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He Who Controls the Water (and land) Controls the World

The posting below is from an email response I sent to a commenter from the Saturday, Jan. 12th program. The body of my reply encompasses my thoughts on the Lake Whatcom Reconveyance issue and the upcoming show on the Futurewise vs. Whatcom County. The conflict over the Growth Managements result of invalidity towards Whatcom Counties definition of rural elements has become a tangled web that must be dealt with. Should the Council cave-in to the bullying of groups like Futurewise? Or, should they wipe the slate clean and start over? Keep in mind the wise words of an unknown author; “He who controls the water (and land) controls the world.” Please read my response email and let me know what you think. What would you ask the County Council and Executive Louws to do? All power is local and We the People know that every time a new layer of bureacracy is imposed, or land becomes too heavily regulated; we lose a little more freedom and liberty for ourselves and our future. ~ Kris Halterman Thank you for your comment(s). Yes! There are success stories and they are almost exclusively on DNR managed land. A quick search on the words …

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The Freedom Agenda

 The new year is upon us. As 2013 unfolds the private sector still waits to hear if their taxes are going up or down, if government spending is going up or down, and how all of this will affect us personally. Over the past 100 years, taxes, fees or revenue (whichever word you choose to use) have been used to pay for the whim(s) of the political class to assuage the public with our own money. That said, they re-distribute the revenue by taking money from one sector of society and giving it to another. Whether they give back our money to private individuals, private business, or public/private non-profits, it is still a government entity picking the winners and losers of American society. The allure of free tax dollars (can you hear me gagging here?) is very powerful, no matter how principled you are. If it were not a powerful incentive, the United States would not find itself to be in deft for over $16,300,000,000.00. Or, the reality that the United States is actually over $86,800,000,000.00 in debt, due to the unfunded liabilities of Social Security, Medicare, Federal pension plans and promises that they cannot possibly keep.On Saturday’s program, Washington …

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Merry Christmas and Joy to the World this Christmas Eve

The Christmas holiday has snuck upon me once again. The tree has been decorated. The stockings have been hung and await small trinkets to bring smiles to young faces. The walls and mantels (well countertops anyway) have been ladened with decades of Christmas craft show gifts and purchases. The charitable donations have been decided upon and made. My closets still need to be gone through and the things that still have life and value, will be taken to a local thrift store before long. Christmas dinner is planned. Christmas cookies will be baked fresh for family and friends. A prayer is all that’s left for today and I want to share that prayer with everyone today. Dear Lord, Thank you for all the love you bring to my life and to the lives of my family and friends. Please watch over them, and all of the people who want and need you in their lives. There will be days that I have to work hard for myself, my family and those who desire my work. It gives me joy to know that I can still work and that some day I may not be capable of giving this much, but …

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How to make a tragedy into a political agenda

Over the past days, as families in Newtown, Conn., struggle with tragedy, horror, sorrow, fear and grief, I watched politicians and media grandstand in front of cameras and microphones to tell the world that they will not politicize this tragedy. How is it possible not to politicize a tragedy when gun rights are involved? That immediately makes it a political and a constitutional issue. This is not some minor matter to be negotiated by an unelected, commission of strangers. This is the 2nd Amendment to the Bill of Rights. Written for the People and protected by the United States Constitution. “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” The tragedy in Newtown, Conn. resulted in the loss of innocent children. Little angels really, who have no conceptual understanding of what evil is. How evil convinces seemingly normal, non-violent people, to behave like wild animals. Yet we all admit that evil does exist and manifests itself all over the world. Evil, uses whatever weapon(s) it can, to create fear and havoc upon the focus of their rage. Is it possible to eliminate …

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Chuckanut Community Forest Metropolitan Park District – special election coming in February 2013

The continuing saga of how the City of Bellingham purchased the Chuckanut Ridge, aka; 100-Acre Woods in August of 2011. The 100-Acre Woods was owned by Greenbriar Northwest and had been legally zoned for, multi-story, single family homes. Greenbriar had many obstacles placed before them which delayed this development. In 2008 when the real estate bubble burst, the feasibilty that the development could ever happen, withered and Greenbriar Northwest spiraled into bankruptcy. The bankruptcy of Greenbriar Northwest then dominoed into the closing of Horizon Bank, by the FDIC, who turned the banks assets over to Washington Federal Savings and Loan (WaFed).WaFed eventually worked out a deal with the City of Bellingham to sell the the 100-Acre Woods for a substantially discounted price of $8.7 million. This was a far cry from the original assessed valuation of $26 million, or the present valuation of $11.8 million. (Forgive me as I digress, but as they crowed about purchasing this property for a song, they failed to admit that the city also lost approximately $275 million in real estate excise taxes from the future sale(s) of the lots, or all of the future property taxes not realized because this property was removed from …

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