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Without the ability to trade with one another, we are all back to subsistence living. Back to living on what we can create ourselves in our backyards. hile this will result in that American “pot belly” disappearing, it is not what we should strive for in our international relations.`Lorraine Newman

Our thanks to Ag Newswire for the following report on how a trade agreement that did not require Congressional approval will benefit the farming communities in our country:

Montana Farm Bureau is applauding the trade deal between the United States and Japan that will further open markets for both countries. Agriculture is among the biggest beneficiaries.

“Every farmer in Montana understands the importance of trade and with the trade agreement leveling the playing field and opening up more markets, it’s beneficial for all Montana farmers and ranchers,” said MFBF President Hans McPherson. “In Montana we produce the world’s best wheat, and Japan loves it.”

The Impact of Soleimani’s Death, by Jim McKinney, 10 Jan 2020

The US Strike on Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani was the most significant event in the Middle East in nearly 70 years.  The unmanned “Reaper” drone strike at the Bagdad Airport on 2 Jan 2020 that killed Soleimani was precise, rapid with no civilian casualties.  Even though it has turned the region upside down, I believe it will be strategically important in the long term. 

Soleimani was not the second most powerful man in Iran, he was the most power individual in all of the Middle East.  He directed the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps ‘Quds Force’, the Iranian external special operations and intelligence force. The IRGC protects the Iranian Theocracy, the Quds Force spreads their influence.  Soleimani was the man that kept the religious rulers in power.

“Heard it from a friend who heard it from a friend who, heard it from another you’ve been messing around.”

Gossip, we have all been caught up in its ugly web at sometime.  That’s why the beginning of this Reo-Speedwagon song is so catchy. It brings us back to our days in high school or a bad stereotype for women in the 60’s. 

We have been witnessing an interesting event over the last several weeks. An unknown person walked into the office of Congressman Adam Schiff and spoke with his staffers about an incident they had heard about. The controversy is: Was what they heard an illegal request because a threat was involved, or just a normal conversation between leaders of countries? Does the President’s real or perceived intent make this conversation illegal?

What we are talking about is not in contest. We know it was a telephone conversation between President Trump and the newly elected President Zelensky, of the Ukraine. We have read the “cliff notes” of the conversation and the full transcript of conversation itself. Some heard from President Zelensky that he had regarded the conversation as normal.

We do not know much about the complainant. This person has been hidden from us. Assumptions are being made that this person is a federal employee. That they have been called a whistle-blower by those the person spoke to. Are they or not?

Before we rush off to judgment, we need to know what we are talking about; preferably before talking heads begin to change the definitions that are commonly held by us all.


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