Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Moving On

Well I like the home place right now but like a tumble weed I feel like moving on. Whether the change is for the better I will have to wait and see. Come see me at my new homestead which is located here. You can sit down and have a cup of joe with me while we chew the fat.

Good-bye my Fancy!
Farewell dear mate, dear love!
I’m going away, I know not where,
Or to what fortune, or whether I may ever see you again,
So Good-bye my Fancy.
Walt Whitman (1819–1892)


I have been watching the reports out of Wyoming about Brucellosis since it was first reported in the Billings Gazette. The first question I asked myself was if this herd was vaccinated? Well this report this morning shows that it is a vaccinated herd that has been struck with this disease. This is going to be a very troubling to many people in the cattle industry including me. I always vaccinate my cattle for brucellosis assuming it will give my cattle immunity. Yea I intellectually know that know no vaccine is 100% effective but I hoping that it was a little more effective that the 70% quoted in the article. Then this whole situation is going to ignite the whole brucellosis in the Yellowstone Park elk and bison herds and might this be where the infection comes from. It is going to be interesting to see where this all leads since there isn’t much a person could do about it.

What is not mentioned though in the news article are how this mans neighbors are being affected by this. Their herds, I am sure, are being quarantined too and they are having to get Their cattle in and test them too. My sympathy goes out to them and to the owner of the herd infected since he took reasonable precautions against this problem by vaccinating his herd and apparently this was partially ineffective for him.

And whoever walks a furlong without sympathy walks to his own funeral drest in his shroud. Walt Whitman (1819–1892)

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Presidential Candidates

Here is a site that sees how your opinions matches up with Presidential candidates. It is quite funny to see how they stack up.

Under a Presidential government, a nation has, except at the electing moment, no influence; it has not the ballot-box before it; its virtue is gone, and it must wait till its instant of despotism again returns. Walter Bagehot (1826–1877)
Holiday Cheer

Well it's that time of year and my favorite Christmas carol is Tis The Season To Be Surly. Yes, surly. You go out to do some shopping and store clerks and other shoppers all have scowls on their faces and mayhem in their hearts. At least this is the way it seems to me. I always try to maintain a smile and good cheer while I am out at this time of year but that just seems to make people madder. I don't know maybe I smile and am happy just to see the reaction of the surly people around me. If we all do this though maybe the Christmas season will be happier for all.

Lord, confound this surly sister,
Blight her brow with blotch and blister,
Cramp her larynx, lung and liver,
In her guts a galling give her.
J.M. (John Millington) Synge (1871-1909)

Monday, December 15, 2003

Going Postal

I was very glad to see this opinion piece about the postal service. I have my share of trouble with them but I can't seem to ever find anyone else that has any trouble so this makes me feel better knowing that they just aren't targeting me.

Living in the Middle of Nowhere we don't have any mail delivery. My wife goes to town once a week to get groceries and picks up the mail. Usually we have more mail piled up in a week than will fit in the box so they put a yellow slip in the box to let us know we kneed to go to the counter to get the rest of our mail. This is when the fun starts. Over half the time the person behind the counter says we have no mail and to go away. We show them the yellow slip and they say it was put there by mistake. We get on our knees and beg for our mail and maybe they will decide to get us our mail. Then usually letters are opened, magazines read (if delivered at all), and packages crushed. One time, when we complained about the poor service, most of our mail, including bills, mysteriously vanished for around a month before we started seeing our mail again. Convenient isn't it, you complain and they throw your mail away. Then we called the regional postal inspector and he told us to file a complaint but he wouldn't do anything about it. It was too common for him to worry about. We went ahead and filed the complaint and sure enough nothing happened. Her statement "We've all about had it with ineffective supervisors running an operation that puts service last, is short-staffed, badly scheduled and treats customers as bothersome enemies who spoil their day" really sums it up for me.

The only statement she makes that I disagree with is that UPS and Fed-Ex are better. We have to beg the UPS man to deliver to us and most of the time he won't. Then it usually takes a couple of days on the phone to find who he dropped the package off with and go get it if we can. Sometimes we just can't find it at all. At least Fed-Ex has a little better policy. They don't deliver it to us and call and tell us if we want our package we need to come to the Billings office and get it. Nice people aren't they.

The incompetent with nothing to do can still make a mess of it.
Laurence J. Peter (1919 - 1988)

Saturday, December 13, 2003

Running Scared

As the flu grips the nation this year people appear to be panicking and throwing out accusations left and right as for who is to blame. This story though really takes the cake in my opinion. To blame President bush for the lack of flu vaccine is ludicrous.
“The determination of supply is a market issue” says Bill Pierce, spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services, “The companies and manufacturers determine how much supply to produce."
The only reason there is a supply shortage is that people are panicking over the outbreak and people who normally don’t get a flu shot are trying to get one.

I get a flu shot every year and when I get it they tell me it will take a month before full immunity kicks in, so what good is it going to do to get a flu shot if the outbreak is all ready rampant? To top it all off , as this story reports, the vaccine for this year does not cover the flu variant that is causing all the trouble so the effectiveness of the vaccine that people are panicking over is unknown. So with these two strikes against the vaccine is it really worth it? It seems to me like taking sensible and reasonable precautions to avoid catching it is the best that we can do instead of running around like a chicken with their head cut off trying to blame somebody.

I have not ceased being fearful, but I have ceased to let fear control me. I have accepted fear as a part of life, specifically the fear of change, the fear of the unknown, and I have gone ahead despite the pounding in the heart that says: turn back, turn back, you’ll die if you venture too far. Erica Jong

Friday, December 12, 2003

Gotta Have Hope

I found this article very interesting from my standpoint. The specter of BSE in the U.S. is something that scares cattle producers to no end. What I find interesting is the statement “if we ever have something here.” Maybe I am more pessimistic then they are but I feel that it is not a matter of if, it is a matter of when a cow is found to have BSE in the U.S. With all the testing procedures they have in place to insure the safety of the meat supply they will trip across a case sooner or later. The situation as it has turned out in Canada I guess needs to be seen as hope that we will be able to recover from this situation if and when it ever happens.

Nothing is as simple as we hope it will be. Jim Horning

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Little Girl With A Big Heart

Here is a very heart warming story about Makenzie Snyder. This 13 year old girl has started an organization, Children to Children, to help kids that are in foster care. People say that children don’t care anymore. I contend that many kids do care and are good kids they are just under reported. Makenzie Snyder is proof of this. This story at this time of year really makes me think of the true meaning of Christmas. I say God Bless to her and wish her all the best in her work.

You must give some time to your fellow men. Even if it's a little thing, do something for others - something for which you get no pay but the privilege of doing it. Albert Schweitzer (1875 - 1965)

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Arm Twisting

I wonder if sometime in the future Congress will consider letting people exercise personal responsibility or if they will continue to legislate the ‘nanny state’ to protect us from ourselves. Now there is a bill being introduced in Congress to make seatbelt use a federal issue instead of a state issue. If states don’t enact a primary seatbelt law the federal government will withhold a small percentage of their Highway Trust Fund money. Do as we say or you won’t get this money. This is one of the federal governments favorite ploys to coerce the states to do what they want. The states need to wise up and start standing up to this arm twisting tactic and tell the feds were to put there mandates.

Above and beyond this whole discussion of whether it is a state or federal issue should be interjected that it is an issue of personal responsibility first and foremost. You can legislate all you want about seat belt usage but people will make a personal decision whether to use them or not on their own without any government entity, state or federal, deciding for them.

Nothing strengthens the judgment and quickens the conscience like individual responsibility. Nothing adds such dignity to character as the recognition of one’s self-sovereignty. Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815–1902)