If you want baby formula, you need to go on government welfare. The federal government has a monopoly on baby formula due to the socialist spending programs that brought you WIC, etc. The US government shouldn’t manage baby formula nationally. They can’t run that any better than they were able to run the Mustang Ranch whorehouse that they seized in Nevada.

 

The Russian Conundrum (an opinion)

Russia’s aging population makes a general mobilization for war with Ukraine (and possibly NATO) a challenge that they have not faced head-on yet. In the current levy, Russa drafts approximately 400,000 young men between the ages of eighteen and twenty-seven are drafted each year to serve in the regular army, the Ministry of Internal Affairs forces (the militia or police forces), border troops, and other branches of Russia’s vast armed forces.

Russian law gives detailed guidelines for the various stages of the conscription process. These guidelines, found in the 1998 law on military service and a 1999 implementing regulation, are applicable without exception to all young men of conscription age.

In the year he turns seventeen, a male citizen is entered into the military registry (in Russian: voinskii uchet). At this time, a preliminary determination is made as to whether he is fit for military service or has grounds for a non-medical exemption.

When he turns eighteen, a Russian male receives a summons to appear at his local draft board for conscription proceedings. According to the regulation on conscription, he must be directly handed the summons and must sign it. If a young man is handed a draft summons and signs but subsequently does not appear for conscription proceedings, he is considered to be a draft dodger and is prosecuted under the criminal code. If officials are unable to physically hand a young man a summons, the military recruitment office may request the local police precinct in writing to help “ensure” his presence at conscription proceedings.

Conscription proceedings ordinarily consist of a medical exam by physicians to determine a candidate’s fitness for military service, and a determination by the draft board (in Russian, prizyvnaia komissia) as to whether he should be exempted from military service, given a deferral, placed in reserve, drafted or sent to perform alternative service. It also assigns the candidate to a specific branch of service.

Due in part to conscription’s unpopularity and in part to the deteriorating health of Russia’s youth, recruitment authorities in many cities throughout Russia cannot meet draft quotas, and many of those drafted have been described as in poor health. Much of this is due to a combination of IV drug addiction, alcoholism, severe psychological conditions, fetal alcohol birth issues, and malnutrition.

About 10% of those young men who are called up for service and are otherwise fit use illegitimate means to avoid being conscripted by paying bribes to members of draft boards, doctors, or other officials.

Muscovites have special advantages. Official statistics for the 2001 fall conscription period show that between 50 and 60 percent of all young men processed by Moscow draft boards had an education-related right to deferral, 30 percent were declared unfit for military service, and 2 percent received a deferral based on their family situation.  Over the past 20 years, things are said to be even more extreme.

Enrolment in the military means that young men are not available for jobs in the private sector. Foreign trade accounts for about 28 percent of Russian GDP and about half of it has been disrupted by the 2022 sanctions. China is Russia’s largest trading partner and, together with Belarus and a few other nations, continues to trade with Russia. The other half is currently halted by the sanctions with major problems for the Russian economy. All this degrades future Russian economic prospects. That has a negative impact on Russian allies. These foreign supporters now see their powerful patron as less powerful than believed and now feel desperate or simply afraid. And then there is China, which does not have allies, only trading partners and tribute states. Russia is now moving from a trading partner to the lower tribute state status.

China has territorial claims on Russia on or near the Pacific coast. Japan has a dispute with Russia over the ownership of some Pacific Coast islands that Russia took at the end of World War II. Until recently Japan was rather timid in its requests to Russia about these islands. Once it became clear how poorly Russia was doing in Ukraine, Japan has become more open and aggressive about the island dispute and Russian efforts to keep Japanese fishing boats out of areas they claim are ineffective.

China is now the largest trading nation in the world, followed by the U.S. and Germany. These three nations are the only ones with trade exceeding a trillion dollars. Russia was 19th before the sanctions and with the sanctions will be fortunate to remain in the top 30 nations. A general mobilization for war, taking young men out of advantageous economic jobs, and dropping them into uniform will make remaining in the Top 30 a distant memory. Pulling young men off the farm to serve in a war against NATO means that agricultural production will take a one-two punch, the first punch from the loss of products from Ukraine. Even if there is no kinetic conflict, if the mobilization continues long enough, famine and deaths by starvation during the harsh Russian winters are not out of the question.

 

The Situation with American Farms (another opinion)

Farmers are one of the pillars of any country’s economy and under President Joe Biden’s ancient, liver-spotted thumb, farmers are getting pinched. Hard. Part of this, based on snide remarks from within the White House is because most family farmers are white and heterosexual.

Despite intense efforts to encourage them, inner city people of color. and trannies show little interest to move to the countryside to become farmers and work hard for 18 hours a day, every day to make the place break even.

In a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on Tuesday, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsak expressed his concern for farmers.“There are 61,670 farm families in America today that are on the brink. 61,670 farm families that are either delinquent in their loans to [the U.S. Department of Agriculture] or bankrupt or are pending foreclosure. This is a serious issue and I’m pretty confident that every single member of this committee probably has a number of those 61,000 farmers living in their states,” Vilsak said, according to CNS News.

According to an article in Time magazine, the national farm debt was $416 billion in 2019. More than 50 percent of American farmers had lost money every year since 2013.

Later in his remarks on Tuesday, Vilsak seemed to hint at the problem of farmer suicides.“I represented farmers during the 1980s as a small-town lawyer. I can tell you the pain. I can tell you the stress. I can tell you the decisions that folks make under these circumstances. I can tell you very tragic decisions that they make under these circumstances,” he said.

Farmer suicide may not be anything new. In fact, according to a 2020 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, relative to other industries, suicide rates are significantly higher in five major industry groups. Agriculture is one of those five.

Keeping a farm profitable is a merciless endeavor. In 2019, Wisconsin lost 700 farms, an average of about two per day.

Economic cycles, the rise of fuel, fertilizer and equipment prices, and dependence on factors such as seasons and climate, among other things, all contribute to the hardship. But nobody could have prepared for Biden.

Like a true tool of the left, inflation and price increases are inclusive — nobody gets left behind, and everybody gets screwed. But judging by the rate at which farmers commit suicide, perhaps not everyone gets screwed equally.

When farmers lose their job, they are really losing a lot more than that. They have to give up their land and homes, which have often been in their families for generations.

43 COMMENTS

  1. The govt has been stealing from farmers for a long time now, either directly or through their big business contributors. That’s mainly why I couldn’t get too worked up over the gasohol thing, as farmers were getting just a little bit back.
    As a gas additive, it’s a bad idea. I ride motorcycles and won’t put that stuff in the tank.
    As a govt program, it’s a bad idea – but that’s true about most of them.
    Family farms have a vested interest in protecting the land, as they want something they can pass on to their children and grandchildren. Commercial farms are going to create the cement colored wastelands that require tons of chemicals just to grow crops. I grew up on a family farm and the color & smell of good soil should be treasured…I’m guessing good gardeners would feel the same.

    • I ride the Ducati Diavel – more now since the weather is good. I agree with no additives and I would prefer avgas to the 91 octane at the pumps with ethanol, but I don’t have a ready source of aviation fuel. How do you do it?

      • I have a couple of straight, high octane gas stations close by. For traveling, I check out https://www.pure-gas.org as well as doing a search for E0 gas. The latter brings up stations that the pure-gas site might miss. Sometimes I can find stations with 93 octane.

        • I use the Pure Gas site often. I’m happy I found a couple of places here that sell it, as my old Toyota is much happier running without booze in the tank.

      • One guy I knew a long time ago would go to small airports and fill up there. I don’t know if that is even allowed anymore. It would still be a bit iffy, though.

      • If you can find them in your area, go with Chevron. I checked their pump housings, and they do not indicate gasohol content here in CA. Before I sold my Eagle Talon Turbo a couple years ago, that was the only gasoline that it would run well with. When I tried the other brands, it would run poorly, and give really bad mileage. I’m assuming the knock sensor would dial back the timing advance system to handle the crappy fuel octane. Obviously bad, as the performance loss couldn’t be covered up. Much newer turbo cars may be able to deal with it to some extent, but that car was like the canary-in-the-mine when it came to fuel quality. Ahh, for the days of 108 octane Sunoco 260 pump gas!

  2. Farming is a tough life. It is essentially professional gambling that you’ll have the right conditions to produce, the right conditions to get a decent price to sell, and no black swan event that screws you in the meantime.
    It’s a life where you have to love the lifestyle, not just turn up. That goes for sheep, cattle, crops, or any other permutation of agricultural production.

    As for Russia’s manpower problem, can’t say it’s too different here. The young people of an age to soldier are not healthy fit people. In a large part, they’re fat, unhealthy, and have a shitty attitude to boot. At least the Russians have a message of national pride, increasingly here the culture of woke is telling everyone the western world needs to be destroyed.

    Maybe I’m just feeling especially bitter with an election looming after the last couple of years of covid excesses.

    • You have every right to be bitter. Australians took a LOT of heat from their government. I dare say that it would have been less heat if they were an armed society, but, that is only speculation on my part.

      If they do ballot stuffing the way we’ve seen here, they/you are as doomed as we are.

  3. It’s easier to control the food supply, and thus the population, if you only have to deal with Bill Gates and giant agricorps instead of family farms. So, the farmers keep getting the shaft.

    Besides, who cares about farmers, anyway? They are too independent to make good Dole slaves, and don’t have any money to pay bribes.

    -Kle.

    • Bill Gates/giant agricorps must rely on hired labor that have a range of skills only learned on the job. When family farms close, the generations that keep them going don’t stay. Those illegal immigrants flooding the country are here to fill those jobs, IMO.

      • That makes a lot of sense, WSF. I hadn’t made the connection until you just snapped that puzzle piece in place for me. Of course.

        • It will bite them in the ass soon. The machinery is too complicated for illiterate workers. Stoop labor, yes, but it takes much more in today’s agriculture. Some farm equipment approaches airplanes in complexity. Computer generated plowing/planting GPS guided operations for example.

          • Yup. I climb all around the new tractors whenever I have the chance. It’s amazing how much they’ve changed since I was a kid and crawled all over them. I remember seeing the first air-conditioned cabs on a John Deere, and then the arrival of the Monster Tractors, with 8 gigantic tires and enough electronics to make an avionics tech stand back.

            And milion dollar prices……

  4. The Kulaks are bitching again. We know how that always ends.

    The fundamental problem farmers face is that the economics of farming don’t allow 10% for The Big Guy. Pure and simple.

    • Farmers are not supporting the weather tax (mordida) and thus they are enemies. If more became Democrats, perhaps the government wouldn’t be so intent on destroying them.

      • At one time, farmers were the largest collective bunch of socialists in America. Called themselves “The Grange.” But then farmers became more and more scarce and became more and more conservative.

    • There is a great deal to be depressed about.

      Some hope, but seriously dangerous trends. Not so much for us, but for our posterity who will have to reap the seeds our generation sewed for them.

  5. The Baby Formula “manufactured crisis”will now be [SURPRISE!] overshadowed by yet another mass shooting by some lunatic. The cynic in me believes this to be another Deflection Operation. Some kid just doesn’t do this after drafting his English Lit style manifesto. Maybe he wore a mask too long? Got vax’d/boosted/reboosted? Who the heck knows. But I’m not buying it. Probably find out he was another kid seeing a “therapist”, maybe even on the Flogging Boys Inc radar. The timing doesn’t pass the smell test. 2A will again be under fire, which is the ultimate goal; disarm the independent thinkers…because the Dem’s are cowards.

    Grew up around farming. Total respect. They live by the seasons and whims of nature. Many I knew are no longer in operation…government runs over them, and frankly, many subsequent generations don’t want to work that hard or get little to no time off. It’s a lifestyle, not a job.

    Watch Clarkson’s Farm (Prime)…it’s brilliant and funny, but showcases farming in England is not as simple as plowing fields and planting crops. Hard work, requires knowledge and skill, and is rewarding if everything goes “just right”. Most of the general public haven’t a clue from where their food comes..until, like now, it get scarce. In the end, Clarkson was never happier even though he basically broke even. Hoping S2 drops soon, need some humor to offset the ungodliness all around.

    • I will check out Clarkson’s farm. Farming is a horribly challenging business, and when corporate farms rule, as they are starting to, I’m afraid that food will be rationed based on your social score with digital cash being the deciding factor.

      • Why has Gates bought so much farmland in the recent years? Doubtful he’s merely trying to beat out the Chinese in Iowa holdings.

        • A hedge against inflation.
          He’s selling short on dollars by borrowing them to buy farmland. He’ll sell it later at inflated prices and pay back in inflated dollars keeping the change.

          • Exactly, like his involvement with Covid/Vax Crap (the culling), he is ahead of using creating food shortages. Bored billionaires with no moral underpinning are dangerous to humanity. Our Blofeld.

    • Read somewhere else that you could pick up a slave off a Roman farm, transport him to a farm anywhere in the 1800’s, and he could start to work immediately.
      Pick up a hired hand off any farm in the 1800’s and put him on a US farm in the 1980’s, and he would be totally lost.
      It’s only gotten more complex since then.

      • So true. Very complicated machinery. Clarkson thought getting his Beemer M3 into track mode was tough (“It’s Geerrrmaannn”), when he bought the Lambo monster tractor the computer to run it, while incredible, is massively intimidating, which is why he hired Caleb, the 20 year old neighbor farmer. A combine is even more complicated.

  6. Retirement often doesn’t happen on family farms. I have a friend who’s going on 92 and is still at it. The formula shortage concerns me personally. My daughter-in-law is expecting shortly and she has a sister with an infant as well. Both families are economically stable, so no welfare formula exemption for them.

    • They’d better divorce their husbands and go on WIC. There’s plenty of formula for people on the dole, I’m told.

      • Or run across the Rio Grand, then back…pallets stacked to the ceiling, no divorce or WIC status required….unless you are too white.

        Could be a new business opportunity: “FORMULA FRONT” – Latinix Run…”We get it for free, you pay only a small surcharge plus S&H”.

        Win win, for the socially superior.

  7. Worried about gasoline prices?
    Bette Midler has good advice: Try breastfeeding. It’s free!

    Worried about running out of formula?
    The Butt-Guy has good advice: Just buy an electric vehicle!

    Worried about the unchecked flood of illegals coming across the Mexico border?
    Specifically worried about trained terrorists concealed among the hordes of poor, uneducated, unskilled, squatty, non English-speaking, and generally undesirable invaders?
    Alejandro Mayorkas (who is exactly as Cuban as Mark Cuban) has good advice: White supremacists are the biggest terror threat to the US.

    Yes, the order of the quotes is as I intended. Midler and Butt Guy’s dumbass remarks make as much sense in the original as in the new context.

  8. Frank James was a friend. He was an editor at Shotgun News and a ‘family’ farmer in Indiana, and his stories about family farming were heart rending. Between the costs of equipment, fertilizer, refusing to do business with Monsanto et al, he said he ‘scraped’ by every year with old equipment and hard work. Sadly, that hard work killed him way too young.

    • I find Farmer Franks’s death timing a bit suspicious. Retired from a physically challenging job, and encounters major health impacts not long afterwards that leads to death. That scenario is too common. It seems like the body decides that if it is no longer working hard, it no longer has a purpose, and it’s time to pull the plug. May simply be coincidence, a matter of timing, but maybe not.
      I miss Frank’s writing. I wish his blog had been archived, as he was a wealth of knowledge.

  9. Jim,,,Lots of recipes on the net for homemade baby formula . If u read the label on commercial formula , you would not use it. Mostly oil and sugar . Wouldn’t give it to your dog.
    My ex wife couldn’t breastfeed when our two were born. Her West Texas Border town tuff as nails grandmother took it all in stride, whipped up formula batches as needed . Wish I had saved her recipe. I remember her saying goats milk was best, but raw cows milk worked. The stuff she added was lost to time.
    Soon everyone everywhere is going to have to learn to make do.

  10. Re. Recruiting soldiers:
    At the height of the patriot fervor after the 9/11 attack our military recruiters had little problem filling their quotas.
    In fact they could be more selective and could eliminate applicants that were undesirable for a multitude of reasons: 80% of young men, during this time period, would not be considered for recruitment due to physical, mental, legal (the Marines would consider a felony conviction on a case-by-case basis, for other branches a felony of any kind was a deal breaker) habitual drug use (smoking marijuana 2 X was considered habitual), certain visible tattoos, education (even the Marines had a high school graduation requirement).
    Compare and Contrast W/ Viet Nam era enlistees: (by and large the draftees were of a higher quality than their RA bretheren cannon fodder. Note: my BCT platoon leader, a top notch individual, stayed in and retired as a LT COL.

    Today’s family ranchers and farmers can be at the top of American income earners.
    First, ranching and farming, while still a 24/7/365 job is science based to increase production.
    The third and fourth generation families that have managed to hold onto the family farm send their kids to college to get degrees in ag. They still get up at 0400, but they make serious money. Crop insurance eliminates the high risk gambling aspect of ag business.
    Our neighbor lost their $1.5 million dollar almond crop due to an usually cold spring…crop insurance covered their loss.
    If you travel through southern Idaho you will see new mansions (the White Wolf Mine would be considered a modest hovel ) either in existence or under construction on family farms that are in their third and fourth generation. Their progenitors endured hard times and privation, but trips to Hawaii during winter months are the norm for the better off of these ranchers/farmers.

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