Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Rep. Brown to tour Army post Friday

State Representative Dan Brown (R-Rolla) will take his first official trip to Ft. Leonard Wood since coming to the General Assembly this Friday. Brown, who represents Rolla, St. James, and northern Phelps County, was elected in November of 2008 and began his freshmen term in January of 2009.

Although this will be Brown’s first trip as an elected official, he is no stranger to the fort and what role it plays in the surrounding communities.

“I’ve practiced veterinary medicine in Rolla for 34 years and have done lots of work for people connected to the fort,” Brown said. “I know that Fort Leonard Wood, and the servicemen and women who call it home, not only do a great deal to ensure the safety and security of our nation, but also have tremendous positive effects on the surrounding communities.”

Brown will begin the day with breakfast, after which he will attend a graduation ceremony for a group of Engineers. The graduation ceremony will be followed by a complete tour of the grounds and an overview of the various components of the fort.

“I really look forward to getting in there and learning more about the fort, it’s people, and what they do,” said Brown.

The Fort Leonard Wood Office of Public Affairs said in addition to the over 90,000 active or retired military personnel and their families at the fort, there are nearly 7,100 people employed by the Department of the Army or independent contractors.

“Not only are thousands of young men and women being trained to serve their country at any given time on the base, but 7,100 folks also work there everyday. No doubt about it, Fort Leonard Wood is a cornerstone of our local economies.” Brown says that although the economic benefits of the fort to Pulaski, Phelps, and other surrounding counties is substantial, the impact the servicemen and women and their families make on the outlying communities is invaluable.

“The people of the armed forces at Fort Leonard Wood are exactly the kind of people we want in our communities to serve as examples to our children and grandchildren,” he said. “I have gotten to know many of these young men and women through the Rolla Chamber of Commerce and have seen the impact they make in the community.”

Brown, who will be joined Friday by his colleague Rep. David Day (R-Dixon), will be listening to the issues and concerns most important to the fort and its mission.

“We must find ways to work with the federal government and foster a climate within State government to make certain that these people, both military and civilian, can do their job and do it well,” Brown said.

Day, a long time advocate for the fort, says he has found a real partner in Brown.

“It is great to have someone like Rep. Brown, who has a true appreciation for the men and women in the uniform, fighting with me in the House as we try to make Missouri a more military friendly State,” said Day.

“Anytime I work on a veteran’s issue, Dan is the first to join me in the effort.”

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sunday Sermon in Music

Concerning this song, Wikipedia reports:

"The Great Speckled Bird" is a Southern hymn whose lyrics were written by the Reverend Guy Smith. The song is in the form of AABA and has a 12 bar count. It is based on Jeremiah 12:9, "Mine heritage is unto me as a speckled bird, the birds round about are against her; come ye, assemble all the beasts of the field, come to devour." It was recorded in 1936 by Roy Acuff.
That tune, which came from "I Am Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes" was also later used for "The Wild Side of Life" and "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels."

Saturday, February 6, 2010

More on superweeds

I hate pulling weeds from my garden, and I would like for my yard to look good, but the dadgum weeds keep showing up.

This is why I'm so worked up about the superweed problem I just recently discovered while reading some gardening websites. Here are a couple more links. Not only are superweeds a problem, but there are a lot of health problems and potential problems associated with genetically modified food. I prefer growing heirloom varieties; that way I know they haven't been modified by man. Read the following to learn more:

Institute of Science in Society

Conducive Chronicle

And if you think these websites are in error and that I'm wrong to be concerned about superweeds and GM food, let me know.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Business conditions up in Missouri

Dr. Ernie Goss of the Creighton University Economic Outlook reports some positive news for Misourians:

For a seventh consecutive month, Missouri’s Business Conditions Index was above growth neutral. The index from a survey of supply managers in the state, climbed to 52.2 from December’s 50.1 and November’s 50.6. Components of the overall index from the January survey were new orders at 50.8, production, or sales, at 50.1, delivery lead time at 55.1, inventories at 54.6, and employment at 50.6. “We are seeing improving business conditions among manufacturers in the state, both durable and nondurable goods producers. January business activity was much healthier for food producers in the state,” said Goss.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Other countries worry about genetically modified food--but not US

Little is noted in the media about the dangers posted by genetically modified food. That's especially true in Missouri because of the presence of Monsanto, the company leading the way with bioengineering of plants, or biotechnology.

In other countries, though, people worry and fear about what GM food will do to the food chain. That's especially true in India. Here's an excerpt from The Pioneer:

Public concerns about BT Brinjal cannot be dismissed; the survival of the Indian farmer and people is at stake. The experience with BT Cotton is anyway disastrous. BT Cotton has failed in Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, and is synonymous with farmer suicides there; nearly two lakh farmers committed suicide in the decade between 1997 and 2007, because of the sheer debts incurred raising the crop.

To begin with, the seed’s USP — resistance to pests — is untrue. BT-resistant pests, especially bollworm, and Roundup-tolerant super-weeds are growing worldwide, making GM seeds useless. Moreover, GM seeds cost many times more than traditional organic seeds and are lesser in quantity. The seeds from the standing crop are sterile and cannot be used for the next year’s crop as in traditional farming; this compels eternal farmer-dependence upon companies for seed, thus eternally perpetuating corporate profits! The ultimate aim is to bring all agriculture under bondage of a few Western firms.

Nor is there guarantee of harvest; the crop can fail for various reasons. GM crops need double or triple the quantity of water needed by traditional seeds, and can fail in the event of water shortage. The marketing companies claim that the crops do not need fertilizers, but the reality is different; hence the indebtedness that drives farmers to despair. Land once used for GM crops can only accept GM seeds thereafter and, after three or four harvests, the land becomes barren.

The GM experience is thus an aggravated form of the disaster now visiting Punjab, where the soil has been ravaged by Green Revolution-induced fertilizer and pesticide poison, which has leeched into the underground water and is causing an epidemic of cancers and other diseases, the true dimensions of which are being concealed by the Government. The false prosperity of two generations has wrought untold disaster; yet the Government is flirting with this poison seed.

The Monsanto seed contains a ‘suicide gene’ that can put the entire food chain in danger as it spreads to other native plants and inhibits their natural reproduction — crop genocide. Experts say that GM crops are unfit for human consumption as the toxic compounds they contain (which are supposed to destroy pests) are retained in the crop and would naturally affect the human body. In Andhra Pradesh some years ago, four animals died after eating BT Cotton stalks, but the issue was hushed up.

These biotechnologically engineered seeds also lead to "superweeds" and you can read more by clicking on the link to The Pioneer.