In a very old Simpson’s episode, the perennial square Martin is running against everyone’s favorite delinquent Bart for class president. Martin points out that the school has asbestos issues and isn’t safe, Bart replies by starting a chant of “MORE ASBESTOS! MORE ABSESTOS!” Which is immediately picked up by his flock of followers.

I think of this clip when the government tells any producer group, they NEED to do something, the result is usually movement the other direction.  The USDA wants more oil seed and wheat to counteract shipping and other pinch points in those global markets. The corn market seems to have begun to chant “more corn” instead. Nonetheless, the USDA is kicking the tires on what it can do without a Congressional vote. To that, they are considering extending crop insurance planting deadlines, and offsetting prevent plant penalties to keep ground in production and allowing double cropping in an additional 681 counties. They are also considering allowing CRP early bird release in order to allow early fall tillage instead of waiting until 30 September for expiring contracts. Additionally, money is going to get thrown at fertilizer production and technical assistance for precision ag adoption and at one point, they considered crop loan rates. However, the chant seems to be drowning out these incentives.

The meat industry isn’t missing the chance to make gains in time of crisis by suggesting livestock auction companies to own small and medium packing plants. Hmm… No conflict of interest there at all… It turns out that the Packers and Stockyards act of over a 100 years ago identified that very issue as a conflict of interest and expressly prohibits it but now it appears that harvesting less than 2,000 head per day or 700,000 per year might be okay to let the buyer and processor be the same person. Of note, hogs aren’t really even auctioned off that much anymore and they are already owned from semen to cellophane by the same owner.

Words have meaning, just not the meaning you think or anybody else thinks.

No backbone, no problem!

In a clear case of judicial acrobatics of worthy of Ringling Brothers big top, California appeal’s court has some how extended protection to the western bumble bee, Franklin’s bumble bee, the Crotch bumble bee and the Suckley cuckoo bumble bee) using a statute designed to protect fish and other creatures of the sea. See section 45 of the CA game code says wild fish, mollusk, crustacean, invertebrate, amphibian, spawn or part of them. Bees are cowards and have no backbone. Well, one part of that is true. Therefore, they get rounded up under invertebrates, which science class members would tell you is a 97% of all animal life.

Clearly, word smithing and parsing to get to a desire result, protection of the bees, rules the day. some routine boiler plate language about fish and fish like things has been stretched far (probably b/c they don’t have backbones) to provide cover to the bees. Then again, that is what lawyers do use words made by the legislative branch (which is also filled with lawyers in many cases) against them later.