Eventful Summer

Published in the September 2012 Issue Published online: Aug 12, 2013 Tyler J. Baum, Editor
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I've never bought into the mumbo jumbo about the Mayan calendar predicting the world will end December 21, 2012. The Mayans probably decided that making out the calendar for the next few thousand years was enough-I think they've proved their point.

Having said that, this year has been quite eventful.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor for July 10, put out by the National Drought Mitigation Center in Lincoln, Neb., much of potato country in the U.S. is abnormally dry, although not extremely or exceptional like some parts of the nation. However, several western states this summer have battled plenty of home-destroying wildfires.

Whether it had anything to do with our mild winter or not, psyllids were again found in Idaho this year. Adult psyllids collected from a sticky card on a commercial field in Twin Falls County June 19 tested positive for Liberibacter, the bacterium that causes zebra chip. Gene sequencing later confirmed it. Time will tell how that plays out.

As of press time, the Senate passed a new farm bill, which was subsequently advanced by the House Agriculture Committee. Until I get to the bottom of all truth, I'm conflicted with myself on that issue. Agriculture is what feeds our nation, and farm bills take much of the credit for helping to keep food costs down for consumers, because I think we all know how much of a crapshoot food prices would be without it.

However, I also recognize that sacrificing a little liberty for temporary safety means we deserve neither, and the federal government is much, much too large to be sustainable. Taxes on those earning more than $250,000 a year are too high already, and even if they weren't, taking all the money the wealthy possess would not make a dent in our federal deficit-because we have a spending problem in this country, not a revenue problem.

The Senate still has not passed a budget in over three years.

At some point, all of us-in every sector in every industry in this nation-will eventually be forced to say goodbye to at least some subsidies.

Our nation will eventually need to stick to a painfully small budget in order to start making a dent on its credit cards-if that's even possible at this point.

On that note, the world isn't over yet. Nor will it be this December. The fact that anybody is predicting the end of the world on a specific date means that that's our surest sign it WON'T be that day.

We read in the New Testament, "Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27). And in Psalms, "Be still, and know that I am God." (Psalms 46:10).

May this harvest season be less eventful. And may next year's be the same.