Monday, September 26, 2005

Agriculturalists of RI, Unite!

What: USDA Farm Bill Forum
Date: Friday, October 14, 2005
Time: 9:00 a.m. to Noon (doors will open at 8:00 a.m.)
Place: URI Coastal Institute, South Ferry Rd, Narragansett, RI

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) wants to hear the
ideas, concerns, and advice of those in the local agricultural community.
The USDA is conducting Farm Bill Forums across the country as part of a
nationwide listening tour in preparation for the 2007 Farm Bill. These
Forums are designed to allow the public an opportunity to share their
opinions with the USDA on key policies or programs within the Farm Bill.

Participants are to respond on issues facing the local community such as:
  • Challenges for New Farmers
  • Competitiveness
  • Conservation Goals
  • Farm Program Benefits
  • Rural Economic Growth
  • Expansion of Agricultural Products, Markets, and Research

    Seating will be available on a first-come basis for the Forum.

    The event will feature a display area on programs offered by USDA, local
    agencies and partners. There will also be a USDA Help Desk with
    representatives from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the
    Farm Service Agency, and Rural Development who will be on hand to
    answer your questions on USDA programs.

    You may also provide your written comments at the Forum, via mail, on our
    web page at or via email to

    For more information, call the USDA Warwick Service Center at 401-828-1300.
  • Thursday, September 08, 2005

    The Aristocrats, American Style

    I wish I could say I wrote this, but I didn't. I found it on a weblog (link above)

    I did title it, though!

    The Aristocrats, American style

    So this guy walks into a talent agency and says to the agent, "Have I got an act for you! It's a family act, you'll love it."

    The agent says "Alright, lay it on me."

    The guy says, "Well, first the grandpa comes in, this is in the thirties, mind, deals with the Nazis and makes a ton of money off German banking and mining, see. He gets nailed for trading with the enemy in the war, but it doesn't matter much cause by now his family is incredibly wealthy. His son, the Father, flies a plane in the Second World War and later becomes head of the CIA, then later, vice president, and after that, a one term president. He does a half ass job and gets out, kinda sets things up for later. It's the kid, he's the real lynchpin of the act. It gets better."

    The agent nods, doodling on his dayplanner. "Please, continue."

    "The kid comes in, and starts off with avoiding Vietnam by getting a nice position in the National Guard, see? But he skips out on that gig when he doesn't need it anymore. Then he runs a series of businesses into the ground. He can't run an oil company, he can't manage a baseball team, tries to run for Congress and fails, he does drugs and boozes, has trouble with basic life skills. But since his daddy's Vice President, or later, President, he gets whatever he wants. Gets bailed out every time. He runs for governor of Texas and wins, and sets a new record for executing people. He likes to joke about the executions, too, mocking the pleas for leniency. 150-odd prisoners go to the chair under the Kid as governor. And the Kid is wearing a cowboy hat and talking in a Texas drawl the whole time, even though he's from Connecticut. But it gets better, this is just the start."

    The agent nods, dropping his pen. "Umm.. alright.."

    "The Kid doesn't just wanna be a governor, he wants to be President. So he runs for President and.. tough luck, he doesn't win. So get this, his buddies on the Supreme Court have to squeeze him in. They push and push, and finally he's President. He doodles around for a few months and then boom! Some terrorists come in and flatten a couple skyscrapers in New York. Thousands of people die, jumping out of skyscrapers and getting flattened in plane crashes, and the Kid swings into action. He starts bombing where the terrorists are hiding, and looking for them. I mean, wouldn't you? But when he can't find them in a couple months he goes after a totally different country, attacking them 'cause they had oil and his Dad had trouble with them ten or twelve years ago. He says it's because this country was the real guys who flattened those skyscrapers, because they'll do it again with weapons of mass destruction if they get the chance. So the audience is right behind him. Now there's a big ass war right on stage and bombs are flying, people getting killed left and right. And the Kid, you'll love this, underequips the soldiers being sent in, not enough armor, and makes them do police functions in a hostile country for months and months and then years after he says we won the war. And we get to torturing the Iraqis, making them stand around with electrodes on their nutsacks, raping their wives and kids in front of them, attacking them with vicious dogs, pissing on their holy books, and the audience loves it, they clap and applaud. A real crowd pleaser, that sequence. But soon the kid has gotten 1800 American troops killed, wounded thousands more, and get this there were no weapons of mass destruction at all, the whole thing was for oil, and they keep lying about it, lying and lying and lying. And now there's tortured people all over the place. Meanwhile the economy's sputtering along, and another election comes up. The Kid wins this one, by a squeaker, 'cause the other guy wasn't likable enough. So people are starting to question the whole war thing, just a little, and the country we invaded is in the shitter two years later, and nobody wants to leave for fear it'll get even worse. And then.."

    The agent leans forward in his chair. "NOW what?"

    "Okay, big finish now. A category 4 hurricane comes in and wipes out half the Gulf Coast! Just flattens everything for hundreds of miles around. And the levees in New Orleans break, cause the kid cut the budget for them to finance the war, and the whole city is flooded! Now, the rich white folks got out for the most part, but the poor folks, mostly black, get stuck at the Superdome and the Convention Center by the thousands. And get this, the kid's on vacation so they wait for four days, sleeping in their own shit, starving to death, dying of thirst, we got dead grannies in their wheelchairs and dead bodies lying on the streets and floating in the water, godawful spread of disease and filth, looters running around shooting guns, we got no organization from the government, total chaos. And the Kid, the Kid's in charge and he blames the governor for not signing the proper forms, even though she did. And the Kid turns back offers of aid and says he'll handle it, and that's what he does, he handles it right into the ground. So we got 3,000 corpses in New York, 10 or 20,000 corpses in New Orleans, we got 1800 military corpses quietly shipped home in boxes, we got untold thousands of dead Iraqis, we got Iraq in chaos, we got guys with electrodes attached to their nutsacks and piss all over their Korans, we got New Orleans underwater, we got refugees packing domed stadiums and living in shit, we got five years of blood and carnage and the economy in the crapper, and we got $4/gallon gas. Everyone gets up and takes a bow, except of course the mounds of corpses littering the stage."

    The agent is completely flummoxed. Just flabbergasted. "So what the hell do you call this act?"

    The guy says, with a flourish, "The Aristocrats!"