Skip to comments.Grange Supports High Speed Internet Access for Rural America
Posted on 12/11/2001 11:59:04 AM PST by farmfriend
click here to read article
Yes. Rural customers would still be without electricity or telephones if not for government subsidy. Republicans who fight this will be mown down, as they should be.
Can you define the difference between a monopoly(Ma Bell) and an oligopoly(Baby Bells).
I'm not holding out hope for any help from anyone on rural broadband until 2005-6, when they roll out SkyBridge.
They may well look out for rual interests and ocassionally do good (my Grandfather was active with the local Grange organization), but I think he was naive about what their real objective is.
Former Vermont Legislator, Current National Grange Master Testifies on Farm and Rural Policy Before Committee on Agriculture
Montpelier, VT - (March 16, 2001)-Kermit W. Richardson, former Vermont Legislator from Orange, Vermont and current National Grange Master (President), testified today before the Vermont General Assembly Committee on Agriculture regarding the National Granges views on farm and rural policy. Citing the fourth year in a row of low farm, livestock and dairy prices, Richardson called for three basic goals to future farm and rural policy.
The first Grange goal is adoption of federal and state farm policies that encourage increased participation in the agricultural sector by the largest number of individuals and families possible. Contrary to current trends, the Grange calls for broad distribution of agricultural assets. Establishing secure financial safety nets for farmers, reducing governments role in farm management, increasing farm exports and funding voluntary conservation programs are the means to accomplishing this goal Richardson told the Committee. As an example, he rated the Northeast Dairy Compact as one of the most successful agricultural policy innovations of the last decade.
Eliminate the death tax
Eliminating the so-called death tax is a means to achieve the Granges second policy goal, the orderly transfer of family farms to the next generation. Within a decade, a majority of todays farmers will be over 65, Richardson explained. Only through death tax elimination and extending capital gains exemptions to family farms will the current farm generation be able to retire with dignity and the next generation manage and expand the resources we have invested in agriculture, Richardson declared. He also called for reauthorization of Chapter 12 bankruptcy laws in order to reorganize farm debt rather than liquidate farm assets.
Rural Quality of Life
Enhanced quality of life for rural America is the Granges third policy goal. Richardson pointed out that no matter how successful farm policy, people are not going to farm unless they have a decent quality of life. That means good schools, access to health care, safe and reliable roads and transportation, and safe communities. And finally, Richardson told the committee, regardless of the manner that we distribute government farm program payments, young people will not stay in any community that is not connected to the world through the Internet.
Richardson concluded his testimony by describing the Granges Blueprint for Rural America 2001, a ten-point policy proposal on agriculture and other rural, non-farm issues.
The National Grange is the nation's oldest general agricultural organization, founded in 1867. It has grassroots units in 3,400 local communities in 37 states, with nearly 300,000 members. Its activities include and serve farm and non-farm, rural families and communities on a wide variety of economic, educational, legislative and family issues.
Grange Leader Joins Protest Against Western Water Shut-Off
Robert Clouse, National Grange Executive Committee Chairman, took part in a community rally that drew more than 15,000 people to protest the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation decision not to supply irrigation water this summer to 1500 farmers and ranchers in Northern California and Southern Oregon. Clouse, of Orangevale, California, was actually representing the District of Colombia in the Bucket Brigade of 51 individuals representing the 50 states and the District of Colombia who each dumped a bucket of water into a dry irrigation canal to illustrate the nationwide impact and consequence of the Bureaus decision.
Under the requirements of the Endangered Species Act, the Bureau of Reclamation will allow the water that would have gone to irrigate crops and pastures in the valley this year to flow to the Pacific Ocean in order to protect the habitat of several fish species that have been found to be endangered. No one disagrees that this region of the country is suffering from the second worst drought in 100 years. The controversy comes from the decision by the federal government to place the entire burden of dealing with the low water levels on the backs of farmers and ranchers, many of whose families homesteaded the area at the encouragement of the federal government and the Bureau of Reclamation following World War I and World War II. As a result of this decision, direct and indirect economic losses to the farms, ranches and agriculturally related businesses in the Klamath River Valley could exceed $400 million this year.
Addressing the rally, Clouse stated, The National Grange recognizes that the protection of the environment and the conservation of our natural resources are vital priorities. However, the zealous pursuit of unrealistic and unnecessary environmental goals is causing severe economic damage to the farms and industries that are important to our country. And more importantly, these uncompromising environmental edicts seriously endanger out liberty. We do not believe that Americans must sacrifice their prosperity or surrender their constitutional rights in order to preserve our environment. His remarks were met with hearty applause.
The National Grange, the nations oldest rural advocacy organization with 300,000 members in 3600 grass roots organizations across 37 states, has for more than a decade petitioned Congress to amend the Endangered Species Act to restore proper perspective to the law by requiring public hearings and economic impact statements on the affected areas before a species can be listed. According to Clouse, all Americans must share the burden of preservation, not just those unfortunate enough to live in the vicinity of an endangered species.
Ok, time for you to back up your words.
I'm a friend of farmfriend who works hard in the Grange. I DO find you comment intensely interesting, however, as I have personally discovered some pretty naieve, or confused leaders of some local Granges here in the Sierra Nevada Range!!!
But that's nothing... I find in elective office some terribly naieve, or confused "leaders" who claim to be "conservative," or "Republican," or even "Libertarian!" Some of these ninnies are the most inconsistent and inconsiderate "conservatives" I've ever encountered!!!
I sincerely wish you would elaborate on and support with more references, the history of the Grange in the 1930's so we could all discuss it and maybe help farmfriend in her efforts to "re-arrange the Grange" in CA on a grassroots, or Statewide basis. I believe she will rise thru the ranks or the organization and will be a strong influence for consistent, considerate conservative principles for the future, despite any past disgressions of the 1930's.
Would you help me with that?
I was trying to point out that information in the article was misleading. Why study up on misleading information? Perhaps you should be questioning why they are talking about long distance when this bill has nothing to do with that.
Ain't that the truth. Luckily the Greenies are in the minority. Some of our State Granges can lean left as well. Jeffords sister-in-law is the Legislative Director for Vermont State Grange. Isn't that a scary thought.
Even if this "guy" can prove his case about the 30's, I can cite older info that shows we were in bed with the Republicans. Our current policy is pro- guns and property rights. We are anti- CARA and Agenda 21.
The Tauzin bill would give the four regional Bell telephone monopolies a big plum: the right to provide long distance for ALL internet & data traffic.
Competetion lowers prices. Monopolies raise them.
If grange is your only source of info, you are uninformed. For example: they mention 5% for towns of 10000 and 1% for those with 2500. Would you care to guess what it is in large metropolitan areas? The grange article tries to point a finger at AT&T but that doesn't square because AT&T will likely be bought out by one of these Big Baby Bells due to AT&T's poor condition. Remember: It's not what they say, it's what they don't say.
The Grange might have started out as a noble idea, but during the Great Depression communist opportunists 'capitalized' on farmers' missery for political gain. Not a few old Grange 'commies' came to regret their youthful leftist affiliations during Sen. McCarthy's inquisitions in the 1950s.
I don't condone Sen. McCarthy's tactics, but in many cases he had these traitors pegged for what they were.
Sounds reasonable enough. You have my support.
Even though I am quite able in using internet related services, the pure simplicity of DTN being a dedicated device edges over any other service. I use a handheld calculator over the one on my computer because it is very handy, same with DTN.
My father isn't really computer savy, nor does he want to be, so DTN is an obvious choice for me.
Since the formation of the California State Grange in 1873 to protect the great agriculture resources of California it has promoted protection of our most valuable resource in the ground, creeks, streams, and in rivers of this Great State...Water. Only one percent of the entire planet's water supply is fresh and every means possible for its protection should be implemented, for without water there is no life.
In 1885 to the present day the origin of water resources have been considered by the Grange to be inalienable rights of the State with no diversion of said waters without permission of public authorities. To further delineate our position, underground water has in the past and is still considered to be an integral part of the land. Under this tenet we have and continue to maintain that it is illegal to transport underground water. We also maintain that all waters should be held in trust for the populace, agriculture, power production, fish, mollusks and industry within the County of origin prior to one gallon being diverted for any other usage.
California State Grange maintains that any development or subdivisions of property for residential or commercial use be prohibited unless the appropriate legislative body first verify that a reliable water supply is available.
As to development of the water resources we continue to encourage the building of dams for flood control, water storage and agricultural usage. We have held and still hold that dams, water and hydroelectric power should be owned and operated by the people for the people. In this vain it is imperative that licensees of dams who meet all the necessary requirements will have first preference for renewal or re-licensing and not have those rights abrogated by State or Federal agencies.
No one wants to pay more than their fair share of taxes. However, the members of the California State Grange recognize that to achieve a balanced budget there are some important things that must happen. More tax dollars must be raised or government spending must be reduced. Realistically, a combination of both will probably be the solution. The California State Grange supports a balanced approach that includes a prudent fiscal policy coupled with a fair tax policy. How money is raised and how it is spent for government services has been an ongoing concern or our membership.
The Grange supports a tax system with an objective of developing an easier, less complex and equitable income tax program that all wealth will bear its just and equal proportion of the expenses of government. We will provide efficient and economical delivery of services. We are opposed to taxation for punitive purposes. We call for an end to spending on programs and facilities that exceed the basic needs of the recipients. A balanced budget must be achieved to reduce the national debt.
The Grange is a family fraternity which seeks a viable agricultural program that safeguards the family farm as the most economical way to furnish all families with wholesome, affordable food and fiber. In California, the Grange description of a family farm is a business or enterprise involved in the production of food and fiber and/or related products or services, owned and/or operated by members of a family that make the management and financial decisions, and supplies a part of the labor. Organized in 1873, the Grange is the oldest general farm organization in California.
Since the apparent conclusion of the "cold war" and the subsequent reduction of the leading military/industrial component of the California economy, agriculture and its allied industries are the principle economic engine of this state. Along with it abiding interest in all things that effect the farm family, the Grange is concerned with the regulatory constraints placed on the flexibility of the farmer to produce wholesome, affordable food and fiber.
Family farms, which once made up most of the farms in the United States, were similar and generic in nature, but now are giving way to fewer and larger mega-farms. Family farms are finding it more and more difficult to survive as they compete with mega-farms that have closer ties with available markets and large food processors. Larger farms make use of production contracts and have access to larger amounts of financing for their operations.
The average age of farmers continues to climb, and there is a lack of enthusiasm and opportunities for young people to enter farming.
Agriculture financing is becoming more difficult for farmers of all ages to acquire. Consolidation of banks is making banking less personal, and farmers are less likely to be acquainted with banking people they must deal with. The amount of credit needed and the narrow profit margins to agriculture make it difficult for the smaller farms to get adequate financing.
New farm programs should target those family farms that are most at risk. These farms do not have access, the financial clout, or the staying power of the larger farming conglomerates.
There is much need for family farmers to learn more about their own industry, including marketing, public relations, contacting and production techniques such as water conservation practices and integrated pest management. Research has shown that smaller farms can be as efficient as larger farms, but they need equal access to markets, information, financing, and recognition. To those goals of the California State Grange is committed and actively involved.
The California State Grange supports the cooperative efforts between the California Department of Food and Agriculture and the University of California to enhance the safety and viability of our food supply, the protection of our environment, and the overall productivity of the farming community. These efforts are enhanced and supported by the Agricultural Network, a newly formed public information organization in which the Grange has been active in its founding, and which is now working to bring Agriculture back to the California classrooms.
We also urge the Agricultural Network to promote the use of organic farming and food preservation and storage to the younger generation.
As a family fraternity, California Grangers are vitally concerned with the welfare and quality of life of all citizens, urban and rural, and is deeply committed to family values and community service. The Grange continues to expand its leadership role in finding answers to problems that threaten to undermine the family structure and community cohesion.
The Grange in California is devoted to the development of community leadership that will lead to the solutions of problems for which there are no simple or standard answers. These problems include the deterioration or lack of public infrastructure such as transportation, schools, utilities, access to health care facilities, modern communications systems, and a largely dysfunctional and costly delivery system for governmental services.
The California Grange will resist the ever increasing temptation to believe that government, federal, state and local, can provide solutions for all social problems. We commit ourselves and the organization to developing a stronger sense of manhood, womanhood, family structure, and community responsibility to enhance the quality of life and opportunities for all. However, we must take full advantage of our Grange organization policies to do all that is possible, both legislatively and socially, to maintain and promote the family unit. The Grange believes that all parents should be fully responsible, economically and morally for their children.
The California Granges, with their unique structure of family involvement in day-to-day activities, are in a position to take a leadership role in their communities in helping individuals of our society to attain a more wholesome and satisfying lifestyle. Each Grange and its' membership is aware of legislation and regulatory issues that impact families within its' area, and are prepared to interact with other community leaders to influence the outcome of those issues.
With a population of over 30 million in 1991 and a projected growth rate of 21% for the next decade, California must look at the impacts of this population growth on the State. The impact of this growth will be felt in many areas, some of which may be affordable housing, available water, available energy, deteriorating infrastructures, pressures on the educational system, not to mention pressures on the environment. The Grange needs to develop a dialogue and relationship with our government on all levels in planning for the future growth of our State. No growth is not a solution. Failure to plan for this growth will result in a decay of the basic needs of society resulting in a loss of businesses and industry which will move to other areas that are capable of supplying their needs. The flight of industry from our state will cause a stagnation in our economy, increased unemployment, depressed land values, etc., all spiraling together resulting in a lower quality of life and higher taxes for the citizens who remain.
The California State Grange supports research and development of energy resources which will increase the independence of our citizens from international politics. We are supportive of continued industry efforts to make energy more affordable, with minimal expenditure of public funds.
The California State Grange believes the protection and conservation of the environment is integral to all living things. We believe in responsible stewardship of the land and responsible governmental actions, both of which must take into account a reasonable balance between the needs of nature and the needs of man. We believe that our natural resources can be conserved and private property ownership protected when informed compromises based on fairness and common sense are used to judge issues.
We urge provisions in the Endangered Species acts that recognize human and economic factors when considering regulations, and stress that such factors be backed by sound scientific research and not emotional reactions, with the costs of protecting a habitat taken into consideration. We insist that private property rights of individuals, as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States and the State of California, must be upheld and must not be overridden without adequate compensation of property owners. We urge that conservation agreements, which are central to providing landowners incentives to protect species and maintain the economic use of property, be upheld and encouraged.
As a Family Fraternity, the Grange has held the education of our children and adults as one of its most important goals. Since its founding in 1873, an era where an agrarian society prevailed, the California State Grange has emphasized the need of a basic education for all members of society. The Grange has also strongly advocated that such an education must include a vocational component that will prepare our young people to enable them to assume their roles in a productive society. While society has changed, in that today we live in a mostly urban environment, that tenet remains unchanged. We are today, as dedicated to this goal as were our founders 125 years ago.
Optimal funding and local control of curriculum, guided by universal standards are believed to be major building blocks of any educational program. To this, we add a teaching staff whose performance is evaluated on their abilities, a supportive administration staff and higher expectations for student achievement. With these components, our educational system will better equip students for educational success.
The California State Grange seeks fair and open markets in all regions of the world. As a family fraternity, we are concerned with the nutritional needs of all people, and recognize the need to help feed the hungry. As a general farm organization, we seek balanced trade with minimal tariffs with other nations for our products, and a healthful food supply free of residual chemicals and a fair market for fiber products.
The Grange is concerned with the sovereignty of the United States and the peaceful control of our borders. We are committed to limiting ownership of American property, businesses, and industrial resources by foreign interests.
Historically, the Grange has been concerned with the availability of comprehensive and high quality health care, particularly for those families who live in the rural areas of California. The dynamics of our modern society has changed to a largely urban population and health care facilities in the rural areas have largely disappeared. However, our policies have always included support for all areas of the state for quality, affordable and readily available health care services and facilities.
The founding premise of the Grange was to support, improve, and educate the farm family.
The California State Grange, a general farm organization, strongly supports the right of a person to work for a decent wage. Regulations and rules on working conditions must reasonably assure the safety of a responsible worker without excessive expenditures for the employer. Organized labor must recognize the perishability of some commodities and exercise reasonable labor dispute practices that assure consumer availability, and that grower's future viability is not threatened.
Since its beginning, the Grange has been a family organization, and we will remain on guard, ready to oppose legislation and laws that effectively break down the basic family unit. We strongly support the rights of parents to make the decisions for the discipline and welfare of their children.
We actively support the ongoing education of all individuals, young and old, in current crime trends.
The Grange is strongly supportive of efforts to eliminate the availability of illicit drugs throughout the nation.
We support efforts to educate our population about the dangers of recreational drug use. However, we believe that the monetary benefits that come from the illegal sales of drugs is far greater than the consequences of being caught. Therefore, we favor much heavier penalties for the importation, manufacture, distribution and sales of illicit drugs.
The members of the California State Grange will support efforts to change the way prison inmates are treated. It is our conviction that prisoners are offered things that would not be available to them outside prison. Public funding for frivolous law suits and expensive exercise equipment are some of the privileges that must be removed. We believe in sensible programs of work, including such things as producing their own food and clothing are noteworthy improvements. Our penal system must become a place of punishment for those who commit crimes against society. We strongly believe the rehabilitation of career criminals is a failed social experiment, and that those criminals must be punished in full for their crimes.
Personally, I am not in favor of the war on drugs but I must abide by the policy set by the membership. The Grange is also infavor of the production of industrial hemp.
Transportation modes have changed during the 124 years of our existence in California, and the Grange has been intensely interested in its evolution. Transportation today, is an integral component of our societal culture, and the diversity of vehicles demand our attention to safety, economy, their effect on our environment and the supporting infrastructure.
The California State Grange is opposed to regulations, whose benefits are questionable, and could have severe safety implications. We are opposed to an increase of the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ) standards. Higher standards can only make marginal improvements in emissions, and will cause a downsizing of vehicles and thereby reduce their safety and utility.
As a general farm organization, the Grange supports research and development of bio-fuels that are based on renewable resources such as methanol. We will continue to work for less federal regulatory involvement. We will support more programs that encourage local government and private enterprise to resolve the technical details for transportation safety.
Farmers know the conditions they are in. If they 'need' high speed internet access (maybe they're designing web sites on the side????) they should pay for it themselves. I'm not in favor of spending money so some farmer or his kids can play unreal tournament online. Or download porn or mp3's faster.
To me we are at a stage akin to trying to buy everyone a 1985 computer. Nobody will ever need more than 640K memory!! We really need to see how much bandwidth all people need. Do we need enough to watch full screen streaming television?
I guarantee that some politician will make a decision along the lines of "We need x bandwidth" only to have a year pass and this will be just a scrap of actually needed speed. I would much perfer to monitor urban levels first to get an idea of how much is enough. If we have to do it and don't do it right, in 5 years from the date of completion, we will have to do it all over again.
Let the market decide!
If not, why do you support things that would take away some of my assets (through taxes or extra fees) to increase the quality of life in rural areas?????
The market can't decide as long as there are artificial barriers set up to control voice transmition being applied to data transmition. That's what this is all about.
WHEREAS, it has been consistently reported that the doctrines of communism is being taught in out public schools and universities of California.
WHEREAS, if such practices of these exist in our schools it should be reported at once to our State board of Education for correction.
WHEREAS, we as tax payers of the State do urgently request the passage of a law at the convening of the legislative body of our State which will compel every teacher to refrain from teaching or influencing in any way students to despise our flag and to disrespect the Constitution of our United States of America and our democratic form of government.
WHEREAS, if any teacher be found guilty of such practices as referred to, it shall be deemed sufficient evidence for their immediate dismissal.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that we are opposed to the teaching of all communistic doctrines in our public schools.
Sounds like we were loaded with communists.
Resolution #57, Sixty-second Annual Session, California State Grange (1934)
Consolidation of School Districts
RESOLVED: That the California State Grange is absolutely opposed to consolidation of school districts as outlined by the committee on reorganization appointed by the State Superintendent. We are opposed to any further expansion and centralization of administrative power over the schools by the State Superintendent's office. Control of the schools and present system of administration must remain with the people.
But, if I'm being asked to pay for high speed connections for you while I sit here with my 31200 bps, please bring me a half gallon of milk and some steaks. I assume you will pay for these items.
It does require the RBOCs to install DSLAMs in their central offices - but it does not require them to actually offer service on them.
Furthermore, the RBOCs have not given any specific committments to expand DSL service if the bill passes. I think they should go on the record with some specific plans they will implement if they want to get this bill passed.
I think the better solution is for Congress and the FCC to set DSL as the new standard for telephone networks, and phase out the 100-year-old voice grade standard. The Bells will say it is impossible and too expensive, but I don't believe it.
BTW, I live and work in the country, not in the city. Broadband maybe doing fine in the city, but I don't have first hand knowledge.
SBC promised to get a certain percentage of customers access to DSL availability, then they broke their promise. Whitacre blamed it on the WTC attacks and federal regulations (the same regulations that were in place when he made his original Project Pronto announcement.)
I hope Congress won't give in to SBC's blackmail. They should just declare DSL the new telecommunications standard and give the RBOCs a few years to switch over - with incentives like investment tax credits if the RBOCs are successful, and more access by the competition to the RBOC network if they fail.