“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Meanwhile, back of the farm...

Small towns in Washington's wheat growing region feeling flush

Tri City Herald
August 15th, 2007

The Associated Press

DAVENPORT, Wash. (AP) - In Washington's wheat country, when farmers do well, everyone does well.

So, with wheat selling at higher prices than it has in decades, there's an upbeat atmosphere on Main Street all across the state's wheat-growing region.

Resilient small towns that weathered tough years of a down-and-out farm economy are poised to end 2007 on a high note.

The last time the price of soft white wheat was this high was in the aftermath of wheat deals with the Soviet Union in the early 1970s, when the price of Northwest wheat peaked at $6.35 a bushel in February 1974. Prices being paid in Portland, Ore., on Wednesday were around $6.92 a bushel.

"Though it's not anywhere near the bonanza it was in the 1970s, farmers should be healing up this year," Odessa accountant Todd King said. "Things are finally going in the right direction. For small towns, too."


  1. Hooray!!!

    Good news in an optimistic vein.

  2. Actually deuce, you city slicker:) your picture is not of wheat, but of two row barley. But I forgive you,as it may be malting barley.

  3. Meanwhile, a little to the east things get worse and Worse

  4. Here are some good pics from Steptoe Butte of the Palouse.

  5. Thanks Bob, It has been along time since I was on a farm. It has been less time since I enjoyed the barley.

  6. If you are harvesting barley, keep the combine cab air tight, as those long barley beards, chopped up, itch like HELL.

  7. sounds like installing fiberglass insulation.

  8. Two rows of seeds. Six row has six rows of seeds. Trying to find a good pic. Six row is usually used for feed.

  9. Can't seem to find a good pic comparing the two, but scroll down to barley, that's a two row ready to cut. There is a saying, cut the barley when it is pious--you know, like an old man bent in prayer, it's ready then. It's really a very beautiful plant. There's also a four row, though I can't think I have ever seen any.

    Coors Brewery Company has its own geneticists, and creates varieties it likes. Idagold was one they came up with.
    Two Row

  10. End of barley seminar Here

    Don't want to bore you people to death.

  11. Yeah, it is a beautiful Plant, but Does eat Oats, as do Scots, whereas Does eat Barley, and Scots Drink it.

    "Large-scale brewers, however, must balance the higher extract yield against the higher cost and lower diastatic power of two-row malt. Small-scale brewers with less focus on extract yield may find the differences between the two negligible. "
    The breweries we built from scratch/scrap used the old German method of converting the starch to sugars:
    Forget all the names now, but we built a stirring rig on a small steam kettle, and then you gradually up the temps to a couple of different rest stops, where it sits their as those diastatic miracle enzymes do there stuff to yield the "sweet wort."

    English Ales use an "Infusion Mash Tun" where the malt and hot water are poured, and it just sits there at one temp as it converts.
    The German method does it more completely, which is good for light lagers, but the Best Beer I've ever had is made the English way.
    Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.
    Depends on the taste, and sometimes a hoppy light lager like Becks is a better drink.
    End of Brewing Lecture.

  12. Here's that Mexican Lady, for anyone that mighta missed it:
    Guess the Age of the Lady in Red,

    Before you go here to read about the lady that runs the above-ground black market in Mexico City.
    Mexico City's princess and the paupers.

  13. Just the largest, and the story was supposed to be them benefitting from all the bankrupt competitors.

    "Growing worries about Countrywide Financial Corp.'s access to short-term capital to finance its operations sent the largest U.S. mortgage lender's stock price tumbling 13% Wednesday as an analyst raised the possibility of a bankruptcy filing by the company."

  14. Didn't know this: Wonder what the Twin Towers author thinks of him now?

    Not long ago, a nameless CIA operative published Imperial Hubris, a scathing analysis of the Bush administration’s war on terror. Eventually, word spread that the author, called “Anonymous” on the book jacket, was one Michael Scheuer.

    In the meantime, both the Washington press corps and the CIA had played a sort of coy game of gossiping in private about the real identification of the author while publicly maintaining the mystique of an anonymous authoritative insider whose station was too high up and too covert to be disclosed.

    But once Scheuer was publicly identified, the world could examine what he had to say on various topics. People weren’t impressed — especially by Scheuer’s assertions in interviews that Osama bin Laden shouldn’t be identified as a terrorist , and that the Holocaust Museum in Washington was a means to make Americans feel guilty about the Holocaust.
    Scheuer sounds goofier each time he gives an interview — and the credibility of his once anonymously written Imperial Hubris shakier and shakier. Isikoff has never quite recovered his journalistic reputation. We all know what happened to Dan Rather.

    And all this nemesis is as it should be. Anonymity is a vicious but seductive Siren that lures its heedless listeners to shipwreck on the shoals.

  15. Wow!
    7.9 in Peru

    The Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center responded with a tsunami warning for the coasts of Peru, Chile, Ecuador, Colombia, Costa Rica and Panama. A tsunami watch was issued for the rest of Central America and Mexico and an advisory for Hawaii.

  16. unami warning canceled after earthquake in Peru - 6 hours ago
    15 (Xinhua) -- The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center cancelled its tsunami warning on Wednesday for eleven Latin American countries along the Pacific rim. ...