Ted Cruz and Beto O’Rourke face off in first debate


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George Strait – Amarillo By Morning (Live From The Astrodome)


To Curb Illegal Immigration, DHS Separating Families At The Border

Immigrants make their way towards the border crossing in Tijuana, Mexico.

Gregory Bull/AP

The Department of Homeland Security has undertaken its most extreme measure yet to discourage asylum seekers from coming to the U.S. — family separation.

A 39-year-old mother is named as Ms. L in a lawsuit brought against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security by the American Civil Liberties Union. Ms. L traveled with her 7-year-old daughter, named as S.S., from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Mexico. They surrendered to immigration agents at the San Ysidro Port of Entry near San Diego in December and asked for asylum. They said they were fleeing violence in DRC.

The mother is being held in the Otay Mesa Detention Center in San Diego, Calif. by Immigration and Customs Enforcement; her daughter is 2,000 miles away at a youth shelter in Chicago run by the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement. They are only able to speak by phone.

“When the daughter was taken, she (Ms. L) could hear her daughter in the next room, screaming, ‘Mommy, don’t let them take me!'” said Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project.


Willie Nelson Talks Supporting Beto O’Rourke, Friendship With Frank Sinatra | The View






Beto for Texas



The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

Beto O’Rourke: We Don’t Need A Wall

Official campaign site for Beto O’Rourke, the 2018 Democratic Candidate for U.S. Senate in Texas.







In 1964, I was a junior attending Cheltenham High School in Wyncotte, PA. In 2001, I returned.











In 1964, I studied the Prophet Jeremiah at Gratz Hebrew College in downtown Philadelphia.
















Economic sanctions will hurt U.S. farmers for a generation at least

U.S. Presidents, during my 70 year lifespan, have been working overtime to endanger the U.S. agricultural economy.

The  summer of 2017, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, one of the few “adults” making domestic policy in the Trump Administration, was in China praising the Peoples Republic of China for its increased purchases of meat. Now our livestock farmers, who voted heavily for the President, must face the prospect that Trump’s economic saber rattling will make it more difficult for them to pay for their children’s college education.


Rice Research and Extension personnel are constantly working to refine and create new recommendations and practices to improve Arkansas rice production.


The economic disaster the Trump Administration has wrought already on our agricultural economy is considerable.

Consider rice farming in Arkansas and Louisiana and chicken farming in Perdue’s home state of Georgia. On January 17th, The Arkansas News Bureau reported, “Arkansas lawmakers slam Trump’s Cuba policy.” Arkansas is a keystone in our self-destructive President’s insistence on catering to his 34 percent supporters among the American people. The press has been scrutinizing Trump’s hard core supporters for evidence this support might not be as solid. Unfortunately, our “fake news” reporters have ignored the fissures in the agricultural community– a community instrumental in putting Trump in office.

The Arkansas News Bureau highlighted the comments of the state’s senior senator. “Republican Sen. John Boozman said in a statement Friday he shares Trump’s desire to see democracy take hold in Cuba but believes that ‘a return to embargo-like policies is the wrong approach.

“’By rolling back reforms that have benefited U.S. citizens, everyday Cubans and our economy, we are taking a step backward, not forward. It would be more effective to continue an open line of communication and working relationship with a government in need of democratic assistance, instead of shutting them out,’ he said.”

In November, over 60 percent of Arkansas voters chose Donald Trump. Tom Cotton, Arkansas’ junior senator, flush with campaign funds, of course a Republican, is rumored to be contemplating a Presidential run in 2020. Notable among the intellectual lightweight Republicans on the House Agriculture Committee, is Rep. Rick Crawford who has emerged as one of the few members of Congress who know anything about agriculture policy. Sixty-five percent of Crawford’s constituents in the First Congressional District voted for Trump.

On June 1, 2017, Crawford issued the following statement, “I strongly oppose President Trump’s decision to reinstate a failed, outdated, and isolationist posture towards Cuba. This policy change is … a missed opportunity for rural America, which would greatly benefit from increased access to the island’s $2B agricultural imports market.”

A key member of (what I grandiously refer to as) my kitchen cabinet on agriculture is an unfortunately anonymous Georgia economics professor. Professor X warned me not to publicly oppose the wastefully expensive farm bill unlikely to be renewed in 2018.


As soon as convenient, I plan to have a return visit to Stuttgart, Arkansas.

There Riceland Foods, in the company of such grain trading giants as Cargill and Bunge (sadly experiencing business problems) are actually making our country’s food policy. This is rightfully so given the failure of Congress and the Administration to know anything about the subject.

“The farmers and the folks at Riceland will not talk to you,” my professor said. My friend is overstating the case. Our farmers, whose presence and future are dependent upon exports, continue to talk to me because I am a globalist, very much concerned about agriculture’s future.

U.S. agriculture policy is at a crossroads similar to the crossroads the British experienced in the 19th Century when repeal of the Corn Laws was a necessary requirement for Britain to become an empire. Today, our farmers have been the victims of disastrous decisions by Republican and Democratic Administrations and Congresses who continue the folly. Beginning with the soybean embargo against the Japanese in 1973, our politicians have worked effectively (i.e. disastrously) to make America the supplier of last resort. Today, Brazil has supplanted the U.S. as the principal exporter of soybeans.

On September 6, 2017, The Financial Times reported  Russian President Vladimir Putin, who opposed U.S. economic sanctions against his country, also opposes sanctions against North Korea.

Putin noted, “Russia’s skepticism about sanctions is shared by China, North Korea’s fellow Communist neighbor and largest trading partner by far. China fears the collapse of the Pyongyang regime and the humanitarian and geopolitical chaos that could ensue.”

Rarely did I think I would agree with Vladimir Putin, Russian Stalinist dictator. His view on sanctions affirms this reality. Economic sanctions do not work. Twenty Eighteen’s knee jerk reaction to the global,economy  has resulted already resulted in This continues last year’s food sanctions against Iran and threats to our agricultural exports under Trump’s protectionist anti-NAFTA rumblings.

Hard as it is to believe,  I fear the day will approach when (as a consequence of our political folly) within 25 years ( if not sooner) the U.S. may  have to rely on the world for the food we eat.

–Joel Solkoff

State College, PA

Joel Solkoff is the author of The Politics of Food.


Are Farmers in PA Spilling Milk Because the Price is Too Low?

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21) reports farmers in her district are spilling milk because the price is too low. When I was 19, I worked on a dairy farm. The work is hard. After milking twice a day (sometimes more), I cannot imagine spilling it. I have a mental picture of my grandmother at the dinner table urging me to finish saying, “I can’t send it to the starving people of Europe.”


"No cows were harmed during the making of this video."


Now Europe too is awash in milk it cannot consume. Throughout the developed world surplus is the curse of our time. Meanwhile, there are reports of tens of millions starving in southern Africa. A child in Yemen dies of starvation every 10 minutes. Despite Trump’s proposal to halt international food relief, the continuing resolution the President signed recently increases food aid by $1 billion.

After a visit with dairy farmers in Wisconsin, the President ordered trade measures to punish Canadian milk producers. Canada’s dairy farmers also are blessed/cursed with this bizarre reality: In my lifetime genetic research has vastly increased production.

In April, I spoke with Rep. Glenn (GT) Thompson (R-PA-5). Thompson, Deputy Chair of the House Agriculture Committee, says, “It is likely Pennsylvania farmers in are spilling milk in manure ditches.”

Rep. Glenn (GT) Thompson–R, PA,5–is ready for any fire. It is a good thing too because as Deputy Chair of the House Agriculture Committee he must be prepared for any emergency when trying to pass the Farm Bill next year.

One consequence of Trump’s dairy experience is he nearly began a major trade war with Canada. Trade with Canada is critical to the U.S. economy. It is especially critical to our farmers’ dependence upon exports for sustenance. Fortunately, a cooler head than Trump’s prevailed. Trump’s agriculture secretary Sonny Perdue convinced the President to abandon his original plan to cancel the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Cancellation would have meant grain and soybean farmers in the Mid-West would lose badly needed income were exports to Canada (and yes, Mexico) consequently reduced.


The President’s economic advisers would do well to prepare our President with such basic information as this.


In August, my younger daughter Amelia Altalena married a sergeant in the Spanish Army. Last month, I spoke with Rachel Bickford, our agricultural attaché at the Madrid embassy. Bickford said that as in Pennsylvania, dairy farming in Spain is characterized by the dominance of farmers with large herds. This summer, my occupational therapist told of his visits to elderly Pennsylvania dairy farmers and their widows and widowers. After a lifetime of hard work, they do not receive the health benefits available to retired urban workers.


My occupational therapist (who is based in central PA) tells me that this dated photograph conveys the misery he experiences in 2017 when working with elderly dairy farmers.


Agriculture Secretary Purdue’s predecessor Thomas Vilsack (who supported Perdue’s nomination) now works as an executive for dairy agribusiness. Meanwhile, small dairy farmers—dependent on inadequate payments under the current farm bill cannot make ends meet (to put it mildly). The farm bill currently being drafted for renewal next year will not change that.

Government payments are not the solution. Protectionist measures severely limiting imports (including foreign cheeses–a favorite of the urban coffee house set) only raise consumer prices. Required are pensions and health assistance to elderly dairy farmers who must perform work neither needed nor appreciated in areas remote to health care. Required are training programs, such as Rep. Thompson has been establishing, that train the children and grandchildren of dairy farmers for work in a global economy.

–Joel Solkoff, author The Politics of Food. https://joelsolkoff.com/book-store/books/the-politics-of-food/


Related Posts

Exclusive Interview with Rep. GT Thompson on his Rehabilitation Background

News from Turkey: July 24, 2016

I was about to turn the computer when I decided to give Twitter one last look. Exploding before my eyes was this Amnesty International site. Suddenly, I realized that my casual inquires into Turkey had taken a strong hold on me. The future of this country--whose strategic position is essential to U.S. military defense--is in the midst of human suffering on an alarming scale.
I was about to turn off the computer when I decided to give Twitter one last look. Exploding before my eyes was this Amnesty International site. Suddenly, I realized that my casual inquires into Turkey had taken a strong hold on me. The future of this country–whose strategic position is essential to U.S. military defense–is in the midst of human suffering on an alarming scale.


News from Turkey


Amnesty International








July 2016 Motto

John Maynard Keynes
John Maynard Keynes

“In the long run we are all dead.”


Appeal to Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt: Please correct Medicare violations at Mt. Nittany Medical Center and Health

Donations for going to my daughter’s wedding and seeing my granddaughter for the first time

Country Music Sweeps Corporate Detroit: With Martina Mcbride performing in Detroit

Wikipedia on Martina McBride

Martina’s father, who was a farmer and cabinetry shop owner, exposed Martina to country music at a young age. Listening to country music helped her acquire a love for singing. After school, she would spend hours singing along to the records of such popular artists as Reba McEntire, Linda Ronstadt, Juice Newton, Jeanne Pruett,Connie Smith and Patsy Cline.[3] Around the age of eight or nine, Martina began singing with a band her father fronted, “The Schiffters.” As Schiff grew older her role in the band progressively increased, from simply singing, to also playing keyboard with them. She enjoyed performing in her early years.[3]


She tried to pretend he wasn’t drinkin’ again
But daddy left the proof on her cheek
And I was only eight years old that summer
And I always seemed to be in the way
So I took myself down to the fair in town
On Independence Day



DETROIT'S Premier Country music station
DETROIT’S Premier Country music station

 The following two videos show a younger astonishingly sexy Mariana McBride as she was honing her skills as a staunch feminist.


Compare these two videos.

Today is Bloomsday

State College, PA, June 16, 2012, across Beaver Avenue from Webster’s Bookstore and Café where next year [not in Jerusalem, but at Webster’s] Bloomsday http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloomsday
will be celebrated properly]:

Next year, Webster’s proprietor Elaine Meder-Wilgus will be reading the role of the sensuous Molly Bloom whom Joyce deliberately paralleled to Homer’s Penelope.

“Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed.”

This is the first sentence of Ulysses, James Joyce’s novel, first published in 1922 and for 15 years banned in the United States as obscene.

U.S. Postal Authorities prevented its distribution in one instance burning 500 copies.

The Committee on College Reading, endorsed by the National Council of Teachers of English and the American Library Association, recommends Ulysses as one of the 100 most significant books in the world.

Today, Joyce’s novel about one 24 hour-day in Dublin, June 16, 1904, is being read aloud throughout the world–all 265,000 words.

Depending on the size of the print, as many as 1,000 pages are being read out loud today, including here in Pennsylvania where Philadelphia’s Rosenbach Museum and Library houses the famous first edition published in Paris by Shakespeare & Company.

Today, say No to banning books; Yes to great literature; Yes again with Molly Bloom as she says in the last words of Ulysses, “…yes I said yes I will Yes.”


James Joyce


“Twenty years have passed,” writes the authoritative Joycean critic Stuart Gilbert in 1950, “since the appearance of the Study of Ulysses of which this is a new…edition…and among many notable events of these two decades one of the most interesting, from the literary point of view, was the lifting of the ban on the admission of Ulysses into the English-speaking counties. In the original Preface to my book I said: ‘In writing this commentary I have borne in mind the unusual circumstance that, though Ulysses is probably the most discussed literary work that has appeared in our time, the book itself is hardly more than a name to many….”

Consequently, in his discussion of the novel, which at one time was so hard to obtain that New York University’s smuggled copy was chained to a table in the main library lest it be stolen, Gilbert provides extensive quotations. In the last chapter entitled Penelope, the name Homer gave to Ulysses’ famously loyal wife, Gilbert discusses Molly Bloom’s soliloquy that ends the novel.

Gilbert writes,” [T]he force of this long, unpunctuated meditation, in which a drowsy woman’s vagrant thoughts are transferred in all their named candour of self-revelation on to the written record, lies precisely in its universality….”

Gilbert continues, “The concluding pages, a passage of vivid lyrical beauty…are at once intensely personal and symbolic of the divine love of Nature for her children, a springsong of the Earth; it is significant for those who see Joyce’s philosophy, nothing beyond a blank pessimism, an evangel of denial that Ulysses ends on…a paen of affirmation.”

Gilbert then quotes Joyce’s Molly Bloom saying to herself:
I love flowers Id love to have the whole place swimming in roses God of heaven theres nothing like nature the wild mountains then the sea and the waves rushing them the beautiful country with fields of oats and wheat and all kinds of things and all the fine cattle going about that would do your heart good to see rivers and lakes and flowers all sorts of shapes and smells and colours springing up even out of the ditches primroses and violets nature it is as for them saying theres no God I wouldnt give a snap of my two fingers for all their learning….yes I said yes I will Yes.”


Listen now to  Marcella Riordan read the last 50 lines of Ulysses as your heart thumps with joy.



Joyce selected June 16th as the 24-hour day during which all the action in Ulysses takes place because it was the date of his first date with Nora Barnacle who became his wife and was always his muse.


This surprisingly sexy, mind-opening book by my one-time editor Brenda Maddox is terrific.

[Aside, in 1984, my friend Jonathan Miller, as I was about to leave for China, told me he would publish an interview on the telecommunications plans of the Beijing Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications if I could somehow get an interview. Jonathan and Brenda were editing a joint D.C. Telecommunications Daily/London Economist publication. When the interview turned into a series of articles, Brenda was an excellent editor. At the time, Brenda was also working on this biography of Joyce’s wife, long regarded by distinguished Joyce scholars as an extremely dull woman. Jonathan had read the book proposal, envied the size of the advance (as did I), and marveled at Brenda’s ability to track down erotic letters between Nora and James Joyce. When I finally read Brenda’s book, she was able to open up Ulysses for me in a way that finally opened up the pleasure of reading the great novel which had previously seemed so intimidating. ]

This is how Amazon describes:

Nora: The Real Life of Molly Bloom


Publication Date: June 16, 2000
“In 1904, having known each other for only three months, a young woman named Nora Barnacle and a not yet famous writer named James Joyce left Ireland together for Europe — unwed. So began a deep and complex partnership, and eventually a marriage, which endured for thirty-seven years.
“This is the true story of Nora, the woman who, transformed by Joyce’s imagination, became Molly Bloom, arguably the most famous female character in twentieth-century literature. It is also the story of Ireland, a social history encapsulated in the vivid recreation of Joyce and his small Irish entourage abroad. Ultimately it is the portrait of a relationship — of Nora’s complicated, committed, and at times shocking relationship with a hardworking, hard-drinking genius and with his work.
“In NORA: THE REAL LIFE OF MOLLY BLOOM, the award-winning biographer Brenda Maddox has given us a powerful new lens through which to see both James Joyce and the woman who was in turn his inspiration and his salvation.”
Next year, Events Coordinator Molly Haight will be working with the Director of 2013 Bloomsday at Webster’s.

Molly is currently accepting email applications for the position of Director of 2013 Bloomsday at Webster’s at the following address:[email protected]

We are looking for a faculty member in the English Department at Penn State sufficiently familiar with the 18 episodes of Ulysses who will:

  1. Provide audiences with a brief overview of each episode before reading begins
  2. Organize the readings
  3. Recruit readers
  4. Designate a preferred edition so readings can take place smoothly
  5. Be prepared for the gratitude and adulation of the Webster’s literary community
At next year’s Bloomsday celebration, Cafe Manager  Meg McAuley will be dancing to your table with Irish tea and real Pennsylvania cream plus lots of wonderful Irish soda bread. Special orders for kidneys will be taken at the appropriate time.

Right now, Robbie Mayes has just received a shipment of James Joyce scholarship, really juicy books.

Next year, film lecturer Anne Triolo will be in charge of all video arrangements. You saw her win on Jeopardy, imagine what she will do in her own metier.

Until “met him pike hoses” (metempsychosis) [“Yes. Who’s he when he’s at home?”], watch this selection from the 1967  movie Ulysses:


Webster’s on the web:


Webster’s on the map:


This is how Bloomsday is observed in Dublin.