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TexasTowelie

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: South Texas. most of my life I lived in Austin and Dallas
Home country: United States
Current location: Bryan, Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 77,884

About Me

Middle-aged white guy who believes in justice and equality for all. Math and computer analyst with additional 21st century jack-of-all-trades skills. I'm a stud, not a dud!

Journal Archives

Chinese Order Some Soy; Long-Term Damage to U.S. Ag Trade Remains

I learn from KELO Radio that the Chinese say they have ordered “several million tonnes of soybeans” this month… for which they expect tariff exemptions:

The United States has shipped several million tonnes of soybeans to China since the two countries’ leaders met in June, Chinese state media said on Sunday, an apparent sign of goodwill before trade talks in Shanghai this week.

…China has made enquiries to U.S. suppliers for the purchase of soybeans, cotton, pork sorghum and other agricultural products since July 19, and some sales have been made, state broadcaster CCTV said, citing China’s National Development and Reform Commission and Ministry of Commerce.

“As long as the American agricultural products are reasonably priced and of good quality, it is expected that there will be new purchases,” the report said.

Companies involved in the sales have applied for exclusions to tariffs on agricultural goods with Chinese customs officials, it said [Cate Cadell, “Beijing Says Millions of Tonnes of U.S. Soy Shipped to China in Trade Consensus,” Reuters, 2019.07.28].


Hooray—maybe now Governor Kristi Noem can add China back to the list of Asian markets where Aberdeen’s AGP can ship all of our soybeans.

But don’t get your farm hopes too high. As we were warned, Trump’s reckless trade war has led to long-term shifts in markets that will continue to disadvantage American producers, even if we go back to playing nicely with our global trade partners:

But even without the extra tariffs, U.S. soybeans could not compete with Brazilian supplies on price until at least October, based on current premiums and margins, according to six traders and analysts surveyed by Reuters, making immediate orders unlikely.

“It is hard to see buying of large U.S. shipments (for delivery to China) for the time being,” said Li Qiang, chief analyst with Shanghai JC Intelligence Co Ltd [Hallie Gu and Shivani Singh, “China’s Soybean Crushers in No Rush to Buy from U.S. Despite Beijing Tariff Offer: Sources,” Reuters, 2019.07.24].


The Chinese have quite logically moved away from the unreliable United States to more reliable trade partners like Brazil and the rest of Latin America:

China has overtaken the United States as Brazil’s biggest trading partner, with Brazilian soybeans – one of the country’s biggest exports – and other agricultural products replacing American imports since the start of the US-China trade war a year ago.

…China is now Latin America’s second-biggest trading partner with bilateral trade at US$307.4 billion, growing 18.9 per cent over the previous year, according to China’s Ministry of Commerce, in a relationship focused on commodity imports, including mining products like copper and energy, as well as soybeans and other agricultural goods [Keegan Elmer, “Latin America Trade Grows as China and US Tussle for Influence,” South China Morning Post, 2019.07.28].


Read more: http://dakotafreepress.com/2019/07/28/chinese-order-some-soy-long-term-damage-to-u-s-ag-trade-remains/

Trump Flags Violate SD Laws on Flag Defacement and Right of Publicity?

SDCL 22-9-1 dishes out a Class 1 misdemeanor—up to one year in jail, $2,000 fine—to “Any person who knowingly mutilates, defaces, physically defiles… any flag of the United States….”

I agree with constitutional scholars that this law is unconstitutional. But South Dakota’s Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg has neither the jurisdiction nor the intellect to discern the constitutionality of state law; the Attorney General’s job is to enforce our laws, including our flag-defacement ban.

The salient question at a rinky-dink shop in Rapid City is, does defacement include putting a face on a flag?

As photographed by my friend Joe Lowe on Thursday, the newly opened “Trump Shop” at the corner of Baken Park was flying two defaced American flags: one with Trump’s visage, one with his name, both with his slogan stamped over the proper colors. Joe Lowe tells KOTA-TV these crass commercial banners deface and disrespect the flag for which his father fought and died:

“It’s a flag issue for me. It’s just disrespectful and it’s against the United States Code,” said Lowe, pointing to an American flag with Trump’s image superimposed on top of. “My dad died for the country and my uncle died on the battlefield. They fought for the county, for the United States of America, not the United States of Trump. You shouldn’t put people’s picture on the American flag it’s just disrespectful.”

Lowe says putting an image on top of the flag is a misdemeanor offense [Nick Reagan, “Trump Shop Opens in Rapid City for Sturgis Motorcycle Rally,” KOTA-TV, updated 2019.07.26].


Read more: http://dakotafreepress.com/2019/07/28/trump-flags-violate-sd-laws-on-flag-defacement-and-right-of-publicity/


Trump flags in Rapid City; photo by Joe Lowe, 2019.07.25.

Tribe at center of pipeline protests launches solar farm

CANNON BALL (AP) — The American Indian tribe at the center of tumultuous protests against the Dakota Access pipeline unveiled a solar farm Friday that came about partly due to the tribe’s fierce opposition to the oil pipeline’s environmental impact.

Located just 3 miles from the pipeline, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s solar project is meant as a first step toward clean energy independence and a way to power all 12 of the reservation communities in North Dakota and South Dakota. It also shows that the protests that began in 2016 and ended in 2017 weren’t for naught, even though the pipeline began carrying oil more than two years ago, said Cody Two Bears, the project leader and executive director of Indigenized Energy, which promotes energy within the Sioux Nation.

Two Bears said the solar project “pays tribute to everyone who’s come to Standing Rock and all their hard work and tireless dedication toward protecting our people and land.”

The project has 1,000 panels covering about three acres of wide-open prairie near Cannon Ball, with plans to expand to 10 acres.

Read more: https://www.minotdailynews.com/wire/?category=5687&ID=97956

Financial health of Grand Forks' Alerus Center scrutinized

GRAND FORKS — Although the events revenue alone does not cover its budget, Grand Forks city officials say the football- and event-hosting Alerus Center is financially healthy, with an improving fiscal position.

Its bottom line is lifted significantly by various types of tax dollars, financial documents show, and that is something city leaders have said — both now and decades ago — is a natural part of the center’s public mission. That role, however, has been criticized in recent days, offering a discussion over how heavily the public events center should lean on public support.

A review of financial documents show that, for the city’s account that runs day-to-day events at the facility, 2018 operating revenues were about $424,000 below operating expenses. Those documents also show a second “capital” and debt repayment fund, used to pay off big loans and big projects. A big depreciation expense in that fund, plus other items on the books, total about $3.35 million.

Taken together, that makes a nearly $3.8 million operating loss in 2018. But city leaders say that’s only half the picture.

Read more: https://bismarcktribune.com/news/state-and-regional/financial-health-of-grand-forks-alerus-center-scrutinized/article_17164172-7dd7-5e9e-8a95-88d7f95721ec.html

Tribe at center of pipeline protests launches solar farm

CANNON BALL (AP) — The American Indian tribe at the center of tumultuous protests against the Dakota Access pipeline unveiled a solar farm Friday that came about partly due to the tribe’s fierce opposition to the oil pipeline’s environmental impact.

Located just 3 miles from the pipeline, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s solar project is meant as a first step toward clean energy independence and a way to power all 12 of the reservation communities in North Dakota and South Dakota. It also shows that the protests that began in 2016 and ended in 2017 weren’t for naught, even though the pipeline began carrying oil more than two years ago, said Cody Two Bears, the project leader and executive director of Indigenized Energy, which promotes energy within the Sioux Nation.

Two Bears said the solar project “pays tribute to everyone who’s come to Standing Rock and all their hard work and tireless dedication toward protecting our people and land.”

The project has 1,000 panels covering about three acres of wide-open prairie near Cannon Ball, with plans to expand to 10 acres.

Read more: https://www.minotdailynews.com/wire/?category=5687&ID=97956

Fargo's 8-foot-tall replica of the Statue of Liberty stolen

FARGO (AP) — Authorities say Fargo’s 8-foot-tall replica of the Statue of Liberty has been stolen.

The 150-pound statue that was mounted on a pedestal at the entrance of the Veterans Memorial Bridge was reported missing Monday.

Mayor Tim Mahoney says a construction camera near the area that takes hourly photos indicates the theft took place early Sunday morning.

Mahoney called the theft “disrespectful” but says no charges will be filed if it is returned in the next week.

Read more: https://www.minotdailynews.com/wire/?category=5687&ID=97960

Hint for the gumshoes: Check the frat and sorority houses at North Dakota State.

A socialist institution in a Republican state? State-owned Bank of North Dakota celebrates 100 years

BISMARCK — Amid a growing national debate over the merits of socialism, North Dakota Republican Gov. Doug Burgum issued a stern message.

“Socialism has no place in North Dakota,” his campaign tweeted in February.

It was quickly pointed out, however, that the state boasts two institutions with socialist roots: the Bank of North Dakota and the North Dakota Mill and Elevator. Burgum oversees both as chairman of the Industrial Commission.

The only state-owned bank in the country will mark 100 years in operation Sunday, July 28, with a community celebration the next day. The event, which will be held at its Bismarck headquarters, will include food vendors, speakers and tours of the bank's museum.

The festivities come as Republicans across the country, including President Donald Trump, raise the specter of socialism while political figures on the left, including some Democratic presidential candidates, advocate for policies like Medicare for All and the Green New Deal to combat high health care costs and climate change.

Read more: https://www.inforum.com/news/government-and-politics/3982518-A-socialist-institution-in-a-Republican-state-State-owned-Bank-of-North-Dakota-celebrates-100-years

Oxbow Country Club, some members defamed former West Fargo man; jury awards over $2M in damages

FARGO — A Cass County jury concluded Friday, July 26, that the Oxbow Country Club and three of its members slandered and defamed a former West Fargo man by spreading false rumors that he used cocaine at the club.

The jury also awarded the plaintiff more than $2 million in damages that will have to be mostly paid out by the club and the three men found to be mainly at fault.

The verdict brings closure to a lawsuit that was filed in January 2018 by Aaron Greterman against the club and members Bill Short of Fargo, Britton Mattson and David Campbell, both of Horace, N.D., and Scott Differding and Roger Campbell, both of Oxbow, N.D.

Greterman alleged the defendants slandered his name by claiming he used cocaine and hurt him economically by defaming him.

Read more: https://www.inforum.com/news/4041197-Oxbow-Country-Club-some-members-defamed-former-West-Fargo-man-jury-awards-over-2-million-in-damages

Research examines groundwater contamination in North Dakota

WILLISTON (AP) — Oil and gas practices that were common decades ago in the Williston Basin left behind a salty legacy that still poses problems for groundwater and is the focus of ongoing research by the U.S. Geological Survey.

A recent study by the Geological Survey shows it could take several hundred years before the salt concentration in groundwater near at least one longtime oil- and gas-producing area returns to normal levels.

Brine makes its way up to the earth’s surface when oil and gas is extracted. Today, that saltwater is injected back underground for storage. Decades ago, brine was dumped into temporary “reserve” pits at well sites or at central collection facilities known as “evaporation” pits.

“They would pump out the water at the end and leave behind a saline slurry and backfill it, burying a large amount of salt,” Geological Survey geologist Todd Preston said.

Read more: https://www.minotdailynews.com/wire/?category=5687&ID=97958

Sunday morning shopping leads parade of new laws

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — People caught with a small amount of marijuana will no longer face jail time. Vehicles may be left unattended and idling, but pets can’t be passed off as service animals. And North Dakotans for the first time since statehood will be able to shop on Sunday mornings.

The changes are among hundreds of new state laws that take effect Thursday, representing the work of the 2019 Legislature.

Most prominent is one that repeals the nation’s toughest Sunday business restrictions — rules that are rooted in religious tradition and that have been in place since statehood.

North Dakota has had “blue laws” restricting business on Sunday since it became a state in 1889. They stemmed from fears that visiting a retail store on Sunday morning would compete with church and leave little time for rest.

Read more: https://www.apnews.com/27cfd754d0db4f849f8a5dacd90c3ef5
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