For the Amish, Big Agribusiness Is Destroying a Way of Life

It seems as though big agribusiness has some help:

...when I spoke with Brent Buchanan, the county's agriculture team leader for Cornell's Cooperative Extension, he said New York's regulations slant the game against the Amish. As Buchanan explained, tax exemptions go exclusively to farms selling over $10,000 in product. And while Swartzentruber farmers might grow a qualifying amount, they preserve more of their harvest for subsistence living, thus decreasing their nominal profit. "If they can't enjoy the same taxes as Englishmen, that's inherently not a sustainable business model," said Buchanan.

Ah, yes, government is involved in playing favorites. I'm shocked, shocked I tell you! OK, well, maybe not so much...

At first glance, the Swartzentruber Amish of St. Lawrence County, New York, look to be self-reliant stewards of a bucolic and unchanging landscape. Although their daily chores demand Olympic stamina -- regiments of mugwort-weeding and hay-bailing -- the Swartzentrubers still pause and wave politely to 18-wheelers passing through the county, which stretches from the Adirondacks to the suburbs of Montreal.

(link) [The Atlantic]

Update:The St. Lawrence Co. local paper has a tale to tell on the article. They left in in a comment and since I don't allow links in there I figured I be nice and move it up here for easier access. See the writebacks section for more.

20:48 /Agriculture | 2 comments | permanent link

At Guantanamo tribunals, don't mention the T word

Horrifying - but I guess it's just more of the same change you can can't believe in.

CIA agents have written books about it. Former President George W. Bush has explained why he thought it was necessary and legal. Yet the al Qaeda suspects who were subjected to so-called harsh interrogation techniques, and the lawyers charged with defending them at the Guantanamo Bay military tribunals, are not allowed to talk about the treatment they consider torture.

(link) [Retuers]

08:13 /Politics | 0 comments | permanent link