By Brad HaireUniversity of GeorgiaThe U.S. government said last week it would begin to set limits on how much clothing China could ship into the country. The move was praised by the U.S. textile industry. But the decision may not help U.S. cotton farmers, says a University of Georgia economist.Since the global textile quota system ended Jan. 1, U.S. imports of some Chinese-made clothes like trousers and underwear have increased more than 300 percent. In that time, 16,600 textile workers have lost jobs, and 18 U.S. mills have closed, says the National Council of Textile Organizations.The new quota will allow only a 7.5 percent increase annually for certain Chinese clothing products. The U.S. textile industry believes this will save jobs and bolster the faltering industry.But the reinstated quota has angered Chinese officials. China’s minister of commerce will protest the decision, according to a May 18 report by the official Chinese press agency.Big buyerIt’s unclear how the reimposed quotas will affect U.S. cotton farmers, said Don Shurley, a cotton economist with the UGA Extension Service. But one thing is clear: U.S. cotton farmers need China to buy their cotton.Farmers will be hurt, he said, if China decides not to buy U.S. cotton, either to retaliate against the quotas or if it doesn’t need as much cotton to make clothes.The United States produced 23 million bales of cotton last year. (A bale is about 480 pounds of fiber.) It was a record crop. The nation usually grows 19 million to 20 million bales annually. Of that, 13 million to 14 million bales must be bought by other countries.”We’re not going to get rid of that much cotton without China,” Shurley said.There are fewer U.S. textile mills. In 1997, U.S. mills used 11.3 million bales of U.S.-grown cotton, Shurley said. This year, they’re expected to use 5.8 million bales.China has bought a lot of U.S. cotton in recent years. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Chinese are expected to buy 8 million bales of foreign cotton this year. The United States typically supplies half of that. China has bought 3 million bales so far this year.China hasn’t threatened to stop buying U.S. cotton. But any cut in the country’s purchase of U.S. cotton will affect prices, Shurley said.The world has a surplus of cotton. Farmers worldwide grew 114 million bales last year. Of that, only 103 million bales were used.”China can get its cotton from other places,” he said.Shrinking industryA healthy U.S. textile industry helps U.S. farmers, too. By creating a demand for their cotton closer to home, they’re less dependent on foreign buyers.”But a small increase in use by the U.S. textile industry won’t immediately help U.S. cotton farmers sell their cotton,” Shurley said.U.S. textile mills have closed for several reasons in recent years, Shurley said. But increased competition by foreign mills and increased imports of finished clothing products have greatly contributed.Cool, wet spring weather kept many Georgia farmers out of their fields and delayed cotton planting, said Steve Brown, a UGA Extension Service cotton agronomist. Warm, dry weather in May, though, has helped them catch up.As of May 15, the Georgia Agricultural Statistics Service reported that only 38 percent of the crop had been planted. Only 19 percent had been planted a week earlier. Half the crop is usually planted by this time.”It’s too early to say how the crop will turn out this year,” Brown said. “A lot can happen between now and harvest.”
Public Discourse 4 June 2013If the recent French mobilizations against same-sex marriage have taught us anything, it’s this: The LGBT lobby has misrepresented its cause’s relationship to time and history. Illinois Democrat Greg Harris stated in a National Public Radio piece what the lobby has been claiming for years:Folks know this will be a vote that history will remember . . . And I think a lot of folks are deciding they’re going to want to be remembered on the right side of history.The proponents of same-sex marriage like polls. A Gallup poll published in mid-May showed public support for their cause rising from 27 percent in 1996 to 53 percent this year. Pew’s survey data reflect a more modest rise, from 35 percent in 2001 to 49 percent in 2013, but the upward march is still clear. In April 2013, the Williams Institute published a state-by-state analysis that reflected a steady growth in the number of states, such as New York, in which more than 50 percent of respondents supported same-sex marriage.Less often mentioned are certain caveats in all these polls. For instance, in Gallup’s poll respondents were asked to choose between supporting or opposing same-sex marriage, without being offered a third option such as civil unions. The data from the Williams Institute show that liberal California is still only at 50 percent for same-sex marriage, perhaps because the state has domestic partnerships already. Minnesota residents only supported same-sex marriage by 43 percent, despite their popular vote to reject a constitutional ban in 2012 and despite the legislature’s hurried process of legalizing it in the state.Nevertheless, two assumptions have determined the way pundits have interpreted these data.One assumption is that the increase in support will be consistent over time rather than fickle. We can name this the Inevitability Assumption, a quasi-Marxian or at least Hegelian view that History is beckoning in one direction and there will be no turning back.The second assumption is that more people accept same-sex marriage because they have more reliable information about what it entails. This is the Enlightenment Assumption, the notion that there is a transcendental benevolence in same-sex marriage, which can rely on the good and the true, if not the beautiful, to be vindicated by the diffusion of knowledge.These assumptions are in fact fallacies. More than any other populace, the French have laid them bare with their four massive “manifs” or mobilizations (November 17, January 13, March 24, and May 26).These four mobilizations are credited as the largest mass uprising in France since the famous revolts of May 1968. As many as 60 percent of French respondents supported same-sex marriage in the fall of 2012, but the level of support now hovers around only 39 percent, with 54 percent supporting “civil unions” only. It is no wonder that the French government has had to shield itself and its LGBT benefactors from outrage with an increasingly totalitarian modus operandi encompassing tear gas and other familiar police-state tactics.The French resistance to same-sex marriage has demonstrated that an ostensibly progressive nation that had little issue with homosexuality as a moral question can change its mind, not based on ignorance of reality, but based on knowing more about what same-sex marriage really means. Sorry, LGBT lobby, the French are sending your soufflé back to the kitchen.Fallacy #1: The Inevitability AssumptionFrance proves that no opinion trend on any graph can be taken for granted as perpetual. In the United States we knew this already; we simply weren’t aware that we knew it. We know from the abortion debate that what seems like a steady march of acceptance can actually grind to a halt or reverse.The Gallup polls on abortion show how unpredictable the trends in opinion can be, for the number of “pro-choice” Americans peaked in 1996 at 56 percent, then declined to 45 percent today, while pro-life opinion gained significant ground, albeit in fits and starts (only 33 percent of Americans were pro-life in 1996, compared to 48 percent today).If we take a step back and examine how the international LGBT lobby has fought for same-sex marriage, we see that the lobby’s leaders must be equally aware that nothing is inevitable about acceptance of same-sex marriage, regardless of what they say publicly. Rather than patience, haste has characterized their tactics.Fallacy #2: The Enlightenment AssumptionRather than maximize people’s access to information about the impact of same-sex parenting, the lobby has sought to suppress journalistic and academic investigations into areas such as surrogacy, which give people pause with time and reflection. While it is impossible to know the inner thoughts of people running advocacy groups, it is reasonable to conclude that they opt to force same-sex marriage and same-sex parenting through the legislatures and courts at lightning speed, before people have the chance to stop and think about what they are signing up for. (The recent examples of California and Illinois are telling; in both states the large number of people who have gay friends did not lead to easy passage of same-sex marriage, but rather may have triggered a backlash resulting in California’s Proposition 8 and the failure of same-sex marriage last week in the Illinois legislature.)http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2013/06/10293/?utm_source=RTA+Lopez+Myths+Same-Sex+Marriage&utm_campaign=winstorg&utm_medium=email
JEFF SCHORFHEIDE/Herald photoThe ninth-ranked Wisconsin Volleyball team continues on the road this weekend as they travel to Northwestern Friday to play the Wildcats and Michigan State Saturday to face the Spartans. On their current road trip, the Badgers are 7-1 and 2-0 in the Big Ten.Although the Badgers have not played a home game since August, they don’t seem to be wearing down. Each game is one step closer to their Big Ten home opener against Purdue Oct. 5.Head coach Pete Waite attributes the team’s ability to get through its long road trip to the way it traveled and played in Europe this summer. “I think the fact that we took a foreign trip over the summer, and it was two weeks of packed travel, constant travel [helped],” Waite said. “You are moving every day and a half out of hotels, [whereas] here, they are gone from Thursday to Saturday nights, then they have a week at home, at school and in their own room. So, it’s not as bad as it might seem, and they are handling it really well.”The Badgers’ opponents are formidable this weekend. Northwestern has a veteran team, just as Wisconsin does. “Northwestern, actually, is a more veteran team,” Waite said. “They are a lot like us. They’ve had probably four of their starters that have started since they were freshmen. They have a new setter in [Elyse] Glab, [who] is doing a nice job. So, we have to see what kind of style she brings to the table.”Glab, a freshman, ranks second in the Big Ten in assists, averaging 13.13 per game. Another threat Northwestern has is sophomore libero Kate Nobilio. Nobilio, a member of the freshman All-Big Ten team last year, is second in the Big Ten in digs, averaging 6 per game.”We are just trying to avoid [Nobilio] on all of our hitting,” middle blocker Audra Jeffers said. “She was on the all-freshmen team last year, so she is a very good player,” Katie Johnson is the player to watch for Michigan State. Johnson ranks seventh in the Big Ten in kills, averaging 4.35 per game. For the Badgers, Jeffers is looking to build off of last week’s success. She had eight blocks against Michigan last Saturday, helping her earn Big Ten defensive player of the week honors. Jeffers is averaging 1.34 blocks per game and is helping the Badgers hold opponents to a .134 hitting percentage. Jeffers realizes it won’t just be her defense that helps the Badgers, but her ability to be a great all-around player. “Well, that’s defensive player of the week. I want to improve on my offense,” Jeffers said. “I was very happy with my blocking, but offense, I think, I could have scored more. We have been working on, in practice, placement shots. So, I’m going to incorporate those and do better offensively.”Along with Jeffers, the Badgers have worked hard this week trying to prepare for two games in two nights. Waite said that the team needs to be able to get a faster start in each game and not have to make a comeback. Also, he said the team was focused on being prepared to play back-to-back matches. “We are just trying to make the areas we do well in and take it up another notch. I think we are really happy with the way we blocked last week,” Waite said. “I think in both matches we started a little slow, but again, when you are on the road and the other team has a lot of energy, you have to withstand that.”Playing a road game in the Big Ten can take a lot out of a team. Senior co-captain Jocelyn Wack said that on any given night, anybody can win . When the crowds get into the stadium, they are excited to see a team play, especially when they have the chance to beat a top-ranked team.”You always have to go in and play in a tougher environment, and the other team is usually pumped up because they are at home,” Waite said.However, the Badgers are looking forward to playing in front of their own fans at the Field House. “It’s kind of like we are getting used to it because we have been on the road for so long, but it will make it that much sweeter when we are back at home,” Wack said.
It’s time for another boat load of fishing information from Kerry Reed of Reel Adventures Sportfishing. Now that summer is over what better time is there to get out in the boat for some fishing.We’re back from the coast. And a busy summer it was. Our boat kept busy every day on the ocean, and our boats kept steady at home on Kootenay Lake and Columbia River. The ocean threw some curveballs at us this year. July was a very windy month on the West coast and made for some tougher conditions. And when the weather cooperated, the fish decided to be stubborn and make us work very hard for our catch. It seemed like the fish were holding in areas just beyond our reach for a while. And our usual expectations were a lot harder to meet this year. However, we did manage to have quit a few good days mixed in with the slower days. Fish would show up for a couple days, then move on. So, we found ourselves catching our limits on some days in a few hours, but other days we would have to work harder for our fish. Makes the sales pitch for booking three days seem a lot more reasonable. After the tough conditions of July, we found ourselves with better conditions and better fishing during August. In fact, the last three weeks of our summer were the best three weeks. Seemed like the fish were showing up later than normal. Halibut fishing was good when we planned the time for it. However a lot of days we spent longer hours trying for our salmon and left not a lot of time to target halibut. But, when we did target halibut, the fishing was great. Some groups managed to land 5 or 6 big halibut each day. In fact, one of my regular groups ended up with over 100 pounds of fillets of halibut one day. So, it just proved that you have to put your time in. Another good reason to plan on a three-day trip. Our biggest Salmon this year was just over 33 pounds. And our biggest Halibut this year was around 72 pounds. Just below the maximum size limit. So, to sum it up, the season started out slow, but ended with a bang. It’s different every year. Here’s hoping next year starts with the bang and continues throughout. Thank you to everyone who joined me this year! Looking forward to next year already. And now back to the Kootenays. Kootenay Lake: Our guides were kept busy with tourists this summer. July saw some good days of catching 10 or more fish. A mix of Rainbows and Bull trout manage to keep everyone busy. Then in August, as the water temperatures really warmed up, we were catching more Bull Trout than rainbows. But still enough fish to keep the clients happy. And now that September is almost over, we have noticed a drop in water temperature, and the rainbows are starting to come out to play again. Our last few trips since I’ve been back have yielded up to 10 fish a day, with a good mix of Rainbows and bull Trout. The fishing should only get better as the water cools. Looking forward to our fall fishery. Columbia River: The river produced fish all summer long. We would get a good run of consistent fishing as long as the water levels remained consistent. Rainbows and walleye up to five poundsare stacked up right now, and the fishing should be good for both throughout October. Look forward to what the river has to offer in the next couple months. Stay tuned…………… What are they biting on ??? On Kootenay, we are catching most of our Bull Trout on the usual flasher/hoochie combo on the down rigger. We have also had good luck with our Lyman plugs down 60 – 120 feet. The Rainbows have been hitting the down rigger as well. Some of my favourite Gibbs Delta spoons have been working well on the rainbows, as well as the flasher/hoochie combo. Some fish are starting to come to the surface again as well. We have caught a few Rainbows each day on our buck tail flies as well as some smaller hockey sticks and spoons. On the river, we have been catching most rainbows on small spoons or spinners, as well as on the fly. Also, the walleye have been hitting regularly on rubber twister tails on a jig or on a bottom bouncer with worm. Both techniques have worked well. That sums it up for now. Lets get out there. Tight lines………………Kerry Reed Reel Adventures Sportfishing