Oh boy, this is gonna be GREAT!!!!  (said in my best Animal House voice)

Unlike some others here I'm gonna take this on. Please feel free to expand on my thoughts as needed.

WISPA is a political organization guys. We work with the FCC, congress, state and local governments. Eventually we'll help other countries make things better for their people too.

It's important that people here, especially the business owners, understand how things REALLY work. To get to that point we have to talk to each other about what happens on OUR watch. Otherwise all we learn is one sided and we can't form reality based opinions.

Having said that, I agree with you 100% David.  As far as you've gone......

We own thousands of acres. Not me, my parents though. We get a LOT of money for not growing wheat every year. Believe me, it's not a good thing for the community. We buy less fuel, equipment, fertilizer, insurance etc. etc. etc. Many farm towns are all but dead because they can't support the churches, grocery stores, clothing stores, hardware stores etc. Wal-Mart hasn't helped, but mostly it's the lost of bodies that has hurt. When the school district is loosing kids you know people, especially the next generation just aren't staying here.

But what's a body to do? Out here most of the ground we're being paid not to raise crops on is really bad ground. It should not have ever been pulled from grazeland in the first place. But there's not always been more food than people, so folks planted every acre they could.

Farming used to be a good living. Back before Jimmy Carter that is. His choice to use food as a political weapon caused other countries to start growing a LOT of food. And our wonderful universities and government was all too happy to teach them how. So now we don't feed you AND the whole world. We feed you and part of the world.

Farmers today compete against Australia, south america, China and a lot of other countries. Here we have more rules that everyone, not only the farmers but the suppliers of our chemicals and machinery too, have to follow so our costs are often driven much higher than our competitors. But we've got good ground and we know how to take care of it so we can probably keep up that way.

Many of those other countries subsidize their farmers or tax our incoming crops though. Sometimes both. In those cases we certainly can not compete. If we can't compete we go out of business. If no one in the industry can compete the industry eventually shuts down. When's the last time you saw a wagon wheel plant? Or a blacksmith shop? It does happen. In those cases though, there's been something else, something better to take it's place.

What are you going to do for food if you can't afford to grow it here? You can live without your computers if someone blocks the ships coming to our shores. You can survive without your TV, radio, mp3 player etc.

Let me ask you, if there's another big war and you were on the other side, what's the first thing you'd do? Me, I'd shut down America's access to the rest of the world. Without America many economies would collapse, war materials couldn't get out, and nothing, including (especially???) food would get in.

Governments know that as long as people are eating it's not likely that they will revolt. When they start to starve, when the children die, bullets start to fly. And NO government, even the mighty Romans, survives when the people are against them. The USA spends less per capita on food than almost any country in the world. If you allow too many farmers to go broke that won't be the case. You'll have to buy food instead of that new car.....

Here's where it gets really interesting. Did you know that the farmers can't sell their crops themselves in most cases? There are two or three exporters in the whole country. They sell the wheat AND set the prices that the farmers are paid. I can't go to, say, China, and say, "Look, you're paying $5 for a bushel of wheat. I only get $3.75, how about if I sell to you at $4.50 and we both win?" How would you like to have to sell your internet to EarthLink, AOL, or MSN? At whatever rate they decided you should get? That's much the way farming works.

As for other crops it's not that simple. Believe it or not, farmers aren't stupid. They are often some of the sharpest most business savvy people you'll ever meet. When crop prices are LOWER than they were in the 1970's and have been since then almost ever year we weeded out the stupid ones a long time ago. IF they are in the right climate they already grow something else. IF they have the right amount of water (our latest well is 2240' deep, $500,000 to put it in and you don't even want to know about that electricity bill!). IF there is a market. The list goes on and is very long. When we can, we DO grow other crops. Right now we have garbanzo beans, wheat, barley, and over half a dozen different varieties of grass seed. Last year we had canola, peas and spuds too. We would like to grow some corn but there's no facilities to handle it within trucking distance (can't truck right from the field much more than 30 minutes).

I wish that the government would change the CRP program a little bit and make these guys grow fuel instead of sage brush. All that's doing is creating an amazing rodent problem. Nothing good lives out there cause there's no water. But the rodents can get enough water from eating the plants I guess. And the bugs, sheesh.

It costs around $4.00 per gallon to produce biofuels today. I'm talking at scale, not from left over cooking oil. There's a plant going in here in town. There are no gas taxes on it so that helps, and there are some subsidies. It still costs more than other petro though.

Nothing could be better for this country than having every community with a fuel production plant in or near it. That would put some real pressure on the petrol market.

You watch though, just like electricity, as soon as some alternate plants are just starting to come online, the price of crude will drop like a rock and those plants will shut down. The the price will start to creep up again.

If we're gonna pay people not to farm food crops, lets put that money into energy independence. It would be great for the local economies, it would take funds away from our enemies, it would free us from depending on others. Lots of good to it.

But, it would rock the establishment so it can never be allowed to happen. Not till the establishment is in a position to be at the head of it. Just like broadband. The technology had been around for a very long time. Till the telco's and cable co's were ready to handle 95% of the market though, it wasn't there.

Who knows though, just like the WISPs have been a ground swell of grass roots people and have pushed the broadband industry to heights and in directions that the experts completely missed, maybe there small fuel startups will be able to do the same. Another $1.00 per gallon for gas and it'll be a wash for the little guy to compete against the petro companies.

Like you, Dave, I sure wish that the government would keep it's nose out of my business. I wish ALL governments would do that. But that's not what governments do. They think they see a bigger picture, they think they are smarter, or they are just greedy, whatever.

As for the price of living in the country. Yeah, we know there is one. We pay more in taxes because there are fewer of us available to support the infrastructure. We can't get chinese food. We can't order out for pizza, can't get a new pair of $20 shoes without an $80 gas bill. We can't drive only small cars cause not all of the roads get plowed right away. And we often have to haul much more than what will fit in a small car. Heck, when we want to go to Safeway and go big shopping we have to take the Suburban 45 miles away and we'll fill the back of it to feed our family of 5 for 2 to 3 weeks. And that's with doing much of our regular shopping here in town. Try to put two parents (yeah, we're a mom and a dad in our house), three kids and a month's worth of food in that Yugo or mini van. Especially if you get caught in a snow storm.

We knew we'd not get cable TV. We knew that the fire department wouldn't get there till the house was already burned the the ground. We knew that a heart attack would be fatal because help is so far away.

Know what else we know? We know our kids are LESS likely to have kids out of wedlock. We know that they are less likely to get hooked on drugs. We know that there are no gangs out there. We know it's safe to let our 7 year old daughter walk downtown for a candy bar. Alone. We know we can (and do) leave the keys in the car. Heck, I leave my wallet in my car, unlocked. We don't lock our house, don't have to. We know that the chances of our kids being murdered or assaulted is much lower than in the city. Out here, sexual predators usually last weeks in the community. They don't stick around.

Know what else is true about my little town? We have MORE broadband options than most of you in the city have. Usually at lower prices and higher speeds too.

I don't want government money to build out my network. I've seen what happens when they get their hooks into you and/or your business. We could have had food stamps, free government health care etc. All of that would sure have made life easier and our business could have grown faster with less debt. What we've done we've not down on YOUR dime. But my competitors get YOUR money. Should they be the only ones that do? I'd like nothing better than to see their funds shut off. That's not gonna happen though, the closest I can do to level the playing field and stay in business is to get some of the money too.

When you've got your house, retirement, college money, everything on the line, what are you gonna do?????

I hope that helps explain more about what really effects decisions that get made here on the farm.

Oh yeah, I spent a decade in the big city with a real job. You can stay there with the crime, the filth, the disease and the threat of terrorism. It'll take one hell of a big carrot before I'm gonna go back to that kinda stress. grin

(509) 982-2181                                   Equipment sales
(408) 907-6910 (Vonage)                    Consulting services
42846865 (icq)                                    And I run my own wisp! (net meeting)

----- Original Message ----- From: "David Sovereen" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: "WISPA General List" <wireless@wispa.org>
Sent: Wednesday, August 09, 2006 7:30 AM
Subject: Re: [WISPA] [Fwd: Durbin introduces billtoencouragehighspeedinternetaccess in rural areas]

Your assumption is correct.  Using your example of wheat, if you let free
markets operate, then farmers who couldn't survive growing wheat would stop
growing wheat and switch to a crop that would make them more money.  I
believe that all government subsidies should be eliminated and that we
should pay market prices for goods and services.  Government subsidies are
nothing more than price manipulation and welfare for businesses. They cost
taxpayers more money than it would if we just paid the market price for
products and services, because there is the added cost of government
oversight and dispursement of funds.


989-837-3790 x 151
989-837-3780 fax


129 Ashman St, Midland, MI  48640
----- Original Message ----- From: "Cliff Leboeuf" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: "WISPA General List" <wireless@wispa.org>
Sent: Wednesday, August 09, 2006 10:20 AM
Subject: Re: [WISPA] [Fwd: Durbin introduces
billtoencouragehighspeedinternet access in rural areas]

So David,

I guess it is fair for me to assume that you don't agree the the
paying some NOT to grow wheat or NOT to raise pigs so that those that DO
survive on a reasonable profit margin and not be flooded by over
creating too much product for not enough demand...?


On 8/9/06 8:57 AM, "David Sovereen" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:

> Since when do the people on this list support taxation, waste, and
> government subsidies?  Why should the burden of providing high-speed
> Internet to people in underserved (typically rural) areas fall on the
> shoulders of taxpayers?  I don't want my taxes to pay to expand your
> or for Joe User to get your service.
> If people want services, they should live in a city.  If they want to
> in rural areas, they should do so with the understanding that services
> (water, sewer, EMS, schools, cable, high-speed Internet, just about
> and everything) are harder to come by and sometimes more expensive.  No
> makes people live in the country.  People choose to on their own, and
> should take responsibility for the costs and/or lack of services
> with that decision.
> Just my own 2 cents.
> Dave
> 989-837-3790 x 151
> 989-837-3780 fax
> www.mercury.net
> 129 Ashman St, Midland, MI  48640
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Chadd Thompson" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> To: "WISPA General List" <wireless@wispa.org>
> Sent: Tuesday, August 08, 2006 8:36 PM
> Subject: RE: [WISPA] [Fwd: Durbin introduces bill
> toencouragehighspeedinternet access in rural areas]
>> IMO they need to start giving money to the end users to pay for hookup
>> installation. Stop paying to expand WISP's networks and give the money
> where
>> it is needed, if you want a bigger network pay for it out of your own
>> pocket. In IL I doubt you could drive from Chicago to St.Louis and not
>> able to hook up to a WISP.
>> Give money to the people who need to put up a 45ft tower to get >> access.
>> Thanks,
>> Chadd
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] Behalf Of Jeff Broadwick
>>> Sent: Tuesday, August 08, 2006 5:54 PM
>>> To: 'WISPA General List'
>>> Subject: RE: [WISPA] [Fwd: Durbin introduces bill to
>>> encouragehighspeedinternet access in rural areas]
>>> Don't forget the 3rd great lie..."I'm from the government and I'm
>>> here to help
>>> you"
>>> :-)
>>> Jeff Broadwick
>>> ImageStream
>>> 800-813-5123 x106
>> --
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