Alan Guebert is a syndicated agricultural columnist whose work is published Thursdays in The Daily Republic.
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When Vladimir Putin sent his nation's armed, but unmarked, troops into sovereign territory of Ukraine, he became the latest in a long line of Russian Little Big Men to punch Eurasia's famed breadbasket in the gut. First came the imperial czars, then the revolutionary Bolsheviks and, right behind them and most brutally, Soviet leader Josef Stalin. And now, from those sinister shadows, springs Putin, often described as a 20th-century thinker with a 19th-century vision of empire living in a 21st-century world.
The tall, mostly dead red oak on the eastern edge of the farmette still stands this late, long winter, saved mostly by this late, long winter. The majestic, strong-armed tree, my age or a little more, had a date with the saw and maul as soon as the weather turned cold. Deep snow and face-cracking cold, however, kept the aging sawyer closer to the wood stove where that oak would, sooner or later, meet its ashy end than to the tree itself.
No one confirmed the farm bill's estimated $23 billion in savings (according to the bill's writers) over the 2008 law or the lesser, $16 billion in savings calculated by the Congressional Budget Office.
Richard B. Berman operates phony, shell non-profit groups that are billed for services by his for-profit company.
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