Daily Bread for 3.31.20

Good morning.

Tuesday in Whitewater will be cloudy with a high of forty-three.  Sunrise is 6:36 AM and sunset 7:21 PM, for 12h 45m 07s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing crescent with 40.2% of its visible disk illuminated.

Today is the one thousand two hundred thirty-ninth day.

On this day in 1998, the Milwaukee Brewers play their first game as a National League team (away against Atlanta).

Recommended for reading in full —

Rick Barrett and Jeff Bollier report Coronavirus has hit Wisconsin dairy farms especially hard — some farmers may even have to dump milk:

Dairy has been hit the hardest from the loss of business from restaurants, schools and the hospitality industry. About one-third of Wisconsin dairy products, mostly cheese, are sold in the food-service trade.

“The coronavirus outbreak has caused milk prices to drop down to unprofitable levels this spring, right when we need money to buy supplies for the spring planting season,” said dairy farmer John Rettler of Neosho, president of FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative in Madison.


In February, farmers’ milk prices were slowly returning to profitable levels after having  been stuck in the basement for more than five years.

“Since the coronavirus pandemic began, all of that optimism has disappeared,” Rettler said. “Now, farmers are simply looking for ways to ensure their milk continues to get picked up in the coming weeks as the situation continues to play out.”

From dairy barns to grain fields, farmers have endured a long stretch of low commodity prices, partly brought on by a glut in world production. About 820 Wisconsin dairy producers called it quits in 2019 alone, a rate of more than two per day, and the trend hasn’t slowed in recent months.

 Conservative evangelical Michael Gerson writes Jerry Falwell Jr.’s coronavirus response shows his staggering level of ignorance:

After learning of Jerry Falwell Jr.’s decision to partially reopen Liberty University, my thoughts turned to the biblical account of Balaam’s ass.

According to the Hebrew scriptures, the children of Israel were on the verge of engulfing another Bronze Age tribe. Lacking recourse to the United Nations, the Moabites turned to a diviner named Balaam to curse the Israelis. But on the way to the cursing, Balaam’s conveyance, an ass, saw an angel blocking the path ahead, turned hard into a wall and crushed Balaam’s foot. Unable to see the celestial creature himself, a frustrated Balaam beat his ass. But God permitted the wounded animal to speak, mock her rider and explain the divine roadblock. The eyes of a chastened Balaam were finally opened and he took the Israeli side. And the rest is Middle East history.

Students at Liberty University are more likely than most to understand the specialness of this biblical lesson. It is one of the few stories in which Falwell should not be assigned the part of an ass. For that matter, he does not even deserve the role of Balaam, who at least was open to instruction. Instead, Falwell has charged the angel straight on and — in defiance of nearly all public health experts — reopened the Liberty dorms in the middle of a pandemic. Now, according to the New York Times, at least one student has tested positive and several more have shown coronavirus-like symptoms.

 Open Source Textbooks Save Students $1 Billion:

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