So imagine my surprise when reading this recent article on the construction of a police station in Fruitland, Maryland, and who should pop up but the USDA.
For Fruitland Police Department, 'excitement is building' about new facility
FRUITLAND -- For years, the city's police department had worked in a facility that was not only was limited in space, but also outside of compliance due to its age and condition. Within the next two months, those issues will be addressed as the department is scheduled to move into its new public safety building... The building, which is being constructed by Mervin L. Blades & Sons, costs approximately $2.6 million and was funded through a low-interest, 40-year loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.My search through the rest of the article for the common element of "food" (noted above) came up empty unless you count "fruit" in the name of the town, but that seemed like a stretch even for the government. (By the way, it's pronounced "frootlind", not "fruit land"; the natives will mock you if you choose the latter.) Anyway, I visited the USDA website for clues. It turns out the USDA has all kinds of money to loan under the heading of Rural Development. The upshot seems to be rural = farming; therefore, in addition to inspecting food going to market, the USDA is now loaning money to build police stations in "rural" America. Not much of a leap, eh?
So what is next? Loan advice from the Justice Department? What's that? "Comparison Shopping for a Home Equity Loan" on the Justice.gov website? Sorry, bad example. OK, then, what's next? Recipes from Housing and Urban Development? What? "Heart Healthy Home Cooking - African American Style" on HUD's website? OK, another bad example. Perhaps we just need to face the fact that our federal government has become a sprawling mass of overlapping and interconnected programs that bear little resemblance to what was envisioned for a country of "limited government." I have nothing against the town of Fruitland. But that the funds to build its local police station are coming from a department of the federal government that is ostensibly all about food is rather hard to swallow.