Missouri Amendment 1- Vote NO!

From Michael Evans: http://www.americasvoicenow.org

 

And…. Why YOU Should Vote NO on Missouri’s Proposed Constitutional Amendment 1 – “Right To Farm”

 

On Monday, a meeting was held in a townhall style at the West Plains Civic Center so that folks could better understand the proposed Constitutional Amendment 1 aka “Right To Farm” Bill.  I attended this meeting and so I thought I would provide those who were unable to make it with a report on what transpired.  Feel free to forward to your “Circle of Influence” whether you agree with my observations or not.

 

First, let me state unequivocally that I support the unlimited protection of family farms, farmers and family ranchers.  But I firmly believe this bill will do no such thing.

 

The meeting was sponsored by supporters of the bill.  The people sitting at the ‘speaker’ table were Shawn Rhodes and a legislative employee from the Missouri Legislature.  They opened the meeting with a reading of the proposed constitutional amendment found here:

 

”That agriculture which provides food, energy, health benefits, and security is the foundation and stabilizing force of Missouri’s economy. To protect this vial sector of Missouri’s economy, the right of farmers and ranchers to engage in farming and ranching practices shall be forever guaranteed in this state, subject to duly authorized powers, if any, conferred by article VI of the Constitution of Missouri.”

 

I asked the meeting why we didn’t word the amendment thus…

 

”That agriculture which provides food, energy, health benefits, and security is the foundation and stabilizing force of Missouri’s economy. To protect this vial sector of Missouri’s economy, the right of FAMILY farmers and FAMILY ranchers to engage in farming and ranching practices shall be forever guaranteed in this state, AND SHALL NOT BE INFRINGEDsubject to duly authorized powers, if any, conferred by article VI of the Constitution of Missouri.” 

 

This means infringed by anyone, for any reason, whether gov’t, political action committee, animal rights groups, or Missouri’s DNR (Department of Natural Resources).  I was told that language was ‘unacceptable’ to the legislature who couldn’t get it passed because of politics.  Translation? YOUR interests are not THEIR interests. What’s troubling is that this bill is primarily sponsored by Republicans.  (For the record, I and a large group of others spent a lot of time unsuccessfully in conference calls over the past 2 years trying to get them to use the right language because we smelled a rat going in.)

 

The primary argument from the speakers table was that this amendment was to thwart future efforts by HSUS (Humane Society of the United States) to stop the trend of injecting legislative limits on farmers similar to the Prop B ‘puppy mill’ legislation that they got approved in 2010 by appealing to the emotional side of non-farmers and non-ranchers. I would argue that livestock is already protected under state law and nobody, including the deluded HSUS can argue that your goat, cow or pig is a ‘family pet’.

 

I believe the HSUS is intent on damaging farming in Missouri. I also abhor the organization not only because they eat up the vast majority of donations in ‘administrative costs’ including fundraising, but they actively seek to undermine states’ rights, human rights and abuse laws giving corporations rights, and lastly, but most importantly, because they put animals before humans. Charity Navigator warns with their “Donor Advisory” rating, and charity watchdog Humanewatch.org gives them a D grade while others rank them equally dishonest and scurrilous.

 

However, the table argued that HSUS has raised and spent $375,000 to fight against this bill so therefore it was a good bill to vote for.  It did come out of the meeting, by attendees and not supporters) that the side supporting it (Republicans included), have spent over $1,000,000 in support of the bill.  When asked where that money came from, we were told PACs or Political Action Committees which naturally are shielded from having to reveal their donors were responsible. I might have been born at night… but it wasn’t last night!  As if they don’t know or weren’t involved in getting that financial support.

 

Since both sides are funding the passage or non-passage of this bill so heavily, and we all know money in politics points the finger of guilt to the parties that benefit the most, I would posit that both sides are using the ‘boogeyman’ fear factor of the other side to drive their members and/or constituents to vote for an Amendment which is not in the best interests of the actual family farmers and ranchers of Missouri.

 

To be sure, and I said this publicly in the meeting, everyone in the room was there for the right purpose, to protect Missouri’s agricultural heritage and industry and family farmers and ranchers, not corporations, CAFO’s and foreign gov’ts.  However, I believe that the political parties have hijacked this legislation to pass a nefarious and detrimental Constitutional Amendment that cannot later be altered or modified and will be the subject of staggering legal challenges that will leave this amendment in the hands of those who redefine words for a living; namely judges and lawyers, who definitively don’t have the best interests of the farmers and ranchers in question as their motivation. Further the Farmers/Ranchers will have to bear the legal financial burdens of fighting those battles and that’s untenable for the family farm or ranch which is barely subsisting hand to mouth. Fighting legal battles with gov’t agencies, NGO (non-governmental organizations such as HSUS), and being beaten by financial attrition, not by lack of merit, will hurt all of us in the state.

 

There was a constant refrain that, “this is the best we can get”, and “It’s a good start” towards protecting Missouri family farmers and ranchers.  I submit that there are two problems with this thinking.

 

  • First, if the best we can get from a majority legislature is a bill designed to protect Monsanto and leave future ‘interpretation’ to bureaucrats, judges and lawyers who will cost farmers/ranchers the ‘farm’ to fight for their God given rights in the first place, that shows us that neither party truly represents the interests of their ‘alleged’ constituents, and hasn’t for a very long time.
    • Passing such an amendment allows legislators to define under Missouri’s Constitution in Article VI what your rights actually are.  That section of the Constitution is hundreds of pages long and addresses everything under the sun.  In order to ‘loophole’ the new amendment for the benefit of some political supporter or crony (Can YOU say Monsanto?), the legislature can simply modify or redefine whatever they need to in Article VI to give them the dubious “Duly Authorized Power” to hijack your right to make a living while granting themselves even greater powers.
    • Ask yourself if the purpose of a Constitution is to limit gov’t or YOU?  How does giving you rights, subject to their “Duly Authorized Power” act to “bind the gov’t down with the chains of a Constitution” as per Thomas Jefferson?

 

  • Second, this is not “a good start” because you don’t modify the constitution with a law in motion. If we find later that it has poison in it, (and you can bet this was worded VERY carefully by the “elit-i-legalists” in the legislature) it cannot be simply modified.  It would require another Constitutional Amendment vote just to amend the bad amendment.
    • A Constitutional Amendment should be the final limitation of gov’t power, not a ‘starting point’ full of loopholes large enough to push Kansas City through sideways!

 

Finally, the arguments given by those in ‘official’ support was laden with the threats of the dark powers and money of the HSUS and their freedom destroying activities.  Let me be abundantly clear here… I absolutely despise anyone who sells me on waiving my rights based upon fear.  THAT IS terrorism defined, i.e. manipulation of the individuals through fear, intimidation, threat or coercion for a political end.  It makes no difference if it’s done by a guy in a suit or a uniform.

 

Frankly, I fear the Missouri DNR and the state legislature far more than an animal rights activist group who may, or may not, attempt to pass legislation or policy with the aid of the real danger here… our own legislature and the DNR.

 

When I asked why we are compromising ourselves by agreeing to a bad amendment simply because the legislature doesn’t have the brass to really honor who they should represent, (not the corporations or political bribers, …er donors), I was told again that “This is the best we could get” and “This is a good start”.  The simple truth is that our legislature has failed us over and over again. They seek to pass legislation that protects and benefits their donors and frankly that is nothing more than a polite way of saying Bribery.  I’m tired of endless promises of “more hard work to do” and “we’ll build on this” kind of talk. You don’t ‘build’ on a constitutional amendment.  That is where the final product goes, not the half-baked, loophole laden dream of a greedy self-serving political machine.

 

Again, suggested language would have done what the supporters claim this piece of misguided misdirection should actually do…..  Note the differences in RED.

 

”That agriculture which provides food, energy, health benefits, and security is the foundation and stabilizing force of Missouri’s economy. To protect this vial sector of Missouri’s economy, the right of FAMILY farmers and FAMILY ranchers to engage in farming and ranching practices shall be forever guaranteed in this state, AND SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED”subject to duly authorized powers, if any, conferred by article VI of the Constitution of Missouri.”  This change would have made it bulletproof to voters, and eliminated most of the expensive legal wrangling that we will see for years going forward.

 

We shouldn’t be making constitutional amendments just because our legislature wants to appease their cronies and corporate sponsors.  I was told the language proposed was right but, was ‘unacceptable’ to the legislature and couldn’t get passed.  So, ask yourself the following questions:

 

  • Did the legislature really had YOUR best interest at heart when they wrote it?
  • Should we pass a permanent modification to the Constitution because the legislature (which is supposed to have a ‘conservative’ majority) was more interested in giving you a false choice using fear as a coercion tactic?
  • If the purpose of a constitution is to ‘bind men down from mischief by the chains of a constitution’ (Thomas Jefferson), why is it that YOU are bound by this constitutional amendment?
  • Should we simply rise up, vote NO and then demand that they right the correct language and actually represent us next year in protecting Missouri Family Farmers and Family Ranchers?

 

In case you haven’t gathered already…. For the record, I’m voting NO.  This bill should be better known as the “Missouri Monsanto Protection Act”.

 

 

Michael Evans
Patriot & OathKeeper

 

Michigan Food Trashing Agency At Work

Another tale of despicable waste from those who are “protecting” people….No License, No Food. By the way, Michigan is a “right to farm” state. As Mark Baker’s case with the wrong phenotype of hog indicates, the “right to farm” doesn’t protect all farmers.

 

 

The government-sponsored dump of nearly $5,000 of milk, eggs, butter, and cream from Michigan’s My Family Co-Op yesterday carried a very clear and powerful political message to all Americans: We control your food and we don’t like you buying your food outside the corporate food system. Every now and then, we are going to remind you of what bad children you are being by taking your food and throwing it in the garbage. In fact, we are going to do more than remind you, we are going to completely humiliate you by preventing you from even feeding it to farm animals and instead forcing it to be disposed of in a landfill or dumpster.(For more photos and a brief video of the food dump that took place see the Facebook Page of Hill High Dairy LLC, the producer of the food.)

It’s the same message that was communicated in Minnesota when the regulators seized food from Michael Hartmann and Alvin Schlangen in 2011. And in California in 2010 and 2011, when the regulators twice took food from Rawesome Food Club. And in Wisconsin in 2010 when the regulators threw blue dye into Vernon Hershberger’s raw milk. And in Florida in 2012, when regulators confiscated $45,000 worth of food going to half a dozen food clubs in that state (described in Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Food Rights), and forced the farmers who produced it to pay $2,000 in dumping fees to have it thrown in a landfill. And in Oregon in 2011 when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration sought personal legal penalties against Kelli and Anthony Estrella of Estrella Family Creamery for the high crime of feeding condemned cheese to farm animals, as if to say, the humiliation must be complete.  And the message first communicated in Michigan in 2006 when the state confiscated and disposed of $8,000 of raw milk from farmer Richard Hebron (and forced him as well to pay a $1,000 fine).

If you think I am exaggerating the intent of what is going on here, ask yourself this question: When was the last time you saw government agents seize and condemn food from a place like Foster Farms or Taco Bell or Del Monte or Kellogg’s or Trade Joe’s when their food has been found to contain pathogens, or made people sick? There’s been not even a suggestion that food at My Family Co-Op contained pathogens or made anyone sick.

There were all kinds of other ways for the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to have handled any problems they saw with My Family Co-Op. They could have warned Jenny Samuelson, the co-op’s owner that she was possibly violating a 2013 policy statement on herdshares. They could have given her a citation, listed the charges against her, held a hearing where she and the owners of the food could have attempted to answer the charges, and then levied a fine if she was found to be in violation. (Actually, the fine and such can still happen, since the seizure order placed on the food last week carries possible penalties, at the MDARD’s discretion.)

But those kinds of civilized steps would have forced the state to be businesslike and law-abiding. Collective punishment isn’t about being businesslike and law-abiding. It isn’t about presenting charges and letting the accused respond. It is about brute force and complete control. It is about sending a message about who is in charge, and what happens if you cut into corporate profits.

The big problem with collective punishment is that, while it may deal with the immediate problem at hand (an unwanted competitor), longer term it breeds alienation among the people who are being penalized and humiliated. I naively thought that possibly such actions were being curtailed or eliminated as officials got the message that it is dangerous to mess with such fundamental rights as the right to obtain food from farm animals you have ownership of.

We can expect more such examples of collective punishment. Dean Foods and its henchmen are losing big bucks in the precipitous decline of pasteurized milk sales. (Dean Foods is understood to control as much as 90% of the milk market in Michigan.) Like the Mafia, oligarchs don’t take well to losing money. Their modus operandi is control and bullying, so they don’t take the customary business steps of trying to find ways to compete. No, they pay big money to the politicians who control the hacks at places like the MDARD, and they demand action. Yesterday, they got it.

 

Preppers and Patriots Expo

 

Preppers and Patriots Expo Will Feature Wood Gas Powered Pickup Truck

 

A pickup truck powered by burning wood will be featured at The Preppers and Patriots Expo August 16 and 17 at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel, Glenstone and Kearney in Springfield, Mo. according to event organizer Mike Slack. Slack said, “Doug Brethower, an experimenter with biomass and supporter of sensible alternative energy will display his pickup at the Expo and will speak on wood gas as an alternative to gasoline. Wood gas was used in both Europe and Asia during World War II and a similar truck was featured on the cover of Mother Earth News magazine last year. Doug is one of  approximately 30 speakers over the two days covering self-reliance and disaster preparedness topics. We are lucky to have several quality speakers both from Missouri and out of state, and many quality vendor exhibitors.”

 

Another vehicle to be displayed at the expo will be The Ultimate Bug Out Vehicle, a recreational vehicle adapted for preparedness by John Davis, Missouri and Iowa coordinator for the American Prepper Network. The RV includes  a trailer which can show anyone from a single person to over 10 people to survive for an extended period of time.  Davis will also  display different types of bug out bags, prepper supplies, prepper field hospital and other items.

 

The Expo will be held from 9 am to 6 pm both days, with $10 admission for the entire weekend. Children under the age of 12 are free. For more information the website is Preppers and Patriots Expo | 2 Days That Can Save Your Life and the phone number is 417-264-2435

 

Preppers and Patriots Expo — Springfield, MO — August 16 and 17

 

The Preppers and Patriots Expo is scheduled for August 16 and 17 at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel, Glenstone and Kearney in Springfield, Mo. according to event organizer Mike Slack. Slack said, “the Expo slogan is two days that can save your life, and  we are doing our best to live up to that standard. We’ll have approximately 30 speakers over the two days covering self-reliance and disaster preparedness topics. We are lucky to have several quality speakers both from Missouri and out of state, and many quality vendor exhibitors.”

 

The Expo will be held from 9 am to 6 pm both days, with $10 admission for the entire weekend. Children under the age of 12 are free.

 

Topics include man-made disasters such as terrorist threats, social collapse and nuclear reactor meltdown; natural disasters such as tornadoes, earthquakes and pandemics; and economic collapse which could require use of precious metals or barter items.

 

 

Speakers will cover alternative energy such as solar power, wind power, making alcohol and biodiesel, wood gas and small steam engines for electricity generation. Others will cover water filtration, long-term storage food, survival in the wilderness, home prepared antibiotics and medicines and how to suture a wound when no doctor is available.

 

 

Talk show host Joyce Riley of The Power Hour will speak on veterans health issues, Gulf War Syndrome and “what the government doesn’t want you to know” about your healthcare. Talk show host  John More of The Liberty Man will discuss climate change and talk show host Mike Evans of America’s Voice Now will discuss restoring liberty. Mike Nocks of White Harvest Seed Company will speak on heirloom seed and genetically modified organisms, while organic guru Lynette Pate will discuss food as a fuel for the body. Other speakers will be announced soon Slack said. For more information call 417-264-2435.

 

Right to Farm State Persecuting Small Farmer

 

Passionate Farmer Takes On Her Government Harassers

 

With her life’s dream of being a small family farmer in Virginia, Martha Boneta obtained 64 acres in Fauquier County, Va., in 2006 to raise vegetables, herbs, raw honey, eggs, and host small animals. Little did she know that a birthday party with eight 10-year-old girls would trigger zealous county regulators who saw the party as an event needing special exception permits and required a hearing that would impose fees.

Thinking she had all the right commercial permits and licenses, Boneta was still threatened with $5,000 per day fines despite Virginia being a right-to-farm state, where local governments are considered unable to use zoning laws to bring nuisance suits for customary farm operations.

Soon enough, it became clear that there were outside interests who seemed connected to county government, the IRS and even her mortgage company who wanted to force her off her land, and she decided to fight back. (RELATED: IRS Inspector General Probes Whether Agency Abused Virginia Tea Partier)

As citizens rallied behind her passionate defense of farming and property rights, she found her way to “Fox And Friends,” where a national following continued to build. Pressure mounted against government harassment and this month with her passionate, determined civic leadership, the Boneta bill was signed into law by Virginia’s governor, providing farmers greater protections for customary activities at small family farms.

Serving as a model for other citizens feeling targeted and harassed by government, Boneta says, “Never give up because our freedoms, our liberties, our property rights are fundamental to us all.” Even at great personal cost, connecting with other citizens and groups gave Boneta courage that most don’t know is there for them too.

To learn more about Boneta’s Liberty Farm, go here.

Mrs. Thomas does not necessarily support or endorse the products, services or positions promoted in any advertisement contained herein, and does not have control over or receive compensation from any advertiser.

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2014/07/20/passionate-farmer-takes-on-her-government-harassers/#ixzz387CCDlI2

A Radio Show and Debate on Missouri Right to Farm

From Missouri Rural Crisis:

 

KBIA, Mid-Missouri Public Radio, to Discuss CAFOs This Monday
Let’s Not Let Pro-CAFO Academics Dominate the “Debate”
KBIA, Mid-Missouri Public Radio, will be discussing CAFOs on their Intersection program at 2PM this Monday, the 21st.

Ray Massey, MU Commercial Ag Department, Teng Lim, MU Extension, and John Lory, MU Plant Sciences will be discussing Concentrated Animal Feeding Opertions.

They need to hear from family farmers and concerned consumers about the negative impacts of corporate-controlled, industrial livestock operations on family farms, the marketplace, consumers and the environment.

Please call-in to the program on Monday, the 21st at 2PM by calling(573) 882-8925.

You can live stream KBIA here: http://kbia.org/


Rhonda Perry to Debate a Missouri Farmers Care Lawyer at a League of Women Voters Event This Thursday–Please Join Us!
Thursday, July 24th
Friends Room, Columbia Public Library

100 W. Broadway, Columbia, MO
6:30-8:30
Rhonda will be debating Brent Haden, a Columbia lawyer, at a League of Women Voters’ event at the Columbia Public Library this Thursday, the 24th.

Brent is representing Missouri Farmers Care, the group leading the charge for the so-called “Right to Farm”, Amendment 1, which will be on the ballot on Tuesday, August 5th.

Missouri Farmers Care members include Cargill, Monsanto and Lathrop and Gage (the law-firm representing Chinese-owned Smithfield Foods).  

 

Great News!!! Joplin Globe Against Amendment 1 in Missouri!

Every now and again, right action actually is taken by a mainstream news source. It’s a real joy when the happens….:)

 

Here’s the Joplin Globe’s editorial on Amendment 1:

 

July 13, 2014

Our View: Vote no on Amendment 1

Proponents of Amendment 1 — the Right to Farm Act — have not made their case. We’ve met with advocates of this amendment to the Missouri constitution and listened to their arguments, but we don’t believe they have adequately answered the central question: Who is it protecting, and from what?

We understand that many small farms are struggling, but threats to their livelihood aren’t going to go away because of the vague wording in the proposed amendment. In fact, this amendment could hurt them.

Darvin Bentlage, a Barton County farmer, made a compelling case in this newspaper that what’s threatening small, independent family farms is big ag — corporate ag — which is what some critics think this amendment is designed to protect.

“I remember our right to farm when we didn’t have to sign a grower’s contract to buy seed, a document telling us what we could and couldn’t do with what we grew on our farm,” Bentlage argued. “I remember when family farmers could load their own feeder pigs in their truck and go to the local auction and sell their livestock in an open and competitive market. So who’s taken this right to farm away from us? It is the same corporate factory farm supporters, corporations and organizations that have pushed this constitutional amendment through the Missouri Legislature.”

The ballot question asks, “Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to ensure the right of Missouri citizens to engage in agricultural production and ranging practices shall not be infringed?”

Infringed by whom? What practices? And who qualifies as a farmer in Missouri?

Smithfield Foods, for example, owner of Premium Standard Farms? How about Tyson Foods? Both of those are Fortune 500 companies that count their revenue in the billions.

Which Tyson practice “shall not be infringed,” the one that left more than 100,000 dead fish in Clear Creek this spring?

It’s Missouri that may need protection from big ag.

Proponents of the amendment point to environmental and animal rights organizations — “radical, out-of-state groups,” they call them — but most of the family farmers we know don’t fear laws aimed at protecting Missouri’s water and air. They already behave as good stewards of the environment because they live on the land they farm and drink the water from their own wells, and they treat their livestock humanely.

We suspect critics of the amendment are on to something when they say this is a measure designed to protect corporate agriculture rather than the traditional family farm.

In fact, we’d be better off making sure that public ownership of water, for example, and the right to clean water and clean air are enshrined in the state constitution.

That’s an amendment we can get behind, but we can’t get behind Amendment 1.

 

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