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One thing after another is raining down on small farmers.  

NAIS which is insane on the face of it but has left farmers worrying it is about something much bigger and incredibly more threatening.  For sure the penalties , even for infractions are beyond anything anyone could being to handle.  Farmers, it seems, face risks too great to run ... to farm.

And then there are the buried regulations in the FDA which are criminalizing all aspects of farming by listing them as "sources of seed contamination" - a new contamination if ever there were one.  But seed cleaning equipment is listed and farmers are now supposed to only use what is approved, which is, again, beyond their capacity.  Where was there any contamination of seed, ever, from seed cleaning equipment which would possibly necessitate a farmer giving up a perfectly good seed cleaner they made themselves and used for 40 years and which costs nothing now, to put in a building and equipment for a million and half dollars ... for each line of seed?  Never mind the carbon foot print of that versus an already existing seed cleaner.  The upshot of that is farmers are too poor to farm.

The game is simple - seriously scare the public and then use "food safety" and "animal diseases" as the argument for imposing systems that are onerous beyond human endurance.  What systems?  Industrial ones that a normal farmer can't afford to put in place and with bureaucratic tasks that turn farming into something approaching filing out a complex tax return daily, and with penalties that are greater than those imposed on most felons.

The latest joke on farmers is peanuts.  The problem, like all the problems, are on the industrial side, but what comes from "peanuts" is not peanuts.

So, having whipped the country into a frenzy, here come two house bills out of New York and suspiciously like Monsanto's friend Hillary Clinton's plan to centralize the USDA and FDA ... to save us from "contamination."  And just after Vilsack said it wasn't time to do such a thing but they have surely had  this in the works for sometime, this centralizing of corrupt power in the USDA and FDA, over our food.

Goodness they have got the country by the short-hairs with "contamination," running ads for one product after another that can sterilize our kitchens, our bathrooms, our carpets, our hands, our children even, to save us from "germs."  My favorite ad is the one of the little brother reaching over to hand his baby sister something but with gross green slimy "bacteria" growing on his hands.  Good grief.  Just ditch the boy and have done, because boys will be boys and get dirty and heaven only knows he might touch his baby sister again.  

Makes you wonder how we all managed to survive to grow up without all that sterilization.  And why kids are sicker now than they ever used to be.

Back to the bill.  The name is a marvel.  "Tracing and Recalling Agricultural Contamination Everywhere Act of 2009."

Scare the public, but with what? they must have asked in the board rooms and agencies (is there a distinction anymore?).  "Peanuts!" someone (who will be greatly rewarded) suggests and they all laugh because it's so perfect - peanut butter being so American and something for the "kids."  That'll surely do the trick to scare the bejeesus out of families and set them up to want more regulations, their being too scared to notice farmers are already stuffed to the gills, stuffed beyond the gills, with regulations.  (The wonder is how that is even possible that farmers who have so little are regulated at all given how, on the other hand, corporations have been de-regulated?)

So, here comes yet more regulations, and doozies.  One is included below for your edification and amusement - or horror - as the case may be.  

[ There are three bills. HR 814, HR 875and SB 425, all mandating NAIS.  The HR814 and SB425 are companion bills. HR 875 refers to NAIS by name and ratifies the AHPA as authorizing legislation, which is a huge problem.  Fines and penalties of 1,000 to 500,000 dollars and up to ten years in prison.  The other two bills don't say NAIS, but describe it, and are just as dangerous. HR875 is from DeLauro, SB 425 is from Sherrod Brown of Ohio in the senate. Big problem there ... he is on the ag committee. ]

In a letter from one farmer to others:

Hello friends, Have you all read federal HB814 and HB875?  If not
better take a look.  Seems we are looking at NAIS on steroids.

814 is bad, 875 is awful, it creates a new food safety department
that seems to take some power from USDA&FDA and who knows what else?

It has language in it that appears to turn our farms into food
production facilities [sic] and allows them to decide our feed ratios and
types as well as our animal health regime and whether or not and with
what we can fertilize our ground, sounds worse than NAIS to me, the
wording is vague and probably intentionally so.

Let us imagine for a moment that these were applied to you, Joe Blow, Norma Normal, in your own kitchen, for you to have a sense of what farmers are being asked to do - separate from Premises ID and FDA regulations which are all on top of this.  

Okay, so you are going to cook and you haul in bags of food from the grocery, an orange rolls away and you retrieve it.  

"The traceability system required by subsection (a) shall require each article of food shipped in interstate commerce to be identified in a manner that enables the Secretary to retrieve the history, use, and location of the article through a recordkeeping and audit system or registered identification."

Okay, so you start unpacking the groceries, recording each and every item and where you are putting it in each cabinet or refrigerator shelf.  No big deal.  And extra hour maybe, you figure.

(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary may require that each person, firm, and corporation required to identify an article of food pursuant to subsection (b) maintain accurate records, as prescribed by the Secretary, regarding the purchase, sale, and identification of the article.

Oh, okay, now you also need to put down where you got the spam and beans and weiners and how much you paid and when and then when you cooked and ate it.  Okay, okay, so your spouse can put things away, and as they do so, they can call each item out to you and you can cross check it against the receipts and what it cost and where it's from and type all that into the computer, not just make a list like you'd started out to do.  Baby's crying.  Okay, you'll finish this up after dinner, sometime.  Should only take an hour more.  Spouse is complaining no one hasn't even started dinner.  Someone barks - which of you was it?  - it's not easy to get around to making dinner - the point of buying the food - when you gotta make sure there is no contamination.  But contamination must be stopped so dinner will just have to wait.

(2) ACCESS- Each person, firm, and corporation described in paragraph (1) shall, at all reasonable times, on notice by a duly authorized representative of the Secretary, allow the representative to access to each place of business of the person, firm, or corporation to examine and copy the records described in paragraph (1).

Someone's going to be coming over to your house and going through your kitchen and your computer and copying things?  That's kind of nervy.  Was there anything about privacy in that bill?  How long is this going to go on for?


  1. DURATION- Each person, firm, and corporation described in paragraph (1) shall maintain records required to be maintained under this subsection for such period of time as the Secretary prescribes.

As long as the Secretary says?  Who's the Secretary?  Is this FDA or USDA or both?  Your spouse looks it up.  If it's USDA, it's some guy named Vilsack and seems people don't trust him because he's close to some company called Monsanto which is said to be evil.  Well, that doesn't feel too good.  How come he gets to decide things in your kitchen?

But you're very proud of the system you set up, it having ended taking 2 nights and a weekend rather than that hour after dinner you first figured, but it's in place now and during all that work it dawned on you that the less kinds of things you buy and the less often and at fewer places you go shopping, the easier things would be.  Even occurs to you if you buy only spam and nothing else, cutting down on all food diversity, you could save hours of inputting data but is that really cooking anymore?  

Anyway, you're ready for the inspection, having applied every skill you had learned in college and some accounting and even work with spreadsheets, too, and with the help of a neighbor who had experience with government.  But what if you made a mistake, somehow?

(d) False Information- No person, firm, or corporation shall falsify or misrepresent to any other person, firm, or corporation, or to the Secretary, any information as to any location at which any article of food was held.

Is it false if it's by accident?  Looks like it.  You go back and check and see a small mistake.  The peanut butter - and you know peanut butter is big threat these days - was put away on the second shelf, not the first.  You make the correction on the computer.

(e) Alteration or Destruction of Records- No person, firm, or corporation shall, without authorization from the Secretary, alter, detach, or destroy any records or other means of identification prescribed by the Secretary for use in determining the location at which any article of food was held.

Oh, no.  More than "Oh, no."  Suddenly, you are angry.  

You tell your spouse it isn't worth it to have the government in the kitchen, protecting you from contamination.  No dinners are getting cooked, the baby is constantly hungry but you're afraid to use up the baby food because it'll mean more shopping and having to write up where and when and what kind of food you bought and what shelf it got put away on and even when it got eaten and it's not damn worth it.  You start to rant that no one had gotten sick before but you sure are sick now and tired, too, of this.  How in heck are you supposed to do that endless and  detailed data collection and run a normal household?  

Your spouse, never one for government overkill, who had muttered throughout all the work you had been doing -  not so anyone could hear much beyond "meddling" and "plot" and "privacy" and "idiots" - was now watching you with jaw open as you kicked into high gear, going on about how your home was no dang corporation with employees and cubicles and data input people and bean counters out the whazoo and how in heck did a normal family ("we were once a normal family") get the kids to school and help with homework and take care of the baby and do all the other things it took to run a home, and just wanting to make a normal dinner and sit down together in peace over it, fall into this hell?  

And did your spouse notice, you ask (or holler, really, at that point), that all that "help" from the government had actually stopped all cooking from going on, and you didn't notice that was any help to anyone and had they lost their minds and who planned all this?  Was it a plot (your spouse starts nodding) meant to keep families from cooking altogether since it sure wasn't possible to keep up and it sure wasn't worth the struggle to even keep food in the house anymore?  

Welcome to American farming.

Now, multiply all that many times since for farmers it's their livelihood being put through this intentional wringer (designed by their corporate competition), their animals at risk of slaughter, their homes on the line, their land threatened, and they face $500,000 penalties for mistakes.  

Monsanto is behind those new bills, one can easily guess, since seed laws Monsanto has put in place around the country are designed in the same way - a sadistic schoolmarm's means of demanding from the trapped and detested student what they cannot possibly deliver, until they are broken, all the while the teacher enjoying the misery and mincing about how it will be good for them, teach them lessons they need to learn.  

Lessons they need to learn.  Farming, dear USDA and FDA and Monsanto and Hillary Clinton and those behind NAIS and "contamination everywhere" bills, has been safely in the hands of real farmers for millennia.  Indeed, it is only since the very recent historical advent of the "industrialization" of farming that food and farming itself has gone to hell, and is now filled with pesticides and hormones and mercury and antibiotics and GMOs and ... contamination.

Upton Sinclair's book The Jungle was about industrial meat production, not small local producers.  Pasteurization was only needed to kill off pathogens in the disgusting industrial milk that was being produced.  Rural dairies were producing healthy milk - and even today, healthier than pasteurized by far.

But the industrial side has devilishly taken the "contamination" they created and are still creating, even intentionally (see Wayne Madsen's article on Gates, Monsanto and infected wheat or see what the drug companies and the poultry industry are doing in Asia ), and fear of illnesses which corporations send out in clanging, clashing, terrifying notes throughout the cultlure,using media as their orchestra, to drive whatever bills whatever they want.  Isn't that how we got the Patriot Act?  (And more and more beleive it had a false "set up" as well.)

Though industry created the food nightmare we are living in (unsure what is safe to eat, unsure what we are eating altogether, unsure of supplies, unsure of prices, starvation in places, profits rolling in for corporations), we have the ultimate industrial corrupter of food, Monsanto, behind the scenes acting the vicious schoolmarm, inflicting the `Tracing and Recalling Agricultural Contamination Everywhere Act of 2009'  on good farmers who can't possibly comply and still farm, which is the point.  Because they are being trreated like disgusting bacteria, and are being "wiped out."

Originally posted to Scaredhuman on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 07:27 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

    •  I have to finish reading (5+ / 0-)

      but could you indulge most of us and spell out what the acronym NAIS means at the very beginning?  It helps not to have to click on every link to find out.  Thanks.

      You'll never have a quiet world till you knock the patriotism out of the human race. - G.B. Shaw, "Misalliance"

      by gchaucer2 on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 07:33:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think it's (6+ / 0-)

        National Animal Information System. Tracking animals to make it easier to trace (or TRACE?) the source of diseased meat, should there be any.

        Ask not any question of the Eldar; for they will give you three answers, all of which are true, and all terrifying to know.

        by Shaviv on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 07:55:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thank you, Shaviv. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Otteray Scribe

          You'll never have a quiet world till you knock the patriotism out of the human race. - G.B. Shaw, "Misalliance"

          by gchaucer2 on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 08:11:04 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Read the links in the first paragraph for a (0+ / 0-)

            glimpse at the concerns about NAIS.  They are going after the Amish and Mennonite first who won't go to media or fight back but in Pennsylvania and other places they have sold herds, some have sold farms, and some are considering leaving the country.

        •  Are you aware that farmers having been asking (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Snarcalita, terabytes, JonBarleycorn

          for inspections for Mad Cow and been refused by the USDA, or that the HACCP rules put in by the FDA eliminated 72 local processing plants in Kansas alone that had never had any problems while it lead to less inspections and more contamination problems?

          The contamination issues are on the industrial side.  And NAIS will do nothing to trace anything back because tags are cut off when the animals are slaughtered.  Read more about it.  It appears to be a set up to declare an animal disease and slaughter normal stocks to substitute genetically engineered animals - privatized- instead, as they are doing in Asia.  Check the links in the article on this.  

          •  Yes, I was aware. (0+ / 0-)

            No, I can't see any particular method to this madness except corporate welfare.

            I don't, however, see GM meat as inherently bad. If they're creating myostatin loss-of-function variants, say, we can eat those just fine.

            Not that I eat much meat anyway.

            Ask not any question of the Eldar; for they will give you three answers, all of which are true, and all terrifying to know.

            by Shaviv on Sun Feb 15, 2009 at 08:59:32 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's important not to leap over the full (0+ / 0-)

              implications of genetically engineering animals and rush to whether you are worried about the meat or whether someone else wants everyone to be vegetarian so it's not their issue.  

              Genetic engineering is not about the thing being offered.  It's is about the patents and control over food.  Not a little control but absolute, totalitarian control, because given a fair choice and free option, people and farmers would move - as they are now - toward organic farming and organic food.  More and  more evidence is starting to flow in about what genetic engineering does to food and those eating it.

              For a truly disturbing view of how it can run amuck, you might want to read what happened to wheat.

              I was going to say "But all health or preferences aside," genetic engineering is about patents and profits.  But the point is the corporations ARE putting all health and preferences aside by eliminating all options.  And that is what is happening to seeds and what will happen to animals.  

              That will require wiping out biodiversity which is a primary source of continued life.  

              To have an industrial monopoly over poultry, the biotech folk are aiming to replace all varieties of chicken in the world with one.  Before anyone leaps to saying "I don't eat chicken anyway," let me say, this action is the action of madmen.  It is non-biologic, insane idea.  It is technology gone mad, and the world run by scientists who are "smart" about nothing and ignoramuses about all that matters to existence.

              NAIS is the set up to destroy normal animals.  Normal animals are part of a normal world we are biologically connected to an intricate web of life.  One does not pluck pieces of that web out - and certainly not some of the most wonderful there are - and think the world will hold together.  Even our souls couldn't bear such a thing.  

              Thanks for commenting.

      •  I did. The very first link. A great article (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        by Jim Hightower

        It's absurdity shows up by not it's deeper threats which are in the further links.

        Hope that helps.

    •  Regulation and farmers (6+ / 0-)

      What the peanut salmonella problem revealed isn't a need for regulation of farmers, but of food processors.  I notice you're satisfied to glide over the dictinction and announce that all of us who want a safe and healthy food supp,ly are out to jack up the struggling farmer, rather than asking for minimum standards of cleanliness on the part of food processing industries.  Clever approach.

  •  Ah, Wayne Madsen as your source, hmm? (9+ / 0-)

    But the industrial side has devilishly taken the "contamination" they created and are still creating, even intentionally (see Wayne Madsen's article on Gates, Monsanto and infected wheat or see what the drug companies and the poultry industry are doing in Asia ),

    You also have also cited Rense before.  You know, I've seen people here troll rated just for citing conspiracy and denier sites like that.  


    Not an accident, cites it again:

    Somehow you are coasting by with this crap. I cannot figure out why.

    I appreciate your tag "using fear".  You are qualified for that.

    Darwinic pilgrims claim the image fills them with an overwhelming feeling of logic. --The Onion

    by mem from somerville on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 07:38:43 PM PST

  •  I'm drunk on Jameson and this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kalmoth, gchaucer2

    shit still makes no sense to me. And it's like I always say if it don't make sense after Jameson it don't make sense.

    "Cunnilingus and Psychiatry is what got us here," Tony Soprano

    by Larry Madill on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 07:39:44 PM PST

  •  You might not credit the source, but there is (8+ / 0-)

    enough information in media to check that Montsanto is out to eliminate the small farmer.

    If you have seen the DVD "The Future of Food", you might credit the diarist more.

    Freedom is participation in power. Cicero

    by 4Freedom on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 08:20:51 PM PST

    •  Some of these guys show up immediately after (7+ / 0-)

      I post, and say the exact same thing, and in time frame to indicate they didn't even read the diary.  Others have complained they are here to disrupt any discussion.  Given the seriousness of the diaries and the attention they have been getting, I wonder if it weren't more.  

      What I'm saying borders on the obvious.  People know what Monsanto is and what they are up to.  The only new piece is about the recent bills and how they operate to industrialize control over farming, which doesn't fit it.  

      Thanks for commenting.

      •  You're welcome. I appreciate your work. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        You and I are not the clearest writers here, and that subjects our writing to misinterpretation.

        Your message is important.

        Freedom is participation in power. Cicero

        by 4Freedom on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 09:13:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The message is simply one that belongs to (3+ / 0-)

          all of us.  Things are falling on us.   Farmers are the floor under our lives and people have not realized.  One has only to look at farmers risking lawsuits to tell the truth that their milk didn't come from cows injected with rBGH to have an inkling of the small guy doing their best to stand between us and industrial food and lies.  We can't lose them.  

          I am writing fast and doing a lot of it so if some is misinterpreted, it will come out in the wash if the person is sincere and starts looking into things themselves.  And I hope that with enough work out, the clarity might come for a groups of articles rather than one.  

          But I don't believe the guys here who trash the diary are doing so because of lack of clarity.  If that were the issue, questions could be asked.

          Thanks for commenting.

          •  If we had the writing skill of TomP on economics, (2+ / 0-)

            or nyceve on healthcare, our work would be better received.

            I wrote a diary on self-care a couple of years back that got almost 800 comments, most of them negative. In essence I was suggesting that we become our own primary caregivers and take primary responsibility for our own health. Some dietary and supplement suggestions I made were lampooned. Now I usually limit myself on that topic to comments, as I haven't the time or focus to engage to that extent again, and I do need to sharpen my communication skills.

            As food scarcity isn't much of a reality for most on this site, the importance of having our farms under assault by a corporate aggressor like Montsanto can't be underestimated. That is probably why you raise so much criticism. You have stepped on some corporate toes and they are bird-dogging you.

            I hope you keep on reporting, and I think you will. You sound way too committed to abandon your desire to communicate your message.

            Freedom is participation in power. Cicero

            by 4Freedom on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 09:34:56 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Don't pan your own writing ability. Just keep (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              4Freedom, eddienutzak, JonBarleycorn

              writing.  And don't like the criticism bother you.  I'm surprised at how narrow-minded people on this blog can be and I guess the surprise comes from assuming liberals were open to things and liked engaging ideas.  But there is a lot of fear here about things that fall outside some accepted set of ideas.  

              The idea of our being responsible for our own health care is a good one.  As much as possible, we need to be responsible for our lives and get ourselves off the corporate grid.  But it is exactly that which the corporations are working to prevent - they want to monopoly over all food, over all drugs, over all fuel, over all power, over all natural resources - even down to patents seeds and animals and trees.  

              Do people not have any idea what it means to be free?  To live in communities that support each other and are not dependent on government or corporate jobs?  I think most people have no idea of it.  Yet our farmers have lived it the best they can and the Amish and Mennonite, almost entirely.  So, they need to be eliminated by those who are locking things down and for whom we will be a "captive" resource with no ability to "shop" elsewhere, heal elsewhere, ....

              Appreciate your commenting.  Keep writing.  If you got 800 comments, you got read by a lot of people who didn't comment, many of whom may not have been able to face down the critics so didn't say anything.  You struck a good nerve in bringing up what you did.  Thinking is good but some people are made uncomfortable by it.  

      •  I actually clicked on this immediately to see if (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        .... any of these corporate a$$whipes were shagging you already.

        This is how fucking arrogant they are-  say anything negative about Monsanto and they assume I have no science background, farm experience, or technical training.  Sometimes I don't feel like typing out a textbook for jerks that aren't going to read it anyway.

        Now I'm going to eat dinner but I'll check back later.  Carry on.

        "Toads of Glory, slugs of joy... as he trotted down the path before a dragon ate him"-Alex Hall/ Stop McClintock

        by AmericanRiverCanyon on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 09:22:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Break the f'ing laws (3+ / 0-)

    That is the One Commandment of Survial in the 21st Century.

    We need to grow our own food; Big Ag and their government enforcers be damned. That's the only way to keep Monsanto out of our bellies. Commercial farming may be doomed to be swallowed up by Monsanto and the rest, but there are ways around them, most of them either illegal or soon to be illegal. Stay small and be smart, and you'll probably get away with it, especially if you're willing to be flexible in your eating habits.

    But people would rather do it the hard way and play politics.

    Guess what, your government is not your government. It answers only to the rich; it cares only for their interests. It would gladly control you, impoverish you, imprison you, torture you, and kill you at a nod from any of the rich and powerful people you've never heard of. Obama won't change that; he can't, because he's part of that system.

    You say you can't do something because you don't want to do it. Now ask yourself why, and realize you don't have a good reason.

    by Visceral on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 08:48:02 PM PST

    •  "we need to grow our own food" REALLY!?!?! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hens Teeth, LynneK

      Ever tried growing your own food? Think before you write.

      •  We do need to just as we need to realize (4+ / 0-)

        that farmers are growing "our own food" (the real stuff) and support them as strongly as possible.  That's our food supply being controlled and taken over when they go after farmers.  

        But though it is hard to grow one's own food and most people may have no means to do so, we need to do what we can to, and also learn about what is involved by doing so, so farming becomes valued and real to us.  

        Also, it is insane to be 100% dependent on any corporate system so even if you grow only a portion of your own food, to that extent you are a free person, with free food.

        Thank you for commenting.

    •  Things have really reached a terrible point. (4+ / 0-)

      I agree that we need to grow our own food and for the reasons you gave.  But there is a whole population here and most cannot do that - including the elderly and the disabled, so we need to stand up to this totalitarian control over our food supply.  Most people, when they learn what is happening, are appalled not indifferent.  They get it immediately, which means it only needs to get out for there to be massive pressure on Obama and on states and it will be coming from every direction.  

      I agree the government only answers to those with power and money and has no interest in what happens to us.  And I agree Obama is part of the system and ideally suited to distract from what it is doing.  But I believe it will be possible to exert political pressure and threatens his base, and things will shift.  There are states now investigating Monsanto but for lefties, they might be surprised to learn it was a conservative group that got that going, and not a single liberal group has gone after them that I'm aware of.  AClU doesn't even seem to see the vast civil rights violations going on.  it's "just" farming, which would be like not bothering about Rosa Parks, because it's just transportation.

      Thanks for your comment.

      •  If you can't grow food, grow herbs (0+ / 0-)

        It's ridiculous what they charge for fresh or dried herbs in the supermarket, when growing them yourself in a pot is no harder than growing mums. Start small, pick one or two of your favorites (mine is basil), and learn by doing. Sure, it doesn't solve the whole problem, but it chips away at it a bit at a time.

        Change WHO can believe in?

        by TheOtherMaven on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 10:04:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, and as people learn, they can grow more. (0+ / 0-)

          Part of what needs to be learned is where to grow and what is needed.  We also need to force local communities to prioritize raising food in towns and cities, including small farm animals.  That needs to begin now.

        •  But what about those of us (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          who are capable of killing plastic plants? I have tried numerous times to grow my own vegetables and herbs, following all the instructions I was given for care and maintenance, just to see them shrivel up and die. There are some people who have the means and the desire, but not the ability.

          "Truth never damages a cause that is just."~~~Mohandas K. Gandhi -9.38/-6.26

          by LynneK on Sun Feb 15, 2009 at 07:05:21 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Try supporting your local farmer's market's or (0+ / 0-)

            ... buy organic produce at the grocery when and if you can afford it.

            Plants are tricky. Right now where I live I can't grow certain things, either, because of the temperature extremes ( south side of a building in a low area in the summer around here can easily go over 120ºF ) and this peculiar elevation combined with crappy soil and funky well water.  Then I remind myself that at least we do have acres of grass under irrigation and actual live animals eating it, so it's not all shabby.

            I've had some comical failures but then again the lemon tree is nice. I planted a lime tree next to it and got limes this year.  Okay, so I can't get lettuce greens to save myself,  but limes are pretty exotic.  I bought an olive tree and the thing actually made little olives in the pot this fall, I may be able to get it into the ground here this spring now that we are finally getting some rain-  with drought, the ground has been horribly hard and we have a lot of rock in it, so digging anything is always an adventure.

            There may be a plant for your microclimate that you haven't discovered yet, or your gift may be for other things.  

            "Toads of Glory, slugs of joy... as he trotted down the path before a dragon ate him"-Alex Hall/ Stop McClintock

            by AmericanRiverCanyon on Sun Feb 15, 2009 at 09:17:24 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  This is a perfect example of what is so great (0+ / 0-)

              about gardening.  No one is perfect.

              Excuse the aside that that is exactly what is so sadistic and insane about what the government is doing -demanding industrial standards for something entirely natural and highly individual and fundamentally about life and freedom.

              The really wonderful part of gardening is learning all the time and working with just where you are and what that highly specific place needs and does best.  It teaches you a lot about acceptance of differences in things, including people.  

              And it is fun to learn things and fun to share what you learn.

              I learned a good trick.  Take a container and soak torn up cardboard in it.  Add soil and leaves and some old bread and a little food scraps.  Mix altogether so it is moist but not wet.  Go outside and go worm hunting.  Find a few and bring them back and put them in their new home.  You can keep adding food scraps over the winter.  In the spring, you will have beautiful compost but you will also have an amazing number of worms to put out with the compost -anywhere in your garden you need to loosen soil.  

              The government has earthworms listed as an invasive species.  Under the bills mentioned here, they could require land be sprayed to eradicate the "contamination."  And in doing so to the large organic farms, the industrial side would have guaranteed, without ever having to go public, no competition from them because they would be ruined as an organic business.

              Thanks for your comments and helping a fellow "farmer" get started.

            •  The problem for me is (0+ / 0-)

              even though I live in a moderately rural area, there is no local farmer's market. The closest thing I can come is the roadside vegetable stands which I patronize when I have cash (they operate on a "cash only" basis), but I generally don't carry cash on me. I can't afford to buy organic, though I try to buy fresh or frozen vegetables when I can. (I usually buy frozen because frozen veggies last longer than fresh.)Our limited income is why i have tried to grow my own. Oddly enough, I come from a long, long line of farmers (on both sides!)...apparently, I am the only one in my family who did not receive the "farmer" gene.

              "Truth never damages a cause that is just."~~~Mohandas K. Gandhi -9.38/-6.26

              by LynneK on Sun Feb 15, 2009 at 01:26:21 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  You have it. You want to grow your own food. (0+ / 0-)

                That's it right there.  You just need some help.  There are others in your area who would appreciate your help and would teach you just by example and you would make new friends and be able to eat organic food if there is a place they would let you work on.   Even if they don't grow organically, in bringing your own seeds and offering to share, and bringing compost and the rest, they will probably be interested.  

                You can also meet farmers and arrange to buy in bulk from them and then blanche and freeze your own vegetables which is much cheaper.  You make connections that would be good for you and for the farmers in your area.  

                Once you are growing your own food, you can freeze your own - a frozen vegetables or in cooked meals.  

                Maybe you could start to carry cash?

                Bring on the overalls and get ready to have fun.

          •  It's good point and you shouldn't feel hopeless (0+ / 0-)

            at all.  The great thing about growing food is there are infinite things to learn and people who can help.  So, you could garden with friends in a shared plot, or help someone who knows how but is not longer able physically.   Or contribute time to communities of people with small businesses growing food and get free food through your effort.  I just heard of one in San Antonio that will put in a raised bed garden and all the plants or seeds and come back to replace them for the next season.  It's a great idea and such a business likely would like free help and would share free food and you would learn and very easily.  In no time, you'd be teaching others.

            Thanks for bringing that up and commenting.  The wonderful thing about gardening is that it brings people together through questions and sharing.

  •  Why, Why do we have to have (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kalmoth, lemming22

    every few weeks one of these paranoid Monsanto diaries posted.

    •  Because every day Monsanto is doing things to (8+ / 0-)

      this country that threaten all of us.  You don't have to read about Monsanto if you don't want but there is no getting the reality of its massive and corrupt presence.  

    •  The reality of what Monsanto has done and is (7+ / 0-)

      doing puts any writing about it far outside any issue of paranoid.  And frankly, what is happening in this country makes the word paranoid "passe."  We can't even keep up with the extent of what is going on.  Conspiracies outstrip the imagining of them.  

    •  The best part (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kalmoth, lemming22

      is she thinks I work for Monsanto or something--you know, part of the CONSPIRACY....

      So I hope she's spreading that on her conspiracy sites, and losing sleep over that.

      Darwinic pilgrims claim the image fills them with an overwhelming feeling of logic. --The Onion

      by mem from somerville on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 09:19:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Paranoia is a natural companion of monopoly... (0+ / 0-)

      So I ain't complaining about that part.

      However, I still wish somebody got their stuff together and wrote a coherent Monsanto exposé without links to dodgy sites, randomly bolded text, and irrelevant quotes:

      Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils ... - Hector Berlioz

      •  Why don't you? You have an idea of what (0+ / 0-)

        would be valuable to you so you are in the best position to create it.  The more material out there on them the better.  I can only do the best I can and write in a way that has meaning to and make sense to me but if that leaves off what matters to you, I really encourage you to do it.  

        Set a standard for what would make sense to you.

        Thanks for commenting.

        •  Sorry... (0+ / 0-)

          we are talking about you and the issues that worry you, and the reasons why the reading public at DKos largely considers your diaries not in the way you likely want them considered. Your attempt to change the subject is not helpful. You are polite, but you are not listening.

          Have a nice day, but do try to contemplate what I said. Or don't. What you or I say is not that important in the grand scheme of things.

      •  There are many good Monsanto articles (0+ / 0-)

        out there which I try to refer to, but what I am concerned about is making a logical (and in many cases, blatant) link between Monsanto and so much that is going on.  

        Clinton's campaign was run by the head of one of their major PR firms.  She was going to have a meeting with "Rural Americans for Clinton" but it turned out to be Monsanto lobbyists.  She pushed a centralized food safety department when "food safety" is the rallying cry by corporations in destroying farmers.  And now two of these bills, out of her state and Vilsack at the USDA and the whole mess is shot full of connections to Monsanto.  And then, Monsanto was part of the very design of NAIS through NIAA, a private industrial ag group.  

        I really hope you're write your own stuff and realize that I am only doing one piece of this and may very well not be doing it well enough, but we can each only do what we do.  Together, we can do more and cover more bases.

  •  Suggestion - Add NAIS as a tag (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alizard, AmericanRiverCanyon, halef

    thanks for keeping up on this topic

    The only people who are happy with their health insurance plan, haven't used it yet.

    by Hens Teeth on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 09:10:31 PM PST

    •  Thank you. Just did. Appreciate it. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AmericanRiverCanyon, Hens Teeth

      You're welcome about keeping it up.  Lot of work needs to be done by all of us to reign in what has happened to this country.  

      Thanks for commenting.

      •  Thank you, Scaredhuman. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kalmoth, reddbierd, Hens Teeth

        I appreciate your diaries on the Monster. However, take note of comments above about Wayne Madsen. You've used links in previous diaries that people have questioned. Monsanto drips so much slime that it is not necessary to use questionable references. Not telling you what to do, just MHO.

        •  Thanks for your opinion. I always appreciate (0+ / 0-)

          concerned suggestions.  In this case, his work was recommended by someone I respect who tends to be selective and I usually use references based on liking the ideas not on what others think.  Madsen held government posts and yet is writing critically.  I respect that.

          I figure if I give enough links, some will always be questioned but if people can't get the gist from scores of links and obvious facts, they aren't really interested.  And for me, this is not some academic exercise or philosophical debate but about trying to save lives, including those I care about, so what matters to me is just getting word out.  

          Is that your garden?  It's wonderful and an incredible blog.  Thanks for sharing it whether it's yours or someone else's.  If it's yours, do you use humanure?  Check out  

          Where is Boston Mountain?

          •  It's my garden. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Hens Teeth

            Located in the highest part of the Ozark plateau. I don't use humanure (disease problems) though I hope to live long enough to do an old Ozark tradition--fill in the old outhouse and plant an apple or a pear tree. The only fertilizer I used was my urine diluted 1:15.

            •  Beautiful what you are doing, including the (0+ / 0-)

              blog itself.  

              Read more on humanure.  It's safe if composted long enough and has been used for millennia.  Not using it is a waste of valuable nutrients for exactly what you need there.  Do you have any animals that might help out with this?  

              You might really appreciate Wendell Berry's book, the Gift of Good Land.


              The part on Peru might be especially interesting to you given the topsoil is poor where you live.  

              Here is a quote from the book:

              "Concerned as he is that the usable be put to use, that there be no waste, still there is nothing utilitarian or mechanistic about Mr. Lapp's farm--or his mind. His aim it seems, is not that the place should be put to the fullest use, but that it should have the most abundant life. The best farmers, Sir Albert Howard said, imitate nature, not least in the love of variety. Elmer Lapp answers to that definition as fully as any farmer I have encountered. Like nature herself, he and his family seem preoccupied with the filling of niches. . . . The barn swallow nests in the milking barn are not there just by happenstance; little wooden steps have been nailed to the joists to encourage them to nest there. Elmer Lapp has defended them against . . the cats, which he pens up during the nesting season, 'if they get nasty.' Among the wild creatures, he seems especially partial to birds. Wild waterfowl make themselves peacefully at home along his pasture stream, . . One can justify the existence of birds by 'insect control,' but one can also like them. Elmer Lapp likes them. . . Above his row of beehives is a border of sudan grass that he has let go to seed for the birds. He likes too the buff Cochin bantams that live in the milking barn and the stable--they scatter the manure piles and so keep flies from hatching--and the goldfish who live in the drinking trough and keep the water clean."

              You are already doing great in setting up something good and which you can depend on.  

              Thanks for commenting.

          •  no no no no (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kalmoth, Hens Teeth

            listen, what you are trying to teach people is absolutely real and true and needs to be seen, but if the faq on this site says not to use a particular source, don't use it. I've never been to that source and I don't need to go there to know that Monsanto wants to control the seeds of the food supply...duh it's what corporations do. It's horrible and it's just as horrible that our government seems to be playing along with them...but the only conspiracy is likely limited to the boardrooms of Monsanto. I just think what you have to say is important and I'm hoping you will learn to say it in a way that everyone will listen. Good luck to you.

  •  So here's another content question (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    You seem to be saying that the peanut issue is a made-up thing created in the boardrooms to make people fearful of contamination--do I have that right?

    I quote:

    Scare the public, but with what? they must have asked in the board rooms and agencies (is there a distinction anymore?).  "Peanuts!" someone (who will be greatly rewarded) suggests and they all laugh because it's so perfect - peanut butter being so American and something for the "kids."  That'll surely do the trick to scare the bejeesus out of families and set them up to want more regulations, their being too scared to notice farmers are already stuffed to the gills, stuffed beyond the gills, with regulations.  

    Ok--so now that people are upset that there isn't enough regulation, you think we should be sure to avoid NAIS, which offers source, location, origin, producer, etc, information?

    I'm not sure where you are going with this.  You think increased knowledge of source/origin is wrong?

    Darwinic pilgrims claim the image fills them with an overwhelming feeling of logic. --The Onion

    by mem from somerville on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 10:49:45 PM PST

  •  This diary was such a strung together laundry.. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kalmoth, docstymie

    list of wildly indignant accusations hurled at everyone in particular, it's hard to know where to start commenting. I'll just pick one thing, your  analogy of premises ID to a house wife keeping constant tabs on the exact location of each food item as she moves it around the kitchen. Your analogy is false. The key intent of premises ID is to be able to track any tainted food back to its source, accomplished by a tagging system. As a beef farmer, I'll admit it would be somewhat troublesome to tag each animal. I don't do so now. But it wouldn't be all that costly. All I envision it amounting to is the attachment of an ear tag to each animal. No big deal with new born calves. It might be a bit of a problem if I have to attach an ear tag to my 2200 lb. herd sire before I eventually trade him off for a new one.

    •  The analogy was not to Premises ID but to (0+ / 0-)

      each part of the bill, piece by piece.

      The bills referred to have language in them

      "that appears to turn our farms into food production facilities [sic] and allows them to decide our feed ratios and types as well as our animal health regime and whether or not and with what we can fertilize our ground," etc.

      Your control over every aspect of what you do is being taken over.  If you think this is about an ear tag, you have missed the whole issue.  Most of the farmers fighting this have had ear tags on their animals and for a long time, so they are not objecting to that.  They see past to who is will control the data bank (corporations - in Wisconsin, a consortium of them), the easement onto property, the warrantless access by government, the government history of slaughter of healthy animals, the current slaughter of healthy animals in Asia to substitute genetically engineered animals, the fact that Monsanto is pushing it, and on and on and on.  

      No one who opposes NAIS ever opposed an ear tag.  Read even just the first link in the article and then read as much material as you can get hold of on NAIS and Premises ID.  You are in trouble and haven't seen it yet.  If you haven't even ear tagged your animals, you are someone who is living pretty free of the system so should recognize that freedom is important and NAIS is its ultimate destruction.

  •  It's unfortunate how this diary is written (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kalmoth, AmericanRiverCanyon

    because it raises some very important issues about seed production.  Basically what big agribusiness is doing— especially Monsanto which is becoming a monopoly of sorts in many parts of the world including the Midwest — is trying to create a captive market for "their" patented seed for corn, soybeans and so on while PREVENTING farmers from developing their own lines of seed.  This attacks farmers' independence, it attacks the family farm, and it seriously reduces genetic diversity.  And what's more the majors are using very insidious methods to do it.  If wind blows genetically modified seed on to an organic farm, and the seed reproduces with the organic stuff by pollination (a natural process, by the way). then that farm is searched in some cases by trespassers working for Monsanto, who turn the the "contaminated" seed into the authorities, who under the law can deem the farm to have "stolen" the GM seed.

    Meanwhile they run around, getting corrupt state legislatures, which I'm afraid is most of them, to pass ridiculous seed cleaning laws which basically are designed to prevent breeding and mixing of different types of seed, yet say absolutely nothing about hygeine or fertilizer or pesticide.  These have the effect of making it impossible for a non-corporation or a small business to do any breeding of plants.

    And just in case they don't prevail in court, Monsanto has been buying up independent seed companies across the Midwest and turning them into mere dealerships, and buying up seed cleaners and shutting them down.  It's a genetically modified monopoly in the making, and we still have no idea what happens long term to the toxicity of food when the seed itself is effectively producing pesticide.

    •  Criticisms of the diary are meant to derail (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the issue but you aren't derailed which is great.  At other sites, there is no carping, just gratitude to have more information out there about what is happening to us, and especially now about these bills.

      There is a lot of bullying and perfectionism and condescension, all of which are antithetical to discussion, to providing information, to warning people they are threatened, etc.  For anything lacking the diary, people are capable of providing it and carrying things forward even more, but some here are here to stop things from being discussed.

      Glad you know so much about what is happening to seeds because of Monsanto.  NAIS seems to be the set up to do the same on the animal side, using the government to overwhelm people and force them out of business and/or to slaughter animals using bogus justifications as the USDA has done before.

      Keep letting people know about the seeds.  Seeds are life and we must own it, not private monopolies.

      *Ten companies now control more than two-thirds of global proprietary seed sales. 

      *Ten companies now control almost 90% of agrochemical sales worldwide. 

      *Ten companies now account for three-quarters of industry revenues.

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