Principles of "Conservatism"

Being “conservative” can mean a lot of things – it is all up for the interpretation to the people who are discussing what it means – it is all in they eyes of the beholder.

Today’s “conservatives” are sometimes considered to be Republican, and often there are people in the Democratic party that are also deemed to be “conservative democrats”.

Concerning the topic of sustainability, sometimes also called the “green” movement, often those on the “Right” side of the isle will deem such a concept as a waste of time, or something not worth supporting (and supporting DOES NOT necessarily mean creating legislation for).  What is strange, is that the BASE of the word in conservative is CONSERVE.  The reason for this, is that not too long ago, those who were conservative, often-time republican, were those who recycled, limited expenses (including energy), and wanted to preserve their land and environment.

That is why it is crazy to group or lump people into categories or classifications – because most ALL OF US, at least all good Americans, want to see conservative principles – like those above.  Being conservative isn’t about being republican or being “green” – being conservative means to make choices that benefit one’s pocketbook, community, economy, and environment.

– Dixie Signum

NAIS, Codex Alimentarius, Bill S510 and Other Bedtime Stories to Guarantee Nightmares

By Tamrah Jo Ortiz

This story was originally printed at The Good, Bad, & Ludicrous

Thanks to my good friends on Facebook, I was alerted that the ugly head of the government is once again poking its’ large and obnoxious nose into places it doesn’t belong.   Yes, I realize this is a inflammatory statement, hence, my writing here, instead of posting this as a comment at the www.opencongress.org website.  (which, if you’d like, you can visit and look at the hoopla going on over various bills.)

So, let’s take a look at each of these and try to make sense of them.

NAIS – The National Animal Identification System.   In brief, this idea is supposedly born of the desire to quickly identify and destroy animals that pose a threat to both food supply and our existence. (mad cow disease, avian bird flu, anyone?)

What is not so clear is how anyone thinks any of this will really work.   Number 1, the folks that want to implement this currently employ thousands to audit tax returns and apparently have not been successful in creating a database or secure electronic means of verifying taxes or conducting a paperless census (which, by the way, we filled out, returned and apparently was ‘lost’ as a census person showed up at my house saying they didn’t get ours.   On the flip side, my mom got 2 censuses to fill out and a friend never received any….)

Now, if these folks have not centralized, streamlined and made efficient the operations they have been in charge of for decades, how in the world are we to believe they can implement this kind of system and let us know about diseased food within 20 years of our consumption of it?

Number 2 – current figures show that given the ‘requirements’ of the system, most of the costs will fall on the small farmers and ranchers – courtesy of Wikipedia is the following:

“The costs of becoming NAIS compliant for a U.S. beef producer were found to be a minimum of $2.08 a head for large producers and as much as $17.56 a head for smaller operations, with an estimated average cost to cow/calf producers of $6.26 per animal, according to research by Christopher Raphael Crosby of Kansan State University’s Department of Agricultural Economics published in 2008.”

Does anyone hear “the rich get richer and the poor get poorer”?

Number 3 – Historically, outbreaks of disease occur in close population, improperly nourished animals.   Farmer John who has 15 head of cattle and 160 acres of pasture does not face the same challenges as Mr. Beef, who has crammed 5,000 cows into a feedlot the size of a Wal-mart parking lot, where calves play on hills of cow patties and drink milk produced from the ingestion of soybean and corn meal (when cows have evolved to do just fine, thank you very much, on grass.)

Plus, Farmer John really depends on his herd for his food, to feed his family and perhaps a neighbor or two and to bring in some extra cash to pay the ever-increasing cost of living expenses.  So he has a HUGE investment in making sure his herd is healthy and well-nourished.  The loss of even one cow can make or break him.

Mr. Beef can depend on tax breaks, an adjustment of market prices, government bailouts, etc, if he somehow manages to lose his herd to disease.   So who do you think takes better care of their herd?

On to the next – Codex Alimentarius – Proponents will tell you it’s an international effort to ensure the safety of food for all – as well as to keep me from accidently killing myself from taking too much Vitamin C.

Again, these efforts are brought to you by folks who can’t even balance their own budgets and settle disputes among themselves in a peaceful manner.  Do you really think they know how much Vitamin C I can handle and furthermore, if I were receiving nutritious food, would I even need a supplement?   If they are so invested in “Nutritious, Safe Food to further the health and well-being of the populace” then why did they ignore the published findings of biochemist Dr. Mary Enig in the 70’s, who warned of the dangers of trans-fats and hydrogenated fats to the human body?  Um, no, took about 40 years before they figured that one out (if they even have yet……………)

I also find it interesting that many countries within the World Effort of this measure are ARDENTLY opposed to GMO foods and have been very insistent on pushing for foods containing those types of ingredients to be Labeled.   Those who have a vested interest in controlling both seed and food supplies, by getting ‘patents’ on their genetically modified seeds and plants have kept up the pressure and keep taking a run at getting that ‘pesky little nuisance’ of required labeling for GMO foods buried under the rug.

All in all, I cannot see the reasoning for extending all this effort on the Codex other than for countries who take their food and health seriously to put up a ‘fence’ to keep those exports out from countries that do not.  (meaning, US)

So with the history of these two long-running dramas, I now come to the most recent – Senate Bill S510.

Innocuously titled, “FDA Food Safety Modernization Act”, it lists high-sounding ideals and includes some of the following:

food facility re-inspection (um…I worked as a waitress for 12 years, I can tell you, restaurants get inspected every year……)
food recalls (aren’t they already allowed to do that?)
a voluntary qualified importer program (have these people never heard of eating locally?)
So those violently opposed to this bill read it and see how easily seed and food control could be placed in the hands of those who have no business telling us what we can grow or eat, share with our neighbors or sell at the local farmer’s market.   And I agree with them to a point; while the bill does not specifically state any of these intents, the large generalized points of it are open to all kinds of interpretations.

History tells me the interpreters will translate it for the benefit of themselves, their agency budget and their large campaign contributors (corporations) before they will for my health and well being.

Again, if you look to history, deaths and illness related to the consumption of contaminated, diseased foods, has been linked to large corporate mono-culture farms, not the small local producers.  Why?  Well, because the small local producer not only feeds you, but their own family.  They don’t have the time or the energy (or the insanity) to grow one garden with ‘good stuff’ for their family and another with ‘questionable stuff’ to sell at the local market.

In addition, if I get ‘bad food’ at the local farmer’s market, I know exactly who to go to with my accusations.   When large farms put out questionable produce, it has also traveled through one or more broker warehouses, a packaging plant or two, the transportation gamut….on and on and its’ so easy to pass the buck on who exactly is to blame.

I’m also curious as to why Homeland Security is one of the committees listed on the bill’s information page.  What, are they afraid terrorists are going to send us toxic bananas?   Newsflash, if everyone ate organic and locally, this fear would be laughable.  And I can tell you, any terrorist shows up at our local farmers market with evil intent on his mind, I can guarantee there are enough ‘rednecks’ around here that are just waiting for an opportunity to show the world what real Homeland Security looks like.

I also wonder just where they are going to get the money to implement all this when they are already crying about ‘deficits’ and ‘budget cuts’.   To my mind, this has less to do with feeding the nation safely and more to do with feeding the oversized monster we call our government, as well as nudging out any competition to the large centralized food companies.

Implementation, testing and compliance enforcement take money – and that money will come from those who want to ‘buy into the market’ (meaning smaller operations won’t be able to afford to be in the market) –  but most of the money will come from you and me, the consumer.   What?  You don’t think so?  Just who do you think is paying for the Tobacco Company Settlements?   It isn’t the companies or the government, its’ the consumers.  But I’ll leave that debate for another time.

The legislation listed above can only make sense in a climate of fear.   They can only pass when we blindly believe the government is really trying to protect us.  When we believe that death is more heinous than liberty. (Oh where is Patrick Henry when you need him?)

Quit looking to the government to save you from harm.   Know those who grow your food.   Have a relationship.  Trust me, they are much more invested in your health and well being than the FDA is.  Because without you, they don’t have a livelihood.  The FDA and government don’t either, but they have forgotten.

Remind them.

The F136 Engine, Competition, & Monopoly

One engine, one supplier, over $100 billion in business would equate to “operational risk”?   Yes, absolutely.

What is competition?  When you allow the free-market to work, then the best product and the best price wins.  GE/Rolls-Royce appear to not have had an opportunity to compete in a contract (coming from the government/military), therefore affording ONE company the opportunity to take this business, cost the taxpayers more, and situate more risk into our national defense by having all of the product coming from only one place (i.e. monopoly).

The single contract could go to Pratt & Whitney, and this company that has already developed a viable engine and can actually save money – GE/Rolls-Royce –  needs your support to make sure Congress does the right thing for the market, for taxpayers, and for our national defense.

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE.

And Visit the Website HERE.

– Joni Cave

Dissent is Not Terrorism

The United States of America is a system of representation and individual liberty that is open to criticism and dissent.

This is an inherent part of freedom and our liberties, not to mention our right to free speech, the First Amendment and our Bill of Rights.

Tea Party activists have gotten a very negative wrap from some representatives in the current administration and public at-large, and it appears that this is moving towards a whole new level.

A very good resource, The Patriot Post (PatriotPost.US), had a story on training activities taking place with our own American soldiers to “deal with” terrorist threats including the “Local Militia Groups / Anti-Government Protesters / TEA Party” (Alexander, 2010).

Political dissent, when expressed without any type of violence towards others, is a legal activity that is an important part of being an individual in the United States of America.  The fact that these people – the TEA Partiers – could be targeted by our own military, is scary and preposterous.

Please take the time to read the whole essay here.

– Joseph Poder

References:

Alexander, M. (2010). The Patriot Post (PatriotPost.US). Retrieved on May 6, 2010 from http://patriotpost.us/alexander/2010/04/29/army-preps-for-tea-party-terrorists/

WALLBUILDERS – Know Your History

In an interesting interview with Glenn Beck, founder of WallBuilders, David Barton, discussed the “Black Regiment” which later became known as the “Black Robe Brigade”.  We’ll give you the links, so that you can read at-length, however the conclusion of his conversation with Beck is what is so important to remember.

Our country was built upon the concept of INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS.  This is very different from COLLECTIVE RIGHTS.  Individual rights allow for individuals to have freedom to do what they like, as long as they are not hurting anyone else.  Collective rights, as we are witnessing more and more, can quickly tromp the rights of the individual for the rights of “the greater good”.

Although Americans, in general, are kind and giving people who really DO care about the collective (and take care of the collective using a free market and paying certain taxes), that does not mean in any way shape or form should be be forced into taking care of the collective.

Individual rights are considered God-given rights that each of us has to take care of our body, mind, and spirit.  When these are taken away, be become slaves to a system – probably one of governance.

Know your history, be a patriot, and stand up for this great country and the principles she was founded upon.

Read more about forgotten history HERE at WallBuilders.

– Tisha Casida

Denver Tax Day Tea Party – Watch the Pigeon Holes

On April 15th I was visiting Denver and decided to visit the Tea Party Rally at the State Capital.  I seek out Tea Parties around the country as I travel.

It was a large gathering and a big mix of people.   There was even a handful of protesters (protesting against the Tea Party) on the other side of the street, as well as an abundance of police.

I like the Tea Party moment.  I identify with them.  As an Independent I lean very conservative and libertarian in my views.  I listened to the speakers as I moved about the crowd and was having an enjoyable time, until, one of the speakers ranted about “latte-drinking, iPhone-carrying socialists”, and the crowd there erupted in supportive noise.  I stopped; I listened more; I looked around at the crowd.  I set my Starbucks latte down and reached for my iPhone.  Could it be that I was just lumped into the group of people they think are destroying our country?  Maybe even profiled?  The crowd really seamed to identify with this speaker’s comments.  I quickly felt out of place.

I was becoming more disappointed by the second.  Could I be one of ‘those’ people that they were chanting about?  Am I supporting socialism by being a consumer supporting two great and successful American companies?  Wait.  Aren’t I fueling the economy with my purchases of American goods and services?  This was troubling.  For a few minutes I was in doubt.  Then I snapped out of it, and got over it.  It’s free speech and I support that.  But, for the first time, I felt alienated at a Tea Party – and that will hurt the movement and the cause.  I support them because the idea has been to win people over to the side of liberty – not pigeon-holing them and pushing them away.

Instead, win people over by welcoming them with open discussion and education about the Constitution and Bill of Rights; about thinking and voting your ideals.  We are ALL AMERICANS.  We must unite and not divide.  United we save our great country!  The message that day was lost to some of us.  I was not alone in that crowd.

I hope my message today is a wake-up for those in the Tea Party or any party.  There are thousands of us latte-drinking, iPhone-carrying freedom lovers and I am proud to be lumped into the same group as another iPhone and Apple-fan, Rush Limbaugh.  Think before you speak!  We are all listening!  I accept you, wont you accept me?  We have more in common than you think.

– Steve Thompson

OPINION: Stop the CFPA

This is a website that you should look at if you like liberty and free markets:  http://www.stopthecfpa.com/

Interesting that the US Chamber of Commerce is behind it – that is likely a statement in itself.  We have hundreds of small businesses that are a part of our company’s operations.

Protect small businesses and be wary of additional regulations and reforms that make doing business impossible.

– Dixie Signum

Back in the Day

Good American Post Staff Reports

People who own or are employed by small businesses know the advantages and disadvantages of such.  First of all, the process of getting hired is insurmountably easier to go through the hiring process, to get to know “the boss”, and to have reasonable expectations of what is expected of you.  If you aren’t doing your job, you are fired.  The “disadvantages” often revolve around benefits, health care coverage, and something we call “stability”.

Not sure if you have been watching the news or not, but even being employed by “the big” companies seems to be quite unstable – benefits are questionable and you immediately tie yourself to an entire industry (which unfortunately is or will be regulated out of existence if we are not careful).

In a perfect world?  Well, there is no such thing.  However, one could start to look at supporting local businesses and local economies in more ways than purchasing items from them.  We support our local communities by believing in each other, and believing in the businesses and business owners – we start our own businesses and take that leap of faith.

Our contributor, Tamrah Jo Ortiz expands on the subject on her blog: Productivity in the Workplace – Imagine That!

Fruits & Vegetables Aren't THAT Good For You

According to a new study, fruits and vegetables are not nearly as healthy as first thought.  And although they admit there is not “one factor” (ahem, DUH), the fact that they just dissed PRODUCE as not being incredibly good for you is a big No-No, in my opinion.

People will take a story like this and not understand that there are INCREDIBLE benefits to eating healthy – meaning, to eat fresh, high-quality fruits and vegetables.  I am appalled at such a headline, and am very saddened that our country is still stuck on a sick-care system where doctors prescribe pills INSTEAD of PRODUCE.

You can find the latest findings and this story HERE.  Please don’t buy into the message though.  And go buy some produce!  From a local farmer!

– Joni Cave

Looking for the Light Switch

Our contributor, Tamrah Jo Ortiz, has done a fine job tying together war, peace, culture, good vs. evil, light vs. dark, and drama.  We love to explore the possibilities of creating a better world for our future generations, and Tamrah’s post does such a concept justice.  Please read it HERE.

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