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Episode-1696- Rob Kaiser on NRCS High Tunnel Grants — 40 Comments

  1. You have to talk USDA speak not (Auzzie) Permaculture language. It’s mostly the same concepts but you have to use their terminology.

    There is over $800 million in 2016 funding for the NRCS EQIP and related programs (e.g. the High Tunnels) in the Congressional deal that was made yesterday. Might as well put it to good use.

  2. Jack, you have some good things to say, but you lose credibility every time you hop on the anti-science, global warming denying bandwagon (which is getting smaller, with more and more conservatives realizing that we’re having an impact on the planet). I’ll stick with the science. But all you have to do is look at your surroundings. Here in Montana the glaciers are disappearing at an unusually rapid pace, and our weather is increasingly bizarre and unpredictable.

    Sure, some people go overboard and chalk up every odd weather event to global warming. But that’s no different than the deniers who use the appearance of snow to say that, therefore, there can’t be global warming. And fossils fuels have an effect beyond global warming. Perhaps you don’t have to worry about the effects of oil and gas wells, but we do. Millions of landowners don’t own their mineral rights. Because of that, millions of landowners can be forced to allow oil and gas companies onto their land.

    When oil and gas companies come in, roads are built on your land, major industrial operations can be set up next to your home, carcinogens can be spewed into your air and your aquifer can be contaminated. The consequences of such a violation of your property rights lasts for generations. In your podcast on critical thinking you called taxation theft. More correct, if anything, would be the term legalized theft. What oil and gas companies can do to your health and property is no different. You can’t be against one and for the other.

    Finally, when it comes to science one of the best things to do is follow the money. The few real scientists on the denier bandwagon have turned out to have the financial backing of the fossil fuels industry. It’s dangerous to dismiss all science because of bad or biased (or misinterpreted) science. Where there is no science there is no critical thinking.

    • People like you act a few ways that are illogical.

      1. First you talk as though you have a right to tell others how and what to think, indicative of the cry bully generation.

      2. Conflating the actual sins of gas and oil with CO2 is just pointless. One neither proves nor disproves the other.

      3. You act as if there is NO SCIENTIFIC evidence of reasons to be skeptical, I will give you a video link at the end so you can see how wrong that is.

      This is the problem with so many of you in this religion you think that people like me say there is NO EFFECT on temps due to CO2, this is incorrect. What we say is CO2 has done what it can do, this is based 100% on science. CO2 can only directly reflect a very limited amount of heat. The carbon that’s already up in the atmosphere absorbs most of the light it can. CO2 only “soaks up” its favorite wavelengths of light and it’s close to its saturation point. It manages to grab a bit more light from wavelengths that are close to its favorite bands but it can’t do much more, because there are not many left-over photons at the right wavelengths.

      The natural greenhouse effect is real, and it does keep us warm, but it’s already reached its peak performance. Throw more carbon up there and most of the extra gas is just “unemployed” molecules.

      Now look everything I just told you, is true, even your vaulted high priests (you call them scientists will agree with it) though not publicly but if you read their actual studies and findings this is what it essentially says. This is the world of fact, then we go into theory. The direct effect of CO2 is known, and people like me do not dispute it. What we actually dispute is the claim that this effect is to be multiplied by THREE, yes THREE due to what are called “feed backs”.

      Our contention is that these feed backs are self limiting, period. Here open your mind for 12 minutes and consider that there just might be validity on the other side. While the speaker here is Stefan Molyneux the paper he is simply reading is that of Dr. David M.W. Evans.

      Dr. David M.W. Evans consulted full time for the Australian Greenhouse Office (now the Department of Climate Change) from 1999 to 2005, and part time 2008 to 2010, modeling Australia’s carbon in plants, debris, mulch, soils, and forestry and agricultural products. Evans is a mathematician and engineer, with six university degrees including a PhD from Stanford University in electrical engineering. The area of human endeavor with the most experience and sophistication in dealing with feedbacks and analyzing complex systems is electrical engineering, and the most crucial and disputed aspects of understanding the climate system are the feedbacks. The evidence supporting the idea that CO2 emissions were the main cause of global warming reversed itself from 1998 to 2006, causing Evans to move from being a warmist to a skeptic.

      So he is a scientist and right out of the world of studying and monitoring climate change. Again, please open your mind and you may learn something,

  3. The one study I trust was done by retired NASA scientists. These are the people who put people on the moon with computer technology far inferior to most of our cell phones. These guys didn’t have an agenda just reviewed the evidence from the last 19 years. Their conclusion-no significant global warming or cooling.

  4. I found this podcast very depressing Jack. I have been a full time organic livestock farmer for the last four years and I found that the number one destructive force to the small farms was not the over regulation, but the government subsidizes. I don’t think I could tell you anything about how the government uses “freebies” to sucker in people that you do not already know.

    This podcast advocated working with the state to get more and more welfare. Taking their stolen money justifies their existence the victim of welfare is not primarily the person robbed in the first place, but the recipient of it. Here in NW Washington most of the small farms work on this model Rob is advocating. They farm to the grants / cost share / subsidies or welfare by any other name and are completely unsustainable outside of the welfare system. In effect it is no different than welfare checks or food stamps. You know all of this Jack and that is why I feel like I just got sucker punched in the gut.

    • Shane the way you talk shows a complete ignorance of the subject at hand, seriously I am sorry there is no way around that. Grants and cost shares are fare different from subsidies. We even covered that and why.

      What you are saying makes no sense in regard to programs from the NRCS, none at all. Recouping some of your own stolen money by doing things you WANT TO DO ANYWAY, is not the same as a corn or soy subsidy that locks you into producing that same crop that same way for decades.

      Some people are so sure they know something that it prevents them from learning anything new. That is where you are on this subject right now. The lack of knowledge displayed shows that you didn’t only get depressed you didn’t listen either.

    • Complete Ignorant? Not willing to learn? That Jack is a straw man! I am addicted to learning and always looking for new ways to do things which is why I like your podcast with very few exceptions. I have been listening since episode 63 and your podcasts on getting off grid as a retirement concept was probably the key factor that pushed me into farming full time as a semi-retirement.

      I am the livestock manager/partner of a 1500 member CSA, we are in over 22 farmers markets, directly supply food to Microsoft, Google, Expedia, Amazon, and the Seahawks to name a few of our regular customers and have over 60 employees seasonally on the books. We are a non-industrial organic food hub that does not take government money and that is not due to a lack of offers or education.

      Very reluctantly I have worked with projects that do take government money. I advised the construction and helped train a mobile slaughter unit paid for by state programs that have ran well over a quarter million dollars and failed when the welfare stopped. We also have a spin off farm which consists of only combat veterans that does take grant money. I support these guys and have seen the farm do wonders for helping them recover from PTS “they hate the d” but the fact is that they do not make their money farming it is a state and private grant earning business. All this to say I absolutely do know what I am talking about, but perhaps I could have been more clear.

      Stolen money by any other name is still stolen money. Just because you were robbed does not make it correct for you to throw in with the thieves. Your anarchist rhetoric tells me that you already know this. You should also know that standing up for what is right always comes at a cost. What I am primarily upset with is the hypocrisy, a grant taking anarchist, seriously? That is worse than the communist advocating wealth redistribution from the basement of his parents house. At least the communist is consistent.

      What made me sick to my stomach was when I heard you guys talking about bring in donuts to the bureaucrats and building a relationship. This is just like the poor going to the welfare office to be coached on how many hours to work to get the most food stamps, free medical, and biggest welfare checks.

      So what exactly am I failing to learn here? Your response just came across as a bunch of fallacies.

      • Tell you what Shane, piss off if this bothers you this much, but as I said in the show.

        The fucking federal government alone STEALS about 60,000 dollars a fucking year from me.

        Until I take 60,001 dollars in that instance, it is my fucking money I am getting back.

        If you do not comprehend that, I can’t help you.

        • I comprehend this perfectly and the reason why I am spending my time here is that I am fairly certain you do as well. You are a leader in the liberty movement and many trust your advice. State money is like heroine and you advocated giving it a shot.

          That $60k stopped being yours the moment you surrendered it to them. They crush us with their taxes and they steal way more than $60k a year from you. I have watched them destroy nearly all the independent farmers around me.

          The regulations, taxes, and other government influences has caused the price of food to skyrocket. The way they keep the food costs down in the stores is through government pay outs. My prices are 3x the industrial organic prices in the store and I could make more money per hour working in fast food. I do this because I am part of the solution, those taking the state money are the problem.

          The State wants you to take their money, it is how they control you. It has no value to them they can create it out of thin air, but you give it value when you allow them influence in your life with it.

          However, if money is your highest goal then working with the state is most definitely the correct path. This is not a new problem Samuel Adams addressed it at the forming of this country:

          “If you love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.”

          I am sure you can see how this quote applies to this situation. I am not writing this to knock you down, I do not want to loose your voice for the cause of liberty. Like I said before I didn’t get angry at this podcast I felt betrayed. I am not asking you to take it down and I appreciate that you do not take down my posts. I just felt compelled to point out the error as a fellow anarchist.

          The Statest always like to throw in our face the government programs we are forced to use such as the roads. Lets not give them any more ammo by actually voluntarily using state programs.

        • @Shane you are in a word delusional. I think you honestly should go elsewhere, people in your state of irrational mindset are beyond my ability to help. You have said your piece, you are done whether you know it yet or not.

  5. I agree with Shane. Jack’s political argument to boycott the voting system by not participating is inconsistent with his -get what he can from the government coffers view. Not using any government money sends a deep message (especially when joined by others ie the Amish) Also gov’t departments have a policy that if they do not use of their allotted annual funds each year the funds are likely reduced the following year.

    The mentality to use only “some” gov’t money is delusional as in the end it encourages yourself and others to continue more. Thus increase the need for more taxation.

    I wish Jack could rebutt without making personal attacks. It would be more convincing and allow for an environment of learning from each other.

    Shane, you make worthy contributions to the discussion. Sorry that your character has been attacked and rejected by Jack rather than simply your arguments refuted. I, for one, have learned a lot from the dialogue.

    • Let’s take a logical look at your claim.

      “Jack’ political argument to boycott the voting system by not participating is inconsistent with his -get what he can from the government coffers view.”

      MIGHT be valid if my stance was boycotting voting to send a message or even boycotting at all. I do not abstain from voting to send a message, at all. Hence your point is already invalid before we even take in the totality of my public stance. But let us do that shall we. My stance is I do not vote because I have noting and no one to vote for, and I know my vote doesn’t matter.

      I have said over and over if any election should come up where the results would be close, my vote might matter and I had someone to actually vote for, I would vote. Or that if the opportunity came to decriminalize something or say restrict government with a ballot initiative that would be close I would vote. That simply that has not occurred since I last voted when I only voted to decriminalize marijuana.

      Hence my voting is completely 100% consistent with my stance on government money. Because what I said is IF I had some project I wanted to get done and there was a government grant or cost share program to get that done, I would use it because it is my money they stole from me and it is ONE of many ways to Take It Back! The reality is I have not taken any grant, cost share or subsidy because simply the stars have never aligned that way. However everything on this show is not what I am doing or what I need, but what is possible for others to do as well.

      To spend 15K to put in a high tunnel when you can do it for 5K as Rob did is foolish. If a high tunnel is what you need for your business and will make you money you should get it set up to the best quality you can for the lowest possible cost. If I wanted one on my property, I would do it.

      Your assertion that not taking money like this sends a deep message is frankly laughable, it sends no message, said money isn’t a rounding error and they won’t even know you didn’t take it. If 10,000 people didn’t they still would not know. Again there is a huge difference in a one time cost share initiative to obtain a long term asset and a corn subsidy that locks land into an obligation for 20 years, to conflate the two as Shane did is indeed something done in ignorance.

      Ignorance is not a personal attack it is a statement or either fact or a benevolent assumption.

      I assume here that in the fist point above (my inconsistency as you claim) that you were ignorant. That you simply were unaware of my actual stance on voting, that you skimmed it or heard it as an aside. That you commented with out full knowledge of the facts demonstrating your ignorance on the subject. That your claim was wrong, as we can both see now but due to lack of knowledge.

      Now if I were to assume you knew my full stance and still made the same claim I would have to accuse of things like either being malicious and twisting facts with ill intent, being to stupid to comprehend the facts or simply not caring about the truth at all. Of those being ignorant is the least offensive don’t you think.

      Shane got the response he did because he T’d off with an rant based on frankly nonsense. He then made a ridiculous claim that once someone steals your money you have no right to reclaim it. He went off with stupid crap like he felt “punched in the stomach” over the subject. On top of all of that his assertion that I should not say the things I said in this show because “I am a leader in the liberty movement” asserts that he has a right to dictate to me how I should use the influence I have gained by busting my ass for over 8 years now.

      Such things are delusional thinking, that is not a personal attack nor an insult only a statement of fact. My final comment that I can not help him is an admission of another fact. When people are in the absolutist positions he is in and you appear to be in right now what I do and what I have ALWAYS done here generally won’t work for them. Because irrational doesn’t work with what I teach, nor does misguided thinking like paying 15K vs 5K to put in the same tunnel will send anyone in the government any type of message.

      I would bet a good some both of you consistently even if without your knowledge take government money by the way.

    • Kathy, I am glad you read my posts and I should have stopped right away when the name calling started. If anything I understated my credentials as I did not want to argue from authority. Jack and Robs combined experience does not come near to my direct experience let alone the farmers I work with that have decades in this business. Obviously I am not delusional my arguments are logical.

      Jack, I did not intend to tell you what to put in your podcast, I am just pointing out the contradiction. If you had given yourself any of the many collectivist titles I would not have pointed out the contradiction. But to eloquently argue the position of Anarchism and then advocate taking state money is hypocritical if not delusional.

      Part of our farm is what we call a farm incubator and we help start out a couple new independent farmers each year. Farming is one of the hardest ways to make a living and if one of our new farmers compromises and takes the easy money from the state I know they are lost. Instead of raising a couple thousand broilers last year I could have raised a couple hundred and took the broiler grant money and netted more. Then with donuts in hand I could walk in to the bureaucrats office and here him tell me, hey why not add a some layers we will give you another $30k and so on.

      If you build the relationship with your agent advocated in this podcast he/she will help you bring in a real nice income with hardly any actual farm output. I have personally witnessed this many times and some of these farms are bringing in a high six figure income and only farming a few acres. Many of the youtube farm personalities are doing this along with a professional begging operation from their audience.

      • Shane seriously you are delusional. And I can’t help people that are where you are.

        You sound like a quack saying that if you ever take a bite of cheese cake you will get fat and die. There is no need for me to rehash what I have said on this already.

        Your so called credentials are MEANINGLESS to what is being discussed, I wish you the best but again I bet you take government money every week, in some form or fashion.

        • Jack I do appreciate that you are willing to post my comments while disagreeing so passionately. I only came back here to post as others asked me questions. I never asked for any help, nor have I seen any offered. You have spoken about critical thinking skills in the past and so I know that you understand that name calling is not a valid argument.

          I have deliberately resisted naming names for many obvious reasons. However, do to the fact you keep on trying to snub my credibility I will give you a company that took well in excess of a $250k dollars in state money to build a MPPU “mobile poultry processing unit” that I advised the construction of as well as the training the original slaughter crew. I was coerced into helping as I was planning on building a privately owned MPPU and my private financing was undercut by the director of NABC going behind my back. I was left with no other alternative than to shut down my farm so I tried to make it work. I will never do that again.

          This unit has predictably been a complete failure both financially as well as the crew destroyed on average 18% of the birds I sent them. Fortunately as of last year I was able to work with another farmer and build a processing unit for under $15k that damages only 2-3% of birds.
          Here is the company that I worked with taking state money:
          http://agbizcenter.org

        • @Shane and you don’t know what name calling is.

          If I called you an idiot or an asshole it would be name calling.

          Saying you are ignorant is a benevolent assumption that you just don’t know enough to get it. Saying you are delusional is a statement about your stance which cannot be better described by any other word.

          Note that you too called me delusional and I didn’t require a butthurt medic to patch me up, why?

          First I could not give a shit if you called me an asshole, an actual name. But more because you statement is an opinion about my view. I think you are wrong but don’t consider it that you called me a name. See I think you are also ignorant as to what name calling is.

        • I am not upset that you are calling me names or stating unsubstantiated facts. You say I am ignorant I prove I have abundant experience in the subject matter. You call me delusional and I articulate a detailed and logical explanation of my point of view. The fact that you have not diminished those points and continue to say I am ignorant and delusional is by my understand an example of an ad hominem argument.

        • I doubt you are ignorant about farming or how to make a farm run well.

          At this point I can no longer assume that you are ignorant about this subject. What you are now is irrational with quite flawed logic.

  6. @Shane

    My understanding of your argument is:
    – government subsidization destroys small farms
    – accepting money from the government means more government

    To your first point, a grant is not the same as a subsidy.

    A grant says ‘if you take this action, we’ll give you this money’ (one time transaction)

    A subsidy says ‘as long as you CONTINUE to take this action, we’ll CONTINUE to give you this money’ (dependency)

    In both cases, there might be strings attached. But in the case of the grant, once the initial action is over (in this case, ‘buy high tunnel’) your ‘relationship’ is over.

    ******

    To your second point, accepting anything from the government (welfare is bad m’keh).

    First off, most people, no matter how staunchly anti-welfare, aren’t being terribly logical about this.

    To cite a few examples:
    Did you cash your ‘stimulus check’ at the start of the recession?
    If you are disabled, will you cash your disability check?
    When you retire, are you refusing to accept Social Security?
    How about Medicare, the biggest, most expensive portion of welfare. Will you use it, or insist on paying for your own medical bills out of pocket?

    Now, you might protest that you PAY TAXES to support these programs, and therefore you DESERVE to benefit from them. But how is that any different than accepting a grant? Your taxes are ALSO being used to fund this program.

    Again, you can say ‘that’s different’. But it ain’t.

    If you ‘refuse’ to pay into Social Security you go to jail or get shot in the face. Just like if ‘refuse’ to pay the rest of your income tax. In both cases, money is extracted from you, by force if necessary.

    *****

    My own criteria for deciding if I want a ‘handout’ from the government is simply: will taking the ACTION they want me to take INCREASE or DECREASE my freedom. If it equals more freedom, I do it.

    If you look at the High Tunnel Grant, maybe it means a farm family can produce X more crops, which in dollar terms means Mom can quit that off farm job. That’s increased freedom.

    *****

    And I gotta throw in one more thought about bueracrats. Yes, we all hate ’em. But lets get a little into reality here. The person you and I interact with, isn’t the problem. There just another human being trying to make a living and/or do something meaningful. Yeah, we may wish they’d choose somewhere else (private sector) to do it. But for whatever reason, they didn’t. Yes. It could be megalomania, I’ve run into those ones, but you run into those in the private sector as well.

    The thing that generally pisses me off about the bearacrat is that I HAVE TO deal with them, no matter their behavior. (Which by the way, is why I want a ‘rate your public servant’ website… but the reality is the only way to get rid of the really bad ones would be to break the unions… side rant)

    But there are the ‘other ones’, decent people doing a job. And in the case of something like this grant, if you walk in and you get a dick? You can walk out. It’s totally voluntary.

    Basically what this case amounts to is: if you give us some info and jump thru a few hoops, we’ll give you $10k.

    If that works for you, do it. If its not worth your time, or you think it will give you an ulcer, let it go.

    *****

    Sorry this is so long. I’ve just been reading a lot of stoic philosophy, and it’s all about dealing with the world AS IT IS. Rather than refusing to deal with it because it’s not the way we want it to be.

    And the government, IS. Bitching about it is fun, but it has as much effect as bitching about the weather.

    Like the weather, you can deal with it effectively (put on a jacket) or you can let it make you miserable.

    Always & totally IMHO, I could be 100% wrong.

    • Excellent points as always!

      So let me add another way people take subsidies every day and still bitch about them.

      My guess is Shane DOE NOT eat 100% local food that is purchased consumer direct. If he does, GREAT good for him.

      BUT every time you buy a loaf of bread from teh store you just accepted government money. If you eat a single corn chip, you just took a subsidy. Eat something made with corn, canola, peanut, oil, just took a subsidy.

      That is not a pro subsidy argument but it is the truth. If you bought Energy Star appliances this year or any year for quite a bit going back, you took government money. If you then took the deduction that came with it, you took more.

      If solar makes sense for and you take the deduction you just took government money by not paying them.

      Reducing a tax, using a tax advantage to reduce a cost or regaining taxed money after the fact is all the same thing. To infer that it is not is ridiculous.

      Whether I want it or not the interactive edge exists.

      If you put in a high tunnel, use it to grow 100s of thousands of trees on your property sell most but plant a few thousand on your own land. You make a bigger play for independence then by refusing to take the cost share grant and not doing that because you can’t afford to.

  7. I will try to address your questions and points in order so that I do not have to restate them.

    I agree with the first two points, although, it might be an over simplification. More specifically state money destroys the farmer not the farm. I have seen millions of state dollars build beautiful farms, but they operate at a loss with horrible efficiency do to the moral hazard problem.

    I am specifically talking about state money being voluntarily taken from the state. You can call it any name you want. My arguments are specific to those who believe in the philosophy of anarchism and nonaggression. In addition I think this argument is consistent with all the major religions who advocate that it is wrong to steal. So the damage I am warning about is to the farmer who compromises by taking the money not the physical farm. So long as the welfare payments keep flowing running a farm on government money is probably the most profitable route.

    I am 100% consistent with my philosophy and I will look past your strawman argument. I really do not care to spell out what the gangsters would call crimes in writing on here, but to answer your question I would sooner beg on the side of the road than take disability or social security. If the state takes money from me I don’t ask for it back and I do all that is possible to prevent them from stealing it in the first place. I strive everyday to be further outside the system and to reduce my taxation footprint.

    As a farmer my income would qualify me for all sorts of welfare which I refuse. Last year I had my second child born and I paid 100% out of pocket and the state would have covered 100% of the expense. Sometimes you can not prevent the state from forcing you to use things they paid for such as the roads, but I am being forced in that case not volunteering.

    I also know that I am putting myself and family in harms way. This is why I quoted Samuel Adams above to Jack. The cost for us is a JOKE compared to those who signed the declaration of independence. The last few generations in America have willingly sold their children into debt slavery if not worse and for what? We had a few generations of good men in this country and then many generations of cowards and sell outs.

    Your criteria for taking state money shows that you qualify as one who will sell out the later generations to buy a little looser or shinier chains. I hope that what I am saying you have never thought of and if that is the case your ignorance is an excuse, but from this point forward you have no excuse. Wouldn’t you rather take on the beast so that our children could live free than sell out and ensure the later generations will suffer.

    The bureaucrats I am forced to work with are all friendly people. The problem is the Governor or President can say what ever he wants, but with out the bureaucrat they have no force. The problem is not the laws it is the enforcement of them and bureaucrat is the enforcer. The bureaucrat defends themselves with the Nuremberg defense and the cycle continues.

    The problems we face today are not physical like the weather but problems of wrong thinking. The ONLY solution is the truth and to correct these errors. I do not hold out hope for this country it is to far gone, but I will continue to stand for truth even if it costs me everything.

    ************

    Jack, I am part of a farm hub so we actually do produce nearly 100% of our food. We also eat 100% organic if possible and I avoid grains and vegetable oils for health reasons. I am specifically saying do not take money from the government voluntarily. We have dozens of high tunnels and greenhouses and we didn’t have to take state money to build them. Due to the fact we have our own money and labor into these buildings we use them and care for them in a way that a welfare recipient will not. I don’t think any of my arguments are new, I just apply them.

    • @Shane
      To summarize (correct me if I’m wrong): you believe that ‘taking’ any money or other help from the state is morally wrong. And you are acting consistently in accordance with that belief.

      However, you do state that you try to minimize the taxes you pay (starve the beast). And that’s why I don’t understand your resistance to ‘grants’ (There are a lot of different terms). For example, if you put solar on your house, you get a ‘federal tax credit’. This isn’t money you GET BACK it’s money you DON’T PAY.

      Now it’s possible someone could invent a torturous argument as to how that’s still not OK (other taxes elsewhere?) but, in my mind, taxes not paid are taxes not paid.

      *****

      Which leads to something else.

      If you’re mugged, and the robber takes $100 from you, and as he’s running away you hit him in the head with a brick and take the $100 back, that’s good, right? (you got back what was yours)

      Or if you’re mugged, and the robber takes $100 from you, and you plead for him to give your money back, that’s good. (you got back what was yours)

      But if you hit him with the brick and take $150 from his wallet, that’s theft.

      Or, if you plead with him and he says ‘here’s your $100, and here’s another $50 I stole from the last guy I mugged’, that’s theft.

      So, why would it be reprehensible to recover AS MUCH money as was stolen from you by the state? Now taking MORE than was stolen, yeah I get that, that’s theft. But I don’t understand why it’s not OK to recover your own property. (?)

      I don’t know of any anarchist principle that says ‘Once you’ve been robbed, that’s it, under all circumstances, let the thief keep it!’

      *****

      On the government functionary thing, we’re agreed. The issue isn’t the pawns. And yes, the only way ‘the system’ continues to function, is that the pawns continue to ‘play the game’.

      I agree that everyone is ultimately responsible for their own actions. But let’s get real since by bringing up the Nuremberg defense you’re invoking Godwin’s law. 😉

      So to get it right out, there are Nazis and there are NAZIS. The state is not a monolithic edifice of ultimate evil, its a hodge podge of everything from ‘necessary’ to ‘annoying but needed’ to ‘pure evil’.

      Necessary – roads, annoying but needed – city planning department, pure evil – rendition prisons.

      What a pawn is working on, and doing in their job is directly related to their ultimate ‘guilt’ in being a part of the state. And let’s be realistic, if they’re on the ‘good’ side of the line, they’re often performing functions that they would be performing even in an anarchistic state (building roads, recording property records), they’re simply doing it for the state because the state has a monopoly on that field of action.

      So, I agree, pawns should refuse to participate in ‘evil’. And I hope they do. And I certainly won’t be assisting them if they are.

      *****

      I’m not suggesting that problems are like the weather (though there are some comparisons). But I will suggest that anyone reading this who feels that our times are ‘unique’ should take a deep dive into history.

      This stuff has been going on for a LONG time. Yes, even in the United States.

      In my experience, the perspective of history has a calming effect. People have fought & struggled & suffered… and survived. Of course, they’ve also died. That too is part of life.

      *****

      I too am a big fan of ‘the truth’, but to me that’s a journey, not a destination. There is a danger in ‘knowing what is true’.

      ‘Convictions are more dangerous [enemies] of truth than lies.’ – Nietzsche

      Or ‘Listen to people who say they are searching for truth, never to those who say they have found it.’. The issue, ‘knowing’ (conviction) allows us to avoid ‘thinking’.

      I don’t want to get to crazy with the quotes, but yeah, the problem with the world:
      ‘The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.’ – Einstein

      Why all the blah blah blah (tldr!)? Simply to agree with you, we need more/different/better thinking. With a goal of moving towards ‘truth’. To say we ‘know the truth’, or ‘have arrived at the truth’ is to STOP THINKING. Yes, its comfortable, and it makes everything much simpler, but it also makes us too brittle to deal with changing reality.

      As a challenge to the crowd:
      ‘The 3rd rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority. The 2nd rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority. The 1st rate mind is only happy when it is thinking.’ – A.A. Milne

      *****

      @Shane
      On a more personal note, awesome to hear about what you’re doing with your farm. And thanks for the arguments, it really forced me to think/ponder/reflect a bit about what I believe.

      • @Insidious

        Yes I believe that state is an immoral institution and that the best recourse is to avoid and boycott such institutions. I am 100% pro tax avoidance by any way possible. Since our farm is a grain producer I can buy livestock feed tax free and do.

        ******

        I really didn’t mean to invoke Godwin’s law. I use the term Nuremberg defense when ever I refer to the just fallowing orders saying. But to your point I disagree, I think that any collectivist organization that says that it is ok to sacrifice a few for the greater good is evil. The entire core of the state is evil it is built on theft, mind control, and murder. The state doesn’t do anything it is only a belief system, people do things sometimes in costumes with fancy titles and badges. This is why I am an Anarchist.

        If a pawn is on the good side of the line they are not a pawn.

        ******

        I agree we have seen this all before and I to love to study history. It is important to read original documents by people who were in actual historic events. The history documentaries and books are always biased and typically created to create a new fiction of history. One thing I have learned is that the system we live under is not broken, it was designed to work this way.

        ******

        Don’t worry about the quotes I love them and was about to quote Eisenstein myself.

        I agree that believing you know the truth and shutting your mind is foolish and dangerous. However, I do believe in truth and I believe this truth is relative crap is just statists garbage to morally compromise and make people pliable to the next crime.

        ******

        Thanks for your support, farming the way I do sometimes feels like a martyrs quest and it is nice to be recognized. Your questions and comments have also forced me to dig real deep into what I believe and I am a better personal for it. Thanks You.

  8. @Shane your ignorance continues to show.

    Let me first say if you REALLY don’t buy any food that was subsidized good, great you are ahead of most.

    That said your ignorance continues to show, clung to ignorance due to your own choice.

    First did you not read the part where I stated I have never actually taken a grant/cost share because there was never a thing I wanted to do that matched one? In other words I have taken as many of them as you have. Zero.

    Second the fact that I would take money if I was going to do something anyway, doesn’t ,make me a hypocrite it makes me smart. Just like you are smart for driving on government roads, using government subsidized communications (like the internet), etc. Specifically due to part three.

    Third your stance ignores how spending works. Say I want a tunnel, I can get 10K and I don’t due to this nonsense, and say that 10K does not get spent by someone in NRCS. What happens? Does the 10K get given back, does it get cut from our budget. NO, it does not. The government says okay NRCS does not need this 10K give it to the military to build bombs to drop on children or some other thing.

    See delusional is a well thought out opinion of your stance, it is NOT a name I am calling you.

    • @Jack

      You were the inspiration for me to get off the food grid so I did the work, but you get the credit. We buy things like salt, spices, bananas, and other things like that are farms can not grow. Most of the food in the stores I consider livestock feed and the harvest eating shows really helped steer me in that direction.

      I did read that you haven’t taken money from the state which is better than me. I have actually taken money in the past via PAL grants before I recognized this stuff and also via coercion when the state forced me to use their slaughter unit “which nearly bankrupted me.”

      I understand that you gain financially when you take state money. I even stated that you would make more cash as a farmer if you chased down grants. I am talking about the morality and the cause and effect of taking that money.

      I am not delusional at all, but you might not be able to understand my perspective. The state destroys and has destroyed every segment of the economy it interacts with to the degree of its interactions. Currently they are destroying medicine and education as you have spoken about to great extent. Farming was one of the first industries to fall victim to the state and I do not think I need to detail how screwed up this industry is for you.

      I understand in theory that one could potentially take money and walk away never to return. This action would cause some harm, but relatively little compared to most of what the state does. The problem is that in 100% of my experiences, someone who is willing to take government handouts in this form never walks away from the government trough. If you do not feel it is wrong to take money from the government why wouldn’t you keep taking it.

      The people know that the farming industry is broken and being well brainwashed citizens they turn to the state “the problem” to fix it. So the state budgets lots of money to go towards stimulating the farm industry. The state bureaucrats take this money and hire NGOs to go out and find new farmers to educate and give state grants too.

      Since the farming industry is pretty much monopolized on the industrial level they are forced to look for smaller and smaller farmers. The NGOs I have personally witnessed at work get a commission on the funds they bring in and distribute. The pickings are really thin and if they want to keep getting state money they have to show some results and so they will recruit anyone they can to start using the grant money.

      Once they get a person to start taking money they will push and push to give you more because that is how they make more. In my experience I actually had a director of the NGO I linked to above deliberately sabotage my independent efforts to force me to use their state financed program. He was able to retire off the commissions he made on that failure.

      Ask your livestock farmers if they could survive if their processor destroyed 18% of their birds at slaughter. The only reason why I was able to stay in business is that the produce side of our farms in a multi-million dollar operation and subsidized the livestock. This destroys the industry on so many levels and many of them I have already articulated.

      Just like education and medicine we are at or close to the point where you have to use the government systems in order to afford the services. Once the state gets involved you loose choice such as nearly all the food in the supermarket is pretty much derived from corn and soy. You also loose innovation as the state does not adapt well to change and so they resist it. So obsolete and harmful practices are subsidized as they are the norm and new innovations are resisted if not outlawed.

      I am only getting started with this list and I have many additional stories of how the state has harmed the small farmers even ones like Rob. I already know that the other people reading this know I am not delusional or ignorant. It is only out of respect for you that I continue to try and prove this fact to you.

      • God on and fricken on! You know what Shane at one time I actually agreed about not taking grants, etc. I do not any more, I never will again.

        If a guy robs me and is dumb enough to leave his gun where I can get it, I will use it against him. You talk like an alcoholic that wants others not to drink. Not in that you were addicted to the states money, I don’t mean it that way. But the entire line of it will destroy you, they will suck you in, yadda yadda.

        Frankly at this point I am going to put it to you this way, if I ever need something and can do it the way that I want to and get money back from the cocksucking state that stole if from me, I will. If you don’t like that, I really don’t care.

        I don’t care if you never take a dime, I wish you well for it but you really don’t want to get this. Again you sound like a born again addict warning that one sip will get you. I prefer to be strategic.

        • Ironically. You know what Shane, when I agreed with you I was a libertarian, when I became full anarchist is when my opinion changed. Though even when I agreed I never told anyone not to do it.

          As an anarchist I truly see the evil of the state in full. I will do all I can to combat it and as Insidious said, I will be happy to use their own weapons against them.

        • You are correction in your characterization although I said earlier it is like Heroine and you are telling people to give it a shot. Sure the drug dealer says the first shot is free, give it a try, no strings. Maybe the dealer even leaves the needle out where no one is looking, just take it. Once you have been compromised then the conditions start. This is how the Federal Government has taken over many of the state institutions such as education.

          Your strategy so far sounds like it is to ignore the advice of those with experience in the industry. It might be strategic, but I wouldn’t call it wise. I am not telling you what to do and I realized you were not going to back off your position. You are reading my posts and perhaps with personal experience you will realize the truth in my view and this experience will be of value.

        • @Shane you have listened to me long enough to know what I think about making decisions based on fear. That is what you are advocating. Live that way if you choose, but don’t tell others how to live.

          There is NO TRUTH in you argument, only fear, only fear.

  9. I am thankful for Shane’s worthwhile comments. His personhood and ideas are not: “you are in a word delusional”, or based on “ credentials (that) are MEANINGLESS” , from a “state of irrational mindset”, “ based on frankly nonsense”, “stupid crap”, a “ridiculous claim”, “clearly you know NOTHING”, “ The lack of knowledge displayed shows that you didn’t only get depressed you didn’t listen either.”
    Accusations and absolute statements like these shut down dialogue and lead to emotionalism. Civil discourse leads to more thorough discussion, understanding and rational thinking and solutions. Unfortunately, I almost left the conversation due to the hostile rhetoric and personal attacks, but my interest revived with Shane’s civil response. He could have returned the aggression, but instead raised the discourse to a higher level and I really benefited from his comments. Thank you, Shane.

    I am a farmer as well and have not taken government handouts on principle and on practicality, as “free money” would likely influence my thinking toward potentially bad business decisions. In other words, in a busy life with lots of demands and an economy that is shrinking, it would be easy for me to take the expedient/easy choice and join the culture that expects “help” from the gov’t and discourages the hard thinking that makes good business decisions.

    County extension agents and USDA grant personnel campaign their bait money to farmers regularly. It’s job security for them if the farmer uses their grants. BTW, gov’t regularly spends any unused money at the end of the fiscal year to “prove” its continued need for the same debt/tax budget dollars or more for next year. So in the 10K tunnel example, if the money goes unused then the next year’s budget allowance will presume that 10 K is not needed and may be cut from the budget. If our culture would across the board reject gov’t dollars because ie the community took care of each other so well, there would be no need for rising gov’t spending. Thus using the grant dollars further ensures continued and probably a faster debt/taxation cycle. I, for one, do not want to encourage the dependency cycle, if I can help it. I try to stay far away from the gov’t which has led me to a satisfying lifestyle. It’s, of course, not perfect, but avoiding enabling the system wherever I can, is an important personal step that I think anyone who loves freedom should strive to maximize.

    • @Kathy
      I’m not aware of any time that a government has ‘shrunk’ due to the public not using their provided ‘services’. Ever. In history. =)

      Not trying to be snarky, it just has never happened (to my knowledge, if you know of an example, I’d love to hear about it!).

      To put this debate in perspective, here’s the USDA breakdown for it’s budget:
      http://www.ers.usda.gov/agricultural-act-of-2014-highlights-and-implications.aspx

      The big blue part is SNAP (food stamps). High Tunnel grants are in the ‘Other’ category. Appropriations for 2015 for USDA were $20.9 billion. So the ‘Other’ category is $209 million.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015_United_States_federal_appropriations#Agriculture.2C_Rural_Development.2C_Food_and_Drug_Administration.2C_and_Related_Agencies

      The federal government spent $3.688 trillion in 2015. So the ‘Other’ budget represents (wait for it!)… 0.005% of the budget. Contrast that with SNAP. SNAP’s total costs? $73.8 billion or 2% of the federal budget.
      http://www.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/pd/SNAPsummary.pdf

      So, lets say you setup a community food bank, took the $10k grant for a High Tunnel, and used it to grow food for your local community. How many people do you think you could keep off of SNAP?

      The thing I didn’t get into above with @Shane, is this:
      Why would you refuse to take your enemies resources and use them against him?

      I understand the ‘if you participate in any way you’re part of the problem’ argument. I just think our response needs to be more nuanced. Instead of a blanket never ever ever!! I think there’s some value in weighing the pros and cons of each situation (IMO of course).

      ‘There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil, to one striking at the root.’ – Thoreau

      I would add, there are 10,000 hacking at the LEAVES of evil. Winning, and being satisfied with tiny ‘moral victories’… from the safety of their own home. How much more satisfying when the ‘moral victory’ can be to NOT take action? (this isn’t related to your comments, just me musing)

      What are the ROOTS we can hack at?

      ‘Start by doing what is necessary, then what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.’ – St. Francis

      • @Insidious one more quote for you,

        “To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason, and whose philosophy consists in holding humanity in contempt, is like administering medicine to the dead, or endeavoring to convert an atheist by scripture.” Thomas Paine

        This is where this debate is. Those who toe this line are using government resources and money EVERY DAY but like to cut out parts and call it different and nothing you say will change their opinion because while they already know the facts they have renounced them because they don’t fit with said opinion.

      • @Insidious
        The point is not to fix the government by reducing spending, but to achieve greater freedom through the reduction of government control and power. History has shown countless measure that have been taken to reduce the size and scope of government. The only one I have seen successful is noncompliance.

        ‘There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil, to one striking at the root.’ – Thoreau

        The root is the belief and religion of the state.

  10. Shane, would you mind sending a website or way to contact you? I would like to connect friends who are interested in the farm incubator idea.

    Thanks

    Kathy