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Drugbo Alert! Lesbian Farmers Invading the Homeland!

Just when you though the deranged right couldn’t get any more insane. Rush (AKA Drugbo) Limbaugh is trying to save his rapidly falling career as “Chief bloviate of the radio right” by claiming knowledge of a secret plan by the Obama Administration to invade the “Red Zone” with (gasp!)…

“Lesbian Farmers”.

Having just moved to such a rural area a few months ago I find this singularly amazing. In my 20 years of owning a home in this area, I certainly have run into, and in several cases befriended Lesbian couples living in the area – one of whom owns a successful seafood store…But to be honest with you, I haven’t noticed a massive uptick in the number of women shopping together in the local Southern States store. Not to mention it’s a bad health move to ask everyone you see in overalls and a baseball cap about their sexual orientation.

Being a straight male, maybe I’m just not plugged into the scene at the local Farmer’s Market.

And what sexual orientation has to do with a desire to live in the country, or farm for that matter utterly escapes me. Although I am sure the local Trumpazoids being replaced by Lesbians…Makes the farm animals sleep better at night.

A note to Rush Limbaugh: Obama is not building an army of lesbian farmers to take over red America

A note to Rush Limbaugh: Obama is not building an army of lesbian farmers to take over red America

Programs to help rural LGBT people not only help them, but also small American towns

Rush Limbaugh wants his listeners to know that lesbian farmers are coming to get them. Or not them, exactly — most Republicans live in suburban, not rural areas — but the kind of people that his listeners imagine themselves to be. In a recent program, Limbaugh went on a rant about an Obama program that President Barrack Obama supposedly set up to infiltrate rural communities with “lesbian farmers” and destroy them from the inside:

So here comes the Obama Regime with a bunch of federal money and they’re waving it around, and all you gotta do to get it is be a lesbian and want to be a farmer and they’ll set you up. I’m like you; I never before in my life knew that lesbians wanted to be farmers.

I never knew that lesbians wanted to get behind the horse and the plow and start burrowing. I never knew it. But apparently enough money it make it happen, and the objective here is to attack rural states.

The fact that Limbaugh thinks farmers still use a horse and plow speaks volumes about what is going on here. This isn’t about protecting real farmers from anything or even trying to understand how rural Americans actually live. This is about exploiting his suburban audience’s romantic Farmer John fantasies and pretending that this group is somehow under threat from evil lesbian infiltrators.

Other conservative outlets picked up on the same story, which is unsurprising, as this is standard right-wing scare-mongering. Stories about the federal government’s funneling o fmoney through frivolous giveaways to minority groups in an effort to destroy straight, white America is hands down the right-wing media’s favorite form of bullshit since Ronald Reagan popularized the term “welfare queen.”

But as with stories about “Obama phones” and “midnight basketball,” a deeper look shows that these programs are not subversive or frivolous at all but good programs that help revitalize communities.

“We kicked off our #RuralPride campaign really to animate the truism that LGBT people are everywhere,” Kate Kendell, the executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, explained over the phone.

While the right-wing press is trying to frame this story as one of Obama’s bribing LGBT people to move to rural areas, the reality is very different. The lesbian-rights organization partnered with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the True Colors Fund to enter rural communities to connect with the LGBT people who are already there, whether they work directly in agriculture or are part of the small-town communities that exist to support agricultural economies.

“Contrary to myths that the LGBT community lives exclusively in metropolitan areas, members of our community are proudly living, working, raising children, going to school, and making homes for themselves and their families in rural America,”  the one-sheet explainer sent to me by the national lesbian group explained.

“It appeared to be the first time that it occurred to these anti-gay voices that LGBT people already live in rural communities,” Kendell, who was openly amused at the conservative ignorance and hysteria, told me.

The right-wing media would like to promote the idea that these are training camps for queer sleeper cells, but the programming that Kendell described was straightforward and pleasantly mundane: panels of attorneys, activists and federal officials providing education about resources to help improve their lives, find economic stability and escape the isolation that LGBT people can often feel in small communities. Some summits also have anti-bullying programs to help rural LGBT youth.

 

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Going Green – The Black Farmer Makes a Comeback

After over a century of discrimination and destruction, the nation’s black farmers are making a slow comeback. Destroyed by a combination of denial of Agricultural Loans by the Government so they could modernize, predatory zoning and land theft, and land covenants which in some areas kept them from eve being able to expand enough to be competitive – the current trend reverses that started in the Great Migration.

We are at the dawn of Urban Farming, where deserted factory buildings can be converted to support 4 story tall vertical farming racks which produce anything from lettuce to carrots. First heard about this being done in Detroit several years ago, and since then it is gradually expanding across the northeastern US urban landscape. The problem with this for prospective black farmers is the high initial costs being a barrier to entry. Setup costs run from $90-200 per square foot, and even with production per square foot being 4-8 times greater than old style farming, it still takes a while (years) to amortize that.

The comeback of black farmers is contrary to a landscape where mega-corporate farming has become the norm. By focusing on organic and naturally grown crops, and bypassing the retail middlemen, farming is profitable again. The market desire for “organic”, not tainted by pesticides or growth hormone food is also a driver. Factory farms at this point cannot meet that need. Fishing is also becoming increasingly farming, and while corporate level farms concentrate on mass production of high demand product like salmon and catfish, the ability to produce contaminant free shellfish is a fast growing industry dominated by small players because the cost to entry is fairly low.

The folks they discuss in this article are very small operators. In my part of the world I am more used to black farmers who have 40 or more acres under till, although they are using the traditional farming methods.

The new faces of farming. The Black Dirt Collective with co-founder Blain Snipstal, second from left.

After a Century In Decline, Black Farmers Are Back And On the Rise

These Black farmers don’t stop at healthy food. They’re healing trauma, instilling collective values, and changing the way their communities think about the land.
A few years ago, while clearing dried broccoli stalks from the tired soil of our land at Soul Fire Farm in upstate New York, I received a cold call from Boston. On the other end was a Black woman, unknown to me, who wanted to share her story of trying to make it as a farmer.

Through tears, she explained the discrimination and obstacles she faced in a training program she’d joined, as well as in gaining access to land and credit. She wondered whether Black farming was destined for extinction. She said she wanted to hear the voice of another African-heritage farmer so that she could believe “it was possible” and sustain hope.

The challenges she encountered are not new. For decades, the U.S. Department of Agriculture discriminated against Black farmers,excluding them from farm loans and assistance. Meanwhile, racist violence in the South targeted land-owning Black farmers, whose very existence threatened the sharecropping system. These factors led to the loss of about 14 million acres of Black-owned rural land—an area nearly the size of West Virginia.

In 1982, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights extrapolated the statistics on land loss and predicted the extinction of the Black farmer by the year 2000.

They were wrong. While the situation is still dire, with Black farmers comprising only about 1 percent of the industry, we have not disappeared. After more than a century of decline, the number of Black farmers is on the rise.

These farmers are not just growing food, either. The ones you’ll meet here rely on survival strategies inherited from their ancestors, such as collectivism and commitment to social change. They infuse popular education, activism, and collective ownership into their work.

And about that woman who called me from Boston? Years after we first spoke, I called her back. Turns out, she is still at it.

About 80 miles southeast of Baltimore, Black Dirt leases 2 acres that long have been home to the Black freedom struggle. Harriet Tubman once rescued her parents and nine other people from enslavement in this place, which was one of the first stops on the Underground Railroad.

The 10 farming-collective members who work here today revere Tubman’s example and work to continue her legacy of revolutionary social change. In addition to growing natural food for markets in D.C., Baltimore, and Philadelphia, they host hundreds of people each year for activist training programs. They continue the farming practices of their ancestors, such as “going through together,” a southern Black practice of working collectively in neighbors’ plots and sharing the harvest. They are also part of the North Carolina-based Seed Keepers Collective, and focus on preserving seeds of the African diaspora, including millet, sorghum, cotton, and sweet potatoes.

“It’s like jazz music in a sense,” Snipstal explains, referring to Black Dirt’s collaborations with like-minded farmers around the country. “We are always riffing off each other, even if we don’t tell one another.” …Read Other Stories of Black Farmers Here...

 
 

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And if Armed Black Folks Occupied a Building?

Answer –

SO…Now we have armed white guys, who are part of a Militia “occupying” a Federal Building in Eastern Oregon.

You think they are going to drop a bomb to get them out?

The motivating factor here is greed, not race. The group, many of the same people who came out to support Cliven Bundy last year who owed more than $1 million in lease fees for grazing his cattle on our Federal Land want to farm or graze Federal Land for free. In other words they want to be able to use the land, while the rest of us who pay the upkeep, pay for the Fire Department to go out to put out fires they have started, an they hunt illegally – all in the cause of their “freedom”.

The Malheur is a nesting and migratory area for hundreds of bird species, including these whooping cranes.

Gunmen Seize Federal Building In Oregon

The men include at least two sons of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and have said they’ll stay for “years.”

A group of gunmen seized control of an empty federal building in remote Burns, Oregon, on Saturday, announced they planned to occupy the facility for “years” and called for “patriots” to join them — and bring more guns. The men now occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge building include at least two sons of Cliven Bundy, the rancher whose legal battle with the government over grazing rights culminated in an armed standoff with federal authorities near Bunkerville, Nevada, in 2014.

“We’re planning on staying here for several years,” Ammon Bundy said in a videoposted to Facebook Saturday. “We’re calling people to come out here and stand…. We have a place for you to stay warm. We have food planned and prepared. We need you to bring your arms. And we need you to come to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.” His brother Ryan Bundy told The Oregonian’s Ian Kullgren the militiamen are “willing to kill and be killed if necessary,” Kullgren tweeted Saturday.

The Bundys and other militia members have gathered in Burns in recent weeks to protest the return to prison of Dwight Hammond Jr. and his son Steven, two local ranchers who were convicted in 2012 of arson, imprisoned, released and given new, harsher sentences last year. But there’s no evidence the Hammonds are involved in the occupation of the federal building, and they told The Oregonian through their attorneys on Sunday that they plan to return to prison on Monday as ordered. “Neither Ammon Bundy nor anyone within his group/organization speak for the Hammond Family,” W. Alan Schroeder, a lawyer for the family, wrote to Burns Sheriff David Ward, CBS News reported Sunday.

The Malheur is a high mountain valley, with plenty of water and marshland. There isn’t anything there in the High Desert for Logging

Nor does the local community support the militia’s actions. “The majority of Burns does not want him here,” Sarah Spurlock, a Burns resident who interviewed Ammon Bundy on Saturday, told The Huffington Post via Facebook message. “There are a handful that do, but they are few compared to those that don’t.” At a community meeting Friday night, Burns residents told militia members who had traveled there to support the Hammonds they worried confrontation with the government could lead to violence. “We are not coming into your town to shoot it up,” Brandon Curtiss, an Idaho militia leader, promised, according to The Oregonian’s Les Zaitz. “We won’t fire anything unless we’re fired upon.” Curtiss told The Oregonian Sunday he “knew nothing” about the occupation of the federal facility.

In recent statements, the Bundys have de-emphasized the Hammonds, instead focusing on their plan to restore eastern Oregon’s economy by forcing the federal government to hand over federal lands to local ranchers, miners and loggers.

The federal lands that the Bundys and their compatriots argue should be “returned” to the local, overwhelmingly white population were once part of a reservationestablished by President Ulysses S. Grant for the Northern Paiute, an American Indian tribe. The Northern Paiute still live on a now much-smaller reservation north of Burns.

This is the unused Park Headquarters Building seized by the terrorist militia

This most recent incident is only the latest confrontation between the federal government and the militia movement, which gained popularity among conservative ideologues in the aftermath of the 1992 Ruby Ridge incident and the 1993 Waco siege, two of the most infamous and deadly standoffs involving federal agents in U.S. history. During the tense Ruby Ridge standoff in northern Idaho, three people died, including a deputy U.S. marshal, as authorities attempted to apprehend a white separatist for failing to appear in court for selling illegal sawed-off shotguns. In Waco, Texas, 76 people died during a 51-day siege after federal officials stormed a fortified religious compound led by David Koresh and his group of Branch Davidian Seventh Day Adventists in an attempt to apprehend Koresh for stockpiling weapons. Both incidents prompted congressional inquiries into use of force by federal officials.

Who’s occupying the building?

We don’t know much about who’s occupying the building. The Bundys initially claimed they had around 150 people there, but a reporter who managed to get close spotted about a dozen. Videos from the scene have depicted Ammon Bundy. Ryan Bundy has spoken to reporters about the occupation. Militia leader Blaine Cooper and Ryan Payne, an Iraq war vet, are both involved in the occupation, according to The Oregonian. Both men have said they were involved in the 2014 Bundy ranch standoff. Last year, the Missoula Independent published an extensive profile of Payne.

Jon Ritzheimer, another militia member, posted a video to YouTube calling people to come to Burns and “take a stand.”

A Bobcat Kitten photographed at Malheur.

“I am 100 percent willing to lay my life down to defend against tyranny in this country,” Ritzheimer said. “We need real men here… Americans who have the intestinal fortitude to come here and take a stand and say enough is enough…. To my family, just know that I stood for something. Don’t let it be in vain. I love you.”

How are local, state, and federal authorities responding?

The building the gunmen seized is closed for the holiday weekend. So far, law enforcement is staying away. One Oregon State Police car was spotted idling outside Burns, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting. An FBI spokeswoman told HuffPost the agency was aware of the situation. A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spokesperson told CNN that federal officials, including the Bureau of Land Management, are monitoring the situation….More Here

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2016 in Domestic terrorism

 

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Pachyderm Peppers

Sometimes a low tech solution far outperforms more high tech or direct measures. In this case red hot chili peppers serve to save farmer’s crops from elephants.

Get a whiff of this!

Elephants Now Think Twice About Midnight Snacks in Tanzania

MIKUMI VILLAGE, Tanzania—Snap. Crack. Pop.

That’s the sound of an African elephant with a dangerous case of the munchies crashing through underbrush at 25 miles per hour.

Said Longwa, a 52-year-old farmer and father of nine, used to face down crop-raiding elephants with nothing but a flashlight. Others in Mikumi village would beat tin cans or light fires; some exploded homemade pipe bombs. But the sound and fury didn’t deter the largest land mammals on Earth from staging nightly assaults on fields of corn and watermelon.

[ELEPHANT]A BULL ELEPHANT

During the worst period of crop raids several years ago, charging elephants killed three people from Mr. Longwa’s village, in the Morogoro region in central Tanzania, more than 118 miles from the coastal capital of Dar es Salaam.

When the elephants visit Mr. Longwa’s cornfield these days, they screw up their long noses and trumpet in consternation.

Mr. Longwa has treated his fence with chili mixed with engine oil—a preparation that adheres to the fence, even in heavy rain. “They will mull it over and often circle two to three times,” the farmer says of the elephants that approach his fence. “But once they get a real whiff of the chili, they snuffle and sneeze.” And leave the scene. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2012 in Africa

 

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Haitians March Against Preval, Monsanto

This one has been bubbling below the surface for a while, and not just in Haiti. The seeds to plant corn, or just about any other crop are big business.  For thousands of years, farmers would hold back a portion of the crop to harvest the seeds to plant next years crop. Farmers would practice a basic level of genetic manipulation by selecting seeds from the most successful plants. Today that has evolved into an agribusiness, where crops are genetically tailored – sometimes through manipulating the genetic structure of the plant directly.

One of the manipulations is that the crops derived from these “manipulated plants” cannot produce viable seeds. Ergo, you can’t set aside a portion of the crop and use the seeds to plant next year. Indeed, since the new, genetically modified seeds don’t last very long, you can’t even use last year’s seeds. You have to buy new seeds each and every year.

In large scale commercial agribusiness type farming, there are benefits to this. The benefits aren’t so clear to small scale farms.

Monsanto’s seeming “largesse” in donating seeds to Haiti as such isn’t totally altruistic. If the Haitian Farmers utilize the Monsanto seeds, they are stuck with buying new seeds each and every year…

From Monsanto.

Monsanto becomes a permanent partner – whether the Haitian people want it or not, and will collect and annual “vig” of tens of millions of revenue each year from the sale of each year’s seeds.

It would also be very interesting to see who owns the brand new Monsanto franchise in Haiti…

The “usual suspects”… Indeed.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Haitian Peasants March Against Monsan…“, posted with vodpod
 
 

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