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Rural America: 'If government's the problem, shoot it.'

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posted on Apr, 12 2011 @ 09:33 AM
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Thought many would like this article, it gets better halfway through.
It may give some a better insight into Americas rural life.






By Walter Rodgers Walter Rodgers – Mon Apr 11, 10:07 am ET

The classic children’s story begins, “A wild, ringing neigh shrilled up from the hold of the Spanish galleon.” “Misty of Chincoteague” is one of those books you really wanted to believe as a kid: A shipload of Moorish ponies destined for the New World founders in a storm off the Virginia and Maryland barrier islands. The author tells us that for centuries they roamed “free, free, free,” on Assateague and Chincoteague as “the ponies adopted the New World as their own.” Today, the ponies still roam the islands, wild as ever. Reinforcing the legend, there’s a lovely bronze statue of “Misty” in the heart of the town of Chincoteague.

The author of this charming children’s book, Marguerite Henry, assures us that “All the incidents in this story are real.” But they probably are not. There’s no evidence that a Spanish ship carrying ponies sank there. A better explanation, historians say, is that these horses represent the grand American traditions of tax evasion and rural lawlessness.

Three hundred years ago, long before the Boston Tea Party, Virginia and Maryland farmers hid their horses on off-shore islands to avoid paying Colonial taxes on livestock. The pony herds eventually became feral. The historic lawlessness of Maryland and Virginia’s Eastern Shore is well documented in Charlton Ogburn’s Jr.’s classic, “The Winter Beach,” and James Michener’s novel “Chesapeake.”

Perhaps it would help to think of Chincoteague’s early Colonial tax dodgers as our bucolic pioneers in the disregard of the law – a tradition that still thrives. Fifteen percent of Americans admit they are likely to cheat on their taxes, according to a recent survey. Two-thirds of that group are men, mostly young and single. And nearly half say they are one paycheck away from financial disaster.

Increasingly, and not just in the tax arena, it seems Americans are looking at a distressed moral landscape, which often takes form as local poverty and blight.

Rural crime and lawlessnessTraditionally, it is cities that have been viewed as centers of crime and lawlessness, but that is somewhat misleading. “One of the least understood topics in the field of criminology and criminal justice is that of rural crime,” wrote Joseph Donnermeyer, a professor of rural sociology at Ohio State University and director of the national rural crime prevention center, in 1995.

Rural Americans – and the politicians who patronize them – have promoted the idea that they are the nation’s upholders of righteousness, morality, and virtue. But this agrarian myth conveniently ignores our rustic romance with rural crime, from Bonnie and Clyde and John Dillinger to moon-shiners, the Ku Klux Klan, and marijuana farming.

It requires no great power of observation to see that in many pockets of Appalachia and much of rural America, our country cousins have long declared laws unto themselves. Old and established families often claim hereditary rights that they allege supersede state and US law, according to one federal law enforcement officer.

It is a national joke that rural speeding violations and DUI citations are for out-of-towners only, not local townspeople. I know of one hamlet in western Massachusetts where, when a new police officer was hired, he was specifically told that townspeople were not to be ticketed.

Local immunitiesA convenience store operator in one New England village reportedly hustles his grocery clerk out the back door when he gets word that a state inspector is on the way to check employment compensation records.

President Reagan did America no favors when he preached that “government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.â€

On Virginia’s Eastern Shore, rural support for that sentiment means that some game wardens (who are federal law enforcement officials) feel the need to wear bulletproof vests to work every day. One told me that it was not uncommon in hunting season for him to be peppered with birdshot when he is out in a boat. Rural logic is obvious: “If government’s the problem, shoot it.”

US Coast Guard crews, charged with marine safety inspections and smuggling interdiction, privately complain about the antigovernment vibe. “The locals have great distrust and hostility toward us,” one Coast Guard seaman told me. Frequently, recreational boaters try to outrun the Coast Guard to escape prosecution for boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

That’s “failure to heave to.” And it’s a federal crime.

A distressed moral landscapeFlouting the law has become a kind of Declaration of Independence in the hinterlands. It is often aided and abetted by state and federal lawmakers intent on watering down existing statutes to cozy up to their “good ol’ boyâ€

Increasingly, Americans have come to believe the law applies to everyone else, as they claim their private immunities. They rail at Wall Street crimes and illegal immigrants, yet they wink at their own tax evasion and hiring of “day laborers” to help with yardwork. This collective lawlessness may seem mild enough to be harmless, but it is inevitably corrosive and destructive, dismantling a society rivet by rivet.

Walter Rodgers, a former senior international correspondent for CNN, writes a biweekly column.




posted on Apr, 12 2011 @ 09:38 AM
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For the most part those rural law-breakers are breaking prohibitionary laws.

That's not criminal. It's liberty. Nobody has any right to dictate a way of life to anybody else.

It's the governments fault these things were ever made illegal anyway. They turned simple moonshining into a nation wide violent outbreak. They took hemp farming and turned into blood for land war.

You cant blame people for wanting living free in an unfree society. But you absolutely can blame government for creating crime and violence and death with its absurd prohibitionary measures.

Got to add a little anecdote I was present for. I was at a buddies ranch and near some stream we found a patch of some odd flowers. Never seen them before. Immediately he stomps them and buries them. I asked "what'd you do that for?" and he said "I dont know what the hell those were and if they were something special or rare I could lose my ranch." Referring to the EPA. More criminal activity I suppose.
edit on 12-4-2011 by thisguyrighthere because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 12 2011 @ 09:45 AM
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reply to post by OLD HIPPY DUDE
 


HA!

I can't say that the article is inaccurate. It does describe the situation pretty well. Still, I think there is a sense of logic to the rural mindset, and Reagan was correct, government IS the problem.

The thing is, rural communities don't need government intervention. They don't need nanny laws, and they don't need so much government oversight. Rural communities tend to handle everything in house. Even the Coast Guard example is appropriate. Salty old fishermen, and experienced boaters don't need much help from the Coast Guard, and they don't want much interference from the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard is there to rescue the amateurs. The police are there to monitor the outsiders. The laws are there to protect the naive, and the amateurs, and the irresponsible.

As a matter of fact, even when crimes are committed in a rural area, we don't need the police to do much about it. I had a friend that had his farmhouse robbed while he was out one day. They stole a bunch of stuff, but mainly they stole a customized gun that he just had painted, and they stole a worthless old shotgun that had belonged to his grandfather. If they had left those two things alone, things would have been fine, but we needed to get those two things back. It took several weeks of combing the pawnshops and talking with friends of friends that might be able to locate some hot guns, but eventually we found them. The stupid kid responsible for the theft barely survived, and then he made the mistake of calling the police. Police interviewed my buddy, he denied there ever was a theft to begin with. Without a theft, how could there be an assault and a recovery of stolen items? In fact, since there was no theft, but the kid was admitting to breaking and entering, he got arrested for the crime he admitted to.

Things are different in a rural area, but I think the general consensus is that things make sense in a rural area. Common sense is the norm, and less interference is the key to personal responsibility.

When the Feds come knocking trying to mess that up, it is like poking a beehive with a stick. You may get a little honey here and there, the bees are fairly docile, but eventually you will do it one too many times!



posted on Apr, 12 2011 @ 09:52 AM
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reply to post by getreadyalready
 


While the article is articulate i thought it seemed biased

then I got the the bottom line - its from CNN ... u know: the news that looks after the Rich folks



posted on Apr, 12 2011 @ 09:57 AM
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I respect rural America and its values but lets be honest, no one waits more eagerly for that fat slice of government cheese than a farmer does when his USDA check arrives.



posted on Apr, 12 2011 @ 10:01 AM
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reply to post by SirMike
 


You're right. But that in itself is born of government interference. It should have never started in the first place. There has always been way too much manipulation in agriculture and now it's so ingrained that nothing short of complete collapse will correct it.

Property taxation was the first real blow to farmers and since then all sorts of interference has been compounded on top of it attempting to ease that burden then shift that burden then actually increase that burden all the while manipulating futures.

The farmer may clap and dance for that check but who started in with that garbage in the first place? Certainly wasnt the farmer.



posted on Apr, 12 2011 @ 10:01 AM
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reply to post by SirMike
 


That's only partially true. The Layout program is pretty nice for the farmers. It is far easier to get paid for "not farming" than it is to stress over crops and weather all year. Still, this is one more way that the government is the problem instead of the solution. Why shouldn't we be growing more food and shipping it to starving nations?

Also, must farmers these days hedge their bets with expensive insurance policies. They spend a good amount of money on crop insurance and then they pray for a bumper crop, or a certain amount of too much or too little rain, or some kind of major storm to hit their county. Either they get paid for the bumper crop, or they get paid from the insurance policy. In this way, they are pretty much guaranteed a steady income from season to season, and the government isn't really involved.



posted on Apr, 12 2011 @ 10:41 AM
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Rural America should be considered a model that the rest of the country should follow. There is crime here, but a lot less than in any major city. There are plenty of idiots out there that carry guns, but there is just as much if not more responsible hard working tax payers holding an equalizer as well. Crime has a lot less chance if the criminal know his odds of getting shot just went up, not from the local police but from any member of the general public.

Has anyone went to the market lately? Have you priced milk, bread, beef, corn...pretty much anything? At one time I remember a phrase saying the sky is the limit. Bulls*&t. So when you grow a lot of your own food, I guess that's me sticking it to the man right....I don't think so...I thinks its more called self preservation.



posted on Apr, 12 2011 @ 12:44 PM
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Originally posted by thisguyrighthereGot to add a little anecdote I was present for. I was at a buddies ranch and near some stream we found a patch of some odd flowers. Never seen them before. Immediately he stomps them and buries them. I asked "what'd you do that for?" and he said "I dont know what the hell those were and if they were something special or rare I could lose my ranch." Referring to the EPA. More criminal activity I suppose.
edit on 12-4-2011 by thisguyrighthere because: (no reason given)


Been there done that one; here it the endangered prairie grasses (varied species) that are an issue so I make sure to cut my pasture early and often so the dicks from EPA who ride the roads but never get out of their cars. I have seen them fence off acres of people’s crop land around here to protect the endangered prairie grasses/flowers (to many to list).


Originally posted by getreadyalreadyThat's only partially true. The Layout program is pretty nice for the farmers. It is far easier to get paid for "not farming" than it is to stress over crops and weather all year. Still, this is one more way that the government is the problem instead of the solution. Why shouldn't we be growing more food and shipping it to starving nations?


Do you actually know anyone who lives off of CRP only?

Conservation Reserve Program

Seriously, it doesn’t pay nearly enough to live on if you need the land to make a living. (I dislike the program BTW as a farmer along with any other farm subsidies) The problem with CRP is all the people who take advantage of it who never had any intent to farm the land in the first place. The people who buy acreage for their large houses and then take the 3-4 thousand dollars a year for their 10 acres are the problem. They and the large industrial farm operations that would have to rotate their fallow fields anyway then get paid crap loads of money from the government to do what they would have to anyways.

I have 40 acres right now, if I were to put it into CRP I could make about 12 K a year; I make more than that farming just 10 acres of organic soy. I use about 50% of the alfalfa hay I produce for my own dairy operation but I get a great price for what I do sell and again, make way more than the CRP value.

I farm professionally, organically and small so I squeeze everything I can off the land, but the people who perhaps had a regular job and no intent to farm can abuse the system to make more income. It’s silly – a waste of tax money and morally wrong; it only really benefits the large operations and the scammers.


Originally posted by getreadyalreadyAlso, must farmers these days hedge their bets with expensive insurance policies. They spend a good amount of money on crop insurance and then they pray for a bumper crop, or a certain amount of too much or too little rain, or some kind of major storm to hit their county. Either they get paid for the bumper crop, or they get paid from the insurance policy. In this way, they are pretty much guaranteed a steady income from season to season, and the government isn't really involved.


Crop insurance rates soar for farmers
www.khastv.com...

Really have you ever purchased crop insurance? They only insure about 60-70 percent of the value and that (along with the price of the insurance) is about what you have to put into it to get it in the ground – so you might walk away with 10-20 percent of your annual yield if you are lucky. So I doubt anyone hopes for a failure least no on I know. Only the largest operations can get the best rates and might get insured for 80% or so because they can afford the cost usually having operations spread between different regions.

Crop Insurance Rates and the Laws of Probability

While the math in that study is beyond me as a simple farmer I can tell you no one I know makes money when their crops fail nor do they wish for bad weather.



posted on Apr, 12 2011 @ 12:51 PM
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reply to post by Golf66
 


Dam,

Didn't mean to erase this one.


I was agreeing that no farmer is getting rich off layout or insurance. Yes, I have participated in both (with my family, not personally).

My post was meant in the same vein as yours. The government programs have not done anything to help the farmer. As usual, most of the programs only make it worse.

And, in a cruel twist, the insurance companies make profit year after year, until a real disaster strikes, then the government steps in to help them cover their losses, plays the "hero" card that they are supporting the farmer, then the insurance companies raise rates anyway, and just make more profit!


My original post was a little more detailed and articulate, but I accidentally erased it.
edit on 12-4-2011 by getreadyalready because: (no reason given)

edit on 12-4-2011 by getreadyalready because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 12 2011 @ 12:54 PM
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Nvm, I read it again, and it makes sense now.
edit on 12-4-2011 by getreadyalready because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 12 2011 @ 01:37 PM
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Originally posted by getreadyalreadyDidn't mean to erase this one.
My post was meant in the same vein as yours. The government programs have not done anything to help the farmer. As usual, most of the programs only make it worse.

My original post was a little more detailed and articulate, but I accidentally erased it. (no reason given)


Fair enough I just didn't want people who are layman thinking we are rolling in money from subsidies and CRP. It’s a horrendous wasteful program and entices scamming and graft. I take a loan every year to get my crop in the ground and if it were to fail I would have to dip into savings to survive.

Being so small I have to rent equipment as it’s not really cost effective for me to buy the stuff for the size fields I have. I do have my own hay bailer and small tractor but it’s not up to the task of plowing and disking.

I also pay for catastrophic herd failure insurance for my dairy cattle - but that only pays in the event of major die off or disease and is quite expensive as well. If I lose one working girl at $2500 value I suck up out of pocket.

I get the write off of course but I'd rather not lose any. I breed my own replacements and had a bumper calving season this year 17 out of 20 calves were heifers only had to sell off 3 bulls - but the market for them was high this year I got 300-400 each. The year before that I was only able to get 200.

I am even going to be able to sell some (5-6) bred heifers in 14 months which will bring hopefully 2.5k or so each but I need to redo a lot of fence so I bet I break even for the year... Breaking even is all I ever really envisioned for our operation - I am retired Army Officer and have decent income from that and I get to live the rural lifestyle I’ve always wanted.



posted on Apr, 12 2011 @ 01:40 PM
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While I respect the fact that everyone has the right to their own opinion, let me just vocalize my own on this subject. What utter and complete bunk this article is. I fail to see where any of this applies solely to rural life as all of the above 'bullet' points of the article could just as easily apply to an urban/suburban setting.

The author of the article claims that 'old rural family names' seem to be able to make up their own form of justice and be able to influence local law enforcement to turn a blind eye to the law breakers in their own families/communities. Hmm... well it seems to me that the same could be laid in the lap of such well known families as the Rockafellers, DuPonts, Kennedys and Astors...et al. The same families that would not know a cow pie if they stepped in it.

The author also implies that 'fear of the masses' is a rural idea. Really? Then why is it that in large cities law enforcement agents, no matter the division, also wear riot gear and bullet proof vests when doing their jobs these days? A routine traffic stop will most likely see the officer wearing some kind of protection when doing his own due dilligence, and who can blame them? Not me. I see it like this: local law enforcement agents are on the front line of the 'we vs. them' war that has been brewing for a long time now. They are seen, in my opinion, as agents of the polititians and the easiest to get to in terms of the masses showing their dicontent with the current political vibe. Certainly access to the real problem, the politicians, is far too difficult so the masses are ripe to take it out on whomever happpens to be 'in their face' at the moment.

I find it disturbing that the author of the article seems to paint rural life in such backward and untrue colors. He is painting his canvas with a broad brush that could just as easily be painted over urban life as well. I have heard and read many times in the survival threads and elsewhere "When the shtf, I'm heading to the hills or mountains...(insert any less populated area you wish)". Wonder why that is. Could it be that for most Americans living in urban settings see rural life as a safe haven and a bastion of protection? I don't know, could be. All I know is that I find it mind boggling that most people with a similar mindset to the author like to slam the rural way of life, having never lived it themselves. Yet I wonder just who it will be that pulls our chestnuts out of the fire when everything drops in the pot. I'll hedge my bets it won't be urban politicians and city dwellers.... just my 2 rural cents on the subject.
edit on 12-4-2011 by MyMindIsMyOwn because: spelling



posted on Apr, 12 2011 @ 01:47 PM
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Originally posted by thisguyrighthere
For the most part those rural law-breakers are breaking prohibitionary laws.

That's not criminal. It's liberty. Nobody has any right to dictate a way of life to anybody else.

It's the governments fault these things were ever made illegal anyway. They turned simple moonshining into a nation wide violent outbreak. They took hemp farming and turned into blood for land war.

You cant blame people for wanting living free in an unfree society. But you absolutely can blame government for creating crime and violence and death with its absurd prohibitionary measures.

Got to add a little anecdote I was present for. I was at a buddies ranch and near some stream we found a patch of some odd flowers. Never seen them before. Immediately he stomps them and buries them. I asked "what'd you do that for?" and he said "I dont know what the hell those were and if they were something special or rare I could lose my ranch." Referring to the EPA. More criminal activity I suppose.
edit on 12-4-2011 by thisguyrighthere because: (no reason given)


If asked about my general feelings about the "bubba effect" type mentality a few months ago, I would have had some pretty negative things to say. I've definitely lost much more faith in representative democracy since then.

I can definitely see eye-to-eye with you guys now. I think it's that singularity of common ground that will unite some lefties and righties together. If being left or right is what prevents the real discussion of our problems (which you can see by any of our left/right proponents on ATS), then it's obvious that the whole thing is a ruse to obfuscate the real issues.

I think the line drawing that the government is so scared of will be the thing that brings Americans together in consensus. Why do you think all the people who's paychecks rely on political turmoil (Fox, CNN, MSNBC) are so afraid of independent parties running?



posted on Apr, 12 2011 @ 05:43 PM
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Originally posted by Cuervo
I can definitely see eye-to-eye with you guys now. I think it's that singularity of common ground that will unite some lefties and righties together.


For the most part they're called libertarians. Little "l". Exaggerated by people who are afraid to be free as "anarchists."

You'll get plenty of fakers along the way for sure. Those people who believe in liberty until it comes to some idiotic non-issue that only serves to blast them away from liberty and into the arms of two party tyranny.

When fools argue over something like gay marriage for example they drown out with their idiotic shouting the one guy asking why the hell he has to ask the state for permission to get married at all.

The only perspective that really matters, the one that will free us all, is just a polite whisper of sense in a room full of violent shouting imbeciles.



posted on Apr, 12 2011 @ 08:47 PM
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Originally posted by getreadyalreadyThe thing is, rural communities don't need government intervention. They don't need nanny laws, and they don't need so much government oversight. Rural communities tend to handle everything in house. Even the Coast Guard example is appropriate. Salty old fishermen, and experienced boaters don't need much help from the Coast Guard, and they don't want much interference from the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard is there to rescue the amateurs. The police are there to monitor the outsiders. The laws are there to protect the naive, and the amateurs, and the irresponsible.!


Indeed, not only do we not need it we certainly don’t want it. You can see the difference in a crisis – years ago there was near cattle starvation in Colorado due to some heavy snow; all rural mostly white counties.

Hardly any coverage by media; people banding together to help feed each other’s livestock the National Guard flew hay to stranded herds etc. However, missing were the riots and children asking for assistance from the President and the people needing handouts and living in FEMA trailers five years later. Same deal with flooding in TN recently or flooding in Red River area etc.

As for crime and guns – the 10 law enforcement professionals that cover the County in which I reside could take 45 minutes to an hour to respond to an “emergency” depending on where they are in the county at the time of the call. Everyone here is armed, a lot have CCW (as do I) and more carry open on their properties when doing their rounds/chores. Missouri has castle doctrine and no retreat laws and immunity from civil litigation in the use of force in those situations. There was one murder last year and it was domestic. The most common form of theft is livestock and that tends to happen on the properties that have herds but no domicile on the property. Armed robbery won’t happen since every shop owner likely is packing.

The government hates self sufficiency; it is antithetical to the nanny state. Personally, I think I could go the rest of my life never going into a city of any appreciable size again and be quite content.



posted on Apr, 12 2011 @ 09:17 PM
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reply to post by Golf66
 


Funny that we agree so closely and your location says NW Missouri, and I grew up in SW Missouri!

When I hear "Midwestern" I think of Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Arkansas, etc. I didn't realize until I moved to Florida that folks on the coasts think Michigan is Midwestern?

Anyhow, you illustrated my point perfectly. Folks band together and persevere, they have no need for government interference. Even the TSA is an unneeded hassle. Let some good country folks carry their CCW or Open-carry on the plane, and there won't be any hijackings, any arse-pinching of the flight attendants, or any half-crazed drunk trouble makers causing a flight diversion. 4 or 5 farmer/ranchers with their guns at their hips, and expect a nice and quiet flight!

I've been shot at myself out in those old farmhouses. Teenagers think mailbox bashing, cow-tipping, and sneaking their girlfriend into an old barn is fun, but the farmers don't think so. I know more than one friend that got to pick buckshot out of their rear-end and legs! No police ever got called.

I once got caught "muddin" in a classmates front yard, and tearing it up pretty good. No police showed up, but I spent the next 4 Saturdays raking, shoveling, fixing everything I tore up!

I was there for the 1993 floods along the Mississippi. I was there for many an Ice Storm. I was there for some major tornado nights. "Natural" disasters in the Midwest are exactly that. Natural. And the recovery is natural as well. Folks band together, get charitable, make sacrifices, and persevere.
edit on 12-4-2011 by getreadyalready because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 12 2011 @ 09:26 PM
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Wow, what utter crap. Moonshiners and pot farmers are criminals? Maybe the headline is correct?



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