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Farmer Joel Salatin: 'We Would Be a Much Healthier Culture if the Government Had Never Told Us How to Eat'

"One of the most rebellious things we can do in our culture now is to spend time in our kitchen," says Salatin.

One of the themes noticeable at this weekend's Liberty Political Action Conference (LPAC) was libertarianism's messaging problem, so to speak. Perhaps this is always a theme at LPAC, I don't know (this was my first rodeo), but it was present with a palpable frustration that I think speaks to fresh wounds. It's been an election cycle where demonizing the Koch brothers has become a major campaign strategy for Democrats and demonizing libertarians has become a major editorial strategy for Salon. It's been a summer where we watched with excitement while folks started actually paying attention to police militarization and abuse—and then nonsensically accused libertarians of staying silent on the issue out of racism. It's been a constant stream of wild and weird allegations of oligarchy-loving, minority-hating, sex-negative, environment-poisoning indifference to poverty. 

Amber Karnes/FlickrAmber Karnes/Flickr

Joel Salatin—farmer, author, activist, provocateur—seemed especially fed up as he spoke at the 2014 LPAC conference Friday. Salatin is a self-described libertarian who gets cited approvingly by the Michael Pollan types of the world because he preaches the gospel of small-scale, pesticide-free farming and home-cooked meals. (Salatin also labels himself an environmentalist, capitalist, Christian, and lunatic.) He was featured in the documentary Food, Inc. and is prone to saying things like this from Friday's speech: "I think that one of the most rebellious things we can do in our culture now is to spend time in our kitchen."

"In (the libertarian) movement, we're accused a lot of being elitists," Salatin told the LPAC audience. It's a charge he also hears about healthy-eating evangelists such as himself. But "the real elitists" are the people who say "we need to tell Americans what to eat."

"We would be a much healthier culture if the government had never told us how to eat," he suggested, bringing up the U.S. Food Pyramid—an advice module that's fallen far, far on the wrong side of nutritional history. "These elitists thought the country was too stupid to know how to eat, how to feed their kids."

In his view, the elitists are also "the ones who want subsidies in the farm program," who "run around telling us that backyard chickens are hazardous", look to "factory farms as the answer", say you can't "build a pond on your farm, that's water hoarding", think farming is only "for those kind of people," deny people the ability to operate stills and grow hemp, and zone people out of running businesses from their own homes or land. The elitists are "the Republicans who want to be in bed with Monsanto" and "the Democrats who want to govern every morsel of food we put in our mouths." 

We hear "you (libertarians) don't care about food deserts," said Salatin, but it's just that we see different solutions than many on the left: 

The anwer to the urban poverty and hunger situation is not government programs and food banks, the answer is all those vacant lots in all the parts of the city... (food) that can then be taken by the neighbors into their own kitchens... They turn that into quiche and pot pies and heavy stews, and sell it in the neighborhood, and they satisfy their hunger from the inside out, not the outside in.

The elitist, Salatin continued, "is the one who promotes a cultural system where if such a thing were to happen, within five minutes five bureaucrats would be knocking on the door" asking about permits and whether the food was made in a certified commercial kitchen. "The elitists are the ones who want to preclude entrepreneurialism (and instead) have somebody come in and protect all these poor people who don't know anything."

"The liberty movement should have taken...a moral high-ground," said Salatin, talking about genetically modified organisms being "fundamentally a property rights issue." But the sentiment seemed to run throughout Salatin's LPAC speech. The ability to grow, cook, and access quality food is so much more than just an idealized good of urban yuppies; it's literally what sustains people, families, and communities. And being able to do these things can bring both health and economic benefits.

Food is one product that people always need, yet many are barred from producing it for themselves or selling it to others in their community because of oppressive regulations. When I say that government policies prevent poor people from helping themselves, I don't mean it in some sort of grand, psychological, welfare-kills-work-ethic way. I mean that our government literally bans people in poverty from not just economic opportunities but from feeding one another and themselves.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    He has a five-year plan to feed us all.

  • AlmightyJB||

    "oligarchy-loving, minority-hating, sex-negative, environment-poisoning indifference to poverty"

    Not that any of these make any sense (although most to be expected 'cause that's all they have) but where in the hell does sex-negative come from? I thought we were mostly associated with pot and sex.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Is it because we don't think free birth control is a "right"?

  • From the Tundra||

    Specifically, Mexicans, pot and butt-sex.

    That's why we're more fun!

  • AlmightyJB||

    I love pot and the latin ladies but just not into number 3:)

  • datcv||

    Homophobe!

  • Irish||

    Since when does a slur have to have any basis in reality?

  • AuH20||

    Just spit balling here, but if I had to guess: We are sex negative because we oppose government mandated "free" contraception, without which no woman is able to obtain birth control and therefore they must have less sex because now all sex results in pregnancy (every time. The rhythm method doesn't exist!).

  • A Secret Band of Robbers||

    The rhythm method exists. It doesn't work, but it exists.

  • Poppa Kilo||

    No, it always works, except when it doesn't.

    Happy to clear that up.

  • A Secret Band of Robbers||

    We're sex negative because we're crypto-conservatives who want to institute a theocracy, just like in The Handmaiden's Tale.

    All the libertarian sex workers, porn stars, and LGBT people you've seen are actors paid by the Kochspiracy in a feeble attempt to obscure the obvious.

  • AlmightyJB||

    The only thing I seem to be able to grow is weeds and not the good kind. I'm not eating weeds. And isn't all produce and livestock genetically modified by centuries of breeding.

  • AlmightyJB||

    What sad is how many people are statist when it comes to food. Like you have to be a professional to grow tomatos that aren't poisenous or something. I met some young kid at a bar, probably just 21. Had a pot leaf on his ball cap. Was for legal pot of course but only if the government grew it and sold it so it was "safe". I ask him if he meant just like the beer he was drinking?

  • blackjack||

    I use that as an example when arguing against the FDA. The only time poisoned pot was ever sold was when the government sprayed it with paraquat. Sleazy scumbags sell good, clean and fresh pot for decades. My lefty friends buy pot from the trunks of cars all day, but they insist the gov't "regulate" their food. Then they say they'd "feel" better if the gov't were watching over the cartels, like food, LOL.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Also, everytime I see one of those Gorden Ramsey shows I wonder what exactly state kitchens actually do?

  • Irish||

    Kentucky has an anti-semitic write-in candidate for Senate whose slogan is 'with the Jews, we lose.

    Robert Ransdell, is campaigning as a write-in U.S. Senate candidate in Kentucky. Emblazoned on his campaign signs is the hate-filled slogan, “With Jews We Lose!” While Ransdell knows he can't defeat Mitch McConnell or Allison Grimes, he says the purpose of his campaign his to spread his anti-Semitic message.
  • Sevo||

    ..."he says the purpose of his campaign his to spread his anti-Semitic message."

    Yeah, I guess the world hasn't gotten enough of that yet.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Does he go by the handle Bo Cara online?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Beat that imaginary dead horse Al, beat it!

  • Gene||

    "The liberty movement should have taken...a moral high-ground," said Salatin, talking about genetically modified organisms being "fundamentally a property rights issue."

    Kinda like a big hemp field next door to a fine plot of sensimillia.

  • Ken Shultz||

    That Salatin guy is a really hard guy not to like.

    "It's been an election cycle where demonizing the Koch brothers has become a major campaign strategy for Democrats and demonizing libertarians has become a major editorial strategy for Salon."

    I've long defended a working hypothesis, around here, that the two big parties actually strive to become the caricatures their opponents make them out to be. If the Democrats accuse the Republicans of being a bunch of homophobic rednecks, there are plenty of Republicans who will suddenly show up at tractor pulls--for the first time--wearin' their homo-hatin' hats.

    Likewise, accuse the Democrats of being elitist Marxists, and there are plenty of them who will do everything they can to actually become that stereotype.

    I can't help but notice that the Republicans are--slowly--becoming more comfortable with libertarians, certainly more so than they were during the Bush Administration. Yeah, that's further support for my theory--keep denouncing the Republicans Party as a bunch of libertarians, Salon! Once you convince enough Republicans to become what you accuse them of being, there won't be any stopping us.

  • ||

    Yes. believe that many didn't even realise what libertarianism is and are now being exposed to it for the first time.

    Many here in Texas are libertarian leaning without even knowing it.

  • Adans smith||

    How can you be considered elitist when you believe people should be left alone as long as they cause no harm to others?

  • Irish||

    Elitism means letting the little people do what they want. Being a man of the people means constructing an elite that orders them around.

    Don't you know anything?

  • KWebb||

    You must be one of those people who got theirs and just wants to tell everyone else to fuck off!

    Just like that. Individual responsibility is elitist or something.

  • Adans smith||

    I have cold beer and a pizza and am going to watch the Browns game.Never call a Browns fan a elitist.

  • This Machine Triggers Warnings||

    Masochist, maybe. Elitist, never.

  • Ken Shultz||

    You think little people are qualified to make choices for themselves?!

    How do you racists sleep at night?

  • cavalier973||

    Check your White Privelege, please.

  • Adans smith||

    My great grand mother was a full blooded Cherokee,so I got that going for me

  • Sevo||

    Adans smith|9.21.14 @ 11:53AM|#
    "How can you be considered elitist when you believe people should be left alone as long as they cause no harm to others?"

    Doesn't matter. Ever try to make sense of a lefty bumper sticker? Sloganeering requires no basis in fact.

  • Aloysious||

    "I think that one of the most rebellious things we can do in our culture now is to spend time in our kitchen."

    I'm rebelling right now. Had a hankering for cinnamon rolls, whipped some up, and into the oven they went.

    More rebellion from the past week: experimented with pizza crust. Added herbs and cheese to the dough; turned out fantastic. Made pork-burgers. Mixed garlic, sweet onions and Savory into the ground meat before grilling. Fantastic.

    I'm up for more rebellion.

  • Ted S.||

    If you really want to be rebellious, make deep-dish.

  • AuH20||

    Question for you: In my own attempts at ham-burgers (ie ground pork burgers) my problem has always been that due to my worries about pork, I've made them too dry. Now, I normally make a sour cream-mustard-pickle sauce for the side, so its not too bad, but I would like to make them a little moister. I need to replace my old internal thermometer, but what temp/color am I shooting for?

    Also, any tips on them in general would be appreciated.

  • Astra||

    Are you buying ground pork or grinding it yourself? I suspect if you bought a big pork shoulder and ground in both the fat and the meat, you would find the results more tender.

    Pink in the middle is still fine for pork (though most Americans will blanch at it) and I think the last case of trichinosis in the U.S. was in the 40's.

  • ||

    look to "factory farms as the answer"

    I wonder, does he mean the factory pig farms that have almost completely eliminated trichinosis? You know, the reason we are now supposedly able to cook pork medium rare without pretty much any danger?

    I haven't the slightest problem with anyone who wants to grow their own food or raise and slaughter their own animals, but there would be a lot less meat available out there without "factory farms". This guy seems pretty decent but he's obviously got his own obsessions much like the "elites" he decries. People with obsessions are always dangerous; they're the ones who are motivated enough--more than the rest of us--to go and affect the things others do or are allowed to do. Obsessive people set off my warning bells.

  • Adans smith||

    you mean modern farming ,you know that rapes mother earth.How can you believe in that just to have a good cut of meat?See,I'm learning

  • sarcasmic||

    My neighbor across the street has a few pigs. He feeds them moldy bread from the his friend at the bakery and who knows what else. I will not be inviting myself to dinner at his place. However I do like my factory farm raised pork.

  • ||

    I would eat your neighbors pork anyday over the antibotic and hormone infused grocery store pig.

    Have you ever eaten some feral hog ? They're best when trapped and then fed out on corn for a couple of weeks to get the acorn taste out of the meat.

    Salatin is a pretty cool guy. I've read several of his books and also raised some chickens using his chicken tractor method. It makes for some tasty birds.

    I wish there was a farmer like him who lived close by now that I no longer live in the country.

  • A Secret Band of Robbers||

    Yeah, Salatin is a quiet libertarian treasure. He's one of the people in the farm-to-table movement who are 1) pretty reliably (thin) libertarian and 2) influencing others who aren't exactly going to pick up Rothbard on the weekend to follow his lead.

    Moldy bread is fucking pristine compared to what grocery store pork eats.

  • datcv||

    I had polyface farm breakfast sausage yesterday morning and it was f'n delicious.

    One of the perks of living in central virginia.

    There is a local butcher, Rockbarn in Arrington VA that also produces some damn good bacon.

  • ||

    I'm not sure that's fair. We all have our own obsessions. Wouldn't you consider yourself an obsessive anarchist?

    Libertarians will likely always project that another's stated desires are one step away from being stated policy objectives. And that's relatively rational, given history. But still, I think there's some room for benefit of the doubt when obsessions are taken in context to an individual's history.

  • ||

    I don't think you understand what projection means. Your statement would mean that libertarians are projecting their own desire to make their desires stated policy objectives. That's sort of the exact opposite of what a libertarian is.

    Also, "obsessive anarchist" is kind of an oxymoron. I can't obsessively be an anarchist, I either just am one or I'm not.

  • sarcasmic||

    Sure you can. It's like the difference between someone who simply lacks faith and someone who obsessively hates all things religion. They both call themselves atheists, yet the latter gives the former a bad name.

  • KWebb||

    I wonder, does he mean the factory pig farms that have almost completely eliminated trichinosis?

    Probably the factory farms and processors that have captured their regulators and have gotten one and only one way of production enshrined into law.

  • ||

    Sure, just like the massive farms that get subsidies. They still feed a ton of people. The crony capitalism aspect is shitty, but not even remotely my point. Without (unfortunately cronyist) factory farms and the like, many people would starve. The crony part could be taken away and they'd still feed a ton of people.

  • A Secret Band of Robbers||

    Try rephrasing that as "existing factory farms."

    The cruelty, mediocrity, and insane levels of "oops lol our retaining ponds broke into the scenic river again" water pollution that get ignored because the state agrees to look the other way are not necessary parts of factory farming.

    Since factory farming is one of the most blatantly cronyistic parts of the economy outside of defense and civil engineering contracts, I'm willing to give Joel a pass.

  • LibertarianTreehugger||

    I could be wrong, but I don't think it was factory farms that eliminated trichinosis. Actually, trichinosis still exists. It's just that you can avoid it by properly cooking the cut of meat.

    But speaking of industrial pig farms:

    http://articles.mercola.com/si.....virus.aspx

  • Ken Shultz||

    Never mind that he's openly criticizing government in everything from EBT to farm subsidies, let's nitpick everything he says--that maybe could be interpreted in some way that might not conform to dogma?

    I'd rather watch football.

  • Ted S.||

    I'd rather watch football too than have the media criticize Roger Goodell for not being the judicial system.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Someone should do a piece exploring the relationship between taxpayer financing for stadiums and such--and their belief that they should have a say in how the NFL conducts its business.

    It's one thing to claim it's a private business and a private matter. Another to claim it's none of my business--even after you took money out of my paycheck.

    I want to keep the wall up between private and public sectors as much as anyone, but, by golly, the NFL has made its bed. I'm not sure how sorry I feel for them havin' to sleep in it.

  • AuH20||

    Well, Goodell is hilariously idiotic.

    http://profootballtalk.nbcspor.....stigation/

    "“I respectfully disagree,” Goodell said. “You are questioning the integrity of the director of the FBI. Yes, that firm has represented us in the past. They have also been on the other side in litigation against the NFL. So this is a highly respected individual, the longest serving director in the FBI.”

    Yes, because all of those guys have been so trust worthy! Like J. Edgar Hoover!

  • Metazoan||

    "The liberty movement should have taken...a moral high-ground," said Salatin, talking about genetically modified organisms being "fundamentally a property rights issue."

    What does this actually mean? Is he pro- or anti-GMO? Because GMO is a major factor in being able to actually feed the world.

  • Ken Shultz||

    If he doesn't think GMO is a good idea, why would he want us to think of it, primarily, as a property rights issue?

    What are you--some kind of anti-libertarian utilitarian?

    Do you think people should be forced to grow GMO against their will--because it benefits the most people?

    I think he's right. GMO is a property rights issue. And you should be able to do what you want with your own property. That's why they call it "property".

  • Metazoan||

    Of course, don't put words in my mouth. I never said people should have to grow GMO crops, and its very disingenuous to suggest I did. I just find the pseudoscientific opposition to GMO (and by that I mean requiring labels or even bans) very frustrating and intellectually bankrupt. Of course, it's anyone's right to believe it and say those things, but it's also mine to point out that it's stupid.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I never said people should have to grow GMO crops, and its very disingenuous to suggest I did.

    Here's what I said:

    "Do you think people should be forced to grow GMO against their will--because it benefits the most people?"

    For goodness' sake, it was a rhetorical question.

    "I just find the pseudoscientific opposition to GMO (and by that I mean requiring labels or even bans) very frustrating and intellectually bankrupt."

    Speaking of putting words in other people's mouths, he didn't say he was opposed to GMO in any way. In fact, he said it should primarily be a property rights issue (apparently instead of pushing the utilitarian argument), and there isn't anything unlibertarian or anti-GMO about that.

    You know what one my pet peeves is?

    Nitpicking fellow libertarians in the news for advocating libertarian positions.

  • Metazoan||

    Well, to continue the pedantry, in my original post, I said:

    What does this actually mean? Is he pro- or anti-GMO?

    which implies that I was not actually assuming either way. What I should have added in the next sentence was that I brought up the issue because I find it frustrating, and perhaps I'm a bit oversensitive to it. That he doesn't take a coercive stance on it settles the issue for me.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I appreciate that, and I apologize if I came out too harsh.

    I do have an honest question, not just for you but for anybody who cares to answer...

    I'm seeing what looks to me like latent animosity towards this guy right out of the gate. And what I mean is that I don't think some of us seem to want to give him the benefit of the doubt--from square one.

    I suspect that has something to do with him self-identifying as an "environmentalist".

    Do you think that might have contributed in any way to maybe not being willing to give him the benefit of the doubt?

    I sometimes get the same reaction myself, around here, when I call myself an environmentalist libertarian. Without going into the details of whether that's possible, I'd be real interested to hear if some of my fellow libertarians just don't believe that's possible.

    Fact is, there are libertarians who think capitalism is the solution to our environmental problems (just like it's a great solution to so many other problems), and that protecting the environment is too important a job to leave to the government. But I seem to come across more libertarians all the time who read the word "environmentalist" as if it a synonym for "communist".

    How many of you think environmentalism is incompatible with libertarianism (or capitalism), and to what extent does that influence your reaction to libertarians who self-describe as "environmentalist"?

  • Dances-with-Trolls||

    Environmentalist, like Liberal, has been re-defined by various versions of statists and outright totalitarians to mean something that supports their agenda. It elicits an emotional reaction in people because of that common usage association. What that emotional reaction is depends on the beliefs of the individual in question.

    Not everyone, of course, is going to react this way, but largely it is the case, just as it is the case with many other words and phrases in our society that have been seconded to political factions.

    I would recommend "conservationist" for an environmentally inclined individual who wishes to avoid this problem, and, imo, be more accurate about their desires.

  • BuSab Agent||

    I use the word conservationist to describe myself to avoid the baggage that the word 'environmentalist' now has attached to it. The best way to preserve nature is for every part of it to have a clearly delineated caretaker with a stake in its continued existence i.e. property rights.

  • A Secret Band of Robbers||

    Like "liberal" or "feminist," I self-apply the term "environmentalist" when it makes more sense than explaining my point of view. Usually, it matters most to people who take it as a statement of identity rather than a system of belief.

    I find that in general, it's easier to sabotage the left's collectivism by being a dissenter within their ranks than trying to explain your differences and hoping that they get it. Too many lefties are simply incapable of thinking or even being polite if they think of you as outside the tribe.

    And yes, I'm pretty much stuck with the left, so I'd better find ways to coexist with them.

  • Metazoan||

    Well, for my part, I would probably say that my (admittedly over the top) response came from interacting with some other libertarian groups making the argument that GMO laws were actually the libertarian solution (?!).

    Otherwise, I do think that capitalism is far better for the environment. But you do bring up an interesting point--when I hear environmentalist, I don't usually think free market, and I'm not sure what causes that.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    For what it's worth, I've heard anti GMO people argue that it's virtually impossible to keep GMOs from contaminating non GMO crops and this could be interpreted as a violation of property rights.

  • A Secret Band of Robbers||

    This isn't true in any particularly meaningful way--genetic pollution happens constantly, and GMO mutations aren't especially dangerous or unnatural--but it's a valid point of view.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I certainly don't think environmentalism is incompatible with libertarianism. A lot of things environmentalist oppose can be seen as violating the NAP (dumping pollutants onto others property), and one can promote many environmental goals without an appeal to coercive measures. Groups like the Nature Consevancy do this.

  • ||

    I've read several of Salatin's books. He is an enviromentalist of the type who owns his own land, not of the type who blows up auto dealerships.

    The guy is committed to raising good quality pure food. You can go to his farm and buy his roducts. He has pioneered the small farm method of selling direct to the consumer and bypassing the government regs. If you want to buy his chickens you have to order in advance as his production is sold out in advance and you have to pick them up at his farm with your own containers. They will clean them for you for an extra fee. He kind of invented a way of raising chickens in moveable pens that are dragged across the pasture from time to time. They eat the bugs in the fields and scratch the ground which promotes grass growth and of course fertilize it as well. He then runs his cattle in behind the chickens to dine on the fresh grass growth.

    He's a smart man and sets a good example for small farmers.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    He has pioneered the small farm method of selling direct to the consumer and bypassing the government regs.

    Ridiculous - this was going on before make governmental regulation and continued in spite of any regulations since.

    People around here have been purchasing cows directly from the farm, ordering the cuts they want, etc, etc for all over 60 years.

  • LibertarianTreehugger||

    Great comment!

    As a libertarian, environmentalist and energy analyst this is something I confront every day.

    I think it's unfortunate that we have allowed the left to control the narrative on sustainability. But the blame rests on the shoulders of anyone who buys the illusion that free markets and the cause for sustainability are at odds. I would argue that it is in the presence of a real free market that we see the most potential for the health of our planet.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    I think he's saying it's none of the government's business either way.

  • sarcasmic||

    aye

  • Metazoan||

    fair enough, then

  • jdfinct||

    From everything i have read by him he is anti GMO personally but does not see the need for government to ban them or force labeling, but he is a strong property rights advocate and feels that if you grow organically and say a local GMO farm cross contaminates your crop you would be able to sue them for damages much like if one of their bulls got loose and ran amok on your farm.

  • LibertarianTreehugger||

    Exactly!

  • Irish||

    Holy fuck, the people at Climate March cannot be parodied.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    They've gone full-retard.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Or

  • ||

  • Metazoan||

    Wait...anti-nuclear at the climate change march? You'd think that, given their aversion to CO2 emissions, they might like a source of energy that produces very little CO2, a lot of electricity, and contained waste.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    But teh nukular wastez!!!

    They find it much more ecologically friendly to cover a landmass the size of North Dakota with solar arrays or a piece of land the size of South Carolina with windmills. No environmental problems there. Cleeeeean enerjee!

  • Dances-with-Trolls||

    You'd think that if you believed that their stated purpose was their real purpose.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    You really think? I'm not so sure.

    What would their real purpose be? End humanity? Go back to living in caves? That might be the result of their policies but I don't think it is their intention.

    I think they are actually well intentioned. Their problem is that they are fucking unbelievably ignorant.

  • ||

    They're not well-intentioned; if they were, they'd work to not be ignorant. I think they're insanely, beyond-your-comprehension self-involved and do everything they do for their own ego, issues, and self-satisfaction. Just like all obsessed people.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Fair point.

    I'm obsessed. I'm obsessed with leaving others and being left alone.

  • sarcasmic||

    They're well intentioned. Most people are. As Will Smith said, even Hitler didn't wake up in the morning and ask himself what the most evil thing he could do that day might be. He truly believed that what he was doing was good. Thing is, when people back up their good intentions with violence, they pave the road to Hell.

  • ||

    I completely and totally disagree. Hitler didn't wake up thinking that he was doing good. He woke up obsessed with his own issues and demons, and spent all his energy on them. He also wasn't going "what evil can I do today"; no one does that. He was going--subconsciously--"what can I do to fill this hole in me or satisfy some obsession that I have?"

    As I said above, that what obsessive people do, and why they are so fucking dangerous.

    HAHAHAHAHAHA ANOTHER GIANTS TOUCHDOWN

  • sarcasmic||

    He also wasn't going "what evil can I do today"; no one does that.

    I don't know about that. I remember a short conversation I had with a toll taker while getting onto the highway in reverence to a state trooper who had pulled someone over just past the toll booth. Apparently the trooper would gloat to the toll taker about how much he enjoyed ruining peoples' days. He got off on being cruel. But that's the exception, not the rule. I hope.

  • A Secret Band of Robbers||

    They're not well-intentioned; if they were, they'd work to not be ignorant.

    For sane people who believe in objective reality, yes. The problem is that these people have trained themselves to believe that intentions are what matters the most, and that reality is a tedious problem for more boring, less morally sensitive people to solve for them, once they've decided what the correct course of action is.

    They remain ignorant not out of malice, but out of a deep-seated belief that the facts are irrelevant.

  • Whahappan?||

    Yes, it's a combination of laziness, ignorance and narcissism that leads to vacuous slogans, mindless talking points and sneering condescension, which they feel should be sufficient to conform reality to their wishes and the benighted masses to their will.

  • Dances-with-Trolls||

    I think it's a mix. There are surely a lot of useful idiots in it for the feels, as well as true-believers who it is impossible to reason with, but the common thread at these climate events is to attack capitalism and the standard of living as we now know it. No matter how many apocalyptic scenarios fail to arise, despite all of the negative environmental and human consequences of their green solutions, and no matter how much corruption is exposed in their standard bearers the one thing that remains constant is the answer: Government Control of All the Things.

    I don't think ignorant is an accurate description, though. If they were just ignorant then the movement would not exist as it does. Environmentalism is the religion of people who have never known real hardship or understand at an emotional level how tenuous civilization and the wealth and security they enjoy actually is. I think that for many it is a quasi-religious quest for meaning, where they can cast themselves as heroes fighting the forces of darkness without ever actually having to be in danger for it. The solutions and sacrifices always seem to be required of others, rather than themselves.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    So, if I understand you correctly, it's being used as a tool to attack ideology. As someone around here often puts it, there are two types of people, those that want to control and be controlled and those that want to leave and be left alone, and this is their way of imposing control.

    I'm sure that's the case at some level. Particularly at the level of political leadership. But I'd say the useful idiots who will believe anything you tell them, and as Epi says, do it for the feelz, far outnumber the puppet masters. Maybe 10 or 20 to 1? And without the mindless sheep, the masters have no power.

    I'm guessing most of the people at that march are the useful idiots.

  • Dances-with-Trolls||

    I'm guessing most of the people at that march are the useful idiots

    I'd agree, but, as their useful idiot status implies, theirs are not the motivations to examine to get a sense of what the movement is about.

  • BuSab Agent||

    " Environmentalism is the religion of people who have never known real hardship or understand at an emotional level how tenuous civilization and the wealth and security they enjoy actually is."

    Exactly right.

  • ||

    Their stated purpose is probably the same as their real purpose.

    Those who are funding them, maybe not so much.

  • ||

    The movement isn't about the environment. The movement is about creating a huge energy shortage and they will control what is available, thus being able to put their boots on our necks.

    They were for natural gas until it became a legitimate source of cheap energy. Now they are against it. If (never gonna happen) solar or wind suddenly proved to be a source of cheap, plentiful energy they would go apeshit and decry it. They want us poor, helpless, and at their mercy.

    That is why they are called watermelons. They are green on the outside and vile, totalitarian fucks at heart.

  • ||

    Cheap energy enables the creation of vast wealth. Vast wealth spread out over society empowers people. In their eyes that is the problem.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I do t find that the average environmentalist thinks that way. They're people who put a high value on conserving resources and natural habitats. Many of them live to do outdoorsy stuff in these areas and they don't want that impacted. Some of them think what they fight genuinely and concretely harms affected communities. Try talking to an anti mountain top mining activist sometime for example -they tend to focus on harms to the locals.

    They're often economically naive and willing to sacrifice real benefits for sometimes vague, hazy ideals, but that describes a lot of social movements.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Here is their disconnect.

    They believe that because mining, energy productions...was harmful to the environment in the past (and it was), that any mining, energy production in the future must harm the environment.

    That is clearly not the case, but it's the crux of their argument.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I agree with that, and it's exacerbated by their seeming inability to think in terms of trade offs.

  • ||

    I wonder if David even knows there never was a Shire in the first place ?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Crazy survivalists are crazy.

    But their world view – which The Washington Post’s Justin Moyer describes as fusing “millennialism, Second Amendment and hard-money advocacy, environmentalism and racism” – can also lead some such thinkers into lonely, dark corners, where the ends may begin to justify the means, says one survivalism expert.

    'There are rare but real dangers in the acts of a tiny minority of racists, antigovernment activists, and anarchist [attackers],' Richard Mitchell, author of 'Dancing at Armageddon: Survivalism and Chaos in Modern Times,' said in an interview with the University of Chicago Press. 'But when genuine violence and conflicts occur they come from outside survivalism, from … individuals separated not only from conventional associations but also from survivalist organizations that these individuals deem unfocused, equivocating, convocations of mere putter-planning.'

    I guess the head Survivalism Analyst at SPLC was too busy to answer the phone.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Also:

    Police on Friday descended on the community where Frein, 31, had lived with his parents, ordering residents to stay inside their homes and preventing anyone outside the neighborhood from returning to their homes. Law enforcement officers wearing bulletproof vests and armed with rifles scoured the woods as helicopters buzzed overhead.

    Fuck you and your insignificant meaningless little lives. The Warrior Caste has been attacked.

  • Ted S.||

    When do all the other murder victims merit a drop-everything manhunt?

  • Dances-with-Trolls||

    It really is offensive, if anyone would ever stop to think about it. I guess a century or so of government propaganda has taken care of that little problem.

  • ||

    WHY DO THE GIANTS SUCK SO MUCH

  • AuH20||

    The don't suck enough, Epi. I mean, they ain't a Yankee level yet.

    /Mets and Bears fan who grew up near New York and is SO TIRED OF FUCKING ELI MANNING GO DIE ALREADY

  • GILMORE||

    I can't get past the "Belt AND Suspenders"

    I mean, we understand that you are a 'farmer'. The hat and glasses were a good start. But no one needs to go Full-Farmer. I mean, overalls? we would let it slide, maybe. why not. But this? for the love of god, pick one! Unless you lost your ass in a tragic alfalfa-thrashing accident when you were a child, there is no conceivable excuse for the necessity of Belts AND Suspenders to keep ones pants on.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    How can you trust a man who wears a belt and suspenders? That kind of man can't even trust his own pants-Henry Fonda

  • AuH20||

    Well, I am really regretting not starting eddie royal today.

  • AuH20||

    Also, WTF with Colston?

  • Homple||

    Are we really to think that the urban welfare classes will solve their problems by taking up inner city subsistence farming?

  • Mendelism||

    Yeah that line struck me as well. I think this links in to what Ken was asking about upthread, why this guy is not getting the benefit of the doubt. For me part of it is that he doesn't seem to understand economics.

  • ||

    He probably has a better understanding of micro economics as it relates to food production than most.

    Read one or two of his books and you will see how off base your comment is.

  • ||

    The point is that even if they wanted to they wouldn't be allowed.

    Because of rulz and things.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Do you think food production for the urban welfare classes is a real problem?

    Last I checked, they were telling us that the problem is that the urban welfare classes are obese!

    Americans pay less for food than people do anywhere else in the world.

    http://www.motherjones.com/blu.....nding-less

    ...even the socialists say so! Their biggest complaint is that the poor have to spend a larger percentage of their income on food than the wealthy do--which is about the most obtuse observation I can imagine.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "The answer to the urban poverty and hunger situation is not government programs and food banks, the answer is all those vacant lots in all the parts of the city... (food) that can then be taken by the neighbors into their own kitchens... They turn that into quiche and pot pies and heavy stews, and sell it in the neighborhood, and they satisfy their hunger from the inside out, not the outside in."

    Yeah, for Americans for whom a lack of food really is a problem, government programs are not the libertarian solution. Teaching people how to feed themselves is a much better alternative...

    I can't find anything wrong with saying that from a libertarian perspective. But some people are so fond of finding fault with other people's libertarian solutions to various problems, I'm starting to question their libertarian credentials.

    Do you really think that government programs are the solution to the problems of the urban welfare classes?

    If not, what's wrong with pointing out some better, more libertarian solutions?

  • Mendelism||

    OK, I agree with everything you wrote, it's just that it seems to me that (free) economies of scale and division of labor are a large part of the reason the urban poor remain well fed. Suggesting that they become farmers on 10% or less of the land area of the city, and that this is going to help in any meaningful way just seems inane. So my main issue is with the "factory farm" hate. But yes, getting rid of government programs, I can get behind.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Ever heard the old adage about how when you're a hammer, every problem looks like a nail? I suppose when you're a farmer, and you see supposedly hungry people living next to vacant lots, it looks like a problem with an obvious farming solution.

    And even if he's only looking at this from an individual perspective, encouraging hungry individuals to learn how to farm isn't a bad idea.

    Haven't you been watching the community garden on Black Jesus?

    NSFW!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QnxmP1Ns1Y

    If he's looking at this from a large scope, philosophical level, teaching people to take care of themselves rather than depending on the government is about the most libertarian thing a person can do.

    Not every solution to every problem has to be all encompassing or the complete solution to the problem forever. Actually, we should probably leave those kinds of solution to the central planners--and let them make fools of themselves without us.

  • Mendelism||

    I appreciate all that, and again I agree with just about everything you're saying, except perhaps for this one minor point.

    And even if he's only looking at this from an individual perspective, encouraging hungry individuals to learn how to farm isn't a bad idea.

    That really depends on whether the cost of producing food using manual labor on a small lot in the city is lower than the cost of going down to the local Safeway and buying it. I suspect for a lot of items in a lot of places, it isn't. So the advice could in fact be harmful. Though I agree, the benefit of the lessons in self-reliance almost certainly outweigh that.

  • Ken Shultz||

    If we're talking about extremely poor individuals, we may be talking about people for whom growing food is easier than obtaining money.

    Growin' up, my folks had a garden, and made us work our asses off in it. As well off as they were, the labor of us kids was practically free--and teaching kids "the value of a dollar" wasn't the worst thing that could have happened to us.

    Even now that the folks are old, they still have a garden. They live in one of the wealthiest enclaves in North County San Diego, and lunch is still in the backyard. Being frugal isn't the only reason they're so well off, but it didn't hurt any.

    Point is that if paying little more for their food than the sweat of their brows still makes sense for them, it probably makes sense for a lot of people who have a whole lot less than they do, too.

    Nobody has to do anything harmful. I don't see anywhere that Farmer Joe is insisting that anybody do anything harmful. And I don't understand why hungry, poor people growing their own food would be harmful.

    But I understand how government programs that trap poor people into a cycle of dependency are harmful.

    When I lived in Central America, most people had a garden. A lot of them kept chickens, too. If poor people here in the U.S. don't know that's an option, that's probably harmful. And EBT isn't a long term solution to people being incapable of taking care of themselves. EBT just perpetuates dependency, and that's harmful.

  • Mendelism||

    Right on. Hey thanks for linking to Black Jesus, hadn't heard of that before but I think Charlie Murphy might be funnier than his brother.

  • AuH20||

    In news that will make Warty happy, Tv Reviewers are loving The Hilary Clinton Show Madam Secretary.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Shocking.

  • AuH20||

    Welp, this article was puke worthy

    Which leads to a question: Whose Eden is this anyway? Because unless you dream of surrendering whatever device you’re using to read this story in order to spend a year sharing a toilet with 14 people, it’s not yours, or mine. The “utopia” that Fox has set up is engineered for people who distrust or resent modern civilization, who want to get away from urbanity and anything that smacks of sophistication so they can return to some imaginary first principles in which men do the building, women grow the vegetables, self-determination is paramount, and government barely exists. Fox has created a world in which outside information is a potential poison that needs to be strictly limited and in which there are no rules but the small handful that everyone agrees are essential.

    That vision isn’t designed to appeal to liberals, progressives, city-dwellers, feminists, or sexual or racial minorities, nor is it politically neutral; it’s an amalgamation of ideas espoused by elements within the conservative and libertarian movements. (Last week, the Washington Post quoted a friend of the libertarian Republican senator Rand Paul to the effect that Paul’s personal vision of utopia is basically America circa 1792 but without slavery. He’d probably enjoy this show.)
  • DesigNate||

    It's become Mrs. DesigNate's and my guilty pleasure. The funny thing is, most of the people seem to be ridiculously liberal. Maybe I'm watching a different show?

  • Redmanfms||

    it’s an amalgamation of ideas espoused by elements within the conservative and libertarian movements.

    What a giant pile of horseshit.

    The "get back to nature" and "simple living" people are overwhelmingly left-wingers. It began with the hippie counter-culture.

    Utopia is a show about a commune for fuck sake. I mean, I suppose the idea of the show is "libertarian" in that nobody is forced at gunpoint to participate (unlike the various cooperative farms littering Communist countries), but it's hardly "an amalgamation of ideas espoused by elements within the conservative and libertarian movements."

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