The Right to Harm

Someone wants the right to harm my ranch. And they think I'm going to agree to it via catch-22 type legal proposals such as the "Right to Farm" amendment. So, just to make my position clear: if you harm my ranch (and, by extension, me), you will be harmed. Period.

There are several things that make Oklahoma state question 777 important, and several connections here that are easy to see once they've been pointed out. But first you need to learn a few things about the controversy over truly sustainable, organic agriculture.

It's important to understand that this is about controlling humans. And there are no good guys, really. The artificial choice presented is between state control or corporate control. The state, on the one hand, benefits from passing all kinds of laws restricting the right to farm, filled with loopholes for their lobbyists to exploit. On the other hand, big agricultural businesses benefit from having no laws restricting their ability to farm, especially in ways that harm others, including future generations. (Note that both groups are fine with restricting an individuals right to farm.)

Controlling food and water is the most basic way to directly control people. And the state of Oklahoma has made several moves over the past few years to do exactly that. For instance, they proclaimed that all water now belongs to the state. They did this, of course, quietly, and in the middle of a man-made drought. Then their cronies went around sabotaging ponds. Then, as I mentioned elsewhere, someone polluted one of my creeks and diverted the other. They're lucky they aren't all swinging from lampposts right now, frankly.

The proposed amendment says a few specific things, but it's mostly about the right to farm using "implements". What is an "implement"? That's the question, isn't it? A watering can is an implement. So, if you vote against SQ 777, are you against watering cans? A pond might be considered an implement. If ponds are regulated, you can't collect and store any of that water that now "belongs" to the state. I tend to think that rainwater irrigation (at least) is a right, considering that it's been practiced for thousands of years, and in every civilized culture. So, if SQ 777 passes, Oklahoma's water-grab would be formally revoked.

But, then again, a 500 horsepower combine harvester is also an implement. Is that really a "right"? Do you really have a "right" to farm for twenty-thousand people? Do those people get a say, or is someone trying to edify the notion of collective farms? In the most liberal interpretation, genetically-modified organisms, herbicides, fungicides and pesticides could also be considered "implements". Is limiting an individuals right to use those really such a danger, so as to require a constitutional amendment ensuring them? I'd be more than a little bit concerned by my neighbor gardening with certain GMOs, for instance. And is a weather machine an "implement"? I think it is.

Now, that was the easy part. And you can see that it's already a cluster-fuck. But here's where it gets really bad. The devil really is in the details. The amendment would place farming with "implements" in the same category as freedom of speech when it comes to government regulation. That is, regulating it would require the highest degree of justification -- "compelling state interest." That's not a coincidence. In the US Constitution, there are already four other things in the same category as freedom of speech -- press, assembly, petition and religion.

That last one is the important part. Because religion has never really been just about speech, or assembly. And it's always been a target of undue government regulation. What is religion about, then? Well, it's about drug use, for one. Catholics drink wine and eat those moldy crackers. Baptists drink beer and eat oxycodone. Early Christians probably ate magic mushrooms, because they sure drew a bunch of pictures of them. Rastas smoke pot. Muslims and Buddhists smoke opium and, I don't know, other stuff. Snake-handlers seem to get bit a little too often. Dervishes don't even have to do drugs, because they just spin around in circles to get high. (Church of Christ says dancing is evil.) Native Americans eat peyote. Ayahuasca is the drug of choice of the Amazon natives. And Scientologists, well, that seems suspiciously like a DMT cult, if you ask me.

So, here's the crux. Here's what state question 777 is really about, and how it directly relates to the Dees Ranch. Growing organic wheat is about one thing: soil. The soil is left as undisturbed as possible for several reasons. One, to retain moisture. Two, to retain organic matter. And, three, to retain biological organisms such as bacteria and fungi. In order not to disturb the soil, implements such as seed drills are used instead of plows. That's close to the way that wheat propagated thousands of years ago, before the plow. People often wonder how farmers can spray herbicides and also claim to be organic. Well, that's the reason. It's about the soil. If you can't till the soil, you have to get rid of weeds some other way. In addition to improving the soil, those fungi also contribute to the growing plants in ways that we still don't fully understand. And when people eat the grain grown in that soil, it has proven benefits.

When you're dealing with something that we don't understand, something that is the result of cultural practices dating back thousands of years, and which has proven benefits, that's basically religion. And since religion is considered, along with speech, to be an extension of the self that is often trampled by overreaching government, it was afforded a primary place in the Bill of Rights.

So, farming has a lot to do with religion. Farming and religion have a lot to do with the rise of civilization, and with the empowerment of things like nation-states and multinational corporations. (Corporate marketing is infused with lesser magic, for instance.) So when states and corporations begin fighting over farming, it's almost guaranteed not to be on behalf of individual rights.

So here's what I think is a right. I have a right to know that my ranch exists. I have a right not to have it managed into the ground through rule-by-committee, by Wall Street sociopaths or by oligarchical CIA clowns. I have a right not to have everyone around me made obese and unhealthy by gut diseases caused by herbicides liberally sprayed on the grain they consume, or people turned into jobless criminals by being herded into unsustainable megacities, or biological androids literally drugged and mind-controlled by control-freaks in either government or business.

That's my religion. As Al Pacino put it, "I'm a humanist." And I don't care if you want to eat moldy crackers. But if you attack me, I reserve the right TO END YOU.

Now, I know, I know. Many of you are sitting there thinking, "what does any of this have to do with Bitcoin? Farming and ranching and government regulations?" And the answer is that Bitcoin embodies a certain set of philosophical principles. It is a reaction to what the Federal Reserve has morphed into, mainly over the past forty years. And the FED has become what it is today -- a money-printing fraud -- for the sole purpose of stealing real property like the Dees Ranch.

I'm going to continue this discussion elsewhere, in the section on Better Than Cash.

Last Updated on 11/08/16