Lets end the politics and get back to the land (misc.)

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Fellow Forum Participants, I sincerely hope I don't offend anyone with this posting, but I feel that I must present my observation before this forum as we know it is gone forever. The topics the last two weeks have either been political in nature or a seemily non political subject has become maligned by politics. I have even found myself falling into this trap. I know we all have varied political views and affiliations , but we also have a common thread, homesteading and farming. The varied personalities was what brought me here a month ago. With such a large group , you are practically guaranteed a slew of good info for a problem , except when you are talking politics. I was looking in the unanswered posts and saw one titled "This forum is what?" and it described where Northern Exposure had this site listed as a survival tool (or something similar to that). If someone were to come to this site now with all the politics, would they consider us a survival tool? This forum should be a means of furthering our homesteading skills first and foremost. Remember when we were told that religion, sports and politics were subjects to be avoided? With that in mind, I will try to only post homesteading related questions. In closing, should anyone ask my political affiliation, I will say I belong to the "Equestrian Reform Party and our party symbol is a horses' rump.

-- Jay Blair (jayblair678@yahoo.com), July 31, 2000


I find that there is nothing wrong with the political side of this forumn ..... keeps MY brain muscles working, I mean life is more than just sheep, gardens, and new recipes. The thread line pretty much stated when it is something political so my opinon is that if your not interested than don't open that thread.

-- kelly (kellytree@hotmail.com), July 31, 2000.

I dont see anything wrong with the political posts either. But i must admit I am growing weary with them. It's an election year so I understand why they are here. I probably wont be looking at them as much since I have a pretty good idea where I stand and a pretty good idea where the rest of you stand. It's becoming redundant. Dont take offense as I really like and respect all of you.

-- Denise (jphammock@msn.com), July 31, 2000.

If you go back into the archives and look, you'll notice that this request comes up every couple of months (and there's also requests for people to put meaningful titles on their posts, as well as other repeats).

I reckoned that this forum is like the old country store where folks drop in from time to time. Some pretty much hang out all day; some drop by for mail; and some hardly ever get to "town" but say hi when they do make it in. Of course the topics will be homesteading (farming) related, but they just as easily will be about the weather, politics, or whatever dog is loose in town. It's just how folks are, and what's important to them. Sure, there's other forums on the 'net for talking politics, but for the most part we like each other here, as we have gotten to know each other. It's kind of an intentional cyber-community!

I just go with the flow these days. Sometimes I participate, sometimes I don't. At least we don't talk about the bad color that "Mabel's" hair turned out, or gossip about "Beulah's" new boyfriend.

AND, if people WOULD put a title on their post that reflects what's truly in it, one could easily skip the political ones...

-- sheepish (rborgo@gte.net), July 31, 2000.

I wish to comment only on this:

"If someone were to come to this site now with all the politics, would they consider us a survival tool?"

Yes. Real survivalists, unlike the imaginary type on tv, are all some form of homesteaders. All survivalists are political animals.

I dont know where I picked up the following or who to atribute it to...

He who fails to prepare for the night, fails to prepare for the dawn.

I am a survivalist and by nature a survivalist is an OPTIMIST. I do not have one pessimistic bone in my body. If what I just said sounds odd to you then you are not yet a survivalist and you do not understand the modern survivalist at all. It has been very difficult to communicate to the public and the mass communications media, the concept of an optimistic, hopeful survivalist.

A fireman is a fireman, not because he believes everything will burn, but because he believes much can be saved. Doctors don't believe in death, they believe in life, and a survivalist is not a survivalist because he believes everything must be destroyed and everyone must die, he believes that life and freedom can be saved, if people of good will are prepared. A fireman does not start fires, a doctor does not make disease and a survivalist does not make disaster.

Crime, disease, war, revolution, fire, flood, periodic financial collapse and famine are the results of nature and the nature of man and unfortunately are not within the power of anyone on this earth to prevent.

We all know that the sun will set each day, leaving us in darkness and we all know that warm summers give way to cold winters and that we can do nothing to keep the sun from setting or the cold winds from coming, does this make us pessimistic? I think not! So then, why is the survivalist called a pessimist when he makes ready to face events that are just as much a part of history and nature as the sunset and the changing of the seasons.

Another misconception is that survivalists are predicting world disaster. On the contrary, we seem to be THE OPTIMISTIC MINORITY that is predicting world survival. We are hard pressed to find any well recommended historians, economists, political scientists, sociologists or military strategists that can come up with a scenario that gives even a fifty-fifty chance of avoiding a large scale catastrophe, yet we survivalists dare to be OPTIMISTIC about the future. We survivalists do not need to predict the probability of disaster anymore than we need to predict the sun setting.

Those who criticize survivalists, are like men who refuse to look at a calendar, in the hope that through self-imposed ignorance they can keep from aging another year. "You survivalists will be disappointed if we don't have a world cataclysm." Here is another accusation that is pure B.S. and I could not think of a milder phrase to describe it. We survivalists have loved ones we don't want to see hurt or killed, we have homes we don't want to see destroyed, we are not tools to think that just because we are survivalists a world cataclysm would be fun for us or that we would not experience danger, loss, hunger, injury, cold or even despair and death.

We have spent time and money to improve our chances for survival and recovery from disaster, but we would have a great celebration if some day we could be assured that we had wasted our time. No, we will not be disappointed if there is no disaster to survive, anymore than the Red Cross is disappointed when there are no floods and storms or the man who buys an insurance policy is disappointed when his house fails to burn down.

It may be said that the survivalist would much prefer the pleasant (but unlikely) surprise of being wrong to the (probable) deadly rude awakening that the nonsurvivalist will face if he is wrong.

So, you see the survivalist can not lose because his survival preparations will be of value regardless of what the future has in store. In time of crisis, those who have not prepared to turn to each other, will turn on each other.

It is most regrettable indeed, that many people consider survivalists as a threat and regard them with suspicion and even hostility. This attitude is logically indefensible and is rooted in the nonsurvivalists own sense of fear and guilt. Subconsciously, the nonsurvivalist may hate the survivalist for reminding him of how fragile his lifestyle is.

Now, let's get the facts turned around right. THE MOST DANGEROUS PEOPLE IN AMERICA TODAY ARE THE NONSURVIVALISTS. Every person who has not made provisions for surviving without food, water, fuel and other essential needs from the outside, is a mortal danger to his neighbors.

What will a man do when he and his family are freezing, hungry, thirsty, sick and starving? He may ask or beg his neighbors for help, but when they have no extra fuel, food, water or medicine to give, will he just go back home to die with his wife and kids? What do you think? We survivalists who stock up on food and other supplies, now do a favor to society because what we now buy is replaced on the shelves, so there will be that much more available in an emergency. We survivalists won't be looting and killing for food. We won't be a burden on the medical facilities or a danger to the police. Since we will be able to turn to each other, we will not need to turn on anyone and we may be able to help at least some.

Survival preparation should be regarded as a social obligation, one that every individual owes to his family and community and his nation. The non-survivalist is simply a poor and irresponsible citizen.

So the reality is, that survivalists are optimistic, self- reliant individuals, who cannot help but see the imperative of preparing for the worst possible events, while hoping sincerely, that they won't happen. Today's survivalist is an asset, to his community and to the world and should be proud to be called SURVIVALIST.

Jay, do you see the link now?

-- William in WI (thetoebes@webtv.net), July 31, 2000.

Hi Jay,

99.99999% of the people on this forum live on homesteads that are built on dirt. And politics is all about ______________(fill in the blank). So what's the problem :) ?

I tip my hat to those who post with clear message titles. If they include the word "politics" in the title line, it is easier for me to skip over or dive in, depending on my mood. It's that simple. And that's what draws me to this place. People post simply what they believe whether its aphids on the roses or BUSH(es) in the pasture.


-- Craig Miller (CMiller@ssd.com), July 31, 2000.

Jay I just wanted to stop by and say that your post on survivalists was an absolutely fantastic bit of writing. Thank you for taking the time to write it. As far as, politics on the forum, I enjoy the outlet. I homestead, not only because of my political beliefs, but my political beliefs are so intertwined with the reason I homestead, that I would feel I was presenting myself as half a person if I didn't share how they motivate me. Ditto for my religious beliefs, except that without Christ I am nothing.

Little Bit Farm

-- Little bit Farm (littlebit@calinet.com), July 31, 2000.

Kelly brought up a good point in that the threads should be more descriptive. Looking back ,thats what really overwelmed me. When I looked at the thread on the favorite article out of our current issue, the subject seemed lost to me in the politics. Even though I would not choose to live in a commune, I did find Anathoth Farm of interest for the greenhouse information. You folks are right, it does work our brains and give us insight to each other. Maybe all we need to do is organize our subject lines better. Thanks for listening.

-- Jay Blair (jayblair678@yahoo.com), July 31, 2000.

I would consider it a loss if debating ideas and discussing political positions were no longer done on this forum. Every day I wake up to a world that seems to be clueless and completly unconcerned about the decisions being made in local, state and federal levels. As tho somehow we live in a bubble and nothing our gov't does affects us! When did we decide, as a people, to lay aside our duty and obligation to participate and inform ourselves of what OUR elected officials are doing... to us. I wonder at what point we decided all that is worthy to concern ourselves with is our own comfort and preservation? What of our children/grandchildren? Are we not obligated to inform ourselves and stand on our foundational principles? I am quite certain that our founding fathers and all the soldiers who have fought to maintain our freedom, did so not for themselves (as most of them fully recognized the danger and liklihood they would not live, but for their children and future generations! Why can we not do the same? Is it so hard to avail ourselves of the many outlets available to inform ourselves, that we might make reasoned choices? I say all that to say this... this forum and the people on it are thinking people! It is such an encouragement to me to see so many who have considered and reasoned, even if I do not agree, and have reached a conclusion! As I said, every day I wake up to community, family, friends who never even stop to consider, they react or "feel" a certain way, usually whatever the mainstrem media feeds them. So I love the opportunity to share and learn from others who do care, and are willing to take a stand and express their ideas! I do agree we should label clearly if it is a political thread, so that those who are not interested may tune out. Thanks! Wendy

-- Wendy@GraceAcres (wjl7@hotmail.com), July 31, 2000.

sheepish, all i have to say is how did you come up with a name like "Beulah". no offense to anyone that is beulah's long lost relative but that is one of the funniest names i've ever heard. it made me giggle so much it was worth scrolling thru all the politics. : )

-- Amber (ambrosia75_@hotmail.com), July 31, 2000.

Amber, sometimes I think only God himself is older than I am! I remember some of these names. Beulah is a name that was popular in my gramma's time...names like Sadie, Antoinette, Louisa, Eunice, Lucille, Grace, etc. I like those old names but since I don't have children, my livestock end up with 'em! I have a pair of ducks named Dwight and Mamie! Glad you got a chuckle...it's always good to get a laugh!

-- sheepish (rborgo@gte.net), July 31, 2000.

Let me say it again, we/you, are starting to sound a lot likeBackwoods Home Magazine", where 90% of the conversations is PAP and then there is sometime left for homesteadin, it gives newbies a bad example, a turn off. But then, that is my opinion. If y'all want to waste the rest [our] time with religion and polotics with winter staring us dead in theface, all that canning to do, meat to dry, wood to cut, well just go at it friends.

-- Hendo (OR) (redgate@echoweb.net), August 01, 2000.

politics, religon and weather farmers have been talking over fences forever about these topics as well as crops both vetable and animal and ways of doing things. I really look at this forum as my back fence and the people here as my neighbors. To me the most important issues and views are the ones I disagree with. Why? If all I hear or think about is what I agree with I never have to really think and ponder what I do believe in and why. I like the discussion threads and hope they stay. Like everything else if you don't want to get with these then just scroll on by. As to homesteading information I think there is a lot of it. If you think more is needed then post your own questions or comments even if you have to start a new thread. I think that this forum is great and life is not just about how to do things but includes our beliefs I think these threads on politics, relegon and weather and the great how to information are woven into a great garment that I like to wear. gail

-- gail missouri ozarks (gef123@hotmail.com), August 01, 2000.

I would have to assume most of the blame for creating the first political post. The continueing process I would have to be considered for also. GUILTY ! However, Politics is in every aspect of my homestead and mostly the reason I do it. Tobacco, fertilizer, guns and taxes are all under government control. Homsteading by Countryside's definition is a mindset not a piece of land. J.D. has told us it used to be mostly people of strong religious beliefs but now the tide is shifting. I had privately written Steve before I ever started and told him who I was and what my beliefs were. I told him that many of his readers were militia/farmers in my county and around the world. I believe his reply was-- I like the feelings of both sides of an issue. He has never said differently to this date. I think the "help Me" questions on this forum are answered with equal precision as the political ones. They out number political three to one ! With all the controversial topics we have maintained a level of decency thats is unequaled in the world of the internet's forums. BWH cannot hold a candle to this forum in any realm of human thought. STOP, you say ?? Not until the moderator request it ! Aren't you really advocating banning the first admendment ? I would perfer to hand out medals to all those people who dropped what they were doing and wrote passionate opinions both pro and con to the ideas expressed ! The cons in particular ! I have a large following from Craig County Virginia who read my post's in this forum and could make a pretty good "amem" choir but I ask them not to post with me. I have to agree with some above--if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

-- Joel Rosen (Joel681@webtv.net), August 01, 2000.

Gee, Joel .... my Daddy always tells me: "If you can't stand the heat, get back IN the kitchen!" Snicker! Sorry, ladies - but it does usually bring me up short and make me count my blessings.

I, too, like the political stuff - where else am I going to get this information - newspapers?! (Yeah - right!) Countryside is the only magazine that I subscribe to anymore - the rest aren't worth the money. And this is about the only web site that I visit - I like the format and the people better than any other. I'm sure that some of you have other people in your area that you can get together and talk about homesteading (or politics), but some of us don't have anyone else around that is interested in the same things that we are. The few people that I know in my area (and I've been here 42 years) that might be interested in one thing - like gardening; think that I'm nuts for being excited over my new chickens.

Having such a large group of contributors ensures that when someone asks a question - homesteading or whatever - they will be almost certain to get a response from someone. I occasionally put forth a political opinion, but almost never take part in the religious discussions - they just aren't my thing. I read them all - and I do mean ALL, even when I don't agree with them, or the subject matter seems over my head. Never know when you might learn something! I do appreciate the lack (well, most of the time!) of flaming that I see here. I see by the responses that others have turned away from Backwoods Home for the same reasons that I did - nice to know that it's not just me!

-- Polly (tigger@moultrie.com), August 01, 2000.

I'm in the same boat as Polly -- this forum is about the only place I get any political information. And I enjoy the discussions, even when I don't post to them. A couple of people mentioned that this forum is like neighbors chatting over the back fence, or sitting on the porch in front of the store, and I think that is a good analogy. The factual information is there when we need it, but all this other interesting stuff is there, too. If you start reading a thread, and don't like what it is about, skip on to the next one. Actually, I like this form of discussion very much. If we were all standing around in a group talking, some wouldn't say much, others would get interrupted, etc. This way, we all say our piece without interruptions or being shouted down by others. I think that, for the most part, homesteaders have to be intelligent, well-read, thoughtful people, and I am really glad to have the benefit of all of your thoughts on many topics other than canning or gardening, for instance.

-- Kathleen Sanderson (stonycft@worldpath.net), August 01, 2000.

And to William in WI, thank you for your excellent post on survivalism! That ought to be reprinted and handed out to every person in the country!

-- Kathleen Sanderson (stonycft@worldpath.net), August 01, 2000.

Also to William in WI, I agree with Kathleen- that is an incredible piece of work! I would love it to be required reading for everyone!! Thanks! Wendy

-- Wendy@GraceAcres (wjl7@hotmail.com), August 01, 2000.

My Goodness, but isn't this an interesting thread?! I am guilty of some of Jay's accusations, since I am a bit of a political animal. I fear more those who are apolitical. We should all voice our (in my case very logical) opinions. Hey! If friends can't discuss politics, who can? But I digress! To William: I am a "survivalist" too. My definition is probably closely entwined with "homesteader". We raise MOST of our food. I have a rifle range in the back yard, and use it often enough that all the neighbors know of it. The "troubled" kids in the area know of it too, and I do not do anything to dispell the theory that I am about a half bubble off of plumb. I am, in reality, a big fuzz-ball. Lots of kids come here just to see and pet the animals. The troublemakers come by, too, and ask why I carry a .357. I reply "varmints!". We get along, but they (lowlife) haven't challenged me yet. I suspect they never shall. And by the way, Algore the Inept is a clone of Despicable Bill! But that's not political. It's just the truth. GL!

-- Brad (Homefixer@SacoRiver.net), August 03, 2000.

I have to agree with those who like the political discussions, for as was said, the govt. controls all sorts of aspects of homesteading life. For instance, the recent debate over abolishing the estate tax has intense relelvence for anyone with a large farm and although both sides favor the abolition of the tax, they disagree on the whys and wherefores so much that it will be a while before it passes. Our discussions help enlighten and inform those of us who wish to indulge, while not bothering those who don't (I vote yay for specific posting headers) and there is nothing scarier in the world of govt. than uninformed voters fgiving knee-jerk legislation the power of law.

-- Soni Pitts (thomkilroy@hotmail.com), August 05, 2000.

I'm glad I took the time to really think about this one before I responded. At first I was in complete agreement; although I read every word that everyone takes time to write, I'd rather hear about chickens. But...I have learned a lot lately. If I were in a room having this type of discussion, the first time someone raised their voice, I'd be oughta there. Can't handle confrontation At All! No way I'd participate. I have to admit, you've given me a lot to think about lately. I relly appreciate hearing so many different opinions.

-- Cathy Horn (hrnofplnty@webtv.net), August 05, 2000.

Amen to everyone's comments. This thread has been good reading. And let's not give up talking politics but continue to clearly label it and then others can skip right on by.

-- Colleen (pyramidgreatdanes@erols.com), August 06, 2000.

Yes! Thank you to everyone who has done such a good job of labeling their posts lately. I have been able to skip a whole bunch of the ones I'm not interested in pursuing, and have been able to spend more time reading some that I'm kind of interested in, but always wished I had more time to read! Keep it up!

-- sheepish (rborgo@gte.net), August 07, 2000.

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