Missouri Right to Farm amendment one – still a bad idea

Following our earlier posts – click here and here – , we recently have been inquiring of promoters the reasons for their support.

Television advertisements in favor of the amendment have the motto, “Keep Missouri Farming,” as if there were threats to ban farming. No one can reasonably believe that farming itself is under attack. We all support farming and farm families. What then about unreasonable and expensive regulation? Few think that unwise regulation from the state of Missouri – which the Legislature could and would change – is sufficient reason for the amendment. All agree that most unwise regulation comes from Washington, D.C. and that the Missouri constitution would be powerless to stop the Federal juggernaut. Some think that “big farm,” large-scale corporate farming, is behind the amendment and is a threat to smaller, family farms. One legislator denies that the corporation named in a comment, Smithfield Foods, has anything to do with support for the amendment. The support comes from farmers, say the legislators. The Governor believes that the amendment would likely do very little. A prime backer of the amendment agrees with the Governor and believes that the primary benefit of the amendment is to require a higher level of judicial scrutiny than would ordinarily be the case. Continue reading


Retire Hank Waters: the fairgrounds tax editorial

Hank Waters, an elderly scion of the family owning the Columbia, Missouri Daily Tribune, is solely responsible for its editorials. Thursday’s editorial was Fairground Tax: the nature of the opposition.

The title suggests that Mr. Waters will discuss the arguments behind the opposition to the tax and give reasons why he supports it. We expected a balanced, fair treatment of the arguments pro and con. We did not get it. Most of the reasons behind the opposition are ignored and, when brought forward, misstated. His support of the tax often boils down to assertions empty of substantiation. The straw-man opposition is painted as stupid, short-sighted, and acting against its own wishes and interests. This reminds us of the book, What’s the matter with Kansas?, which with typical liberal condescension details how stupid Kansans are to vote Republican against their obvious self interest. Mr. Waters gets so many things wrong that we cannot resist the temptation to respond point by point. But before we get into the sins of commission, we want to highlight those of omission. There are many serious and disturbing issues surrounding this poorly drafted proposal no serious commentator can legitimately ignore. By doing so Mr. Waters’s editorials betray an arrogant disrespect for his audience. He has far too long been a member of the good-ole-boys clique that believes it alone has the right to run local government.

If Mr. Waters refuses to retire, he should at least bring in editorials from guest editors. Continue reading

A strange protest against the Hobby Lobby decision

Pastor Tim Carson of the Disciples of Christ recently published an article decrying the Federal Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision. When a man of the cloth steps out of the pulpit to enter into political debate, he usually reveals why this is not a good idea. Pastor Carson writes within the conceptual fog promulgated by the progressive left, loosely using undefined terms like “the social contract a corporation holds with its workers.” Below we attempt to defog and unpack his arguments.

The main argument appears to be this: the Hobby Lobby decision is bad, because some family-owned corporations exercising their religious freedom diminish, harm, or disrespect the religious freedom of some, but not all, employees by not providing free abortion-inducing drugs in their insurance plans. By this reasoning my exercising religious freedom and not doing what you want me to do may be a violation of your religious freedom. We are not making this up. Continue reading

Missouri amendment 1: the right to farm: follow-up

John Ikerd, retired professor of agricultural economics at the University of Missouri, recently wrote an article strongly opposing the amendment. Readers are encouraged to follow the link and read the entire article. We’ll just cite a few highlights.

  • Constitutions were never intended to give special rights to any particular group of people, but instead to ensure that no particular people, including farmers, are able to deny the inherent rights of others.
  • Agricultural producers already benefit from special right-to-farm ‘legislation’ in all major agricultural states.
  • No economic justification exists for exempting industrial agriculture from the environmental and public health regulations under which similar industries operate.




Photo voter ID – not impractical or burdensome on the poor


More information about photo ID in India. There are a billion voter ID cards in India. Note that the ID is used to determine residence as well as personal identity, as voting outside one’s district is a very common form of voter fraud. Our ID cards can and should be tailored to the laws and rules of the different states. In Mississippi voters who have declared themselves members of a party may not vote in the primaries of other parties. The Mississippi ID should carry the holder’s party affiliation.