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Veteran Advisor

Free Speech - Will It Stifle Ag?

We're learning as Facebook, Google and even internet providers shut down people that free speech isn't free.  Oh, it's somewhat free at the government level, but not at the private level.  We've all seen the confusion over what can be said in schools.  The kids all think they have free speech but the teachers are worried about the Nazi sympathizer starting a riot - rightfully so.


We in agriculture have seen the misinformation and disinformation around BSE (oh, let's call it something non-controversial, like mad cow disease), ALAR (we don't need no proof), Pink Slime (whats a few million dollars - think of how much our readership improved) GMO  (if it's the same but I don't understand it, it must be wrong).


What happens when enough people in say the state of Maine decide that some pesticide which they've decided to ban can't even be discussed?  What about when PETA starts trying to limit ads that some packing plant will take your old horse?


This may seem far-fetched, but social media and idiocy is causing knee jerk reactions which end up being the precedent to limiting speech just because one person doesn't agree with it.

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17 Replies
Honored Advisor

Re: Free Speech - Will It Stifle Ag?

Sunshine is the best disinfectant and honesty is always the best policy.

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Re: Free Speech - Will It Stifle Ag?

Anyone with any experience regarding conservation or environmental policies as they would involve Ag should have immediately recognized what they were hearing when the response of the reactionary right to the events in Virginia was referred to as "whataboutism".

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Honored Advisor

Re: Free Speech - Will It Stifle Ag?

I don't think the USA owns the internet.  Or is exclusive in it's content.  Or does it have any social rules..........or US laws........  It is strictly controled by me........ like it or not.  


So I doubt a concept of free speech applies.......... we are way into "What the market will bear"  which usually relates to $$$$


If Facebook thinks it will damage their bottom line it will cut what it wants.  There are no personal rights on the internet, not even among a captive group.  It was strictly a "Public Relations" reaction to an event that wasn't worth the media time or the media restriction of the application of the rule of law.  The moment physical violence commence the personal rights need to end.


Living under  "Knee Jerk" law has been present for a long long as the sensational story has sold papers.    And the internet just gives every knee a bigger platform and every observer a bigger appraisal of his own opinion .  The "helter skelter" of the information age.


Isn't it much ado about nothing?... in reality...................if you (or we) haven't got the integrity to control what we see and read why on earth do we expect the guy with a camera or the keyboard to supply us with something good?


Facebook----- two years ago I could see cobler recipes, cute kids videos and bigoted hatred on the same thread from a "friend" on Facebook. I guarantee you a larger variety of hatred than cobler.   Which brings on former friends very quickly...... 

Friends........... I have a few very good ones .......... but what is on facebook is not a group of friends -- I keep that number low..  and I police it very closely because in fact I control what they say to me.  But most on social media don't understand that.  They think everyone has the right to say anything they want............and everyone else should control themselves......... except me of course                  ......... There is no free speech right on my social media....


Greater freedom and more information access means more personal responsibility ................... unless we want to live in a socialist police state or a hitler style government, control it yourself.   And if it eats and warps the mind of a weak person...... so be it...... that is personal freedom........ freedom to make mistakes.... occasionally big ones.....freedom brought on by the power to access the internet.  This news event was not even nationally news worthy, outside of using it as a tool to promote a political agenda.  There is a pile of excrement to take pictures of in every region.... This one should have been left to local authorities.      Unfortunately, it was probably to some degree, staged for the camera.


If we are going to fight for anything these days, lets try to regain control of education on the local level.  The expectations need to go back up for those of us who are not in the ruling class.















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Veteran Advisor

Re: Free Speech - Will It Stifle Ag?

SW, the Chinese government is showing what can be done to control the internet.  The issue is that you can't just say what you want to say.  And the question is, where does it go and where does it stop?


Controlling education at the local level.  Well, there's a nice uncontroversial topic.  I'm sure we can all agree.  Let's see:


No prayer in schools

No religious holidays in schools

Basically no religious symbolism like crosses, star of David, etc as jewelry or on your T-shirt

No religious songs in the choir or in the band/orchestra

Uniforms, like Navy pants/skirt (knee level or lower) and white shirt/blouse

No creationism


How are we doing so far?


OK, next stage:  How about some things as they are done in Germany?


No meals in schools.

No sports - PE is OK.  Sports done by local clubs

No band/orchestra - local organizations

Just education - start at 0730 and end at 1300 and go home.  You can have a snack mid-morning.


Is everybody with me on local education so far?



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Honored Advisor

Re: Free Speech - Will It Stifle Ag?

You totally miss the meaning of Local..... or can't remember past the clinton administration.    That first list did not appear locally  it appeared when education became dictated from the federal level...


The second list is ok with me if that is what the local community wants........ but You and I both went to school when the local tax base paid for school and the local school board had the authority to make those decisions...... we still had meals, sports, etc etc     


 Germany is not local........ and we have no business passing judgement on their educational choices...


Nor do we have any business telling a county in texas not to have sports or how to dress or not to pray....... or anything else.


The federal nonsense is a mess we will all end up like the southern states where there are two educational systems------- public and private...... because the federally dictated public is a failure...


This is an issue that is newer and more realistic in Kansas where local control is not so far back in history......   This pot of water has had the heat turned up on it gradually for a long time.


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Veteran Advisor

Re: Free Speech - Will It Stifle Ag?

I went to one of those narrow-minded little rural school districts and am still finding out how badly it served me.  When I got out of the Army, my kids came from a German school to the same little district.  Although my family has been here over 100 years, they were foreigners.  A few years later we moved to a larger school district where were many different kinds of kids.  My children suddenly got friends and were accepted.  They begged me not to go back to the local school.  I found out a valuable lesson - it's easier to change schools than to change a school.


If local control means creationism, the star quarterback and home coming queen, I won't object so long as my kids aren't forced into it.

Honored Advisor

Re: Free Speech - Will It Stifle Ag?

I have never met a bad teacher, I`ve heard about them in "other places" but all I`ve met have cared about kids and are competent.  This "evolution theory vs creation" debate, okay the problem is most people including preachers don`t understand creationism well enough that they should ever be teaching it. Evolution is a fantasy that as a student you have to play along with, with your fingers crossed behind your back to get that piece of paper from a higher learning establishment that says you are qualified to have a job that starting salary is $120,000.  So it`s a Kabuki dance that`s a damned mess...,learn to read and understand the Bible and that`s what you need and let the chips fall where they may.


But, I had teachers that at the time I didn`t like because they were hard on me and they were, but I came to realize they were the one`s that cared about me the most and saw through my natural "charm".  A Christian, biology teacher explained evolution as "living things change" and that is true, we sprayed Roundup on waterhemp for years and now we have super waterhemp  ....evolution Smiley Happy 


But there are "square pegs" that didn`t fit it, but there are opportunities for them now like a virtual high school.  I knew one gal that did that and concentrated on her figure skating and she`s no dummy.   But the social skills learned on the football field and volleyball court and prom king and queen are about as valuable as the classroom.  



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Honored Advisor

Re: Free Speech - Will It Stifle Ag?

There lies the problem..... most everything folks complain about have nothing to do with education..... for the most part they are social issues.  


There was a remedy for a creationist school for Jim's family at the time.  They had the freedom to decide to make a change.  Choice was there...... They chose to educate in a different location.   Now that it is dictated from the federal gmt ,  The direction we have is to eliminate choices.  Education now is social engineering not teaching independent thought. 

I know a college history professor, today he is reading history books submitted for use by his classes by the college every summer.  Over the last few years he has rejected 2/3 of the material he has received for containing false accounts of actual historical events.  History gets rewritten as often as the definition of organic changes....  when the US government controls education.


Jim also seems to be comfusing the issue of private or public schools....... My original thought was that things were much better when public schools were locally directed.    


But education is not social or private, urban or rural, my opinion on the unseen or any opinion,.........  it is about using our brains to process information, to discern what is valuable information and what is not, to question what we read and hear, to improve communication, to make decisions based on research, science, math, physics, biology.......................... not having a friends network.

All the things we get our butt kicked in compared to other countries.

Education has nothing to do with liking our school or a good social network... or coddling to the whims of child or parent.  It is about presenting an opportunity to learn skills that prepare us for making a worthwhile contribution to society.  And leaving the responsibility for success  with the child and parent.  

Spend a few months interviewing and reviewing resumes and get a feel for the devaluation of an education in the US.   It has been a stark change in the last 30 years.       Social networking is the fatal virus of the technical age with it's overwhelming addiction.  


What % of the applying work force can understand herbicide labels and work the formula's to mix and spray in a farm field?   

What % of job applicants can ignore a cell phone during an interview?

What % of the work force can read a set of financial statements?   Or even know what they are?       I was taught in 9th grade basic math.

How many below the age of 40 know what a periodic table is?   Hint......... not a female health term.......   


There is nothing more depressing than  interviewing job applicants and seeing how little they learned in the process of getting that diploma.  

Or addressing a class of agriculture students at a junior college and getting a clue of how little basic education they have.


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Honored Advisor

Re: Free Speech - Will It Stifle Ag?

I think some schools have disciplinary problems and that is the parent`s fault, they dump off the little juvenile delinquents off and the only structure the kids see is the 7hrs at school.  When I was a kid, I wasn`t so much I was afraid of teachers or the big bad principle as much as I was afraid of my folks if they were ever told what trouble I would get in.  But looking back it wasn`t so much I was afraid of my folks as I didn`t want to disappoint them, so the trouble I would get in was minor enough they wouldn`t be called   Smiley Happy     But where kids don`t have the parents as a backstop, it`s a real mess. 


But there`s the "common core" crap where do-gooders want all the kiddos on the same page with liberal global warming crap and other fallacies of revisionism history.  There`s an old saying that "The winners of wars write the history books"  well, the last 50yrs a unbeknownst cultural war has been guess who`s now "writing the history books"?  

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