Thursday, July 31, 2014

Missouri's Amendment 1 is a cruel, dirty trick

It's also badly written.  It actually says that any individual's right to farm is subject to any "duly authorized powers" under Article VI of the constitution of the State of Missouri. 

This is the actual language of the Amendment:  "Section 35. That agriculture which provides food, energy, health benefits, and security is the foundation and stabilizing force of Missouri's economy. To protect this vital sector of Missouri's economy, the right of farmers and ranchers to engage in farming and ranching practices shall be forever guaranteed in this state, subject to duly authorized powers, if any, conferred by article VI of the Constitution of Missouri."  source

Article VI confers the powers of city and county governments, and is titled "Local Government."  I don't know what "if any" means in this context, because when an article describes the governmental powers granted to counties and cities by the State, there are definitely "any" duly authorized powers.  So it says that any city or county can pass laws that nullify a person's right to engage in farming and ranching practices.  Amendment 1 explicitly sanctions the authority to nullify the right that the Amendment pretends to guarantee.

It is fair to say that the HSUS and similar organizations are very useful for driving farmers off their land so that land developers can get the land cheap, to build housing developments and business parks.  The city and county governments contribute police and sheriff's officers to the HSUS and other organizations to conduct abusive, shameful raids that result in poverty and homelessness for thousands each year, people who earned their land and who raised animals for a living.  These are farmers and ranchers who they attack.  Amendment 1 sanctions this practice.  The city and county governments want this sanction so that they can carry on business as usual while destroying whoever they want, by bad zoning laws and selective enforcement of humane laws.

To make this ballot measure good, delete every word that comes after "forever guaranteed in this state."  A constitutional Amendment is SUPPOSED to usurp the "authority" and "duly authorized powers" of government, and prevent government from doing things, just like the Bill of Rights.