Stuff about guns…and other ramblings

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Let’s face it; part of being self sufficient is being able to defend yourself. No one likes to think about the possibilities of someone doing them harm but the fact is none of us are exempt from danger and the world is full of misguided souls. My personal choice for protection is a good old fashioned pistol. Sure it’s a good idea to know some martial arts or other fighting techniques. And sure, there are plenty of other weapons one can use for self-defense but nothing beats the power and easy use of a semiautomatic handgun.

I wasn’t raised around firearms and self-defense was never really talked about in our house. I guess, like many families, we just assumed nothing bad would ever happen to us because we’re good people. Or maybe we never really thought about it at all. At any rate, it wasn’t until my late twenties that I ever held a gun. Guns were scary to me and I never imagined that one day, not only would I own a gun, but I would also enjoy target shooting and learn how to take apart my pistol and clean it.

My first experience shooting was a project for a Women’s Study course I was taking in college. The goal of the project was to engage in an un-lady-like activity. Well, this was right up my alley!  I was so excited that I was having a hard time deciding which un-lady-like thing to report on first. But then I thought back to earlier in the semester when my professor told us how she had been assaulted once in a parking lot and that got me to thinkin’ about how the heck I would defend myself if, God forbid, some misguided soul tried to hurt me. Bingo! I knew exactly what I was gonna to do for that project. Get a gun and learn to shoot it. And so I did. And I got an A.

Now that I know how to safely handle a gun, there’s no doubt in my mind it’s the most effective means of self-defense available. And it’s a great feeling to know I don’t have to rely on someone else to come to my rescue.

The thing is though, nobody’s ever truly self sufficient. We need each other if we’re gonna make a go of this republic. So go ahead and learn to shoot if you haven’t already but don’t forget to introduce yourself to the neighbors, lean on a truck or two and share a few minutes face to face with the folks most likely to save your ass when the shit hits the fan.

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Digging Deep (Again)

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America’s story is just beginning. Our destiny has yet to unfold and in our future are infinite possibilities for greatness. In each one of us those possibilities are born. Sacrifices are and will be made at every turn. We need no reminder of that. Life has her way of letting us know these things. So when you hear our country’s “leadership” speaking of “shared sacrifices” stop and think about what they could be saying instead.

A great leader inspires and uplifts and directs the heart and mind of each individual to discover greatness within herself, not to dwell on disadvantages or handicaps.

How are we to carry freedom to other nations when we do not protect it in our own land? How are we to inspire and uplift the oppressed when we ourselves are subjects of oppression? We need to turn our vision inward, to heal and rejuvenate our spirit; to reform and rebuild and regain our credibility as a free and prosperous nation.

The challenge is to dig deep. Take advantage of each and every opportunity afforded us by the men and women who have gone before us to preserve freedom in this great country. Harness our talents; meditate on the positive and create peace and love in our homes. Give thanks. Give to those in need and accept love from others. Prepare for the rocky road ahead so that when hard times are upon us, we will remain strong against those who wish to oppress us. Beyond these troubled times lies America’s destiny. There are no limits to what we can achieve as individuals and thus as a nation.

American Blues

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I began calling myself the Outlaw Farmer because I wanted to make the statement that at this point in time, growing and eating real food is an act of civil disobedience in America. But over the brief course of my blogging career, I’ve realized there’re more layers to this story. Namely that I am somewhat uncomfortable being outspoken about my love for America and my patriotism.

This uneasiness stems from prevailing negative attitudes toward America among my peers and in the media. What has happened here? When did we get so down on ourselves? When did our flag come to represent domination, greed, racism, and other such evils? When did we give up on the American Dream?

The flag and America Herself are symbols not of imperialism and capitalism but of freedom, opportunity, and the individual. The flag represents humankind’s God given rights to worship and speak freely, to protect ourselves and to pursue happiness.

I have concerns about many things politically speaking. But it all boils down to one final question; will we trade our freedom for false security? Will Americans willingly exchange personal sovereignty for short term creature comforts? I fear many will and thus seal our future fate. So many are ignorant. So many are helpless. So many are dependent. So many are unhealthy. This is not the recipe for freedom.

And we carry on with our bottled water, our ipods, our cell phones, our cable TV and our prescription medications. We carry on with diets that are killing us. We carry on with credit card debt. We carry on with domestic violence and brat dolls and disposable vacuum cleaners.

Those of us who are desperately trying to salvage America from the hands of global oppressors, those of us who are going to great lengths to be healthy productive members of society; those of us who still believe in the American Dream… we’re vilified, portrayed as a bunch of  extremist haters. Our resources are plucked away one at a time by illegal taxes, restrictions, regulations, road blocks…by any means possible to usurp our power over our own destinies.

Thus the Outlaw Farmer is born an outcast in her own beloved country because she believes in the freedom on which her country itself was founded. A tad ironic wouldn’t ya say?

This is my Soap Box Saturday post on Bleustockings

USDA fines Missouri family $90k for selling a few rabbits without a license

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By Jonathan Strong

It started out as a hobby, a way for the Dollarhite family in Nixa, Mo., to teach a teenage son responsibility. Like a lemonade stand.

But now, selling a few hundred rabbits over two years has provoked the heavy hand of the federal government to the tune of a $90,643 fine. The fine was levied more than a year after authorities contacted family members, prompting them to immediately halt their part-time business and liquidate their equipment. Read full article…

June 2 protest planned for USDA $90K rabbit fine.

The Call of the Outlaw: A Farming Revival

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Hardly a week goes by that I don’t receive a link to a news cast featuring some cool looking chap in overalls and a cowboy hat sporting his latest bushel of kale. Its kind of fun being in the “in crowd” for once in my life. But I hope this farming revival thing sticks around for more than just my ego.

The thing is, America needs to reconnect with our land and our food. There are so many reasons why: to renew our health, to address the needs of the land itself and the plants and animals that inhabit it, to regenerate our economy and create jobs. But in the immediate short term, I believe farming can help us heal from the pains of war.

As most of us have gone about our regular routines these last 10 years, our soldiers have been deployed into battle over and over again. And what sacrifices have the rest of us been asked to make? Spend more money on crap from China?! That’s pretty much the advice we’ve been given from our country’s leadership.  Whatever you do don’t stop spending. Is that what America stands for these days? Are we just a bunch of spenders?

I believe the farming revival is an organic response to the hollow empty promises of a globalized economy in a world at war, even though many entering the fields aren’t even aware of why they are so compelled. Its like we intuitively know we must change and the earth is calling out to us. As we help heal her, she brings healing to us as well. This is a movement no corporation can co-op, mimic or replace and no government is capable of regulating. But they will try.

If you are new to farming beware, there are inherent risks involved. You will find fewer friends than enemies. But the rewards come as your life is transformed and your soul uplifted. Together we are more than just the cool kids; we are the momentum behind the change we’ve been longing for. This change is not an empty promise but a real force that is already in motion. It is the call of the Outlaw. Are you ready to answer her?

End of Chapter 1

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I’ve taken time off from the Outlaw blog to do some thinking, observation, and listening. I’ve found sometimes life speaks to me through people’s actions and reactions…I have also found serendipity to be a powerful force and one that is at work in my life at this juncture. So it is through others’ responses to my writings and recent opportunities to grow in new directions that I have decided to end this chapter of my blog, This chapter being the one in which I have enjoyed many a rant and indulged myself in the guilty pleasure of poking fun at all of us silly consumers.

At first read, some may interpret this chapter as condescending, one sided, high-horsey foolishness. Some may be outraged, although it was all in good fun as far as I’m concerned. What I hoped and attempted to convey is something along these lines. I believe the American economy is going to fold in the very near future. I believe we have passed peak oil production and that we, average American consumers, refuse to accept this fact. We go about our daily lives in denial that our actions, especially what we chose to buy and the amount of energy we use, drives government policy AND the actions of important companies (like BP). I believe we are being brainwashed by the media to maintain unsustainable lifestyles because if we change…the consequences for our economy would be devastating.

Americans say we want change. But our actions tell a different story. We really want things to remain convenient. We want near instant gratification without having to work all that hard. We want to keep buying cheap food wrapped in plastic and to feel good about ourselves for recycling the wrapper. OR we want the world to know we went the extra mile to shop at a trendy overpriced market for our “certified organic” groceries. The thing is, patting ourselves on the back for recycling our plastic water bottles and driving our designer SUV’s to Whole Foods is, in my humble opinion, missing the mark.

My message is there are alternatives and options the average American may be unaware of. For example, lots of folks sell farm eggs in reused cartons for less that you might expect. You just have to put in the effort to find them because regulations make it hard for farmers to advertise what they have available.

For example, a farmer free ranges some chickens, gathers their eggs and sells them in donated eggs cartons for $3 a dozen…all of which is illegal. The person buying those eggs can see with their own two eyes the chickens running around having happy little lives. That means the eggs are filled with nutrition and really healthy stuff. You can easily see the difference in the color and texture of the yolks and shells. The original egg carton doesn’t have to be shipped to China where it is recycled into a new carton for the exact same purpose and then shipped back to the US where it is refilled with more eggs. Your farmer skips the whole ship it to China thing and just puts some fresh eggs in the preused carton.  And the eggs themselves are produced less than 30 miles away from your front door.

The end result of buying from a farmer has many advantages over purchasing “free ranged” eggs at the store: 1. Large egg producers have lobbied to use the words free ranged to describe something very different from what most consumers assume it means. When you buy from a farmer you can see for yourself how the chickens are raised. This not only has consequences for the lives of the animals but it also affects the quality of the product you are spending you hard earned dollars on. Real farm eggs are really healthy. 2. Buying from a farmer creates important community ties and furthers growth of the local economy. Your egg farmer will know where to get local produce, dairy and meats as well. I believe we will need to have inroads into farming communities in the future as it becomes more and more difficult to transport food from thousands of miles away. 3. Farmers are great at finding ways to reduce and reuse packaging materials. That’s great for the earth and cuts down on prices. There’s no need to pay $6 for a dozen eggs!!!

Finding a farmer is just one of the many radical changes I believe each one of us needs to at least consider as we barge ahead into an uncertain future. I pray for open-minded-ness and outside-of-the-box thinking/solutions to the physical and economic health of our country. I do not believe bailing out failed systems or replicating outdated expensive projects is productive. It is my opinion surviving and healing from unsustainable industrial models is going to come with innovations from local, small companies and individuals who understand the unique needs and demands of the communities in which they live and serve. We need to know one another better, communicate in person more often and take time out to shoot the shit.

End of Chapter 1.

Buy, Buy American Pie

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Watch this. It’s funny…in a kind of creepy way. I got the link from Hartke is Online.