By Elisha Dorfsmith
I was happy to join the Oracle Inn Podcast tonight for a discussion on the many aspects of local food and urban farming. Topics covered included local rules and regulations, challenges to local food production, food education and competing with large corporations. You can watch the entire show here:
By Elisha Dorfsmith
It has been a very long time coming, years in fact, but it looks like the City of Flagstaff is finally ready to consider easing restrictions on raising chickens, goats, bees and other food producing animals in the city limits.
Long time readers of my blog know that I and Flagstaff Liberty Alliance have been actively pushing for these changes for a very long time and months ago brought forward a resolution to try to get the ball rolling. While that resolution was narrowly defeated, it looks like what we hoped to accomplish with the resolution is about to take place anyway. If the proposed code changes are approved as they currently stand, Flagstaff residents will soon have the freedom to legally raise small food producing animals in the City limits to feed themselves and their families.
I am very excited to see these changes moving forward and encourage everyone to participate in the September 8th Council meeting where these changes will be addressed.
More information on the September 8th meeting is provided by Flagstaff Liberty Alliance and can be found here:
“On September 8th at their 6:00 pm meeting, the Flagstaff City Council will be considering a long list of proposed changes to the Animal Keeping part of the City Code.
Some of these changes will make it much easier to keep chickens and other small animals on property within the City limits. Other changes will focus on beekeeping and larger animals.
The vast majority of these changes are a huge step in the right direction and are in line with our goals to promote urban farming and self sustainability in Northern Arizona.
We encourage everyone to attend this meeting and speak or fill out a written comment card supporting the freedom to raise and produce food for ourselves and our families.
For those who can’t make it, please contact the Flagstaff City Council at:
We don’t know what time this item will be on the agenda but since it is an item that is expected to draw a crowd we expect it to be near the beginning of the 6:00 meeting. Once the agenda is published we will update this post with that information.”
Attention local urban farmers and gardeners: Flagstaff Liberty Alliance is happy to announce their 2014 Virtual Urban Farm Tour Contest! This contest is open to the public and it is free to enter.
To enter the 2014 Flagstaff virtual urban farm tour, submit pictures of your urban farm including: gardens, fruit trees, chickens/livestock, and harvest/preserves!
Go to flagstafflibertyalliance.com to submit your photos and vote on your favorite entry!
First place winner will receive a $50 gift card to Flagstaff Native Plant & Seed and be featured in the Flagstaff Liberty Alliance 2015 Urban Farm Calendar. Runner up will receive a $25 gift card to Flagstaff Native Plant & Seed.
Entries for the Urban Farm Tour will be accepted through September 15, 2014.
GUIDELINES Each entry consists of a single entry form, and an original image. Complete an entry form with the required information, including your name, email address, and phone number; and submit along with your photograph.
Photographs must contain some form of urban agriculture. Urban agriculture is the practice of cultivating, processing, and distributing food in or around a village, town or city. Urban agriculture can also involve animal husbandry, aquaculture, agroforestry, urban beekeeping and horticulture.
There is no limit on the number of entries per person. Each entry must comply with the following requirements: Photographs must be in digital format. All digital files must be 20 megabytes or smaller, and must be in JPG or JPEG format. Only minor color correction and editing is acceptable as is cropping.
WHO MAY ENTER Contest is only open to residents of Northern Arizona.
VOTING will take place between September 22 and October 20, 2014. Winners will be decided by number of public votes each photo receives. Winners will be announced at the Harvest Festival on November 1st.
Thank you Flagstaff Native Plant & Seed for sponsoring
The 2014 Urban Farm Tour.
(click flier to enlarge)
By Elisha dorfsmith
“What would happen if these services were reduced because of a cut in funding…a reduction in funding would result in fewer meals served…Fewer meals served means children and families go hungry”. — United Way Representative at the April 8th Flagstaff City Council Meeting
Nonprofit funding is once again making headlines as the Flagstaff City Council examines the merits of taxpayer funded charity. At the Council work session earlier this week, the room was packed with concerned individuals and groups as representatives from United Way defended the nearly $300,000 the City gives to the organization each year.
During the plea for funding, United Way explained that even small funding cuts would undoubtedly lead to children going hungry.
Granted, some of the organizations that partner with United Way do feed hungry children and I applaud them for that but is it really fair to say that a small cut in United Way funding would come from that area? I have my doubts. Using Children to make your argument is an effective way to pull on heartstrings but there are other things that should be considered before falling for the scare tactics.
Brian Gallagher, President/CEO of United Way Worldwide brings in an annual salary of $1,035,347. United Way of Northern Arizona gives close to $20,000 a year to United Way Worldwide. The City of Flagstaff gives nearly $300,000 to United Way of Northern Arizona. Clearly, some of your tax dollars are being used to pay for that bloated salary.
The head of United Way of Northern Arizona only makes $97,000 (plus benefits) a year and probably feels it’s not enough but when those of us who don’t make nearly that much are told we’re not paying our fair share, it makes you wonder if these people even live in the real world.
When you hear United Way say that if their share of tax dollars are cut, children will go hungry, think of Brian Gallagher and his $1,035,347 salary and ask yourself how many children could be fed if his salary was cut. United Way is not starving for cash and feeding the children should be the last thing they threaten to pull funds from if taxpayer dollars are reduced.
By Elisha Dorfsmith
Thanks to Mike Shipley and Thane Eichenauer for inviting me to be part of their Freedom Caucus AZ show tonight. I thoroughly enjoyed the discussion. We covered a wide variety of liberty issues including the 29-1 passage in the Arizona Senate of SB1151 (Homegrown Freedom Act).
You can find the entire interview HERE.
By Elisha Dorfsmith
Over the past couple months I have focused considerably more time on reading than writing. I have covered liberty topics from just about every angle I could think of on my blog and sometimes I feel that my concerns fall on deaf ears. Reading books from authors who express what I have been struggling so hard to say is a refreshing change of pace. Some of these books are best sellers and it is encouraging to be reminded that the message of liberty is being embraced.
Longtime readers of my blog know that much of what I write about is comprised of topics related to education, food freedom and the police state. Today I am happy to highlight and recommend three fantastic books that deal with these issues.
A Government of Wolves by John W. Whitehead examines the ever growing American police state and shows how anyone who thinks outside the box or defies the norm is in danger of facing the heavy hand of the law.
Every American is a potential criminal and our every move must be watched. Meanwhile, in the shadows of the legal system, there lurks a prison industrial complex lobbying lawmakers and raking in billions on the criminalization of just about everything.
I was pleased to see Whitehead cover many of the police state topics discussed on my blog over the years. Mandatory minimum sentences, private prisons, Patriot Act, NDAA, TSA, NSA, raids on raw milk, illegal lemonade stands, you name it.
Equally engaging is all of the references to dystopian books and films including favorites discussed many times on this blog like V For Vendetta, 1984, Brave New World, Minority Report, They Live and Farhenheit 451. We are becoming the very society that these works warned us about and like a frog in boiling water, most of us don’t even realize it.
A Government Of Wolves is an extremely well researched book that will make an excellent gift for that “I’m not concerned because I have nothing to hide” person in your life. It’s a loud and clear wake up call. I’ll be buying extra copies to give away.
Some people wonder why I spend so much energy and time ranting about food freedom and the right for people to grow food for themselves and their families. If you need a reason, look no further than Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Food Rights by David E. Gumpert.
In this book Gumpert gives example after example of Federal agents raiding food co-ops and small farms, investigating truckers, threatening and intimidating anyone and everyone who looks past their local grocery store for an alternative food source.
Sprinkled within the well documented stories of food police clamping down and trampling our rights are stories of people rising up and fighting back. At what point will we say enough is enough? Perhaps not being allowed to eat or feed our children healthy food will be the last straw.
One reviewer on Amazon asked why the small food industry is such a big threat to the government. I believe we can find that answer if we follow the money. Corporate food companies are buying politicians and using the FDA and other militarized agencies to enforce their goals and eliminate all competition.
Are you angry yet?
As someone who was homeschooled from 2nd grade through high school and as a homeschooling father, I was happy to see Ron Paul write a book about homeschooling and the state of education in America.
In the early 80s homeschooling was banned in most states. My parents were pretty much homeschooling pioneers in the little town of Big Bear, California where I grew up. During the first few years nobody in my town was aware that homeschooling was even an option. One person told my parents that keeping their kids out of public school was a form of child abuse.
For a while Big Bear had a truant officer who got a lot of enjoyment out of harassing homeschooling families. I remember friends being turned in by their neighbors and receiving a visit from the authorities. Even with all the proper paperwork filed, parents were continually threatened with fines or jail time. Some families were afraid to let their kids have recess outside.
We’ve come a long way since then. Homeschooling has become a mainstream alternative to the public education system. Even public schools are embracing certain aspects of homeschooling. The myths about homeschoolers not being able to survive in the real world have been proven false.
In The School Revolution Ron Paul promotes his new home school curriculum, gives a shout out to Khan Academy, explores free market solutions to educational challenges and talks about the importance of leaving a legacy. An important and enjoyable read for parents and non-parents alike.
By Elisha Dorfsmith
My weekly update is a little late this week but I have a good excuse. A large part of my week was spent focusing on Flagstaff Liberty Alliance’s Food Freedom Resolution which was a big issue at City Hall last Tuesday. For those who missed that story, you can find more details here:
Other stories I’ve been focused on this week:
California Nullifies The NDAA
Earlier this month California Governor Jerry Brown signed AB351, a bill that nullifies the indefinite detention section of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The bill bans all State cooperation with Federal officials who try to indefinitely detain people without charges or a trial.
The California bill is very close to SB1182, a nullification law passed by the house and senate in Arizona and vetoed by Governor Jan Brewer. All I can say is that it’s a sad day when California understands basic Constitutional rights and Federal overstretch more than Arizona does. What is wrong with our Governor?
On a local note, Flagstaff City Councilman Jeff Oravits tried his best to get a resolution passed supporting the Arizona NDAA nullification bill. Not one other council member was willing to support it and it never moved forward. You can read more about that heroic effort here:
Speaking of California Governor Jerry Brown, this week he vetoed several tough anti gun bills saying they infringed on gun owner’s rights. If any of my readers live in California, you may want to send him a big thank you email.
Would An Article V Convention Open Pandora’s Box?
There has been a lot of hype recently about the possibility of an Article V Constitutional Convention where the states get together and add amendments to the United States Constitution. This effort received a big boost in August when Conservative talk show host Mark Levin published his newest book The Liberty Amendments.
So far, a Constitutional convention of the states has never occurred but a lot of different people are pushing for it for a lot of different reasons. Mark Levin to overturn Obamacare, fiscal conservatives to create a balanced budged amendment and Progressives to overturn Citizens United or clarify the 2nd Amendment.
It could potentially bring about good results but it could also destroy everything that is good about the Constitution.
I understand that it’s a Constitutional concept but I don’t trust the safeguards preventing a runaway convention. I don’t trust the people in power. I do trust the states more than Congress but do any of these guys have our best interests in mind? That’s the big question.
I’ve seen people I respect say that negative things won’t be allowed to get through in an article V convention because of procedural safeguards. As someone who has seen first hand how people in power cheat and don’t follow the rules and procedures, I don’t think counting on safeguards is a safe bet.
Arizona Congressional District 1 candidate Adam Kwasman is a big supporter of Mark Levin and an Article V Convention.
State Forces City To Move Election To November
The Arizona Legislature recently passed legislation that forces Cities across the state to break their charters and hold their City Council elections in November of even years.
The Arizona Daily Sun had a very interesting editorial last week suggesting that this election law change will cause local races to become more partisan. They could be on to something. Flagstaff’s currently registered “Independent” mayor is now listed as a Republican on the Coconino County Republican website.
March Against Monsanto Take Two
I was happy to be the official organizer of the Flagstaff March Against Monsanto event on October 12th in front of Flagstaff City Hall. We had about 30 people show up to wave signs and educate the public about the massive push by giant companies like Monsanto (with help from their friends in government) to control the world’s food supply.
Thanks to everyone who showed up and everyone who honked and waved as they drove by to show their support! It was also great to have local media stop by to photograph and report on the event.
A little video we put together for youtube. Have you subscribed to the Flagstaff Liberty Alliance Youtube channel yet?
Cronyism = Government Protecting Monsanto