June 14, 2008

"Farmers hate rules, any rule that controls their land. They hate to have new people making decisions."

When Madison types buy up a lot of land in the surrounding farm land, what happens to local government?
"They're the NIMBYs and CAVEs — Not In My Backyarders and Citizens Against Virtually Everything," [says a Cross Plains farmer Jerome Esser]. "This town was great before they came. Now the newcomers want many of the things changed that made it great.".

The new arrivals buy up land "that our forefathers cleared for farmland," then plant trees and treat it like a city backyard....

[A retired research psychologist who moved to Cross Plains in the mid-'60s, Bob] Bowman says the real debate isn't between old and new so much as a "difference in ideology" between opposing factions. He says the town of Cross Plains is under growing pressure from "pro-rail, anti-development, Progressive Dane liberals." And while liberalism is supposed to be about freedom, "liberals in Madison are arguing now for regimentation over classical 'free to disagree' tradition."


rhhardin said...

The new arrivals buy up land "that our forefathers cleared for farmland," then plant trees and treat it like a city backyard

You don't have to plant trees. Just don't farm it and you'll have trees in short order.

There's a regular succession, providing natural habitat variation in the wake of forest fires, when it all used to happen naturally without local government involvement.

You do get a flaming liberal goverment in university towns. Great mistake to say students can vote where the university is.

Never incorporate your township if you can avoid it. Prepare to move out if it happens.

Anonymous said...

Hardscrabble Road
Bristol, VT 06-11-08
“We’ve worked all our lives, my family has, to accumulate some pieces of property,” Lathrop said. “My grandchildren are here, my kids are here, my mother’s still here: We intend on staying here! And we don’t like to be told by new-comin’, trust-fund flatlanders what to do with our land. We don’t think it’s correct. ’Cause if we’ve done such a poor job all these years, why do they want to move here now?”

Even Lathrop agrees that his land would be ideal for housing — just not until after he’s had a chance to mine gravel from it. “We should keep our economy a working local economy,” he insists. “People got to have jobs, you know. We can’t all wash windows and clean toilets.”

Christy said...

Isn't this a little like Mrs. John Edwards getting all upset that the farmer next door didn't clean up his property after the Edwards built their nice new house?

The real problems come when the property is taxed for its developement value while he's still farming it.

Jack said...

Farmers hate rules and laws unless they are agricultural subsidies.

John Kindley said...

"And while liberalism is supposed to be about freedom..."

That was "classical liberalism." The words liberal and conservative have gradually become devoid of most any meaning, but as near as I can figure out, a "liberal" is now essentially someone who wants to be "liberal" with public money in projects intended to fix social ills. Who knows what "conservative" now means, with the neocons having radically different ideas about foreign entanglements than did the "Old Right" (not to mention George Washington). It seems to me that "conservative" is best understood as simply a predisposition to change only when necessary, kind of a go-slow attitude. One could therefore be, as I consider myself to be, both a "conservative" and a radical-thinking anarchist. Note that both concepts, "conservativism" and "anarchism," share an implied profound skepticism towards the best-laid plans of mice and men. I don't think we can or should try to change the world overnight, and am confident that if I were given the power to rule the world in accordance with my own images of right and wrong the result would be far inferior to the natural order that is, in the phrase of Proudhon, the daughter and not the mother of liberty.

PatCA said...

You took the words out of my mouth, John K.

The new liberal is a follower of Rousseau; here they only want the bucolic splendor of the countryside, with the State enforcing their own version of goodness and beauty.

For a true conservative, I would say it would be closer to a traditionalist/libertarian.

EnigmatiCore said...

"And while liberalism is supposed to be about freedom"

It may supposed to be about that, but it isn't. It usually is about wealth-redistribution and government control.

Not that conservatism is any better. It, too, is supposed to be about freedom, but more often is about big business and government control.

And libertarianism is also supposed to be about freedom, but it tends to be about anarchism, bigotry, and being libertine.

Our politics suck. And the kicker is that the more we get into promises of change, the more we find that it is the same old warm spit in shiny new bottles.


somefeller said...

Farmers hate rules and laws unless they are agricultural subsidies.

Amen. Farmers are always complaining about rules and laws, except the ones that help them. Also, there's always either too much rain, or too little. Never can satisfy those folks.

I think the best observation in the article was: "If the farmers don't want new people out here, they shouldn't sell off their land." Land use changes over time. Land that once was best use for raising cattle later becomes better used for hunting and recreation or oil & gas wells. That's life, and the market in action.

Anonymous said...

My aunt and uncle have had a ranch with a commercial stables for about 20 years. Some people built a cabin next to them a few years ago. The neighbors complained to the city about the horse poop on the dirt road.

Troy said...

Jack... you beat me to the punch. Yes a thousand times.

There's a reason these farming states vote Democratic. They are welfare states in some respects.

john said...

Out here in the sunbelt a true conservative only wants the government to keep its cotton-pickin' hand off his medicare.

John Kindley said...

EnigmaticCore said: "And libertarianism is also supposed to be about freedom, but it tends to be about anarchism...."

Don't knock anarchy until you've tried it.

As for the purported link between libertarianism, bigotry, and libertinism: The charge of bigotry has generally been limited to the lewrockwell.com / paleolibertarian crowd. It's debatable whether the charge was justified a couple decades back, but you would be very hard put to find anything on lewrockwell.com in recent years that smacks of bigotry. In fact, they tend to be supportive of Obama relative to the white McCain, and were critical of the big fuss that was made over Rev. Wright.

The charge of libertinism is still fairly made against Reason Magazine and that crowd.

Libertarianism is actually a current of thought that both major parties pay lip service too (Democracts on social issues and Republicans on economic matters), and in fact is the most fundamental ideology of the nation's founding. As such, it is much bigger than Reason Magazine or lewrockwell.com or the Libertarian Party or other institutions that are labeled "libertarian." They don't own the ideology.

Anonymous said...

It's 2008. Liberals... aren't. But believing they are makes them feel good about themselves - in a shifty, self-righteous kinda way.

Beth said...

We have a similar process here. Newly arrived or newly well-off yuppies move to the French Quarter and discover it's a real neighborhood, with noise. They move to the historic apartments overlooking Jackson Square and then are shocked to find that there is street music being played. Or they move to the more residential but still lively adjacent neighborhoods and start agitating to shut down live music clubs that have been in the neighborhood for decades.

Palladian said...

"In fact, they tend to be supportive of Obama relative to the white McCain"

Some libertarians. I prefer "none of the above".

Trooper York said...

You are 100% right Beth. The same thing happens in urban neighborhoods. And not just the ethnic Italian one where I grew up. The yuppies, or as we call them Liberals kill the thing that attracted them in the first place. Now the black neighborhoods of central Brooklyn are feeling it. The liberal pouser hipster assholes complain because people are having a loud racuous summer house party on a summer Saturday Night. If you don't like it move to fuckin' Lynbrook you pussies.

Chip Ahoy said...

There are state programs that help land owners protect land. The state can send land specialists to help the owner understand what types of plants to put exactly where in accordance with the naturally occurring typography, water movement and storage etc. They go far, very far in actually planting trees and bushes in large numbers. All the landowner has to do is agree not to use the land for farming purposes for X number of years. In this manner, landowners can have rows of hundreds, even thousands, of indigenous trees and shrubbery intended to encourage and protect wildlife installed. They actually come in with their equipment and do the groundwork and planting. I have beheld this miracle with my own eyes and was left awestruck and filled with wonder.

Unrelated to land use, do you know those Royal Underground Cross Tees are ninety-five bucks? I find that obscenely dispendious. Scandalous, for what amounts to a printed shirt without even a collar.

Chip Ahoy said...

I must be part reptile. I'm shedding skin like a freak'n snake. It's alarming. Pardon me while I go abrade myself with sandpaper.

Peter V. Bella said...

"Arnold Harris, a longtime Cross Plains resident with a degree in urban planning, says some longtime farm families "hold on to the idea that they should have the right to sell even extensive parts of their farmland acreage to residential developers."

I guess Mr. Harris forgot that he who owns the land can sell it to whom he wants. Hmmmm, I wonder what Mr. Harris would say if he tried to sell his home or land and the people or government said he could not sell it to whom he wanted? I would bet he would fight for his right to sell his property to whom he wanted to.

Hypocrisy is a wonderful thing; especially with socialists. Their attitude is what's yours is not yours unless we say it is, unless it is mine, then what's mine is mine.

Unknown said...

Banana: Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything (Exceptions provided for their houses)

Beth said...

Trooper, yes, liberals are among them. But NOLA is still the deep South and there are plenty of W stickers on the SUVs (now SUV hybrids) in the parking lot of Whole Paycheck. And even our liberals are conservative (to wit, Mary Landrieu).

They're elitists, and they want to absorb the delicious bo-ho vibe from the Quarter without any of the awful intrusions from the smelly crowd. I imagine it's must the same out in farm country.

There's a great scene in Monty Python's The Meaning of Life, where an urban yuppie transplant is having a dinner party in her lovely weekend home, an old stone cottage on the moors. A hooded man in a scyth comes to the door to interrupt the dinner and she calls out to her friends that it's a delightful little man from the village. One by one her guests drop dead and the man, Death, whispers, "It was the salmon mousse!"

Trooper York said...

Beth, Liberals are what the old school Italian moma's call them. It doesn't really refer to their politics at all. Although the majority of them are card carrying ACLU dicks. There is this retarded kid from down the block who loves Christmass. The one thing in life he really enjoys is setting up his Christmass lights and his Rudolph and manger scene. He sets up Christmass Music to play on a loop. One of these douches came over and really started to give him a hard time. He had to be staightene out big time. The thing they liked about the neighborhood they destroy by their prescense.

Trooper York said...

Our friend Jacklyn just called to say NOLA is hot and sticky and sweatty today. Stay cool.

Beth said...

Ha! That's the daily news here. I've made the usual adjustments--fans in every room to help the weak central AC along in its work. Walk the dogs at 10 pm, so the sidewalk will have time to cool down. A constant supply of lemonade and cold water in the fridge, and the occasional visit to a snowball stand (ask Jackie; she'll explain that one.) Hot town, summer in the city.

Trooper York said...

Hey we have snowballs in Brooklyn, lots of guineas either moved to NOLA or Brooklyn. But a word of advice, it's Jacklyn, never Jackie cause if you call her that she will pop you in the mush.

Trooper York said...

She called me to say that nobodies buying dresses cause it's way too hot. While in Brooklyn the girls are just starting to stock up on warm weather sun dresses. So I am stuck behind the counter spouting off nonsense on the internets.

Daryl said...

They need to pass a new ordinance: everyone must keep 10lbs of pig feces in a trough within 30 feet of the main entrance to their residence.

After the initial exodus of city folk, they could scale it back to a once-a-week event.

I think the farmers would totally go for it, if it meant keeping their sovereignty.

vbspurs said...

John, it's gotta be a truism that if you quote yourself, you're a dick -- but I'm going to quote from my Why People are Conservative post, to answer your ruminations.

This is what makes a modern conservative, IMO:

# Respect for traditionalism, without which shared cultural ideals become debased, diluted or lost

# A belief in the inherent soundness of their practicality

# A guiding philosophy that the world which is changed without foresight, and due consideration, is a world of anarchy and mean-spiritedness

# An overriding sense of individualism over the collective

# Patriotic ease

# Security

And this is what makes a liberal today, again, IMHO:

# A sense of greater idealism

# A belief in the inherent superiority of their intentions

# A guiding philosophy that the world must be changed, and changed now, not tomorrow, so that everyone can benefit from what a few do already

# The weaving spell of utopianism, where perfection is attainable, if only people would discard their conventions, and prejudices

# A regard for transnationalism

...I also give counterpoint negatives in my blogpost, for both liberal and conservatives.

Like you, I believe conservatism is an attitude, not an ideology. This is why it's more flexible and universal.


Beth said...

victoria, I like your list, and it looks to me like the negatives for each exist in parallel.

Beth said...

trooper - Jacklyn, I'll remember that. We're well past buying summer clothes, and have been wearing them for more than a month now. I'm always frustrated by the uniformity of clothing seasons, as I end up encountering wool coats and fleece in late August just when I'd really prefer some new lightweight linen shirts and cotton pants to start the fall semester.

Beth said...

vb, I should add that while I think your list is enlightening, I heartily disagree with your conclusion. Just saying.

Simon said...

Victoria, I'd add to your list Michael Oakeshott's comment that rationalists - and liberals are with few exceptions rationalists - believe that nothing has value simply because it is. They believe that they can and should "bring[] the social, political, legal and institutional inheritance of ... society before the tribunal of [their] intellect," and that they can always fashion from the power of their own mind a better solution. They are people who believe that the law of unintended consequences applies only to those lesser intellects who have not thought things through so fully as they have.

Charlie Martin said...

And while liberalism is supposed to be about freedom, "liberals in Madison are arguing now for regimentation over classical 'free to disagree' tradition."

An observation that has led to some insisting on the term "classical liberal". The fact is that "liberals" in the US, as we understand the term today, are distinctly illiberal.

vbspurs said...

vb, I should add that while I think your list is enlightening, I heartily disagree with your conclusion. Just saying.

Ah, I understand, Beth. Flexibility in the sense of conservatism being the most malleable, less ideologically constricted of the too.

Hope that made a little more sense?

Simon: That's an interesting quote by Oakeshott (a sadly neglected historical figure rarely taught outside of niche studies at universities, rather like von Hayek, or Karl Popper).

lesser intellects who have not thought things through so fully as they have.

I'm trying to remember the older journalist on MSNBC who was being questioned about the rightness of left-liberal US politics.

He said, and I paraphrase, if you left decisions up to the masses, progress would never happen.

In that one comment, there are these inferences:

- Common folk are dumb
- Moreover they rarely like change
- Moreover progress is a tool wielded by the courageous and intelligence for the betterment of these people above

You can see that in a populist republic and culture like the US, this kind of sneering attitude has very little traction.

It's a Marxist conceit, and one I rather hoped the fall of the Soviet Union would "cure".

No such luck, Simon.


vbspurs said...

/argh spelling mistakes...

Too= two
intelligence = intelligent

Unknown said...

"help land owners protect land"

Paying people not to grow crops isn't protecting anything; it's a gross violation of trust and a waste of money.

Fen said...

Farmers hate rules, any rule that controls their land.

Yup. We once had a few acres of marsh-type land in the middle of our farm. Geese used it as a pitstop when they came south.

Then we got word that the government might rule the area protected, which would include a buffer of our surrounding farmland.

So we drained it. Sorry Geese, but once I let the gov get a foot in the door, its all over.