On an overcast day in west central Missouri:
A reply to Senator Josh Hawley’s (r) social media pearl clutching:
Rob Crudités @MeteorPen
Replying to @HawleyMO
Hey some state made you a Senator. The bar is pretty low to most jobs these days.
1:55 PM · Aug 23, 2019
That’s some serious Internets shade.
Yesterday at the Missouri Ethics Commission:
C190784 08/21/2019 Believe in Life and Liberty – BILL PAC Rex Sinquefield 9 Hortense Place St Louis MO 63108 retired retired 8/21/2019 $75,000.00
And the rest of us will be paying for a long time.
“…And I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty…” – Donald Trump, August 20, 2019
This is the only photo I have of my father, Theodore Conley Bersin, in uniform. It was taken in August of 1958. He’s holding me. I believe the photo was taken either at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska or, possibly, at Fairchild AFB, Washington.
The rank on his sleeve is Tech(nical) Sergeant. Dad served our country in uniform from 1943 to 1965, retiring, honorably, from active duty at the rank of Master Sergeant. After twenty-two years of military service. He swore an oath to the Constitution of the United States.
My father passed away on November 14, 2017 at the age of 92. He was interred at Arlington National Cemetery on June 7, 2019.
Dad was Jewish. Dad was a Democrat and voted for Democrats in every election. In every election.
He was a loyal American. He owed no explanation or apologies to anyone.
Fascist anti-Semite (August 20, 2019)
“…And I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty…”
Today at the White House:
Q On Israel, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, yesterday, said that the United States should rethink its policy of aid toward Israel after she and Congresswomen Tlaib were denied entry. Congresswomen Tlaib was later allowed to come in, but she decided not to. Should there be any change in U.S. aid to Israel?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: No. And you should see the horrible things that Tlaib has said about Israel, and “AOC plus three.” That’s what I call it. “AOC” — just take “AOC plus three.” And you should see the things that the four of them have said about Israel over the last couple of years.
I mean, Omar is a disaster for Jewish people. I can’t imagine, if she has any Jewish people in her district, that they could possibly vote for her. But what Omar has said, what Tlaib has said.
And then, yesterday, I noticed for the first time, Tlaib with the tears. All of a sudden, she starts with tears. Tears. And I don’t buy it. I don’t buy it. I don’t buy it for a second because I’ve seen her in a very vicious mood at campaign rallies — my campaign rallies — before she was a congresswoman. I said, “Who is that?” And I saw a woman that was violent and vicious and out of control.
And all of a sudden, I see this person who’s crying because she can’t see her grandmother. She can see her grandmother. They have her permission to see her grandmother, but she grandstanded and she didn’t want to do it.
So, that’s a decision of Israel. That’s not — a lot of people are saying that was my decision. That’s a decision of — of Israel. They can let them in if they want, but I don’t think they want to. When you read the things that they’ve said about Israel — how bad. And if you look at their itinerary before they found out — you take a look at their itinerary, that was all going to be a propaganda tour against Israel.
So, I don’t blame Israel for doing what they did. I have nothing to do with it. But I don’t blame them for doing what they did. I think it would’ve been very bad to let them in, including the four — I’m talking about all four — but these two that wanted to get in: Omar and Tlaib.
And I think it would be a very bad thing for Israel, but Israel has to do what they want to do. But I would not cut off aid to Israel. And I can’t even believe that we’re having this conversation.
Five years ago, the concept of even talking about this — even three years ago — of cutting off aid to Israel because of two people that hate Israel and hate Jewish people — I can’t believe we’re even having this conversation. Where has the Democratic Party gone? Where have they gone where they’re defending these two people over the State of Israel?
And I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.
All right? Thank you very much everybody.
2:46 P.M. EDT
Along U.S. Highway 50 in western Johnson County, Missouri:
As announced via social media (and reported on by Kansas City metro area news sources) the Valley Oaks Steak Company will be ceasing operations at their facility in western Johnson County.
It is with profound sadness that, due to economics, we are closing operations of Valley Oaks Steak Company in Johnson County, Missouri.
Unfortunately, Valley Oaks became a lightning rod for individuals and organizations opposed to animal agriculture operations. While we understand there were skeptics of our approach, Valley Oaks became a target for groups that used us to advance their own fundraising campaigns. For example, Powell Gardens organized a fear-mongering campaign against our operation – when in reality, Valley Oaks and Powell Gardens are not in the same watershed, nor were their botanical gardens ever in danger of being affected. Powell Gardens publicly claimed flies from our operation would damage vegetation in their gardens. Those claims were false. Science experts concluded that flies which feed on cattle manure are not a species that destroy vegetation, nor do they travel great distances. Furthermore, the species of flies Powell Gardens told the public that would destroy their plants and gardens are attracted only to hog operations, not cattle. Not one single plant-eating fly has ever been shown to exist at our facility.
In our view, opponents engaged in fear-mongering for their own economic benefit, or simply pre-judged Valley Oaks based on inaccurate information. Instead of examining the science and visiting our facility to see the reality for themselves, we and our families were made the subject of relentless personal attacks. Valley Oaks is not a large faceless corporation with unknown and distant directors and shareholders, but is a group of local family members who sought to provide regionally and sustainably-produced beef to the public. Unfortunately, we have been stalked, threatened, and slandered. Our children have been targeted, bullied and threatened. Several of our cattle were shot dead in the field, no doubt as a warning to us.
We believe in the court system and looked forward to having our day in court, so that we could prove to a jury and the public that we love our community and that our approach to agribusiness was not a nuisance but was environmentally sound, sustainable, and promoted local and regional agriculture. In short, Valley Oaks was a model for how animal agriculture should be conducted. Sadly, the economics of doing so did not work out for us due to the constant barrage of legal battles and extensive marketing efforts needed to counter misinformation.
We are closing Valley Oaks Steak Company effective immediately. [….]
Wait, were all those signs opposed to the CAFO were put up by Powell Gardens? Aren’t there several hundred other “neighbors”? You know, people involved in agriculture? Just asking.
Powell Gardens, one of the opponents of the CAFO expansion issued the following statement via social media:
We were surprised to learn of the sudden closure of the Valley Oaks Steak Company. The past year and a half has been incredibly taxing on our Board of Directors, staff, and the surrounding community as we have navigated the threat of a possible expansion of their contained animal feeding operation. The expansion proposed an increase in the number of cattle on their 400 acres from nearly 900 to 6,999. The approval of this expansion would have made them the largest beef cafo in the state of Missouri. The size, the scope of operations (the company would house, slaughter and sell product all from the same site), and the close proximity of the facility to Powell Gardens, a non-profit botanical garden, and to nearly 800 homes in the residential heart of Lone Jack, Mo, were among the many reasons why legal action against the expansion was pursued. We are currently awaiting Valley Oaks’ confirmation of their closure with the judges in all pending legal actions. Thank you very much for your continued support as we pursued this fight.
There are some interesting responses:
Congratulations and thanks for fighting the good fight, Powell Gardens! Much appreciated. If a single business wants to ruin hundreds of homeowners’ land and property values and they want to spoil a beautiful natural habitat that a wider community has come to love, I guess that business is free to pack up and try doing that elsewhere.
[….]It’s sad that we are so divided that those with sympathy for 80 people without jobs find none for 800 families losing home value and the ability to enjoy their homes. And to the employees and staff of Powell Gardens who have dealt with all the stress of this mess. I don’t feel that this is over by any means. We haven’t heard the last of this.
Thank you, Powell Gardens. The arrogance and bullying of those involved in this CAFO system are unbelievable. VO could have established a similar operation in a more suitable location, with the proper amount of land and environmental protection, but chose to force it upon a populated area,. It is time for those who support these massive operations to stop trying to bully citizens and legislators everywhere and deal with the side effects in responsible and ethical ways.
Maybe, just maybe, Valley Oaks bit off more than they could chew by lying about their manure storage capacity and the likeliness of water contamination–not to mention threatening the livelihoods of at least 141 local property owners and their families. Deep breathes, fresh air, and a new day!
I have been surprised at the negative comments towards Powell Gardens. Powell Gardens is not the evil entity as portrayed by many commentors. They exercised their right to petition in the courts what they and many others of the community felt was a wrong. A feed lot may be a necessary evil for beef production but this, in my opinion, is NOT the place to create one.
I will no longer support Powell gardens !!! When it becomes more important for a basket full of liberals to smell the flowers instead of supporting the basics of our economy is when you realize just how dangerous it is to let a business like Powell gardens grow and become large !!!! I will make sure to spread the word that you do not support agriculture and I will go out of my way to make sure people understand when they spend a dollar at your facility that it is a dollar going towards the death of small farming !!!!!
You think they ever did support Powell Gardens? Just asking.
Glad they did not bother you. But in truth they never got to full capacity. I lived less than 1/2 mile from VO and had many friends and neighbors, some who farmed and ranched for generations who were driven indoors during some summer days from the stench. I did not anticipate success vs. VO so I moved from my home of 18 years. I don’t condone any “asshole response” but that is to include all those bashing PG not for their response, but for helping the hundreds of families affected!
Shame on you Powell Gardens! My family and I will never be giving your pathetic organization another penny of our business again. I am marrying into a farming family and I can see how greatly this impacts not only the farmers, but the 80 people who were employed by Valley Oaks who suddenly had no job without warning… 80 people woke up this morning learning that they have no way of supporting their families any longer. Can you imagine how scary that may be for some? Of course you don’t, because you are the reason for these 80 people being out of work without any sort of heads up. Powell Gardens is a pathetic excuse of an organization. Support your local farmers!
F*&K YOU Powel Gardens. Liberal idiots. Can’t wait for the lawsuits to start here. Don’t mess with American agriculture you bunny huggers.
Well, alrighty then.
Now that’s a CAFO (March 18, 2018)
And they have a CAFO (June 15, 2018)
Powell Gardens – CAFO permit stayed pending outcome of appeal (July 28, 2018)
AG Josh Hawley (r): CAFO manure trumps Powell Gardens (September 1, 2018)
Are CAFOs healthy for children and other living things? (March 28, 2019)
Sen. Denny Hoskins (r): regulated land use is evil, until it isn’t (August 12, 2019)
“…I’ll keep lifting up the voices of women who are being dismissed, devalued, and attacked by this president, President Trump…”
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D) brought her 2020 presidential campaign to St. Louis Sunday afternoon for a town hall on reproductive rights. Around 330 individuals (that number comes from the campaign) attended the event. Afterwards, she took questions from the media.
The press availability:
Question: Senator, talk about why you came to Missouri today, especially when its not considered much of a battleground state anymore.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D): I wanted to come to the front lines of attacks on women’s reproductive freedom. This is a national issue. But women in Missouri deserve a voice, someone to lift up their voice, their struggles their challenges. And to make sure we have a Democratic nominee who value them and cares about what they’re going through. So I not only came to the front lines here in Missouri, but I went to the front lines in Georgia, and I’ll keep lifting up the voices of women who are being dismissed, devalued, and attacked by this president, President Trump.
Question: It’s a crowded race, how do you stand out in this race?
Senator Gillibrand: As, as you’ve seen I’m leading the national debate on major issues like women’s reproductive freedom, like getting money out of politics, like a family bill of rights. These are the kinds of things that I’ve really lead on this whole national campaign on, uh, inspiring other candidates to not only follow my lead, but also to debate these really important issues.
Question: Well Senator, there’s, uh, Illinois has gone the opposite direction of Missouri. Uh, how, in some cases it’s a haven for, for people looking for abortion rights. How dangerous is that for the country?
Senator Gillibrand: So, it’s very dangerous that you have a governor here in Missouri who doesn’t value women, who doesn’t believe we should have the rights to make the most intimate important decisions of our lives, um, doesn’t trust women to make those decisions, who’s actually criminalizing women and their caregivers. So we need to make sure we elect him out, and elect out Trump, because the truth is, neither Trump nor your governor cares about women. And women in America deserve a champion in the White House.
Voice: You have time for two more.
Question: You said you would pass Medicare for all. Where do you stand on filibuster reform to get that and other progressive policies through?
Senator Gillibrand: Something I will definitely look at as president. Uh, as well as other reforms to make sure that our democracy work again. Unfortunately, uh, money in politics is all too prevalent and so I will actually pass a publicly funded election bill to restore our democracy back to the hands of the people, away from the moneyed special interests that control everything in Washington.
Voice: Last question.
Question: …[crosstalk] qualifying for the debate you still haven’t qualified in three more polls, when you’ve reached the [inaudible]. How confident are you that you will be on that stage?
Senator Gillibrand: I am very confidant that I will reach the debate stage. [….] And for the people that have turned out for this town hall we need a voice on the Democratic debate stage who puts women’s rights at the fore, who actually talks about why access to abortion is such a basic civil human right. Uh, you need a campion and I am that champion. [….]
Question: How far away are you from reaching [crosstalk][inaudible]?
Senator Gillibrand: Very close. I just need everyone here in Missouri to help.
Voice: All right, thanks guys.
Question: Do you think they’ll be actually asking those questions on the next debate stage?
Senator Gillibrand: If I’m there they will be.
“…because the truth is, neither Trump nor your governor cares about women…”
“…And I think we should fight every battle and every cause until we win. Because the truth is President Trump wants a war with America’s women. It’s a war he’s going to have and it’s a war he’s going to lose [cheers, applause]…”
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D) brought her 2020 presidential campaign to St. Louis Sunday afternoon for a town hall on reproductive rights. Around 330 individuals (that number comes from the campaign) attended the event.
Senator Gillibrand’s (D) remarks:
…President Trump’s rhetoric has emboldened over thirty state legislatures around the country to try to overturn Roe v Wade. he told us as a candidate he would only appoint judges and justices that want to overturn Roe. That’s who Kavanaugh is, that’s who Gorsuch is. And so, this has been an all out assault by President Trump and his cronies to take away women’s reproductive freedon…
…so we need a presidential nominee and we need the next president, who is unabashedly pro-choice. Someone who is going to see women’s reproductive freedom as the basic civil rights and human rights that they are. They should be our decisions to be made, no matter what…
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D) brought her 2020 presidential campaign to St. Louis this afternoon for a town hall on reproductive rights. Around 330 individuals (that number comes from the campaign) attended the event moderated by St. Louis City Treasurer Tishuara Jones. Senator Gillibrand spoke at the beginning of the town hall then took questions from the audience for a majority of the hour and a half long event.
Waiting in line:
A majority in the audience were reproductive rights activists – as indicated by their t-shirts and signs.
Selfies and photos: