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No, It’s All About Freedom

Billings, MT | You certainly don’t have to be a cattle farmer or rancher to appreciate this: Freedom to live and work and to enjoy your life, and the liberty to do so with minimal interference from anyone, particularly the government, is embodied in the American Dream. It defines who we are as a nation and as a people.

But hold onto the fence because we’re on the verge of throwing it all away. You might ask, how can that be? Well, the answer is found within the context of the century’s old quote from a non-American. In fact, this non-American delivered his timeless message 44 years before America threw its Boston Tea Party, which was a defiant protest against Britain’s taxation without representation, something the colonists viewed as evil.

The irony is that the author was Edmund Burke, a British statesmen. Unbeknownst to him at the time. His famous quote gave justification for the birth of America, and a Constitution designed to guard against evil.

Now you know this short but profound quote:

“All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”

And as it is with history, we could modify this to meet the times, like this:

“All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men and women to do nothing.”

So, evilness rarely surfaces immediately before the initiation of corrective action. Instead, it usually starts small and slow, working incrementally to eventually pervade all of society.

And so we’re getting to the specific example, but first let’s start here: What if the federal government decided that your personal property, and not just your guns but your automobiles, bikes and anything else you own must be registered with the federal government, and what if you are required to purchase and affix to your property a federally-approved decal manufactured in some communist country, say like China, and then from time-to-time you might be subject to an audit from some private third party to verify that you actually purchased and affixed to your property the mandatory, communist-sourced decal?

Now that’s a troubling thought. And, yes, the registration part of that scenario does currently apply to guns, but now the federal government wants to add yet another potentially lethal property item to that mandate – yours and your neighbors and friend’s cows.

Now don’t laugh, I’m not making this stuff up. I don’t have the propensity to be a comic. You see it’s true that for at least 18 years the federal government has been aggressively trying to commandeer control over each and every cow owned by three-quarters of a million independent cattle farmers and ranchers. And they want to do this through registration and identification with an electronic identification eartag, which is not unlike a decal.

Let’s break down everything our overreaching government wants. And if you don’t have cows, then every time I say cow, you substitute another of your assets, say your car or bicycle.

The government wants you to register your premises, that is, your real property where your cows are kept.

Then the government wants you to purchase and affix at your own expense an electronic identification decal or eartag to your cows. Now this is the taxation without representation part because it’s not Congress doing this…it’s the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

And we’ve officially asked the federal government if the only manufacturer of those mandatory electronic identification decals or eartags is the home to the Chinese Communist Party, but after nearly two months, we’ve received no reply.

And next the government wants you to record and report every instance when your cows are moved beyond your premises.

And when you sell your cow, well that needs to be reported too.

Now if you’re not bristled up and angry as a badger now, you’ll likely never be.

But something miraculously stopped the federal government in its tracks. It happened about 10 years ago. And what stopped the government from achieving its evil plan was the good men and women of America…they said No! A whole lot of them said No!

But like Las Vegas, the government never sleeps and its now refocusing its evil eye on your property. Remember, its coming for your cows today, tomorrow it’ll want your bicycles…or your wallets.

Here’s the descriptor for today: incrementalism. The government has put its evil plan back in motion and is restarting small and slow. Right now, today, the government is focusing only on your older assets, those you’ve owned for a year and a half. And it’s only issuing its costly mandate for those of you who dare transport your cows across state lines.

Have you heard enough? Well, then, good men and women of America, let your voices be heard by calling your members of Congress today to tell them “No!” to the plan to mandate electronic identification on American cows.

Let’s do what we do best. Let’s defend our liberty, freedom and independence by standing up and taking action. And the action to take is to call you member of Congress to tell them to put a stop to the mandatory electronic identification of American cows.

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R-CALF USA’s weekly opinion/commentary educates and informs both consumers and producers about timely issues important to the U.S. cattle industry and rural America.

R-CALF USA (Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund United Stockgrowers of America) is the largest producer-only trade association in the United States. It is a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring the continued profitability and viability of the U.S. cattle industry. Visit or call 406-252-2516 for more information.


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