May 20, 2009…11:55 am
USDA tries to manipulate consensus using “Dephi technique” at first of 14 scheduled listening sessions on NAIS
Here’s a report by someone who took part in the recent Harrisburg Pennsylvania “listening session” held by the USDA in an attempt to build consensus around the National Animal Identification System (NAIS). Videos below are for background on what NAIS is all about.
“Purported Listening SessionFirst of 14
The first USDA National Animal Identification System purported listening session took place on May 14th, 2009 at the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex. It was scheduled during the busiest time of the year, in the middle of a rainy spring planting and birthing season, yet many took time out of their farming schedules, or took off from work to attend.
Attendees came from Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, New Jersey, Ohio, New York, and one woman even flew in from Oregon to make sure their opposition was recorded. There are very few of these purported listening sessions scheduled around the country, as of the beginning of the session only 7 had been scheduled and posted to the USDA site. The torrential rains which hit us slowed down many of us, and prevented many others from being able to get through at all.
The USDA personnel did not wear badges or name tags, yet attendees signing in were given a folder which included a name tag which said, “Hello, my name is…” One person there felt that if the USDA personnel were not ‘tagged’, then attendees didn’t need ‘tagging’ either. It would very soon become apparent just who was who. One little girl wrote “NONAIS” instead of her name, her older brother wrote “NOUSDA” on his name tag. He handed it to one of the USDA employees sitting at the press table on his way out at the lunch break, and refused to return for the afternoon ‘breakout’ session.
Those in attendance were selected by lottery for an opportunity to speak during the morning session, many more numbers were called than there were people present, and yet there was a bit of a verbal scuffle that broke out over one attendee’s 1st Amendment Rights. Darol Dickinson of Ohio made a 7 hour drive to attend this listening session, he had preregistered and had received his ticket and had waited patiently for his number to be called up. At one point one gentleman crossed the aisle and handed him his ticket, number 87, which had just been called, and asked Mr. Dickinson to speak for his three minute time segment, as he did not wish to speak.
When Mr. Dickinson stood up before the mikes in the lineup of those whose numbers had been called up, he was accosted by a blonde, suited woman who insisted his number had not been called and he was not going to be allowed to speak. He felt that he had been singled out to be prevented from speaking, as his number, 63, was never called. He showed her that the number in his hand had in fact been called, and stated politely that he had made a 7 hour drive to speak to them. When his turn at the mike came, he began reading his prepared presentation. At 2.5 minutes, per the modus operandi of the day, the USDA moderator informed him that his three minutes were nearly up. He asked that she restart the clock to allow him to finish, as he had his tickets, and thus had three minutes plus another gentleman’s three minutes for a total of 6 minutes which he needed in order to finish his presentation.
Things looked bad for him as the USDA officials tried to argue him down, but the crowd spoke out insisting that he be allowed to finish his presentation.
The room was lined on both sides with security guards who had been instructed to be on alert if the blonde woman stood up and approached anyone, and if that person refused her instructions they were to surround them and remove them from the room. All these guards were not sufficient to intimidate those proud farmers and ranchers, the backbone of the nation was in clear evidence on that day. The crowd was a peaceful group of people who clearly had deep religious principles, however they were almost unanimously adamantly opposed to NAIS and determined to make sure that everyone there had their chance to speak. They wanted to hear, and they wanted the nation to hear what Darol Dickinson had to say.
Darol Dickinson received an apology from the moderator, saying she had made a mistake, and he finished his comments. After he sat down, a USDA official spoke up sternly to say that there would be no more ceding of time to anyone else for the rest of the session. Apparently they did not like what he had to say and wanted to make sure that they didn’t have to ‘listen’ to anymore of that sort of thing.
There was a contingent of Amishmen in attendance, and during the breaks one of them was heard to say that they had been told that 90% of the farmers of Pennsylvania had already enrolled in NAIS, and was delighted to hear that in fact that was a lie, as in fact 9799% of all livestock producers and animal owners are opposed to the system.
The previously voluntary disease control programs have been rolled over into NAIS without notifying the participants that they are now under a ‘new international contract’, instead of the US Constitution, and what the terms of that contract actually entail. One of the attendees actually entered the comment that her husband had enrolled their property based on erroneous information and without her knowledge or consent. He now regrets that action, and they like many others in their situation, would like to be removed from the program.
Other attendees ranged from mothers with babes in arms, children and young adults who see in this NAIS the death of their future dreams of living close to the land, retired farmers speaking out on behalf of their heirs, producers from across the agricultural industry and a wide spectrum of species interests. Market masters and professionals from many industries with interest in small farms, as well as consumers were in attendance to have their complaints (and the complaints of members of their organizations) against the NAIS entered into the federal record. Some were there to ask where their previous letters opposing the NAIS were recorded, which the USDA personnel had no knowledge and could not answer.
It is a matter of grave concern when isolated populations are deceived into enrolling in a program with such grave conflicts with certain ‘inalienable’ rights, recognized and guaranteed under our United States Constitution as well as state sovereignty, and many states’ own Constitutions.
There were about four or five people there to beg almost piteously for the USDA to immediately implement the mandatory NAIS, however when they stood up at the mike they introduced themselves and named the organization which they were there to represent,…each of those organizations have received huge sums of bribe money in the form of “Cooperative Agreements” to promote the mandatory NAIS. Ms. Joyce Bupps from IDAIRY, (over $1 million) The Holstein Association, (also a “Cooperative Agreements” beneficiary), Dave McIhenny representing Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, and others were there to help try to ‘reach a consensus’.
Toward the end of the afternoon breakout session, an 11 year old little girl (from an independent diversified farmstead in south central PA) determinedly held her hand high for a tiring three minutes, before being recognized by one of the facilitators. She stood up to say, after a minute or so of looking for and finding her shy little voice, “I will not participate in NAIS. I have my rights. I have the United States Constitution at my back.” The room was silent for a moment, then applause.
During this session, future USDA listening meetings on NAIS were announced, the woman did not have her list before her, stated that 6 more had been scheduled and was able to name off St. Louis, MO, NM, Rapid City, South Dakota, and Florida.
Monday, May 18: Pasco, Wash.
Wednesday, May 20: Austin, Texas
Thursday, May 21: Birmingham, Ala.
Friday, May 22: Louisville, Ky.
Wednesday, May 27: Storrs, Conn.
Monday, June 1: Loveland, Colo.
Showing up at these sessions is of the utmost importance in order to make sure that they are conducted with integrity. Farmers, ranchers and consumers have been writing, calling and emailing the USDA, state vets, and legislators since the original planning documents were leaked from a secret meeting in Chicago years ago. At one point the USDA called for letters, thousands wrote, yet the USDA officials who were asking for those letters and were present at this first ‘listening session’, were unable to even remember that they had asked for those letters, let alone what happened to them.
The citizens of this nation have for far too long left the business of politics to the politicians under the mistaken assumption that they were tending to their own business. It has become clear even to children that tending to business includes supervision and redirection of those hired (via our votes) to be our delegates to represent us in the legislative process,…less the local producers as well as our nation, be legislated out of existence. Call up and schedule a face to face meeting with your legislators at both the state and federal levels, (face to face meetings are the most effective method of communicating with your legislators, according to this reporter’s own legislators at both state and federal levels.) …and show up at one or more of these sessions.
The Delphi Technique was utilized at this purported listening session. A google search turns up the information that it is a technique used successfully in other venues and other countries as well as in the US to deal with groups of uneducated people who may have strong emotions and opposing opinions. A facilitator is utilized to try to lead the discussion in smaller “breakout” groups which will later be examined by ‘experts’ who will pull the comments collected into a cohesive ‘consensus’.
Well, there was the consensus of those who had taken money from the USDA to promote NAIS.
And then there was the consensus from the Amishmen, the other religions, the local farmers’ markets, and all the other consumers and producers in attendance, …that the USDA should scrap the program and allow the free market to dictate traceability. Those that wish to enter into international contracts may be free to do so, those that do not sell to those markets would not have to bear the crushing costs of that participation.
The only question that remains is …was the USDA listening to the consensus among the expert testimonies provided by the farmers, producers, and consumers present at this, the first of 14 scheduled purported listening sessions, or will USDA ‘experts’, esconsed in their ivory towers far above those of us who live the real life, provide their own version of ‘the consensus’?…”
And here’s some further commentary, excerpted from Marti Oakley of The Proud Political Junkie’s Gazette
“I have concluded the USDA and its henchmen really do believe we are all stupid. I have come to this conclusion after months of reading the misinformation, the disinformation and the outright lies the USDA has put forward in an attempt to force the implementation of the National Animal Identification system and the companion land grabbing piece, Premises ID.
Maybe Tom Vilsack and those conducting these bogus listening sessions believed no one would take the time to actually read, research or comprehend the intent of these bills. Its possible Vilsack & Team USDA figured if congress didn’t read the bills, we probably wouldn’t either. Wrong!
As every state in the Union mounts a campaign to halt the implementation of any of these international agreements and Codex Alimentarius mandates, rules and regulations, USDA was forced to conduct a “listening” tour. Of course….there was never any real intent to listen to anything. These are staged meetings where control of the crowd, content of the dialogue, is all determined before hand. At least that’s what USDA team leaders thought would happen…”
The Delphi Technique – What Is It? http://www.learnusa.com/transformation_process/acf001.htm
Here is a link to an article that describes exactly how to counter the technique and get your message across:
The Delphi Technique – How To Disrupt It: http://www.learnusa.com/transformation_process/acf002.htm
When you go to the meetings, make sure to arm yourself with this information. It is invaluable.