Let’s Get Amish Producers Out of the Legal Business

There’s been lots of handwringing about a federal jury’s conviction a few weeks ago of Kentucky salve maker Sam Girod. A miscarriage of justice, say some. Impeach the judge, say others. Prosecutors are the lowest of low-lifes, say still others. (Maybe on a par with journalists?)

There’s no question the possibility that Sam Girod might spend the rest of his life in jail is a terrible tragedy. But his conviction and jailing points up some inconsistencies and misconceptions about how we can best confront crazy regulation of food and other natural products. Please bear with me as I assess the situation, because I’m going to say some things that some may find unpleasant, even repugnant.

First, to suggest that Sam Girod, who chose to represent himself in a jury trial, bears no responsibility for his plight is to be in denial. It was Abraham Lincoln, our greatest president and a self-trained lawyer, who stated the problem this way: “He who represents himself has a fool for a client.” (Sam Girod’s many supporters are now promoting a petition campaign in search of a presidential pardon.)

The problem extends beyond Sam Girod’s personal tragedy. Several Amish producers of food and health products have compounded their legal problems by refusing to engage competent legal assistance, and the ripple effects of their cases are serious.

Where they get seriously led astray is with the so-called Sovereign Citizen defense. I’ve seen at least four producers try to use it, relying on various interpretations of common law, and each failed miserably. Some of you may recall the case of Dan Allgyer, the Amish farmer who tried to defend himself with the SC argument against a federal injunction filing by the FDA and U.S. Justice Department for shipping raw milk across state lines. Also, James Stewart, the Rawesome Food Club owner in Los Angeles. And now Sam Girod. All rolled the dice with the oracles of SC arguments, paid big dollars for the privilege, and all failed miserably. James Stewart even got to spend four months in jail, till he finally came to understand that only a real lawyer could get him out.

In shooting their wad on the SC defense, not only did these individuals lose their cases, but they helped create serious legal barriers for the rest of us. Government lawyers have already been using Dan Allgyer’s legal setbacks as precedent in arguing against food rights. These legal precedents can be used for years and years, until they are overruled. But getting existing legal precedent overruled just means climbing an even higher wall.

Second, Sam Girod could have had very good legal representation. He had a lawyer he fired; supposedly he became upset because the lawyer mentioned a plea-bargain agreement as one way to settle his case. The lawyer would have taken the case to trial if that was what Sam wanted. He was just presenting Sam with his options, as a good lawyer should do. If Sam was concerned about the money for legal fees, there is no doubt his many supporters out in Facebook and Twitter lands could have raised enough to provide a very adequate defense. He apparently wasn’t comfortable, for religious and other reasons of principle, with going the “English” way. That is his right, but if you’re going to take that right, understand that your decision has lots of ripple effects, beginning with your own freedom; Sam won’t be sentenced for a couple months, but he could well be sentenced to 20 or more years in jail based on the felony offenses he was convicted of.

Those of us who are frustrated with such decisions by Dan Allgyer, Sam Girod, and others need not just stand by and steam or vent at the system. We need to understand that while we can’t force Sam to violate his own religious and ethical beliefs, we can look out for our own rights, in the process helping the Amish avoid legal pitfalls.

I wrote some months ago about the Real Food Consumer Coalition, and its efforts to represent those consumers seeking to exercise their right to private food. RFCC’s first case has involved the government’s effort to push Pennsylvania farmer Amos Miller out of business. RFCC raised about $27,000, and over the last the last six months, has been working behind the scenes to ensure that Miller is able to continue producing food for his members. RFCC has obtained input from three different lawyers to help look after private food rights. I can’t provide all the details yet, since the Miller case hasn’t been finally decided. But I can say that RFCC has played an important role in ensuring that he is still here producing the wonderful food many depend on him for.

Miller has gone through the process familiar to other Amish farmers, of representing himself and spending serious money on the Sovereign Citizen advisers who lurk in many places around Amish producers. But he has also been able to draw on RFCC’s expertise, and for that reason he may come out of this serious legal case in one piece.

I understand that a big part of the challenge confronting Sam Girod, Amos Miller, and other Amish, is the influence of Big Ag and Big Pharma in trying to shut down competitors.  I also understand that America’s legal system, with its dependence on expensive lawyers to help defendants get a fair shake, isn’t the optimum system. It’s inefficient, complicated, capricious, and extremely expensive. It’s sometimes said America has the best system of justice money can buy. But it’s the system we have, based on a founding principle that we are a nation of laws, and that legal principles are more supportive of a democratic system than the arbitrary prejudices of politicians and tyrants.  No Amish farmer or salve maker is going to change that reality.

RFCC is seeking to work within the system of here and and now, and in that context, it offers the best chance of keeping Amish producers out of trouble.  It needs your help to continue its efforts on behalf of Amos Miller and  others to make regulators think twice about whether the Amish are such easy legal pickings.

RFCC is seeking to expand its efforts to protect the interests of private food organizations and the farmers who supply them. It has some super-creative approaches in the works, which I’ll be writing about upcoming. They all involve using the existing regulatory and legal systems to help further our cause. In that way, consumers who value the good products the Amish specialize can get what they need, and the Amish can do what they do best, away from legal tripwires.

Editor’s note: The contempt-of-court proceeding instituted against Amos Miller more than seven months ago was officially “settled” last week in U.S. District Court. The court ended the proceeding at the behest of Miller and his lawyer, Joseph Macaluso, after Miller late last year agreed to provide records of his members, with their names and other personal information redacted. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is understood to be in the process of completing its inspections of Miller’s farm, and the agency’s possible actions against the farm are still unknown.

104 comments to Let’s Get Amish Producers Out of the Legal Business

  • blesse'd are the cheese makers

    Very good article, Mr. Gumpert.

    I have to agree with you on this one. The SC defense is seductive to independent thinkers who are unaware of the realities of our legal system, but in practice the SC defense is a losing argument in today’s legal and political climate. The SC argument might have gotten some traction in 1845. But today . . . ? [Of course, that argument would have been needed in 1845].

    It seems to me that if the Amish folks are going to jump into the outside “market” and sell their products therein, they really need to rethink their position on how they are going to wrangle with our convoluted and corrupt legal system, such as it is.

    I will stay tuned for more on RFCC.

  • Ken Conrad Ken Conrad

    There were several generally accepted reasons that historians believe led to the fall of the Roman Empire. The two or three main reasons that magnified all the others, that weakened her as an Empire in essence destroying her from within and that left her unable to defend herself were, Government corruption, political instability and the loss of traditional values…

    The Roman Empire was founded on “the law” and indeed prided herself on that fact, yet the law and its lawyer’s at the time was/were unable to preserve justice and Rome’s integrity as an empire!
    The United States is becoming a legalistic nation increasingly based on corrupt and oppressive laws and although lawyers may very well be our first line of defence … if we can afford them, it would be a mistake to put to much emphasis on their ability and integrity!
    Allen Wilford was a beef farmer in Ontario who in the early 1980’s founded the Canadian Farmers Survival Association. Although he defended himself in court and won his case against the bank… he would probably agree with you about acquiring a lawyer. After his experience in the courts he went back to college and graduated as a lawyer from Osgood Hall. His story can be found in a book he wrote entitled, “Farm Gate Defense”.
    “Activist farmer goes to law school”
    http://www.cbc.ca/archives/entry/activist-farmer-goes-to-law-school

    http://www.cbc.ca/archives/entry/hunger-striker-protests-family-farm-foreclosures

    • Gordon S Watson

      the cruciall part of the foundation upon which the Roman Republic was built, was : the law to do with pedigree. Romans had to marry within their own people, i.e. the 10 founding families, i.e. the Gens. As long as they kept their race pure, they were strong. When the Empire became compromised by the usurers, and let down the hedges of protection around the nation – selling citizenship for money to a new class which could take on more debt / allowing non-Romans take up residence within the Italian peninsula – it declined. The very same thing is happening to America in a much shorter time-frame. The operations of Mega-Corporations today, perfectly parallel the “latifundia” as Rome degenerated in to feudal-ism. Rome collapsed when there were more parasites, supported by the state, than there were producers. Most of the 3rd world invaders in the US of A, today, receive more net income from the government, than they contribute. Of course bringing up that fact, is almost a criminal offence … to the lib-tard mind. And, really, the tidal wave of illegal in-migration is only a symptom of the basic problem, which is : ‘who controls the currency?’

      I keep urging all-concered to study Tupper Saussy’s masterpiece “Rulers of Evil” because in it, he explains how the Republic of the US of A was and continues to be governed by the very same spirit of that ancient Empire, revived. Evidence for which is literally carved in stone, in the public buildings all over the country.

      • David Gumpert David Gumpert

        You and your racist brethren are ignorant on so many fronts. It is diversity that has made America the world’s economic powerhouse. It’s why America keeps creating jobs even when other parts of the world aren’t. Consider this: More than one-fourth of America’s new businesses are launched by immigrants. Many more beyond that are started by children of immigrants. It is young growing businesses that create most of America’s new jobs. Here’s something for you to begin educating yourself.
        http://www.inc.com/magazine/201502/adam-bluestein/the-most-entrepreneurial-group-in-america-wasnt-born-in-america.html

        As just one example even you might be aware of: Apple was started by the son of a Syrian immigrant (Steve Jobs). Of course, I understand you aren’t interested in educating yourself on the facts….racists usually aren’t.

        If our new president lasts long enough to empty the country of immigrants, the economy will seriously atrophy, even collapse.

        • au contraire, Mr Gumpert. America was the wonder of the world … rising from next to nothing, to being the economic powerhouse that it is … during the time its immigration policy preferred people who held the same values, most of whom were white. No mere co-incidence that, after the law was changed in 1965, the economic decline began in 1967, as America went past the watershed of being a net borrower, rather than creditor to the world. America’s middle and lower class is now ‘maxed out’ as far as taking on more debt. Thus, it suits the Powers-that-Be to bring in more warm bodies as cannon fodder for their usury racket.

          Ironic that you trot-out Steve Jobs … who was born to an unwed teenage mother, with an unplanned pregnancy. Good thing she didn’t have a Planned Barrenhood clinic close by. if Americans had not exterminated 40 million of our own babies ( since 1970 ) by artificial abortion, there would be no controversy about illegal in-migration.

          it is amusing how you-all throw the word “racist” around, as though loving one’s own people, is somehow a criminal offence! Go visit the Amish compounds = healthy, beautiful blond-haired blue-eyed people for 3 hundred years, in no small measure because they are consanguine / “a closed herd” : they’re ‘race realists’…. how come you don’t sneer at them, as “racisss” for cleaving to their own kind?

          • David Gumpert David Gumpert

            Is that what they teach you in white supremacy school, that America has been in economic decline since 1967? I don’t have time to argue in detail such a preposterous claim (you never use real data), but here are two data points that demonstrate the exact opposite:

            Dow Jones Industrial Average in 1967: about 800
            DJIA today: nearly 21,000

            The Amish? They are part of America’s diversity.

          • Gordon S Watson

            your reading comprehension is curiously lacking = read the rest of my sentence – I wrote that economic decline of America means that the nation is now so far in debt, that it’s UN-payable. I could snow you under with FACTS from govt. data, proving how the US dollar has fallen off a cliff. In 1967 there were still plenty of genuine silver dollars to be had in ordinary business, at 1 dollar. Today, that same coin, goes for $25. A classic example of how the currency was debased. Lord Keynes’ classic quote would suit – ‘not one man in a million understands how inflation cheats him’ … my paraphrase

            In 1967, one man with a decent job could earn enough to raise a family in comfort. Today, that’s all but impossible. The so-called “prosperity” around us today is delusion… it’s all on credit. When those IOUs come back to haunt us, this economy, falsely propelled at effectually negative interest! … will be a cocaine addict’s cold harsh morning-after

            you don’t have to harken to me. But you DO have to accredit what David Stockman says in his book “The Great Deformation”. He was the Budget Director when Ronald Regan was president. So Mr Stockman does know a thing or 2 about the US Economy. In 742 pages he lays out his theme “The Corruption of Capitalism in America” … how the swindlers have “financial-ized” everything. The Dow Jones being the biggest con-game of all. Stockman explains how a crash beyond comprehension, is IN-evitable.

            the Amish ? They are one of the most homogenous ethnic enclaves in America … by design. You won’t see many Somali refugees strolling around ‘mongst the Amish-volk

        • Someone who’s operated in the elite circles of American journalism, cannot claim innocence about your motive for the statement ; ” If our new president lasts long enough to empty the country of immigrants, the economy will seriously atrophy, even collapse.”
          Insinuating that PRESIDENT Trump has directed govt. agencies to remove ALL immigrants, is contrary to the FACTS. Remember them?
          He never said any such thing and you know it. What he’s doing is enforcing the law so ILLEGAL immigrants are removed from US soil. See the difference?

          as for your throw-away remark “you and your racist brethren” … you’ll have to help me with that one. Here all along I thought I was the sole token white supremecist on your forum. One thing I do know fersure = that you don’t want to let in to your consciousness = is : the Silent Majority of white folks have had their fill of globalism disguised as “diversity”. Heartened by the Trump victory, they’re going to continue to vote accordingly

    • Michael

      Ken he has become one of the worst legal liabilities around. Victims are mostly women and other farmers. Several reprimands by the law society, and lawsuits. I heard from other lawyers that there are judges refusing to hear cases he is involved.
      I fell pray to him 20 years ago because I thought he understands the farmers point of view.

      • Ken Conrad Ken Conrad

        Sorry to hear about that Michael.
        I read his book back in the 1980’s and met him at a kitchen table meeting… I wasn’t at all aware of that all of this had happened.

        Ken

  • Ken Conrad Ken Conrad

    “Learn who your enemy is, embrace it, you enemy is called tyranny, fascism, corporatism, that’s your enemy. We don’t need to build walls around the boarder of the United States, the enemy is within… So I challenge each and everyone from the media, dare to know the truth dare to walk on the other side, dare to embrace the science that is on the other side…” Sheila Lewis Ealey

    https://www.facebook.com/

  • blesse'd are the cheese makers

    The Law of Rules

    WE hold these truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness – The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776

    Do we live today under the rule of law or the law of rules?

    Do we live in a time of social, legal, and spiritual relativism?

    Do we live in a time where there is no truth, no justice and no faith?

    Back in the day when the above words were written into the Declaration of Independence, the Truth was “self-evident.” Today, the truth is whatever you say it is on any given day.

    The foundation of our country has been ripped out from under us by the relativists.

    Nothing is sacred and “anything goes” is their motto.

    As long as we stand idly by and allow the relativists to control our government, our media, our public education system and our churches, we doom ourselves to the inevitable fate of Rome.

    So — What are you going to do about it?

  • Shana Milkie

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts as we all grapple with the implications of Sam Girod’s conviction. It’s awful, and I hope that somehow he doesn’t spend long in jail. Locking away a nonviolent person serves no one’s interests. Thank you also for raising awareness about the RFCC. We are fortunate that such an organization exists. We need to support it and emulate it.

  • Of course, I balk at the suggestion that Sam is in any way responsible for his plight. All Sam has done is stand on his rights and refuse to kiss the ring. In a just and moral court system, the Sovereign Citizen defense would work. It is completely constitutionally correct.

    Because the Amish don’t use electricity, they are naive. But so are most people when it comes to courts and judges and cops. Otherwise, we wouldn’t hand over our pot when a cop asks if we have any on us 🙂

    The first time Hal and I were in U.S. Tax Court, we honestly believed that when we told the judge the truth about the income tax, he’d throw up his hands and say, “OMG, I had no idea! Case DISMISSED!!!”

    Hahaha, that didn’t happen. We each have a $1M lien on us — each, numbers fabricated out of thin air. We were completely unprepared for just how corrupt and tyrannical that system is. That was our great hope: that a judge would save us from overzealous prosecutors.

    Here’s a good question: who do you call when judge lies in open court on the record? Appeal? Judges have a thin blue line, too: they got each other’s backs.

    Sam and the Amish are learning the hard way that truth matters not in a courtroom. Nor do facts — the judge can exclude any facts he wants. Nor do uninformed juries when the corrupt judge is giving jury instructions.

    The only thing that matters in a courtroom is who has the better lawyer. And when you are up against the state, for whom money and conscience are no obstacles, you better have the best lawyer you can get.

    • David Gumpert David Gumpert

      Sally, you make good points. One thing I would add is that the courts, for all their faults, usually do come around to the “right” decision over time. Sometimes it takes a long time. For many years, “separate but equal” was the law of the land, allowing racial segregation, until finally, in 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that “separate but equal is inherently unequal.”

      We’re fighting a similar battle over food rights. For now, the judges aren’t paying much attention, just as they didn’t pay much attention for a long time to cases seeking racial equality. But over time, with an accumulation of cases and small favorable rulings, we will very likely get the larger ruling we seek. However, losing cases poorly defended by Amish farmers will only lengthen the battle.

      • Ken Conrad Ken Conrad

        Getting back to the title of this article, “Let’s Get Amish Producers Out of the Legal Business”… I’m inclined to think that the Amish want little to do with the state’s legal business! In truth they have been compelled to partake in the legal process by state enforcers who believe that it’s either their way or the highway…

        The Amish are indeed part of America’s diversity. However, as a cultural element they have not “melted” so to speak in that great “melting pot” known as the United States of America. They have more or less remained separate and for this reason have found themselves at odds with the laws of the land. Consider for example, military duty and homeschooling. Indeed many were imprisoned for choosing to defy the state on these issues and although the law eventually accommodated their religious views, the times they are a changing! Consider the ongoing effort over the last several years by a growing number of state lawmakers to amend and limit both the religious and conscientious objection laws and further restrict medical exemptions to the point where they makes it nearly impossible for a doctor to grant it. Take for example the antics of Democratic Senator Richard Pan of the state of California and his successful effort to eliminate both conscientious and religious exemption, not only to vaccines but also to other forms of medical treatment deemed necessary by the state. This is merely the beginning and you can bet your bottom dollar that any parent who chooses to feed raw milk to their children will at some point in the future be subjected to similar draconian laws. Biased self-righteous law makers are like flees on a dog… they relentlessly keep coming back.

  • JHeckman

    At Princeton Library there was a screening of a new film about Wendell Berry.

    It is called Look and See. I am sure many readers of this blog would enjoy this film.

    Here is a link: http://lookandseefilm.com/what-we-do

  • John Dutcher

    I really feel for Sam, he is another victim of modern society. It is just so ridiculous, that it is hard to even believe, but even stranger things happen in court. Speaking of modern, my wife just had a young man message her and his words were almost humorous if it hadn’t been for his seriousness. He told her: “if you think GMO’s are bad for you, you really have no education at all. Another young man commented “of course there weren’t any autistic children in the 50’and 60’s because their parents either killed them or had them institutionalized. Sure makes me sad, these young people are the product of Ritalin and other psych drugs they give these kids today and then we wonder “why” Johnny went crazy and killed a bunch of people. There are a lot less people not on drugs then there is on drugs, I really believe these prescription drugs lower IQ’s and hasa lot to do with the divisiveness we experience in the US today.
    David,
    I really do like you website a lot and always look forward to see what you have “discovered” next, please keep up the good work!! Thank You!!
    John Dutcher

  • Gordon S Wason

    Sam Girod is not a “victim of modern society” … he’s suffering the consequences of his own naievity, or, if you like = taking the rap for acting on bad advice from the Eldership of his congregation. Tell me this : “did his congregation accept his tithe money?” I’ll bet you a silver $ against an old Susan B Anthony token, they were quite happy to take his $$ when it was flowing in to their coffers.

    Amish doctrine is predicated on ‘separation from the world’. The leaders countenanced Mr Girod that he could keep one foot inside their gated community, meanwhile make forays out into the world of commerce. Neither the scale of his enterprise, nor the efficacy of his product are relevant : he is finding out the hard way what happens when someone compromises religious principle by thinking he can profane himself, dealing in the currency of Babylon, then retreat into the Amish compound with his profits.

    Religious objectors cannot have their cake and eat it too : believers in Christ must learn how to “be in this world but not of it”.

    As far-fetched as it may seem, one of the solutions for his predicament, is = for the Elders to show up at the sentencing hearing, and plead “mea culpa” = ‘it’s our fault. He relied on us / we misled him.’ But that would require them locating sufficient testicular wherewithal to admit to themselves, and to the State, and to their flock, that they erred. There are a few instances in the history of the US of A, where a man took the place of another, who had been sentenced to gaol. In the Bible, it’s called “standing in the gap”. Sorta like what Jesus Christ did for us

  • A big congrats to Cathy and Paul Nobel of Ontario Canada. They are the 14th RAWMI Listed dairymen in North America and the third in Canada. They were visited by board Phd Dr. Ton Baars and me three times. He has a wonderful food safety RAMP plan with great test numbers….super proud of him.

    Me….a white supremacist??? . Some one did not do their home work on me. Look up my dad and what he did in 1972. ..look into my work as a pilot for flying doctors. Look into my blog posts and my dedication to compassion and humanity. Look into my work as a paramedic and my stand against police brutality. I am an all lives matter guy. Democrat through and through.

    Congrats to the Nobels!!! One more dairy and raw milk that much safer for all !!

    • blesse'd are the cheese makers

      PETA claims you’re a racist, McAfee, not me. I just wondered if they’re on to something.

      You’re an “all lives matter” guy? Well. What about folks on the right? You don’t seem to think their lives matter. Food for thought.

    • Emma G.

      “Dairymen”? Cathy is a strange name for a guy. I thought that with this name, the person would be a woman, not a man. Someone with XX chromosomes, not XY ones. Or, perhaps Mark is referring to Paul and his male farm employees, excluding Cathy, who is NOT a “dairyman.”

      Cathy is a dairy farmer, a producer, possibily an agister if the farm is a cowshare, but not a man as far as any stretch of biology is concerned, unless she self-identifies as male and is undergoing a sex-change. “Dairier” is also appropriate.

      • Gordon S Watson

        actually, Emma G, the English language does assume biological females are included in a that term, since it denotes a group. Surely you don’t count yourself out of the number of all humans being known as “mankind” ? Would you be happier if Mr McAffee had referred to “Cathy” as a “milkmaid”. How ’bout “milkmatron” ?

        • Emma G.

          Gordon, the term “mankind” primarily referred to men, and dates from a time when women mainly considered chattel, first of their fathers and then of their husbands, not persons. Remember that it took a court case in Canada (Edwards v. Canada, 1929) for women to finally legally recognized as being persons. And of course women at one time could not vote, because voting was reserved for people, not property and animals. And there existed the doctrine of “coverture,” whereby a married couple was considered to be one legal person: the man. Hence, the term “Mrs. John Smith” — the person was the man, not the woman.

          Language is changing now to reflect reality, to reflect the new laws and new attitudes which incorporate equality between the sexes. The term “mankind” is being replaced by the term “humanity” to refer to the entire species, to both sexes.

          So, to answer your first question: No, I do not consider myself to be part of “mankind,” because I am not a man and if I did enter a men’s room, in a restaurant for example, I would likely raise some eyebrows among any men there who were using the facilities. Washroom signs tend to read “Men and Women,” not “Men and Men.” I am however, as I suspect you are as well, a member of humanity (a.k.a., humankind or the human race). 🙂

          To answer your second question: With the wealth of gender-neutral terms available, and the fact that both sexes can milk livestock – I don’t think we need gender-specific terms for dairy farmers.

          • Gordon S Watson

            well, Emma G, your response re: the term “mankind” is more of the same femi-nazi propaganda up with which I’ve put for 40-so years. Apparently you were programmed in the Public Fool System to accept that the case of Edwards versus the AG of the Dominion of Canada dealt with “women becoming persons”. Wrong! That gigantic lie, told relentlessly from sea to sea, bamboozled an entire generation. If you do your own homework – actually read ALL of it – you’ll learn that the question before the Judicial committee of the Privy Council, was : whether the ambit of the British North America Act allowed for a woman to qualify for appointment to our Senate. Contrary to the utter nonsense bandied-about every March 8th ( women’s day, originated in the Soviet Union for glorifying communism ) Canadian women most certainly were voting, owing property ; doing banking under their own name ; sitting on the Bench of His Majesty’s Courts, well before that ruling came down.

            Nellie McLung, one of the Famous Five Petitioners in that case ( and a friend of my mother’s ) is presented nowadays as some kind of flaming feminist. Which she assuredly was not. Read her columns from the war years, being reprinted lately in the Victoria Times-Colonist to understand that she was a genuine Christian. Mrs McLung would be appalled at how her reputation has been perverted to lend credence to the anti-christs. You’ve been lied to. Jesus Christ said “Be ye not deceived”. With FACTS in hand, you’re faced with whether to continue being party to The Lie

            rather than “reflecting reality” the English language is going the way George Orwell warned us. And for the reason he warned. Orwell [ Eric Blair ] had been a member of a communist cell. Realizing, in the 1930s, where the Soviet union was headed, he began warning the West. And here we are … mere men thinking they can make reality conform to their own mental illness. Pretending that the human species is “gender neutral” is a ridiculous denial of objective reality. The laws visited on us by the gender-benders will do immense damage to individuals, and to society, but only for a season. They’ll wind up on the dung-heap of history … same as every experiment in social-ism winds up in epic failure. Confer with the tragedy unfolding in Venezuela, tonight.

  • John Dutcher

    David,
    You are wasting your time with Gordy, he is permanently embedded in his beliefs.Have empathy for him.Keep up the good work!!
    Mark,
    Chesemaker insinuated you were a racist and he/she accused me of ALWAYS playing the racist card, I think cheesemaker really meant it for Gordy, not me :>)

    No empire survives forever!!

  • Mark Mcafee Mark Mcafee

    Where does PETA suggest that I am a racist? Please provide a link. I would like to research.

  • Ken Conrad Ken Conrad

    How can there be justice when the courts condone this type of corruption, lack of transparency and deception? “The law is indeed an ass”, as in a donkey that has a somewhat unjustified, reputation for obstinance and stupidity; hence the source of the adjective “asinine”. It is the perverse legalistic application of the law that this phrase calls into question and is indeed applicable to the case in the following article and… the Sam Girod case.
    http://www.ecowatch.com/cdc-vaccines-autism-2051536402.html?xrs=RebelMouse_fb&ts=1476996475

    Robert F Kennedy Jr.’s definition of the CDC, namely that it is a “cesspool of corruption”, needs to be expanded upon to include the so-called justice system in the US and the FDA.

  • John Dutcher

    Ken,
    Let us add the USDA to that list also, having had to deal with them for the last 30 years,and while I’m at it, the Michigan Department of Agriculture is also full of corruption.
    Emma,
    As I suggested to David, you are wasting your time trying to communicate with Gordon, he does not listen, he just reacts, and I am not trying to be rude to him. It is just that his personality is of such that he seems incapable of “understanding” someone else’s point of view, or even listening to someone else with an open mind. He is very embedded in his beliefs.I usually just skim through his posts as of late, not a lot of pertinant information.

  • John Dutcher

    Emma,
    If you notice Gordon’s post is a bit confusing, I was not sure if he was inferring your point of view is fascist or communist? He state it was both and one cannot be both. They historically hate each other.

    • Gordon S Watson

      actually, John Dutcher, all confusion as to my response to Emma G, is your own. Confer with the brilliant work of Wilhelm Reich, who explained how international socialism – such as what the Russians suffered under – and national socialism – Germany under the Third Reich – are two incarnations of Fascism. Which Reich labelled “Red” and “Black”. Having experienced both of them, he knew what he was talking about.

      my point regarding Nellie McLung is substantiated on page 8 of the Victoria Times Colonist newspaper [ April 5 2017 ] where Editor Dan Obee published a piece on her. Today being exactly 100 years since suffrage = the right to vote = was extended to females over 21, in British Columbia. In that article, he points out that women were owning property in BC in 1871 (at least). An editorial of the day opined “We do not believe that politics will ever become thoroughly respectable and honourable a profession until females are permitted to have a voice in the selection of members of the house” … And how’s that working out, so far?!

      Emma G appears to be another Canadian who was badly deceived as to FACTS to do with the Suffragette movement. The test, now, being : “does she have a mind genuinely open, so as to be able to think for herself with more information? That requires the Person to admit they were wrong. Usually, a human being ( of either gender! ) will retaliate against the messenger. Old Marshal McLuhan said “when our self image is threatened, we have a mandate for war”. Which explains a lot about those entangled in Trump Derangement Syndrome

  • Mark Mcafee Mark Mcafee

    The PETA link completed the joke…. thx cheese maker.

    In many of my speeches, I have explained that while pasteurized processors have blamed consumers for their inability to consume dairy, raw milk is universal food for all humans…the lactose intolerance and allergic nature of processed treated dairy products is the problem….there is nothing wrong with the consumer!!!

    Raw milk is food for all humans on earth. It has been that way for a long long time…

  • charles

    I know some one personaly who can not consume pasteurized milk, to the point that it’s dangerous to her health.She now drinks raw milk with no problems.That is a real accomplishment,when you consider she lives in Canada.

  • Ken Conrad Ken Conrad

    Dr. Zach Bush articulates very well the root of our predicament. Namely, that our belligerent attitude towards essential living organisms is what has gotten us into this mess and if we continue to hold onto it, we are merely going to get ourselves deeper and deeper into this disease/illness quagmire.

    The antagonist that demonstrates a narrow minded, reductionist hostility towards living organisms such as microbes, parasites, insects and weeds etc., will always be searching for excuses to justify their disruptive, restraint based methodologies.

    We need to ask ourselves this all-important question… In what way does identifying perceived problematic living organisms as described above enable humans to control it in a practical sense; in other words, without causing the collateral damage that undermines the “natural” integrity of the entire living ecosystem and its symbiotic relationship to humans, animals, plants and the environment?

    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2017/04/09/soil-microbes-intracellular-communication-affects-health.aspx?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=facebookmercola_lead&utm_campaign=20170409_soil-microbes-intracellular-communication-affects-health

  • John Dutcher

    Charles,
    The last time I tried store bought “milk” it was repulsive to my taste buds, I do not know how anyone can drink that swill and I am one who also is bothered (bloat,gas, over full feeling)by the commercial swill. Love raw milk,raw cream in my coffee, raw milk butter on my potatoes, raw milk cheese on most everything :>)
    Mark,
    Glad to hear about your product expansion, congrats!!

    • Mr. J. Ingvar Odegaard Mr. J. Ingvar Odegaard

      John Dutcher, you write:
      “Mark,
      Glad to hear about your product expansion, congrats!!”
      Sorry I missed that information from Mark, may I as where it was?
      Thanks, Ingvar

  • David Gumpert David Gumpert

    I just added an update at the end of my latest post:

    Editor’s note: The contempt-of-court proceeding instituted against Amos Miller more than seven months ago was officially “settled” last week in U.S. District Court. The court ended the proceeding at the behest of Miller and his lawyer, Joseph Macaluso, after Miller late last year agreed to provide records of his members, with their names and other personal information redacted. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is understood to be in the process of completing its inspections of Miller’s farm, and the agency’s possible actions against the farm are still unknown.

  • Mark Mcafee Mark Mcafee

    https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/04/10/us/california-today-cancer-worries-over-a-common-weedkiller.html?_r=1&referer=

    California EPA takes the bold step of declaring Roundup a known cancer causing agent. It is about frickin time!!! This is true organic progress

  • At the risk of causing tension with in the raw milk community…..let me share a story with you. I get calls all the time from legal raw milk producers all across America that complain to me about Millers EcoFarm raw milk flowing into their back yards at cheap prices. They report to me that the FDA refuses to block his shipments or do anything about his cross border violations of CFR 1240.61. One recent call from a person in Florida was particularly emotional. The person reported that one of his friends had already been put out of business because of Millers massive operation and shipments at cheap prices and no requirements to follow any sort of laws or regs. Another producer reported a similar story in another state.

    I recent legal review by an excellent attorney reported that the fda holds very specific descretion over when and if it chooses to enforce the law against anyone. The FDA does not have to punish violators and can select if and when it chooses to do anything!!!

    Perhaps the fda now recognizes that Miller can be a very useful tool to create an unfair playing field and hurt legal raw milk producers. Yes….I believe this is a very true assessment. It is clear that no one is apposing Millers massive interstate business of shipping unlabeled raw dairy products to all corners of America. However….if anyone else does it….well, that’s simply illegal and enforcement would be aggressive and intensive. I now from personal experience.

    It is not the private nature of the purchases. It is not his religious connections….it is very much that Miller is a FDA tool to hurt legal raw milk businesses. What better way to hurt raw milk than to create an unjust and completely unfair playing field. I believe this….because I have taken so many calls that say the same thing.

    Millers organic claims continue. Look at his website….farm signs say “organic” 9 dairies none organic all commingling raw milk and raw products. No safety programs or testing. No permits or labels. No inspections….just a huge interstate push for taking money and shipping like crazy.

    The fda….using Miller to hurt legitimate legal producers. Wow….never thought I would ever see the day. Miller as the ultimate FDA battering ram against legal raw milk producers that get permits, get inspected, have insurance, keep their Grade A standards up to date.

    • Emma G.

      You are 100% correct, Mark. They are certainly using Miller to drive legitimate operations out of business. And then, they will eventually come down on Miller, but not until he has caused the amount of damage which they have deemed acceptable. They want to shut down the raw milk industry completely. This is one tool they have at their disposal, to inflict as much damage as possible.

      If anyone still believes that Miller’s is a small family farm operation, take a look at his website and the how many states he advertises that he distributes to. Next, take a look at the “Real Milk Finder” on the WAPF website, how many state pages advertise multi-state private buying clubs. The Feds read these pages too, and have decided for some reason not to prosecute. Why is that?

    • Ken Conrad Ken Conrad

      You may be right Mark, and if so, then it just goes to show that raw milk safety is not the issue they make it out to be. Indeed, if they are as insincere and manipulative as you make them out to be, then they are little more then shysters and the so-called science they use to back up there regulations is little more then a sham and cannot be trusted. Under such pretences, the fact that FDA officials can successfully use the law to prosecute individuals such as Sam Girod is a travesty of justice and doesn’t speak highly of the judicial system.

    • David Gumpert David Gumpert

      You and Emma and others are way off here. I’m not sure what has got you piling onto a farmer who is under the regulatory gun. I don’t hear you going after Mark for being a tough competitor to many raw dairies in CA. Remember, he is selling at retail all over the state, and doing all kinds of social media and other promo. Amos Miller doesn’t sell at retail, and does no promo of any kind. Amos sells only to individuals who come to him, and sign a strict membership agreement. I think the farmers who are complaining to you, Mark, are like you–they like having a protected market, even if it means some people can’t gain access to raw dairy and other good food.

      And then to suggest the FDA is colluding to help Amos? You have got to be kidding. Since when is a little competition a problem? Get off your high horses!

      • Gordon S Watson

        your use of the word “competition” is quite different than what most English-speakers understand it to mean. A game in which one competitor has to play by all the rules … meanwhile another competitor disregards them, is the very opposite of fair play.

        Wayne Gretzky was one of the best ice hockey players of all time. He was also one of the biggest complainers about referees failing to call a penalty when he was slashed, held, tripped etc by lesser mortals. The Great One could – and did – skate circles around his opponents when given a chance. Mark McAffee pioneered the business of REAL MILK, when Amos Miller was still toddling-around the Amish gated compound in diapers. Organic Pastures was a market-maker and a price MAKER rather than price taker. By setting the price where it had to be, so as to make the supply of REAL MILK sustainable, rather than just a labor of love. Without Mr McAffee’s efforts, Amish Amos © would be just a little horse-and-buggy outfit in Hicksville ; these days = interstate business is booming by exploiting the work done by Organic Pastures. Here in BC, we know that $10 Cdn for a gallon, is the floor price, simply to break even. If his Ecofarm sells REAL MILK for less than $10 bucks a gallon, it’s a loss leader. In Canada, that’s an illegal trade practice.

        • David Gumpert David Gumpert

          We all know about your ongoing admiration of the Amish, Watson. I’ll just repeat what I’ve said before, to Mark and others. Amos Miller, and others who sell food privately (there are many others), aren’t disregarding the rules. They aren’t part of the public system that Mark plays in, involving retailers, distributors, advertising, and such. They offer their food via private contract, and operate in a separate realm. That is why the FDA and other regulators have had a difficult time trying to dispense with them, much as they would love to. Contracts still carry some weight in the U.S. I know that Miller, in particular, hasn’t always obeyed all the rules (such as when he sold raw milk at WAPF conferences), but I think he’s learned his lessons, and I don’t think you’ll see much of that ongoing.

          • Gordon S Watson

            you missed my point, Mister Gumpert \ it comes down to taxes. The Amish-volk pretend to demselves dat dey use the Bible as their guide. Jesus Christ made it perfectly clear from whom taxes are due in the worldly system. After which lesson, he sent one of his sidekicks to get such a coin of the ream, and render unto Caesar that which was Caesar’s. As Amish Amos © denominates sales of its products in notes of the Federal Reserve System, the state becomes a third-party in said transactions. Which entitles the IRS to a cut of the gross, as Excise Tax. For those who want to understand the mechanism of the currency racket, George Gordon explained it in his masterpiece The Check Story. Amos Miller and the elders who are responsible for mentoring him, may think they’re “special” under the income tax… but they ain’t. Amos may be laughing all he way to the bank, at this point. But, “he has not yet heard the bad news”. He and his accomplices are in for a bruising.

            Judge Tetley’s Reasons in the Ontario Superior Court case of Michael Schmidt’s buying club, are instructive, as to whether private contract prevails against legislation. UN-fortunately, things are so far-gone in Hammerica, that one of the most important functions of the State = upholding private contracts, especially the sanctity of private property = has been perverted, so the State is now the prime mover … breaking contracts which don’t suit its policy. Ivan Illich said “all human institutions wind up doing the opposite of what they set out to do”.

          • David Gumpert David Gumpert

            I don’t know how Amos Miller’s and other Amish farmers are organized business wise (corporations, LLC, etc.), so I don’t know exactly which taxes they are obligated for (or what the “Excise Tax” you refer to is even something they need to deal with). I do know this–the IRS gets its due from most of us, and if these farmers had a tax problem, the IRS (and state tax authorities) would have been after them long ago….and would have collected.

          • Gordon S Watson

            one thing we do agree on, is : ” Amos and his club members however, have chosen rather to abide by a different view/philosophy that does not include conforming to a glaringly-biased, top-down corrupt, controlling, condescending and oppressive government bureaucracy.” From lessons learned how such dissidents nearly always wind up, I shake my head in dismay.

            let me get this straight, Mister Gumpert ? you belong to a loose affiliation of people, most whom you don’t even know, and from which you derive a significant portion of your food supply, yet you don’t have a clue what is the nature of its tax status? Man oh man! … are you ever in for a hard lesson when the excrement hits the fan.

            No, no … poor sap Amos Miller is only at the beginning of his woes

  • Gordon S Watson

    in Canada, we had a situation which parallels what Amish Amos © is doing in the US of A with REAL MILK. Starting about 2000, a guy named Russell A Porisky carried on the Natural Person school of Prophetic Tax Law Interpretation. It was curious to us rabble-rousers how Big Daddy Russ got away with his con, meanwhile RevScam [ Canada Revenue Agency ] came down so hard on individual “tax protesters”. When CRA finally did lower the boom on him, their dragnet caught over 800 of his students, as well. Exactly as I’d warned, practitioners of the Natural Person method of tax evasion were put through the wringer = audited, winding up in the slough of despond with heavy penalties and interest on unpaid income tax. It gives me no pleasure to report that Mister Porisky now sits in federal penitentiary for 4 1/2 years, along with his sidekick Michael Miller, convicted of counselling an indictable offence.

    in 2005, I published my suspicion [ to my mailing list of over 1000 people paying attention to the DeTax thing ] that Porisky & Co were a “honey pot” … ie. allowed by the Authorities to continue so as to draw out dissidents / tax evaders of all stripes.

    Political activists must learn that the central govt. Tyrant works on a very different time-frame than ordinary folks. Official-dumb thinks in decades.

    Regardless of the quality of products handled by Amish Amos’s vertically-integrated corporate entity, and regardless of Mr. Miller’s religious sincerity … when the tax collector comes calling, the pretext won’t be concern about “health” …he’s being framed-up for prosecution so his hide can be nailed to the wall in the FDA trophy display office. And that is not just a rhetorical device. At the CRA office in Vancouver, our photos were literally posted on the wall by the water cooler!

  • There is a reality and a true justice innate with raw dairy products. I just love this part. If it isn’t local….it doesn’t taste good. When bacteria counts are high, cold chains are broken, things aren’t clean, it takes to many days to reach the consumers….flavor and shelf life suffers greatly. That’s where good quality always wins. We see this all the time. Cow shares that do a great job…. keep their consumers ( owners )and those that don’t don’t. Something about being local, clean, cold and safe really matters to the taste buds.

    Cheap, unfair and far away has real problems….whether that be China or commingled raw milk from unknown sources from 2500 miles away. Can’t cheat and win in the long term regardless of the FDA and its unjust sloppiness.

    Quality, integrity, safety and local wins because consumers taste it and love it. May take some time….but truth always tends to prevail if it persists long enough to be heard and consumed.

    Do not get me wrong….there are plenty of great raw milk producers in Penn state and across America. I just wish that all played by the rules. USDA organic should mean something. When the word ” organic” is washed around, the words become meaningless and diluted. Organic is hard and it is expensive. It takes hard work to be USDA organic. When a producer violates the USDA rules, he cheats himself, he cheats nature, he cheats his cows, he cheats and misleads his consumers and its just bad Karma. When ODairy cheats in Aurara Colorado by selling organic milk from a 8000 cow CAFO with no pastures for the milk cows….that’s cheating. When Millers EcoFarm places the word “organic” on his farm signs and misrepresents his products that’s cheating. When Miller bottles raw milk from many farms ( unknown how many ) that’s unethical and cheating.

    If I speak from a high horse…so be it. At least I speak truth and integrity. That matters to me and it matters to most consumers that I know. Several years ago….There was a PhD that would blog here, that would harangue me for days for even the thought of outsourcing or buying extra organic raw milk( even from a tested legal organic source ) to make cheese or butter ( class 4 products that have little food safety risks ). She considered it misrepresentation, unsafe and mislabeling because I put my brand on it!

    Where is she now when this is common practice for Miller,….. The hypocracy is remarkable.

    • David Gumpert David Gumpert

      Mark, members of Amos Miller’s food clubs know how he produces his products, and they know that much of what you say is false. Cold chains aren’t broken, because members insist on refrigerated trucks. Much of his product reaches members more quickly than your milk reaches retail shelves, where your product then sits for days before being purchased. Most also travels fewer miles than much of your milk. Members know that some local nearby farms contribute not only dairy products but other products as well that he sells. Members know that he uses the term “organic” in his farm’s name, because he adheres to organic standards; he doesn’t label his products as such. Still, you have a point on that, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a change on that front (though I don’t speak for him and have no inside info on that).

      I must say that it is discouraging to see you and others in effect encouraging the FDA to go after a raw dairy producer who produces safe and nutritious product–so safe and nutritious that he has difficulty meeting demand. His club’s members are very well informed about good food, and they love what he produces. I’m sorry if you or others are losing business to him and other private producers–maybe you need to improve product quality.

      • David Gumpert David Gumpert

        I’ll just add that Miller and a few other farmers are probably more customer oriented than the bulk of raw dairy farmers, including you. I say that because these few farmers continue to add products that consumers demand, and most raw dairy farmers shy away from. For example, Miller now sells difficult-to-produce water buffalo and camel milk. Some people have experienced greater health benefits with these products than cow’s milk. You know well that many parents of autistic children see positive changes in their children from camel milk, and so are desperate to continue a regular supply. When you and others try to cripple Miller, you become no better than the FDA, which wants nothing more than to deprive Americans of food that improves their health. Why do they want to do away with such food? For the same reason they want to do away with raw cow’s milk. The more people become aware that it improves their health, the more of a threat it is to Big Dairy, and the more Big Dairy wants to fight it. You are in bad company.

      • Emma G.

        If “private sales” of regulated food products via “food clubs” like Miller’s are exempt from regulation, then shouldn’t “private sales” of illegal drugs, prohibited weapons, etc. be exempt from the law as well? If the Feds refuse to prosecute one type of illegal sale, then this establishes a dangerous precedent, that all types of anti-trafficking laws pertaining to prohibited, restricted, and regulated goods can be broken as long as someone sets up a “club” to do it.

        Under the FSMA, foods are now more tightly regulated than ever before. So I am surprised that they have not gone after Miller and others like him. There must be some reason why they have made this obvious policy decision not to (or not to yet?), and I would love to find out what it is.

        • David Gumpert David Gumpert

          There is a whole body of law around private sale of illegal drugs (mostly prohibiting). Much less around private sale of food. It’s being established more around food via court precedent. You and Mark seem to like the FDA approach of regulate, regulate, regulate. But to the extent consumers back farmers like Amos Miller who are seeking to validate private sales, the more likely it is to happen the way most of us want it to happen.

  • Ken Conrad Ken Conrad

    Mark, you sound like a child that’s been hard done by and is intent in having things go his way.

    We’ve touched on this topic before… so let me repeat myself. “If you and other raw milk producers want to follow “rules and regs”, then go for it. Amos and his club members however, have chosen rather to abide by a different view/philosophy that does not include conforming to a glaringly biased, top down corrupt, controlling, condescending and oppressive government bureaucracy. Indeed a bureaucracy that on many occasions have violated and demonstrated contempt for public safety”, and… derives great satisfaction in pitting one farmer against the other and using individuals such as yourself to fight their battles.

  • Honestly, I could care less for myself. We have tons of new consumers that share stories of the raw milk that they used to drink….but have changed brands because of flavor, trust and or other personal choices.

    I wrote about this issue because of all the calls I get from very small producers in other states that follow the rules and lose because Miller does not follow any rules and under cut true cost of production.

    On April 28th OPDC hosts its sixth annual Camping with the Cows Event. 450 tickets have been reserved. Bigger than ever….dont think we have a problem with customer service or relationships….open doors, touring, free consumer outreach, RAWMI mentoring… The jabs are hallow.

    Miller is a cheater….that’s just the facts. He cheats on so many levels. I say these words as a favor to those raw milk producers that call me and say exactly these words.

    • Emma G.

      Mark, you should suggest to the farmers who are playing by the rules that obviously these rules do not exist any longer, and they should set up clubs of their own, ASAP.

      • David Gumpert David Gumpert

        These “rules” you talk about are subject to interpretation. Lots of farmers around the country, including California, have set up food clubs, as well as herd shares and cow shares, to allow people to acquire their food privately. They allow farmers to do better financially, since there are no middlemen and processors taking most of the profit. I agree with you, Mark should encourage more farmers to establish private operations. It would help encourage more farming.

  • David and Emma,

    You could very well be 100% right. Food clubs outside of the regulatory nightmare could very well be the future of food. At least at some level.
    What causes me pause is how the FDA has selected me for special enforcement. It seems like they could care very little about everyonevelsecwhen it comes to CFR 1240.60, but OPDC was nearly inducted, was definitely punished and dragged through federal courts. Because the FDA can selectively enforce its laws…. I do not think that a buyers club using Internet and instate sales will be in my near future.

    According to solid legal advice, I can not use the lack of enforcement against Miller as a precident for following his model doing what Miller does. The FDA can pick and chose who they punish. They have very broad authority and can ignore some while attacking others for doing the exact same things.

    Now that’s corruption.

    • David Gumpert David Gumpert

      Mark, you are absolutely correct, that “the FDA can pick and choose who they punish.” That’s a big part of the point here. They picked you a few years back, for one reason: to use you as an example to discourage other farmers who may have had the same idea as you. When you follow up by demanding they go after other farmers testing the system, to show some “consistency,” you are just falling into their trap and compounding the problem. “You put me through the ringer, so you should put XXX through the ringer as well. Not fair!”

      A much better response would be to challenge the feds for putting other farmers through the same misery they put you through. You want to send a message that such an arbitrary and capricious treatment of raw dairy farmers won’t be tolerated. If enough of us raise enough of a ruckus, they will think twice before doing their arbitrary enforcement thing.

  • JHeckman

    Study: Listeria bacteria can hide inside tissue of romaine lettuce
    https://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2017/Q1/study-listeria-bacteria-can-hide-inside-tissue-of-romaine-lettuce.html
    WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – A Purdue University study shows that the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes can live inside the tissue of romaine lettuce, suggesting that conventional post-harvest sanitization practices might not be sufficient to kill the potentially lethal pathogen.

  • No way around it…..the only way to prevent infection is to build a strong immune system. That means a bio diverse, experienced , well excercised immune system that can handle most anything including bad bugs. Creating a food system that is sterilized only makes immunity worse and bad bacteria more welcomed.

    The research scientists in academia are truly weak. I say that with all sincerity. Down deep inside each of the scientists they know this fact….what makes them sheep is their failure to speak up and be heard about a true pathway to health and protection.

    Listeria lives on earth….avoiding food is no pathway to health. Having and developing a strong immune system is the pathway forward….yet our scientific leadship refuses to speak these words.

    A lowly raw milk organic dairyman….said these words. That’s really revealing about the state of science.

  • JHeckman

    Do you remember when the critics of raw milk said the difference between raw vegetables and raw milk is that you can wash the pathogens off of vegetables?

    Now that way of looking at food safety turns out to be FALSE.

    • Ken Conrad Ken Conrad

      Indeed, there are numerous myths floating around with respect to the nature of a microbe… and these myths stems from a reductionistic, antagonistic way of thinking that fails to consider the microbes overall complexity and essential symbiotic relationship to the ecosystem within which it resides.

  • Well said Dr. Joe…..bacteria are so inconvenient. They just don’t follow the rules that market politics would love them to follow. We don’t even know their rules yet. They are still the unknown ever powerful universe below our feet and around our world.

  • Dearest Mark,

    We have stood together at rallies for food rights. We have locked hands at the legislature, strategized, listened, changed, listened some more and fought endlessly for our brothers’ and sisters’ access to raw milk. You have hugged me, looked me in the eye and said that you would fight for my children’s source of raw milk. And you have. You have said we are east and west, embracing the country in a huge raw milk hug. Mark….all of this and so much more is what makes me admire you. This is what makes us allies. This admiration is what makes us fight for each other’s rights to consume the foods of OUR choice from the producer of our choice.

    Mark, now I need you to honor your word to me. I need you to stand with me once again in this fight, because it really is a fight. It is a fight for 2 of our most basic rights as human beings: eating the foods we choose and peacefully engaging with the producer who best fits our needs.

    About that second part… Mark, you know as well as I do that people are so different. We all have different needs and want different things. We have different experiences in our lives that lead to a variety of beliefs and opinions. As many calls as you get from farmers who complain about Amos Miller, I get that many calls from farmers who complain about you and your standards. As for consumers, should consumers not have a right to access French wine even though it is far away? For some families, and some individuals, choosing the farm products produced on the soil of Lancaster county is their “French wine.” As David says repeatedly–those who consume the food from Miller’s Farm do so intentionally. For many who seek it out, it is the only option acceptable to them. Do you want to stone him to death over a few differences? Or perhaps your own ego? Remember: decentralization is what will save us here.

    Mark…You have thrown so many stones. You have not hesitated to make every effort to shut down, vilify and shame the farmer who I depend on to feed my children and my family. Mark, when you see the Mother bears rise up to defend YOUR farm, to defend the source of food they depend on to keep their children healthy, make sure you realize that now YOU are provoking Mother bears from another producer. A producer who we respect as we do you. It seems that Amos Miller is more of a competitor to you than an ally in the real food movement. I sincerely ask you to ask this of yourself — is it your intention to divide the allies that support you out of greed and/or envy? Do we not get to choose the producer of our choice based on our needs and preferences?

    You might not have heard much from me recently, Mark. But that does not mean I have not been working. You know that I work hard. You know that I follow my belief and my passion. You know that I will fight against injustice. You have the chance right now to be an ally again. You have the opportunity to really, fully understand that when you attack a farmer (as you know SO well), you attack the mothers who depend on that farmer’s food. Once you realize this, I invite you, with open, loving arms, to stand with me and the other mothers who depend on Miller’s Farm and the group of farmers who work with him, to take back our right to the foods of choice from the producer of our choice.

    Mark, we can make this tide rise so high. We will float all the boats. You know as well as I do that strengthening our food producers and our food communities is vital to the shift that must occur for greater peace in our world. It is vital to the regeneration of our soil. It is vital to human life on this planet. Mark, this is my formal invitation to you, to once again, put aside your ego, your criticism and join with a powerful force. A force so great you seemingly do not even quite understand it: the force of women creating food security for their households and their communities. We will fortify our communities with these ancient building blocks of women’s strength and mothers’ compassion.

    Mark, will you join us?

    • David Gumpert David Gumpert

      Liz, thank you for speaking from the heart, and for so eloquently saying what needed to be said.

    • Emma G.

      Liz, why are farmers complaining about Mark’s standards? He is not forcing them on anyone. Following RAWMI standards is a completely voluntary choice.

      As for farmers who do not follow RAWMI standards, I would ask them: What specifically are they they themselves doing instead, in order to prevent outbreaks?

      Every raw milk outbreak that occurs is the responsibility of the raw milk community: All of us. It means that we have all failed in some way, particularly if the result of the outbreak is a child in the hospital suffering from HUS.

      Miller’s raw milk caused a death in 2014. That same year, an outbreak in Utah sickened 99 people, 10 severely enough to require hospitalization, and 1 person died. And in Colorado last year, an outbreak sickened at least 24 people. How many of these illnesses were preventable?

      What are we ourselves doing to prevent outbreaks, and what are we doing in order to help other farmers prevent outbreaks? Mark is right: “When kids get sick … the freedom fighters run and hide. They are nowhere to be found. Freedom comes from taking 100% accountability and responsibility. “

      • Gordon S Watson

        no, Miller’s raw milk did not ‘CAUSE a death in 2014’. Dispense with that rank propaganda from the Centers for Disease Control and its fear-mongers.

        The few facts that we have about the death of someone in Florida, “associated with” raw milk, indicate that that person was dying of cancer, and just happened to have consumed some raw milk – perhaps, but maybe not – supplied by the distribution network of Miller’s EcoFarm. Same as with the child in Australia … it suited opponents of raw milk legalization, to pollute the discourse with the lie that a child’s death was CAUSED by drinking raw milk.

        Those interested in the Campaign for REAL MILK would do well to familiarize themselves with the book + Master Manipulator – The Explosive True Story of Fraud Embezzlement and Government Betrayal at the CDC + by James Ottar Grundvig. The evidence in this book condemns ANY thing and EVERY thing put out by the CDC, as political posturing.

        • Emma G.

          From what I read though, Gordon, the death was recorded as being from listeriosis. They had terminal cancer yes, and this had seriously weakened their immune system, but it wasn’t cancer that killed them in the end. Genetic testing of the listeria bug in question (whole genome sequencing – see https://www.cdc.gov/pulsenet/pathogens/wgs.html) linked it via DNA to that in Miller’s milk – two years after the fact – there is a national database that has been set up for such things. Also as I recall, this was not fresh milk – it was chocolate milk – so there could have been multiple possible sources of contaminated ingredients.

  • Don

    THANK YOU LIZ What a breath of FRESH AIR!!! The stench around here for quite awhile has been nearly to much to bear and from many sides. Praise to you and your very refreshing wise words. Don

  • Dear Liz,

    I have always stood with you and always will stand with you. The right to eat is above nearly all other rights. There is no distance between us on this basic human right or this just fight.

    As you know….I believe in raw milk, but I have also seen the tragic consequences of careless producers and sick kids. I even learned of this the hard way. When producers complain about RAWMI or high standards, I am proud. That shift to a high standard has changed the face and the CDC data on raw milk illnesses since 2010. Since the founding of RAWMI illnesses from raw milk have been in steep decline at the same time that raw milk consumption and production is accelerating and increasing. There is an indirect connection here. The expectation of some routine testing and being sanitary has been established nationally and internationally. There are now 14 RAWMI listed producers in North America !!! If that gets me some complaints…so be it.

    There can be little freedom if a kid gets sick. Have seen this time and time again. When kids get sick….the freedom fighters run and hide. They are nowhere to be found. Freedom comes from taking 100% accountability and responsibility. Safety comes first…then freedom is assured….not the other way around. That’s my math and I have experiences to confirm this order in the sequence of events.

    All that said….I will stand with you come hell or high water. You know that. You as a consumer and mother have a right to consume foods of your choosing, there is no distance between us on this issue. If I have an issue with a particular farmer and his conduct, that has nothing to do with your rights to seek foods of your choosing.

    I receive calls from raw milk producers that follow all the rules at great expense. They test, they label, they get inspected, they pay the fees, they are audited by th USDA organic inspectors. Then…..Miller imports tons of low priced unlabeled, untested, unpermited products and unfairly hurts their legal efforts.

    The question is this…..Liz, what do we say to these small producers in Florida that are struggling and being put out of business because of Miller and his 9 dairies with no rules. What do you say to them?

    As far as opdc is concerned, I do not care. Let Miller do what ever Miller wants to do. I do care about other producers that follow the local rules as best they can only to be destroyed by Miller.

    I will always stand with you and all mothers. I will also be the first to stand up and explain the million things that I do and RAWMI does to assure that mothers and kids are protected and safe.

    With me you get a friend…but also an advocate for hard work and the behind the scenes technical work that some producers simply refuse to do. That’s their choice. It is my choice to climb the higher hill and take the higher ground. That’s my life path….that’s no ego, that’s ethics and humanity.

    Hugs back to you.

    • David Gumpert David Gumpert

      Mark, every time you trash Amos Miller, you make him sound like a larger enterprise than the last time you trashed him. Putting people out of business with 9 dairies? Give me a break. You’ve got him sounding like some monopolistic predator, when I’ll bet you can’t name a single farm that has been materially impacted, let alone put out of business. Bad stuff.

  • John Dutcher

    I thank you too Liz, your words ring so true!! My wife and I have been involved in direct marketing our farm products for over twenty years and I think there is one thing that is not being mentioned here: We wanted to raise poultry and sell directly to consumers, cut the story short,we finally got licensed. I believe that once you are a “licensed” facility you automatically become very “visible” on the inspector’s radar, we tried to run both “games” at one time and our private food buying club was shut down pretty quickly by the state and the feds( told this story before), we decided not to fight it as we would need to hire a lwayer to fight it and we also figured since the state gave us a couple variances on our inspected facility, that it would be in our best interests to not push back too hard cause they could pull the variances and force us to spend a substantial amount of money on our inspected facility.If you are on the radar
    (inspected) and do a private buyers club too, you certainly run the risk of having both operations shut down.
    On another subject. In the last couple years we have had quite a few Amish move into our area in the eastern UP( upper peninsula) of Michigan, buying up farmland that has not been farmed in years, which is a good thing, hate seeing all this farmland growing into brush and trees. Having got to know a few of them and talking with them, I brought up some of the other Amish folks that are being persecuted by the authorities around the country and they were only aware of Vernon Herschberger(sp.?). Seems they need better communication between them as to their own issues.

  • John Dutcher

    Dr. Heckman,
    We have been saying for years how do you wash off “stuff” that is either gene-spliced into the plant or is uptaken through the root system?? Thank You for taking the time to post here!!!

  • I ask again….what do you say to the small Florida Raw Milk producer forced out of business by Millers tsunami of cheap raw dairy products. Many that do not have a standard of identity and cannot be produced legally. What do we say to that farmer?

    By the way….if not producing an illegal product is the same as not being responsive to consumers, that’s an unfair measure of consumer responsiveness. In CA each and every product we produce must match an SOI ( Standard of Identity ) or it is illegal. That’s my world. I am not expecting Miller or any other non retail producer to follow these same rules.

    However, in areas were small raw milk producers are trying their best to keep the peace with their local inspectors, it is totally unfair for Miller to roll into town with his truck loads of cheap raw dairy products and sweep the business away from ” local”.

    How does anyone know what kind of chocolate Miller uses in his Chocolate Raw Milk? Does he go to Costco and buy Hershey’s dry mix? No one knows do they???? Because there are no eyes on his operations. No labels required….no inspections….no nada. Millers is not one operation, it is a group of Amish and others that sell together. No one know where that food comes from. No story is shared about the true origins of the food.

    Ok…I will top bashing Millers for now. I just hate unfair market conditions. I also do not like unjust biased criticisms. If OPDC can be ridiculed for outsourcing ( for legal purchase of organic milk to make extra cheese or butter 10 years ago) , why isn’t there an outcry now for clearly outsourcing and not labeling it as outsourced ???

    Perhaps there is a difference between CA and states were raw milk is illegal. In states were raw milk is illegal,” any thing goes ” because the food war is still raging while in states like CA, there is relative peace and settled rules . I also notice that some hardcore foodies do not like compliant properly labeled raw dairy products. They instead prefer the adrenal rush and edginess of unlabeled mason jars that have traveled 2500 miles from some secret Amish place….hush hush.

    So be it,…if you have not heard yet, in many places raw dairy is legal and can be bought in the legitimate mainstream by Normal people.

    So there are two realities in the American raw milk system and they are at odds with one another. I guess that is reality.

    • David Gumpert David Gumpert

      Mark, you sound like Trump going after that Hispanic judge during the campaign. He was convinced the judge couldn’t be fair in a legal case against Trump because Trump was against Mexicans coming to the U.S. It was totally irrational, yet he wouldn’t be convinced. You have no evidence of any farmer being put out of business by Amos Miller, let alone even suffering any traceable losses to Miller, yet you can’t let go of the idea that he poses unfair competition. You suggest he is a mass marketer, when he serves a very narrow and specialized niche of people willing to go to a lot of inconvenience to access his products. Your anger at him has clearly gotten the best of you.

      • Emma G.

        Mark, in response to David’s statement here, are there any farmers who are willing to provide testimonials/statements about the effect that Miller has had on their business? Can they come here and post, or give you their statements to post here?

    • Emma G.

      “I ask again….what do you say to the small Florida Raw Milk producer forced out of business by Millers tsunami of cheap raw dairy products. ”

      Mark, they need to find a marketing niche. Given what John Dutcher reports about current product quality and sanitation conditions in many Florida dairies, this is my suggestion:

      1) Farmers band together and form a “Florida Raw Dairy Association” to share information/resources/support. Incorporate and set up a public information website.
      2) Get RAWMI training, in order to develop strategies to deal with the conditions specific to their climate and terrain.
      3) Start right now in testing their milk and post all the members test results on the internet, for all farms. Test for pathogens, not just coliforms and plate count.
      4) Get samples of the stuff being trucked from PA to FL, test it, and post the test results online as well, so that consumers can compare.
      5) Make it convenient for consumers to purchase local raw dairy products in FL. The website would list farms, stores, and co-ops where members products are available.

      Then, all agree on a marketing niche. Here’s a suggestion: “Clean and fresh milk from the Sunshine State.” But of course test results have to keep showing that the milk is indeed clean.

  • Ken Conrad Ken Conrad

    Emma,

    You state, “There could have been multiple possible sources of contaminated ingredients”.

    Indeed, Listeria monocytogenes is a widely dispersed ubiquitous microbe that is readily isolated from the environment, including soil, water and decaying vegetation. It is present in both domesticated and feral mammalian species, such as cattle, sheep and birds and in some species of fish and shellfish. Up to 10% of humans are believed to be asymptomatic carriers of Listeria monocytogenes via their gastrointestinal tracts.

    Based on the above and the fact that the organism was not isolate on the farm how can you support the conclusion that Miller’s product was responsible?

    Mark, the CDC has certainly “changed”… and not for the better. You should try to set a little time aside and watch “The Truth About Vaccines”… Upper level management at the CDC are accurately described as fraudulent and felonious and are indeed as Robert F Kennedy Jr. described them, “a cesspool of corruption…

  • John Dutcher

    My mother and sister live in Fl and they tried some frsh Pennsylvania milk brought down to FL. The milk had been frozen and most of us knows what happens when you freeze milk, might be all right for cooking ,but for drinking….. not! They did not purchase anymore. They also tried a “local” family for fresh milk, but was put off by the lack of sanitary practices, they didn’t even wash the teats before milking, needless to say, they have given up on getting fresh milk there. I grew up in Florida and it is not a good place for dairies, way too hot, too many parasites, not very good pasture.There was a small family dairy down the road from us when I was a kid, but their milk was not very good, back then refrigeration down there was not the best. There was a commercial venture a few years ago, US Dairies, in Fl. Around 1,000 cows per 40 acres, no pasture, manure heaped up in piles,not being utilized. The state shut them down after algae blooms started appearing in the large natural springs that are in the area north and west of Gainsville, plus as I stated earlier they were finding it difficult to dairy there, There have seen quite a few dairy operations come and go there.
    Mark, If the product quality is not there, how long before the consumer quits purchasing their product? “Normal People”??? Really Mark? I really respect you Mark and what you have done and what you have gone through to get where you are, but honestly sometimes your ego comes on just a little too strong. Mark, the consumers will always determine themselves what they spend their money on and if they purchase product with off flavors, previously frozen milk,etc., as with my mother and sister, they will NOT continue to purchase those products. I would be very surprised Mark if a local Fl. dairy was put out of business by Miller, maybe went out of business due to the hardships of keeping dairy cattle in such an inhospitable environment for dairy cows, they would need air conditioning there :>)

  • Emma and a john,

    You both make excellent recommendations. I will call back my contact in Florida and see if she is willing to post details of what happened to her and her friends regards to the Millers.

    I do agree, that Florida is a fairly tough place to dairy. Feed is scarce, pastures are rough, soils lack tilth, cows do not like the high humidity, but Bactera love it.

    I must tip my hat to Millers….quite a shipping department and he has some real stones and guts to stand up to the USDA and fda to boot.

    • David Gumpert David Gumpert

      Mark, I meant to point out that Florida doesn’t even have legal raw milk for consumer use. It can only be legally sold as pet food. Surely in your strict law-abiding approach these days, you weren’t suggesting that your Florida raw dairy farm friend tried to sell raw milk in violation of the state law, with the intention of having people drink it? You wouldn’t advocate that, would you? He/she would deserve to go out of business in that situation, right?

      https://www.farmtoconsumer.org/raw-milk-nation-interactive-map/

    • Emma G.

      I just learned that in 2016 there were illnesses in Florida caused by Cryptosporidum in raw milk. This was a preventable outbreak.

  • Mark,

    Let us all be perfectly clear that it is not Miller, nor his enterprise that is putting Florida farmers—or farmers from any other state—out of business. It is the draconian regulations imposed on small producers by the FDA and state/federal cooperatives via their state and local health and agriculture departments. We all know that an endorsed “certified” raw dairy program would change our landscape overnight and change how conventional dairies operate and produce their products. We do not have that in this country. That is not Amos Miller’s fault nor his responsibility. Your attempt to continue blaming him for this continues to reveal your desperation to attack him whether or not your attacks have merit. They do not.

    While I admire you for your passion, Mark, I do not admire the drivel that you spout about inspections, transparency and outsourcing. Have you ever been to Miller’s Farm and been refused a tour? Have you ever asked him questions and not gotten open and honest answers? Have you asked to visit the other farms that supply him and not gotten a response to that? Mark, you will not even speak to the man and yet you make broad assumptions and false accusations about his lack of transparency and accountability. These accusations are not only completely wrong, they are dreadfully harmful to those you say you support.

    Miller’s Farm provides open doors to their membership, they answer questions, give tours, provide connections to other sources, answer questions, let you watch milking, tell you about their soils, answer questions, talk about the farms and individuals who participate in each aspect of the farm, answer more questions and so much more.

    This is not a secret, clandestine operation. Nor is it uninspected. Nor are we ignorant consumers unaware of what we are getting or who we are dealing with. There is responsibility and accountability happening on both sides of this relationship. You’ve missed it Mark, because you’ve been so busy making assumptions and using Amos for shooting practice for so long that you miss the most obvious things. When you make these assumptions, Mark, you implicitly accuse all of us of ignorance, carelessness, and of being conned. Again Mark, we all make different choices based on our lives, experience, information, geography and preferences.

    While you might make a different choice than those of us who source from Miller’s, you must acknowledge that this is our choice to make and that we do so with open eyes and a deep level of appreciation. Again, standards are different (when I speak of standards, I don’t only mean final test results.) There are all kinds of standards, ethics, and choices to consider when one builds a relationship with a farm(er). A few to consider:

    What kind of cows do they milk? (some people have a preference of one breed over another).

    Do they refrigerate the milk prior to culturing? (some people prefer to never have that milk cooled).

    How often do they milk? (again, some people have a preference between 1 or 2 times daily).

    Is the milk A1 or A2?

    How diverse is the farm where the milk is produced?

    What kind of soil is most prevalent on this farm?

    Does/do the farmer(s) have a plan to improve soil quality on their farm? How do they implement this plan?

    Does the farm use solar panels or other alternative sources of energy?

    What water source does the farm use?

    How do they treat their workers?

    What standards do they have for animal care?

    Mark, this is a tiny fraction of the questions people ask that help them determine what farm(er)s they want to build a relationship with and what type of relationship they want to build with those farm(er)s. Your myopic focus on test results is a fragment of the bigger picture. Is it a factor for some people? Absolutely. But stop pretending like this is the sole reason a person should or should not choose a farm or a source for raw milk.

    It is because of this bigger picture view that some people choose not to source from you, other CA farmers, or not to source from the farms in Florida. Without the absurd level of industry-driven regulation against small dairies and especially those who want raw, the Florida farms could easily find enough consumers eager for their products. As for Organic Pastures Mark, you were well-funded from the beginning. I wonder if Organic Pastures would have survived the regulatory nightmare in the first 5-10 years of operation without that level of funding? This is simply another factor in how long a farmer lasts in this regulatory climate, not a judgment about whether a particular farm should be funded or not.

    The beauty in all of this is that for maximum resiliency, especially in our current environment, we need diversity in production practices amongst our still small community.

    As to your statement that some prefer the “adrenal rush and edginess of unlabeled mason jars that have traveled 2500 miles from some secret Amish place….hush hush” While we both don’t choose to operate that way, they too, deserve access to the foods of their choice from the producer of their choice, even if they are choosing it for a reason that is foreign to us both.

    Let’s use our combined strength to bring heat and light to the real issue here: the FDA /USDA machine wants to control our food and our access to real food. Rather than using your pressure to strangle other decentralized producers, let us use our synergy to bring real pressure where we can make significant change. I look forward to your change of heart and continued support, Mark.

  • Liz, I love your clarity of belief and passion….I really do.

    I have spoken directly with Amos. It was the most unlikely of circumstances. On that fateful morning in Anaheim 2 years ago, when two very young Amish boys were selling Millers raw dairy at the WAP convention, I was the one that offered my cell phone to the young boys so they could call Amos and share with him the problems that were looming. They did call him and after they spoke, I then spoke with Amos. I told Amos that the health department was coming and that he needed to shut down his sales or face certain official sanctions. Amos seemed bewildered and confused by this advice.

    It was Pete Kennedy that told him not to worry….that he was a buyers club and did not need a permit, a liscence or insurance to sell his products at WAP inside the hotel.

    Low and behold….literally 45 min later, hear come the health department inspectors….and he was shut down and then embargoed and quarantined.

    Yes… I have spoken with Amos….I was a good friend to him. I warned him to help him. I was the one that provided the Amish boys with a cell phone to call home.

    Why I get involved with the sticky mess….I am not sure. Maybe it is humanity. Maybe freindships with other Amish and the idea that maybe they just don’t know.

    I don’t know. I just hate to see a person ignorantly marching toward certain disaster. They Amish boys were told….keep on selling. When the official came, they were scared to death.

    In my heart of hearts, I thought then and I still think today, that Amos misled and used the two young boys. They were just pons in a game. He used them because of their ignorance and innocence and even perhaps their underage status.

    I would have never placed my son our daughter in this position. Would you?

    The long line of Millers members buying products …..did not sign membership agreements. They simply traded green cash for unlabeled, untested, uninspected raw dairy products. When things look like a duck, quack like a duck, swim like a duck….it is a duck.

    The hotel was pissed….really pisssed. They felt betrayed by the illegal vender and told WAP that they were not welcomed again to the venue if this was to ever happen again.

    Is this the face of legitimate raw milk… I don’t think so. This kind of underhanded moooowshine cash call dishonors raw milk and gives it an undeserved black eye. What kind of message does this send the two very young Amish boys??? Is this ethical or even moral ?

    This was the same raw dairy that tested positive for listeria. All around…the entire event was bad news but it was totally on Millers watch. It could have been 100% avoided if he had heeded my advice. But he did not. This is not some made up story….it is the absolute 100% truth. Ask any of the WAP board members. I told each of them the same story that same day. They were all very upset by what happened.

    • David Gumpert David Gumpert

      Mark, you hold so tightly to that confusing incident a couple years ago. I think many fans of Amos Miller would acknowledge it wasn’t his finest hour. But remember, he was getting conflicting advice from you and Pete Kennedy, not to mention WAPF, and he wasn’t on the scene. So let it go, and read what Liz Reitzig is saying, think about the advice she is offering. You need to learn more first-hand about Amos and his members. When you do, I think you’ll reconsider your trashing campaign.

  • Don

    THANKS AGAIN LIZ WELL SAID
    What an UPSIDE DOWN WORLD we live in where a small REAL FOOD producer or even a salve maker are deemed the lawbreakers!!! And this occurs in what is called the land of FREEDOM and LIBERTY and JUSTICE for all unless of course one has stacks and stacks of FRNs to pay for lawyer “fees” for that freedom and justice if one happens to step into their legal traps and become an offender because of a WORD [legalese]. Isaiah 29:21

  • John Dutcher

    Are we “really free”? Free to choose, free to believe,free to hope,free to eat or drink what we want, free to travel where we want or is what we call freedom just some sort of a smokescreen( filter)of the real truths? Personally, I do not “feel” near as free as I did 40 years ago, how can one feel free with so much surveillance of every move we make, at least there are no cameras in the woods here,yet. How can one feel free when what you can eat or not eat is dictated? How can one feel free, when the government forces you to spend your hard earned money purchasing government mandated insurance? How can I feel free when a safety cushion is put in place to help old people from starving and it is all of a sudden considered an entitlement, when the old people and their employers paid for it? Are you really free when your state taxes your retirement pension? I could go on and on, the point being our rights have been so slowly( over several generations) and pointedly eroded that it seems hardly anyone notices. As a whole we just accept it, a nation of true sheeple.Do any of you really and truly believe that the people of the US today have the chutzpah that our ancestors had in the 1700’s??

    • Don

      John 50 years ago my house payment was 127 FRNs a month including taxes now my property and school tax alone is 330 FRNs per month and here in Penna. we get billed for it twice a year and STANDING behind the bill is a SHERIFF with a gun to put us out if we cant pay!!! And sadly they do and one looses the equity also!!! FREEDOM nothing but a DREAM!!!

  • John Dutcher

    Same everywhere in the US Don, my property taxes have doubled in the last 35 years.

  • Bora Petski

    Same everywhere in the world, seems most of the best paying and most secure jobs are in politicts, who’da thunk that 40 years ago? Just remember, it’s only life in the USA, there’s a lot of other places that are better, or worse

  • Bora Petski

    But hey, we still have the best propaganda system in the word lest you doubt anything you hear or read don’t believe any of it just drink your raw milk.

  • Bora Petski

    Where’s Mary when you need her to distract or redirect this conversation? Hello? Mary don’t be contrary just tell us again about your kid’s problems because many have forgotten them by now it’s been too long and forgotten but it shouldn’t be. White skin, blonde black hair who cares about color except Clairor making tons of money profits? Don’t color me sarcastic it couldn’t fit as tight as you might like

    And Mark, please try living on less than $20,000 a year for at least a year, see how you and your kids and animals like it then you can report back on your enlightenment and wisdom

  • Bora Petski

    BTW, a simple stat will let you know all you nee about “land of the free:”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incarceration_in_the_United_States

    oh, and pot is now legal in case you haven’t read or heard

  • Bora,

    If there is one place in the world where a person with no money can make lots of money….it is the usa.

    The immigrants character is what is needed. Damn hard work….creativity, inspiration driven by desperation, and followed mostly by perspiration.
    So many stand back and criticize and fail to risk and jeopardize their comfort.

    Those that lost jobs in coal mining come to mind. A total and complete failure to be able to learn something new!!!! That’s what happened to dinosaurs. They died when they failed to adapt. America is a land of opportunity for those that embrace change and adapt to it. It is a thriving place to learn and earn.

    When I hear the interview voices of those that voted for Trump, I hear ignorance and a total failure to adapt or change. I hear people that want the old days back and fail to embrace the future.

    I live for the future, through innovation, embracing change, continuous learning. In every downturn there is new opportunity. Dare to dream….then act.

    Making $20k per year….why do that ? I could make $100k with three cows selling raw milk on a bad day in a state with illegal raw milk laws. You must be joking. Where is the drive and the passion? In this life, there are passengers and pilots.

    Fly your own life….don’t get flown along on someone’s else’s path. Seize the day!! Dare to dream then act!

  • Don

    HUM if Ben Franklin and his Mom were alive today maybe they would be in the same cell as poor Sam Girod it seems they where in the salve business. http://www.history.org/Foundation/journal/Spring04/quackery.cfm What a CRACY world we live in past and present.

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