Could Maine Food Sovereignty Be Basis of National Political Sovereignty Model?

commonsense-coverI started this blog ten years ago to report on events and issues I thought the mainstream news media were either ignoring or misrepresenting when it came to regulation of small farms, and especially small dairy farms distributing raw milk.

In the process, I poked both the mainstream media and government agencies I thought were badly reporting events and data. I went after media for simply accepting CDC data on raw milk and other food safety illnesses, without looking at underlying assumptions, and I went directly after the CDC and the U.S. FDA for misinterpreting data about raw milk and raw milk cheese.

In the process, I think those of us in favor of food choice made some strides. The number of states sanctioning raw milk has increased, the number of legal/regulatory cases against small dairies has decreased, and the pressure to restrict availability of raw-milk cheese has seriously stalled.

In all this conflict, I never accused a media outlet or a government agency of fabricating a story, of publishing what we are now calling “fake news.” That’s because I never saw such an example, even in situations where I vehemently disagreed with the portrayal of events or interpretation of data.  (That isn’t to say fake news hasn’t been published—but eventually with acknowledgment, and embarrassment, by the media affected.)

Yet I now see readers of this blog or on Facebook with whom I’ve interacted over the years respond in recent weeks to my posts or comments by immediately discounting any references to the NY Times, or other mainstream media, as not to be believed, and thus not to be a factor in any discussion. Recent case in point is Gary Ogden, who argues, following my previous post: “It is incredibly naive to trust the New York Times, or any of the mainstream media. Fake news? A partial list: WMD in Iraq. The Warren Commission Report. The 9/11 Report. The Gulf of Tonkin Incident. ‘The light at the end of the tunnel.’ Just the obvious ones. It is, as well, the framing of the stories, and the multitude of topics that are internally censored (no questioning of vaccine policy allowed, ever).”

It seems absurd to have to say it, but none of the examples listed by Ogden originated with the media. The media reported on these incidents or reports put out by government officials or commissions. There was no way for the media to know the real situation about the weapons of mass destruction claims by American intelligence (and accepted by many other countries), until various inspectors, including U.S. troops, disproved them. (Not to say the U.S. government wasn’t terribly negligent and deceitful, to effect we became involved in a brutal war that led to destruction throughout the Mideast.) The Warren Commission issued a report on the assassination of President John Kennedy, which was the first official assessment of how the killing occurred. It has been the subject of endless debate and discussion and countervailing theories, and to this day there isn’t a final word on the subject. Similar situations with the other examples listed.

I’m not sure what the point is even supposed to be—that the media should have known and reported the “real” story behind these situations before the government reports? That the media shouldn’t have published the government versions because the media should assume the government versions are wrong, or fake? If not, then whose version of the events should be published?

Returning to the example that ignited the “fake news” debate here: the investigation of a report that the Democrats were busing in paid demonstrators to protest Trump’s election right after Nov. 8. The NY Times reporters interviewed the man who came up with the “news,” which he readily acknowledged wasn’t real news. He had seen a bunch of buses, and then extrapolated, without evidence, that they must be associated with the demonstrators. It’s basic investigative journalism, going back over the chronology of events to determine what actually occurred. Yet any number of people, including several here, refuse to even read it because it comes from the NY Times.

As I told one individual who gave me that response regarding another issue, based on my providing a link to a NY Times report, if you’re going to reject out of hand any documentation that comes from mainstream media, and not provide other documentation in its place, then there really isn’t a basis for any kind of rational discussion.

Presumably, this new rigidity in thinking is related to our country’s ongoing political upheaval. Clearly, many Americans have come to lose all trust in the mainstream news media. Clearly, much of the disillusionment stems from the drumbeat of criticism from Donald Trump, who disparages the media in general, especially media that might question or criticize him in any way. And now we learn it is quite the thing by wealthy business people to try to quash the media— the NY Times Sunday in its magazine documented a campaign by a handful of business tycoon billionaires (including Trump) to systematically try to intimidate the media through libel-based lawsuits. It’s well worth reading, simply to understand better the ins and outs of libel law, and how these tycoons want to use it to restrict freedom of the press.

One more time, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with questioning any publication’s account of events, or interpretation of events, especially if you have reason to suspect the presentation is inaccurate. No one has a monopoly on truth.

But there’s a difference between questioning and debating, and refusing even to read or listen. No one knows where this new disdain for a free press is headed, but here is my prediction: The ongoing efforts to trample freedom of the press will come bundled with other squashing of rights (with the exception of gun rights). As a result, we’re headed toward some kind of civil conflict. It may not be a civil war of the type that nearly destroyed this country 150 years ago, but it could be bitter enough that it leads to a serious disintegration of our union. Already there are rumbles from a few independent-minded states and cities of rejection of the likely coming new agenda. San Francisco lawmakers recently passed a resolution resolving to defend the city’s undocumented immigrants, its gay residents, and others. There is talk in California of outright secession. Mayors of other cities like Chicago, Philadelphia, and Seattle have reaffirmed their status as “sanctuary cities.”

To me, this kind of thing is in keeping with the move in Maine that has led some 16 local towns to pass ordinances for food sovereignty, and keep passing them despite a veto of the move by the state’s supreme court. These towns are practicing food freedom as an option to steer clear of over-regulated food. Why shouldn’t other cities and towns seek ways to avoid restrictions of human rights, including deportations of local residents back to Mexico or other places, of restrictions on women seeking abortions, of gays seeking to have families, and so on and so forth?

One thing is for sure: A free press will be as essential to keeping people informed about the coming challenges, including about the moves to restrict the media, as it was in 1776, when journalist Thomas Paine published Common Sense, to rouse Americans to revolt. He published the booklet anonymously, because we didn’t yet have freedom of the press, and he could have been arrested and executed for what he did.

**

Congratulations to Canadian farmers Michael Schmidt and Montana Jones, on the dropping of charges in connection with a “sheep-napping” case four years ago. An Ontario judge agreed with the defendants the the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) was unreasonably delaying the case. The farmers’ victory is testimony to their resistance against government retribution and intimidation in connection with the slaughter of rare Shropshire sheep that the CFIA was convinced was carrying a dangerous disease that could spread widely among area sheep. The government had gone to the extreme tactic of convincing a judge to enforce a press blackout of the proceedings–something I fought on this blog. And here is a report from a national Canadian paper, on today’s proceedings and background on the case.

 

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Leave a Reply

53 Comments on "Could Maine Food Sovereignty Be Basis of National Political Sovereignty Model?"

Notify of
avatar

Jack Moore
Jack Moore
November 29, 2016 6:43 am

It is incredibly naive NOT to trust reporting by the New York Times or to expect perfection from any media outlet. TheTimes aspires to the highest standard of journalistic integrity. Their resources for investigative journalism are among the best in the the country.

Gary Ogden
Gary Ogden
November 29, 2016 9:48 am
David: My distrust of, and disgust with, the media, and particularly the New York Times, has nothing to do with Trump. It has to do mainly with the nearly total censorship of any questioning of vaccine safety, efficacy, or policy. This is internal censorship, coming from the highest levels of the editorial staff, and it occurs in virtually every newspaper in the land (as well as broadcast and most on line media). When a few dozen measles cases occurred in California last year, the media, doing the bidding of the CDC public relations machine (which it funds to the tune of hundreds of millions per year-see the Association of Public Health Administrators budget), went into overdrive to scare the public into thinking it a dire emergency. Merck stock jumped. Then the NYT gave the bully pulpit to Paul Offit, a notorious and wealthy vaccine developer (and bully), but allowed not a word from any parent of a vaccine-injured child, from any physician who had seen and treated vaccine injury, from any scientist alarmed at the toxicity of aluminum nano particles, which nearly all the pediatric vaccines have, or the far worse neurotoxic synergy between aluminum and mercury, particularly in infants,… Read more »
Diana Gumpert Douglas
Diana Gumpert Douglas
November 29, 2016 2:07 pm

Thank you for a thoughtful and important article on the freedom of the press. I feel we need to be vigilant in making sure that we have a free press.

Shana Milkie
Shana Milkie
November 30, 2016 9:51 am

So true! A free press is fundamental for an informed citizenry, and hence, democracy.

Blesse\'d are the Cheese Makers
Blesse\'d are the Cheese Makers
November 30, 2016 7:42 pm

Correction. Please.

We are NOT a democracy. We are a Constitutional Republic. A democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what’s for dinner.

I agree with you, however, that a free press “is fundamental for an informed citizenry.”

mark mcafee
mark mcafee
November 29, 2016 3:58 pm
Gary, Thank you for your comment on vaccination injury and risk. I totally agree with most of your assessment. The media somehow treats the CDC as “the never to be questioned unbiased standard for truth” and health for all of us and even the world. The CDC and their counterparts in the FDA and the industries that they regulate and represent have provided a deep disservice to America by their bias and unwillingness to address the real data and the tons of EU studies on raw milk as well as vaccination risk. Time and time again…I have sent letters to the CDC and FDA begging them to look at their own data and draw proper conclusions based on real studies in the EU….they will not even return a call or acknowledge real facts. Now…I sue them ( FTCLDF ) and use the FOIA data that I received from them in the lawsuit to get them to open their eyes. We must ask ourselves why?? We must not forget that the medical community moves at a snails pace with regards to progress and new learning. The public, the internet and the EU moves at warp speed. The human genome project now… Read more »
Blesse\'d are the Cheese Makers
Blesse\'d are the Cheese Makers
November 29, 2016 7:51 pm
During the pre-revolutionary days in the mid-1700’s, there were two major print mediums that existed which were used to disseminate information; 1) pamphlets and 2) newspapers. “Common Sense,” written by Thomas Paine, was self-described as a “pamphlet.” As Mr. Gumpert points out, “Common Sense,” written under a pseudonym, was very influential on the eve of the American Revolution. Paine wrote this document in a succinct, readable style and “Common Sense” quickly became a “must read” for the colonists who advocated secession from England. John Adams is quoted to have said, “Without the pen of the author of “Common Sense,” the sword of Washington would have been raised in vain.” Pamphlets, newspapers, books, broadsides and other printed materials were circulated all over the colonies to spread information. Much information and misinformation was published in many of these publications and most of the authors who penned these documents used pseudonyms. Pseudonyms were used because the authors feared retribution from a tyrannical government. Sound familiar? The printed word at the time, as Robert G. Parkinson points out, “acted as a binding agent that mitigated the chances that the colonies would not support one another when war with Britain broke out in 1775.” After… Read more »
mark
mark
November 30, 2016 1:57 pm

DINO-MEDIA HAS LONG TRACK RECORD OF LYING
The REAL Fake-News (MSM, or what I call Dino-Media) have a LONG track record of pushing collectivism, parroting “authority” and just plain flat-out lying! But more often the lies are by the very deceptive use of “by omission”! This is why I personally have not watched Dino-Media for over 10yrs. Because the problem of omission etc… is so insidious, even an “alert” person can have their opinion altered when they hear something over and over and over again. The whole “eat whole grains” BS is just one such example…

NY TIMES-WALTER DURANY-PULITZER PRIZE-1932
One of the NYTimes biggest lies (and which its author Walter Duranty won the Pulitzer Prize in 1932) were the series of reports praising Joseph Stalin!!! Just one of his believing/following authority reports was Duranty’s denial that Stalin was starving Ukranians etc…

To this day, the NYTimes has NOT rescinded the award. Even a historian hired by the Pulitzer Board to evaluate the situation said “Times should Lose Pulitzer form the 30’s…”
http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/23/us/times-should-lose-pulitzer-from-30-s-consultant-says.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2003/11/13/opinion/l-walter-duranty-s-pulitzer-107107.html

Of course, I suggest one to research this themselves… don’t take my word for it…

Gordon Watson
Gordon Watson
November 30, 2016 2:37 pm

more along the same line, is the way the NY Times went to Cuba and interviewed Fidel Castro in hiding prior to him seizing power. Then reported ‘Castro is not a communist’. Somehow failing to notice , let alone investigate … certainly NOT report! … that Castro and Ernesto Che Gueverra had been trained by the Soviets to foment violent revolution. Contrast the obituaries of Pinochet versus Castro, in the New York Times ….set along side the undeniable atrocities perpetrated by El Commandante Castro, Pinochet looks like a boy scout. Yet Pinochet is called “a brutal dictator”. Castro is revered. A Solzenhitzen told us = ‘ the way the world’s press treats communism, speaks volumes as to who it’s ultimately working for’

Blesse\'d are the Cheese Makers
Blesse\'d are the Cheese Makers
November 30, 2016 6:47 pm
Mr. Gumpert Thank you for the “Fact Check” link, “How to Spot Fake News” from http://www.factcheck.org. Interesting article by Lori Roberson and Eugene Kiely. I fact checked the fact checkers and found that factcheck.org is funded primarily by the Annenberg Foundation and the Annenberg Public Policy Center. Factcheck.org has been rated by some as slightly left of center, by others as center and by yet others as slightly right of center. Probably a reasonable place to go to at least get an opinion on a purported “news” item. The take away from “FactCheck” is you should always check a publication’s sources and double check. I think that is true of any alleged news item — especially when the “journalist” (notice I put in quotations) uses rhetoric when making the report such as, “So and so, an alleged member of the far right “Alt-Right” did such and such.” — Or, “So and so, an alleged member of the far left radicals, did such and such.” As soon as I see that type of embellishment either way, my BS Meter starts to head to the red line pretty quickly. Regarding Facebook and Jessica Lessin’s article in the NY Times “Facebook Shouldn’t Fact… Read more »
Joseph Heckman
Joseph Heckman
November 30, 2016 9:35 pm

See chapter on “Malfunction of the American Media” in the book entitled: Altered Genes Twisted Truth, How the Venture to Genetically Engineer Our Food Has Subverted Science, Corrupted Government, and Systematically Deceived the Public. By Steven M. Druker.

mark mcafee
Mark Mcafee
November 30, 2016 11:33 pm

Question….why did Trump get sent to military boarding school for years and years when he was a kid?
He admits himself….he was a misbehaving bully. He has not changed a bit. Every single act is ego centric…he is a business bully that is so shallow, a twit will trigger a tirade. We are in for a real ride.

Ken Conrad
Ken Conrad
December 1, 2016 8:41 am

Mark.

Donald Trump is a complicated individual.

If he did indeed admit that he was a “misbehaving bully” then that’s a good thing and a step in the right direction. When individuals on the other hand fail to acknowledge their shortcomings and try to portray themselves as something other then what they are, then that can be a real problem. His willingness to reach out to some of his most vocal critics such as Mitt Romney is an admirable leadership quality.

In the meantime I hold onto this hope, “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else”. Winston Churchill

Blesse\'d are the Cheese Makers
Blesse\'d are the Cheese Makers
December 1, 2016 9:44 am

Mr. M —

Sir. You really need to either get back on your meds or go see your therapist. Your unsubstantiated tirades are really getting old. Try to get back on track, will ya? This site is called “The Complete Patient” and we should be dealing with food issues. Yes. I went “political” on here prior to now, but only in response to your idiotic leftist progressive ranting raving BS. You don’t know shit about Trump and neither do I. We will see what happens when it happens.

Ken Conrad
Ken Conrad
December 2, 2016 3:38 pm

I certainly hope Trump’s Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price follows through with his belief and that his philosophy of independent choice and individual autonomy is broadened and expands to other areas such as, enabling consumers the freedom to make informed choice with respect to the food that they consume.

http://www.thevaccinereaction.org/2016/12/nominee-for-secretary-of-health-and-human-services-tom-price-supports-individual-autonomy/

Mary McGonigle-Martin
Mary McGonigle-Martin
December 4, 2016 10:17 pm
Blesse\'d are the cheese makers
Blesse\'d are the cheese makers
December 6, 2016 8:16 am

Well, the ghost of Christmas Past finally showed up on this “Food Sovereignty” feed. Never mind that your post has nothing to do with the subject matter of this discourse.

In response to your post, above, I offer a post from your best friend’s website:

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2015/12/the-10-biggest-u-s-foodborne-illness-outbreaks-of-2015/

I do not see raw milk on that post. What’s up with that?

Stay tuned for the “Best” of 2016. I wager raw milk will not be on that one, either. I realize that is immaterial to you, but it does bear on the issue in my view.

Additionally, I read the article you posted. Of course, the Ohio Dept. of Ag uses their now infamous weasel words in their “Health Alert”, i.e.: “Later testing confirmed a connection between the illnesses and raw milk from Sweet Grass Dairy.”

What does “a connection” mean? Either you prove it up and rule out everything else, or you rule the illness cause as “undetermined.” Of course, that has never stopped the agenda, has it.

Blesse\'d are the cheese makers
Blesse\'d are the cheese makers
December 6, 2016 8:27 am
Thought I’d share this with all the free thinkers on this post: The Fence Test by Jeff Foxworthy Which side of the fence? If you ever wondered which side of the fence you sit on, this is a great test! If a Republican doesn’t like guns, he doesn’t buy one. If a Democrat doesn’t like guns, he wants all guns outlawed. If a Republican is a vegetarian, he doesn’t eat meat. If a Democrat is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone. If a Republican is homosexual, he quietly leads his life. If a Democrat is homosexual, he demands legislated respect. If a Republican is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation. If a Democrat is down-and-out he wonders who is going to take care of him. If a Republican doesn’t like a talk show host, he switches channels. A Democrat demands that those they don’t like be shut down. If a Republican is a non-believer, he doesn’t go to church. A Democrat non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced. If a Republican decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it. If… Read more »
bora petski
bora petski
December 7, 2016 11:39 am

Wait, … after a good laugh, are you a re publican? Where do those of us that buy neither party line fit in? I suspect that’s a fast growing segment. I despise politics and all those that practice them not that we ever do it ourselves.

bora petski
bora petski
December 7, 2016 11:49 am
Joseph Heckman
Joseph Heckman
December 8, 2016 7:40 am

> Subject: NJ Legislative Subscription Service
>
> Session 2016-2017
>
> The following bill(s) have been scheduled for a committee or a legislative session.
> A696:
> 12/12/2016 2:00:00 PM Agriculture and Natural Resources
> Committee Room 15, 4th Floor, State House Annex, Trenton, NJ
>
> http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/bills/BillView.asp?BillNumber=A696

Blesse\'d are the Cheesemakers
Blesse\'d are the Cheesemakers
December 8, 2016 11:03 am
Thanks, Bora — For the link to the article by Mike Adams. I had somewhat forgotten about him after he parted ways with Alex Jones. His article to which you cite is dead on. I need to subscribe to Natural News. Adams is in the good fight just as David Gumpert is. Anyway, there are some, even on this blog from time to time, who think the Electoral College should be abolished and that simple majority popular vote should decide the presidential elections in this country — Art. II, Section 1 of Constitution be damned. Of course, these folks mainly reside in California, so what would you expect. They’ve done such a great job out there, I cannot imagine why anyone would ever second guess all the great government work going on on the Left Coast — NOT! If the San Andreaus Fault doesn’t obliterate California by depositing coastal California into the Pacific, their Leftist State Government will obliterate them by delivering them into bankruptcy, both moral and financial. Be that as it may, I conclude with this . . . be careful, my friend, or someone might accuse you of going all “political” on us. Take care.
Gordon Watson
Gordon Watson
December 8, 2016 9:49 am

a particular court action to do with raw milk, has finally got right down to the nitty-gritty of property rights in the face of a law of general applicability … raising the same question asked by Agister Alice Jongerden, in our case : “when did private become public?” Which the judge in the Supreme Court of British Columbia, never addressed, let alone answered. The FTCLDF is helping the dairy farmers in Michigan. I predict they’ll win this one.

http://www.farmtoconsumer.org/blog/2016/11/22/state-control-private-property-michigan/

Emma Gardner
Emma Gardner
December 8, 2016 4:05 pm
“… raising the same question asked by Agister Alice Jongerden, in our case : “when did private become public?” A question relevant in the U.S., but which may not be applicable in Canada where all commerce is regulated in some form or another, particularly agricultural commerce, for example under B.C.’s “Natural Products Marketing Act” (quoted below) and its equivalents in every province (see https://rawmilkpolicy.wordpress.com). From the NPMA at http://www.bclaws.ca/EPLibraries/bclaws_new/document/ID/freeside/00_96330_01 : “1. Definitions: ‘marketing’ includes producing, packing, buying, selling, storing, shipping for sale, offering for sale or storage, and in respect of a natural product includes its transportation in any manner by any person; ‘natural product’ means a product of agriculture or of the sea, lake or river and an article of food or drink wholly or partly manufactured or derived from such product; ‘regulated product’ means a natural product the regulation of the marketing of which is provided for in a scheme approved or established under this Act;” “2 (1) The purpose and intent of this Act is to provide for the promotion, control and regulation of the marketing of natural products, including (a) the prohibition of all or part of that marketing,” This piece of trash was passed in… Read more »
Gary Ogden
Gary Ogden
December 8, 2016 10:17 pm

David: Another example of fake news: Remember the AIDS con of the ’80’s and 90’s? Some in the MSM were claiming that we might be facing extinction. We’re still here. This was yet another gift to pharma by the CDC and the MSM, meanwhile perfectly healthy people died as a result of these extremely toxic (developed as chemical weapons) chemotherapy agents called anti-retrovirals, after a positive “HIV” test. Turns out the retrovirus called “HIV” has never been isolated.

wpDiscuz