“No man’s life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session.” Mark Twain, 1866
The 2013 Kentucky General Assembly session is fast approaching. As of last Thursday, there were 35 bills pre-filed. If we read these now, we might be able to get a jump on any bad bills. Last year, there were over 500 bills filed before the doors opened!
Our New 2013 Kentucky General Assembly Farm Food Freedom Legislators!
Four Farm Food Freedom candidates won: Kenny Imes, State House #5, Perry Clark, State Senate #37, Russell Webber, State House #49, and Thomas Massie, U.S. House #4. YAY — a few more freedom fighters in Frankfort and D.C.!!! Thank you all for running. See you next time!!!
What happened to SB47, the Livestock Act?
It died a lonely death because Kentucky’s House Ag Committee chair, the newly re-elected Tom McKee, ignored it to death. After it passed the Senate with a solid majority, McKee decided — all on his own, despite hundreds of calls in support of the bill — not to bring it up for discussion or vote because, “We don’t need it.”
Really? Hundreds of Kentucky farmers and consumers — many of whom have been visited by overzealous regulatory agencies with no legal authority — told him we DO need it. His obstinance begs the question: if he’s not listening to us, to whom is he listening?
He did promise to get assurances from the state health board that “visits” to farmers would cease. He would not put this in writing.
What is so hard about passing a bill affirming something that is already legal? The right to privately contract is guaranteed by both the U.S. and Kentucky Constitutions. Not to mention our unalienable right to do with our property — bodies, land, animals, food — as we see fit, a right bestowed by an even higher authority than a politician’s. (Judging from the way politicians legislate the minutiae of our lives, it seems they believe they own us.)
A few months ago, I sat down with Bryan Lutz, who ran for Kentucky State House District 78 to replace McKee. Lutz came very close to winning: 1900 votes shy. He’s pro-farm food freedom, grew up on raw milk. He’s pro-hemp, a crop our farmers need for feed, fuel and sales and Kentucky needs for industry and jobs. I like Bryan. He’s interested, willing to listen and looks you right in the eye when he talks. Look out 2014!
Farm Food Freedom Victories
Michigan’s “Feral” Pig Debacle
One of the most notable victories was stopping the slaughter of heritage pigs in Michigan. If you were unaware of this travesty, the MI DNR was forcing farmers to kill their own pigs because of the way the pigs LOOKED. Yeah… wow. (There are links to the entire affair below.) Here’s the victory report:
Thank you to all who signed and shared the petition regarding the Michigan Swine Invasive Species Order, which orders the slaughter of so-called ‘feral’ pigs, including heritage-breed pigs being raised on family farms.
The petition closed on October 17, 2012. We gathered 1,605 signatures. On October 18, 2012, the petition and signatures were delivered to Michigan’s Governor, Rick Snyder, and the new head of the Michigan DNR, Keith Creagh. (Following publicity on the controversial DNR order, the former DNR head, Rodney Stokes named in the petition, was quietly demoted and re-assigned.) Three heritage-breed pig farmers are currently suing the DNR, and so far, public scrutiny and pressure have prevented the DNR from carrying out the order on Michigan’s family farms.
For the 10/19 update on this situation, listen to this interview between Pete Kennedy, the lead attorney at Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund, and Mark Baker, a heritage-breed pig farmer and owner of Baker’s Green Acres, one of the farmers involved in the litigation. You’ll find links to the history there as well.
To stay up-to-date on all legal issues affecting our nation’s family farms and food freedom, subscribe to the Farm-to-Consumer blog and Facebook page. Another excellent resource is The Bovine. Michael Schmidt has been on the outs with the authorities (he won, is still fighting) and reports on everything that happens with regard to farm food freedom!
Please consider joining the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund. Pete and his team stand up in court for farmers and consumers — it is critical to keep them afloat with our support!
Vernon Herschberger Gets Kennedy AND Reynolds To Defend Him!
Mr. Herschberger is going on trial in January, facing four CRIMINAL misdemeanor charges connected to providing consenting adults with raw milk. I still find it unbelievable this happens here.
Bechards Get Favorable Settlement on Charges of Selling Raw Milk
Thanks to Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (again)! Details here. Teddi Bechard reports on her timeline blog: “As many of you know, we have been embroiled in lawsuits since April 2009 from both the City of Springfield AND the State of Missouri regarding the legality of selling raw milk. If you look at the very beginning of this story, you’ll notice that this is all about the delivery of only 1-1/2 gallons of milk.” TPTB (The Powers That Be) look a little desperate to me.
Alvin Schlangen Acquitted on Charges of Selling Raw Milk
Details here. This was a huge victory for raw milk against the well-funded corporate milk lobby that is behind the persecution of raw milk farmers. The state failed to make its case. Some believed Alvin was acquitted due to jury nullification, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
What is “Jury Nullification”?
Jury nullification is a jury’s right to nullify a law it believes unfair for any reason. The most famous jury nullification case was when William Penn was charged with unapproved preaching of non-established religion. The jury knew he was “guilty” of breaking the law, but acquitted him because the law was immoral!
As Thomas Jefferson put it, “I consider trial by jury as the only anchor yet imagined by man by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution.” Webster’s dictionary from Jefferson’s time defines a jury as a group of citizens impaneled to judge both the facts and the law in both civil and criminal cases. Jury nullification, the voiding of a law by juries who judge it to be immoral or repressive or simply wrong, is part of our legal heritage.
Judges today do not advise jurors of their right to jury nullification. In fact, most judges tell juries they must abide by the law whether jurors agree with it or not. This is fiction. Find out more here.
Watch “Genetic Roulette” Online for $2.99
You can watch it here. Excellent, well-researched and entertaining on the topic of genetic modification of our food supply. Begs the questions: what have we done to our food, to our bodies, to our land, to our children? And: how can we stop the madness?
I’m just finding out about this and not liking it. There is a wealth of information online, it’s scary and overwhelming. I started here, then went here. I’m reading this and this. Now looking at this and this.
The experts on the topic are telling us that, in the name of sustainability, our due process and our property rights are being taken from us — actual property in many cases (watch Rand’s Property Wrongs hearings — there are at least 6 videos in the series).
Kentucky is not too, too far down the path. It’s a good time to learn more and make sure your local leaders don’t fall for the pitch.
That’s All the Good and Bad News!
Now, back to reading the pre-filed bills… If you have friends and family interested in Farm Food Freedom, please pass this along to them. The bigger our numbers, the more impact we have on how we are governed! Thank you!