An organization that routinely deals with homeschooling issues across the U.S. and around the globe is taking on a case of parental rights because the circumstances – a social worker calling police over a newborn’s shots – is just too egregious to let pass.
“We are taking this case because we are tired of seeing the erosion of parental rights in virtually every area of life. Parental rights in medical cases have an impact on broader parental rights, including educational decisions,” he said. “And the plain fact is this: If we don’t fight for parental rights, it is probable that our rights will be eroded bit by bit until there is nothing that remains.” MORE>>>>>>
Things can seem really grim in the world of food freedom when farmers and food club members are jailed and squashed for providing fresh milk, while the media continues to spread outright lies about its consumption.
Just when it appears that the force, bans, food destruction, jail time, and deception are too much to handle – the people parry and thrust! In this dark cloud of oppression against health freedom and self-sufficiency, there are indeed some overlooked silver linings. For every bout of extreme force, there is a doubly powerful backlash.
Increasing Rallies To Defend Small Milk Farmers
There have been a handful of impressive rallies to defend raided small farms in the last year including the most recent one supporting Vernon Hershberger. Around 300 people showed up at his Wisconsin court hearing and were jam packed into the courtroom and basement during proceedings.
He refused to have a hearing without his own camera rolling and would not accept offers for settlement, i.e. reduced punishment for accepting guilt for four misdemeanors. The pressure from the crowd, his gentle constancy, and his recordings may have led the judge to rethink the call of prosecutors to punish him for violating bail terms. His trial date has been pushed to September.
A new bill in Connecticut has advanced the idea of embedded RFID chips in license plates. (PDF)
The admitted revenue-generating scheme, which would enable real-time tracking from points throughout the state, was first proposed to lawmakers by former astronaut, Paul Scully-Power.
Perhaps even more disturbing than Scully-Power's connection to the companies that would profit from the implementation of the technology, is when he openly states that, "An RFID program would be phased in gradually and then expanded to accomplish other policing tasks without having to change equipment ... the second phase would be to implement speeding violations." (Source)
LOS ANGELES – NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has landed robotic explorers on the surface of Mars, sent probes to outer planets and operates a worldwide network of antennas that communicates with interplanetary spacecraft.
Its latest mission is defending itself in a workplace lawsuit filed by a former computer specialist who claims he was demoted -- and then let go -- for promoting his views on intelligent design, the belief that a higher power must have had a hand in creation because life is too complex to have developed through evolution alone.
David Coppedge, who worked as a "team lead" on the Cassini mission exploring Saturn and its many moons, alleges that he was discriminated against because he engaged his co-workers in conversations about intelligent design and handed out DVDs on the idea while at work. Coppedge lost his "team lead" title in 2009 and was let go last year after 15 years on the mission.
Opening statements are expected to begin Monday.........
A farmer in Loganville, Wis., sometime in the next few months will go to trial in Sauk County on four misdemeanors, and Vernon Hershberger could face up to three years in jail for providing milk and other products to members of a dairy buying club.
The state of Wisconsin says it can regulate when consumers gain access to such products through private deals.
But the idea isn’t sitting well with natural foods advocates, and they are planning a rally at Hershberger’s next court appearance, scheduled Friday. One supporter even has suggested that it might be hoped that the jury would acquit the farmer “no matter what the facts and the law of the case are.”
“Can the jury hearing the case legally engage in jury nullification and return a verdict of not guilty on the charges no matter what the facts and the law of the case are? The answer is yes,” writes Pete Kennedy in a Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund commentary on the case.
“Hershberger had been charged with operating a retail food establishment without a license, operating a dairy farm as a milk producer without a license, operating a dairy plant without a license and violating a holding order issued by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture and Consumer Protection,” he wrote.
But the facts of the case are that Hershberger had “private contractual arrangements with food buyers clubs to provide food.”
“If Hershberger is convicted of the charges against him, it could have a chilling effect on consumer access to raw milk for those who don’t own and board their own cows. The farmer currently is leasing his cows to the right to Choose Healthy Food Buyers Club,” he said.
But Kennedy noted that a Dane County Circuit Court judge ruled last that “owners of cows boarded at the Zinniker farm in Elkhorn could not legally obtain raw milk produced by their own cows at the farm.”
The Weston A. Price Foundation said a rally will be held at a court hearing for Hershberger Friday, March 2, to launch a “Declaration of Food Independence.”
It will be at the courthouse in Baraboo, Wis., where food activists from around North America will gather to support Hershberger.
“The Wisconsin Department of Agricultural Trade and consumer Protection targeted Hershberger for supplying a private buying club with fresh milk,” the Price Foundation report said.
“There is more at stake here than just a farmer and his few customers,” Hershberger told the foundation. “This is about the fundamental right of farmers and consumers to engage in peaceful, private, mutually consenting agreements for food, without additional oversight.”
Food-rights activists plan to read and distribute the “Declaration of Food Independence” that day. The document asserts inherent rights in food choice.
The organization said Hershberger and other farmers around the country have been facing state and federal charges for providing fresh foods to customers.
“In recent months the FDA has conducted several long undercover sting operations and raids against peaceful farmers and buying clubs that have resulted in farms shutting down and consumers without access to their food,” the report said.
WND reported only a few days earlier when the Price Foundation criticized a federal study that warned about outbreaks of illness blamed on raw milk. The Centers for Disease Control report said outbreaks because of raw milk were 150 times greater than outbreaks attributed to pasteurized milk, citing statistics from a 13-year period ending in 2006.
But the Price Foundation said the results were skewed because of the way federal report authors “cherry picked” data.
Sally Fallon Morell, president of the Weston A. Price Foundation, said the study listed an average of 315 illnesses a year “from all dairy products for which the pasteurization status was known.”
“Of those, there was an average of 112 illnesses each year attributed to all raw dairy products and 203 associated with pasteurized dairy products,” she said of the study period ending in 2006.
“The CDC’s data shows that there were significant outbreaks of foodborne illness linked to pasteurized dairy products the very next year, in 2007: 135 people became ill from pasteurized cheese contaminated with e.coli, and three people died from pasteurized milk contaminated with listeria,” the Price Foundation report said.
And shortly before the time frame for the study, there were 16,000 confirmed cases of Salmonella traced to pasteurized milk from a single dairy, the foundation reported.
The foundation suggested that the time frame was picked by government reporters to portray raw milk in a negative light.
Circuit Court Judge Patrick J. Fiedler said the families who reported they were boarding their cows for a fee and then getting the milk instead were running a “dairy farm.”
“It’s always a surprise when a judge says you don’t have the fundamental right to consume the foods of your choice,” said Kennedy.
The judge wrote:
The court denied plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment, which means the following:
(1) no, plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to own and use a dairy cow or a diary (sic) herd; (2) no, plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to consume the milk from their own cow; (3) no, plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to board their cow at the farm of a farmer; (4) no, the Zinniker plaintiffs’ private contract does not fall outside the scope of the state’s police power; (5) no, plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to produce and consume the foods of their choice; and “(6) no, the DATCP did not act in an ultra vires manner because it had jurisdiction to regulate the Zinniker plaintiffs’ conduct.
Kennedy called the ruling outlandish.
“Here you have a situation where a group of people, a couple of individuals, boarded their cows which they wholly owned, with Zinniker farms, and paid them a fee for the boarding.”
He continued, “The judge said people have no fundamental right to acquire, possess and use your own property.”
Obama’s National Labor Relations Board announced its new Excelsior List, which will continue their assault on the 93% of private-sector employees who are union-free. Now all employees who are targeted for unionization will be forced to turn over their home telephone number and e-mail addresses to unions. This will give union organizers the ability to conduct intrusive home visits prior to the NLRB election.
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul was briefly detained this morning after a standoff incident with TSA officers In Nashville.
In a telephone interview with AP, Rand Paul confirmed that an “anomaly” on his knee was picked up by a full body scanner. Paul said he asked for another scan, but the TSA insisted he submit to a pat down by airport security.
After refusing the pat-down on the grounds that it was an infringement on his rights and “private property”, Paul said he was then “detained” in a small cubicle and consequently missed a flight to Washington for a Senate session. Paul was also due to speak at the March for Life later today in DC.
Paul also said that the incident highlights how the TSA should not be “spending so much time with people who wouldn’t attack us.”
Editor's Note: The Plain Truth is not in favor of legalizing pot or other drugs. We are in favor of The Bill of Rights!
Police raid man's home, violate his civil liberties in Columbia, MO. Under the cover of darkness, a team of militarized SWAT agents enter a family home and immediately engage in gunfire — killing one of two family dogs (wounding the other), and likely inflicting lifelong trauma to the familys seven-year-old son. The end result of SWAT teams action? Police seized a small amount of marijuana (a few grams), and associated paraphernalia (a grinder). The man in the video ultimately pled guilty to misdemeanor drug charges and paid a $300 fine.
You thought you had the right to choose what you eat? The FDA says you don't. They claim that there is no fundamental right to choose your food or freedom to contract for it. Responding to a Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund lawsuit, the FDA clearly states that you do not have the right to freedom of choice in your diet.
Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF) Lawsuit Against the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
The FTCLDF is a 501(c)(4) organization, which means that it exists to promote the social welfare of its members and community. They define their reason for being in one sentence:
Sustainable farming and direct farm-to-consumer transactions further the common good and general welfare of all Americans.
Their Mission Statement says, in whole:
The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund is a 501 (c) (4) non-profit organization made up of farmers and consumers joining together and pooling resources to:
Protect the constitutional right of the nation’s family farms to provide processed and unprocessed farm foods directly to consumers through any legal means.
Protect the constitutional right of consumers to obtain unprocessed and processed farm foods directly from family farms.
Protect the nation’s family farms from harassment by federal, state, and local government interference with food production and on-farm food processing.
On behalf of its members and for all family farms in the US, the FTCLDF filed a lawsuit against the FDA, claiming "that the federal regulations (21 CFR 1240.61 and 21 CFR 131.110) banning raw milk for human consumption in interstate commerce are unconstitutional and outside of FDA's statutory authority as applied to FTCLDF's members and the named individual plaintiffs in the suit."
The FDA responded by claiming a number of things, including the absurd idea that the FTCLDF has no standing to file the case! That is, they're claiming that the organization that represents the people who have been harmed by the FDA's actions does not actually represent them. They claim that no harm has been shown, in spite of the fact that the FDA's actions have prevented farmers from producing and selling raw milk and their customers have lost the ability to obtain it.
An organization that monitors the U.S. government's influence on education, and specifically on parents who choose to school their own children, is warning of a pending move in Washington that would result in "de facto national education standards."
The measure could not only require parents who homeschool their children to teach certain government agenda issues but also effectively remove much of the decision-making authority of local school boards and districts, warns the Home School Legal Defense Association.
The organization focuses on issues affecting homeschool students and their parents in the United States and overseas but also keeps an eye on the larger picture of education policy.
The concern is about Democrat-driven plans in the U.S. Senate to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, a massive federal program last reauthorized in 2001 as the No Child Left Behind Act.
"HSLDA's federal relations staff have read this 868-page bill, and we believe that while it does not directly impact homeschool freedom, the bill will 1) increase the federal role in education at the expense of state, local and parental control, and 2) will greatly increase the pressure on states to align their curriculum and standards, resulting in de facto national education standards," said the report compiled by Melanie P. Palazzo, the organization's congressional action program director, and William A. Estrada of the organization's federal relations office.
Most Americans think they drink milk on a regular basis. In fact, virtually all these people are consuming pasteurized milk, not milk. Milk in its natural state – raw milk – is consumed by very few Americans, because it is illegal in many states and thoroughly discouraged by federal health organizations, regulators, and the Big Dairy lobby.
Raw milk is prohibited in Canada and Australia, although raw milk and raw-milk products are legal almost everywhere else. In fact, in countries with the best cuisines, such as France, raw milk and raw-milk products are considered the high-quality choice.
With the current controversy surrounding the government crackdown on wholesome, organic, and locally produced milk, it is important to understand the products we are being pushed toward, as well as those we are being pushed away from. While the benefits of organic and raw milk is largely undeniable when compared to the industrially produced substitute, the dangers of the latter are not discussed quite as frequently. Of these dangers, rBGH is a central figure.
Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (also known as Recombinant Bovine Somatotropin) is a genetically engineered hormone that is injected into cows for the purpose of increasing milk production. It is derived from bovine somatotropin (bST) which is a hormone that is produced naturally in the cattle by the pituitary gland. This hormone is very important for growth and development, as well as other functions of the animal’s body.
Sometime in the 1930s it was discovered that injecting cattle with bST increased milk production. However, because bST is produced in the animal itself, the only source available was in the pituitary glands of the slaughtered cattle. Genetic engineering thus came into play.
Eminent Domain has been used throughout the nation to employ a technique whereby the State can request the sacrifice of personal property in the name of "the greater good." Generally there has been some semblance of attempting to hide the collectivist nature of Eminent Domain by properly compensating landowners for their loss. However, a small town in New Jersey sets the stage for a new form of Eminent Domain where private land can be seized -- in perpetuity -- with zero compensation. Under the guise of environmentalism, the town of Kingwood is a prime example of a Communist-style land grab which is at the heart of a global move toward the restriction of personal property rights.
A yearlong sting operation, including aliases, a 5 a.m. surprise inspection and surreptitious purchases from an Amish farm in Pennsylvania, culminated in the federal government announcing this week that it has gone to court to stop Rainbow Acres Farm from selling its contraband to willing customers in the Washington area.
The product in question: unpasteurized milk.
It’s a battle that’s been going on behind the scenes for years, with natural foods advocates arguing that raw milk, as it’s also known, is healthier than the pasteurized product, while the Food and Drug Administration says raw milk can carry harmful bacteria such as salmonella, E. coli and listeria.
“It is the FDA’s position that raw milk should never be consumed,” said Tamara N. Ward, spokeswoman for the FDA, whose investigators have been looking into Rainbow Acres for months, and who finally last week filed a 10-page complaint in federal court in Pennsylvania seeking an order to stop the farm from shipping across state lines any more raw milk or dairy products made from it.
The farm’s owner, Dan Allgyer, didn’t respond to a message seeking comment, but his customers in the District of Columbia and Maryland were furious at what they said was government overreach.
“I look at this as the FDA is in cahoots with the large milk producers,” said Karin Edgett, a D.C. resident who buys directly from Rainbow Acres. “I don’t want the FDA and my tax dollars to go to shut down a farm that hasn’t had any complaints against it. They’re producing good food, and the consumers are extremely happy with it.”
The FDA’s actions stand in contrast to other areas where the Obama administration has said it will take a hands-off approach to violations of the law, including the use of medical marijuana in states that have approved it, and illegal-immigrant students and youths, whom the administration said recently will not be targets of their enforcement efforts.
Raw-milk devotees say pasteurization, the process of heating food to kill harmful organisms, eliminates good bacteria as well, and changes the taste and health benefits of the milk. Many raw-milk drinkers say they feel much healthier after changing over to it, and insist they should have the freedom of choice regarding their food.
One defense group says there are as many as 10 million raw-milk consumers in the country. Sales are perfectly legal in 10 states but illegal in 11 states and the District, with the other states having varying restrictions on purchase or consumption.
Many food safety researchers say pasteurization, which became widespread in the 1920s and 1930s, dramatically reduced instances of milk-transmitted diseases such as typhoid fever and diphtheria. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there is no health benefit from raw milk that cannot be obtained from pasteurized milk.
One year ago, U.S. newspapers and broadcasters could feel confident they controlled the news content they created.
It was understood that competing and special-interest websites couldn't appropriate that content and post it without authorization.
When such infringements occurred, they were dealt with swiftly and effectively with a simple phone call or email.
Infringing websites typically had re-posted material out of ignorance they were violating the Copyright Act and agreed to remove the material or replace it with a link to the source newspaper or broadcaster.
Then along came Righthaven LLC of Las Vegas, the self-appointed protector of the newspaper industry from such news sharers.
A group of anonymous developers have concocted a clever antidote to Government domain seizures. MAFIAA Fire is a Firefox add-on that automatically redirects a user to a website's alternative domain name if the original domain was seized.
MAFIAA Fire exploits the fact that when a domain is seized, although it appears that the Government has taken control of the entire website, they have really only gained control over the domain name. The Government redirects the domain name to a Government IP address and website rather than the IP address containing the original website. When a user types in a seized domain name, such as rapgodfathers.com (seized last November), their browser is not directed to the original website, it is directed to a site containing the famous DHS/ICE seal.
If a user types in the IP address or an alternative domain name for the site, the website content would still be accessible. The problem is that users don't know the IP address or alternative domain name, they only know the original domain name.
Washington (CNN) -- Don't like the way airport screeners are doing their job? You might not want to complain too much while standing in line.
Arrogant complaining about airport security is one indicator Transportation Security Administration officers consider when looking for possible criminals and terrorists, CNN has learned exclusively. And, when combined with other behavioral indicators, it could result in a traveler facing additional scrutiny.
CNN has obtained a list of roughly 70 "behavioral indicators" that TSA behavior detection officers use to identify potentially "high risk" passengers at the nation's airports.
Many of the indicators, as characterized in open government reports, are behaviors and appearances that may be indicative of stress, fear or deception. None of them, as the TSA has long said, refer to or suggest race, religion or ethnicity.
But one addresses passengers' attitudes towards security, and how they express those attitudes.
It reads: "Very arrogant and expresses contempt against airport passenger procedures."
The last few weeks have seen websites and blogs forced to fight back against copyright bullies, frivolous lawsuits and the United States Government. Now, in Maine, a blogger has been forced to use the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution to fight back against the State's attempt to use its election laws to penalize him for anonymous posts he made in criticism of a political candidate.
This case raises important issues surrounding whether the law can apply different standards to print and online journalists, as well as whether a blogger has the right to post political criticism anonymously.
The issues arose during last year's election cycle. While working on the gubernatorial campaign of candidate Rosa Scarcelli, Dennis Bailey created a blog called the Cutler Files, which launched in August 2010. With the help of Scarcelli and her husband, Bailey used the blog to anonymously launch political attacks on Eliot Cutler, the Independent candidate for governor.
On Friday, a Minnesota jury found that a blogger must pay $60,000 in damages because of statements he published in his blog about a public figure who was subsequently fired from his job. Internet publishers and free speech advocates should pay close attention to this case if it is appealed because the blogger was found liable even though the jury did not find that the blogger's statements were false.
This decision is the latest example of the law's apparent struggle to apply basic constitutional protections to internet publishers. If the Minnesota ruling holds up, it will mean that bloggers will have to worry they will be forced to pay for true statements that they publish that cause a person damages.
It is unfortunate that Righthaven and the companies it "buys" the copyrighted property from are willing to financially wreck a person, often for mere carelessness as they are attempting to add to the public conversation.
Today, the Media Bloggers Association ("MBA") filed its Reply Brief in the Righthaven, LLC v. Hyatt case. The MBA is opposing Righthaven's attempt to convince the Nevada District Court to award it $150,000 in damages, the domain name for blogger Bill Hyatt's website (1ce.org) and attorneys' fees.
Hyatt was sued by Righthaven last October after he allegedly copied a Las Vegas Review-Journal column titled "FX's Manly Man Shows Hold Outsider Appeal." When Hyatt did not respond to the lawsuit, he was defaulted by the court clerk's office.
A default is basically the equivalent of an admission of all liability by the defendant. If the default is not set aside, the Court will skip the trial on the merits of the copyright claim and proceed directly to a determination of the damages against Hyatt.