Psst. Hey buddy, come on over here. Let me hook you up with some good stuff. It’s a controlled substance…. RAW MILK. Don’t tell anyone where you got it.
After 3 days of trial and 4 plus hours of deliberation, a Hennepin County, Minnesota jury found organic egg farmer Alvin Schlangen not guilty of 3 misdemeanors. Those charges being 1) selling unpasteurized milk, 2) operating without a food license and 3) handling adulterated or misbranded food. http://goo.gl/3I1Eq
In this article, we will discuss:
- The Enlightenment, Natural Law and Liberty;
- Private Property Rights;
- Jury Nullification;
- Common Sense and,
This writer grew up on a dairy farm, so this issue is of particular interest to him. Further, this writer’s father owned and operated a bulk milk route in Wisconsin that brought raw milk from the local dairy farms to the local Dairy Cooperative, now known as Foremost Farms. And, finally this writer has been heavily involved in the Judicial TAR (Transparency, Accountability and Reform) Movement. These experiences provide this writer with a unique perspective to offer his readers.
This issue really comes down to Big Food trying to protect its financial interests from smaller food producers and cooperatives. Through campaign contributions and other consideration, Big Food has been able to machinate restrictive legislation into place and then cause the legal system to expand this legislation beyond its original intent. In so doing, they have “legally” driven out the competition.
It is also in the interest of a tyrant to keep his subjects poor, so that they may not be able to afford the cost of protecting themselves by arms and be so occupied with their daily tasks that they have no time for rebellion.... Subjects are also kept poor by payment of taxes.
Aristotle, Politics. C.334-23 BC.
In so doing, Big Food have deprived Milk Producers and Consumers of some of those unalienable “Natural Law” rights referred to in the Declaration of Independence. (See “Laws of Nature” aka Natural Law line 4, 1st Paragraph and “certain unalienable Rights” lines 1-3, 2nd paragraph http://goo.gl/AnWRI )
- The Enlightenment, Natural Law and Liberty
Before we begin, we must do a condensed version of history.
Our Country was founded near the end of The Enlightenment 1650AD -1800AD http://goo.gl/xRQAm . Prior to The Enlightenment the prevailing philosophy of Government was the “Divine Right of Kings”. Essentially this philosophy was based upon the premise that the King was the emissary of God here on Earth. As such, no earthly being could challenge the correctness of his rulings. And the King owned all the property, and could decide who and who could not be on or utilize any particular piece of property.
This Divine Right of Kings Philosophy was cast off through the tumult of The Enlightenment. The printing press allowed the far more rapid exchange of ideas than was previously possible. Some of the major figures of The Enlightenment were: René Descartes (1596–1650); Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790); Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832); Alexander Hamilton (1757 - 1804); Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679); David Hume (1711–1776); Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826); Immanuel Kant (1724–1804); John Locke (1632–1704); James Madison ( 1751 – 1836),Thomas Paine (1737–1809) Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712–1778); and Voltaire (1694–1778) http://goo.gl/4lNF9 http://goo.gl/d9gtH
During The Enlightenment, the writings of these folks and the discourse in the public sphere dismantled the Divine Right of Kings. By asserting and demanding that all people had certain unalienable rights as a matter of Natural Law, the Governments of the time were forced to accommodation or met with violent revolution.
John Locke championed the Republic as the best form of Government and asserted that any government exists at the will of the people aka “Consent of the Governed”. The prominent Figures of the Enlightenment and the writers of our Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights stated emphatically that these were rights that already existed in each individual and thus, that they were merely reducing to words Natural Law and Natural Law Rights that had always existed.
In so doing, their intent was to ensure that none of your Natural Law Rights could ever be taken away merely by rewording the written word. This is something our government does not want you to know. Unalienable Rights means they cannot be taken away (except as punishment for crimes)
(Alexander) Hamilton's observation that the true protection of men's rights are to be found not "among old parchments, or musty records… They are written, as with a sun beam, in the whole volume of human nature, . . . and can never be erased or obscured." This, of course, is natural law. http://goo.gl/azy8K
For this article’s purposes, we will only concern ourselves with the Natural Law Rights of Liberty, Assembly and Private Property Ownership.
Having just cast off the Tyranny of King George, it was the vision of the Founders of our Country that each citizen have maximum liberty, be able to own property, be self-sufficient and accept personal responsibility for their life choices.
In not allowing any person of sound mind having being fully informed they are drinking raw milk and of its potential consequences, to purchase and consume raw milk is a violation of your Liberty aka Freedom by your government.
“None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 1749-1832
This brings us to Natural Law Private Property Rights…
- Private Property Rights;
Following The Enlightenment and the replacement of the “Divine Right of Kings” philosophy of Government with the “Consent of the Governed” Philosophy, property no longer belonged exclusively to the King or Government.
Private Persons could assert their self-ownership right and their right own private property. Not only did persons now own themselves and the ability to assert the right to own private property, they also could assert ownership of the fruits of their labors. (The Coherence Of The Natural Law Of Property http://goo.gl/azy8K and Locke on Natural Law and Property Rights http://goo.gl/tWR3G )
The Raw Milk in this situation happens to be the fruit of an Amish Farmer’s Labors. Alvin Schlangen was part of a cooperative (Freedom of Assembly) of folks that wanted to purchase organic foods. The Government had passed many laws which violated Natural Law Property Rights. This was a free market transaction in which all of the “parties” were fully informed of what they were buying and the possible consequences.
The Government was mandating to whom the private property owner of the milk could sell his property. By requiring pasteurization, etc. the Government was mandating that the property could only be sold to “Big Food” Processors at a substantially lower prices.
Among the natural rights of the colonists are these: First a right to life, secondly to liberty, and thirdly to property; together with the right to defend them in the best manner they can.
Samuel Adams 1722-1803
These various regulations regarding raw milk violated every individual unalienable Natural Law Rights to Liberty and Private Property.
- Jury Nullification;
Jury Nullification is one way WE THE PEOPLE can exercise their right to “Consent to be Governed”
Jury nullification is a constitutional doctrine that allows juries to acquit defendants who are technically guilty, but who don’t deserve punishment. When a jury disregards the evidence and acquits an otherwise guilty defendant, it has practiced jury nullification. The jury is saying that the law is unfair, either generally or in this particular case. http://goo.gl/R6mFr
In this case, it appears that Alvin Schlangen was found not guilty through a mixture of jury nullification and the prosecutor improperly charging and/or making technical mistakes in the charges against Mr. Schlangen.
“three misdemeanor counts of selling unpasteurized milk, operating without a food license and handling adulterated or misbranded food. “http://goo.gl/3I1Eq
As technical mistake examples, consider that Mr. Schlangen did not own nor produce the milk; An Amish Farmer did. (And if we too get more technical, the milk was from cows the “club” leased from him) Next, Mr. Schlangen appears to have been a volunteer for a club or cooperative. He asserts he merely transported the controlled substance known as raw milk.
This writer cannot understand how “raw milk” was adulterated. Isn’t the reverse actually true, don’t pasteurization and adding vitamins, etc. to raw milk actually amount to “adulteration”? As for the “misbranding”, without actually seeing the containers the milk was sold in, it is difficult to know “guilt” Was the Prosecution saying the containers said milk and should have said “raw milk”?
However, it appears Mr. Schlangen was selling unpasteurized milk and may have been required to have a food license.
As the jury found Mr. Schlangen not guilty, it appears that the Natural Law Right Jury Nullification pursuant to the philosophy of “Consent of the Governed” was the instrument the jury used in finding Mr. Schlangen not guilty of any charges he may have technically been guilty of.
Said of the juror: “It is not only his right, but his duty... to find the verdict according to his own best understanding, judgment, and conscience, though in direct opposition to the direction of the court.”
John Adams, who became the second U.S. President, in 1771 http://goo.gl/MQdgH
In essence, the jury said the charges against Mr. Schlangen were neither fair nor just.
- Common Sense
After reading Upton Sinclair’s book “The Jungle”, this writer fully understands the Governments interest in protecting enormous numbers of consumers who buy foods from “Big Food” companies.
The Government needs to use a little common sense. First, the club that Mr. Schlangen was involved with had 130 members. The members all knew full well the product they were getting and what the potential risks and benefits were. At the same time, they were weighing the risks and benefits of “commercial” milk. There was no enormous population, 130 members is statistically insignificant for concern as a potential wide spread food catastrophe.
Next, doesn’t common sense dictate that there is a different relationship between customers of “Big Food” companies and 130 members of a club. Whereas Big Food has no personal interest in their customers (Exhibit A – The Jungle), Mr. Schlangen and the 130 members did have personal interest in the welfare of each other. The whole reason they peacefully assembled as the “club” was to promote each other’s welfare. Before the Government worries about 130 fully informed people drinking raw milk, perhaps the Government should secure the borders against salmonella contaminated produce, other foods and lead painted children’s toys coming from other countries. This raw milk club appears to be a group of persons freely exercising their 1st Amendment Right to Assembly, and their Natural Law Property Rights.
Apply common sense still further, did not these folks go extra lengths to be in compliance with the draconian raw milk laws. Did they not go so far as to lease the cows the milk came from so they could consume it as milk from their own cows. (Natural Law Private Property Rights)
"There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations."
-- James Madison, Speech to the Virginia Ratifying Convention [June 16, 1788]
In applying this common sense, should we not consider whether these laws are arbitrary or merited? Should we not discuss the common sense of health, as it is upon health of WE THE PEOPLE that all of these food laws are promulgated?
Our own Doctors have complained that we are too clean for our own good. http://goo.gl/C6PP6 Being to clean causes our immune system to become lazy and appears to be a contributing factor to various allergies. Like muscles and brain cells, if we don’t regularly challenge our immune system, it atrophies and/or does not acquire greater resistance to foreign invaders.
When this writer grew up, he and his cohorts regularly played in the dirt, mud puddles and climbed trees. The vast majority of the current generation of youth have abandoned dirt, mud puddles and trees for IPods, video games, computers and the TV.
The dirty secret that the Government doesn’t tell you is that virtually all family farm family drinks raw milk. They don’t go to the store to buy it. Everyday their bodies are exposed to bacteria and viruses they essentially become immune to.
This writer drank almost nothing but raw milk to the age of 18. This writer has been to foreign countries and has never experienced “Montezuma’s Revenge” despite drinking the local water and eating the local “real native cuisine” This writer attributes this to playing in the dirt and mud puddles, climbing trees, living on a farm and drinking raw milk.
Do you really want your child’s first test of their immune system to be the measles, German measles, mumps, chicken pox, etc. without the immune system enhancing effects of regular doses of raw milk?
Until the laws are changed, some wholesalers of raw milk are going to continue to get by just labeling their raw milk: “Pet food – not for human consumption”.
This writer salutes Mr. Schlangen as a true American Patriot.
“Dissent is the highest form of Patriotism.”
It would have been easier and less stressful for Mr. Schlanger to accept the prosecutions settlement offer. But that is what the tyrants in our government count on to gradually take away our liberties.
"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."
Samuel Adams (1722-1803)
Do not rely upon nor act upon any of the information contained in this article without first consulting your own doctor and lawyer.
Those were my thoughts.
Thank you, my fellow citizens, for taking your valuable time to read and reflect upon what is written here.
Please join with me in mutually pledging to each other and our fellow citizens our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor to our mutual endeavors of restoring liberty and economic opportunity to WE THE PEOPLE as our Founding Fathers envisioned and intended. [Last Paragraph, Declaration of Independence http://bit.ly/ruPE7z ]
This article is written with the same intentions as Thomas Paine http://ushistory.org/paine. I seek no leadership role. I seek only to help the American People find their own way using their own “Common Sense” http://amzn.to/kbRuar
Keep Fighting the Good Fight!
Lawless America #LawlessAmerica
Justice in Minnesota #JIM
Bring Home the Politicians #BHTP
Get out of our House #GOOOH
Critical Thinking Notice - This author advises you as no politician would dare. Exercise Critical Thinking (http://bit.ly/ubI6ve) in determining the truthfulness of anything you read or hear. Do not passively accept nor believe anything anyone tells you, including this author... unless and until you verify it yourself with sources you trust and could actively defend your perspective to anyone who might debate you to the contrary of your perspective.