Federal Bullies Don’t Make a Good Case for the “Greater Good”

Federal government bullying individuals and small farming operations in the name of the “greater good” doesn’t look as noble as they might intend.

January 8, 2024

By: Bobby Casey, Managing Director GWP

greater good The Amish are an interesting group to watch. Not exciting, but absolutely interesting. Their existence in the US serves as a sort of control group in an ongoing informal case study reflecting how far the US has strayed from a free and independent society.

They are the closest vestige we have to the original Puritans, their way of life, and their ethic. Focusing on the latter two, they live off grid and still embody the work ethic that drives free market capitalism.

They also hold a religious exemption from paying FICA, FUTA, and self-employment taxes, as their religion forbids them from drawing any sort of government benefit. They are not in any way politically active. They don’t vote. They don’t run for office.

Their craftsmanship is unmatched. Their other products such as preserves and pies draw people from everywhere to try them. They sell their dairy, their baked goods, and their salves locally and they pay income taxes.

They don’t use modern medicine or technology. They are a pacifistic group of old world religious people who basically want to be left alone and leave others alone. So what’s the problem?

The problem is the first part: they want to be left alone. Therein lies the case study. What happens when you want to be left alone? Well, the government finds a reason not to.

There are cases like Ruby Ridge, Waco, and even Marvin Heemeyer where government decided the best thing they could do to people who never did anything was to create a problem out of thin air. And they regularly bully the Amish because they know they won’t do anything about it.

In 2011, there was the six-month to a year-long sting operation conducted by the FBI over the Amish shipping raw milk over state lines. This used to be allowed and facilitated by the interstate commerce laws… until it wasn’t. That same clause was used against them to create a federal offense and allow the FBI to swoop in.

In 2017, the FDA sought a 48 year sentence against one Sam Girod, who sold organic salves. He made claims that the salves helped treat numerous health problems, including skin disorders, sinus infections and cancer. Girod had been selling this salve for years. No one was actually harmed by it in any way.

Then, the FDA labeled this salve as a “drug”, something Girod never claimed it was, and proceeded to cite him for violating a bunch of drug laws. He was sentenced to six years after being found guilty of: manufacturing the herbal salve in an establishment that was not registered with the FDA, and packaged in a container that “failed to bear labeling containing adequate directions for use.”

January 4th of this year (yes, three days ago), the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture raided Amos Miller’s all-natural farm, served a search warrant, and hauled away coolers full of items.

The USDA has tried to bring Miller’s farm into compliance with federal regulations, but Amos has yet to cooperate with the Feds and faces fines and jail time.

… With his sovereign citizen defense, Miller has tried to thwart the Fed’s overreach to get him to comply with food safety rules. He sells all sorts of food to more than 4,000 buyers, such as organic eggs, raw milk, grass-fed beef and cheese, and fresh produce. He doesn’t use electricity, chemical fertilizers, vaccines, or petroleum products in farming.

Here’s the thing. You really have to go out of your way to get Amish products. Not “Amish Inspired”, not “Amish Derived”… actual Amish made products. They aren’t mass-produced to industrial scale here. But most importantly, the makers are Amish.

To pretend like they are some notorious crime syndicate, crosses hyperbole into the absurd.

Carlton S. Shier, IV, Acting U. S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, said Girodbrazenly placed the public at risk” by manufacturing and selling homemade products to businesses in numerous states that do not comply with FDA regulations.

The Amish aren’t dying from anything they procure because they literally use the same stuff they sell. They sit in the same chairs they sell. The work in the same barns they build. They eat the same foods they sell.

And somehow, these lawmen think they are “saving” the general public from Amish salves and dairy. Of all the criminal activity people would legitimately take issue with, how did Amish dairy farming even make the list?

  • In major cities across the country in 2023 a number of retail stores and other businesses faced with rampant crime, to the detriment of their livelihood and customers’ well-being. Major metropolises like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Portland and Washington, D.C., were plagued by retail thieves ransacking malls and department stores, with many of the instances caught on video that were posted on social media. (Source: FOX Business)
  • Major chains including Walmart, Walgreens, and Target have blamed rising crime for their decisions to close retail locations, with Target most recently shuttering nine stores across five cities. (Source: Fortune)

The bigger question is, why are government agents so eager to take down the little guy? Not just the little guy, but the little guy that hasn’t bothered anyone. Why them?

It’s not just the Amish, of course. Remember the Dutch farmers? Agriculture is 83% of the Dutch GDP, yet the elites thought it would be a good idea to cut their livestock by nearly 70%. This fight isn’t remotely over.

Also, back in 2013, there was a case involving small organic farmers and Monsanto:

Monsanto Co. on Monday won another round in a legal battle with U.S. organic growers as an appeals court threw out the growers’ efforts to stop the company from suing farmers if traces of its patented biotech genes are found in crops.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed a previous ruling that found organic growers had no reason to try to block Monsanto from suing them as the company had pledged it would not take them to court if biotech crops accidentally mix in with organics.

Okay, except the article also cites this inconvenient fact:

Monsanto filed 144 patent-infringement lawsuits against farmers between 1997 and April 2010, and won judgments against farmers it said made use of its seed without paying required royalties.

The strange thing about this is, Monsanto is benevolently assuring small farmers for patent infringement… which resulted from Monsanto’s bioengineered seeds contaminating local farms in the first place.

And never forget in 2005 when the government ruled it could compel small dairy farmers to contribute to an ad campaign fund with commercial dairy farmers and that was not considered a violation of their first amendment rights:

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a related case that compelled speech programs, like the Dairy Program, amount to “government speech.” This means that the government can force the Cochrans and other farmers to pay for ads that allegedly benefit the whole of society.

I see a growing trend in people looking for more wholesome ingredients. They want raw, unwashed eggs. They want raw milk and honey. They want grass fed beef. People are starting to question whether it makes sense to have commercially farmed products and are trying to grow more at home.

Here’s an interesting fact: only two states in the US union have passed “Right to Garden” laws: Florida and Illinois.

So of all the criminal activity that affects society, why are there so many prosecutions of small farmers? What is this voracious need to control the fringe? It certainly has nothing to do with safety.

This is how central planning grows under the guise of the “greater good”. The Amish are not and never have been a threat to the larger American population. But their lifestyle and ethic are absolutely a threat to those who have powerful ambitions.

Coming for off-grid, naturally sourced, organic food sources and remedies sounds suspicious as all get out. It’s one thing to say, you don’t mind commercially manufactured products. It’s another to cheer the persecution of the smaller competitors on regulatory loopholes that have nothing to do with the public’s safety or welfare.

Keep an eye on the small businesses and operators getting overwhelming federal response to their mere existence. This is a very worrisome pattern, and it’s not just in the US.

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