Setbacks and Bizarre Turns in the Raw Milk Saga

Advocates for the right to choose raw milk still face an uphill battle.

Got raw milk? Increasingly that question appears difficult to answer in the affirmative.

For fans of raw milk and those who, like me—a non-consumer of either raw or pasteurized dairy milk—fight for food freedom in all its forms, the past year or two have been notable for several setbacks on the unpasteurized dairy front.

The FDA has increased pressure on states to crack down on raw milk within their own borders. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently stepped up its efforts against raw milk after the agency claimed its recent analysis "found that the incidence of dairy-associated disease outbreaks caused by nonpasteurized dairy products was 150 times greater per unit consumed than that from pasteurized products."

Farmers and others across the country who provide raw milk to consumers—from the Mid-Atlantic to the Midwest, the Northeast to the West Coast—have been hauled into federal and state courts and charged with illegally selling raw milk.

In one instance last year, Pennsylvania Amish farmer Dan Allgyer, whose farm was raided by armed sheriffs, U.S. Marshals, and FDA agents—something I wrote about last year—was forced by court order to stop providing raw milk to consumers in Maryland and the District of Columbia.

In another well-known instance, federal and state agents carried out two raids on the Rawesome cooperative in Venice, California. After the latter raid, the owner of Rawesome, James Stewart, was jailed and his bail set at more than $100,000.

(Article continues below video "Raw Foods Raid: The Fight for the Right to Eat What You Want")

While S.W.A.T. raids on food coops may strike you as the height of absurdity, the Rawesome saga took an even more bizarre turn last week. Stewart, who had missed two court dates and who some believed was in the process of jumping bail, was seized and handcuffed by bounty hunters on a Los Angeles-area street—a capture that was caught on video.

Odder still was news about who called in the bounty hunters: Marc McAfee—the owner of California’s largest unpasteurized dairy, Organic Pastures, and the man who had put up his family home as collateral in order to get Stewart out of jail in the first place.

"I was the one who hired the bail agents to arrest James," McAfee told Food Safety News.

And who could blame McAfee, who stuck his neck out for Stewart only to see Stewart thank him Assange-style by putting McAfee at risk of having a lien placed on his home.

David Gumpert, author of the definitive book Raw Milk Revolution, has an excellent post on Stewart's capture at his blog The Complete Patient. Cookson Beecher of Food Safety News has an equally good write-up.

All of this drama and politicization of raw milk wasn’t always the case in this country (especially, for obvious reasons, prior to the advent of pasteurization). In fact, it was just about 100 years ago—1908, to be precise—that the first American laws began requiring some dairy milk to be pasteurized. (For those interested in learning more about the politics and other machinations behind the early bans, I recommend Alan Czaplicki’s easily accessible 2007 article, "Pure Milk is Better Than Purified Milk," in the journal Social Science History.)

At the national level, it wasn’t until 1987 that FDA regulations mandated that unpasteurized milk could no longer be sold across state lines. The agency had successfully bucked pressure to implement such a ban but was forced to do so thanks to a federal judge’s 1986 ruling in a lawsuit launched by Public Citizen, the group founded by Ralph Nader. Without that lawsuit, it’s at least debatable whether a federal ban would be in place today.

In spite of all of these very real recent setbacks, there are some bright spots. For example, last year’s successful Lemonade Freedom Day, now rebranded as Lemonade and Raw Milk Freedom Day, is taking place across the country on August 18.

Another bright spot I’ll highlight here—a 2011 Wisconsin state court case—is typically viewed by most advocates and raw-milk consumers as a detestable affront and setback. In that case, Judge Patrick J. Fiedler wrote famously that the plaintiffs had no fundamental right “to consume the milk from their own cow” or “to produce and consume the foods of their choice.”

Raw milk proponents were outraged. But in Judge Fiedler’s words I see more than a glimmer of room for hope. Why?

Because the judge—now in private practice—also wrote in his decision that the plaintiffs' "constitutional claims are 'wholly without merit' because they are extremely underdeveloped" and that the court is therefore "unwilling to declare that there is a fundamental right to consume the food of one's choice without first being presented with significantly more developed arguments[.]" (Emphasis added.)

To a student and scholar of constitutional law, I most certainly read such wording as a foot in the door for backers of food freedom. It doesn’t take any reading between the lines to see that that Judge Fiedler’s much-criticized holding was practically inviting raw-milk proponents to go back to the drawing board and craft a better argument that he and fellow jurists might be able to embrace so as to tie raw milk sales (and larger issues of food freedom) to enumerated or unenumerated fundamental rights.

Am I reading the holding correctly? I asked Mr. Fiedler (who had already left for private practice) in an email earlier this year:

I believe your words do not paint you as unsympathetic to the right the plaintiffs claim. If I have read your holding and clarification correctly, you are exercising judicial restraint in the area of fundamental rights—a practice I admire—rather than slamming the door on the notion of a fundamental right to food choice. In fact, I read your holding not as an attack on [food] freedom but as an invitation to advocates to craft a better argument that might compel you (and other judges at the state and federal level) to support the claimed right.

Fiedler’s reply was a polite one in which he indicated his general unwillingness to comment on this (or any other) decision he had handed down.

While that’s unfortunate—as are the many examples of setbacks over the past year or two—I’m heartened by the notion that there are judges like Fiedler who appear open to the idea of food freedom of choice, even if they are not yet willing to embrace that right as one protected by the Constitution.

For fans of raw milk and advocates of food freedom, our job over the next year is to get past these setbacks and work to craft legal arguments grounded in history, liberty, and precedent that will convince courts to embrace the rights that seem so obvious to many of us now.

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  • Auric Demonocles||

    Got alt-text?

  • BakedPenguin||

    "Straight from the horse's tit"?

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Better than nothing.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Why am I not surprised to find that Ralph "I mind everybody's business....badly" Nader had a hand in setting this fascism off in the first place? I think that raw milk drinkers are deluded nitwits, but I don't see that that means they should be thwarted by the government.

  • RBS||

    Why are they "deluded nitwits"?

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    They're germ theory denialists, for one thing.

  • ||

    "germ theory"?

    You do know that germs are every where, right?

    Also Google "refrigerators".

  • Xenocles||

    False. When you get your milk from cows that aren't knee-deep in their own excrement, guess what? Not a lot of germs. Raw milk is 100% safe if the source is trustworthy.

  • dinkster||

    Amazing how that works.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Because they have fallen for the "Natural" scam. Arsenic is natural. Botulism is natural. Sitting in trees, picking parasites off your relatives is natural. Natural is overrated. And so what? If they want to drink raw milk - or raw sewage for that matter - why is it the government's business? Well, now I know why; because a compulsive busybody that a rational culture would have drowned years ago, badgered them into it. Or a group that Nader organized did it in continuation of his baleful policy.

    May he rot in hell, surrounded by hordes of happy people who pay him no attention whatsoever.

  • ||

    I grew up on a farm. We milked our own cows, so I grew up on raw milk. I remember watching the movie 'Tora! Tora! Tora!' on a 15 inch black and white TV while my brothers and I took turns churning butter. We grew our own vegetables. We raised chickens, rabbits, ducks, geese, and pigs; we hunted deer, duck, squirrel, rabbits and quail.

    To see people today thoughtfully explaining that milk and vegetables come from the grocery store, or that hunting should be banned because meat can be gotten from stores where it is made and no animals are harmed doesnt just seem like willful ignorance to me. It looks starkly like mental illness.

    In a country populated by such nuts it is no wonder federal apparatchiks can get away with raiding 'food coops' in jack boots and ski masks while they point machine guns at farmer Brown. How long before one of those guns 'goes off', or farmer Brown's 12 yo kid is shot for running away from such thugs? I doubt that when it does there will be much of an outcry. In fact I would be willing to bet there will be those who smugly assert that 'they deserved it'.

    The height of absurdity? It is fucking insanity.

  • wareagle||

    isn't it amazing how people were able to care for themselves and their own without the help of the FDA, EPA, USDA, and much of the rest of the Big Nanny alphabet soup.

    My wife grew up in rural GA, her dad's family was from small town MS. Veggies ALWAYS came from someone's garden and I believe she has eaten just about every type of game imaginable. That is actually one of the reasons she has a very hard time buying vegetables at a chain store; farmers' markets are often a better choice.

  • ||

    I've drunk raw milk obtained from cows in shitty, Bumfuck-situated hamlets in the enormous middle-of-nowhere, decrepit, quasi-hellish wastelands of Russia on many occassions, and it tasted nice and caused no problems.

    Clearly, American raw milk production must be regulated out of existence, because HERPA DERP DERPA HURRRRRRRR. Our logic is undeniable.

    /FDA.

  • John||

    What used to kill people drinking raw milk was the cows would be carriers of TB. Now we test cows for that.

  • ||

    Shut up. Factual information is counter to our purpose. Our job is to protect the citizenry from its own inherent stupidity, for we are the anointed guardians of civilization.

    Raw milk = anarchy, like that shit in Nolan's last Batman movie. CASE CLOSED.

    /Random alphabet agency.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    The problem with raw milk was the result of early mechanization in the late 19th and early 20th century. Hygiene was considered unimportant by early processors and cow crap was litterally getting into their milk. Which was then homogenized in relatively large batches kept at room temperature. Resulting in widespread contamination and giant bacteria colonies.

    The situation could have been fixed with strict liability which would have forced the processors to adopt and enforce hygienic conditions, homogenize less, and refrigerate more.

    Instead we got rules to cook the milk to kill the bacteria from the crap that was still in it.

  • BakedPenguin||

    They also lie down in the fields, and can get flops on their udders, which can mean some nasty bugs. Standard disclaimer.

  • Xenocles||

    Fields? Do you even know where most milk comes from nowadays?

  • Tybus||

    I believe most milk comes from milking rats. At least public school milk does. I know this because I saw it on the Simpson's. I can see where the politicians and FDA are coming from. They feel that people that buy into their bullshit probably have no business managing their own personal affairs.

  • ||

    "...quasi-hellish wastelands of Russia..."

    Quasi?

  • ||

    Yeah, there's some pretty great scenery, so it's not entirely hellish.

    My motherland may be a shithole, but it's got killer views.

  • Harvard||

    Ever seen the sun comming up over the Detroit River from the top of the Penobscot building?

  • ||

    To see people today thoughtfully explaining that milk and vegetables come from the grocery store, or that hunting should be banned because meat can be gotten from stores where it is made and no animals are harmed

    You live in the south. Of course people there think meat is made in the grocery store.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • Harvard||

    So are late term abortions.

  • Generic Stranger||

    Snow leopard at the zoo catches and eats a squirrel; hippy cries.

    We're turning into a nation of candy asses.

  • Jesse James Dean||

    lmao the moron called it a tiger, too.

  • dinkster||

    Eeyore goes to the zoo.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I wouldn't be surprised if raw milk was the real cause of the zombie face-eating epidemic.

  • John||

    I hear if you mix it with bath salts it is an interesting high.

  • ||

    Is sniffing glue still a Drug Epidemic Killing Our Children (tm), too?

  • John||

    Any week is a bad week to pick to stop sniffing glue.

  • ||

    WE'RE ALL VICTIMS OF GLUE-SNIFFING-INDUCED GANGLAND SHOOTINGS NOW!

  • ||

  • ||

    Mixing salt, bath or otherwise, with milk, raw or otherwise, is a bad idea.

    I am pretty sure that is where plastic explosives come from.

  • John||

    http://online.wsj.com/article/.....ifestyle_5

    Interesting article on confirmation in climate science. It is behind the paywall sadly. But here is the most interesting quote

    As one practicing scientist wrote anonymously to a blog in 2009: "honestly, if you know anything about my generation, we will do or say whatever it is we think we're supposed to do or say. There is no conspiracy, just a slightly cozy, unthinking myopia. Don't rock the boat."

    To me that describes Ron Bailey. I think Bailey is a smart guy and at some level knows what bunk this all is. But he just can't bring himself to believe something so unpopular.

  • ||

    I like Bailey's articles for the most part, but his belief in that bullshit constantly chaffs as bad as going Indian with wool pants on. Honestly, it detracts from his credibility.

    (Yeah, I know, 'Indian" = racist)

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Where I come from, we say 'commando'.

  • ||

    Racist!

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    I say 'commando' too.

  • Xenocles||

    It's "commando" for pants and "regimental" for kilts.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    How long before one of those guns 'goes off', or farmer Brown's 12 yo kid is shot for running away from such thugs? I doubt that when it does there will be much of an outcry. In fact I would be willing to bet there will be those who smugly assert that 'they deserved it'.

    And since the guy who shot him whose weapon discharged was just following orders, he'll get a commendation for his bravery in the face of a dire threat to the peace and dignity of the State.

  • John||

    Procedures were followed. Officer safety. Tragic accident. You know the deal Brooks.

  • ||

    An internal investigation thoroughly examined the case. Procedures were followed. The twelve-year-old assailant sneezed in the officer's general direction, causing the officer to fear for his life. This necessitated the deployment of an armored personnel carrier and the use of the officer's M4 carbine in order to effect a defensive response appropriate to the extreme and immediate threat faced by the officer.

    The mayor has recommended a commendation for bravery and professionalism, citing the survival of everybody else on the farm as an example of the officer's tremendous restraint during this whole awful ordeal.

    To protect and serve.

  • Harvard||

    I think Randy Weaver's still alive and accessible for advice. He'd probably advise Mrs. Brown to avoid doorways but other than that......

  • ||

    http://gunssavelives.net/blog/.....from-dept/

    The shitlicker who threatened an armed guy with execution has been fired.

    Cue union fury and indignation.

  • John||

    Ten bucks says he is working for a different department within a year.

  • ||

    Twenty bucks says he's police chief in a mid-size city within 20 years.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Forty bucks says he'll be drawing a high six figure pension for the rest of his life, after retiring from his Chief of Police job, in his 50s.

  • SiggFeee||

    See thats not making a whole lot of sene dude.

    www.Do-Privacy.tk

  • ||

    Why does reason allow anon-bot to survive, while obliterating that dutiful public servant porn-bot?

    Is Reason choosing winners and losers? Are they dictating that privacy has more value than high quality stroke material?

    I DEMAND an investigation!

  • ||

    Why does reason allow anon-bot to survive, while obliterating that dutiful public servant porn-bot?

    Another question: why does anon-bot survive, but I can't even sneak a fucking ampersand through?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    The business owner who won an injunction against the contraceptive mandate speaks out. A Carter-appointed judge said the mandate likely violates the owners' rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

    Paul Newland of Hercules Industries says: "ObamaCare puts us in a really bad position. You can either choose to abandon your faith – and you clearly know how we feel about that – or you can pay millions of dollars of fines that would eventually cripple our business and harm the company and all of its employees."

    The Obama administration claims that there is no religious-freedom issue because the Newland family can always close down their business and avoid any conflict with their religious beliefs.

    http://www.lifesitenews.com/ne.....r-shut-dow

    More info on the case:

    http://reason.com/archives/201.....nt_3167970

  • ||

    The Obama administration claims that there is no religious-freedom issue because the Newland family can always close down their business and avoid any conflict with their religious beliefs.

    ------------------

    Thanks. I'll be pacing my room red-faced and smashing shit for hours now.

    Obama had better pray there's no afterlife -- because if there is, he's going straight to Satan's personal rape chamber for eternity.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Without endorsing the rape-chamber remarks, I will quote from the article:

    "In its legal brief, administration lawyers stated the family 'made no showing of a religious belief which requires that [it] engage in the [HVAC] business.' Any burden on its religious belief is therefore caused by its 'choice to enter into a commercial activity.'"

  • wareagle||

    if you read those words and actually stop for a second to comprehend them, the risk of cranial explosion is huge. It's like reading the legalese version of "fuck you, that's why."

  • Auric Demonocles||

    My fellow Earthicans, we enjoy so much freedom it's almost sickening. We're free to choose which hand our sex-monitoring chip is implanted in. And if we don't want to pay our taxes, why, we're free to spend a weekend with the Pain Monster.

  • mr simple||

    There's also this little dandy:
    The administration artfully turned the government’s compulsion of the Newland family upside-down, claiming, “The owners of Hercules Industries have no right to control the choices of their company’s employees, many of whom may not share the Newlands’ religious beliefs.”

    So if they don't provide everything for their employees, they are forcing their religious beliefs on them? No one is stupid enough to make that argument in good faith, especially government attorneys. They'll just make up whatever shit they have to to force people to do what they want, rights or laws be damned.

  • wareagle||

    So if they don't provide everything for their employees, they are forcing their religious beliefs on them?

    now you're catching on. In Proggieville, tolerance means "do it our way." It never enters the liberal mind that folks working for Newlands are quite likely totally aware of who their employers are and what they believe. Unlike the govt, however, those employees don't believe they have a right to dictate office policy.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    More importantly, I doubt that the Newlands are calling for laws preventing the employees from buying contraceptives with their own money.

  • ||

    Unlike the govt, however, those employees don't believe they have a right to dictate office policy.

    Unless the employers have somehow managed to screen their employees for political affiliation, some of their employees likely believe they should have that power (not "right").

  • Robert||

    You're almost, but not quite, there. No, they wouldn't make that argument, but investigate for instance, what institutional review boards (who pass on the ethics of experiments on human volunteers) see as "coercive". If you offer something of value, in this case insurance, but then attach conditions to the offer, that's what they're considering controlling choices. If the company didn't offer health insurance, then they wouldn't make that argument.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    The Obama administration claims that there is no religious-freedom issue because the Newland family can always close down their business and avoid any conflict with their religious beliefs.

    If you got a business...[haha]... you didn't make that happen.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Outrageous! You can't just drive around legally carrying your weapon when there are policemen on the road! That terrorist motherfucker deserved to get capped, for causing the poor little piggy emotional distress and compromising OFFICER SAFETY.

    That cop should have been promoted, not fired.

  • ||

    Clearly, his department sympathizes with anarchist extremists and drug cartels, or something.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Damn cop-o-crats.

  • ||

    the troll attempts are weak in this thread...

    but it's good overall

  • GlenchristLaw||

    "[Y]ou are exercising judicial restraint in the area of fundamental rights -- a practice I admire..."

    Why on god's grey earth would any freedom-loving lawyer admire that?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    The Obama administration claims that there is no religious-freedom issue because the Newland family can always close down their business and avoid any conflict with their religious beliefs.

    Move to SOMALIA, you fucking nihilist!

  • ||

    Somalia is what happens when government doesn't fund and mandate the provision of contraceptives -- you get shitloads of little pirate children blowing shit up and assailing ships and shit.

    THIS IS WHAT LIBERTARIANISM IS ALL ABOUT.

  • wareagle||

    we're all Somalians now? Hmmm. Not sure that's a winning slogan.

  • ||

    We must convince people that roads are unnecessary.

  • ||

    You shouldn't build that.

  • Brutus||

    I don't know about you, but the Pirate Brutus is going all-in with the Robert Newton look.

  • John||

    So price of being a believing Christian is losing the right to run a business. Got it.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Oh yeah, bright guy, where's it say in the Bible "go forth and help people cool and heat their homes?" Can't find it? I didn't think so. So there!

    ...

    I feel like I'm strawmanning but that literally seems to be their position.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Better than martyrdom though, isn't it?

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Listen, you're free to be a Christian. But you've made no showing of a religious belief which requires that you engage in life.

  • ||

    My brain hurts. The severity of the administration's dumbfuckery is unholy.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I broke my Olympic boycott for a few minutes and watched the end of the women's fifty meter(?) rifle competition this morning. I was flipping through the channels, and I was so fascinated by the rifles I had to watch for a while. America wins gold. BFD.

    But here's the question: how are they even allowed to bring their killing machines onto the peaceful shores of Limeyland? Is the venue ringed by elite counterterror commandos to make sure the rifles do not escape into the city and slaughter Her Majesty's unsuspecting little peaceniks by the thousands?

    I seem to remember hearing that the British Olympic Pistoleros had to store their weapons in France, and cross the Channel to practice. Are they holding a pistol competition?

  • ||

    Government gravy trains are a good enough excuse to slightly and temporarily lighten the prohibition. IT'S FOR THE CHILDREN.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Question: Am I boycotting if I'm not watching cause it's boring as shit and I just don't care to watch a bunch of athletes I've never seen before perform in sports that I don't enjoy?

  • ||

    No -- you're just exhibit signs of sanity.

  • ||

    exhibiting

  • Brutus||

    I'm boycotting everything but the wimminz beach volleyball. I hope I don't have to explain to anyone but Tony.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I accidentally watched some today because I was at a sports bar and drunk and it was on. Mostly I was trying to figure out the stupid rules for some of this games.

  • IceTrey||

    I guess you could kill someone with an Olympic air rifle...if you beat them over the head with it.

  • Harvard||

    A few years ago USA Olympic shooters living in Kalifornia had to train in Arizona because their rifles were on somesuch ban list associated with military rifles. I can't imagine Jerry Brownbeam thinks any straighter than any of his predecessors so that may still be the case.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Any burden on its religious belief is therefore caused by its 'choice to enter into a commercial activity.'

    Res Ipsa Loquitur, indeed.

    "You built a business? You shouldn't have done that. We have your food stamp application right here. And you look a little gimpy; here's a Social Security disability benefit form. The rent subsidy line is over there. Just past the big OBEY sign. Run along now like a good little boy."

  • wareagle||

    OT but this South African runner with the carbon blades for legs is not sitting well with me. Why have a Paralympics? And at a more fundamental level, what is the difference between performance enhancing drugs and performance enhancing prosthetics?

  • ||

    Because one has to do with druuuuuugz. Are you stupid? Stop asking thought provoking questions and submit.

  • ||

    "Bend over and accept the giant cock of the prohibitionist state" sounds more awesome.

  • robc||

    There have been lots of rumblings about it. If he won anything, they will probably be banned. Fortunately, he wont, so it will just be a feel good story --- this time.

  • ||

    Wait until Steve Austin decides to compete. Dear Zod...it will be the end of sports as we know it...

  • Brett L||

    What part of 'cyborg' are you guys not getting?

    /Barry

  • John||

    I agree. If we are going to do this, then get rid of the paraolympics.

  • Malphas||

    I'm pretty sure the Para-olympics were not started because of the fear that cyborg athletes were going to take over the competitions.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    One issue I've seen pointed out is that technically LASIK would be considering performance enhancing surgery.

  • wareagle||

    if performance-enhancing prosthetics are okay, then performance-enhancing pharma is okay, too. Let the best science lab win.

    How is having parts that never tire, never get injured, and have no blood oxygen requirement NOT an advantage? I admire the guy's ability to make the most of a bad hand, but we have a Paralympics.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    What I personally would enjoy watching the most is performance enhancing drugs but no cyborg enhancements. I think to be consistent you either allow anything or nothing.

    I only pointed out the LASIK thing because I've seen people for allowing things like artificial legs in the Olympics (including a double amputee who designs prosthetics) argue it.

  • Ice Nine||

    I think a guy with normal legs ought to get a set of blades, learn to run with them and then show up at a track meet with them.

  • VG Zaytsev||

  • The Late P Brooks||

    what is the difference between performance enhancing drugs and performance enhancing prosthetics?

    Shhhhh.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    The HORROR

    Proponents say the move could offer a lifeline to other school districts in crisis. In 2011, 48 of Michigan's 793 districts ran deficits that totaled $429 million, compared with 18 districts with $59 million in combined deficits in 2004-2005, according to the most recent state data.

    "This could be the new model for public education," said Jeanne Allen, president of the Center for Education Reform, a national research and advocacy group that supports school choice. "It stands to be a lab of innovation where people can see that thinking outside the box is not so scary."

    But opponents say the plan is designed to kill off unions and lacks the public's input. "Where's the accountability to the community?" asked Katrina Henry, president of American Federation of Teachers union Local 684, which represents the district's teachers.

    School district is a massive failure, deep in a hole; union says, "Keep digging!"

  • VG Zaytsev||

    That's the only time you're ever going to see a union leader asking "Where's the accountability to the community?"

  • Brett L||

    48 Districts in the read an average of $8.5M and someone involved in that mess can talk about accountability with a straight face.

  • John||

    "Where's the accountability to the community?"

    Elections perhaps?

  • mr simple||

    The only problem I see with this plan is that they're contracting with one company. Why not open it up and allow whomever wants to open a school and tie funding to enrollment, say a set amount per pupil (SLD: no government funds should go to schooling, but I'm willing to compromise to end gov monopoly)? It is competition that drives quality and gets results.

  • Whahappan?||

    "Where's the accountability to the community?"

    Actually, vouchers, especially if they are unrestricted, are the best form of accountability. If the parents don't like the results, they can go elsewhere.
    I suspect the teacher's union doesn't really want accountability.

  • John||

    This is amazing

    From Hugh Hewitt’s interview with Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac Polls:

    HH: Do you expect Democrats, this is a different question, do you, Peter Brown, expect Democrats to have a nine point registration advantage when the polls close on November 6th in Florida?
    PB: Well, first, you don’t mean registration.
    HH: I mean, yeah, turnout.
    PB: Do I think…I think it is probably unlikely.
    HH: And so what value is this poll if in fact it doesn’t weight for the turnout that’s going to be approximated?
    PB: Well, you’ll have to judge that. I mean, you know, our record is very good. You know, we do independent polling. We use random digit dial. We use human beings to make our calls. We call cell phones as well as land lines. We follow the protocol that is the professional standard.
    HH: As we say, that might be the case, but I don’t know it’s responsive to my question. My question is, should we trust this as an accurate predictor of what will happen? You’ve already told me there…
    PB: It’s an accurate predictor of what would happen is the election were today.

  • John||

    HH: But that’s, again, I don’t believe that, because today, Democrats wouldn’t turn out by a nine point advantage. I don’t think anyone believes today, if you held the election today, do you think Democrats would turn out nine percentage points higher than Republicans?
    PB: If the election were today, yeah. What we found is obviously a large Democratic advantage.
    HH: I mean, you really think that’s true? I mean, as a professional, you believe that Democrats have a nine point turnout advantage in Florida?
    PB: Our record has been very good. You know, Hugh, I…
    HH: That’s not responsive. It’s just a question. Do you personally, Peter, believe that Democrats enjoy a nine point turnout advantage right now?
    PB: What I believe is what we found.
    HH: Geez, I just, and an eight point in Ohio? I’m from Ohio. Democrats haven’t had an eight point advantage in Ohio since before the Civil War. I mean, that just never happens, but Peter, I appreciate your coming on. I’m not persuaded that Quinnipiac Polls haven’t hurt themselves today, but I appreciate your willingness to come on and talk about it.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/.....h-goldberg

  • Auric Demonocles||

    That depends. Is there going to be another kiss-in on Election Day to distract all the Democrats?

  • Brutus||

    If it involves Chris Matthews and Obama's ass, yes.

  • John||

    http://christopherfountain.wor.....tates-art/

    It is just that SOB Johnson in the White House

  • John||

    http://moneymorning.com/ob/eco.....th-spiral/

    Interesting article. I fail to see how inflation and debt leads to the "end of civilization". It just means people don't get to retire and live a life of leisure and we get new banks.

  • Brutus||

    I started watching that earlier, but I got the feeling I was going to be asked to give a credit card number, so I stopped.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Well from the article, it looks like it won't be the end of civilization. It definitely looks like it may be the end of many current governments, and their fiat currency. I say bring it on.

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    Thanks for this skewed revision of the "Rawesome" situation.

    I anticipate your next article wherein you defend anti-Vax as a Free Market initiative.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Umm...some people enjoy raw milk because they believe it tastes better. Heating milk to 275 F will cause chemical reactions to the proteins and fats in the milk. This will alter the taste of the milk. That's fact.

  • Brutus||

    We do a lot of dairy controls where I work, and I can't say I've seen an HTST (high temperature, short time) system operate anywhere near those temperatures. Mostly it's something on the order of 160 degrees F for about 15 seconds. It's usually a spiral tube assembly.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I defer to your experience.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    If you cook milk enough to kill bacteria you are also cooking it enough to change its texture and taste.

    If you don't care, fine, but some people do and there's no reason why adults shouldn't be able to buy raw milk if they want to.

  • Brutus||

    My post was technical in nature only. I'm all for letting people buy raw milk.

  • ||

    Not really the same thing, since my drinking of raw milk does not have the same type of neighborhood effects as not vaccinating my child.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: That(hardly)SkepticGuy,

    Thanks for this skewed revision of the "Rawesome" situation.


    Whereas accepting the bullying of government on what is ultimately a free and voluntary choice is supposed to be the hallmark of a skeptical mind?

  • nike free run||

    Food hygiene is a very important topic

  • Ardelle||

    n one instance last year, Pennsylvania Amish farmer Dan Allgyer, whose farm was raided by armed sheriffs, U.S. Marshals, and FDA agents—something I wrote about last year—was forced by court order to stop providing raw milk to consumers in Maryland and the District of Columbia.

  • galiana||

    I've been drinking raw milk for years. It's legal for on-farm sales in Vermont (though you do have to bring your own container) and can be bought at the grocery store in New Hampshire. Mind you, bottles in both states come with a dire warning that basically says "consuming this liquid will kill you and your children," but I've seen neither a detrimental nor a beneficial impact on my health from the product. The taste is generally superior to packaged milk, especially the dead-tasting UHT pasteurized milk. Therein lies the reason for my consumption. Don't knock it till you've tried it, as the saying goes.

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