Food Freedom

Strange Bedfellows Oppose Improving Maine's Food Sovereignty Law

Grocery stores hate expanding food freedom, but why is the head of Maine's farmers market coalition so nervous?


Maine lawmakers are considering a set of bills that would expand and improve the state's already good food sovereignty law. But some unlikely foes oppose the changes.

As I detailed in a 2018 column, Maine's food sovereignty law, adopted in 2017, allows local governments in the state to opt in to the state law by passing a local ordinance to exempt many direct-to-consumer food sales from burdensome state licensing and inspection requirements.

The food sovereignty movement began to emerge in Maine a decade ago in response to an absurd state law that required farmers who wished to sell as little as one chicken per year to spend tens of thousands of dollars to slaughter and process the bird. Supporters of the law, me included, consider food sovereignty an immediate expansion on the freedoms of Mainers and their right to economic choice.

To date, at least 86 cities and towns have opted in to the state's popular food sovereignty law. That's a fourfold increase from 2018.

Currently, two amendments to the law are being considered. The first, An Act To Clarify the Maine Food Sovereignty Act, would eliminate the current requirement that all sales must occur as "a  face-to-face  transaction… at the site of production." That change would allow transactions instead to take place theoretically between buyers and sellers outside a home or farm and allow such sales to occur online, over the phone, at a farmers market, or in any other direct (rather than just face-to-face) manner. The second, An Act To Provide Equal Access to the Benefits of the Maine Food Sovereignty Act, would require counties to allow unincorporated areas inside their borders to take advantage of the food sovereignty law.

As the Bangor Daily News reported recently, these changes are intended to "make the state's local food economy stronger by increasing opportunities for unlicensed home-based food businesses."

Not everyone supports the amendments. While opposition to these food sovereignty amendments is coming from predictable foes—the state's larger, licensed food businesses—it's also coming from a surprising quarter: Maine's farmers markets. They're worried that sales of uninspected foods will give farmers markets and their vendors a bad name.

"I think there is a lot of value for an individual to be familiar with the way food is produced and to know if it has been produced in a facility that does or does not meet food safety rules," Mark Guzzi, president of the Maine Federation of Farmers Markets, told the Daily News. "By limiting the site of sale to the site of production, you are allowing consumers to have a better understanding of where and how that food is produced [when the purveyor is unlicensed]."

Guzzi's fears are unfounded. First, the number of farmers markets in Wyoming has grown by 70 percent since that state's groundbreaking food freedom law took effect. (Food freedom laws are inherently better than food sovereignty laws because the former deregulate many food sales throughout a given state, while the latter apply only in the cities and towns that have opted in by passing a local ordinance.)

Second, there have been no reports of any foodborne illnesses caused by foods sold under Maine's 4-year-old law. The exemplary food-safety record of Maine's law tracks with the experiences under Wyoming's food freedom law and the growing number of such laws in other states.

The complete absence to date of any reported cases of foodborne illness caused by uninspected foods sold under food sovereignty and food freedom laws is not the reason these laws should exist. After all, we don't allow, say, ground beef to be sold only because it's never sickened anyone. It has.

But the lack of foodborne illnesses is certainly evidence that critics of food freedom and food sovereignty were wrong when they predicted these laws would have a negative impact on food safety. Instead, the food-safety successes to date of food freedom and food sovereignty laws should cause fair-minded people to ask whether current federally mandated inspection processes truly make food—and consumers—safer.

NEXT: The Conversion of Thomas Sowell

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  1. An outstanding piece here by David Harsanyi, the man who was way too much of a real libertarian for Reason’s liking and got pushed out:

    Even the slowest, dumbest, most disconnected from reality, most extreme far left wingers in the media are finally starting to realize now that Joe Manchin wasn’t kidding around when he said he’s not going to support weakening or eliminating the filibuster. And needless to say, they don’t like it. Ooooh, are they mad at him. Hopping mad. They’re now calling racist, white supremacist, every nasty name in their lexicon they can throw at someone. And the best part is: he simply doesn’t care. He doesn’t give a rat’s ass what you scumbags think of him or what names you call him. It’s just not going to work on him.

    So eat the world’s biggest, most ginormous bag of dicks, all you left-wing media scumbags and wash it down with a big Starbucks mocha latte or whatever else you like to drink.

    1. No disagreeing with your points, but what is this doing in this thread?

      1. #1: It’s the weekend.
        #2: Let’s be honest: almost nobody is really all that interested in commenting about food.
        #3) As a libertarian, I believe we can comment about whatever we want to. If you would like to talk about something, please, by all means write your own post down below.

        1. Thanks!

          I don’t know why, but you’ve made me laugh.


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        2. I’m always interested in commenting about food.

          1. No wonder you saddled up next to Jeff.

          2. Food? I love talking about food.

            Sadly haven’t found a farmers market near our new digs.

            Also fresh seafood place. We are going on a family vacation to Florida in a couple weeks. Will find one of those fish markets. Planning on cooking up a big lowcountry boil one night.

            1. I can’t remember the last time I went to a market.

          3. Sarc – I finally found some bucatini this week and I used it to make the best carbonara – you and/or Rufus would be so proud. I would share it but it is gone =/

            1. yum

              I’m going to slow roast a pork roast with Go Ju Chang, let some Asian coleslaw sit overnight, then make tacos.

        3. I’m kinda big on food freedom but it’s not everyone’s hill to die on. I get it.

      2. We’ve got the audience here, and a paucity of material they want to comment on. This becomes an open thread by default. Look what I posted below.

      3. There may not be another post until Sunday evening.

    2. His job was located in Lower Manhattan, and after work he usually took the subway back up to Harlem, where most of New York City’s black population lived. Occasionally,.more detail………….CLICK HERE.

  2. “Maine’s farmers markets. They’re worried that sales of uninspected foods will give farmers markets and their vendors a bad name.”

    Follow the money.

    1. Rather than saying somebody said something, it should always be framed as somebody claimed something, especially if that somebody has a vested interest in pushing a certain narrative.

      I’ve bitched many times about the “according to police” formulation – the news is simply parroting the police department’s press releases in these cases but trying to make it sound like they actually had a reporter on the scene giving you the straight story. You almost never hear the other side of the story*, that according to Joe Blow, he was just standing there minding his own business and suddenly the cops swooped in and arrested him for no reason. The “according to police” formulation gives you an accurate statement – the police did indeed make that statement – but it leads the casual viewer or reader to accept that the statement itself is also factual when there’s no evidence that that is indeed true. The press could stand to take a more neutral stance in reporting what spokesmen claim, given that spokesmen are paid specifically to give a biased viewpoint on the news.

      *This is obviously not true in cases where police shoot a young black man with an extensive criminal record in the midst of committing a criminal act, in that case you can bet your ass that the press is going to bend over backward to present the other side of the story.

    2. Surprised Reason ran this, The story seems too Lo Cal.

      1. Funny… Back to back with the story about woodchipper-gate.

    3. It’s rare to find an actual farmer selling high quality goods they actually produced at a farmer’s market. They sell that stuff to supermarkets.

      Most farmers markets are middlemen selling lesser quality goods, the stuff that would’ve ended up in a corner store or at a food bank.

      They can buy cheap goods and sell at a profit, because the customers know that their sources are inspected, licensed facilities. They’d never be able to charge so much, if customers didn’t have that assurance.

      I’m not surprised that these vendors would oppose anything that might compete.

      But that’s not to say they’re wrong.

      Farmers should continue to be required to sell at their place of production. Letting them sell online or through a middleman eliminates the customers’ right to self-inspect the farms.

      1. Typo: “But that’s not to say they’re NOT wrong. They’re right!”

  3. The thing is, Maine is somewhat strange in its politics. The folks who run traditional farmer’s markets are (I’m guessing) along the relatively congested and affluent coast, and generally on the left of the political spectrum. (Look at any election returns to support that comment). OTOH, there are large swaths of unorganized towns where there are honest to gawd, small-ell libertarian, off the grid homesteaders just living life, in areas that break to the right politically. If you accept that at the moment, it’s the left that is looking to control just about every aspect of our lives except who we sleep with, then it’s not so shocking that the organized farmer’s market crowd are not above using the law to shut down their competition (all in the name of “food safety”, of course). The off-the grid homesteader with a couple extra pounds of bacon or few extra gallons of cider is just looking to pick up some cash, and may be selling the same stuff that he’s produced for his own consumption. I doubt he’s cutting corners on food safety (other than through ignorance), since he probably doesn’t want to risk his customer’s health any more than his family’s.

    1. You really think that the stinky hippies are the ones pushing against food sovereignty just because they vote for Democrats? C’mon. Partisanship has rotted your brain.

      1. But former stinky hippies who have now embraced commerce are just as inclined towards crony capitalism as any cartoon evil industrialists. Plus they are probably more inclined to demand the nanny state to protect them from germs.

        1. Just because they lean left politically doesn’t mean they want government involved in everything. Lot’s of these people are into totally natural food, germs and all.

          1. They just want the governments blessing to call their food “organic” and no one else.

            1. All of my food contains carbon chains and is organic

              1. There you go, man! Somebody else who gets it! 🙂

      2. Not too many stinky hippies that I’m aware of in the areas mentioned. Most are the in-your-face progressive massholes that you refer to below. Maybe a few in downtown Portland…..

    2. You are correct though in that the south and coast of the state has been poisoned politically by Massholes, just like Californians ruined Oregon and Colorado.

      1. Californians ruin a lot of things, but Oregon ruined itself.

      2. Better than Kamloops or whatever shithole you call home.

        Lying bigot

        1. That was for ML. Pretty sure sarc muted me anyway…

          1. Why would Sarc mute you? You are a veritable font of information and rational discourse.

  4. I hope these bills go through. I’d love to be able to deal directly with some of the producers and cut out the middlemen. I get it if it’s easier for some small time farmer to have someone else do the marketing, but if one is raising a mixed lot of whatever, I’m happy to go see what he happens to have in the freezer and take potluck. I don’t need a lineoleum floor in a supermarket, or a background din of fiddler of the week above the nattering karens at the farmer’s market to make me comfortable trying the chops or the cheese. If I don’t like it, I don’t go back; if I do, then I go back, and say so.

    1. The article doesn’t seem to explain whether the change in face-to-face contact just means the sale can be non-direct or whether the producer can now be out-of-state.

    2. Reason logo

      Search for:

      Strange Bedfellows Oppose Improving Maine’s Food Sovereignty Law
      Grocery stores hate expanding food freedom, but why is the head of Maine’s farmers market coalition so nervous?
      BAYLEN LINNEKIN | 6.12.2021 8:30 AM

      (Kzenon / Top Photo Group/Newscom)
      Maine lawmakers are considering a set of bills that would expand and improve the state’s already good food sovereignty law. But some unlikely foes oppose the changes.

      As I detailed in a 2018 column, Maine’s food sovereignty law, adopted in 2017, allows local governments in the state to opt in to the state law by passing a local ordinance to exempt many direct-to-consumer food sales from burdensome state licensing and inspection requirements.

      The food sovereignty movement began to emerge in Maine a decade ago in response to an absurd state law that required farmers who wished to sell as little as one chicken per year to spend tens of thousands of dollars to slaughter and process the bird. Supporters of the law, me included, consider food sovereignty an immediate expansion on the freedoms of Mainers and their right to economic choice.

      To date, at least 86 cities and towns have opted in to the state’s popular food sovereignty law. That’s a fourfold increase from 2018.

      Currently, two amendments to the law are being considered. The first, An Act To Clarify the Maine Food Sovereignty Act, would eliminate the current requirement that all sales must occur as “a face-to-face transaction… at the site of production.” That change would allow transactions instead to take place theoretically between buyers and sellers outside a home or farm and allow such sales to occur online, over the phone, at a farmers market, or in any other direct (rather than just face-to-face) manner. The second, An Act To Provide Equal Access to the Benefits of the Maine Food Sovereignty Act, would require counties to allow unincorporated areas inside their borders to take advantage of the food sovereignty law.

      For one thing, “food freedom” and “food sovereignty” are misnomers. No one is calling for freedom and sovereignty for fresh-hunted venison and local-grown cantalope. It is the freedom and sovereignty of individual human/sapient beings we are talking about here.

      Two, why the Hell didn’t the original bill/law address everything from the get-go, both whether there can be non-face-to-face contact and which jurisdictions are covered? Why do I get the gnawing feeling that some lawyer is milking some billable hours out of all of these Acts by deliberately writing them incomplete, to be completed with more Acts?

      Why don’t they just call it The Maine Get Your Eat On Any Damn Way You Want and Anywhere You Want Act and let it mean just that?

      1. Oops, sorry. I didn’t mean to cut-and-paste so much text. Just the paragraph with the name of the Acts.

        1. C’mon, get your Acts together.

  5. I figure there won’t be much on-topic commentary in this thread, and it follows a Friday overflowing with articles, so I’ll just repost what I posted in an article from 24 hours ago. It concerned a link to a Politico story about how Republican opposition to needle exchange programs has heated up:

    Why did the Politico story fail to include the fact that now all the states allow syringe and needle sales without a prescription? Why are we still doing needle exchanges under such circumstances? When they started, they were an exception to state laws against such dispensing, or in forbearance of them, but now what’s the excuse?

    It’s like continuing law enforcement programs against human sex trafficking in a place where prostitution has become legal. Or truancy enforcement where home schooling is legal. The analogy isn’t that close because needle exchange isn’t some “gotcha” law enforcement program, but needle exchange where needles are legal is such a mindfuck I can’t think of a closer analog that’s like anything that’s actually going on.

    It’s like they expect people to not notice that things have moved on. Like they think that because we were on their side under conditions where that was the only option that was in play, that we’ll stay there. Can anybody think of other examples? I’m sure there are, or recently have been, some.

    1. Maybe it’s because politics is the new religion, and people glom onto causes like this because it gives their life meaning, it gives them a sense of being a part of something bigger than themselves, and it becomes a part of their identity?

      Maybe sacrificial behavior, even of one’s time and attention, is highly subject to sunken cost fallacies.

      “Some people remain in failing relationships because they “have already invested too much to leave.” Others buy expensive gym memberships to commit themselves to exercising. Still others are swayed by arguments that a war must continue because lives will have been sacrificed in vain unless victory is achieved. Likewise, individuals caught up in psychic scams will continue investing time, money and emotional energy into the project, despite doubts or suspicions that something is not right.”

      Maybe being committed to a cause makes people feel valuable, and they don’t want that feeling to go away.

      1. Ken, I agree, but worse than embracing politics with religious fervor is conflating politics with spectator sports, and the destructive melding of all three. Yes, these delusional souls want meaning, but they also want spectacle and two clearly-defined sides they can cheer or boo. And as Americans have been conditioned to expect, the way media has served up sports for decades now seems to be the dominant (and delusional but effective) way we get political reporting.

        1. But is it only Americans? Is this religio-politico-sportsfandom not also a thing elsewhere? And if so, is it increasing or decreasing?

            1. And from the charts in that link – the partisanship here changed hugely in the 80’s and early 90’s. If I were to guess, that’s when Nam era boomers brought their 60’s culture war into elected office.

        2. Yeah but because Chicago beat my team in the last inning by one point in the the final game doesn’t make me hate the team or the city of Chicago.

          They played a hellava game. I might bitch about that questionable call at third base in the fifth inning for a while but that is the way the ball bounces. Game over. Go home and have a beer.

      2. Is there nothing similar to needle exchange, but still relevant, that they could transition to? Or is there nothing else that quite captures what the volunteer at, or supporter of, needle exchange wants to be involved with?

        Let’s see…it’s basically a charity program like a soup kitchen, probably with some mixture of tax-funded and voluntary financing (varying from program to program, location to location), wherein the paid workers or volunteers get to mingle with the scuzzier parts of humanity. It draws junkies to the neighborhood, but, unlike a safe injection room, they don’t get to shoot up there, but are shooed out the door to do so, probably in the vicinity. And it has counselors who may be anything from professional psychologists to former junkies. Most of that can be done without the needle exchange itself.

        Is there an “in your face” aspect to this? “Stick it to the man”? Like some of those who “support” it don’t want one in their neighborhood, but relish at inflicting it on someone else’s?

        Is it like the controversy over over-the-counter birth control pills, wherein part of the opposition is the people who want them to require a prescription because insurance and other benefit-bestowers can then be made to fund the pills at a much greater markup? “In your face” to “the man” including religiously opposed employers? But needle exchange now is like already having birth control pills on a nonprescription bases, but still providing them as a “free benefit”, only you have to go to a seedy-looking place to pick them up if you don’t want to buy them at the drug store.

      3. Maybe being committed to a cause makes people feel valuable, and they don’t want that feeling to go away.

        And maybe there’s an undue respect for people who are obviously dedicated to a cause whether or not you yourself are dedicated to that cause. It would explain the knee-jerk defense of Muslims among people one would have to suspect tend toward atheism. They have no such strong beliefs in something, anything, larger than themselves that they are willing to die or to kill for and they wish they did.

        Maybe if the Catholics returned to the days of burning heretics, apostates, and unbelievers at the stake they could get back some of that respect they once had.

        1. Uh, no.

          The fact that someone wastes resourses and time on delusional Abrahamic bullshit and continues to do so even when it’s proven to be Abrahamic bullshit doesn’t engender respect in this Howling Atheist.

          The only respect I give Abrahamic (and Vedic and other flavors of) Bullshitters is social distancing of anywhere from 6 feet to half a Planet’s circumferance, so when they sink in the quicksand and tar pits, they don’t take me down with them.

          “Born and raised in da briar patch!”

    2. Don’t forget that many people are still motivated by expectations of free stuff. Open needle sales is too capitalistic for them.

      1. Can you think of any other examples wherein a giveaway program was allowed as an exception to a general control on some business, and then the control was removed, and there was still clamor for the giveaway program?

    3. I think it’s just the shiny object problem. Legislators are only paying attention to whatever shiny object is put in front of their eyes. Going back and cleaning up old legislation is boring, so an issue like this isn’t even on their radar.

        1. Aha. Sounds like another issue that has become subject to polarized partisanship.

          Every little thing these days, down to what brand of pillow to buy, has become a signal of one’s Republican or Democratic loyalty.

      1. I just noticed this bizarre passage:

        Many Republicans have long accused such programs of encouraging addiction, despite years of studies showing they reduce rates of infectious diseases without promoting drug use. Their opposition softened in the last decade as the opioid epidemic devastated communities and Trump pledged to defeat the crisis. But public health experts fear the country is witnessing the start of a broader Republican rebellion against these programs — one that’s partly fueled by anti-science backlash to Covid restrictions.

        “There is a very retrogressive mood afoot,” said Judith Feinberg, a professor of infectious diseases at West Virginia University. “The mood that experts know nothing is deepening.”

        So let me get this straight: Opposition to needle exchange programs or their funding is in significant measure because the politics over Covid-19 has spread skepticism over all medical issues? That seems an enormous leap, but if it’s true maybe that’s a good thing.

        An article linked from that one includes:

        House Bill 1163 passed in the North Dakota Senate 35-12 on Thursday, April 15. The bill amends the Syringe Services Program (SSP), commonly referred to as a needle exchange program, in North Dakota.

        The amendment to the needle exchange program would provide supplies such as sterile disposal preparation spoons, cotton, sterile filters, alcohol wipes, sterile water, saline, tourniquets, overdose-reversing drugs, testing strips and other items recognized as supporting safe drug use, according to the bill.

        HB 1163 previously passed in the North Dakota House 55-38 on Wednesday, April 14.

        So it’s all about a giveaway program, since those items are already legal to sell. Tourniquets? Are you kidding me? How in the world can tourniquets be justified as harm reduction, or “supporting safe drug use”, rather than simply subsidizing drug use? It’s not as if tourniquets transmit disease, so supplying them is just a bribe for junkies to come in.

        1. I must’ve missed the forward slashes in the closing tags, but I trust you can sort the quoted material while reading.

  6. “Second, there have been no reports of any foodborne illnesses caused by foods sold under Maine’s 4-year-old law. The exemplary food-safety record of Maine’s law tracks with the experiences under Wyoming’s food freedom law and the growing number of such laws in other states.”

    Don’t let facts get in the way of the narrative!

    1. Even if someone got sick from a farmer’s unlicensed and uninspected products, who are you going to tell and what will be done?

      Their license won’t be pulled, because they don’t have one. So no report will be made. Reports are only taken for licensed facilities.

      When black market sales are legalized, no one is keeping track. That’s why there’s no adverse safety data.

      The only recourse are the courts and who’d really go sue a farmer for bad cheese? Cmon.

      1. State and local health authorities track all cases of foodborne illnesses and report them to the CDC. If a case or an outbreak isn’t serious enough to merit a trip to the ER, the doctor, or a hospital stay, chances are it’s mistaken for the flu–and probably trivial. Licensed sellers aren’t any different in that regard.

        Regardless, here’s an example of all the agencies that track foodborne illnesses–through icd-10 codes, from labs, doctor’s offices, hospitals, etc.

        I count 15 agencies there.

        These illnesses aren’t self-reported from sick people to licensing boards. The data is collected from healthcare providers and reported to local health authorities and the CDC electronically. They do the same with things like tumor registries and venereal diseases. If these unlicensed food sellers were the source of foodborne illnesses, it wouldn’t be a secret–because you can’t get diagnosed with a foodborne illness and not have it reported to the local health department and the CDC.

        1. Thanks for the info.

      2. Ghostbusters?

  7. I haven’t seen this mentioned at Reason, but to combat the way people obsesses over scandals ahead of elections–only to forget them when the results of an investigation into the scandal become available–someone should probably note . . .

    The allegation that Donald Trump cleared a George Floyd protest in front of the White House so that he could do a photo-op in front of a church turned out to be nothing.

    “A U.S. government watchdog on Wednesday released a report finding that federal police did not clear protesters from a park near the White House last summer so that former president Donald Trump could walk to a nearby church for a photo opportunity.

    The report, by the U.S. Interior Department’s inspector general, said U.S. Park Police violently dispersed people from Lafayette Park on June 1, 2020 as part of a plan made earlier in the day for a contractor to install fencing.

    The report stated that U.S. Park Police had begun implementing the fencing plan “several hours” before they knew of Trump’s visit to the park, which occurred later that day.

    “Police did not disperse protesters so Trump could hold photo op, U.S. watchdog finds”

    1. Nobody remembers or cares.

      1. If the media narrative is full of shit in real time, people should care–especially if they depend on that bullshit narrative to tell them what is happening and why.

        As libertarians, we should care about progressives and the media manipulating the American people with “noble lies”, as well. How many times have I linked that poll showing that a majority of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents still believed–six months after we invaded Iraq–that Saddam Hussein was personally complicit in 9/11? Elective and stupid wars are launched because not enough Americans are skeptical of what they see in the media.

        The media was full of shit about Hunter Biden’s laptop. The media was full of shit about the likelihood that covid-19 escaped from a lab in Wuhan. The media was full of shit about the Trump administration stealing the 2016 election with assistance from Russian intelligence. And the media was full of shit about Donald Trump clearing a George Floyd protest for a photo-op in front of a church.

        You may not care about any one of those issues or every one of those issues, but I think people should care about whether the information they use to form their opinions is provided by news services that are completely full of shit. Noble lies matter.

        1. News services report the information they have. If they’re fed bullshit, they’re going to report bullshit.

          1. They had the right information, screetch, they just deep sixed it. It was 2020 election year and Orange Man Mean Tweeter Bad.


            1. That was about as intelligent as a wet fart.

              1. Yes you are

              2. No, they literally had this identical information in real time. This is exactly what park police said at the time.

                The narrative they reported was made up almost entirely of whole cloth. The only “fact” in the official press narrative was “many people didn’t hear instructions to leave”. This “fact” is also a bit sketchy, since at least one of the reporters who claimed that he never heard any such orders can be seen reporting live as those orders echo in the background. Maybe “didn’t pay attention to” would have been more accurate.

                There was even video presented within the day that l

          2. Principles that have been confirmed over the course of decades or centuries can’t be overturned by the details of any one new story. The possibility that covid-19 escaped from a lab was perfectly plausible given the data that was available–regardless of what Fauci and his merry band of bullshitting experts said. If the news media fell for the appeal to authority fallacy, and made themselves and everyone who believed them look stupid, that isn’t an excuse for their stupidity. That’s another reason to condemn the news media narrative.

            Why did the news media fail so terribly when it came to stories about Al Qaeda collaborating with Saddam Hussein? Why did they fail so badly in the way they framed the issue? Why did the crux of the question of whether we should invade and occupy Iraq lean on the question of whether Saddam Hussein had WMD? Why wasn’t it possible for invading Iraq to be an unwise investment–regardless of whether Saddam Hussein had WMD?

            Even as I type, there are bills in Congress being debated about breaking up social media companies over their failure to censor “misinformation”, despite the “misinformation” on the most important news stories of our day turning out to be credible and the predominant media narrative on the most important news stories of our day turning out to be utter horseshit.

            If our principles are sound, our ideas about them were built on facts collected over the course of decades or centuries, and our thinking has been thoroughly subjected to the scrutiny of logic, then we are not at the mercy of whatever facts are made available in any given story or the testimony of any given expert. And the more Americans realize that, the less susceptible they’ll be to manipulation by government bureaucrats, progressives, and other socialist and authoritarians.

            1. Like Mike said below, the media isn’t a monolith. How are you finding this stuff out if not for some sort of media?

              1. Finding what stuff out?

                In a lot of cases, I go to original source materials when I can.

                The reason I knew about Biden’s support for the Green New Deal is because I read his campaign website. Is there a more authoritative source for what his campaign was promising to do? Shrike said I was lying about Biden!

                The reason I knew that the Democrats wanted to break up Facebook over their toleration of “misinformation” is because I read the executive summary of the report they put out in October of 2020 promising to break up Facebook because of their tolerance of “misinformation”.

                The reason I know the contents of the funding request from Fauci’s NIAID is because the request itself was quoted, linked, and independently verified by numerous sources. The reason I know that many of the atrocities we saw in the Abu Ghraib photos were approved by Rumsfeld, Gonzales, and company is because I read the new procedures in the report.

                The principles I’ve formulated about things like foreign adventures and occupations are based on facts and observations from sources that include the Vietnam War, British adventures with imperialism, and examples from the ancient world going back to Greece and Rome. Honest and reasonable people can disagree about the likely outcome of any policy or the desirability of the likely outcome, but the underlying principles remain the same–no matter the details of any new story.

                Regardless of whether the yellowcake in Niger story was true, choosing to invade Iraq might not have been in our best interests anyway. These principles don’t rely on the details of a new story as reported by any news agency, and these principles can’t be revoked by the testimony of any given expert. Any position without a consensus isn’t authoritative, and any expert opinion that deviates from the consensus in the field isn’t authoritative for that reason either. If people don’t understand that, we need to educate them.

                “There are certain requirements that should be met for an argument from authority to be legitimate:

                1. The authority is an acknowledged expert in the field under consideration.

                2. The statement of the authority is relevant to their field of expertise.

                3. There is a general agreement among experts in the field under consideration.


                There were plenty of experts disputing Fauci’s and the media’s narrative about the origin of covid-19, and yet still we were told that Fauci’s pronouncements were authoritative. You don’t need to be a virologist to understand the appeal to authority fallacy. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that no one who isn’t familiar with the basics, at least, should really be considered educated.

                Anyway, I don’t know whether the facts as reported by the news media in the next highly charged story will be accurate or bullshit, but I know that no one should believe anything just because it’s part of the predominant media narrative.

                1. On the Green New Deal, Fauci’s NAID story, etc. you are saying you didn’t hear anything about these issues from any sort of media? That you just go out and visit original sources all the time with no prompting whatsoever from something you have read about it somewhere?

                  1. The irony of this statement. Anytime someone would link other non approved WK sources you dismissed them outright. Even if it was just a video on breitbart. Lol.

                    1. It isn’t just “random HnR poster doesn’t accept source…. Twitter and Facebook and YouTube will actively block stories from “unrepairable sources” and promote stories from “reputable sources”. Their authority on “reputable” is partisan political fact check organizations that were founded specifically to put out talking points to counter Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. (Not speculation… This was their original charter and is not exactly secret).

                      Even today, mainstream sources will quote the WHO report on the lab leak theory to debunk other reporting on the topic… Without acknowledging that the WHO report was headed by the very guy who supposedly funded gain of function research resulting in the lab leak. This counts as “misinformation” at this point, as surely as NBC’s reporting of Nathan Philip’s account of his encounter with Nick Sandmann counts as misinformation.

                      The entire thing has been a political exercise from day one. It has involved both government and corporate actors from day one.

                  2. When I cruise through the Daily Mail I come across article about what Trump has been spouting lately, and Ken seems to mirror it. I dunno.

                    1. The things I say are factually based or not and logically valid or not regardless of what Trump says, regardless of what you read at The Daily Mail, and regardless of anything having to do with me personally.

              2. Germans?

                Forget it he’s rolling.

          3. Molly Hemingway of The Federalist reported exactly what ended up being in the IG report, because she sought out facts over narratives.

            Look, you try to appear honest, but you arguing that “whoops, they got it wrong” is just ridiculous. They got so much wrong, and it was intentional. Fact Checkers are another prime example. They are narrative pushers. Narratives you fell hard for.

        2. It has been mentioned pretty much every day in the commentariat since the story came out. You are right that much of the media got it wrong, including Reason. Reason should retract some of the editorials they made last year. (Volokh has covered the new news.)

          However, you when you talk about “the media” you are going off on a typical modern-day conservative’s rant of playing the victim.

          The media isn’t a monolith, and, as proof of that, _you_ and others here somehow manage to find out the truth about current events. There are plenty of conservative news sources.

          1. LOL. No, he is pointing out the hypocrisy you and the others exhibit where you choose a narrative over a fact. You did this with the fire extinguisher and then the bear spray, despite you being given links on Jan 8th about the family saying it was unrelated. You chose to believe it because it fit your own opinions of Trump, facts be damned. Reaon does it because Twitter is dominated by these narratives and reason largely pushes Twitter narratives. Only Robbie seems to do any research to primary sources. most of the Reason writers link to twitter or their own previous articles.

            You are intellectually lazy, that’s why you buy into so much of the narratives. Then you want to say “whoops, some people get things wrong” instead of using introspection to maybe figure out why YOU get things wrong so much.

          2. “The media isn’t a monolith”

            Great, now do the Hunter Biden laptop story with that view.

            Physical evidence surfaces that proves that one of the presidential candidates is receiving layoffs from foreign corporations. One of the co-conspirators confirms it. Others mentioned confirm other details.

            Who among the “not a monolith” media reported it? Has there been a moment since the Kennedy administration where this would have been ignored at this level?

            ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, PBS, NYT, WaPo, …. Every major news organization except the fairly minor NYPost refused to cover it. Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc. All banned sharing stories about it.

            “But everyone knew”… Except what about polls that show a large chunk of Biden voters saying they would have voted differently had they known? Seems that some folks didn’t know….

            Even today, we have the exact same cadre of media and tech corporations banning anyone from disputing the official line on Covid. YouTube political channels have taken to using euphemisms like “the coof” to avoid automatic takedowns. Chanel’s that reported things like “the CDC website says wear a mask” when Fauci was saying “don’t wear a mask” would get you banned. Then, saying “this scientific paper says cloth masks are ineffective against respiratory viruses” would get you banned after Fauci changed his mind and decided we should all wear masks. Reading from the CDC website about the risk to children would get you banned if you advocated crazy things like sending children to school. Quoting the WHO about schools in Europe would get you banned for “misinformation”, if you were also advocating that it argued that opening schools was safe.

            “Not a monolith” my ass.

            This “but not all” nonsense is the most ridiculous logical fallacy. It is akin to the nonsensical pedantry people engage in when you try to discuss any generalization…

            It is worse in this instance, because they have been actively lying to you in a coordinated fashion for many years… And you say “but not all!!”.

            People have been avoiding using the Russia investigation as an example because it makes things sound partisan… But it is the most instructive example. You had a political smear, cooked up by the Clinton campaign, promulgated by a private spy and “misinformation” company, knowingly seized upon within days by the Obama administration to begin spying on the Trump campaign, orchestrated by the heads of the FBI and CIA and leaked directly by these people to reporters and executives at CNN, the NYT, ABC, NBC, MSNBC, PBS, CBS, etc, (the NYT even openly admitted that their coverage of the story was an intentional campaign to get rid of Trump)…

            All of these organizations had a story that dwarfs Watergate. Not one of them reported it. The NYT even had a story with Obama officials bragging that they had placed classified information to be leaked after the innaugurstion, specifically designed to trigger an independent counsel and justify impeachment. They had the whole story, from the inside. And yet they chose to participate in the political smear instead of writing the actual story of official corruption.

            Not a monolith. What an idiotic retort.

            Even Soviet era Moscow didn’t have this level of control over what people see and hear. Pravda was clownish in their propaganda, but they were rarely as bold as the “not a monolith” us media is today.

            Remember how hard they worked to push the story that boy-scout judge Brett Kavanaugh was actually a gang rapist who attended regular parties where guys would line up to rape young girls? There were no dissenting voices among any of those outlets. It was dumber than Soviet denials that the former defense minister never existed. Yet they all ran with it…. With a passion that was notibly absent from the reports on Izvestia about the latest Soviet lie. At least they had the decency to look oppressed as they read the day’s lie.

      2. No, we remember the lies you and your friends here all pushed. You just don’t want to remember.

    2. Reports like this are one reason I check the Babylon Bee (and Not The Bee) every day; they parody current events pretty well, and nudge me to look up what triggered the parody.

    3. Whether or not Trump fired tear gas at peaceful protesters is small potatoes compared to the fact that he led an armed mob to the Capitol and personally beat half-a-dozen police to death with a fire extinguisher.

      1. Allegedly.

      2. They’re running stories now about why it’s so important to prosecute Trump for his crimes.

        I know next to nothing about the details of this story, but, my God, they cried wolf every day for more than four years.

        If the wolf finally showed up this time, then maybe the townspeople should have come running, but at some point, the people crying wolf share at least some of the blame if their credibility is so shot from cryin’ wolf all the time that the townspeople won’t even bother looking anymore.

        1. “They’re running stories…”

          Well, an editorial, which is marked as an editorial. Most people would not call an editorial a “story”.

          1. Do you really need links to stories about the new york grand juries? Are you truly that ignorant? They post them with any new whisper.

      3. The rape and murder of Michelle Fields was a precursor to 06/21.

    4. How could the media get the story wrong, what with all the fact-checking they do these days?

    5. Well Trump’s got a big enough mouth and active enough Twitter fingers. Why the Hell didn’t he just clarify it when it happened that his Bible photo-op was separate from his clearing out protesters?

      1. He probably didn’t even know about it at the time. Not everything comes directly from the president. It is kind of a nothing story anyway. Stuff like this happens every day in America. Like the latest random shooting.

  8. “The complete absence to date of any reported cases of foodborne illness…”

    Should at least make you somewhat suspicious. There should have been at least one case reported by now.

    1. It may have been reported as a COVID death.

    2. That happens mostly from restaurants. One thing Trump was right about since he is a germophobe is fast food is much safer than sit down places. McDonalds has high QC.

      Except Chipotle. Don’t even walk in there. Subway and Jimmie Johns too.

  9. Well we know Bidens plan to combat inflation…. he wants to cause global inflation with 40 trillion in spending.

    Focus on no mean tweets.

    1. First, promise to hike taxes only on people making over 400K. (Did I say people? I meant couples.)

      Second, double federal spending and borrow another 7 trillion or so to kickstart inflation so everyone with a job will be making 400K in a few years.

  10. We need more government run Farmer’s markets

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  12. reason having a sacreat but….READ MORE

  13. O/T – It looks like all hell has broken loose in the New Hampshire Libertarian Party. Judging from the rhetoric being thrown about, the NH LP is now an SJW organization.

    There is a hostile takeover underway of the Libertarian Party in New Hampshire

    1. by “diversity” they always mean “slavish conformity”

    2. The national LP is an SJW org. I’d never join for that reason.

    3. I was going to laugh at citing a source that has 100k followers…. Particularly after seeing her somewhat frantic presentation…

      Then I saw her post from 2 days ago. YouTube banned her for “reading from a peer reviewed article about the psychological impacts of masks” . Apparently she is a psychologist.

      So it doevetails perfectly with comments above about propaganda and supression of information in the “not a monolith” media today.

      1. I had to click it off after about 5 minutes of trying to listen to her.

        1. Content was actually good. I agree… Hard to watch.

          Summary: head of NH LP does not like the stance the rest of the board wants to take. Rest of board is part of the Mises caucus. So head of LP declares the other board members are kicked out of the party and takes the assets of the party she has access to – the social media accounts and websites – and declares that people who want to remain members of the LP need to re-join and sign loyalty oaths.

          The actual LP still exists, as none of this was adopted officially by any vote. But the national LP, or at least some staff there, has officially recognized her split as the real LP.

          If this report is true, the LP chair stole the LP name and social media presence.

          1. I really would like to get more involved with what is going on with the LP. I have never been much of an activist. More of a couch potato type.

            1. Which is why libertarians can’t have nice things. We are not joiners.

              You need a lot of faithful minions to make a political party…. Which makes basing a political party on not being minions something of a challenge.

    4. One more reason why I am a small”l” libertarian and have never been a party person. Anybody that’s organized can be infiltrated.

    1. Is he at the farmer’s market? Does he also offer Ferris Wheel rides, chicken rentals, and bill himself as a “World Changer?”

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