Monday, August 20, 2012

California Puts Raw Dairy Farmers in Jail; While in France, Raw Milk is Sold in Vending Machines

Given the response to my post yesterday about raw milk, here's a re-post of a previous CD post and discussion on raw milk:

Raw milk vending machine in France:
Natural News -- "65-year-old senior citizen James Stewart, a California farmer with no criminal history, was nearly tortured to death in the LA County jail this past week. He survived a "week of torturous Hell" at the hands of LA County jail keepers who subjected him to starvation, sleep deprivation, hypothermia, loss of blood circulation to extremities, verbal intimidation, involuntary medical testing and even subjected him to over 30 hours of raw biological sewage filth containing dangerous pathogens."

MP: What was his alleged criminal activity?  Selling fresh, unpasteurized raw milk.  Bail for "The Milk Man" was set at $1 million.  By comparison, bail for alleged child rapist Jerry Sandusky, former Penn State sports coach, was set at $100,000.
"NaturalNews is calling upon Amnesty International and the American Civil Liberties Union to intervene in this extraordinary violation of basic human rights. For the record, James Stewart has no criminal record and is a permaculture farmer and fresh food advocate. His "crime" consists entirely of arranging for the distribution of raw milk to customers who actually line up to access this nourishing food (people love it!)."

Meanwhile, Natural News is reporting separately that:

"France, on the other hand, has embraced the health benefits of raw milk. There, innovative dairy farmer Michel Cantaloube has created a raw milk vending machine (see photo above). The vending machine is a tastefully-designed kiosk that blends right into the urban setting, allowing it to be set up on a street corner on a French town or even a major metropolitan area."

MP: Isn't this backwards?  We always hear about France being an example of heavy-handed government bureaucracy and "European-style socialism," but that seems to more accurately describe California's approach in this case while France takes the "laissez-faire" approach. 

UpdateGreat comment from morganovich, "Raw milk is illegal due to health fears but cigarettes, one of the biggest health risks in the country, are one of the most widely distributed products in the U.S.?"

84 Comments:

At 8/20/2012 7:42 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Natural News -- "65-year-old senior citizen James Stewart, a California farmer with no criminal history, was nearly tortured to death in the LA County jail this past week. He survived a "week of torturous Hell" at the hands of LA County jail keepers who subjected him to starvation, sleep deprivation, hypothermia, loss of blood circulation to extremities, verbal intimidation, involuntary medical testing and even subjected him to over 30 hours of raw biological sewage filth containing dangerous pathogens."

-30--

If this is indeed our jail conditions in Los Angeles, they are Dickensian and should be raised to some minimal level.

 
At 8/20/2012 9:15 PM, Blogger aorod said...

How did the human race survive the last 10,000 years without pasteurized milk? Ironically, Pasteur was a Frenchman.

 
At 8/20/2012 9:17 PM, Blogger aorod said...

Anyone who grew up on a dairy farm has to laugh at this raw milk stuff if it weren't so tragic..

 
At 8/20/2012 9:29 PM, Blogger Scott Drum said...

If Mr. Stewart's industry could be "milked" for billions in settlement funds like the tobacco industry, there would be armies of attorneys helping him keep his business alive. Government may be hypocritical and self-dealing, but it can follow the money.

 
At 8/20/2012 10:17 PM, Blogger kmg said...

While a country like France may have a large entitlement state, almost no developed country metes out extremely heavy punishments for minor crimes, as the US.

Just look at the treatment given to Dominique Strauss-Kahn over what was obviously a bogus rape allegation.

French law in such matters is more sane and fair. In the US, the Duke Lacrosse treatment is standard..

 
At 8/20/2012 11:29 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Everyone knows we should be more like France. I suggest we start with the cinq au sept. Forget the raw milk.



 
At 8/21/2012 3:41 AM, Blogger randian said...

False rape accusations aren't minor crimes. They're attempts to deprive a man of decades of freedom and destroy his life. That deserves harsh punishment.

 
At 8/21/2012 6:23 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

aorod: How did the human race survive the last 10,000 years without pasteurized milk? Ironically, Pasteur was a Frenchman.

Many didn't. Life expectancy was much lower in the past than today. A variety of pathogens have evolved in conjunction with humans and their livestock. Pasteurization was implemented because of a real problem with foodborne illness.

The question in the last thread wasn't whether raw milk could be delivered safely, but whether government has a legitimate role in ensuring the safe delivery of the food supply.

Let's take a wild guess. France regulates the delivery of raw milk.

 
At 8/21/2012 6:34 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Benjamin: "65-year-old senior citizen James Stewart, a California farmer with no criminal history, was nearly tortured to death in the LA County jail this past week. He survived a "week of torturous Hell" at the hands of LA County jail keepers who subjected him to starvation, sleep deprivation, hypothermia, loss of blood circulation to extremities, verbal intimidation, involuntary medical testing and even subjected him to over 30 hours of raw biological sewage filth containing dangerous pathogens."

Oh my Goodness. Whether the law is right or not, once someone is arrested, they still have certain rights.

Torturing prisoners? What about being seen by a magistrate and the right to bail? Can't America afford to take care of its prisoners? Or are you just too cheap to care? Should we send Doctors Without Borders to America?

 
At 8/21/2012 6:48 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

Many didn't. Life expectancy was much lower in the past than today.

Yeah, that ended as soon as we started pasteurizing milk. It was all the damn milk.


Let's take a wild guess. France regulates the delivery of raw milk.

There's very little France doesn't regulate (I had to register with the state when I bought a SIM card a couple of years ago) - which is a far cry from making it illegal.

 
At 8/21/2012 7:05 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Methinks: Yeah, that ended as soon as we started pasteurizing milk. It was all the damn milk.

It was largely about a safe and consistent food supply, and with applications of germ theory.

Methinks: There's very little France doesn't regulate ...

Sure. Like most successful developed nations. France requires veterinary registration and inspections of herds with unblemished health records, strict hygiene in all stages of production and delivery, testing, and product labeling.

 
At 8/21/2012 7:23 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Methinks: Yeah, that ended as soon as we started pasteurizing milk. It was all the damn milk.

Actually, milk was one of the most important products during the industrial period. It provides a significant protein boost, as well as calcium and phosphorous, especially important for growing children.

 
At 8/21/2012 8:55 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

Sure. Like most successful developed nations....

France has successfully created a brain drain. It's a nation in a long decline. But it is telling how you credit the very things that make France less successful for its success.

 
At 8/21/2012 9:05 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

BTW, Zach, nobody is trying to force you to drink unpasteurized milk. Drink whatever you want. For all I care, you can drink your own pee (there are weirdos who do that). The question isn't whether or not pasteurization is good practice but the criminalization of raw milk, the state robbing people of options.

If you don't want any part of it, don't drink it. But, get the hell out of everyone else's way.

 
At 8/21/2012 9:44 AM, Blogger John smith said...

In Qld Australia, we have 1 dairy farmer left who sells raw milk. The govt. health dept. tried to stop him, so he relabeled as "pet's" milk, then they declared that illegal, so now he sells it as "Cleopatra's bath milk". And it's sold, for it's " skin rejuvenating properties, " me and my buddies drink it , 1/2 gallon at a sitting per person, it is jersey cattle milk fed on Queensland Arrowroot, ( canna edulis , or similar ) a south American fast growing high protein cattle forage crop. God it tastes good. And the milkshakes......Talk with older folk, and they all say the same thing, all the old Qld. Dairies were handing out raw milk, back in the good old days.......

 
At 8/21/2012 10:17 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Methinks: The question isn't whether or not pasteurization is good practice but the criminalization of raw milk, the state robbing people of options.

Our point was whether government had a legitimate interest in making sure food was safe. The original post about raw milk in a vending machine in France is an example of careful regulation.

 
At 8/21/2012 10:33 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

methinks-

precisely. the statist impulse is always to suppress your liberty and choice while trying to claim it's "for your own good".

the assumption is that the poor, benighted populace lacks the ability to make its own decisions and needs the firm hand of the nanny state to protect them from themselves.

personally, i love raw milk. it tastes better. it also has more of some important vitamins (like b-12). in an age of ubiquitous refrigeration, branding raw milk as dangerous is ridiculous, but taking away choice and forcing others to consume what the government (not influenced by a big dairy lobby with huge vested interests in long range transport and pasteurization facilities i'm sure) deems good is worse.

this is what folks like zach always miss.

they jump right into arguing whether it is good or bad and skip right past the issue about "why is this the choice of the government not the individual?"

why to they get to decide what is safe/desirable instead of me?

i'm sure we'll get some argument about "what if it has mercury" or some such, but this is better handled privately. that's what brands and industry standards are for. adherence to such standards should be voluntary, not mandatory.

once you start forcing compliance, you have sacrificed liberty and gained nothing.

worse, you can do great harm (like the us federal requirement to enrich flour that adds so many high glycemic calories to our grains and is a major driver of obesity).

worse, you get crappier standards.

the amount of estrogen in US milk is shocking and causes severe issues. personally, i would never drink milk that only met usda standards. i require more from a provider and seek out organic milk from cows not treated with growth hormone, huge doses of antibiotics, and estrogen. the private standard provides FAR more protection than the public one. this is true of most of the foods i eat and disproves the notion that we need government standards to get good food.

many producers work down to them, not up.

 
At 8/21/2012 10:57 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Zachriel: Our point was whether government had a legitimate interest in making sure food was safe.

morganovich: they jump right into arguing whether it is good or bad and skip right past the issue about "why is this the choice of the government not the individual?"

Do you bother to read what we write, or just assume it?

 
At 8/21/2012 11:25 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

In New Hampshire, we have a rule:

The raw milk must have a bacteria count of <20k/ml and have a warning printed on the bottle saying it can get you sick.

Why is that not enough? Who do we need to ban it?

 
At 8/21/2012 11:27 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

I posted this earlier:

I do realize the importance of the CDC. I've seen a lot of zombie flicks and we all know that the CDC steps in to quarantine the town before the zombie virus spreads.

Ok, joking aside, I do realize the importance of the CDC.

But they do tend to cry wolf. A lot.

I mean, just in the past few years, we've had CDC panics about swine flu, avian flu, SARS, salmonella, and mad-cow disease. What is the combined death toll from all of these "public health concerns"? By nature, they are jumpy. But their information just isn't reliable. If the government is to supersede an individual's right to choose, it had better be for a damn good reason. This is not it.

 
At 8/21/2012 11:43 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

zach-

yes, and you views on the topic are very clear.

saying that the point of a previous post is not the same thing as saying you believe it's a legitimate question.

you certainly never addressed it, just jumped into safety and reasons. you made zero arguments about governmental fiat.

nice try.

you say 'our point" but you never made any such point here that i can see.

you are making referents to evidence not present.

it's clear you are supporting such a role, but have never made any argument as to why, just claiming that "successful developed" nations do this.

this is called begging the question.

you assume your premise without ever directly defending it.

 
At 8/21/2012 12:06 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Jon Murphy: Ok, joking aside, I do realize the importance of the CDC.

Thank you.

Jon Murphy: I mean, just in the past few years, we've had CDC panics about swine flu ...

Swine flu was pandemic, and is estimated to have killed several hundred thousand people worldwide, and several thousand in the U.S. Millions of Americans, at the urging of the CDC, were vaccinated, reducing the number of cases in the U.S. significantly.

In other words, you point to the results of effective prevention to argue against prevention.

 
At 8/21/2012 12:09 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

morganovich: you certainly never addressed it, just jumped into safety and reasons. you made zero arguments about governmental fiat.

If something is a known danger, does the government have the right to intervene? If someone has an infectious disease, can they impose a quarantine? Does it matter if the government is a constitutional democracy?

 
At 8/21/2012 12:10 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

zach-

also: i read your comments on the last thread as well. you are doing precisely what i claimed.

you just keep saying "it's 150X more dangerous" but never answer jon's basic questions about "so what?" and where does the right come from.

lots of things are potentially dangerous. do you propose to regulate them all? a rare burger is more dangerous than a well done one? shall we ban pink meat?

there are only 2 legitimate roles of government:

protect rights and enforce contracts.

"meddle in food quality" does not fit under either unless a food seller misrepresents what he sells.


 
At 8/21/2012 12:21 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

morganovich: there are only 2 legitimate roles of government: protect rights and enforce contracts.

Why?

The U.S. Constitution talks about the general welfare, post offices and roads, coining money, issue patents, regulating interstate trade, and making treaties, among other things. So you apparently reject that particular form of government.

 
At 8/21/2012 12:26 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

zach-

"If something is a known danger, does the government have the right to intervene? If someone has an infectious disease, can they impose a quarantine? Does it matter if the government is a constitutional democracy?"

no. they do not have the right to intervene. 1000's of things and activities are known to be dangerous. we may disagree on the amount of danger and whether the benefits are worth it. left with choice, we get to make out own risk/reward calculations. i may think jumping off a 50 foot cornice with skis on is well worth the risk because i enjoy it. you might find it wildly risky and unpleasant to boot. we make our own decisions and both wind up happy.

or, you force some law upon me making it illegal "for my own good" and take away my liberty and reduce my well being.

i like raw milk. it tastes better and has more b vitamins. i think it is worth the potential risks. but you seek to prevent me from entering into a willing and informed transaction because you think you understand my preferences better than i do. by what name could we call that other that tyranny?

our constitution is based on inalienable rights. that is from whence liberty derives, not democracy. without rights, democracy is just a particularly nasty kind of tyranny. inalienable is a key word there. the government does not grant them nor are they permitted to take them away.

to my mind, laws banning raw milk are flat out unconstitutional.

your cdc argument is a total straw man and a deliberately misleading use of stats.

150X more dangerous sounds really scary, but look at the actual effect.

1571 cases in 13 years.

202 hospitalizations. 2 deaths.

there are 10X as many deaths in the US annually from lightning strikes as in over a decade from raw milk.

there were more deaths from lightning strikes over that 13 year period than mere hospitalizations from raw milk.

you make it sound like the black plague.

it's 15 hospitalizations a year.

it's more dangerous to take a shower. it's an order of magnitude more dangerous to eat sushi.

this is just dairy lobby hysteria as they try to drive local competition with a better tasting product out of the market aided and abetted by statists such as you who are determined to force their own preferences on others.

 
At 8/21/2012 12:32 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

zach-

no, the us constitution does not talk about "general welfare".

that phrase appears only in the preamble as a description of why other powers are granted. it has, i grant, been wildly misused, but its purpose was NOT to grant wide sweeping powers. why bother enumerating rights and powers and deliberately limiting them (in the 10th amendment) if you have already granted power to do anyhting they want for "general welfare". it's a willfully absurd interpretation first foisted on us by FDR as he threatened to pack the court and forced them into compliance, setting a precedent that gave rise to the american nanny state and big government.

further, you are trying to twist my word by making a false logical jump.

i said "the legitimate role of government". i meant that as a blanket statement about all government. it is the principle upon which a good constitution ought to be based. we can point to lots of examples of bad law. they demonstrate nothing about what law SHOULD be or what the legitimate aims of law and rights should be in a free society.

 
At 8/21/2012 12:38 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

much of the rest of your argument makes no sense.

patents protect rights.

so does preventing interstate trade barriers.

the rest of your argument misses the point of our constitution entirely.

it recognizes that government beyond my 2 aims (and protecting the borders falls squarely into protecting rights) is an evil. it also accepts that some such evils may be worth it. as a result, it enumerates precisely which ones are to be tolerated and forbids the federal government with great specificity from exceeding its enumerated powers.

our framers placed the rights of the individual above all else and deeply feared governmental intrusion into our private lives.

to try to twist their intent into support for banning raw milk is simply absurd.

"Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."

George Washington



 
At 8/21/2012 12:41 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Zachary-

You make a legitimate point about the role of the CDC during the swine/avian flu outbreak (we can debate how dangerous these were another time). In both cases, the CDC had done what I think are legitimate roles of a government agency: it developed (or helped to develop) a vaccine for the disease and spread awareness of the disease.

What it did not do was subsequently ban pork (swine flu), chicken (avian flu), or Chinese people (SARS).

I have no problem with the development and dissemination of a vaccine to a disease (something we both already recognized the government has done for TB). They have also made information available to the public regarding the potential dangers of raw milk.

Up to this point, the actions taken by the government agency are identical in the four cases we have (SARS, swine flu, bird flu, and TB from raw milk).

In only one case was a product banned (or attempted to be banned). What makes raw milk so special? By all accounts, one is no more likely to get TB from raw milk then he is to get swine flu from pork?

So, what makes raw milk such an imminent and massive threat to the public that it must be banned? What makes this product so special that warnings, vaccines, and regulations are not enough?

 
At 8/21/2012 12:47 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

It just seems to me that to make an item illegal should be a last ditch measure, not a knee-jerk reaction. To make an item illegal is to encourage a black market, which can lead to more dangers. It leads to bootleggers, vagabonds, and vandals. If raw milk is really as deadly as you claim, wouldn't it make more sense to have it be legal and properly controlled, rather than rampant and monitored only by outlaws?

 
At 8/21/2012 1:07 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

actually, i misspoke. there is also a clause about "general welfare" that pertains to taxation, but i do not see how food safety could be seen to fall under that rubric.



 
At 8/21/2012 1:18 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

morganovich: that phrase appears only in the preamble as a description of why other powers are granted.

Actually, twice; once in the Preamble, and once in the Taxing and Spending Clause: "The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States".

Apparently, they were quite intent on making the government more expansive than what you envision. That's alright. We just want to be clear.

morganovich: patents protect rights

Don't forget post offices and roads.

Jon Murphy: So, what makes raw milk such an imminent and massive threat to the public that it must be banned?

Actually, it is quite possible to deliver raw milk safely, by regulating the production and distribution carefully; more regulation, not less.

 
At 8/21/2012 1:21 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Actually, it is quite possible to deliver raw milk safely, by regulating the production and distribution carefully; more regulation, not less.

So let's do that. Forget all this pasteurization bull honkey.

 
At 8/21/2012 1:32 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Jon Murphy: So let's do that.

Morganovich won't be happy!

 
At 8/21/2012 1:35 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

It's not an ideal solution, to be sure. But for starters, I'll just be happy I'd not have to smuggle the stuff across state lines any more.

Let's get it legal first. Then we can start tearing down stupid regulations.

 
At 8/21/2012 2:04 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"Apparently, they were quite intent on making the government more expansive than what you envision. That's alright. We just want to be clear."

No, they weren't, and we're not clear. You, like all statists, completely ignore Morganovich's point about the redundancy of enumerating powers and inserting the 10th ammendment if "general welfare" means "government can't do whatever it damn well likes."

 
At 8/21/2012 2:04 PM, Blogger spotteddog said...

"There, innovative dairy farmer Michel Cantaloube has created a raw milk vending machine (see photo above). "

Correction: He did not, in fact, build that. Somebody else made that happen.

 
At 8/21/2012 2:15 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

"Don't forget post offices and roads."

government is not needed for such things.

the only reason the post office still exists is mandated monopoly.

it's a glitch, not a feature.

roads can be private as well. (though there is something of an argument around how difficult it would be to acquire adjacent land privately)

these things exist in the constitution, but that does not make them needed.

rights are needed. courts are needed.

roads may be one of the very few exceptional situations that are worth it.

but where is the rationale for regulating food beyond ensuring it is what the seller says it is?

you seem to have no first principles argument. you simply say "harm could result if we do not". but we could make that argument about virtually anyhting from skatebaords to kitchen knives.

and even your harm argument sounds terribly flimsy.

deaths from raw milk in 13 years are about 1/100th of those from lightning strikes.

that's a tiny risk.

if we use such a diminutive risk as a standard for requiring regulation, we'd need to regulate virtually everything. banana peels probably kill more people than raw milk.

not only is there no right to regulate, but there is no serious danger to be avoided either.

such tiny risk as there is can be easily avoided. drink pasteurized milk if you worry about it. problem solved.

but why do you want the right to force your risk reward choices on me?



 
At 8/21/2012 2:23 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Paul: You, like all statists, completely ignore Morganovich's point about the redundancy of enumerating powers and inserting the 10th ammendment if "general welfare" means "government can't do whatever it damn well likes."

No, we don't think the Constitution means the government can "do whatever it damn well likes". Rather, we were responding to morganovich's belief that government only has two functions; protect rights and enforce contracts. That's fine, but it is true that the U.S. Constitution at least includes protecting rights, enforcing contracts, ...

and post offices.

morganovich: government is not needed for such things.

Perhaps not, but it is certainly in the U.S. Constitution. That's fine. There are a lot of things in the U.S. Constitution that many people would disagree with.

morganovich: but where is the rationale for regulating food beyond ensuring it is what the seller says it is?

Because with industrial production, thousands can be made sick before the source can be determined. Indeed, it normally requires coordinated efforts by multiple government agencies to trace contaminated food through the supply chain.

morganovich: that's a tiny risk.

That's immaterial to your point.

 
At 8/21/2012 2:23 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

I just ran some numbers regarding raw milk vs pasteurized milk:

According to the CDC, there were 37 outbreaks and 800 illnesses from unpasteurized milk during from 2000 - 2007, with an average of 100 illnesses per year. The estimated U.S. population as of today is approximately 313,500,000. Using the CDC’s own 2007 FoodNet Survey data indicating that 3% of the population consumes raw milk, we can estimate that approximately 9.4 million people drink unpasteurized milk.

This means you had a roughly 1 in 94,000 chance of becoming ill from drinking unpasteurized milk during that period.

Now let’s compare this to pasteurized milk, as the CDC did in their study.

There were 8 outbreaks with 2,214 illnesses, with an average of 277 illnesses per year. According to the CDC FoodNet survey, 78.5% (246,097,500) of the U.S. population consumes pasteurized milk.

This means you had a roughly 1 in 888,000 chance of becoming ill from drinking pasteurized milk.

According to these data, it’s true that you have a higher chance of getting sick from drinking raw milk than pasteurized milk. But the risk is 9.4 times higher, not 150 times higher as the CDC claimed.

But when the absolute risk is extremely small, as it is here, a relative 9-fold increase is rather insignificant. If you have a 0.00011 percent chance of getting sick from drinking pasteurized milk, and a 9.4 times greater risk of getting sick from drinking unpasteurized milk, we’re still talking about a miniscule risk of 0.00106% (one one-thousandth of a percent).

To put this in perspective, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, you have a roughly 1 in 8,000 chance of dying in a motor vehicle accident if you live in the U.S.. Therefore, you have a 750 times greater chance of dying in a car crash than becoming hospitalized from drinking raw milk.

The risk of dying in a plane crash (1 in 2,000,000) is orders of magnitude lower than dying in a car accident (1 in 8,000) – and yet most people who are afraid of flying don’t hesitate to get in their car. But as unlikely as dying in a plane crash is, it’s about 3 times more likely than becoming hospitalized (not dying) from drinking unpasteurized milk.

 
At 8/21/2012 2:26 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

A little bit more context

So, if we are to ban raw dairy for being a health risk, we would also need to ban seafood, poultry, eggs, beef, pork, and produce.

 
At 8/21/2012 2:29 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

My contribution to the Constitutional question

 
At 8/21/2012 2:30 PM, Blogger randian said...

if we use such a diminutive risk as a standard for requiring regulation, we'd need to regulate virtually everything

It's the Precautionary Principle in action. It's why the FDA won't approve a drug that will kill 20 people, while letting 1,000 die because that drug isn't approved. It's why the FDA banned Vioxx. Vioxx was popular precisely because it was an outstanding painkiller, but we the people are too stupid to weigh the heart attack risk (which was, in reality, minimal) vs pain relief.

 
At 8/21/2012 2:44 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"No, we don't think the Constitution means the government can "do whatever it damn well likes"."

Nonsense. The general welfare and commerce clauses have been used by statists like you and your pocket pal to ram your agenda down our throats ever since FDR overthrew the old order. Again, what is the point of the enumerated powers and 10th ammendment if "general welfare" is as expansive as you say? Wouldn't post offices fall under the category of "general welfare?"

 
At 8/21/2012 2:47 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

"
Because with industrial production, thousands can be made sick before the source can be determined. Indeed, it normally requires coordinated efforts by multiple government agencies to trace contaminated food through the supply chain. "

this is not a first principles argument just your "it might do harm so regulate it" position again in which you once more seem to be glossing over any actual justification for such curtailment of individual liberty.

it also hinges upon the deeply suspect assumption that such things would not be done by private industry. mcdonalds and walmart pioneered rfid chips for cows. they know where they have been, what they have eaten, and what they have been near.

they do it because their brands are too valuable to risk. the organic sector does the same sorts of things. left to itself, the industry would do a better job motivated by reputation and profit and would be far more responsive to consumers than the fda/usda etc.

"
That's immaterial to your point."

agreed, but it's highly material to yours. you are the one claiming that raw milk is too dangerous to allow when dying from it is not even 1% as likely as death by lightning strike. it seems to me that even if you reject my argument about limited government and liberty, you are still left with nothing. how can such a tiny risk be worth taking away freedom for?


 
At 8/21/2012 2:47 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

randian-

of course, the precautionary principle warns against itself, no?

 
At 8/21/2012 2:57 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 8/21/2012 3:01 PM, Blogger randian said...

of course, the precautionary principle warns against itself, no?

I've never seen it applied that way. I don't read things in a way that nullifies their meaning.

Since there are no consumer groups screaming we must ban raw milk "for the children", I assume it's the regulated industry itself that wants the ban. What I don't get is why. They could sell raw milk too, at much lower prices than the local "competition" could. So why don't they? Almost as maddening as why I can't buy unpasteurized fruit juice and whole chocolate milk.

 
At 8/21/2012 3:09 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Paul: The general welfare and commerce clauses have been used by statists like you and your pocket pal to ram your agenda down our throats ever since FDR overthrew the old order. Again, what is the point of the enumerated powers and 10th ammendment if "general welfare" is as expansive as you say?

All we said is that it is clearly more expansive than just protecting rights and enforcing contracts.

Paul: Wouldn't post offices fall under the category of "general welfare?"

Then why list both?

morganovich: it also hinges upon the deeply suspect assumption that such things would not be done by private industry.

It turns out that the reason such laws found support was because of failures of private industry. The laws were reactive.

morganovich: agreed, but it's highly material to yours. you are the one claiming that raw milk is too dangerous to allow when dying from it is not even 1% as likely as death by lightning strike.

The question concerned the reasons why democratically elected governments have consistently over many generations supported laws to regulate the food supply. There are obviously other ways to make milk safe than pasteurization.

 
At 8/21/2012 3:18 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Don't forget post offices and roads."

That's post offices and *post* roads.

In most cases "establish" meant "to designate" as post offices already existed in most major cities and towns, as did the roads between them, long before the Constitution was written.

The intent of this clause was to expedite communication throughout the colonies by making uniform or "regularizing" postal service, much as the Commerce clause was intended to "regulate" or "regularize" free trade and commerce among the several states, foreign nations and the Indian tribes.

 
At 8/21/2012 3:21 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

randian-

i think it has to do with the fact that raw milk has a short shelflife and does not transport well. it's not terribly practical to sell far from the source.

factory farms etc tend to ship longer distances and need the additional shelf life from pasteurization. raw milk is good for maybe 3-4 days. it does not fit well into the way their distribution is set up.

at least, that's how it was explained to me. i don't have a ton of direct knowledge there.



 
At 8/21/2012 3:24 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"I just ran some numbers regarding raw milk vs pasteurized milk:"

Thanks, Jon.

 
At 8/21/2012 3:26 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

"
It turns out that the reason such laws found support was because of failures of private industry. The laws were reactive. "

1. i'm not so sure that is true. the law were pushed by a scared mob and by big corporate interests and regulatory capture. big firms find them easier to shape, control, and comply with than small ones. but that is still not an argument for them. we can ban speech re-actively too. does that make it right? tyranny of the majority is still tyranny.

2. times have changed. information is far more plentiful and easy to get. brands matter far more and are much more widespread. i trust whole foods to judge food far more than i trust the fda/usda.

"The question concerned the reasons why democratically elected governments have consistently over many generations supported laws to regulate the food supply. There are obviously other ways to make milk safe than pasteurization."

i don't think that is the question. first, you need to answer why should they have the right to prevent a voluntary transaction between 2 private individuals when it does not concern anyone but themselves or violate anyone's rights.

 
At 8/21/2012 3:27 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Ron H: The intent of this clause was to expedite communication throughout the colonies by making uniform or "regularizing" postal service, much as the Commerce clause was intended to "regulate" or "regularize" free trade and commerce among the several states, foreign nations and the Indian tribes.

No argument here. Morganovich doesn't think that's a proper function of government, and was confused somewhat on the constitution. Again, it's quite alright to not like certain aspects of the constitution. It's been amended many times.

 
At 8/21/2012 3:32 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

morganovich: i don't think that is the question. first, you need to answer why should they have the right to prevent a voluntary transaction between 2 private individuals when it does not concern anyone but themselves or violate anyone's rights.

Because sometimes people want to work together as a nation for a common purpose, the general welfare. You would preclude this aspect of human civilization, believing that it isn't necessary. Yet, every successful modern civilization has had a central government of some sort. The compromise is constitutional democracy.

 
At 8/21/2012 3:42 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

This means you had a roughly 1 in 94,000 chance of becoming ill from drinking unpasteurized milk during that period.

Nice work, Jon Murphy! Of course the U.S. government tortures people when there's a 1/25,000,000 chance of dying in a terrorist on an airplane, so.....

The government doesn't give two shits about our health. All of these measures are insurance not for us but for politicians. The political fallout of outbreaks and terrorist attacks is pretty bad for them and they don't mind forcing us to buy insurance for them.

 
At 8/21/2012 3:46 PM, Blogger randian said...

Because sometimes people want to work together as a nation for a common purpose, the general welfare

How does a ban on raw milk accomplish that? If I buy raw milk it doesn't affect your welfare at all.

 
At 8/21/2012 3:49 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

zach-

that is a wild straw man.

i am not claiming that we do not need a central government. i am claiming that nations do best when the central government limits itself to protecting rights and enforcing contracts.

i'm not suggesting some form of anarcho capitalism, just the promotion and protection of inalienable rights.

people wanting to work together is great, but forcing me to work with you when i do not is tyranny.

if the government wants to set voluntary standards and let companies comply or not as they choose (think iso9000 or good housekeeping seal of approval) fine, but to force such compliance goes too far.

it takes away liberty.

you are committing both post hoc ergo prompter hoc and a sort of appeal to authority/populism fallacies in your logic.

everyone does it so it must be right is not a valid argument. that could have supported slavery in 1400.

i'm not arguing against constitutional government. i think its one of the great achievements of mankind. but such a government is best when it protects the rights of the individual, not when it makes him subservient to the state.

once law passes the real of "do what you have promised" and "do not violate the rights of others or their property" it begins to take liberty for no good reason.

you seem to think that because you or a majority think that something is right, that it ok to force such a view upon a minority.

how do you justify that?

would you accept such limits to speech?

if you and jon and ron and i comprise the demos and we vote that speaking such statist views as yours is seditious, would you feel like that was just? it would be democratic. but it would take away your liberty when you have not violated my rights. it would also violate what i suspect is your conception of your own rights. this is why rights MUST be superior to democracy to maintain liberty in a society.

adding "unless i think it's a bad idea" to that notion as a qualifier negates the notion of liberty entirely.

it is no longer somehting you inalienably posses that derives from your personhood, but rather fiat derived from the whim of the mob.

that is not a basis for enduring freedom, prosperity, or general welfare.

 
At 8/21/2012 4:06 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

ps-

zach-

you seem to be the one confused by the constitution and around notions of should vs are.

precisely what do you think i am confused about?

you seem to be erecting a whole field of straw men here.

i specifically said that government ought to prevent trade barriers between states as a protection of our rights.

for someone who accuses others of not reading, you seem to do quite a poor job yourself.

 
At 8/21/2012 4:22 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "No argument here. Morganovich doesn't think that's a proper function of government, and was confused somewhat on the constitution."

I don't think there's any confusion. Morganovich is correct that the basic purpose, and only essential functions of government are to protect rights and enforce contracts.

That the People and the States, through the Constitution granted other powers to their agent, the central government, is not contradictory.

As Morganovich points out, regarding your example of post offices and post roads, government is not needed for such things, but neither was it particularly harmful, as it applied uniformly throughout the states, and tended to "promote the general welfare". The harm came later, when monopoly status was granted to the postal system. Ask Lysander Spooner about that.

 
At 8/21/2012 4:29 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Because sometimes people want to work together as a nation for a common purpose, the general welfare."

And they should be free to do so as long as they don't infringe the rights of others who disagree.

 
At 8/21/2012 4:43 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Zach,

"Then why list both? "

Uh, that's my exact point you and your pocket pal are unable to answer.

 
At 8/21/2012 5:07 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 8/21/2012 5:14 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "Swine flu was pandemic, and is estimated to have killed several hundred thousand people worldwide, and several thousand in the U.S. Millions of Americans, at the urging of the CDC, were vaccinated, reducing the number of cases in the U.S. significantly.

In other words, you point to the results of effective prevention to argue against prevention.
"

I notice you used the word "urging" No one was vaccinated against their will.

No one is against prevention, only against lack of choice.

 
At 8/21/2012 5:50 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

randian: How does a ban on raw milk accomplish that? If I buy raw milk it doesn't affect your welfare at all.

Society gets tired of picking up bodies off the street. While that is very unlikely today, that's because government has taken a very active role in providing the appropriate infrastructure. You do realize that disease used to be the limiting factor in the growth of cities?

morganovich: i am claiming that nations do best when the central government limits itself to protecting rights and enforcing contracts.

And yet the most successful countries have active public sectors.

morganovich: people wanting to work together is great, but forcing me to work with you when i do not is tyranny.

Then you disagree with the founders, who at the very least included post offices as one the things government should do. Not to mention calling forth the militia.

morganovich: you seem to think that because you or a majority think that something is right, that it ok to force such a view upon a minority.

It's called constitutional democracy. While you may not agree, it turns out that government performs many important functions. Because of this, people have discovered that it is best if they control the process, rather than monarchs or other non-popular sovereigns.

Not everything is right or just because it has a majority, but constitutional democracy balances the need for these important functions with the rights of individuals.

morganovich: if you and jon and ron and i comprise the demos and we vote that speaking such statist views as yours is seditious, would you feel like that was just?

Modern democracies are constrained by mechanisms to protect the individual. They work by balancing power at many levels within society.

Sorry that means you feel every act of a democratic society is tyranny. You must be a lot of fun at the local city council.

 
At 8/21/2012 5:52 PM, Blogger randian said...

Society gets tired of picking up bodies off the street.

Strawman. Raw milk consumers aren't dying in the street. Indeed, statistically they aren't dying at all.

 
At 8/21/2012 5:56 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

morganovich: precisely what do you think i am confused about?

You had said "general welfare" was only in the preamble, in order to try and minimize its role in the constitution. In fact, it's mentioned twice, including as a power of congress. That implies the founders considered it important, and that they meant for government to do more than simply protect rights and enforce contracts.

 
At 8/21/2012 5:57 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

randian: Raw milk consumers aren't dying in the street. Indeed, statistically they aren't dying at all.

You cut off the explanation and ignored it. Try to respond to the point being raised next time.

 
At 8/21/2012 6:02 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

morganovich: "of course, the precautionary principle warns against itself, no?"

randian: "I've never seen it applied that way. I don't read things in a way that nullifies their meaning."

From Wiki:

"The precautionary principle, for all its rhetorical appeal, is deeply incoherent. It is of course true that we should take precautions against some speculative dangers. But there are always risks on both sides of a decision; inaction can bring danger, but so can action. Precautions, in other words, themselves create risks—and hence the principle bans what it simultaneously requires." - Cass Sunstein

In other words the precautionary principle advises against employing the precautionary principle to avoid possible harm from the precautions taken.

 
At 8/21/2012 6:11 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Torturing prisoners? What about being seen by a magistrate and the right to bail?"...

That'll 'learn 'em' zachster...

Actually doesn't it sound like typical civil service incompetence at play here?

"Can't America afford to take care of its prisoners?"...

Why should the taxpayers have to foot the bill for these people?

"Should we send Doctors Without Borders to America?"...

Well can these clowns run fast zachster?

Gang bangers are always on the look out for new and more challenging targets in their drive-by rituals....

 
At 8/21/2012 6:15 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Society gets tired of picking up bodies off the street"...

Says who zachster?

Most of the big cities in this country are run by liberals and liberals love to live the 'broken window fallacy'...

 
At 8/21/2012 6:22 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"The raw milk must have a bacteria count of <20k/ml and have a warning printed on the bottle saying it can get you sick.

Why is that not enough? Who do we need to ban it?
"...

Come on jm, you know it isn't about health at all...

Its all about the parasites in government looking to extort more money (those Taj Mahals they build aren't cheap especially at union rates) and exert more control over the individual citizen...

 
At 8/21/2012 6:30 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "If something is a known danger, does the government have the right to intervene? If someone has an infectious disease, can they impose a quarantine? Does it matter if the government is a constitutional democracy? "

Interesting questions: First of all, governments don't have rights, they have powers. People have rights, and in a just world, grant powers to their agent, the government.

Government certainly *can* impose a quarantine, but has no *right* to do so.

Why do you believe a reasonable person with an infectious disease would want to risk infecting others?

Do you mean constitutional democracy or constitutional republic? They aren't the same thing, but tyranny in any form is still tyranny.

 
At 8/21/2012 6:55 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Ron H: Government certainly *can* impose a quarantine, but has no *right* to do so.

Your comment sheds no light. Is quarantine a proper use of government power in order to stop the spread of infectious diseases?

Ron H: Why do you believe a reasonable person with an infectious disease would want to risk infecting others?

Turns out it is quite common for people to not take reasonable precautions to prevent the spread of disease. They may not even be fully aware of the danger if they don't feel sick themselves. Consider the case of Mary Mallon.

 
At 8/21/2012 6:57 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Zachriel: "Can't America afford to take care of its prisoners?"...

juandos: Why should the taxpayers have to foot the bill for these people?

Prisoners awaiting trial are presumed innocent. As prisoners are under the complete control of the state, the state is responsible for the immediate provision of their food, lodging and medical care.

 
At 8/21/2012 6:57 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Since this conversation is going nowhere, let's move on.

For the sake of discussion, let's assume that we all agree that the government has the power (and moral obligation) to ban any dangerous items/consumables.

By what criteria do we judge whether a consumable should be banned or not?

 
At 8/21/2012 7:48 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

By what criteria do we judge whether a consumable should be banned or not?

According to the whims of whoever happens to be most powerful in government. obviously. See: Bloomberg.

Tsk tsk tsk, Jon Murphy. Doooo try to keep up :)

 
At 8/21/2012 7:49 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

BTW, I'm not kidding about that. It's whatever the pet concern is.

 
At 8/21/2012 8:09 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Since this conversation is going nowhere, let's move on."

Hold on, you whippersnapper, we're not ready to move on quite yet. :-P

 
At 8/22/2012 1:49 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"As prisoners are under the complete control of the state, the state is responsible for the immediate provision of their food, lodging and medical care"...

Sorry zach but that is all patently untrue...

USAToday Updated 5/27/2009: Debt to society costs some criminals $60 a night

 
At 8/22/2012 4:39 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

juandos: USAToday Updated 5/27/2009: Debt to society costs some criminals $60 a night

As we said, immediate provision is the responsibility of the state, though they can charge the person later. Also, that's for convicted prisoners, while the said prisoner had only been charged.

 
At 8/22/2012 5:54 PM, Blogger Michael Wengler said...

"'I didn't want to lose my house,' McAfee said, in explaining why he had contacted and worked with the bail bondsmen."
http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/07/rawesome-foods-founder-arrested/#.UDViZd0ibzg

THIS is why James Stewart was arrested. His friend who had put up his house to bail Stewart out previously couldn't convince him to show up voluntarily in court.

 
At 8/22/2012 5:57 PM, Blogger Michael Wengler said...

"This is about the irrational conduct of one person: James," he said. "Raw milk is 100 percent legal in California, and it is not going to jeopardize that fact or do anything to disrupt this critical and healing food source. The take-home message has nothing to do with the law and raw milk. It has to do with personal choices."

This is a quote from the other Raw Milk producer in the story, the one who stood to lose his house with which he had secured Stewart's bail because Stewart had decided to not go to any court appearances.

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/07/rawesome-foods-founder-arrested/#.UDViZd0ibzg

 
At 8/22/2012 6:12 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Michael Wengler: THIS is why James Stewart was arrested. His friend who had put up his house to bail Stewart out previously couldn't convince him to show up voluntarily in court.

Might also explain why he wasn't out on bail.

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home