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Manna Storehouse "S.W.A.T." story unfolds

By The Bovine  Posted by Linn Cohen-Cole (about the submitter)     Permalink
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Santos Linguisa Factory - Scene of Triple Homicide

Here’s a part of the story that “An Observer” refers to (from the link above):

“On June 21, 2000, Stuart Alexander, 39, (known as the “Sausage King”) killed two USDA inspectors and a state inspector when they attempted to conduct an inspection at his Santos Linguisa sausage factory at 1746 Washington Avenue in San Leandro. Prior to the murders, Alexander made a failed bid for San Leandro mayor in 1998 and was charged with beating Clifford Berg, his neighbor, in 1996. At the time of the murders, there was a large sign posted at the front of the factory stating, “To all of our great customers, the USDA is coming into our plant harassing my employees and me, making it impossible to make our great product. Gee, if all meat plants could be in business for 79 years without one complaint, the meat inspectors would not have jobs. Therefore we are taking legal action against them.” U.S. Department of Agriculture inspectors Jean Hillery, 56, and Tom Quadros, 52, and state Department of Food and Agriculture Inspector Bill Shaline, 57, were killed. State Inspector Earl Willis escaped as Alexander chased him down the street.

On October 19, 2004, Stuart Alexander was convicted of three counts of first-degree murder, making him eligible for the death penalty.

On December 14, 2004, a jury condemned Alexander to death.  See the original story….” [i.e. SF Gate news story]

And, from another Complete Patient comment — this one by Dave Milano — here’s a rational explanation of what sort of position vis-a-vis State regulations Manna Storehouse may well be coming from (though at this point that would be only speculation):

“If Manna Storehouse is a private cooperative, then why should the government have any control at all (beyond demanding adherence to criminal statutes) over their transactions? Did the Stowers murder anyone? Assault anyone? Steal from anyone? If so, undoubtedly they would have been charged and arrested.

What is most likely happening here is that the food cooperative existed privately, and therefore did not involve themselves with government via permits, fees, inspections, and all the rest. That, in the mind of big brother, is an unforgivable sin, and warranted an armed raid.

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The Community Alliance for Responsible Eco-farming (CARE), a private group of farmers and consumers in Pennsylvania, recently released a statement regarding the relationship between private citizens and constitutional government. Their position is basically that the government has a right to control and regulate what the government creates. If, for example, the government creates a corporation (essentially conferring “person” status to that entity) then it has every right, every duty even, to oversee it. But men are not artificial entities created by government. Men are natural, and when they act as private citizens, government must stay out of their way. In fact, government is supposed to protect citizens from the actions of any entity that might inhibit the free exercise of their natural rights. When government does otherwise it blurs the line between private and public, effectively deeming EVERYTHING public, and thus making constitutions irrelevant.

Here’s a bottom-line quote from CARE’s statement: “[...these agencies have] no constitutional authority to require a permit for direct private sales conducted anywhere by private individuals, involving private property, using private contracts.”

I agree with CARE’s position, and think that anyone who truly believes in constitutional government ought to agree as well.

Now I don’t want to put words into An Observer’s mouth or anyone else’s, but I wonder… When we read Observer’s statement regarding meat inspection regulations, that “There are strict requirements for ‘exemptions’ ” does a thought arise, something along the lines of, “Oh! The Stowers didn’t follow the rules?” They must be guilty, and the government therefore has a right to go after them!”?

That might be a likely response today, but I would suggest that a constitutional perspective ought to produce a very different view. Amanda shouldn’t “need” any third party permission to sell her meat openly, fairly, honestly, and privately, especially if that permission costs money or time, and especially if disobeying that third party might result in a police action.

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We are talking food here. Who should be making the choice about what to eat except the one who is eating it?…”

Once again, here’s the link to that Complete Patient post. It’s worth reading all the comments at the bottom.

In case you missed it, here was our first post on this story.

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