Monday, August 18, 2014


WHAT, EXACTLY, IS CONSIDERED THE STAFF OF LIFE:  Well, bread is considered the staff of life. And bread is made from flour, which is usually made from wheat.  Notice I said "usually" made from wheat. I realize there are other flours available, like cornbread. That is not what this post is about, though, so if you made it this far, bear with me.  I am going to talk, write, a bit about wheat. And what we as individuals can, or cannot do, about it.  So, first, a short, mini, really small, history lesson. 
What I will mention is a short lesson in interstate commerce. Now, you can research this and find a lot more than I am going to mention here, but here is a short lesson. A few years ago, OK, decades ago, the Supreme Court ruled that a man couldn't grow wheat for his own use. Why? cause if he did he wasn't buying it on the market and thus impacting interstate commerce.  Make sense. We ll, lets look at it for a bit more.  An Ohio farmer, Roscoe Filburn, had a 23 acre farm, but was allowed to grow wheat on only 11 acres. This 11 acres of wheat he could sell. But he raised more wheat than that, but he didn't sell it, he fed it to his chickens so that his family could have a "Chicken in their pot" ( a play on words uttered by Franklin Roosevelt ). So when the government learned he was growing this extra wheat they fined him 49 cents for every bushel he grew over his allotment, even though he was using it for his own use. Still, the above Supreme Court decision against him. This was impacting market place trade, they said.  This was in 1942. This losing case solidified the idea that growing and consuming wheat entirely on your own farm counted as interstate commerce and could be regulated by the federal government under the commerce clause.  A little stretch.
Now, lets fast forward to 2005. And replace chickens and wheat for marijuana.  No, I am not advocating marijuana as the new staff of life.  It is a drug, a harmful drug and should be treated as such.  But, back to the story. Using the Filburn case, the Supreme Court held that Medical marijuana cultivated and consumed entirely with in the State of California still counted as "Interstate Commerce" and led Judge Clarence Thomas to say   "If Congress can regulate this under the Commerce Clause, then it can regulate virtually any thing--and the Federal Government is no longer one of limited and enumerated powers.
And based on the governments generous interpretation of the commerce clause to the detriment of private property, two executive orders have come to the attention of many Americans. The first one was issued by President Clinton in 1994 and the second one by President Obama in 2012.  And what exactly do these two orders address?  Well, food. So let's take a quick look at what the basis is for these two orders.  They come from the Defense Production act.  Nowhere in the constitution is Congress granted authority over all American resources and the fruits of its citizens' labor, let alone to delegate that authority to the executive branch. The fourth amendment preserves the right of people to be secure n their persons, houses, papers and effects, commonly considered as belongings.
Now, these two orders address the allocation of food resources and define it is detail. The DPA does not mention food at all any where in it's 2,418 words.  The DPA does mention machinery to produce defense materials. Nowhere do these two orders differentiate between government and private property. The two orders the full spectrum of emergencies. This is broadening the scope of the 1950 DPA act. Although both orders address national defense preparedness, Under Obama's order 13603, the Secretary of Agriculture is authorized to allocate food resources "as deemed necessary or appropriate to promote national defense under both emergency and non-emergency  conditions. Other cabinet heads are given similar authorization over a lot of things including health resources, water and civil transportation, all going to the Secretary of Commerce. 
There is a lot more to this, and I have just given a small portion of all of this. When there was an outcry over Obama's order, his proponents said that it was just doing a tidy up of the order issued by Clinton. If this is a tidy up job, I feel that we all need to be alert to what may take place.  Since this Executive Order gives Obama and his cabinet heads the authority to regulate any thing, even in a non emergency situation, they could come in and seize your garden or fine you for growing one because it is contrary to the DPA or it is interfering with Interstate commerce. Even if you are not selling the produce, just preparing it for you table or your pantry.  Just don't take a jar of jam across State Lines to give to a family member, that may cause such an economic catastrophe that the whole country goes under. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Answer here if you feel the need