Originally published August 7 2011
Setting the record straight: Why Rawesome Foods does not need a license - a Civil Rights issue
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor
(NaturalNews) There's a tremendous amount of disinformation being put out on the internet about the Rawesome Foods raid, even by people who should know better. The most common complaint against Rawesome Foods is: Why don't they get licensed?
The answer is because they are not a public store. Rawesome Foods is a private member club where members actually own a percentage of the cows, goats and farms that produce the raw dairy. The Rawesome Foods facility is merely a distribution point where people pick up the food they already own; food which they could have theoretically picked up at the farm, but it's more convenient to bring it to a central distribution point.
This Rawesome Foods distribution point is a private location, not a public grocery store. The buyer's club itself, from a legal point of view, is private behavior, not public behavior. And yet the state of California is aggressively trying to force Rawesome Foods to be licensed and regulated as a public grocery store, which it is not.
The key element here is that the state wants to collect sales tax on these foods when people pick them up from the Rawesome distribution point. That's why the California Franchise Tax Board was secretly funding the prosecution of Rawesome Foods (http://www.naturalnews.com/033254_Rawesome_Foods_Lela_Buttery.html).
As usual, this is all about the state wanting its share of the pie (or the cheese, in this case). The state is horrified by the idea that people might enter into their own private ownership agreements of "farm shares" and then pick up their food without paying a state sales tax. And yet, in reality, no point-of-purchase "sale" is taking place at all. People are merely picking up the food they already own because they are partial owners of the farms, the cows, the goats and the chickens which naturally produce this food.
What if ten of us jointly owned a spring that produced water?Consider this: If you and nine of your friends joined together and invested in buying a piece of land with a natural spring on it, you would each have the right to visit that spring and collect some of the water, right? No one argues with this except, perhaps, a communist.
So given that you have the right to enjoy the benefits of the spring you own, do you also have the right to contract with a water delivery person to go collect your water for you and bring it to a warehouse closer to where you live so that you can pick up your water with greater convenience?
Of course you do!
Is your picking up the water a "sales event" where sales tax must be paid to the state of California? Of course not! You already own the water. You're merely having it brought closer to you so that you can pick it up at a distribution point.
Rawesome Foods is a distribution point (not a store) where people who have joined together to invest in farms are picking up the fruits of their investments (or, in this case, the milk and cheese). These are not "public sales events," they are private individuals engaged in private actions that are not subject to state regulatory authority unless they were committing some sort of outrageous crimes like running guns into Mexico -- which, ironically, the federal government has just been caught doing. (http://www.naturalnews.com/032934_ATF_illegal_firearms.html).
This is all set out in the basic tenants of both common law and U.S. law -- the rights of individuals to engage in private contracts are the most fundamental freedoms in a free society.
All those people out there claiming that "Rawesome should be licensed!" either misunderstand Rawesome to be a public grocery store (which it is not), or they are ignorant of fundamental rights as protected in a free society (the right to enter into private contracts with your neighbors).
As Gary Cox, attorney for the Farm To Consumer Legal Defense Fund (www.FTCLDF.org) explains, it all comes down to three basic questions:
The 3 simple questions that affirm the private right to own cow shares or goat shares(These are quotes from Gary Cox, recorded in an interview on August 5, 2011, which I will be publishing here on NaturalNews shortly.)
#1: Does the individual have the right to possess, own and use property?
The answer, obviously, is yes. Unless you live under communist rule, that is.
#2: Does the individual have the right to use the benefits of that property?
In other words, does the owner of a cow or goat have the rights to the milk produced by that animal? Once again, the answer is obviously YES. If you own something, and it produces something (like water from a spring), then you are entitled to those benefits.
#3: Does the owner of a dairy animal have the right to board their dairy animal at a farm where a farmer is contracted to take care of that animal?
Once again, the answer is obviously YES. You can choose to board your cow or goat at any farm that wishes to enter a contract with you for taking care of that animal. This is just the same as you choosing to board your dog at a kennel, or your horse at an equine center.
Once you understand these three fundamental rights, then there is no longer any question that the Rawesome Foods raid was illegal, punitive and in fact was a violation of the civil rights of those private individuals whose food was stolen from them by state and federal authorities.
Why the state cannot tolerate freedomUltimately, you see, the assault on Rawesome Foods is not about public health, but about taxing authority! The state does not want to allow individuals to enter into private contracts to own farm animals, produce food products and then benefit from those products without collecting tax on it.
And you can't tax it if you can't regulate it, so the regulatory push is simply used as a mechanism by which taxes can be demanded, even if such taxes are entirely illegal. This is a classic case of King George and his "tax stamps" back in the era of Colonial America. If you didn't pay your taxes to the King, your farm was raided, crops burned to the ground, and you were arrested. Today, they raid your food distribution point, pour your milk down the drain, and haul you off to prison. Same story, different era.
But it's always the same sad bunch of government tyrants who use these tactics to pummel innocent people into submission whereby they can confiscate more of their wealth.
If you support the Rawesome Food raids, then you deny the rights and freedoms to enter into private contractsMany people on the 'net have been grossly misinformed about this entire situation. They did not understand the licensing issue, so I hope this has helped clear it up. The question is simple:
Do private individuals have the right to invest in dairy animals and receive the benefits of that ownership?
Anyone who answers "No!" should probably just leave America and move to Russia or China. It is a basic American freedom to honor the rights of individuals to enter into private contracts. The U.S. government, of course, is increasingly destroying Americans' rights to all kinds of things, including privacy (TSA searching your junk at the airport), free speech (your protests are limited to Free Speech Zones) and even your right to due process (Patriot Act, passed under Bush, which strips away your Fifth Amendment rights and other rights).
It's no surprise, then, that Big Government is now directly attacking the private right to enter into a contact with your neighbor. Once this fundamental right is destroyed, the government can continue its march down the path of fascism (defined as a corporate-controlled geopolitical entity enforced by government guns). This raid on Rawesome Foods was, in every way, an extension of the kind of fascism that exists inside California government right now.
If you support the Rawesome raids, as the old media largely seems to do (NY Times wrote an article that all but falls over itself pushing for licensing and regulation of this private buyer's club), then you are an opponent of the fundamental freedom and basic civil right to enter into private contracts. Those who oppose these rights are opposed to civil rights and human rights at the most fundamental level.
And I don't know anyone who is really opposed to civil rights and human rights once they truly understand the issue. So please spread the word and help educate people on what this Rawesome raid is really about. What's at stake here is a fundamental question of freedom: Do we have the right to own property (dairy cows, etc.) and benefit from that property? Of course we do.
The Rawesome Food raids are an attempt by government to squash the Civil Rights of individuals so that they can extract money and punish anyone who attempts to assert those rights.
Another astonishing point here is that even Forbes Magazine, which wrote a relatively positive piece about this as far as traditional media goes (http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2011/08/04/the-rawesome-raid-and...), failed to understand this key issue of private contracts -- and that's quite a whopper of an oversight for a pro-business magazine.
Still, we appreciate them covering the issue and even linking to NaturalNews, although we hope they'll update their story with a greater understanding that this whole issue hinges on the fundamental right to enter into private contracts and enjoy the benefits of those contracts. The entire concept of a stock exchange is, of course, based on this exact premise. If we didn't have these rights, in other words, then the idea of owning partial shares of a corporation and enjoying the benefits of those partial shares would not be legal, either. The primary difference is that dividends paid on stock shares are taxable income whereas the milk produced by a cow is not taxable income but rather a milky liquid which is clearly not money.
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