Saturday, September 1, 2012

Fauquier County Farms, Private Property Rights - #4177 - The Battle of Fauquier County - American Thinker (2) 'Extortion': Why Did The Labor Department "Drop the Hammer' on Oregon Farmers - The Blaze

Martha the farmer has gained national attention because she has fought attempts by Fauquier County, Virginia to fine her for selling farm produce and hosting a birthday party for eight 10-year-old girls. The reality is that Martha isn't breaking any laws. On the other hand, Fauquier County is breaking its own zoning ordinance, the Virginia Right to Farm Act, and the Virginia and United States Constitutions. Her cause has shed light on the corrupt practices and actual lawbreaking of this so-called agricultural county, which is located about an hour west of Washington, D.C. It is further evidence that government -- from federal down to local -- is America's biggest and most pervasive lawbreaker, and with no close second. This particular hero's plight has drawn the attention of property rights, civil liberties, farm freedom, and food freedom activists across the country. The laser-like focus on Martha's fight for what's right has helped expose the corrupt and illegal practices not only of Fauquier County, but of a much larger movement of statists and faux environmentalists who wield power of the police state to serve their corrupt agendas. The selective abuse of government force in Martha's case has developed a new term: crony farming....... Martha is being fined and harassed for what members of the local faux environmental group do at their own farms. It's Orwell's Animal Farm comes to life for a real farm of over 160 animals, most of which are rescued. Some farmers in Fauquier are more equal than others......Laser-like focus on causes such as Martha's may allow Americans to reclaim their freedoms from the local government level upwards. Martha the farmer and her allies may be creating a model that will help save America, if it's not already too late. Read more......

'Extortion': Why Did The Labor Department 'Drop the Hammer' on Oregon Farmers? - The Blaze - Oregon farmers and state officials are furious with the U.S. Labor Department after federal authorities in July put a hold on thousands of dollars worth of blueberries, citing “widespread” record-keeping and minimum wage violations, Eric Mortenson reports for The Oregonian. “[T]he department invoked a “hot goods” provision of labor law that prohibited shipment of the berries. Labor officials also notified wholesalers that berries from the farms would be subject to the order and should not be processed or shipped,” according to the report. “Hot goods” orders are used by the department’s Wage and Hour Division to halt the production and/or sale of goods its believes were produced in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. But here‘s what has members of Oregon’s congressional delegation and the Oregon Farm Bureau particularly disturbed: The federal agency told the farmers that they could make everything go away if they paid “a fine and back wages and sign a consent judgment admitting wrong and agreeing not to contest the order even if subsequent information exonerated the farms.”....... It’s “extortion,” said Greg Ditchen whose farm had to pay $169,816 in back wages and penalties. He had no other choice. It was either that or let his crops go to waste.  Read more........

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