Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Rabbit Foot Note

It appears the USDA is caving on the fines.

According to Bob McCarty on,
"I base that conclusion on the following e-mail I received late Tuesday afternoon from USDA/APHIS Spokesperson Dave Sacks:
We are working out an alternative to the $90K fine and plan to reach out to Mr. Dollarhite over the next week to discuss. We are hopeful he’ll be amenable to discussing it with us and let us visit his facility as we work the issue out."
Perhaps it was the personal touch of some elected officials (McCarty names a few).  Perhaps it was the planned Anti-tyranny protest this afternoon.  Perhaps it was phone calls or emails from all of the blogs that picked up this story.  Perhaps it was an interesting letter from lawyer Richard L. Anderson of West Branson, who wrote:
 "My client rejects that proposal. I note that a descriptive pamphlet ... that IES “now conducts more than 6,000 cases and collects approximately $ 2 million in civil penalties annually.” That averages a penalty of $ 333.33 per case, and yet you contend it would be appropriate my client tender a penalty of $90,643.00.

Near the end of the letter, he added the following:

I cannot imagine that the actions of Mr. Dollarhite would merit a fine or penalty that would be 272 times larger than what the “average” fine ($ 333) collected by the USDA, IES, APHIS would be, under the circumstances of this case, and would certainly hope that a reasonable hearing examiner would agree."
Good!  It ain't over until it's over, but the extortionists are backing off for now.

We use the name Leviathan for a reason: it's a giant.  More like a Hydra - you cut one head off and another can still kill you.   You have heard of the year long sting operation against an Amish farmer who was selling raw milk - to people who were going out of their way to find it, and paying high prices for it, right? 

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