In Mark Steyn’s upcoming book After America, he has a marvelous vignette on how hyper-regulation helps to slow the economy to a crawl:
On the first Friday of Lent 2009, a state inspector from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture raided the fish fry at St. Cecilia’s Catholic Church in Rochester. He had been there for his annual inspection of the church’s kitchen, but, while going about his work, he espied an elderly parishioner unwrapping some pies.
He swooped. Would these by any chance be homemade pies? Sergeant Joe Pieday wasn’t taking no for an answer. The perps fessed up:
Josie Reed had made her pumpkin pie.
Louise Humbert had made her raisin pie.
Mary Pratte had made her coconut cream pie.
And Marge Murtha had made her farm apple pie.
And, by selling their prohibited substances for a dollar a slice, these ladies and their accomplices were committing a criminal act. In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, it is illegal for 88-year-old Mary Pratte to bake a pie in her kitchen for sale at a church fundraiser. The inspector declared that the baked goods could not be sold.
St. Cecilia’s holds a fish fry every Friday during Lent, and regular church suppers during the rest of the year. That’s a lot of pie to forego. What solutions might there be? The inspector informed the ladies they could continue baking pies at home if each paid a $35 fee for him to come ’round to her home and certify her kitchen as state-compliant. “Well, that’s just ridiculous,” Louise Humbert, seventy-three, told the Wall Street Journal.
Alternatively, they could bake their pies in the state-inspected kitchen at the church. As anyone who bakes pies, as opposed to regulating them, could tell the inspector, if you attempt to replicate your family recipe in a strange oven, it doesn’t always turn out like it should.
A local bakery stepped in and donated some pies. But that’s not really the same, is it? Perhaps a more inventive solution is required. In simpler times, Sweeney Todd, purveyor of fine foodstuffs to Mrs. Lovett’s pie shop in Fleet Street, would have been proposing we drop the coconut cream and replace it with state-inspector pie, perhaps with a lattice crust, symbolizing the prison bars he ought to be behind. Problem solved. Easy as pie, as we used to say.
Instead, bye bye, Miss American Pie.
And bye bye kids’ lemonade stands as well, Iain Murrary writes today at the Corner:
In the past couple of months, police have put children’s lemonade stands out of business in Texas, Georgia, Wisconsin, Iowa, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. (There’s a great map, with links to the news stories, here.)
The kids have been taught a lesson, but it’s one we should learn, too: You can’t be an entrepreneur in modern-day America without bureaucrats giving you permission in the first place.
As Murray writes, “If we want to get America back to work, we need to lighten up on the lemonade stands, lighten up on small businesses, and stop the bureaucrats destroying free enterprise.” But a story found today via the Ace of Spades blog notes that for the puritanical health-obsessed left, this time it may be personal:
This is a NaturalNews exclusive breaking new report. Please credit NaturalNews.com. A multi-agency SWAT-style armed raid was conducted this morning by helmet-wearing, gun-carrying enforcement agents from the LA County Sheriff’s Office, the FDA, the Dept. of Agriculture and the CDC (Centers for Disease Control).
This story is now being followed and widely reported on InfoWars (www.InfoWars.com) and the Drudge Report (www.DrudgeReport.com). See updates below…
Rawesome Foods, a private buying club offering wholesome, natural raw milk and raw cheese products (among other wholesome foods) is founded by James Stewart, a pioneer in bringing wholesome raw foods directly to consumers through a buying club. James was followed from his private residence by law enforcement, and when he entered his store, the raid was launched.
Law enforcement demanded that all customers (members) of the store vacate the premises, then they demanded to know how much cash James had at the store. When James explained the amount of cash he had at the store — which is used to purchase product for selling there — agents demanded to know why he had such an amount of cash and where it came from.
James was handcuffed, was never read his rights and was stuffed into an unmarked car. While agents said they would leave behind a warrant, no one has yet had any opportunity to even see if such a warrant exists or if it is a complete warrant.
Law enforcement then proceeded to destroy the inventory of the story by pouring the milk down the drain and / or confiscating raw cheese and fresh produce for destruction. Video now posted at NaturalNews.TV: http://www.naturalnews.tv/v.asp?v=A…
Note to NaturalNews readers: We believe this was an ILLEGAL raid being conducted mob-style by government thugs who respect no law and no rights.This is an all-out war by the government against people who try to promote healthy raw and living foods.
All of these raids on Catholic grannies, kids’ lemonade stands, and health food providers by the Food Police are enough to leave a bad taste in your mouth. But don’t even think of popping in one of these mints to cleanse your palate:
Breath mints packaged in a tin can poking fun at President Barack Obama have been pulled from the shelves at the University of Tennessee bookstore after local legislator Joe Armstrong told store officials he was offended by the mints.
Armstrong, D-Knoxville, said he got a call from a student who had seen the satirical mints in the bookstore and was bothered by the depiction of the president.
The tin can reads: “This is change? Disappointmints.”
Armstrong followed up Tuesday with a visit to the bookstore, located in the basement of the University Center, where he talked to director David Kent.
“I explained to him that I felt those mints were politically specific products that had no educational value,” Armstrong said.
A box of breath mints, pictured at Vice Chancellor of Communication Margie Nichols’ office on Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2011, were taken off of the shelves at the University of Tennessee Bookstore after Rep. Joe Armstrong complained that the satirical mints made fun of President Obama.
“If it was a book or something of that nature, fine, but that’s sort of a discretionary product they have there. It wasn’t viewpoint neutral. It was very specifically insulting to the president.”
And we can’t have that, can we?
Related: “The Government’s Cereal Killers.”