Most of us have been consumed by the terrible news from Joplin regarding the tornado.  We have been encouraged by the response from not only the citizens of our great state but by the outpouring of support from around the country.  We mourn as we see the death toll rise and rejoice as we see the stories of survivors found.

As terrible and riveting as these circumstances are, life goes on in Joplin and elsewhere.  Coincidentally, one of the ongoing issues that we are watching is a case of the overbearing, overreaching arm of the federal government in the form of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) against a Nixa, Mo., family, the Dollarhites.

We tend to get focused on the big issues of nationalized health care and other such areas of federal overstepping of constitutional authority.  To be certain, we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of federal overreach, and we certainly haven’t even really begun to fight!

As egregious as the health care law and many other national issues are, the Dollarhite family case is an example of how insidious and “under the radar” government intrusion has become.  It’s as clear a case as I’ve seen in recent times against a government that is supposed to serve the people which has become the tyrant of the people.

Paul Hamby from Campaign for Liberty sent out the following e-mail. It’s concise, hits the high points of  the issue and provides information regarding a planned USDA protest tomorrow in Ozark:

Today, Tyranny has come to a Missouri family in a very real way.  I am asking you to help fight it.

The Dollarhite family were raising rabbits in southern Missouri.  It was a small back yard business started by their son.  Then along came the USDA investigators.

Bob McCarty has written an excellent piece portraying the saga.  Here is an excerpt;

About six years ago, the Dollarhites wanted to teach their young teenage son responsibility and the value of the dollar. So they rescued a pair of rabbits – one male and one female – and those rabbits did what rabbits do; they reproduced. Before long, things were literally hopping on the three-acre homestead 30 miles south of Springfield, and Dollarvalue Rabbitry was launched as more of a hobby than a business.

“We’d sell ’em for 10 or 15 dollars a piece,” John [Dollarhite] said during a phone interview Tuesday afternoon, comparing the venture to a kid running a lemonade stand. In addition, they set up a web site and posted a “Rabbits for Sale” sign in their front yard.

You can read the full article here:

Family Facing $4 million in fines for selling bunnies

Turns out the USDA bureaucrats created a rule that anyone who sells more than $500 per year in rabbits must get a permit from the USDA.   The Dollarhites sold just over $4,000 worth of rabbits in one year but they were not aware that USDA had a rule requiring a permit.

Now the USDA wants them to pay a fine of $90,643 for not having the USDA license to raise rabbits.    In America, the 8th Amendment to the constitution says that a punishment should fit the crime.    Does it seem reasonable to have a $90,643 fine for a victimless crime of not having a USDA license to raise rabbits?

Read the letter from the USDA here

If they do not pay the fine on time, then the penalties total 3.9 million dollars.

Seriously?   Yes,  just shy of 4 million dollars for not having a Washington DC mandated license to raise rabbits.

Is this not tyranny defined?

Here is what you can do:

Call Senator Clair McCaskill at 202-224-6154

Call Senator Roy Blunt at  (202) 224-5721

Ask them to interpose on behalf of the Dollarhite family.  Tell them that the USDA had no jurisdiction here because the Dollarhites operated their backyard bunny farm entirely within the state of Missouri.  No sales were made across state lines.  No interstate commerce.

Tell them that you will not stand silently while the federal government brings tyranny to a Missouri family.   Please call Senators Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt now and tell them  to stop the federal tyranny today.

Paul Hamby

Missouri Co-Coordinator, Campaign For Liberty

p.s. Join a protest of the USDA tyranny in Ozark Missouri on Wednesday.

When: 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM, Wednesday May 25th.

Where: USDA Service Center

1786 S. 16th Avenue, Suite 103, Ozark, MO 65721

Don’t forget to call

Senator Roy Blunt at  (202) 224-5721

Senator Clair McCaskill at 202-224-6154

Thanks to Campaign for Liberty members Sam Garner and Michael Mikkelson for organizing this protest.

I would also recommend you call U.S. Rep. Billy Long: DC Office, (202) 225-6536; or Springfield, (417) 889-1800

And while we are at it, Governor Nixon (573-751-3222) and Attorney General Chris Koster (573-751-3321) should be involved in this fight to protect the rights of not only the Dollarhite family but for all of us.  It’s just the Dollarhites unfortunate time in the limelight – next time it could be you or me!