Sam: You don’t like raisins?
Joon: Not really.
Joon: They used to be fat and juicy and now they’re twisted. They had their lives stolen. – Benny & Joon, 1993
I’ve heard of the Army Reserve, the injured reserve, and the Federal Reserve; I’ve heard of Indian reservations, the Reserve Clause, Santa Claus, and the sanity clause. But who knew that resting within the musty bureaucratic bowels of the federal government was a thing called the National Raisin Reserve?
Horne, a raisin farmer, has been breaking the law for 11 solid years. He now owes the U.S. government at least $650,000 in unpaid fines. And 1.2 million pounds of unpaid raisins, roughly equal to his entire harvest for four years.
His crime? Horne defied one of the strangest arms of the federal bureaucracy — a farm program created to solve a problem during the Truman administration, and never turned off.
He said no to the national raisin reserve.
(via Washington Post/One Growers Grapes Of Wrath/David A. Farenthold
Poor Horne. His intransigence caused the Raisin Administrative Committee to hire a private eye to look into his affairs.
“We probably worked that case for a couple of months,” said Rocky Pipkin.
According to Farenthold’s WaPo piece, Rocky’s P.I.’s do undercover work in nut factories — a familiarity with nuts being essential if you’re going to work with the federal government. Hiding in the grapevines, the sun-kissed private snoopers obtained video evidence enough for the feds to charge Horne with, among other things, “failing to hold in reserve … approximately 24.7 tons of Natural Sun-dried Seedless raisins.”
Confiscated raisins are legally allowed to be sold by the Raisin Committee in order to cover the expenses incurred in stealing them. Any leftover cash is, of course, returned to the victims. Except, according to the Committee’s president, “we pretty much spent it all.”
Given the current proclivities of our government, the Raisin Committee may or may not have been armed to the teeth with hollow-points and assault rifles, but one thing was certain — 5th Amendment or no 5th Amendment, they weren’t going to let Horne get away with it. And so, the Great Raisin Rebellion case wound its way through the federal courts system, eventually arriving at the doorstep of the Supremes, who bounced it right back to the infamous 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Now, as Mr. Farenthold observes,
Horne will have to wait to find out whether the courts see him as a conscientious objector to a bad law. Or as a guy who owes the government enough raisins to fill 3.8 million boxes of Raisin Bran.
Other Related articles
- Outlaw Raisin Farmer Defies Uncle Sam (newser.com)
- Good news: There’s still a National Raisin Reserve seizing raisins from farmers (hotair.com)
- Marvin Horne owes the US govt 1.2 million pounds of raisins. Yes raisins. (lunaticoutpost.com)
- Thank God For the Federal Raisin Police: Marvin Horne Will Pay the Price For Not Bowing Down to His Federal Overlords (bungalowbillscw.blogspot.com)
- SCOTUS Decision Offers Hope to Farmers Wanting Economic Freedom (independent.org)