December 27, 2008, - 10:45 pm

Bah, Humbug: Big Govt. Grinch Ruins 86-Year-Old Disabled War Vet’s Christmas

By Debbie Schlussel
Stories like this really tick me off. This is an example of big government interference extraordinaire. A disabled man who sacrificed and fought for our country is treated like dogmeat by Shasta County, California officials:

A cherished holiday tradition may be coming to an end for some Shasta County residents.
Jack Melton, 86, who has been baking and selling his pecan-laden fruitcakes from his Churn Creek Road home for the past 10 to 15 years, has been told to stop by Shasta County Department of Environmental Health officials.
Melton, a disabled World War II Navy veteran, has been told to quit selling his popular fruitcakes from his home because state law forbids the operation of an unregulated retail food business from a private home, said Fern Hastings, a senior environmental health specialist [DS: a/k/a Scrooge in drag].

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The Fabulous Art of John Nagridge

“At my age, I probably need to quit anyway,” Melton said this week. “This was probably the last year I was going to do it anyway.”
Melton said he’s sure that his customers, many of whom look forward every holiday season to tasting his fruitcakes, won’t be too happy.
Hastings said Melton can continue making his fruitcakes for family and friends.
But if Melton is selling the cakes to the public – or even giving them away – he must make them in a commercial bakery kitchen that has passed a health inspection, Hastings said.

Yeah, we’ve seen some of these kitchens that pass a “health inspection.” Ever see the show, “Kitchen Nightmares”? I’ll bet this poor man’s kitchen is far more sanitary than most.

Melton could rent space in such a bakery, she said, noting that Country Entrees Take & Bake and Homemade Treats by Jan and Norene got their start that way.

Um, he’s not looking to start a mega-conglomerate, biotch. The dude is 86, and he’s just trying to eke out an existence and keep happy and active in his last days.

Melton received a telephone call from county officials about two weeks after a county inspector spotted a small sign outside his home advertising homemade fruitcakes for sale.
“I think it was the sign that got them,” Melton said. “I’m going to burn that sign.”
He also recently received a package of material, including the California retail food code, in the mail from the county.
Melton, a 47-year Redding resident and retired electrician, is proud of his fruitcakes.
He certainly puts a lot of effort, not to mention ingredients, into them, including red and green cherries, dates, candied pineapples and lots of pecans. . . .
Melton . . . admits that the money he receives from selling his fruitcakes helps supplement his Social Security income. He doesn’t receive a pension.
“It’s extra money to me,” he said. “It hurts not being able to sell my cakes.”

He sells his fruitcakes for $28 and $55, depending on their size, and sold about 160 fruitcakes last year, he said.
Until the county intervened, Melton had sold about 125 cakes this holiday season, mostly to his long-valued customers, he said.
“But I’m not doing it for the money,” Melton said. “I’m trying to help the people out. They want my cakes.”

Yes, they wanted them, until big government had to stick it’s big, fat nose into it.
It’s ridiculous. Not a single person ever complained or got sick from this man’s fruitcakes. And the income supplemented his modes Social Security income. But why encourage free enterprise from this handicapped war veteran, when we can be grinches and steal his Christmas? Nauseating.
This reminds me of how my late grandfather had to close his kosher slaughterhouse because government interference-including racist State of Michigan inspectors harassing his Black employees–made it too hard to stay in business. Under Michigan law, he had to treat dead chickens better in the slaughterhouse than my father, an eye surgeon, was required to treat live humans on the operating table. My grandfather had to put in foot-pump operated sinks, when they didn’t have those in surgery for doctors like my dad. It was absurd.
This is even worse. This man is 86. He’ll likely not have many Christmases left, and he enjoys doing this. Or rather, he enjoyed–past tense–doing it.
Until the Nanny State had to come in and “make things better.”
This man served our country–and is disabled because of it. And this is how our country “serves” him?! Sickening.
Hmmm . . . maybe he should pretend he’s converted to Islam and pretend they’re special Halal fruitcakes for post-Ramadan. Then the government would be kissing his butt. But a disabled WWII-vet–you get treated like Rodney Dangerfield. Just disgusting.
We’re from the government, and we’re here to help you.

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18 Responses

I certainly agree with you about the mindless Government bureaucracy.
However, suspicious sort that I am, I also wonder if some of the County’s hostility is precisely because he is a veteran.

c f on December 27, 2008 at 11:30 pm

It’s easier to pick on old men selling fruitcake than it is to stop illegal aliens. I bet there are all kinds of people selling tacos and tamales in California without government permission and no one says shit to them about it.
The authorities are getting like this all over. They want to bully around regular people but are afraid to approach real criminals.

rtaylor174 on December 27, 2008 at 11:42 pm

I can’t say this often enough. Government at all levels is too large, too expensive, woefully inefficient, arrogant, intrusive, and downright dangerous. I was employed by the government for 32 years and it got progressively worse each and every year.

bonzerwolf on December 28, 2008 at 2:36 am

Is there a way to get this gentleman’s address so we could send him a card or a few bucks to help tide him over, since the Thought Police managed to gang up on him?
Sickening. This vet fought for freedom, and has watched us become enslaved to the Nanny State.
Maybe if California’s government goes broke, it would be a GOOD thing, since they are wasting the citizens’ time and monies on b.s. like this.

Maurice S on December 28, 2008 at 4:08 am

The death busters strike again…..not suprisly, at someone who can’t even fight back.
Dude making a living in his last days on earth and no one gets sick from his fruitcakes. But nooo…he’s an “irrelevant” fossl who won’t live long anyway, and because he fought against those poor Nazis…it “offends” us when someone like him is successful by earning it.
…..yet the illegal aliens run free.

Squirrel3D on December 28, 2008 at 5:07 am

How pathetic and sad. All of his customers should write the county and say they are his personal friends and they are not paying for the cakes…….just giving him Christmas money as a gift and he gives them cakes as Christmas presents. lol

Hermster on December 28, 2008 at 9:18 am

That made me remember the 13 year old boy staked out by two federal agents for days and then arrested for selling fishing worms from his front yard. True story that made national news some years ago.

poetcomic1 on December 28, 2008 at 10:07 am

This is disgusting. All these morons that vote for big government democrats should read this story and see what more government gets you. Ignorant bureaucrats that have nothing better to do other than meddle in peoples lives. I hope somebody helps this guy out. I didn’t know people actually liked fruitcakes. Maybe there is someone who can help him carry on this tradition.

metal321 on December 28, 2008 at 10:43 am

There is a solution to all of this. it is called the ballot box.
If the ballot box does not work then the actual problem is the electorate and this schmuck Hastings is merely a symptom of the problem.

i_am_me on December 28, 2008 at 11:29 am

This kind of bullshit drives me nuts!!! This is nothing more than controlling our food supply and dictating to us the terms by which we will be allowed to eat. How about the food coop that was raided in Ohio for the same reasons?
People need to start standing together and either forcing the government agents to back down or show them that we are willing to fight if necessary. Maybe if a few food Nazis showed up in the ER’s someone would get the message. Somewhere, someday, someplace the American people are going to rise up because of one incident such as this and then the fight is on. We are being pushed into a corner intentionally. We are going to see more and more intrusions such as this until we stand and fight.

newinnewark on December 28, 2008 at 11:31 am

Someone posted this on another site, if enough people send $5 or $10 we can help supplement that meager income. Jack Melton : 72 Churn Creek Rd, Redding, CA 96003

janella on December 28, 2008 at 12:11 pm

“At my age, I probably need to quit anyway,” Melton said this week. “This was probably the last year I was going to do it anyway.”
You know what I have to say about that comment and this whole situation? Mr. Melton, you are 86 years old, lived a long and fruitful life and you have served your country honorably in the most heroic way. I say to hell with the state of CA. What are they going to do, throw an 86 year old disabled man in jail? He wouldnt have anything to lose. I dont think the state govt would really send in the Gestapo brown shirts and drag a handicapped man to jail. If they did threaten that…call the press and tv news stations. Make the media work for you.

RadicalRightWinger on December 28, 2008 at 5:16 pm

I think the Shasta County Department of Environmental Health officials are the real fruitcakes here.

PersonOfTheBook on December 28, 2008 at 5:43 pm

Does this apply to school bake sales too?

LoveAManInAUniform on December 28, 2008 at 6:43 pm

How right you are, rtaylor. The Mexican vendors freely parade around all day selling their filthy tamales from carts with flies hovering around with complete immunity. I will bet dollars to donuts the inspector who persecuted this poor old guy was Hispanic or Asian. As Obama and his thugs so gleefully like to remind us, “it’s payback time for whitey and the Jews.”
“It’s easier to pick on old men selling fruitcake than it is to stop illegal aliens. I bet there are all kinds of people selling tacos and tamales in California without government permission and no one says shit to them about it.
The authorities are getting like this all over. They want to bully around regular people but are afraid to approach real criminals.”

ObamaSlammaJamma on December 28, 2008 at 11:38 pm

Ridiculous! Whats next? Taxing my Grandmother for selling her cakes in the church bake sale? What about my sister in laws fabulous Pumpkin Rolls? She sells those at the holidays (Only to recoup the cost of making them) to people who want them for Christmas dinner. Will they have to produce their goods in a government approved bakery? Can you imagine all the ladies of the church baking their goods somewhere other than their own kitchen? You know what really sucks? I wont get those delicious sugar cookies from the church because of the government. Mess with my oil. Mess with my taxes. But keep your mitts off my cookies you liberal wackos!
The gub’ment just isn’t happy unless they have their greasy little fingers in everything. Should I report the $20 I received from the gentlemen whos car I pulled out of a ditch with my truck on Christmas day? Is the government gonna imprison me for tax evasion? I tried not to accept it, but the little old guy just wouldnt allow me to deny him his blessing!
Whats next for this man from the greatest generation? Jail time? Will he have to pay back taxes on what he has sold?

Jon on December 29, 2008 at 11:15 am

Deb, this story reminds me of something my father said years ago before he passed away. At the time, he was in his 80’s, and your stories about your father reminded me a lot of my father. He was a local (in a rural area) successful businessman, who preached constantly to us kids that since our family had been blessed, it was incumbent upon us as a family to give back to the community that supported us. As a result, he helped found a local food bank, donated the landscaping to the new area high school, founded a Space Camp scholarship at the same school to send a leading science student to Space Camp at Huntington, Alabama each year, and personally loaned money to local residents hard up or who had hit snags in their personal road. He was a decorated WW II vet such as this gentleman, and said quite suddenly during a conversation about vets and vets benefits one night that the WW II vets couldn’t die off fast enough to suit the government, and that the sooner they were all dead, the happier the government would be! This was such an unusually cynical statement coming from my father that it brought me up short, but I remembered the comment. Sadly, nothing that I’ve seen in our government contradicts that viewpoint, and this is a prime example. I will be sending him a check today.

Hilltopbabe on December 29, 2008 at 11:52 am

You may remember Fern Hastings, the biotch from this:
http://www.redding.com/news/2008/dec/11/girls-fired-after-soak-in-sink/

Paul A'Barge on December 29, 2008 at 3:55 pm

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