Way back in the days of the ancients, in the late 1960s/early 1970s, there was a radio program called Life Line that was broadcast daily on many stations in the U.S. The commentator was someone named Melvin Munn. Printed copies of these short Life Line "Freedom Talks" were also available. The fine print at the end of each "Freedom Talk" stated: LIFE LINE MATERIAL MAY BE REPRODUCED WITH OR WITHOUT CREDIT. The price was noted as 3 for 25¢, or a one-year subscription (a weekly mailing of 7 commentaries) for only $5.00. The staff of 101Bananas.com recently discovered a stash of old "Freedom Talks" in the back of a closet beneath a stack of very old Playboy magazines and decided to transcribe several of them for the web. Reading them today you can't help but be amazed they have only become more relevant over the past 50 years than they were when first broadcast.

Life Line Freedom Talk

A Daily Radio Commentary By
Life Line
Dallas, Texas 75206
August 8, 1970



       Stanley Yankus, Jr., was a Dowagiac, Michigan, farmer who sought to plant wheat, feed it to his chickens, and sell eggs on the market. Stanley’s father migrated from Lithuania to America, searching for freedom. The freedom he sought has been denied his son. Listen to Stanley Yankus’s testimony before a committee of Congress:

       Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee. Permit me to express my deep appreciation for the opportunity given me to very briefly call attention to one of the inevitable results which follow the enforcement of the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938, as amended.
       The following is a very brief statement of what I would like to say and I hope that after it is read, I may be permitted to enlarge upon the present situation.
       What will happen if the present trend in government continues, in my opinion, based upon my experiences, is that the people of the United States of America will no longer be free and independent, nor will this be a 'free' nation.
       My name is Stanley Yankus. I have lived on my 100-acre farm since April, 1943. I raise wheat and barley and feed it all to my chickens. I have never signed an agreement with the A.S.C. (Agriculture Stabilization and Conservation Board). I have never accepted any subsidies.
       In the fall of 1953, an A.S.C. agent said I could not raise wheat and feed it to my chickens. I thought this was contrary to everything American. I asked the A.S.C. man how I would be able to make a living if I couldn't use my land. In 1954, my wheat fines equaled my entire net income. That particular year 1,100 chickens died in ten days from a bad disease. Eggs were cheap, and feed was high due to support prices. My wife and I made only $1,000 that year.
       In the year 1955 I was fined about $1,034. The March issue of Reader's Digest magazine has an article entitled, 'The Strange Crime of Stanley Yankus.' What is my crime? A man does have to commit an offense to get fined or punished. I did not sell my wheat—so my offense is not selling wheat. Then my offense had to be using land for producing crops.
       Now, Congressmen, I would like to put the shoe on the other foot. You have passed laws permitting the Bureau of Reclamation to put new land into production. In the year 1955 alone, the Bureau of Reclamation added 136,000 acres of land into production. So who is more guilty of the strange crime of producing crops? The Bureau of Census also states that 6 million bushels of wheat were imported in 1955. I did not add to the surplus of wheat, but you did since you have the power to regulate imports.
       During the years 1954 to 1958 inclusive, I was fined $4,562 plus interest and costs. Because many of the farmers in my situation had been through courts and received adverse decisions, I decided to appeal through the press to the American people. The Detroit Times was the first large newspaper in the nation to champion my cause.
       The division of power—legislative, executive, and judicial—has been a fundamental concept of English and American law.
       The A.S.C. has nullified this concept, because a bureaucrat in the Department of Agriculture can write a regulation through the Federal Register which has the effect of law. The A.S.C. can and does execute and administer these laws, and the A.S.C. acts as judge and jury in determining a farmer's guilt. I am not fighting for the right to grow wheat. I am fighting for the right to own property. If I am forbidden the use of my land, then I do not own it. My rights do not extend much beyond the right to pay taxes. This is tyranny.
       The Fifth Amendment of the Constitution says no person shall "be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due processes of law." The right to trial by jury is one of the due processes of law which has been denied to me.
       My right to liberty should certainly be my right to earn my own living on my own farm.
       Federal law should apply equally to all citizens. But in only 36 states are there wheat restrictions. Thus I am a second-class citizen because I live in a state where restrictions are imposed.
       For five years my wheat allotment has been about 10 acres per year. Since I began to seek publicity, the A.S.C. gave me an allotment of 28 acres for 1959. This is ample proof that allotments are established arbitrarily.
       Not only have I fed all the grain I have raised, but I have purchased $12,000 worth of commercial chicken feed each year. This feed contains wheat and so I have been reducing the surplus of wheat.
       I have not harmed any other farmers. I have earned my own living. I have paid my taxes. How can you Congressmen justify the laws which have destroyed my means of making a living?
       Many people have told me that I would lose everything by opposing these wheat laws. What is everything? Money is of no value to a slave. I think freedom is everything.

       Stanley Yankus moved himself and his family to Australia. Who could blame him? If a man cannot survive in one place, he must go where he can.