Police state comes to small-town Georgia

Big Brother’s Lemonade Squad strikes a blow for Big Government in small town Georgia. 

While most Americans are accustomed to police and government regulators employing heavy-handed tactics to limit and control virtually every facet of our business and personal lives in major cities (especially in California and the northeastern U.S.),  the police state is now reaching its tentacles into small towns and communities everywhere.  A police operation shutting down a young girl’s lemonade stand in the small Georgia coastal town of Midway, confirms there is no place in the country safe from overbearing police tactics lacking common sense.  

Just last week, Midway police shut down a lemonade stand operated by three girls because the youngsters did not have a business license, which would have cost $130 per year plus $50 a day. The girls simply had wanted to raise money so they could go to a local water park.  To accomplish this simple task, they turned to what was – in decades past – a normal way for kids to raise a little spending money and learn a bit about free enterprise at the same time.  No longer.  

As explained by Midway Police Chief Kelly Morningstar, her department had to shut down the lemonade stand, because neither the chief nor apparently anyone in the entire department was “aware of how the lemonade was made, who made the lemonade, [or] what the lemonade was made with.”  

Message to Chief Morningstar:  It’s lemonade, for heaven’s sake! Water, lemons, sugar and ice. Nothing complex; but apparently sufficiently mysterious to cause conniptions within Midway Police Department’s ranks.

Coincidentally, Verizon recently began running a commercial to promote the company’s wireless technology. In the ad, Susie is running a lemonade stand in her front yard; her father hands her a cell phone so she can use the calculator to total her sales. While her dad steps away, she uses his phone to convert her simple lemonade stand into a corporation and divide the neighborhood into sales regions for her friends. 

The commercial is humorous, but clearly the story line is fictitious.  Were the commercial true to life – at least in Midway, Georgia — the moment Susie tried to use her dad’s cell phone to expand her business, the police would swoop in and shut her down.  

The young girls in Midway, Georgia may not have learned much about free enterprise; but they sure received a hard lesson in overbearing and unthinking government.  That’s probably a more relevant lesson for this 21st Century, anyway. 

By Bob Barr – The Barr Code

116 comments Add your comment

Hillbilly D

July 20th, 2011
10:56 am

The whole issue of business licenses should be reviewed. It’s not really for public safety. It’s just a revenue raising measure.

The truest words I’ve read in these posts.

tar and feathers party

July 20th, 2011
11:05 am

“And don’t even think to grow your own vegetables in your front yard.” Plowing it under now boss!

David Shivers

July 20th, 2011
11:20 am

I guess the Midway police officers are graduates of the Barney Fife school of law enforcement: “You’ve to nip it. Nip it in the bud. Nip it!”


July 20th, 2011
11:23 am

I completely agree with your assessment that the issue is really about a revenue raising measure. Our “valuable” boys in blue most of the time are simply revenue raising tools, sitting in speed traps and ticketing us for not wearing seat belts (for our safety). While their attention is focused on extorting as much of our money as possible, our homes are being burglarized and our businesses are being held up. We are basically on our own to protect ourselves and the only time any attention is given to actually solving a crime is when someone gets killed.

Liberty isn't easy

July 20th, 2011
11:27 am

These are all places that used to be fun to hang out in and are now to dangerous to go to because of all the thugs. They used to be prosperous and now are not.


July 20th, 2011
11:27 am

The mayor should fire Chief Morningstar, or the voters should fire the mayor. One or the other.

Nino Greasemanelli (a.k.a. Sgt. Fury)

July 20th, 2011
11:56 am

The public outcry against the cops would be non-existent had the kids been 10 year-old African-Americans wearing a tank top and baggy shorts

Here comes the obligatory racial assumptions, with no need for facts to back it up.

You’re full of crap. Plenty of people would have been upset, regardless of their color.

Most normal, hardworking people are lot nicer & accepting than you’ll ever give them credit for.

But then again, without some kind of racial nonsense to stir up, people like Jesse Jackson and Big Al Sharpton wouldn’t have a gravy train to ride.

Lack of Freedom

July 20th, 2011
12:41 pm

Back during the first Depression a certain amount of freedom still existed in this country. People had the ability to attempt to be self-reliant. They could grow their own food without regulation and sell it without needing a license. They could take a job for a day or whenever they could, for cash, for whatever they could negotiate. They didn’t have to deal with today’s labor laws, minimum wage laws, witholding, Medicare, SS, etc taxes, etc. They could sell their kids old toys, books, clothes, etc. without having to get them tested and certified as being lead-free. They didn’t have the cops coming around looking for sales tax revenue or some other government compliance/revenue thing.

Where will we be as a nation when things get really bad? We have no freedom left to take care of ourselves (or is that the point?). Will people still believe enough in freedom to just not care about ridiculous laws? The whole point of the nullification movement is to finally get states to wake up to their tenth amendment rights to just not follow federal laws they feel are unconstitutional. If government is by the consent of the governed, what will happen when we withdraw our consent? Any will our elected folks act on our behalf when we demand that they stop enforcing laws that are forced upon us and them from above?

Serious questions await us in the very near future. It is a good thing to see such sentiments of rebellion in these posts. And sad of course to see the statist, compliant outcries of the sheep who worship the almighty state as if it were something more than a collection of fallible humans with no more right to victimize us than our fellow citizens have.

The simple belief that local code trumps personal liability says it all. If people are harmed by the product one produces, the producer is liable…period. The city should not be liable for not enforcing the law or otherwise. When did we arrive at this mentality. Whether or not there are codes, laws, etc. in place each piece of food is not tested nor drink chemically evaluated. There is still a personal responsibility for the safety of what you produce. A 100 from the health department doesn’t let you off the hook if you kill someone.

Unless we change OUR mentality and our perspective on what government’s role in our lives should be, it will continue to be the abusing totalitarian thing it is. We get the government we deserve.


July 20th, 2011
1:32 pm

Koolaid you are a worry wart. Its a kids lemonade stand for crying out loud. This isn’t they type of food product that will spoil or is remotely likely to make anybody sick. You say kids use the water hose to make lemonade on your street but that has never been my experience. Even if they did how does rat feces and pesticides get INSIDE a garden hose? In any case this is a sales issue not a health issue. If these young entrepreneurs wanted to give their product away the police would have left them alone.

John Monier

July 20th, 2011
1:47 pm

Am curious who edited Midway GA on Wikipedia? When I read it the other day it stated in the culture section that it was now nationally renowned for the bust. That fact has disappeared. Sounds like the officials have too much time on their hands again with all of the kids out of business.

Expand the SEX OFFENDER Registries Today

July 20th, 2011
1:52 pm

“Abuse of Authority” (July 20th, 2011
10:41 am):

Don’t forget the current, growing, worse-than-worthless U.S. Civil War of Registered Citizens (i.e. the war of the SEX OFFENDER Registries and the BS it has enabled). You can see flagrant abuses and immoral acts every single day from criminal nanny governments participating in the Civil War.

Moderate Line

July 20th, 2011
3:19 pm


July 20th, 2011
9:10 am
Moderate Line – If you are waiting for the trains to show up before you recognize that this country has ALREADY become a police state then you are going to be too late to respond. The modern day police state will look exactly like the US does today – cameras everywhere (and not to watch traffic), laws against EVERYTHING, laws passed just for revenue creation, laws against food freedom, laws against vitamin freedom, laws against free speech, prosecutorial misconduct on a widespread basis, laws against medical freedom, etc. This small town is just another example of how the government has gotten beyond out of control.
Yes, I can see how the Khmer Rouge started out taking away peoples “vitamin freedom”. I believe that was the first step. Also, you talk about prosecutional misconduct as the country rails against a women who was charges with murdering her son.

Moderate Line

July 20th, 2011
3:23 pm

Whats next? Are they going to go after all of the teenage boys out cutting the neighbors lawns. Maybe I shouldn’t give them ideas. BTW @Moderate Line… it’s not just happening in Midway, GA. It has been happening all over the country in the past couple of years. We can no longer teach our children personal responsibility. If we take away their ability to earn a few pennies for themselves, we force them to rely on mommy and daddy for hand-outs… sounds like Obamacare to me.
Yes we can. The city if it desires can change the law to allow such activities. This is a town of 1100 people. Do they not have the right to run their town as they see fit. What I see as a greater danger is the anti-democratic statements from people like yourself. Most police states start with the destruction of democracy from people who are looking for for some reason to curb democracy based on some fear.


July 20th, 2011
4:09 pm

Moderate Line – That’s the best you can do to rebut my arguments? I guess you will be one who finally complains as the train is pulling out of the station. Each totalitarian regime in history has started slowly and with measures that were “for the good of the people.” I don’t know the total history of the Khmer Rouge and what freedoms they took away first – but neither do you. What I do know is the history of this country and how much freedom has been lost. Huge amounts were lost right after the war against the south, huge amounts were lost during the Progressive era in the early 1900’s, the New Deal destroyed even more, but some of the worst abuses have happened since 9-11, all under the guise of the war on terror.

And as for prosecutorial abuse, it might interest you to know that the software the prosecution used to analyse Casey Anthony’s searches (you remember, the ones that were supposedly for chloroform) has significant flaws. The programmer made this clear in a report to the prosecution during the trial but the prosecution witheld the information from the defense and the jury and made it clear more than a few times that she absolutely made dozens of searches for chloroform.

Then of course there was the Duke lacross prosecution – lies from one end of the case to the other. Another case in northern GA against a teacher accused of child abuse was riddled with prosecutor lies and evidence coverup. The lists are very long. I read several blogs from folks who cover trials all over the country and expose prosecutorial abuse. You may not want to believe that our justice system has a problem, but to hide your head in denial doesn’t change the facts. Here is a great site to check out if you are willing to do some of your own reading on the issue and aren’t afraid of what you might learn:



July 20th, 2011
4:13 pm

Oh, and the Casey Anthony trial shows clearly that prosecutors are also incompetent. The nation isn’t railing. Some folks who don’t understand the law are upset. They are blaming 12 people who came to a unanimous decision rather than an overzealous prosecutor out for blood who should have charged Casey with charges more fitting the evidence they had. As one juror said – they asked us to decide on the fate of someone’s life. If we had decided guilty without sound evidence, we would be guilty of murder.


July 20th, 2011
4:14 pm

Ok…so all you dimwits that say this is a health issue…all they have to do is go and buy their fees to be properly permitted to sell the lemonade. How is it going to be determined where they got their water or ongredients any more than you can get sick from eating at a restaurant. This isn’t a public health issue. It is only a fee issue…another tax adn government intrusion in our lives.

Don't Tread

July 20th, 2011
4:27 pm

I spent a lot of Friday and Saturday nights in the old Buckhead party district back in the 80s. Fun times.

I wouldn’t set foot down there now. They can keep it.


July 20th, 2011
6:11 pm

Koolaid, you’re a blithering idiot. The chief should have bought two Dixie Cups of the lemonade for herself instead of being a thuggish douchebag. Don’t worry, this WILL be the last job this chief ever gets in law enforcement. No other department, especially state or federal, will ever hire her..


July 20th, 2011
6:54 pm


Strange Murphy

July 20th, 2011
7:56 pm

Woman police chief! There’s where you’re problem lies!


July 20th, 2011
8:24 pm

if these were blk kids then BARR and the rest of you citizens concerned about a police state would be silent. the little girls didnt have a permit so they were breaking the law.


July 20th, 2011
9:57 pm

[...] Police state comes to small-town Georgia | The Barr Code. Share this:EmailFacebookRedditDiggPrint Posted in Government, Law, Opinion – Tagged [...]

Painful Truth

July 21st, 2011
12:12 am

Maybe the nanny State should grocery shop with us to ensure we get the proper lemonaid.


July 21st, 2011
7:25 am

Maybe the owner of the ice cream shop down the street called the cops to squash the competition these teenagers were creating. Using the strong arm of the law to boost corporate profits has always been perfectly fine with “god fearin’” conservatives.


July 21st, 2011
8:11 am

9000 Americans are fatally poisoned to death annually and are currently pushing up perennial daisies because they ate food and drank liquids served to them by the food industry which is regulated and inspected penurially.

If we allow children to poison us with adulterated lemonade then there’s no reason to inspect beef or poultry. Why don’t we just let the food industry police itself so that we can all contract botulism, salmonella, airborn ecoli-ebola, listeria and clostridium?

I mean, I haven’t enjoyed the steady drip drip drip of Montezuma’s Revenge in years. Why can’t I have the same fun the citizens of Midway have?


July 21st, 2011
8:14 am


Dirty Dawg

July 21st, 2011
9:18 am

Be careful Bob, when you’ve got Keith Olbermann saying nice things about your willingness to look at things objectively, you stand a good chance of losing your right-wing ‘creds’.


July 21st, 2011
9:19 am

liberalefty – I consistently argue against the failed war on drugs and frankly there is not a more racist police state policy in america today. I think its time for you to stop being the racist here. Plenty of us cared about the growing police state under Bush and are just as upset as the current administration.


July 21st, 2011
9:25 am

One need only look at the response the office killing generated yesterday to see what the real story is with cops in this nation. I saw over 35 cop cars racing down 285 on the east side alone yesterday. When one of us mundanes is killed nobody cares. There may be a car or two that shows up, but generally no serious manhunt, etc. In both cases there may be an armed gunman on the loose who might do harm to others. The difference is that cops feel that they are special and deserve special treatment. They of course signed up for a job that might put them in harm’s way. The innocent person sitting at home when the robbers kick in the door didn’t. The public is just as at risk of future harm in both cases, but when a cop gets killed they ACTUALLY care about extracting justice.

Again, a marketplace of private security companies that we all contract with or that are part of insurance policies, etc. could easily replace the current government law enforcement folks. At least then they would have to answer to their customers rather than brining down their jack boots on the necks of those who pay their salaries, just because their masters in government leadership wish to inflict more pain on the electorate.

Father Murphy

July 21st, 2011
9:31 am

Its funny how the far right and the far left have the same views of the police. Fanatics are all the same.

round about way.....

July 21st, 2011
9:48 am

having recently dealt with the state while setting up a small, side business, bakery, it is clear that there are way too many bureaucrats sitting around with nothing to do. the labeling, the exemptions for nutrtional info, and so on. more worried about the label than whether i am cleaning my sinks and equipment. anyhoo..i digress….. hopefully these girls will learn some kind of lesson from this. my hope is that the lesson will be ways to buck the system.
if someone ASKS them for lemonade, there is no licensing required. the girls cannot solicit business, but if friends and neighbors happen to mention that these girls might be able to prepare a cup of fresh lemonade then no harm no foul.
get back out on the street ladies!!! thumb your noses at the system!!! and pour up some yummy, unadvertised, unlicensed lemonade!!


July 21st, 2011
10:34 am

The ignorant you can educate, the psychotic you can medicate, but for the Stoooped – - – it can’t be helped.


July 21st, 2011
11:02 am

Violation of 4th Amendment rights, freedom of privacy and freedom to be secure in ones self. Imagine how insecure these poor innocent girls must feel to be singled out by the Sheriff for prosecution. it harks back to the 40s.


July 21st, 2011
11:19 am

Bob failed to inform us whether the lemonade stand was set up in a child’s front yard. This is generaly were these benign “days of past” lemonade stands are erected. Now, if the girls set one up in front of the WalMart, or similar location, I understand the legal requirements. Bob – may you enlighten us on the specifics?


July 21st, 2011
11:20 am

@watchdog = ” how insecure these poor innocent girls must feel to be singled out ” >> Oh dear, maybe they’ll be ruined for life since they are such victims. They have now joined that club, huh ? We have become a nation of babies…everybody is always crying that someone is always doing something which always hurt their feelings, making them feel so insecure, etc. etc. This reality is eveywhere you look. We have become a country of weaklings always crying out for mommy.

The outrage over this incident is a joke since it really is so trite compared to other real and significant events.


July 21st, 2011
11:28 am

Prayer to Montezuma: “Spare the good people of Midway Georgia from the consequences of drinking uninspected and unpasteurized lemonade made by untrained food workers, oh kind sir.

Montezuma Speaks

July 21st, 2011
11:30 am

“There is only one solution: Sterilize the lemonade with Grey Goose Vodka. Only then can I promise no one will reap my revenge. Montezuma has spoken.”


July 21st, 2011
11:46 am

Stop the race card. This is about little girls trying to raise money to go to the park!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.


July 21st, 2011
11:53 am

Tell me..if people were hospitalized and died in Midway GA of food poisoning, and the source of this poisoning was traced to the lemonade stand (where one of the girls went to the restroom and forgot to wash her hands), you all here rambling and railing about police excesses will be the first group of people shouting and foaming at the mouth wondering why authorities did not shut down their operation..

You all here have no idea what ingridients were used to make the lemonade..if they were expired..if they were spiked..if they were (unknowingly) mixed with a deadly substance..! It is very easy to look @ it solely from the point of view as cops becoming too “excessive”..however there is the other side of the coin that they may have saved someone’s life, which is what they were called to do in the first place. If you do not like their actions, take steps to remove the police force in Miltton..thats what i thought, no takers!

We have become a country of left or right wings with increasingly no middle wingers..and asuch, we view things from those two lenses which are very skewed!

I’m not saying that there are no bad/dirty cops. They are..but for every 1 bad cop, you have 10 good cops who don their uniform everyday without knowing if that day will be their last on this earth. Hence, i dont hold them any grudges if they take every precaution (yes, some of them might be excessive) to ensure that they come home everynight to hold their little girls and boys!


July 21st, 2011
12:22 pm

OMG! I just viewed the Matt Damon movie “Adjustment Bureau”. Don’t rent this movie. Don’t watch it when it comes to TMC or AMC or any network. Illogical plot twists are explained by multiple shrugs from the main protagonist accompanied by his constant refrain of “That son of a beach!” as his pursuit of Matt Damon is foiled by multiple Deux et Machina’s that allow the writer to be such a creative tool. Creativity is the worst affliction that can beset a writer. For sure.

I hate all movies now, and I wish to be put to death by drinking hemlock – luckily for me the girl scouts next door have a sidewalk hemlock stand, well, it’s supposed to be a lemonade stand but these Children-of-the-Corn-Syrup entrepreneurial fiends not only never wash their filthy little paws but they also use a garden hose to replenish their inventory. Their lemonade may as well be hemlock.

Historical note: Socrates did not commit suicide, you know. Instead he suckered for the lemonade that his neighbor’s brats had offered him on the sidewalk outside his home. His immune system could handle neither the pesticides, nor the rat feces, nor the itzy bitzy spiders that had hid themselves inside the damn garden hose the horrid kids had used to refill their glass pitchers with.

After “Adjustment Bureau”, I go gladly to my death.


July 21st, 2011
12:23 pm

Just another daily example of common police behavior in Police State USA:



July 21st, 2011
12:24 pm

As explained by Midway Police Chief Kelly Morningstar, her department had to shut down the lemonade stand, because neither the chief nor apparently anyone in the entire department was “aware of how the lemonade was made, who made the lemonade, [or] what the lemonade was made with.”

I wonder if the good Chief or anyone in her department knows how food is made or what’s in it at the local McDonald’s or any other restaurant.

John Daly

July 21st, 2011
12:49 pm

So, are they going to bust all the Girl Scouts come cookie time?

Tranny Crapzilla

July 21st, 2011
12:51 pm


Poll: Weakened Obama would lose vote today



July 21st, 2011
1:04 pm

@ Ram guy..

“I wonder if the good Chief or anyone in her department knows how food is made or what’s in it at the local McDonald’s or any other restaurant…”

She does. They happen to be called food inspectors which have the power to shut down an establishment that does not meet the health standards..

Tell me, if your son drank the lemonade and died of food poisoning as the innocent girls mistakenly mixed the lemonade with a cleaning agent, wouldnt you have railed and foamed at the authorities (be it her parents, extended family or the police) for not shutting down their operation (even though they had good intentions?)


July 21st, 2011
1:11 pm

@ Tranny Crapzilla..Calling people names, or having re-mixing people’s blog names is truly childish.

Thats the problem with this country. We (Right, Left, Teabaggers) are so myopic and obessed with our various political affiliations that we fail to see logic/reason/sense in any other political view even if it is as stark as white bold lettering’s on a blackboard. We have become a nation of slanders, idiotic political posturing and demagoguery which only serves to appeal to the prejudices, emotions, fears, vanities and expectations of the public (whether or not they are real or unfounded).

Of course the politicians we elect only go to the congress to simply do the wishes of their electorate..and we wonder why we are at this point?

Ed Graham

July 21st, 2011
1:27 pm

I just saw a Girl Scout Cookies stand set up in my neighborhood. I’ve called the Midway PD. The SWAT team is on the way.


July 21st, 2011
1:33 pm

@Clueless She does. They happen to be called food inspectors which have the power to shut down an establishment that does not meet the health standards

No she doesn’t. Inspections are few and far between and they usually know they are coming. The inspections are general in nature and they have checklist to go by. I don’t see them trying to breakdown what’s in KFC’s secret recipe. Yeah we are always hearing about about poison being in Lemonade stands huh? You’re more likely to get sick eating eating slaw from a vendor at fairs and festivals cities and towns host.

Winfield J. Abbe

July 21st, 2011
1:50 pm

In the Communist politically correct cesspool of Athens Clarke County, illegal stands sell barbeque with no proper sanitary facilities or license or refrigeration but the government and health department look the other way because they don’t want to offend those violating the law. Hundreds of homeless live in filth and squalor with no proper sanitation, water, electricity or garbage removal as required of all others, defecating and urinating on the ground, while both the corrupt city of Athens and the corrupt Georgia Health Department both look the other way because of political correctness as they don’t want to look bad enforcing the law on those risking the rest of the area with diseases and more. This is called corruption and the State of Georgia is just as responsible for its failure to regulate the outlaw local yokels here. Georgia is like Haiti. The law is only enforced on responsible people who have the money to pay the illegal fines and respond to the threats of extortion by the corrupt government officials.