Tag Archives: government intrusion

Water, Water, Everywhere

It is with alarm that thinking people are very concerned about the latest legislation proposed in Congress to expand the authority of the EPA to regulate and control another vital area of our economy and private lives.  The EPA from its inception has had the power unfortunately to control and regulate the “navigable waters” of the US.   That phrase has a long and well established history in the law under the Commerce clause of the Constitution.  The interpretation is sadly over broad in the first instance.  It has historically meant that the waters had to be large enough to support shipping.

The Courts over the years have further refined that definition to mean waters that can be modified to support shipping.  Thus a pretty small creek already was subject to Federal regulation.   The large rivers and lakes throughout the US have long be also subject to the control and regulation of the US Corps of Engineers.  Over the last three decades though the Corps has become in many instances nothing more than a branch office for the EPA.  The Corp mostly only regulates for safety issues such as dams, levees and the like.  It is the EPA that gets to swing the big stick of control by enforcing its rule to protect the water if any activity or agents are deemed to have a material “impact” on the quality of the water.  Of course the EPA gets to determine what is an “impact” and what will affect quality.   No one argues against have clean and safe water for our personal use or our industrial use.  The rub comes when the EPA is setting regulations to support some much large social or policy agenda and uses its powers to further those aims which are well beyond its original precept.   Such as a green agenda or a climate change agenda.  That is well beyond assuring safe, clean water.

The new legislation being proposed will drop the word “navigable” from the law.  So that the EPA has jurisdiction over all the “waters” of the US.  Under the already existing laws the EPA was allowed to regulate and control not just the navigable waters but all  the drainage areas and basins that affected the river or lake.  That is already a huge slice of America.  Now with the broader definition they can expand exponentially their powers to regulate.  Every drainage ditch, creek that you literally could step over and all those private ponds and livestock tanks in the US will be subject to EPA regs.   You might just roll your eyes and say well, it won’t have any effect on me in Milwaukee or Kansas City.   You better think again.  Those private livestock tanks number in the hundreds of thousands.  Likewise there are countless little creeks and rills running throughout the country that ultimately feed into one of the larger rivers.   Cattlemen have dug out and created Lord only knows how many thousands of these things.  It might not be much of an issue on the Upper West Side of Manhattan but it is everywhere else, especially west of the Mississippi.

Can you imagine the cost to ranchers of cattle, sheep, goats and horses and any other livestock if they have to control the drainage into and out of those tanks?  They use chemicals on their ranches, the livestock create their own mess by heeding the call of nature where the mood strikes them including when they are standing on the bank of the water tank.   They will be able to dictate what you can do with your yard and garden area if you have a little rill running behind your house that is three feet wide but your land drains into it.   They might decide those composts plots for your tomatoes are a danger to everyone downstream.  You think that is an exaggeration?    Who would have thought the Feds would issue rules to protect a 1 inch fish that no one cares about that jeopardize the livelihood of thousands of farmers in central California?  Never underestimate the thirst for power and control of a Federal bureaucrat or Federal judge supporting them.

The EPA will be able to control any discharge of any chemical, including natural chemical like compost matter over virtually the entire US.  Just look at a map or take a drive out West and look at all those water tanks.  They will be able to control all drainage issues to and from those creeks and tanks.  You likely will have to get a permit to dam up a small creek on your own property even if it is miles from any “public” water source.   Your livestock might  die waiting for the approval process to be completed.  But, hey, we’ll stimulate the economy because of all those thousands of extra Federal employees that will be needed to make up rules and enforce them.   Between the new EPA hires and those at the IRS to enforce the health care mandates we will be able to tax, spend and regulate our way out of the recession.  The Feds aren’t just a menace but are menacing.   It is a long way from Cody, Wyoming to Washington but we are told those folks who’ve never been west of the Appalachia chain know best about everything and they are only doing it for our own good.  Gee, I have more faith in the public myself, I think they can usually get what is best for them without outside help.

“There is no nonsense so arrant that is cannot be made the creed of the vast majority by adequate governmental action.  B. Russel  http://www.olcranky.wordpress.com

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Watch Who You Invite To Dinner–They Might Eat You

That old saw about being careful what you ask for because you just might get it is often really true.   This can be especially true with the direction and power of government “we” claim we want to embrace.  They always start off with promises of help; they are coming to the rescue and will help you with a particular problem that seems to big for you to manage on your own. 

At the beginning of the 5th century the Roman empire was in the last stages of its decline.  It had withdrawn at this time from Britain where it had ruled supreme for over 350 years.  Britain during that period was as much a Roman province as any other.  But the Empire was in decline and the last of its troops left for the Continent to fight the rear guard actions against the advancing Barbarians who were nibbling at every border of the Empire.  You may recall the movie about King Arthur made a few years ago where it was implied that Arthur was in fact one of the last of the Roman commanders and that he rose from the ashes of the Empire in Britain.  A romantic notion but there is no historical evidence to support that theory.  But we do know for a fact that in the mid 5th century that a local king named Vortigern gained a precarious control of most of southern Britain.  As usual he was having trouble with the Scots and even with many of his nearer neighbors who weren’t completely on board with the idea of a single government ruling the land.  He had rebellions locally and outright threats of invasion from the Scots.  The Scots had been troublesome for centuries.  That is why the Romans built Hadrian’s Wall during the reign of that Emperor.  It is quite impressive.  It is not as large as the Chinese Wall but very vast nonetheless.  It was erected along the border with the Scots specifically to keep them out.

Vortigern’s armies, if you could even call them that, were relatively small and had lost all their cutting edge after the departure of the Romans.  His rule was tenuous.  So he looked around for some help with his domestic discord and lack of military prowess.  He turned to the Saxons of coastal Germany.  He sent envoys to negotiate with them to come as mercenaries to bolster his arms.  Terms were reached and the Saxons came.  At first it was a very small group  estimated to be no more than a few boatloads of them to the east coast of Britain.  The leaders of this first band of Saxons were Hengist and Horsa and they liked what they saw.  They were given small encampments for their men and then their families plus they got supplies.  It worked for a while and the Saxons suggested even more troops and a permanent settlement near the Picts to thwart any advances by them.  Soon it was thousands.   Soon the Saxons realized that they really didn’t need the permission of the Brits to come there.  They liked the land.  More came and soon they were doing pretty much as they pleased and were not under the control of any Britain,
Vortigern or any other. 

Over a period of a century or so others came.  The Angles joined the slow conquest of the Isle.  They gave the name to the language we speak today.  The Jutes came along also.  There never was a D-Day or a singular invasion like with William the Conqueror some 500 years later.  A local prince or chieftain would decide to move to Britain and outfit his fleet and equip the people and off they would go to another unoccupied spot in Britain.   They were promised land, slaves, and spoils of their local victories and they took advantage of those military victories.  Within a period of a century Britain was now an Anglo-Saxon domain.  They were not guest, mercenaries or even conquerors any longer, they were the people of Britain.  The were invited to dinner and decided they liked the house so much they just moved in and dispossessed the prior owners.

There is a lesson there.   Choose your direction and associates very carefully.  A promise of aid and assistance might lead to more than you bargained for.  Someone is always in charge–a dictator, a State, a people.  Our secret in western civilization is that mostly we have had the people in charge.  Ever instance of a dictator or State being in charge has ended badly.

Wow, you can jump with glee.  You soon will have 16,500 new folks with the Federal government to help you.  That is the number of new IRS agents to be hired under the health care bill to enforce the taxes and penalties imposed on individuals and companies.  I didn’t realize it was such a big jobs bill.  Gosh, I can’t wait to give them even more money to ride our backs.  http://www.olcranky.wordpress.com

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