Sunday, June 30, 2013

What would tyranny look like in America? Look around.

Congressman Jim Bridenstine asks the question on the House floor, and in 1 minute provides the answer. You can see his talk at here. Too bad that the Congressman only had a minute, but he didn't mince words, and his analysis was accurate and precise.

He noted in particular that Congress was partly to blame for delegating so much law making power to the Executive. Whether because they didn't know how these laws would be stretched and twisted, or because they did know, but wanted the onus for making unpopular decisions to fall on someone immune to We the People, they have created this Leviation, which seems to be beyond their ability to control. In the case of Fast and Furious, Eric Holder has been held to be in contempt of Congress. What are the consequences of that? Anyone? The IRS scandal drags on, with IRS agents apparently pleading the 5th and getting away with it. We still don't know who ordered the stand down of the military in the Benghazi scandal, and probably never will, at least not until the culprit is beyond justice. The Federal government is spying on American citizens, violating our 4th Amendment rights, and the only person who is taking consequences for it seems to be the whistle blower who called the NSA out, Edward Snowden.

Time was when Congress actually wrote the laws, for better or worse.  The Executive enforced the laws, and the Judiciary reviewed the laws in specific cases.  The alphabet soup of agencies came about with the progressive era, and the belief that life is too complicated for the average person.  Instead, good government consisted of having "experts" who know the gory details and would guide us, nudge us in the right direction.  The days of the renaissance man were dead, as human knowledge was growing too fast for anyone to keep up with it. 

But here's a funny thing that nobody predicted at the time.  A true "expert" on something tends to know a great deal about on thing, but less about anything else.  Now, in our daily lives this reliance on "experts" makes a great deal of economic sense.  We take our car to the car mechanic for repairs, and we go to the doctor when we are ill, because to know all about what medicines do what, and how to break down a car exhaust probably doesn't leave us much time to learn our own profession.  But does it make sense to give a car mechanic the power to tell everyone what to do?  He might decree that everyone must change their oil at 3,000 mile intervals on pain of a 10 year prison sentence.  You see, a persons expertise tends to blind him to other considerations.  His specialty area looms so large in his mind, that it can become all important, to the exclusion of other considerations.  This is what makes so many environmentalists zealots.

But it isn't only environmentalists.  Temperance crusaders, gun grabbers, some gun enthusiasts no doubt, and others become zealots unable to see that life consists in making decisions for oneself and one's family every day.  Too much salt in the diet causes some people to have high blood pressure.  So the zealots want to ban salt for everyone.  But of course most of us need salt, and a moderate amount improves the flavor of most foods.  The banning of salt in restaurants is just one example, and a petty one at that.  But this is just one example.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has jurisdiction of the navigable waters of the United States.  But they have stretched this jurisdiction to include jurisdiction of waters that flow into navigable waters, which pretty much includes any waterway in the United States.  Then they defined something they call an upland wetland.  Now this upland wetland doesn't have to be wet.  It merely has to have soil types that indicated that at one time, water flowed into this pocket.  So, you could dig a ditch, and after a few years, you would have yourself an upland wetland.  Now, in some jurisdictions, you can not disturb a wetland for various distances on either side, not even to mow it, or go walking in it.  Now imagine that the ditch runs in front of your house, and your house is in that zone?  Now it is unlikely that you will be booted out of your house, but the law is in place to allow them to do it.  Certainly people have been prevented from building a house on land they bought because of such laws.

This is what happens when you allow so called "experts" to make and interpret the laws, with little or no oversight.  You lose more and more of your liberty, because increasingly the decisions are taken out of your hands, and given to "experts" in Washington.  Nancy Pelosi said we had to pass the law to find out what was in it.  She said it with such enthusiasm, perhaps Ms. Pelosi likes surprises.  But the rest of us learned long ago not to buy a pig in a poke, and thats what Congress keeps foisting on us.  I am glad to see that at least one Congressman understands, and I pray he will get others to understand as well.  We have had 100 years of steady declines in liberty.  Perhaps its time to send the government "experts" packing.        

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