Rule Five Friday

2015_08_21_Rule Five Friday (1)This just in (well, two days ago) from the always-worth-reading Dr. Victor Davis Hanson:  Out-of-Control Big Government Is Destroying Us.  Excerpt:

Social observers from Aristotle and Juvenal to James Madison and George Orwell have all warned of the dangers of out-of-control government. Lately, we have seen plenty of proof that they were frighteningly correct.

The Environmental Protection Agency spilled 3 million gallons of toxic sludge into a tributary of the Animas River in Colorado. The stinky yellow flume of old mine waste — rife with cancer-causing mercury and arsenic — threatens to pollute the drinking and recreational water of three states.

Had a private oil company acted so incompetently and negligently, it would have been fined billions of dollars by the same EPA. The company’s top executives might have been subject to criminal prosecutions. The business‘ reputation would have been tarnished for years. Just ask BP officials what the Obama administration did to the corporation after the Deepwater 2015_08_21_Rule Five Friday (2)Horizon oil spill of 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico.

But who’ll police the green police at the EPA?

When EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy promises the agency will take “full responsibility,” what does that tired banality mean? Will she resign? Will bureaucrats responsible for the toxic spill face fines and jail sentences? Will residents be able to sue McCarthy and her subordinates for diminishing their quality of life? Will the Sierra Club and the Environmental Defense Fund rush to federal court to file briefs?

I think I can answer Dr. Hanson’s questions:  Nobody, nothing, no, no, no and no.

2015_08_21_Rule Five Friday (3)That’s the trouble with our multiple layers of Imperial bureaucracy.  No accountability; not even a pretense of such.  They aren’t elected, thanks to the efforts of public-sector unions they are almost impossible to fire.  Bureaucrats in positions of authority in unConstitutional agencies like the EPA have every incentive to intrude on the affairs of ordinary citizens, who usually have no recourse but to comply.  The courts of late have been small comfort; they rule routinely against freedom of association and against private property rights.

What’s more, these people are compensated far better than anyone at comparable level in the private sector.  This isn’t just true at the Federal Imperial level; for example, city managers of bankrupt communities in California are pulling down seven figures.  Public sector employees are often exempt from the perfectly horrible Social Security, instead enjoying comfortable defined-benefit pensions, 2015_08_21_Rule Five Friday (4)something that disappeared from the private sector decades ago.

So, what do we taxpayers receive in return for this largesse?  One line comes to mind:

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

It’s true that history may not repeat, but it often rhymes.  Two hundred and some years ago our ancestors fought a bloody revolution over just the sort of Imperial overreach that we suffer today.

Dr. Hanson concludes:  Under Obama, there is also a more disturbing trend: the equation of big government with social justice and hostility to 2015_08_21_Rule Five Friday (5)private enterprise. If the EPA and other federal agencies are felt to be on the “right side” of fairness and equality, then why object when their means to supposedly noble ends violate or neglect the law?

Big government has become the new Terminator, at war with those who created it, who fund it — and who must obey it.

Once again, Dr. Hanson has nailed it – but do we actually have to obey? Last time I checked, civil disobedience was still a thing – and may be our best recourse to Imperial overreach.

SkyNet hasn’t won yet, True Believers, but the day is drawing close.

2015_08_21_Rule Five Friday (6)