The decline of America, perhaps surprisingly, can be traced directly to the Nixon administration. Surprising, because the Left hated Tricky Dick with a passion that can only be compared with the passion that animates the never-Trump crowd: sheer, animal loathing. Surprising, because Nixon was the most domestically liberal, if not actually leftist, president we’ve had until Obama. Surprising, because to this day old Nixon-haters still foam at the mouth at the very thought of the man who took down the “pink lady,” Helen Gahagan Douglas, and saved Israel in 1973; a year later, of course, they finally sacked him over Watergate.
But it was during the first Nixon administration that the hideous monstrosity of the Environmental Protection Agency came into being by executive order, along with its ugly twin, the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Seemingly innocuous and well-intentioned at the time, both agencies have metastasized, their original missions completed and now forever on the prowl for something else to meddle with. They’re both unconstitutional, of course, but what’s even worse is that they’ve turned into rogue agencies, issuing edicts, orders and regulations largely devoid of congressional scrutiny — pure instruments of executive power, with none to gainsay them.
To get an idea of just hoe obnoxious and intrusive these do-gooder agencies have become, get a load of this from Lou Ann Rieley, who owns a farm in Delaware:
This week a young rancher in Wyoming, Andy Johnson, won a battle for private property rights against one of the bureaucratic entities that strikes fear in the hearts of farmers and ranchers nationwide, the Environmental Protection Agency.
Johnson fought back against a mandate from the EPA to dismantle a pond that he had built on his own land with the required state permits. Fines totaling $16 million were imposed before they were finally overturned in the wake of his court victory.
As I read about his ordeal I thought back through the years that I have managed our small family farm and the many times we have been harassed by government busy-bodies who thought it was in their purview to question us, investigate us, intrude on us, and regulate us.
Let’s stop right there. (You can read all about the Johnson case, which ought to outrage every real American, here.) Sixteen million dollars in fines? For what?
A Wyoming man threatened with $16 million in fines over the building of a stock pond reached a settlement with the Environment Protection Agency, allowing him to keep the pond without a federal permit or hefty fine. Andy Johnson, of Fort Bridger, Wyoming obtained a state permit before building the stock pond in 2012 on his sprawling nine-acre farm for a small herd of livestock.
Not long after construction, the EPA threatened Johnson with civil and criminal penalties – including the threat of a $37,500-a-day fine — claiming he needed the agency’s permission before building the 40-by-300 foot pond, which is filled by a natural stream.
“The Agency’s permission.” The proper response to which from a freeborn American citizen is: shove it.
Now back to Mrs. Rieley’s story of irrational government intrusion:
A few years ago we received a notice that there was suspicious material piled behind our commercial poultry houses that looked like it may be illegally piled manure. Airplane surveillance photos showed large piles of material and had to be investigated by the powers-that-be. We got a letter informing us that inspectors would be coming on our farm and we could not refuse to extend our hospitality to them. We complied and they discovered, as we had told them, it was piles of dirt. Our sons were practicing moving dirt with the new front-end loader. After having gained entrance to our property they insisted on being granted complete access to every part of the farm even though there were no violations.
I looked outside one day to see two men that I did not recognize poking around our barn area. I watched them for a few minutes then went outside to question what they were doing. They informed me they were from the SPCA and had received an anonymous tip that someone in the area had a horse that was limping and it might be us. I told them there was none that I was aware of but they could look at the horses if they wished. They inspected the horses and found nothing wrong.
I asked who had made the complaint but was denied the information citing the privacy right of the tipster. I quoted the 4th Amendment to the Constitution and my right to be secure from unreasonable searches. Needless to say, that did not go over well and the investigators began to look for other things that could be violations of animal welfare since I dared to question their authority. I asked again who made the complaint that instigated their investigation and they told me that I could never know unless I was charged with something and went to court. I demanded that they charge me so I could have my day in court but they refused since they could find no violations, but not before threatening my property. These men demanded my vet records, which by law they had no right to access. It did not matter, they were the voice of government authority and I had to comply…or else.
Read the whole thing: this is like something out of Kafka’s The Trial. Faceless bureaucrats with guns arriving on your doorstep one fine day in order to investigate a citizen who is not even under suspicion. The Constitution doesn’t matter to them, nor do legalistic protestations, nor simple human decency. No, armed with nothing more than their own impunity, agents from EPA or OSHA or any other federal agency with a SWAT team (which is most of them) can simply make demands on citizens in the name of “regulations.”
This is the inevitable result of ceding representative government to cabals of empowered clerks. Recall that while Republicans talk a good game about “limited government,” in fact they’re almost as big proponents of Big Government as the Democrats, and promises to the contrary are just a ruse to sucker the rubes into voting for the junior wing of the Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Party, so we all can pretend to believe in democracy.
But democracy is null and void in the face of faceless tyranny like the EPA, which cannot reform itself, and will never stop until it is put out of business, dismantled and its buildings pulled down around its ears. “Mission creep” is the order of the day for the creeps who run these rogue enterprises; I’ll believe in smaller government the day I see wrecking balls outside the departments of energy and education, for starters. But until all Americans make like Mrs. Rieley and say, “This far and no more!” we will continue on our downward spiral from citizens to serfs.