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Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

It is dangerous to be right...

...when the government is wrong. 

 

Title of a new book by Judge Andrew Napolitano.  A Libertarian tome I haven't read yet, but it sounds interesting.  If nothing else, the title speaks volumes. 

 

It IS dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.  We have fought two occasions of tyranny, once over the right to farm on Mike's homeplace, and once with the VA DOT over ownership of some land of mine that they wanted someone to steal for them.  Even they knew they could not make a case for eminent domain.   

 

Got the money for the legal team back the second time, wish I had for the first.  Oh, well, it was tuition in the School of Hard Knocks. 

 

Anyone want to share an instance of government overreaching, either that you have observed, or from your own experience? 

 

 

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26 Replies
k-289
Senior Advisor

Re: It is dangerous to be right...

We are experiencing this in Nebraska as we speak about this pipeline from Canada to Texas---politicians ""waffling "" on this with our Senate election race coming up having a barring on what is ""appropriate"" to say---pipeline folks went to ranchers and farmers and used inappropriate tactics of emanate domain while our Goveror said last spring it was a "done deal" now is calling a special session of our elected officals---seems this is a ""hauting"" time of year for politictions ---thinking about previous Gov. Kay Orr and Nebraska's nucleror waste dump fiasco has them thinking "'what if""---or our NDEQ trying to talk their way out of the mont. wells saying 100+---

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Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

Re: It is dangerous to be right...

I remember when we were involved in a high-profile right-to-farm lawsuit against our county, in 1993, getting a  phone call from a funny little man. 

 

He was one of those characters who will hold the government's feet to the fire, in terms of constitutional rights.  Had filed, representing himself, and won, several cases on good merits.  He told me,
You people are right, young lady!" 

 

I admire these folks, who stand up for what is right, even if it is unpopular.  You are right to point to energy as the next biggest boondoggle, founded upon scare tactics.  I am watching a uranium mining proposal, which would be regulated by the same agency that fdropped the ball entirely on the mining of my family's land there.  Have been doing volunteer work for an environmental program downriver of that site for almost 20 years now....

 

We are starting to hear about fracking rock in this state as well. 

 

Yet, the coal trains roll by,headed for overseas electric generation plants, constantly exporting our native stores of fossil fuels, and there are two wood pelletizing mills within spitting distance of our farm here in NC, so ditto for the woodlands' stored energy. 

 

 

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dennymal
Veteran Contributor

Re: It is dangerous to be right...

The only thing I felt I was right on was as a 54 year old reservist who had just put in for retirement I was recalled to Iraq/ Afganistan for active duty in 2009. When I argued they said my skill set in construction was needed and they canx my retirement. I spent 10 months building FOB's for the the Army /Marines in Southern Afgan/Northern Iraq.

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Nebrfarmr
Veteran Advisor

Re: It is dangerous to be right...

My cousin was converting a field from furrow irrigation, to center pivot irrigation.  He was doing this because it was labor-intensive to irrigate, as it was low in the middle, and was watered from both ends, to a small grassed waterway that drained into the ditch.  The pivot was already up, when someone from one of the various government alpahbet agencies (I think either the NRD or NID) drove by going somewhere else, and they spotted the pivot.  They notified him, that he could not allow water from the pivot to sprinkle on the grass waterway, until it was inspected for 'items of historical significance' and/or 'examples of native American culture'.  It seems that, according to some sort of Federal guideline, that little strip of grass, that was under 6-8 inches of water for half the summer, could somehow be 'damaged' if water from a center pivot sprinkled on it.   The 'inspector' came out, didn't even get out of the truck, and said it passed inspection.  When my cousin asked why the new requirement, the inspector said that basically some politician had a brother-in-law who was an environmental attourney who needed a job.  The inspector also told of one instance of an irrigation project being held up because in the basement of a house, they found chalk drawings that had the 'potential to be Native American in origin'.  They held up the whole project (which required leveling the house) for a couple weeks, until the owner of the project threatened to sue.  The inspector said he welcomed them to take him to court, as he could delay the project for weeks, or even months.  The owner then brought evidence that the house was built in the '60s, and said that he would sue the inspector PERSONALLY for the costs of delays, for filing a false/misleading report. 

I wonder how many times no one called his bluff.

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Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

Re: It is dangerous to be right...

There are certainly people who abuse the imprimatur of their office, to throw that weight around.  Having come to this county with the sucsssful lawsuit against the last one on our repuration, has been useful on a couple of occasions. 

 

Most folks don't push us anymore.  The one who has been foolish enough to try a couple of times is the county attorney.  He is an independent contractor, not an employee, but the county is still liable for him. 

 

He gave us grief over a well permit, trying to buy time for a trailer salesman/subdivider to get his application in the door first.  I walked into a closed door meeting of him and the county manager, some other county officials, after waiting for an hour, almost to the end of the business day, and expressed that if I  "didn't get my well permit today, there will be legal action over your head when you wake up in the morning." 

 

Didn't hurt that the state health department had stepped out of this issue just before I drove up there, after he had dragged them into it, outside their jurisdiction...which was what I made them aware of to get them to back off.  This jerk was on the phone when I walked in, talking  to the DENR, angling to get their interference for our permit.   I offered to talk to them for him, since I'd been doing volunteer work for them for about ten years at the time.  That sort of deflated his shiny red balloon. 

 

He broke ugly with me in a publiuc meeting over another issue once, some years later.  The county manager had agreed with me prior to the meeting that we would remain amicable over whatever was the issue that time.  I turned to the manager, and said, in froint of all assembled and the entier Vaord of Commissioners, "Call off your lirrle dog, unless you want this to blow up."  He shot the attorney a look that could kill. 

 

This guy's issue is that he basically hates farmers, since his farmer father favored his brother, who took over the farm.    He especially despises hog farmers like us...I know he was behind a group that tried to keep us out of this area.  His stupid ploy was to actually create for us the best defense, if we'd ever been sued as a nuisance...so, he's not a very good lawyer. 

 

He just tries to make life hard for us, but I finally  told him if he wants to keep it up, his house is eligible for attachment.  I don't HAVE to go through the county to get to him and what he has. 

 

He's been much less trouble since then....

 

 

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belarus
Senior Contributor

Re: It is dangerous to be right...

I think I have a sister who is a bean counter for the company that is putting the pipeline in through your state.

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k-289
Senior Advisor

Re: It is dangerous to be right...

Sounds like at lot of assumtions about watering a grass waterway---when all over the state they are wanting furrow irrigation replaced with pivot and some get equip  $$$ to do it---

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Nebrfarmr
Veteran Advisor

Re: It is dangerous to be right...

I know it is stupid, but according to the inspector, it was listed as a waterway for 'runoff' which is not the same as a waterway that will be 'sprinkled upon' by irrigation water.  And the penalty for watering the field with the pivot (that had been watered for years with furrow irrigation) would be loss of water rights for the year, and possibly forever, depending on how they wanted to treat him, and how any lawsuits turned out.  I know it makes no sesns when one government agency is telling us to convert to pivot irrigation, while another is making it harder to do, and yet another is saying that even with a pivot, another saying you should over-water to give some 'runoff' to help 'protected' species, that utilize the runoff water, even if you have a pivot, while at the same time another agency says you are not supposed to let your runoff be a nuisance to anyone downstream.

The headaches come from too many regulations from too many different agencies, making too many rules that often contradict each other, all having juristiction over the same parcel of land.

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Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

Re: It is dangerous to be right...

What irks me is the money wasted in the abuse of manpower in the "enforcement" actions of all those agencies, too.  It is a ridiculous waste of money, and the bigger the mess they create, the more they all jusitfy their existence. 

 

I think that there is a good chance that ag could end up way better off if the EPA did get dissolved, or at least seriously diminished.  That agency is so busy applying regs to farming that were never meant to apply to us, the expansion of jurisdiction is ridiculous.  USDA is not much better.....

 

 

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