From: Jim Beers [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Tuesday, September 20, 2005 10:01 AM
To: Jim Beers
SPOTTED OWLS, KELO, & NEW ORLEANS
We have no problem associating floods with storms or broken levees. We have no problem linking the flattened home and vanished vehicle with the tornado that just swept through the area. What we do have trouble associating with is our relation to others we don't know or others we resent or simply others that live far away.
For instance, what do spotted owls and the recent Kelo decision and the current hoopla about "rebuilding" New Orleans have in common? Times up.
How about private property? How about loss of freedom? How about steroids for government growth? How about steps toward total US Federal/UN control of our lives? How about the replacement of US citizens like our parents and grandparents with serfs as imagined by Orwell in 1984 and Ray Bradbury in Fahrenheit 451?
The Endangered Species Act and it's sisters The Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Animal Welfare Act and the Wilderness Act plus it's traveling-salesman father the UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, has led the way for 35 years in the radical redistribution on legal and political power in the United States. Focusing on but one aspect of this growing danger, the principle of limited government control of private property and the perversion of this bedrock axiom of our Constitution is perhaps the most egregious freedom destroyed by these Federal Acts and the UN "partners" of our bureaucrats in these schemes. This was all set in motion by that innocuous assumption that government could all of a sudden "take" both private property and public uses on public property from citizens "without compensation" as mandated in our Constitution. For this we can all thank The Endangered Species Act and those politicians, bureaucrats, professors, and radical groups that drafted it, passed it, and have overseen it's growth and abuses.
Wilderness in fact took the right of citizens to access, use, and enjoy the public property they set aside and purchased over two centuries and this in turn stopped any management of those lands and the use of their resources.
The Animal Welfare Act established and expanded the principle that citizens don't "own" animals and that like Endangered Species actions, all animal ownership and regulation of "use" are to become the responsibility of government. These Acts withdrew use of roads and strangled rural communities and rural residents from hunters, fishermen, and picnickers to ranchers and loggers and miners These Acts have kept oil in the ground when we needed it most. These Acts made water management projects and fish and wildlife habitat management projects mere sewers for government funds that never made it to the need. They have endangered rodeos, medical experiments, circuses, farmers, ranchers, and the use of any animal for any purpose no matter how benign (pets, etc.).
The Spotted Owl is their symbol. Decimated communities and lives and families (like the decimated elk herds that the same bureaucrats said would not be harmed by wolves) are all they have left in their wake of continuing destruction. The ecotourism and ecosystem benefits they promised are but hollow echoes of trumpeted lies like the promises of "relocation" by government authorities during the Holocaust.
Kelo took this control of property one step further. And why not? If it was legal for the Federal government to tell you that you couldn't cut your trees or plow your land or build a house on your property: why shouldn't the local and State government be able to "take" your property to get more tax money to give themselves raises and bonuses? Like the Federal bureaucrats and politicians that have played this self-serving game to their (reelection, pay, bonuses, power, etc.) great benefit: why shouldn't their State and local cousins be able to be as "powerful" for their OWN good? I'm sorry to say this (only because it "turns off" readers) but that was and is the driving force behind government abuses from Diocletian and his bureaucrats right on down to Stalin and Hitler and Mao and their servants.
Always the end is the same: all power over everything to the rulers and the favored few and no power to anyone else but those that fall at the feet of the rulers.
So now it has led us to New Orleans. I have recently written two articles about the gun seizures by the police and soldiers in violation of a Constitutional Amendment (Katrina & Hunting - Rights & Erosion) and the way the US Senate has devolved into a growing impediment to good governance (Mr. or Mrs. Hyde). These articles say much about New Orleans today and you can see them at http://www.allianceforamerica.org/bb/viewforum.php?f=91.
But it is something else going on with New Orleans that is worthy of comment. If it was and is permissible for the Federal government to "take property WITHOUT just compensation" (i.e. ESA) and it is now allowed for State and local government to "take private property for OTHER THAN A 'PUBLIC' use" (Kelo): it MUST be the job of the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT to "rebuild" a city. Never mind that the City expanded over the years to levels below sea level. You dare not mention that it's destruction disrupted the national supply of energy and rebuilding there might invite future disaster. Just try and mention the cost of not only rebuilding it but protecting it into the forseeable future. But these issues are all beside the point. Since when did every citizen of the United States assume the responsibility to "rebuild" a city?
When Chicago burned and San Francisco fell apart 100 years ago, like prairie towns burned to the ground by prairie fires, or river towns abandoned by the change of course by their river; local citizens and businesses decided whether to rebuild or stay there or move UP the river or to rebuild on higher ground. Like the proverbial buggy-whip manufacturers, the promise of government help only steers decisions about our future from those affected to "our betters". The decisions about rebuilding like the continued manufacture of buggy whips are always better if they reflect the realities of those who will invest and build and live there. Thinking that politicians and bureaucrats can do those things is like, well The Endangered Species Act or Kelo. The precedent it sets is more like 1930's Russia or 1950's China than 2005 USA.
Extensive help to evacuees and State and local governments by all manner of private charity and Federal resources is appropriate and proper. A role for the Federal government to spearhead "rebuilding" and to distort the marketplace with a massive infusion of Federal money and influence to "rebuild" is not only wrong it is very harmful in the long run as our Founding Fathers understood clearly.
New Orleans may or may not be best positioned as it was. Maybe it should move further up the river to higher ground where danger and costs will be more reasonable. I believe that just as in the past, those decisions should be made by oil executives about where their offices and facilities should be and shipping executives about where their docks and warehouses should be and technical executives about where their offices should be and all those who work for them about where their should live. Does anyone think these decisions are made BETTER by bureaucrats and politicians? That is exactly who will be making the decisions when "rebuilding" is accepted as a "role"
Let the government and environmentalists agree that perhaps the deep channel should go further up the river to higher ground so that future businesses and homes and communities are more stable and less vulnerable. How much you want to bet that idea won't be allowed to see the light of day now that New Orleans as it was, rather than as it could be, is the object of Federal "attention"?
Of course the upside to this new Federal government role is the "saving" of a corrupt city government (and their police force et al) in place and "saving" an important voting block for State government and a national political party. And then there is the justification for a new proposal by my "own" Senator who is now proposing a "new" law to supercede the Posse Comitatus Act and the Constitution and give the President the power to order Federal troops anywhere and anytime there is an "emergency" or "potential" emergency (State and local government or citizens be darned). Actually the performance of the State and local politicians vis-à-vis New Orleans was made to order for this latest proposal just like the ESA would "save" the world and Kelo would "save" local communities.
If we place these things on the blind lady's scales up at the Supreme Court in 2005, which side will she let it tip to? Just as the Endangered Species Act led to Kelo, and Kelo led to "rebuilding" New Orleans as some sort of Corps of Engineers Project: so too are these three leading to even more freedom and rights eliminations as my Senator is boasting about as he surfs for national support to get reelected for the (?)th time! And anyone who denies that this is all leading ultimately to tyranny just as our Founding Fathers cautioned and OUR Constitution was designed to avoid: well don't trust 'em with your kid or your wife or your freedoms.
20 Sep 2005
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This article and other recent articles by Jim Beers can be found at http://www.allianceforamerica.org/bb/viewforum.php?f=91
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