EPA To Crucify Citizens, Hit ’em Hard As They Can

The EPA hard at work
EPA crucifixion

Just a couple of weeks ago I related on this blog a sad tale told to me by (Democrat) lawyers who were mightily displeased that the Obama administration was packed thick with “activists” whose only goal was to “score big.” By this they meant that inside Obama’s government the bureaucrat who secured the largest penalty, justified or no, against a private company was seen to be the winner among his fellow activists.

I recall some skepticism in the comments about this and the conclusion which I drew from it. Some of this skepticism was of the don’t-try-to-make-me-happy kind because of the gloom that has formed in the minds of some when they contemplate Mr Obama’s reelection, which they feel is all but assured.

Now we already know that EPA is filled even unto overflowing with activists and hacktivists whose only purpose in life is to harry private citizens. It had become so bad that at one point the EPA put forth a ruling which stated that none could sue the agency until such time as it would allow itself to be sued. Alas, this was one step towards tyranny too many and the Supreme Court removed the EPA’s blatant power grab.

Strike that: say instead the Supreme Court removed that power grab. For under the activism of head Lisa Jackson, the EPA—which features on its website (do a Google search for “EPA”) the words “environmental justice”—has spread its reach faster than a colony of hyper-fecund fire ants. And with greater sting.

So there was no surprise yesterday when it was revealed that activist and government-paycheck-grubbing Al Armendariz revealed publicly (or had it revealed publicly) what everybody already knew to be true. As transcribed by The Blaze, Smiling Al said (video here):

I was in a meeting once and I gave an analogy to my staff…the Romans used to conquer little villages in the Mediterranean. They’d go into a little Turkish town somewhere, they’d find the first five guys they saw and they would crucify them. And then you know that town was really easy to manage for the next few years.

And so you make examples out of people who are in this case not compliant with the law. Find people who are not compliant with the law, and you hit them as hard as you can and you make examples out of them, and there is a deterrent effect there.

To emphasize his point Smiling Al giggled, one tiny chirrup. Now it is true that nobody should break just laws, and so it might be with some merit that Smiling Al punish malefactors. But the EPA’s idea of “non-compliance” is often not what ordinary citizens would think moral. They have, as in the case noted above, written their regulations so broadly that—well, let me put it this way. The EPA is like one of those cinematic Georgian Sheriffs who pulls a citizen over, breaks the citizen’s taillight with his nightstick, and then tickets the citizen for driving with a busted taillight.

The analogy with the EPA is complete if we imagine the Sheriff down the tavern bragging about the amount of “fines” he collected.

Smiling Al aptly chose his metaphor wisely, too. Crucifixion is a particularly nasty torture, and unfortunately for its human victims there will be no paschal rejuvenation. Non-victims will indeed have the fear of The One (I almost said “God”) into them, resulting in the needless increase of expense as companies protect themselves from over zealous bureaucrats and their frivolities.

One more analogy for you: prohibition. All acknowledge that one of the worst consequences of this historical instance of government over-reach was the animosity towards civil order the law against drinking imbued in people. It became Us versus Them. All manner of ways to cheat the ridiculous law were invented and citizens became comfortable with the idea of cheating.

The EPA has many prohibition-like rules and regulations, many of which are scoffed at, but perhaps not openly, but companies and citizens, who as before are becoming comfortable with the idea of breaking the law. The Doctrine of Unintended Consequence thus says that the harder the EPA squeezes in its efforts to frighten the populace into obedience, the faster law breaking will increase.

Conclusion: Vote for Romney and slow the rate of increase of government.

16 Comments

  1. You think Romney can tame the EPA? Could George Bush?

    The president can appoint a new head, and he can issue executive orders, but his ability to change the culture of the organization is nearly zero.

    And, if he upsets that group in just the slightest, the environmenal lobby howls louder than just about all other special interests in DC.

  2. Yup, you nailed that one. Romney will slow the rate of growth of the government. Heck, almost anyone would do that compared to 0. But actually reduce it? Nah, he is a progressive Republican.

    Reagan only slowed the growth. It is probably going to take another revolution to actually reduce the government at this point, the line is crossed and takers outnumber the makers.

  3. Briggs,

    Your conclusion is either question begging or a non sequitur … or both.

    Vote Ron Paul! Or, don’t vote at all. Remember, your singular vote will not sway the election. Your vote is a statement of your view of the field, at best. A vote for Romney is a statement that you support the current move toward full statism — the R or D is meaningless.

  4. Al actually had Gengis Khan in mind, not the Romans. The Mongol conquests of the 13th century were characterized by brutal destruction of any center of resistance, in no small part in order to cow anyone else into capitulation and submission to whatever demands might be made. The Romans, by contrast, were viewed as absolutely solid supporters of order and fairness — cities and towns went out of their way to imitate Rome, and the empire outside Rome itself was administered for centuries by fewer that 3,500 officials in total, from Britain to Mesopotamia, from the Black Sea to the Straights of Gibraltar. If a regime gets pushy, people tend to resist; if the regime is fair, people tend to cooperate. That’s how this lawyer sees it…

  5. I disagree Roy. The Romans were brutal. They actually did crucify people to instill fear in the conquered. Crucifixion was a particularly public thing, slow death in the trafficked way, leave the bodies hanging there to rot, let everyone know who’s the boss.

    In fact, the Romans were the first fascists. Yes, they made the chariots run on time. No, the regime was not “fair”; they were vicious thugs.

    Cooperation through intimidation in the Roman manner is not what we want here today. Unless you are a fascist. Like the Obamalistas. Let’s not put lipstick on those pigs.

  6. Oh my God! He can’t even decide on the health system that will dominate American lives http://reallycheaphealthinsurance.com/romneys-real-position-on-pre-existing-conditions-unclear/.

    “The Doctrine of Unintended Consequence thus says that the harder the EPA squeezes in its efforts to frighten the populace into obedience, the faster law breaking will increase.”

    Though my own anecdotal experience confirms this (I’m a a spontaneous albeit minor law breaker myself), I cannot agree that this is enough to back up your entire argument. But kudos for the original thinking.

  7. As an antidote to this, I suggest good Americans read about Judas Maccabeus (I know, it was the Seleucids, not the Romans, but it’s still apropos.)

  8. The real problem is the Endangered Species Act. (ESA) That is what can be used to compain about just about any action of a private landowner. I have encountered this myself.

    I used to live in a small valley in eastern Washington. We had an irrigation ditch that was four miles long and a 100 years old. It served about 75 users and we all paid a fee to maintain the system. We were entitled to use as much water as we needed from June to October. At one time the valley was mostly agricultural (hay and fruit), but had become a rural residential area with most people on five acres or more. The water flowed from a small mountain stream into a much larger river at the terminus of the ditch. Everybody using the system was happy. One day our system manager was informed that a complaint had been filed by an unidentified treehugger that our ditch was endangering salmon. We were orderd to have a study done to see how much the water temperature rose between the intake of the ditch and the outlet into the river. That cost us $2500. The answer was six tenths of one degree. The EPA and Dept. of Wildlife deemed this enough to order us to cover the ditch. The cost – $250,000 or about $3300 per user. We mulled it over and decided that since the water rights were valuable we would cough up the money rather than let the water rights lapse.

    I don’t live there anymore because the fellow from the EPA told us that it was just a matter of time before we would be required to put meters on our private wells and pay a fee for using the water because it was part of the subsurface water that affected the rivers and salmon. When Congress passed the law that gave the Feds jurisdiction over all waters, both surface and subsurface, I sold my place because I knew what was coming. They are planning to drive rural landowners who aren’t farmers into cities and towns to “protect” the environmment. It will take many years and court battles, but that is one of their plans.

    If you want to know what these people are planning read about Agenda 21 here: http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/10/un_agenda_21_coming_to_a_neigh.html

  9. I am a bit confused… were the lawyers upset because they wouldn’t be able to sue EPA?

    I don’t know exactly what powers EPA has, but without EPA my neighboring town would’ve been uninhabitable because of chemical wastes.

    I think Romney is a luke-warmer. I could be wrong. Who knows what he stands on any issues?

  10. Dear JH,

    No, it wasn’t the lawyers that were upset. It was the farmers who lost their irrigation for no rational reason except crucifixion by the Feds.

    What “neighboring town” was it exactly that was “saved” by the EPA? That sounds like a tall tale to me.

    Please be specific. I’ll check it out myself, because frankly, I think your statement lacks veracity.

  11. Dear Uncle Mike,

    Are you saying that you’ve never heard of a chemical corporation that dumped toxic industrial chemicals into rivers and streams or buries them under the underground?

  12. Dear JH,

    You made the following statement: …without EPA my neighboring town would’ve been uninhabitable because of chemical wastes.

    I asked you to name the town. It shouldn’t be any secret; nobody is going to come get you for naming the town.

    But you did not. Instead you replied with a vague question of your own. You evaded my question like a politician. I asked you for specific details to back up your contention, and you were evasive.

    I can only assume that I was right, that you were lying. I’ll remember that about you. I will never trust another word you say, and I advise others to follow suit.

    Once you squander your credibility and integrity, it is not easy to get it back. And yours is gone.

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