It’s interesting how closely linked the EPA is to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Do you want information on what constitutes a wetland, perhaps because you may just have one on your own property? Why the ACE has a Regional Supplement “which provides technical guidance and procedures for identifying and delineating wetlands that may be subject to regulatory jurisdiction under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, or Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act.” That’s especially interesting seeing this coming April, just in time for spring flooding, the EPA will come out with updated rules that will define which specific waterways the agency can regulate, cleaning up the details, if you will, of a Supreme Court ruling that was left, perhaps intentionally, vague. While it might be a touch paranoid to expect to hear the rumblings of an ACE convoy coming up your driveway in order to disembark, identify and delineate a possible wetland lurking somewhere on the land that you bought and paid for, the rule changes do mean that the EPA, and it’s partner the ACE, will have the regulatory power to define, and enforce, how your land, or at least the wetter part of it, is to be managed. And that will mean resources to do all that delineating and accompanying paperwork, and a part of your taxes going to fund those resources and all that additional paperwork.
Rep Lamar Smith, R-Texas, raised the warnings last summer and seems to be leading the charge against the proposed rule changes and the additional paperwork and cost they would almost certainly impose on private property owners as well as businesses. A series of EPA maps – whether they are detailed enough is debated by EPA spokespeople – gave the game away according to Smith, who fears that property rights will become even more conditional and subject to further EPA regulations. Will the Government’s considerable surveillance systems be used to map out the nation’s waterways, including small streams and temporary wetlands? Spy satellite data bases being cross referenced to nail down whether your land should be ground surveyed by Army Corps Engineers? It seems exaggerated, but hardly impossible. And if the EPA rule changes do lead to a rush to further survey and classify private property across the USA, you can be sure that a rush of legal challenges will also follow, perhaps ending up again on the doorstep of the Supreme Court. Whatever challenges to the EPA’s authority that SCOTUS then takes up will be, yes, a watershed decision. That’s because any EPA rule changes that broadly define streams and wetlands will be a further step towards including private land in the public commons. Clean water matters a lot, but a power grab by bureaucrats is an expensive, aggressive, and inefficient way of achieving, and especially enforcing, measurable progress on clean water. Let’s hope, against hope perhaps, that the EPA rule changes coming this April are reasonable and flexible.
Mike Rowe explains to a Liberal how Christians, and anyone else for that matter, can vote Republican. His answer is perfect.
A little Halloween political humor. Laughing on the outside and crying on the inside.
Photo credit: Someecards
If a 300 pound Black Bear is stalking you, don’t run. Walk slowly and avoid eye contact. Do not run. That’s the advice New Jersey state officials have for hikers after Darsh Pratel lost his life, having apparently been mauled to death by precisely such a bear in the Apshawa Preserve in West Milford, New Jersey. Pratel’s four friends ran away just like he did when they noticed the bear stalking them, but were a little luckier; they weren’t hunted down by a large predator capable of speeds of up to 35 miles an hour over short distances. The 22 year old Rutgers student is the first victim of a bear attack in the state for over 150 years and that must offer no consolation to his distraught family. The bear was shot to death by officials after they found it circling Pratel’s body and after it did not respond to attempts to have it leave the area. We wll have an autopsy and we will also have wildlife experts explaining to everyone how rare an encounter this is and how wonderful it is to have bears roaming the woods of New Jersey as in the days of yore. New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection, however, allow a legal bear hunt to cull the numbers of black bears in the state and lessen the probabilities of human encounters, especially tragic ones like this one.
The question becomes then, what are the limits of biodiversity that a post-industrial society is capable of supporting? The answer depends on who you ask: deep environmentalists would have almost all humans eliminated from North America as well as those invasive domestic breeds like cattle. Urban environmentalists think the increasing number of city-dwelling coyotes in North America is a good thing, and us humans will have to make sure that packs of urban coyotes don’t drag our pets or children into the bushes to be devoured. Ranchers in places like Montana would like to have every last wolf and coyote converted into pelts to be proudly displayed beside their fireplaces. In other words there is a choice to be made about how we coexist with wildlife. While the young Rutgers student’s horrifying fate is likely an anomaly, statistically speaking, bear culls, especially black bear culls, need to be part of any wildlife area’s policy tools. And the Disneyfication of dangerous predators in various media, which will surely continue, must be countered with sober and pragmatic education that lets hikers and others know just what kind of an animal they are dealing with.
A Halloween chuckle …
Heckling may not be the most effective way to express an opposing opinion, but at least there’s a glimpse of hope that not everyone buys into the valueless words coming out of the President’s mouth.
Obama faced a heckler again this week with an uncanny response. “This is part of the lively debate we talked about,” was the President’s remark. He hasn’t fooled me, but the President has zero success for positive outcomes from debate. The reason being, he simply doesn’t absorb, listen, consider, or acknowledge any thought, opinion, or idea different than his own. This is the main ingredient in the recipe for the disaster this country has endured for nearly 5 years.
Check out the video here.
Chances are that if you are living in the United States and have some connection to popular culture, even in the most distant of ways, that you have heard of the hit television program Duck Dynasty. The wildly entertaining foray into a Southern family’s life is more than just funny and quirky. It is a glimpse into morals and values that at sometimes I fear have been long forgotten.
Duck Dynasty tells the tale of the Robertson Clan who, starting from an idea for a duck call, have developed a multimillion dollar company. Yet, along the way to their place in the popular culture, the sense of family and God was never lost. They continue to promote on their show family values, Christian beliefs, and respect for (as they would call it) ‘kin’.
Social media erupts on Wednesdays when the show airs in discussions of what Uncle Si said or what Willy is wearing. There is cross-cultural and socioeconomic sharing of laughter over this show. Politically incorrect at times…I mean who openly discusses God in the public forum without fear of backlash or heads out hunting and fishing without worrying what the anti-gun contingencies or PETA might say…it hearkens back to a time when all was not right but it was well and there were solid foundations that could not be shaken.
There is hope in what the Robertson Clan has put on the show. They do not profess to be Democrat or Republican in their beliefs. They do not promote a sex-driven lifestyle or hard partying. No, not the Robertsons. Instead what the show demonstrates is a sense that America, I believe, is yearning for the Andy Griffith mentality (as Phil Robertson himself said in an interview with Fox 411) and that call back to a time when God and family were number one and money was secondary. These men are millionaires, have stunning wives, and children that could have stepped from the pages of a GAP advertisement. But, that is just upon first glance. What these men really have is a sense of humility and charity, wives that are equally as beautiful as they are smart and supporters of their husbands, and children who are well-rounded and loved (whether through biological connections or adoptive roots). There is something beautiful that transcends the Duck Dynasty movement and I, for one, see a glimmer of hope from yesteryear that may just not be gone forever.
The University of Virginia saw a practical joke turn into relative hysteria recently when technology turned a harmless discussion into campus wide panic. The subject of the jest was alcohol, which just should not be joked about on a college campus (or potentially on Capitol Hill… but I digress). Specifically, one student mentioned to her friend that she was at the campus police station because there was a random raid on campus searching dorms for the illusive underage drinker and their stash of alcoholic potables. What started out as a private joke was then shared with a few others, and then a few others, and in just moments the fear and panic of a potential raid saw alcohol being dumped throughout the campus (who knew so many college students drank?)
This hysteria could be seen as a joke gone too far and hilariously so. But, as I often do, I think about this reaction in a larger context. I cannot help but think that in moments of crisis there is a sheer need to act and react without true thought. Hysteria, as is human, turns to a need for self-preservation but often in the moments following a crisis the actions are clouded by misjudgment. And now, for the political connection (shocking I know):
Think about the reaction to gun violence in this country. When a tragic incident like Sandy Hook or the Aurora Colorado shooting, to name a few, arises, the nation panics. Get rid of the alcohol now and that will solve the problem! Or, more apt in this, get rid of the weapons! That will clear the problem! Then, upon reflection, (as I’m sure a few pouting Freshmen had when they realized their stash of alcohol they had worked so hard to smuggle was gone), the hysteria seems almost comical in its reactionary disproportion. A bit of thought, a little research, and a look at the RA station would have seen that no raids were taking place. But, in the same way that so many students cleared their haul to make sure that nothing occurred, the citizens of this country may be giving up rights to arms that they can never get back.
What the UVA practical joke teaches is more than just a funny way to get a reaction on a college campus. It is a microcosm of sorts for the national reaction to incidents of tragedy, fear, or crisis. In a moment of weakness we give things up, quickly and without true thought for the consequences. The result, like the alcohol in the dumpster, are powers and rights that may never be able to be regained.
Stop the presses! Another celebrity has joined the gun control debate and has put his two cents into the argument. Jim Carrey, in a song parody for funnyordie.com, has shown that he believes that gun owners are simply trying to maim children and kill innocence. Another celebrity sharing their opinion on gun control? A Canadian no less? What are we to do?
Quite frankly it is becoming ever increasingly frustrating that Hollywood celebrities (though Jim Carrey is not exactly topping the charts in anything these days except his own self-esteem chart) feel the need to caricaturize Middle Americans and gun owners as reckless buffoons who do nothing more than shoot guns in the air for pleasure. Mr. Carrey, in his oh-so-eloquent way, uses this parody to slash at the heartland and safe, law abiding gun owners everywhere as a way to promote a liberal agenda that is thinly veiled behind the sheath of pageantry. He has no problem making fun of country music no less and that is what may be the worst part!
I would ask Mr. Carrey, then, if gun carrying and owning by those who have the utmost respect for firearms is so wrong, why have you promoted gun usage in your movies? If this issue is to be taken seriously why have you chosen to use it as a form of art in movies like The Mask and other momentarily aggressive, Grade C films? Why does he choose to have armed bodyguards protecting himself rather than allowing us to protect our families safely? And why does he keep running from valid questions?
Placing his vile rhetoric out onto his Twitter feed, Mr. Carrey received numerous responses. Of course, many were the Occupier-type, young and self-absorbed liberal spawn, that have ignorantly helped lead to such great decisions as the current Commander in Chief and Occupy Wall Street movements (ignore the potential corporate backing). But there was also a great deal of witty and factual debate as well, challenging Mr. Carrey. Look no further than Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) who lambasted not with vile rhetoric but with fact…facts Mr. Carrey glossed over with words that meant nothing.
It is time that Hollywood stop preaching tolerance and begin showing it… It is time that they understood that the lemmings of the world that they surround themselves with do not exist in all pockets of this great country. Do not assume Mr. Carrey that if you stand up and say quack that we will all follow you because you are some sort of celebrity. Some of us have been taught long ago, and rightfully so, clinging to God, guns, and religion is okay and something to be celebrated no matter what I half-hearted and sad celebrity parody says. How about that, eh?
A professional athlete, no matter the sport, enjoys a certain time of year called the off-season. Off-seasons allow athletes to clear their minds and heal their bodies. As an added benefit, off-seasons prevent fans from becoming bored with the sport. Professional offense-takers should follow that example. Maybe their minds wouldn’t be so cloudy and the rest of us wouldn’t grow so sick of them.
Feminists head the herd when it comes to taking offense. They can find affront at the drop of a hat. Feminists have taken umbrage at everything from Victoria’s Secret to My Little Pony. Anything that fails to promote feminism’s “strong” woman — the bra-burning, gruff, nagging, sea hag — renders women doting airheads suitable for serving the patriarchal society.
HT to Tom Cohan for passing along Mitts for Mitt. Any suggestions for other Mitts the site might be missing?
Filed Under Humor on Jan 11
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
Official Referee of the Republican Party
Indecision 2012 - Extremely Loud & Incredibly Wealthy (Like me)
Well, at least Ron Paul is not peddling in this mess. Maybe that helped drive his votes in New Hampshire above his poll numbers. Speaking of Paul, how about this? Andrew Napolitano suggested a Mitt Romney/Rand Paul ticket today.
Hat tip: Commenter T Baker
(Apologies for the crass and quick reference to “Richard.”
No need to watch out.
You might as well cry.
Go on and pout, I’m telling you why.
Santa Claus ain’t coming to town.
There won’t be any reindeer, or sleigh for you to see.
We’ve banned them all so we can prove our great sensitivity.
It’s no joke! The North Pole’s favorite son was banned from his annual appearance at the Hollings Cancer Center in South Carolina. Said spokeswoman Vicki Agnew: “Because of our state affiliation, we decided not to have a Santa presence this year.” The Center, Agnew continued, wanted to be “more secular and respectful to all beliefs. People who are Muslim or Jewish or have no religious beliefs come here for treatment.” Read more
It has been a great, and now time-honored privilege to take the occasion of Thanksgiving to award our own PoliticalDerby Big Turkey Award.
In the past we have honored a person or persons with this distinction. This year, we searched, wrestled and then performed a detailed statistical analysis to find a worthy candidate. You won’t be disappointed, as we discovered a host of individuals who fit the bill.
Our 6th Annual Big Turkey Award goes to The Debt Reduction Super-Committee in their endeavor to gobble up the nation’s debt. Patty Murray, Max Baucus and John Kerry we salute you! Jon Kyl, Rob Portman and Pat Toomey we salute you!
For Congress to abdicate its responsibility and put its faith in a supercommittee of twelve (go here for a complete list of committee members) was a bird brained idea from the beginning. The fact that the committee failed is just gravy for the goose.
It should be noted that this is now the 2nd time (Gobble Gobble) that John Kerry has appeared as at least a partial recipient of the Big Turkey Award. Mr. Kerry, we offer you a special Big Turkey salute! You are the gift that keeps on giving.
We at PoliticalDerby hope you have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving!
Rick Perry poked fun at himself last night, doing a “Top Ten List” of excuses for his debate gaffe.
The Obama campaign played the birther conspiracy theorists like Jenny Oaks Baker plays a tune, smooth, in control and beautifully.
Now they mock them again. I must say, it is actually kind of funny.
Note: Click to enlarge.