Libertarian Commentary #16-10D By Nathan Barton
Voting with your feet and other political things:
The state senator who sponsored now defeated medical cannabis legislation in what one correspondent called the ‘Backward State of Hatu’ (Utah) has announced that he and his family are leaving the country, as reported in the Salt Lake Tribune. Nope, not just to the wonderful Free State of New Hampshire, but to South America some place. “I’ve long since concluded that I desire more freedom in my individual life than I’m allowed to have in this state,” said Madsen, who indicated the move was something he and his family had wanted to do and was not simply the result of the defeat of his marijuana legislation. Look, when even the politicians IN OFFICE have so much frustration that they bail out, what hope is there?
Mama’s Note: I wish him well, but I very much doubt he’ll find any more freedom wherever he might go in South America. There is a long history of tyranny there, and unless he has a lot of money, friends and relationships there, he will soon be in a bad place.
Another Utah lawmaker is in the news, on a similar matter. US Representative from Utah, Jason Chaffez, according to the Salt Lake Tribune has introduced legislation to disarm both the Bureau of Land Management AND the U S Forest Service by taking away their law enforcement powers AND taking the money that paid for them and giving to local county sheriffs who would take care of peace keeping and law enforcement on federal land in their jurisdictions. (The feds would be allowed to be armed in self-defense: sidearms, for their own protection. As any American should be. But no SWAT teams, no automatic weapons or grenade launchers or machine guns or armored-up people and vehicles.)
Mama’s Note: Not happening, really. In the first place, most of the Sheriff’s departments in these areas don’t have the manpower or budget to take on that responsibility. The taxpayers in those areas sure won’t want to foot the bill directly. Elimination of the “war on drugs” would help a lot, but I don’t see that happening at the federal level any time soon. Then there is the problem of Pandora’s box… Those agencies will not willingly give up their goon squads and shiny toys – once they have them, they won’t let them go. And the power they now have… the most addictive substance in the universe. Which leads to the third reason this won’t happen… It is all based on the power to control from top to bottom. The various inter dependent and likeminded power mongers will never willingly let loose of any part of it.
Add to that the large problem of feds/state having many, if not most of the outdoorsmen and hunters hoodwinked into thinking that this “public property” wildland somehow protects their use of it, never mind all the insane hoops they must jump through, let alone how poorly the land is managed. There is a large block of the population that simply does not understand – or want to understand – the absolute good of private property and the tragedy of the commons.
She is, I think, right that it won’t happen. But some of these items need to be addressed. The Utah guy did address the issue of money and resources for local authorities (sheriffs) ‘ and the gradually ending war on drugs is definitely going to help in this battle as well. But too many people want a free ride, and think that they are getting one, as well as thinking ‘this is the way it has always been, and should be.’ Too many of us think like slaves or serfs today. But the REAL issue is that in reality, these federal agency ‘law enforcement’ thugs are often doing a lot of make-work. There are NOT that many problems in most of these BLM and USFS lands, and often what ‘crimes’ they respond to or investigate are NOT really serious issues. Too much firewood cut, or someone driving off-road too much, or not paying a camping fee are petty “criminal” activities that do NOT take a lot of time and resources. They are an excuse; just as the incidents like the Oregon standoff are an excuse for SWAT teams and submachine guns.
The various agencies are, of course, on a power trip and unwilling to give up their powers and privileges. It will require TAKING it from them, and Congress is totally unwilling to do that. I support this NOT because I think it will get a veto-proof majority in both houses of Congress, but because it will teach more people about limits and tyranny, and make more people aware of what a mess we have caused. Ultimately, it will require armed confrontation and probably armed conflict to disarm these agencies (and the agencies themselves will probably be abolished and outlawed at that time).
It is exactly this sort of education that the hunters and fishers and hikers and the like need, addressing Mama’s third point. Until the ‘stakeholders’ ‘ including local residents, users of the land, local ‘bottom-up’ peace officers, and others understand what the problem is and take a stand, the courage and wherewithal to do something about it will not happen.
But it is still good to see someone, backed by at least a few hundred thousand people, take at least a first step towards ending the armed occupation of our lands by a few government thugs.