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Bureaucrats “Giddy” With “Newly Minted Power”
New American ^ | 1/13 | W. Jasper

Posted on 02/06/2013 2:20:52 PM PST by mgist

Bureaucrats “Giddy” With “Newly Minted Power” Black-clad federal SWAT teams could soon be descending upon your farm, ranch, home, school, or place of business. Case in point: Iowa farms. On November 29, 2012, Chuck Gipp, director of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR), told a budget committee his department needed $1.3 million for hiring 11 new agents to inspect the state’s livestock facilities, pursuant to federal regulations. The federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had given the Iowa DNR 60 days to implement EPA-ordered inspections. EPA is threatening to take over enforcement if Iowa does not satisfactorily comply with its edicts in the time allotted.

“EPA has said if we don’t have the staff, they could develop SWAT-like teams to do (inspections) for us,” Gipp said. “We’d prefer, and our people we regulate prefer, to have DNR staff there to get people into attainment.”

Are Iowans so unfamiliar with agriculture that they must be directed by federal bureaucrats in Washington on the proper methods for disposing of common barnyard substances? Are federal SWAT teams really needed to check on local cow pies? The political classes in Washington apparently think so, even though the pioneers and farmers of the Hawkeye State managed to transform the Iowa prairies into the “Food Capital of the World” without the EPA’s tutelage. Like other states in this American Republic, Iowa bears a proud motto: “Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain.” The EPA’s threat, along with many other federal mandates bearing down on the states, will test whether any resolve remains behind those fine words.

Persecuting the People

The threat of invasion by federal SWAT teams to enforce an out-of-control regulatory bureaucracy is not an empty one, as many recent news stories attest. Here are just a few cases:

• On the morning of August 3, 2011, a SWAT-style task force of agents for the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Department of Agriculture, Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office conducted an armed raid on Rawesome Foods, a buying club for natural foods, including raw milk. James Stewart, the founder of Rawesome Foods, was thrown in jail and the club’s inventory of milk and cheese was destroyed or confiscated. Similar fates were meted out to Amish farmers in Indiana and Pennsylvania, and to food co-op members in Michigan.

• On May 2, 2012, two EPA agents and an armed police officer showed up unannounced at the front door of Larry Keller’s home in Asheville, North Carolina. “The agents presented very official looking badges and asked if we could sit and chat awhile,” Keller recounted. “We moved to the back porch and took our seats with the exception of the armed officer who stood by the door to the house the entire time.” They were paying him a visit because a couple of weeks previously he had sent a one-sentence e-mail to the EPA asking how to contact EPA Regional Administrator Al Armendariz (photo above). Like tens of thousands of other Americans, including congressmen and even the liberal-left Washington Post, Keller was upset by Armendariz’s notorious boast about using the EPA’s regulatory powers to “crucify” the oil and gas industry. Keller wanted to exercise his right under the First Amendment to tell Armendariz he didn’t appreciate his despotic views. The agency responded by trying to intimidate him. As it turned out, the negative reaction to Armendariz’s statement was so widespread that he was forced to resign from the EPA shortly thereafter.

• At 6:00 a.m. on June 7, 2011, Kenneth Wright was awakened by a federal SWAT team from the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Department of Education, accompanied by local police, breaking down the front door of his home in Stockton, California. Wright, who has no criminal history, said he was coming downstairs in his boxer shorts when an officer grabbed him by the neck and led him outside on his front lawn. “He had his knee on my back and I had no idea why they were there,” Wright recounted. The federal agents also woke his three young children, ages three, seven, and 11, and put them in a Stockton police patrol car with him, while they searched his house. “They put me in handcuffs in that hot patrol car for six hours, traumatizing my kids,” Wright told a local news station. It was reported that the paramilitary-style raid had been ordered due to defaulted student loans of Wright’s estranged wife, who, incidentally, no longer lived at the Wrights’ residence and was not there at the time of the raid.

• In 1996, a federal SWAT team consisting of almost two dozen armed agents from the EPA, FBI, and other agencies, with M-16 rifles and police dogs, raided Canal Refining Co. in Church Point, Louisiana. According to the Washington Legal Foundation (WLF), the EPA falsely accused Hubert P. Vidrine, Jr., the plant manager, of storing hazardous waste and lying about it; prevented employees from using the restrooms for several hours; prevented those same employees from calling their homes and daycare centers to make plans to have children picked up; falsely told the employees that Vidrine had been poisoning them and giving them cancer; and threatened them with imprisonment if they did not provide damaging evidence against Vidrine. Seven years later, on September 17, 2003, on the eve of trial, federal prosecutors filed a motion to dismiss the indictment against Vidrine. The charges were dropped, but Vidrine’s name had been dragged through the mud, and he had been forced to spend $180,000, his entire retirement savings, to defend against the bogus charges. With legal help from the WLF, Vidrine sued the federal government for malicious prosecution and other abuses. In November 2011, U.S. District Judge Rebecca Doherty awarded Vidrine $1.677 million in damages, including the costs of his criminal defense, lost income, and loss of earning capacity. Judge Doherty determined that the government had never possessed even “probable cause” to charge Vidrine with a crime. The judge also charged that Keith Phillips, the EPA agent who headed the government’s case, was “giddy” with “newly minted power” and had “set out with … reckless disregard for the processes and power which had been bestowed on him, to effectively destroy another man’s life.”

• In 1978, Wayne and Jean Hage purchased the huge Pine Creek Ranch in Nevada’s arid Nye County. A few months later they were visited by agents of the National Park Service, who wanted the Hages to sell the ranch to the Park Service for about half of what they had just paid. When the Hages refused to sell, the harassment began. The U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management started sending threatening letters, then citations and fines, falsely accusing them of trespass and attempting to provoke the Hages to a physical confrontation. Some 30 Forest Service riders, armed with semi-automatic weapons and bulletproof vests, descended on Hage’s ranch and took his cattle at gun point. The Hages sued for these and other criminal acts, but the harassment continued year after year as their cases wound through the legal system. Even after the Hages won court judgments, the government appealed and continued the abuses. In June and August of this year, Judge Robert C. Jones, chief judge of the United States District Court of Nevada, issued a stinging condemnation of the “abhorrent” actions of federal agencies in the Hage case and recommended criminal prosecution of USFS and BLM officials under RICO, the federal racketeering law. Judge Jones found “the government and the agents of the government … entered into a conspiracy, a literal, intentional conspiracy, to deprive the Hages of not only their permit grazing rights … but also to deprive them of their vested property rights under the takings clause.” The federal bureaucrats had used illegal means in an attempt “to kill the business of Mr. Hage,” said the judge. Judge Jones’ opinion, more than 30 years after the harassment began, was a welcome vindication for the Hage family. However, it came too late for Wayne and Jean Hage, both of whom had already passed away.

• On August 24, 2011, armed agents of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service raided the manufacturing facilities of the Gibson Guitar company in Nashville and Memphis, Tennessee. Initial reports stated that Gibson was being charged with illegal importation of rare and endangered wood for frets on its world-renowned guitars. “At issue,” reported Reason.com “is not whether the wood in question was endangered, but whether the wood was the correct level of thickness and finish before being exported from India.” “India is wanting to ensure that raw wood is not exported without some labor content from India,” said Gibson CEO Henry Juszkiewicz. The company protested that it had made good faith efforts to comply with arcane and confusing regulations and vowed to fight the charges. “Gibson is innocent and will fight to protect its rights,” Juszkiewicz said. “Gibson has complied with foreign laws and believes it is innocent of any wrong doing. We will fight aggressively to prove our innocence.” However, on August 6, 2012, Gibson settled out of court and agreed to pay a $300,000 penalty, forfeit claims to about $262,000 worth of wood seized by federal agents and contribute $50,000 to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to promote the conservation of protected tree species. “We felt compelled to settle as the costs of proving our case at trial would have cost millions of dollars and taken a very long time to resolve,” Juszkiewicz said in a press statement, adding, “This allows us to get back to the business of making guitars.”

Realism and Retribution

Sadly, for every victim of regulatory oppression like Hubert Vidrine or Wayne Hage who fights the federal regulatory leviathan and ultimately wins, there are many more who fail, or who, like Gibson Guitar, count the costs and decide it is not worth the time, irritation, and financial commitment to “buck the system.” More’s the pity, since tyranny thrives when the will to resist fails.


TOPICS: Government
KEYWORDS: bho44; farms

1 posted on 02/06/2013 2:21:02 PM PST by mgist
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To: mgist

Thanks for posting this, I’ve been telling people since Obama won it was not about taxes - the way he would REALLY spread the wealth around is through bureaucracies....their pay, their benefits, and their ablity to fine and confiscate as well as regulate.

“ITS THE BUREAUCRATS STUPID”


2 posted on 02/06/2013 2:23:08 PM PST by C. Edmund Wright
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To: mgist
As it turned out, the negative reaction to Armendariz’s statement was so widespread that he was forced to resign from the EPA shortly thereafter.

And the agents and the officer should have been arrested and should still be arrested. This stuff is not over just because they left.

3 posted on 02/06/2013 2:31:33 PM PST by MeneMeneTekelUpharsin (Freedom is the freedom to discipline yourself so others don't have to do it for you.)
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To: mgist
That flawed document and it's silly 4th Amendment.

All hail Dear Leader, shooter of skeet.

4 posted on 02/06/2013 2:32:28 PM PST by rawcatslyentist ("Behold, I am against you, O arrogant one," Jeremiah 50:31)
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To: mgist
It was reported that the paramilitary-style raid had been ordered due to defaulted student loans of Wright’s estranged wife, who, incidentally, no longer lived at the Wrights’ residence and was not there at the time of the raid.

More who should be arrested.

5 posted on 02/06/2013 2:32:58 PM PST by MeneMeneTekelUpharsin (Freedom is the freedom to discipline yourself so others don't have to do it for you.)
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To: mgist

The feds are “nudging” us to see how far they can go.


6 posted on 02/06/2013 2:33:25 PM PST by Wisconsinlady (The 2nd amendment is NOT about hunting-but protection from a tyrannical govt)
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To: mgist

ah yes, the dear leader needs a personal army to enforce his edicts. those who are now under attack, peacefully resist lawless government. those who are not yet under attack, peacefully help those who resist.

“we shall all hang seperately if we don’t hang together.”


7 posted on 02/06/2013 2:36:57 PM PST by dadfly
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To: C. Edmund Wright

Yes, our federal bureaucrats have been very diligent. The website informs us of their daily productivity of regulations over the past 90 days:

Today (121)

Last 3 Days (274)

Last 7 Days (371)

Last 15 Days (826)

Last 30 Days (1,915)

Last 90 Days (5,934)

http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/politics/item/14110-danger-federal-%E2%80%9Cregulatory-cliff%E2%80%9D-ahead


8 posted on 02/06/2013 2:39:00 PM PST by mgist
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To: mgist

Dept of Ed has SWAT teams? HC. HS. Hadn’t heard that. OMG.


9 posted on 02/06/2013 2:42:35 PM PST by carriage_hill (AR-10s & AR-15s are The 21st Century's Muskets. The 2nd Amendment Is The First Human Right.)
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To: mgist

What needs to be done, aside from reigning or eliminating these bureaucracies, is that the individual government employees need to be sued as individuals who are abusing their power.

Perhaps, if a few mult-million dollar judgement is awarded from these individual bureaucrats, it will start to make a difference.


10 posted on 02/06/2013 2:43:19 PM PST by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults.)
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To: mgist

11 posted on 02/06/2013 2:50:02 PM PST by American in Israel (A wise man's heart directs him to the right, but the foolish mans heart directs him toward the left.)
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To: Wisconsinlady
The feds are “nudging” us to see how far they can go.

When they start 'nudging' people with nothing left to lose, I see dead people. Lots of them.

12 posted on 02/06/2013 2:54:37 PM PST by Noumenon (One individual with courage, determination and a rifle can change the course of history.)
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To: mgist

A county sheriff defended a rancher against federal thugs. The sheriff told the bureaucrats that if they came back, they would be arrested. The federal thug told the sheriff that he’d send a federal SWAT team to arrest him. The sheriff fired back that his SWAT team would meet the fed’s SWAT team, and we’ll see how it turns out. The fascist feds ran away and never returned.

Elect a constitutional sheriff in your county to protect your family and your property. It’s critical for your security. Incidents like Waco need never happen again if your sheriff can muster a battalion of armed auxiliary deputies for “emergencies.”


13 posted on 02/06/2013 2:54:37 PM PST by sergeantdave (The FBI has declared war on the Marine Corps)
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To: mgist

14 posted on 02/06/2013 2:56:37 PM PST by American in Israel (A wise man's heart directs him to the right, but the foolish mans heart directs him toward the left.)
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To: American in Israel

15 posted on 02/06/2013 3:01:31 PM PST by American in Israel (A wise man's heart directs him to the right, but the foolish mans heart directs him toward the left.)
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To: carriage_hill

This really should be brought up during this whole gun debate, why does the EPA,BLM, Department of Education.....ect need a SWAT team? Especially armed with the same weapons that they want to ban.


16 posted on 02/06/2013 3:14:32 PM PST by Husker24
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To: Husker24

I can almost hear their BS replies:

“Fine for me, but not for thee.”


17 posted on 02/06/2013 3:18:49 PM PST by carriage_hill (AR-10s & AR-15s are The 21st Century's Muskets. The 2nd Amendment Is The First Human Right.)
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To: Noumenon

Especially if the person that has nothing left to lose has a .50caliber Barrett. Is there a bulletproof vest that stops such a round? Just sayin. I think it sucks that the government is forcing these discussions.


18 posted on 02/06/2013 3:20:53 PM PST by bbernard
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To: sergeantdave
"The sheriff fired back that his SWAT team would meet the fed’s SWAT team, and we’ll see how it turns out."

The Free States need to have their SWAT teams ready to take on Obama's various Brownshirts.

19 posted on 02/06/2013 3:26:20 PM PST by UnwashedPeasant
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To: mgist
there was a great show on cable about Waco recently. astounding example of mainly good people in an incredibly badly managed beaurocracy run wild.

i hope every federal agent is trained on Waco.

20 posted on 02/06/2013 3:48:50 PM PST by beebuster2000
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To: carriage_hill

NOAA has a SWAT team. The weather people.


21 posted on 02/06/2013 3:51:34 PM PST by CodeToad (Liberals are bloodsucking ticks. We need to light the matchstick to burn them off.)
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To: mgist

This is just the beginning a 4 year reign of terror. Buckle up.


22 posted on 02/06/2013 3:59:25 PM PST by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose of a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
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To: UnwashedPeasant

“The Free States need to have their SWAT teams ready to take on Obama’s various Brownshirts.”

Exactly. I’m having a real hard time trying to communicate to conservatives that local government is more powerful than the federal government. The federal government doesn’t have the manpower to tamp down 10,000 local brushfires.

Conservatives are too myopic and only focus on the federal elections.


23 posted on 02/06/2013 4:32:42 PM PST by sergeantdave (The FBI has declared war on the Marine Corps)
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To: bbernard

.30’06


24 posted on 02/06/2013 4:38:39 PM PST by Chuckster (The longer I live the less I care about what you think.)
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To: mgist

Bump for later


25 posted on 02/06/2013 4:55:30 PM PST by SuperLuminal (Where is another agitator for republicanism like Sam Adams when we need him?)
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To: sergeantdave
Exactly. I’m having a real hard time trying to communicate to conservatives that local government is more powerful than the federal government. The federal government doesn’t have the manpower to tamp down 10,000 local brushfires. Conservatives are too myopic and only focus on the federal elections.

Glad some people are waking up. I've been pounding this for years. State and Local Government is where the war will be won. If enough people stand up, the Feds must back down.
26 posted on 02/06/2013 7:35:25 PM PST by 98ZJ USMC
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To: sergeantdave
Exactly. I’m having a real hard time trying to communicate to conservatives that local government is more powerful than the federal government. The federal government doesn’t have the manpower to tamp down 10,000 local brushfires. Conservatives are too myopic and only focus on the federal elections.

Glad some people are waking up. I've been pounding this for years. State and Local Government is where the war will be won. If enough people stand up, the Feds must back down.
27 posted on 02/06/2013 7:55:15 PM PST by 98ZJ USMC
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To: mgist

The status of American bureaucracy reminds one of Terry Gilliam’s prescient film “Brazil.”

Clearly he was ahead of his time.


28 posted on 02/06/2013 8:08:33 PM PST by Jack Hammer
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To: carriage_hill

Yep - a couple of years ago they put out an RFP for a couple of dozen shotguns of a particular model (I don’t recall exactly what) ... “For compatibility with existing inventory”.


29 posted on 02/07/2013 3:58:01 AM PST by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: bbernard

The only bullet-proof vest that would stop a .50 BMG round would leave the wearer immobile.

And it wouldn’t protect the head.


30 posted on 02/07/2013 4:06:55 AM PST by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: sergeantdave; 98ZJ USMC

I pound that pulpit too guys.

The States are the Road to Liberty.


31 posted on 02/07/2013 5:30:44 AM PST by Free Vulcan (Vote Republican! [You can vote Democrat when you're dead]...)
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