Two prayers....

God's will be done and may He have mercy upon us all.

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A Catholic who follows Rome & the Magisterium. I'm against gay "marriage", abortion, embryonic stem cell research, euthanasia, human cloning. Altar girls, Communion in the hand, Eucharistic Ministers and "Protestant" music in the Church doesn't bother me at all. A proud American retired submarine sailor. Our borders should be secured with a 10 ft. high fence topped by concertina wire with minefields out to 20 yards on both sides and an additional 10 yards filled with warning signs outside of that Let's get energy independent NOW! Back Israel to the max, stop appeasing followers of the Pedophile Prophet. Pro 2nd Amendment, pro death penalty, Repeal all hate crime legislation. Back the police unless you'd rather call a hippie when everything hits the fan. Get government out of dealing with education, childhood obesity and the enviornment. Stop using the military for sociological experiments and if we're in a war don't micromanage their every move. Kill your television, limit time on the computer and pick up a book. God's will be done and may He have mercy upon us all.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

When crooks do it, it's called "extortion"...

Sometimes I'll come across a news item that seems too bizarre to be real. After doublechecking (something I highly recommend) it often turns out to be far different than what was originally portrayed.

This doesn't seem to be the case here, found this at various sites:

Sackett v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

When Mike and Chantell Sackett paid $23,000 for a lot near the banks of Priest Lake in northern Idaho in 2005, they thought they were buying the site for a picturesque new home. They got a lot more: a long feud with the Environmental Protection Agency and now a Supreme Court case that could bolster the rights of landowners facing costly demands from the federal government.

Four years ago the Sacketts were filling in their lot with dirt and rock, preparing to build a simple three-bedroom home in a neighborhood where other houses have stood for years. Then three federal officials showed up and demanded they stop construction. The agency claimed the .63-acre lot was a wetland, protected under the Clean Water Act.

The Sacketts say they were stunned. The owners of an excavation company, they had secured all the necessary local permits. And Chantell Sackett says that before work began, she drove two hours to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, to consult with an Army Corps of Engineers official. She says the official told her orally, though not in writing, that she didn’t need a federal permit. “We did all the right things,” she says.

The EPA issued an order requiring the Sacketts to put the land back the way it was, removing the piles of fill material and replanting the vegetation they had cleared away. The property was to be fenced off and the Sacketts would be required to submit annual reports about its condition to the EPA. The agency threatened to fine them up to $32,500 a day until they complied.

The Sacketts instead tried to get a hearing in federal court, seeking a declaration that their property wasn’t a protected wetland. The plot is not connected either to the lake or a nearby creek, though Mike Sackett, 45, says part of the land got “wet” at times in the spring. “We sued because we wanted our day in court to say, ‘This is not a wetland,’ ” he says. Two lower courts turned the couple away, saying they could not make that argument until the EPA asked a federal judge to enforce the order. That left the Sacketts in limbo. Restoring the property as the EPA demanded made no sense to them. It would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, they say, and if they ultimately won the case they’d have to clear the land a second time. But defying the order potentially meant racking up $32,500 in fines each day—and perhaps criminal liability if they continued with construction—while they waited for the EPA to decide whether to pursue the case. “It’s an unenviable choice,” says Damien M. Schiff of the Pacific Legal Foundation, a Sacramento-based property rights group that is representing the couple for free. “It’s really almost no choice at all.”

The Sacketts appealed to the Supreme Court, asking for the right to go straight to a federal judge. The high court agreed to hear the case in its fall term. It is being watched closely by environmentalists and property rights activists because of its potential scope. A ruling in the Sacketts’ favor would blunt one of the agency’s favorite enforcement tools. Each year it issues up to 3,000 “administrative compliance orders” to businesses and individuals, demanding an end to alleged environmental violations and applying enough pressure that those who are accused typically give in before the agency has to justify the action before a judge.

“The compliance order tool is one of a few mechanisms that EPA has to resolve, and resolve quickly, pollution problems,” says Jon P. Devine, a senior attorney with the National Resources Defense Council. The EPA argues the rules are reasonable. While fines may accrue, they won’t actually be assessed until the Sacketts have a chance to make their case to a judge, it says. Agency officials declined to be interviewed.

In taking on the case, the high court told the two sides to discuss in their filings whether the EPA’s procedures are so unfair that they violate the Sacketts’ constitutional right to due process. A ruling in favor of the landowners on those grounds would reverberate beyond the EPA, potentially forcing both state and federal agencies to seek court permission before trying to enforce rules.

Some environmental advocates believe the agency made a mistake in letting a case with such appealing plaintiffs reach the Supreme Court. The Sacketts haven’t dared to touch their land since the dispute began. Their dream house is on hold; they live in a rental nearby. It’s a problem for the EPA that the Sacketts “feel like the mom and pop who are getting the heavy hand of government brought down on them,” says Catholic University law professor Amanda Cohen Leiter, who sides with the agency. “I can imagine the court being sympathetic to these particular plaintiffs and issuing … an overbroad ruling as a result.”

(End of story, my comments follow)

First, note that this fiasco started back in the Bush years. So the heavy hand of our nannystate is something that goes beyond whether a Democrat or Republican sits in the Oval Office.

Next, $32,500 a DAY in fines for noncompliance? You must be shitting me. Really.

Then theres the telltale quote about halfway through the story, "... those who are accused typically give in before the agency has to justify the action before a judge." Uh-huh, who wants to trust the legal system when you're being extorted. And thats what this is, extortion. Put it another way, "Nice life you have there, do what we say or you'll spend your sunset years eating dog food. Thats IF and only IF we decide not to lock you away and toss the key."

Our government has gotten too damned big, too damned intrusive and too damned repressive. If someone is wanting to ask me where theres a better place to live and why don't I just go there, the answers would be; A) Don't know of a better place so far. B) I spent 22 years defending this nation and what it was originally standing for, it's my home. Even if the hired help has gotten out of hand I'm STILL going to stick around and do whatever I think possible and necessary to fix things. It might not amount to much in the long run, but I'm not leaving.

Wasn't Ruby Ridge also in Idaho?

Yeah, thought so.

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