Change outcome by changing habits & behaviors

My core belief is that we as individuals can reinvent ourselves, that we are not victims of birth or circumstance, that we can make choices and that if we want to change our outcomes they need to change our habits and behaviors. This belief informed all others and shaped the course of my life. It means that when faced with challenging circumstances, I figure out what I can do to change my responses and/or change conditions by envisioning the result I want and then working backwards to the do the needed steps. I do this with a pragmatic outlook, judging situations by what really happens, not what I think should happen or not what people say should/will happen.

This is not a belief that you can make anything happen and I really dislike the ideas that if you believe in yourself you can do anything or if you want it badly enough you can get anything. It is, IMO, a realistic way to look at what can be done and then adapt yourself do produce the best outcomes. You cannot always, or even usually, choose your circumstances, but you can choose your responses and over time change the circumstances.

Maybe you are asking now, "What does this have to do with politics?" I did not think much about that until just recently. As a leader, individual and citizen, I have always based my actions on the beliefs above. When I want to change my outcomes, I change myself by changing my habits and behaviors and assume others should do the same. This, I am learning, is a mostly conservative point of view. (I have been told (by liberals) that my outlook is in offensive to those who do not succeed. They usually shortly after make the list of the usual victims to include, blacks, women, immigrants, immigrant kids, city kids, rural people, young people, old people ... it includes almost everybody. In fact, I clearly fall into multiple categories. It is a loser mentality. I am told that they use of the term loser is offensive, but I do not really care, which I suppose is why I am a conservative.

Liberals evidently believe much more in equality than I do. This would not be very hard. I believe in equality under the law but beyond that, I do not much care about equality at all. I think it is useful to try to help people reach their potentials but I understand that when we create more opportunity, we also create more inequality and I am okay with that.

So I ask my liberal friends, am I wrong? My assumption is that we can reinvent ourselves by changing our habits and behaviors. I am not interested in equality in itself. In fact, I dislike the very idea of equality besides equality under the law. What are your assumptions?

Posted by Christine & John at December 27, 2015 10:50 PM
Comments
Comment #401601

Some say “we are what we eat”. I say, we become what we believe.

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 28, 2015 4:12 PM
Comment #401602

Inequality is a fairly vague term. Unequal applies to most aspects of life; intellect, manufacturing, financial, beauty and so on — -

Like most things, in moderation inequality may be helpful or not harmful.

Brothers might differ in intellect but it only last a life time. School systems may be unequal but this might be rectified over time.

Looking at wages between federal and public; inequality here is generally self correcting. As wages get more unequal people see that, complain, and wages start to level out.

Where corporations produce products and provide services self correction often goes out the window. Smaller ones, say, under a billion$, inequality may be self correcting.

For corporations over a billion$ inequality most often becomes rampant, leading to monopoly and conglomeration.

Reasons are many but, a corp is set up as unequal from the gitgo as it exists in perpetuity and supported through favorable tax status and other laws.

Inequality comes in the form of the ability to restrict or diminish competition, buy more gov’t legislation, ability to influence worker wages thru legislation, immigration and similar, stifled opportunities broad in scope and so on - - -

Currently, 1% owns 40% of the wealth. Recognizing that there are no road blocks to rampant inequality, if you extrapolate out to 50 - 100 years one could expect the 1% to own it all at some point in the coming century.

Otherwise, we have the corpocracy we deserve.

Posted by: roy ellis at December 28, 2015 5:33 PM
Comment #401604
My assumption is that we can reinvent ourselves by changing our habits and behaviors.

The whole premise here is unfounded as it is impossible to separate “habits and behaviors” from “birth or circumstance”. Consider the case of Rosa Parks, who was prevented from riding in her preferred seat on the Montgomery City Bus in a classic case of unjustified discrimination on account of birth or circumstance. Before December 1, 1955, Parks’ habit was to acquiesce to the segregation regime in Alabama. Then, she changed that behavior and was arrested as a result. A year later, segregated buses came to an end after a bitterly fought boycott campaign by the NAACP and others as well as a decision by the Court in Browder v. Gayle.

Now, this change was undoubtedly brought about by a change in attitudes and behaviors of Blacks in Montgomery. By no means was the change in official policy a charitable effort by the White Americans who wielded power. However, it would be incredulous to dismiss the clear fact that Rosa Parks was a victim of an unjust policy. She was not treated equally solely on account of the color of her skin, which is absolutely contrary to the ideals on which our nation is prefaced. Obviously, skin color is not a function of one’s habits or behavior.

Posted by: Warren Porter at December 29, 2015 10:37 AM
Comment #401605

Couldn’t behaving as if it were still 1955 be a habit that could be changed?

Wouldn’t people be reinventing themselves by simply acknowledging that 2015 is nothing like 1955?

Posted by: kctim at December 29, 2015 11:36 AM
Comment #401606

Warren, your comments get an “F” from me for irrelevance to the statement made by C/J.

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 29, 2015 1:21 PM
Comment #401607
Wouldn’t people be reinventing themselves by simply acknowledging that 2015 is nothing like 1955?

Of course. My issue is with the binary. C&J act like one’s behavior/habits are inseparable from one’s birth and circumstance. Not only is that false, but the complete opposite is true. Hardly any behaviors/habits are the result of a conscious decision after much deliberation. Much more common, people do the things they do as a result of external factors, whether that be their environment, genetics or something else. Ultimately, you cannot have one without the other. This is what I meant when I declared them inseparable.

C&J alleged that these can be separated and that the impact of birth and circumstance is very marginal compared to the impact of behavior/habits. Jack spoke generally, as if this were a universal maxim. Obviously, if this were the case, it would have to be just as true in 1955 as it is in 2015, but clearly, it was not.

our comments get an “F” from me for irrelevance to the statement made by C/J.
I may have misread what Jack wrote, but my understanding is he is dismissing the role external factors play in shaping oneself. While he does acknowledge that he disagrees with the notion that anything is possible if only one’s will was strong enough, “This is not a belief that you can make anything happen and I really dislike the ideas that if you believe in yourself you can do anything or if you want it badly enough you can get anything.”

There’s probably nuance that I am missing here. Let me share an example from my own life. Granted, it is a vain problem only made possible by my privilege of growing up in a developed country. Yesterday morning, I was supposed to fly from Boston to Lincoln, Nebraska to attend my friend’s wedding. Like thousands of other Americans, a few inches of sleet and freezing rain trapped me in the hellhole that is O’Hare Airport. Needless to say, I missed my friend’s wedding, instead, stumbling onto a flight to Dulles airport that could not leave the gate until 2am after hours of delays. Circumstances beyond my control have made the last 24 hours of my life very uncomfortable. 30 continuous hours without sleep and 12+ hours standing in lines has ruined my circadian rhythms for at least a few days.

Now, is it fair to say my misery is merely a result of my habits or behavior? Granted, there are many things I could have done to make my bad situation even worse. Indeed, I witnessed many fellow passengers throw temper tantrums because United Airlines was not willing to fly an airplane under unsafe conditions. One couple told me that they wished the flight to Washington had been cancelled instead of being delayed by 5 hours. Apparently, they would have preferred to return to their home in Chicago rather than wait in the terminal until the ungodly hour the plane finally departed. Why they didn’t simply cancel the reservation for the delayed flight escapes me, as it would be generous to give up one’s seat to someone who has no business in Chicago.

It is likely the reaction to this misfortune is what C&J referred to originally. However, he posits that changing behaviors and habits will ultimately change the circumstances. That may be true on occasion, but generally it is not so. No matter how I changed my behavior or habits, there was no way I was going to Lincoln to celebrate my friend’s wedding. Perhaps, I should have made it a habit to fly a few days in advance in order to safeguard against events like this? Given the extra hotel fare involved, this seems like an expensive habit to undertake for someone eking by on a graduate student’s stipend. Paying better attention to the forecast may have allowed me to enjoy another day with my parents in Boston instead of entering airport hell, and this bit of hindsight might be particularly poignant given that I have specialized training in meteorology, but when I do not pay attention to weather reports, I have no additional insight compared to the average man. Still, none of these options allow for me to simultaneously spend December 25 with my parents and December 28 with my friend while adhering to my frugal lifestyle. Such is life.

Posted by: Warren Porter at December 29, 2015 5:50 PM
Comment #401608

Warren, it is believed that alcoholism is an inherited gene. I personally know a number of alcoholics who suffered from years of excessive drinking. Some lost everything including family, health and wealth. Yet, they changed their behavior and habits and stopped drinking completely and restored their lives.

Napoleon Hill wrote; “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe can be achieved”.

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 29, 2015 6:25 PM
Comment #401609

Personally, I do not believe such transformation is possible in isolation. It only happens in the proper context. One man might be predisposed to alcoholism, but could manage to triumph over the challenge because of the assistance of other external factors. The support from friends, faith and family cannot be ignored.

Posted by: Warren Porter at December 29, 2015 6:58 PM
Comment #401610

The support from friends, faith and family cannot be ignored.
Posted by: Warren Porter at December 29, 2015 6:58 PM

Yes, that can be important too. However, some of my friends had lost all of those due to drinking. All of those who I know personally recovered with the help of AA. Some had slips and drank again. But, they kept coming back and eventually they stopped drinking. Two of my friends have been sober for over twenty years.

It is important to understand that no amount of family, friends or support from groups will change an alcoholic unless and until they change themselves…THEIR behavior and THEIR habits.

Alcoholism does not respect intellect, wealth, position, religiousness or anything else. The only cure is to not drink.

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 29, 2015 7:21 PM
Comment #401611

CORRECTION: There is no known “cure” for alcoholism. My friends are “recovering alcoholics”. They stay sober one day at a time.

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 29, 2015 7:37 PM
Comment #401612
It is important to understand that no amount of family, friends or support from groups will change an alcoholic unless and until they change themselves…THEIR behavior and THEIR habits.

It would be a misinterpretation of what I have written to think that I dismiss the importance of personal fortitude when it comes these sorts of transformations. My only contention is that it is impossible for this to happen isolation. Change requires both personal will as well as the proper environment conducive for such change. When either individual attitude or the environment is insufficient, reinvention of oneself cannot occur.

Posted by: Warren Porter at December 29, 2015 9:52 PM
Comment #401616

“Change requires both personal will as well as the proper environment conducive for such change.”

Warren, please explain and provide an example.

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 30, 2015 5:55 PM
Comment #401617
ll of those who I know personally recovered with the help of AA.
(emphasis mine).

Clearly, the recovering alcoholics that you know did not change their lives on their own. They had help. And not only that, they received help from an organization with an philosophy that change can only come with the help of an external force. From the 12 Steps:

1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become
unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to
sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we
understood Him.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature
of our wrongs.
6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make
amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do
so would injure them or others.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly
admitted it.
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with
God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us
and the power to carry that out.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to
carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our
affairs.

I think it is obvious that the above is not supportive of the notion that reinvention can come about in a vacuum just because a person wills it to be so. Alone, the individual is powerless. With a proper environment and support from friends, faith and family, the individual is nearly omnipotent as long as he or she is sufficiently committed to he or her goals.

Posted by: Warren Porter at December 30, 2015 7:58 PM
Comment #401618

” I believe in equality under the law but beyond that….”

But we do not have that and that is one of the major concerns for liberals/progressives. Likewise we absolutely are victims of birth and circumstance and minimizing that is another key goal for us progressives.

Posted by: George at December 31, 2015 5:29 AM
Comment #401619

warren

“Change requires both personal will as well as the proper environment conducive for such change.”

Substitute “proper environment conducive for such change” with sense of personal responsibility as a motivation, and I think you are onto something.

Posted by: dbs at December 31, 2015 8:18 AM
Comment #401620

George

“Likewise we absolutely are victims of birth and circumstance and minimizing that is another key goal for us progressives.”

Your mistake is believing the gov’t can minimize this, or create equality in life. The solution to overcoming the situation is by changing your mindset. As long as we feel sorry for ourselves, and waste our energy blaming the system, or others, we will never be able to move forward. You will end up a career victim always waiting for someone else to provide a solution, rather than taking responsibility for your own life, and leaving the excuses behind. Continue to make excuses for failure, and you will continue to fail.

Posted by: dbs at December 31, 2015 8:28 AM
Comment #401621

George,

Welcome to Watchblog! I hope you continue to contribute. It is the rich diversity of voices that makes this a truly special place.

As for your comment, you are right to question C&J’s assertion that equality under the law has already been achieved. Although much progress has been made in recent decades, we still have unequal enforcement of many laws and in some cases the laws themselves discriminate in an unjustifiable manner.

That said, I would caution against asserting that people are “victims” of circumstance and birth. As I wrote above, outcomes and results are the function of both one’s environment as well as one’s personal attitude. If a person suffers and is unwilling to adopt to proper perspective to facilitate changing their condition, I would not term such a person a victim no matter the circumstances. It does everyone a disservice by hindering the journey to personal reinvention.

Posted by: Warren Porter at December 31, 2015 8:42 AM
Comment #401622
Substitute “proper environment conducive for such change” with sense of personal responsibility as a motivation, and I think you are onto something.

I agree that it would be wrong to diminish the importance of personal responsibility here, although I regard it to be an integral component of both individual will and the proper environment conducive to change. Still, I would not ignore the relevance external factors can play as well. They can be just as important.

Posted by: Warren Porter at December 31, 2015 8:51 AM
Comment #401623

Well this may be a good sign for next year. We seem to have a consensus of personal responsibility, good governance and an effort to not fear said governance but understand the dangers of it’s possible intrusion into our liberty and freedom. Sounds like a good plan.

A wish for a Happy and Prosperous New Year to the WB community!!

Posted by: Speak4all at December 31, 2015 11:15 AM
Comment #401624

Speaks you are right but…. we also have the nonsensical “When I want to change my outcomes, I change myself by changing my habits and behaviors and assume others should do the same. This, I am learning, is a mostly conservative point of view. (I have been told (by liberals) that my outlook is in offensive to those who do not succeed.” idea from C&J that clouds conservative thinking. Because conservatives can only view the world as black or white, because they cannot see the gray the cannot grasp the whole picture. IMHO this type of politicization of the power of the mind is wrong and must be challenged.

Personal initiative indeed does wonders for many people and IMHO is not reserved for one political ideology, which is easily proven by simply looking at the world around us. If only conservatives were successful then perhaps this type of nonsense would have a kernel of truth. Were it a fact that only white people or rich people succeeded in life then we could say it may be true. Yet rich people, white people and conservatives fail just as poor and minorities do.

As we know many liberals, people of color, many poor people succeed which tells us that substituting this power of the subconscious mind as an answer to political issues is dangerous to our country. Why? Because as I have said conservatives think in absolutes, they will think the problem is solved using this blame the victim mentality.

It is a loser mentality. I am told that they use of the term loser is offensive, but I do not really care, which I suppose is why I am a conservative.

C&J this attitude, it seems to me, is very negative when you are promoting your system of self reliance as a means for solving political issues. In a capitalist society such as ours most of us are losers if we judge by the amount of money we have accrued. I remember you telling us Bernie Sanders is a loser because he hasn’t accrued millions of dollars being in public office for so many years, so measuring as you do most Americans are losers.

I would suggest this attitude makes losers out of those who agree with it. It reeks of a blame the victims mentality. It allows for one to persecute those who are different from them and it seem to be just a hiding place for those that suffer from a bit of narcissism. Taken to extremes it could lead many to believe their problems are caused by Jews, or homosexuals, or non Aryans and allows those that follow such leaders to brutalize and kill these losers as they gain political power.

Your mistake is believing the gov’t can minimize this, or create equality in life.

DBS, the government can minimize some of the problem by passing laws that protect the weak from the strong and providing a social safety net. I would agree the government cannot create equality but they can level the playing field a bit just as they can make equality harder to obtain.

The solution to overcoming the situation is by changing your mindset.

On a personal level yes it is. Institutional discrimination is not solved by personal initiative, IMHO, but legislation can help over come it.

As long as we feel sorry for ourselves, and waste our energy blaming the system, or others, we will never be able to move forward.

Again on a personal level changing one’s attitude goes long ways. On a political level conservatives have made a ideology out of blaming the government, making government the problem and have felt sorry for themselves thinking their religious beliefs are being persecuted in this country. Yet these same conservatives would have us believe feeling sorry for ourselves and blaming the system is reserved for minorities and poor people!

Posted by: j2t2 at December 31, 2015 12:44 PM
Comment #401625

j2t2, quite true all of what you type. I believe a lot of conservatives think that the baby needs to be thrown out with the bath water. Get rid of any government programs completely. This seems ridiculous to most logical people since it is not something that can be accomplished and they know that. But some conservatives have this fear that if there is government then there is ultimately danger or they just like to have something to blame everything on. I am not sure what they expect from government anymore since it is always the whipping child in most of their ideology. I believe their feeling is that if there is any dependence on government by people it is wrong and needs to be abolished. In there view trying to explain how to accept personal responsibility while there are government programs to help people in need, is akin to trying to explain to a blind person what the gift of sight is like.

Posted by: Speak4all at December 31, 2015 12:58 PM
Comment #401626

Warren wrote; “Clearly, the recovering alcoholics that you know did not change their lives on their own. They had help. And not only that, they received help from an organization with an philosophy that change can only come with the help of an external force.”

It is difficult for liberals to credit the individual for achievement. They insist that government, or someone else, take credit as well.

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 31, 2015 1:37 PM
Comment #401627

One of the most accomplished men of the past millennium once remarked in a letter to his friend: “If I have seen further, it is by standing shoulders of giants”. Indeed, rarely have truer words been said. Borrowed from a Medieval writer, the autologic serves to demonstrate the veracity of the maxim. Again, we return the controversy that ensued after President Obama declared, “You didn’t build that”. No matter how much conservatives protest, we do not escape the fact that no human achievement occurred in a vacuum. Individuals certainly can be congratulated for their particular efforts, but it is always disingenuous to ignore the external forces that are also in play.

They insist that government, or someone else, take credit as well.
Never has anyone ever achieved anything when they were truly alone. Posted by: Warren Porter at December 31, 2015 5:47 PM
Comment #401628

“If I have seen further, it is by standing shoulders of giants”

Yes indeed. Notice the words Warren. It doesn’t say standing on the shoulders of, or holding the hand of, government.

You seem to be very puzzled by individual achievement. Perhaps you need to do a little deep thinking.

Warren confuses “tools” with people. I can dig a hole with my bare hands. If I want to increase my effectiveness I will use a shovel and pick. I didn’t make the tool, but I don’t require the maker to be present for me to use the tool.

A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE.

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 31, 2015 5:57 PM
Comment #401629

RF,

Happy New Year to you too.

It doesn’t say standing on the shoulders of, or holding the hand of, government.

I never said anything about government. You are jumping to conclusions. My only claim is that individual accomplishment is only possible with the right external factors.

Warren confuses “tools” with people. I can dig a hole with my bare hands. If I want to increase my effectiveness I will use a shovel and pick. I didn’t make the tool, but I don’t require the maker to be present for me to use the tool.
When a tool facilitates an accomplishment, is there no credit to be had for its maker? Do we blame an individual who lacks the those tools from accomplishing the same as someone who has the right tools? Posted by: Warren Porter at December 31, 2015 6:16 PM
Comment #401630

“When a tool facilitates an accomplishment, is there no credit to be had for its maker?”

If a tool lies idle in the hands of the individual does the tool maker get any credit or scorn for nothing being done?

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 31, 2015 6:25 PM
Comment #401631

That is neither here nor there. You imply symmetry where none exists.

Posted by: Warren Porter at December 31, 2015 8:10 PM
Comment #401632

Royal,

“I can dig a hole with my bare hands. If I want to increase my effectiveness I will use a shovel and pick.”

Yet without the knowledge of physics taught to you by a science teacher how would you know how to use those tools effectively?

No man is an island, Royal, and no one lives in a bubble. We are all products of the environments we are exposed to. Even athletes who compete in track and field, the most individual of all sports are a product of the work of many people.
We are, all of us, the result of our families, friends, classmates, teachers, ministers, priests, and rabbis, and they are the result of us.

Individualism is a fantasy. We are all who we are through the lives we have led, and the people we are in constant contact with.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at December 31, 2015 9:07 PM
Comment #401633

dbs,

“Your mistake is believing the gov’t can minimize this, or create equality in life.”

Not sure it’s my mistake…To assume government can’t effect opportunity or inequality is to assume policy doesn’t matter. All you have to do is look at the extremes to see how obviously misguided this claim is. We abandoned serfdom and the divine right of kings and we also understand communist governments do not work nor do dictatorships. Our form of government improves lives and has been shown through time and policy shifts to have a spectrum of abilities towards decreasing inequality and increasing opportunity as well as increasing civility and economic outcomes. Can you really not think of any policies that you would like to see changed that would improve opportunity and/or decrease inequality or improve efficiency? Also to assume less government is always better government is very simple-minded reasoning which is soundly defeated by a simple observation that all the best economies and civil societies are mixed economies. No where is there a true free-market economy out performing all the others.

Posted by: GeorgeB at December 31, 2015 9:53 PM
Comment #401634

Warren you wrote,

“That said, I would caution against asserting that people are “victims” of circumstance and birth. “


Warren my perspective is that of a pediatrician. Maybe there are some semantics at play here but I see kids born to single drug addicted mothers in areas with high crime and I see see kids from wealthy families with stable home lives and good schools…. there is no way that the former is not a victim of circumstance. Unless the claim is he made a poor choice when choosing parents. To expect this inner city kid to some how attain a perspective of personally responsibility and pul-yourself-up-by-your-bootstrapism” is asking a bit much.

Posted by: GeorgeB at December 31, 2015 10:05 PM
Comment #401635

A poor environment certainly impedes individual success. However, labeling people “victims” does them a disservice. It robs them of the personal will to forge a better life. Conversely, no matter how the tragic or circumstance, I cannot view a person as a victim of those conditions if they are unwilling to give themselves the help and support they need.

Happy New Year.

Posted by: Warren Porter at January 1, 2016 12:01 AM
Comment #401637

GeorgeB

“Our form of government improves lives and has been shown through time and policy shifts to have a spectrum of abilities towards decreasing inequality and increasing opportunity as well as increasing civility and economic outcomes”

A gov’t improves lives by protecting the rights of individuals, and allowing them to rise to levels their ability and motivation will take them. There is no level playing field, and it is not the function of gov’t to affect outcomes.

No two people are the same, and opportunity is created through hard work. Some will be more successful than others, and some will achieve nothing because they lack motivation, or are just lazy. Liberal policies do nothing but create a victim class who believe it is someone elses responsibility to provide them with success, or because of something that someone else hasn’t done rather than their own lack of motivation. Gov’t can’t change this and shouldn’t.

Posted by: dbs at January 1, 2016 11:10 AM
Comment #401638

GeorgeB


“To expect this inner city kid to some how attain a perspective of personally responsibility and pul-yourself-up-by-your-bootstrapism” is asking a bit much.”

Personal responsibility is taught. Expect less of someone, and be accepting of it, and that’s what you’ll get. Again the enabling of victimization only serves to perpetuate a poor condition which will continue to doom future generations to a life of dependence on others in order to survive. Stop feeling sorry for people and start teaching them to take responsibility for their own future, and they will succeed. Stop accepting their excuses for failure, and eventually they will stop making them, and move on in life.

Posted by: dbs at January 1, 2016 11:24 AM
Comment #401640
A gov’t improves lives by protecting the rights of individuals, and allowing them to rise to levels their ability and motivation will take them.

Absolutely true. The unfortunate thing is that today’s government does not do an adequate job protecting individuals’ rights.

opportunity is created through hard work
Sometimes yes, but far too often no. Opportunity takes many forms many of which manifest themselves regardless of hard work. Hard work alone only occasionally overcomes the environmental barriers that impede success. Posted by: Warren Porter at January 1, 2016 1:59 PM
Comment #401641

“…today’s government does not do an adequate job protecting individuals’ rights.”

Please elaborate. Are you referring to rights by law, or rights by Constitution?

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 1, 2016 2:22 PM
Comment #401642

Rights are endowed by our Creator regardless of what is said in the Constitution or our laws.

That said, there are numerous instances in this country where people are permitted to infringe upon the liberty of another. Sometimes, the law forbids that infringement but remains unenforced. Other times, the law actually permits the infringement outright.

In many states, it is legal to fire someone from a job simply on account of their gender identity without regard to their actual on-job performance. It is legal to release pollutants into the environment, leaving one’s neighbors holding the bag for the associated costs. It is legal to place onerous restrictions on abortion, a decision that needs to be made solely by a woman and her doctor. It is legal to to tax voters, putting financial barriers in front of electoral participation.

Everywhere, law enforcement systematically treat people differently on the basis of the color of their skin. This may not be a conscious decision, but it reflects the implicit biases that can control one’s behavior if they aren’t actively countered.

Basically, go look at the Democratic Party’s platform. Nearly every single initiative is designed to protect the rights of individuals that are currently being violated.

Posted by: Warren Porter at January 1, 2016 4:13 PM
Comment #401643

Warren, it appears that confusion abounds in your mind regarding the origin and definition of rights versus law.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 1, 2016 4:37 PM
Comment #401644

What constitutes a right? Libertarians have formulated a classification of rights into “positive rights” and “negative rights”. They say the former does not deserve government protection, that it is solely and individual’s responsibility to guarantee them. I reject this binary premise. This is an old argument we’ve had before and will have again. Honestly, I would prefer to return to a discussion of C&J’s original remarks.

C&J seemed to argue that people are capable of reinvention even when they are oppressed. The abrogation of basic individual liberty does not seem to be an impediment to that end. I claim the contrary. Only when under a proper environment that is conducive to such change will reinvention occur. The importance of individual perseverance cannot be discounted, but it is powerless when it operates alone. Success is a team effort and it takes a village to get anything done.

Posted by: Warren Porter at January 1, 2016 5:02 PM
Comment #401645

“Success is a team effort and it takes a village to get anything done.”
Posted by: Warren Porter at January 1, 2016 5:02 PM

So day you and Hillary. What exactly is the role of government in individual success and achievement? Does it follow that more government results in greater individual achievement and success? Can it be legislated?

“C&J seemed to argue that people are capable of reinvention even when they are oppressed.”

Hmmm…our successful revolution and the establishment of our Democratic Republic was primarily opposition of oppression.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 1, 2016 5:16 PM
Comment #401646
What exarctly is the role of government in individual success and achievement?

Government’s role is to secure our individual rights and to foster an environment conducive for success and achievement. “levelling the playing field”, “spreading the wealth” or “equalizing outcomes” are not part of those objectives. Honestly, the actions of nongovernmental agents are far more important. I am not sure why you and dbs keep talking about government. Just because external factors are important to shaping individual success does not mean government has to get involved with every facet of our lives.

our successful revolution and the establishment of our Democratic Republic was primarily opposition of oppression.
I already acknowledged that occasionally individuals triumph despite environmental impediments. Often, it is a reflection of simultaneously benefiting from external assistance such as being bankrolled by King Louis XVI and William V. Posted by: Warren Porter at January 1, 2016 6:20 PM
Comment #401647

We ask questions Warren because your positions are so muddled.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 1, 2016 7:28 PM
Comment #401648

My New Year wish for my liberal friends is a long life so they may truly experience the socialist nirvana they so desire. Perhaps when government has its collective foot on their necks they will remember our conservative voices.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 1, 2016 7:58 PM
Comment #401649
Still, I would not ignore the relevance external factors can play as well. They can be just as important.

Posted by: Warren Porter at December 31, 2015 8:51 AM

I think the left does nothing but ignore the relevance external factors can play. Somehow I have to believe Warren Porter ignores the most relevant external factor of all! The government!

Speak4all, all but insists his opinion of good governance shouldn’t be feared, but understood.

..good governance and an effort to not fear said governance but understand the dangers of it’s possible intrusion into our liberty and freedom.

Posted by: Speak4all at December 31, 2015 11:15 AM

Neither of them can imagine government being bad itself. In their eyes we’re always just one step away from solving our problems. They both adhere to a mindset based on everything being perfect if only some of us would move aside.(they call it compromise)

It’s like having a war every ten years! The last one gets explained away and then comes another one. We’ve been in a constant state of emergency since the Korean/UN war. A truce is not peace. That state of emergency gives the president authority not limited by the constitution.

If we are serious about ending the President’s usurpation of power, we must end the state of emergency that has existed since the Korean war.

Posted by: Weary Willie at January 1, 2016 8:54 PM
Comment #401650

My position is simple. Nobody lives in a vacuum. Every life is a function of many inputs, some internal and some external. What muddles things is when you bring government into the picture. I don’t believe my observation leads to any conclusion about the role of government, so your questions appear quite orthogonal.

Posted by: Warren Porter at January 1, 2016 8:55 PM
Comment #401651
Individualism is a fantasy.

Said the fly to the spider.

Imagine Rocky Marks’ head on a little fly body. He’s flying around yelling “Help Me!” “Help Me!”. Next thing he knows he has flown into a spider’s web and he is stuck. He stops screaming and considers his predicament.

He realizes if he doesn’t move he could save energy. He also realizes he doesn’t have to yell any longer. He chooses to stay in the web because the web gives him comfort.

Posted by: Weary Willie at January 2, 2016 12:42 AM
Comment #401652

Willie,

Perhaps you among all of humans ever born are the only one to come from the womb self realized, never needing to be taught to bathe, clothe, or feed yourself, your rugged individualism evident for all the world to see.
An intelligence so vast you come here only to toy with us mere humans.

Yeah, right…

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at January 2, 2016 9:11 AM
Comment #401653

dbs, “Personal responsibility is taught.”


Yes and who will teach the chid this? His drug-addicted mother? His absent imprisoned father? His fellow gang members? You ? Me? I agree policy can ingrain a victim mentality but I disagree that policy has no place in leveling the playing field and helping to break the cycle of poverty. At the very least lets get rid of the massive welfare going to the top and the political privilege that money buys those on top and see if that alone doesn’t provide more opportunity for those in the middle and the bottom. We can organize society and the economy like the MLB where those with the most revenue will likely win the World Series or we can create a more level playing field like the NFL where profits are shared and teams dynasties have more to do with organizational merit as opposed geography and media markets.

Posted by: George at January 2, 2016 11:29 AM
Comment #401654

Change outcome by changing habits & behaviors

To go back to the title of the post. How do we change habits and behaviors of the baby born to and growing up with a drug addicted mother, an absent imprisoned father and neighborhood run by gangs? Are you suggesting a policy change? Platitudes always sound good they do little on their own. Do you think this baby is likely to do poorly more because of a defect of character or because of the environment he was born into.

Posted by: George at January 2, 2016 11:36 AM
Comment #401655

Royal Flush wrote, “It is difficult for liberals to credit the individual for achievement. They insist that government, or someone else, take credit as well.”


No I give credit both to the individual and to good policy. I think it’s more fair to say that conservatives have the monocular view here never wanting to credit good policy and always assuming less government is better. The funny thing is the conservative always defaults to giving ALL the credit to the individuals who make it to the top ignoring how rabidly the lobby government to get their own welfare and good policy. Those on top indeed understand policy matters and that’s why spending money on policy s one of their best investments.

Posted by: George at January 2, 2016 11:44 AM
Comment #401656

Royal Flush wrote, “My New Year wish for my liberal friends is a long life so….


Not sure what year you were born ( I was 1960) but are you saying things are getting worse or going to get worse because we are getting bigger or more socialist government. My position is that constitutional democracy (please no replies that we are a republic; it’s still a democratic form of government) is the best form of government. A government of, by and for the people. The reality is that we (the social democracies) are organized in a spectrum from corporatism to socialism. Thats truly our only options. There is no such thing as a free market. All markets exist in a milieu of policy. Our current policy regime is clearly shifted to the side of corporatism and that is why thing are looking so glum for the future in my opinion. I fear too big and intrusive government but I also fear the power of concentrated wealth, global finance and mega-corporations. The purpose of a government , of, by and for the people is to provide a balance of the power and needs for both the market/corporate interest and those of the broader population. You need good rules and good referees.

Posted by: gbalella at January 2, 2016 12:08 PM
Comment #401657

Hello gbalella,

Big government is in bed with big business. That’s certainly part of the problem. This dreadful marriage is not the creature of either party; but both parties, applauded and approved by a current majority of voters.

Can we dissolve this unholy marriage with our votes? Not if we cling to our party philosophy.

I don’t believe a presidency of Hillary, Bernie or Donald will disrupt this cozy business/government relationship.

I do believe a Cruz presidency has at least the chance of changing this arrangement.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 2, 2016 3:08 PM
Comment #401658
I do believe a Cruz presidency has at least the chance of changing this arrangement.

Royal interesting you would think Cruz would change the big money problem in DC.

I would suggest the problem is more severe than your description “Big government is in bed with big business.” I would say big business controls Congress at this point. We are past the point of being bed buddies IMHO. I know tomato or tomatoe but……

What I really want to know is what would make you think Cruz over Bernie Sanders would change this arrangement. I wonder if you have any factual information that would justify this belief.

Myself I think we will need many Bernies to effect any change at this point in time. The conservatives on the SCOTUS have made money free speech and opened the flood gates for buying politicians.

Posted by: j2t2 at January 2, 2016 4:48 PM
Comment #401659

j2t2, the cozy relationship between government and big business is facilitated by our IRS code. Using the IRS, congress can reward or punish who they wish in return for election money.

Cruz states that he wishes to abolish the IRS and replace it with a “flat tax”. Cruz writes; “The current tax code is an artifact of the Washington Cartel – lobbyists and special interests colluding with government to benefit themselves at the expense of taxpayers. Complexity is the Cartel’s greatest ally because it masks backroom favors. Our current labyrinth of a tax system has been a tool for Washington to amass power. Americans are rightfully suspicious of any government code that outruns the length of the Bible.”

Cruz has stated he will work to eliminate:

1. Department of Education – return education to those who know our students best: parents, teachers, local communities, and states. And block-grant education funding to the states. Education has become big business at the expense of educating our children.

2. Department of Energy – cut off the Washington Cartel, stop picking winners and losers, and unleash the energy renaissance.

3. Department of Commerce – close the “congressional cookie jar” and promote free-enterprise and free trade for every business.

4. Department of Housing and Urban Development – offer real solutions to lift people out of hardship, rather than trapping families in a cycle of poverty, and empower Americans by promoting the dignity of work and reforming programs such as Section 8 housing.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 2, 2016 5:24 PM
Comment #401660

RF,

I see you have mastered the art of copying and pasting slogans from Cruz’s website. Our problems run much deeper than what can be solved by a few “feel good” measures such as what he has proposed. I am quite certain that the functions performed by those cabinent agencies will find new homes for themselves elsewhere in the bureaucracy.

If you are as troubled by the power wielded by big business as the rest of us, you really need to stop advocating that we give them free reign to do whatever they please with our lives.

Posted by: Warren Porter at January 2, 2016 5:59 PM
Comment #401661

The conservatives on the SCOTUS have made money free speech and opened the flood gates for buying politicians.
Posted by: j2t2 at January 2, 2016 4:48 PM

In my opinion the SC conservatives are; Scalia, Thomas, and Alito. Roberts is a moderate.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 2, 2016 6:01 PM
Comment #401662

Porter writes; “I see you have mastered the art of copying and pasting slogans from Cruz’s website.”

Problem? I believe I gave proper credit to Cruz. What’s your point?

Are quotes from the Clinton, or Sanders websites “slogans” as well?

Since you consider the points Cruz makes on his website “feel-good” measures perhaps you have no objections, or even concur.

However, if you consider abolishing the IRS as simply “feel-good” I would like to know what you consider serious.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 2, 2016 6:08 PM
Comment #401663
Are quotes from the Clinton, or Sanders websites “slogans” as well?
Another observation: Never have I ever copied and pasted a slogan from a candidate I supported to WatchBlog. I think the same can be said for Rocky, Rich, Phx8 and other liberals too. It’s not that slogans are necessarily fallacious, but it is an interesting observation. How is Thomas Sowell these days? It’s been a while since you’ve shared his genius with us.
Since you consider the points Cruz makes on his website “feel-good” measures perhaps you have no objections, or even concur.

However, if you consider abolishing the IRS as simply “feel-good” I would like to know what you consider serious.


The agencies Cruz wishes to eliminate actually provide vital government functions. The only result will be a reshuffling of the bureaucratic deck with the same tasks being done by differently named organizations. In other words, a whole lot of wasted effort accomplishing nothing.

Today’s government is essentially an insurance company with an army. Unless a candidate is proposing cuts to either of those things, they are not a serious advocate for smaller government.

Posted by: Warren Porter at January 2, 2016 6:34 PM
Comment #401664

Warren believes eliminating agencies “…a whole lot of wasted effort accomplishing nothing.”

He knows this because…?

Of course, being a liberal he is accustomed to hearing and voting for empty promises from his candidates.

Warren writes; “Today’s government is essentially an insurance company with an army.”

We all know that the Left hates insurance companies. The army is the IRS.

I don’t hate government. I want the government our Founders created. The liberal Left and Right have debased what was once cherished.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 2, 2016 6:58 PM
Comment #401665
He knows this because…?

The only other conclusion to make is that Cruz wishes to dispense with necessary government functions. Cruz places NOAA on the chopping block, putting an end of over 150 years of government funded meteorology. Likewise, Cruz eliminates the agency entrusted with our nation’s nuclear arsenal; apparently, it is time time sing kumbayah because Cruz wishes unilateral disarmament. I guess there won’t be a 2020 census in a Cruz administration, who cares if it is Constitutionally mandated?

Of course, being a liberal he is accustomed to hearing and voting for empty promises from his candidates.
Excuse me? Which side recently sacked all three of its top leadership in the HoR? How many times in the past 30 years have conservatives actually shrunk government? When was the last time conservatives actually passed a law that supported their ideology? Conversely, Obama has accomplished nearly every policy he promised to implement. Only GTMO’s closure and a binding plan to mitigate global warming are absent.
We all know that the Left hates insurance companies. The army is the IRS.

I don’t hate government. I want the government our Founders created. The liberal Left and Right have debased what was once cherished.


Apparently, my comment went over your head. Posted by: Warren Porter at January 2, 2016 7:47 PM
Comment #401667

So Royal you were evidently serious when you told us Cruz would be the best guy to get the yoke of mega corporations, their billions and the corruption that goes along with the cronyism, off the backs of the American people. Unfortunately none of these suggestions deal with actually doing the least little bit to solve the problem. This is what happens when one locks themselves into a twisted ideology such as conservatism, IMHO Royal, looking for answers to corruption and cronyism in the Congress by blaming the victims of such corruption and cronyism.

I can understand how regulating business by placing business leaders in charge of the regulators is a problem but wouldn’t the answer be to remove the cronies in the different departments rather than destroying the departments themselves. Your “free market” nonsense has been shown to not work, recall 2007/2008 and the financial meltdown, the invisible hand seems to have been removed from the body of the free market by the market itself and is unable to correct the corruption and cronyism that comes with global corporations destroying the well regulated or fair market.

SO one has to wonder are you intentionally misleading us because you think the corporatism/fascism takeover of government is what this country needs or are you fooled by Cruz and other conservatives into believing this smokescreen will also fool others into voting for Cruz?

In my opinion the SC conservatives are; Scalia, Thomas, and Alito. Roberts is a moderate.

Just because Roberts isn’t farther right than Hitler doesn’t mean he is a moderate. The extreme positions of the three “conservatives” might make it seem that way but make no mistake Roberts isn’t moderate, I would suggest he may not be as politically motivated as the rest of this bunch of self serving corporatist/fascist who defend the globalist at every turn.

Posted by: j2t2 at January 3, 2016 10:46 AM
Comment #401668

Cruz is in the pocket of a hedge fund manager, a billionaire backer named Robert Mercer. For those who follow this kind of thing, Mercer is well known. He has one goal, and that is to pay as little in taxes as possible. And you can count on Cruz to help him out, especially with retaining the carry forward interest provision that allows hedge fund managers like Mercer to pay only a 15% rate on their income. So the idea that Cruz would control corporations is utterly naïve. Cruz routinely calls for deregulating Wall Street for a reason. In what is surely one of the biggest coincidences in the history of the entire universe, his wife works for Goldman Sachs. Who woulda thunk it!

But Cruz is weirdly ignorant about economics. He favors goldbuggery- returning the US to the gold standard. Not one country in the entire world uses it anymore, and virtually no one advocates it other than Cruz. It is one of those fringe things that is an absolutely terrible idea. If anyone needs an explanation, just let me know.

From the very beginning I predicted Cruz would win the GOP nomination, and I will still stand by that, despite Trump’s domination in the polls. My prediction was originally based on this being the election when conservatives would turn their back on establishment Republicans, and Cruz fits that bill. He is a truly awful man who will say absolutely anything.

Trump has no boundaries when it comes to saying things out loud, but he believes what he says, no matter how terrible they might be. Cruz is different because he has no moral boundaries.

Posted by: phx8 at January 3, 2016 11:57 AM
Comment #401669

When it comes to Cruz and the gold standard, is that just an appeal to the crackpot fringe element that is the Republican base, or does he actually believe it? I think he knows the idea is ludicrous. When he talks about abolishing the IRS and sending the IRS workers to watch the border, that is an obvious example of appealing to the crackpot fringe. He knows perfectly well the idea is silly, but that is what it takes these days to appeal to the GOP base. Apparently the party is planning a 10 state strategy.

A good example of Cruz’s moral bankruptcy is the matter of Obamacare. He has been one of the loudest voices calling for repeal, even going so far as to lead a shutdown of the federal government. Yet when his wife took a leave of absence and lost her coverage through Goldman Sachs, Cruz signed up for Obamacare the next day! He did not have to do that. He had several options. When supporters and foes pointed out those options, Cruz repeatedly claimed he had no choice, which was patently false.

Posted by: phx8 at January 3, 2016 2:15 PM
Comment #401670

Apparently, my comment went over your head. Posted by: Warren Porter at January 2, 2016 7:47 PM

Apparently your comment is now regretted.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 3, 2016 4:41 PM
Comment #401671

j2t2 wrote; “Unfortunately none of these suggestions deal with actually doing the least little bit to solve the problem.”

I see, the IRS plays no role in enforcing laws and regulations which advantage big business.

Cruz is different because he has no moral boundaries.
Posted by: phx8 at January 3, 2016 11:57 AM

Reaching for the absurd is characteristic and expected when reading liberal nonsense.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 3, 2016 4:48 PM
Comment #401672

I come late to this discussion but can’t help but comment on the AA discussion as it relates to C&J’s original post.

AA is, in my opinion, one of the most successful self help organizations ever created. While it emphasizes the necessity of taking individual responsibility for recovery, it accomplishes that goal through the intervention, power and support of the group.

So, yes, change in behavior, attitudes, etc. are ultimately an individual responsibility. However, to accomplish that change, the support and guidance of the group is indispensable.

Posted by: Rich at January 3, 2016 7:43 PM
Comment #401673
I see, the IRS plays no role in enforcing laws and regulations which advantage big business.

Royal, it is Congress that makes the laws that favors the corporate sponsors of their campaigns. Ridding us of the IRS doesn’t solve the problem, as it will allow these same companies to violate any tax laws at will. Passing a flat tax , a regressive tax scam that hits those least able to pay the hardest, will still need enforcement as those corporate sugar daddies who feel they are entitled to a free ride find ways to get around paying their fair share.

We have seen conservative tax reform since the Reagan era that has done nothing expect create myths and class warfare ending with the middle class and poor paying ever more of their stagnant income as fees and taxes. Cruz doesn’t appear to be campaigning on any real reform issues voting for him is a vote to continue the corruption and cronyism we all agree is ruining the country, it’s time to reconsider.


Posted by: j2t2 at January 3, 2016 7:50 PM
Comment #401674

RF,
The logical conclusion of the statements made by Cruz is that he has no moral boundaries. He will say absolutely anything, and he will tout almost any crackpot conspiracy to advance himself, even if he knows what he is saying is untrue.

Cruz is an intelligent guy. He clerked at the Supreme Court. He is supposedly a great debater, although I have to admit, I never saw that in the GOP debates. He seemed pretty average to me. Right now he is probably running the best political campaign in the GOP in terms of staffing and organizing in IA and some of the Super Tuesday states. That’s smart. He has landed the backing of several
very, very rich backers. Mercer is a hedge fund manager. Some of the others are fossil fuel people. And remember, Cruz’s wife worked as an investment banker for Goldman Sachs.

So when Cruz for the US to go back to the gold standard during a debate, he undoubtedly knew what he was saying was ridiculous. But he said it anyway because it appeals to the right wing fringe nut jobs who hate the Fed for saving the economy. According to those nut jobs, QE was supposed to be the same as ‘printing money,’ resulting in runaway inflation. They predicted disaster if the federal debt was not immediately addressed. And subsequent events proved them completely and utterly wrong. Those same nut jobs want to undermine the Fed by returning to the gold standard.

It is an absolutely kooky idea, and Cruz knows it. So when he calls for a return to the gold standard, it is a calculated move. He is lying to appeal to the fringe. No hedge fund manager like Robert Mercer or a Goldman Sachs investment banker like his wife would ever suggest such a nutty thing.

Ever wonder why no one likes Ted Cruz? Think about it.

People dislike him because he is a calculating liar. He is so wrapped up in himself that he thinks moral boundaries do not apply to him, and so there is no need to be truthful with people. People sense that.

He resembles a sober and smarter version of Joe McCarthy.

Posted by: phx8 at January 3, 2016 8:02 PM
Comment #401677


Speaking of “habits and behaviors”, I can’t wait to hear the comments from our erstwhile presidential contenders about the armed sedition being perpetrated by those morons in Oregon.

From Charles Pierce;

http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a40914/oregon-bundy-militia/

“There is no actual tyranny in this country against which to take up arms. There is bureaucratic inertia. There is pigheaded bureaucracy. There even is political chicanery. But there is no actual tyranny in the Endangered Species Act, or in the Bureau of Land Management, or in the Environmental Protection Agency, or in the Affordable Care Act, or in IRS dumbassery, or even in whatever it is that the president plans to say about guns in the next week or so. Anyone who argues that actual tyranny exists is a dangerous charlatan who should be mocked from the public square. Anyone who argues that there is out of political ambition, or for their own personal profit, should be shunned by decent people until they regain whatever moral compass they once had.”

Like Charles I think that anyone that agrees with these idiots is an ignorant fool that is perhaps beyond even therapy.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at January 4, 2016 8:46 AM
Comment #401678

“Anyone who argues that actual tyranny exists is a dangerous charlatan who should be mocked from the public square.”

Unless, of course, they are referring to marriage, birth control, abortion, cops, riots, looting, safe spaces, gender identity, religion, corporations etc…

Only in our new America would a group of people be praised for destroying private property and violence, while another group of people simply trespassing on public land are condemned.

Posted by: kctim at January 4, 2016 10:40 AM
Comment #401679


“Only in our new America would a group of people be praised for destroying private property and violence, while another group of armedpeople yahoos simply trespassing on public land are condemned.”

Simply trespassing? And you actually believe that?

And I thought you were smarter than that…

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at January 4, 2016 10:52 AM
Comment #401680

Rocky, at this point in time they have done nothing but trespass. They have not attacked innocent people. They have not burned anything down. They have not threatened people, or put any innocent people in any kind of danger.

And don’t worry, the government isn’t going to give them a special area to destroy, nor will it justify their illegal behavior with BS excuses. IF they are guilty of anything more, they will most assuredly be held accountable for it.

Posted by: kctim at January 4, 2016 12:27 PM
Comment #401681

kctim,

These guys should have already been in prison for their antics in Nevada, and they have threatened violence on any Government agent that would dare to confront them. This is our property these guys have taken. The arsonists that they are saying they support want nothing to do with them.
Their father is a freeloading bigot that can’t seem to get it through his head that there is an actual cost to doing business.

Apparently the apples don’t fall far from the tree.

These guys are now being called “Vanilla ISIS” in the twitterverse.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at January 4, 2016 12:41 PM
Comment #401682

Those guys are armed robbers. There is no better description.

Posted by: Warren Porter at January 4, 2016 1:20 PM
Comment #401683

j2t2 wrote; “Royal, it is Congress that makes the laws that favors the corporate sponsors of their campaigns.”

Well Duh…who knew?

Big business favoritism laws are usually administered and enforced by the IRS by virtue of the tax code. If there is no IRS, how will the payoffs be handled? Will congress merely authorize the Treasury Department to write them a check?

Both Cruz and Paul agree that it is a good idea to limit the Fed’s powers to fine-tune and micromanage the economy which has led to some very bad results in recent years.

“Ever wonder why no one likes Ted Cruz?”

No one? Really? Certainly no Lefite, Dem or Rep, likes Cruz as he stands in total opposition to the unholy marriage of government and big business. Hillary is the poster-child for the rich and powerful.

Cruz is hated by big business and big government for many of the same reasons Reagan was hated by them.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 4, 2016 1:29 PM
Comment #401684
No one? Really? Certainly no Lefite, Dem or Rep, likes Cruz as he stands in total opposition to the unholy marriage of government and big business. Hillary is the poster-child for the rich and powerful.

Cruz is hated by big business and big government for many of the same reasons Reagan was hated by them.

Cruz’s personality bears more responsibility for the ire than his ideology. The man is certainly intelligent as well as slick, but his also tremendously conceited. Refusing to study with someone because he or she earned a bachelor degree at a “minor ivy” or gasp! a non-Ivy just reeks of elitism. This is why his former college roommate hates him, 99 US Senators hate him and after a life working many different jobs, there are exactly zero examples of former co-workers saying “Ted was a great man to work with”.

Maybe ideology is more important than personality. But remember this: President Reagan was ultimately a likable man. I watch clips of his speeches and can become entranced by his everyman demeanor. Reagan knew how to be humble when he needed to be, but this is something Cruz still hasn’t learned.

Posted by: Warren Porter at January 4, 2016 2:00 PM
Comment #401685

Rocky, your political dislike of them does not change the fact that the only thing they are guilty of so far is trespassing. They have harmed no one and haven’t destroyed anything.

For once, the government is using a little common sense and might actually be trying to avoid another Ruby Ridge and Waco clusterf**k.

As far as the ‘twitterverse,’ being a mature adult, I have no need for it.

Warren

“Those guys are armed robbers. There is no better description.”

A little silly, but much better than the claims of terrorists and calls for their deaths.

Posted by: kctim at January 4, 2016 2:01 PM
Comment #401686

I enjoyed the Cruz link Warren; thanks.

Two politicians who easily out-conceit Cruz are Obama and Kerry. Yet, they are both love-children of the Left. I Wonder why that could be.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 4, 2016 2:20 PM
Comment #401687

According to the political and media elite, prior to his election, Ronald Reagan was too extreme and too simple to win the presidential nomination; a potential disaster for the GOP in the general election; an amiable dunce who was shockingly dumb and cruel; an evil man with no care and no concern for working-class Americans and future generations; cold and mean with ice water for blood; and an egotistical bore who had no friends, only cronies.

Former Reagan presidential aide Jeffrey Lord said, “What’s being said about Ted Cruz today was said endlessly by establishment Republicans about Ronald Reagan.”

Cruz even sees his outsider status as an asset, telling CNN over the weekend, “I’ll point out there’s almost an inverse relationship between being liked and appreciated in Washington, D.C., and reviled back home, and being reviled in Washington and appreciated back home.”

The New York Times wrote; “Mr. Cruz has done nothing to endear himself to the elites. He won the party’s nomination for the Senate by defeating David Dewhurst, an establishment favorite and the sitting lieutenant governor of Texas.”

I just love these assessments of Reagan and Cruz:

New York Times: “(Former president) Ford has frequently criticized Mr. Reagan for extreme and too-simple views.”

Henry Kissinger: “When you meet Reagan, you wonder: How did it ever occur to anyone that he should be governor, much less president?”

Christopher Hitchens: “A cruel and stupid lizard.”

Lesley Stahl: “I predict historians are going to be totally baffled by how the American people fell in love with this man.”

Kevin Phillips: “It was foolish to think that Reagan could solve the nation’s economic problems with policies based on ‘maxims out of McGuffey’s Reader and Calvin Coolidge.’”

New York Times: “[T]he stench of failure hangs over Ronald Reagan’s White House.”

Kathleen Parker: “He’s obviously not going to win the presidency, OK? That’s not going to happen, we know that. He is an actor who acts alone. He gives maverick a bad name.”

New York Times: “The most interesting question about Mr. Cruz’s candidacy is whether he has a very small chance to win or no chance at all.”

Salon: “Ted Cruz doesn’t have a prayer … stands no chance at actually winning an election.”

FiveThirtyEight: “Cruz doesn’t have enough support from party bigwigs.”

Salon: “He’s not going to win, largely because almost everyone hates him and no one trusts him.”

Former President Gerald Ford: “[W]e don’t want, can’t afford to have a replay of 1964 … A very conservative Republican can’t win in a national election.”

Former Sen. Chuck Percy, R-Ill.: “A Reagan nomination and the crushing defeat likely to follow could signal the beginning of the end of our party as an effective force in American life.”

Former Rep. Pete McCloskey, R-Calif.: “A Reagan win would be a disaster for the GOP.”

Former Vice President Nelson Rockefeller: “No major American party can long endure by directing its appeal to a narrow minority. It will not serve the nation to have our major parties polarized at ideological extremes.”

Yup, you bet Warren.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 4, 2016 2:36 PM
Comment #401688

kctim,

“Rocky, your political dislike of them does not change the fact that the only thing they are guilty of so far is trespassing.”

I am all for protest and up to the point they brought threats of violence into the equation I might have had some empathy.
However, an armed protest is not a protest, it’s a violent intimidation.
The fact that those who were arrested and convicted of the arson Bundy’s boys are protesting have said that the Bundys don’t speak for them should be your first clue.

We all own the land in question. Land use fees have been around for decades.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at January 4, 2016 2:52 PM
Comment #401689

Equating Reagan with Cruz is nonsensical. There is a world of difference between their approaches to governance.

While Reagan was a conservative, he was also a pragmatist who could compromise on legislation. He famously could have an after hours drink with Tip O’Neil and hammer out a deal on important legislation.

Cruz, on the other hand, has demonstrated that he is an ideologue willing to shut down the government rather than to compromise on principal.

Posted by: Rich at January 4, 2016 2:58 PM
Comment #401690

Sorry Rich, the “world of difference” you refer to is senseless. Candidate Reagan (hated by elites, see quotes above) President Reagan loved by the people. Candidate Cruz hated by elites. Senator Cruz loved by majority of Texans.

The government mostly shuts down every weekend and national holiday. There have been many government shut-downs. The Constitution gives the HOR the money purse. If they withhold government funding on principal it is just fine with me. After all Rich, the HOR is the people’s voice.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 4, 2016 3:09 PM
Comment #401691

Cruz is like Ronald Reagan? Cruz has more in common with a little cartoon clown fish named ‘Nemo’ than Reagan. Except that ‘Nemo’ was likeable.

And the idea that Cruz favors the little guy is preposterous. He advocates lower corporate taxes, the repeal of Dodd-Frank, and in general, the deregulation of the financial system. He favors doing away with net neutrality and handing over the internet to a handful of large corporations. He opposes the EPA and favors fossil fuel industries. A guy doesn’t get more corporatist than Cruz.

Posted by: phx8 at January 4, 2016 4:43 PM
Comment #401692

phx8: “Cruz is like Ronald Reagan?”

Sorry the essence of my comparison sailed right over your Leftie head.

You need to flesh out your Cruz claims as you fail to correctly present his positions. Just noise and fear phx8.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 4, 2016 4:55 PM
Comment #401694

The Left’s beloved EPA in action.

“The downsides are clear, and the EPA’s judgment was murky even before the rule. Last year, the agency threatened to fine a Wyoming man $75,000 a day for building a pond on his own property without a permit.”

http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/energy-environment/245201-drowning-by-epa-overreach

The EPA “has started asserting unprecedented power over the private sector while turning a blind eye to both the federal rulemaking process and its directives from Congress.” US Chamber of Commerce

The Clean Water Act “has turned into a powerful tool for green warriors to expand Uncle Sam’s control of all manner of things, generally to the detriment of the nation’s farmers and private property owners.”

http://hotair.com/archives/2014/09/13/house-passes-bill-to-limit-epa-overreach-on-ditch-water/

The un-Constitutional and illegal acts of the EPA are epic. Yet…our Leftie friends want ever more of it in nearly every regulatory agency.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 4, 2016 5:20 PM
Comment #401695

Royal,

We have become accustomed to clean rivers where fish thrive and air that is breathable. But, that was not always the case. In living memory, there were major rivers and bodies of water in the US so polluted that they actually caught on fire and were so toxic that they could not support marine life. Smog and air inversion in major cities so thick that they blocked out the sun and breathing the air was a health hazard.

Only those with short memories or who weren’t alive during the period prior to the EPA would suggest doing away with the agency. Regulation has a price but the alternative is ultimately more costly.

Posted by: Rich at January 4, 2016 6:51 PM
Comment #401696

Royal, you seem to have went off the deep end with this comparison of Ted Cruz and the deity Reagan. I was laughing at your keen sense of humor, the satiric comparison of the two, the pithy way you have us comparing the two as if it were true, as if it were real in any sense of the imagination. It was a great moment, truly cutting edge comedy until I realized you actually believe this delusional line of crap.

Reagan was bad enough, we still suffer the fools policies, the class warfare his minions instituted, the dumbing down of our country, hell even today many conservatives believe supply side economics works despite the huge increase in income inequality. The most corrupt administration in modern history is the Reagan legacy! In that way Cruz and Reagan are similar but that is about it.

You told us “Some say “we are what we eat”. I say, we become what we believe.” Do you realize that you believe the most corrupt leader in recent history is someone to compare today candidates to, what does that makes you?

Posted by: j2t2 at January 4, 2016 7:15 PM
Comment #401697

Regulation has a price but the alternative is ultimately more costly.
Posted by: Rich at January 4, 2016 6:51 PM


Rich, I supported the CWA as originally intended. Now, UN-elected government bureaucrats use it as a club to deprive landowners of their rights and property. Regulatory agencies tend to grow exponentially in their quest for power. Poor congressional oversight enables their many gross acts of thuggery. The Left has become adept at invading these agencies and rendering them harmful to the entire nation for the benefit of the few.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 4, 2016 7:17 PM
Comment #401698

Our lame-duck, lame-brain president intends to use executive orders to force gun control. The recent Gallup poll found gun control ranking 19th in terms of voter concerns.

One can hope that Hillary makes gun control a major campaign issue.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 4, 2016 7:23 PM
Comment #401700

So, Royal, your reason for doing away with the EPA is that it’s bureaucrats are inept, abusive or politically motivated.

If those are the reasons, the same could be said of the Department of Defense. Let’s get rid of the DOD.

Posted by: Rich at January 4, 2016 7:34 PM
Comment #401701

Rich, I never wrote, nor has Cruz proposed, that we eliminate the EPA. Can you find nothing wrong with some of the thuggery they engage in today?

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 4, 2016 7:43 PM
Comment #401703

RF,

Yes, both Reagan and Cruz draw ire from the establishment. However, the reasons are different so the comparison is not apt.

It was Reagan’s conservative ideas and folksy demeanor that rubbed East Coast elites the wrong way. Cruz’s problem is entirely different. Reagan was able to sit down with people he disagreed with and hash out a compromise that advanced conservatism because he was humble and likeable in a manner that appealed to the electoral masses. Cruz, on the other hand is a firebrand who puts on charades in order to stoke the flames of his base voters.

Despite all the opposition to Reagan’s ideology, he was able to be magnanimous when the time was right. His response to the Challenger disaster comes to mind. There are many reasons to dislike Reagan’s Presidency, but you cannot claim vanity as one of his sins. This is all in contrast to Ted Cruz, who absolutely loves himself. When has he ever sacrificed his own pride in order to accomplish anything in the Senate?

Posted by: Warren Porter at January 4, 2016 8:25 PM
Comment #401704

RF,

That guy in Wyoming is a scoundrel. He dammed a tributary of a navigable river and thought he would get away with not telling the Army Corps of Engineers. Sorry, but he is no victim.

Posted by: Warren Porter at January 4, 2016 9:04 PM
Comment #401706

Why would a ‘scoundrel’ get the approval of the Wyoming State Engineer’s Office and then follow state regulations in building the pond? Why would that office say the permit is in good standing and is entitled to be exercised exactly as permitted?

You shouldn’t rely on enviro-nuts to help form an opinion, Warren. A stock pond has a dock and fish in it? Oh, heavens to betsy, stop the presses!!! LOL!

Posted by: kctim at January 5, 2016 9:29 AM
Comment #401707

Following state regulations does not excuse one from following federal ones. Obviously, the pond was built for recreation, not for livestock, which would invalidate the Wyoming permits anyhow.

Regardless, you can’t go around damming a tributary to a navigable river that crosses state boundaries without getting the Feds permission. Andy Johnson is a thug who thinks he can get away with violating the rights of those who live downstream from him.

Posted by: Warren Porter at January 5, 2016 10:59 AM
Comment #401708

Rich, I blogged last evening about a WP article relating that bass in the Chesapeake Bay are showing up with male and female characteristics. Also, read where some trees are showing bisexual tendencies.

Also noted that autism rates are through the roof. Maybe WB will put the article online today.

Posted by: roy ellis at January 5, 2016 12:16 PM
Comment #401709

No Warren, it is not obvious that the pond was built solely for recreation. I used to swim and fish in these watering holes growing up, I fish in them now, and I walk around them while hunting.
A dock could be for swimming, or for nothing more than convenience for feeding the fish and wildlife that help prevent stagnation.

As far as him being a thug trying to get away with something, let’s try to be fair and honest. The fact is that you and I don’t know what his intent was. We don’t know if he knew he had to get fed permission to water his livestock, or if he simply took the state officials word that all was good.

Like Rocky, you’re condemnation is based simply on the position being taken.

Posted by: kctim at January 5, 2016 12:30 PM
Comment #401710

The state of Wyoming own site states that a permit from the Corps of Engineers is required. According to the Johnson owns 50 and of cattle and 4 horses. According to the Army Corps of Engineers, the size of a pond for 50 head of cattle should be no more than 3/4 acre. Johnson’s reservoir is at least an acre and he has nowhere near 50 head of cattle.

The CWA exemption for stock ponds is only for a pond small enough to meet the needs of one’s farm/ranch operation. Recreational use of the pond needs to be secondary the agricultural uses, which means you cannot build a pond any larger than what is needed.

Obviously, this will be decided by a the judicial system where Johnson will receive the due process he deserves including the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. That said, there is ample evidence that he tried to cheat the system by building a recreational pond and calling it a stock pond when he got caught.

Honestly, when I look at the docket on the EPA’s website, it seems the biggest beef is not with the fact that Johnson built a pond, but with the fact that he dammed a tributary of a navigable river. This deprives people downstream of their water rights. Also, if the dam was constructed with unsound materials or methods, it would expose people downstream to adverse pollution. This would also be the case if feces from Johnson’s cattle stimulates the growth of coliform bacteria downstream.

Posted by: Warren Porter at January 5, 2016 1:44 PM
Comment #401711

*According to the New York Times*

Posted by: Warren Porter at January 5, 2016 1:47 PM
Comment #401712


Not to mention if the dam fails who is reponsible for the engineering?

kctim you apparently belive in anarchy, because you seem to have no interest in the rule of law.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at January 5, 2016 2:04 PM
Comment #401713

Warren, thank you for pointing out that he has yet to receive the due process he deserves. The fact that you have already deemed him guilty, label him a thug and claim he tried to cheat the system BEFORE you know all the facts, only verifies my claim that this is all about his position.

And of course this is all about a private property owner using a creek on his own land without getting permission from the Feds. IMO, that’s why Royal posted the link as an example of government overreach and the loss of private property rights.

Posted by: kctim at January 5, 2016 2:10 PM
Comment #401714

While Johnson owns the land surrounding Six Mile Creek, he certainly doesn’t own the creek itself. That water flows into the Green River, a navigable river of the United States. The construction of the dam can adversely impact the water quality for his downstream neighbors. Because many of those people downstream live in Utah and not Wyoming, it is obvious why the Feds are involved.

Warren, thank you for pointing out that he has yet to receive the due process he deserves. The fact that you have already deemed him guilty, label him a thug and claim he tried to cheat the system BEFORE you know all the facts, only verifies my claim that this is all about his position.
I admit I may be wrong. Perhaps Mr. Johnson will vindicate himself, revealing that he has the requisite permit stashed away in his attic somewhere. Still, I trust the EPA enough to not make that kind of mistake. Posted by: Warren Porter at January 5, 2016 2:32 PM
Comment #401715

Rocky

If I believe in ‘anarchy,’ then why would I mention the Wyoming State Engineer’s Office, state regulations, permits or due process? If I have no interest in the rule of law as you say, why would I refer to the laws Johnson has followed? Sheesh.

If the dam fails who is responsible for the engineering? Depends. If he did faulty work, then he probably will be. If he followed state code and the state gave its ok, I guess it’s possible he could point the finger at them.
Looking at the pictures though, it looks like a pretty decent job.

Posted by: kctim at January 5, 2016 3:08 PM
Comment #401716

Warren wrote; “According to the Army Corps of Engineers, the size of a pond for 50 head of cattle should be no more than 3/4 acre.”

So glad you wrote that Warren. And yet the Left claims there is no improper government interference in our private lives. This is so fuc*ing silly that a child can see the humor. And perhaps, even some college students.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 5, 2016 3:10 PM
Comment #401717

a friend tried to get a construction loan and gave up over time. His bank said it was federal red tape and they weren’t going to fool with construction loans any more.

He went to a major bank and is still waiting to get a construction loan. Right now he just has a big hole in the ground where a house will go.

The bank says the IRS is involved and that he should deal with the IRS direct to save some time, and so on - - -

Posted by: roy ellis at January 5, 2016 3:23 PM
Comment #401718

So what now? Can I build the equivalent of Lake Mead to serve as a watering hole for my 10 head of cattle?

There needs to be a limit to the size of a stock pond and it is up to the EPA and USCoE to decide.

Posted by: Warren Porter at January 5, 2016 3:26 PM
Comment #401719

The best way to treat the armed idiots who occupied a bird sanctuary building in the middle of nowhere is with derision. These numbskulls earned it.

In addition to ‘Vanilla Isis’, there have been some pretty good ones. My favorites: Heehawdists and Talibanjos. And if they martyr themselves, when they go to heaven they will get 72 cousins.

Posted by: phx8 at January 5, 2016 3:28 PM
Comment #401720

I think State law may prevent that Warped, but what the hell as long as the Feds are breathing down our necks.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at January 5, 2016 3:32 PM
Comment #401721

Again, state law is not applicable because the people affected by Mr. Johnson’s fishing reservoir live in Utah, not Wyoming. When a waterway crosses state lines, the Feds need to be involved.

And yes, in the EPA’s judgement Mr. Johnson’s project was indeed a fishing reservoir, not a stock pond like he claimed after getting caught:

“The agricultural exemptions for stock ponds used in farming or ranching operations remain in place,” EPA said in a statement. “However, Mr. Johnson constructed a dam to create a fishing reservoir within the stream channel of Six Mile Creek. Such an activity does not fall within the stock pond exemption found in section 404(f)(1)(C) of the Clean Water Act.

“The issue is whether Mr. Johnson qualified for the stock pond exemption. To qualify for this exemption, the pond must actually be used in farming or ranching operations, and it is only exempt to the size the farmer requires it to meet operational needs. Ponds created for aesthetic or other non-farming-related purposes do not qualify for the exemption. Mr. Johnson stated verbally and in writing that he constructed the dam to create a fishing reservoir.

http://www.kaplankirsch.com/portalresource/lookup/wosid/cp-base-4-5744/overrideFile.name=/Is_the_Farm_Pond_Exemption_Being_Abused.pdf

Posted by: Warren Porter at January 5, 2016 3:48 PM
Comment #401722

Warped, If the State of Wyoming has no problem with what Johnson did on his OWN land with the water that runs through it F*** Utah and F*** the EPA they are overstepping their bounds. A fishing reservoir serves the same purpose as a stock pond, whatever live stock he has can be watered, so he’s killing 2 birds with one pond. Get over it the FEDS are sticking their noses into our lives to much and it’s time somebody fought all this Liberal BULLS**T.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at January 5, 2016 4:14 PM
Comment #401723
Wyoming State Engineer Patrick Tyrrell said when the state approved Johnson’s permit, the state provided contact information of other agencies that may require additional permits, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

“As far as I know, that’s what we did in this case,” Tyrrell said.

So it appears Johnson disregarded the advice given to him by the Wyoming government. Sorry, but he is no victim. His situation is purely his own fault for disregarding the law.

http://agfax.com/2014/03/21/epa-vs-rancher-clean-water-act-battle-dtn/

Posted by: Warren Porter at January 5, 2016 4:16 PM
Comment #401724

According to the Clean Water Act, a pond is only exempt from 404 permitting if its primary use is agricultural. If the owner makes the water body larger than what is necessary to serve the farm, then he loses the exemption.

F*** Utah

Right now, there are people in Utah who ought to be upset at Mr. Johnson for adversely impacting the quality of their cherished Green River.

Posted by: Warren Porter at January 5, 2016 4:21 PM
Comment #401725

It would make no difference to Warren if I listed a thousand instances of EPA overreach, thuggish behavior or actual harm to American citizens since he appears to have a God-like admiration of UN-elected agency regulators. They can do no wrong is the Left’s mantra when it comes to the many outrageous acts committed by bureaucrats.

I will only quote a small part of this article; so to understand it will require reading more. I know that is a challenge for many.

“The EPA’s model predicts that mercury will lower the I.Q. of these poor children by 0.00209 points, a negligible rounding error when the range of measurement error is 10 points. The EPA doesn’t show that this loss of I.Q. could have any impact on a person’s life.”

http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/epas-mercury-rules-dumb-dumber

Kind of reminds me of the crazy computer models used to promote MMGW thievery.

The Daily Signal’s Diane Katz writes; “regulatory costs have grown an astounding $73 billion in the past five years; now, the total annual cost of regulations on U.S. industries is now more than $2 trillion, according to the National Association of Manufacturers – money that is taken directly out of the U.S. economy: Complying with federal regulations costs Americans $2.028 trillion in lost economic growth annually, or roughly equivalent to 12 percent of total GDP that could be invested back into our nation’s businesses…”

http://absoluterights.com/the-epa-issues-the-most-expensive-rules-of-all-federal-agencies/

Thomas Jefferson said, “When the government fears the people there is liberty; when the people fear the government there is tyranny.” The EPA’s overregulation is nothing short of a war.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 5, 2016 4:33 PM
Comment #401726

Warped, “AS FAR AS I KNOW” Tyrell may not have provided the info. Those 5 words can speak volumes in a court of law, especially if Tyrell DID NOT provide the info. Are the people who OUGHT to be upset in Utah, really upset that a Wyoming Rancher built a pond on HIS property? Is the pond really impacting the quality of the Green River? Or is this just another Liberal BULLS**T lie?

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at January 5, 2016 4:36 PM
Comment #401727

http://www.chesapeakebay.net/blog/post/study_finds_intersex_bass_near_wildlife_refuges_in_northeast_u.s

Here is another url related to the same subject. This should be of great concern to the public but, nah.

Otherwise - - -

Posted by: roy ellis at January 5, 2016 4:37 PM
Comment #401728

Walter Williams wrote; “Today’s federal budget is about $3.8 trillion. At least two-thirds of it can be described as Congress taking the earnings of one American to give to another.”

Compulsive charity by government edict is tyranny.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 5, 2016 5:51 PM
Comment #401729

RF,
That is simply not true. Mandatory spending represents about 2/3 of the $3.8 trillion federal budget, and Social Security and Medicare (and other health programs), as well as veteran benefits, make up most of the mandatory spending. Social Security and Medicare are not the result of progressive taxation. Furthermore, we are the government- We the People- sorry, I know how you must hate that phrase- and since WE vote, WE have a choice.

Remember, it’s all about ‘no taxation without representation.’

NOT ‘no taxation.’

Why did the greatest period of growth for the US and the creation of the middle class occur while top income tax rates were 90%?

Posted by: phx8 at January 5, 2016 6:01 PM
Comment #401730

phx8, I encourage you to read the quote by Williams again so you understand what he wrote. Snarky remarks merely indicate your nature, not mine.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 5, 2016 6:24 PM
Comment #401731
Today’s federal budget is about $3.8 trillion. At least two-thirds of it can be described as Congress taking the earnings of one American to give to another

We spend $1.5 trillion each year on SS and Medicare. This is 60% of the $2.5 trillion cited by Walter Williams. Would you support immediately ending these two gargantuan programs?

Posted by: Warren Porter at January 5, 2016 6:42 PM
Comment #401732

“Why did the greatest period of growth for the US and the creation of the middle class occur while top income tax rates were 90%?
Posted by: phx8 at January 5, 2016 6:01 PM

I won’t even bother checking your statement because it is to foolish to contemplate your assumed cause and effect link. If true however, top income tax rates of 100% should really cause a boom. Perhaps Bernie (Mr. Socialism) would like that, but I don’t believe Hillary (Wealth by Stealth) will advocate a top income tax rate of 90%.

My logic-challenged Leftie friend equates wages with wealth.

Thomas Sowell writes; “Most households in the bottom 20 percent in income have no one working. How can someone who isn’t producing anything have something taken from him (by the wealthy)?”

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 5, 2016 6:54 PM
Comment #401733

Would you support immediately ending these two gargantuan programs?
Posted by: Warren Porter at January 5, 2016 6:42 PM

Sixty percent is getting close to the two-thirds Williams wrote.

I will not advocate ending anything Warren. It will all collapse by itself if you Lefites refuse to acknowledge the problem.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 5, 2016 6:58 PM
Comment #401734

More wisdom from Williams on Supply and Demand. He cites many instances of the Left advocating increasing the cost of something (fossil fuels, tobacco, guns, ammo, etc) to reduce the demand for it.

“What the liberals believe — and want us to believe — is that though an increase in the cost of anything will cause people to use less of it, labor is exempt from the law of demand. That’s like accepting the idea that the law of gravity influences the falling behavior of everything except nice people. One would have to be a lunatic to believe either proposition.”

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 5, 2016 7:08 PM
Comment #401735

Roy,

The sexual changes in the bass noted in Chesapeake Bay should be of concern. The bay is a major source of food. If some toxic chemical is getting into the food chain, it could have disastrous consequences. That is why there is a continuing need for agencies such as the EPA to assess the causes of such changes and formulate mitigating policies.

Posted by: Rich at January 5, 2016 7:51 PM
Comment #401736

Rich and Roy, With all the Merchant and Naval ships going in and out of the Bay ports it doesn’t surprise me that there are changes in the fish of that area. Prior to ships having to have waste tanks on them raw sewage was just dumped into the Bay along with God knows what. I agree that the Feds should take note of those things but to harass people for building on their own property when the respective State gives them a permit is a bit much.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at January 5, 2016 8:07 PM
Comment #401738

KAP,

Water rights are paramount in the west. It seems to me that the intent of the regulation is to limit damming of a river and pond size to that legitimately needed for agriculture and/or ranching. Damming for recreational use is not a permissible purpose. This regulation protects the rights of downstream property owners to use of the water for agricultural purposes.

Posted by: Rich at January 5, 2016 10:38 PM
Comment #401744
I won’t even bother checking your statement because it is to foolish to contemplate your assumed cause and effect link.

So let me get this straight Royal, for years you and conservatives such as Williams and Sowell have told us lower taxes leads to growth, on that we can agree right. Yet you now question cause and effect when discussing higher tax rates and the corresponding growth! You suggest it is foolish to contemplate the cause and effect link after all these years of doing just that! Seriously?

If true however, top income tax rates of 100% should really cause a boom.

This assumption is as lacking in logic as the conservative myth of the continual lowering of the top income tax rates produces jobs Royal. You make “conservative logic” an oxymoron IMHO. According to Politifact what phx8 said is mostly true BTW.

http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2015/may/17/bill-gates/bill-gates-high-taxes-and-high-growth-can-co-exist/

Posted by: j2t2 at January 6, 2016 2:55 AM
Comment #401748

Rich, I googled the rancher Andy Johnson and the pictures of the so called River to me look like a small creek that he dammed. There is run off from the Dam going down stream. The Dam looks to me no wider then my living room is in my apartment. I think all the BS from the EPA is just that BULLS**T making a big deal out of nothing.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at January 6, 2016 7:26 AM
Comment #401749

KAP,

The important principal is that no property owner has the right to deny downstream property owners reasonable use of the water. In this case, use of the water is restricted to ponds servicing agricultural or ranching needs. Water is a precious commodity in that region and limiting its use to agricultural purposes doesn’t seem unreasonable to me.

It’s a long held common law principal that property owners have only a limited right for use of streams and rivers running through their properties. You cannot deny downstream owners the opportunity for use of the water. In arid areas, the state and federal government have imposed more stringent regulations, in this case limiting the use to agricultural purposes.

Posted by: Rich at January 6, 2016 9:11 AM
Comment #401750

Rich, From what I saw on google, Andy Johnson is NOT denying anyone use of that water. In fact he is helping by providing cleaner water then the people downstream had in the first place. Are the people downstream of the dam complaining? Is the state of Utah complaining? There is plenty of runoff from the dam for the creek to continue.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at January 6, 2016 9:27 AM
Comment #401752
Are the people downstream of the dam complaining? Is the state of Utah complaining?

Yes, they are. Who do you think called the EPA? It’s not like their waste their time driving around looking for illegally built dams. Someone downstream must be upset and called the proper authorities with a complaint.

In fact he is helping by providing cleaner water then the people downstream had in the first place. So the ends justify the means? Johnson needs to follow the law. If his dam is as beneficial as his lawyers claim, then obtaining the permit from the ACoE should be a piece of cake. Nonetheless, the EPA has determined that the materials used to construct the dam are polluting a tributary of the Green River so I find the claim dubious.
There is plenty of runoff from the dam for the creek to continue.
Anything less than 100% of what was flowing before the dam was built cannot be considered “plenty”.
Posted by: Warren Porter at January 6, 2016 10:43 AM
Comment #401753

Warped, It’s a F***ing creek. How pray tell is concret and rocks polluting anything. This is just the EPA overstepping and undo harassment and you know it.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at January 6, 2016 10:55 AM
Comment #401756
The EPA’s overregulation is nothing short of a war.
I think all the BS from the EPA is just that BULLS**T making a big deal out of nothing.

Seems to me we are missing the issue here with Mr.Johnson and his dam river thing. Before make such declarations I would suggest a bit of research using the “follow the money” theory as a guide.

Water rights is a complex legal issue that has been ongoing among the western states for over 100 years. Water shares are distributed amongst ranchers and farmers based upon laws developed at the federal level way back when. Damming of rivers impacts the water rights of others.

Is the EPA going to far in this case and/or many other cases of this type? Who knows, maybe they are but to solve the issue Congress should be involved with oversight of the EPA. Instead they spend their time repealing Obamacare and kowtowing to Israel. Even when the EPA submits changes to regulations Congress has approval rights, to blame the EPA for enforcing the law is foolish.

Trying to usurp the law based upon some ideology of guys like the Heehawdists group in Oregon, the Bundys’ and Posse Comitatus/Sovereign Citizen which is where IMHO most of this type of nonsense evolves from, is foolish as well. To claim it is the EPA or BLM (as is the case in Oregon) with only the propaganda from the conservative media as information and then declare it is war is half baked foolishness.

Get your Congress to do its job and review the regulations and solve the issue if in fact it is overreach but stop to think the extremist may be overreaching in their ideology as well guys. It just might not be the government at fault here.

Posted by: j2t2 at January 6, 2016 11:14 AM
Comment #401757

Just think if Congress would have put as much effort into this issue instead of the political witch hunts of the Issa era and now the Benghazi debauchery where we could be right now on theses issues. Yet conservatives blame the EPA not their elected officials who have screwed the pooch on oversight responsibilities. Isn’t it a shame the corporate media only covers these types of problems when guys like the heehawdists force a stand off with the Feds?

Posted by: j2t2 at January 6, 2016 11:23 AM
Comment #401758

j2, hundreds of farmers in Wyoming have built stock ponds on their properties without undo harassment from the EPA and without permits as I have read through numerous articles on the Andy Johnson Dam. As far as Oregon goes I am NOT interested in that fiasco and could care less about it.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at January 6, 2016 11:24 AM
Comment #401759

The issue at hand is that the “stock pond” is way too large for Johnson’s herd (just 10 heads of cattle and 4 horses). If a stock pond was all he wanted, he could have dug a hole in the ground and filled it with water, but instead he chose to dam a tributary of the Green River instead.

He has admitted to stocking the pond with brook trout, which leads one to speculate that this is no stock pond. The dock, the large size of the pond and the need for a constant influx of water all indicate that this was probably intended to be a reservoir for brook trout. This is a recreational use which invalidates the claimed stock pond exemption from the CWA.

Posted by: Warren Porter at January 6, 2016 11:35 AM
Comment #401762

Warped read comment 401758, Warped, It’s harassment and you know it is. Other people in Wyoming have them but Andy Johnson is being harassed for building one and the CWA is being used. He has had the runoff tested and it is way cleaner then the river it is going to. The EPA is overstepping and harassing, PERIOD!!!!!!!

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at January 6, 2016 11:50 AM
Comment #401763

Other people’s stock ponds are no larger than what their herd needs. Johnson’s pond is a fishing reservoir masquerading as a stock pond. He needs to either restore the environment to its original state or get a permit from the USACoE.

Posted by: Warren Porter at January 6, 2016 11:58 AM
Comment #401765

And you know that as fact, Warped? Many of those stock ponds were built without permits. But Johnson’s was built and inspected by the state. He is being harassed, Warped, and you know it. You can admit it.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at January 6, 2016 12:12 PM
Comment #401768

Built and inspected by the State, but not the Feds, which is a big no-no when one is dealing with a tributary that crosses state boundaries to feed a navigable river. The form used for applying for a WY state permit instructs the applicant to consult with the USACoE before building any dams.

There are a bunch of guys in Syria who are also being harassed by the US government, but I don’t feel much sympathy for them either.

Posted by: Warren Porter at January 6, 2016 12:33 PM
Comment #401771

And you know that as fact, Warped? According to what I read in many articles, the Feds and State were not sure if he needed the permits. I don’t give a s**t about the people in Syria being harassed by the U.S. Government, I care about U.S. citizens being harassed by the U.S. Government. Warped, admit it it’s a case of UNDO HARASSMENT BY THE EPA!!!!

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at January 6, 2016 12:48 PM
Comment #401773

KAP. CWA passed by Congress and signed by the president into law is why what this guy has violated. Are you upset because you think the EPA has wrote regulations that are not needed, or not constitutional? It seems despite all the excuses this guy built a much larger pond than allowed by law. His argument that he followed state law doesn’t seem to matter much as state regulators told him there are federal laws and permits required.

I wonder why the EPA deems such relatively small issue so important and why they so vigorously defend their interpretation of navigable waters to mean small ditches on one’s property. I don’t understand the reasoning when it comes to ranches and farms expect of course the water rights issues.It seems this guy had water rights to a certain amount of water from the stream.

While you make consider it harassment so would a bank robber when police interfere with him robbing the bank. The law is the law and this guy is in the wrong. Perhaps a test case is needed but in the mean time instead of whining about his kids not going to college perhaps he should seek and injunction with the help of his representative in Congress. The guy needs to pull permit, negotiate with the EPA and get this solved prior to the fines kicking in.

But the larger issue is what Congress needs to be working on, has the EPA over stepped and if so how should the law be changed to correct the problem. On the other side has this guy over stepped and deserves the fines? While he owns the land the water is a different story and he still has to comply with the law. Perhaps his ideology is in the way of his good sense.

Posted by: j2t2 at January 6, 2016 1:32 PM
Comment #401781

j2t2 writes; “So let me get this straight Royal, for years you and conservatives such as Williams and Sowell have told us lower taxes leads to growth, on that we can agree right.”

OK, let’s test it. Let’s have 100% taxation for a year and 0% taxation for a year. Please give us your estimate of which year growth is greater.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 6, 2016 3:40 PM
Comment #401784

J2, How can the guy be in violation of the CWA, if the runoff is cleaner then the river it is going to? How can one man be in violation when hundreds of farmers in Wyoming are doing the same? Please explain in your infinite liberal wisdom how that can be. One man out of hundreds is in violation. By what I read in many of the articles I googled about him neither the state nor the feds were sure if he needed fed permits but here comes the EPA gestapo agents with some bogus charge. CWA, like I said the runoff water is much cleaner then the river it is flowing to and much cleaner for his neighbors, so in essence he did the ECO system a favor by cleaning up the water and he gets fined for it? Shame on the EPA. Maybe the guy just needs to buy a few more cows.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at January 6, 2016 4:29 PM
Comment #401791
How can the guy be in violation of the CWA, if the runoff is cleaner then the river it is going to

The CWA says one needs a permit to discharge fill and gravel into a waterway. It doesn’t say anything about “clean” water abrogating the need for a permit.

How can one man be in violation when hundreds of farmers in Wyoming are doing the same?
“Other farmers” aren’t building fishing reservoirs and trying to call them stock ponds. “Other farmers” might be building their ponds away from interstate waterways that flow into navigable waters. “Other farmers” might have gotten the permit from the ACoE. That’s what hundreds of farmers in Wyoming do, they follow the law. But no, Andy Johnson is special. Andy Johnson doesn’t have to follow the rules that everyone else follows.
like I said the runoff water is much cleaner then the river it is flowing to and much cleaner for his neighbors
Number one rule when it comes to the rule of law: the ends never justify the means. That said, this is based off of a measurement from a guy hired by Johnson. We know nothing regarding his methods. Did he test for every potential pollutant or did he cherry pick one pollutant to test in order to give his client a good result to tell the media? Trust me, the EPA will have done their homework if this ever goes to court.
Maybe the guy just needs to buy a few more cows.
Perhaps a few more heads of cattle would have allowed him to justify claiming the reservoir was for livestock. However, he refuses to do so; probably because the additional cattle would kill the brook trout in the pond. Posted by: Warren Porter at January 6, 2016 5:41 PM
Comment #401793

Warped, He’s not discharging anything into the waterways it is runoff from the pond that was created from the creek there is no gravel involved, I saw the video of the runoff. Those other farmers you claim aren’t building fish reservoirs, Do you know that as “fact”, Warped, you also say “might” so you DON’T know for sure that it is “Fact”. From some of the many articles I read some of those farmers didn’t even have “State” permits let alone fed permits. Warped, the water has to be clean in order for Trout to live in it they are not like Carp that can live in a sewer so I would trust what the guy who did the testing. The EPA needs to back off or investigate the rest of the farmers in Wyoming that have stock ponds. Like I said, Warped, you can admit that the EPA is overstepping it’s authority.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at January 6, 2016 6:28 PM
Comment #401795

By the way Warped, Johnson’s pond is 100 miles from the Green River where the creek flows into and probably dries up more times then none.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at January 6, 2016 6:44 PM
Comment #401796
He’s not discharging anything into the waterways it is runoff from the pond that was created from the creek there is no gravel involved

The dam was built from gravel, concrete and fill. Dumping any of those things into the waterway is against the law.

From some of the many articles I read some of those farmers didn’t even have “State” permits let alone fed permits.
I don’t know about the state law, but a properly sized stock pond is exempt from the CWA permitting requirement. Other farmers who know the law build their ponds no larger than what is needed for their herd.
the water has to be clean in order for Trout to live in it
This is precisely my point. If Johnson had actually built a stock pond, it would have been unfit for trout. For trout, he needed a constant supply of fresh water and a large enough pond in order to dilute any contaminants. This is why he dammed the creek instead of just digging a hole in the ground. This is why the pond is far larger than what his meager herd needs.
the water has to be clean in order for Trout to live in it they are not like Carp that can live in a sewer so I would trust what the guy who did the testing.
There are many pollutants that won’t kill off the trout (Hg comes to mind). Posted by: Warren Porter at January 6, 2016 6:50 PM
Comment #401797

Warped, Been doing some searching on the rules for that pond and come to find out the pond which Johnson built is over 100 miles from any navigable waters and by the EPA’s own regulations they should have never stuck their noses into Johnson’s pond, he had “STATE” approval and that is all he needed.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at January 6, 2016 7:12 PM
Comment #401798
Johnson’s pond is 100 miles from the Green River where the creek flows into and probably dries up more times then none.

Actually, Johnson’s pond is a few hundred feet from the Black Fork of the Green River. It’s 100 miles to the main branch of the Green River, but those 100 miles never dry up.

Posted by: Warren Porter at January 6, 2016 7:15 PM
Comment #401799

Warped, Whatever he still only needed “State” approval not a 404 permit. According to the EPA’s own rules again a CWA permit is only needed if the waterways are going to be polluted or destroyed and neither ever happened. He neither destroyed or polluted any waterways.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at January 6, 2016 7:47 PM
Comment #401801
The US Army Corps of Engineers, Wyoming Regulatory Office, through the Regulatory Program, administers and enforces Section 404 of the Clean Water Act in Wyoming for the Omaha District. Under CWA Section 404, a permit is required for the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States. Many waterbodies and wetlands in the nation are waters of the United States and are subject to the Corps’ regulatory authority.

Source. Emphasis mine.

I see nothing about a permit being needed only if the waterways are going to be polluted or destroyed. If Andy Johnson did his due diligence, he would have visited the Wyoming State Engineer’s site, clicked on the link at the bottom and then seen the above notice from the ACE.

Posted by: Warren Porter at January 6, 2016 11:16 PM
Comment #401802

Warped, If you find any dredged or fill material in the runoff from his dam let us know, but you personally have to go to his farm and have the water inspected otherwise you are just on a fishing expedition and no catch. Get a life Warped the man did nothing wrong.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at January 7, 2016 7:34 AM
Comment #401803
5. In or about the summer and early fall of2012, Respondent or persons acting on his behalf began construction activities, without a CWA section 404 permit, within and adjacent to Six Mile Creek that resulted in the discharge of dredged and fill material to the creek below the ordinary high water mark. 6. On October 11,2012, the United States Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) conducted an inspection of the Site and confirmed that Respondent or persons acting on his behalf had discharged or allowed the discharge of approximately 12 cubic yards of dredged and fill material below the ordinary high water mark of Six Mile Creek during construction of a darn. The work resulted in filling an approximately 40-foot reach of the creek and inundation of an approximately 745~foot reach.

Is the EPA lying?

Posted by: Warren Porter at January 7, 2016 9:38 AM
Comment #401805

Warped, In this case I would say YES, for the reason the “State of Wyoming” had jurisdiction and the Green River being over 100 miles away, which the creek flowed into, the Feds had no business harassing Johnson. He didn’t need the CWA 404 permits. Warped, for once in your life admit the EPA and the rest of the government tree huggers “OVERSTEPPED THEIR AUTHORITY”, YOUR FISHING WHERE THERE ARE NO FISH!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at January 7, 2016 9:57 AM
Comment #401806

So, when the EPA and ACE say they did an in person inspection and found dredged and fill material in the waterway their just making stuff up with their imaginations?

Posted by: Warren Porter at January 7, 2016 10:03 AM
Comment #401808

Warped, I would put the EPA’s case against Johnson on the same order as the Baltimore case against the 6 police officers a railroad job. They are way out of line on this case and have bigger fish to fry and worry about then some farmer who builds a pond on his land and sends the overflow down stream cleaner then the River it is flowing to. One final time, Warped, Why can’t you admit the EPA is overstepping it’s authority?

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at January 7, 2016 10:38 AM
Comment #401809

This is exactly the sort of thing the EPA is supposed to be preventing. Johnson broke the law and now he is facing the consequences. If he can’t afford the time, then he shouldn’t have committed the crime.

The EPA and ACE don’t give a rat’s ass about Wyoming state permits, they only care about their own. It was incredibly foolish for Johnson to think he could build the pond and get away with it without alerting the Feds.

Johnson’s actions endanger the integrity of the whole Green River watershed, stretching into Utah and beyond. He can do whatever he wishes with his own property, but he has no right to intrude on the rights of everyone downstream.

One final time, Warped, Why can’t you admit the EPA is overstepping it’s authority?
I was caught speeding when I was 17 years old. Was the cop that pulled me over overstepping his authority? I was only going a few MPH over the legal limit and I was probably driving more safely than I would have if I was going 30 MPH like the cop thought I should (for the record, the speed limit on that road was 40 MPH, the cop was wrong). Surely, there are bigger fish for the cops to fry than my silly speeding infraction? Posted by: Warren Porter at January 7, 2016 11:09 AM
Comment #401810

Warped, What crime? You were speeding, you could have fought it, if found innocent great, if guilty shame on you. That is exactly what Johnson is doing by suing the EPA, and IMO, I think he will win. I have viewed the videos of the pond and searched EPA regs. and IMO he did nothing wrong. IMO he did NOT need CWA 404 permits. IMO the EPA is nit picking. Johnson hasn’t endangered anything and IMO he has helped the ECO system in his little area of this planet.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at January 7, 2016 11:40 AM
Comment #401811

I fought my ticket in court and won (sort of). I had the infraction reduced to reflect the road was actually a 40 mph zone and not 30 mph. Still, I had been clocked going 42 mph, which was above the limit.

IMO he did NOT need CWA 404 permits.
Your opinion means diddly squat. The CWA is very clear; the discharge of fill to construct a pond for non-agricultural purposes is prohibited without a 404 permit. Johnson has the right to contest the allegations in court, but he is going to lose. Unless he can somehow produce his 404 permit or prove that the pond was not built for recreational purposes, his case is toast.

Ultimately, he is going to have to dismantle that dam and restore the ecosystem to its original state. Until he does that, he will continue to destroy naturally occurring habitats and replacing them with habitats that he prefers. This is the exact opposite of “helping the ecosystem”.

Hopefully, he learns his lesson. Don’t mess with the Waters of the United States without notifying all levels of government. The water isn’t your property; it is the people’s property.

Posted by: Warren Porter at January 7, 2016 11:57 AM
Comment #401812

Warped, If you are right, good. If I am good for me.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at January 7, 2016 12:14 PM
Comment #401813
Maybe the guy just needs to buy a few more cows.

I would suggest KAP the number of additional cows he would need to justify his trout pond would be the cause for additional acreage in Wyoming. You can feed only so many cows on an acre of land. Ranchers who run cattle figure between 100 and 120 head on 1,000 acres (with a whole bunch of variables) but this guy isn’t a rancher or a farmer he is a welder who has a few cows on his land. A gentleman rancher that needs to fess up and make it right by the EPA IMHO or prove the regulations unnecessary.

Posted by: j2t2 at January 7, 2016 12:34 PM
Comment #401817

Warped and j2, Here is something I came across, Wyoming State Constitution Article 8 sec. 1, The water of all Natural streams, springs, Lakes, or other collections of still water within the boundries of the State are hereby declared the property of the State.
This was a condition of the contract entered into by the State of Wyoming and the Federal Government when Wyoming entered the union.
So by this CONTRACT the Federal Government namely the ACE and EPA had NO BUSINESS in Johnson’s building a pond on his property. The stream he damed was STATE property. Granted the rivers were given to Federal control but 6 mile creek is NO river.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at January 7, 2016 1:40 PM
Comment #401820

Federal Law trumps state law. Look at the supremacy clause in the Constitution.

Posted by: Warren Porter at January 7, 2016 2:49 PM
Comment #401821

Warped, Not if you got a contract!!!!

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at January 7, 2016 2:57 PM
Comment #401823

An Environmental Policy Primer for the Next President

“Despite the dramatic gains in environmental quality, both the number and cost of federal regulations have been increasing for decades, and especially so under the Obama Administration. Between January 2009 and August 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued 30 major regulations, which the government estimates will increase regulatory costs by more than $57 billion annually (in addition to one-time implementation costs of more than $7 billion).

Regulations that rely on “private benefits” as justification have increased at the same time that most major sources of pollution have been controlled—thus leaving regulatory agencies with fewer regulatory targets related to health and safety. Rather than downsize the bureaucracy, regulators have shifted attention from controlling smokestacks to controlling individuals’ behavior.

In delegating its legislative authority to bureaucrats, Congress prevents constituents from holding their elected representatives accountable. When agencies control rulemaking, lawmakers evade responsibility for regulations—even when their delegation of authority and oversight failure is actually at fault.

http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2015/12/an-environmental-policy-primer-for-the-next-president

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 7, 2016 4:00 PM
Comment #401824

“If you find any dredged or fill material in the runoff from his dam let us know..”

The issue, KAP, is not the runoff or discharge from the pond. The Corp and the EPA are not concerned, in this case, about polluting the river. The issue is that no one can put or allow any fill to be discharged into a stream below the high water mark to create a dam without a permit. It’s pretty simple: no dam without a permit.

Now, this may seem all very silly considering that this pond created by the damming is not a source of pollution and presents no harm to anyone. However, that might not always be the case if unregulated damming were freely allowed. Somebody might want to create a lake and cut off water flow to downstream property owners and reduce feeder stream input into an important river. Somebody else might dam the stream for a use which would result in pollution to an important river and prevent agricultural use downstream.

I have little sympathy for this guy. He was on notice that a permit was required and has known about the issue since 2012.

Posted by: Rich at January 7, 2016 4:49 PM
Comment #401826

Royal,

Rule making pursuant to a legislative act is not some arbitrary or capricious process. It is governed by the Administrative Procedures Act which requires agencies to publish proposed rules, allow for public comment and provides opportunity for judicial review of final rules to determine if the rule is within the rulemaking authority granted under the legislative act.

If you want Congress debating minutia of every piece of legislation, then you don’t want a functional legislative body.

Posted by: Rich at January 7, 2016 5:14 PM
Comment #401827

Rich, Article 8 sec. 1 was a stipulation put in the Wyoming State constitution as a contract with the federal government that the State owns all streams, springs and lakes, etc etc. Streams like the one that Johnson damed up are owned by the State of Wyoming. The article and agreement and CONTRACT with the Federal government was put in place because of all the cattle ranchers and farmers in the State and the State didn’t want the Feds F**King with them as you see the way they are with Johnson. The permits therefore were only needed through the State not the CWA 404. The only waterways that the Feds regulate are the Rivers which 6 mile creek is NOT and by the way where Johnson’s property is, is more then 100 miles away. If someone else in the State wants to do what Johnson has done, your a little late Rich, it has already been done by maybe 100’s of other farmers and ranchers and some without the necessary permits.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at January 7, 2016 5:15 PM
Comment #401828
Granted the rivers were given to Federal control but 6 mile creek is NO river.

Six Mile Creek is a tributary to the Black Fork of the Green River, an interstate waterway subject to Federal authority. As such, it is considered a part of “the Waters of the United States” and is part of ACE and EPA’s jurisdiction.

And getting back to an earlier point of contention, my hypothesis that this was instigated by one of Johnson’s downstream neighbors

“From the information we have gathered, we have a neighbor who took it upon themselves to make all the phone calls. It’s really very strange. Everybody in our community absolutely loves our project. These neighbors moved here from out of state,” Johnson said. “Their son was in the trackhoe when I was building the dam. I was showing him how to run it, they were out there taking pictures. The next day they reported us to the Corps of Engineers.””>was correct

:
http://www.thefencepost.com/news/11702867-113/johnson-epa-permit-state

Posted by: Warren Porter at January 7, 2016 5:17 PM
Comment #401829

“Rule making pursuant to a legislative act is not some arbitrary or capricious process.”

Really Rich? Have you read the article I posted? Naw, why bother, you might have your opinion altered.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 7, 2016 5:22 PM
Comment #401831

Warped, Do you know the difference between a River and a STREAM? STREAMS, which 6 mile CREEK is, are owned by the STATE. 6 mile creek is far from being able to navigate. It’s a STREAM, A F**KING STREAM OWNED BY THE STATE. YOU ARE ON A F**KING FISHING TRIP WITH NO FISH TO CATCH. WARPED!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at January 7, 2016 5:32 PM
Comment #401833

Nope, Six Mile Creek is a tributary to the Black Fork of the Green River, making it part of the Waters of the United States.

Given that Johnson’s pond is a fishing reservoir, there seem to be plenty of fish to catch there.

Posted by: Warren Porter at January 7, 2016 6:10 PM
Comment #401835

Warped, The name fits you perfectly!!!

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at January 7, 2016 6:17 PM
Comment #401836

“Really Rich? Have you read the article I posted?”

Actually, I have. Oddly, the article lauds the efforts of the federal government to control and reduce pollution in the US since the early 70s. The author admits that it has been a huge success. But, then asserts that since the federal government with its “command and control” approach has eliminated the majority of pollutants, we should now switch to the power of market incentives and private property rights “to improve stewardship of America’s remarkable natural resources.”

What a strange argument.

Posted by: Rich at January 7, 2016 7:11 PM
Comment #401837

I applaud you Rich for reading…but not for comprehension.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 7, 2016 7:15 PM
Comment #401838

ARTICLE 8: IRRIGATION AND WATER RIGHTS

Sec. 1. Water is state property.

The water of all natural streams, springs, lakes or other collections of still water, within the boundaries of the state, are hereby declared to be the property of the state.

KAP not seeing the part about the contract with the Federal government.
However according to this the state owns the trout pond on the Johnson’s property.

Posted by: j2t2 at January 8, 2016 2:27 AM
Comment #401848

j2, you have to do some searching like I did to find out why Wyoming wanted to be in control of their lakes, stream, and springs. The state may very well own the trout pond, I don’t know.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at January 8, 2016 12:41 PM
Comment #401851

It doesn’t matter if the state Constitution has boilerplate language putting ownership of water resources into the state government’s hands. The Federal Constitution trumps it; especially in a situation like Mr. Johnson’s where the people downstream live in another state.

Posted by: Warren Porter at January 8, 2016 2:03 PM
Comment #401852

Warped I know this will be hard for you to understand but the Territory of Wyoming before becoming a state made it a stipulation or contract if you will between Wyoming and the United States that they would be in sole ownership of Streams, Springs, Lakes and all standing waters within the borders of Wyoming. I know it is hard for a liberal like you to understand that the Federal government of the U.S. would agree to that, but they did, all you have to do Warped search it out like I did, it is very simple, even you can do it.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at January 8, 2016 2:43 PM
Comment #401862
made it a stipulation or contract

The Constitution has a process for admitting new states. Stipulations and contracts are not part of the process.

Posted by: Warren Porter at January 8, 2016 8:04 PM
Comment #401865

KAP, isn’t the constitution of the state of Wyoming a framework for governing between the people of the state of Wyoming and the government of the state of Wyoming? I’m at a loss to figure out why one would think it is a contract between the state and the federal government.

I would suggest that whoever you got this idea from inform the state of Wyoming that they have a deal that is different from any other state as it seems they agree water disputes are settled by the SCOTUS.
https://sites.google.com/a/wyo.gov/seo/interstate-streams

Posted by: j2t2 at January 9, 2016 2:14 PM
Comment #401866

j2, We are not talking about damming a River, we are talking about a 2 ft. wide creek that ran through his property. The fines imposed by the EPA IMO are ridiculous in so far as he may have dumped dredge one time which would have been like Warped and his speeding ticket a one time fine for a one time screw up. He hasn’t disrupted the flow of the creek it still flows it’s merry way to where ever. Many other farmers have done the same some even without the necessary State permits let alone CWA 404 permits. I’ve read all the laws on Wyoming and the interstate use of water.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at January 9, 2016 2:53 PM
Comment #401872

This is no two foot wide creek. It’s a tributary of the Black Fork of the Green River and the water Andrew Johnson is using for his trout pond has been stolen from people downstream in Utah and beyond.

Posted by: Warren Porter at January 9, 2016 8:22 PM
Comment #401874

Warped, I have no idea of what you saw but the pictures and videos of Johnson’s property and the pond and dam I saw show a small creek running through it of about 2 ft. wide. If the people downstream of his pond are complaining then the State of Utah I would think would be suing Johnson. But seeing how they are not I have no idea of what you are B**CHING about. If that were the case then I don’t think the State of Wyoming would have issued him a permit.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at January 9, 2016 9:52 PM
Comment #401876

You didn’t look at the aerial photograph that I shared.

Posted by: Warren Porter at January 10, 2016 8:41 AM
Comment #401877

Warped, I looked at all sorts of aerial, ground and videos of the little stream going through Johnson’s property.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at January 10, 2016 9:22 AM
Comment #401889

KAP it is the west and it is water therefore it is a problem. I seriously doubt you have read the tip of the iceberg let alone the iceberg of interstate water law.

The issue here is the definition of navigable waters and what should constitute navigable waters. It seems the EPA has, according to many ranchers through out the west, defined navigable waters to mean anything bigger than a mud puddle. This definition and the reasoning for it is what Congress needs to determine. Does the EPA need to have this much control or not, I don’t know. But this welder is going about it wrong, he needs to elevate this argument to the Congress and let them determine what the CWA says.

The fines seem excessive but I think it may be overblown for the sake of getting the attention of the American people. But I would suggest that instead of blaming the EPA I would ask Congress why they allowed such amounts in the law or if they didn’t why did they allow the EPA to charge so much.

THe EPA may seem restrictive especially when companies like Nestles are buying water all over the world to sell to the rest of us. I think these ranchers may be at the fore front of a much bigger issue as groundwater supplies dwindle due to agriculture, population, drought and usage demands.

Posted by: j2t2 at January 11, 2016 2:00 PM
Comment #401890

j2, it was in fact brought up in congress, both Senators from Wyoming and one congressman from La. I agree congress needs to put a choke hold on the EPA. From the link Royal put in his comment is true, the EPA ran out of the big boys to F**K with now they are going after the little guy instead of downsizing.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at January 11, 2016 2:07 PM
Post a comment