The Circus is back in town. Or maybe it never left. The names remain the same, the form of the cause evolves slightly, but the theme persists. Shut down growth. Keep the country in the county. Save us.
Locally it started with the Preble’s Meadow Jumping Mouse, a creature near and dear to our hearts that was uniquely threatened by evil developer bulldozers. We awoke to find one day that this rodent species owns a whole basket of usurped property rights. Based on this novel discovery, hundreds of green and left warriors combined with sympathetic government regulators to form the Circus and bring into existence, by mere presumption, thousands of pages of growth-stopping regulations. They empowered the federal Environmental Protection Agency and all subordinate levels of government to save that mouse, and by their curious chain of cause and effect, us too. The economic clout now wielded on behalf of that mouse makes it one of the most powerful rodents in the history of the universe, probably second only to Mickey. And we were not saved.
The Circus rested for a bit and recharged its batteries. Then along came an evil developer intent on bringing commerce to the eastern plains of Colorado with a broad vision for a super highway complete with utility corridors and railroad tracks. Imagine the environmental impacts–pretty much the worst things possible–the smog all that transportation would cause, the ancient trees to be felled, the noise, the light. Don’t go toward the light! Imagine the poor mice that would have to be relocated and provided similar habitat—if it could even be found—outside of the right of way. The damages would surely be irreparable. The Circus shifted into high gear and put the pedal to the metal. They rented busses to carry occupants to the State capitol. They saturated planning and commissioner meetings. They filled the internet with a relentless onslaught of do or die hyperbolic predictions about the end of the world that this road would precipitate. The end of the world was serious stuff. No one wanted that. The laws were passed, the court cases came in. The Circus rested. And still we were not saved.
One day an evil developer came along, intent on bringing water commerce to the eastern plains of Colorado with a broad vision for long distance water transportation to quench the thirst of citizens in a sub-development in Colorado Springs. The Circus double clutched their well-oiled machine and slipped it into gear. Hundreds of loud clamorers filled auditoriums, government meetings and state house offices with a new flag of presumed entitlement, “our water.” The fact that not a drop of it actually belonged to them gave them no pause. “Our water” was not actually “their water” but the mob has never been one to quibble about details like legal property rights. They were all about momentum, sound bites and the persuasion of pure force. Demonstrators and occupyers don’t wait for the subtleties of legal technicalities, unless of course a legal technicality can be found to put wind into their sails, that’s another matter. The evil developer was persuaded to recede into the tapestry of the world, and the Circus rested once again. And still we were not saved.
Then along came the evil energy developers, intent on bringing commerce to the eastern plains of Colorado with a broad vision of energy independence from the beneficial use of dormant oil and gas supplies lying ten thousand feet down in the ground. The Circus kicked their machine into overdrive. To save us once again, the green and left warriors sallied forth and wrote hundreds of pages of zoning laws incorporating every growth stopping agency and device ever conceived by statist man. They employed lawyers to tune their language so those laws could only be challenged—never repealed—by endless years of impossibly expensive litigation.
The Roman government gave bread and circuses to the people to distract them from the messy details of their oppressive governors. Today’s Circus combines the clamoring class of green and leftist warriors with a sympathetic regulatory class of unelected bureaucrats, to form the government itself. Gone are those halcyon times when the mob could be placated by mere food and entertainment. Perhaps conditioned by reality TV, the mob now insists on being part of the action. They want a hand in actually creating the government fascism that will turn around and oppress them. So long as they can applaud a victory, it matters not that the beast they create intends to dine on them.
For all their efforts put in to save our quality of life, our environment, and our property values, you’d think real estate around here would be getting more expensive.
The Jews have their Talmud, the Muslims their Hadiths, exhaustive rules of religious law and taboo to define every nuance of permissible human action. Secular Americans have City, County, State and Federal regulations in a great fascist web waiting to entrap citizens, pending the whim of an invisible unelected bureaucratic shaman somewhere who may notice a non-compliant act, and who then brings down the wrath of government upon the citizen, er, applicant.
The applause is always deafening.