Category Archives: Government overreach

Your national park – access by smartphone only?

May 8, 2017

 

By Bob Cox

Some opinions, comments and links relating to what is happening in this great nation and, in particular, in Western Colorado.

Watch out folks! The next step for some of the feel-gooders is going to be completely banning all of us from personally visiting some of those special places. Why? Because we contribute to sound pollution.

When I wrote Fishing Close to the Bank, I dedicated one chapter to places that I named based on a borrowed term from Diana Gabaldon’s book, The Scottish Prisoner. Those places are called “Fridstools.” They are places where one can just get away and absorb the surroundings or seek sanctuary from what is going on in the world around us.

So, I truly appreciate the solitude that is available in places like the national parks and mountain streams, but the “protectors” are may be going too far.

Recently, some researchers, paid for under the guise of being National Park Service employees, conducted a study that they say determined that human-made sound is drowning out nature.

Now, if it were practical that I could get the government to allow only me to enjoy those special places, maybe I would go along, but these so-called researchers may have an agenda that will deny us all. They have already made moves to keep all but a select few out of public lands. They tell us where we are allowed to go and when we are allowed to go there. They give priority to one group over others all the time and this study could make it worse.

I don’t doubt that most of their findings are correct. They ran around the country planting microphones and recording devices at almost 500 sites around the nation, including 23 in Colorado. They recorded a total of 1.5 million hours of the sounds of nature and found out that “human caused” sounds are twice as high as natural sounds at well over half of the sites.

You have to read between the lines a little to see what is coming. A Denver Post article quoted Rachel Buxton, a CSU post-doctorial scientist as saying that, “… noise pollution is disrupting wildlife ad scaring away animals, INCLUDING ENDANGERED SPECIES.” (emphasis added). I will leave it up to you to analyze that statement, but allow me to add a comment about Rachel Buxton: She is a “conservation biologist” that is an outspoken opponent of oil and gas exploration, especially fracking. She has suggested that the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally should be outlawed because it has “inundated” a prairie dog colony with noise pollution, and she openly admits that public land visitors are polluting the very thing they are going to enjoy – surprise, surprise. Incidentally, when the Post interviewed Buxton, they had to do so by telephone. She was in India, a country with more than 1.3 billion people. She must like being around all that noise at least sometimes.

You may think I am crazy, but I see these people as proposing to replace all those recording devices with video cameras and microphones so you can access them through you smart phone and enjoy the experience without actually being there. That way us nasty humans will no longer be part of the wilderness experience. We can stay home and pollute only our immediate surrounding and the rest of the world will remain pristine in the true meaning of pristine. If you do think I am crazy, read this quote from that Denver Post article:

Federal land managers are considering installation of sound walls around industrial sites, mandatory shuttle buses to cut car traffic, and new road surfacing designed to absorb noise from vehicle engines and tires. Flight paths could be shifted to route planes and choppers over already-noisy roadways.

Remember, I only send out these missives via email to those who have asked for them. I do not share your email addresses with anyone and I use the Reagan email precisely because they don’t share or sell the addresses either. If you are getting this because someone forwarded it to you and you don’t want it, tell him or her not to forward any more. On the other hand, if you received a copy and would like to see more of my ranting, simply drop me a line at coxnotes@Reagan.com I will put you on my exclusive, but growing list.

 

Bob

 

© Robert R. Cox 2017

 

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I have a better idea and it is the same as yours

March 6, 2017

By Bob Cox

Some opinions, comments and links relating to what is happening in this great nation and, in particular, in Western Colorado. 

With all the hoopla in Washington, D.C. getting the attention of the news, we sometimes tend to forget that we have a group of lawmakers in our own state that need to know that we are paying attention to them also.

One of the big platforms in the GOP campaigns of this last election was the promise to begin to reduce the regulatory nightmare that has slowly engulfed the people of this country and given the violation of a regulation the same consequences as the violation of a law.

So, I thought it appropriate that the first bill introduced in the 2017 session of the Colorado Senate was one that dealt with part of this problem.

SB 17-001was somewhat unique in its conception because it was a bill sponsored by a father and son team. Sen. Tim Neville, R-Littleton carried the bill in the upper house (Senate) and his son, House Minority Leader Patrick Nevill, R-Castle Rock, co-sponsored the measure.

In short, the bill provided that if a small business committed a minor violation of a rule, the agency responsible for that rule could, instead of immediately fining the violator, give the business 30 days to cure the violation. There is a lot more to it, including defining of the small business and limiting the actions to violations that do not include the safety of employees. We are talking about things like record keeping and administration matters.

Well the bill skated through the Senate without much problem. It passed the Senate on the third reading on Feb. 1 and was introduced in the House on Feb. 6. From what I could find out, the bill had some fairly good bi-partisan support and had a chance for passage by the house, but the Democratic controlled House had different ideas; they effectively killed the bill in committee.

The crazy thing about politics is that a sane person will be left scratching his head over some of the antics these so-called representatives go through. It turns out, according to several things I looked at recently, that the Democrats kind of liked this bill. Their problem is that they can’t get much recognition from their constituents if they pass a bill sponsored by two Republicans, so they evidently decided to kill the bill and write one of their own, which basically included the same provisions. That way it will be their idea; they will be the heroes of the day. I saved a copy of the text of SB-1. My information is that Rep. Tracy Kraft-Thorp will likely introduce the Democrat version. It will be interesting to see if she uses very similar language. I plan to compare the two.

Frankly, I would be better impressed if the lawmakers were trying to remove the burdens of regulations, rather than just lightening the load a little, but at this point I will take about anything that points out the fact that giving the regulators the power of lawmakers is never a good idea.

Remember, I only send out these missives by email to those who have asked for them. I do not share your email addresses with anyone and I use the Reagan email precisely because they don’t share or sell the addresses either. If you are getting this because someone forwarded it to you and you don’t want it, tell him or her not to forward any more. On the other hand, if you received a copy and would like to see more of my ranting, simply drop me a line at coxnotes@Reagan.com I will put you on my exclusive, but growing list.

Bob

© Robert R. Cox 2017

 

 

Justice (?) Department

November 28, 2016

By Bob Cox

Some opinions, comments and links relating to what is happening in this great nation and, in particular, in Western Colorado.

I will be damned if I can figure out where our top-heavy, regulation oriented, United States Government is headed. It seems that, more and more, the bureaucrats are making worse and worse decisions.

It also seems to me that Colorado is all to often on the top of the headlines for some stupid reason.

The latest goofball turn of events is that the Denver Sheriff’s Office was fined by the U.S. Department of Justice for making U.S. citizenship a qualification for being hired as a deputy sheriff.

Let me clarify one thing before I go on: The Denver Sheriff’s Office is not typical of the rest of the state. Denver is both a city and a county and does not elect a sheriff as their chief law enforcement officer. Sheriff’s deputies in Denver County are responsible for maintaining the jail, transporting prisoners and serving civil process. Sheriff Patrick Firman is an appointee of the City and County of Denver. That being said, the deputies are Colorado law enforcement officers.

So, some guy goes to the Sheriff’s Office (probably through the Denver City and County Human Services) and applies for a job. He is turned down because he is not a citizen and evidently is not fluent in English. The Justice Department, through the Civil Rights Division gets involved. Ultimately, Sheriff Firman enters into an agreement with Alberto Ruisanchez, the deputy special counsel in the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices. The Sheriff’s Office agrees to pay a $10,000 fine, but they agreed to a whole lot more.

Under the agreement, the S.O. will go through all job applications received from non-citizens and offer them another opportunity for employment “with no consideration of their citizenship status.” They are also agreeing to provide certain printed material in “applicant’s preferred language.”

This all means that a person whose English is so deficient that he (or she) has to have printed material in another language is expected to communicate efficiently with a population of inmates, the majority of whom speak English. He (or she) will be expected to transport prisoner to and from jail and to and from the courts and I suppose have a laptop with a version of Rosetta Stone in seven languages on the dash of the transport vehicle, for which they will probably be criticized for using because it distracts them from their driving, which they may not be able to do legally because they didn’t get a driver’s test in Archi.

Another twist on this whole thing is that a provision of Section 8 of the United States Code, which is the one supposedly violated by DSO, provides that it is not a violation to “hire, recruit, or refer an individual who is citizen or nation of the United Stated over another individual who is an alien if the two individuals are equally qualified.” In my evidently screwed up mind it would seem that the applicant who speaks English has an edge here. But that is just my opinion.

By the way, Archi is considered by many scholars to be the least known language in the world and is spoken only in a small village of just over 1,000 people who live in Southern Russia on the Caspian Sea. Putting up a “Right To Work Poster” in Archi could be difficult because one verb could have more than 1.5 million conjugations.

Remember, I only send out these missives to those who have asked for them. I do not share your email addresses with anyone and I use the Reagan email precisely because they don’t share or sell the addresses either. If you are getting this because someone forwarded it to you and you don’t want it, tell him or her not to forward any more. On the other hand, if you received a copy and would like to see more of my ranting, simply drop me a line at coxnotes@Reagan.com I will put you on my exclusive, but growing list.

 

Bob

 

© Robert R. Cox 2016

 

 

 

Amendment 69 – a potential disaster

August 22, 2016

 

By Bob Cox

Some opinions, comments and links relating to what is happening in this great nation and, in particular, in Western Colorado. 

Colorado is flirting with going down another socialistic path that can only lead to financial disaster.

Somehow, and I can tell you my theory sometime, over 150,000 of our fair citizens became signatories on petitions that placed another proposed amendment on the Colorado ballot. Amendment 69 is potentially one of the worst amendments added to the Colorado Constitution, and there are plenty bad ones to go around.

In effect, Amendment 69 would create a single-payer heath system in Colorado. That system would likely cause patients to suffer through long waiting periods and even reduce the quality of health care for Colorado citizens. And it would definitely cost a lot of money – money that must come from the pockets of those waiting in line.

You will likely hear more of the pros than the cons on this, because it seems that the Denver news media is all about covering the pros and leaving the cons to be labeled as op-eds and letters to editors.

Vermont tried this very thing just a few years back. Vermont is not a huge conservative state, quite the contrary, but they looked at this proposal closely and defeated it. The same thing needs to happen here.

This amendment could easily double the state’s budget. It is a $25 billion tax increase that citizens will pay into from two directions. First they would pay a 10 percent employment tax. Secondly, the cost to business owners and sole proprietors will go up significantly. Those costs will be passed on to consumers and patients and their pockets will be picked while they wait for a Canadian-style health care system to decide when, and if, they will get treated.

Interestingly, one of the organizations that would normally be all on board for this type of thing has come out against it. NARAL ProChoice Colorado is opposing the amendment because it fears it will limit access to abortions. I never thought I would be on the same page with these people, but I find myself there now. There are some arguments whether or not the amendment would replace the current ban on using public funds for abortions. I think it is possible that Amendment 69 could supersede Article V, section 50 in that regard.

The bottom line is that Colorado cannot afford this and health care will suffer because of it. I can just hear the flower children and the drugs, sex and rock and roll people of my generation lamenting the fact that this socialistic, big government push for power has not taken place much earlier, so they could have been under a system run by the government long before they signed up for Medicare, which is what many of them are doing right now.

If this thing passes, all Colorado citizens will lose their current benefits plans and those plans will be replaced by benefits that comply with regulations made by some entity that has yet to be identified or defined. We cannot let this happen.

One of the worst things about this whole proposal is the fact that, by the time all those give-it-to-me-free advocates figure out that it is not working, it will have been embedded into the Constitution and will be very difficult to remove or even amend. This is as good a reason as there can be to get your ballot counted.

Remember, I only send out these missives by email to those who have asked for them. I do not share your email addresses with anyone and I use the Reagan email precisely because they don’t share or sell the addresses either. If you are getting this because someone forwarded it to you and you don’t want it, tell him or her not to forward any more. On the other hand, if you received a copy and would like to see more of my ranting, simply drop me a line at coxnotes@Reagan.com I will put you on my exclusive, but growing list.

Bob

 

© Robert R. Cox 2016

 

 

Grow Government, Grow

August 15, 2016

By Bob Cox

Some opinions, comments and links relating to what is happening in this great nation and, in particular, in Western Colorado.

 

 

We all know how I feel about the crazy proliferation of governmental regulations over the past several years. My concerns seem to be given credence in a recently released analysis conducted by Susan Dudley and Melinda Warren on behalf of the George Washington University and the Weidenbaum Center on Economy, Government and Public Policy. The study has been referred to by some of my favorite commentators, including Matthew Andrews and James Gattuso, both affiliated with the Heritage Foundation.

 

The analysis, in the world of government at least, is not long; only 26 pages, but some of the findings are staggering and I think show how much damage the big government politicians have done to this country.

 

The study focuses only on regulatory agencies that impact the private sector. The analysis does not include Social Security, IRS and similar regulatory agencies.   Throw those in and things would look even worse.

 

Now, not all this started with the Obama administration, but the 2016 budget shows that he and his supporters are all-in on this massive government expansion. From 1960 to 2015, the money pumped into regulation increased 1,800 percent. One of my favorite goofball agencies, the EPA, was established during the Nixon era in 1970. Its primary purpose was to respond to the ever increasing and highly visible onslaught of air pollution and what people like Rachel Carson (author of Silent Spring) viewed as indiscriminate use of pesticides. It has since expanded at a rate that is almost unbelievable. The employment numbers of the EPA have increased, according to the analysis, by well over 10,000.

 

From 2014 to 2015 the economy grew by a dismal 2.6 percent. The powers-that-be have manipulated the unemployment numbers, and to some extent the economic numbers, to make things look much better than they are, but the 2.6 percent number is dwarfed by the 4.3 percent that the regulatory agencies grew. And remember that the 277,000 employees referred to in this analysis do not include those put to work in the IRS, Social Security Administration, Defense Department or the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Those agencies actually amount to about 33 percent of the money we send to Washington for abuse each year.

 

And, just so you know that I am not leaving out Obama, his administration has added more than $100 billion to this problem. To make things even worse, we now have a candidate for the presidency that thinks Obama has not done enough. Hillary Clinton quite literally seems to want to double down on what Obama has done. That means that the number of economy busting regulatory employees could well meet the number of employees employed year around by McDonalds franchises. Maybe that is a good comparison because it would not surprise me if the future holds a drive-up window for obtaining citizenship financed under the guise of “immigration reform.”

 

Remember, I only send out these missives to those who have asked for them. I do not share your email addresses with anyone and I use the Reagan email precisely because they don’t share or sell the addresses either. If you are getting this because someone forwarded it to you and you don’t want it, tell him or her not to forward any more. On the other hand, if you received a copy and would like to see more of my ranting, simply drop me a line at coxnotes@Reagan.com I will put you on my exclusive, but growing list.

 

Bob

 

© Robert R. Cox 2016

 

 

Time to review the Declaration

July 4, 2016

By Bob Cox

Some opinions, comments and links relating to what is happening in this great nation and, in particular, in Western Colorado.

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AMERICA!

 

For the past few days I have had friends a family, mostly family, at my home for our annual July party. We had 51 for our meal on Saturday. Politics, for the most part are banned during these get-togethers, but this year concerns boiled to the top several times. Almost every time the subject came up someone expressed concern about where our country is headed and how much it has changed in the last decade. I was reminded that, while most people recognize the introductory portion of the Declaration of Independence, many do not know much about what is in the body of that important document – the document that started us on a pathway of becoming a sovereign representative republic.

 

I think that on such an important day as this day is we should reflect a little on some of the statements made in the body of the Declaration. We must remember that this document was a long time coming and that the King was the problem. Sadly, some of the allegations of the abusive power of the King sound all too familiar today:

 

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices…

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation…

So, today, of all days, we should sit back and reflect on what has happened to this country of ours and how we are going to get it back on track. Unfortunately, we may have to once again choose the lesser of two evils, but we must do it. We may have to agree to disagree, but we must do it. We may have to accept the leadership of one as opposed to the non-leadership of another, regardless of our knowing up front that we are not getting all we want.

Above all, this election cycle, we must look ahead. We must not allow the obstruction of administration of our laws by allowing the appointment of judges and justices based on their willingness to bow to extreme left-winged agendas.

We must not allow a lawless, liar to occupy the highest office in the land. We must read the Declaration and vow to remember what caused it to be signed by those 56 great patriots. We must celebrate the birthday with much more than parties and fireworks.

Have a great day

 

Remember, I only send out these missives to those who have asked for them. I do not share your email addresses with anyone and I use the Reagan email precisely because they don’t share or sell the addresses either. If you are getting this because someone forwarded it to you and you don’t want it, tell him or her not to forward any more. On the other hand, if you received a copy and would like to see more of my ranting, simply drop me a line at coxnotes@Reagan.com I will put you on my exclusive, but growing list.

 

Bob

 

© Robert R. Cox 2016

 

 

 

Election not important – think again

By Bob Cox

Some opinions, comments and links relating to what is happening in this great nation and, in particular, in Western Colorado.

 

For those of you who do not think the upcoming election is important, allow me to use one of my pet peeves of the current administration to highlight how important it is.

 

We currently have a large group of people, including Colorado Senator Michael Bennet, who could not care less about following the law. And on the top of their list is an all-out effort to weight the Supreme Court in their favor. For those of us who really like our constitutionally protected rights that could be a big problem.

 

Of course, one of my favorite rights is the ones provided for under the Second Amendment – the right to keep and bear arms.

 

Some time back the Obama Administration launched a program known as Operation Choke Point. I have talked about it before. On the surface the operation purported to give banks and lending institutions the ability to say no to lending money to businesses that were of “high risk.” Included in the list of pornographers, Ponzi scheme promoters and escort services were ammunition sales and firearms sales businesses.

 

We thought maybe, just maybe, we had a winner when U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer successfully introduced the Financial Institution Customer Protection Act. Even though the law passed, the goals of Operation Choke Point are still being sought and, as usual, this administration and those who support it chose not to comply with the new act. They are still encouraging the financial institutions to shun those involved in businesses that President Obama does not like. That fact is evident in two recent cases in which a retired police officer from Connecticut and a reputable firearms dealer from North Carolina were both denied loans, not because they were a financial risk, but because they were “engaged in a risky business.” The risky business phrase is straight out of the Operation Choke Point operations manual.

 

Now we all know that the administration told congress that they have ceased to pursue the goals of Operation Choke Point, and we all know that nobody associated with this administration would tell a lie or refuse to enforce a law, so these two most recent cases must be figments of somebody’s imagination. Also, as the saying goes, I have a bridge for sale.

 

Meanwhile we have this election process. Colorado, although not a huge state when it comes to the Electoral College, is considered to be a very important state by both political parties. This year it is even more important because of the Senate seat now held by Michael Bennet and what could be a deciding factor in appointing a new justice to the Supreme Court. We have to take this seriously. If the Obama administration and his sphincter-sniffing supporters are successful in weighting the Court, we law abiding gun owners and all our gun stores, gunsmiths and related businesses are going to be in big trouble. We must see to it that we help get someone in the White House that abides by the Constitution and someone in the Senate that does more than just follow the leader to keep his or her job.

 

Remember, I only send out these missives to those who have asked for them. I do not share your email addresses with anyone and I use the Reagan email precisely because they don’t share or sell the addresses either. If you are getting this because someone forwarded it to you and you don’t want it, tell him or her not to forward any more. On the other hand, if you received a copy and would like to see more of my ranting, simply drop me a line at coxnotes@Reagan.com I will put you on my exclusive, but growing list.

 

Bob

 

© Robert R. Cox 2016