The Death Of Common Sense: The Joe Robertson Story
“Common sense is not so common” ~Voltaire
One of my favorite common sense expressions is: “You don’t have the common sense that God gave a goat”. The point is, God really did give a goat some common sense, but there are two legged creatures, humans, that seem to have even less common sense than a goat.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said that common sense is, “Genius dressed in work clothes.”
Common sense is what made this country great, what made it different than other countries. It is the stuff that launched America to the status of being the most prosperous, most powerful and most just and righteous country in the world. It was what made the USA a beacon, a magnet to the billions of people who live in other countries not blessed with common sense and who are desperate for it. People who, because of corruption, because of a caste systems, because of ridiculous traditions, and other nonsensical thinking, are denied the fruits of common sense
The U.S. Constitution is, “genius dressed in work clothes.” and was written by people who were unified in their common sense. But, the same common sense that made America so unique and so great, seems to be dead, a victim of nonsense, the opposite of common sense and critical thinking.
Maybe Thomas Paine, who wrote the book, “Common Sense”, explains why the USA has lost its common sense:
“Men who look upon themselves born to reign, and others to obey, soon grow insolent (lazy); selected from the rest of mankind their minds are early poisoned by importance; and the world they act in differs so materially from the world at large, that they have but little opportunity of knowing its true interests, and when they succeed to the government are frequently the most ignorant and unfit of any throughout the dominions.”
The Joe Robertson Story
For those who don’t have a good feel for the Joe Robertson story, you can get caught up here.
In a nutshell, a former veteran who honorably served the USA, was thrown into prison for building some ponds on his own property to not only benefit his little ranch but to benefit his neighbors and the surrounding forest with water for fighting fires, for wildlife and for other water needs.
The federal government workers from the Environmental Protection Agency, the Forest Service and other alphabet soup federal agencies, saw fit to declare such ponds illegal and a threat to the water owned by the federal government.
Although the ponds are many miles from any water used for drinking or for other purposes for which the ponds might be harmful, somehow the feds found a way for Joe Robertson to be in violation of their interpretation of the law and in their less than a goat’s common sense minds, these feds not only found the elderly Robertson to be in violation but gleefully sentenced him to prison, making him a felon for life and causing many other mind boggling (for those with greater than goat minds) injuries to Joe Robertson such as cutting off his social security.
Can You Imagine?
Can you imagine sitting in a conference room with other professional looking people, who appear to be smarter than goats, and who work for the federal government as prosecutors or as judges or as alphabet soup bureaucrats, and discussing, the violations of law by Joe Robertson and the compelling reasons why an elderly man who built ponds on his own land for beneficial reasons should be condemned to prison?
Maybe the discussion went something like this:
Fed 1: ‘Well, the law is the law. We have to have law and order. If people like Robertson take the law into their own hands and build ponds on their own land, entrapping water that belongs to the federal government, then we will have chaos and we will have anarchy. We can’t have that!”
Fed 2: “Yeah, we need to make Robertson an example so that any of those constitution thumping extremists decide to protest, they will think twice before keeping water for their own use. The constitutional extremists will see how easy it is to put people into prison and will be less likely to make our jobs harder.”
Fed 3: “Yeah, if they don’t like all of the unelected bureaucrats, if they don’t like the laws that congress makes without ever reading the laws they are passing, if they don’t like how things are run, then they can elect somebody different who can change it all. Until then, they have to go along with it, because the law is the law.”
Fed Judge: “And besides, we are all on one team. Congress, the bureaucracies, the prosecutors, my fellow federal judges, all the many federal law enforcers, we are all on the same team, and we are special, we have special immunities, we are federal and it doesn’t get any better than that. Non-government people, like Joe Robertson, are threats to our team, we need to use teamwork to put people like Robertson away.”
The Finer Points Of The Law
The purpose of this article is to not go into depth on the finer points of the law as they pertain to previous court decisions or the intent of congress in passing the laws that tripped up Joe Robertson and, for that matter, that made the Hammonds terrorists subject to minimum sentencing of 5 years in federal prison for a back burn near their property.
No, if I were to delve into the world of some attorneys, judges and legislators regarding the definition of water ownership or the need to protect the environment through countless federal job security justifying regulations, then I would be dignifying the less than a goat common sense of these people.
The purpose of this article is to come to our senses, the sense that God gave human beings, the sense that made our country great, the envy of the rest of the world, the sense that human beings have in common and that allow us to pursue happiness. The sense that for profit prisons don’t need more Joe Robertsons, Hammonds, Bundys and other similar people.
Jesus Was Born Into A World Devoid Of Common Sense
At this Christmas time, as we consider the glad tidings that attended the birth of Jesus Christ, let us also consider that Jesus was born into a world badly in need of common sense. Let us consider that the world today is as bad, if not worse, than the less than a goat common sense world of Jesus:
“Woe to you lawyers as well! For you weigh men down with burdens (millions of laws and prison sentences) hard to bear, while you yourselves will not even touch the burdens with one of your fingers (federal official and good ole boy immunity). Luke 11:46
“Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath day? (have water in your ponds?)…Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the Sabbath day?’ (which of you having a forest fire do not appreciate having water ponds nearby?) Luke 14:3,5
“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! (federal team), for ye devour widows’ houses (or those left husbandless by their for profit prisons) and for a pretense make long prayer (prayer in the form of prosecutor motions to the federal team member, a judge)
“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! … and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith (throwing elderly into prison, denying a presumption of innocence to the income earners of large families, seeking punishment rather than mercy): these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.”
“Ye blind guides (blind to common sense) which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel” (nit-pick over millions of self-serving laws and regulations and then ignore the harm being caused by throwing honorable people into profit making prisons).
“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter (filing formatted motions to the court with correct spelling and grammar and full of supporting citations), but within they are full of extortion and excess (intentionally withholding exculpatory discovery for the purpose of extorting plea deals through intimidation and fear)
“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye are like unto whited sepulchers (beautiful court houses with the finest architecture) which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones and of all uncleanness. (plea deals, backroom conspiracies, intentional coaching of witnesses to say “I don’t recall”, denial of constitutional rights, condemning innocent people to prison and all the horrors of the same.)
Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men,(well dressed, expensive clothing, articulate, well spoken) but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity” (speaks for itself)
Merry Christmas, May We Remember The Words Of The Christ Who Tried To Bring Back Common Sense
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Many in our community in central Idaho have extracted mineral riches that would make lotto winners look like losers. Blessed indeed, and yes we keep 100% of the proceeds. No paper trail here folks.
John Kerry changed the course of a RIVER to enhance the value of his property in Central Idaho with NO CONSEQUENCES! Yet, a REPUBLICAN man who later became Idaho’s Governor got in trouble for removing a silt deposit in the river near his ranch that was a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Glad you cleared that up. I thought we had water before we had governments. Pretty sure that the people who were already here, and those that came after all used water before any type of government was created in this nation.
That makes it a NATURAL RIGHT. Also, where in the US Constitution does it delegate the ownership of, or to have the authority to dictate where and how we use our water?
Before anyone says water districts, remember if is the people of those districts that decided to fund those so that water could be dispersed among the people more easily, etc.
Governments were created to do specific duties that are in writing within the US Constitution and within each state’s Constitution.
Now I know that every election those who serve within state governments always seem to have a constitutional amendment on the ballets – which is NOT taking power back to the people but instead growing power in the state governments. So check your state Constitution to see if the people of that state did end up being hornswaggled into delegating the water to those who serve within your state government. If not, then it is STILL a natural resource that belongs to the people. Remember those that serve within our governments are NOT “the” government but are put there to carry out specific duties.
You could say that the capacity for forgiveness is the measure of a man, and in this sterling quality Ammon far surpasses me. I admit that, in these last years, I have sometimes slipped into an Old Testament attitude, with my heart hardened. Tough not to, confronted by minions of a criminal Govt, acting in base, purely mercenary motive. Ammon’s example – not to carry this burden but to forgive – is his challenge to me. I’m not so great at scripture, but I do like Benjamin Franklin – ” Those who would hammer their swords into plowshares usually end up plowing for those who didn’t”.
Yes Neil, I have noticed the Christlike attitude of Ammon Bundy, his family and others such as Eric Parker, Ryan Paine, and the list could go on. While not perfect, they do emulate a lot of the qualities taught by the Master. Ammon recently said, after two years in prison and much of it in solitary, that it was not time to be bitter. How many of us could refrain from being bitter? Ammon is better but not bitter and as such, he has access to the promises of the Deliverer: ” Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” Luke 10:19
Thank you Loren : A towering indictment, supported by the law of the ages, and an excellent description of the Federal Culture. I might ask : wasn’t Yesu an iconoclast and troublemaker ? Didn’t he try to reform a corrupt establishment ? Didn’t he attack the moneychangers in the temple ? This is the side of Jesus we need to emulate today. Without trying to deify him – I am not – I have to remark on Ammon’s grace under fire and gift for answering hostle questions with simple commonsense answers. Does he not resemble Jesus before Pilate ? As he has said, the way out of our problems with the fed is found in State and local authority. When State Govts and county authorities claim, use and defend their constitutional perogatives they can end Federal Abuse.