Recent comments from Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials talking about “crucifying” business owners as a way of sending a message, as well as the news that EPA has been performing flyovers over feedlots, doesn’t come as any surprise to anyone who’s dealt with the agency in recent years. After all, EPA views business in the same light that the U.S. Department of Justice’s Drug Enforcement Administration sees drug smugglers. As a result, EPA seems to believe its use of the same types of tactics is more than justified.
We haven’t gotten to the point where cattlemen are holding their meetings at night in the middle of cornfields, hoping to have frank conversations free from government eavesdropping. Nor have we seen feedlots begin to cover their operations in camouflage to avoid the spying eyes of satellites and planes.
But it’s sad that the fact that we have nothing to hide and are obeying the laws of the land doesn’t mean that the next time we see a plane or unmanned drone fly overhead, that it could be our own government spying on us. I remember years ago reading George Orwell’s “1984” and Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” and thinking how scary it would be to live in such societies. I was convinced back then that it could never happen here. Today, however, we all should reread those books just to gain a better understanding of the world in which we now live.