Ah the joys of ever bigger government. Several years ago when the Omaha World Herald quit delivering newspapers to outstate Nebraska I subscribed to the North Platte Telegraph in addition to the McCook Daily Gazette. It is my judgment that in contrast to the Gazette, the Telegraph tends to favor a more liberal bent to its stable of writers and choice of national news articles. I tend to argue with some of those opinions.
Recently the Telegraph printed a release from the National Wildlife Service, a federal government agency. The gist of the news release was to warn farmers in drought stricken areas that cutting and baling their drought failed corn crop was not a "normal" means of harvest and therefore migratory bird hunting nearby would be prohibited.
Wonderful! I can just see a landowner who leases his land for hunting, and needing the income especially this year, having to shut down his hunters due to clearing the failed crop acres in hopes of planting winter wheat meanwhile praying for an eventual rain. Or a hunt club that leases duck hunting acres for its members along some barely flowing river or shrunken lake, having to close up shop because neighboring farmers harvested their failed crops in an "unapproved" manner. Who makes up ridiculous rules like that in the first place? Why do we have to have to comply with stupid rules concerning our private property anyway?
This summer, we traveled through southern Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas and those farmers are hurting. Mile after mile we observed corn standing in the fields that had turned brown and died even before shooting tassels. Soybeans were about six inches high and exhibited the dull gray color of severe drought. Pastures were covered with short grass that was obviously dormant and provided little fodder for the few thin cows that we could see. Mile after mile of the interstate highway road ditches had been hayed. Agriculture is in tough shape and some faceless bureaucrat pushes a rule that prevents the farmer from even grasping a little alternative income.
Anyone driving Highway 83 recently has noticed a large number of flat bed semi-trailer loads of hay headed south. Independent truckers, "hay haulers" have been busy moving livestock feed from areas of abundance to the drought stricken areas on south. Reportedly they are also back-hauling oil field equipment back north. Note there is no governmental agency coordinating, just private enterprise answering a need. May it ever be so.
Even pivot irrigators here in much wetter Southwestern Nebraska catch grief from our friendly Farm Credit Agency. A friend who farms near Madrid told me of the hassle that he was being given due to a useless pond, in governmental parlance "wetland," in one of his fields. It was a quarter section that he had purchased the previous winter. The former owner had created a berm across the "wetland" for a pivot tower to track over rather that get stuck in the mud each rotation. The berm was obvious in the aerial photograph of the field and for the FSA clerk it was an "unacceptable practice." I don't know how the matter was resolved but the new landowner was extremely frustrated by the hassle he was receiving.
Our President is currently pushing to create more jobs in this country and the quest is obviously necessary. Unfortunately President Obama seems to think that growing government and creating more taxpayer funded government employees is a good answer. Good jobs with benefits they are too but unfortunately they don't produce anything but hassle for the real producers. Conservatives in Congress are crying for relaxation of governmental regulations that hamper real job growth but those efforts meet with all sorts of resistance from those who want to grow government.
I fear that our own Senator E. Benjamin Nelson will not be lining up on the side of those intent on cutting government growth. Memory serves to remind that Governor Nelson oversaw the largest increase in Nebraska State employees during his terms in office.
Incidentally I've heard nothing of my call for Senator Nelson to pick up McCook's $25,000 portion of the needless fence planned for the "McCook Ben Nelson Regional Airport." I see Senator Ben's name in aviation related publications that are distributed throughout the United States. Obviously the name recognition should allow him to pay for the fence from Campaign Funds rather than having to write a personal check for the amount. Haven't heard a thing.
When President Obama took office one of his first executive orders was to require that only union labor be hired to work on federal construction projects. A large portion of his campaign funds come from union dues so Chicago-style payback would only be expected. Now it is understandable why President Obama currently stresses the need for infrastructure improvements, federal projects--union labor. Yes our infrastructure is crying for improvement but more could be done for the same dollar by using the 85 percent of non-union labor that originally build our roads and bridges. The list goes on.
That is how I saw it.