Marx was right: history repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce. Take the tragedy represented by Germany’s SS. It is being repeated as farce by US agencies like the EPA:
When agents with the Alaska Environmental Crimes Task Force surged out of the wilderness around the remote community of Chicken [pop. 17] wearing body armor and jackets emblazoned with POLICE in big, bold letters, local placer miners didn’t quite know what to think.
Did it really take eight armed men and a squad-size display of paramilitary force to check for dirty water? Some of the miners, who run small businesses, say they felt intimidated.
No doubt that was the intention.
Others wonder if the actions of the agents put everyone at risk. When your family business involves collecting gold far from nowhere, unusual behavior can be taken as a sign someone might be trying to stage a robbery. How is a remote placer miner to know the people in the jackets saying POLICE really are police?
Miners suggest it might have been better all around if officials had just shown up at the door — as they used to do — and said they wanted to check the water.
But if civilians never get scared enough to shoot, federal agents may never get to use their cool weapons.
The officers were armed and wearing body armor. They were part of the Alaska Environmental Crimes Task Force and were there to check for violations of section 404 of the Clean Water Act, according to several miners who were contacted by the group. Section 404 governs water discharges into rivers, streams, lakes and oceans. …
Most of the mines in the area are small, family-run placer operations. They are like the mines seen on on the Reality TV show “Gold Rush: Alaska.” They search for gold by digging up ground and running it through a sluice box, using water to wash away the rocks and leave the valuable gold behind.
The water they use must be allowed to settle in ponds before it’s discharged back into streams or creeks, so that mud and rocks don’t pollute clean, nearby waterways…
Apparently enforcing this requirement is a major undertaking. No wonder our taxes are so high.
The task force [that harassed the miners was] made up of members of the EPA, the FBI, Coast Guard, Department of Defense, the Alaska Department of Public Safety and the DEC [Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation].
When local politicians complained about the heavy-handed tactics, the bureaucrats did what comes naturally to them — they told preposterous lies:
According to one Senate staffer, the [EPA] said it decided to send in the task force armed and wearing body armor because of information it received from the Alaska State Troopers about “rampant drug and human trafficking going on in the area.”
The miners contacted by the task force were working in the area of the Fortymile National Wild and Scenic River. The federal designation, made in 1980 as part of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, protects 32 miles between Chicken and Eagle, Alaska. It is a remote area, close to the Canadian border and the town of Boundary. The nearest city of any real size is Fairbanks, 140 miles to the northwest. It was unknown to everyone in the area that there is a rampant problem with drug and human traffickers.
This also came as news to the Alaska State Troopers, whom the EPA said supplied the information about drugs and human trafficking…
Accusing the miners of being invading Syrians come to gas the children would have been more believable.
Many federal agencies now have their own paramilitary SWAT teams, including even the Department of Education. The miner story indicates how eager they are to put them to use. Already the Cato Institute reports that SWAT teams raid citizens 40,000 times per year in the erstwhile Land of the Free. A courteous knock at the door would suffice in the vast majority of these raids.
On a tip from Dr. 9.