Circumspect reader David wrote in with this to say about the border fence issue...
Ed, you may or may not agree on my zeal for border control but this is insanity. The Federal Government has to seek waivers to go around Federal regulations and laws. Am I crazy?
David understandably expressed a few other choice sentiments about his frustrations, but since this is a PG blog, I'll spare you.
No, you're not crazy, and I'm glad Bush is finally taking some action toward the matter of border control. What David's upset about is that the federal government has to navigate lots of onerous legal issues, both privacy and environmental, in each border state, in order to erect the fence. One might reasonably think that since the primary role of government is to among other things...establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, [and] provide for the common defence, it shouldn't need anybody's permission to build a border fence? Apparantly, one would be wrong.
Surely there's an easement like where all private land lies adjacent to state-owned land, like for power-line access, sewer and drain maintenance, service vehicle access, sidewalks, etc. And I thought that the land owners on the border were the first victims of looting, theft, and vandalism at the hands of illegals....you'd think they'd welcome the fence.
You can guess my attitude toward the nutty environmentalists who oppose the fence because it might affect the mating habits of wild cats....."Hey smelly hippie, go take another toke and stop impeding progress." The only part in which I agree with the land owners is that if there is no assumed easement, then the government should have to compensate the owners for the land they are taking, under the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment which states clearly that...Private property shall not be taken for a public use, without just compensation.. Other than that, there should be no obsticles to erecting the fence.
Good call on that David. We haven't talked about the fence much lately.
The article to which he is referring is found here.