Archive for May 19th, 2011



Over the last few days I have been seeing a small red single-engine plane flying over the property several times a day. I suspect the pilot has been hired by the county to look for early signs of brushfires—a good purpose admittedly—and yet I resent being submitted to any government’s literal oversight.

I will confess that I have had thoughts of shooting at the aerial intruder, but this would draw unwanted official attention and interference—if the pilot even knew he was being fired at. To get his attention you’d have to actually hit the plane, and that seems a bit over-the-top.

A better way to warn him off might be fireworks—you know, those loud ones they always use at the beginning of a display to get your attention (the ones that leave blossoms of black smoke reminiscent of flak bursts in the path of a B-17). But that would probably, no certainly, start a war with all levels of government. Fireworks fired at aircraft undoubtedly violates not only the county’s burn ban, but federal aviation rules and laws… and I don’t have any fireworks here, anyway.

But it is a delicious thought.

So instead I have taken to stepping outside and flipping the guy the bird. I still have my first amendment rights… I think… for the time being, anyway.

Yesterday when I was in town I visited with a man who had just been busted for welding without a permit. The guy in the red plane called in the deputies, and three of them showed up in two vehicles. They didn’t exactly arrive with guns drawn, but they did slap the welder with a ticket carrying a $500 fine for violating the county’s burn-ban rules. “When they shut down my job site, they’re interfering with my livelihood and my family’s welfare,” he said.

Yeah, tell me about it. Jerry and Eva are still shut down, with costly requirements demanded by inspectors increasing every week. Putting small business people out of business is a stupid way for government to be behaving at a time when economic recovery is needed, and it makes no logical sense until you understand the behavior as government putting the squeeze on citizens in ways that will generate fines and fees to justify the salaries of inspectors, clerks, cops, and other public employees.

One of these days a squeezee (who’s less restrained than I) will take a shot at some government meddler, and maybe even take him out. There will be a predictable blur of television stories showing the grieving widow and kids, bagpipers, and long columns of police cars, lights flashing, assembled from far and wide.

Yet there will be widespread silent delight among viewers who approve of there being one less “public servant” fattening himself at the trough. I have heard a couple people joking about how a group burial of inspectors may be the best solution to the Grub Shack closure.

So who knows? Maybe one of those news stories could originate here—but probably not. There is a lot of anger out there everywhere about parasitical government. So the appearance of at least one such story is inevitable.

But I will restrain myself to flipping that pilot the bird. He’ll probably not notice the gesture but it will make me feel a little better.


Groove of the Day

Listen to Mildred Bailey performing “Don’t Fence Me In”