June 16, 2024

Alphabet soup and frog stew

“The most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who is able to think things out for himself.” H.L. Menken

We are beset, to the point of exasperation, with government and quasi-governmental agencies known by their initials. The long list includes: IRS, FBI, EPA, WHO, UN, and many others. I call these the “alphabet soup” government, because these agencies are identified by initials, rather than their names, which sometimes are misleading. The shorthand use of initials reduces the impact of what the real name means. This “alphabet soup” operates on sometimes very flimsy legislative authorization. In the vast majority of times these agencies write hundreds of pages of “administrative code” which has the force of law and is not subject to legislative oversight. It is difficult, time consuming and expensive to take the issues to a court of law to modify the administrative rules. Often it is a waste of time and money, as the court does not always overrule the agency.

These agencies are often organized and authorized with the best of intentions.

The Clean Water Act was passed in the 1970s by Congress to regulate and clean up our navigable waters. The Law does not define “waters of the United States”; rather, it provides authority for the EPA, and the U.S. Department of the Army, to define “waters of the United States” in their regulations. In other words, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers legally can write “Administrative Code” to explain and give meaning to the Congressionally passed “Clean Water Act.” Congress writes a few pages of legislation and authorizes the bureaucracy to actually write the details, which then have the authority of law. These “details” often run into thousands of pages in the Federal Register. This is an example of how Congress actually transfers Congressional authority to alphabet soup administrative agencies, none of which has constitutional authority.

It has been said we often violate federal law every day, without any intent or knowledge.

Since 1988 the United Nations General Assembly has adopted 88 separate resolutions regarding “Oceans and the Law of the Sea.” Of this total, 55 were adopted without a vote. This is a clear case of centralized authority in action. Many of these resolutions impact our fishing industry. How is a fisherman to know all of these laws and how they impact the fishing industry?

As a matter of fact, the poor fisherman will inevitably violate both national and international law. Probably every day, and probably without any knowledge of the thousands of pages of administrative code that impacts his ability to earn a living.

Sometimes the alphabet soup agency intentionally and knowingly violates the law. Think about the FBI. During the last federal election in the United States, FBI agents worked with Twitter, and other private social media corporations, to control the narrative, and suppress “dis-information.” Elon Musk, the new owner of Twitter, has revealed some of the ways the FBI worked with employees of this private communications organization to suppress free speech and news during the 2020 election cycle. This seems to be a way that the FBI was able to suppress the freedom of speech guaranteed by the First Amendment of The Constitution of the United States of America. While “technically” not a violation of the First Amendment, the speech was after all being suppressed by a private organization. We all know that the federal government, working through the FBI was restricting the freedom of speech.

Another example of an out-of-control Alphabet Soup agency is the WHO or World Health Organization.

The WHO is in the process of writing new rules that will control such things as travel, quarantine and medical treatment.

The WHO is seeking to use its authority to declare an international medical disaster and impose worldwide restrictions on travel and to mandate universal medical treatment

All of these, and other alphabet soup agencies, are constantly warming the soup of our lives and businesses. We are just like those poor frogs, swimming around in the stew pot of life, trying to get by, while not realizing the water is getting hotter. Just like that frog, who is eventually overcome by the rising heat and becomes frog stew, we too will be overcome by the alphabet soup agencies. It is time for the frogs to think for themselves, and jump out of the pot before we become frog stew.

Mike Lang, Chairman, Union County Republican Central Committee