”If we can’t trust the government, WHO can we trust?”

Michael-SorrellsYep. Haywood County commissioner Michael Sorrells (D)posed that question  in an election profile news story published in a local paper.

Haywood County has been very very good to us.  It’s been a great case study in government tyranny and overreach.

Sorrells made his statement in reaction to questions about the county’s controversial emergency managment ordinance which we reported on HERE earlier.    But the Democrat incumbent wasn’t even close to being finished on the subject:

”The ordinance is designed to keep people safe and help the rescue workers and officers tasked with public safety do their jobs.

The notion that the ordinance will be used to suppress people, seize their food, occupy their homes, take their guns, or sequester them is off-base.

Making assumptions about what people might or might not be inclined to do in the future is a dangerous game.  The text of the ordinance clearly gives government officials enough leeway to do ALL of the stuff Sorrells is poo-pooing. Wait.  He’s not finished:

“We live in a civilized society. We live in a democracy. Haywood County especially is a very safe place to live. If we can’t trust the government who can we trust? The boogeyman is not coming to get you.”

Yes, the ordinance allows the county to enter people’s property without permission, because that would be critical in the event of a flood. Rescue workers evacuating an area ahead of rising flood waters would need to enter homes and make sure no one is being left behind. Or if there is a landslide, and the only way to reach victims inside buried homes is crossing someone’s private yard, you can’t wait around to get permission from that property owner.

 “We won’t have a riot in Haywood County, but what if we did have a riot, if you can’t limit who is on the street and who can be out with weapons, how will the police know who the bad guys are?”

Here’s a clue, Mr. Sorrells.  The “bad guys” are the ones assaulting innocent people, stealing other people’s stuff,biggovt or damaging / destroying other people’s property.  According to that pesky, inconvenient Second Amendment, possessing a firearm does not necessarily make you a “bad guy.”  MORE: 

The elements of the ordinance are based on legitimate needs in a time of emergency, not crazy scenarios.

“There is fear out there that something bad is going to happen. To me, I’m sorry, but I don’t have that feeling.”

Haywood’s ordinance specifically gives the county manager the authority to seize private property and take control of ALL economic resources in the county.  That COULD be interpreted to include deposits in local banks.  After all, those ARE economic resources. I know that this was probably a well-intended but wrong-headed attempt to combat good ol’ price-gouging.

 Prices DO shoot up in times of crisis.  Low supplies and big demand result in higher prices.  In most cases it’s not about greed.  Most merchants have set inventories that are restocked on regular schedules.  How are they to survive if their stock is cleaned out in one day, and the new inventory is not coming until the end of the month, or can’t get through for some other reason? 

Sometimes, government policies grow into things beyond what they were originally intended for.  For example, Social Security was initially meant to be a short-term safety net.  The ATF was founded to help enforce the Prohibition laws.  The Constitution has been amended to repeal prohibition, but the ATF is STILL here. We need to be very careful about powers that we assign to government.  Bureaucrats and politicians are not too fond about giving up their power over our lives.  (Just look at how Republicans in Washington are now behaving in reference to ObamaCare.) 

Justifying this ordinance by saying the UNC School of Government OKed it is unacceptable.  It has to pass muster with a certain document approved by the people of North Carolina way back in 1789.