John Andrist: The Ground Is Moving Beneath Us


President Barack Obama smiles with David Archambault II, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Leader, after entering the Cannonball pow wow grounds at the start of the Cannonball Flag Dag Celebration on Friday, June 13, 2014. (Kevin Cederstrom/Forum News Service)

As a much younger pup in my early 20s I joined the Jaycees. One of the tenets of their creed was, “Government should be of laws, not of men”.

It was still a no brainer in the 1950s culture. After all, that’s how America began. . . a motley crew of folks who were fleeing government by decree of kings and wanted no part of any central government to replace it.

As the numbers began to increase it wasn’t working to have make-shift colonial rule. So they met to talk about it.

And what they came up with was the need for some central governance, which would be extremely limited and weak, giving most powers to the states and incorporating a bill of human rights on which no king or the government could trample.

I don’t lament President Obama killing the pipeline as much as it has trampled on the rule of law and legal process.

DAPL followed the law. The Corps of Engineers followed the law. They had the public hearings. Together they made 150 to 180 changes in the North Dakota route alone.

When challenged by the legal filing seeking an injunction, the case was reheard in federal court. The judge, an Obama appointee, ruled that the process was fully legal.

So the Corps permitted the company to proceed on this giant $3  billion project.

It was found that the Missouri river crossing was not a violation of the Standing Rock treaty nor an infringement on sacred ground.

[mks_pullquote align=”left” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#000000″]Little by little we are returning to rule by man, instead of by law.[/mks_pullquote]

Now  the permit has been cancelled by the Corps, no doubt at the behest of one man. You know who. Call it a different kind of executive order that came from the top dog to the Corps.

Little by little we are returning to rule by man, instead of by law. But this action was a giant step. If this is what Americans want it’s okay.

But it is important to some of us to help others realize what we are doing . . . changing the way we are governed without changing the constitution.

Obama doesn’t care. Trump won’t care. People in power know only power. The law is a nuisance to them. It is designed to protect us from them, not vice versa.

One of the central issues in this long presidential journey was getting judges who agree with us, rather than those who study and decree on the basis of the law.

Likely, after a lengthy delay the new president will find a way to get that pipeline approved. At least that is what he has said.

But let’s take a serious moment to think about our changing governance.

Ultimately the people will decide, either by ballot or indifference, to executive action, “Is this the way we want to run this place?” A government return to a more efficient executive decree? Justice meted out through a man, rather than a law?

Good or bad it started in Cuba with a protest that turned to war that turned to a kingship.

The ground is moving folks. Our ground. Right or left, it deserves our contemplation.

Contrarians under attack

Our human instinct to kill the messenger makes life pretty miserable for contrarians.

I learned a long time ago that when I express an unpopular viewpoint I will not only open my words to disdain, but that I will personally be vilified as well.

So I have always had somewhat of a sympathetic ear to contrarians.  There are times, after all, that the whole band except one member is out of step, because we like to follow the drummer, and sometimes he is out of step.

This week the Wall Street Journal gave space to a University of a Colorado scientist who has been vilified and marginalized by the global warming frenzy that is now fashionable.

Professor Roger Pielke acknowledges the planet is warming, that man is producing most of that carbon, and that a carbon tax may be useful.

But his research has led him to a conclusion that weather disasters have actually been declining in the current cycle of time.

That has brought the wrath of billionaire alarmists, left thinking journalists and publications, academics, many of the sky-is-falling scientific groups, and even the U.S. government.

It’s not discrediting the message, but “getting” the messenger.

Yes indeed, there is a price to pay for swimming against the tide.