The Law – Bandimere Speedway, Dakota Access & Protests

  • Posted: July 15, 2020
  • Category: Blog
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Before we irrevocably consign our pre-woke history to the black waters of Lethe, perhaps we might seine the dross of oppressive offal for useful nuggets. One such might be an idea voiced by Teddy Roosevelt, a long accepted truth increasingly suspect in many quarters. He said:

“No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man’s permission when we ask him to obey it.”

Even today, most rational people – a qualifier growing ever more rare – would agree with the statement. But when the law is most needed, i.e. when passions run highest, it seems ever more absent.

A recent example was highlighted by that future bird-cage liner, our beloved Denver Post, the Voice of Boulder. Last Friday, the front-page photo was once more banal, another in a wearisome succession of same, marchers in the street protesting police brutality. The reportage was equally wearisome, idealistic young people vs an affluent “white” city council in Greenwood Village.

Denise Maes, public policy director for the Colorado ACLU, was quoted extensively, by turns gushing in support then depressed by these children’s inability to eradicate their parent’s barely disguised “racism”. The irony of white high school students, living in a virtually crime free, wealthy and protected enclave attending what is widely thought of as the best – and safest – school system in the state, supporting recent “reforms” leading to the century’s highest murder rates in the Metro areas impoverished minority neighborhoods was unremarked on. Irony is evidently no longer thought a proper subject in journalism classes.

The second page of that same future bird cage liner reported on Bandimere Speedway’s run-in with the Law. Bandimere Speedway violated public health orders by hosting its annual Jet Car Nationals & fireworks display with some 7,000 people in attendance on July 4th. The Post reported with barely suppressed glee on the full weight of Jefferson County law enforcement being brought to bear against the “scofflaw” family owned business.

The ACLU was not quoted or in evidence, though the paper did mention the “hundreds of viewers tuned into the Zoom court session .. . . Bandimere supporters”. Unremarked upon in the paper was the irony of the hand wringing nature of the public health comments quoted supporting Jefferson County’s enforcement actions vis a vis the paper’s dreary front-page justifications for marching protestors. But then irony is fast becoming just one more example of “white privilege”.

In other news, a federal judge ruled the Dakota Access Pipeline must cease operation – NOW!! This 30” pipeline, covering 1,172 miles from Williston, ND to Chicago, IL and operating since June of 2017, must be stopped and all oil drained. It seems the Army Corps of Engineers is being taken to the woodshed for having the temerity to issue a permit to construct and operate, in spite of “activist” opposition.

The abrupt shutdown of Dakota Access will bring chaos to the interests of shippers, producers and users, untangling said chaos providing another “Full Employment Act” to America’s litigation industry. An investment of billions of dollars and hundreds if not thousands of good jobs, a project forced to endure years of delaying actions by environmental “activists” is shutdown. “Activists” found a federal judge, one James Boasberg, who could be convinced that successfully wading through an endless morass of environmental litigation and three years of incident free operation were not sufficient to protect a small stretch of what was once called the “Muddy Missouri”.

Closely following the Dakota Access news, Dominion Resources called it a day, canceling their proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline after spending six years litigating permits. The guerrilla warfare of “activists” in the welcoming spaces of accommodating legal underbrush proved impenetrable. One assumes that the Dakota Access decision loomed large in the decision by Dominion.

Simultaneously, Dominion announced a fire sale of their remaining natural gas assets to Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway, another bargain snapped up by the “Oracle of Omaha”. Coincidentally, Warren Buffet had a substantial ownership of Virginia’s media, the media instrumental in stoking public opposition to the pipeline. Something called The Buffet Foundation provided substantial funding to “activist” groups fighting the pipeline. Executives of Berkshire Hathaway were also notable in their charitable donations to Virginia “public service” organizations fighting the pipeline.

The Law – what is the Law, or even the law? Karl Clausewitz, another toppled statue, pointed out that “War is the continuation of politics by other means”. In modern America it might well be rephrased, “Law is the continuation of politics by other means”.

Perhaps we might be confused in our expectation that Law delivers Justice, rather than political ends. But political ends are so much easier to deliver than Justice. Even God found Justice beyond the reach of Law. But Law, or law, is powerless without enforcement. To be enforced, law requires either respect or force.

America has been blessed in its existence by the respect of its citizens for law, because in broad strokes we believed it delivered justice. But if respect is lacking, then force must be used. There are troubling signs, worrisome signs.

A century past there was a poet, W. B. Yeats, a white man to be sure, but as an Irish poet, he might be given honorary status as one of the oppressed. One of his poems, The Second Coming, seems to capture our moment:

Turning and turning in the widening gyre (gyre is a whirlpool)

The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;

Mere anarchy is loosed on the world,

The blood-dimned tide is loosed, and everywhere

The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

The best lack all conviction, while the worst

Are full of passionate intensity.

The center cannot hold, the best lack all conviction. America’s Adorables, our center, our best, have lost their way. They control our Law, they are the law, but they have lost faith in its promises. Even though the Law is their creature, a servant at beck and call, they weary of its constraints. They have fallen prey to those full of passionate intensity promising peace in our time.

Judge James Boasberg’s action in shutting down Dakota Access is provocative. To the untutored retired engineer it seems nothing less than breathtaking, a broad expansion of regulatory reach with no basis in established legal doctrine. While his action seems a clear violation of the 5th Amendment to the Constitution, Judge Boasberg is no doubt basing his action on innovative and compelling new legal theories as to the number of Sioux shamans able to dance on the head of a bison bone pin.

Energy Transfer, the owner of the Dakota Access Pipeline, has said in non-actionable, oblique language – “Ain’t gonna shut it down”. The comments on various industry forums seem strongly, even wildly enthusiastic, in support of this position. It is hard not to hear the beat of war drums in the background.

The government’s lockdown of the nation is . . . there are no words to describe the blatant violation of everything this nation once held dear. To the untutored retired engineer, it simply boggles the mind. While the public has acquiesced in this usurpation of their freedom, an altogether different thing than “rights”, there is a broad and growing anger abuilding. To date, no entity with sufficient standing has said “Enough!!” We wait, both hopeful yet fearful as well, for that someone to walk forward and stand in front of the tanks moving into the public square.

All of those protest marches mean something is wrong. But the answer, or even what, appears elusive. The anger and the marchers appear, on their public face, to be largely prosperous white elites, living in crime free areas and little affected by that which they protest against.

The outpouring of Adorable concern over Law & Justice has resulted in the paradox of increased murder and mayhem among those they purport concern for, a paradox unremarked upon. It is not just journalists who fail to appreciate or even recognize irony.

Yet if the Law does not deliver Justice, it must rely on force rather than respect. What happens when the Law has neither respect nor force remains to be seen in the most vulnerable urban neighborhoods of our country. Thirty-two people were shot in nearly as many incidents from Saturday noon to Monday evening in NYC.

I would like to hear Denise Maes thoughts. Perhaps those Cherry Creek High students marching in Greenwood Village would like to spend a weekend in East Harlem’s George Washington Houses.

3 Responses to “The Law – Bandimere Speedway, Dakota Access & Protests”

  1. John Musciano says:

    Hypocrisy at its best!

  2. jeff esbenshade says:

    I am Westside High School grad Omaha Nebr. The Buffet Foundation is Warrens first
    wife Foundation, very liberal, make many gifts to Planned Parenthood. I never heard
    of them giving money to fight a pipeline.I am also Berkshire Stockholder.
    NEPA makes for huge studies for construction of roads, dams, pipeline,veryslow takes
    years to get permits. Trump is trying take waysome of their powers.The Dakota Acess
    Pipeline would have add to pass the process. Obama found out how bad NEPA was when
    he came up with “shovel ready” projects, only to come against NEPA.

  3. Don Myers says:

    Thank you Bill for sharing your insight regarding the state of the nation and the risks that appear on the horizon when no one is willing to say “enough”!

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