No Need to Persuade

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

John Stossel writes a column on regulation empowering left-wing "activists" that should concern anyone who values our current standard of living:

It also turns out that some [National Resources Defense Council] activists now work for the EPA, and although activists aren't supposed to get involved in issues pushed by the agency, they do it anyway. The NRDC's Nancy Stoner became an EPA regulator. Then she wrote her former colleagues, "I am not supposed to set up meetings with NRDC staff," referring to a pledge she signed not to participate in any matters directly involving her former employer. Then she got around these restrictions by qualifying that she could attend such a meeting if "there are enough others in attendance."
Stossel details how the EPA stopped a precious metals mine in its tracks despite its being 90 miles away from an area it supposedly "threatened" -- not that the government has any business dictating how someone should develop his own property. Also worthwhile is Stossel's account of the dishonest tactics used to sway public opinion about the proposed mine.

I have found too often today that when the media refer to someone as an "activist", that person is not one in the true sense of the term. That is, he is not really concerned with persuading someone else of his point of view. He is typically just a bully with an agenda. Sadly, our leviathan state increasingly makes the opinions of such people equivalent to law, rendering debate irrelevant. This is a trend we must reverse.

-- CAV


Vigilis said...

The larger the U.S. government grows, the more it regulates and the greater the roles assumed by faceless, nameless bureaucrats. At last count, for every 1,000 pages of regulations in the CFR the U.S. government has employed 116 more law school graduates.

Nice job security, no? And, although not required by our U.S. Constitution, the American Bar Association (in reality a professional lobbying organization) has insisted that members of the Supreme Court be lawyers until Bush II, when it rejected nominee Harriet Miers (chiefly because she had never been a judge). This was a significant escalation of previous ABA qualification criteria for Supreme Court candidates.

Most perplexing, however, is the very notion that law school graduates exercise any unique acumen for decision-making. This alleged qualification has been irrefutably underscored by the sheer number of 5-4 decisions by sitting justicesvover scores of years. Therefore, doubt must be cast on whether personal interpretaion of legal precedents is more a factor in rulings or personal opinions by skilled lawyers. I would like to see non-lawyers, seasoned thinkers, eligible for these critical seats.

Gus Van Horn said...


You raise an interesting point about licensing and indirectly about how needlessly complex our legal system has become, thanks to the Leviathan state.

Alas, it might be an easier point to make had Harriet Miers been a more formidable candidate.


Jim said...

Should those "activists" who seek to block human action to further human life be referred to as inactivists?

Gus Van Horn said...


I laughed this off at first, but if you have a chance to explain yourself, it makes sense: These bullies really are working against the active use of the mind.