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Promises, promises

by pete on October 30, 2010

                                                   Promises, Promises

     Remember this past spring when so many of us were fighting against the unconstitutional top-down zoning that the Triad of Tyranny was trying to inflict on us?  Remember all the promises being spewed out by them about how it would NOT affect agriculture; that they wanted to protect agriculture; that you would still be able to build ag related buildings , etc.  Blah, blah, blah!  Think about the people in the Amsterdam/Churchill donut who were thinking that if they wrote their own zoning that they would be protected from county abuse.  Think about Joe Skinner’s comment to the Belgrade News that once zoning was in place “there would be more regulations to come”.

     Now, let’s take another look at the situation with the barn up Bridger Canyon that was the focus of a previous blog post.  In a conversation with Kevin Botz today I learned more details about the situation.  The Brass Lantern subdivision consists of 5 20-acre lots.  It is zoned for agriculture.  Two of the other 4 lots have barns.  Neither barn is right next to the dwelling on either lot.  As stated in Ms. Russell’s article for the Chronicle, “The county planning department’s staff report indicated that the barn met sufficient criteria to be granted a permit.  As far as I know Bridger Canyon did its own zoning years ago.  So, now, you have to ask yourself a few questions:  If you buy a lot zoned for agriculture, same as your neighbors, why do they get barns and you do not?  What does ag zoning entitle you to have? You can have livestock but nowhere to house them?  You can have cows or horses but, unlike your neighbors, you have to keep yours in your house?  If you are zoned for agriculture and agriculture covers barns and out buildings for livestock and you meet the criteria of the planning department for your barn, how in the hell does the Gallatin County Zoning and Planning Commission justify telling you that it is FAIR to treat you differently than your neighbors?

     Given their promises to protect agriculture as they tried to force top-down zoning down our throats; given Joe Skinner’s “there will be more regulations to follow” statement; given this example of protecting ag zoned properties – how stupid do you have to be to think that any promises made by these people will be kept?  Amsterdam/Churchill people should read the writing on the wall.  Look long and hard at this example.  Bridger Canyon did their own zoning and the county is still butting in to apply their “whims of men” policy of Ruler’s Law.  What kind of regulations do you think Skinner had in mind to follow up with?

     There is nothing in the law to remove zoning but it does allow for unlimited amending by the commissioners, such as amending to NOT protect agriculture anymore or, as in this case, not protect EVERYONE equally.  Are you prepared to gamble your rights and the rights of your neighbors on the chance that you won’t be singled out for destruction like Botz and Theken?  Are you so naïve that you think this can not happen to you?  Do you think Joe Skinner, Bill Murdock and Marty Lambert are going to suddenly become honest and honorable people?  The founding fathers knew that the loss of freedom through the gradual erosion of constitutional principles is not always so obvious that the people can readily detect it.  James Madison wrote, “I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpations ….   This danger ought to be wisely guarded against.”  Thomas Jefferson said, “Let no more be said of confidence, in man, but, bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”

     There always has been, and there always will be, people who take the cowardly position that if it does not affect them directly they do not care.  Coincidentally they are usually the ones who, after standing idly by while their neighbor suffers abuse, scream the loudest for help when the abuse is later directed at them.  The absolute brilliance of the founding fathers was their collective understanding of the nature of man.  They knew that the nature of man would never change and that the Constitution, if adhered to, would be able to stand the test of time.  The key thing here is:  IF ADHERED TO.

     If you have been paying attention lately there are a lot of people more prominent than me that are espousing the same sentiments:  Each of us has a chance in this coming election to do something to put our country back on track.  Do not let any single issue affect your good judgment.  If you vote for candidates, regardless of party affiliation, who have the honor, honesty and integrity to adhere to their oath to uphold and defend the Constitution we will be making, collectively, a huge step in the right direction toward pulling our country back from the edge of the abyss.

          Vote like your kids’ lives depend on it – because they do!

Pete Rothing

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