Driving up to the huge parking lot, I saw new chain link fence around big stacks of peat moss, manure and planting soil. Hm.
Hard economy, and people are remembering gardens as family resource, but they may not have money. Reducing the garden supply inventory without paying had been too easy, it seems.
The guy helping me in electronics had to unlock the item I wanted to see. A whole rack was secured against pilfering.
"Is shoplifting an issue?" I asked.
"Oh, you wouldn't believe the amount of theft. Or from local government either."
"I got my annual property tax bill in the mail, expecting the usual $10. They'd jacked it up to $450."
"What?!" I was feeling like an echo chamber.
"Yeah. I keep an acre in alfalfa for a couple horses, but I hadn't sold any hay for awhile. So they pulled my agriculture exemption.
"My neighbors on fixed income can't pay the increase; aren't able to work the land like they used to. Kids have moved away. They're looking at having to sell off land that's been in the family for generations or hundreds of years. To pay this stupid tax."
"What will you do?"
"I paid it. Fortunately I was able to, but I'm not happy about it. I have to document this year's cutting with photos and bill of sale for hay and submit it for approval for next year's taxes.
"On family land I own, for God's sake. I could spit."
As Mike Rivero, an altnews webmaster points out: The last act of any government is... plunder.
Which explains traffic ticket quotas for cops--fill the county coffers or else--and their aggressive sense of entitlement to rob motorists and home owners they target.
They're making money the old fashioned way: Highway Robbery.
In an all too recent era, sociopathy of this egregiousness arrived in jackboots and death head insignias.
Local government here is a messy microcosm of Babylon-on-the-Potomac, featuring nepotism and cozy-ing up to monied interests.
The town setting is gorgeous; the town roads feature Third World pot holes. This, while a second runway on the little airport goes forward, benefiting a few millionaire visitors with private planes, and more alarmingly, military.
Local tax revenues have been mal-invested, over-spent. Local gov-solution: gouge property owners to cover gov's profligate tracks.
And on the federal you've-got-to-be-kidding scale?
National gov-solution to the enrichment of fraudsters and beggaring of the populace: Foreclosures, public land confiscation, and apparently "military exercises."
To discourage insistence on, let's see... Separation of powers? Rights of assembly, free speech, privacy?
Enter Darth Vader, rendering stickler legalities null and void. Will it work?
Meanwhile, the people's health goes beggared with imposition of sociopathic insanity.
Monsanto über alles, and BigPharma imposes toxic protocols... after first procuring Congressional protection from litigation.
Beam me up, Scotty, and bring on the clowns.
I like solutions, but what are they? Will we find them among corporations now given person-status, as dispensers of big-bucks-effluent?
Right now, I'm watching a low-tech solution wander through my gardens, Puss-'n-Boots, the mouser.
I think about Oath-Keepers, and about the neighbors who showed up on horseback at the Bundy Ranch stand-off.
And I remember a long ago ancestor in frontier Texas, the first US Marshall for the area. He went after thieves with a rifle on his saddle and six-shooters on his belt.
He showed up; looked malefactors in the eye. He kept his word.
Maybe not so archaic a way of moving through any era.
(Popular new license plate, a rendering of a War of Independence flag with rattlesnake, bright yellow, impudent...)
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