OK, we know about the bureaucratic excesses of the federal government, IRS, EPA, DHS. The damage they do can be measured by the broad sweep of their regulations.
But the closer we get to the grass roots of the regulatory process, the more we can see how idiosyncratic it is…not just in the formulation of regulations, but in enforcement and a mindless display of oversight, reminding me more of a helicopter mom, stalking her child on his way to school to make sure he doesn’t slip behind a Stop sign to light up a Chesterfield, or worse these days, to make sure he doesn’t sneak a 16-oz can of Monster Energy. The worst kind of government is the one from which you can’t run away or hide.
Speaking of Chesterfields, let me introduce you to Tucker the Pig, family pet and friend to the Johnson family in Brandermill, Chesterfield County, Virginia.
How Tucker (nmi) the Pig found himself before the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors, and now under the watchful eye of the Chesterfield County Planning Commission (since it doesn’t have a Pet Pig Department…yet) is quite a story considering there doesn’t seem to have been any complaints about the pig from neighbors; no midnight gruntings, no slopping around in a sty, no pig stench stinking up the neighborhood. In fact, neighbors largely came to Tucker’s defense, when the family, out of civic duty and not a county citation, asked the County to grant them an exemption since by some reading of county ordnances, Tucker is livestock, not a pet.
In October, the County Planning Commission turned the Johnsons down by a 3-2 vote anyway. I’d love to know which RedState lawyer advised the Commission on that vote.
Well, Tucker won his appeal this week, as you can read above, but not to leave well enough alone, the Commission had to issue a string of nanny-rules bureaucracies are instinctively compelled to issue, as knee-jerk as an alcoholic’s inability to walk past an open bottle of Jim Beam. Overreach is an act the diseased mind of the collective bureaucracy simply can’t resist:
- Johnsons can’t transfer use of the permit (they can’t sell Tucker to any county resident, and if they die they can’t bequeath him to a neighbor)
- Time limitation for one year (a fee structure will be in place by then, sort of like a business license)
- Use of KuneKune pig (no idea what this means)
- Pig has to stay inside the dwelling otherwise it has to be on a leash or within a fenced rear yard under appropriate supervision. (must have a baby-sitter when outside)
- Should the pig be given, sold or pass away it should not be replaced (outright pigism; no more pigs allowed, look for APCLU to get involved some day; see Oregon-Washington for case law)
- History: Applicant has to provide the history of pig: age, sex, size to planning department (vital statistics are important for developing a Pig Data Bank)
- Waste and order: pens, shelters or fenced yard shall be cleaned and made free of waste on the daily basis. (Spot, then scheduled, inspections not far behind, only county must first figure out who to send, without legally admitting a pig is a pet. You can now see why it is so difficult for the Medusa Twins, Psalki and Harf, to admit a war on “Islamic extremism”…”pet pigs” is Bad, “Pigs that happen to be pets, by government fiat” -Good)
Expect to see a pig officer added to county payroll (pay- $35,000 year) once the Commission can come up with a job description that excludes kids raised on farms, and even a state office should Tuckerism catch on and other Virginia cities bring pigs indoors.
That’s how bureaucracies roll.