A day like any other. Sitting at home one evening minding my own business when a 'wee small' voice in the back of my head says, "Mike, it's been a week since you checked your Outlook Inbox. Shouldn't you check to see if you have any e-mail?"
"Nah, if I go in there it could get weird. There'll be all kinds of SPAM to sort through, obtuse references to products I never will buy, and e-mails for stuff I'll spend an hour deleting through. Better off just leaving things 'Be' as my Mom always says."
'Other' voices in my head begin arguing with the first two, cruel names are tossed back and forth like pizza dough in an upscale Italian Restaurant and then another voice drowns them all out with a hearty, "For the love of Pete, would all of you SHUT UP?!?! Check the Inbox, Dude, you're making me and that 'other one' NUTS!"
This final voice appears to have come from our dog, Sandy, who is sitting next to me at the Dining Room table. She sits motionless with one paw up and the front of her lip pulled back over dangerously-gleeming teeth. Great. All these voices in my head an now the DOG has to get into the act.
"Yeah, you are, but you don't even know why yet. Wait till you try to sit on your bed later tonight. I left a little something on your comforter for you. A little bit of me, you know, just for YOU. Heh, heh, heh..."
She puts her paw down, 'chuffs' and walks back to the Living Room presumably to defile yet another piece of defenseless furniture.
Like I said at the beginning - a day like any other.
Soooooo, I give in to my dog, the 'voices', my better judgement and I click on the Icon which opens Outlook. 118 Messages. Super.
Most are ads for 'stuff'. A couple are from comments people have left as a result of my FaceBook postings and, hold on, what's this... Cool, it's something I can USE. A useful thing!
It's a note from my friend, GrumpyElder, with a link to an article online AND it's right up my alley. Maybe the voices were right (once), after all.
And this, after much literary cross-talk, brings us to today's post...
It's about the Environmental Protection Agency and the wonderful things they do... For US.
To bring you up to speed, here's their Mission Statement: "The mission of EPA is to protect human health and the environment."
Shoot, I'm all for THAT! (Although after re-reading the mission statement again, shouldn't it read: "The mission of THE EPA is to protect human health and the environment"? Just wonderin'. You trying to tell me that with the amount of money they SPEND protecting Red-Spotted Salamanders that they couldn't have someone proofread their own Mission Statement? Yikes!)
On their site, they have an image which overviews their mission.
Okay, get ready for it, here it comes (I didn't make this up - it's THEIRs)...
What can we take away from this fabulous representation of 'What they do'?
(When I copied the above image for inclusion here, I found that it was named, "Perf Circle". I'm assuming that this was short for 'Perfect Circle'... Give a Graphics Artist a Federal Grant for $1.3 Million and you too can have a Perfect Circle on your website! Perfect!!!)
I'll take a stab at what this Image represents:
1. They plan 'Strategically' to do... er, um, 'Something'
2. They plan some more while applying 'Costs' against the afforementioned plans
3. They set up budgets according to their 'plans' and then they 'spend' (your money, to accomplish their plans)
4. Lastly, they 'Report' their Results to, um, someone, who is most likely, dressed as...
A Red-Spotted Salamander
This is him. I call him, "Sal A. Mander".
Because I call everyone and everything else, "Bob". If you've been around for a while, you'll already know this. If you're reading for the first time, just go with the 'Sal' thing for now, I've got to finish this post some day and the voices are getting 'noisy' again...
To 'Sum Up' thus far:
1. The EPA Plans to Spend money
2. They budget to Spend the money
3. They Spend the money
4. The tell 'Sal' what they did - and HE's not talking (cause he's a Salamander)
Okay? Good, let's moo-ve along then...
So the thing which Grumpy sent to me was this: An article written by Thomas Sowell
(yeah, that's a link, you can click on it and read the entire thing in its entirety)
If your eyes burn from reading the post thus far, I'll shorten his post for you a bit by incorporating the most salient points of his article here:
A. The EPA has jurisdiction and regulation over 'Oil Spills' (think 'Gulf' spill)
B. Oil is 'Bad'
C. Milk contains 'Oil'
D. Oil, from Milk is 'Bad'
E. If you have animals which product 'Milk' you must now comply with EPA guidelines to:
* Create a 'Milk Spill Emergency Preparedness Plan',
* Train your 'staff' to be 'First Responders' for any 'Udderly Unfortunate Mishap',
* Build containment facilities to capture any release of toxic substances, formerly known as: Milk
As an added bonus, the EPA is adding staff to monitor dairy farmers' "Milk Disaster Planning" compliance and to fine anyone found to be 'Out of Compliance' with the EPA's critical need to protect all of us from a potential Tsunami of mis-handled, mis-guided, and generally mis-understood... 'Moo Juice'.
The end result is the same as always:
"The government is expanding to meet the needs of an expanding government"
Oh, and one more thing, the Dairy Farmers forced to implement safety guidelines similar to those of 'Off-Shore Wildcat' drillers? Yeah, someone's got to pay for their farm's 'Safety Improvements'.
This of course, is where you, I, and my talking dog come back into the story.
In the end, the government gets a bit larger, the guys who fund the government get a bit poorer, and the 'poorest' Americans find yet another 'food stuff' inching financially away from them in their grocer's dairy aisle.
Just another day at the office for the folks at 'EPA'.
In conclusion [by way of a Sideways Jump in logic]:
IF Milk contains Oil, how long will it be before we'll milking cows to fuel our vehicles?
The Feds did it with Corn, driving up the price of another dietary staple in our country (and worldwide, since we grow a LOT of 'ears' for International Export).
I'll only drive a milk-powered vehicle if they can make the exhaust smell like Hot Cocoa.
They can do this, count me in...
But with all those cows pumping out all that milk, what about the 'Methane'?
I don't want to be driving behind one of those 'Methane-powered' cars.
No siree, Bob... Not me.
Normally the inside of my car smells 'Bad' but something tells me that following one of THOSE would be worse.