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This is what tyranny looks like

Posted: March 11, 2012 at 3:10 pm   /   by

The word “tyranny” appears twice in the Declaration of Independence. “Despotism” appears once.

When people think of these terms, they usually think of Joseph Stalin or the Emperor Nero or some regional governor ruling over a vassal population with an iron fist. But tyranny actually takes many forms. Jefferson used it in the Declaration because he understood this fact. He foresaw how even a government constituted such as ours could, if given enough time for the principles he and the Founders laid forth to be corrupted, become tyrannical. Alexis de Tocqueville wrote about it years later too, though he clearly hoped that we would avoid the fate of administrative tyranny.

Ladies and Gentlemen, may we present the Environmental Protection Agency:



The decision in the Supreme Court case Sackett v. EPA, due later this spring, could very well affect the meaning of property rights and due process in the United States. So how did a small-town couple from Northern Idaho ever become the center of such a momentous case? talked with the Sacketts and their attorney to find out.

Mike Sackett dreamed of building a home on Idaho’s Priest Lake ever since he camped there with friends in high school.

“I remember coming home, told my mom and dad that I was going to move to Priest Lake, and they just said, ‘Oh, no you’re not.’ And I said, ‘Oh yeah. Yeah I am,'” Sackett said.

Years later, Sackett realized that dream when he and his wife, Chantelle Sackett, bought a plot of land near Priest Lake and started to build. After securing the necessary permits from local authorities, the Sacketts were only three days into the process of clearing the land when officials from the EPA showed up and put their dreams on hold.

The EPA informed the Sacketts that they suspected they were building on wetlands and had to cease work immediately. The Sacketts were stunned because their property was a completely landlocked lot within an existing subdivision. When Chantelle Sackett asked for evidence, the EPA pointed her to the National Fish and Wildlife Wetlands Inventory, which showed them that their lot… was not on an existing wetland.

The EPA responded issued what’s known as a compliance order, which said that the Sacketts were in violation of the Clean Water Act and subject to fines of up to $37,500 a day . . . keep reading

Christopher Cook

Christopher Cook

Managing Editor at Western Free Press
Christopher Cook is a writer, editor, and political commentator. He is the president of Castleraine, Inc., a consulting firm providing a diverse array of services to corporate, public policy, and not-for-profit clients.

Ardently devoted to the cause of human freedom, he has worked at the confluence of politics, activism, and public policy for more than a decade. He co-wrote a ten-part series of video shorts on economics, and has film credits as a researcher on 11 political documentaries, including Citizens United's notorious film on Hillary Clinton that became the subject of a landmark Supreme Court decision. He is the founder of several activist endeavors, including (now a part of Western Free Press) and He is currently the managing editor of and principal contributor to
Christopher Cook

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This is what tyranny looks like