Look, America is a huge country with, I think, about 350 million people living in it and a gigantic government with tentacles everywhere, so, it is a bit unfair of me to keep digging up stories (see post below) about how appalling they are in some respects. Anyway, I can write these knocking stories because, as you regulars do know, I just love the place - or at least, the idea of the place! And anyway, I blame that Anna Raccoon for leading me into this particular bit of naughtiness.
The full story is to be found at rt.com and it concerns an Oregon farmer called Gary Harrington. (I envy him already because I would love to live in Oregon - er, after Arkansas, of course, he added quickly lest his 'Arkie' pals read this!) However, Mr. Harrington is, in the words of Monty Python, "A very, very naughty boy!" Apparently this wicked villain has been allowing rain water to fill his ponds instead of allowing it to flow into some nearby creek for the benefit of the Medford Water Commission which is part of the local government - natch!
"Thirty days in jail for catching rainwater?" Harrington tells the Mail Tribune. "We live in an extreme wildfire area and here the government is going to open the valves and really waste all the water right now, at the start of peak fire season.”
"When it comes to the point where a rural landowner can't catch rainwater that falls on his land to protect his property, it's gone too far," he adds to the Associated Press. "This should serve as a dire warning to all pond owners."
Yes indeed, Mr. Harrington is going to be banged up for 30 days and made to pay a fine of $1,500 - for collecting rainwater! And this in an area which is always at high risk of forest fires:
“The government is bullying. They’ve just gotten to be big bullies and if you just lay over and die and give up, that just makes them bigger bullies. So, we as Americans, we need to stand on our constitutional rights, on our rights as citizens and hang tough,”
You're damn right, Gary, go git 'em, boy! (Er, how was my accent, darlings?)