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Do you suppose someone like Hank Kimball advises Governor Brad Little?  Kimball, if you have memories of old TV sitcoms, was the scatterbrained county agent on the series Green Acres.  He lives on in repeats and online.  Kimball is what many of us assume most bureaucrats are like.  Not necessarily mean-spirited but perhaps just lost after years and years of desk work and scanning dry reports.

Over the weekend I was reading a newspaper column written by an angry old man.  He warns Idaho is in danger of being conquered by extremists.  As if shutting down the state and its economy in late March is more akin to a Sunday walk in the park (just don’t play on the swings!) 

He warns Idaho is in danger of being conquered by extremists.  As if shutting down the state and its economy in late March is more akin to a Sunday walk

There’s an argument often made by the establishment, which very much enjoys its perks, that the Visigoths are coming over the wall and will destroy the clubby atmosphere of government.  We’re told these people are angry and paranoid and somehow believe government is gradually whittling away our liberty.

Then comes a day like the one in March and the Visigoths start to look prescient.  Governor Little, previously of the “aw shucks” school of politics, looks a heck of a lot more like a fellow easily manipulated.  After all, he isn’t a stellar public speaker and you wonder if his eyes glass over when the bureaucrats start telling him the end of the world is approaching.  “Do something,” is more a reaction to fear than good counsel.  Otherwise, the man would’ve included legislators and local governments in discussions.  He didn’t.  Did he worry they might talk him out of the scheme?  It doesn’t inspire confidence we’ve got a strong personality at the top of the executive.

I keep remembering a warm March day in Hansen.  Three years ago.  Little and I were both in a school gymnasium when I had some thoughts for his predecessor.  I shared a concern some sloppy pieces of private property marred the experience when we visited nearby parks.  You know, tipped over washing machines, old furniture and rusted hulks as you pass by on your way to a waterfall, forest or lake.

“Butch” Otter explained it wouldn’t be the Idaho way to order people to clean up their land for everyone else, no matter how much it may impact our sensibilities.  He gave an explanation on the meaning of liberty and your own person and rights.  Little’s mind must still have been focused on lunch.

Your own person and future, well, let’s say it’s a work in progress.  See you next year in a breadline.