Thursday, September 1, 2011

Speaking of Freedom:A River Runs Through It.

Greetings Patriots,
In the first chapter of Romans the Apostle Paul writes of those who "...worship the creation rather than the Creator...". He explains why people do that and what the consequences are for doing so. There have always been those who do this. Today we call some of them "environmentalists". And today as always, the consequences of doing this are very real, as I hope to illustrate in this post. While it may sound noble and righteous on the surface to claim to be trying to preserve the earth, there is a profound difference between caring about and for the environment, which we should all do, and worshiping the same.

One example of earth-worship that is playing out as we speak is right in our own backyard and it shows some of these real consequences. (Please read the article linked to below.)

As the article points out, over the years the governing bodies of the Corps of Engineers and other agencies have become stacked with environmentalists. The dream of these largely unseen and virtually unaccountable bureaucrats is to see rivers revert to their natural, pre-human-intervention courses.

I have observed what this article is referring to this year on my job. I had noticed before reading this that, as we have traversed the Missouri River bottom this year, the flooding has been different than usual. Normally, heavy rains cause waterways to rise, the water flows downstream and, as it does, the flood waters recede. That's normal. There was some of that earlier this year.

This year the tributaries have been in flood stage all year-before, during and after the spring rains. But the water has had no flow or current to it. It looks more like ponds and lakes than streams, creeks and rivers. This is because it is all backwater from the Missouri River. After reading this article I now know what is going on! This has been a largely man-caused tragedy! It is purposeful and could have been prevented. (Do a search for "Missouri River flooding of 2011" and you can find hundreds of photos and articles detailing this flood.)

The result of this "purposeful flooding" has been devastation for many farmers as miles of beautiful crops lie in ruin and acres and acres of some of the most fertile land in the world has been turned into lakes and swamps, potentially to be declared wetlands, and thus taken out of production forever. Will that affect food supplies and prices? Will there be remuneration to the landowners? If so, with what would they be paid? We have no money!

Beyond this there has been great inconvenience and expense to thousands of others who live and work in the affected areas because of road closures. To name just two, Interstate 29 in northwest Missouri has been closed for 2 months and remains so, as the photo below shows.

I have personally witnessed the closure of Missouri highway 10 near Carrollton for well over a month because our tracks run right next to the affected portion of the road. You can go to to see a map of Missouri road closings and see that there are many more roads that are still closed. No doubt the same is true for the other affected states of Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa and the Dakotas. This has cost and is costing untold thousands of people untold millions of dollars in extra expense to go around the flooding.

Also, railroads have had to reroute lots of traffic because of line-closures caused by the flooding. Just one example on just one railroad, of which I am aware: BNSF trains between Omaha and Kansas City/Tulsa, etc... now have to go by way of Galesburg, Illinois, more than tripling the distance between the two points. Taken together, these re-routes have resulted not only in hundreds of thousands of gallons of extra fuel consumption, but also in congestion on the lines that remain open, causing slowed traffic and delayed deliveries. In addition there will be millions, possibly billions, of dollars in expenses to repair the damaged infrastructures of both roads and railroads. (Go to the link below to see some amazing video of the BNSF's fight with the river this year.)

And we now find ourselves in September and, though it has been weeks since significant rainfall, Mighty Mo where we cross it is just now getting back in her banks. Even so, the roads, tracks, crops and farmland remain in jeopardy as even moderate autumn rains could mean that the worst is yet to come. And to think that much of this was purposeful, intentional and could have been prevented.

This is just one example of what happens when we forget and/or reject the One True God and replace worship of Him with worship of someone/something else. It is the way pollywogs become more important than people. When this happens, we all suffer for it, bureaucrats and pollywogs included. I believe this is the more important lesson of the Missouri River floods of 2011.

So what can we do about it? Call our representatives/senators, etc...? Tell people about it? Forward the article to everyone you know? Yes. Yes. And, yes. We must become actively involved. But I believe that, more important than what we do is how we do it. We must be sure that we do what we do with integrity, as our forefathers did. A prime example of what I mean is the so-called "Boston Massacre" of 1774.

In that incident British troops fired on unarmed American civilians, killing several. The victims are sometimes referred to as the first casualties of the American Revolution. But we sometimes forget that John Adams defended those British troops at trial. And won their acquittal. Why did he do that? Was Adams a Tory? A British loyalist? No. He did it because the victims instigated and provoked the shooting. He did it because it was the right thing to do.

Adams and the other Founding Fathers understood the importance of integrity. They knew that if they were to prevail in this fledgling freedom movement, they must be above reproach and righteous in their actions. It would have been easier in the short term to condemn those soldiers and exact a measure of revenge on them. But to do so would have been to yield to mob rule. If they had done that, what we now know as the American Revolution would have been stillborn. Aborted. Killed in the womb. And there would never have been an America!

If our nation is to be restored and government "of, by and for the people is not to perish from the earth", we must again be a people who recognize and honor God and whose actions are distinguished and characterized by the kind of integrity exemplified by our Founding Fathers. It wasn't easy for them. It won't be easy for us. It is never easy! But it is worth it. And there is no other way.

Richard Cochran, President
Macon County Patriots
September 1, 2011

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