Feds move in to regulate 'Cajun Navy'
Ronald Reagan's view of government:
If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.
It is well to keep this in mind when examining the plight of the "Cajun Navy" – the informal group of Louisiana citizens who used their private boats to rescue countless thousands of people from the flood waters.
In recent days, the Cajun Navy has been blocked from doing its job by zealous government officials who can't stand the idea of individuals acting outside of their authority.
“They were being friendly and they weren’t saying anything to us, but it was very clear that they were blocking things off,” said Mr. Achord. “It looked like they were purposefully getting in our way, and then they were directing traffic away from where people were putting their boats in the water.”
That was his last day as a member of the so-called Cajun Navy, the all-volunteer flotilla of Louisiana private boat owners credited with rescuing and helping countless thousands of marooned homeowners, livestock and pets at the outset of the flooding.
“After that, I didn’t go back out because I knew they were blocking off the main path that I could use to get to the water,” said Mr. Achord, a teacher and administrator at the Sequitur Classical Academy in Baton Rouge.
Experiences like Mr. Achord’s are what prompted Republican state Sen. Jonathan J.P. Perry to float the idea of legislation to certify trained volunteers in order to give them greater access to flood sites, instead of watching authorities turn away the would-be rescuers.
But the proposal landed him in hot water this week as others accuse him of trying to regulate the informal collective of boaters that finds much of appeal in the ability to react quickly to disasters without being anchored to government oversight or red tape.
“One of the best things about the ‘Cajun Navy‘ is that they didn’t need the government to put them together and coordinate everything,” said Kevin Boyd of the Louisiana website the Hayride. “The last thing we need is do-gooder legislators inserting government where it is not needed.”
Entirely predictable, as government never wastes an opportunity to muck things up. Take a perfectly good, smooth, functioning volunteer outfit and try to ruin it by allowing only "certified" people to become involved. And who certifies the volunteers? Government, of course.
It is the primal instinct of government to tax, regulate, or subsidize everything. It must justify its existence, or funding is cut off.
In this case, they don't care about the good work of the Cajun Navy – only how they can find a way to get control of it.