In a story that would be touching in the ordinary context, an 88 year old man and his 85 year old girlfriend built a portable water purification business from a dream to a reality. Nothing wrong there; such things are supposed to be part of the American Dream.
But now, their business is being ruined by one of the most unaccountable and tyrannical bureaucracies in the history of government, the DEA:
88-year-old Bob Wallace, and his 85-year-old girlfriend, Marjorie Ottenberg fell in love 35 years ago backpacking to the tops of the highest peaks in the world.
Wallace is a Stanford educated engineer and Ottenberg is a former chemist and decades ago they came up with a water purification product for backpackers like themselves called Polar Pure out of their garage in Saratoga, Calif.
“For an old guy with nothing else to do, this is something that keeps us occupied,” says Wallace.
Today, Wallace and Ottenberg are fighting the Drug Enforcement Administration and state officials to continue to operate their business. Why? The DEA says that drug dealers are using their product to make methamphetamine.
The DEA says meth heads are interested in Polar Pure’s key ingredient, iodine crystals.
Too lazy to go after the meth heads, they have to go after perfectly legitimate business, destroying the dream of two honest elderly Americans. You don’t have to be opposed to the Drug War to be opposed to such tyranny.
Wallace and Ottenberg’s business will of course be ruined, because they cannot possibly comply with the laws demands that they pay huge regulatory fees, plus “register with the state and feds, report any suspicious activity and keep track of each and ever person who bought a bottle of their product.” Nor can their customers, which included camping stores and online outlets that stocked their product. They are being wiped out, and the DEA dismissively calls this “collateral damage”:
Instead of dealing with the new regulations they just dropped the product, effectively killing Wallace and Ottenberg’s business.
“Any time you deal with a government it’s a hassle,” says Ottenberg.
A spokeswoman for the DEA told the San Jose Mercury News that Wallace was “collateral damage.”
I suppose I could ask just what provision of the Constitution gives the DEA the power to shut down dealers in iodine. After all, I ask these questions all the time.
To no avail. We are no longer governed, but we are ruled. This government is monstrous. It no longer resembles what the founders envisioned, and very few people care. Those who do are ridiculed as cranks.
Let them eat cake. That’s the message.
Let them eat cake.
I still hold that this “progressive”, overweening national government is just the modern manifestation of a 16th century monarchy.
How much longer will people go on passively as it becomes clearer and clearer to rational citizens that our government has nothing but contempt for us? How much longer will those who support this brand of tyranny give up slices of their liberty in exchange for a few bread crumbs and some gub’mint cheese?
I don’t think it will be much longer. For me, the benchmark is this year’s election. If Obama wins, America is done. If Obama loses by a slim margin, America is still done – because a powerful leftist media will relentlessly spin it as just another “temper tantrum” by an uninformed electorate – that we really were just mad that Obama just didn’t destroy the Constitution faster because we really, deep-down, in our heart of hearts, liked his agenda.
The only sign of life for freedom loving Americans will be a clear and decisive repudiation via a Republican victory.
Via Sarah Hoyt, who is guest-blogging at Instapundit while the Professor is on vakay.