Freedom is primarily defined as the: absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice, action or restraint from the power of another. Which includes the quality of being frank, open, or outspoken.
So when one considers the myriad of issues surrounding the Fargo Dam and FM Diversion, where does freedom come into play?
Freedom cannot exist when capitalism relies on socialism to do it’s dirty work!
It goes without saying that Fargo and Cass county have created a social organization via the Diversion Authority whose sole purpose is to subject private property to social control for the alleged purpose of flood control. The entire process hinges on political maneuvering and appointments to ensure that key roles are fulfilled to facilitate coercive constraints in over-hyping flood fears and making “buyout” a routine household word.
The very principles of freedom are imperiled by Fargo, Cass and the Diversion Authority making all targets fair game and all means are acceptable as long as they prevail. This is not about flood control as there can be no conclusion by moving a known problem onto others. Fargo, Cass and the Diversion Authority are simply creating an endless cycle of flood related issues and fears perpetrated in ever more diabolical ways.
Perhaps the most sinister part of the Diversion Authority can be summed up in words from Keith Berndt.
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On the contrary, Keith Berndt is playing fast and loose with thinly connected facts that are independent of each other.
I challenge anyone to produce a ballot, wherein, the entities serving in their capacities on the Diversion Authority were ever openly elected to the Diversion Authority by the constituents they are purported to represent. In addition, where are the elected representatives for property owners that are shouldering the greatest impacts? Being elected to a county, city position does not automatically qualify a person for a seat on the Diversion Authority. That simply guarantees that the bureaucracy that exists…, will continue in perpetuity.
At the very least, county commissioners should have held district level meetings to determine impacts and to select a representative that would fairly and justly represent district interests at the table…, yet that never occurred.
So what’s the big deal…? Well…, when you have a city and county stacking the Diversion Authority with hand picked like minded yes men and one woman, the needs of constituents are lost to an irrational set of interpretations driven by the entity receiving the greatest contrived benefit. All of this occurring while the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) milks the cow to ensure the paychecks keep rolling in.
Long before the Diversion Authority was ever created, Fargo land developers had their eye on undeveloped land adjacent to Fargo. So much so, that Fargo laid out a development plan in 2007 that included a considerable area of land that is normally prone to flooding on Fargo’s south and north sides. Without so much as a public vote, Fargo planted a $47 million dollar school in a known flood plain where adjacent homes were lost in 1997’s flood to drive development further into flood risk areas.
Then, land developers began searching for far fetched flood protections to help them avoid $30,000 per lot improvements needed to address lower laying areas to ensure that their development interests could move forward. Developers didn’t want to front their own money to flood proof the low laying land but they found it convenient to champion a way to get into taxpayers pockets to shoulder that cost. Conjure up a south-side flood control concept, whip it up into a diversion with Class 1 high hazard dams, sensationalize the specter of flooding looming on the horizon, rally for two half cent sales taxes, then avoid completion of internal flood protection with tax dollars raised.
By 2009, Fargo land developers had displaced enough water from naturally flood prone areas to elevate Red River flood crests and create an “alleged” imminent threat to Fargo’s entire infrastructure.
Rather than adopting and enforcing restrictions and guidelines to address further encroachment into flood-ways and adjacent floodplains, Fargo and Cass officials chose to do more dirty work for the developers increasing the very flood issues facing the Fargo Moorhead area.
Had Fargo and Cass taken the time necessary to establish viable options using public input, this cluster of officials along with their developer minions, who’ve exerted “process” over democracy, would not have been able to completely ignore the social destruction(s) their actions would bear.
The disconnect comes where this sense of moral relativism attempts to rationalize the setting aside of our inherent conscience to achieve a “greater Fargo”. Labeled as “part of the process”, which included Kent Conrad’s Senate Budget Hearing (August 2011) and a Civil Works Review Hearing (September 2011), which only allowed entities supporting the project to present their case, meanwhile – categorically denying any impacted representative the right to redress government on matters involving a taxpayer funded Civil Works project.
Despite numerous prophecies that construction would begin in 2012, the trucks never rolled, the bulldozers sat idle, the graders had no purpose…, but the engineering firms billed millions and the USACE made millions more…, all courtesy of taxpayers.
So many players, all pulling for the wrong solution. The most un-American of things – taking of property from one and giving it to another for development interests without clearly addressing due process and the impacts to those shouldering the greatest inverse taking for the least public benefit from a project that only serves to create greater risk to the region.
Wouldn’t it be more simple to build on higher ground…, and let the low ground handle the water by design?
Fargo and Cass are not the shining example of economic vitality they profess. On the contrary, Imperial Fargo/Cass are the perfect example of why a city/county corporation “monopoly”, especially one for growth, is the worst thing for North Dakota. There is no freedom, no incentive to innovate or provide economic diversity in the region when Fargo/Cass feel they can call the shots on where development can occur.
Why does any community exist? Do the businesses and related services exist to support the populace, or does the populace exist to support the businesses and related services made available by economic development?
So it begs the question…, how can freedom exist, when capitalism relies on socialism to do its dirty work?