Slip-Sliding Away...

Dennis Linthicum

Slip-Sliding Away...

Common-sense seems to be slipping away from our public consciousness. With common-sense no one needs a biology expert, scientist, certificate or license. With common-sense one can understand plain self-evident truths and you don't even need a PhD.

The government, or the statists, have layered on so many controls that more and more of our independence is falling away. Under their dominion, we rarely have the freedom to live out our own lives as we see fit. The safety of the collective is deemed more important than the freedom of the individual.

Government intervention is growing more and more burdensome. As a result, people have become complacent. Their reluctance is only natural. After all, who can fight the voluminous regulations? This in turn, causes people to forego using their own common-sense. They see common-sense as a tool that no longer works in the modern world.

In fact, it doesn’t work because the vast majority of the rules and regulations were never constructed with any sense in mind. People end up just going along to get-along. Common-sense is missing today because it is now more advantageous to suffer the idiocy while at least making ends meet. This is a dangerous place for our society.

For example, take the water shut-off at Crater Lake.

The current snow-level is still between 100 and 120 inches. Parking is difficult due to the piles of snow in the parking lots. The park received more than 570 inches of snow in 2017. Yet, people will be informed that the park is experiencing a water shortage!


Tourists and Oregonians visiting Crater Lake will struggle making sense of the scene at the rim. The lake is beautiful, blue and full, the skyline is magnificent and the air is fresh and clear. However, the Rangers will inform them of the severe water shortage. They will be told to greatly limit their water consumption. The park will instruct our visitors to use non-flush toilets, take short showers, wash camp dishes, dry-brush teeth and clean the kids – all with their own dainty-wipe. Does this make sense?

Everyone is aware that these restricted conditions are due to a Tribal water call which included Annie Creek. Annie Creek, which normally supplies the park’s water, is a tributary of the Wood River and Upper Klamath Lake watershed affected by the call.

A priority call allows a water-right holder who has a senior priority claim to secure his water first. This may require other secondary water-right holders to undergo water volume restrictions or other regulations, so that priority rights can be met. This current call simply doesn't make logical sense, since current stream-flow volumes are off the charts and there is more water in our rivers, tributaries and reaches than in the past several decades.

Never-the-less, this call, as senseless as it is, leads Crater Lake National Park to find an alternative water source.

The park typically uses about 36,000 gallons a day in May and that use will increase as summer visitation spikes in July and August – Chiloquin to the rescue!

The City of Chiloquin has contracted to pump 2.5 million gallons of water out of their groundwater well, place it into tanker trucks, drive it 40 miles round-trip while traversing several thousand feet of elevation to fill water storage tanks at the park.

The cost of buying water from the city of Chiloquin is nearly $40,000, while the cost of hauling the water will be closer to $400,000 for May & June. The absurdity hits the fan when one realizes that the rivers are flooding, snow is piled high, an existing aquifer is being tapped, millions of acre-feet of water are flowing into the salty Pacific, and the public will probably expend over $1,000,000 to accomplish – nothing

Crate Lake

Common-sense is becoming harder and harder to find. Common-sense is getting smothered under the laws, rules, regulations, proceedings, motions, and summaries of the strategies. We will lose ourselves to the villains of this world if we can no longer approach an issue with forthright virtue and honor.

This recent water call is obviously not about common-sense regulation, it is about control.

Regulations are a necessary part of life. Regulation comes from a Latin word meaning rule, i.e., a standard, norm, or law. Regulations govern us from the day of our birth. We are regulated by our physical and mental capabilities, our family life, our parents, our church, our job experiences and much, much more. So, regulation per se, is not bad

However, control is another matter. Control, comes from a French word meaning a register, roll, or catalogue.  This is why the Federal Registry is named as such. It is a giant rulebook of controls and it is constantly growing. Last year it grew by 80,000 pages and the total cost for compliance is in excess of $4 trillion dollars. This would be greater than the GDP of all but four other nations.

Regulatory growth is the unfortunate bureaucratic habit which can destroy the very resource that it tries to protect. It has become an administrative juggernaut of senseless rules for the purposes of control and the gradualistic accumulation of these regulations, combined with our collective loss of common-sense, may be our undoing.

Remember, if we don’t stand for rural Oregon values and common-sense –
No one will

Best Regards,

Senator Dennis Linthicum signature

Dennis Linthicum
Oregon State Senate 28

Capitol Phone: 503-986-1728
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE, S-305, Salem, Oregon 97301