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EPChe: An Expensive, Oppressive Agency Gets a Symbol

Tuesday September 25th, 2012   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 9:25am PDT   •  
The photo of the Che Guevara mural that was used in the offending email.

The photo of the Che Guevara mural that was used in the offending email.

Susie Goldring, a “management analyst” with the Environmental Protection Agency, recently decided her co-workers needed catch-up on Hispanic culture. So she put together a fact sheet and tacked on a photo of a Che Guevara mural and his slogan, “Hasta la victoria siempre.”

When the Che hit the fan, Goldring said she had no idea who the man in the mural was, a rather unlikely claim, though ignorance is not a new problem among federal government employees. Victoria Rivas-Vazquez, an EPA spokeswoman, said it was all a mistake, sent out “without official clearance.” That too may be doubted. In some ways, Che Guevara is a good fit for the EPA.

Nobody voted for Che Guevara, a self-appointed member of the Communist vanguard who dismissed democracy as a bourgeois contrivance and supported one-party dictatorship. The EPA, likewise, never appeared on a ballot. President Richard Nixon created the agency, which duly became a bastion of watermelon environmentalism: green outside, red inside. Consider the EPA enforcement style:

“It is kind of like how the Romans used to conquer villages in the Mediterranean — they’d go into a little Turkish town somewhere and they’d find the first five guys they saw and they’d crucify them. Then that little town was really easy to manage for the next few years. And so, you make examples out of people who are, in this case, not complying with the law. You find people who are not complying with the law and you hit them as hard as you can and you make examples out of them. There’s a deterrent effect there.”

Thus spake Obama appointee Al Armendariz, PhD., an EPA regional boss and former professor of environmental and civil engineering at Southern Methodist University. Armendariz was also a consultant to a national environmental group and a local activist. The crucifixion speech forced his resignation but there can be little doubt that the EPA vanguard, like Che Guevara, believes it knows what’s best for everyone.

They demonize those trying to maximize our energy reserves through fracking. Add complete ignorance of the reality that all human activity involves environmental tradeoffs. The massive EPA itself, with more than 17,000 employees and a budget of nearly $8.5 billion, may be accurately described as a “polluter.” Add the arrogance of power, with no checks and balances by way of voters, and you get a facsimile of the Guevara style, hasta la victoria siempre.

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September 2012