Some of the responses on this forum astound me because they treat an enormously complex topic with overly simplistic responses. Cutting to the chase: One either trusts government to respond to national emergencies or one does not. If trust exists, then Obama's executive order is perfectly reasonable in light of almost 100 years of near continuous encroachment on individual liberties in times of national emergencies. The big question; in fact, the only question that matters is this: What constitutes a national emergency and should each be treated the same way?
Ask yourselves this question: What should we do if the present worldwide fiat currency regime collapses under the weight of unrepayable debt? What would you do if banks closed, ATM machines stopped working, and you were unable to access your money for say a week? What would you do if that $5,000.00 you thought you had was only worth $2,500.00 but all of your bills remained unchanged? These are relevant questions. How on Earth could government realistic control use of private water wells? In California, there is a movement afoot to meter private wells and begin charging for use of water. Many think this is outrageous...but is it? Who is paying for ground water recharge? Is water any different than other public natural resources? The public owns the airwaves so why not underground water? When your well runs dry because ground water levels have dropped 100 ft what could you do regards remediation? If wells were metered government could then easily control private water usage: That's the trade off. In times of emergency should everyone be required to sacrifice for the common good or should those with private wells be permitted to do as they wish with could be legitimately argued is a public natural resource.
Bottom line too many people think shortsightedly and they are not prepared. Before the complaints begin let me say that in many cases I cannot blame all individuals for lack of preparedness. Too many Americans life month to month without savings or reserves. I am 64, and my wife and I have spent our adult lives preparing for virtually any scenario. That's why I have reserves on which to rely upon on an emergency; financial reserves not in any financial institution. I am also capable of defending my property, and can provide energy and food for extended periods. We sacrificed possession of luxuries for what we possess.
Something that we all much consider: Government is responsible for 300,000,000 people not just you and I. For the most part, I trust government to concern itself with the nation's general welfare. That's their responsibility. Watching out for my personal interests is my responsibility. I sometimes think Americans expect to much from their government.
Something I recently read gives me cause for hope. In a recent issue of New Yorker, an investigative reporter studied what happens after a national disaster. What he discovered is that the lurid media reports of disease and violence are simply false: There is no documented evidence that diseases and or violence increase over their normal occurrences. Consider the Hurricane Katrina disaster in New Orleans and your own memories of this tragedy...what comes to mind? Looting, rioting, murder, rape.... The truth is an open secret and well documented: Media and political reports of violence and looting during the disaster did not exceed normal levels of crime within the city. I checked the article's facts and the author is correct. Were there major screw ups before, during, and after the disaster? You bet there were and they were committed by inept and corrupt politicians dating back to the 1960s. These individuals will never pay for their behavior. That's the real story of Katrina. 93% of the affected people were black and racism seems to have been the underlying reason why New Orleans was so unprepared for a completely predictable event and why the media focused on violence. Hell, everyone knows that black youths are violent thugs waiting for a chance to strike. We have the largest prison population in the world to prove it. I say facetiously that we should be proud of ourselves.
Back to my original question: Can we trust government? The answer is not a simple one and, I would argue both yes and no. Government doesn't always act in a way that is consistent with the public welfare but much of the time it does. Does government behavior often conflict with what's in my personal interest? Of course it does but that doesn't cause me to lose faith in government. I am just one person out of 300,000,000. Personally, I believe that we are governed by the best government business can buy but then I ask; whose fault is that? The fault is ours. We the people fell asleep, we stopped paying attention, and we placed to much trust in our elected officials. We failed in our obligation to provide oversight of government behavior and so today we have a government that nominally watches out for our interests but what Calvin Coolidge once said almost 90 years ago: The business of America is business. We permitted Coolidge's aphorism to become a reality. If our government is overly interventionist we have only ourselves to blame. Dwight Eisenhower warned us about the power of the military industrial complex and we ignored his warning.
So, what to do? I certainly wouldn't worry about a government agency confiscating your well water: How could that be realistically accomplished? My point is that it cannot be done. There aren't enough inspectors to check such behavior. In California we're in the 4th year of a drought. The drought is real. It isn't the fault of a government conspiracy. Perhaps government should have declared an emergency two years ago but such a decision is or was politically untenable. Today, our water rationing is largely voluntary and if we go over our allocation we pay a higher rate. I have no problem with that. I'd support even stricter rationing. All of our outdoor watering is on drip irrigation. Only a moron would view this situation and ignore it and that includes those who own private wells.
In Fresno County, abuse of ground water for agricultural purposes has caused subsidence; in some locations, surface elevations have dropped over 100 ft from their 1900 level. I've seen the physical evidence for this. Drought effects ground water and anyone with commonsense will think beyond their own needs. If we cannot that of the common good then we have no right to survive as a country. There are some who believe we'd be better off breaking up the United States into separate nations. I disagree. If the world was sane, if there weren't fanatics anxious to die for a cause, people who would gladly kill me and my family and move into my home without so much as changing the bed sheets; perhaps smaller nations makes economic sense because they are better equipped to address our personal needs. However, small nations don't fair so well in our very dangerous world. The only reason we live the way we do is because of our size and our population and our power as a nation. The problem as I see it is that we the people haven't thought like a nation that in a long time. Perhaps globalization has affected the west more than any other population set. While we have purchased cheap t-shirts and running shoes at Wal-Mart; while we kick back with a beer and watch TV...international businesses have bought our government and diluted our sense of what it means to be American.
I'm hardly an ardent nationalist but neither am I a neoliberal internationalist. I'm a realist. We live in an ugly and dangerous world, and, the only thing that keeps lunatics at bay is our ability to protect ourselves. However, therein lies the great danger. How far should we the people permit government to go in protecting us. We come full circle back to Obama's executive order. When we view this executive order in light of almost 100 years of comparable legislative and executive actions, the document doesn't bother me because it largely clarifies and simplifies almost 75 existing documents. Anyone interested in some of the more important documents affecting our freedoms just indicate an interest and I shall provide the links. I'd be willing to bet that 1 American a 1,000, perhaps 1 in 10,000, wouldn't know about 50% or more of them. Many of them have been on the books since World War II and the oldest date to the Wilson administration's War Production Board.