Few things are more satisfying than watching a bully back down.
A playground bully picking on a scrawny kid at recess may discover that his victim has a big, brawny brother.
A sand-kicking bully on the beach may get an unexpected lesson in karate from a pencil-necked nerd with sand in his eyes.
A thuggish bully may target a vulnerable-looking elderly person who’s not unarmed.
Instead of fists and firearms, bureaucratic bullies use the power of their positions to intimidate the citizens they’re supposed to serve -- issuing dubious warnings, citations, fines, penalties, and threats of property seizure, ruinous prosecution, or incarceration.
Watching these presumptuous little prigs beat a hasty retreat when their bluff is called is one of life’s great delights. They change their tunes fast when they find out you’re more than willing to take them on.
Of all the bureaucratic bullies, the ones working for the Internal Revenue Service and the Environmental Protection Agency are the worst. That’s because they have the power to ruin a person’s life, and they know it.
They duck and run though, when challenged for attempting outrageous overreach. That’s what the EPA did when Lois Alt called their bluff.
Lois is the owner of the Eight Is Enough chicken farm in Hardy County. When the EPA found her to be in violation of a minor clause of the Clean Water Act, she challenged the accusation in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia – at which point the EPA withdrew its complaint and moved to dismiss Alt’s lawsuit.
Did the bullies pick the wrong victim? Did they ever. U.S. District Judge John Preston Bailey ruled in April that Lois Alt’s case should continue because a decision in her favor would benefit thousands of other farmers who might be subjected to the same kind of overreach from EPA bullies.
This is going to be fun to watch.