Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Government is the chief social institution to regularly reduce itself to absurdity.

And by “reduce itself” I do not mean “diminish in size.” I mean “descend the moral ladder.”

Today’s absurdity has been building up for some time. An increasing number of states regulate and even outlaw the collection of rainwater for personal and industrial use:

As bizarre as it sounds, laws restricting property owners from “diverting” water that falls on their own homes and land have been on the books for quite some time in many Western states. Only recently, as droughts and renewed interest in water conservation methods have become more common, have individuals and business owners started butting heads with law enforcement over the practice of collecting rainwater for personal use.

Mike Adams, writing in Natural News, explains the rationale (very weak, even nonsensical) and rightly extrapolates the real meaning of such regulation: “It’s all about control, really.”

Yes. The “governmental mindset” is what you get in when you run for office, and run and run and run for re-election. Just as, if you have a hammer, problems tend to look like nails, for legislators (and their aides and allied bureaucrats) everything looks increasingly like a “government issue” demanding more government, and certainly more laws.

And so it is with rainwater. Politicians want every scarce good that they “provide” to belong to the government from start (clouds and rain, in the case of water) to finish (your kitchen sink, perhaps your gullet). So of course they want to prohibit you from collecting rainwater. That rain must dribble into public drains, enter creek and river, seep into the watershed, and be siphoned off in municipal wells and sold back to you.

Collecting rainwater is like not paying taxes! It’s unthinkable. For a politician.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. Paul Jacob says:

    The link above to this story is off. Until we get it fixed, here’s the correct link:

    Here’s a story from a Utah TV station:

  2. Drik says:

    The natural human tendency in any political situation (political being any social situation involving more than two people), is to divide the world into “us” and “them”. The politicians forget that they are “us”s too.

  3. Drik says:

    Perfect example: how often does a politician make an error, ie vote or business decision affected by their voting that is to their own detriment? Charlie Rangel’s forgetting to declare his vacation house. Maxine Waters having the bailout of the bank that she and hubby are stakeholders in. Damn few of the politicians do things for the “us” that disfavors themselves but they have plenty of activities that favor themselves and a select few. Not horrible. Just human in a corrupting system.
    The system is corrupted and needs changing, but the transformation being pushed is one where the oligarchy of the beknighted, self-appointed get to be in control.
    Noticed no “Power to the People” signs in the OWS protests. That is not what the financial backers of the OWS group wanted. Instead they were following the playbook of Alinski. “The first step in community organization is community disorganization”. “An organizer must stir up dissatisfaction and discontent”. Really hard to do both if the current rendition of Lenin’s “useful idiots” are not all that useful.
    Really, really hard if the message, rather than “power to the people”, is “power away from the companies and to the central government controlled committee” of “us”s, and we are expected to docilly be the “them’s and keep sending in our money without any complaints.

  4. Drik says:

    Plus it doesn’t make for a catchy slogan.

  5. Greg Sebourn says:

    The Ca. State Water Resources Board says ROOFTOP rainwater collection systems do not require any permits and people are encouraged to do so.

    It also says that these systems do not require a permit because the rooftops are not natural. I infer – maybe a stretch? – that if your rooftop downspout drains onto the surface of your yard, it then becomes a natural waterflow and cannot be recapured.

  6. Greg Sebourn says:

    “Government is the chief social institution to regularly reduce itself to absurdity.”

    I completely concur!

  7. allan H says:

    If the govt believes that this is their water, then they should keep it from falling on my land. I should charge a fee, x$/gal if ‘their’ water falls on my land.

  8. Tj says:

    It is amazing what they find to make a law about.

    We are being “law-ed” to death.

    Freedom =’s choice. No “choice”, no freedom.

  9. Kenneth H. Fleischer says:

    One of the excuses that governments make about restricting collection of rainwater is the “public health” excuse. The rationales are that water collected in open containers serves as a breeding area for mosquitos, and water collected for drinking may contain harmful biota, such as parasites. The notion that an individual ought to be responsible for himself is beyond the comprehension of a politician’s or a bureaucrat’s mind.

  10. Mark Read Pickens says:

    The legal theory would be that people “downstream” of the rainwater collector had been using water originating from that source, and therefore were first users. In other words, intercepting it amounts to theft.

    To me, that seems to be quite a stretch. If the downstream neighbor sues and I’m on the jury, I’m voting “not guilty.”

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