— Not Even The Nazi’s Did That — Jail People Over Rainwater?!?!

You know, this story kinda came and went but it’s too bad.  This is a story about a man named Gary Harrington, who owns his property and has to go to jail for 30 days because he was collecting rainwater.  Was he collecting the water so he could cool down the plutonium for a nuclear powerplant he was building on his property?  No. Was he collecting rainwater so he could drown children in it? (yucky; I should delete that now)   No?  The funny thing is that the reason does not matter so much.  He claims it was for fire suppression (of which this water had been used before) or watering his gardens but whatever.  He’s got three ponds on his property that collect rainwater and what does the Oregon Water Resources Department have to say about it.  That he’s a lying thief that’s stealing water from the state (BASICALLY).

Oregon Senate Bill 100 (Section 3, Para 4) declares that the state owns all water, surface and subsurface, in streams, or that falls from the air.  Now I can understand streams, rivers, and water-table but damn!   Even still, that wasn’t going to be enough.  So Oregon went back.  The law used against Gary Harrington was written in 1925 for those who diverted water going to the Big Butte Creek (yea, that’s kind of funny) to put it all together.  Now, it gets tricky from here.  Rainwater lands on the ground everywhere.  To suggest that he’s “diverting” water that was destined to the creek is… uhh, let’s say dubious.  That’s like suggesting that water that lands on the ground and my neighbors’ house is in the way of the waters natural path to lower elevation is “diverting” water… AND from that, they determined they should use force of government to stop him and put him in jail if he does not comply.  Of course, the source they say he was diverting water from, was NOT a connected stream system but hey…. Nobody’s perfect!

So for a bit of awkward perspective, Communists in the Soviet Union or under Chairman Mao punished people for EVERYTHING… but then again, Communists claimed ownership over practically everything.

It’s easy to declare this an insignificant story and not worth a look, but if you look a bit deeper, you may see what I see and that is that Oregon should be ashamed of itself in the knowledge that NOT even the Nazi’s jailed people over collecting rainwater!  How can these people sleep at night knowing that they had to resort to force over something so stupid when they could NOT find even one person who was harmed by Harrington’s streams.  Sad Times!!!

Kali Pinckney

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