The Left Marches On: Part 5 – Big Brother

Government satellites hover far overhead in silence, monitoring activities of citizens below, secretly surveying private property of unsuspecting residents. Nameless, faceless government bureaucrats pour over maps, calculating and deliberating the fate of personal property, the value of which will rise and fall on their collectivist schemes, determining the fortunes of thousands of hard working Americans. As government regulators decimate property values, all for the “Common Good,” central planners wield the power of Eminent Domain to advance their agenda. The government’s resources are far too powerful for the majority of land owners to withstand. Meanwhile, their leader has marched off to rally and organize powerful labor unions, tightening their grip on the means of production and empowering them to demand more massive entitlement programs like “Paid Family Leave.” Workers of the world unite!

The breath of their social engineering experiment crystallizes as the pieces of the planners’ puzzle slide together like the deadbolt on a cell door. A heavy progressive income tax fuels radical income redistribution as armies of “new” citizens are ushered into the state by a bureaucracy dedicated to making the vision a reality. Proceeds from liquidation of all possible state assets, such as toll roads and the lottery, is key to funding the plan for morphing our society into a planned collectivist state. Undermining property rights is a critical element, but this will start with the most vulnerable. Indoctrinating the masses into an entitlement mind-set is necessary as the ultimate goal is to place decisions for our future in the hands of the central planners…

If this sounds like an Orwellian science fiction novel, you are right. But the frightening truth is this is exactly what is happening in New Jersey. Every word of this dramatic statement is brutally honest. One needs only to review the correspondence below between farmer Mike Garrett, brother of Congressman Scott Garrett, and his DEP persecutors. During this same week Governor Jon Corzine appeared in Atlantic City promoting the unionization of private sector workers, all under the banner of egalitarianism. His minions have already successfully organized Rutgers workers, a maneuver that will hurt taxpayers, students and employees, while further empowering union bosses.

New Jersey has become a giant Petri dish for social engineering experiments ranging from “Clean Elections” (government funded elections), embryonic stem cell research and more. Well, my fellow lab rats, the mad scientists in Trenton are in full swing, only our future is at risk. This “research” will require expanding the government school system to the youngest possible age and making millions reliant on the planners for health, housing and just about everything in between. All at the expense of liberty.

Original letter….


Dear Secretary of Agriculture Kuperus,

I am greatly concerned about the Department of Environmental Protection's new plan concerning what they consider "category 1 streams" in NJ and its disastrous effect upon the agricultural community.

The DEP plans to completely restrict any use whatsoever of private property for 300' on either side of ANY river, stream, brook, creek (even seasonal creeks
18 inches across and that flow for only a few weeks per year.)

When this plan takes effect, many farms will be adversely impacted. Some, like mine, will even be driven out of business. The fact of the matter is, all our business is actually conducted within this 600' wide area. The DEP will be forcing us to sell the entire farm, most of which is not even near any stream.

Farming will end on this property. In its place will be a score of houses. How on earth is that beneficial to the environment? The DEP should be made aware of the "unintended consequences" of their ill conceived idea.

I understand from Assemblywoman McHose that it is your intent to ask the DEP to reduce the buffer for farms from 300' on either side of streams to 150' on either side……..for a total of 300'. With all due respect, this will do little or nothing to alleviate the plan's impact on NJ farms.

Once again, in our case, it will still lead to the sale of our entire propert

The Department of Agriculture owes more to NJ farmers. I urge you to demand that the DEP completely exempt farms from this newest land grab. Remind the DEP that farms originally located their operations near streams, brooks and creeks out of necessity. The DEP is set to put the final nail in the coffin of NJ agriculture.

As the Secretary of Agriculture, you are the only real voice those of us in farming have to rely on. Please stop the DEP. If, as usual, they are not to be reasoned with than please appeal to the Governor.

Michael A. Garrett
Shale Hills Farm
Sussex, NJ 07461

Unsolicited response from a government bureaucrat…..

Dear Mr. Garrett and SC Agricultural Community,

For those of you who do not know, my name is Sarah Weinrich and I have been deeply involved in local agriculture for the past 4 years. I worked for the
Foodshed Alliance, managed Walnut Grove Farm in Augusta for 2 years and now I am working for the Sussex County Dept. of Engineering and Planning and still
farming part time.

Through my position with the County, I do a lot of work with the Farmland Preservation Program and the Wallkill River Watershed Management Group plus between a background in farming and a degree in Environmental Studies, Mr. Garrett’s letter to Sec. Kuperus sparked a lot of interest in me!

So, I took the time to research this issue of the proposed C-1 stream designations with a 300’ buffer using Mr. Garrett’s farm as the case study. I did not find much because the DEP has not yet answered the question of what this exactly means or if the buffer will be different for agricultural lands.

However, I have attached a PDF of a map I created of Shale Hills Farm in Wantage Township. The map illustrates the farm parcels (highlighted in blue), the wetlands, and the proposed 300’ stream buffer. The stream buffer calculates to be a total of 15.54 acres of the farm which is 53.14 acres large.

As you can see, the stream buffer covers mainly areas that do not appear to be farmed but rather the buildings, a driveway, and wetlands. So Mr. Garrett, rest assured, you do not have to sell your farm to developers!

Before I conclude this email, I want everyone to know that this is an unbiased letter. I want to keep our waterways fresh and pristine as much as I want
farming to be a viable way of life in this County. This letter is simply a response due to my own personal interest in the matter. And I know that there
are no two farms alike and that the proposal will affect each farm in its own way. I would be more than happy to create more maps for other farms with

Thank you,


Sarah Weinrich Engineering Aid Office of GIS Management One Spring Street Newton, NJ 07860

Mike Garrett's response:

Dear Ms. Weinrich,

I was rather surprised to learn of your "case study" of my farm and particularly interested in the fact that you conducted it without notifying me (I guess this is common for NJ government figures) and then sending it out to 80 plus individuals…….again without consulting me first.

I'm glad that you've been involved with agriculture for 4 years. I have been involved for 50 years.

Now as to your findings of my personal farming activities and use of my land……

You seem ok with the fact that the state of NJ only wishes to deny me the use of 15.5 of my 53 acres. Would you agree to the state of NJ denying you the
right to use two rooms in your house (let's say your kitchen and a bath). After all, you still have complete use of the rest of the house. Seems fair to me.

Through the use of your government owned satellites, you've determined that the 15.5 acres that will be denied my use is land that I am not utilizing for farming. Perhaps if you've visited my farm, you would have a greater appreciation of how this particular land is vital to the continuation of farming on the remainder of the property.

These 15.5 acres are where all of my sales take place. You see, Ms Weinrich, I have a Christmas tree farm. The trees are grown on adjacent fields. However, they are processed on the 15.5 acres. Wreath manufacture occurs there. The barn facilities are also there. These 15.5 acres are the only available areas for future farm related structures that will support the entire enterprise.

The DEP's plan does jeopardize my entire farm. And the fact that you, Ms Weinrich, government employee, has "assured" me that it does not threaten the future of farming on this land does not alleviate my concerns one iota.

Michael A. Garrett
Shale Hills Farm

Steve Lonegan is the Mayor of Bogota, NJ, and Executive Director of Americans for Prosperity – New Jersey. Americans for Prosperity (AFP) and Americans for Prosperity Foundation (AFP Foundation) are committed to educating citizens about economic policy and mobilizing those citizens as advocates in the public policy process. He is a prolific writer, having been published in newspapers and blogs. He currently has a book in pre-publication on the impact of New Jersey state government on the well being of the taxpayers of the state, where he offers solid and workable solutions. The Left Marches On:  Part 5 – Big Brother