With Mother’s Day right at our back, I want to address one of the most extreme overreaches by the federal government into American homes that I’ve seen in a long time. Then I want to call on my own 91-year-old mother, who was raised in rural Oklahoma and worked in cotton fields with her family during the Great Depression, to help set straight the rural farm and child labor record.
After a national decry by American farmers (and all of us who support them), the Obama administration has just shelved its plan to severely restrict family members under the age of 16 from working on family farms. But mark my words, as the feds often do, they’re merely regrouping to march again on those great American homesteads.
The very words of the Department of Labor, or DOL, “withdrawal” statement read: “…the Department of Labor is announcing today the withdrawal of the proposed rule dealing with children under the age of 16 who work in agricultural vocations. … To be clear, this regulation will not be pursued for the duration of the Obama administration.”
“… not be pursued for the duration of the Obama administration”?
So, until November 2012, right?
Kudos to the bipartisan group of 98 senators and members of the House who sent letters protesting to Labor Secretary Hilda Solis about this rule that would have severely limited teenagers and younger children from learning the family trade, not to mention undermine the very business fabric of rural America. It might sound legislatively crazy if it weren’t coming from one of the most overextended federal governments in the history of the U.S.
According to the Raleigh Telegram, “The rule would have prevented children younger than 16 from doing ‘agricultural work with animals and in pesticide handling, timber operations, manure pits and storage bins’ while also forbidding them from using ‘power-driven equipment’ and working in the ‘cultivation, harvesting and curing of tobacco.’”
Can you imagine? What’s next? The feds’ crackdown making it illegal to wash dishes because a knife might cut them? No grinding up food because the garbage disposal might malfunction and start suddenly while their hand is in it? No more cooking or ironing because their hands might get burned? No more house cleaning because the EPA has designated the mixture of certain cleaning chemicals as hazardous to touch or inhale?
Let’s get real, folks! How far do the feds have to mingle in our manure before we say enough is enough? How far do we have to slide down the slippery slope of socialism before the descent becomes irreversible? Before we say, “Welcome to Greece!”
As my mom, Wilma Norris Knight, told me on Mother’s Day, “The federal government should keep their noses out of our business! Raising kids is the responsibility of parents, not the government. My papa and mama would have marched from Oklahoma all the way to Washington, D.C., if they tried to tell us what to do on our farm.”
This past Mother’s Day weekend, many of you probably saw my mom being interviewed by our friend and former governor, Mike Huckabee, on his FOX News show, “Huckabee.” During their interview about her new autobiography, “Acts of Kindness: My Story” (available only at ChuckNorris.com), she said it best: Kids need lots of love from their own parents and the influence of their church and Sunday School teachers. Our children are on loan to us from God, and He nowhere alludes to parental responsibility, training and oversight, including the nurturing influence of the feds!
What’s really at the heart of the DOL’s farm action is the continued implementation of Agenda 21, a United Nations program launched in 1992 for the nebulous purpose of reaching global “sustainable development,” but which actually promotes a European socialist system that will undermine and chip away our freedoms, liberties and rights.
At the heart of that global and social change agenda is the use of non-governmental organizations, civil resistant movements and class warfare protests, just like we’ve seen with Occupy’s movement vow to shut down businesses and even Wall Street. One major Occupy website even embraces Agenda 21 as the agenda for its movement!
Of course, don’t look for the term Agenda 21 to show up in President Obama’s re-election speeches. To the public, he will continue to pitch as he did last week, saying that he is the real small-government president, even more so than President Reagan! (I had no idea BO was running for comedian in chief.)
But what about actions like the DOL’s farm act? Of course, that’s not creating bigger government; it’s just the passionate concern of the federal government to swoop down like a super hero and “protect” your children.
Just what we need during this post-Mother’s Day week, right? The federal government playing some further maternal or paternal roles to our children?
Its actions prompt me to recall the wisdom of Ronald Reagan, who said: “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.’”
Chuck Norris is the star of more than 20 films and the long-running TV series "Walker, Texas Ranger." His latest book is entitled The Official Chuck Norris Fact Book." Learn more about his life and ministry at his official website, ChuckNorris.com.