Who Hijacked Our Country

Friday, August 29, 2008

Big Brother is Alive and Well in Hickman, Nebraska

This story might seem trivial compared to all the global and national events happening right now. But it’s a sick commentary on the way people treat each other; and how a power-crazed corrupt city government can bully its own citizens. It also shows that you don’t have to live in a big city to be surrounded by a bunch of sleazy self-absorbed assholes.

The small town of Hickman, Nebraska has suddenly started enforcing a 20-year-old law prohibiting all livestock within the “city” limits. (The town’s population is just over a thousand people.) But even twenty years ago when this law was passed, Harley Scott, now 76, owned a 12-year-old horse which he kept on his own property. His horse, named Peter Rabbit, is now 32 years old. And the Hickman city council is insisting that the horse has to go NOW.

After a local outcry, the city council took another vote on whether to amend this law, perhaps making an exemption for horses, or even just grandfathering in Harley Scott’s horse, since his horse predates the city’s no-livestock rule.

No dice. The city council voted to keep the no-livestock ordinance as is — no changes or exceptions. 76-year-old Harley Scott has to get rid of his 32-year-old horse immediately. Next.

As small as Hickman is, it’s starting to turn into a suburb of Lincoln, NE. Apparently some of the new Hickman residents are appalled that there's an icky smelly animal out there grazing in a pasture. What were these douchebags expecting when they moved out from the city to a small town?

A local development group is apparently putting pressure on the city council to hurry up and run that damn horse out of town so they can bring in hordes of yuppies and become another faceless suburb ASAP.

Please sign this petition, which asks Mayor Jim Hrouda and city council of Hickman, NE not to make a 76-year-old man get rid of his horse. This same website also includes a brief rundown of the situation, and it lists several city phone numbers and e-mail addresses.

It also lists the phone number of the Hickman Area Economic Development Association (HAEDA), the group that’s been instigating this whole tragedy: 402-792-2212.

Here are some more links to this travesty. For a small town that nobody ever heard of, Hickman, NE is becoming pretty famous. Or infamous.

cross-posted at Bring It On!

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Blogger Randal Graves said...

One more example in how the ability to get away with shunning simple human decency is being institutionalized more and more each day.

I wonder what their beloved Jesus would say about this.

August 29, 2008 at 7:29 AM  
Blogger BaxtersMum said...

I heard about this on a another blog.

Its unfucking believable. The man made a committment to care for the animal, who is just old, not sick, nor dying.

I suspect these other people are the ones who would (in no particular order:)

1 - not spay or nueter their animals, because EWW, That's MEAN
2 - Then breed said animals indiscriminately to teach their children about the "miracle of life"
3 - And when faced with all these mongrel kittens or puppies, they (instead of realizing that "death" would be a part of the Miracle) would then drive out to the "country" and ditch said animals on the side of the road.

The man is being a RESPONSIBLE animal owner and he's getting hosed.

I think what he should do is get the horse certified as an assistance animal (like a seeing eye dog - in this case, a "Seizure horse - tells his owner when he's about to have one) and then he would fall under the ADA and no one could touch him.

August 29, 2008 at 9:19 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Randal: Yeah, it sucks even more when it's official and institutionalized like this. I wonder if any of those well-heeled "property rights" organizations will help this guy. I doubt it.

Baxtersmum: I'm glad this story is spreading. Maybe if it gets enough publicity, those sleazoid city council members and realtors will be like cockroaches that scatter when somebody turns the kitchen light on.

I didn't know the ADA could be brought into this. That's an excellent idea if nothing else works.

August 29, 2008 at 10:17 AM  
Blogger Strong Moderate said...

ooooh boy... Yeah, I happen to live right in good ol' Lincoln and have driven through Hickman and I have to tell you it all pretty much stinks. If you are use to clean or city air then Hickman smells like you just showed up at a manure warehouse.
What's my point? Well, these Hickman City Council(HCC) members are going on about absolute bunk! The HCC probably didn't think much the first time it enforced the rule.. just a complaint like any other but when the media got involved and people protested the HCC had a choice: Change their policies based on public opinion AND common sense OR stick to their guns and stay the course. As their highest idol, W, would do, they stuck to their guns and keep digging themselves deeper into their own graves of stupidity. The whole bunk about the horse creating an unpleasant smell is true.. but compared to the rest of the air in Hickman "it aint that bad, jack!"

Really a sad story... they ought to have tried to resolve the thing through compromise in the first place instead of putting themselves in a position to where they have to choose between public opinion and the law.

August 29, 2008 at 7:45 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Strong Moderate: Small world. Thanks for the inside information.

It sure seems like the city council is using that one elderly horse as a convenient scapegoat. And this story really is spreading; there are more and more links every time I look at that Google News link in the post.

I'd guess the Hickman city government is going to have to either reach some sort of compromise with this one individual, or else develop some really thick skin. I doubt if the publicity and outrage are going away any time soon.

As Bush demonstrates again and again, sometimes "stay the course" is the wrong advice.

August 29, 2008 at 8:10 PM  
Blogger Carlos said...

A stunning conglomeration of dumbasses. As such, they now hang in the hallowed halls of the Dumbasses In Government blog.

I couldn't find any pictures of them though :-(

August 30, 2008 at 6:47 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Carlos: Thanks for posting about this. The more publicity the better.

August 30, 2008 at 9:40 AM  
Blogger Ron Nasty said...

That's the problem with America, McMansions rule over simple farmers. One is an incredible waste of material and energy, while the other contributes to the American culture. I see bad things for that horse.....

August 30, 2008 at 9:46 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Ron: Yup, that's about it. The people who are part of the solution are being squelched by the people who are part of the problem.

August 30, 2008 at 9:57 AM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

Old man and his old horse targeted by economic development group. Hmmn. Sounds as if someone wants the guy's land and figures if he loses the horse, he'll be more willing to sell so he can move along to an assisted-living complex or something.

FIE on the economic development SOB's. I could understand objections to a large chicken ranch or pig farm in town, but one old horse? Odor isn't the problem. One way or another greed is surely at the root of this. Either that or someone has a grudge going against the horse owner and sees this as a way to stick it to him,

As for the city council, the members have horsepucky for brains.

August 30, 2008 at 10:35 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

SW: Yeah, they probably want his land so they can build condos on it, or something. Basically, I think it's just bullying. When you're ten, a bigger kid steals your lunch money. When you're 76, a wealthier and more influential person tries to drive you off your land.

I wouldn't be surprised if a little frontier justice was the final result here. (Not that I'm condoning it or anything.)

August 31, 2008 at 12:36 AM  
Blogger Snave said...

That is truly a sad story, Tom.

I suppose Hickman doesn't want cattle, horses, chickens, etc. in town, but hey... if this guy had his horse before the law came into effect and the horse does no harm... then screw the city council. If the people running things really care about people, allowances are made.

September 1, 2008 at 12:43 PM  
Blogger Ricardo said...

Yeah the yuppies are likely behind it because they want to turn this place into a pseudo gated community. I've heard stories similar to this one on NPR. Basically a group of Yuppies come in from who knows where and hijack the town and city council. In the meantime these people will also make the locals born and raised there into their servants or try to.

September 1, 2008 at 3:53 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Snave: Yup, this is pretty sad. I can't imagine why they can't just grandfather the horse; that seems like standard procedure in cases like this. Maybe they'll change their minds if there's enough outcry. I read that the Hickman city government has gotten so many e-mails that their server has been crashing. And that petition is getting more signatures.

Ricardo: Yeah, this kind of thing is happening too often. Newcomers move into a town and try to turn it into a replica of the place they moved from, and they end up walking all over the longtime local people.

September 1, 2008 at 5:02 PM  

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