CNN of all people, are doing God's work tonight. The usually politically correct network took time out from their drive to encourage black discontent to run a documentary defending private property and western entrepreneurialism. It's called Dinosaur 13.
Westerners and Americans in general have always been collectors, curio hounds and rock and fossil collectors. For most of our history, this national trait was of little or no interest to the federal government.
That has changed. OverLawyered.com occasionally runs accounts of old coots who find themselves facing SWAT raids by the FBI. Their crime, possible possession of stuff that the government thinks they should not own.
The federal government, in collaboration with environmentalists and grasping eggheads living off tax free institutions have decided that private individuals have no business collecting anything they consider part of our "priceless heritage." Of course they know full well that none of such heritage would have survived at all but for generations of private collectors, history buffs, and eccentrics of all kinds. But in the spirit of our age, only credentialed affiliated boffins are perceived to have standing in almost any walk of life.
I've noticed that for years, American archeologists have been lobbying for european style laws essentially proclaiming anything one finds in the dirt as property of the nation. This collectivist imposture should be more shocking to us, but we are accustomed to such claims.
The federal government can now use the full force of law to take things from you that the people of good opinion deem too important for you to possess.
This is the story of Dinosaur 13. Local fossil hunters in South Dakota were too successful in in locating dinosaur fossils. When they paid some Indian five thousand dollars to dig a bit of his property they found the single best preserved Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton ever found. They had been in the fossil excavation and sale business for a while but this was the find of a century.
They painstakingly excavated and preserved the find, which they dubbed Sue. Sue became the centerpiece of their local museum and obviously a cause of much covetousness among the credentialed mediocrities in their labs. At some point the eye of the federal government opened and fixed on this little enterprise. The story from that point is the sad chronicle of a federal prosecutor and the full weight of our ridiculous government to steal this magnificent find from its rightful owners.
I urge you to see this great tale of enterprise and betrayal. This story is such an affirmation of the American spirit that I'm sure the producers are being fired for it as we speak.
As for the rest of us, beware. Guys with metal detectors, arrowhead collectors and just plain rock hounds, are subject to that SWAT knock on the door at any time.