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In 1978, under a Republican Mayor named Kenneth R. Harris, the city passed an ordinance regarding "Street Trees" that outlines guidelines for how trees may be pruned. The purpose of this ordinance is to ensure that a status quo is maintained for all "Street Trees" in the city and to ensure that improper pruning doesn't interfere with utility lines. This type of ordinance is fairly normal for most cities in the country. However, The city of Charlotte recently fined a church for improperly pruning their "Street Trees" and the right wing has gone ballistic! If you follow the previous link you will find that lots and lots of places have picked up the story... mostly right wing nutjob sites.

More beyond the fold...

Yesterday, Drudge Report placed a link to the article in the Charlotte Observer about the incident and wingnuttery has ensued! The article now has over 2000 comments that resemble these:

This sort of Nazi behavior by government is becoming all to prevalent these days.
The guy driving around looking for improper topping and pruning with the AC going full blast in the tax payer funded SUV that he gets to take home and use for personal reasons is making more than a software engineer and doesn't pay squat for healthcare. Too add insult to injury, he is going to retire at 55 and receive 100% of his pay and healthcare on Joe taxpayer's back until his primary care physician pronounces him dead.
Animistic Neanderthal Religion subjugates civilized behavior with thuggish stone age tactics.
Worship of rocks and trees has killed personal and human liberty.
Slime is green.
This is why EVERYONE needs to get on the REPUBLIC bandwagon and kick the current oligarchic government out of our nation. Cities are getting REALLY GREEDY trying to keep their Federal Reserve Masters fed. They have NO CONSTITUTIONAL right to fine any church for any reason!
Typical tree hugging liberal claptrap.  This little tyrant should be tarred and feathered, then fired and run out of town on a rail.
Ridiculous!  I think they are fining the church deliberately because they don't like their religion....If that were a mosque, they wouldn't think of fining them for cutting trees on their own property!  I am sick of this facist government telling us everything we have to do.....
There must be total morons working for the City of Charlotte.  I have never heard of anything so colossally stupid.    Uhm, has this idiotic city heard of separation of church and state?  Not that a church can get away with committing crimes, but this is hardly a crime.   It appears to be an attack on Christians....AGAIN.
This is the ultimate Tree Hugging story. Al Gore would be proud of the idiots in Charlette.
Welcome to the nanny state.  We are no longer a "free" people.  Thank you leftists and other bed wetters.
And I'll add this, 50 million unborn children have died in the last 40 years. Never thought I would live in a society that values a friggin tree over a human life!
OhBummer is a a fool for attacking the American Tea Partiers.  Heck, he thought that he had all of us hoodwinked, hornswoggled, and bamboozled.  He’s annoyed that the Tea Partiers are not grateful to him for hijacking the American healthcare system --- the greatest act of vandalism perpetrated upon the American people since a gang of jihadi frootloops and loonytoons hijacked some planes and crashed them into the World Trade Center towers --- and the Pentagon, and made a failed attempt to crash into the White House --- and instead drilled a hole in a Pennsylvania farm thanks to some very courageous American passengers.

And --- now widely seen for what he is --- the president presents a problem for the Democrat-captured media.  They pump out his propaganda for him --- and, like the opinion monitors in Ayn Rand’s novel, “Atlas Shrugged” --- they are dodging brickbats and rotten vegetables.

He’s pompous, pampered, and pretentious --- a pseudo-intellectual fop. He’s a glorified, smooth-lyin’ dandy, and slicker than Sick Willie Clinton.  He’s a dictator-on-the-make, a bloodsxcking, predatory humanitarian thug, and a low-down skunk.

He’s a fraud and a swindler. He lies when he inhales and he lies when he exhales; his oxygen is the falsification of reality. He lies, placidly and laconically, as if deception were a soporific drug.

He’s a friend of the poor and the downtrodden --- indeed, you can hear the milk of human kindness sloshing around inside of him when he walks.

He declares himself the post-racial leader --- “Let me be clear!” he intones --- and he hides behind his race, daring his critics to put their reputation for fairness at risk.

He pauses to ponder the portent of his propaganda --- and it is fakery; he smiles and his mendacity comes shining through.  Shake hands with Barak Hushpuppy OhBummer --- “The Mistake of ‘08” --- the illegal alien squatter in the White House until his “papers” have been lab-tested for age and chemicals, etc --- and America’s first and last Arab president --- the king of The Republic of Lies, in The Age of OhBummer.  Now count your fingers.

The Democrats have this "enemies list" --- denominated in epithets aimed at the people whose wallets they wish to hijack and take up residence inside.  You can be a “Racist!” and you can be a “Homophobe!” and you can be a “T-bagger!” --- a homosexual man taking his partner’s scrotum into his mouth. You can be “Selfish!” and you can be a “Wacko!” and you can be a “Hick!” and you can be a “Rube!” and you can be an “Extremist!”  You can be a “Right-wing-nut!” and you can be “Mentally Ill” and you can be “Deranged!” and you can be a “Warmonger!” and you can be "Unenlightened!" and you can be a “FatCat!” and you can be a “Nazi!” and you can be a “Fascist!” --- although no one more closely approaches the precise description of “Nazi!” or “Fascist!” than the usual Democrat propagandist --- either official, or self-appointed.

So all you have to do to occupy multiple epithets on the Democrats’ enemies list is to insist that they take their hands off yourself, off your wallet, off your property, off your kids, off your diet, off your healthcare, off your household appliances, off your car, off your bank account, off your weapons of self-defense, off your liberty, and off your freedom of speech. Insist on all these good things - and that qualifies you to be spat upon by nasty, mean-spirited scXm --- by The Friends of All Mankind --- by a gang of lying, thieving, dope-smoking, pill-popping, coke-snorting, sticky-fingered, bloodsxcking, tax-eating, gun-stealing, predatory humanitarian thugs --- by the Democrat party, in other words.  No political party in the history of America more profoundly deserves absolute and outright destruction.

It's not just the criminals in Washington DC --- it's the criminals in government, everywhere.  When I think of "Uncle Sam,"  I think "every level of American government."  And I don't always think about sex.  Sometimes I think about overthrowing the government.  Weak-tea weak-in-the-knees "moderates" might be content with "pruning" back the scope, expense, and dictatorial and intrusive predations of government.  But I'd prune government with an axe --- not with a pruning saw --- starting at the neck, and working my way down with HUGE enthusiasm to his feet --- and with a lot more sympathy for the victims of goverment than for the blood-sxcking tax-eaters who "work" for the government.
Hmmmm.  I guess everyone realizes that in this city it is legal to rip the "limbs" off your children in their mother's womb- we call it an early abortion and a *private* decision between a mother and a doctor and no one's business with no government intervention.   But people must have a permit to cut limbs from trees?????????

Cue the twilight zone music......

LIberalism is an emotional, intellectual, spiritual and social disease.
You, sir, are a credit to liberals and leftists. Poster child for demonstrating that liberalism is an emotional, intellectual, spiritual and social disease.----------I forgot to mean fool, too, because you and scads of others of your ilk play that "5 months and counting" card like it actually has meaning.---------It has none, because it's been the Democrat/Progressive Party that's been the majority in Congress for years.------------Their banner carrier has also taken residence in the White House for the past 2 1/3 years.---------He's the one who said in 2008, 2009, 2010 and just a few months ago, during the SOTU address, that it was going to be jobs, jobs, jobs that were his focus.-------His actions during those years shows at least one thing: He will say anything to bolster his popularity.---------Thing is, everyone with discernment sees that when his lips move, he's lying.--------Oh, yes, job creation packages come out of the House and require passage by the Senate and approval of the White-House resider.---------But your comment so finely encapsulates the liberal/leftist mind: Blame someone else, while you collectively had done nothing productive for years to solve the problem.---------And, no, Porkulus I's $1.3 trillion doesn't count because it was and remains a Democrat/Progressive slush fund for their friends in the SEIU, ACORN, Teachers' Unions, UMWA, AFL-CIO, etc.----------And, if you're right about the dumbing-down GOP, then the Democrat/Progressive Party  lies at the bottom of the ditch without the ability or creativity to get out.---------That makes the GOPs and conservatives, according to your insult, far superior to the Democrat/Progressive Party.---------Nice try, though.
I guess it's time to induct NC into the United Socialist States Of America. Why in the world would the people of this great state tolerate such nonsense? Has NC become the bastion of liberalism in the south, are there any patriots left in the tarheel state?
You and just about everyone else in the gone to crap country don't get it. YOU or should I say NO ONE owns anything anymore. You are entitled to rent it from the Nazi Regime that has overtaken America. I currently rent my gun from them and the bullets that are in it. I am just waiting for someone from the GOV to come collect it. I will show them that it is in perfectly working condition upon it's return as the carry the body out. Just tired of all the crap that this so called free society has to endear
Probably a  militant homo-wner who hates god and churches.
Freaking enviro-nut whackjobs.  Liberalism gone bananas.
I think the death penalty is an appropriate punishment for these city officals who are abusing their authority.  If the church doesn't like it, the town will SWAT team them and steal their land if they resist long enough (As in ignoring the courts afer they side with the city as the so-called "independent" judiciary always does). Just look at all the recent court cases where the courts have destroyed the 4th amendment.  

If an offical is willing to SWAT team someone for pruning a bush wrong, they are evil people.
If they ignore the town, they will be SWAT teamed, therefore, the town is willing to SWAT team them.
Of course if they comply in limp wristed classic modern American style, they will avoid the violence which the police and town love so much

The government is evil and illegitimate and must be resisted on all fronts.

It will be TO LATE in another 5 years, if we don't stop these power crazy lunatics from stealing all vestiges of our god given rights.

Land of the Free?   PROVE IT!

If they can't raise taxes on you, they will steal your money any way they can.  Must have been implemented by the local liberals
This is a classic liberal/progressive situation.  The "tree experts" in government know more that you do, and this knowledge trumps your private property rights.  Now, multiply this scenario by several hundred thousand rules, and you have the reason why our economy is stuck in a regulatory chokehold.
Every day, when I see the news, I wonder how long until we are communist? Hard to believe that NC. will be referred to as The Peoples Republic of North Catalina. Much like New Jersey and New York. By the way, Crape Myrtle is pretty hard to kill. I sell it.
When people relaize they have put nazis in power, they should remove them from power.  If, instead, all the people do is whine about nazis such as Johnson, such people deserve any abuse such nazis see fit to impose.
These will be among the first persons who will hang when the revolution to restore the Republic begins. Then we make way for the lawyers and other bureaucrats.
Zee plants have rights too? A pitchfork will stick in the ground and into a government moocher who plans his beach house purchase on your revenue stream of fines taxes and license fees. Bell, L.A. Charlotte and Chicago are all good old boy Democrat mafias sucking every dime out of you they can get. Detroit is the City on the hill for you to look at when it comes to the future of only a half century of Progress, only when these folks are afraid will they start to respect the taxpayers. Boss hog needs a reality check; the little people are sick of the shakedowns.
The charge you have insufficient education is the new racism/classism "your a slave" code words folks and it is the new way to try and put a slave down of any color when you claim he has not the credentials to speak among the liberal "know it all" royal class. Keep in mind Harvard,Yale and Princeton have produced all the Statesmen and policy makers sneaking around in the traitor-ist clubs of Freemasonry and skull and bones who led the country into the toilet. Now they want you to support a little chinese baby or Hamas kid from tax dollar redistribution. This is without you tearing up and giving your credit card over the phone from a late night T.V. charity add that compels you volunteer it. This scam is so big the participant are not aware of its scale and the kids are fed this crap to push your wheelchair over the cliff when they grow up. My travels in Communist republics filled my head with all the propaganda they use on the masses and I see slow continued progressions here every year toward that end.
Hug your kids and tell them your not going to let this happen and mean it, this struggle isn't 1929 it is headed toward 1863. Not race this time but ideas of how you earn and pay to live here as a second class citizen slave under the new ruling minority class of rich, famous or well connected.
I love all my fellow countrymen but think some have been led astray with good intentions, The oldest trick in the book of deceit.  
No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man without at last finding the other end fastened about his own neck.  ~Frederick Douglass, speech, Civil Rights Mass Meeting, Washington, D.C., 1883
Our Constitution and Bill of Rights were mighty Oaks. The liberal worm borers are determined to so infest them with their poisons so that they can one day declare..."they are dead". It has been a slow, determined effort to outlaw liberty and legislate away our hard won freedoms. Children born today will never know the joy-filled freedoms their grandparents had in their youth, not very long ago. The slow steady chipping away of our basic freedom, from what we eat, to what light-bulb we must use, has picked up its pace. This most destructive administration ever can no longer be called "Liberal" The word liberal no longer applies to these "LEFTIST REVOLUTIONARY ANARCHISTS" The Leftists nirvana, that we are quickly decomposing into, seeks ONE thing....TOTAL...COMPLETE...CONTROL OF EVERY ASPECT OF YOUR LIFE.  They are a cancer that's been growing since the '60s and the tumors have metastasized and now the health of our founding freedoms is grave and survival is in serious doubt. I am a baby-boomer and I am ashamed that we  were handed the greatest country in the world by the greatest generation and the first generation handed a college education, my generation, managed to screw up 200 yrs of the uniquely American genius and worked as hard to kill the country, as their fathers did in saving it. Today...the country is in ruins and we are dying!
These Communist dictators should be run out of town by the towns citizens.  I guess they are Communist citizens because any thinking citizens would organize and run these Commies out of their state.
Tired of the betrayal yet? Tired of the dictators yet? Time to remove them yet?
I simply want to know one thing. How did we as a people in a free nation degenerate so far that now any government body can simply determine itself to be our dictators? Can someone answer that?

By what right, authority, privilege, or whim does a government determine it can tell me what I can do with trees on my own property? The church is not owned bu the government. If they trimmed a tree every year in a so called improper fashion it's none of the governments damn business!!!!

Time to remove the dictators and the dictatorship!!!!!

Everyday the gov't meets we lose a little more of our liberty, then we achieve despotism....like the dude on those Dos Equis commercials...with a twist.... Stay ARMED my friends!!!
A clear-cut case of anti-Christian bigotry.  This had nothing to do with trees, and everything to do with harrassing a church.  I wonder if the city would have treated a mosque the same way?
Another way at hitting at Christians. Check out this Tom Johnson and see just what religion he subscribes too, if he does.  It is time for all citizens of the US to take back their country from the Liberials, enviromental terrorists, etc.  Johnson states this law has been in effect since the 1970's.  Really, then he has been doing his job and should be fired IMMEDIATELY.

Wonder if the city/country needs money and Johnson needs to bring some more without increasing taxes.  Anyway, a VERY close look at this department is called for.

The green religionists are the new fascists.  It is likely that there is an anti-Christian bigot ie: "gay" activist with a hard on against the church behind the gross abuse of government power.  I don't know that for certain but I would bet on it being so.  Left-wingers have turned America into an ugly and divided nation.  Keep in mind that a nation divided cannot stand.
This is what Obamaism is doing to this country…socialist crap like this is oozing like a cancer into every orifice of our daily lives. I am sick of it…it must stop here and now!
This has to be a bunch of Marxists (Seig Heil), I mean Democrats. Tell the city council to F Off and get a legal team together.
When will the liberals get it thorugh their thick skulls that people will eventually rebel against socialistic confiscation?  I would be LMAO if every member of the church involved sold and moved out of the city limits to deny the city their personal property taxes.
Taxing the Churches means the Churches get a free say in all government.  Remember, that little dust up we had with the Brits in 1775?  And one of the primary points that the Continentals went to war over was releif from "Taxation without Representation".  Taxing the Church as an entity allows the Church to influence the direction of government.

Be careful what you ask for, you may get it.

Okay, how about "separation of chuch and state"?  These trees are church property.  The "state" has no business telling the church what to do with its own trees.  These fines are unconstitutional.

I apologize if the list of examples was too long but I wanted to give a good wide sampling. The moderators have worked hard to remove some of the most egregious comments that called for violence against the city worker including beheading and hanging...

UPDATE: I decided to change the title to highlight the result of the link rather than the subject

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