RUSH: Folks, I have to tell you this. I’ve been biting the bullet on this since 1999 or 2000. Where I live, we have a town council that is just totally absorbed with its own power. Where I live, there happens to be a beach on the Atlantic Ocean; and on this beach, starting every May, giant sea turtles return to lay their eggs. The lore is that sea turtles return to the beach they were born, females, to lay their eggs. I guess this has been proven by people who have devoted their lives to studying and following sea turtles around. So the turtles, they show up — and I’ve seen this happen a couple times. It’s really an amazing thing to see.
These big, huge sea turtles struggle to come out of the water, and it’s tough for them to move, and they’ve supposedly been swimming all the way from Spain. (That’s the legend.) They’ve been swimming from Spain or wherever they were but they know when it’s time to come home to lay the eggs. And I’ve seen them. They’ve come ashore and they dig the nests out there, and then they lay the eggs, and they trundle back to the ocean. You just can’t help feeling sorry for them; it looks like they just have no energy whatsoever. And then some few weeks later, the eggs hatch and the baby sea turtles emerge from beneath the sand and (according to nature) are supposed to then head to the ocean, where most of them get eaten by other oceangoing creatures.
But some of them survive and become big sea turtles themselves, all to repeat the process. Yip yip yip yip yahoo, right? Well, it seems a problem — a potential problem — has arisen where I live. That is that when these hatchlings climb up out of the sand, sometimes these little idiots don’t go to the ocean. If there are lights, they will go to the lights. This, of course, is not where they’re supposed to go. They’re supposed to go to the water, but if there are lights, say somewhere ashore, the little turtle babies start heading for the lights. It could be any light. It could be the moon, could be the lights of West Palm Beach reflecting off an overcast sky.
As a result of this, the town elders have sent out a public threat (uh, ‘notice’) to all of the residents on the beach, on the ocean here, that says that starting today all of our outside and inside lights that can be seen from the beach must be dark. Even lights inside the house must be turned off, and if you’re not going to turn ’em off, you must have blackout shades. Now, this is all well and good. I mean, I don’t want these little sea turtles to die. The problem is they don’t get here till May! It’s March! From March 1st to October 31st, we have to live like cavemen if we live on the beach. No lights that can be seen.
Now, when I was building my house on the beach, and when it was a construction project and when there were no lights whatsoever — nobody wastes money lighting a construction project at night — one morning the contractor arrived to find some dead baby sea turtles among the construction project. I was told about this, and I said, ‘Well, what are we going to do here? I mean, do we report the deaths? Do we get the coroner out here? What do we do? Do we go beg for mercy?’ I said, ‘Did you have any lights on last night?’
‘No. There were no lights.’
I’m trying to figure it out. ‘What in the world happened? These turtles are supposed to go to the water. There was no water in our construction project. What were they doing?’
So I, thinking fast, went to my astronomical charts, and you know what? There was a huge, almost-full moon that night, and it was apparently not out over the ocean at the time the baby turtles came out of the sand, out of their nests there. Then we noticed the next night what else could have possibly done it: The lights of the town of West Palm Beach reflecting off of the clouds and so forth. They were also pretty bright, and there were no lights at our project. So apparently it can be any kind of light, not just the light from someone’s home where they’re reading or what have you, or you have lights on for security purposes.
So it’s an extremely frustrating thing here because there are a lot of landscaping lights out there, security lights. They all have to go dark from what? From November 1st, basically. What’s that, six months? The turtles get here in May. The babies hatch around July and they’re gone! There are no turtles that are going to show up here this month! If a turtle shows up here this month, it has a problem. But it just isn’t going to happen. I’ll tell you what did happen, though. Two years ago, I’m minding my own business. It’s a rainy night and I’m minding my own business. There’s a buzz at the front gate.
‘Yes, who is it?’
‘It’s a police officer.’
I said, ‘What is it, sir?’
‘Your turtle lights are in violation of town code.’
I said, ‘What? My turtle lights are off. I don’t have turtle lights!’
An environmentalist wacko had been patrolling the beach. These environmentalists go out there and they plant stakes every time a turtle comes ashore and lays a nest so that people avoid the area so these little babies can gestate in their eggs and do whatever they do — which is fine. Don’t misunderstand here. I’m fine with turning out the lights from like May to August or whatever, but from March to October?
Well, anyway, I had to go out there, and I told the cop, ‘We had the town come out and look at it, sir, and we’re in compliance.’
The little environmentalist wacko says (snidely), ‘I love your show, Mr. Limbaugh, I really do, but you’re not in compliance.’
So we get written up, were found to be in compliance and so forth. But still it’s a hassle out there. I just had to share this with you. Don’t misunderstand: It’s March 1st here and these turtles aren’t due for two months, but bam! All the lights have to go out. It’s not so much the outside lights (I can deal with that) but the inside lights on the second floor have to go dark. Or the shades have to come down. One of the two, and it just infuriates me here the way these environmentalist wackos are invading personal property rights and all these other things during periods of time where it is unnecessary.
Of course, I wasn’t even aware when these hearings were taking place so that you could go argue it, but my guess is that nobody that lives on the beach wanted to go argue with a bunch of environmentalist wackos at a town council meeting anyway. So it probably just happened without a whole lot of opposition. The reason? I got the threat (the warning, the notice, whatever it is) today reminding me of all this. You know, here we’re liberating people around the world, and I get this notice about my lights and turtles and so forth. It seems like an incredible contradiction out there, and I just wanted to pass it on. Basically what I’m doing is venting. I’m sharing my rage and anger. (interruption) You have a question, Mr. Snerdley? (interruption) Oh, yeah. Taxes must be paid on time or the house goes on the auction block. Oh, yeah. Taxes have to be paid on time. There’s no question about that.
The thing is, the turtles can be attracted to the moon. How do we put the moon out? I mean, if the moon can attract these things and they go the wrong direction, what the hell am I getting blamed for because of lights inside my house? I have to turn those off. Why don’t we just take West Palm Beach and make it go dark so it doesn’t reflect off the clouds? The next thing that’s going to happen is, the town’s going to charge us a tax increase to have a string of barges out there on the ocean with a million candlelight golden arches to attract the turtles. We’ll have to pay a tax increase for that, and of course we’re still not going to be able to look at it because we have to have our lights off and our shades drawn — as though we’d to want look at a whole string of barges out there with million candlelight arches or whatever to attract these baby turtles.
Don’t understand, folks. I’ve got nothing against baby turtles being born and surviving. But it’s just a bunch of little… (sigh) (interruption) Oh, I don’t know if it’s statewide or not. I don’t know. I just know that… (interruption) Well, I don’t know, because I don’t know. From what I understand, these turtles come here. I don’t think they go to Miami. The club scene is too attractive for them or too active. I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know if it works in Jacksonville or up in Daytona. I have no clue. They probably only come here. I don’t know where they go. I’ve never looked into it. I better stop because I’m going to get a citation here. The town will issue me a fine for talking about this in public outside of the home. There’s probably some regulation barring us from even complaining about this, once the vote has been taken.