January 27, 2011

“Government’s ‘Other’ Gluttony”

Howard Rich, ALG:

“The saddest epitaph which can be carved in memory of a vanished liberty is that it was lost because its possessors failed to stretch forth a saving hand while yet there was time,” Supreme Court Justice George Sutherland wrote more than seventy years ago.

And obviously the most dangerous assaults on liberty come not from sweeping edicts – but rather gradual incursions born out of the opportunism of the latest crisis.

As limited government advocates, we must continue to vigorously advance free market solutions in response to our nation’s fiscal implosion. But as we do so, let’s make sure we do not ignore government’s “other” gluttony.

Well, unless you happen to be walking around New York or Arkansas, or biking in Oregon orCalifornia or some such.

Then you should forget everything else (government’s other gluttony included), clear your head, and concentrate on the immediate task at hand. And the government will help you to do that by making distractions illegal — and potentially expensive.

For your own good, naturally.

Posted by Jeff G. @ 10:10am

Comments (21)

  1. Cynic. We’re a good people, Jeff. And wise.

  2. Not all of us, JHo. But not just one of us, either.

  3. Too bad about sovereign immunity, else I would sue the government for negligence for not warning me about the danger of intrusive government.

  4. That iPod thing. Isn’t that Darwin in action? These tools are trying to legislate away a force of nature.

    And, actually – there was a woman here who got hit by a car, running with an iPod. It was HER fault. Crossed against a light. She’s being sued by the guy who hit her, because he then swerved and hit another car, yada yada yada. So, she’s (seriously) busted up and being sued.

    But, it was her fault. So .. apparently there is a law already.

  5. Most concerning, Jeff — pursuant your work on “conservative” pragmatism — is the street-level result of the desperation of our condition.

    We know what kind of mess the economy is in, that based on a parasitic, insolvent federal government and an unsustainable, even collapsing monetary system. Consider that Cloward-Piven has brought us to the point of stall. (Either that or some [GASP!] inherent dysfunction in the American experiment in a century of rising, creeping socialism has!)

    Anyway, we’re in decline. What do we do?

    We look to our Leaders. Republican and Democrat, conservative and liberal, we look not to ourselves or our local governments, but to, in effect, the tax-trading, money-laundering scheme cooked up in DC where by controlling both the money and the economics of the states, we’re distributed our due by our federal master.

    Now, remember Obama’s $gigazillion bullet train? Let’s say this obamanation is passed and funded. What happens in red west Florida, where in Tampa Teh Won is touting this bullshit to bipartisan hurrahs and applause?

    The answer is that the Republican-voting working man signs aboard, believing that he’s owed his own personal recovery, that it’s government’s place to employ him, and that he’s stimulating the economy. He’s had enough unemployment. He’s red and he’s proud. Who can blame him.

    Statism is justified and it’s justified by the same mechanism that the Press uses to condition us to accept these bits and pieces thrown to us, like crumbs, by themselves and those in central government who are clearly conforming us to a lifetime of this dependency. One day soon we’ll have no choice or political leaning if we aim to eat and live indoors.

  6. I sometimes feel that kind of despair, JHo.

    But then I think, if push comes to shove, we on the classical liberal side can “re-imagine” the communes the hippies liked to set up in the desert — and build ourselves little scattered oases of freedom, self-reliance, and limited government.

  7. You could be listening to downloaded podcasts of Rush on those things. Obviously they are from the devil.

  8. We’ll call it Texas. And then after the lazy shits in the other 49 manage to finally fucking get it, our children and our children’s children can move about the country wherever they desire.

  9. The country naps, Jeff, and I’m all-in on a life under the stars. Just avoiding the culture of “liberal” lies makes it worth it.

    All the words those fuckers have co-opted…

  10. Young Americans? To the extent that we heard anything, we heard that our future is cut and dried: science and math education, because that’s what they do in China; a career as a scientist, an engineer, or a science and math teacher, because in South Korea those people are celebrated as “nation builders;” a lifetime of work spent in an economy propped up by spending, subsidies, and a perpetual partnership between big government and big business.

    Cheer up, kids. You’re the ones you’ve been waiting for. Remember?

    Which generation’s Sputnik moment is this, again? If we’re fated to work with metaphors from the middle of the twentieth century, let’s at least choose one that resonates with people who are coming of age in the twenty-first.

    Say, perhaps, the Hitler Finds Out metaphor. From the vantage of the young, for the President — and, indeed, virtually the entire leadership class of the United States of America — this is their Stalingrad moment: the moment at which the vast armies they continue to maneuver around the gigantic battle map turn out to be gone, destroyed, never to return again. The bold challenges, the arbitrary and random numerical goalposts (80% more of these, 100,000 more of those) — it all gave off the disconnected feel of denial-driven fantasy. It’s not that the emperor has no clothes. It’s that he has no divisions.


  11. True, JHo. But don’t forget: it’s me who is the problem, with my stupid stupid insistence that language be used coherently lest there be societal consequences as incoherence gets imprinted on our very epistemology.

    That’s like a death threat of sorts.

  12. One evening we’ll sit around the campfire and, after opening up yet another can of corned beef hash scavenged from the crumbling Safeway in east Obamaville, one of us will joke, “Does this smell like fisting to you?”

    We’ll all share a laugh and remember a more innocent time.

    Then the zombies will attack.

  13. I’m ready for them, bh. I’ve been playing Red Dead Redemption. Plus, if the attack gets bad, we can just fit the zombies with iPods and let Mayor Bloomberg’s army do the rest.

  14. Stephen Hayward talking ’bout Reagan, a nice accompaniment to the Limbaughvian narration.

  15. They’ll get the FDA to regulate iPods as soon as the Today show does a segment on tinnitus. It’s coming fast. My wife sent me a forwarded email from some facebook friend the other day telling her to make sure the max volume is set at a “safe” level. It was hard to read in the car, with the conference call going on, but I’m sure it’s all bullshit.

  16. Why is requiring situational awareness in crosswalks any different than requiring seat belts in vehicles?

    We stepped on that greased incline a generation ago. Now we have national healthcare, brought to you by the same assumptions, to complete the enslavement.

  17. Insty links a piece about the sad abandonment of Western Civilization education (for lack of another term for it). It’s been my part to advocate the contrary for going on 37 years now, to little effect I must report. Perhaps events will prove the stronger argument, turning people back to consider what was there to aid them all along? I hope so.

  18. I’ve been playing Red Dead Redemption.

    Jeff: play yourself some Fallout 3 if you haven’t. There’s just something downright therapeutic about walking through a destroyed, post-apocalyptic Washington DC.

    The “shooting people” part is just icing on the cake…

  19. True story *points* this happened the other day.

    I approached the elevator at the same time as another man with white ear buds approaching from the opposite direction. I said by way of greeting, “Hello there, howzit goin’ today?” He completely ignored me and in that moment I silently thought to myself, “FINE! IGNORE ME THEN YOU i-POD LISTENING LITTLE PIXIE PRICK!” Then once inside the elevator he asked me to push the button for his floor and accompanied the request with a very pleasant howdy-do but in a strained vocalization that began and ended at the back of his throat in the precise tone of someone who is profoundly deaf or at least cannot modulate their own voice. Those were not i-pod earbuds at all but rather wires for an external box-type of hearing aid.

    I felt like an ass.

    As it happens, sign is my second language in which I am quite proficient, if I may say. Deaf people I meet ask me if I am deaf. But I find that I am reticent to use it when the conversation is initiated in vocalized English. Who knows? Maybe they would be offended.

  20. I don’t even think NYC cops get out of their cars unless there’s a donut run in progress.

  21. Isn’t that Darwin in action? These tools are trying to legislate away a force of nature.

    Carin, this is where I like to gently point out that a lot of people (like Charles Johnson and ‘feets) who claim to believe in “evolution” can’t possibly; they remove all the things that make it a working proposition.

    Bring back the sabertooth!