Sunday, April 15, 2012

We're the Government. We're Here to Help...

"The mania for giving the Government power to meddle with the private
affairs of cities or citizens is likely to cause endless trouble,
through the rivalry of schools and creeds that are anxious to obtain
official recognition, and there is great danger that our people will
lose our independence of thought and action which is the cause of much
of our greatness, and sink into the helplessness of the Frenchman or
German [Greek or Chinese...] who expects his government to feed him when hungry, clothe him
when naked, to prescribe when his child may be born and when he may die,
and, in time, to regulate every act of humanity from the cradle to the
tomb, including the manner in which he may seek future admission to
paradise." ~ Mark Twain.
Every time I talk to someone about the fire, they say, "well, you were insured, right?" To which I respond, "Yes." Then they say something about the obvious culpability of the Forest Service. It is then that I must explain what the reality is. Our government looks out for itself and not the people that is serves. They are immune from prosecution and they have placed caps on compensation for this kind of incursion if you are skilled enough at navigating the tangled web of intentionally obfuscated paperwork. In this case, $600,000 per event and $150,00 per person. When I explain this, most are absolutely appalled and look at me in total disbelieve as if I had just explained to them that their mother had two heads. And I am sure that when I walk away many of them will tell themselves that I am just angry and I must have my facts wrong. After all, we live in America! How could this be?
"All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent."
~ Thomas Jefferson
Absolute power corrupts absolutely. These are the things that government does when we are not looking. This is not some paranoid diatribe. It is a statement on human nature. Our founding fathers understood and feared this, which is why they created the government the way they did.
"Political power is the game of playing God. It changes a person and makes him different from the rest of us. He begins to believe he has some kind of right to interfere in the lives of others. He may even believe he has the right to choose who lives and who dies."
~ Richard Maybury
 The question is, what are we, as "people of good conscience", going to do? We have incredibly short attention spans. A year from now while we are still dealing with this many will have forgotten and the urgency to reform the "laws" that enabled this tragedy will have evaporated like gasoline on a hot day.

I am guilty of this myself. I rarely think of the tragedy that is the conflict in Afghanistan while our fellow countrymen and women continue to die. But that is what we do. How can we improve our collective memory and commit ourselves to kind of action that is necessary to prevent these kinds of things from happening in the future?

1 comment:

  1. FYI: