Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“The free man owns himself. He can damage himself with either eating or drinking; he can ruin himself with gambling. If he does he is certainly a damn fool, and he might possibly be a damned soul; but if he may not, he is not a free man any more than a dog.”     G.K. Chesterton

December 31, 2006

Our “Shadow Government”

by mike

I suspect these three items are related; I leave it to you to figure out how.

Exhibit A –

Most Americans Want Public Policies to Prevent Obesity.”

An excerpt: “In addition, 73 percent said they’d support government incentives for companies that reduced the cost of health insurance for employees who had healthy lifestyles and shed extra pounds. Seventy-two percent said they would support government policies requiring insurance companies to cover obesity treatment and prevention programs.”

So, our society’s solution to obesity is to have the government coerce and force companies to help their employees deal with the issue.

Exhibit B –

Scott Ott’s serious letter discussing dependence on the government in response to a misunderstanding about a Katrina satire he wrote. A taste: “Over the decades, we have ceded power, authority and responsibility to the federal government far beyond anything envisioned or desired by our founders. As a result, instead relying on our own intelligence, resources and ability to work with others in our communities to solve problems, we have turned to Washington D.C..

This is not a matter of ‘blaming the victim’, because the victim has become so immersed in this twisted view of human life that he cannot see what has happened. The federal government’s dehumanizing effect has torn up neighborhoods, torn apart families and turned brave, capable people into compliant recipients of redistributed wealth.

The problem is that the morsels of that wealth never provide enough to do anything other than keep folks in a perpetual state of dependence upon the State. Even if those morsels became chunks big enough to choke a horse, the dependency would remain. The federal government has become not only the safety net, it is everything from the crib blanket to the casket lining.”

Read the whole thing, it’s worth it.

Finally, Exhibit C –

“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”

-Lazarus Long, Robert Heinlein, Time Enough For Love.


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  1. [...] I recently became acquainted with The Philosophy Podcast, and was going through their older stuff. One selection was Immanuel Kant’s What Is Enlightenment. I was reminded by Mike’s “Exhibit B” of just how damaging this is to humanity. [...]

    Pingback by The Liberty Papers»Blog Archive » Is The Enlightenment Alive? — December 31, 2006 @ 4:17 pm

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