Henry Louis Mencken, in my opinion, refined the greatest risk to the republican form of government in a supremely elegant phrase;
“The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.”
Just yesterday, as I was driving to my office, a California Highway Patrol Officer invited me to suspend my efforts by directing me to the side of the road. As he approached my window, I was recycling the past few moments through my head attempting to identify the transgression having captured his attention. I wasn’t speeding, I hadn’t been talking on my cell phone, I hadn’t changed lanes without a signal – I was at a loss.
I lowered the window and he informed me that the reason I was being pulled over was that, get this, “…you are in a click-it or ticket zone and you aren’t wearing a seatbelt.” This of course was not accurate as, in point of fact, I was wearing a seatbelt however I confess that the shoulder portion of the belt was not over my shoulder but under. Still, he informed me that the vehicle code specifically states and defines the proper way for wearing a seatbelt. I checked, it does not. He issued me a ticket and expressed one of the most banal and utterly disingenuous statements the likes of which stir my contempt: “…don’t worry, signing the ticket doesn’t admit quilt.”
Now let’s be honest, despite the nuance-value of the commentary, that’s precisely what it does and for this reason: who has ever successfully defended themselves from the imposition of the event should you object to signing it? The system is not about justice, it is strictly about enforcement. Further, the application of the law and its enforcement is completely arbitrary and left to the discretion of the Officer who, in my case, not only misrepresented the vehicle code, but he also defended his giving me the ticket simply because he can. His comment that I “…should look at it as a gift, after all, it saves lives.” I had my mental chamber loaded with an acute comment for this bilge-water but there’s really not much value in responding to so completely a baseless and equally mindless comment such as this!
I attempted one last effort by explaining to him how 3 months earlier, my wife and I were sitting at a traffic signal, I was driving – she was sitting in the passenger seat speaking with her father via cell phone. Her father was nearing the end of his battle with cancer and not knowing when or if I would be able to talk to him again, understanding this she simply says to him, “Dad, I’ll put the phone up to Curtis’ ear so that he can say hi.” That’s exactly what she did and my comments lasted seconds at best, mind you, this all occurred while I am stationary at a traffic signal and my comments did not extend beyond the “green” and I my hands never left the steering wheel of my vehicle. Well as fate would have it, a Richmond, Ca. Police Officer observed the event and within 2 blocks of the traffic signal, yes you guessed it, I was pulled over and given a ticket for talking on a cell phone! By the way, this Police Officer nobly and efficiently informed me that “…signing this ticket in now way is your admitting quilt but you need to know, this enforcement is all about saving lives!” Oh dear GOD!
The CHP Officer added to my delight by saying, “…well, I would have never given you a ticket for that.” How selectively-indifferent can you get! One has absolutely no defense against these types of intrusions.
I admit that my readership might see this as a personal rant over what will likely amount to $5-600 in fines however to suggest so is to minimize the greater impact, the greater issue which requires one to both re-read the opening comment of this offering and to spend a few moments considering how these events are but a incidence of a much greater frequency and of those which occur on a much greater scale. It is of course, the licensing of unilateral imposition under the cover of authority and it is occurring at an ever increasing rate!
In the “Blind-Vision” series we discuss several instances where this “licensing” occurs and the ease with which Governments intended role has been reinterpreted and redefined from being a defender of freedom and liberty to nothing more than an arbiter of governance whereby “rules,” which determine the limits of your freedom and liberty, are both created and enforced.
Here are a few of the more conspicuous examples:
- Internal Revenue Code: Enforcing the limits on both your freedom to earn, by your efforts, financial reward but also the extent to which you are able to preserve and protect your rights to do so from the intrusion of government and its forces.
- Election/Legislative Procedural Practices: The arbitrary assumption of both the election process and the process whereby the legislative process is controlled by the very same entity. Who among you can recall the name of the elected official holding the Speaker of the House position whose party affiliation was other than Democrat or Republican? Who then represents the unrepresented? Good question!
- Health Care Legislation: A Bill that was passed, despite overwhelming public opposition, which (at last count) creates 135 new government agencies, governing bodies, committees, boards and/or oversight commissions. For what purpose? As best I can tell the purposes is to enforce a rule that one never wanted in the first place!
- Wall Street Reform Bill: A Bill that when combining the House and Senate versions totals over 3,000 pages that is alleged to cure the failures of the banking system and financial markets. It is important to note that the Glass-Steagall Act, which was abandoned in favor of both the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 and Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000, preserved the Banking and Financial Markets for nearly 70 years by prohibiting their convergence and was a paltry 34 pages. This new Bill, as I discussed in an earlier post, has not hope of reforming anything however what it does do is create at least 12 new government agencies, governing bodies, committees, boards and/or oversight commissions. One should consider the influence of the FED, the IMF and the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) in the drafting of the legislation further proof that the Rules are being created not to perfect freedom and liberty, but only where, how and to whom their advantage applies.
In the end, it is not possible to claim one is an Individual in possession of ones inalienable rights of Freedom and Liberty particularly when Freedom and Liberty are not among the choices offered – and that’s all there is to say about that!
Permitting the gravitational advantage of a strong central government is an anathema to the founding principals the lie back of this Countries origins. Believing so is to defy the origins of what one thinks of when articulating the idea of what it means to Be Free, to possess the Liberty to Be Free and to define for one self the parameters of how each are expressed. It is to believe and accept the notion of suspending the law of gravity so that you can be free to fly! Great concept however, if you suspend the law of gravity, you’ll surely be able to fly however you’ll have no air to breath!
It is, in the end, Centralized Failure!
Curtis C. Greco, Founder