Quote of the day—Matthew Willington

Matthew Willington (@MD_Willington)
Tweeted on October 10, 2013 in reference to this post about liberals getting special privileges from the D.C. police.
[Almost for certain Matthew was referring to this line in Animal Farm:

All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

Animal farm is one of the few books I have read more than once. It is a really, really good book and a fairly quick read.

In the past few days I’ve been listening to the book Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto*, thinking about conversations I have had with Marxists, and our current government situation. It appears, and Mikee independently posted the same conclusion, the “liberals” (communists) in our government act as if and work toward the condition of there being no limits on the power of government. The Bill of Rights is considered “loopholes” that citizens “hide behind”. The listening in on our telephone calls, the storing of all our Internet traffic, the tracking of all our vehicles, the tracking of our cell phones, the abuse of the IRS, the search and seizure of property, the requirements of financial disclosure, and much, much more is strong evidence they want there to be nothing to “hide behind”. They are working toward a society where there are no limits to what the state knows about you and what it can do to achieve the ends of those in power.

What many people don’t consciously realize is that the greater the value of some the greater security it much have to protect it. If you leave a penny on the sidewalk there is a good chance that if it is in a puddle of water it will still be there if you come back for it the next day. If you put $1000 in plain view in your locked car near that same sidewalk it is likely to be gone by morning.

The 20 year old beater car needs less security than the new Mercedes. The piggy bank of a child needs less security than an ATM. The ATM needs less security than Fort Knox. The financial information at your accountants office requires less security than the computer system that contains the financial information of an entire nation. The personal information in the medical records of your doctors office needs less security than the computer system that contains the personal information of an entire nation.

Government power is something of great value to those that control it and extraordinary measures must be used to secure against abuse. The enumerated powers, the multiple branches of government, the reservation of powers for the states and the people, and the Bill of Rights, were all intended to secure government power from abuse.

It is extraordinarily clear government power is expanding without the bounds intended and is being abused with the abusers suffering no consequences. The IRS, Fast and Furious, and NSA, scandals are just the tip of the icebergs. We are in a positive feedback loop. The more power government gets the greater the attraction to those that abuse it. Those that abuse it want more power and less controls. The Marxists who want more government power and claim, “We just need the right people in control” either do not understand the issues involved and/or are the very people who should not be in control.

Scary times are here now and far more scary times are ahead. Read Animal Farm and 1984 as they were intended to be read. They are warning of the dangers of government power. They are not instructions manuals.—Joe]

* I’m annoyed by his claim there can be no morality without belief in god(s) but other than the religious parts it’s a good book so far.


9 thoughts on “Quote of the day—Matthew Willington

  1. Some old timeless cliches exist because they correctly capture a truth of human existence. “Power corrupts” is something a lot of people refuse to accept as true.

    Get past that problem, get people to accept that there must be limits on the authority that our government has over us, and they still remain confused about rights versus authority. “It isn’t right” is different from “I have a right” is different from “Women’s rights” is different from “the government right to…” and so on. People need to understand that rights are held only by individuals, not collectives; that a right cannot be held by any government, only authority, and that having or exercising a right can only be infringed, not supported, by government.

    That is a big second problem. Once you get past that, people still ask, “What do we do about X, Y or Z, which the government has done since time immemorial (i.e., before they were 21 and noticed).” The correct answer is, “The government needs to stop doing that, as it has no authority to do so.” Then comes the wailing, rending of garments, cries of “racist, sexist, bigot, greedy murderer” and so on over those who will no longer feed at the taxpayer trough. Point out those subject to government programs are not being helped by them, compared to making them support themselves, and another round of vituperation results. Repeat until they go away or stop complaining, but limit government to its authorized functions.

    This is not a small set of problems to overcome regarding public attitudes. After these are accomplished, we can start working on the actual problem of government abuse of its authority.

  2. I have three thoughts about morality coming from what the Munchkin Wrangler likes to call “My Imaginary Friend”.
    1. By and large, people tend to act with forbearance and “morality” towards others when they believe there will be consequences to them if they do not act with said morality. When people believe they will have to answer for theft or murder after they die, they tend to not steal or murder so much, even where they are sure they will not suffer consequences in this life.
    2 . I would prefer that my elected and other civil servants believe my rights and from them, the things they cannot do to me are handed down from God, as it makes it harder for them to talk their way to being able to load certain people onto cattle cars with as clear a conscience, as they would have if laws were merely whatever the majority agree on as interpreted by nine old men with their moistened fingers in the political air, with morality being following that law and sorting your trash.
    3. Everyone has what the Munchkin Wrangler calls an Imaginary Friend. He (or she, or it) may be an old man with a white beard throwing lightning bolts from a cloud, a burning bush, a black rock in the desert, an elephant-headed man, a talking toaster, or an all-powerful yet benevolent government run by other men. It is that last version of an Imaginary Friend that causes me the most fear for the future.

    • Roberta X has a reasonable response. So does Ayn Rand with Objectivism.

      But I ask that everyone tread lightly on this topic. I really don’t want things to get into a disagreement over god(s) when we have so much that we do agree on that is of much greater concern.

      • I prefer to think of the concept of God(d) as a model. Much like our model of the atom, it is very useful in understanding the behavior of matter even if it isn’t exactly right to think of little balls of something we don’t quite understand orbiting collections of other little balls.

        We look at the universe and it is there, and so it came from something, etc. As Einstein said when asked if he believed in God, “All that energy had to come from somewhere…”

        And so we have a model of a Creator, and from that we assume the existence of ultimate truth, which is just another way of saying that there is something we call reality, and we can seek to objectively preceive that reality. Whether it is a “Man-Like” being with white hair or whether it is “the physical laws of the universe” is to me not the important question. I have “faith” I suppose, that there is such a thing as objective reality, and so I can seek to get closer to it, and have a personal relationship with it. If I call it “The Light” for example, I have visible evidence that that definition makes some objective sense that anyone can litterally see, and I’kk use it as a euphamism for “Full, Unconditional Objectivity based on the faith that such a thing exists” or any of several other descriptions that are largely interchangeable for saying merely that; “there is such a thing as reality and though we may never understand it completely we can endeavor to get as close to it as humanly possible.”

        Works for me, anyhow, and I don’t have to put down or disagree with anyone who believes in a Master Creator. We can believe the same things, with a maybe slightly different model or set of models.

        • I don’t have an argument with believers — until they try to hammer me into their mold with the idea that “everyone has a god.”

          I agree there are more (usually) immediate things to work on; but I am reminded that plenty of people still think non-believers shouldn’t be allowed to serve on juries or run for political office and I have to wonder, what’s next? Deny such people the right to carry guns, since they have no worries about an afterlife where they’d be called to account for bad judgement?

          There are good reasons why religion and government should not be mixed.

  3. Not everyone has an Imaginary Friend; that is a groundless and unprovable claim. (I do sometimes suspect, like Twain, that I’ve got an Imaginary Enemy, but if so, it hates everybody.)

    Still, if I ‘m gonna be *required* to have a god (for the sake of my freedom? How’s that parse?), I may take up Jimmy-Dean-ism as presented in their TV commercials. The solar god at the head of the pantheon seems like an all right, laid-back dude and the rest of them come across as earnest, if a bit addled.

    Still, it seems to me that this business of thinking the *everyone* has got to have something bigger than themselves to bow down to is crazy. (Especially since neither the idea nor the being itself can be objectively proven.) Why can’t we all be of the same authority over our own selves, and look one another in the eye? No need to drag religion into it, kicking, screaming, and objecting to whatever the other guy believes.

    –The Universe is bigger than me, but I don’t want to bow down to it nor do I think it would notice.

  4. I would like to suggest that 1) the vast majority of the readers here believe that government is not the source of our rights and 2) is not to be trusted since it is composed of men and all of us are flawed to some degree.

    Am I off-base?

    If not, the ownership and use of firearms is a logical necessity.

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