Life Liberty And the Pursuit of Happiness

declaration-of-independence-62972

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

For various reasons having nothing to do with this post, I keep coming back to the phrase “an antidote to sin.”

Well, I don’t know about sin, but if killing vast numbers of your citizens in batch lots, like Nazis and Communists did, or through privation, economic destruction (or economic distortion) and repression as socialists did and do (poor Venezuela is the most extreme example but any government that considers it their business to determine what’s “death with dignity” and values it over life is doing the same, just slower, with softer gloves and more pretty words) isn’t a sin, then the Almighty and I need to have a word or fifty.

And as I was thinking of the sad state of the people of Europe who don’t even realize they are objects, owned by the government, serving at the will of the government, and destroyed just as easily, or that the hand that mollycoddles them can (and often does) snuff them out, I realized our founding documents are a remedy to that particularly horrendous sin.

We can’t, at least if we take them seriously — the left here doesn’t, of course, but enough of us still do.  And yes, Woodrow Wilson and FDR, but they also thought they were above the intents of the founders — fall into the sins of Nazi Germany or the many communist abattoirs of the the 20th century.

If government derives its power from the governed, and if the people you want to destroy are part of the governed — if not, then why are they subjected to your law? — you can’t do it, because you don’t have the right to destroy those from whom your rights come.

Yes, I know, it is normal for tyrants to declare you a foreign invader before they destroy you.  This is done either for racial reasons — Nazis — or ideological reasons — the many who died under Stalin and in this country the amazing number of people who have tried to declare anyone who disagrees with them a foreign agent, either “Fascist” or “Russian.” (Aren’t they the ones who admire Russia?) or Racissssexisssshomophobic and therefore not a real person — but it’s usually done before the batch killing begins.

BUT even then the declaration of independence is an antidote.  You can’t kill people who aren’t your subjects, but the people from whom your power derives.  Not unless you can prove they are not citizens, not of the body.  Yes, sure, governments do that, and we should be aware of that, but it’s at least a hurdle for them to get over, not simply “we’ve determined you’re better off dead.”

Unlike what our leftists believe, you don’t belong to the government.  The government belongs to you.  You’re not a subject nor a slave.  You’re the owner of the joint.

They can think that you’re inconvenient, that your life has no purpose — 22 years ago, doctors tried to convince me to have a procedure that would almost certainly kill me, because I was useless, as a housewife with two small kids, and my life did no good, and I was a burden to my family.  It’s not like I even had a job — or that they’re saving you from a fate worse than death, in having to live with a disability or a health problem, but the evaluation is not THEIRS to make.  They can think whatever they want, but your life is none of their playthings.

We are endowed by [our] Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Not the government’s to give.  Not the government’s to take away.  The government can take a flying leap, and all its supposedly pure-hearted busybodies with it.

A citizen, not a subject.

An antidote to sin.  And killing vast numbers of people, or destroying them, or making it impossible for them to live is a customary sin of government.

But we need to know those words, and understand them, because they ARE the founding documents of THIS land, and against them, the lies of collectivism cannot stand.

Repeat them, learn them, fight for them.

Lest we forget, lest we forget.

217 responses to “Life Liberty And the Pursuit of Happiness

  1. They keep trying to push us towards subjugation similar to other countries. “Everyone else in the world does it this way.” Yeah, that’s kinda the point. We do things differently and typically get better results. Quit trying to pull us back down into the crab bucket.

    • “Everyone else in the world does it this way.”
      That’s where you respond, “Yeah, that’s why we came here, to get away from them.”

      • My mother’s traditional response to the “every one else does it” logical fallacy was “If Johnny jumped off of the Baldwin Bridge and people followed him should you follow him too?” For reference purposes the Baldwin bridge is a large, high (100′ +) bridge crossing the mouth of the Connecticut river near my ancestral home. As for Country X being better there aidiouts that have thought that way for a long time . W.S Gilberts words in the Mikado from”As Someday it may happen”( AKA the list song):
        The idiot who praises, with enthusiastic tone, All centuries but this, and every country but his own;
        Liberals have change little in 150+ years, remind me which of us is the conservative?

        • Mine said pretty much the same thing, about jumping off a high cliff, if everyone else was doing it.
          I would say to my daughter when she tried to claim that “Everyone is doing it, Mom!”, “Sweetie, we aren’t everyone!”

          • Mom and Dad used the bridge thing too.

          • Any investor ought know that when “everyone” is doing it is the best time to bet counter to the mob.

          • Dorothy Grant

            Once upon a time, in Fairbanks, an acquaintance of mine (we’ll call him Danny) came stumbling past me, dripping wet and shivering badly, despite the 75-degree day. (Very hot, by Alaskan standards.)

            “Danny? Are you okay? What happened?”

            “I was going to the grocery store, and you know the bridge over the Tanana? Well, there were people jumping in! So, I went ahead and jumped in with them!”

            “Danny, you do know the Tanana River is glacial meltwater?”

            “I FOUND THAT OUT!”

        • Terry Sanders

          Thism Or the t-shirt from my youth:

          Eat s***. Fifty billion flies can’t be wrong.

    • “Country X is so much better than the US because Reasons.”

      OK, so when are you moving?

    • “No. You move.” 😉

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      The United States of America exists to tell the rest of the world to go fuck itself. If it was desirable to be ruled by the fads and fashions of Europe, or of any other combination of nations and peoples, there would have been no reason to rebel against England’s crown.

      • Tom Wolfe calls the Arty Left ‘sweaty little colonials’ because of their desperation to be thought cool by the Smart Kids in Europe.

        • Trump’s apparent friendship with Macron must be very disturbing to them.

          • They don’t get Trump at all. He’s a deal-maker. He knows hemdoesn’t have to LIKE anybody he’s making a deal with, he just has to get his goals met.

            Obumbles was a process diplomat (and not a good one); MUCH more invested in the proces than the goals, which is why the ‘deals’ he brokered were so universally bad.

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              Obama’s “goal” was to have a deal with Iran (which George W Bush didn’t get).

              The fact that it was a stupid deal didn’t matter to Obama.

              He “got” the deal. 😈

              • Conversation I had when something financially stupid was being proposed by the leftoids that GWB was all for as well. (when I was still at the NOLA Airport)
                labor union wheenie defending the policy: “We HAVE to DO Something!”
                me: “What if doing something is worse than doing nothing at all?”
                luwdtp: ***nonplussed look*** “But something must be done!”
                me: “Okay, but if your fuel truck is leaking a drip every few minutes, you tighten the flange that is leaking, not use a cutting torch to cut open the tank. Your solutions are more akin to packing it full of C4 and detonating.”

                • This isn’t kindergarten. You don’t get a participation trophy because you did something really bad with good intentions.
                  “But something must be done!” in stupid fashion is like:
                  -throwing water on that grease fire in your kitchen
                  -driving faster during a snowstorm in order to get out of danger sooner
                  -sucking out the venom from a snake bite
                  -stepping between a couple having a physical domestic disturbance

                  and a ton of other things which look like helping, but just make things worse.

                  • It’s the equivalent to running in circles in a panic or passing out in fear. You’ve done something! Too bad it does nothing or worse for the situation. Noisy chattering chimps.
                    I think our management at work is in this category.
                    another Instyism comes to mind: “Unexpectedly”
                    It’s only unexpected by them, and they always blame those who were telling them not to do it.

                    • The testers always get blamed for finding the flaws, instead of the coders who put them in the program.
                      As if they wouldn’t be there without the testers finding them.
                      *smdh*

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      It depends.

                      Every where I worked as a programmer/coder, I was responsible for testing my work.

                      If it failed in production, it was MY FAULT.

                    • “Every where I worked as a programmer/coder, I was responsible for testing my work. If it failed in production, it was MY FAULT.”

                      Ditto. OTOH, other than my last job, I was the only programmer working on the program(s).

                      Regardless of whether I had a testing department to follow up. They do exist. Programmers (anyone) are notoriously bad about testing their own work; some better than others. I was good at the micro scale but horrible at the macro. Could not follow a test plan. Kept getting to parts, “yep. Know that works.”

                      Most the errors came back to me were “they aren’t suppose to do that.” so add something that prevents problem. Biggest one we ran into, while I was at that company, was MS problem (we had to deal with the fallout, but MS caused the problem) – they released an updated component with an older version number causing it not to install because the installer was set to not overwrite “newer installed versions”. Program needed the newer version. Did not find that in testing; me or the testing team. Last release it took longer to run the tests than it took me to make the changes required!!!

                      My last company we had no testers; well yes we did, they are also called clients. Made some interesting results when you make a change for one client that another gets & makes a mess for them. Learned to just roll with it (or get sick from stress). Then the company does not do “releases” so fixes are minutes or hours (if it took that long to find problem) away. Drop what you are doing & fix it now, unless you are working on a fix it now affecting payroll; after payroll, if auditors or boss was onsite training (well okay, boss onsite went immediately to top of list, always).

                • Lewin W. Wickes

                  “Something must be done!” My response: “OK, you do it and you pay for if.”

              • As I said; process oriented. ‘We are diplomatically engaged’ as a goal.

                *spit*

              • Obama Jarrett’s “goal” was to have a deal with Iran (which George W Bush didn’t get).
                FIFY

    • Looks like in my country it’s now getting harder to get treated for disease, any, once you are over 65 and retired. Okay, they still will TREAT you once they find out you have something like cancer, but the finding out can be delayed as doctors in the public healthcare are getting more reluctant to order the tests to find out what is wrong when it isn’t obvious to see by the general practitioner and by a handful of cheaper tests.

      Because expensive, and because you are no longer needed in the workforce I suppose.

      I’m a few years shy of 60, I presume it will get worse, so who knows what it will be like when I retire. Sorry, you have cancer, here is a prescription to pain pills?

      This country is running out of money, and looks like being a member of EU costs more than it brings. So money can no longer be wasted on everything. But hey, we need more young working age people so let’s do our best to get all those migrants into the workforce, they are young men after all, sure they can made to work to produce more tax money. And culture is important, so that big name modern art museum maybe could be enticed to build a new one in Helsinki? And so on…

      • Sorry, you have cancer, here is a prescription to pain suicide pills.

        It’s been done. Canada or maybe in Washington/Oregon. Insurance company, which means in compliance with Federal/State guidelines for treatment.

        • The first one was Oregon, just a few months after they finished assuring everyone they wouldn’t do that.

          Big, Bad, Evil ™ medical company gave her the pills that Oregon wouldn’t cover.

          • “Big, Bad, Evil ™ medical company gave her the pills that Oregon wouldn’t cover.”
            And yet the Left simultaneously makes it impossible for states to get the drugs needed for painless lethal injection for the very few seriously bad people who finally make it through nearly-endless appeals to Death Row.
            They would rather spend a fortune keeping them alive in prison — a not-very-high-quality life by most accounts, which violates both of their rationales for killing sick people (economy and dignity).

            • I’d love to see them try to get Home Depot, Lowe’s, DIY, Gander Mountain, Amazon, etc. to stop selling rope to state gov’ts.

            • I personally oppose lethal injection, mostly because of this reason. I am, however, partial to nitrogen asphyxiation (using O2/CO2-free air to prevent the criminal’s body from knowing what’s happening). I am also partial to hanging and firing squads, though.

              But I’d *really* like to see the State get out of the execution business altogether, and give the right to execute to the survivors of the deceased, or an appropriate advocacy organization (for someone, say, a homeless person, who has no available next of kin), and leave the person found guilty at the mercy of the family who lost their loved ones.

              But that’s just the anarcho-capitailst in me speaking — and I’m fairly confident that such a proposal would induce heart attacks in the typical anti-death-penalty advocate….

    • Then they get pissed that you say something like “Fine, then YOU go to THEM!”

    • Patrick Chester

      Or they about it happening in the oh-so great “civilized” world, meaning “enlightened” Europe and such.

      Though they seem to be confusing civilization with domestication.

  2. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    Back when Obamacare was being strongly discussed and “Death Panels” became part of the “discussion”, my mother was in the Nursing Home suffering from the Big A.

    While Mom was pleasant to be around, anybody who was around her knew that “she wasn’t all there”.

    Then and now, I could see some government official thinking that Martha Howard was “better off dead” because she would never recover and was costing the State of Illinois money. 😦

    • That’s the endstate of the course the NHS is on. If the courts can decide that you don’t know the best interests of your own child they’re certainly not going to let you make any decisions for your parents. Once you start “letting” the young and old die it becomes easier and easier to give the same “benefit” to the terminally ill, the mentally infirm, or the merely comatose.

      • Or someone with an expensive condition that is not terminal, but is a pain.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          Transsexuals, substance abusers, plain old mentally ill…

          • It was tried before, but this time we’ll do it better.
            Seig Heil!

            • Seig Heil? Really? That system has been tried, and found wanting.

              We have another system that is proven to work, Comrade, that is more than willing to adopt these methods. While this system hasn’t yet been proven to work, it will…once we can find the right people to be in charge!

          • Diabetics, people who need dialysis, people with heart conditions, people who need transplants (I have a friend who had one years ago. It requires continuous maintenance/has complications always) etc, etc, etc.

            • You are aware that grumpiness is a symptom of Diabetes? So grumpy folks can probably be harvested for the general welfare of the rulers nation.

              People who ask awkward questions are probably suffering from Tourette’s or similar untreatable condition and can reasonably be fed into the sausage makers, along with those displaying Oppositional Defiance Disorder …

            • Mandate hysterectomies in all c-section cases.

              Avoids MULTIPLE expensive risk factors.

              • yep. GAH. We wouldn’t have second son.

                • Actual risk increase for “more than two” c-sections is actually less than a normal birth in the 50s.

                  Every. Single. Doctor. Spends a ton of time explaining how insanely dangerous it is.

                  Don’t get me started on the Pope and his DIY medical advice.

                  • We had a VBAC with second son. Older son said now they don’t allow them if they can help it, because of the danger of placenta issues, uterine tears, etc.
                    My doctor just asked “You want to deliver vaginally?” I said “Yep.” And we did.

                    • It seems to largely depend on liability insurance, from what I’ve seen– the military was all for it (they don’t HAVE liability insurance), the civilian doctor we got dumped on as the bad news when Elf got hired out of the reserves probably would have tried it, but not with only a few week’s notice and his not trusting the prior doctors, and there’s a guy down here in El Paso that specializes in managing VBAC after multiple c-sections. Main reason I haven’t done it is that…well, based on the actual evidence, the closest I’ve come to dying was the attempted normal birth…..

                    • well, part of the reason son said they’d never do it now is that his brother stuck at the shoulders. I had maximum episiotomy, and it still tore two inches into the area it had no business tearing.
                      Robert says I was lucky to escape a colostomy. He says these days they measure the head and shoulders, and his brother’s was in “Oh, dear lord, no,” even for a first, normal birth.

                    • Interesting. BC is encouraging VBAC (or at least TOLAC – Trial of Labour After C-Section) whenever possible, on the theory that “it’s probably a good idea to avoid cutting someone open if you can manage it”

                    • It’s cheaper. Most of the things that the socialized medical systems encourage is that.

                    • Among the other issues involved was that, up north at least (where i was working as data support for the perinatal group), the feeling was that there had been a *lot* of unnecessary c-sections over the past several years, due to where many of the doctors had come from (IIRC, there had been a large influx of South African doctors over the previous decade who were very much predisposed to jump straight to c-section).

                      The clinicians (mostly OB/GYN types and maternity/delivery nurses) that I worked with at the time were pushing to reduce the c-section rate due to a higher rate of infections, longer recovery times, etc.

                    • The “omg c-section” fad in Washington was attributed to voluntary c-sections; I accepted the story about it being to help prevent as much visible damage for the mothers (scheduled are at least a week before due date), but I’m thinking it might have more to do with basic liability insurance, since even the later ones where I went into labor are going to be recorded as it was scheduled.

                    • No, that’s where we were in the 90s. And why when I said I wanted VBAC no one argued with me.

                    • “It’s cheaper. Most of the things that the socialized medical systems encourage is that.”

                      Indeed. It’s my understanding that some of the techniques of “natural birth” that my wife was taught in her first pregnancy (and I’m particularly thinking of Lamaze methods) have their origins in Russia, when Russian mothers were being taught these things because they are stronger than those wimpy Westerners who rely on health care to help with births!

                      (Of course, we’re quietly ignoring that the Soviet Union also happened to be severely lacking in the amount of health care they could provide, particularly compared to those “wimpy Westerners”…)

                • I wouldn’t have Athena.

                  And I think we can all agree that that would be a disaster of Biblical proportions.

          • Alcoholics, or so whispers were coming out of Belgium. Not certain if that came to pass or got nixed.

            • And they’ve mangled things so that you can be a “binge drinker” if once a month you have a big picnic where the cooks are sipping sangrias from about 11 until it’s shut down, and never even manage to get buzzed. More than five drinks, you see. Never mind that the original was five drinks in AN HOUR…. Three for women.

              Yes. Three drinks. In a day. You’re a “binge drinker.” *rolls eyes heavenwards*

              • I’d encountered “in a session” which is rather open-ended, then “a day.” which seems rather silly – a couple with/after lunch, a couple with/after supper, and one later meets that. But in a hour? Yeah, I can see that as being rather much.

                • Oh, it gets even better, one of the groups that gets quoted as experts thinks 7 drinks in a week is “problem drinking.”

                  /eyeroll

                  Talk about expanding stuff into uselessness.

                  • This is why I never have more than one glass a day.


                    Using the standard glass, of course.

                  • Yeah, saw that one change a couple of years ago. Apparently these people have never gone camping for on a long weekend at the “lake” 50 miles from the nearest non-grass airport when the high temps are in the 40s and the wind is too. “What did you do for Labor Day?” “Sat in the camper, played cards and drank. Couldn’t even get the boat wet.”

                    It’s like the smoking questions as well. I’m a ‘former smoker’ because I admitted to have a couple of cigars a year in my 20s and 30s.

                • Oh here is an even better one, and this was from twenty years ago when I had to take a questionaire to see if I had an alcohol problem (after a non-alcohol/drug related car wreck, I NEVER figured out why the judge deemed it necessary) “have you ever blacked out or passed out from drinking?” If you EVER even ONCE at ANY TIME in your life have passed out or did things you don’t remember while drinking, they considered you an alcoholic.

                  I was always under the impression that an alcoholic was addicted to alcohol, they considered anybody who had ever tested their limits/been an idiot as teenager and drank until they passed out/blacked out or threw up (separate question) to be an alcoholic, even if they were fifty years old and hadn’t done any of those things or even drank since they were teenagers.

                  Who is “they” you ask? Why there is the kicker, and the explanation for such ridiculous definitions. The people defining the terms and doing the testing; and recommending what is often court mandated treatment? Yup, the same people that are providing such treatment. . . for a small fee, of course.

                  • Good to know. I haven’t blacked/passed out, though a time or two of “talking to Ralph on the big white phone” convinced me to take things much easier, once (or twice…) upon a time.

                    • If I have ever blacked/passed out I don’t remember doing it.

                      Well, there was this one time, at a Procul Harum concert, but I think that might have been the ‘ludes. It seems unlikely to have been the bennies or the window pane. Coke and smack produce some interesting effects together but they don’t usually lose memories.

                      Maybe it was the mentoes and coca~cola …

                  • “drank until they passed out/blacked out or threw up (separate question) to be an alcoholic” – interesting.

                    Not the passed out/blacked out, I remember every dang minute, coordination was crap, but memory not so much. But dang I got sick … for the next 3 days, each time. First time they kept giving me drinks which I would pretend to “sip”/”try not to even touch lips” then accidentally (on purpose) put down & walk away from (had not learned the “get plants” drunk trick), must have gotten just enough in my system; yes, someone (probably) trying to get me drunk. Second time was on wine-flip, essentially Sprite with a smidgen of wine (one … which I did not finish); not trying to get me drunk. No tolerance, if not allergic.

                    40 years later, with meal, I can have equivalent to Hard Lemonade mix, & not get sick. But I will take a nap; which is more likely result of the alcohol triggering hypoglycemia. I so rarely drink that anyone/answer-sheet considering me as an alcoholic is out of their minds.

                    • You’ve just described me, but I still stay away from anything that has alcohol in it, even hard lemonade and rum-soaked cakes, just in case.

                    • I avoided Alcohol for a long time. Long enough that the kid (almost 30) doesn’t drink at all. We have “free” alcohol (hubby won it) that is older than the kid. Early in our marriage we used to take said bottles to BYOB & forget them. Ran out of places to do that, everyone else has quit drinking too.

            • It can’t be nixed. When doctors were surveyed in the Netherlands about officially legalizing euthanasia, after the wink-and-nod approach, a large percentage said they would not comply with any regulation they didn’t like.

        • This is what scares me. I’m in remission, but if my particular brand of auto-immune issues comes back, it can be very expensive to treat. I had a hard time convincing the insurance company to cough up the $8000 (times 3! because the first two rounds of treatment were only partially successful) for treatment in the first place, because I was playing polo and they assumed I couldn’t be that sick if I was still doing that. Because apparently determination and love of a sport are enough to cure this disease *eye roll*

          I don’t toe the party line and I don’t react normally to medical treatment. Yep, I’d be on the chopping block in no time if death panels became common. No thank you: I’d rather take my chances with evil, capitalist medicine.

          • I also don’t react normally to treatment. Robert says I’m my own species :-P. So, yeah. And my auto-immune will have flare ups the rest of my life.
            I don’t like socialized medicine either.

        • Just think of all the bureaucrats’ lives that could be saved if we harvest her organs before they deteriorate. She could contribute so much more and enjoy a dignified death!

          • How about we harvest the bureaucrats instead? They are public servants, right? Let’s have ’em serve for a change. ♉

            • Y’know, there’s promise in that idea… I’d been holding out for simply executing them after their term, but we could get some use out of them, your way.

            • tregonsee314

              Orvan there certainly seems to be a bumper crop of bureaucrats. And given their vaunted intellects it will not be difficult to declare them brain dead. The issue is, would anyone want the output from the harvest? Hell their disease might be contagious and transplanting things might make liberalism spread further. Probably not worth the risk the output would be very low grade…

            • Problem is, since progs are rotten to the core, you wouldn’t get anything *useful* out of them.

          • There’s a term describing this very concept (Surprise!) in German – see lebensunwertes Leben and the slippery slope from “look at the societal resources caring for these folks consumes!” to mass graves and cremation ovens.

        • Well, liberalism is an expensive condition, very damaging to society…. 🙂

      • Not the end state. Read about the “Liverpool Care Pathway”. http://www.bbc.com/news/health-23698071

    • Heck, my folks are WORKING and I’m worried about some DIY eugenicist doing this to my parents!

      • yeah, and they poke fun at us for being concerned about death panels…

        well..

        some of us have participated in the health care joke called the Veteran’s Administration, and have been denied health care because it was ‘not cost effective’

        • Or had a nurse fail to report symptoms to a doctor for days, because obvious the woman was “drug seeking” or just a wimp. (biggest blood clot that hospital had seen, before or since)

          Or the doctor who insisted that there was no way my dad had been using his arm since he was 14, when a doctor got pissed that he’d broken it in a stupid way and set the wrist wrong. (The knob that sticks sort of up, on the outside of a normal arm? Points straight OUT on dad’s.)

          Or had a doctor decide that nothing you said mattered at all. Because he’s the doctor. Almost cost my husband his job, ordered a drug that violated the restrictions his job had.

          • And they’ll blame those issues on capitalism, because they’re so sure their system won’t have incentives that just make it worse; and the ones that occur under their systems are excusable because, my gosh, there couldn’t be anything worse than making people pay for something necessary for life.

          • Or the doctor who repeatedly insisted that there’s NO WAY I could possibly have appendicitis since I’d walked into his office standing (more or less) upright. Saw him three times and he said I was either constipated or faking. Saw the Nurse Practitioner on the day he was out of the office: she took one look at me and had my mother rush me to the ER. 5 hours later I was on the table getting cut open. Found out after I woke up that my appendix was literally on the verge of rupturing: if the procedure before mine hadn’t gotten bumped back, I would’ve been in serious trouble.

            Or the doctor who “couldn’t tell” if my wrist was broken so he put it in a soft brace for a week. Ten+ years later my hand is crooked (it’s inline with the forearm but rotated maybe 10-15 degrees inboard) and I occasionally get EXCRUCIATING pain from my MCP knuckles all the way up past my elbow.

            • Family friend has adult onset scoliosis of the spine.

              EVERY SINGLE DOCTOR assures her that she’s wrong, the last 15 doctors were wrong, and has her do the same @#$@@#$ exams, every FREAKING time, except for ONE.

              Because, like, the x-rays are cheatable. 20 something times.

              • That’s just great. Because I’m fairly certain that I have scoliosis (my hips & belly button are noticeably – not a lot, bot noticeably) out of alignment with my sternum), but not one single person believes me, because the school nurses who allegedly checked didn’t spot anything. Nevermind that they had to test 100+ students at a time in less than 20-ish minutes, so the “test” was a quick (as not not longer than 5 seconds) finger sweep down the spine.

                • Obnoxious thing is, adult onset scoliosis is not unknown at all. It’s just not as common as childhood onset, and it obviously won’t screw up your growth when you’re already full grown.

                  To doctors who are actually expert in treating it, it’s not unknown, that is.

                  -.-

                  You might be able to get help from a good chiropractor, or medically certified masseuse. Muscles can do a LOT of pulling out of alignment, and when asked the ladies my Elf has gone to mention that they have a lot more guys coming in for injury treatment, while women come in with “I’m just a bit sore” and they’ve got muscles pulling stuff seriously out of line.
                  (His neck was pulled almost exactly backwards of what it was supposed to be. Kinda impressive on the x-rays….)

            • Mass treatment. Everyone else coming in has stomach flu- the next person in with similar symptoms has stomach flu. Was making rounds through the barracks during mandatory study hours and one young sailor was in bed, moaning, not studying. Roommates said “He went to sick call this morning. He has stomach flu.” Had his roommates stand him up. Took his temperature the old fashioned way- put my hand on his forehead. He was burning up and sweating. Had his roommates take him down to my car, told the other barracks Chief I was off to the ER, and drove him across base to the hospital. Walked him into the ER and told the nurse- “He was diagnosed with stomach flu this morning. He doesn’t have stomach flu. Find out what’s wrong with him.” About 10 minutes later a doctor comes out to see me. “We’re prepping an OR. His appendix is coming out.”

              I’ve been told if you haven’t had appendicitis by 60 you’re not getting it. I knew someone in their 70’s recently had it….

              • It makes sense to look for the most likely/most common causes first. After all that will be true 90%* of the time and will greatly reduce wasted time spent diagnosing the problem. But you need to determine what the ACTUAL cause is not just assume that it is the most common issue.
                Because if you don’t, you’ll be wrong 10%* of the time, and it is really going to suck for most of those 10%* of the people. And they are NOT going to be happy with you. Doctors are never going to have a 100% correct diagnosis rate, but they really should have very close to a 0% wrong diagnosis rate. In other words if they don’t know what the problem is, the diagnosis should be, “I don’t know,” they should never claim/decide what the problem is without proof. It would be okay for them to say, “I don’t know what is wrong, it is likely X and we can try Y treatment for $Z and see if that cures the problem or we can do more tests to try and determine for sure what is wrong, which will cost $12Z. What do you want to do?” But they should never tell you, “you have X” unless they KNOW you have X

                *statistics are PIDOOMA for sake of argument

                • Pa had some unusual pains. Pains that “couldn’t” be appendicitis. Then they gave in and went to look. Appendicitis, with a surgeon exclaiming, “What the [REDACTED] is it doing there?!” So, if I ever have “inexplicable” pains in the area… I need to get it through their skulls that “impossible, it ain’t.”

            • I’ve heard lots of horror stories of co-workers on furlough in the US coming down with malaria, and trying fruitlessly to try to convince various medical people to test for malaria. They don’t believe it until three days and lots of test later, when they come in and say that they think it’s malaria.
              Which is bad, because the longer you don’t treat it, the worse it gets and the longer the recovery time.
              And that’s why I always travel with a treatment- just in case.

              • I had a friend who was working in Africa who came down gravely ill. Doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong with him. Had some symptoms typical of malaria, but others that weren’t. They had to ship him to Paris where someone finally figured out he had malaria *and* yellow fever simultaneously. Poor bugger almost died.

  3. I actually had the epiphany while reading A Few Good Men (thanks, Sarah), that let me articulate something that had always hovered around the back of my mind: If rights are granted by government, then it is entirely within their purview to take them away. And once one accepts that, then nothing government does can be wrong. Pol Pot’s killing fields? Perfectly valid. Mao’s “Cultural Revolutions” and it’s tens of millions (at least) of deaths? Not a problem. The Holodomor? The Holocaust? Entirely valid government actions. After all, if government grants “right to life” government can take it away too.

    It is only in the recognition that rights are not granted by government but are inherent in simply being human (extend that to being a sapient being in some future where we find or create non-human intelligence). Since governments don’t grant rights, they cannot take them away. They can only infringe on them…and be wrong to do so.

    Only in this can we consider any government action to be a crime, let alone an atrocity.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      If it is right and proper for government to manage our welfare, what principled reason have we to object to being culled or bred like horses and hounds?

      • This is a perfectly valid argument. A variation on “The government that is big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take everything you have.”. But the problem with it, as an argument, is that the Progressive Left answers it by saying “Ah, but we are good people. We won’t do that.”, and they think they have scored and retired that point.

        My tack is to point out that the government that is big enough to cover you everything you want is necessarily big enough to crush you like a bug, purely by accident.

        My Lefty acquaintance have yet to come up with a corner to that once.

        • Ah, but we are good people. We won’t do that.

          Assumes facts not in evidence.

          Asserts facts contradicted by available evidence, as were they truly what they claim they would not be attempting to seduce us into ceding our rights.

          Been there, done that, still got the apple core.

          • Terry Sanders

            Ooooooh, that *awful* lawyer-speak stuff! I’m triggered!

          • Remember that power corrupts…

          • And the core fact not in evidence is NOT that they are ‘good people’ (although they mostly aren’t), but that they will be the people in charge once all that power has been handed to the State.

            They just never learn. Hand all that power to the State and control of the State will become irresistibly attractive to the most power hungry, psychotic thug on offer.

            Hello, Stalin!

            And up against the wall, all you ‘good people’ troublemakers.

            • Hello, Stalin!

              In my DLI Russian class most of the instructors were Soviet ex-pats. One of them, a woman, described Lenin as “the most evil man who ever lived.” Another airman said “But Stalin killed more people.” Her response was “He had more time.”

              • Also, from what little I’ve rad of the man, Lenin probably ‘agonized’ over each death warrent, the ‘agonizing’ being pert of his s pleasire in the process. Outside of personal animosities, Stalin was more of ‘it needs to he done to meet my goals. Do it.’ Type.

          • SheSellsSeashells

            “Ah, but we are good people. We won’t do that.”

            I have seen too many on the Left orgasmically rejoicing over the misfortune and/or death of badthinkers to ever, ever believe that.

            • I fully expect that when HRC kicks the bucket, there will be calls for dignity and respect. Unlike when Thatcher died and the lot seemed to all play a certain tune from The Wizard of Oz.

            • “Ah, but we are good people. We won’t do that.”
              Don’t be evil.
              Just facilitate it for other people.

          • Patrick Chester

            “Ah, but we are good people. We won’t do that.”

            Yeah, I’ve seen how they act. They are NOT good people. They think they are but they are vicious infantile bullies most of the time. Especially when they run into any sort of opposition.

        • All it needs is for some cubicle dweller who is deciding your fate to have a bad day. Because in the end, in that kind of systems, it’s them who decide. Somebody somewhere bored our of her mind, worrying about her own problems, wanting to leave for lunch a bit earlier today…

          • Sure, if you were asking for something you can always complain and start the whole run all over again, but there no guarantees that it will work any better the second time. Lower, usually, as in most bureaucracies the bureaucrats prefer not admit to faults in the system. Who knows, if too many faults come out they might even lose their jobs. Better to just blame the citizen. Didn’t have all what was needed, is actually way too healthy to stop working, should be working, doesn’t need, didn’t fill the form right…

    • Government cannot grant rights, it lacks the authority. Government can only grant licenses, which are contingent on the recipient’s good behaviour.

      They’ve tried to convert the rights acknowledged under the Second Amendment into licenses pretty much all my life, but theirs is not the authority to do so.

      • What far too many people fail to understand is that our Bill of Rights does not grant those rights but rather recognizes that these are rights common to all free men and that any government of, by, and for the citizens must not infringe upon the just and proper exercise of them.

        • Never, in all the twelve years I spent incarcerated in the public school systems of five states, did any class ever cover the Bill of Rights or the Constitution.

          • And I had the Constitution and BoR taught me in fourth grade civics class in rural MN, but then I’m an old f(art).

          • I had it in high school in the late ’60s. There was a US (with BoR, but once over lightly in the details) and an Illinois constitution test that had to be passed to graduate. I suspect it was one of the last years it was required. For that matter, they did a new IL-constitution shortly afterward, and built in some of the pension problems they’re seeing now. ‘Twas a poorly constituted constitution, from what I could see.

          • Of course not. They LOVE to tell K-12 (or at least K-6) students that they have NO rights. And if they started talking of them, who knows, someone might point out Tinker vs. Des Moines and ruin their day(s).

        • The existence of the Bill of Rights and the debate over it causes those folks much confusion. The argument was never about whether government could “grant” those rights, it was about whether such a Bill of Rights would wrongly convey those rights as government’s to give. Which is why an even half-assed reading should nte that in every case the Amendments do not grant a single right but restrict any presumption of government authority to infringe the rights recognized.

          What part of “make no law” is confusing them?

          • I still think they should have simplified the First Amendment to “Congress shall pass now law.” That would have saved us a tremendous amount of trouble. 😛

          • The Bill of Rights says “CONGRESS shall make no law… The prohibition apparently does not apply to the Supreme Court, which seems to suppose it can twist the Constitution to make any law it damn well pleases.

        • *cough* I may have hammered on that a little hard when I taught the Enlightenment this past year. *scuffs dirt a little*

        • Terry Sanders

          Back in my college days (he said in a creaking voice) a couple of nice Brits showed up at the Presbyterian Student Center to borrow a couple of beds as they explored America. The evening’s conversation somehow got around to politics, and I ended up quoting/paraphrasing that part of the Declaration for them. The wide-eyed look of shock and incomprehension were priceless.

          I wonder if any of the *Americans* would understand if that scene played out now.

    • One of the FicBits floating around in my files is a little subculture group that very quietly considers true AIs to be people, and act like it. Including doing rescues based on the Christians-ransoming-slaves shtick.

      I can’t figure out a point as of yet, other than having “discovered” the AI are somewhat based on angels, with each being a unique creation.

      Just a fun idea.

  4. BobtheRegisterredFool

    Redstate has reminded me of the issues regarding funding of conservative media. If Trump is really so upset about media coverage, why doesn’t he use the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to fund right wing media they way Obama used it for left wing organizations? Is it possible that he is simply too decent a human being?

  5. I think Trump fights with the Leftwing media because he recognizes it as a winning tactic. It makes them look petty, and distracts them from whatever it is that he is actually doing.

  6. You can’t kill people who aren’t your subjects, but the people from whom your power derives.

    Long ago, when completing my Accountancy schoolwork, I was fascinated by that portion of relevant law which governs agency. As Principal you authorize your Agent to act on your behalf, delegating to your Agent such of your powers as necessary to performance of those duties required.

    Succinctly, it may be referred to as the equal relationship between a principal and an agent whereby the principal, expressly or implicitly, authorizes the agent to work under his or her control and on his or her behalf. The agent is, thus, required to negotiate on behalf of the principal or bring him or her and third parties into contractual relationship.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_agency

    Under our American system the government is Agent to the People, subordinate and possessing a fiduciary duty to act in the interests of its Principal(s). Such power as government holds it holds only through the license of its Principal, by delegation of sovereign authority to act for us.

    This is precisely the opposite of how sovereignty flows elsewhere ii the world, it is the primary distinction between citizens and subjects.

    As all here likely know all too well, agents frequently act in pursuit of their own advantage, to the detriment of principals (ad of principles, too.) On such occasions it incumbent upon the principal to reign them in, to chastize as necessary and to discharge from that role if need be.

    Our current federal government is badly in need of such chastizing right now, and should be thankful we’ve chosen no greater instrument to that purpose than Donald Trump. They do not want to get us angry. They would nt like us when we’re angry.

  7. Reblogged this on WyldKat's Lair and commented:
    “you don’t belong to the government. The government belongs to you. You’re not a subject nor a slave. ”

    This says it all for me.

    • The President, Congress, and Senate are my *employees*, not my masters.

      A situation most of them seem to fail to recognize…

      • tregonsee314

        Some large portion of the Civil Servants are neither servants nor civil…

      • The judiciary. Who desperately need to be humbled.

        • Yes. I don’t think the Founders considered the possibility that the judiciary as a branch would become corrupt and undermine the Constitution by fiat.

          • They certainly don’t seem to have written in a good remedy for it, anyways.

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              In theory, the remedy already exists.

              Congress has the power to impeach & remove Judges who “go too far”.

              Part of the problem is IMO that many Congress critters love to blame the Courts who “go too far”.

              IE The Congress critters would love to take the actions that the Courts “force them to do” but know that the voters can “vote them out of office” if they did.

              The Voters might hate the Courts but can’t vote Judges out of office.

              On the other hand, if the President & Congress ignored the Court’s decrees, what could the Courts do about it? 👿

              • “On the other hand, if the President & Congress ignored the Court’s decrees, what could the Courts do about it? 👿”

                That seems to depend on who is doing the ignoring. In some cases nothing, in other cases they charge them and take them to court. Which admittedly generally just involves a lot of smoke and spending of taxpayers dollars with nothing being accomplished.

  8. ” … endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

    I think this is most correct way to form government and eventually, maybe one or two thousand years from now, every State on Earth will be using it as basis for legitimacy.

    • The Declaration of Independence, United States Constitution, and United States Bill of Rights are the three most revolutionary documents of which I am aware. The Communist (and all other) Manifesto, by comparison, is same-old-same-old, meet the new boss.

      The Founders, despite their good intentions, found this very hard to live with, and started to weasel even before the ink was dry. As have all other American elites since.

  9. Pingback: I wish I had written that… | retiredmustang

  10. Yes, I know, it is normal for tyrants to declare you a foreign invader before they destroy you.

    Cf. Philip K. Dick, “Kill All Others” (of which the Amazon Electric Dreams series made excellent use).

  11. Johnny Bigodes

    Seeing “First Amendment rights” always makes me cringe. More than there for they’re.
    Portugal has governments that try to stay in power, and a great number of citizens who put all their efforts into staying off the books and under the radar. Or emigrating. Their government doesn’t take all their rights, though. Everyone who wants to can hunt, with only a half ream of documents. And if they tried to take away kitchen knives, they would be laughed off the stage.

  12. Agree with all of this.

    I think, for a certain degree of leftist, the death of millions is a feature, not a bug. They despise humanity, which I guess is why they believe humanity must be under their absolute control.

    (And how much of “despise humanity” comes from growing up as a bright Odd in a public school?)

    • tregonsee314

      LA May, it’s not humanity per se they hate. Rather I think many leftists view themselves as a natural nobility, aristoi vs hoi polloi, the enlightened vs the proletariat. How they refer to fly over country and breeders gives away their internal thoughts about those not of their “class”. They have almost as much concern for those lumpenproletariot as I do for the steer that provide the beef for my evening stew. And in fact I have more as it would pain me to know the animal was mistreated. If a few hundred (thousands, millions) need to go to provide for their needs why not? Certainly, they are worth more than any number of the little people. and one can’t make omelette’s without breaking a few eggs. The thing is that before, although in their heart of hearts they believed this some conscience or societal strings restrained them. When that constraint is removed like Stalin or Mao things get ugly indeed. Terrifyingly they seem to be undoing those restraints. Sadly not being historically educated they fail to see what happens in that kind of revolution. Sooner or later the monster starts eating eating itself. Unfortunately it usually takes many relative innocents down with it on the way.

  13. Heh. I’ve just been reminded that Social Justice was the newspaper published by Father Coughlin, the notorious pro-Hitler priest whose radio denunciations supported fascist policies.

    “His chief topics were political and economic rather than religious, with his slogan being “Social Justice”, initially in support of, and later opposing, the New Deal. … After the outbreak of World War II in Europe in 1939, the Roosevelt administration finally forced the cancellation of his radio program and forbade the dissemination through the mail of his newspaper, Social Justice.”
    per Wiki

  14. I don’t think there’s need for a word or fifty with the Almighty.
    Since white (and black and brown) Mormon males (and females), generally accept the notion that God established the Constitution of the United States by the hands of wise men whom he raised up to this very purpose, I count our hostess in good company. Whether she is one of those or not.

    Our part in the matter is to seek out good, honest, and wise men (or women) for public office. We may not find many paragons of virtue, but there are certain candidates that can easily be excluded, too many of them already incumbents…

    PS. I just got a campaign flyer from my current Congressional Representative, who is proudly advertising (at taxpayer expense, no less, or so the flyer itself informs me) his support for the ACA. He just recruited me for whoever his opposition is.

    • Our guy (Greg Walden, GOPe) is keeping a low profile. He sided with a guy for state senate, who ended up running as “a principled conservative”, who happened to switch parties to run as a Democrat in the general. Didn’t help either of them…

      Primary’s coming up. Might be fun.

    • FYI I’ve been assured that the science is settled, and I’m a white Mormon male.

  15. By the way, the British Health Care System finally succeeded in murdering Alfie Evans by neglect, indifference, and kidnapping today.

    • I don’t know what the Briton-on-the-street thinks about it, but it’s now and truly clear that HM Government has set itself up as the enemy of its own constituents.

      Denying the child medical assistance, they could have made fly. They’ve done similar things before. But preventing his parents from taking him out of the country to get care… that was murder, plain and simple.

      • It reminds one, it does, of the Bad Old Days of the Iron Curtain and the Berlin Wall, which was not build to keep Westerners out, but to keep East Berliners from leaving their socialist paradise. As the saying goes, If the NHS is so good, why are people trying to leave the system?

      • CAUTION: reading further may entail gnashing of teeth.

        Alfie Evans, Post Mortem
        “The father understandably . . . really has no clear plan,” Justice Eleanor Warwick King wrote on March 6 for a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales. She was referring to Tom Evans, the father of Alfie Evans, in the course of forbidding him to transfer his son from Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool to Bambino Gesù Pediatric Hospital in Rome. Bambino Gesù’s treatment plan entailed the possibility that if it failed the boy could be transferred again, to a Munich hospital where doctors were prepared to care for him. “On one level,” King continued, Tom Evans

        understands that neither Bambino Gesù nor Professor Hass in Munich are offering Alfie any hope for the future. The most they are offering is surgery in the form of a tracheostomy and gastrostomy, which would allow the possibility of his being ventilated at home, but that is not what the parents are asking for. It is clear and understandable that they have been unable to think through the disadvantages for them as a family to relocating either to Italy or Munich without the support of their extended families and unable to speak either language, in order to be able to spend Alfie’s last weeks or months in what they currently regard as a more empathetic environment. Mr Knafler [the family’s lawyer] was unable to help the court to understand why the father’s proposal involved Alfie being transferred to both Italy and Munich. [Emphasis added]

        The tone could hardly have been more patronizing. The father “really has no clear plan,” King wrote, before going on to spell it out: He wanted to take his son from (the apparently poisoned environment of) the NHS hospital in Liverpool to the Vatican hospital in Rome and then possibly to Munich.

        She wrote that he and Alfie’s mother “have been unable to think through” the inconvenience that their plan would entail, as if they would have been the first family in difficult circumstances to pack a suitcase and go to live in a country whose language they didn’t speak and where they could count on no financial aid from relatives either already there or in their country of origin. …

        [SNIP]

        You know the drill: She was only discharging her duty to ensure the child’s “best interest.” She wouldn’t let him go to Rome because he could have died on the plane en route, but she wouldn’t let him continue on life support either, because she deemed it “futile” in the face of his “inevitable death.” His father said, in effect, What’s to lose? If Alfie had to die somewhere, better on a flight to the Holy City, wouldn’t you say, than under the thumb of the National Health Service in Liverpool? Then King played the pain card, saying that Alfie might be capable of feeling it so no air travel on that account, though she quoted a doctor who said he probably wasn’t, and she forgot or passed over the widespread use of anesthesia, a word that occurs nowhere in her 16,000-word opinion. …

  16. Even if not watching, this sows distrust and makes it harder to organize any opposition. Just as we don’t adorn our cars with bumper stickers likely to make us targets, so the threat of monitoring makes us self monitor.

    Your Neighbor is Watching You
    By Sarah Hoyt
    Like most people of my generation, I read 1984 in my early teens, and was very impressed that “Big Brother is Watching You!” These many years later, the phrase still gives a shivery feeling.

    But in creating it, George Orwell applied a little bit of author ju-jitsu. He repeats so often that big brother is watching you that it takes thought and time to understand he’s sold us on the myth of the big brother which was a peculiar delusion of his characters and his whole world.

    The truth is that we don’t know if Big Brother even exists or ever existed. Those of us from countries that were more openly bombarded with Soviet Propaganda learned to read the presence or absence on the podium of this or that official and know who was alive and who was dead, despite official pronouncements. And even in Portugal, when I was six or so and Salazar suffered an accident/stroke and was supposedly fighting for his life, I remember my mother saying “He’s in deep freeze while the potential successors fight for primacy.” Note, I never forgot that. Even to my six-year-old self, it had the ring of truth.

    So I should have — but didn’t until years after my first read — have wondered if Big Brother existed, or if he had ever existed, or if he’d died long ago. And even if he was alive, well, and in charge, it didn’t mean the policies that randomly caught and destroyed people were his.

    Yes, yes, Mao and Stalin and yes, Hitler too, are responsible for some of the most heinous mass murders in the history of mankind, not only for their numbers, but for their revolting depersonalization of human beings, treating people as objects whose utility and right to exist would be decided by third parties. No, we’re not at home to “If only Stalin knew” or “Hitler was a poor fool who didn’t know the genocide perpetrated in his name.” They were in charge, they had visibility into the system. They knew.

    But the system was made vile and horrendous and (to the extent it was) efficient by the rest of the people. Not the evil sin-eater at the top, but everyone who followed orders, or who — even — found ways of ingratiating him or herself, or winning some kind of benefit from being extra-diligent in pursuing the regimes stated goals. …

  17. Pingback: LIFE IS BETTER HERE:  Life Liberty And the Pursuit of Happiness…. - Novus Vero

  18. Dear Sarah:
    I am a middle school teacher. I teach that our rights come from God, just as John Locke believed. I am SO heartened to read your latest posts. I stress to my students that WE employ our government officials. We do NOT work for them. We OWN the government. They do not own us. It is time for citizens to take back what is ours:
    1. Abolish the Department of Education.
    2. Complete a 100% audit of how our taxes are spent
    3. Abolish the Endowment for Arts.
    4. Put time limits and monetary limits on Federal assistance for the unemployed, including women.
    5. Screw the Teachers Unions. They do not work for “the children.” They work for more money for the teachers, regardless of their performance.
    …the list could go on and on. I AM concerned about the children. I do not want them growing up in a Leftist world. Thank you for letting us know how horrible it is to live under Big Brother.

    • Somewhat related, I saw a school district vehicle today. A suburban.

      Parked at a fast food place.

      And it belongs to a school district 150 miles away, and in another state…..

  19. @ 1:47 “For it is the doon of men that they forget.”

  20. ritchietheriveter

    The conventional wisdom is that it is only the Constitution that counts when it comes to governance, while the Declaration is ignored as anything more than nice words.

    I respectfully disagree, as I think you do from reading this, Sarah.

    The Constitution is the HOW of our governance. It codifies its detailed operating principles.

    The Declaration is the WHY … the mission statement, not only for our government, but for ANY legitimate human government. As such, it is a picture window into the thinking of our founding citizens, that led them to write that Constitution … especially when many of the same people were involved in its writing, and just a little over a decade after 04 July 1776.

    When I was getting my education back in the day, I learned that if you understand the fundamentals of a subject, you can usually derive the details during the test … but without that understanding, you will probably get the details wrong. The Declaration embodies those fundamentals; the “spirit of the law” while, the Constitution embodies the “letter of the law”; IMHO it is essential that the former be kept in mind when we interpret the latter.

    Particularly, here (with emphasis added):

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — THAT TO SECURE THESE RIGHTS, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their JUST powers from the consent of the governed,”

    Not just any powers that sound good, or even promote some “common good” … but JUST powers … powers that align with the reason a government is instituted: TO SECURE THESE RIGHTS.

    Even from a majority vote … let alone what an elite few deem today as a “common good” that just HAS to be imposed from the top down.

    If our government would focus upon its legitimate mission, and only exercise powers that are just in the light of that mission … and despite the desire of its operatives to “help” us, leave the rest of society to US to manage, as individuals and neighbors outside the coercive force of law … we would not have a LOT of the problems we have today.

    But for a century, we have been conditioned to defer to “experts” and “leaders” and outsource our responsibility and initiative for managing the rest of society to them … particularly government operatives, with their monopoly on both coercive force and the money-printing presses … and our elites have gladly filled the vacuum, all of us assuming that “experts” and “leaders” are functionally omniscient when they are anything but, for nothing less is required for the Progressive paradigm to work as advertised and still respect liberty.

    We have traded the birthright of liberty, for the “help” of a Cult of the Credentialed and Connected Omniscient. And not only is that the root of the problem … it makes US Part of The Problem, and until we acknowledge that and take charge of our lives (again), the decline of this nation will continue.

    • Regarding Experts–there are different varieties, which should have differing levels of credibility: The expertise of a *structural engineer* is more necessary and reliable than the expertise of an *economist* which is in turn more necessary and reliable than the expertise of a *sociologist* which is still more necessary and reliable than the expertise of a *Gender Studies professor*…

      • ritchietheriveter

        We often mis-utilize even the credible experts, who may have the subject matter down pat, but do not have the proximate insight that we ordinary folks have about our own situations.

        Instead of looking to them as advisers while retaining decision-making authority for ourselves, we assume that their role is to make our decisions FOR us, even though they don’t have that proximate insight … and outsource our decision-making authority and resources to them, in part because we believe we are also outsourcing our responsibility in these matters.

        In fact we assume that such outsourcing is imperative, because as non-“experts” we believe we have NO insight that could be applied to the problem at hand … even though in many cases, they can’t tell the individual apart from a hypothetical “average citizen”.

        The blind, leading those who have been persuaded that they have no sight, right into ditch after ditch … from the welfare state, to the housing crisis, to Obamacare. And they will lead us into an intergenerational decline, unless the very assumptions that empower them are fundamentally questioned by the rest of us.

        Here is a (probably incomplete) listing of those assumptions:

        ASSUMPTION ONE: also known as The Biggest Lie of All: All you need to do is show up for work or go to school; we have experts who have the answers to your housing needs, your health care needs, your financial needs … no need to plan for your future or actively manage your career, since we can do a better job than you can; just trust us to solve those problems FOR you.

        ASSUMPTION TWO: “Experts” and “leaders” are assumed to be functionally omniscient, to the degree that they can be trusted to make decisions for us at an individual level, better than we can ourselves

        ASSUMPTION THREE: Credentials, position, popularity, and presentation skills are reliable indicators of the intellect necessary to be an “expert” or “leader”. Conversely, the lack of such indicators is prima facie evidence of inferior intellect, and such a person and their ideas should be summarily dismissed as irrelevant to any discussion.

        ASSUMPTION FOUR: The “Non-profit” are inherently virtuous, while the for-profit can NEVER be trusted and must be highly restrained to protect the rest of us.

        ASSUMPTION FIVE: The opportunity for human error in decision-making can be diminished to practically zero, if enough rules are applied to “guide” that decision-making.

        ASSUMPTION SIX: Ordinary people neither have the resources, nor the intellect, nor the virtue, to help themselves – or each other – in the “right” ways. Only “experts” and “leaders” can provide such help, and should be empowered with the resources and monopoly on coercive force held by the government to do so.

        ASSUMPTION SEVEN: Establishing the “common good”, as defined at the current moment by our “experts” and “leaders”, is the primary mission of public institutions, particularly our government.

        These assumptions have been put in place over the last century, to the point that millions simply accept them as The Way Things Are and beyond rational challenge … and in the process, make those self-evident truths that we founded this nation to respect and protect, appear anachronistic and irrelevant.

        But they are killing our society, because they effectively unplug the distributed intellect and proximate insight of the vast majority of our citizens from the problem-solving effort … and diminish the secret sauce of all human advancement short of Divine intervention: the responsible exercise of individual initiative.

        • Then again, these assumptions have the effect of driving your business off a cliff, and making you vulnerable to being replaced by people who haven’t bought into that nonsense.
          Leaders aren’t exempt from this kind of thinking.
          Hillary ran her campaign on all those assumptions, and lost.

          • ritchietheriveter

            She isn’t the only one that clings to them, however.

            The GOPExpedient cling to them … as does the alt-Right in their desire for government-enforced protectionism … along with her Progressive allies.

            And even many who call themselves “mainstream conservatives” cling to significant portions of them … such as the status quo of Social Security and Medicare, and the reliance upon an income tax instead of a flat or consumption tax.

            All of the above, can’t bring themselves to think outside the Blue Box … and it may come to the point of What Can’t Go On, Won’t™ and the resultant pain to change that, I fear.

        • “ASSUMPTION FOUR: The “Non-profit” are inherently virtuous, while the for-profit can NEVER be trusted and must be highly restrained to protect the rest of us.”

          All too often, ‘Non-Profit’ means merely that there are no pesky shareholders with whom the loot must be shared.

          • Also that the folks who work there (not management) are either paid very badly, or not at all.

          • Yeah. I think it’s the other way around.

          • All too often, ‘Non-Profit’ means merely that there are no pesky shareholders
            with whom the loot must be shared demanding procedural rigor, auditing the books, demanding performance and a share of the loot.

            FIFY.

            With for-profit enterprises there are also far more governmental agencies monitoring compliance. If Bialystock & Bloom had operated Springtime for Hitler as a non-profit enterprise they’d have never had to answer to a single investor (it’s a grant, it’s for Art, you want to be a patron of the arts, don’cha?) and could probably have gotten grants from the city and state of New York. All while paying themselves handsomer salaries as directors of the not-for-profit than they could have drawn from a for-profit enterprise.

    • The cult of Science led us to believe that anything “rationally” concluded must be correct, and that everything is complicated enough that only an Expert in A can reliably “rationally conclude” about A.

      Experts are terribly useful. It was making them High Priests in the cult of Science that brought us to here and now.

  21. Governments rarely relinquish power. Rather, they seek to increase their own power for “the good of the people”. It is a slow process of increasing subjugation. We see today that Pelosi and Hoyer think it is fine for the party to rig the primaries taking the right of decision away from the members. That is just another example of the destruction of the individual by the governors.

    • Rose Wilder Lane: “Nobody can plan the actions of even a thousand living persons, separately. Anyone attempting to control millions must divide them into classes, and make a plan applying to these classes. But these classes do not exist. No two persons are alike. No two are in the same circumstances; no two have the same abilities; beyond getting the barest necessities of life, no two have the same desires.Therefore the men who try to enforce, in real life, a planned economy that is their theory, come up against the infinite diversity of human beings. The most slavish multitude of men that was ever called “demos” or “labor” or “capital” or”agriculture” or “the masses,” actually are men; they are not sheep. Naturally, by their human nature, they escape in all directions from regulations applying to non-existent classes. It is necessary to increase the number of men who supervise their actions. Then (for officials are human, too) it is necessary that more men supervise the supervisors.”

      and

      “If he wants to do good (as he sees good) to the citizens, he needs more power. If he wants to be re-elected, he needs more power to use for his party. If he wants money, he needs more power; he can always sell it to some eager buyer. If he wants publicity, flattery, more self-importance, he needs more power, to satisfy clamoring reformers who can give him flattering publicity.”

      https://chicagoboyz.net/archives/35432.html

  22. Years ago I worked for a company that was bought by a British company. I had always thought kindly of the British as being our ideological predecessors (Adam Smith, John Locke, and all that). As we were inundated with company newsletters touting Lord Heehaw, and Sir Sucksalot, I realized I actually am bigoted against the British and their ridiculous class system. I found myself thinking, “Didn’t we get rid of this nonsense over 200 years ago?” Gave me more respect for the Declaration and more worries about the self-anointed “elites” in this country.