Sunday, October 01, 2017

Government can't protect you from disaster

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for August 30, 2017)

Each time there's some potential calamity on the horizon, I hope people will have learned this truth from history: government can't protect you. I am usually disappointed. 

Whether it's a hurricane, blizzard, disease epidemic, economic collapse, or the aquifer running dry, your safety is not government's responsibility; it's yours. In most cases they couldn't solve the problem if they tried. All they can do is spend money which isn't theirs to spend, hold meetings so they'll appear to be doing something, and issue orders you're expected to obey.

Sometimes those orders are smart; other times, not so much. Occasionally, following their orders brings disaster.

With hurricanes, for example, be smart enough to evacuate if that's what you need to do. Be prepared in case you can't get out. Realize every decision has consequences.

Governments can't distinguish between clueless people too stupid to know when they should evacuate, and people who know what to expect and who have prepared by doing what they needed to do to be able to ride out the storm.

Granted, there are more of the former than of the latter. But sometimes the prepared are driven from their homes-- at gun point-- along with the foolish, and put in situations more dangerous than those they are forced to leave behind. All because someone believes they know what's best, and is willing to force their beliefs on others. One size fits all in the eyes of the State.

This is wrong, even if it's "for your own good".

I'm not suggesting people stay put, then call 911 as soon as they realize they've bitten off more than they can chew, expecting to be rescued. No one has the right to put others at risk simply because they're stubborn, or because they made a choice which didn't turn out like they expected. "Never before" doesn't mean it never will.

Life isn't simple. You have to do the work. Even if someone volunteers to do it for you, no one values your life as much as you. It's your job to live it and defend it. No one can be paid enough to care as much as you do. No one knows your situation better than you do. It's up to you, and if you are hoping someone else will save you from the dangers of the world, or from your own poor decisions, you may have an unpleasant shock in store. Plan ahead. Don't be caught off guard.

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Some things are constant

It's good to be open-minded and remember that you might be wrong.

However, it's not really necessary to constantly re-evaluate whether you have the right to archate.

I mean, if it makes you happy to keep ruminating on it, go ahead.

But, just like you don't need to wake up each morning and test to see whether a dropped egg will still fall, you don't need to wonder if it's still not within your rights to walk around shooting random people or walking into their houses and taking what you want.

Some mental exercises are probably a waste of time. (Yes, I know that's a shocking statement, coming from me.)

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