Wednesday, September 28, 2011


The federal government has attempted to be all things to everyone, and as a result it has become damn near useless to everyone, except the political class and the narrow interest groups they service

Do you own a Leatherman, a Gerber multi-tool or some other all-in-one gadget? They're pretty handy, especially when you're in the back forty and the carburetor needs an emergency adjustment, or you're out checking up on some remote equipment and end up having to fix something unexpectedly.

The pliers can double as a wrench, but you usually end up rounding off the bolt a little. The screwdriver will work in a pinch, so long as it doesn't fold up on you and pinch your finger or wreck the screw head because it's not exactly the right size... And the knife cuts pretty good while the rest of the tool cuts into your hand as you use it, and same for the file, saws, awls, openers and other gadgets these tools have incorporated into themselves.

Federal Government:  Multi-Tool Failure
Over the past half-century, Washington has insinuated itself into a thousand-and-one decisions that individuals or local governments are more than capable of making for themselves.
Which medicines can you buy? How efficient should your light bulbs be? Can your children’s school day begin with a prayer? Who qualifies for a mortgage? When do unemployment benefits run out? Can you pay an employee $5 an hour if that’s what his labor is worth? Should abortions be restricted? Is health insurance optional? Do artists or farmers or broadcasters require subsidies? Are you in charge of your retirement income? (Jeff Jacoby)
Mentioning the Enumerated Powers elicits titters among the sophisticated class, and that's too bad. Toqueville admired our ability to order our own lives at the local and personal level without the aid of an overweening government at every turn.
In Federalist No. 45, James Madison emphasized that, under the Constitution, the powers of the federal government “are few and defined,’’ while those left to state and local communities “are numerous and indefinite.’’ For the first 150 years or so of US history that was largely the case. But New Deal and Great Society liberalism has turned the framers’ careful arrangement inside out. Today, there is almost nothing in American life that Washington does not consider itself fit to regulate, control, ban, tax, or mandate. (Jeff Jacoby)
The Federal Government has gone from a beautiful, narrowly-focused instrument into a horribly bulky multi-use tool with 10 bajillion gadgets that tears your pockets open, injures you every time you try to use it, and is so damned bulky it cannot be employed for its intended purpose.


LD Jackson said...

I can't express how strongly I feel that you are right on target with this post. The federal government has long overstepped it's boundaries and it seems there are precious few Americans willing to call them out on that. The last thing we need is for the federal government to tell us what to do, yet that seems to be their first and only answer to any and all problems.

Speedy G said...

Government is the tool of choice when "expediency" is required... but if its' NOT, we should NEVER let the government do it. The myth of the Adminstrators of the Commons always exposes the lie... for their are no "good" administrators of the commons. They will ALWAYS become corrupt.

THAT is why we limit terms and rotate offices. We don't "suspend Democracy" to accomodate administrative incompetence, lest that incompetence be made PERMANENT.

Unknown said...

The EPA is probably the most abusive Federal agency with in the Federal Government, IMO.

All spot on here, Silver.

Anonymous said...

What kills me is that some people actually believe that the solution to faulty human institutions is to regulate them with more faulty human institutions.

Ducky's here said...

Which medicines can you buy?

Do you think drugs shouldn't be tested and controlled? Why?

How efficient should your light bulbs be?


Can your children’s school day begin with a prayer?

Why do hate the Constitution?

Who qualifies for a mortgage?
Where you awake for most of the decade? This is an insane statement from the punk Jacoby.

When do unemployment benefits run out?
They should be perpetual?

This is all boilerplate and more proof that Libertarianism is little but applied autism.

Anonymous said...

An excellent analogy, my friend. The Jacoby quote is right on. We are becoming no different than a third world nation where everyone has their hand out and are waiting for government to make their lives better. Our culture is broken.

Anonymous said...

A clever analogy -- and apt -- but we never seem to get to why and how our thinking -- and our values -- have changed so dramatically as to permit our current problems to arise.

"The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.

... We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized.

Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society.

... In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons ... who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses.

It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind."

- Edward L. Bernays (the father of modern advertising), 1928.

We've been duped by masters of manipulation into ceding our individual strength to a collective conceived by the manipulators.

I believe that has happened, because those who would reinvent us to suit themselves have succeeded in glorifying perversion of every sort. They have made what-used-to-be-regarded-as sin respectable, admirable, desirable -- even necessary.

They have done this by relentlessly appealing to our basest instincts.

~ FreeThinke

Z said...

Excellent analogy; and all those little edges on that knife are SHARP and WILL cut us, one way or the other; they're cutting into the fabric of our country already.
They've already cut most of the brains out of our children in public schools with leftwinger entitlement pushing teachers. sad

Finntann said...

Yeah Ducky, we're nothing but a few autistics trapped in a mob of retards.

Do you think the FDA is the only agency competent to determine if drugs are safe for human consumption and if so, why? Hell, do you even think the FDA is competent? God forbid we be able to choose to buy European or Canadian drugs.

The problem is you equate drug deregulation with allowing Bubba to sell home-made heart medicine out of the trunk of his car at a flea market. Who's irrational there?

Lightbulbs? Hell! Why stop there?

Central Air: 6000 watts
Window A/C: 1300 watts
Coffeemaker: 1200 watts
Clothes Dryer: 6000 watts
Dishwasher: 200 watts
Tower PC: 250 watts
Flatscreen TV: 150 watts

Got central air? Then STFU, I don't want to hear shit about carbon emissions and light bulbs out of you.

Mortgages? Prior to 1989 the median downpayment was 20% by 2007 it was 9% and in 2007 45% of first time buyers put no money down.

Prior to 1989 the leverage ratio for first time buyers was 10-1, by 2007 it had gone up to 50-1.

So what? you're claiming that the relaxation of qualification standards had nothing to do with the bust?

I got new for you, most people who put 20% down are neither underwater nor delinquent.

Prayer? Funny how those of you so enamoured of "shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion" can pretty much ignore the rest of the sentence "or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"

Me, I'm not overly religious, don't believe staff should be permitted to lead a class in prayer, yet have always thought that comparative theology should be a required course curriculum.

I find it incomprehensible that progressives think it perfectly rationale to permit a student club promoting a homosexual lifestyle, yet prohibit religious students the same freedom, or prohibit a student from invoking a personal experience or belief in god in a commencement speech.

The separation of church and state is good thing, unfortunately what we have today isn't separation, but elimination, and the Christian right is just as guilty as the Progressive left.

Unemployment benefits? How about a workfare program instead of a welfare program? Six months unemployment benefits and then you go into a workfare program. Sound fair?

Boilerplate proof that progressives are just overcompensating for a lack of parental attention in their youth, substituting Uncle Sam to fill that aching void left in their lives.

Problem is, after 100 years, your progressive progeny are no longer capable of rational self-government.


Anonymous said...

I neglected to add that the manipulators have constantly abused provisions in the Constitution to further their own ends.

Whenever you see questions such as "Why do you hate the Constitution?" applied to complaints about The Willful Destruction of Cherished American Traditions by government edict, you should realize you are in the presence of someone whose mind has been captured and rendered useless by The Manipulators.

The First Amendment is both the Strength and the Achilles Heel of our system. The preservation of our Founders' Intent depends on the vigilant participation in affairs of state by highly moral men of conscience, good taste, good sense and good breeding. They never intended us to become a Peasantocracy.

Sadly, it is the will -- and the foul taste and vile inclinations -- of the Lowest of the Low that have delivered us into the hands of The Oligarchs.

~ FreeThinke

Z said...

WOW, Finntann...AMEN to ALL of that. Thanks for the clear thinking.......

Anonymous said...

What the advocates of Government Domination of the formerly Private Sector never seem to understand is this:

With the exception of Abraham Lincoln's Civil War the emergence of "Big Government," as we know it today, arrived with TR's much-vaunted role as The Trust Buster.

Government took it upon itself in the person of Teddy Roosevelt to declare the power of Big Business a Threat, and then sold us on the idea of Government as Our Protector from the Evil Power of Monopolies.

Once we succumbed to this notion, the nation never realized that Government, ITSELF, is the biggest monopoly of all, and that once we cede power to the government to interfere in private business and other private matters, we have ceded our sacred Liberty to an increasingly fearful Master.


~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

"What kills me is that some people actually believe that the solution to faulty human institutions is to regulate them with more faulty human institutions."

Brilliant! Hits the nail right on the head.

Kudos to Jack Camwell for a succinct statement of clear-headed vision!

You bolstered the very point I've been trying to make all morning in my meandering fashion.

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

Sad to say, but this is how all great Republics and civilizations end. Can we learn from History? I doubt it, since no one knows much about American History. Take a look at the Greeks, the Romans for starters. They decayed from within. We have met the enemy, and it is us.

Ducky's here said...

Well Finntann, the flaw in the ridiculous analogy you make is that the bulb replacement doesn't cost you any functionality. You lose nothing.

Always remember, applied autism.

Silverfiddle said...

Weak, Ducky, weak... You're embarrassing yourself.

The point is, nobody has the right to come into my home and mandate such minutiae.

Always remember, applied statism.

Cheered on by goosestepping useful idiots

Jersey McJones said...


The federal - and local ans state - gov't regulates all sorts of things in your home, including the very materials your home is made of!

What strikes me about most of your list of complaints is that tey are petty, pointless, and/or just not well-thought-out.

Take that silliness about prayer in school.

If you're a Catholic kid in a Protestant-majority school, or the Jew in a mostly Catholic school, or a Hindi in a majority Jewish school, it would probably be more apparent to you why prayer in public schools is stupid and divisive. Kids have a hard enough time scoializing and assimilating and finding their cliche and niche. Why do you want to make that more difficult?

It's just sooooo obviously stupid.

Besides, if the schools want to take taxpayers money than they can't proselyze in the schools.

This should be Common Sense 101 in action.

And the gov't doesn't deternmine which medicines you buy, unless you mean allowing pharmacies to sell untested, dangerous chemicals to morons!

And the gov't doesn't decide who qualifies for a mortgage!

In these two instances, I have to wonder if you have a clue in the world what you're even complaining about!

(and what's going on with Les - did he ban me? Could you find out?)


Silverfiddle said...

Sure Jersey. Government in every corner of our lives is working out so well. Keep smoking that hopium!

If you are offended by a Hindu prayer there's no hope for you.

Silverfiddle said...

"The federal - and local ans state - gov't regulates all sorts of things in your home, including the very materials your home is made of!"

Fat lot of good that did keeping the poisoned drywall out!

You're helping to prop up a rotten, failed model. Congratulations.

Ducky's here said...

Yeah the poisoned drywall, a "free trade" special.

Another gift of Libertarianism.

Silverfiddle said...

A government that adhered to libertarian principles would never call trade "free" when conducted with money manipulators.

Further, a libertarian government would not have chased all the jobs to China.

Nice try

Jersey McJones said...

Silver, the government in many ways is ubiquitous in our our lives but is certainly not "in every corner of our lives."

It is ubiquitous in that there are laws and regulations and departments and agencies that check our goods at the borders, make sure the food supply is safe, make sure the transportation system is safe, keep an eye on foodborn ailments, and on and on and on - and that's just food!

Just the same, here in America, you can go to your local grocery store and choose from a wider variety of products than sold anywhere in the world. Rather than "telling you what to eat," our regulatory system ensures a safe market for far more consumer choices and entrepreneurial opportunity than a lawless market could possibly enable.

Sure enough, the congress looted Obama's food safety spending, and sure enough listeria is currently on the loose, and beef is being recalled. Great job.

You want to talk about "failure"???

There's your ideology in failure for all to see.


Hugh Farnham said...

I would like Libtards to run a real manufacturing business like I do. Then try to justify the intrusive nanny/police state.

The crush of regulation is one reason I only hire contractors. Instead of more employees, I make bigger machinery. I'm located in an area that bureaucrats tread very lightly. Libtards: this is due to YOUR nanny state.

Like lemmings who overpopulate their environment and then run over a cliff to regain natural balance, we will see these alphabet soup agency bureaucrats wither away - there's no money left!

Finntann said...

Ducky, the flaw in your ridiculous statement is you believe the functionality of a CFL the same as a traditional incandescent.

I believe you mentioned previously that you were a graphic artist? And you are telling me that spectrally, incandescents and CFLs are functionally equivalent?

The spectrum of colors produced by incandescent lights is continuous, more similar to that which is produced by the sun, and incandescent lights transmit more red wavelengths than fluorescent light.

Fluorescent lights transmit more blue wavelengths than incandescent light, so they have a slightly different tinge.

A fluorescent light, however, has sudden spikes in intensity between wavelengths on the visible spectrum because it produces light differently than an incandescent light. Though a fluorescent light source produces light that is less similar to natural light than that of an incandescent light, it consumes less electricity to produce the same amount of light.

You'd think an artist would appreciate that.


Finntann said...

Jersey, what corner of your life is government not currently involved?

Silverfiddle said...

Finn: Here's one even crazier...

@Jersey: make sure the food supply is safe


I guess Jersey doesn't read the news.

Also, it is the mark of a leftist to think businesses would poison us if not for the government. Yeah, killing your customers and making them sick is the sure road to fame and fortune!

Ducky's here said...

Actually Flinnflan, I'm a film editor. This effects nothing.

All of a sudden you don't think successful contractors know what effects them. Please stop.

Silverfiddle said...


A film editor?

Totally unrelated question: Which home computer film editing software would you recommend?

I used Pinnacle Studio for a few years with great results until I upgraded to 10 (I think), when it crapped all over me.

I switched to Roxio, which did a serviceable job, but I haven't done any editing for a few years since I got all the old VHS movies converted.

I want to buy another authoring program, have read reviews, but people seem to dump all over all of them. Any suggestions?

Ducky's here said...

Apple's Final Cut system is very good.

I'm not sure why Pinnacle crapped on you, it's also not a bad package. I believe they are at Release 16.

I use an Avid setup.

I also do "real" film work. Celluloid restoration.

Jersey McJones said...

"Finntann said...
Jersey, what corner of your life is government not currently involved?

9/28/11 6:53 PM
Silverfiddle said...
Finn: Here's one even crazier...

@Jersey: make sure the food supply is safe


I guess Jersey doesn't read the news.

Also, it is the mark of a leftist to think businesses would poison us if not for the government. Yeah, killing your customers and making them sick is the sure road to fame and fortune!

9/28/11 6:55 PM"

"Sure enough, the congress looted Obama's food safety spending, and sure enough listeria is currently on the loose, and beef is being recalled. Great job.

You want to talk about "failure"???

There's your ideology in failure for all to see.


9/28/11 5:57 PM"

They cut food safety spending by 85,000,000 dollars. Listeria and bad meat are in the market right now.

Get with reality, man.


Silverfiddle said...

Ducky: Thanks for the advice.

Jersey: Thanks for the laugh. Yeah, those farmers are just chomping at the bit to poison America now that those mean rethugs cut one-tenth of one percent out of the budget!

Jersey McJones said...

They cut 8.7% from the Food Safety and Inspoection Service - whose job it is to keep friggin' listeria out of the grocery stores.

Farmers do not want to poison people, but in real life, and not libertarian fantasy land, it happens and it happens a lot. I wonder how you'd feel if a loved one of your's died from this listeria outbreak (God forbid). I wonder if you'd still be floating around in libertarian fantasy land.

What you're saying sounds like a father of a family saying, "What's the big deal, I only cut 1% out of the family budget?!?!," and his wife says, "Yeah, but that 1% was junior's epipen, and he just got stung by a bee." Then she'd say, "You f'n moron."


Anonymous said...

The human race survived and achieved many great ad wonderful things in tens of thousands of years without having to deal with Listeria Hysteria and the like.

Leftist's just love to generate consternation, so they can swoop in a take over in the pretense of alleviating public anxiety which THEY have been largely responsible for generating.

Remember the Alar Scare -- the Toxic Grape Fiasco? Remember when Chickens were loudly denounced as potential Instruments of Death?

To leftists everything is a Potential Plague waiting to destroy life on earth as we've known it, and only THEY know what to do to protect us and save us from certain Death.


The Myth of Manmade Global Warming comes from the same political Chamber Pot.

Liberty trumps safety every single time.

Only those who gladly embrace a life of penal servitude would have us think otherwise.

~ FreeThinke