Category Archive 'Government'
29 Apr 2020

Roger Scruton Quotation

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State solutions are imposed from above; they are often without corrective devices, and cannot easily be reversed on the proof of failure. Their inflexibility goes hand in hand with their planned and goal-directed nature, and when they fail, the efforts of the state are directed not to changing them but to changing people’s belief that they have failed.

-– Roger Scruton

21 Apr 2020

A Texas Grocery Chain Outperformed Hospitals and World Governments

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Pacific Legal Foundation:

Since early March, grocery shoppers across the country have faced empty shelves, long lines, and watchful guards enforcing government rules. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans are dealing with shortages of staples like flour, yeast, and (inexplicably) toilet paper in our once-well-stocked stores. The government response to the pandemic has been sluggish, with piecemeal shelter in place orders, abysmal testing capabilities, and disrupted supply chains. It seems like no one, from grocery stores to the federal government, was prepared for this crisis.

Except in Texas.

While government is way behind the curve, the San Antonio-based grocery chain HEB is leading the way in keeping Texans supplied with the items they need.

For those unfamiliar with this beloved Texas grocery chain, some background: Founded in the small town of Kerrville in 1905, today H-E-B employs over 116,000 employees and operates more than 400 stores across Texas and Mexico, making it the largest private employer in Texas. It is the dominant grocery store chain in south and central Texas, and in some smaller towns, the only grocery store for miles.

But in a state with its share of natural disasters, H-E-B is also a key player in disaster response. From hurricanes to wildfires, H-E-B’s emergency response teams show up with mobile kitchens, pharmacies, water tankers, and other vital services to help hard-hit communities. For example, when Hurricane Harvey left the city of Beaumont without drinking water and FEMA said it couldn’t get through, the city’s leaders called H-E-B. Within a few hours, a fleet of H-E-B trucks was plowing through two feet of flood waters, with the senior vice president of supply chain in the lead truck, to deliver trailer-loads of water to the stricken city.

But H-E-B is ready for much more than hurricanes. A recent Texas Monthly article highlights just how prepared H-E-B was to confront the current COVID-19 crisis. The company, which employs a full-time director of Emergency Preparedness and has an emergency operations center standing ready, has had a pandemic and influenza plan in place since 2005. H-E-B keeps emergency supplies staged at every warehouse, ready to go when needed. While the federal government did not declare COVID-19 a national emergency until March 13, H-E-B’s team had been watching the virus’ progression since early January as it began to impact Chinese suppliers, and implemented its pandemic emergency plan on February 2. H-E-B kept in close contact with retailers and suppliers in China, and later Italy and Spain, to learn from their experiences as the virus and subsequent lockdowns overtook their countries.

Thanks to its advance preparation, H-E-B has been able to shift production, get creative with suppliers, and help ensure that the most-needed products are making it to the shelves (although they’re just as perplexed as the rest of us about the run on toilet paper). It hasn’t been perfect—some products are still hard to find, and social distancing requirements can mean lines out the door—but overall, most shoppers are getting what they need. H-E-B’s initiative and foresight should be celebrated, and businesses across the country should be empowered to emulate H-E-B’s example.

H-E-B’s COVID-19 response shows how nimble private companies perform better than the government behemoth, especially during crisis. H-E-B is above all a business, and businesses make money by offering things people want to buy. If H-E-B can’t supply the products its customers want, like eggs, milk, and paper towels, then it won’t survive.

And you don’t have to do business with them unless you want to, and they do not tax you or tell you what to do.

13 Apr 2020

Five Lessons To Be Learned

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M. Brandon Godbey identifies what Americans ought to learn from the COVID-19 national freakout.

1) Incompetent bureaucracy: The CDC and FDA played hot potato with the COVID Crisis for months without any coherent strategy. It seems like the more government agencies become involved in the process the more muddled our future becomes. We have found that the medical bureaucracy, like all bureaucracies, eventually falls victim to entropy. At some unknown point in the last 20 years, it stopped functioning as a legitimate source of medical leadership. Today, it is a mass of purposeless tentacles that primarily exists for the sake of self-perpetuation.

2) The Corruption of “Experts“: Since the way to big money in the sciences is through government grants, the way you “hit it big” in science isn’t by finding empirical truth, it’s by repeating opinions that politicians want to hear. We have thus created a generation of quasi-scientists that feed off the government teat with the tenacity of even the worst parasites. When stressed by the pandemic, this system quickly devolved into competing scientific factions, each one pitching their own version of a doomsday scenario for the sake of money, prestige, and sheer professional vanity.

3) Feckless Politicians: Instead of leading in a time of crisis, governors and mayors are taking the path that absolves them from guilt instead what is best for citizens. Constantly in reelection mode, they make choices based on what they might be blamed for instead of what is right. When decisions are made through the “reelect me at all cost” framework, civil right quickly go out the window. Last night, my own governor reassured the Commonwealth of Kentucky that he was perfectly willing to use Gestapo tactics to record the licence plate numbers of those that attend Easter services and effectively put them under house arrest. Other governors have behaved in a similar manner, each one trying to one-up their neighbor.

4) Our Decadent Society: We have become a tragically unserious people, obsessed with celebrity and sorely lacking in critical thinking skills. Social media algorithms have spoon-fed us our own views over and over again. Mass media feeds our inherent cognitive biases, facilitating a surreal kind of mass paralysis that consists of one part hysteria and one part blind submission. We have become the grotesque inhabitants of the mindless hive from E.M. Forester’s imagination. The lessons of history lost on us, we behave like sheep walking to the slaughter, bleating in unison.

5) We are Coddled and Soft: Our lives are easy, and many of us have become detached from the world of hard-working men and women that make our lives possible. We want the truckers to deliver our food and the servers to bring it to us, but we gleefully clap when the economy that supports them is torn asunder. Our general lack of understanding of the collaborative nature of macroeconomics is appalling. Products arrive at our doorstep; food appears in front of us; entertainment is provided in multiple forms at any time or place. Yet the processes by which these miracles are created are so remote and alien to us that we are perfectly willing to watch them burn to satisfy our busybody natures.

RTWT

27 Mar 2020

“Government Accidentally Shuts Itself Down With Ban On Non-Essential Businesses”

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Babylon Bee (the new paper of record):

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congress has asked all non-essential businesses to limit their hours or close entirely for an undetermined amount of time.

But this shutdown mistakenly shut down the most non-essential entity of all: the government. For a brief period of time, all government in the United States was illegal, since it is completely non-essential to everything.

RTWT

Floreat Anarchia! Ewige Bumenkraft!

18 Nov 2019

The Lost Gold of Monterey Bay

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You got lucky and stumbled upon a fabulously valuable treasure of gold, then you learned that you were unlucky enough to live in a time and place so hedged round everywhere with rules and regulations that you could never even try to recover that treasure. All you can do is tell your sad, sad story to the SF Chronicle

One night five years ago, fisherman Giuseppe Pennisi was lying in bed with his laptop propped up on his barrel chest, reviewing video footage captured from his 76-foot boat, the Pioneer. The boat is a bottom trawler. It scoops up fish with a net that bounces across the seafloor at depths of more than 4,000 feet. A tinkerer, Pennisi likes to keep GoPro cameras attached to the net, allowing him to study the footage and improve his technique. That night, around 2 a.m., he noticed his camera slide past something unusual.

Along the murky seafloor, fish and rocks come in rounded shapes and soft colors, muted grays and greens. His eyes were attuned to this drab underwater landscape, which is why he had been puzzled by brief flashes of light on the video screen, shiny surfaces glimmering by. Then he saw it: a rectangular object, sharp-edged and pale, almost white, with a tinge of yellow.

It was September 2014, and Pennisi, who goes by Joe, was 50 years old, with four decades of fishing behind him. He had sailed on commercial boats since he was 7; his father and grandfather had towed their nets in the same waters for more than a century. He had never seen anything like the object in the video. Still, Joe sensed immediately what it might be. His net often got caught on the rotting underwater husks of old ships wrecked just beyond the Golden Gate, and he knew that some of those ships — Spanish galleons, Gold Rush-era steamers — had carried treasure.

He rewound the video, peered forward and froze the frame with the yellow rectangular object. It looked for all the world like a gold bar, an ingot. For a few minutes, he stared at it while his wife, Grazia, slept beside him.

Then he started to scream.

RTWT

18 Sep 2019

America When My Family First Arrived Versus Today

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Clifford A. Brown, at Ricochet:

Collecting Taxes

About $6.23 [$147 in 2016 dollars]: The amount of state and local government taxes collected per person in 1880.

About $4,951: The amount of state and local government taxes collected per person in 2016.

Note that these are not federal tax dollars, but the real growth in the scope of state and local government. In part, federal taxes could not be compared across the same interval as “per person” because the federal income tax was not ratified until 1913. This points to all of us, collectively, voting over and over again for more and more government at every level, in contradiction to the basic assumptions expressed by both sides of the debate back in 1787-1789. We may truly get the government for which we vote!

RTWT

Add the roughly 40% of your income you pay to the Federal Government if you are even moderately successful in life. And don’t forget to add in your own currently $67,000 share in the Federal Debt.

23 Aug 2019

Old Ranchers Know Better

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Via Bob Golden:

An old rancher went to a town hall meeting. The local politician was there to talk about the latest Ag legislation he proposed. The politician talked about grazing, property rights, irrigation, and how the government could help the generational ranchers of the area.

After listening to the impassioned promises put forth by the politician, the old rancher raised his hand to ask a question.
Seeing that he had the attention of the weathered old rancher, and thinking he could score some points, the politician took the old man’s question….

Old man: “Senator, did you know that cows, horses and goats eat the same feed?”

Senator: “Yes sir, everybody knows that!”

Old man: “Then senator, can you tell me why cows poop patties, horses poop cubes, and goats poop pellets?”

Senator: “How would I know the reason for such a simple thing like poop?”

Old man: “Then senator, can you tell me how a man who doesn’t know shit, can help me run my ranch?”

12 Aug 2019

.45-70 Government

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18 Oct 2018

Tweet of the Day

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18 May 2018

“Will These Bastards Ever Stop? Is There Anything They Won’t Tax?”

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21 Feb 2018

The Politician’s Syllogism

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03 Dec 2017

Carlyle On Government

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Thomas Carlyle 1795-1881

LATTER-DAY PAMPHLETS.by Thomas Carlyle NO. I. THE PRESENT TIME. [February 1, 1850.]:

I say, it is the everlasting privilege of the foolish to be governed by the wise; to be guided in the right path by those who know it better than they. This is the first “right of man;” compared with which all other rights are as nothing,—mere superfluities, corollaries which will follow of their own accord out of this; if they be not contradictions to this, and less than nothing! To the wise it is not a privilege; far other indeed. Doubtless, as bringing preservation to their country, it implies preservation of themselves withal; but intrinsically it is the harshest duty a wise man, if he be indeed wise, has laid to his hand. A duty which he would fain enough shirk; which accordingly, in these sad times of doubt and cowardly sloth, he has long everywhere been endeavoring to reduce to its minimum, and has in fact in most cases nearly escaped altogether. It is an ungoverned world; a world which we flatter ourselves will henceforth need no governing. On the dust of our heroic ancestors we too sit ballot-boxing, saying to one another, It is well, it is well! By inheritance of their noble struggles, we have been permitted to sit slothful so long. By noble toil, not by shallow laughter and vain talk, they made this English Existence from a savage forest into an arable inhabitable field for us; and we, idly dreaming it would grow spontaneous crops forever,—find it now in a too questionable state; peremptorily requiring real labor and agriculture again. Real “agriculture” is not pleasant; much pleasanter to reap and winnow (with ballot-box or otherwise) than to plough!

Who would govern that can get along without governing? He that is fittest for it, is of all men the unwillingest unless constrained. By multifarious devices we have been endeavoring to dispense with governing; and by very superficial speculations, of laissez-faire, supply-and-demand, &c. &c. to persuade ourselves that it is best so. The Real Captain, unless it be some Captain of mechanical Industry hired by Mammon, where is he in these days? Most likely, in silence, in sad isolation somewhere, in remote obscurity; trying if, in an evil ungoverned time, he cannot at least govern himself. The Real Captain undiscoverable; the Phantasm Captain everywhere very conspicuous:—it is thought Phantasm Captains, aided by ballot-boxes, are the true method, after all. They are much the pleasantest for the time being! And so no Dux or Duke of any sort, in any province of our affairs, now leads: the Duke’s Bailiff leads, what little leading is required for getting in the rents; and the Duke merely rides in the state-coach. It is everywhere so: and now at last we see a world all rushing towards strange consummations, because it is and has long been so!

I do not suppose any reader of mine, or many persons in England at all, have much faith in Fraternity, Equality and the Revolutionary Millenniums preached by the French Prophets in this age: but there are many movements here too which tend inevitably in the like direction; and good men, who would stand aghast at Red Republic and its adjuncts, seem to me travelling at full speed towards that or a similar goal! Certainly the notion everywhere prevails among us too, and preaches itself abroad in every dialect, uncontradicted anywhere so far as I can hear, That the grand panacea for social woes is what we call “enfranchisement,” “emancipation;” or, translated into practical language, the cutting asunder of human relations, wherever they are found grievous, as is like to be pretty universally the case at the rate we have been going for some generations past. Let us all be “free” of one another; we shall then be happy. Free, without bond or connection except that of cash-payment; fair day’s wages for the fair day’s work; bargained for by voluntary contract, and law of supply-and-demand: this is thought to be the true solution of all difficulties and injustices that have occurred between man and man.

To rectify the relation that exists between two men, is there no method, then, but that of ending it? The old relation has become unsuitable, obsolete, perhaps unjust; it imperatively requires to be amended; and the remedy is, Abolish it, let there henceforth be no relation at all. From the “Sacrament of Marriage” downwards, human beings used to be manifoldly related, one to another, and each to all; and there was no relation among human beings, just or unjust, that had not its grievances and difficulties, its necessities on both sides to bear and forbear. But henceforth, be it known, we have changed all that, by favor of Heaven: “the voluntary principle” has come up, which will itself do the business for us; and now let a new Sacrament, that of Divorce, which we call emancipation, and spout of on our platforms, be universally the order of the day!—Have men considered whither all this is tending, and what it certainly enough betokens? Cut every human relation which has anywhere grown uneasy sheer asunder; reduce whatsoever was compulsory to voluntary, whatsoever was permanent among us to the condition of nomadic:—in other words, loosen by assiduous wedges in every joint, the whole fabric of social existence, stone from stone: till at last, all now being loose enough, it can, as we already see in most countries, be overset by sudden outburst of revolutionary rage; and, lying as mere mountains of anarchic rubbish, solicit you to sing Fraternity, &c., over it, and to rejoice in the new remarkable era of human progress we have arrived at.

via The Framed Maelstrom.

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