Libertarian Commentary on the News, 31 AUG 2015, #15-35A: Government failures highlighted

By Nathan Barton

Last week’s crash of a classic jet fighter during an air show in England, killing a number of people on the A27, is far from the worst of problems for that highway, according to the Guardian.  Dozens of people are killed each year on the dangerous and heavily traveled highway, apparently in large part due to failure of the government agencies to properly maintain and operate it, much less build it to safe standards.  It is one more example of government failing to do a job that people claim HAS to be a government function.  Private roads would not be perfect – nothing human is.  But surely even a modicum of competition and fair pricing for demand would go a long way to ending problems like this.  I am reminded of dangerous stretches of highway in California (the infamous US-101 south of San Francisco Bay comes to mind) and how government for decades has been unable to properly operate those highways.

Some people are trying to do something about Hillary Clinton’s running for president.  Two examples have crossed my desk today.  The first, ironically enough, involves dead “Democratic voters,” three of which (according to Personal Liberty) requested in their obituaries or funeral notices, “In lieu of flowers, don’t vote for Hillary.”  The second, as reported by Steve, is an effort by a guy named Mike Kemp ( urging people to remind politicians and DoJ district attorneys of 18 USC 101 Section 2071 which requires fines or up to three years in prison AND disqualification from holding office for anyone concealing, removing or mutilating any government record.

Okay, she has pretty clearly done this, and certainly she is not connecting with the “old fogey” over-50 crowd.  But it is still mind boggling to think that people seriously believe that a campaign that amounts to “friends don’t let friends vote for Hillary,” much less an appeal to the Department of Justice, post-Holder, to uphold federal law, are going to do ANYTHING.  Hillary is EXACTLY what government has been leading to (the same thing can be said of Sanders or even Trump, much less Jeb Bush or Chris Christie) for decades: figureheads/tyrants to front for those who want power, more wealth, and hate liberty, free people, and those who do not treat them as gods.  Government, in their view, does not provide services. It is power and control, and its various functions are mere excuses for that power; window-dressing.

An example of exercising that power in extremely stupid ways is the current binge of renaming landmarks.  CNS News reports that the squatter at 1600 PA has decided, using his great power, that Mount McKinley, North America’s highest peak, in Alaska, must have the name of a former president (another “dead white guy”) removed, and the ancient “native American” name reinstated.  Of course, you must ask WHICH ancient name. According to the anthropologists, virtually EVERY AmerInd and Aleut tribe has gone past Mt. McKinley at one time or another as part of the migration which occupied all of the Americas.  Of course, it is the current “claimants” that are tapped for the name. (The choice is Athabascan, “Denali” – “the high one,” long a nickname even by English speakers.)  But it is the arrogance of government – especially the FedGov and the current regime – that is the news story here.  And the political partisan ship, since it goes without saying that McKinley was a Republican, and also from Ohio and assassinated in office (to be replaced by the GOP Progressive Teddy Roosevelt).  Who gave the FedGov, much less the claimed “POTUS” the power to rename ANYthing? But government must constantly claim more power over everything, lest it start to slide back.

Mama’s Note: Some controversy right near here with attempts to rename “Devil’s Tower” in NE Wyoming. Thing is, aside from the folks fighting over it, I don’t know anyone who really cares what it is called. In a free country, the name would be determined by whomever OWNED the property, of course. When “the people” (ultimately the government) are presumed to own the land, it’s no wonder there is a constant war over such things.

Of course, government is not the ONLY institution to fail to perform its so-called essential functions.  Welcome to the Twilight Zone.  The Salt Lake Tribune, originally established to combat the evil Church of Jesus Christ, Latter-day Saints and its hideous polygamy, is now supporting, tacitly, polygamous marriage, for the same reasons that it promotes and openly supports homosexual “same-sex marriage,” claiming that it promotes liberty. Funny, I have this bizarre idea it is just because it lets them continue to oppose the LDS. Never mind other logic or truth or honest reporting- attack, attack, attack!

For the past few weeks, a mini-tempest-in-a-teapot has been brewing in Denver, as reported by Vision to America.  The Denver City Council, ever mindful of their duty to “protect” minorities, and especially the homosexual-“same-sex marriage” community (a tiny minority of a tiny minority) is refusing to allow Chick-Fil-A to open a venue in Denver International Airport, even though it is the second most-requested and patronized fast food vendor in the airport and will bring tens of thousands in concession fees and taxes into the pockets of the airport (which, thanks to government incompetence, is constantly running on the ragged edge of insolvency).

Why?  Because the owner of Chick-Fil-A, once expressed his opposition to same-sex marriage – an affront which must be punished decades later, even though it was “legal” to state such a thing when he did. Notice, this is NOT about Chick-Fil-A discriminating against homosexuals in either selling them food, allowing them to eat at the same tables as the rest of us, or even employing them.  It is just about one man being punished for speaking his opinion.  Well, the last attempt to “punish” the company for this, a boycott, turned into a buycott instead, with sales booming, and employees going out of their way to show love and concern for even the most out of outed homosexuals.  That was a private effort: this is government and almost certainly doomed to fail even more spectacularly.

BTW, there are a fair number of their outlets within a short distance of DIA: money making opportunity. Develop a delivery service to people stuck at the airport might be a moneymaker, and probably cost them less than chicken fries or a sandwich bought in the over-priced airport concession stands.  And at the same time, this obsession of the Denver City Council is pointing out the corruption rampant in that organization, especially as concerns DIA concessions and “protecting” real minorities. (See the Colorado Independent.)  That real scandal, not a made-up excuse to deny free speech, has been rolling around for more than two decades, getting worse and worse as government and economy deteriorate more and more.

I don’t know if I would agree with their methodology, but the calculations DO make you think.  Freedom Force shows how the clean-up of the Gold King Mine Animas River Spill could cost between 300 million and 28 billion dollars to clean up – every dime funneled through EPA by Congress, using money stolen from taxpayers to fix the mess that EPA caused.  Other stories point out this is not the first time EPA has made a hash of it, “cleaning up” old mines in the Colorado Rockies.

About TPOL Nathan

Follower of Christ Jesus (a christian), Pahasapan (resident of the Black Hills), Westerner, Lover of Liberty, Free-Market Anarchist, Engineer, Army Officer, Husband, Father, Historian, Writer, Evangelist. Successor to Lady Susan (Mama Liberty) at TPOL.
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