Libertarian Commentary on the News, 29 October 2015, #15-43D: The Government Joke

By Nathan Barton

We all know that government is a joke – though too often a KILLING joke. Now, in wartorn Ukraine, the New York Post reports that many people – many in a single party – are rubbing their fellow citizens’ noses in the fact, having a lot of fun doing it, and (funny and strangely) winning some elections.  The Emperor Palpatine won election to a local council seat this week, although Darth Vader, Padme, and Yoda apparently did not get enough votes. Ridicule can often be a powerful weapon, especially when people are incredibly frustrated already.

C.S. Lewis wrote an interesting comment about government that is shown today to be more true than ever:

“It is easy to think the State has a lot of different objects — military, political, economic, and what not. But in a way things are much simpler than that. The State exists simply to promote and to protect the ordinary happiness of human beings in this life.

A husband and wife chatting over a fire, a couple of friends having a game of darts in a pub, a man reading a book in his own room or digging in his own garden — that is what the State is there for. And unless they are helping to increase and prolong and protect such moments, all the laws, parliaments, armies, courts, police, economics, etc., are simply a waste of time.”
— C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), British novelist

Although on the surface, it seems that Lewis is accepting government as “good,” I think he is using the same reasoning as the apostle Paul of Tarsus did in chapter 13 of his Letter to the Romans.  While seeming to demand “obedience” Paul was actually establishing standards by which government was to be evaluated by christians as being worthy, criteria which he knew government could NOT and would NOT meet.  Lewis knew that the State would never accept a role of “promoting and protecting human happiness,” and therefore the State was nothing but “a waste of time.” In other words, government is a joke. A nasty one.

As evidence that Lewis is right, consider this story shared by Mama Liberty from the Columbus, Ohio, Dispatch. “Dale Johnston’s self-described ‘hell’ over not being acknowledged as innocent of a pair of grisly murders largely was extinguished this morning by the Ohio Supreme Court. The justices ruled unanimously that Johnston is entitled to seek a finding of innocence and, if successful, collect damages for wrongful imprisonment for the nearly six years he spent on Death Row. … Johnston was sentenced to death for fatally shooting his stepdaughter and her fiance in 1982 and carving up their bodies, with pieces thrown into the Hocking River and a Hocking County cornfield. However, the shaky case against him, built on prosecutorial misconduct and withheld evidence, fell apart on appeal and Johnston was freed from prison in 1990.”

Mama’s Note: Ok, let’s see if I’ve got this straight… This guy was tried in a state court and found guilty of murder and jailed for years. The case was “shaky,” and the prosecutor was bad and withheld evidence, so the case was overturned. So now comes the interesting point… he’s asking the same “courts” to pay him lots of money for his troubles. And what’s with this “finding of innocence?” Never heard of that… and if it was me, I’d not be putting myself into the hands of people who stand to lose significantly in any ruling favorable to me. Sort of like asking the dirty cop to testify in your favor after the assault.

Nathan: AND TWENTY-FIVE years later?  I’d have gotten OUT of Ohio as soon as possible, and found a nice peaceful, and (in those days) more free location.  The State promotes evil and anything but peace and liberty.  And like Mama Liberty, I thought courts could only find someone “guilty” or “not guilty.”  None of this “innocence” nonsense.

Leading causes of death in the US: What’s changed since 1969? Fox News tries to tell us, and fails.

Mama’s Note: No word on just who researched this, or how – and you know what I think of most modern “research” – but this has some interesting ideas… and a totally bogus conclusion as usual. Sigh.

Nathan: The article lists names, but NOT their credentials or ties (conflicts of interest) and says that they reviewed death certificates. Without bonafides, we have to assume this is little more than hearsay or “popular understanding.”  Even IF we know who did the research, the experience in the last decade-plus on global warming, gun deaths, macro-evolution, and of course, the benefits of government spending and “fair share” taxation mean that we can’t trust any of it very much if at all, because they very well may be feathering their own nest.  And death certificates are government records, and therefore by their very nature highly suspect and unreliable.  And the categories and descriptions used in different jurisdictions vary so much that bias creeps in just in trying to reconcile everything. And all the discussion (at least from the first page of the article: I’m not paying JAMA a penny) seems to forget a basic and essential idea: EVERYONE dies.  If something doesn’t get you, then something else WILL: we won’t all keep dodging death.

Speaking of jokes… Just a couple of thoughts on the “GOP Debate” in Boulder last night.  I didn’t waste time listening to it or watching it, since the participants, “moderators,” and location would have dissuaded me from doing so even if I cared what they said or thought it made any difference. Readers can find plenty of articles at The Blaze or any other news source about it.  But the brief notes I’ve seen indicates it was as much a debate between the GOP candidates and the CNN “moderators” as anything else, and that most of the time was spent on foolish nitpicking and ad hominim attacks which did NOT even pretend to address valid issues. Seems that more than ever, the election of the President is an exercise in futility and vanity and akin to the worship of celebrities.

As I’ve said many times, enough is enough. This joke never was that funny, and certainly is not today.

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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