How many government agencies are there? A FedGov website lists 438 federal ones. But other sources claim many more. We here at TPOL suspect that no one really knows. And don’t even get started on State governments – supposedly there are more than 83,000 local governments, each of which may be considered to have at least one agency.
It makes a joke of “land of the free” if (as we lovers of liberty do) we believe that government takes away freedom. We don’t doubt that some government agencies provide useful, even vital services. Even though private business can do all these things for the people and businesses and organizations of any jurisdiction – and usually better and cheaper. BUT many government agencies have either been useless (from a logical point of view) from their beginning, or have become anything but worth keeping around. There are many reasons: corruption, changes in technology and society, and abuse. One example – laughable in our opinion – is the US’s National Park Service, NPS. The NPS rules with an iron fist over millions of acres of the States, federal enclaves in every State. Over the 150 years it has existed in some form, its power and arrogance has grown, to the point that they can often ignore Congressional action. And after all, who can squabble about protecting our nations’ historical, scenic, and cultural heritage? For years NPS has sought to disarm visitors. says the friendship has run its course. (“if” is gratuitous in an indicative statement; they clearly meant “when”. Presuming accurately quoted, of course.) Now, in a recent safety message, as reported at Insider, the NPS is warning about the danger of bears. This is, of course, a valid concern for visitors to many national parks, especially in the West. And especially for those disarmed by the NPS. But what should they do? Well, the pitiful excuse for a public service agency, the National Park Service said people shouldn’t push their friends over when running from a bear. It said people shouldn’t sacrifice their friends even if “the friendship has run its course.” As one person pointed out, “if” is gratuitous in an indicative statement; they clearly meant “when”. Presuming accurately quoted, of course. Another pointed out that the idea matches the mentality of the typical federal bureaucrat: waive all responsibility and refuse to be accountable for someone facing a threat unprepared because they are not allowed to by government requirements. After all, the Constitution guarantees the God-given right of self-defense: even against bears. But the NPS forbids them. (It also occurs to us that the fedgov bureau-rats are trying to prevent what they would deem an appropriate behavior of leaving a friend (or acquaintance, or even family member) to feed the bear while they run.) Another pointed out that the FedGov – whether NPS, BLM, USFS, FWS, or whatever alphabet soup agency of the hundreds or thousands – cares a lot more for bears than they do for people. Which is, when you think about it, kind of strange. Bears don’t even pay income taxes or other federal taxes and fees.