View 733 Wednesday, July 18, 2012
You didn’t get that on your own. You didn’t do that. This is the essence of the President Obama’s campaign.
Of course his handlers are now insisting that President Obama didn’t mean it that way. It was taken out of context. He was talking about the essential activities of government, and particularly education and public roads. He also mentioned the Internet which didn’t invent itself. What the President was trying to say is that government is necessary for prosperity. He didn’t say it very well, perhaps, but it’s an important thing to remember. You can’t just dismiss the importance of government.
But if that is what he meant, it is hardly a new concept. Most civilized people have known that for millennia. They have also known that government, while necessary for prosperity, can also be its enemy. Benjamin Franklin and George Washington both noted that government is force, and “like fire it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” We need government, but we must be ready to restrain it.
Thomas Jefferson summed it up in his first inaugural in 1801:
“Still one thing more, fellow citizens — a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities. About to enter, fellow-citizens, on the exercise of duties which comprehend everything dear and valuable to you, it is proper you should understand what I deem the essential principles of our Government, and consequently those which ought to shape its Administration”
For a very long time that was the guiding philosophy of the American government.
I do not think that is what President Obama had in mind when he told us
Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.
It is certainly possible to have too little government. That is not America’s problem. For more than half my life people have laughed at the suggestion that “Aren’t you glad you are not getting all the government you pay for?” Now Mr. Obama wants us to pay for more.
Tomorrow before dawn Niven and I get on a Delta airplane for a long and grueling trip to Chattanooga. It will take all day and we will get there well after dinner time. I don’t expect to log in along the way, and I may well be too tired to do more than glance at my mail after I arrive. I have no idea what kind of Internet connection I will have.
We will be at Libertycon in Chattanooga until Monday, and we will be all day Monday getting back home, so if you don’t hear much from me for the next few days, it is nothing to be concerned about.
I have this from a reader:
"US geoengineers to spray sun-reflecting chemicals from balloon"
I guess we will find out in a year or so if it works.
The story is more than interesting. Of course we have for years heard conspiracy theories about contrails. Few of them get beyond the Art Bell show, but now we have this.
I would think there is considerable to discuss before we do environmental engineering experiments – including real science about temperature trends, and a real debate about what is the ‘best’ climate for Earth.
Before spraying stuff into trhe atmosphere would it now make more sense simply to paint roofs white? Assuming we really want cooling.
It is generally agreed that the one thing in US Education that is done fairly well is high tech higher education. When I used to lecture at Cal Tech there were generally no girls in the classes. At one dormitory hall where I was invited to have dinner there was one and only one woman student, and she wasn’t in a particularly technical program, although I make no doubt she could have been had she wanted to. That situation has changed now, and there are women in nearly every Cal Tech class, but there are far more men in high tech classes than women.
‘Since a college cannot force a woman to go into math or science, the only way for a college to satisfy a gender quota will be to cut the number of male math and science students, by turning male students away from their favorite subject.’
I suppose I should not be surprised.
And Fast and Furious won’t go away, although both candidates seem to wish it would:
‘Precisely because this is such a jaw-dropping accusation — criminality at the highest level of government to score a political point — Republicans refuse to make it.’
Congress is the Grand Inquest of the Nation, Constitutionally and by tradition; but everything seems to have become political now. I am seldom in favor of special prosecutors, but I would think a situation involving the Attorney General would be the case in which one might be appropriate.
If that weren’t enough, we have
Did YOU know that we’re in a state of national emergency?
In EO 13617, entitled "Blocking Property of the Government of the Russian Federation Relating to the Disposition of Highly Enriched Uranium Extracted From Nuclear Weapons," Obama says (among other things)that"the risk of nuclear proliferation created by the accumulation of a large volume of weapons-usable fissile material in the territory of the Russian Federation continues to constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States, and hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat.”
Obama, by signing this EO, actually declared a national emergency. I guess that President Theodore Roosevelt’s famous saying, "Speak softly and carry a big stick," can’t apply in this case because we don’t want to offend the Russians by having them honor treaties they signed (the "HEU" Agreement). But what’s more important is that Obama can now "justify" any action he wants to take by citing EO 13617 since it declares a national emergency.<snip>
I suspect we have not heard the end of this, either. Certainly Axelrod understands the implications. It is probably time to revise the War Powers Act as well as the Patriot Act.
Just remember, if you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that.
© 2012, jerrypournelle. All rights reserved.