Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What Can You Do; Hard to Know the Answer

Thinking about the balance of authority and individual autonomy, it is tough to figure the ultimate solution. People will abuse power, for the most part. That is obvious from behavior in motor vehicles. An alarmingly large portion of people will choose the path that inconveniences the other driver whenever that is an easy option. Things they couldn't do without the ton of steel around them. That explains the phenomenon in California of hostile young women on the road. "I"ll show you about power, Mr. Man." And the insecure tailgaters who drive oversized vehicles as close as they dare at high speed behind smaller vehicles. Rarely do they tailgate cars of equal size. More than just compensating for other inadequacies, I suspect.

But for the most part the drivers are harmless enough. It is merely the fact that in this culture we still haven't evolved beyond the petty power grab. Actually, I think we are moving backwards. In most places that power grab is expected, especially in 3rd world life. We are hell bent on duplicating that lifestyle, so here we go.

The thing about placing too much control of anything in the hands of authorities--I don't care if we do elect them--is that who is going to curb their appetite and ego? Just look what happens when you give law enforcement free reign to move from protecting your rights to making you prove you are not in violation of any of thousands of statutes and codes. People get used to it. Abuse is like that.

The same abuse applies when considering pure majority rule without constraints. The majority is not always right, fair or humane. That is what seems to be missed these days. The whole idea of a constitutional republic is to give the people voice while at the same time limiting the scope of what their government can do. It is the graying of the boundaries that has resulted in much of our difficulties. The trick used in many cases has been to ignore cases of fraud and forms of force, then declare a problem and make specific laws against Johnny putting gum in your hair or some such thing. Soon you have thousands of these little specifics, replete with conditions and special definitions. The real result is that loopholes have been provided for the real culprits, and their competitors have been thwarted in the process.

Next thing you know you have to pay for permits and bonding if you want to go door to door washing windows, so the people in the 'hood hire Mexicans who come over pretending to shop, but who really come wash your windows cheap and go home at day's end. You can't compete because you are still trying to round up cash to pay the price of being a legal window washer in one story homes.

Then you get stopped at a random check point and they write you up because one of your tail lights burned out. Who knew? But in being written up and ticketed, society benefits, although the cost of all that may be a little pricey considering they could have just said, hey the light's out, here's two bucks, go buy a bulb, and saved taxpayer money.

But, if no one pays attention, the lovely neighbors I encounter in this area would drive with no lights or turn signals at either ninety two miles per hour on the highway, or at twenty two miles per hour, or both. And the people would be bad and all that.

Although I did notice in some of the open areas with speed limits of 80 mph, people settled in to speeds which fit the terrain and conditions when 80 would be a little too fast for safe travel. It was where the limit was 60 or 65 and there was no good reason for it that they drove like lunatics.

It is always a puzzle. Who do I trust with guns more, the average citizen, or the official paid by tax money to hide and catch you doing something? Too bad the motto is not "Protect your rights and freedoms" . That one is a toss up, so I am all for people owning guns if they choose to, and not having to permit them unless they have proven themselves idiotic or troublesome in the past. I've had people shoot at my car before in Greensboro, I think, and Jacksonville Florida, but I've felt more threatened by cops, one on one, who went for their gun because I wanted to read something before signing or otherwise questioned what was going on.

Ever since Mrs Anderson, my kindergarten (alleged) teacher, I have known that authority figures are in no way guaranteed to be more decent and fair than the skid row bum, or the death row convict. That's why strict limits have to be placed on authority and those limits not loosened.

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Ballistic Mountain, CA, United States
Like spring on a summer's day


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