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WHEN BARNEY FIFE IS GOD
Give bureaucrats an inch, they'll take a planet

By Ron Marr

4/26/2001

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The world is run by bureaucrats and bean-counters. Those controlling your destiny may be found in both government and the private sector. They may be Republican, Democrat, liberal or conservative. They may be white or black, gay or straight, stone-cold sober or whacked on goofballs. They may speak in tongues, pierce their tongues or chew their tongues.

The bureaucrats and bean counters are a diverse group, but they share three common traits.

First, they will screw with your life, involving themselves in your personal affairs and causing infinite grief.

Second, they will destroy your life, forcing you to endure tax
audits, loan refusals, bad credit and even arrest.

Third, they will mess with and/or destroy your life simply because they can. Irritate a bureaucrat at your own risk.

Two recent events exemplify my point. Not only are bureaucrats in charge, they are rapidly expanding their commitment toward absconding with your remaining liberties.

The Supreme Court of the United States recently decreed that traffic cops can arrest and incarcerate people stopped for minor violations. In a ruling affecting 185 million drivers, the court voted 5-4 that a Texas policeman was justified in handcuffing and imprisoning a woman for failing to wear her seat belt. The Justices who voted to grant Barney Fife plenipotentiary powers worthy of a Nazi inquisitor were conservatives Anthony Kennedy, Chief Justice William Rehnquist, Clarence Thomas, and Antonin Scalia. Joining this quartet, showing us once again that power brokers care little of the ideological differences of left and right, was the "liberal" David Souter.

I wonder why the high court didn't eliminate trials and juries entirely, sanctioning roadside executions based on officer discretion?  Expect police abuses to soar, for this ruling permits cops to arrest and confine citizens for misdemeanors normally punishable only by fines. You can be hauled away for loitering, littering, spitting on the sidewalk or a thousand other infractions. From here on out it's a small leap to being arrested because a cop decides you might be THINKING about exceeding the speed limit.

Welcome to Police State, USA. Wipe your feet and keep your eyes lowered. Punishment is henceforth based upon deference. Proper groveling when in breach of minor statutes will likely result in a mere ticket.  Disrespect is an unpardonable transgression, and failure to behave in an obsequious manner is grounds for imprisonment. Maybe you'll get lucky and  the gendarmes won't throw you in the cell with the rapist.

On the very same day of the Court's ruling, liberal Senator Hillary Clinton made a comment mirroring the draconian attitude toward civil rights manifested by the conservative Justices. While advocating gun control at an outdoor news conference, Clinton was heckled by a man wielding a megaphone. His main comment was "Hillary...you've got to be kidding."  While I find heckling to be rude, this man did not espouse violence or incite to riot. It is the prerogative (some say the duty) of citizens to publicly confront elected officials whenever possible. Clinton, however, felt that the heckler's attitude was more a problem than his message.

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As the protester walked away, Clinton and other lawmakers were discussing their false assertion that felons frequently acquire firearms at gun shows. In reference to the demonstrator, Clinton was recorded saying "that's a perfect example of what we're talking about."  Excuse me? The man was not violent. He was not a felon. He was armed only with thoughts and a megaphone. Why did Clinton feel he was a threat that should be shut down?

That's easy. This fellow's crime was that he disagreed with the great and powerful Oz. He publicly expressed a contrary opinion. It's a shame the Supreme Court hadn't rendered their decision one day earlier.  Hillary could have had the guy dragged off in chains, ostensibly for disturbing the peace but in reality for not cringing, cowering and licking her jackboots.

That conservative judges and liberal senators regard the unwashed masses with disdain is not our biggest problem. The question we should be asking ourselves is "how and when did we allow the bureaucrats and bean counters to take over, and can we reverse the course?" We should be asking why it's any of the government's business whether or not we wear seat belts. The same query could be raised in regard to drug use, abortion and a thousand other topics. The answer to "why" is simple.  Control. They seek complete control.

I'm not personally a big fan of drug use or abortion, but neither do I believe the government should be involved - pro or con - in ANY form of social engineering. Give government the power to control one aspect of your life, and you give them carte blanche to control all aspects. The sword cuts both ways. Freedom entails not only making your own decisions, but (unless they affect you PERSONALLY) tolerating and/or ignoring the decisions of others. Relinquishing a portion of your decision making ability is tantamount to relinquishing your decision making ability entirely. You can't be a little bit pregnant. It's an all or nothing game.

And so it goes. Give the bean counters an inch and they'll take a planet. They'll take your income, your possessions and your freedom to make your own choices, your own mistakes, and your own victories. The only thing they can't take is your individualism and liberty.

You already gave that away.

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