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06/02/2007 Archived Entry: "Government permission to work -- why care?"

BECOMING NUMB TO CARING. Earlier this week, two people at TCF posted something about the latest proposed abomination of the coming American police state -- the plan to force all Americans to get Homeland (Achtung!) Security permission before being "allowed" to earn a living.

Welcome to life in a free country, eh?

It's another case of everything old being new again. Activists, including people like Jackie Juntti (The Old Polish Woman -- Hello, Jackie!) uncovered more than 10 years ago the carefully downplayed and well-hidden little plan for this. Back then permission would have to come from the Social Security Administration, since our neo-Nazi overlords were less overtly fascist in their terminology or their bureaucracy. But while the present spew is still merely proposed legislation, that particular gift of the 104th Congress ("We'll get government off your backs!") was the real deal: A pilot program in five states that quietly went into effect. (News of the pilot program's subsequent "progress" has been sketchy and hard to come by.)

The new monstrosity, if imposed, has an extra fillip. The Employment Eligibility Verification System would also require all current employes to get permission to continue working. Not only that, but apparently the bill limits judicial review. The "Achtung!" boys say you're not eligible to work, Pedro (or Ahmad, or Mei-Ling, or John or Mary)? Well, sorry, you're just not eligible.

Oh, can you imagine the chaos? Can you imagine the database -- and its errors? Can you imagine the suffering, the panic, the bureaucracy, the disruption to the workplace? Can you imagine the millions of newcomers welcomed into the underground economy!

But when I read the news, I discovered I just didn't care.

I didn't give one tiny bit of a damn whether this extrusion from the bowels of some morally cancerous creep in DC (whose name I'm not even going to bother to look up) passes or doesn't pass. I felt nada. A mental shrug.

How can this be? Our country is going down the tubes (and being shoved ever-faster in the name of "freedom" or "preserving America's borders" by creatures for whom the term "cretin" is too generous an acolade -- creatures who completely miss the fact that they, themselves, with their totalitarian mentalities are the most unAmerican thing within those precious borders) ... Deep breath, Claire. Deep breath. Our country is going down the tubes faster and faster every day. And I DON'T BLOODY CARE!

Well, I'll bet you know how it can be. I'll bet you feel a bit of it yourself -- the ennui that comes from enduring literally years of unrelenting bad news.

Yes, our country is moving toward becoming a totalitarian state whose only virtue will be that it'll be the most bumbling, ineffective totalitarian state anywhere (thanks to all those database errors and all those investigators chasing after innocent people who happen to have bad "profiles"). But hey, what's one more Stalinist directorate, more or less? What's one more catastrophe, from a Congress that produces the legislative equivalent of a Hurricane Katrina every time its members plant their lard-asses before their voting levers? Or raise their hands. Or say, "Aye." Or stay home and let three leadership manipulators pass the latest bit of Draconia in the middle of the night. Or however it is that they do things, these days?

What, we have to ask, is one more stupid identity law in a country whose politicians' obsession with our identies has reached theater-of-the-absurd point already?

Have you ever seen Waiting for Godot? Most boring play ever written. Five long acts of people doing absolutely nothing. Waiting for somebody who never arrives. That's what it's beginning to feel like living in post-"Get Government Off Your Backs" America. Just keep hangin' in there, waiting for ... the big something, the big whatever, to happen. And instead, things just drone on, getting badder and badder and badder. But somehow never so bad that the mythical workers will rise up and throw off their American equivalent of shackles. Godot never arrives.

So ... numbness.

But this isn't merely a rant about being tired of it all, either. Numbness (and confess, you do feel it too, if you've been a long-time freedom-watcher) isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Getting all jumping-up-and-down, hair-tearing upset about every reeking little chunk of half-digested McFood in the continuous drunken spew government retches out is actually much worse. Not only is "comfortably numb" a well-chosen expression. It's that when we stop screaming about every individual abomination that we can see the big picture ... the pattern ... the principles (if they deserve the name) behind what's being done to us.

Two acquaintances of mine have it right. Aaron Zelman is absolutely correct that the only possible answer -- if indeed we aren't already past the point of no return -- is Bill of Rights education. And L. Neil Smith is correct that Bill of Rights enforcement should be a prime focus eventually and soon. Strike at the root. Understand the why, as in "why government has no authority to do this and why those who try to impose totalitarianism should pay a heavy price," and you get further than if you merely swat at all the "hows."

As Aaron says, we're so busy fighting every little brushfire of legislation that we don't notice the huge military column marching straight down the road at us. We need to challenge government not on these individual little piles of wormy dog doo, but on the most fundamental basis.

Everything else is simply too exhausting. Everything else means that while we swat desperately at one mosquito, DC's flocks of buzzards assemble in ever-larger numbers to pluck out our innards.

I'm not going to support the Ron Paul campaign, because I've simply given up all hope in being political. But I understand why so many see him as our last hope (and fortunately a worthy hope) in politics.

Once Paul is past, we'll have another job to do. Perhaps you could say that ennui provides the rest needed to do it.

Posted by Claire @ 11:42 AM CST

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