Previews of the Nanny State

By | February 2, 2015 | 0 Comments

One of my favorite things about going to the movies is watching previews. In a few minutes, I can decide whether I want to see the upcoming films. In real life, often we do not have the opportunity to preview events − they just happen. But sometimes, if we are lucky, we have a foretaste of things to come.
“Don’t read that.”
Some time ago, I was in the public library at Beverly Hills, California. I asked a librarian where I could find old issues of the Washington Times − there was an article I needed. The librarian told me firmly, “We don’t have the Washington Times.”
I asked where I could find it. But instead of replying, the librarian said, “Don’t read that − it’s published by Rev. Moon.”
Later, I phoned the head librarian. I pointed out that a library should be something like church − a place of neutrality, a sanctuary from political and social strife. The librarian agreed, and promised to instruct his employees not to impose their biases on the public. Further, he agreed not to impede people from obtaining “forbidden” reading material.
Such actions remind me of the former Soviet Union. There, persons asking for “forbidden” material were not only refused − they were reported to the government. When intellectual curiosity evokes suspicion, how can knowledge, much less science, make progress? We aren’t there yet, but we’re on our way.
Those who question man-caused global warming are called “mentally ill” and compared to Holocaust deniers. Meanwhile, climategate − the deliberate falsification of climate data to provoke fear of global warming − is almost unreported in the mainstream media. “Don’t read this” too easily becomes “We won’t let you read this.” Some fanatics even call for the imprisonment or execution of global-warming “deniers.”
The same fate awaited “heretics” in theocracies, and “counter-revolutionaries” in communist nations. Must we sink to that level before citizens become alarmed?
“Don’t listen to that.”
I was talking to colleagues at the hospital. Someone mentioned Rush Limbaugh. A colleague declared, “He’s a fascist.” I asked, “Really? What did he say that’s fascistic?” My colleague replied with a grunt. Apparently he felt what he said was so obvious that it did not need to be supported by evidence. And probably he had never listened for more than a minute or two – if that – and thus was unable to provide any evidence.
My colleague was old enough to remember the McCarthy era, but he did not understand that by spewing unproven accusations, he was imitating the man he despised.
Leading Democrats want to reinstitute the misnamed “fairness doctrine,” which will stifle talk radio. They even are considering censoring the Internet. Even worse, foreign governments want an international agency to control the Internet. This would impose “political correctness” rules on everyone.
Freedom of speech used to be an American value. Now it is a conservative value. What does this say about what happened to liberal values?
“Don’t vote for that.”
Shortly after the presidential elections, my wife and I were sitting in the food court of a mall in Century City, a liberal area of already liberal Los Angeles. Two well-dressed women sat down at our table, with empty chairs intervening. Perhaps to quiet my incessant political jabbering, my wife said, “Welcome to a political discussion.”
Taking her seriously, one woman replied, “If you didn’t vote for Obama, we won’t sit next to you.” Of course, they weren’t sitting next to us, but apparently they wouldn’t even sit near us.
As a way of saying that how we vote is nobody’s business, my wife retorted, “No, I voted the straight Nazi ticket.”
The women appeared shocked but didn’t get up. They talked quietly and didn’t bother us again. I wanted to ask why they would not sit near a Republican, but they were willing to sit near a Nazi. However, I decided to quit while I was ahead.
“Don’t eat that.”
Recently we were in a supermarket. I contemplated the compact fluorescent light bulbs, noting that they carry mercury warnings, with instructions for the complex cleanup required if one broke. I grumbled to my wife about a government that believed the Constitution gave it power to control what kind of light bulbs and toilets we use. But I was mistaken. Those who pass such intrusive laws don’t think about the Constitution at all.
Then we moved on to the candy section, where I stood selecting a chocolate bar. A middle-aged woman stopped and in a loud voice proclaimed, “Be strong! Chocolate isn’t good for you.”
I started to explain that recent studies show benefits to blood vessels of small amounts of dark chocolate. But she interrupted, sure of herself, saying, “It’s full of saturated fat and salt.”
She then moved on, having done her good deed of enlightening the ignorant and aiding the backward, who are too stupid to select their own food, and who need the guidance of the “elite.” The idea that she was rude and condescending did not enter her mind. She believed that her good intentions entitled her to act as she pleased − for the benefit of others, of course.
“Don’t eat cake.”
Schoolchildren across the country are complaining about the poor quality and reduced size of school lunches that must meet First Lady Michelle Obama’s notion of a healthful lunch. There are two problems here: (1) What kind of officials imagine that they have the power to dictate what children eat? (2) What kind of parents don’t understand that feeding their children is their responsibility?
But, like ObamaCare, the meager ObamaLunch is for the “masses,” not for the “elite.” It’s for the kids at Central High School, not for the children of the “elite” at Sidwell Friends School.

Michelle Obama’s lunch for your children

Michelle Obama’s lunch for her children

Queen Marie Antoinette is believed to have said, “Let them eat cake.” First Lady Michelle Obama in effect is saying, “I won’t let them eat cake.” Frankly, I find little to choose between them in their arrogance, condescension, and  low regard for us “peasants.”
“Don’t breathe.”
Note that each of these items starts with “Don’t…” This exemplifies the fact that modern liberalism has become, in many respects, an enemy of freedom. In their rush to do what they consider “best” for us, Democrats have forgotten basic truths:

A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.
− President Gerald Ford, address to Congress, 1974

And now, having decided for us what light bulbs and toilets we must use, some Democrats are planning to control what we hear on the radio and what we see on the Internet. The appetite for power is insatiable. Like a black hole, it swallows everything, leaving no trace, and there is always room for more.
ObamaCare purported to “reform” our system of health care. Unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats will decide who gets what treatments − and who doesn’t. This will mean, quite literally, the power of life and death over each citizen.
These are the people who try to tell us what not to read, what not to hear, and what not to eat. Now they tell us that carbon dioxide, which every human being and every animal exhales, is a “pollutant.” Thus we all are “polluters” merely by breathing.
This sounds suspiciously like “deep ecology,” which teaches that the human population must be severely reduced to “save the planet.” How does this differ from the Nazi notion of eliminating “useless eaters” and “subhumans” in order to give the “superior” people more room?
Why would you trust these people to tell you and your loved ones what medical treatments or drugs you can receive? Why would you suppose that your request for treatment will not be met by another “Don’t”?
Democrats intend to “save” hundreds of billions on Medicare. How? Will the “waste and abuse” they intend to eliminate include your hip replacement or your mother’s cardiac pacemaker? President Obama declared, “The chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives are accounting for potentially 80% of the total health-care bill out here.” Well, yes, sick people need more care than healthy people. And this means…what?
Will the Final Solution to the Medicare problem be “Don’t breathe”? We all are “polluters,” you know. Is this an exaggeration? Perhaps. But would you bet your life that it is?
We have seen the previews. The film looks really awful. In fact, it may turn out to be a horror film. I’ll try my best to avoid it. But if you sit idly and allow bureaucrats to seize even more control over the lives of yourself and your loved ones, I wish you good luck and good health. You’ll need both.

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