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A declaration of dependence

We, the undersigned, having grown weary of the burden of freedom and responsibility, do hereby foreswear, forfeit, and waive our following rights:

1) Our right to protect our physical persons. We pay the government -- and quite well -- to do this for us, through the police, the military, and far too many other government agencies to count. We have chosen to disregard numerous court decisions that they have no responsibilities to us individually, and still place our fate entirely in their hands. And when they fail us, we will blame our excessive freedoms and surrender more rights in the name of physical safety.

2) Our right to tally and pay our own taxes. We have chosen to separate ourselves from the cost of our government by delegating to government and employers the task of paying our taxes, through "withholding." Instead of being presented with a bill for payment, our taxes are taken from us before we even see our salary. Then, when (as is often the case) we have overpaid, we rejoice and see as a gift our refund, and choose not to realize that this refund is simply the government repaying an interest-free loan from us. The only real burden we choose to accept is that of filing our own returns, when we can see just how much of our labors are on behalf of the government. (And if one presidential candidate has his way, he will relieve us of even this onerous task.)

3) Our right to make decisions for our own safety. Every one of us knows -- or ought to know -- that certain things are safe and unsafe, healthy and unhealthy. Trans fats are terrible for our bodies. Seat belts, in nearly every circumstance, improve our chances of surviving a car crash almost logarithmically. Motorcycle helmets, even more so. In these and in countless other ways, we know what the smart thing to do is. But we do not wish to be burdened with the responsibility of caring for ourselves, so we call upon the government to make certain we make the right choices, and accept whatever punishment, fine, or sanction they see fit if we put ourselves at risk.

In the name of our own safety, our own security, and our own peace of mind, we, the undersigned, do hereby pledge our lives, our fortunes, our liberty, our judgment, and our own common sense.

Signed,

Far Too Many Americans


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Comments (16)

Add a line about giving up ... (Below threshold)
marc:

Add a line about giving up our Right to watch Rosie (and her Right to be on the planet) and I'll give it some thought.

That would be a funny post.... (Below threshold)

That would be a funny post...if it wasn't true. ;-)

Wait, was that satire? </p... (Below threshold)

Wait, was that satire?

... ;)

Alas, the flame of the Amer... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

Alas, the flame of the American love affair with freedom has turned cold.

Protect us, we pray thee oh Great Government, from having choices that could cause us harm or require thought. Relieve us our burdens and give us our daily sustenance. All this we ask in the name of the Great State. Amen.

The post is correct. Throug... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

The post is correct. Through threats and intimitation the government now run our lives but accepts no responsibility when they are wrong.

Government officials make statements that result in the death of thousands since the enemy take the statements as a show of support. Only a minority of the public is outraged at the statements, the rest simply accept it as a fact, or write it off as a statement by an idiot. The country as a free country is on a downhill slide, fast.

Jay,You seem to be... (Below threshold)
astigafa:

Jay,

You seem to be actually saying something of value here. Please render this in English so that we can verify. At least translate #1 to English. Think about object and subject, maybe use verbs -- you know, all that stuff.

It's a good thing you're not getting paid for this, eh?

As for point 3, how far do ... (Below threshold)
Rance:

As for point 3, how far do you want this freedom "o make decisions for our own safety" to go? Do you propose doing away with the FDA, USDA, and OSHA entirely?

Jay,I for the most p... (Below threshold)
sean nyc/aa:

Jay,
I for the most part agree, but I want to raise one related item.

Conservatives, and yourself about Kerry/Kennedy in Mass., often ask so along the lines of, "If liberals believe in gov't so much, why don't they volutarily pay more in taxes?"

Well, I can tell you that I do consciously have my taxes withheld for the purpose of letting the gov't keep the interest (I wouldn't voluntarily pay more, but if taxes increased across the board, in a fair and reasonable manner, you wouldn't hear me complain all that much). I don't need it all that much, it makes sure I live within my means, and I get a nice present every May or so, which I can then start earning interest on. Especially in a time of war and the fact we're running deficits, is that a bad thing? Does it show I've signed over my liberty and don't want to have any responsibility?

I don't think so (in fact, I seem to vaguely remember you saying you also had your taxes withheld).

Now, I realize you've posted this as a joke, but some people do this for the good of the nation, not because they're dependent on it. In fact, one might say the nation is dependent on us because we actually contribute more than our fair share (ie overpayment of taxes + interest on the entire amount, rather than just taxes when April 15 comes around).

and Scrapiron:
The country as a free country is on a downhill slide, fast.

Tell that to the NSA. Oh wait, you probably just did.

UmJay, I'm not sur... (Below threshold)

Um

Jay, I'm not sure "logarithmically" is the word to use, that doesn't exactly scream "seat belts save your life"...

But then again I know exactly what a logarithm is (and what a graphical representation is...think exponential graph, then flip it over the y=x line and you get a graph approaching a set constant...).

So almost logarithmically means it doesn't even approach a set constant value? =-P

Sorry Henry, but logarithmi... (Below threshold)
Rance:

Sorry Henry, but logarithmic graphs do not approach a constant value, that would be an asymptotic graph.

Logarithmic graphs increase without bound, it's just that log(x) increase more slowly than any power of x.

Jay..glad to hear you are P... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

Jay..glad to hear you are Pro-Choice.

I've said so several times,... (Below threshold)

I've said so several times, nogo. You make it sound like it's a revelation.

J.

You don't mean 'logarithmic... (Below threshold)
philw:

You don't mean 'logarithmically' you mean 'exponentially'. Another liberal arts grad?

actually, he could mean log... (Below threshold)
sean nyc/aa:

actually, he could mean logarithmically, where the improvement in effectiveness (Y value) is seen quickly (not wearing vs wearing) but improvement in effectiveness lessens at higher values of safety measures taken (X value) (for instance, seatbealt and airbag are increased X value, maybe?)

However, there are too many variables (speed, model of car, direction of impact, etc) to definitively say it would have any sort of describable trend in practice. We could obviously develop controlled tests that would keep certain car-dependent variables constant, but then you might have passenger specific variables (height/weight, age, sex, previous medical conditions, etc.) which would again cause difficulty in interpretting the results.

Argh Rance, thanks for the ... (Below threshold)

Argh Rance, thanks for the correction..

It's been too long since I've actually studied logs, let alone their graphs (I should have realized anyway, its just the inverse of an exponential graph).

Give me a thermodynamic cycle and I can analyze it for you though :)

and he could mean logarithmically in that there is diminishing returns for every $$ spent.

It would be funny if it wer... (Below threshold)
Ricky-D:

It would be funny if it weren't so assininely incorrect. Motorcycle helmets do not save lives! There is no study, are no statistics that show motorcycle helmets save lives. Fatalities as a percentage of motorcycle accidents show no change from mandatory helmet law states and non-mandatory helmet law states. The reason for decreased fatalities in states that pass mandatory helmet laws is decreased ridership that equals decreased accidents. The only affect of motorcycle helmets it to alter the reason for the fatality, from head trauma to neck trauma. By the way, seat belts have been proven to save lives. And as an added comment, did you know the majority of fatalities in automobile accidents are caused by head trauma. So you stupid shit, would you wear a helmet to save you life while driving your car? I don't think so. Yours is a biggoted and prejudicial argument that reveals how lacking you are in true humanism and honesty.




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