When I was growing up in the old country, we children were taught that there are five classes of enemies to life and property. These were fire, water, wind, the robber and the king. No, we didn’t have a king at that time, our last king was hauled away by the British a century ago: but what in modern times is akin to the king ? That is nowadays your government the most powerful entity in your daily life.
There are redeeming values to the first three but there are none for the fourth and the fifth entity is only of value when its size and its power is controlled by a constitution like we have here. But even in our situation, erosion can occur because of the way the executive and the legislative branches treat the constitution by ignoring it or when they deliberately defy it in the exercise of power as we are seeing today.
Yes, we were told that these enemies can really ruin your day and lessen not only the quantity but the quality of your very being. Of course those which I mentioned above are just direct translations and they may exist singly or together and one must take all of those as metaphoric examples; the robber, executioner and king could very well be embodied in the same entity.I have seen the destruction caused by all of these entities in my lifetime and have personally experienced the wrath of at least four of them and perhaps unbeknownst to me by all of them.
By migrating to this new country I was running away from the last entity, the socialist government, which by then had been ruling for nine years. From my previous articles you may already know the destruction that this singular entity had wrought during those few years in leading a prosperous nation which was populated by pleasant and fun-loving people into economic and moral ruination: additionally killing thousands of unarmed civilians practically machine-gunned in city streets for peacefully protesting. The latest of these mass killings were as recent as in 2007 when a Japanese journalist was also a victim.
This last category–the government gone awry– and its danger to the life and well-being of the governed was clearly recognized by the Founding Fathers of these United States and they took great pains and effort to protect the generations to come from what they had witnessed and experienced under British colonial rule..
Even latter-day leaders like Ronald Reagan was keenly aware of that danger and he memorably cited that the worst thing you can hear is when someone says that “I am from the government and I am here to help you.”
Believe me, he was telling the truth and it is nothing less than reminding us what our Founding Fathers knew and which did not add very much to what I have already learned during my childhood.
In my old country as well as in all other countries, armies, when they entered villages or settlements would make an example of their authority by showing their cruelty by physically intimidating, torture or even executing several persons so it would be easier to maintain their power position further on.
So, when I saw that an EPA regional administrator called Al Armendariz was caught on tape saying the following (watch the video), I was slightly shook up and immediately realized that all that is bad about government is manifested in his attitude and the next shoe is going to be dropped on the people and is not going to be limited to just sectors of industry he was directing his threat towards.
The long knives cannot be far behind; the only fact that I found to be inaccurate in his example is in mentioning ancient Roman soldiers fighting a war against Turks–when crucifixion was still popular. I could not remember or find that to be factual but maybe he does know better since he was a professor at SMU before he became a Obama political appointee. What he said was very passionate and reflected ideological intensity but factually inaccurate.
“The Romans used to conquer little villages in the Mediterranean. They’d go into a little Turkish town somewhere, they’d find the first five guys they saw and they would crucify them. And then you know that town was really easy to manage for the next few years.
And so you make examples out of people who are in this case not compliant with the law. Find people who are not compliant with the law, and you hit them as hard as you can and you make examples out of them, and there is a deterrent effect there. And, companies that are smart see that, they don’t want to play that game, and they decide at that point that it’s time to clean up.
And, that won’t happen unless you have somebody out there making examples of people. So you go out, you look at an industry, you find people violating the law, you go aggressively after them. And we do have some pretty effective enforcement tools. Compliance can get very high, very, very quickly.
That’s what these companies respond to is both their public image but also financial pressure. So you put some financial pressure on a company, you get other people in that industry to clean up very quickly.”
Isn’t that scary? I am.