Monday, April 28, 2008

...and for my next trick...

I will magically move posts among the three blogs I currently inhabit. Do not be alarmed.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Stormy weather

It's tornado season in the South, but things don't usually get cranked up here until May. I hadn't gotten around to replenishing our stockpile of batteries, bottled water and canned tuna when we nearly got blown away on Friday.

Not only has the bad part of the season started early, this first storm system reorganized, arrived several hours early and hit during lunchtime rush hour. One minute, the weather was calm and mostly cloudy. The next, my whole family was crammed under the stairs with no power as an EF2 passed overhead, barely missing our neighborhood.

Total storm damage to the area is $10 $50 million. We were fortunate that our power was restored Friday evening, but several areas are still in the dark. There are more blue tarps covering far more roofs than when Katrina blew through here as a Category 1 hurricane. The subdivision up the street sustained heavy damage and my neighbors across the street are living in their RV because a huge oak landed on their house. Today, I drove through our old neighborhood a few miles away. Nearly every house on the first three blocks has moderate to severe damage.

AND

Jack has killed TWO SNAKES in our house in the last TWO DAYS. Katie found the first one in the kitchen on Monday (she isn't afraid of critters, so she announced it as if she was letting us know the mail had run: Um, I think there is a small snake in our kitchen.). I found another one tonight in the foyer...and nearly suffered moderate to severe damage trying to get away from the blasted thing.

As best we can tell, both were brown water snakes. Totally harmless and about a foot long, but once they get in the house, in my opinion they may as well be 15-foot-long venomous killers. Jack killed both with the garden hoe (so now I have hoe dents in my graphic orange '70s linoleum .). Jack--or someone who is not me--will be taking their little dead bodies to the county extension office for a positive ID tomorrow.

I am currently barricaded upstairs in Dagny's room with my laptop, glass of iced tea and comfy pajamas. Since I have all I need here, I see no reason to go downstairs ever again. Katie will be bringing my meals and refreshing my tea as needed.

As I type this, my feet aren't even touching the floor.

Snakes, y'all.
In my house.

It is going to take me several weeks to recover from this.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

"Society is just a group of individuals..."

Thomas Bowden of The Ayn Rand Institute has weighed in on the California homeschool ruling. In Your child is not state property, Mr. Bowden says, in part:
California legislators were entitled to enact this blanket prohibition, according to the judge, because they feared the supposed social disorder that would result from "allowing every person to make his own standards on matters of conduct in which society as a whole has important interests."

"Allowing"? By what right does government presume to "allow" (or, in this case, forbid) you to make your own standards concerning your child's education?

Government has no such right. Neither the state nor "society as a whole" has any interests of its own in your child's education. A society is only a group of individuals, and the government's only legitimate function is to protect the individual rights of its citizens, including yours and your children's, against physical force and fraud. The state is your agent, not a separate entity with interests that can override your rights. [Emphasis added.]
(Copyright © 2008 Ayn Rand® Institute. All rights reserved.)

There are several discussions currently taking place on a few of my favorite online haunts that relate to the misconception of "society as a whole" in regard to the role the government and state play in the lives of individuals. I wish I had the time to adequately participate in each of those conversations and explain to whomever would listen that regulation breeds regulation, that a citizen cannot control the interpretation or application of a law once it is enacted, and that government programs aimed at helping those who cannot/will not help themselves is theft from those of us who can/will.

I will sum it up by saying this: The compromises (or "sacrifices") that many of us are blindly willing to make with the government in exchange for a perceived benefit for "society as a whole" always, always, always come with undeclared strings attached. Those strings represent loss of personal freedom.

Society is not served by these actions, because society is a group of--what? Individuals. There is no mutually exclusive relationship between society and the individual. One depends on the other for its very existence:

Without the preservation of individual rights, there is no society.