My father worked for the Federal government for over thirty five years, which included, (for all you army, air force or navy brats) , his “time in grade” during WWII. After the war, my father transitioned to the M.S.T.S, (the Military Sea Transportation Service), which later became the Military Sealift Command or M.S.C.
Like too many ‘brats’, my childhood resembled something much more like that portrayed in “The Great Santini”, (which cast Robert Duvall as an over-bearing disciplinarian who, when he wasn’t instilling terror in the enemy pilots he engaged , was equally menacing to his family at home) than it did “Ossie and Harriet”.
As with most people, my father wasn’t completely devoid of generosity however, and would, on occasion (and as money allowed), bring home gifts from exotic places like Japan,Okinawa, Korea, Thailand, and Viet Nam.
One item that stands out in my mind was a deck of “M.S.T.S.” playing cards that he had brought home from the ship, which had the slogan “Safety First” placed inside the circular emblem. That was in 1962.
Now having ‘safety’ as a priority for any organization is not inherently wrong; after all, God commands railings to be placed around rooftops as mentioned in the Old Testament. But when the idea of safety is exalted to the level of a mission statement and mantra as it has been today, it essentially trumps the effectiveness and efficiency of any other endeavor, and inevitablely destroys Freedom through excessive laws and regulations.
I will concede that, because we are made in God’s image, we ought to practice prudence in our endeavors. There is, however, a balance that must be struck between over-protectionism and recklessness, and this can only be based upon a mutually agreed upon contract between individuals.
Witness the increased intrusion of the government nanny state into every affair of mankind today. Speed limits, seat belt laws, anti-alcohol, uh , I mean drug laws, mandatory helmet laws for children, ‘child protective services’, labor unions, FEMA,forced labeling for products, forced innoculations (thanks Governor Perry), and the list goes on and on. One needn’t look further that the Top-heavy OSHA beauracracy, (whose code book rivals the IRS Tax Code).
We allow the murder of innocent babies either because it helps ‘keep mothers safe’, or, in an especially obscene twist of logic, ‘It’s really better in the long run for the baby this way’.
What is most insidious about a ‘safety first’ mindset is that the counter argument evokes such a religious fanatacism from It’s vaunted and noble supporters . “How could anyone oppose the idea of preserving life and limb?” it may be said. It’s particularly appealing to the weaker sex, because, after all, they have the ‘nurturing genes’. How ironic.
But this onerous cancer doesn’t end with domestic meddling; in fact , like a pervasive knoxious weed, it strangles and threatens every aspect of human endeavor throughout the entire planet by the ever expanding government entities that are required in order to police “the unwashed”. Enter the U.N.
In this country, and throughout the world, we have destroyed any semblance of Liberty under the auspices of ‘keeping Americans and our allies safe from terrorism’. We have murdered Iraqis, Afghanis, South Americans, and many others, and now (officially at least) American citizens in order to protect American Citizens.
Is there nothing we won’t do to keep people safe?