Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Data Transfers and the Role of Government

By now, I am assuming that I don't need to post a link for folks to be up on the data theft of 26.5 million veterans' data.

I'm sure I don't need to insult peoples' intelligences by pointing out that the story of how this happened is fishy as hell. (How does one guy get that much info on a disk, and why would he take it home?)

So while I personally suspect that John Q. Dipshit made himself a deal with some crooks in order to score big, and then got caught, let's back up and look at something else.

Government is not a god, not a Superhero, not even a Supervillain. It's just a tool, nothing but violence ritualized. That tool can enable people to do awesome things, or really boneheaded things... but it's still people doing them, whether it's a bunch of suits doing their damndest to destroy America's small farmers in order to give ConAgra and its like a bureaucratic edge, or whether it's thousands of Coast Guard guys kicking ass and saving lives during Hurricane Katrina.

Part of why I'm a libertarian, and not a conservative, is that I have a keen awareness that people can really be boneheads. And to stretch a metaphor, we don't want to loan the car keys out to too many people, and on too many jobs, because one bonehead can take the power of government, and accidentally drive 26.5 million folks right to hell.

So we have powers at the State level, where if folks are going to kick ass and take names, groovy... but if they're going to start swerving mightily all over the road on their Bikes of Government, they're doing it on a 200cc bike, not an 1400cc monster that's so big that even folks riding 650's can't even figure out how the thing manages to keep itself upright. Put a bonehead who's just kinda okay on a 200 onto a 650, and he's going to run that sucker right across the intersection and straight into a wall.

So, asking whether somebody trusts Government is kind of a silly question. The real question is, "what jobs are you willing to trust a complete stranger to do?"

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