The Grasshopper and the Ant

OLD VERSION

The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.. Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed. The grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Be responsible for yourself!

MODERN VERSION

The ant works hard in the withering heat and the rain all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away. Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while he is cold and starving. CBS, NBC , PBS, CNN, and ABC show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food.

America is stunned by the sharp contrast.

How can this be, that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so? Kermit the Frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper and everybody cries when they sing, ‘It’s Not Easy Being Green…’

ACORN stages a demonstration in front of the ant’s house where the news stations film the group singing, “We shall overcome.” Then Rev. Jeremiah Wright has the group kneel down with Rev John Hagee to pray to God for the grasshopper’s sake.

President Obama condemns the ant and blames Tea Parties, President Reagan, Christopher Columbus, and the Pope for the grasshopper’s plight. Ex President Bush says when he was President all grasshoppers were fed, were part of the “ownership society”, and were safe from Al Queda. Both call for expansion of presidential powers because “when grasshoppers hurt, the government has to help.”

Nancy Pelosi & Harry Reid exclaim in an interview with Larry King that the ant has gotten rich off the back of the grasshopper, and both call for an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his fair share. Republicans publicly condemn the tax hike, but authorize an extra $2 trillion in debt to pay for an immediate “grasshopper stimulus” before it is too late.

Finally, the EEOC drafts the Economic Equity & Anti-Grasshopper Act retroactive to the beginning of the summer. The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green bugs and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the Government Green Czar and given to the grasshopper.

The story ends as we see the grasshopper and his free-loading friends finishing up the last bits of the ant’s food while the government house he is in, which, as you recall, just happens to be the ant’s old house, crumbles around them because the grasshopper doesn’t maintain it.

The ant has disappeared in the snow, headed for Florida, mumbling about the Constitution.

The grasshopper is found dead in a drug related incident, and the house, now abandoned, is taken over by a gang of spiders who terrorize the ramshackle, once prosperous and once peaceful, neighborhood.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Be careful how you vote in 2010.

The Best parts of America are Libertarian…

A Fine Kettle Of Federal Fish

On Feb. 9, members of the Fort Walton Beach Tea Party had an opportunity to listen firsthand to the plight of charter fisherman Capt. George Eller and how federal and state regulation threatens to ruin a large segment of what remains of Destin’s charter fishing fleet.

We responded as typical good citizens. Various proposals to fix the problem ranged from calling our federal and state representatives and urging them to support corrective legislation, to writing letters, to having face-to-face meetings with the chief Washington bureaucrat who caused this mess by issuing edicts with the power of law, a Dr. Roy Crabtree.

As useful as these steps may appear to be, they miss the point.

Limited government has become a thing of the past in our land of the free and home of the brave. Fishermen who supposedly have the right to own property, contract freely and enjoy the protection of the 10th Amendment, in fact, do not.

By bureaucratic decree supported by federal legislation and a Supreme Court ruling (Wickard v. Felburn, 1942, where the Supreme Court decided the federal government has a constitutional right to regulate how much wheat a Kansas farmer grows even on his own property for his own use), the federal government overrules the state of Florida in fishing matters. In turn, Florida overrules its own fishermen in the pursuit of their livelihood, forcing them to get permits and thereby placing limits on the wealth they can accumulate.

Neither the feds nor the state go out and sweat for fish; neither do they take on the financial risk of running a fishing company. But they are in a position to dictate how a fishing company must operate and share the catch.

Worse still, the feds and the state of Florida are controlled by legislators who have no direct stake in the success or failure of the fishing industry. To them, a fishing fleet is just one more source of tax revenue to be exchanged for any other.

It should not be this way. Limited government does not mean a government that decides not to interfere. It means a government that cannot interfere.

Individuals must succeed or fail on their own circumstances. The purpose of government is not to own businesses or grant favors but to protect individual rights.

There is a false enlightenment in America that thinks government control is necessary to prevent depletion of the environment or to ensure a steady market when individuals would ruin what they have.

As Capt. Eller made abundantly clear, fishermen have a vested interest in what they do, and they did selfregulate — either through moral persuasion, or by association contracts, or even by the power of the marketplace.

If depletion takes place, fewer fish means higher prices. Higher prices mean fewer fish are bought and sold, restricting the size of the fleet.

How is this different from what the government is doing now? The government is artificially restricting the amount of buying and selling of fish, resulting in higher prices and a reduction of the fleet.

Government regulation doesn’t ensure anything except a bigger government, and all it does is transfer the ability of Destin’s fishermen to run their own lives over to a government bureaucracy that must be bowed and scraped to.

The Tea Party must get more to the root of what ails us.

Peter J. Blome is a retired military officer and chairman of the Libertarian Party of Okaloosa County. He is also a member of the nonpartisan Fort Walton Beach Tea Party.

Scott Brown is a good thing?

The election of Scott Brown in Massachusetts has been widely hailed as a victory of conservatism over the collectivist trend that exists in America. I say it is nothing of the sort.

This is just the same old two party setup that has led our country to the situation it is now, and lies at the heart of why there is a Libertarian Party.

The lesser of two evils? People are convinced that they have to use one of two parties to have any voice, when in reality thay have none with either. What have you gained?

We have to play a numbers game to win elections? Sure, go ahead and assume everybody else is stupid, and try and outwit them by voting for something you do not want.

He was against health care, so we are ahead? He wasn’t against health care, he was just against somebody else (not him) controling healthcare. He wrote the current state healthplan for Massachusetts known as “Romneycare.”

Posing naked is legal, so this shouldn’t be held against him? So is being easy, but that does not mean I would want a nude male model to lead my country. There are thousands of real heroes out there who are not so desperate for self aggrandizement, and would do a better job.

The major parties are experts at making you think this is the best you can get. It is, of course, nonsense.

Vote for what you want, not for what you are given.

Regards
Pete Blome