If You Can’t Beat ’em, Cheat ’em

My recent campaign to outlaw romance novels has met with considerable resistance.  Now I know that those things are bad for you.  They engender false hope in the romantically-challenged and suck up hour upon hour of time that could be spent reading something more uplifting.  Fabio’s visage has also planted a large seed of self-doubt in those of us with smaller pecs and less hair.  They’re horrible, I tell you, horrible.

The last straw was when someone told me we had to vote on the ban.  Vote?  Are you kidding me?  It’s the countless millions of love-starved dolts that I am trying to help!  Why would I need or want their opinion?

There is a perfectly good reason.  It is supposed to be hard to get things done here in the U.S.  Our political system is based upon the idea that individuals know best what is good for them and should be left alone to pursue their own happiness as they define it.  Government’s role is limited, is restrained by our founding document, the Constitution, and is not to be expanded willy-nilly in pursuit of some cockamamie problem a minority of people have conjured up, romance novels included.

Someone in the current administration did not get that memo, apparently.  A fellow blogger posts this article on the use of bureaucratic decree to accomplish what the legislative process could not.  For the benefit of the Administration, let me offer a few reminders about our system of government.

We vote on things here.  We don’t always get it right, but voting ensures that we don’t get it horribly wrong, either.  When we can’t vote directly, we authorize our representatives to vote for us.  They may be idiots, but they know better than to hack too many of us off.

We have three branches of government.  There is a reason for that.  We don’t want one branch to start grabbing power.  The other two are there to restrain the first.  We love gridlock.  If we could figure out how to keep you from spending money while you argue in some old historic building day after day, we would enshrine it as a permanent institution.

Listen up, bureaucrats.  You are not nearly as smart as you think you are and we are much smarter than you think we are.  Controlling the gas I exhale is about as as useful as bottling the gas you expel.  Managing content on the Internet is not going to make our lives better.  Kathleen Sebelius’s tantrum against insurance companies’ freedom of speech is not heroic.  It is arrogant, stupid, and probably unconstitutional.

All the particular outrages the Obama Administration has foisted upon the American people are soundly trumped by the sinister ethos it embraces.  “I know best,” sayest the Anointed One.  “As do my minions.  Obey and come to know good.”  Got that right.  It will come to no good.

About Terry Noel

I am an Associate Professor of Management and Quantitative Methods at Illinois State University. My specialty is entrepreneurship.
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3 Responses to If You Can’t Beat ’em, Cheat ’em

  1. sally lacy says:


    Did you actually read the article you cited? Yes, it manages to make things seem very dire-the return of DEATH PANELS!!!! and the EPA regulating something as benign as our exhalations, not to mention the “discredited” UN Intergovt. Panel on Climate Change.

    The DEATH PANEL (which should always be capitalized because it should always be said in a shrill shrieking voice to garner it the attention it deserves) reference was signing into the health bill that practitioners can now be reimbursed for “end of life counseling” (a concept that begs lower case status because it deals with a subject that, while it thankfully no longer needs to be whispered about -that yes, people are eventually going to die- there is a sense of respect to the process. At least I very much respected the process when my mother utilized hospice services several years ago.) If there are ever life circumstances requiring counseling that are deserving of reimbursement, this is it. My degree is in Counseling Psychology and I don’t know that I have the strength to engage in that area of counseling but am impressed and appreciative of those who do.

    So the EPA is going to regulate the stuff that actually comes out of our mouths when we breathe?!?!?! And if there is too much of it, will they send some of us in front of your DEATH PANELS to be eradicated? Since CO2 is a green house gas, and, oh by the way, is also a by-product of burning fossil fuels and deforestation (something your writer curiously left out), and green house gasses do have this little negative impact on our environment, you mean the branch of our govt. that is charged with protecting the environment (right there in its name) is going to regulate this stuff? And this is disturbing… why? Or maybe your writer goes so far as to take issue with the fact that our govt. even has an EPA, in which case, give him my address and invite him to join me working in the garden out here in the country on tire burnin’ day.

    And then there’s the assumption that the entire work-data collection and analysis over years- of the Panel on Climate Change is discredited because one of their scientists was unprofessional in an e-mail. Have you ever worked with someone who did not hold the same professional standards in their speech as you do? What about in the e-mails they send or forward you? Does that discredit your entire institution?

    I often enjoy your articles Terry, but please be more discerning with your links. The fact that this guy has a PhD strikes me as all the more greivous. Either his critical thinking skills are impaired or his manipulation skills have been sharpened to Beck or Hannity status. I suspect it’s the latter.

    Oh, and Happy New Year,


    • Terry Noel says:

      Hee hee…got you all worked up on that one, huh? Well, I always appreciate your feedback, and Happy New Year to you as well.

      I think the real issue is not whether, for example, death is a good thing to be open about, but whether the government should have anything to do with such personal matters at all. There are plenty of good reasons to believe that Obama Health Care will lead to a shortage of providers. Add that to the fact that a disproportionate amount of resources are spent near the end of life and one begins to wonder why all the sudden interest in DEATH PANELS. (I know, it’s hyperbole. Kind of like GLOBAL WARMING.)

      Which brings us to environmental hysteria. I don’t think any libertarian would argue that we don’t have a right to seek recourse against what other people impose upon us whether it be bad smells or loud oompah music. The issue is the degree to which we are willing to let a minority opinion based on dubious science form the basis for public policy. The EPA has embraced the global warming mantra to the exclusion of any other considerations, economic or scientific. They are a menace, not a protector of the public.

      Incidentally, my objections do not hinge merely on hacked e-mails, and I suspect the same of the author of that article. For years, there has been a strong, legitimate, and growing body of findings that call into question alarmist orthodoxy. The models in vogue now use a positive feedback loop assumption. (Basically, what gets worse gets worser and worser over time.) There are numerous problems replicating such models using real data and even the alarmists have been pressed into admitting the the man-made impact is probably nothing like Gore’s doomsday movie. If we were REALLY about to burn up, I would probably want to do something about it. I am not, however, in favor of impoverishing ourselves on the basis of current science.

      Again, thanks for the feedback. Keep reading and keep writing!


  2. sally lacy says:

    “grievous” — I hate typos


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