Beam Me Up, Barack!

Obama believes in something that never was and never can be.

Much as jazz is the most versatile of music forms, science fiction and its cousin science fantasy offer near-infinite scope for an author's imagination.  A good SF writer can create a world that not only does not exist, and has not, but almost certainly could not without a major overhaul of the laws of physics.  Yet a well-written work of science fiction is not a preposterous jumble; instead, it carries a certain ring of truth because the characters in it (at least the human ones) are still recognizably human with all the multitudinous human foibles and failings.

James T. Kirk and Scotty boldly go not only where no man has gone before, but where Einstein tells us no man can ever go; that doesn't make Star Trek any less compelling or popular.  In fact, the complaint has been made that the more recent Star Trek spinoffs are nothing more than perfectly ordinary soap operas in an exotic setting.

Star Trek, Star Wars, and the like are enormously famous, generating millions for their creators and lead actors.  But where Leonard Nimoy and Harrison Ford are honored and loved, fanboys who go around dressed in Starfleet uniforms or pretending to be Jedi are objects of ridicule.

Why?  Because we are willing to accept a certain degree of unreality in a work of fiction, but most normal people clearly understand that certain fundamental premises of the setting are not real.  When Spock says, "Scotty, beam me up!" on TV, we expect him to be transported instantly millions of miles through space; when somebody shouts that on a street corner, we start looking for the men in white coats.  An inability to separate reality from imagination is a hallmark of the mentally disturbed.

Unfortunately, we are now ruled by people who cling, as an article of faith, to something that is absolutely essential to all their plans but which does not and can not in fact exist.

Captain Kirk makes his battle plans based on the performance characteristics of the warp drive, photon torpedoes, and the transporter - but only on TV.

Luke Skywalker knows what can be done with a light saber and a strong connection to "the Force" - but only in the movie.

Barack Obama and his Democrats make their plans based on their assumption of the existence of something never seen in all of human history, yet in which they have an absolutely unshakable belief: an omnicompetent government.

Government Knows Best?  Since When?

Trace a path through virtually ever single statement, action, policy, or law promulgated by Mr. Obama, and a single thread becomes clear: He believes the government is always right, or at least righter than anyone else.

The "smartest guys in the room" invested hundreds of billions of investor dollars and hundreds of millions of their own dollars, in mortgages that turned out to be worthless.  America's largest, richest, and most powerful banks were gutted in the collapse.  Yet Mr. Obama devoutly believes that government bureaucrats making a hundredth as much as the lowliest Wall Street banker can wisely predict the future where the banker failed, and avoid the next crash.

BP sank hundreds of millions of dollars into drilling a new oil well in the hopes of making the money back by pumping and selling the oil.  Instead, the oil is spilling out into the Gulf of Mexico, ruining any hope of profit and trashing BP's reputation, stock price, and bonus pool in the process.

If there were any way to fix the problem, BP's CEO would instantly command it to be done regardless of cost; as it is, they're throwing 23,000 workers and the kitchen sink at ever-more-far-fetched fix-it schemes previously seen only in science fiction.  Yet the agitation on Capitol Hill is for the very same government which gave the Deepwater Horizon rig a safety award to now take over the cleanup efforts!

For decades now, study after study has demonstrated that students do better in private education than in public education - even adjusting for differences in wealth.  A failing, disadvantaged inner-city hoodlum can be snatched from a collapsing public school and dropped into a well-organized, well-run private school, and becomes - no, not necessarily an instant Rhodes Scholar, but at least an average reasonably-educated individual who pays taxes rather then consuming them.  And at half the cost!  Yet the constant drumbeat from the left is to dump still more taxpayer dollars into a public-school system that has utterly failed in every conceivable way.

Government takes decades to build highways that are obsolete on the day they're opened; private enterprise whips up new toll roads almost before the ink is dry on the contract.  Businesses the world around have somehow managed to put together websites that work reliably and provide useful information to their customers, while government web sites seem not even to know how many Congressional districts there are.

We have repeatedly challenged our readers to come up with one - one single - government program that actually accomplishes what it's supposed to do in a reasonably efficient and effective way.  We have never received a response more recent than Eisenhower's Interstate Highway system, other than our military which is famously effective but not noted for its efficiency.

The Postal Service and Amtrak are bywords for waste and incompetence; not a day goes by without yet another story about a government agency utterly failing to accomplish anything useful at great expense.  And so on, ad infinitum.

Yet not a day goes by without news of still more power and authority taken from the private sector and given to unelected, unresponsive bureaucrats.  Why, when every single example in front of us argues how stupid and futile that is?

There are those who, despite all, believe in The Force or Starfleet, parading around in silly costumes while the rest of us laugh.  Alas, there are also those who, despite all the evidence of history and their own lying eyes, believe that government is all-competent and should by right be all-powerful, firmly directed by themselves of course.

Unfortunately, they parade around the halls of Congress, and nobody's laughing.

Petrarch is a contributing editor for Scragged.  Read other articles by Petrarch or other articles on Partisanship.
Reader Comments
We've heard that the staff on the platform were afraid it would blow, but the government gave them a safety award. Suppose the boss of BP calls the platform manager and asks about the danger, The platform boss tells the boss of BP about the government safety award. What does the boss of BP do at that point? Nothing, he's skunked.

The Times can identify the problems with government oversight, but they will probably never draw the right conclusion...

Inspector General Faults Minerals Management Service
A new report describes inappropriate behavior by the staff at the Minerals Management Service, including ethical lapses, illegal drug use and falsified reports.
May 27, 2010 5:55 PM
Add Your Comment...
4000 characters remaining
Loading question...