This is my personal blog, on which I talk about a variety of topics purely as they catch my fancy. Some topics are serious, others whimsical. I love comments and questions so don't be shy, just courteous, even if you don't agree with me. I have another blog, The Story Template, on which I post writing-related topics on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Let's see, a bit about me... I'm married with two children, and spend much time taking care of our family. In my life BC (before children) I was a scientist who did bench research. I am a Christian who came to faith under protest through studying the historic circumstances surrounding the death of Jesus. I've written one novel, A Lever Long Enough, that I'm honored to say has won two awards. I also have written a nonfiction book, The Story Template: Conquer Writer's Block Using the Universal Structure of Story. This book is a programmed learner-type book that helps you, the writer, develop a complete compelling story (novel or screenplay) from a vague idea.

YOU CAN CONTACT ME at amydeardon at yahoo dot com.

Monday, August 8, 2011

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

If you've already heard this one, sorry. I'm still agog.

Earlier this summer an 11 year old girl from Fredericksburg Virginia found a cat about to pounce on a baby woodpecker, so she scooped it up, looked for the mother bird, then when she couldn't find it brought the bird to her own mom. They put the baby woodpecker in a cage and got into the car, stopping at a store on the way home. So it wouldn't overheat in the car they brought the bird into the store. A customer who happened to work for the US Fish and Wildlife Service was also in the store, and told them the woodpecker is protected under the Federal Migratory Bird Act. Furthermore, capturing and/or transporting a protected species is illegal.

The mom and her daughter released the baby woodpecker when they got home, then reported the incident to the US Fish and Wildlife Services.

Two weeks later, the customer/US Fish and Wildlife Service agent and a state trooper knocked on their door to deliver a $535 fine for taking the bird. If convicted of violating the law the mom could face up to a year in jail.

Some public outcry is thought to have contributed to the end of this story: the fine was dropped, and there is no risk now for the mom to go to jail.

I'm wondering if maybe the little girl should have just let the cat eat the bird? It would be tougher to get a conviction on the cat.

I don't know motives or much more of the story than I've related here, so can't make more than some general observations. Let me put it this way: as related here, this story seems to be yet one more example of the insatiable drive for humans to control other humans. You see this trait ranging from a couple's interactions all the way to the most repressive of governments.

The genesis of the United States of America was a unique event in history because, for the first time, autonomy and freedom were recognized to be natural rights and not granted by a ruling body. Over the course of 200 years our country has grown strong and an amazing source for good in the world, through this idea of Freedom.

Sadly, lately it has seemed as if there are too many rules and regulations. I can't even drive down my street without worrying that a speed camera may photograph my license plate: to whom do I complain if I disagree that I was going too quickly? Kids can't set up lemonade stands without first applying for multiple licenses that verify the lemonade is healthful. And what does one do if one doesn't like more widely applicable laws or restrictions on businesses? There are always elections, although change with new faces doesn't necessarily seem to follow. When yet more money must be found to pay for questionable solutions to predictable problems, we the people are told just how greedy we are, and how we don't care, and how we must give yet more money to make it right since it's our fault. Then we watch the stored wealth of millions of people fall with housing prices and the stock market, and current disposable incomes diminish through skyrocketing food and gas prices. An unemployment rate over 9% (!) doesn't help.

Another problem: social security. I'm not a fan of this idea: I believe people can invest their own money for retirement better than a leviathan. However, this is the bargain the government has set with people, and it's taken the money over years to fund this program. Now we hear that "maybe" the government won't be able to pay out the money, or "maybe" those who make more money won't get as much money back. Yes, it's a Ponzi scheme, but still millions have paid for this. It's THEIR money, for Pete's sake, that has been invested in the government. Shouldn't they get it back? What happened to Al Gore's "Lock Box"?

It's not all bad of course, and people have complained about the government since the Sumerians. I'd still rather live in the USA than anywhere else. I'm not a libertarian: there are good and important reasons for the existence of government. It does seem to keep growing, though, doesn't it? I heard the tongue in cheek definition of a politician: he doesn't care what you do, as long as you're mandated to do it. Our founding fathers must be turning over in their graves.

1 comment:

  1. I believe it was GK Chesterton who said "If man will not be governed by the Ten Commandments, then he will be governed by the ten thousand commandments."