Bureaucrat Beat: Rules for the Lawless, Paradox to Irony and Ben

Laws, laws and more laws. New rules on top of old rules, who can keep count? Let’s face it. We’re all law breakers. They make us that way. We’re expecting the next law to say, okay, people, breath in. Now, breath out.

One of our listeners sent in a card with a quote on that. Mike Farrell of Lone Pine came across a quote from Cornelius Tacitus of Rome. He said, “The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.” You’ve probably also heard that history repeats itself. Need we say more?

So, what do we do about this? Root out corruption in ourselves and our government.

Side note. Mr. Farrell addressed his card to Ms. Benett Kessler, Bureaucrat Beat, Sierra Wave c/o Postmaster, Independence, CA. Now, we all know that was an inappropriate address, but, thank you very much, the card made it to my p.o. box nonetheless.

And, buckle your seat belts, we’re in for still more new laws when we, ourselves, go to the polls February 5th. One proposition would slap the hands of the Governor and Legislature if they try to use gasoline sales tax revenue for whatever they want. Another proposition would cut the total number of years a state legislator can serve from 14 to 12 but allow all the years to be spent in one house. Nearly three dozen lawmakers who are due to be forced out by term limits next year would be allowed to run for reelection. Oh, fine. Pass laws; and then when they don’t work for the power trips of politicians, change the laws.

It’s tough to listen to the news these days – big city news, that is. The stories are too horrific to consider real – a father tosses his children off a bridge to get back at the wife, a boy beats a baby to death because she cried during his TV show!! Watch out, people, it’s not a nice world anymore.

Here we must mention the concept of paradox. Life is horrendous and at the same time wonderful. Dawn in the Sierra covered with thick, white snow – top to bottom. It’s a sweet life, too.

From paradox to irony. Here’s a fabulous quote, as part of a “Dilbert Quotes” contest. This was attributed to the switching supervisor of the AT&T Long Lines Division. Here it is. “We know that communication is a problem, but the company is not going to discuss it with the employees.” All righty, then!

Here’s some more advice from the past for our elected officials who just can’t seem to make decisions without creating long, complex new laws. Benjamin Franklin wrote a letter to his friend Joseph Priestly 235 years ago. Priestly was apparently tied up over a knotty problem. Franklin offered a method to arrive at an answer. Here’s part of the letter:

“…my way is to divide half a sheet of paper by a line into two columns; writing over thebenfrankliln.jpg one, Pro, and over the other, Con. Then during three or four days consideration, ,I put down under the different heads short hints of the different motives, that at different times occur to me, for or against the measure. When I have thus got them all together in one view, I endeavor to estimate their respective weights; and where I find two, one on eas side, that seem equal, I strike them both out. If I find a reason pro equal to some two reasons con, I strike out the three. If I judge some two reasons con, equal to three reasons pro, I strike out the five; and thus proceeding I find at length where the balance lies; and, if after a day or two of further consideration, nothing new that is of importance occurs on either side, I come to a determination accordingly.”

Franklin says that this method made him less liable to “make a rash step, and in fact I have found great advantage from this kind of equation, and what might be called moral or prudential algebra.”

Benjamin Franklin, described as one of the most influential and important of the founding fathers, was a leading author, printer, satirist, political theorist, politician, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman and diplomat.

Hey, maybe he knew how to solve problems, too! Give it a try. We’ll post this Bureaucrat Beat on our website, in case you want to read Franklin’s method or print it out. Cheers to practical thinking!

With that, this is Benett Kessler, signing off for Bureaucrat Beat, where we await your word on our lives in the Eastern Sierra and beyond.

 

 
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