Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Can The Nanny State Force You to Leave Your Home?

San Jose Mercury News - Residents who bucked wildfire orders describe life behind lines If the government orders you to leave your home - for your own protection - will you?

The cops who are called on to enforce the evacuation notices don't care if the orders are legal. They are just doing a job. (Maybe they should, but ....)
Vietnam veteran Jim Humphrey, 62, ignored San Bernardino County's voluntary evacuation orders Oct. 22 for his home in a tiny hamlet called Valley of Enchantment, even as flames leapt across a ridge of pines nearby.

Like many other hardy locals, Humphrey felt the government's intrusion into his way of life was unwarranted, despite the emergency. While patrols roamed the streets enforcing a sunset-to-sunrise curfew to keep residents away from fire crews, Humphrey was nearly arrested for sneaking out on his bicycle to go to a bar along nearby Crestline's main strip where a handful of regulars were meeting up.
I guess the question is, "Do I have the right to risk my life?" If the answer is, "No," then motorcycles, skydiving, hang-gliding, and any number of other things will be outlawed in the morning. (Maybe not tomorrow morning, but some morning.) Followed by anything else the Nanny State doesn't approve of, which is even a little bit dangerous.

The bureaucrats really are only interested in flexing their muscle. The truth - that they want to be able to deny you service if you call 911 - they don't want to admit to, since that would make them look weak. Just stating that "you are on your own," is beyond them. Even if it is the truth. Ordering you around makes them look strong... at least to themselves.

I suppose I should note that I have both evacuated and ignored the order to evacuate in the face of hurricanes. When I did evacuate, it wasn't because of the order, but because a large hurricane was threatening my location. I don't need to the government to make those decisions for me, even if they want to, even if they think it is for my own good, even if they shut down 911 fire/rescue service to my locale.

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