Sunday, March 13, 2016

The Responsibilities of Government

There are a few basic responsibilities of government that have pretty much been agreed on for centuries, except for recent times in the Western World. There are frills that are not basic, and which many conservatives and libertarians consider bad, counterproductive ideas. Among them are government pensions and health care, government-run or subsidized education, etc. Those can be discussed at length, but right now I'm thinking about the real basic responsibilities of government that anybody but the flakiest liberal or anarchist would agree to.

Some would mention a system of justice first, and I'd tend to agree, but there have been, I believe, functional governments that have left such things to the private sector, or at least the church, to handle.

More obvious is defense. If a government has no system in mind to defend the country against invasion, it clearly is shirking a basic responsibility. Now, it doesn't necessarily have to maintain its own army, even, but it has to have a system whereby it defends the country by means of treaties or the encouragement of the citizenry to produce a reserve army when needed.

You know where I'm heading, don't you? One pretty basic thing about defense is determining who may or may not enter the country in the first place. And for the most part, what with Merkel and her sisters like Obama and other Western politicians, that responsibility has been effectively abandoned.

And it's not a modern, new responsibility. Recognize this?

Wedera léode      on wang stigon·
the Wederas-warriors      stepped onto land;
saéwudu saéldon·      syrcan hrysedon

moored their vessel;      their mail-shirts clanked
gúðgewaédo·      gode þancedon

those war-garments;      they thanked God
þæs þe him ýþláde      éaðe wurdon.

that for them the wave-paths      had been smooth.
Þá of wealle geseah      weard Scildinga

Then from the wall saw      the ward of the Scyldings,
sé þe holmclifu      healdan scolde·
he who the sea-cliffs      had the duty to guard,
beran ofer bolcan      beorhte randas

borne over the gang-plank,      bright bossed-shields,
fyrdsearu fúslicu·      hine fyrwyt bræc

eager war-devices;      in him curiosity broke
módgehygdum      hwæt þá men waéron·

the thoughts of his heart:      what these men were;
gewát him þá tó waroðe      wicge rídan

then he went to the shore      riding his horse,
þegn Hróðgáres·      þrymmum cwehte
the thane of Hrothgar;      he forcefully shook
mægenwudu mundum·      meþelwordum frægn:

his mighty wooden shaft,      and with formal words asked:
'Hwæt syndon gé      searohæbbendra

'What are you      armour-wearers
byrnum werede      þe þus brontne céol

bound in byrnies,      who thus your tall keel
ofer lagustraéte      laédan cwómon

over the sea-street      leading came,
hider ofer holmas?'  
hither over the waters?'
Hé wæs endesaéta·      aégwearde héold

He was the coast-guardian,      he held the sea-watch,
þé on land Dena      láðra naénig

so that on Danish land      no enemies at all
mid scipherge      sceðþan ne meahte·

with a navy      would not be able to ravage.

It's from Beowulf. It's about Beowulf and his men showing up at the Danish kingdom to deal with Grendel, and they're stopped and interrogated by a coast-guard. His job is to make sure any foreigners entering are okay. This attitude is considered bigotry and racism and Islamophobia by our wonderful leaders today. But over a thousand years ago, King Hrothgar didn't have free college for everybody. He didn't distribute food stamps. He didn't provide Medicaid. Hell, he didn't even have a Post Office. But by Odin he guarded the border!

This is because he had common sense. He took precautions. He did his job. We've gotten all sorts of assurances from Hillary and Bernie and Cruz and Rubio and Kasich that they'll do other jobs, like securing Israel's borders, and picking fights with Putin over Ukraine's borders, and of course all kinds of freebies for people who don't feel like working, both Americans and new Third-World immigrants wandering across our border.  Oh, and Bernie and Hillary have big plans to disarm Americans so our wonderful new immigrants can do what they do without fear of resistance.

But so far, the only candidate who has mentioned that our borders are important, and that American citizenship is something to be guarded, not handed out like bumper stickers is, yep, Trump. And for that he's been called all the usual things — racist, bigot, Islamophobe, even anti-Semite, which should befuddle his grandchildren. All the others, except for the ambiguous Cruz, are on record as not intending to do a damn thing about our millions of illegal aliens, except, of course, guarantee them more free goodies.

Speaking of precautions, Steve Sailer, over at Unz Review [link], writes:

The "Precautionary Principle" and Immigration Policy
Quibcag. When in comes to kicking out, or just kicking, you can't beat Mouri Ran of Detective Conan, AKA Meitantei Conan (名探偵コナン) And the second, not really a quibcag, I just added because I thought the quote was worth spreading around a bit.

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