I like to write about fish, animals, the environment and unique ways to think about those things here on my blog, thedyingfish.com. My regular readers also realize though that it’s all written from a libertarian, freedom-loving point of view. This is a time of crisis for American liberty and I’d like to shift my focus for a while from the fish, birds and waters of the mid-Atlantic to the struggle against the forces of control and conformity that now face us. If you’re offended by naked libertarianism or Americanism, you might want to just skip pieces like the following:
We’re all so much safer when government takes control of things. All the science says so. In reference to the current pandemic, it warms the heart to know that government is now firmly at the helm, counting incidence and deaths, generally teaching us how not to spread infectious disease and issuing directives to stem the flood of contagion. Perhaps this is a teachable moment in which we could all learn to trust government more and the reach of government could be expanded to all the things which threaten Americans.
For instance, automobile accidents…
Car crashes kill about 32 to 38 thousand [U.S. DOT figures] Americans annually. Think how many lives could be saved by simply shutting down the roads.
Alcohol related deaths…
88,000 American lives lost and 250 billion dollars lost annually [CDC Alchohol-Related Disease Impact Application] and yet it’s so simple to prevent: simply pass a law prohibiting the consumption or distribution of alcohol. Why haven’t we done this already?!
Among the greatest risk factors for heart disease (650,000 U.S. deaths annually) [CDC] are dietary choices. But why do people need so many choices? Just mandate healthy foods – we certainly don’t need more than 10 choices. And the right choices have been established long ago in the government’s own food pyramid. It’s time to write that into law isn’t it ?!
This does no one any demonstrable good and should have been banned outright long ago because no one can scientifically prove that it’s needed. 480,000 U.S. deaths annually. [CDC]
Government surely needs to flex its muscles here, shutting down the drug companies that have profited from opioids and creating larger militant task forces to pursue the illegal pushers and users alike. Approximately 47,000 Americans died of overdose in 2018 alone. [CDC]
Spreads in much the same way COVID 19 does and killed an estimated 34 thousand Americans in the 2018-2019 season (The 2019-2020 season preliminary numbers are a wide-ranging 24 to 62 thousand) [CDC] . It’s about time the government gets serious about protecting us from each other, keeping the schools closed, mandating vaccines and by all means keeping us separated.
Secondary infection in hospitals… And why isn’t government doing more to prevent the loss of life due to secondary infections contracted in hospitals? About 72,000 Americans died in American hospitals in 2015 while fighting a Healthcare-Associated Infection. Surely more government inspectors pursuing an ever more rigorous checklist of sanitation protocols can prevent this needless loss of life.
For murder, we should simply pass a law against it which would save over 16,000 [Statista, 2018 figures]American lives. That and ban anything that can be used as a weapon.
.COVID 19 has now accounted for about 8,500 American deaths, by today’s CDC figures (these figures remain controversial, however, because of differences in state’s counting methodology, i.e. “deaths with coronavirus” vs. “deaths from coronavirus.”. Over 2,800,000 Americans will die in 2020 [based on 2017 CDC figures]. The average age of death from COVID 19 is similar to the average U.S. life expectancy of 78.6 years. Yet we responded by elevating COVID 19 to emergency and pandemic status.
How do we live up to the precedent of control and mandate now being set?
If government could shut down roads, schools and businesses long enough to get all of these threats under control, what would be left of America? What of our lives? And history seems to suggest that overly-empowered government has been among the leading causes of human death, at least in the history of the 20th Century.
And here’s something zoological to chew on: Out of all the world’s megafauna, those least likely to face predators, vicious younger competitors or disease are those in zoos. Out of all the hamsters, those least likely to be picked off by raptors are those passing time on wheels and feeding on alfalfa pellets. Among fish, those most likely to survive to maturity are raised in the uniform bathtubs we call hatchery raceways. But none of these lead lives worth living and certainly none are ready to face a wild world of unpredictable and life-threatening challenges.
Perhaps one day we will let government solve all our problems for us and keep us from all harm. But after all the lights go out in our life-supporting cubes and an aseptic silence reigns, one imposing question would still linger: Who will protect us from government when government protects us from all?
Between 2007 and 2011, I walked from Georgia to New Brunswick in 5 long hikes, looking at brook trout streams all along the way. On the fourth of these hikes, I carried a rugged video camera that I used to capture day -to-day life on the trail between Cortland County, New York and Moosehead Lake, Maine. Long ago, I produced 9 videos from this footage and uploaded it to YouTube where these videos sit, seldom seen. Along with my next 9 blog posts, I’m going to share links to each of these videos. This is low-quality footage, especially by today’s standards but gives a real-life glimpse of the trail chronicled in my book, The Dying Fish.
The sixth video of the fourth hike of the Eastern Brook Trout Solo Adventure: