Wednesday, September 09, 2015
Several members of my family are wearing something called a fitbit. It’s a little electronic gadget that tells you, at the push of a button, how many steps you have taken and how far you have walked on a given day. If you push another button, it will tell you how many calories you have burned while you were taking all of those steps. Sometimes the gadget is connected to another gadget that tells you how many more calories you would burn if you walked a little faster, and sometimes it will even tell everybody else, via Facebook, how many steps you have taken, how many calories you have burned, and how long it took you to burn them.
Now, I don’t have a fitbit, so I just have to guess about my steps and calories. I did notice on a Facebook post the other day that one of my friends had walked five miles and burned 728 calories in 43 minutes. While I was impressed that my friend was able to walk 5 miles in 43 minutes, I did some quick calculations and discovered that in order for me to burn up the calories contained in that 4 pound bag of Tootsie Rolls I would have to walk a little over 46 miles in about 4 ½ hours.
It helped me realize that sometimes there just isn’t enough time or energy today to burn off all of the calories I consumed yesterday. Especially after I find a really good deal on a really big bag of Tootsie Rolls.
There are a lot of things in this world that have gone so far over the edge that they just can’t be fixed. Sometimes we get really attached to things, and hold onto them longer than we should. I kept my 1978 Chevy pickup until it rusted into 3 pieces. I kept thinking with a little more body putty, rabbit wire and tar paper I could keep it together, but the time finally came when I realized that positive thinking wasn’t enough to hold the truck together, any more than it could burn up calories as fast as I could consume them.
We are currently being subjected to the early stages of a Presidential campaign, where an ever-changing number of candidates from various political parties are offering up various solutions to change, or maintain, whatever people who pay attention to such things, think is right or wrong in Washington. I’m sure most of the candidates are sincere in their intentions to change or maintain how things are done, but as voters, perhaps we need to pay a little less attention to what the candidates tell us they are going to do, and a little more attention to how things really work with the federal government.
We elect some representatives and senators to represent us every couple of years, and like current crop of presidential candidates, I’m sure they have good intentions about doing whatever they told us they would do while they were trying to convince us to vote for them. In reality, there is a myriad of government agencies in Washington that have taken on a life of their own, and along with the Supreme Court, pretty well control every aspect of our lives.
Seldom a day goes by that we don’t read a story about IRS, the EPA, the DEA, the NEA, or one of the other countless government agencies imposing some new rule or enforcing an obscure old one, visiting misery on any person that happens to be in the crosshairs. (I say “countless government agencies” because after a little research, I found that even the federal government doesn’t know how many agencies it has.)
People who want to maintain a big government certainly have the advantage for now. The natural tendency of government to expand pretty well guarantees that. And I don’t fault people who still believe they can trim the fat in Washington by electing more of the same people we have been sending there for years, but in reality, our best chance of restoring limited government and individual freedom will happen when enough people realize the federal government is out of control, and start exercising our right to control our own lives a little closer to home.