The Pointlessness Of Government

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By John Hubbuch

I must admit to a bit of admiring admiration for the ever-shrinking number of citizens that are engaged in government. These good people run for office, participate in election campaigns, vote in every election and spend hours watching news and talk shows so that they might be informed on the latest. But my admiration for them is similiar to that I have for Don Quixote or the explorers who came to the New World searching  for  cities of gold--- persistent people who are  completely delusional.                      

Really what is the point? At the national level more than 1.3 million people have died from firearms since 1960. Polls report that 85 percent of Americans and 81 percent of gun owners favor universal background checks. Yet a watered-down compromise bill to do background checks for purchase of weapons at gun shows failed to pass.                   

This failure was explained by the fact that the evil Republicans control the House and engage in sneaky delay in the Senate. If only the Democrats controlled both houses utopia would be right around the corner.             

And yet the Democrats in Illinois control both the House and Senate with big majorities, and Governor Quinnby is a Democrat. This Democratic hegemony could not pass a bill to reform a pension system that is universally agreed to be unsustainable and threatens the financial stability of state government. Appropriate metaphors include fiddling while Springfield burns, surfing a tidal wave and the light at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming train.       

The best part? The situation described has been existent for years. Like the movie "Ground Hog Day" the failure of government is on a repeating loop. Now the goo-goo's will respond that if the citizens are not involved then things would be much worse.          

I doubt it.

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Reader Comments

22 Comments - Add Your Comment

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Comment Policy

Yeah it's bad  

Posted: June 7th, 2013 10:52 AM

Ray, Prism was started under the Bush administration with the Patriot Act. Does Obama share blame for letting it continue and grow? Absolutely, but don't pretend it wouldn't have continued under McCain or Romney. We should all be very concerned.


Posted: June 7th, 2013 10:06 AM

Greetings, Professor Simpson. How about a nice game of chess?

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: June 7th, 2013 8:56 AM

OOOPS! that is one trillion Terabytes. Only an error of magnitudes.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: June 7th, 2013 8:51 AM

In light of yesterdays revelation of the Obama Prism internet data collection program, are all of these posts being recorded somewhere? Why? If we have a change in administrations do you guys need to be as worried as I am? Wern't we all promised that this would never happen? The new NSA facility in Utah has a capacity of 1 trillion gigabytes. How did this monstrosity get built and who authorized it? So many questions and so few honest answers!

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: June 7th, 2013 7:59 AM

@JC - I have lived the last few decades informing people that I am NOT related to Homer or OJ. My daughter Lisa enjoys the reference since Lisa , from the show, is the only intelligent one in the cast. I see the word 'mope' to mean less than articulate. I have listened to Gov. Quinn give long winded justifications for his actions and know less than I did before he explained. Politicians love to listen to their own voices no matter how disjointed or silly their logic seems.

Jim Coughlin from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: June 6th, 2013 11:22 PM

Ray, you must not a viewer of The Simpsons. A fan would recognize the reference to the mayor of Springfield. He's a total sleazeball. John Hubbuch should know better. You may be overreacting to my position that you referring to Governor Quinn as a "mope" was unfair. I will not argue with about the failures of our state government. Illinois is adrift in a sea of corruption.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: June 6th, 2013 10:04 PM

Alert Alert Alert I have been taken to the woodshed for insulting an Illinois politician. I fail to understand what a wonderful place Illinois is to run a business I have missed the talking points that detail how we are among the top bond rated states in the union . I sure missed the memo that convinces businesses to relocate here so they can take advantage of all of the wonderful unions. In these very pages our politicians have been called liars, thiefs, war criminals monsters and on and on. Yet, Mr Coughlin gets upset by "Mope" I am pretty sure he has called W43 far worse with no guilty conscience.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: June 6th, 2013 5:44 PM

@ JC i was trying to figure out what mean spirited name JH called Gov Quinn. Could it have been that the gov was a Democrat? My "mope" comment referred to his verbal skills , old Ev Dirksin is still resting peacefully in his grave, assured that his "Golden throat orator" title isn't being challenged.

Jim Coughlin from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: June 6th, 2013 4:28 PM

Still think you're wrong about Governor Quinn and that your jab about him being a "mope" was rude. Not as meanspirited as the name John Hubbuch tagged with him but still unfair. I see Pat Quinn as a decent man who has devoted himself to public service. I'd argue with you about his intellect considering he's a graduate of Fenwick, Georgetown University and Northwestern Law and has been a tireless and strong advocate for government reform, consumer rights, veterans affairs and environmental issues. A good man.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: June 6th, 2013 3:09 PM

@ JC I made no mention of honesty or corruption. My comment had to do with having an articulate governor. If we want to be a world class business center the last we need is a guy who speaks poorly. My dad use to tell me that your vocabulary is a window to your intellect.

Jim Coughlin from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: June 6th, 2013 2:49 PM

Ray, you seem to have forgotten the scandal involving Jim Edgar's chief political benefactor and a highly controversial state contract. Though he was never indicted, a number of employees and state officials were found guilty. All in all, I do consider Edgar to have been an effective leader who conducted himself in a fair and decent manner. I've seen the former governor at Arlington International race course on a number of occasions. He's been very approachable and quite proud of the throughbreds he owns and races. Your nasty swipe at Governor Quinn was unfair and baseless. Corruption in state government has plagued us for decades and we are seeing the results as Illinois plunges deeper and deeper into debt. Pat Quinn seems to be acting in the best interests of the citizens and deserves some measure of respect for his efforts to restore a sense of integrity and honesty to the governor's office.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: June 6th, 2013 12:26 PM

The last articulate governor we had was Jim Edgar. Blago sounded great but look where it got him. How can a mope like Quinn promote our state to giants of industry and leaders of foreign companies. He sounds like a sout' side alderman promising you a new trash can.


Posted: June 6th, 2013 10:04 AM

Jim-Indeed, Quinn is honest and decent, but more importantly, he is ineffective.

joe from south oak park  

Posted: June 6th, 2013 8:42 AM

chris- In which way am I hypothesizing to the extreme? If we enforce existing laws it would provide a strong disincentive to illegal sales without further inconveniencing lawful owners. Making a transaction double extra special illegal does nothing but add another layer of bureaucracy when existing laws are not adequately enforced.

Chris Walsh from Oak Park  

Posted: June 6th, 2013 2:01 AM

Typo: Oops, "The Devil claps" not "clamps". But I think you get the point.

Chris Walsh from Oak Park  

Posted: June 6th, 2013 1:59 AM

John, The Devil clamps when good people remain silent and uninvolved. You should seriously consider giving up your pen if you've become so jaded. The pen can be mightier than the sword. But is also can become more poisonous.

Chris Walsh from Oak Park  

Posted: June 6th, 2013 1:48 AM

John, You are quite wrong to opine that government is pointless. That is like saying COMMUNITY is pointless. The "government" is simply the community trying to run itself.

Chris Walsh from Oak Park  

Posted: June 6th, 2013 12:24 AM

Joe, ALL laws are irrational if you hypothesize the extreme: I'm trying to trade guns with a buddy I've know for years, and I don't want to be inconvenienced or delayed. But the SAME law you whine about is the one applicable to people doing stranger-to-stranger sales that wind up arming the gang-bangers or crazies. To protect the COMMON GOOD of us ALL, we ask you to suffer a small inconvenience. Are you up for it?

Jim Coughlin from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: June 5th, 2013 11:51 PM

Taking a cheap shot at Governor Pat Quinn ignores the fact that he is a honest and decent man who has been thwarted in his efforts to reform state government by corrupt politicians on both sides of the aisle.

joe from south oak park  

Posted: June 5th, 2013 11:22 PM

A lot of gun owners are against mandatory background checks because in would require traveling to and paying a fee to a firearms dealer, of which there are not too many. Of late you are often looking at a 2 to 3 day wait on most NICS checks. If all private transfers had to go through this system it could easily take 5 to 7 days. As is i have to keep the paperwork for 10 years. not too hard to track down the last legal owner of a handgun that has not had the serial number removed.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: June 5th, 2013 11:07 PM

John - To me politics is a hobby, sorta like your columnist gig!

joe from south oak park  

Posted: June 5th, 2013 11:01 PM

John- what you may not be seeing here is that for the majority of folks background checks on firearms is not that big of an issue. For a firearm owner, it is an issue. Say I sell a shotgun to a lifelong friend in exchange for a bird dog. where is the value here in a background check when both of us have a foid and needed a background check to get one. Even if i am buying from a total stranger in Illinois i know that this person has passed a background check.

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