Public and Private

Heinlein once wrote, commenting wryly on Hugo de Grotius:

There is an old, old story about a theologian who was asked to reconcile the doctrine of Divine mercy with the doctrine of infant damnation. “The Almighty,” he explained, “finds it necessary to do things in His official and public capacity which in His private and personal capacity He deplores.”

Some of my “official” work, what I must write to comply with regulations, feels a bit like that dichotomy. For example, I recently helped write an application for a concession in our National Park Service. Now, by regulation, you are not even allowed to submit such an application unless you pay appropriate homage to the gods of global warming and promise to make the appropriate sacrifices at their altar. For example, you must demonstrate how much carbon you are going to save, how many plastic bottles you are going to eliminate, et cetera.

Amusingly, the NPS goes on at some length about how important it is not to allow guests to feed the animals, because when you provide handouts to a population you harm them by turning them into dependents. Amusingly, the rest of the government has no qualms about doing exactly this to their human constituents. Of course, the bears do not vote, so … no handouts for them.

===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

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