Single Point of Failure

There exist single points of failure in our lives which have the potential to seriously strand us as individuals leaving us at the mercy of the world, and it is incumbent upon us to recognize these and prepare as best we can for their eventual occurrence. 

We are born helpless into the world and rely upon our mothers for protection, sustenance, and love as we gradually develop the ability to care for ourselves and then care for others. Our mothers become the single point of failure in our lives and we would be extremely hard pressed to survive should anything happen to her in the first few months of life. The family unit provides additional protection for the mother and ultimately us. As the traditional breadwinner, the father makes a living, provides a home, and protects the family from a great deal of harm simply by being there as a visible symbol of protection which discourages attempts to visit harm in the first place. He also serves as a repository of knowledge which he, along with the mother, passes along to increase the child’s chances of survival in the world. The father serves as the cushion to protect the mother as the single point of failure in our lives as part of the family unit.

Upon reaching adulthood, we discover new points of failure which we attempt to mitigate through various means as prudent precautions. The most effective of these mitigating factors is the existence of a strong family unit which provides a group of people able to assist one in times of minor emergencies. They can be called upon to render assistance with a flat tire, to provide needed funds, and to generally help us out of tight spots. The family continues to serve as a cushion to protect us from being stranded by single points of failure.

The fluidity of the American labor market often necessitates movement away from immediate family to obtain work for many and this family cushion protecting us in times of trouble is removed. On our own far away from the immediate assistance of family and friends from our hometowns whom we could call upon for assistance, we are forced to be ever more vigilant in our efforts to mitigate single points of failure. We must acquire dependable transportation, find a safe place to live, learn to budget our finances and live within our means, and develop some savings to prepare for unexpected emergencies. These things become even more important to get right when we have to rely primarily upon ourselves.

We hopefully develop a sense of self-confidence in our independent abilities to handle minor emergencies, but we also develop prudent attitudes toward preparation. We choose to live in a safe neighborhood that affords some semblance of reasonable protection from those who would prey upon us, but we also might choose to purchase a firearm and learn to handle it properly as a precaution against the unexpected. When and if that unexpected time ever comes, use of a firearm may be required before the police have a chance to respond and get to the scene. There may not be the time or the opportunity to notify the police in the first place, and it may be several minutes before they arrive. The axiom “when seconds count, the police are minutes away” is a powerful argument for gun ownership.

Likewise, we take prudent steps to ensure our car is properly serviced to avoid a breakdown which could easily strand us at an inopportune moment or in a remote location. We fill it with fuel on a regular basis, check the oil, inspect the tires and monitor tire pressure, and pay attention to noises and odors which might indicate mechanical problems and alert us to the need for servicing. We are especially prone to being stranded if we only have one vehicle, and we take care not to allow this single point of failure to leave us stranded. As most of us now carry cell phones, it is prudent to program in the numbers for a local towing service, a friend who can render assistance, and the local police. Cell phones are handy, but we still need a number for them to be effective.

The point of all of this is that as we mature, we recognize, identify, and mitigate the single point failures in our lives as the responsible adults we become. Those who ignore these failure points are left at the mercy of fate and suffer the ill effects of their neglect. They are often the poor and unfortunate who find themselves dependent upon the government because they live dangerously close to the edge of failure and are wiped out when fate inevitably intervenes to finally push them over that line. The progressives seize upon this group promising them rescue from their profligate ignorance of the need to mitigate circumstances by building cushions upon which they can fall back in times of emergency. However, the progressives are all too acutely aware that the government isn’t able to provide timely assistance in a crisis, and they have no intention of being honest about this point as long as they can translate fear of the unknown into votes and power.

The government failed spectacularly in assisting the citizens of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina first ravaged the city with Level 5 winds and then caused the levee failures with its storm surge which then flooded the city. Residents trapped in the city took refuge in the Superdome, quickly overwhelming its facilities. Social order proceeded to breakdown as citizens were left to fend for themselves over scarce resources as the government assembled relief efforts through FEMA.

There were those who were prepared like Finis Shelnutt who sat on the balcony of his French Quarter apartment sipping iced Champagne while chaos reigned on the streets below him. Those unprepared suffered and died in misery unable to comprehend the fact that crisis response requires time and effort to be put into place. The government attempts to put response systems in place for times of crisis balancing the need for timely response with finite financial resources, but relief efforts, no matter how well prepared, require time to be emplaced before they can get underway efficiently. The progressives would have their constituents believe that government response is instantaneous despite the glaring examples of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Sandy, and the tornado which destroyed Joplin, Missouri. There are, of course, many other examples of natural disasters in which suffering is witnessed as government officials struggle to bring relief.

There are also others who welcome the chaos that disasters bring as an opportunity to prey upon their fellow citizens in the absence of police. They resort to looting, pillaging, rape, and robbery as soon as the forces promoting social order disappear. We are reminded just how fast the social order so carefully built up over the course of history can evaporate when government disappears and the fight over scarce resources commences.

We conservatives constantly warn of the damage being done to our social fabric by progressive attempts water down morality through their secular humanist approach of encouraging people to do whatever makes them feel good and removal of God and absolute truth from the public consciousness. For our trouble, we are ridiculed by the progressive media propagandists who paint us as extremists who wish to drag our overly permissive society back to the Dark Ages. This despite the fact that our conservatism is not overly repressive or burdensome, but only appears that way precisely because of the level of permissiveness to which our society is now accustomed. We hold conservative values of limited government because we fear the potential of unlimited government power being directed at Americans precisely as it does through the current NSA spying scandal in which the communications of all Americans are constantly monitored by the government. We have the IRS targeting conservative speech through the power of the tax code which allows for the denial of tax preferences to groups critical of the progressive agenda and audits of individuals critical of the government. Eric Holder’s Justice Department is punishing conservative speech through prosecutions of individuals critical of President Obama and his progressive agenda. These efforts have a chilling effect on conservative criticism of the government and the progressive agenda as individuals curtail their criticism to fall under the government radar unable to afford the expense of defending themselves from audit or prosecution against a government with unlimited resources.

The abuse of government power by those elected to wield that power on behalf of the American people for their benefit then becomes a single point of failure as the liberty so preciously purchased through the struggle of the patriots and carefully enshrined to us in the Constitution by the Founding Fathers is threatened by a group which arrogantly believes America’s prominence in the world is the cause of strife and ill feelings. The Founders struggled to place sufficient checks and balances on government power to prevent its use against Americans, but also realized that no design would be perfect and thus included the Second Amendment for that time when those checks and balances broke down and failed to prevent the abuse of that power. It is incumbent upon us Americans to preserve the liberty which belongs to those patriots which won it and who have bequeathed its use to us through successive generations. As responsible American patriots, we are charged with recognizing this single point of failure and taking steps to mitigate its occurrence.

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