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Sounding Off: You must take care of yourself

June 16, 2010|By M. H. Millard

Louisiana orders the National Guard to build barriers against oil.

Hey, wait a minute, isn't that a federal job?

Isn't Louisiana doing essentially the same thing that Arizona is doing?

Shouldn't the people of Louisiana just sit around and drown in oil because the Feds have the authority to do something?

And, shouldn't the people of Arizona sit around and drown in illegal immigrants because the Feds have the authority to do something?

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Get the point? You as an individual have the ultimate responsibility of taking care of yourself and making sure you are safe and can prosper as a free human being.

And your city, county, state and nation as individual cities, counties, states and nation each have the authority to ensure the safety and well being of those who live in those places. Why? Because you as an individual have given them that authority to do certain things in your stead and for your benefit.

If those larger entities (city, state, etc.) do not use the authority you have given them, then you must act. You must take away that authority and do it yourself.

You can always delegate authority, but you can never delegate responsibility.

For example, if an armed person is breaking into your home to harm you, you'll probably call the cops to whom you have delegated certain authority to protect you.

However, if the cops don't arrive in time, you shouldn't just sit around and wait to be harmed. You have the responsibility for your own safety. You must act.

This principle of personal responsibility then expands in ever increasing circles to include your family, your neighborhood, your city, etc. But, the principle remains the same.

If you don't understand the basic principles behind the words "responsibility," "delegate," and "authority," you will forever be confused, perhaps to your detriment, about the relationship between yourself and various levels of government.

MARTIN MILLARD is a Costa Mesa resident.

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