Reader Question: Priviliged Parking Spots?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

Chris writes: I’m not sure if this is present in your neck of the woods but in the last year or so I’ve started to notice a lot more “privileged” (for lack of a better term) parking spots at stores near me. Military veteran parking, law enforcement parking, expectant mother parking, etc. (I’ll email you the pics).  As a Libertarian it shouldn’t really bother me as these are private businesses and certainly said signs aren’t violating the non-aggression principle. But if I’m being honest, it does bother me. I just see it as a further indictment of AGW/hero worship in our society and how we’re all suppose to go supine and acquiesce to these groups. Am I blowing this out of proportion or is it another troubling sign of the times?  Thanks for your time and consideration.

My reply: It bother me, too – because it’s another form of theatrical virtue signaling. Look how concerned we are about (insert here). It’s ironic that, as our society has grown coarser and more violent, there has been a a rise in this false civility. Another good and related example being the practice of stopping in the middle of the road – when the driver has the right of way – to make way for a car attempting to merge. He is smug in his very public display of what he considers to be virtuous but has created a road hazard and is also being very discourteous to others – those behind him.

And of course, handicapped parking is completely out of control. It is almost comically absurd. A dozen always empty spots at big stores; there are even reserved handicapped spots at overlooks on the Blue Ridge Parkway now. Because everyone knows that multiple wheelchair-bound people are visiting mountain overlooks at the same time. Note also the proliferation of those Handicapped plates, too. They used to be occasional sights and the person within was almost always obviously crippled. Not anymore.

But I agree with you the most in re the setting aside of spots for various “heroes” – i.e., armed government workers. I especially dislike this business of “thank you for your service.” This is deluded – and dangerous – as well as servile. People have various reasons for joining the military but all of them are government workers who are paid with funds extorted from unwilling victims. This isn’t “service” – which implies a voluntary act desired by the beneficiary – and I certainly won’t compound the affront by thanking them for it.

A Boy Scout candidate for Eagle who – on his own initiative and using materials obtained via the willing cooperation of others – builds a shelter for homeless people has performed an act of service – and I thank him for it.

A neighbor who helps an elderly lady on his own time (and nickel)  has performed an act of service – and deserves our thanks.

These are examples of making an effort to help others on your own initiative without expectation of payment other than perhaps appreciation. That is service.

But being a paid mercenary for the government isn’t “service” – and I’ll thank them not to expect me to thank them for it.

. . .

Got a question about cars, Libertarian politics – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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  1. Both my kids had to perform 20 hours worth of “community service” as a requirement for graduation from high school; they didn’t get paid for it so that does qualify as service. Today’s public “servants” are well compensated for their time, ergo it’s NOT service.

    • Our twins had to participate in a “school to work” program in their senior year which was ironic because they had already been working a real summer job before that.

  2. WRT handicapped spaces, some people have disabilities that aren’t readily apparent. For example, if someone had a lung removed, they may not be able to walk far. Their legs and what not may work fine, but without the one lung, they won’t work well for long.

  3. “People have various reasons for joining the military but all of them are government workers who…..”

    Are simply mercenaries with apparently zero conscience. Employed to, or assist others, kill someone who has done nothing directly to you because ‘the government’ decided he (or she or the children) should die for THEIR reasons.

    Fuck the troops.

    • Hi Anon,

      I agree in principle, of course. That said, I do believe some join out of misguided good intentions – the same as some who become AGWs. But after a “grace period,” it ought to be apparent to anyone not actually stupid what the nature of the thing is…

  4. Eric – I have no problem with thanking veterans for their respective service and likewise being thanked. And IF an establishment wants to cater to public good will et al. by reserving parking spots for aged veterans, or comping them a meal on Veteran’s Day, or offering discounts to vets, active duty military, so-called “first responders (police, fire, EMTs), then they should be perfectly able to do so.

    But when the “Gubmint” gets involved and in effect starts saying, “some animals are MORE EQUAL than others”, that’s when I say that’s not I’ve “served” for! True, Heinlein’s Federation in “Starship Troopers”, where service brings “citizenship”, does seem intriguing…but that’s FICTION. If the Founding Fathers had wanted to define a “citizen” as one whom honorably served a minimum term of military service, thus being able to vote and/or hold public office, and so on, they’d have written as much in the Constitution. In fact, what is written in the Constitution, more specifically the SECOND AMENDMENT, is that a MILITIA (being essential to the security of a FREE state), the right of the PEOPLE to keep and bear arms shall NOT be infringed! Boy, has that ever been abused and disregarded! And the militia is NOT the National Guard, it was the whole of all able-bodied men of ages suitable for being called to arms when the defense of the country demanded it! The Militia Acts of 1792 spell it out in greater details, and an interesting note is that by Federal law the militiae of the several states may NOT be sent abroad! So the intention was to NOT have a large, standing military, but rather, a small, professional force, mainly to man forts and harbor defenses, and serve as the core to flesh out the Army when the citizen militae were called up…”farmers…with PITCHFORKS!”.

    I don’t blame the men and women that did serve with the best of intentions, as some self-righteous twits do. Rather, I blame the Deep State and its “military-industrial” complex, for turning our Department of Defense into fairly much the greatest “offender” ever known, to a degree that would have given Hitler’s OKW and the Soviet Stavka endless wet dreams.

  5. I’ve thanked some people for their service and was always happy when she said “Thank you. I hope we’re not through”.

    • True…just ask the Native Americans, shunted off to their reservations, about “immigration control” and “national” defense. Put simply, the USA, even informally (because Indians weren’t regarded as equal to the “White” man), declared war on the Six Nations, the Cherokee Nations, and so on, and conquered them, as has been done since the dawn of time.

  6. Hi Eric,

    Another example of this false civility or virtue signaling is the PSA below from an otherwise musically excellent radio station at UVa, played endlessly for the past two years ( OMG, not again!).

    In a truly civil society those who “practice acceptance and respect for all people” wouldn’t brag about it on a daily basis, wouldn’t brag at all. It would be as normal as getting up and going to work.

    Imagine a PSA: We get up and go to work. We support ourselves and our families. Wow! Aren’t we something special!

    The lady doth protest too much, me thinks.

    WTJU practices acceptance and respect
    Arts & Books
    Expires: November 10, 2020
    Sponsor: WTJU
    This radio station practices acceptance and respect for all people. As part of the University of Virginia, WTJU promotes an inclusive and welcoming environment that embraces the full spectrum of human attributes. WTJU envisions a community of understanding, tolerance, and respect. Thank you for being one of our listeners and thank you for being a part of this community.

  7. Thanking veterans for their ‘service’ and being brainwashed dupes of the empire makes me ill. And the fact a government gun is pointed at my head to pay for this ‘service which I dont support and dont appreciate at all. The fact theyre discarded like trash at the end of their ‘service’ is some recompense I suppose.


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