The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Friday, November 16, 2012

For want of a nail, a kingdom was lost

I think about a little phenomena called "unintended consequences" from time to time. This is where unforeseen (and, often, undesirable) events occur because of some action taken.

For instance, you help a neighbor plant a tree in his yard. The tree takes root and grows quite large providing shade to your house and blocking the afternoon sun from your living room... until a storm rolls through one night and the tree is knocked down and into your living room. The result of the action taken (helping the neighbor plant the tree) resulted in two unintended consequences; shade for your house and a danger to your house.

I think about that phenomena because they are the pitfalls of life. You try to do what's right and it ends up biting you in the butt. Another way to look at is in the saying, "no good deed goes unpunished." Maybe we could call it Karmic Irony.

Here's another example:

In 1896, the American business Titans saw the mood of the country going against them (according to the History Channel's take on things of that era). A movement against monopolies was gaining strength, chiefly through the efforts of William Jennings Bryan who was making a name for himself as a populist and staunch anti-monopolist. They decided to back his opponent, William McKinley, who was more friendly to their way of thinking. He wins against Bryan twice, gaining re-election in the 1900 vote. His vice-president in the first term, however, dies in office in 1899. He is replaced for the re-election bid by Theodore Roosevelt. Now the tycoons saw that as a good thing because, as we know, vice-presidents don't often have much influence over policy or the presidents they serve under.

But then, in September of 1901, McKinley is shot by a would-be anarchist named Leon Czolgosz and elevating Teddy Roosevelt to the presidency.

But why do I think about this now? I have been wondering about the consequences resulting from the death of Osama bin Laden.

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