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How to Boil a Frog
read in Macedonian


Do you know how to boil a frog?  (A live frog, I mean.  Sure it would be easy to kill the frog and then boil it, but where’s the fun in that?) 

Here’s how you boil a frog: capture a live frog and put him in a pot of cool water (they like cool water).  Slowly – very slowly – turn on heat.  Turn it up just a little at a time.  The frog will not notice the heat because he is being acclimated to it, almost imperceptibly. Keep turning it up, bit by bit.  You might actually begin to notice that the pot and the water, is getting hot.  But not our frog.  He’s very happy.  But not for long. 

I’m sure you know where this story leads: pretty soon, the water is in a toil, a cauldron of boiling water and our frog, well, our frog is boiling.  (In the interests of keeping my editors from receiving angry letters from readers claiming that I am advocating torturing animals let me state for the record: Do not attempt to boil a frog!)  Also, the truth is the frog will actually jump out of the water – but the metaphor is useful here because…. 

…we are the frog (or at least some people are). 

I am, of course, writing about slowly creeping change, the slippery slope of gradualism.  I am writing, of course, about government intrusion in our lives in a way that we become entirely dependent on and subservient to the state.  I’m writing, of course, about the nanny state, the cradle to grave state that takes care of our every need, in turn taxing us to death (a boil), sapping our energy, enthusiasm, creativity and will to live. 

This is what is happening in the political and economic West.  Once you allow government control over one part of your life, it is very difficult to get it back.  Once you give government the right to regulate part of your life, your business, your community, it is near impossible to get it back.  Once you give away a little bit of your freedom for a little bit of security, you will lose both.  And once you allow government to give away entitlements to the masses, they will demand more entitlements without ever thinking about how to pay for them and who has to pay for them. 

A good case in point: Author Mark Steyn tells of two men he knows, a stonemason and a roofer in his state of New Hampshire.  They were contracted to work on a public project for the state and were told they must attend “ladder school” even though both men have spent their lives on top of ladders in their jobs.  A man from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (a government agency) told the men that under new rules, they must both give up a day of their work to learn about how to properly use a ladder.  When the government starts telling men who have spent their lives working on the tops of ladders that they must spent a day of their work to learn how to work on a top of a ladder, it’s time to fight back against the government. 

But there is more to gradualism and overreach than just the nanny state dictating economic conditions.  It also occurs in our culture.  One of the big issues of the past 20-30 years has been a push toward multiculturalism, a belief that all cultures are equal and valid and that if your cultural beliefs offend another culture, then something is wrong with you, your beliefs and your culture.  We find this increasingly true in the West – Europe, North America, Australia, New Zealand and a few other hold-outs of a civilization that made the world what it is today.  We find – through increasing gradualism – that we must change our values and beliefs to accommodate, to take the most relevant example – Islam and their belief system.  This is one reason why you see so many mosques going up around Macedonia with very little outcry – for if Macedonians start complaining about the rampant construction of un-needed mosques, you can be sure the nanny state – in this case, Brussels, will come down hard on you.  Never mind the fact that Christians are persecuted in Muslim lands and churches will never be built in Saudi Arabia. 

Let me leave you with this parting thought: Political historian Dr. Paul Rahe writes that “Human dignity is bound up with taking responsibility for conducting one’s own affairs.” We all want dignity and respect.  We all want to be acknowledged for who and what we are.  We all desire to have our worth as individual human beings recognized by others.  But when we allow government to conduct our affairs for us and when we allow faceless and unelected bureaucrats in far-away places (Brussels, Washington, DC) to dictate to us how we should live our lives, we lose our dignity.  We lose our sense of self-respect.  And we lose this slowly and gradually until we wake up one day and realize what we have lost.  Be vigilant, Macedonia.

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Jason Miko
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