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By: Chad Kent
Chad Kent Speaks

In California, police are sending a clear message that we should never make any attempt to be self-reliant. Instead, we should be completely dependent on the government… regardless of the situation.

According to a local CBS affiliate:

When a major traffic light in the area went out Thursday morning, Alan Ehrlich took matters into his own hands, directing traffic at Fair Oaks and Huntington avenues.

“I grabbed a bright orange shirt that I have and a couple of orange safety flags. I took it upon myself to help get motorists through that intersection faster,” said Ehrlich.

If you read the article you’ll notice that no one ever claims that Ehrlich caused any problems or created any confusion. On the contrary, people on the scene reported that only minutes after he got out of his car traffic was running smoothly again. This man did a great public service and likely saved a lot of people a lot of time and frustration – and may have prevented a collision.

But instead of thanking Ehrlich for doing a good deed, Pasadena Police gave him a ticket. It’s like something out of 1984, where “service” is now “crime”.

In other words, even when the government is failing miserably at something, citizens should suffer through it and wait for them to figure it out rather than taking it upon ourselves to find a solution.

Not content to sit back and take the humiliation of allowing a private citizen to succeed where government was failing, the city of Pasadena went out of its way to highlight just how misplaced its priorities really are:

“Police responded to the scene and told Ehrlich to stop and issued him a ticket, but never stepped into direct traffic themselves.” (emphasis mine)

So they took the time to punish the guy who was actually trying to solve the problem… but never even attempted to solve the problem themselves. Wow.

You might be asking, “Ok, so this is annoying. But why are you making such a big deal about this, Chad?” Simple – because it directly affects our freedom.

Freedom and self-reliance go hand-in-hand. You can’t have freedom without self-reliance; and you can’t have self-reliance without freedom.

Unfortunately, most of our public officials have the same attitude as the city of Pasadena. Look at all the areas of our lives where we are being told to rely on government and not ourselves: retirement (Social Security), personal safety (don’t carry a gun, wait for police to save you!), and now health care. The list goes on and on.

When you depend on someone else to provide for a critical area of your life, they own you. Think of what your parents always told you, “If you live under my roof, you’ll live under my rules.”

It’s the same with government. “If you are going to get my health care, you’re going to get it according to my rules.”

Remember, one of the greatest parts about freedom is having control over the direction of your own life. To whatever extent we depend on someone else to provide for us, we give up that control (ie. give up our freedom).

If we want to preserve our freedom, we must learn from Mr. Ehrlich’s example. When we see a problem, we need to look for ways to solve it ourselves rather than waiting around for the government to do it.

And in doing so, we must reject any efforts by politicians or public officials to force us to be more and more reliant on government.


  1. I think we should all write Alan a check for 10 cents. By the time the city counted enough of them to pay his ticket they should have a nice long line behind him. Maybe they would think twice before giving a good citizen a ticket.

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