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It is in the prosecution of some single object, and in striving to reach its accomplishment by the combined application of his moral and physical energies, that the true happiness of man, in his full vigour and development, consists. Possession, it is true, crowns exertion with repose; but it is only in the illusions of fancy that it has power to charm our eyes. If we consider the position of man in the universe,—if we remember the constant tendency of his energies towards some definite activity, and recognize the influence of surrounding nature, which is ever provoking him to exertion, we shall be ready to acknowledge that repose and possession do not indeed exist but in imagination. - Wilhelm von Humboldt, The Sphere and Duties of Government (The Limits of State Action) (1854 ed.)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Letter to the Oregonian: Regarding Hovde on Family Leave

Dear Editors:

Removing the chaff from
Hovde's opinion piece ("Paid family leave? Let's give it a deserved rest", Sun. 22) reveals the wheat of her anti-humanitarianism. She conflates the deserved responsibility of "personal choice" with the vagaries of personal "circumstance". She dehumanizes people as "employees" or "co-workers" and finds their concern for each other as "odd" or "burdensome". She isolates people as "individuals" who "need to do their part" and appropriately "plan" and is unable to see them as her community and the care of young and old its point. But ultimately she would prefer to punish the many families in need than find out her yuppie neighbor got her $42. What a sad person.

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