Mark Hartless: Government like a pet


We’ve all seen or heard about it. People being attacked and mauled by the supposedly “tame” animals they own; animals like tigers, monkeys, bears or snakes. Recently, there’s been an alarming increase in animals turning on owners, friends or family, often with tragic results.

Many who befriend these creatures fail to recognize the fundamental laws of nature being violated, insisting they can tame these beasts. However, according to a Humane Society spokesperson, “No matter how long a person has had the animal, or how well it’s behaved in the past, every moment spent in contact with it brings the risk of injury or death...”

Like domesticated animals, exotic creatures grow up. However, unlike domestic pets, these creatures also grow out of their dependent stage of life and are hard-wired to change from dependence into self-sufficient, immensely powerful, self-protective and completely self-interested killing machines. If that surprises you, it shouldn’t. It’s the only way they survive and grow; two things they intend to do whether you expect it or not.

Of all the exotic beasts, one of today’s favorites is particularly dangerous. Danger signs include increasing disinterest in the well-being of its master, being unpredictable and erratic, refusing commands, ignoring boundaries, isolation, even insulation from the master. It starts developing an irrational fear of its masters who, heretofore nurtured and cared for it.

Many who befriend this kind of creature also exhibit irrational behavior themselves, naively assuming they retain control of a beast that has outgrown them many times over. Because it hasn’t yet overpowered them, they think they remain its master, never considering just how quickly and horribly things could change if and when this beast changed its mind. Those who make the mistake of allowing this creature to be an intimate part of their lives are living on borrowed time and putting everyone around them in danger.

Like the tiger kitten that grows up and forgets who is the “master,” the American government has grown into an immensely powerful, self-protective and completely self-interested machine intent on survival and dominance at any cost. It no longer considers the American people its “master” and exhibits all the tell-tale signs of the “reversal.” It seeks to isolate itself from them; to act apart from their mandates and outside their control. It has erected a multitude of barriers between itself and its former “master.” Unresponsive and indifferent, it even bites with increasing contempt at the very hands that feed it.

Like the proverbial fire that has grown from helpful servant to terrible master, government completely is out of control, spying on citizens, reading our mail, lying, intimidating those who oppose or expose it, ignoring the restraints placed on it by the citizens through the Constitution.

Yet, astoundingly, many ignore these warning signals and continue feeding and empowering this beast simultaneously while filing away frantically at the few remaining fetters that restrain it. Like the fools who boldly pronounced their pet tiger “safe” just before being devoured, I fully expect many Americans will continue championing their progressive ideals even as the jaws of their pet government close slowly and tightly around all our necks.

Mankind’s default setting throughout history has been oppression, the many living in servitude to the few. America used to be the exception. By empowering government far beyond its intended scope, the American people are ignoring the storm clouds and boarding a non-stop return flight to serfdom. By choosing to use government like their pet, they foolishly imperil all of us and our posterity merely to satisfy their own shallow lusts.

Mark Hartless

Steamboat Springs


John Fielding 3 years, 9 months ago


This is an exceptionally effective composition. Congratulations and thanks Mark.



Scott Wedel 3 years, 9 months ago

Mark's letter is a little vague on exactly what government is doing to be described that way.

I think he would agree with much in this article:

A company offering encrypted email decided to shut down for reasons it cannot legally disclose. Assumption is they were given secret court orders to spy on their users and the recipient of these secret orders are not allowed to disclose they even received a secret order. The honorable business owner decided to shut down instead of spying on his users.


John Fielding 3 years, 9 months ago


When I discuss my view of government I like to use the analogy of the bull. A bull is powerful and potentially dangerous, and so can be important to the protection of the herd. A unique function that the bull performs is absolutely essential for the herd to continue in existence. Thus we must keep a bull. But we would do well to not attempt to hitch it to the wagon or the plow, regardless of how well we think we can control it by the ring in its nose.



sharon bedell 3 years, 9 months ago

Marks letter is excellent. It's a perfect comparison of what we are facing as the "American People". His 7th paragraph is not vague at all. It's the here and now. But... like the old say goes "ignorance is bliss". Thank you Mark.


jerry carlton 3 years, 9 months ago

Examine the retirement benefits, health insurance, and salary that the senate and house have bestowed on themselves and then try to refute that they are "satisying their own shallow lusts."


rhys jones 3 years, 9 months ago

Jerry -- Might as well complain about the weather, for all the good it will do you... but speaking of "shallow lusts" --

How 'bout them Rockies? Four straight now!! I smell a World Series!!


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