September 04, 2005

Sillier and Sillier

How bad is it down in the gulf?--Bad enough that I just received this from a supervisor at work:

"We are receiving reports of an influx of hurricane victims at [healthcare facility]."

Here's the location of [healthcare facility].

So if you're anything like me, you probably read that and thought, "Wow, this is really serious! We'd better all sit down and patiently explain to Republicans how it's their fault for being racist."

I mean, right?

For sheer silliness it's hard to beat this back-and-forth between Ace of Spades and Amanda Marcotte of Pandagon. Ace sez Amanda accuses conservatives of wanting to tar and feather the man who helped evacuate people with a stolen bus--which obviously, we don't. I first read about Stolen Bus Hero here, and I detect an admiring tone from that particular conservative; how 'bout you?

Anyway, Ace gets a little angry:

This little cocksucker claims that we evil racist conservatives are angry because a kid "stole" an abandoned bus and used it to evacuate people.

Who the hell made such a charge? No one, that's who. From the beginning of this mess, conservatives have been pretty solid on the distinction between survival-driven "borrowing" and true looting.

No one is going to bring charges against this kid, asshole. No one is going to call for charges against this kid. You call him a hero. Guess what, idiot? Everyone fucking agrees with you.

Which, as nearly as I can tell, everyone does.

That said, I am not seeing where Amanda accuses the right of being against the young hero. She does clumsily try to tie it together with the early looters/finders distinction:

That's not stealing and that's not looting. This is beyond ridiculous. That's heroism. If this kid gets arrested for being a fucking hero and single-handedly saving 100 people, then I am laying the blame on the feet of every stupid asshole who complained about looting.
And this being America, Amanda's welcome to do that--but dear sweet heavens above, do not let this woman anywhere near a courtroom, ever. Because in no dimension does "boneheaded officials wanna arrest him" result as effect from the cause of "you know, I thought that guy with the 10 pairs of jeans on his shoulder was a little out of order," or "Could we maybe try not shooting at the rescue helicopters?" or any of the dozens of sane, reasonable objections to actual bad behavior, in New Orleans particularly, that I have read this last week.

Boneheaded officials wanna arrest him because that's bureaucracy, baby. That's government--something progressives generally clamor for more of. Well, you've got it; now do something with it. Write or call the city of New Orleans and tell 'em to quit being boneheaded if you don't like it. Or call the ACLU. Ask your readers--I hear Pandagon has a few--if they know any lawyers in the area who'd jump at the chance to make a national name for themselves for the low, low cost of a little pro bono work--I suspect you'll be flooded, ha ha, with responses to that one.

For the last time: You have a participatory form of government. PARTICIPATE. Or:

When you have made evil the means of survival, do not expect men to remain good. Do not expect them to stay moral and lose their lives for the purpose of becoming the fodder of the immoral. Do not expect them to produce, when production is punished and looting rewarded. Do not ask, 'Who is destroying the world?' You are.
But then, the woman who wrote that was not a progressive, so we can ignore her.

Of course, if a dead Russian immigrant says people gotta take a little repsonsibility, she's just a nut who never got over that whole Soviet Union thing. If a black woman says people gotta take a little responsibility, she's a self-loathing racist:

Back when I was growing up, real men took charge and made decisions. They protected women and children--especially their own children--and got them out of harmís way; out of the way of things like hurricanes, especially when they had days of advance warning. And if they made the wrong decision, they tried to make things right and/or took the consequences. Like young Jabbar Gibson. [Oh, hey, didn't we tar and feather that boy yet?--ed.]

They didnít expect someone else to be the protectoróbe the manóand then whine about how the substitute man wasnít being the substitute man fast enough.

No one should wonder that gangs of thieves, terrorists, rapists and murderers plagued the refugees. Such are the rotten fruit of fatherless societies--societies with a dearth of real men.

The response from various commenters then proceeds to blow your mind, and not in the fun way:

  • You fucking right wing dirtball. What a disgusting piece of shit the average Republican is, and you're no exception. Fuck you.

  • So, would you cringe if Jews in concentration camps didn't stand up for themselves? Do you think a leader should have arisen at Auschwitz to combat the Nazis? Was there something defective in their society that let them be persecuted by the Germans?

  • Here we go again with "blame the victim" and the thinly veiled racism.
  • And so on and so forth.

    What Baldilocks is describing--the scenes of men complaining that no one will help them, the mothers clearly without fathers--is applicable specifically to the people of New Orleans, many of whom are black.

    But what she's describing generally is the inevitable consequence of decades of rewarding dependence and passivity while punishing independence and action.

    That's what states do (and by "states," I do not mean specifically these united ones but governments in general), the more power you give them. It is difficult for states to manage large numbers of people; it is impossible for them to manage large numbers of people who are independent, self-motivated, and active. When you clamor for states to exhibit more of those qualities themselves--be more active on our behalf! Do more without having to be told! Decide what's best without all that dithering and filibustering!--you necessarily decrease those qualities in the populace. So help me, I didn't make that rule. It just is.

    Be more active on our behalf! means you empower government to decide what "your behalf" is.

    Do more without having to be told! means you empower government to take action without first seeking your input.

    Decide what's best without all that dithering and filibustering! means you empower government to ignore opposing viewpoints and conflicting data.

    This is what you wanted. This is what you get. It's not racist for Baldilocks to report what the news is showing her and react to it. It is racist to take any minority group and declare it a ward of the state, sentence it to permanent childhood, deny it independence.

    Which, when you apologize for behavior in one group that you wouldn't tolerate from a member of your own group--when you make the "they cain't help it, the poor oppressed Negroes" argument--is what you're doing.

    So enough already. GIVE. Pitch in and do what you can.

    Be grownups.

    A VERY NONGROWNUP UPDATE: It's remarked upon in the comments at Pandagon that Ace didn't leave a trackback.

    Yeah, you know, funny thing 'bout that: I recently turned off trackback autodiscovery, so I have to enter trackback links manually. On purpose.

    And there's only one trackback link in this post that doesn't want to go through. Which one could it be?

    Good thing Pandagon doesn't have a reputation for similar prior incidents, or folks might get to wondering just exactly whose dissent is being crushed by whom.

    MORE GROWNUPPER UPDATE: Then again, maybe the Red Cross shouldn't be your pick for charitable giving:

    There were several busses full of survivors from Louisiana brought to Georgia Tech tonight. As the first bus load arrived, there was an owner from a local restaurant there with enough hot meals for everyone. He was turned away and told that the Red Cross had enough rations, and he'd be better off selling the meals and sending the cash instead. This was told to others as they brought truckloads of diapers, clothes, toiletries, blankets, compassion, understanding and love. Those that offered to open their homes to them were told to put their names on a list until they could screen the people to see who could be trusted with other people.
    Read the whole thing. Thanks to Diamond Dave, guestposting at Snooze Button Dreams. Posted by Ilyka at September 4, 2005 05:30 PM in hell is other people | TrackBack

    I haven't even read most of the comments for that second post yet. I'm gathering that some of them missed my photo at the bottom (which is why I put it there).

    Here's what I said over a Ace's: "The kid should be arrested for leaving NO with the last functioning set of testicles native to that city."

    Posted by: Juliette at September 4, 2005 06:28 PM

    Here's what I said over a Ace's: "The kid should be arrested for leaving NO with the last functioning set of testicles native to that city."

    Hahaha! I can hear the objections now:

    He stole them testicles! Thems were the testicles of THE PEOPLE!

    Posted by: ilyka at September 4, 2005 07:14 PM

    That's why I set up comment registration. Back in the day of none of that stuff for free blogs, I had to endure reading stuff like the comments Juliette got on my own server space that I paid for. No way, not anymore. My blog is not a public toilet.

    Posted by: Andrea Harris at September 4, 2005 11:06 PM

    I understand. In fact, I totally cherish your current comments policy. Your comments sections improved dramatically once you really started laying down the boot.

    But have you seen what Juliette's done to some of that filth? Because it's pretty sweet. She's a natural at comment-editing.

    Posted by: ilyka at September 4, 2005 11:15 PM

    Pandagon isn't accusing righties explicitly, but it seems to me it's pretty clear who she's talking about:

    "In the meantime, according to PEEK, Fox News is having trouble perpetuating the lie that BushCo intends to raise a finger to save the life of a single poor black Southerner."

    But, really, whatever. That's nutjob rhetoric, and I try very hard not to pay much attention to it no matter which direction from which it flows. I like to think, and sometimes I'm right, that the vast majority of people disregard stupid crapola like that.

    Bush isn't doing enough for New Orleans (Decimated enough to have an acronym all its own)'s mostly black? Right. Okay. Whatever. Lalalallalalalalalal...Nutjob. I'm ignoring you now. Let me know when there's a sensile point to be made, and you stop using terms like "BushCo". Dead giveaway.

    Good use of an Ayn Rand quote, by the way. We may be filthy rich racist homophobic greedy assholes, but at least we're literate.

    Posted by: francis at September 5, 2005 01:41 AM

    Reading your blog continues to make me weak in the knees, Ilyka. *Swoons*

    Pandagon is not worth anyone's time. The writers there are ignorant slimeballs, their carefully picked commentors yes-men. They are not worth your time.

    Posted by: OHNOES at September 5, 2005 03:43 AM

    Well if that doesn't beat all. I could have sworn that federal response times were keyed to voting metrics. Now I find out it's all about race? Those cagy republicans pulled another one over my eyes.

    It's a good thing that we have telepathic moonbats about to inform us of how the world really works.

    Hah! I said "moonbats"! I haven't used that word in a year. Sweet.

    Posted by: Jim at September 5, 2005 08:05 AM

    I won't go to that other site; I refuse to sacrifice my blood pressure. But I will say this:

    Baldilocks has been preaching the gospel of PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY since day one. That pisses a lot of people off. Why? It's the culture of 'The Government Will Provide.' What a load of horseshit. No matter WHO is in office.

    In the first place I would have begged, borrowed, sold my body, whatever it took to get the hell out of N.O. And don't give me that "I'll stay to protect the fruits of my labors" crap -- it's JUST STUFF. If you're dead, you can't acquire any more stuff.

    Secondly, I'm a firm believer in not relying on someone else to protect me. So, I would have had to replace my little .380 semi-auto with something a little more substantial. But really. . .if a thug was coming after me in that situation, I'd definitely shoot first and ask questions later.

    Thirdly: Is there ANYTHING that cannot be turned into a political argument? I'm totally repulsed by this trend.

    Finally. . .I'm more than a little pissed off at the Red Cross after Dave's story. I don't want my donation back, but I'm thinking I'm going to have to find another charity. Damnit.

    Posted by: Margi at September 5, 2005 12:03 PM

    And I guess that all of my previous statements makes me a racist. Rethuglican. Or something.

    Posted by: Margi at September 5, 2005 01:32 PM

    No, they just make you smarter than Amanda. And if that's something to cry about, get me antidepressants. Now.

    Posted by: ilyka at September 5, 2005 03:21 PM

    Random question: does anyone actually want to arrest the possessor-of-testicles and driver-of-bus? Because I've seen several articles, and even more blog entries, claiming that he "may face charges" and such, but I have yet to see a quote from any DA or law enforcement official who's fool enough to say "We are considering bringing charges against the young man" or anything like it. Anywhere. (I might have missed something, I admit.)

    So does he really face charges? Or is this something the media made up?

    Posted by: jaed at September 5, 2005 07:05 PM

    So does he really face charges? Or is this something the media made up?

    You know, I was going to say I had read something about it--but now I'm not finding anything.

    Except a buncha journalists saying he "could" face charges, that technically stealing a city bus is a "felony."

    So thank you, journalists, for getting Amanda Marcotte all bent out of shape, and me also, for nothing. Because I just don't see the city of New Orleans wanting to do something so stupid, and I can't find anything saying they're gonna.

    Think I'll update this with words to that effect. Thanks, jaed. Stop by anytime.

    Posted by: ilyka at September 5, 2005 08:09 PM

    I could have sworn that federal response times were keyed to voting metrics. Now I find out it's all about race?

    Boy oh boy, Jim, are you ever out of the moonbat loop! Don't you get it, man?--Help arrived swiftly after Hurricane Andrew because Florida was vital to Shrub's being elected! He was planning a fascist takeover of this country even back then, in 1992!

    Help didn't arrive swiftly after Katrina because Shrub don't care none for poor black folk! And electorally, they don't matter!

    Honestly! I can't believe I have to break it down for you like this! I thought you were smart and stuff!

    (Of course, it took nine days to get federal aid out to the Andrew victims. But in Moonbat Time that's faster, see. There's like this whole moonbat theory of space, time, class, race, and gender that you are just not giving enough weight to here, amigo.)

    Posted by: ilyka at September 5, 2005 08:17 PM

    I just think it's funny that after 13 years of Republican leadership you're blaming the welfare state for the world's ills.

    And really - all those people in New Orleans died because they just weren't manly enough? Riiiiight. They should just take the consequences, like all those dead people did.

    Expecting government to "provide for the common defence and general welfare"? Man, what a bunch of pussies those Founding Fathers must have been, am I right? Crazy ideas about organizations that exist to facilitate the use of collective effort and resources carrying out that mission towards the public good, so crazy.

    We may be filthy rich racist homophobic greedy assholes, but at least we're literate.

    I really think it's funny that people think knowing Rand makes you literate. Sure, just like reading creationist tracts makes you a scientist.

    Posted by: Dan at September 8, 2005 08:32 PM


    It's "provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare"

    Provide; supply or make adequate preparation for...

    Promote: to further the progress of; support or actively encourage...

    "...the general Welfare...": for the good of all.

    Nothing about guarantees from DC.

    I'm old enough to remember when the welfare state started, with LBJ's "Great Society". Since the beginning of his War on Poverty, we've thrown billions at the problem and only with the Republican congress shoving welfare reform down Clinton's throat has progress occurred.

    Behavior that is rewarded gets repeated.

    Teach people to depend on social largesse and they will become defacto wards of the state.

    Teach people to depend on themselves and the state is there to back them up.

    Don't worry, Dan. The rest of us will serve, protect, and defend even your whiny ass.

    Because that's what conservatives do. No Food-Aid concerts, no "I feel your pain", no shoulds, oughts, or musts. We just roll up our sleeves and get 'er done.

    Now step out of the way, please, and let the men through to handle things.

    Posted by: TenRing at September 9, 2005 02:50 PM