Wednesday, September 14, 2005

"It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool....

than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt."
- Samuel Johnson (other variations attributed to Abraham Lincoln and Mark Twain)

Uber-idiot Ted Rall decided to speak again and remind us all that he is, indeed, a fool. He tells us that the government - only - should be responsible for the clean up on the Gulf Coast because "charities are for suckers."

First, I bet he doesn't have too many lines under the "charitable contributions" part of his 1040.

Second, the Red Cross was there much faster than FEMA. Holy crap. Ted, are you really that stupid? It was a logistical nightmare - for both public and private agencies. In Franklin, a private warehouse has been turned into a shelter for evacuees. There are a job search station, some medical facilities, and a day care on site. FEMA came into that warehouse and now has an office but I don't think it set the place up. I could be mistaken, and if I am, I will retract this part of my statement.

Ted, you put far far far too much faith in the behemoth that is the Federal government. It moves slowly - by nature. It's too big to respond quickly to anything other than raising taxes or salaries for members of Congress. Private citizens are the first responders, whether they are the church, the Red Cross, or other organizations.
Government has been shirking its basic responsibilities since the 80s, when Ronald Reagan sold us his belief that the sick, poor and unlucky should no longer count on "big government" to help them, but should rather live and die at the whim of contributors to private charities.
Since when was it ever government's responsibility? Oh, since socialism took over in the 20th century. Let's take responsibility away from the local community and family. A big, anonymous government agency that gets paid whether you get help or not is a much better idea. We can really hold it accountable. Just think: if the Red Cross did what FEMA did in the last few weeks, the Red Cross would be out of business. FEMA will still be here - despite its massive screwup. I don't hear calls for the resignation of Gov. Blanco or Mayor Nagin either - unlike those for the former FEMA director Brown. Update: Gov. Blanco has accepted responsibility for state government's failures in the Katrina emergency. (hat tip: Lance in Iraq)

Instead of instilling people with self-reliance and with the capacity to do for themselves, let's line them all up to suck at a government teat. Then they will solely rely on government for support, knowledge, and everything short of breath itself (until they start taxing the air you breathe, that is).

I was going to go into a long personal explanation here, but I decided that it was not necessary to do so. There really is no need to start another 'who's had the harder life?' contest.

In short, the last phrase I ever want to hear is "I'm from the government, and I'm here to help." I don't trust the state (at any level) at all. They do not work in your best interest. They work for the preservation of the state.