Crying Won’t Help You; Praying Won’t Do You No Good

I don’t want to get into some discussion of William and what he’s doing over at NiT.  In all honesty, I don’t expect anything from NiT any more and what I loved about NiT is now happening over at Music City Bloggers and so it doesn’t hurt my feelings if NiT is just “William Blabs about Shit.”  And I would read WBaS.  So, there you go.  It probably reflects poorly on me, but it’s the truth.

That’s a hella long disclaimer for what just amounts to a “Holy shit, we’re all going to die!”

This is not just a Republican problem, as much as I would like to blame everything on Bush and have him so weighed down under the stress of it that he has to roll everywhere he wants to go because standing is too much of a burden.  Problems like this don’t just happen over night.  They creep up over years and years and years and this is stuff that we all should have been watching.

Yes, the Corps is responsible, but who oversees the Corps?

Listen, Tennessee, and learn from the continued suffering of our friends and neighbors along the Gulf Coast.  In all honesty, we should hope to be treated better, but we should be planning for that.  What is our plan if one or the other of these dams fail and outside help is not coming?

How will we aid our fellow Tennesseans?  Are we equipped to rescue folks in Carthage?  Are we depending on the National Guard?  What if they’re all overseas?  Can city, county, and state police be mobilized for such a purpose?  And, if they’re doing search and rescue, who will be guiding evacuation efforts farther down river?

Can we make a plan or two in the event that no one comes to save us?

34 thoughts on “Crying Won’t Help You; Praying Won’t Do You No Good

  1. See, you ARE turning into a conservative.

    The examples are legion, but the result is always the same. After the federal government fails at something, , the liberals cry, “They failed us! Can you believe it?” and the conservatives resond, “Duh! You need to prepare, because the federal government can NOT be counted on to do anything right!”

  2. Let’s see:
    TN: Phil Bredesen.
    LA: Kathleen Blanco.

    You know, I was going to give a more detailed analysis of why the two situations are different, but I think that’s sufficient.

  3. Slarti, that will be cold comfort to the people of Mississippi who are also still cleaning up.

    Exador, nice try, but I am clearly in the camp of the people who are both saying, “They failed us! Can you believe it? Shit, well, then we need to prepare so that the same doesn’t happen to us.”

    You all could pool your resources and send me to Libertarian indoctrination camp, where hot gun-toting libertarians would make sweet love to me while whispering libertarian philosophy in my ear until all of the crazy talk started to make sense, but so far none of you have ponied up. Don’t think the state of the world is going to do it for you.

    No, clearly, I need a few weeks at Libertarian Smooch Camp.

  4. You are so sweet, Aunt B., and you know I mean that sincerely. Only you can respond to such infantile logic and Straw Man peddling with a request for scorching hot politically contextual sex.

    I guess I’m a little less romantic. Because I would have pointed out that liberals and progressives usually demand better of their government. Some of us even understand that the reason our government so frequently fails is because it has been sabotaged and undermined by sociopathic conservatism (and not just by Republicans, either).

    I would have suggested that in lieu of a Smooch Camp, all these libertarians and conservatives who scoff at the notion of a social contract as they rejoice at the decline of our Republic should take their self-sufficient asses to a rough and tumble place that has no government and see how long their perverse, inhumane philosophies survive. I’d suggest Afghanistan, but I think we’ve already given the Afghans enough misery. Anyway, Aunt B., I think you’d be more likely to get sweet love and smooches from people who aren’t philosophically and politically inclined to despise other people.

    (Just so you don’t think I’m exaggerating, here’s an example of a typical ‘small government’ response to the horrors following Hurricane Katrina.)

  5. There’s nothing wrong with fearing death, especially if you’re a leftist liberal who has forsworn any hope of an afterlife, eschews any God or creator-type who might’ve actually had a purpose for your being alive other than sitting around roasting marshmallows….


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  7. especially if you’re a leftist liberal who has forsworn any hope of an afterlife, eschews any God or creator-type

    I’m sorry, serr8d, did you post on the wrong thread? To whom were you referring?

    Katherine Coble, allow me to apologize if you took my words as a slap at you. The phrase I used (“all these libertarians and conservatives who scoff at the notion of a social contract”) was clearly intended as a ‘shoe fits’ rubric. The conditions Aunt B. laments in her post were created over time by the kinds of conservatives (notice I didn’t specify party affiliation) whose philosophy was best summed up by Grover Norquist.

    Exador’s distortion is a good example of the kind of kaleidoscopic reasoning that is used to justify this philosophy (“You can’t rely on government, because we’re too good at shitcanning it!”).

    It is gospel truth that liberals and progressives can be just as fucked up as anyone else, but it is also true that this nation best cares for its own when it follows liberal and progressive ideals (even the watered-down versions often do plenty of good).

  8. I’ve seen the technical stuff. It’s not that dangerous as these things go, but it is worse than Wolf Creek. The only reason Wolf Creek is rated higher risk and higher priority is because it would affect a lot more people and property.

    And yes, everyone is working on emergency contingency planning. Even the Feds.

  9. “Shit, well, then we need to prepare so that the same doesn’t happen to us.”

    You’re still focusing on the government to prepare. Now it’s just the local government instead of the Feds. And any large scale response to a disaster like that would just about have to be coordinated by a government of some sort. You can save yourself, but if you want to save the community you’re probably going to need some government assistance.

  10. I’ve seen the technical stuff. It’s not that dangerous as these things go, but it is worse than Wolf Creek.

    maybe it’s because i’m on drugs but this creeps me out. ‘wolf creek’ is the name of the supaseekrit research facility in bionic woman. so, clearly, the government can’t be trusted to take care of the citizenry but they can rebuild superhot girls into robot warriors.

  11. You’re just all full of piss and vinegar today, aren’t you CS.

    Let’s see through your kaleidescope. Wading through your MoveOn talking points and bumpersticker slogans, we get

    “that liberals and progressives usually demand better of their government.”
    Meaning they demand MORE government.

    Conservativism and Libertarianism is sociopathic.

    Anyone left of Mao (or CS) should just pack up and move to Afghanistan, allowing the US to become a Workers’ Paradise, because THOSE people are ‘philosophically and politically inclined to despise other people.’

    All cogent points, surely.

    If by ‘caring for its own’ you mean like any nation that has carried your communist ideals to fruition, I’ll take my own chances, thanks.

  12. Can city, county, and state police be mobilized for such a purpose?

    Leaving aside the bigger debate about which side Gets It (More) Wrong, I’m going to have to say that the answer to this part is no. If I could make that word big and blinkey and red and maybe scroll across the screen, I would.

    Individual police (and other related agency types, like first responders, firemen and the like) can be counted on to respond, probably in higher numbers than the general public. You might even get one or two really ambitious groups in there..squads or departments or teams. But a coordinated effort? Not the way things stand now.

    Okay, not the way things stand now over here, anyway. I mean, the May Day stuff pretty much killed any hope of that for me. Not so much the ‘shooting into a largely peaceful crowd’ bits as the ‘whoops! there’s no communication and leadership’ bits. Disasters take out infrastructure, and usually communication is the first thing to go. If your area is not hit, but near enough to help, then yes, you can probably get together a force to go do the helping (if it doesn’t look like your area is going to be in danger in the meantime, and nothing else major is going on). But if you’re in the thick of it, well … I wouldn’t count on anything organized.

    That, and, well… people get balky about things they’re not trained for. And territorial about sharing. You can get things mobilized when emotions are running high and the resources can be scrambled … but if the threat isn’t immediate (or the threat is too immediate), things fragment instead.

    And, er… if I might ask, what is the non-governmental solution to large-scale disaster? What is its scope, and who does it help? Who needs to buy in, and what should they do?

  13. There is no non-governmental solution to large-scale disaster. There can be non-governmental contributions to disaster mitigation, but those are best coordinated by competent government. This is why I keep harping on the the damage done to our nation by unchecked, sociopathic conservatism (and neoliberalism). This isn’t about picking sides, it’s about deciding what kind of community we want to have, if any.

    If we want to be political toddlers who won’t spend our money and energy on things that don’t put tangible, material benefits right in our hands, then we can forget about allocating resources to the types of organizations that can provide the coordination and communication necessary for such major incidents. (God forbid we should pay enough money to make sure the dams don’t fail in the first place.) Gutting such organizations and then wagging a finger over the corpses of mismanaged incidents is not a solution.

  14. Um… just sayin here… but… um…

    I (and many other in the State of Tennessee) pay a truck load of federal taxes each year. Let me spell that: F-E-D-E-R-A-L. And those FEDERAL dollars go to FEDERAL programs. So, yeah, I expect those FEDERAL tax dollars to be spent on my liberal/progressive/secular behind when disaster strikes. ‘Cause really, if the FEDERAL guv’ment don’t want to spend my dirty, progressive dollars on my nasty, liberal behind, why then, I won’t give it to them.

    Just sayin…

  15. You’re going to need Libertarians with guns and some supplies stashed back on this one. Also chances are that their houses are built on higher ground in case of flooding. Who really trusts those government flood zone maps anyway?

    Remember that although the community and local governments would do what they could in an emgergency, the human side of that equation would have their own families being effected at the same time in this circumstance. Talk about conflicting responsibilities.

  16. Church (less) Secretary, I suppose my remark comes from the “Holy Shit, we’re all going to Die!” line hyperlinking this post to the original post at NIT, where Auntie left her trackback .

    And, if you look even closer, you might see the “…praying won’t do you no good…” snip in the post title.

    Therefore, you might actually see my comment in the context I meant for it to be in.

    No, it has nothing to do with you, CS, except maybe if you take from it the fittingly-enough analysis that might come from ‘leftist, Godless liberals, who worship nothing but his or her own inner core self, ignoring that bit of dried-up seldom-used morality that’s been largely beaten down by narcissism; those liberals who rely on their self-contained mini-ghods who couldn’t bear to submit to anyone or anything what wasn’t properly vetted to be sensitive to others in whatever form they might present themselves’, and that sure ain’t no GOD you can know and worship, now is it?

    Don’t you just love trackbacks?


  17. Ahhh, but you see Editor, that’s where we get the tragedy of the commons.

    Since I pay so much, I want ‘my share’ back.

    It’s really a flawed system. No congressperson in the country could get elected with the platform that they would refuse to ‘take home’ unnecessary money, in an attempt to shrink federal bloat.
    Everybody hates federal spending, except when it’s building the Wombat research center for the local college, or a bridge to nowhere.

  18. Everybody hates federal spending, except when it’s building the Wombat research center for the local college, or a bridge to nowhere.

    But… wasn’t the Editor asking for Federal spending? Just, y’know, directed toward things that would be directly useful.

  19. Thank you Mag.

    Ya see, Exador, I’m not asking for monies over and above the FEDERAL programs already instituted. I’m not asking for Wombat Research, because to my knowing, there is no Federal Wombat Research Program. There is, however, FEMA. And Federal money goes to FEMA so that FEMA can help out folks. Federal money goes the ACoE to repair and maintain dams. Everybody doesn’t hate Federal spending. People are just sick of paying into programs such as FEMA and getting jack. Again, if folks are going to make this about me being some liberal belly-acher who won’t get my hands dirty on a local level, I will just keep my Federal dollars. And I suggest every other godless liberal do the same.

  20. serr8d, I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that Aunt B.’s mind has more colorful imagination and artistic flourish than either mine or yours. I’m also going to guess– assuming your banter isn’t some winger parody a la Stephen Colbert or Jesus’ General– that you, like most reactionaries, often fail to process nuance and complexity in prose. I read Aunt B.’s post title and assumed it was a reference to a song or a work of literature, not some off-the-cuff rejection of theistic belief system.

    That said, I was raised as a Christian. I don’t recall any instance where Jesus taught that following his example meant you had to willingly place yourself in the path of danger for no good reason. In fact, I don’t think it’s a stretch to suggest that Jesus’s teachings and example are far more in line with the philosophies of your stereotypical all-embracing, bleeding-heart liberal progressive than they are with your garden-variety panty-sniffing, holier-than-thou, publicly pious reactionary.

    And I’m down with you and Editor, Mag. Many of us aren’t content to bitch about taxes and point to pork-barrel spending as proof. Some of us desire to be mature enough to seek options beyond the facile dichotomy of “bad spending/no taxes.” And I reckon that was my point. The problem Aunt B. talked about (remember that?) is a tough one, and it can be dealt with only by mature citizens with a sense of community invested in their politics. We have too many corrupt, self-serving politicians because we have too many citizens who subscribe to infantile, self-serving politics.

  21. Aw, thanks CS. I would certainly like to see something more complex than yet another reprise of “throw money at it” vs. “don’t do anything at all.”

    But I was serious when I asked what the alternatives were. I honestly can’t imagine a suitable solution that doesn’t involve a large organizing body, and the only body large and dispassionate enough that we’ve got right now seems to be the government, even if they do make a botch of it often enough.

    Can someone tell me what good disaster relief would look like without the government?* Where would it come from? Who would it serve? How would it work? What authority would it have?

    I can imagine local-level solutions, but those won’t help much in full-scale disasters. And I can imagine corporate or large-organizational solutions, but those don’t seem any better (or indeed, much different) from governmental solutions, except that they aren’t obliged to do for anyone they don’t want to, and they don’t have the authority to just step in and do whatever they decide needs doing.

    * I am tempted to ask what it would look like with the government’s involvement, as I haven’t seen too many examples in the near past… but I’ve a vivid enough imagination for that.

  22. I’m still scratching my head over the whole “we are less than perfect” thing that many like serr8d seem to embrace. But since that would derail this fine thread, I won’t mention it.

  23. CS and serr8d, it appears that our hostess with the mostest is not around, so I will point out that, at least to my mind, the most likely source of the post title is the Led Zeppelin song “When the Levee Breaks” … it seems rather topical. But we all bring different things to the table, so take from it what you will.

  24. Yes, thanks, El Nino. I figgered it to be a reference to someone’s artistic expression, but I wasn’t even going to attempt a guess. My Led Zeppelin recognition kung fu is weak.

    Mack, the “we are less than perfect” makes perfect sense when you consider the source. If your religion is named after the epitome of peace, love, courage, and selflessness without prejudice, you have to find some justification for your politics being about fear, bigotry, selfishness, and war-mongering.

  25. Church Secretary, I hear ya, but the mindset isn’t limited to those that hold that particular political viewpoint. I know many Liberals that have this same notion, that is, that a perfect God could somehow produce something less than perfect. I don’t get that. This argument gets dismissed as trite quite often, but for me, it is the only thought that keeps me even remotely interested in God. The idea that I am his equal but haven’t fully realized it yet is way compelling, no? Much more than the idea that I am born into a condition that immediately makes me unworthy of him.

    Sorry B, but I am interested in C.S.’s take on this. Our politics are the same, our worldview is the same, and we both look the same without our shirts, so I thought I’d find out where his perspective on God is….

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