Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Comments on Gov'ment 2

I screen readers’ comments before they appear after a post. It is a form of censorship. I don’t allow viciousness, name-calling, and potentially libelous accusations. Other than that, anything goes.

My recent post elicited some of that kind of response. I am convinced that people don’t “hear” what I am saying; rather, they “hear” what they want to hear. As usual, there is a gap.

I stay out of politics on this blog. I could handle a political debate, but I would alienate half the readers, and be patted on the head by the other half. That would detract from the original purpose of the blog, which is FLR.

Although I don’t discuss politics, I do discuss government. There is a difference between the two. Politics are a way to get elected, and in turn do what the government is supposed to do. I tend to be more philosophical in applying the rules. When something serious needs to be done, such as our response to the 9/11 attack on our country, politics should have been kept out of it. Alas, our legislators don’t see it that way, and it has been politics to the hilt ever since.

An anonymous reader (not the really insulting one) commented on this last post. Somehow he added a duplicate of his own comment. While I was trying to delete the duplicate, I inadvertently deleted both. I was able to use the back arrow and save the text, alas, the message itself was gone. As a way of expediency, I include the text here:

"I suppose your hero is Bernie Madoff, who certainly "tilted the fucking playing field", and kicked a lot of people in the balls.

"Tell us truthfully, were you "in your beer" when you wrote this post? It sounds like the rantings of some drunken dope at the local watering hole.

You can do better than this.

My response to Mr. Anonymous follows:

I don’t have any heroes. Madoff is a criminal, and he will get what is coming to him. This is one place where the government does a good job, especially if this thief did not pay federal taxes on his loot.

True, I may have had a couple of beers by the time I wrote this piece. But I do my best writing “while under the influence.” I went back to the post the next day while I was still sober, and I “could not do better”.

While anybody can leave an abrasive or insulting comment, only few people do. It is all right to disagree and say so, but be civil about it. In summary, the best comment you can make on something that you don’t like is to stop reading it.


Miss D said...

I have a wee comment on your original post about levelling the playing field. I didn't post because I didn't want to get into a slanging match but thought that you contemplate a differing point of view.

Firstly, I live in the UK and I vote labour. I believe in trade unions, equality and a social conscious that 'looks after those who are not able to look after themselves. Sometimes that means looking after those who aren't trying to look after themselves or seem to make looking after them really difficult to stomach, but I don't want to get into the situation where I am the person deciding who, exactly needs help and who doesn't. I'm leaving that to someone better qualified and/or god!!!

However, my point, and I really did have one!!!
I am a teacher and I work in a particularly terrible school in an area of low aspirations and social deprivation. Levelling the playing field means something slightly different to me. It doesn't mean allowing those who purposfully hamstringing those who work hard and deserve to do well but it does mean, to me at least, allowing poor children the same chances as those who come from affluent backgrounds.

Levelling the playing field can seem to hurt those that do well and work hard and try hard and have made something of themselves BUT that is rare and I think the risk to the few is worth it as the many are then given the same opportunities as everyone else.

CHances and opportunities are important to everyone. BUT, if some shmuck can't be arsed to put in the hard work and take the opportunities etc, then screw 'em!

Susan's Pet said...

Miss D,

I have no problem with disagreement or differing point of view as long as our intercourse remains civil. Your comment is just fine.

I believe that you and I could discuss this over a cup of tea (or something stronger) and would disagree only on some minor details. I salute you for being a teacher in general, and a teacher in a depressed economic area of your town. Your students and their parents are just as human as you or I am, and the best way to become non-judgmental is by working with them daily, which is what you do. I would trust you before I trust a politician.

You say, “I don't want to get into the situation where I am the person deciding who, exactly needs help and who doesn't.”

You are missing your calling. I think that you are the best person for the job. You are an authority on the subject of deciding who needs help in this case. This is exactly my problem with the current trend of my government. Socialism has no feeling for the person, only control. In my situation I don’t want the US Federal government to decide who gets help.

Help, or charity, begins with the family. You work with families, you should decide. Do you want some uninterested individual who does not know the person in need, and does not care to make the decision? I am not without feeling. I just don’t want us to waste our resources on paying politicians, bureaucrats, and their hirelings from the funds that really should go to the beneficiaries directly.

Miss AJ said...


we have had an ethical dilemma arise here in Australia with the distribution of the funds raised for the victims of the recent bushfires.

Those who were prudent and insured their properties and contents do not really require assistance but that then means that those who chose not to provide for such an occurrance are benefitting from it. They gain a new home and new contents without having ever put aside funds. It seems unfair and yet how are the charitable trustees to work their way around the inequity?

Susan's Pet said...

Sweet Doll,

I approach your ethical dilemma from a pragmatic view.

First, I want to help those in need of such dire nature regardless of the reason for it. I would contribute to first aid to help them over this terrible loss of home, and in some cases loved ones. The disruption of their lives is something many of us will never experience. They need shelter, food, and a situation from which to restore their lives. This is where charity does its best.

About the rest of it, I will alianete some readers again, but I have my principles, so here it is.

Life is a series of risk taking. Some will ignore risks and get by just fine. It is called "being lucky". Others try to mitigate the risk by insurance. Insurance does not prevent dire circumstances, but does pay if or when they occur. So, in this case, those with insurance have a way to restore some of their lives. The others, well, they can do what they want. I would not consider rewarding the latter with any compensation beyond the first aid that I mentioned above.

We have a somewhat similar example in this country as was dramatized by the Katrina disaster. Some of that was caused by the Gov'ment, and I don't mean "The response of the Bush administration to the disaster." I mean the irresponsible planning and lack of planning by the city and the state governments involved.

Aside from that, the blame for misfortune rests on the people themselves. If they move into a flood plane, once in a while they will be flooded. It is as simple as that. It is no different than building a home on the side of a mountain with an active volcano.

In this situation also, I made my contribution to aid the people to help with immediate need. However, I feel no responsibility to reward them for making a stupid decision. If it is lack of fire insurance in the case of the Australian disaster, it is the decision to move into an area near or below sea level next to the sea in Louisiana in our country.