Monday, March 17, 2008

Misplaced Outrage Over Eliot Spitzer in San Francisco

A letter to the San Francisco Chronicle editor fit the all-too familiar pattern of: “Yes, (something or other) was wrong, but where is the outrage about (all sorts of things that upset Liberals)?”

(Ms. Gregory’s letter is the eighth one down, and is copied and pasted to the end of this post)

In this case the “something” was public outrage over Gov. Eliot Spitzer. The writer, Jean Gregory of Oakland, admits Spitzer was wrong, betrayed our trust, and needs to atone for his actions. Of course, as a good Liberal Ms. Gregory “can’t understand why we freak out over private sexual behavior, especially when it doesn’t involve minors or other unwilling victims.”

Off the top of my head I would guess that we freak out over it because, in this case anyway, we have a public official breaking laws he is sworn to uphold. If he doesn’t like these laws he is in a great position to try to change them, but not to decide they don’t apply to him.

However, I think Gov. Spitzer did think the laws applied to him, because he went to great lengths to conceal his actions.

Ms. Gregory also wonders “where is the outrage over unethical actions” over President Bush taking us to war in Iraq, and over “draconian cuts to public education and social services?” Then Ms. Gregory gets on a real roll and calls for a discussion of “our greater ethical hypocrisy regarding the (mis)allocation of public funds, the refusal to implement the Kyoto environmental agreements, the ever increasing gaps between rich and poor, the eroding of human rights, (and) our alarming rate of consumerism.”

Bless me, Ms. Gregory, but you must live up a tree in Berkeley. All of the things you mentioned have been, are being, and will continue to be discussed with no discernable shortage of outrage across the fruited plain. Therefore, since all is being discussed as you wish, may I be so bold as to divine the real purpose of your letter?

You don’t want us discussing these issues, you want us deciding them in accordance with your desires. In other words, you want your wishes enacted by a Tsar, and one of your choosing.

You want to blame the Iraq war solely on President Bush and Republicans, ignoring that President Clinton and most Democrat leaders, such as Senators Kerry and Clinton, found Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction and violated United Nations sanctions long before the world knew what George Bush felt or said about Iraq.

The War in Iraq was brought before a public referendum in 2004, and President Bush won.

Ms. Gregory, I understand you and millions of other Californians not wanting “draconian cuts” to education and social services. Politicians don’t either. But when faced with Gargantuan deficits, cuts must be made, and education and social services are where almost all the money is spent.

I know that at this point you, Ms. Gregory, are jumping up and down violently waving your hand and screaming, “Don’t cut spending, raise taxes on the rich and corporations!”

I know because that is always the Liberal answer.

However, it’s not that easy. The rich are already paying over 85 percent of income taxes, and Proposition 13 limits tax increases on private and corporate property. The rich also employ tax lawyers and accountants, and are not bashful about moving their accounts when a state or nation becomes inhospitable.

Further, if you raise corporate taxes the end result is you raise the taxes paid by private citizens, like yourself, because corporations merely pass those taxes along through their costs of goods or services sold and act as tax collectors, not tax payers. Their only negative reaction to tax increases occurs when higher taxes make then charge higher prices and lose sales to corporations based outside California. When that happens they relocate, and California loses taxes revenues and jobs.

Only Liberals want that.

About your other points, Ms. Gregory, I suggest you talk to the Democrats who control both the Senate and Assembly about their misallocation of public funds. Then you could talk to the United States Senators who voted 95-0 not to ratify Kyoto. After that you should talk to the poor and tell them to work hard at school and on the job, and save their money, and in that way close the income gap.

I’m sure that your preferred approach to closing the income gap is to take it from the rich and give it to the poor, and the poor would like that too, but it’s far better for the poor in the long run to become educated and develop job skills. I know Liberals don’t like that, because then the former poor may become conservative and expect others to learn and earn their own way.

Ms. Gregory, you are really clueless about “the erosion of human rights,” leading me to believe you know nothing about the real erosion of human rights that occurred during the presidencies of FDR, JFK, and LBJ. As a hint of where you can go to get a clue, Google “Japanese detention camps,” “Bay of Pigs,” and “J. Edgar Hoover and Democrats.” If you have a strong stomach for truth, which Liberals don’t but you could be an exception, Google “Vietnam War.” It only became “Nixon’s War” after JFK started it, LBJ expanded it and micromanaged it to death, and Nixon cleaned up the mess.

I’ll bet you don’t know, Ms. Gregory, that more Americans were killed in each four-month period in the last year of LBJ’s reign than the total to date in Iraq and Afghanistan, and at least twenty times as many Vietnamese killed (over three million) than Iraqis since 2003.

On your last point, our alarming rate of consumerism, I don’t know what to tell you. If the poor follow my advice and improve their education and job skills, they’ll become even more competent consumers. They already own bigger houses, more cars, TV sets, washers and dryers, dishwashers, air conditioners, and other consumer comforts than the average European or Japanese.

Or the median American household in 1955.

We could walk to the top of Mt. Diablo and scream, “Stop that damned consuming!” and see what happens. That’s my plan. I’ll bet yours isn’t any better.

Regardless of the alarming rate of American consumerism, the Chinese and Indians are poised on the threshold of becoming alarming consumers too. The only way you can stop them, Ms. Gregory, and their constant increasing production of greenhouse gasses, is to halt and reverse their economic progress.

You don’t want that, do you Ms Gregory? To consign over two billion fellow humans to continue living short, brutish lives of hardship and deprivation, just to comply with a Liberal’s dream of the way things ought to be?

I’ll bet you do, and if you could choose a Tsarina, that’s what you’d have her decree.

Wouldn’t you?

(The following is the letter to the Editor, San Francisco Chronicle, that inspired my comments.)

Misplaced outrage

Editor - Yes, Gov. Eliot Spitzer was wrong. Yes, he was a hypocrite. Yes, he betrayed our trust. Yes, he needs to atone for his actions. But why is there such an overwhelming frenzy? He was engaged in a common enough victimless crime.
Where is the outrage over unethical actions of President Bush and Vice President Cheney who lied and distorted information to engage us in a disastrous war in Iraq? Where is the outcry over the draconian cuts to public education and social services? If we want to engage in a discussion of morality, why do we insist on limiting the discussion to sexual improprieties?
Let's discuss our greater ethical hypocrisy regarding the (mis)allocation of public funds, the refusal to implement the Kyoto environmental agreements, the ever increasing gaps between rich and poor, the eroding of human rights, our alarming rate of consumerism?
I can't understand why we freak out over private sexual misbehavior, especially when it doesn't involve minors or other unwilling victims.
I can understand being appalled by their choices, but how on Earth does it compare to war, greed, violation of human rights, increasing global poverty, and degradation of the environment?
Let's put these misdeeds in perspective!

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