Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Must Read: TRIBES

I was following blog-crumbs today and found this essay by Bill Whittle on his excellent blog, Eject! Eject! Eject! (now added to my links list). Let me warn you up front, this is not a short essay. It is, however, time well spent. An excerpt:

"I believe that the human animal – the raw material of our physical bodies – is essentially interchangeable. By this I mean that I could take the children of Fallujah and turn them all into Astronauts, convert Jewish babies into fanatical, mass-murdering SS guards, and shake a generation of the poorest Voodoo-worshippers in Haiti into a cadre of top-flight nuclear physicists, chemical engineers and computer scientists.
Race has nothing to do with this – precisely nothing. The mobs of murdering Hutus and swarms of slaughtering Serbs are as different racially as it is possible to be, and they are cut from precisely the same cloth.
I know this is so because there have been murdering scumbags of every stripe and color in the long history of the human race – which is depressing – and that these animals, at any given time, represent only a small percentage of the majority of people, also of every stripe and color – which is not. There is no corner on virtue, and no outpost of depravity. Human hearts are indistinguishable and interchangeable. Anyone who claims otherwise is, without further argument or statements necessary, a complete God-damned idiot.
Now, with that said – have we all heard that loud and clear? – there are light-years of difference in how various Tribes will behave.
Only a few minutes ago, I had the delightful opportunity to read the comment of a fellow who said he wished that white, middle-class, racist, conservative cocksuckers like myself could have been herded into the Superdome Concentration Camp to see how much we like it. Absent, of course, was the fundamental truth of what he plainly does not have the eyes or the imagination to see, namely, that if the Superdome had been filled with white, middle-class, racist, conservative cocksuckers like myself, it would not have been a refinery of horror, but rather a citadel of hope and order and restraint and compassion.
That has nothing to do with me being white. If the blacks and Hispanics and Jews and gays that I work with and associate with were there with me, it would have been that much better. That’s because the people I associate with – my Tribe – consists not of blacks and whites and gays and Hispanics and Asians, but of individuals who do not rape, murder, or steal. My Tribe consists of people who know that sometimes bad things happen, and that these are an opportunity to show ourselves what we are made of. My people go into burning buildings. My Tribe consists of organizers and self-starters, proud and self-reliant people who do not need to be told what to do in a crisis. My Tribe is not fearless; they are something better. They are courageous. My Tribe is honorable, and decent, and kind, and inventive. My Tribe knows how to give orders, and how to follow them. My Tribe knows enough about how the world works to figure out ways to boil water, ration food, repair structures, build and maintain makeshift latrines, and care for the wounded and the dead with respect and compassion.
There are some things my Tribe is not good at at all. My Tribe doesn’t make excuses. My Tribe will analyze failure and assign blame, but that is to make sure that we do better next time, and we never, ever waste valuable energy and time doing so while people are still in danger. My Tribe says, and in their heart completely believes that it’s the other guy that’s the hero. My Tribe does not believe that a single Man can cause, prevent or steer Hurricanes, and my Tribe does not and has never made someone else responsible for their own safety, and that of their loved ones.

My Tribe doesn’t fire on people risking their lives, coming to help us. My Tribe doesn’t curse such people because they arrived on Day Four, when we felt they should have been here before breakfast on Day One. We are grateful, not to say indebted, that they have come at all. My Tribe can’t eat Nike’s and we don’t know how to feed seven by boiling a wide-screen TV. My Tribe doesn’t give a sweet God Damn about what color the looters are, or what color the rescuers are, because we can plainly see before our very eyes that both those Tribes have colors enough to cover everyone in glory or in shame. My Tribe doesn’t see black and white skins. My Tribe only sees black and white hats, and the hat we choose to wear is the most personal decision we can make.
That’s the other thing, too – the most important thing. My Tribe thinks that while you are born into a Tribe, you do not have to stay there. Good people can join bad Tribes, and bad people can choose good ones. My Tribe thinks you choose your Tribe. That, more than anything, is what makes my Tribe unique.
I am so utterly and unabashedly proud of my Tribe, that my words haunt and mock me for their pale weakness and shameful inadequacy.

Membership in my Tribe is not free. "

Read it all (please!) here.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Want To Help Stop the ACLU?

From conservative Mega-Babe Debbie Schlussel's website:

"You've no doubt heard that, today, the ACLU--and assorted other enemies of America--filed a lawsuit against the government for NSA "spying" (interesting that there was no such lawsuit when Bill Clinton was doing the same thing--Remember "Echelon" and "Carnivore"?).

Since the lawsuit was filed in U.S. Federal Court in the Eastern District of Michigan, where I practice, I've already been contacted by concerned U.S. citizens who wish to intervene in the case as interested parties (whose interests and welfare are affected by this case) in support of the government's activities. And we may do so. You may feel free to contact me regarding this if you are interested in adding your name."

Click the post title above or here to find out more. Other links and info can be found at Michelle Malkin and Stop The ACLU. It costs nothing (unless you want to contribute) to join the fight against the treasonous ACLU, other than the time it takes to have your signature notarized on the affidavit Debbie will send you, and the postage to return it to her. I have personally responded, if for no other reason than I want Debbie Schlussel to have my email address! Yowza!

Viacom, Kellogg threatened with suit in Massachusetts

From Overlawyered:

"Wakefield, Mass., mother Sherri Carlson doesn't like the commercials on the Nickelodeon network or the fact that Nickelodeon characters appear on boxes of cereal that she disapproves of. Thus (helped by a couple of nanny-state activist groups), rather than cancelling her cable bill, turning off the tv, or saying "No" to her three children, she's announced plans to sue Viacom and Kellogg for billions of dollars under Massachusetts "consumer fraud" law, sending the required "intent to sue" letter. (Libby Quaid, AP, Jan. 19; Sarah Ellison and Janet Adamy, "Activists Plan to Sue Viacom and Kellogg Over Ads to Children", Wall $treet Journal, Jan. 19; Hit & Run blog Jan. 19 Sullum and Gillespie). As Sullum notes, the reality-satire lag time is now down to a week. "

This adds new meaning to the term, "Serial litigator." (ba-dom BOM!) But seriously...

This suit is doomed to fail, because the cartoon character they are targeting (SpongeBob) is too popular, and even the people who think SpongeBob is gay will rally to his cause. If they want a chance to win, they need to tackle a cereal manufacturer with a real product liability vulnerability, like Cap'n Crunch. Ever eat that stuff dry? After about 4 mouthfuls it abrades the roof of your mouth off.