Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Why I hate the Statesman

So, they published my letter last week, and despite my emphatic NO when asked if I wanted my email published with it, they published my email address with it. I've received mostly very kind letters in support of my actions, but today I received an email that was so ridiculously stupid that I have to share it with you. Against my better judgment, I also responded, though I probably shouldn't have. Enjoy!

The first email:

Mr. Cox:

I thought it necessary to reply to your editorial letter submission
in the 06/21/2008 Austin-American Statesman.

You seem to be expressing quite a bit of disgust and disappointment
because the government "animal control" people did not reply quick
enough to satisfy you. You then have the audacity to suggest that
the dogs would have perished, if their owner had not shown up
in time.

My question to you: Why did *you* not do anything about the
situation? Why did you sit idly by, and leave it up to "the government?"
If it had been an infant baby instead of dogs...would you have done

Off the top of my head, I know of four things you could have done, if
you had bothered to take on adult citizen responsibility:

1) You say the incident happened at a local (assumed retail)
establishment. Did you not think to *page* the owner of the vehicle?

2) Did you not think to tap firmly on the car, or step on the bumper
and rock the car, in hopes that a potential armed car alarm might
be activated, and thus alert the owner?

3) You say the windows were cracked, if only a little. Is that not
enough to insert a coat hanger, and unlock the vehicle? (And perhaps
also activating the aforementioned hypothetical alarm.)

4) Could you have inserted something like the spout of a floral
watering cam, and given the thirsty dogs some relief?

It seems that you did absolutely *nothing* to help the dogs, except
for wringing your hands, waiting for someone *else* to do something.
Do you also expect "the government" to provide you with health care,
an education for you or your children, unemployment benefits, etc.
If some "unsavory characters" are creating a terror or nuisance in
your neighborhood, or place of employment, do you just allow it
to continue, until "the government" arrives to do what *you* should
have done - taken an active role in handling the situation?

It is this lazy attitude, and lack of responsibility, that is leading to the
downfall of society...*not* the less-than-punctual response of the
government entities.

Take note of the quote that is appended to my signature.


Greg Heilers
Registered Linux user #328317 - SlackWare 10.2 (2.6.13)

For a revolutionary email program:

"The most terrifying words in the English language are:
I'm from the government and I'm here to help."

-- Ronald Reagan

And my response:

Even though the clearly snide, condescending and hateful tone of your letter makes me feel like I should do otherwise, I will reply to your accusations. Owing to the fact that the Statesman only allows 150 words to make your point, I couldn't write an essay about it. I only made the comment about the animals dying to drive home a point in my letter.

1. The first thing I did was talk to the GM of my establishment and urge him to page the owner, but he refused. I even argued that a different manager had done it in the past, and the owner had come right out (another car that I reported on a different day). Still, he wouldn't budge.

2. No, I did not think to try to set off an alarm. The establishment is a very large grocery store, so they wouldn't have heard it anyway, and it probably just would have freaked the dogs out, so even if I had thought of that, I probably wouldn't have done it.

3. No, at that point, I was not yet ready to get arrested, fired, and get my organization possibly sued for breaking into someone's car while I was on the clock. If I felt, at that point, that it had been a life or death situation, then yeah, I probably would have, or had the security guard do it, or made a more urgent call to the police. Obviously, you idiot, if it had been a human infant in there, the situation would have been more urgent. (And I don't care what anyone says, a dog is not a child.)

4. When I met with the other 2 women in the lobby of the establishment, we discussed, at length, various ways we could get water into the car, including in the lid of a coffee cup, but due to the fact that the windows were so narrowly cracked, short of sticking a whole hose in the car, nothing would really fit (see #3 above). One of the women threatened to break the window, and I said, "Have at it, I won't stop you."

And yes, in response to your question, I do expect the government to supply health care, educate me (um, ever heard of public education, or are you one of those "libertarian" idiots who doesn't believe in public education, and that poor people don't deserve it?), and to provide unemployment benefits. I also fully support social security and medicare/medicaid. I suppose you're one of those "politically incorrect" idiots who believes in anarchy and self-reliance while with the same hand, greedily reaching out to the government's hand at every turn. Do you enjoy the roads you drive on? And for that matter, do you appreciate paying only $4 for gasoline, because if the government didn't interfere, you'd be paying at least 4x that? Do you enjoy having clean water in your tap? Do you enjoy the fact that employers can't use your health records as a determining factor in whether or not you're hired somewhere? Do you utilize public parks? Do you have a social security number, or a bank account? Do you benefit from quality standards in the food you eat at restaurants or buy in your local grocer? Are you married? Did you spend your stimulus check (or did you donate it all to Ron Paul)? As I mentioned before, did you go to a pubic school? Do you appreciate environmental standards, so that corporations can't (at least in theory) wantonly destroy every inch of this planet with pollution? Have you never called, or needed, the police for anything ever in your life?

What about my responsibility to behave in a civil manner, and trust that the laws that have been set up to not only protect me, but to protect animals, will be enforced? Do you really want to live in a society where no one is obligated to follow any rules, and everyone can just go about smashing up other people's cars because they want to? If someone rear-ended you in a vehicle, would you get out and immediately start beating them to a pulp, or would you call the cops? Well, it sounds to me like you might do the former, but I don't want to pass judgment. I'm sorry if I believe that laws and civil behavior standards are in place for a reason. I know there are instances where they can, and should, be violated, but I wasn't there yet in this particular situation.

So take your self-righteous, blow-hard bullshit, and fuck off. Better yet, go back to keeping your head buried in the sand and ignoring reality, and stop sending out such stupid emails. What are you, some undergrad college radical at Berkeley, living off your trust fund while at the same time chanting "down with the government" or something?

Mr. Cox


stacy said...

this is insane...the person who left the dogs and the car and this writer have something in common and it's kind of terrifying...
hang in there, you did the right thing and you're a friend to hot dogs everywhere!

bryan h. said...

That dude makes a good point, Ryan. You should have let the free market get the dogs out of the car.

Joey said...

Mr. Cox,
I'm ashamed of you.

If you really cared about the dogs you could of:

1. Voted for Ron Paul, who supports the Gold Standard, which would of quickly ruined our economy to the point where no one could afford to own a car...let alone two dogs.

2. Set the car on fire, which would of quickly alerted the fired department, who certainly would give enough of a shit to show up and do their job in a timely manner, thus rescuing the dogs in the process, provided they weren't burnt to a crisp.

3. I take # 2 back, people should be accountable for their own actions, if a fire breaks out they should be willing to fight the fire on their own, not relying on some silly government program to bail them out any time a fire breaks out. I, for example, always carry around a fire extinguisher for just such an occasion.

4. You could of respected the owner of the cars property rights enough to realize that they should be entitled to sovereignty extending to at least 5 feet from each side of their non-regulated automobile, thus rendering anything happening inside or arround the car no ones fucking business.

What a fucking jerk that guy is....I hear this Libertarian bullshit every fucking day....they are just a bunch of people who want to crow about their "ideas" when none of them are, in fact, at all practical. Its sort of like Anarchy...AWESOME concept....TERRIBLE in reality.

Fight the good fight.