Monday, April 14, 2008

Scapegoat Orgy (No Pics Included)

Why did 6 girls give another girl a savage beatdown and capture it on video? Because of YouTube!

Why did Harris and Klebold go all Columbine at, uh, Columbine? Because of the damned guns.

I could keep going on for page after page after page of shit like this. But I hope you already see where I'm going.

There are far too many out there that, in defense of their immature or violent or stupid or evil actions, will find a convenient target to blame. The reality is that they are often more to blame themselves than the victim of their buck-passing. But it's so much easier to point the finger of blame. It's the inherent laziness of the intellectually dishonest. And in an environment where people don't like to think, it's easy to point the finger of blame.

For example, any -ism, be it racism, sexism, classism or whatever, requires scapegoating. The black man is kept down by the white man, not the choices he makes as he grows. And the cities is going to hell because of the lazy black man and the crazy Mexican, not because we have failed to teach generations of people how to succeed. A woman can't become president because the country is misogynistic, not because people don't like her. And people are poor because the "rich" take all the money, not because the poor often abdicate their responsibility to support their family in favor of the government tit and the hope that the lottery ticket brings. Come to think of it, Adolf Hitler used the Jews as scapegoats. And look how that turned out.

Global warming is a scapegoat-laden scam if their ever was one. Man is the enemy. Oil is the Devil. Fossil fuels fill the forest with fumes. And the solution? Oh, to control, control, control. I'm surprised God hasn't been blamed for global warming yet. Wait, if anyone is really to blame, He is. Of course, I have to talk to Him about these freezing temperatures in APRIL! so I'm not too fussed about the global warming crap right now.

But why scapegoat? Because you don't have to take responsibility for anything if someone or something else is to blame. Now let me share a little of my story. I have two children I am raising alone now, I don't have a whole lot of money, no savings, and am trying to pull a lot of things together right now. So who is to blame here? My ex, who has made even worse decisions? My employer, who doesn't pay that well? The Internet , which I blog on instead of working another hour in the day? My parents for not doing enough? The government, for not enough something? God, for not producing a miracle?

The reality is that I am where I am now because of the myriad (and mostly stupid) choices I've made over the years. I have two kids I am raising alone because of the person I chose who bore them (although it's not ALL my fault there). I am working where I am because I chose to. I blog because I know it will go somewhere, though I know not where. My parents have done WAY more than their share. The government can't, and shouldn't, do anything for me, period. And God has already had his way with me, so He's Kool and the Gang there. So it all comes down to me.

And that's the problem with far too many people: They don't realize that they are wholly responsible for the things that happen in their lives.

10 comments:

Shaw Kenawe said...

They don't realize that they are wholly responsible for the things that happen in their lives.

Of course you don't mean this.

You're on a rant and you've made a whole lot of generalizations based, probably, on a lot of anger. And, from what I read--it is justified.

Everyone's story is different.

I know of a story--a true one--where a loving, vivacious woman became mentally ill after giving birth to her third child.

She was so ill that the doctors had to put her in solitary confinement in a mental institution.

Her husband had a teenage daugher, a pre-teen daughter, and a 15-month old baby girl.

And he had to work to keep the family from starving. The teenage daughter kept it together as best she could, the pre-teen went to live in another state with an aunt, and the 15-month old was put in a sort-of orphanage--a place for children who had one or both parents unable to care for them.

This was a disaster for the whole family.

And the mother got worse instead of better. The family was told she would never recover her mind.

I don't think you'd say they were responsible for what happened to them--for their "choices."

Disaster hit them and broke their little family into pieces.

And they never recovered from it.

The father divorced the mother--she was essentially gone forever.

He remarried. The teenage daughter married very young--the pre-teen, now a teenager, came back to live with her father and the new step-mother. At 4 years old, the baby daughter was taken out of the orphanage-like institution and brought home.

This tragedy, over which they had no control, changed their lives forever.

Toad734 said...

First off, I thought Columbine was Marilyn Manson’s fault.

You seem to think destiny and our future is already written and nothing we do can change that. Bush and Iran both think that God is coming, he is on their side and our destiny is to propagate Armageddon so we can go see God in heaven and get all the virgins or paradise or what ever they think heaven is. That is a very dangerous mind set.
It allows you to not worry about anything like the ice caps melting and allows you to paint a broad brush stroke and apply it to every living being and every situation when the world isn't that black and white. It allows you to look at any homeless man, any AIDS victim, any drug addict and say they all had choices in the matter and it's 100% their fault they are that was and therefore we don't have to help them. That all is until we talk about you and then you say "although it's not ALL my fault there". Well don't you think the AIDS victim can say the same thing about a broken condom or a blood transfusion? Don't you think a homeless person can say the same thing about predatory lending, his wife’s gambling problem, his job moving to India or any other situation? Don't you think a drug addict can say that our society only focuses on criminalizing drugs and punishing addicts instead of prevention and helping addicts?

And sometimes poor people are poor because the rich took their money. Enron is a perfect example of that. And as you said, our schools suck because why? Because, rich people don't want to pay taxes that will benefit black kids. When that happens, you are ensuring that those kids who come out of the shitty school system will never have the tools to pull himself out of poverty unless he learns to dunk and the rich people get to keep more of their money. And taking away money from the schools, from Social Programs and giving it to rich companies like Exxon or ADM or a rich country like Israel is taking money from the poor and giving it to the rich. Now, Bill Gates didn't break into your home and take your wallet but I think you are capable of thinking outside of the box and not taking everything literally.

Now, I guess your main point is that apparently someone is blaming Youtube for the white trash beat down? Ok, that’s stupid.

Patrick M said...

Me: They don't realize that they are wholly responsible for the things that happen in their lives.

Shaw: Of course you don't mean this.


Shaw: Yes and no.

There are exceptions and unforeseen circumstances in every life, and it requires hard and sometimes terrible choices.

My point though, is that far too many people simply give up and find someone else to blame. Obviously this father did whatever he had to do to reconstitute his family as best he could. And while I don't know every detail, it looks like he made the best out of the situation. That's the kind of person everyone should be.

Toad: Oops, forgot about poor Marilyn....

As usual, you managed to miss the point.

Our futures are determined by our actions. For if they're not, what's the fucking point?

So let's just take your examples:

Homelessness: With the exception of serious mental illness, the homeless person has the abilities to work themselves out of the situation. And even the mentally ill in many cases can do so with the proper drugs.

AIDS victims: With the exceptions of those infected as children and the early cases from blood transfusion, HIV is spread through activities that one chooses to engage in.

Drug addicts: Again, it's a choice in the beginning. And it's through choices you get away from the drugs.

Sucky schools: The primary responsibility lies with the parents of the children in these schools. If they abdicate their responsibility to government institutions....

And sometimes poor people are poor because the rich took their money.

This is the most woefully ignorant statement of your whole argument. Enron and Wal-Mart and all these big corporations and rich peopple have no power to take money from anyone. In fact, the only entitiy that can mandate you have to give them your money is government. Every person determines where their money goes. If you don't want Wal-Mart to have your money, you don't give it to them. That's how it works. But you want to say these companies stole money.

I don't have to buy anything or invest in any company, but I choose to, and in so doing, accept the risk that I might give my money to a crook or for bad merchandise. And if any laws are broken, there are legal remedies.

That's what freedom is all about. And being free means your choices dictate the outcome.

Dee said...

Well Said!!

Toad734 said...

Look, Im not saying that people don't bare responsibility for their actions, you can even read my "Hot to not get Aids post" and know that. http://toadthoughts.blogspot.com/2005_11_01_archive.html

Our futures are partly determined by our actions but if a bus jumps a curve and kills me on my way to lunch are you going to say it’s my fault because I should have known better than to go to lunch? That’s ridiculous and it’s that black and white mentality that I was talking about. I had no control over my future at that point and it was decided by someone or something else. Now, if an “excessive and oppressive” government had made more safety inspections, maybe it wouldn’t happen. But you have clearly stated that it’s every man for himself and if you eat the chicken with salmonella its your fault, not the company who processed the chicken because corporations shouldn’t be bothered by government regulation. Buyer beware!

Reagan funding weapons for Iran with drug money created a bigger drug problem. It made drugs readily available and he made it cheaper and then they said what you said and blamed it all on the addicts. To take it a step further they then put mandatory sentences on drug crimes and made a lot of drug crimes a felony. You know how hard it is to get a job with a felony? Especially a job for a high school educated black guy with a felony? Gee, what options are left after that? Hmm, selling more drugs maybe? Taking more drugs to deal with the depression of being a poor, broke, criminal who may have made one mistake when he was younger which will now follow him around for at least the next 7 years. Sure, it ultimately comes down to that person deciding what to do with the options available but if you couldn't keep yourself from marrying the wrong person how do you expect the rest of society to make better decisions?

And again, no you are wrong about rich taking the money of the poor. Read the story about the Wal-Mart in Denver who forced low end ethnic retailers out of their leases by pressuring the local government and then made the city pay for their site where they built that Wal-Mart. That tax money could have gone to schools and perhaps schools full of poor people. Do you really think I have control over the Presidents subsidies that he hands out to Exxon instead of using that money for education or infrastructure? Exxon doesn't just sit around hoping the government will give them money they have several well paid people who buddy up to politicians and beg for that money. So yes, again, rich people take money from poor people. Even if it’s in the form of taxes poor people pay on property, gas, excise and sales tax that money is going out of their pocket and into Exxon or Israel’s pocket.

Patrick M said...

Your post, once you got going, was hilarious. So I'll give everyone a link they can click. But enough about that orgy.

I get your point on the bus thing, although I don't know how adding regulation could stop it. But the salmonella thing. Government should have standards, but you have a responsibility to cook your chicken thoroughly or risk shitting blood (w/o the AIDS risk). Trust me, I do so, as my lackadaisical approach to cleaning necessitates it.

The drug problem also comes down to personal responsibility. But our misguided, and obviously failed methods to control drug use have not helped. I'll be brief with my solution: Legalize the drugs, make the penalties for breaking other laws under the influence stiffer, and focus on rehab rather than filling prisons. That will solve the prison problem too. In other words, you bear the responsibility if you choose to do drugs.

And I am paying for my mistakes. Trust me on that one.

And as for Wal-Mart and Exxon, what have I told you about government getting involves in business?

Businesses, on their own, can't take people's money. It's when governments, from idiot locals to the bloated Federal pig, get involved on the financial end that things go to hell in a handbasket.
As for government subsidizing businesses, it's certainly not a good thing. I think we can agree on that.

Toad734 said...

Wow, guess who's sounding less like a Republican every day.

From what I understand, and I may be wrong, you can't always cook Salmonella out of chicken, can you? I don't know, I don't like chicken, that being said, if I eat a burger or a steak I burn the shit out of it.

And no, more government regulation may not have saved my life, more governmental inspections may not have caught the faulty break lines but they may have. I'm not even saying that's the answer, I am saying that some things are beyond your control no matter what you do. Some things are in your control to a degree but when outside influences keep bombarding you with the wrong option, i.e. cheap drugs that everyone else is doing, your choices become less clear and your ability to make rational decisions weakens. Not only that, once you do become an addict, you really don't have a choice to steal and rob to get those drugs, trust me on this one, if there's anyone who knows how this works it's me.

I partly agree with the Government allowing Wal-Mart to or whomever to take your money and if the government puts trade agreements in place that favor all of our jobs moving over seas so we can get cheaper goods because we can't afford anything else because our job went over seas (which is like robbing Peter to pay Paul) then yes we can put the blame on the government but the the said corporation is playing along too. The problem is that only an enlightened few even know what is going on. If you make me a deal to stop voting Republican ill make the deal to stop bitching about Exxon. To be fair, I do place blame on a lot of trade laws on Clinton.

And you're 100% right on how to handle drugs...I may even go one step further like the Netherlands and say if you can't buy the drugs and you’re an intravenous heroin addict, we'll provide you with the safe drugs and the clean needles. Its a whole hell of a lot cheaper than paying for uninsured overdoses (which can cost up to $40,000), uninsured Hepatitis and AIDS patients, Judicial costs of apprehending people stealing for drug money, Gang drug turf wars, innocent victims in the crossfire of those drug wars, detainment, etc.

Patrick M said...

Well, being I'm more libertarian, and if the GOP continues its leftward slide....

You still rationalize why other people give in: ...but when outside influences keep bombarding you with the wrong option, i.e. cheap drugs that everyone else is doing, your choices become less clear and your ability to make rational decisions weakens. Bluntly put, this is the point at which you decide.

Now I will give you that an addict can't make rational judgments anymore and will to what it takes to get his drugs. These people need help to get off drugs, but they have to make the decision to do so to kick the habit.

And as for "our" jobs going overseas: They're not ours. They belong to the company, so it is their right to whatever the hell they want. It's the presumption that free markets have to be controlled to make things "fair that makes things more expensive, and lets us sit and keep jobs we should have the sense to get rid of. And it is through free trade that poor people of other countries will be lifted up, and we will benefit with better prices and, if we can stop giving corporations incentives (more taxes and bullshit) to move jobs overseas, more jobs than we can fill.

By the way, are one of the "enlightened few" that really knows what's going on?

As for the drug views: This is very much a libertarian POV, and the fact that our current war on drugs is a failure. So in looking at behaviors of people during Prohibition, when alcohol was illegal, we see that the best way to control a substance is to make it legal and punish people who's behavior infringes on other people's rights. If you apply that principle consistently, you get libertarianism. And that's where I am.

Also, if you need a way to cook chicken, I have some recipes. And beef (except burger) was made to be bloody. Yummy!

Toad734 said...

Well then maybe thats one thing Libertarians and Democrats agree on because almost every Democrat I know would agree with exactly that. Now, no Democrat will ever be elected as President with that platform but I would say most Democrats feel that way.

And by the way, they do make the decisions to get clean, that's when and where they need the most help. My brother has been sober more times than I can count and has never really made it much past the 1 year mark. The only reason he is "clean" now is the Methadone which costs $14 per day. That may not sound like much but for someone with a GED, a criminal record, no real job history, who is working 4 days per week, it's a lot.

Even though he has done all these things to himsself in the past, he has now made the decision to become a productive part of society. This is the point where things are beyond his control. Most jobs which he would be qualified for ask if you have ever been convicted of a felony. My answer to him is to get a degree so he doesn't have to check that box on job applications and can refrain from putting it on a resume but from what he tells me, if you have a drug conviction, you can't get federal aid for college...Strike 2. Being stuck in a rut of hospitals trying to collect their money, his probation fees, his methadone and only working 4 days a week, you can see how the lure of selling or using drugs might be overwhelming. Sure, 6 years ago he got arrested, 15 years ago he started doing heavy drugs and those are his fault but do you really expect a 16 year old kid to make the best decisions about drugs? By the time he was legally an adult he was already hooked and at that point it was too late.

Patrick M said...

I understand the problems he's having. And I know that 16 is a stupid time.

This is where finding the right job is essential. I'm not saying it will be easy, and he's probably going to eat a few more shit sandwiches over the next few years, but there is someone out there who will give him the chance. I don't know who it is and I don't know where and when he will find it. But if he has himself right, then I believe he will find it.

I'll be honest in that I don't have all the answers. But this is where faith (Christian or otherwise) comes in.

There are opportunities out there for everyone, even someone with drug and criminal records in their past. This is the greatness of America that it seems you miss when you comment and post on your blog.

I will say that I hope he succeeds.