Land And Water U.S.A.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


By  Michael R. Shannon
Last Friday at 5 AM, after a quiet spell of some 13 years, Prince William County, VA had an earthquake. For commuters 5AM is when they're getting ready to head to work. For drunks and night owls it's the time they are arriving home. So thousands of people were out of bed and functioning, more or less, yet only six residents here called 911.
So I'm wondering: if this is a good thing or a bad thing?
The quake was a magnitude of 3.6, which is hardly San Fransiscan in intensity. If you were sleeping, it probably felt like the dog jumped on the bed. But that didn't stop the good residents of Montgomery County, MD from dialing their 911 center. Thousands of residents there called in to report the obvious.
Causing me to wonder if the good liberals in Montgomery thought their government authorities were too obtuse to notice an earthquake, or worse, they wanted them to do something about it?
Some may contend that my criticism is not fair because Montgomery is a larger county and consequently more people would call. True, it's 2.6 times larger than PWC. So multiplying our earthquake calls by a factor of 2.6 gives us a total of 16 callers.
That's not enough people to staff a day-labor center in Montgomery, to say nothing of tie up the phone lines.
On the other hand, it could be that we are too dense to realize that the bed shaking wasn't caused by last night's burrito. A recent study by the Brookings Institution trumpeted the fact that the Washington DC metro area has the best-educated populace in the nation.
Although DC itself remains a sinkhole of bad schools and ignorance; the surrounding counties of Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax, Howard and Montgomery are tops when measured by the number of bachelor's degrees tacked on office walls. Blue-voting Democrat regions simply love these reports because the findings fuel liberal's immense self-infatuation.
They're smart, they vote for Obama and they think earthquakes are against the law.
You may have noticed my county didn't make the list, but I didn't do something stupid like donate to an NPR pledge drive to compensate. Education does not necessarily equal competence. Four years of gender studies and art history may not be relevant in the real world. A University of Connecticut survey found that the longer students stay in college the less they know about American history, government or the economy. Incoming freshmen know more about all these topics than the outgoing seniors.
Which explains why residents here know earthquakes are not a police matter. We just reach over the TV set to straighten Elvis' portrait, touch our plastic Jesus for luck and head off to work - while in Montgomery the highly-educated are still arguing with the dispatcher.
You'd think now that Leftists are running the country they would be titans of self-esteem and confidence. Yet quite the opposite is true. Their faulty belief system only serves to make the average liberal feel individually powerless, which is why they look to government for relief, protection and a big hug.
Case in point: on the Washington Post front page readers were subject to a 1,100-word whinefest about 'seat hogs.' These porcine Metro riders sit in the aisle seat leaving an empty seat by the window or take up a vacant seat with their briefcase, medical marijuana or copy of Obamacare. Diffident, petulant Leftists stand fuming in the aisle because 'seat hogs' didn't notice their predicament.
Vertical liberals are posting heated complaints on blogs, griping to each other and evidently buttonholing Leftist reporters.
But is this front page news?
Only if you think "somebody" meaning the authorities need to "do something" meaning pass a law, have a hearing, solicit a bid or post a sign.
These interpersonal situations aren't complicated. Even a liberal can stand close to the individual who is taking up more than their government-approved ration of Metro space, say "excuse me, please" in a firm voice and then wait for the person to stand and let you by, slide over themselves or as a last resort you can squeeze past them.
There, that wasn't so hard, was it?
As a matter of fact it probably is, because "elite" journalists are busy infantilizing "elite" readers. Take another Post story on blisters: I read it hoping for some useful breakthrough in blister technology. But no, the thrust of this story was blisters can be painful (!) and don't under any circumstances pop a blister. That's a medical procedure approaching a liver transplant in complexity and you should leave it to the "experts."
And I now have my answer: a total of six earthquake callers is good. It indicates we are self-reliant here. We pop our own blisters and confront our own earthquakes.

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