The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Ok, caller, what's on your mind?

I am making a number of confessions here. Some of you may be surprised, some of you will not. Some may even be shocked. After all, we really do not know people, we only think we do. What is that is always said after the police haul away the guy next door?

He seemed like a nice man, quiet and kept to himself mostly but he always waved or smiled when I would seem him in the yard. But so many bodies...

I was sent a link to the a clip of a caller into the Michael Savage radio show. Now, Savage is a rather radical person who has the capacity to offend just about anyone. There are no stations in this area which carry his show. Even when I lived in an area where his show was available, I rarely tuned it in on purpose. Mostly, it was because I was traveling and was seeking some diversion on the radio.

I do, however, listen to talk radio. I do it because it exposes me to various points of view. Both by the hosts and by the callers. Most talk shows are quite boring, actually. If they have guests, the guests are people you never heard of or they are hawking a book. Or both. Local talk shows are probably the worst of all. Still, there are interesting moments and that is why I listen.

But let's get back to Michael Savage. It isn't Savage that is of interest here, it is the caller. I think, if you plan to call into a talk show, you should actually have some facts down. That is, you should know what it is you are passionate about. After all, the host will do his (or her) level best to make you look as stupid as possible. In this case, Savage was given a gift of sorts. The woman who called in knew next to nothing about her own country and clearly had little understanding of human nature. Her first thought literally blew me away. As I listened (it was like watching a train wreck), she got even worse. If you play it, listen closely to what she says, try to get an understanding of her thought processes.

There was something she said, maybe about midway through the call, that I fixated on. And, that is why I am writing this piece today. She said that we had to limit people's salaries (I am sure she meant the heads of the Evil Corporations but she wasn't clear on that) because it was "greed" which caused our problems. A thought leaped into my brain, scrambled for a toe-hold in that vast wasteland, and has been bouncing about ever since. Isn't greed one of the reasons that people enter this country illegally?

Whether they are poor, unskilled, workers looking for those jobs we keep saying Americans won't take or drug runners or skilled workers looking to take those jobs Americans would take if they could find them, aren't they looking for more moeny than they could get in their own country? And isn't that the very definition of greed? Wanting more? Before you take me to task, I am generalizing. I am not saying that every single illegal alien is greedy. I am saying that greed isn't always about being rich.

The online dictionary definition is:

excessive or rapacious desire, esp. for wealth or possessions.

It seems to me that if you are willing to gamble your savings (and possibly the savings of several in your family) and your life (that is a risky trip, after all) for a chance to live outside the law so you could get more money and a better life for yourself and your loved ones that it could be called "excessive desire."

I could be wrong. But I would call thieves, gamblers, and people who work all the overtime they can get... greedy. And I would say anyone willing to pay some unknown person thousands of dollars to break the laws of two countries (they are also leaving their own countries illegally) without due regard to the risks to life and liberty to get more than they have may also be greedy.

They may also be desperate. Yet they somehow manage to get the $2000 or more it now costs for a "coyote" to shepherd them through the border.

Maybe I just have a warped perspective. Really, I have nothing against these people. I feel very sorry for them and the fact that their situations in their own countries are so terrible. I have been to Mexico and I have been to a few other countries and I have seen poverty that would sicken the average American. I do not know if I could survive in the conditions that millions are forced to endure elsewhere in the world.

But coming here, risking life and liberty and the hard (harder than you could imagine) earned savings of themselves and their families, just doesn't make sense to me.

When I was in the Navy, I had shipmates who came out of poverty. They came from slums, from ghettos, from barrios. The Navy didn't pay well but it gave them more than they had growing up. It showed them a life where you could work and earn and live better. Yet most of them returned to the places where they grew up right after they got out. I never understood that either.

I guess I will never figure out human nature.


Richard said...

Do you know, Douglas, by some aberration I think she won that exchange!

Douglas said...

Richard, it's possible. I don't know if there was a "winner" but she showed her extreme ignorance of facts. It's also possible that she was a "plant".

Richard said...

Do you know, Douglas, by some aberration I think she won that exchange!

Douglas said...

Richard, it's possible. I don't know if there was a "winner" but she showed her extreme ignorance of facts. It's also possible that she was a "plant".