Thursday, August 29, 2002

The Crone Speaks

The elections must really be over, as the Commercial Appeal's Susan Adler Thorp has gone on to a new topic -- pet burial in the City landfill. There's a wealth of confusion and stupidity in this one, so let's get right at it.

SAT derides the decision to stop cremating dead pets, and to instead bury them in the City's landfill. She writes:
Jerry Collins, director of public works, gets credit for this masterpiece of
public policy. According to Collins, the city will save $80,000 a year in
natural gas fees by turning off its incinerator and tossing animal
carcasses into the city dump. It was a cost-saving decision, he said.

"If people would be willing to pay $15 to $20 per animal for incineration
versus the $7.50 we now charge, the difference would pay for the cost
of operating the incinerator,'' he said.
Bing! Problem solved right there! I'm sure most loving animal owners (and I count myself among them, having had cats, dogs, fish and even a snake in my life at various times) would find $20 a reasonable fee to pay for cremation. End of story.

But no, as is her fashion, SAT must instead pound and flail negatively. It's more fun than proposing and writing about healthy solutions.
I've never been wowed by the efficacy of the city's public relations
No doubt. Look how hard she and the CA had to work to sell the Grizzlies and the new arena.

Then SAT drags uber-liberal Steve Cohen into it:
"It's insensitive to tens of thousands of Memphians who dearly love their
pets,'' said state Sen. Steve Cohen (D-Memphis).

Cohen sponsored a state law that allows dog and cat owners to collect
as much as $4,000 in punitive damages if their pet is killed by
intentional or negligent illegal acts by another person or his pet.
What does that have to do with this? Is she somehow trying to prove Cohen's bona fides? Why? His statement stands more than well enough by itself.

Then comes the Whopper of Whoppers:
The role of government, among other things, is to promote the general
welfare and provide for the common good. In this case, government
policy should reflect community values, and concern for animals is one
such value.
Psssst, Thorp! Reread your Constitution (try here). It's "provide for the common defense." In the local case, that's policing, which is pretty woeful right now. But is her statement not a classic of Socialism?

But let's apply some of this thinking. Community values are that our schools suck. Along with out-of-control crime, it's the worst problem we have. So how would she justify spending millions on a new arena ahead of fixing schools or improving policing? Does she support the City and County examining each and every teacher to be sure they are teaching what they know and know how to teach it? How about all the crackheads who drive much of the City's crime? Community values are that we need to do something about that, right now. Does that mean she supports more jails, or more hospital beds?

Sorry, I got off on a tear there. But that's from the po-faced misquoting of the very foundation of our government that SAT fobs off on the inattentive. She doesn't even just adulterate the "promote the general welfare" phrase most Socialists abuse, but doubles it by tampering with the second clause! It is NOT the government's job to provide anything for you or me but personal security, domestic and foreign.
City Council member Brent Taylor said he has asked Collins to turn on
the city's incinerator.

"I wonder if there's a health issue about putting dead animals in a
landfill without incinerating them first,'' he said.
No more so than any of the food and other edible waste tossed into the landfill any other day. Or the personal hygiene products, or diapers, get the idea. SAT continues to approvingly quote Taylor:
"Nobody is tighter on the council than I am,'' Taylor said. "But I also
believe government exists to provide services that people can't provide
for themselves.

"I see this as a service like paving streets. We ought to provide the
And what about funerals for humans? What about the folks who can't pay for the burial of their human loved ones? Shall we go there?

Taylor, unfortunately, didn't stop talking there. He goes on:
Taylor said there are "a lot of other services the city provides that are
more worthy of a budget cut than this one.''

"We could probably save on paper clips and fountain pens to find that
much money,'' he said.
Whoops! So why hasn't he led a drive to DO JUST THAT?! Isn't a part of his job to be fiscally responsible? So why not get on the stick?

The papers report this stuff in this way and then wonder why regular citizens like me get so angry at government, or others so cynical that they dis-involve themselves. Does SAT even comment on this? Of course not. A little waste is a necessary part of government on this scale and if you don't like it, then you're a heartless, cruel monster who must be vilified. Now cough up more money.

Until next time,
Your Working Boy

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