Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Conservative Blogs: It All Depends on Whose Looter It Is and We Reap What We Sew But We Steal What We Don't Sew from Those Who Do

I've been waiting to see if the conservative bloggers would start promoting shooting local looters on the heels of last week's tornadoes as they did in the wake of Hurricane Katrina last year, but the silence on the right with regard to "shoot first and let God sort 'em out" has been deafening in this case. Last year we could not get them to shut up their calls for mowing kids down over a pair of Nikes. But now the logic does not seem to be applicable when looters are stealing chunks of houses. But wouldn't shooting looters rather than arresting them send a much more powerful message to other potential looters (many of whom were no doubt snarling the traffic southward down Gallatin Road all the way to Briley Parkway this past weekend)? So, what's with the silence? I won't say that the difference in conservative outcry has anything to do with the difference in the race of the looters we are seeing on television from those we saw in New Orleans, but the rightwing seems a lot less frenzied at these white-boy looters.

What I am seeing on some of the conservative blogs is the promotion of the recently released report that Tennessee ranks 45th in taxes per capita by state. On those blogs where level-headed comments are allowed, rational people are setting the record straight on that ranking. Some of my favorite retorts to the rightwing love affair with low-tax rankings:
  1. "Tennesseans have extra bucks in their pockets to put toward a nice boat to run around on those federally subsidized lakes and what not."
  2. "[Conservatives] also ignore how much drain various states are on the federal government. Many low tax states don't pay their own way, getting more money in fed. dollars than they pay in." [BTW, this is similar to a point I made about the town of Spring Hill last July when the conservatives were drooling over the town's cut of property taxes to zero: state money collected from all Tennesseans allowed them to stop paying their own way. So, what conservatives call "tax reform" is basically Spring Hill leeching and draining tax dollars off the rest of Tennesseans.]
  3. "If you think of Red America as stubbornly self-reliant and Blue America as a drain on the Treasury, you've got it exactly backward."
  4. "I just buy stuff from Massachusetts online so I can avoid paying Tennessee's unconscionable 9.25% sales tax."
  5. "[M]aybe higher taxes [are] related to education. The states with higher taxes have a higher rate of high school graduates then states with lower taxes."
Common sense cuts through the hooey, yet again.


  1. Not all of us conservative bloggers supported shooting looters.

  2. I think that the police have things under control in Gallatin... whereas it didn't seem to be that way in NOLA. Why ground the kid when a slap on the hand took care of the problem?

  3. Actually, according to the Channel 4 report that goes with the screen shot, police were not stopping anybody until the reporter told them that the people they interviewed had not gotten permission to take stuff. The police said that they had a hard time figuring out who was looting and who had legitimate reasons to be in the neighborhood. Kind of sounds like New Orleans in that light: hard to tell who was looting for food and who was looting for material gain.

  4. Dude, I don't call myself a consrvative (being above it all on a three axis spectrum) but many do call me that and I say leave the money in my pocket and don't send my state any extra. My general feeling is to give the .gov ye olde one finger salute. Leave me alone and I waon't feel like rebelling.

    Those who advocate higher taxes advocate the government, wielding the threat of deadly violence, to take money earned by the sweat of my brow to give it to favored groups. Being an individual I've never responded well to that threat.

  5. This is quite a leap of logic and a huge pile of mischaracterizations. PhD in ETHICS and this is the best you can do? Sad. Very sad.