Houston, thank you for your example of America at its best


There are folks for whom government is the question, the answer, and the explanation.

Our liberal-progressive-socialist acquaintances measure good intentions rather than results. They measure inputs — preferably in the billions of dollars, not millions — rather than outcomes. It is a culture that needs victims as its feedstock like the local evening news needs barn fires. Everyone is a victim: black and brown people, women (an entire gender!), students, workers, the elderly. Even, in Madison WI, government employees are victims! They need a national guaranteed wage, free college and government-paid birth control. To be told how much sugar they may drink; who has too much speech and who, not enough; what they may say during an election campaign and when they may say it.

All need the protection of an activist government from their oppressors: white Christian men.

Which is why they must — like an Old Testament prophet — blame Hurricane Harvey on Houston and its Republican/libertarian ways. (It is also why they defend, as WI State Journal columnist Chris Rickert did recently, LBJ’s creation of the permanent give-away Society.)

The largest city in Texas is reaping an angry liberal’s wrath for voting Donald Trump. For its fundamentalist Christianity. For its NASCAR, rodeo, gun and Friday night football culture. For Big Oil and King Ranch pickup truck, cold beer and smoky beef on the fire pit.

Now those too-big for their britches Texas have had their comeuppance. They are victims!

Well, yes, victims of natural disasters ARE true victims. Unlike the gang banger who chooses to deal dope rather than hand in his school homework, say. Or Sandra Fluke, prime-time speaker at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, braying for Uncle Foolish to pay for her birth control while she attends a pricey private college.

What they are not is whiners blaming government for their distress.

Houston, according to Newsweek, that reliably liberal organ, “is drowning — in its freedom from regulations.” Never mind the Harvey is a magnitude of once in 500 years, that Houston’s topography is flat as a flapjack and its soil near-impermeable clay.

The Nation claims that “everyone is a socialist after a national disaster.” Don’t tell that to the bearded man in the photo above.

The likes of Willy Becker, a long-time Madison hard-line Stalinist who spells our country “AmeriKKKa,” posts this cartoon on his Facebook page:


Except that you won’t see any boats marked “FEMA” because that federal agency has no boats. (And dig the fanciful gender and race construct!) It is instructive that Mr. Becker, an Antifa fan boy, also posts the illustration below on his Facebook page with that friendly little hammer and sickle. (Tear down that wall!)

Willie Becker

Becker’s caption: “Here are a bunch of Alt-Leftists liberating Berlin from Nazi Germany.

Houston refuses to lie down and play the blame game, unlike Mayor Nagin of New Orleans after Katrina.

Houston “didn’t wait for help. They became the help, and in so doing they inspired a nation.” So writes the essential David French in National Review.

A Facebooker with the un-PC handle of Liquorgunsbaconandtits writes:

Hundreds and hundreds of small boats pulled by countless pickups and SUVs from across the South are headed for Houston. Almost all of them driven by men. They’re using their own property, sacrificing their own time, spending their own money, and risking their own lives for one reason: to help total strangers in desperate need.

Most of them are by themselves. Most are dressed like the redneck duck hunters and bass fisherman they are. Many are veterans. Most are wearing well-used gimme-hats, t-shirts, and jeans; and there’s a preponderance of camo. Most are probably gun owners, and most probably voted for Trump.

These are the people the Left loves to hate, the ones Maddow mocks. The ones Maher and Olbermann just *know* they’re so much better than. These are The Quiet Ones. They don’t wear masks and tear down statues. They don’t, as a rule, march and demonstrate. And most have probably never been in a Whole Foods.

But they’ll spend the next several days wading in cold, dirty water; dodging gators and water moccasins and fire ants; eating whatever meager rations are available; and sleeping wherever they can in dirty, damp clothes. Their reward is the tears and the hugs and the smiles from the terrified people they help. They’ll deliver one boatload, and then go back for more.

And the next time they hear someone talk about “the patriarchy”, or “male privilege”, they’ll snort, turn off the TV and go to bed.

In short, Houston is what is great about America. Willie Becker is the police state.

Again, Phil Hands’ remarkable cartoon.


About David Blaska

Madison WI
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23 Responses to Houston, thank you for your example of America at its best

  1. Bernie Heinemann says:

    DAVE … one of the best you have written! You put my thoughts into words. THANKS!


  2. Gary L. Kriewald says:

    A thought slowly began to form in my mind as I read Mr. liquorgunsetc.’s post: Houston is America’s Dunkirk. “Hundreds and hundreds of small boats … from across the South” volunteered in a time of national crisis. Sounds a lot like what happened in the English Channel in 1940. When ordinary citizens step up to do what government can’t manage to do–this is the point at which liberals stick their fingers in their ears–we’re reminded of why those wise old slaveholders took care to craft a limited government, assigning ultimate responsibility for oneself and one’s neighbors to the citizenry, not the ruling elite.

    BTW I wonder if that Antifa graffiti has been declared an official city and/or county monument yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. J. Bornstein says:

    The entire premise for this post is flawed: Harris County voted for Clinton over Trump by 12% (or 150,000 votes), I’d wager the percent margin was even higher within Houston itself. Talk about twisting things for political ends.

    And any responsible reply to the tragedy would acknowledge these basic truths:

    First: this is the third “500-year flood” in Houston in the past three years, and that doesn’t even include Hurricane Ike from 2008.

    Second: The fact that Houston is flat as a pancake and has impermeable soil is the entire point.
    That was known by local officials, citizens, and developers ahead of time, and yet they didn’t head warnings by scientists for years about how they could diminish the impact of floods with hazard mitigation efforts: including by not developing over prairie with lawns with 1/20th the absorption rates of the areas of spongy prairie grass that did exist in the area, or with paved structures with 0% absorption. Harvey still would have been bad, but not as bad as it was.

    Finally, that facebook post you quote is based entirely on anecdotal assumptions. Even if verified with data, do you doubt that if a similar tragedy struck Madison people from across Dane County, most of them likely liberals, wouldn’t descend on the City to help in kayaks and canoes?
    When Sandy struck members (nearly all of them hippies) who just finished their terms in the Montana Conservation Corps flew to NYC/NJ to help in the relief efforts.

    Are there ridiculous people on the far left like the last person you quote who exaggerate and twist events to meet their own narrative? Of course, but you’ve down almost exactly the same thing on the right.

    -Sincerely, a moderate centrist.


    • David Blaska says:

      As I said, Houston is a stand-in for Texas. As for your hypothetical, we do know what the City of Madison is doing. It’s not sending aid and comfort to Houston. It’s scrubbing an 1862 Confederate grave site of any 21st Century political incorrectness. The Stately Manor posted one idiotic cartoon, linked to a second, and here’s a third — “No transgender rescuers”!!! As no flood victim said, ever. Too bad the cartoonist didn’t take his own advice. “This is no time for politics.” But why pass up a chance for some comeuppance for the hated social conservatives? And yeah, Black Lives Matter and Antifa are out there rescuing Houston. As effing IF! Here is the cartoon.


      • J. Bornstein says:

        Quit deflecting, twisting, and painting with such broad strokes. You’re putting words in my mouth. I was clearly not talking about the City of Madison government, and you weren’t talking about governments in the South, we’re talking about average citizens. It’s people such as yourself, and your counterparts on the left drawing up those tasteless cartoons, who make the partisan divide worse with such tactics.

        For every deflection you try and pull out, I can counter with something like this. The truth is almost always somewhere in the middle: http://www.channel3000.com/news/texas-residents-helped-by-dane-county-boys-and-girls-club/616526251

        Most liberals are not antifa, most conservatives are not white supremacists. I never said antifa or BLM were rescuing folks in Houston (though I wouldn’t be surprised if there were a few amongst the rescuers, or a few white supremacists either). The MCC members who responded to Sandy were almost all liberal, I knew many, and none are antfia of BLM.

        The hypothetical can’t be tested equally unless the tragedy was in the Midwest. This tragedy was in the South which is more conservative and thus it’s likely more conservatives are likely to respond because they live in the region. I have no doubt hippies from Willy Street would be portaging and paddling across Lake Mendota if there were an earthquake on the UW Campus to help, and I’m sure some conservatives from rural Dane County would come in their fishing and speedboats too.

        Tobler’s first law of geography: “everything is related to everything else, but near things are more related than distant things.”


    • David Blaska says:

      From a land use planner:

      “Here’s the media narrative:

      “The city is too spread out, its infrastructure too expansive for its unproductive tax base to properly maintain, and thus it was woefully unprepared for Hurricane Harvey. If they hadn’t built all those parking lots, filled in all those wetlands, and insisted on driving everywhere, this wouldn’t have been nearly as devastating. That narrative is simple. It’s also wrong. … wetland-filling robbed Houston of 4 billion gallons of stormwater storage capacity. For context, the Washington Post is reporting now that Harvey dumped 19 trillion gallons on Texas — a large portion of that hitting the Houston area. That means that, had those wetlands never been filled, they could have accommodated at most 0.02 to 0.1 percent of the water that fell in Harvey — a minuscule amount.”


  4. David Blaska says:

    DailyKos, that ur-liberal-progressive-socialist website, “came across this excellent rant today:” Came across this excellent, angry rant on the web today: “F*** you, AP. I’ve seen three different websites now start the story about Trump coming to Houston with the idea Trump has “returned” to Houston … and now he’s visited twice? Because why, it’s all Texas and who gives a shit anyway?”


  5. J. Bornstein says:

    You realize that’s sarcasm correct? It’s important to quit jumping to conclusions so quickly. They’re pretending to be inside the head of the AP writer saying to him/herself, “it’s all Texas and who gives a shit anyway”. If you actually read the context later, the writer is from Texas and explains they’re criticizng mainstream news sources because on Trump’s first trip he visited Corpus Christi, not Houston, but they’re claiming he visited Houston twice.

    And while that judgement is probably unfair to Trump, even if you were correct and Kos itself was endorsing the statement “it’s all Texas and who gives a shit anyway”, you’d be demonstrating nothing more than that the fringe left is awful. Meanwhile Ann Coulter blamed Harvey on Houston electing a lesbian mayor.


    • madisonexpat says:

      But you detected no sarcasm to Ann.


      • J. Bornstein says:

        Even if we gave Ann the benefit of the doubt and assumed she was being sarcastic, it’d simply be the equal of the quote referenced on DailyKos.

        Or we can quote the very serious nonsarcastic pastor Rick Wiles, who blamed Harvey on Houston’s “affinity for the sexual perversion movement.”


  6. AnonyBob says:

    As a current Texan, I can say J. Bornstein has his facts straight. Dave, not so much.


  7. old baldy says:

    J.Bornstein: Keep up the great work. Facts and truth always get blaska flustered.


  8. madisonexpat says:

    Hiya ABob. RAY-cism.
    Texas? Yet another retiree who went from a red state to a blue. I’d say that’s voting with your feet.
    Know anyone who’s retired TO IL, CA, NY?


    • AnonyBob says:

      Not in The Lone Star State by choice for retirement, Splat, but because of my wife’s job. (Livin’ the Dream.) Though I gotta say, the local Conservatives are much more palatable then the ones in Wisconsin or the ones who left Wisconsin. Give me these frontier libertarians over y’all bitching about “those people” getting your tax dollars any day (that can be seen as RAY-ism, you know). But given the choice, I’d rather be in CA. You can keep the winters in IL, NY or WI.


      • AnonyBob says:

        And to be real honest, I miss the high level of govt. services provided by this so-called low tax state. Appalling teen pregnancy rate, high levels of STDs, one of the lowest education achievement levels in the country, same with health insured levels, and an amazingly inefficient health care delivery system, despite living in a medical hub. I miss the efficiency of good ol’ Germanic Wisconsin, even under the Walker/Koch regime. And low tax? No state income tax, but property taxes as high as Wisconsin (for a lesser public education system) and a sales tax rate that makes you gasp at every substantial purchase. But, “big govt is bad!” Except when they need it now in Houston.


  9. madisonexpat says:

    ABob it sounds like you ARE in California. STDs, awful schools, bad healthcare


    • old baldy says:


      “STDs, awful schools, bad healthcare”. Those are conservative goals: defund Planned Parenthood, defund public school aids and give the $$ to voucher schools; and eliminate ACA with no workable plan in its place. You should be very proud.


  10. madisonexpat says:

    ABob, my family is well educated and enjoys good healthcare. Those are my goals as an adult, an American and a conservative. Look around you and learn the lessons I taught our daughter after Katrina:
    1. a hurricane is very destructive.
    2. prepare your people and property or evacuate earliest
    3. if you wait for any government to save you, you are doomed.
    p.s. we housed, fed and educated 10 Katrina evacuees for five weeks.


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