OMG! Why Didn't We Fully Fund the Government Tiger-Catching Agency?

This via Q&O:

Earlier today, New York Times columnist Nick Kristoff opined on Twitter about cuts in government services. It’s not every day that you see such stupidity displayed so confidently…except from the Left:

Imagine John Boehner home in OH, seeing an escaped tiger–and getting a msg that help is unavailable due to govt cutbacks.

Well, I don’t know about John Boehner. But I do know that if I received such a message, it’d be because I was trying to call up a government flunky to haul a tiger carcass away. And if I did get such a message, my very next call would be to a good taxidermist.

It’s an interesting glimpse into the worldview though. The unspoken assumption is that, without government tiger hunters, we’re all doomed to be mauled by wild beasts. Presumably, this is because we are all tiny, little children, utterly incapable of solving our problems without the intervention of our benevolent government overlords. It’s a worldview that operates on the assumption that the government is the only adult in the room.

A great example of this sort of mentality was the Bruce Willis action filmLive Free or Die Hard.  The movie was a decent thriller, falling into the unlikely-buddy-movie genre (including also 48 Hours and most of the Lethal Weapon movies).

Like most modern techno-thrillers, it required a lot of technical suspension of belief, but what really struck me was the premise -- that somehow, if terrorists were able to really shut down the government, people would go into a panic and be totally lost and forlorn.  Even the strong male hero buys into the premise.  Can you even imagine a Clint Eastwood movie where Clint laments how scared Americans will be if they were to call the FDA to inquire if a certain product is truly organic and no one answered the phone?   It makes for a sort of irony in the movie because in fact the government is completely useless in the face of the terrorists, who are brought down essentially by a few private individuals.


  1. BlogDog:

    I'd take the opportunity to set myself up with a lovely, lovely tiger rug. "But judge, it was delivered right to my house!"

  2. MJ:

    I'd be willing to bet there are many people in the general vicinity of Zanesville, Ohio who would be more than happy to take a shot at a tiger, or indeed any wild animal.

  3. Andrew:

    Speaking as an Ohioan, I can say that I regret selling a couple of my blasters several years ago. For one thing, while one may take down a tiger (or bear, or cheetah) with a deer slug, there is a reason why people don't take those items to Africa on a safari.

    Speaking also as a person who, just 2 years ago, was made aware that an individual had been relieved of 2 (alligator or crocodile, I forget which) of approximately 8 feet in size just 2 blocks away from my residence. This, in an urban setting.

    One needs to be a little aware of the possibility that predators of the 2 or 4 leg variety can be larger than pitbull size and toughness. And I already have the neighbor's pitbulls next door on my mind when mowing the lawn.
    I cannot speak for Speaker Boehner, for all I know he's got a collection of 375 Holland and Holland double rifles arrayed around his residence on the off chance of large and dangerous game.
    I can say that most people do not, and that while an m4gery, 12 gauge slug, a 9mm glock, or other item may eventually stop a tiger... there's rules about gunfights. Having a gun is one, and also, bring enough gun. 3 punkin balls, 9 .32 acp or even 11 9mm cartridges is not what I would consider adequate for things that could eat me.

  4. Ted Rado:

    I continue to be amazed at the ineptitude and bossiness of the USG, and the rapture of the Left with the idea that the USG control everything.

    I make every effort to fend for myself. If a tiger or a bad guy breaks unto my home, he or it will be shot. If he survives, he will be shot again.

    I am lucky to be e "depression kid". I have never had the idea that Big Brother will take care of me from conception to burial. Don't people read history? We are on the road to an elected dictatorship.

  5. Andrew:

    Also.... speaking as a thinking American, I note that the whole twitter phenomenon can be explained in one way:

    Based upon a certain segment of "twitter" users, I find it humorous the first word in "twitter" is twit.

  6. IGotBupkis, Unicorn Fart Entrepreneur:

    >>> It makes for a sort of irony in the movie because in fact the government is completely useless in the face of the terrorists, who are brought down essentially by a few private individuals.

    I would not go quite this far, I'm willing to bet there are a number of plots foiled without people even knowing it happened because the Fed got nosy in the right place and scared someone off.

    Not saying they're great at the job, but to claim they're able to do nothing is a bit over the top, I think.

  7. Dan:

    >>> It makes for a sort of irony in the movie because in fact the government is completely useless in the face of the terrorists, who are brought down essentially by a few private individuals.

    This is ridiculous. Who the heck killed bin Laden? It certainly wasn't a private individual.

    And I'm not a gun owner, nor do I plan to buy one just in case a tiger gets loose in my neighborhood. I'm sure a police firearms expert would be far more ideal to take down said tiger than myself or any other citizens trying to prove their manhood and possibly putting others in danger by doing so.

    People can't do everything for each other, folks. That's why there's government.

    And if you don't believe me, I hope you don't ever plan to call the fire dept. if your house catches fire. Just buy a heavy duty hose. Who needs to be babied by the evil government?

  8. me:

    Ok, and how exactly did killing Bin Laden help with, like, anything?

    This was a commentary on the movie, and, quite honestly, the idea that people would fly into a terrible panic if terrorists took "the government" hostage is quite ludicrous. More likely that nobody would notice or there might be the occasional party.

  9. Not Sure:

    "People can’t do everything for each other, folks. That’s why there’s government."

    But... I thought "we" were the government- at least, that's what we've been told. Glad you cleared that up.

    BTW- you really should let everybody know who you are and where you live. That way, we might be able to avoid inadvertently helping you out in some way that would be inferior to the kind of service the government provides you.

    Just a thought...

  10. Dan:

    I do mean "people" when I say "government." The policeman who comes when I call 911 is a person, isn't he?

  11. Not Sure:

    "The policeman who comes when I call 911 is a person, isn’t he?"

    Sure, he's a person. Even if he doesn't come when you need him. What do you do then?

  12. rxc:

    I think the thing that everyone is missing is that we all expect that local police services should exist, to protect us from bad people, lions, tigers, and bears. No one in the libertarian/right/less govt side really wants to dismantle this part of the govt. We understand that we do need to have a substantial amount of government in place, because someone has to do these jobs, and we don't want to contract it all out to some private entity.

    The debate is not about straw men like whether we continue to fund the police, but whether we continue to fund all sorts of frivolities that politicians have created and continue to waste money on. And, also, whether some of the things that some of us do for ourselves, like save for retirement, should be entirely provided by govt, or should also be the responsibility of individuals. We are talking about where to draw the line and what is worthy of public expenditure, and the arguments by the left that we who want less govt want to do away with the police are false.

    We should not be arguing about lions and tigers, but about where to draw the line. Fewer rabbit inspectors at Agriculture would be a good start. Fewer subsidies for feel-good degrees in universities - maybe we need a real open debate about what sort of educational skills the society really needs, and which ones are just feel-good palliatives. Public unions (I used to be a member of one of these) should not be allowed to negotiate for salary or other benefits that affect the public purse - the conflict of interest is too great.

    I am sure that we can go over the lists of these things and pick out the best ones. This is where we need to start.

  13. Andrew:

    Remember when seconds count, the animal control officers are minutes away with the tranquilizer darts!

    And these days with endangered species laws, its entirely possible they may look more favorably of letting that tiger gnaw on your for a minute until they can hit it with a dart since they are endangered.

  14. fiesty one:

    Why did this article make me think of the people in different parts of America who have called 911 when they were unable to get the meal they ordered at fast food drive thrus?

    Anyway people rely less on themselves and more on police, courts, and governments. It is sick and sad.

    Also this reminded me of the movie "Red Dawn." It had a crazy premise: Soviet Union used Cuban and Nicaraguan military to invade America. But I liked that rural, non-entitled, non-pacified Americans used their weapons & their wits to fight back.