Disrespecting Authorities That Cry Wolf

 

Having the trifecta of a conservative temperament, theology, and political outlook, I am the kind of guy who generally respects authorities.  This is getting harder to do.  One of the recurrent problems is authorities who “cry wolf.” I received the following warning over my iPhone, accompanied by an emergency audio signal vaguely reminiscent of a Star Trek red alert:

Emergency Alert

National Weather Service: A FLASH FLOOD WARNING is in effect for this area until 3:45 PM MST.  This is a dangerous and life-threatening situation.  Do not attempt to travel unless you are fleeing an area subject to flooding or under an evacuation order.

I’m in Tucson, Arizona.  I’ve lived here, more or less continuously, for almost 50 years now.  I don’t think that I’ve ever seen a rainstorm that presented a dangerous and life-threatening situation.  Not, at least, if you exercise a lick of common sense, like staying out of washes.

I received two of these messages over the weekend, too, but being among the oldest of Gen X, I pressed a button on my phone that deleted the message before I could transcribe it and couldn’t get it back.  (Isn’t that helpful, too?)

I’ve noticed this strange trend for quite a long time now, but it seems to be getting worse.  Many people seem paranoid, panicked, phobic.   Risks seem to be wildly overstated.  It sometimes seems as if the whole world is composed of the type of hysterical teenaged girl who gave us the witch trials once upon a time.

The examples are legion, and are not confined to one side of the political spectrum:

  • Dying of Covid
  • Getting shot by the cops
  • Mass extinction, apparently, because the temperature may be warming up a bit
  • A variety of catastrophes if the Taliban takes over Afghanistan (again)
  • Russian troops invading the US if not stopped at the Ukrainian border, or something like that

And oh, by the way, it’s a life-threatening emergency every time it rains in Tucson.

This is getting a bit old.

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  1. Joseph Eagar Member
    Joseph Eagar
    @JosephEagar

    I used to live in the outskirts of Tucson.  Tucson actually does get a lot of flash floods, but its fantastic drainage system (IIRC I think much of it is natural?) means there’s little danger so long as you stay out of the “washes” (very large drainage ditches).  An exception are the freeway underpasses that, for reasons that escape me, are popular in Tucson and often flood.  But in practice it’s not that bad.

     

    • #61
  2. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    Justin Other Lawyer (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Justin Other Lawyer (View Comment):

    Resisting the urge to reference today’s meme post. Itchy fingers. Itchy fingers. Oh, what the heck.

    This one makes me wish that we had a “hate” button, in addition to a “like” button. I find it disappointing that this one has received six likes (so far).

    I’ll insert something into that penultimate panel. “. . . punish child sex trafficking.”

    And the reprobate on the right of this cartoon has already said no. He hasn’t even listened. And he’s presented as self-righteous and wise.

    I understand the emotional reaction to disrespect authority, when an authority does something bad, either through foolishness or malice. This was the subject of my post. I did not conclude, however, that I actually take the leap, and disrespect authorities. I wrote that “[t]his is getting harder to do.”

    I think that making that leap — actually deciding to disrespect all authority — is precisely the thing that the “defund the police” movement does. I don’t want to be like them, at all. You all have to make up your own minds about this.

    Come on, Jerry. This was a poke at you for the rather humorless response on the meme post. It was mildly ironic that on the one post you scolded everyone for finding this meme funny, but then you turned around and expressed frustration with the authorities in your area.

    Perhaps I chose a wrong way to do it, but I was really just trying to tweak you a little to say “lighten up”.

    • #62
  3. Justin Other Lawyer Coolidge
    Justin Other Lawyer
    @DouglasMyers

    @arizonapatriot–To help clear the air, I’m something of a newbie here and haven’t written many posts, so it’s not surprising you would know little about me.  However, I’ve been a Ricochet reader for a long time, and I read most everything you post.  Your posts during COVID were some of the most interesting and helpful things I read during that time.

    What I’ve found is that, although we are temperamentally fairly different, you and I agree on many/most things .  So on the merits of respecting authority and obeying the law, I agree with you.  FWIW, before pasting the meme into the comments, I “liked” the OP.  As a Christian, I too think that we should submit to the governing authorities to the extent we can, and that if/when we break the law, we should be willing to bear the consequences.  I personally think that Christians have become too quick to disrespect the governing authorities, and we forget to pray for them.

    Further, I agree with you that the governing authorities have again and again proven themselves to be worthy of contempt for reasons trivial and important.  It makes it very hard to submit to the authorities who lie or place silly burdens on people.

    Which is why I thought the meme was funny and that I believe you were out of line to call many of us “children”.  You come across as the “Karen” scold because we “children” are insufficiently scandalized by the meme’s lack of . . . serious political analysis?  You called the one character in the meme a reprobate.  Seriously?  Try to take a joke.

    And at any rate, your objections (as if objections were needed regarding a joke meme) are not even well taken.  As someone else noted, the government already has the power to do many/most of the things you noted in your objections, but has too often failed to rightly use the power.  But I must say, even saying this feels beside the point.

    It’s a joke, not a policy proposal.

    • #63
  4. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Sorry if I overreacted to a joke.

    I don’t think that everyone views that cartoon as a joke.  It seems to be taken seriously by a significant number of people.  So, for my part, I didn’t find it funny.

    • #64
  5. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    My question would be, why would anyone think a NEW bill is required to deal with child sex traffickers, for the example used above?

    If they’re telling you they need some NEW law to do that, my guess would be they have something up their sleeve.

    What you’re saying here (I think) that legislation that claims to do one thing often contains additional language that either hamstrings that effort and/or pushes for something completely different. i.e., a bill to fund school lunches might also fund LGBTQ curriculum.

    But the “authorities” are doing it, so it’s okay? Unquestioning allegiance to an authority is how you get authoritarianism.

    Jerry, I think you haven’t figured out yet what time it is.

    Drew, I don’t think that I’ve ever advocated unquestioning allegiance to authority.  I can’t recall reading, or listening to, anyone who took that position.

    I have read, and listened to, a number of people who seem to take the extreme libertarian position.

    I don’t like the term “authoritarianism,” as it often seems to be used as a rejection of all authority.  I find it difficult to define.  I do agree that there can be bad and repressive governments, but there can also be good and benevolent governments.  Drawing the line is difficult.

    • #65
  6. DrewInWisconsin, Oik Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    My question would be, why would anyone think a NEW bill is required to deal with child sex traffickers, for the example used above?

    If they’re telling you they need some NEW law to do that, my guess would be they have something up their sleeve.

    What you’re saying here (I think) that legislation that claims to do one thing often contains additional language that either hamstrings that effort and/or pushes for something completely different. i.e., a bill to fund school lunches might also fund LGBTQ curriculum.

    But the “authorities” are doing it, so it’s okay? Unquestioning allegiance to an authority is how you get authoritarianism.

    Jerry, I think you haven’t figured out yet what time it is.

    Drew, I don’t think that I’ve ever advocated unquestioning allegiance to authority. I can’t recall reading, or listening to, anyone who took that position.

    I have read, and listened to, a number of people who seem to take the extreme libertarian position.

    I don’t like the term “authoritarianism,” as it often seems to be used as a rejection of all authority. I find it difficult to define. I do agree that there can be bad and repressive governments, but there can also be good and benevolent governments. Drawing the line is difficult.

    Ah, this explains our previous argument about authoritarianism.

    And I can tell that your biggest problem is with libertarians. I do believe (as perhaps you do) that libertarianism has infected conservatism such that conservatism itself seems to have adopted the idea of viewpoint neutrality as a desired objective. It is by this that we have allowed the left to destroy our institutions, because they don’t have any such scruples.

    “The side that wants to win will always beat the side that just wants to be left alone.

    The “new right” (as it is being called) also has no such scruples, and is ready and willing to use the tools at its disposal to wrench the country back toward the right rather than settle for viewpoint neutrality.

    • #66
  7. Buckpasser Member
    Buckpasser
    @Buckpasser

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Buckpasser (View Comment):
    Even though I’m dead, I’m really frightened about MONKEYPOX!

    Keep your derriere covered and stay away with men who have sex with men, and you’ll probably be fine.

    It’s been a while since I heard any of those warnings/announcements, but weren’t they specifying men who have sex with men, at specific kinds of locations? Rave parties, as I recall. So the message appears to be, don’t have sex with other men at rave parties, and you’ll be fine. Sheesh.

    My “betters” and elites on my TV tell me that you can”t stigmatize certain groups.  Therefore, we can all get it.

    • #67
  8. Metalheaddoc Member
    Metalheaddoc
    @Metalheaddoc

    Charlotte (View Comment):

    Django (View Comment):

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    So far I have died from the ozone hole, acid rain, the new ice age, over population, Y2K, and for the last 25 years I have been told I only have 12 years until global warming (rebranded as climate change) will kill me. So yeah, I guess I am getting immune to this kind of stuff.

    Yer lucky.

    Killer bees got Me.

    Piker. I died twice. Once during the Alar scare and again during the ’87 market crash.

    After all that Red Dye #2 we ingested in the ’70s, it’s a miracle any of us are still alive.

     

    Where is all our melanoma from the 70s? We played outside in the sun all day with no shirts on. Sunscreen wasn’t a thing. And we didn’t “hydrate”. If we were thirsty, we drank water from someone’s garden hose. 

    • #68
  9. Taras Coolidge
    Taras
    @Taras

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    My question would be, why would anyone think a NEW bill is required to deal with child sex traffickers, for the example used above?

    If they’re telling you they need some NEW law to do that, my guess would be they have something up their sleeve.

    What you’re saying here (I think) that legislation that claims to do one thing often contains additional language that either hamstrings that effort and/or pushes for something completely different. i.e., a bill to fund school lunches might also fund LGBTQ curriculum.

    But the “authorities” are doing it, so it’s okay? Unquestioning allegiance to an authority is how you get authoritarianism.

    Jerry, I think you haven’t figured out yet what time it is.

    Drew, I don’t think that I’ve ever advocated unquestioning allegiance to authority. I can’t recall reading, or listening to, anyone who took that position.

    I have read, and listened to, a number of people who seem to take the extreme libertarian position.

    I don’t like the term “authoritarianism,” as it often seems to be used as a rejection of all authority. I find it difficult to define. I do agree that there can be bad and repressive governments, but there can also be good and benevolent governments. Drawing the line is difficult.

    Ah, this explains our previous argument about authoritarianism.

    And I can tell that your biggest problem is with libertarians. I do believe (as perhaps you do) that libertarianism has infected conservatism such that conservatism itself seems to have adopted the idea of viewpoint neutrality as a desired objective. It is by this that we have allowed the left to destroy our institutions, because they don’t have any such scruples.

    “The side that wants to win will always beat the side that just wants to be left alone.

    The “new right” (as it is being called) also has no such scruples, and is ready and willing to use the tools at its disposal to wrench the country back toward the right rather than settle for viewpoint neutrality.

    The advantage of libertarianism is that it’s a kind of jujitsu move on liberals.  After all, liberals claim — and to some extent believe — that they are for individual freedom.  So the libertarian comes along and out-freedoms them.

    This is particularly useful when a conservative kid is in college, where conservatism is hopelessly uncool and unfashionable.

    Of course, the kid should grow out of it afterward.  It’s a little embarrassing to see a grown-up who is still a libertarian; like Kat Timpf, for example.

    • #69
  10. GlennAmurgis Coolidge
    GlennAmurgis
    @GlennAmurgis

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    This reminds me of an oldie but a goodie

     

    Remember when the Net Neutrality ruling was going to be the death of the internet

     

    • #70
  11. randallg Member
    randallg
    @randallg

    Here in southern BC we are going through the hot part of summer. That means temps in Vancouver the mid-high 20s C (sorry Americans), and ranging into the mid-high 30s C in the interior. This is normal and happens EVERY YEAR for a few weeks.

    Last year you may remember the “Heat Dome” (a meteorological term I never heard before.) It affected the Pacific Northwest and sent temps a good 10C warmer than usual, and set all kinds of records. Some 600 people are judged to have died in BC as a result. For this and other reasons (covid) ambulance and other services were over-stretched like never before. Recriminations followed.

    So now when everything is normal we are getting “Heat Warnings” from the authorities, not only in the media but also via those obnoxious cell phone warnings. Here is the official government weather report for today showing totally normal conditions:

    • #71
  12. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    randallg (View Comment):
    the mid-high 20s C (sorry Americans), and ranging into the mid-high 30s C

    25 C = 77 F
    26 C = 78.8 F
    27 C = 80.6F
    28 C = 82.4 F
    29 C = 84.2 F
    30 C = 86 F
    31 C = 87.8 F
    32 C = 89.6 F
    33 C = 91.4 F
    34 C = 93.2 F
    35 C = 95 F
    36 C = 96.8 F

    • #72
  13. Bishop Wash Member
    Bishop Wash
    @BishopWash

    randallg (View Comment):
    Here in southern BC we are going through the hot part of summer. That means temps in Vancouver the mid-high 20s C (sorry Americans), and ranging into the mid-high 30s C in the interior.

    For some reason, Tucson had a bank clock and thermometer that displayed C and F. When we moved years ago in June, we drove by it and it read 46 C and then 114 F. A nice welcome to Tucson.

    • #73
  14. randallg Member
    randallg
    @randallg

    Arahant (View Comment):

    randallg (View Comment):
    the mid-high 20s C (sorry Americans), and ranging into the mid-high 30s C

    25 C = 77 F
    26 C = 78.8 F
    27 C = 80.6F
    28 C = 82.4 F
    29 C = 84.2 F
    30 C = 86 F
    31 C = 87.8 F
    32 C = 89.6 F
    33 C = 91.4 F
    34 C = 93.2 F
    35 C = 95 F
    36 C = 96.8 F

    A good rule of thumb is:

    Double it and add 30.

    • #74
  15. kedavis Inactive
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Bishop Wash (View Comment):

    randallg (View Comment):
    Here in southern BC we are going through the hot part of summer. That means temps in Vancouver the mid-high 20s C (sorry Americans), and ranging into the mid-high 30s C in the interior.

    For some reason, Tucson had a bank clock and thermometer that displayed C and F. When we moved in June, we drove by it and it read 46 C and then 114 F. A nice welcome to Tucson.

    For some reason?  Mexico uses Celsius.

    (I preferred Centigrade.)

    • #75
  16. Justin Other Lawyer Coolidge
    Justin Other Lawyer
    @DouglasMyers

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Bishop Wash (View Comment):

    randallg (View Comment):
    Here in southern BC we are going through the hot part of summer. That means temps in Vancouver the mid-high 20s C (sorry Americans), and ranging into the mid-high 30s C in the interior.

    For some reason, Tucson had a bank clock and thermometer that displayed C and F. When we moved in June, we drove by it and it read 46 C and then 114 F. A nice welcome to Tucson.

    For some reason? Mexico uses Celsius.

    (I preferred Centigrade.)

    I prefer Kelvin.

    • #76
  17. DrewInWisconsin, Oik Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik
    @DrewInWisconsin

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Bishop Wash (View Comment):

    randallg (View Comment):
    Here in southern BC we are going through the hot part of summer. That means temps in Vancouver the mid-high 20s C (sorry Americans), and ranging into the mid-high 30s C in the interior.

    For some reason, Tucson had a bank clock and thermometer that displayed C and F. When we moved in June, we drove by it and it read 46 C and then 114 F. A nice welcome to Tucson.

    For some reason? Mexico uses Celsius.

    (I preferred Centigrade.)

    I preferred Tardigrade.

    • #77
  18. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Justin Other Lawyer (View Comment):
    I prefer Kelvin.

    Don’t have to worry about the little degree symbol.

    • #78
  19. kedavis Inactive
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Justin Other Lawyer (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Bishop Wash (View Comment):

    randallg (View Comment):
    Here in southern BC we are going through the hot part of summer. That means temps in Vancouver the mid-high 20s C (sorry Americans), and ranging into the mid-high 30s C in the interior.

    For some reason, Tucson had a bank clock and thermometer that displayed C and F. When we moved in June, we drove by it and it read 46 C and then 114 F. A nice welcome to Tucson.

    For some reason? Mexico uses Celsius.

    (I preferred Centigrade.)

    I prefer Kelvin.

    That was a terrible movie, and the ones following have been even worse.

    • #79
  20. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik (View Comment):
    I preferred Tardigrade.

    Don’t mind him. He’s feeling bearish: water bearish.

    • #80
  21. kedavis Inactive
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Bishop Wash (View Comment):

    randallg (View Comment):
    Here in southern BC we are going through the hot part of summer. That means temps in Vancouver the mid-high 20s C (sorry Americans), and ranging into the mid-high 30s C in the interior.

    For some reason, Tucson had a bank clock and thermometer that displayed C and F. When we moved in June, we drove by it and it read 46 C and then 114 F. A nice welcome to Tucson.

    For some reason? Mexico uses Celsius.

    (I preferred Centigrade.)

    I preferred Tardigrade.

    Discovery is a terrible show, and Picard is even worse.

    • #81
  22. Justin Other Lawyer Coolidge
    Justin Other Lawyer
    @DouglasMyers

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Justin Other Lawyer (View Comment):
    I prefer Kelvin.

    Don’t have to worry about the little degree symbol.

    Yup.

    Plus, even really cold temps are still positive.

    • #82
  23. kedavis Inactive
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Justin Other Lawyer (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Justin Other Lawyer (View Comment):
    I prefer Kelvin.

    Don’t have to worry about the little degree symbol.

    Yup.

    Plus, even really cold temps are still positive.

    I just had a thought, what would be neat is a scale from 0 to 1, where 0 is absolute zero and 1 is that “maximum heat” I’ve seen some mentions of recently.

    Every temperature relevant to people, especially, would be a very small fraction.

    • #83
  24. DrewInWisconsin, Oik Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik
    @DrewInWisconsin

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Justin Other Lawyer (View Comment):

    I prefer Kelvin.

    That was a terrible movie, and the ones following have been even worse.

    Wrong!

    • #84
  25. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Justin Other Lawyer (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Bishop Wash (View Comment):

    randallg (View Comment):
    Here in southern BC we are going through the hot part of summer. That means temps in Vancouver the mid-high 20s C (sorry Americans), and ranging into the mid-high 30s C in the interior.

    For some reason, Tucson had a bank clock and thermometer that displayed C and F. When we moved in June, we drove by it and it read 46 C and then 114 F. A nice welcome to Tucson.

    For some reason? Mexico uses Celsius.

    (I preferred Centigrade.)

    I prefer Kelvin.

    The cartoon?

    • #85
  26. Justin Other Lawyer Coolidge
    Justin Other Lawyer
    @DouglasMyers

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Justin Other Lawyer (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Justin Other Lawyer (View Comment):
    I prefer Kelvin.

    Don’t have to worry about the little degree symbol.

    Yup.

    Plus, even really cold temps are still positive.

    I just had a thought, what would be neat is a scale from 0 to 1, where 0 is absolute zero and 1 is that “maximum heat” I’ve seen some mentions of recently.

    Every temperature relevant to people, especially, would be a very small fraction.

    Small indeed.

    • #86
  27. kedavis Inactive
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Justin Other Lawyer (View Comment):

    I prefer Kelvin.

    That was a terrible movie, and the ones following have been even worse.

    Wrong!

    Oh come on.  Just for one thing, Scotty “accidentally” beams into the liquid cooling system of an interstellar starship, and it’s just for grins?

    • #87
  28. Justin Other Lawyer Coolidge
    Justin Other Lawyer
    @DouglasMyers

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Justin Other Lawyer (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Bishop Wash (View Comment):

    randallg (View Comment):
    Here in southern BC we are going through the hot part of summer. That means temps in Vancouver the mid-high 20s C (sorry Americans), and ranging into the mid-high 30s C in the interior.

    For some reason, Tucson had a bank clock and thermometer that displayed C and F. When we moved in June, we drove by it and it read 46 C and then 114 F. A nice welcome to Tucson.

    For some reason? Mexico uses Celsius.

    (I preferred Centigrade.)

    I prefer Kelvin.

    The cartoon?

    Lord Kelvin.

    • #88
  29. DrewInWisconsin, Oik Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik
    @DrewInWisconsin

    kedavis (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Bishop Wash (View Comment):

    randallg (View Comment):
    Here in southern BC we are going through the hot part of summer. That means temps in Vancouver the mid-high 20s C (sorry Americans), and ranging into the mid-high 30s C in the interior.

    For some reason, Tucson had a bank clock and thermometer that displayed C and F. When we moved in June, we drove by it and it read 46 C and then 114 F. A nice welcome to Tucson.

    For some reason? Mexico uses Celsius.

    (I preferred Centigrade.)

    I preferred Tardigrade.

    Discovery is a terrible show, and Picard is even worse.

    I haven’t seen the second season of Picard, but I liked the first season. Discovery was okay for two seasons but then it became the worst television show ever in its third season.

    • #89
  30. DrewInWisconsin, Oik Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik
    @DrewInWisconsin

    kedavis (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Justin Other Lawyer (View Comment):

    I prefer Kelvin.

    That was a terrible movie, and the ones following have been even worse.

    Wrong!

    Oh come on. Just for one thing, Scotty “accidentally” beams into the liquid cooling system of an interstellar starship, and it’s just for grins?

    You’re so analytical. Sometimes you just have to let art . . . flow . . . over you.

    • #90
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