In After America, Mark Steyn uses H.G. Wells’ 1895 novel The Time Machine as a leitmotif throughout his book to place the pampered, self-indulgent mindset of today’s “progressives” into context. At one point, Mark quotes from a passage in which Wells’ narrator observes a member of the weakened child-like futuristic race of Eloi nearly drown because none of its fellow creatures were brave enough to jump into a stream and save its life. Instead, “it is Wells’ Victorian gentleman who leaps in the river, rescues the poor girl, and brings her back to land,” Steyn writes. “He did what any man would have done, didn’t he?” Answering his own question, Mark responds, “Are you sure about that?”
As I say, the author’s dystopian vision is off only insofar as the world he predicted showed up 800,000 years ahead of schedule. In Wells’ Britain in the early twenty-first century, men routinely stand around watching girls drown.
In May 2010, a 37-year-old woman was drowning in the River Clyde while police officers called to the scene stood on the bank and watched. “As a matter of procedure it’s not the responsibility of the police to go in the water,” explained a spokesperson, sniffily, “it’s the Fire and Rescue Service.” And, as they weren’t there yet, tough. The woman would have died had not three Glasgow University students jumped in to save her. Needless to say, the students were in complete breach of “matters of procedure.”
In February 2010, a 5-year-old girl was trapped in a car submerged in the icy River Avon for two hours while West Mercia Police stood around on the bank watching. They were “prevented” from diving in to rescue her by “safety regulations.” In 2007, two police officers watched as a 10-year-old boy, Jordon Lyon, drowned in a swimming pool in Wigan. The same year, fireman Tam Brown dived into the River Tay to rescue a drowning girl and got her back to shore, only to find he was now subject to a disciplinary investigation by Tayside Fire Service.
Flash-forward to Monday, where as Brian Doherty of Reason.com writes, “Phoenix Woman Ordered to Not Give Out Water in 112 Degree Heat Because She Lacked a Permit:”
This is what government is all about. Forget roads, mass murder through warfare, or locking people up for their consumption choices: it’s making sure that no one gives out water without a permit.
This is from last week but I believe un-noted here: ABC-TV 15 from Phoenix reports that local Christian proselytizer Dana Crow-Smith was ordered by a “Neighborhood Preservation Inspector” to stop giving out free bottled water last month because she lacked a vending permit, though she was not vending.