Learned helplessness

The Danube is a very angry river — it's flooding all over the Balkans:

Thousands of people have fled their homes or were facing evacuation in Bulgaria, Serbia and Romania as emergency workers struggled to hold back record floodwaters along the Danube river.

With melting snow and heavy spring rain swelling the river to its highest levels in more than a century, authorities say the worst may be yet to come.

The floodwaters were surging downstream from Serbia towards neighboring Romania and Bulgaria. Forecasters say the flooding is expected to reach its peak in the two Balkan countries later this week.

More than 3,000 people were evacuated from the Romanian village of Rast after a dike collapsed, leaving 600 homes underwater, The Associated Press reported.

Workers scrambled to repair the water defenses, while elsewhere officials ordered the controlled flooding of farmland to keep water out of populated areas.

Mother Nature's excess always makes for good stories, but that's not why I'm linking. What fascinated me was a "Top of the Hour" story I just heard on NPR about the flooding.  It's such a recent story, they don't even have a link, but the gist of it is that, in one of the countries affected (and I didn't hear which one), the villagers are simply standing around watching the army work to staunch the water flooding into the village and farms.  The Government has had to issue pleas asking people to work to save themselves.  I found this amazing.  Is this aberrant conduct in one tiny village in a little pocket of the world, or are we watching the logical end result of the Welfare state?  People will stand around and watch their world being destroyed, content to believe that the Government will save them one way or another. 

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Because what I feel matters

Mike Adams wrote a great column today declaring his independence to act precisely as his students do:  rude, careless, and irresponsible, just because it feels good.  The reductio ad absurdum of this selfishness, of course, is what’s going on in France, where the students are perfectly happy to see the economy crater rather than to impose some minimal self-discipline on themselves for the good of society.  Dennis Prager takes that on in his column about socialism and selfishness.