MY CRITIQUE may or may not be "leftist," but one thing I do know: If Rep. John LaBruzzo walks like a Duke, flies like a Duke, swims like a Duke, quacks like a Duke and wants to sterilize poor Louisianians like a Duke . . . he just might be a Nazi. Just like David Duke.
John LaBruzzo thinks too many poor people are dragging down the Gret Stet by clinging to the public dole. Adolf Hitler thought Germany had a problem with too many Jews, Gypsies and mental defectives burdening the state and dragging down the gene pool.
The only difference between the two -- and their prescriptions for dealing with some humans they see as less human than those who are Aryan enough and well-off enough -- lies in imagination . . . and what one can get away with.
Chad Rogers at The Dead Pelican thinks -- somehow -- that the dishonorable member from Stupid City isn't a Nazi at all, but instead has more in common with the Red Chinese:
THERE'S ONE BIG PROBLEM with that critique: The analogy doesn't hold up.
The leftist comparison of La Bruzzo's eugenics plan to the Nazi Germany of the 1930s is a way of ignoring the real problem. For this business of government controlled reproduction is more reminiscent of present- day Communist China.
Like communist China, the state and local government has bestowed upon itself the role of caregiver. Thanks to the welfare system, New Orleans has an environment that discourages self-reliance, exacerbates poverty, and encourages dependence on the government dole.
No system like that can financially sustain itself. It now has more people than it can afford. As with Communist China, an environment of dependency has been created that is financially unsustainable.
And now, as with China, politicians are playing God to solve the problems created by politicians.
The left's cries of Nazism in NOLA ring hollow for another reason- La Bruzzo's arguments for sterilization mirror those of left on the issue of tax payer funded abortion. That is, pro-lifers are often criticized for wanting to force women to have children that they can't take care of. In short, they argue that abortion is a means of population control.
The Chinese regime may be butchers and draconian population controllers, but they're not discriminatory butchers and draconian population controllers. If you're poor, you only can have one kid. If you're well-off -- at least theoretically -- you only can have that one kid.
The Chinese communists are population controllers, and ruthless ones at that. They, however, are not eugenicists. They leave that nasty business to the likes of Adolf Hitler, Margaret Sanger . . . and John LaBruzzo.
See, LaBruzzo doesn't want everybody to get their tubes tied or pee pees snipped. He just wants the "burdensome" to do that. He was concerned by the tremendous burden he saw the state of Louisiana shouldering as it evacuated, sheltered and provided for thousands and thousands of New Orleanians threatened by Hurricane Gustav.
Here's a picture of Louisiana's Burden:
WHAT DER FÜHRER from Metairie isn't concerned about -- at least concerned enough to propose one Final Solution or another -- is the even greater burden the aging Baby Boom generation is going to start posing for Louisiana taxpayers in a decade or so.
Fine, upstandin', hard-workin' constituents of der Führer are going to have to find a way to pay for all those state services (and pensions) Boomers are going to start sucking down like Otis Campbell with a jug of white lightnin'. Trouble is, my generation got its tubes tied, prescriptions filled and pee-pees snipped in alarming numbers, leaving fewer future taxpayers than otherwise could have been expected.
And worse than that, Boomers' offspring are hauling ass out of the Gret Stet at an even more alarming rate than they did.
Vascectomies and tubal ligations are no viable solution for burgeoning hordes of old people. As a 47-year-old, I tremble to think of what solution LaBruzzo might goose-step his way into for that one -- that is, if culling the burdensome poor doesn't provide enough taxpayer relief.
From the New Orleans City Business article on LaBruzzo's eugenic scheme:
"If both the welfare and Social Security system keep growing, one day we're going to have a small minority of people working to fund and finance everybody else who isn’t working or producing," LaBruzzo said. "Our kids, who will be working, will be the minority and any vote of theirs will be canceled out. If your livelihood is based on government handouts, why would you ever vote for somebody who is going to lower taxes? They never would. So once we reach that breaking point there's no return."
Our 'overhead' expense in segregating the delinquent, the defective and the dependent, in prisons, asylums and permanent homes, our failure to segregate morons who are increasing and multiplying ... demonstrate our foolhardy and extravagant sentimentalism. No industrial corporation could maintain its existence upon such a foundation. Yet hardheaded 'captains of industry,' financiers who pride themselves upon their cool-headed and keen-sighted business ability are dropping millions into rosewater philanthropies and charities that are silly at best and vicious at worst. In our dealings with such elements there is a bland maladministration and misuse of huge sums that should in all righteousness be used for the development and education of the healthy elements of the community.
OR MAYBE THIS from Sanger's 1938 autobiography:
I accepted one branch of this philosophy, but eugenics without birth control seemed to me a house built upon sands. It could not stand against the furious winds of economic pressure which had buffeted into partial or total helplessness a tremendous proportion of the human race. The eugenists wanted to shift the birth control emphasis from less children for the poor to more children for the rich. We went back of that and sought first to stop the multiplication of the unfit. This appeared the most important and greatest step towards race betterment.
HERE'S WHAT La Bruzzo is. He's a throwback to a bygone age Americans don't much like to acknowledge anymore, as outlined in The Guardian, with this extract from Edwin Black's War Against the Weak:
The film was called The Black Stork. Written by Jack Lait, a reporter on the Chicago American, it was produced in Hollywood and given a massive national distribution and promotion campaign. Haiselden played himself in a fictionalised account of a eugenically mismatched couple whom he advises not to have children because they are likely to be defective. Eventually, the woman does give birth to a defective child, whom she then allows to die. The dead child levitates into the waiting arms of Jesus Christ. It was unbridled cinematic propaganda for the eugenics movement; the film played at movie theatres around the country for more than a decade.
National publicity advertised it as a "eugenic love story". One advertisement quoted Swiss eugenicist Auguste Forel's warning: "The law of heredity winds like a red thread through the family history of every criminal, of every epileptic, eccentric and insane person. Shall we sit still ... without applying the remedy?" In 1917, a display advertisement for The Black Stork read: "Kill Defectives, Save the Nation and See 'The Black Stork'." Various methods of eugenic euthanasia - including gassing the unwanted in lethal chambers - were a part of everyday American parlance and ethical debate some two decades before Nevada approved the first such chamber for criminal executions in 1921.
As America's eugenics movement gathered pace, it inspired a host of imitators. In France, Belgium, Sweden, England and elsewhere in Europe, cliques of eugenicists did their best to introduce eugenic principles into national life; they could always point to recent precedents established in the United States.
As America's elite were describing the socially worthless and the ancestrally unfit as "bacteria," "vermin," "mongrels" and "subhuman", a superior race of Nordics was increasingly seen as the answer to the globe's eugenic problems. US laws, eugenic investigations and ideology became blueprints for Germany's rising tide of race biologists and race-based hatemongers.
One such agitator was a disgruntled corporal in the German army. In 1924, he was serving time in prison for mob action. While there, he spent his time poring over eugenic textbooks, which extensively quoted Davenport, Popenoe and other American ethnological stalwarts. And he closely followed the writings of Leon Whitney, president of the American Eugenics Society, and Madison Grant, who extolled the Nordic race and bemoaned its "corruption" by Jews, Negroes, Slavs and others who did not possess blond hair and blue eyes. The young German corporal even wrote one of them fan mail.
In The Passing of the Great Race, Grant wrote: "Mistaken regard for what are believed to be divine laws and a sentimental belief in the sanctity of human life tend to prevent both the elimination of defective infants and the sterilisation of such adults as are themselves of no value to the community. The laws of nature require the obliteration of the unfit and human life is valuable only when it is of use to the community or race."
One day in the early 1930s, Whitney visited Grant to show off a letter he had just received from Germany, written by the corporal, now out of prison and rising in the German political scene. Grant could only smile. He pulled out his own letter. It was from the same German, thanking Grant for writing The Passing of the Great Race. The fan letter called Grant's book "his Bible". The man who sent those letters was Adolf Hitler.
Hitler displayed his knowledge of American eugenics in much of his writing and conversation. In Mein Kampf, for example, he declared: "The demand that defective people be prevented from propagating equally defective offspring is a demand of clearest reason and, if systematically executed, represents the most humane act of mankind. It will spare millions of unfortunates undeserved sufferings, and consequently will lead to a rising improvement of health as a whole."
Mein Kampf also displayed a familiarity with the recently passed US National Origins Act, which called for eugenic quotas. "There is today one state in which at least weak beginnings toward a better conception [of immigration] are noticeable. Of course, it is not our model German Republic, but [the US], in which an effort is made to consult reason at least partially. By refusing immigrants on principle to elements in poor health, by simply excluding certain races from naturalisation, it professes in slow beginnings a view that is peculiar to the People's State."
Hitler proudly told his comrades how closely he followed American eugenic legislation. "Now that we know the laws of heredity," he told a fellow Nazi, "it is possible to a large extent to prevent unhealthy and severely handicapped beings from coming into the world. I have studied with interest the laws of several American states concerning prevention of reproduction by people whose progeny would, in all probability, be of no value or be injurious to the racial stock."
Nor did Hitler fail to grasp the eugenic potential of gas and the lethal chamber, a topic that was already being discussed in German eugenic circles before Mein Kampf was published. Hitler, who had himself been hospitalised for battlefield gas injuries, wrote: "If at the beginning of the war and during the war 12,000 or 15,000 of these Hebrew corrupters of the people had been held under poison gas, as happened to hundreds of thousands of our best German workers in the field, the sacrifices of millions at the front would not have been in vain. On the contrary: 12,000 scoundrels eliminated in time might have saved the lives of a million real Germans, valuable for the future."
THE HOLOCAUST was Margaret Sanger's -- and all the rest of the American eugenicists' -- theories and practices carried to their logical conclusion. Almost a century since hate was refined into a science, LaBruzzo has bought into that line of thinking wholeheartedly -- and hard-heartedly.
And now, with Louisiana taxpayers' money, he proposes to carry that agenda out to an extent that makes even likely Planned Parenthood sympathizers squeamish.
No, what the race-purifier from Metairie proposes isn't new, and it most certainly can't be blamed on Mao Zedong. And while the Nazis drank deeply from the same poisoned well as LaBruzzo, sterilizing the poor, the black and the "defective" really isn't Nazi, either -- though they certainly perfected the deadly artform.
What the latest menace from Metairie proposes is as American as apple pie. And Jim Crow. And miscegenation laws.
Louisianians had better beware embracing little GOP Nazis like John LaBruzzo, because the rest of America is well into the process of doing to Louisiana what LaBruzzo (and those who support him) would do to "the nigras." Among these United States, Louisiana is exactly what many Americans figure they have too much of, and would like to make go away.
And if folks all across the Gret Stet would rather not embrace the concept of "brother's keeper," that non-embrace is what they're going to get . . . "good and hard," in the words of H.L. Mencken.