Thursday, March 12, 2009

Whiny babies, commence whining!

Ugh, more boring crap about streetlights being shut off. Didn't I write about this awhile ago?

(Yes, I did!)

Well, now the plan is actually about to start.
A plan to shut of more than 60 percent of the city's streetlights could be implemented as early as next week, Mayor Lisa Wong said Wednesday.

The plan is expected to yield about $64,000 in savings, according to a report released this week by Department of Public Works Commissioner Lenny Laakso.

"We just have to get the OK from the mayor's office, then we'll tell Unitil to implement the plan," Laakso said.

Wong said it would take a month or two to fully implement the program.
All well and good. They're going to shut off about 63% of the streetlights, while leaving strategically-placed lights on.
Lights would remain on along Main Street, on dangerous curves, near some schools and in some areas recommended by ward councilors and police officials, Laakso said.
Well, that's pretty sensible!

After all, there are about 3,000 streetlights in Fitchburg. That's a lot of electricity and a lot of money. And many of the lights are in places that don't really require streetlights. It's really a very sensible plan.

Of course, local whiny babies don't care for this sensible plan. Because they're scared of the dark, and have apparently never lived anywhere that didn't have a giant streetlamp every 30 feet. You know, exotic places like Alaska. Or Lunenburg.

Some people are not whiny babies, of course, and even speak up. Like this rarely-seen creature, an actual intelligent letter to the editor writer! Hold on to your hats!
The truth is, no conclusive evidence exists on the correlation between streetlights and criminal activity. A 2002 article from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences concludes that "more research is needed" on the relationship between lighting and crime. Oddly enough, few American studies have been conducted on this crucial issue, and the results of the studies we do have are decidedly mixed.

In one of the newer studies, a 2000 Department of Justice report on Chicago showed that "reported offenses increased" when lighting was improved. How could this be? According to the evaluation, it "could not provide a definitive explanation of these findings." So the answer is, nobody knows.

On the other hand, the International Dark-Sky Association, an organization concerned with the negative effects of light pollution, estimates that the U.S. wastes more than a billion dollars annually in energy costs for unnecessary lighting. In short, the jury is still out on whether (or to what degree) street lighting makes our streets safer. And there is some indication that illuminating our cities may do more harm than good.
Letter-writer Elizabeth Gordon, you are a breath of fresh air! You cite people who actually know what they're talking about instead of just asking dumbass city councilors and people on the street for their uninformed opinion!

Unfortunately, very few whiny babies are capable of understanding what you wrote. Even fewer will give a shit. For instance, here's a lovely comment on that letter. It's from "WHAT ABOUT US":
QUOTED FROM STORY "Since there is no statistically significant evidence that street lighting affects the level of crime, I for one am fine with the city saving money by shutting off the lights. Others, I'm sure, will disagree."

Do you really need a chart or graph or some form of written information to see what is going on in your own town? Open your eyes... Look around you... Forget about waiting for someone to spell it out for you.
Yes, Elizabeth. Your perfectly logical and straightforward approach to decision making is offensive to idiots. You and your "charts" and "graphs." NERD!

The local illiterati have determined that research means nothing at all. All they need to know is that they think that turning off streetlights is bad, so therefore it is. End of argument!

Let's have another example, shall we? This one comes from "cheryl". It's beautiful:
No lights in Fitchburg? good when we get hurt from them turning off the lights then we should send medicol bills to Lisa Wong. she wants Lights Out then she should pay All medicol bills for those who gets injured.
I enjoy the way this person's mind works. Turning off 63% of the streetlights in her mind is apparently the same as "no lights in Fitchburg."

Yes, "cheryl." The mayor is going to come to your house and steal all your light bulbs! Not for any reason; just because she's evil! I bet she won't even pay for your "medicol" bills when the scary darkness hurts you!

See, the fact of the matter is that 98% of the bitching about turning off streetlights has nothing whatsoever to do with streetlights. It has to do with the fact that there's a subset of inbred douchenozzles in Fitchburg who hate Lisa Wong and are going to complain about anything she does, because it's her.

To illustrate that point, here's a comment on that same article from our old racist buddy, "QEII":
Geez i'm surprised and she makes me ill when i see her chuckle on tv. Nothing is funny about what has gone wrong with Fitchburg, i am appalled that we are the source of her sick laughter. She should I suppose she fooled a lot of people didn't she; 29, a mayor (great on her resume) and the people of Fitchburg foolheartedly put her there.
So the comment that this dipshit is making on an article about streetlights is basically "I don't like the way Lisa Wong laughs."

Umm... okay. I've never had an issue with the mayor's laugh, personally. But I'm also not a crazy asshole who hates the mayor.

Look, people who are scared of the dark. This is easy. If you're really scared of Mad Max-style roving gangs of bandits raiding your home because a nearby streetlight was turned off, you can pay about $12 a month to have it turned on. Surely you're willing to pay that much for your own safety, right?

Because if not, then you're probably not actually all that concerned about the streetlights. So if you don't pay for the light, but do whine about it being turned off, you're really just whining because you enjoy whining. Stop it.


Also, I'm putting up a new poll. I theorize that the vast majority of people who whine about streetlights being turned off also whine about people getting too many public services (you know, welfare and disability and so forth). Do you agree?