July 19, 2010

Gloria Steinem and the turtle.

#4 on Donna Brazile's rules to live by is "Ask the turtle":
I'm proud to call Gloria Steinem a friend, and this advice came from her. While on a field trip in college with her geology class, she discovered a giant snapping turtle that had climbed out of the river, up a dirt path, right to the edge of a road. Worried it would soon be run over, she wrestled the enormous reptile off the embankment and back down to the water.

At that moment, her professor walked up and asked what in the world she was doing. With some pride, she told him. He said that the turtle had probably spent a month crawling up that long dirt path to safely lay its eggs in the mud on the side of the road and that she had destroyed all that effort with her "rescue."

Gloria tells this story to illustrate the most important political lesson she ever learned: Always ask the turtle.
First, the turtle's message is obviously leave me alone. How am I supposed to believe that this is a message that liberals hold dear?

Second, like Jim Lindgren reading an essay by Michael Bellesiles, I'm getting twinges of doubt about this story. The characters are just too perfectly drawn, and the events unfold in a predictably tragic yet meaningful way.

Third, just try to picture of Gloria with an enormous snapping turtle. Possibly with zombie makeup.

77 comments:

oldirishpig said...

Why would Gloria Steinem need zombie makeup?

Andrew T. said...

Turtle responds to Steinem: http://bit.ly/98T25H

AllenS said...

That story will set off more than one BS detecter. Giant snapping turtles are very heavy. Do not get your hands near their mouth.

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott said...

I am glad that Donna Brazile is finally embracing the concept of laissez faire.

Triangle Man said...

Turtles = salmonella

Scott said...

salmonella = the flavor of Golden Oreos and lox?

edutcher said...

What Scott said.

I can only add that Ms Brazile and Ms Steinbrenner (who talked about how the Demos would rule when they won in '08) are probably all for ZeroCare being rammed through without the people being asked.

Scott said...

@edutcher: Well, that would be amazing, since her husband's ownership of the Yankees made him a pretty high-profile capitalist. :)

wv: scarg. I think it has something to do with pirates.

William said...

In the liberal world, facts are subordinate to the higher moral truth.

Scott said...

Truth is Dead.

GMay said...

"I'm proud to call Gloria Steinem a friend..."

I try not to be judgmental, but this opening tells me there's no analysis required.

Joe said...

Liberals DO ask the turtle...
1) The turtle told them Air Conditioning is evillll and destroying the planet; and
2) Cars are bad, and need to be restricted; and
3) We need to reduce our carbon footprint; and
4) Cap and Trade is vitally necessary; and
5) Balloons are killing turtles around the world.
The turtle told Donna and Gloria all this and because s/he did they are now suing on the turtle’s behalf, on all those issues. True you may not hear the turtle say tese things, but they did, and you can trust them. Rly….

Scott said...

@GMay: It was a good effort, anyway.

FloridaSteve said...

The entire story is bullshit. I live in North Florida and spend time in areas where there are a LOT of snapping turtles I can assure you that there is no way in hell that she eve approached that creature. Even a small one (less than 12 inches long) could easily take a finger off. A larger one would have no trouble at all fending off the liberal good Samaritan. It's a feel good crock of shit.

Scott M said...

In no way, shape or form does First, the turtle's message is obviously leave me alone. = individual mandate.

A local morning driver AM station host, basically a clone of Cynthia McKinney, had the gall to say that Liberals hold freedom most dear because that's what the word means. I rarely call in to shows like this, but I couldn't let that one lie.

After going back and forth on the individual mandate issue vs. freedom, she basically exposed her true colors by saying that maybe those luckier in life's lottery, ie me solidly in middle-class, need to make some sacrifices so that life's lottery losers, or those historically disadvantaged through no fault of their own, can have more freedom.

It always comes back to that, doesn't it?

Quayle said...

This is why fish need bicycles: to take the exhausted turtles back up to the mud at the side of the road.

Big Mike said...

Turtles, being cold-blooded, sometimes use asphalt roads to help warm up -- evolution hasn't had time to teach them that tucking their heads into their shells won't help if they're hit by a ton and half of motor vehicle moving at 60 mph. So it was good to keep the snapper off the road.

But Gloria Steinem wrestled the snapper all the way back down to the water? And didn't lose a finger? Or two? Considering that she hadn't received any training or advice in how to handle snappers safely, she must have used up a lifetime's worth of luck in thay single incident. If it happened.

And a month crawling up from the river to the road? Only a person who's never seen a snapping turtle move would say something as silly as that.

AllenS and Sixty Grit are right; that beeping in the background is my BS detector in overload.

Scott said...

In defense of these two ladies, M. Brazile probably can't tell a box turtle from a snapping turtle.

It's no matter. The story has a sense of truthiness to it.

Pogo said...

Sure it's bullshit, but what's amazing to me is the fact that Steinem learned nothing at all all from this except don't move turtles. A nice enough lesson, albeit of very limited use.

But she missed the larger point by a country mile.

The liberal disease is marked through history by the inability to anticipate the consequences of their plans.

And very very often they are unwilling or unable to acknowledge undesired outcomes as having come from their stupid stupid plans.

Her problem, one common to the left, is that she thinks "Always ask the turtle" is actually about turtles.

Scott said...

@Pogo: What you said. :)

Skyler said...

The question becomes, who is the liar? Steinem or Brazile?

Scott M said...

The liberal disease is marked through history by the inability to anticipate the consequences of their plans.

Or participate judging by the Congressional behavior visa vi Obamacare. Likewise for his new Medicare czar.

MadisonMan said...

I was driving on Nakoma Road once and saw a big snapper on the sidewalk/bike path that runs alongside Nakoma across the street from that B&B. Big as in 2 feet long.

The joggers were giving it a very wide berth.

Scott said...

By the shores of Gitche Gumee,
By the shining Big-Sea-Water,
Stood the wigwam of Nokomis,
Daughter of the Moon, Nokomis.

Scott M said...

The liberal disease is marked through history by the inability to anticipate the consequences of their plans.

Or anticipate the success of other's plans...or give them any credit once those plans actually work as promised.

Palladian said...

For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone;

The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land

stevenehrbar said...

A month? Sheesh. If turtles were that slow, they'd starve to death.

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael said...

I think there's a lot of invention to this story also, but it's just not true that snapping turtles are so horribly dangerous that you can't pick them up without losing a finger. I have pictures and the story here.

AJ Lynch said...

Donna Brazile is a rarity in that she, for a big govt liberal, always seems amiable and friendly and pleasant.

That said, I also call BS on her claim that she believes in getting the opinion of people [before implement lib programs] unless she is referring to the ban on drilling. That may be the only issue with which she ever disagreed with Prez Obama.

Pogo said...

"Or anticipate the success of other's plans...or give them any credit once those plans actually work as promised."

The success of others is defined only as having occurred at the expense of some less fortunate class, even by outright theft.

The left thinks that trade makes one person worse off, every time. Never is it recognized that both partners can be made better off by trade.

So despite being told to leave the turtle alone, they can't help themselves and move the damn thing anyway, because it just feels right to them, even it actually made the turtle worse off, and even when they lose a finger doing it.

AllenS said...

If you ever feel a need to help a turtle along side the road, pick it up and move it to the other side of the road. That's where it was headed.

Q: Why did the turtle want to cross the road?

A: To get away from that icky Steinem woman.

shoutingthomas said...

God, you missed this one:

1. Be the buffalo.

Wilma Mankiller, the first female principal chief of the Cherokee nation, once told me how the cow runs away from the storm while the buffalo charges directly toward it -- and gets through it quicker.

Whenever I'm confronted with a tough challenge, I do not prolong the torment. I become the buffalo.

This is right out of the movie "Avatar."

This BS has to be in the top ten of all liberal axioms: American Indians are Noble Savages. When in doubt, invoke the Injuns, who of course live in complete harmony with Mother Gaia.

I saw "Avatar" while I was on cruise. What an encyclopedic treasure trove of leftist BS! New Age, holistic Injuns, rapacious white men, evil corporations, living in trees, wiping you ass with leaves!

Something for everybody.

Me heap big Injun. Lovem earth very much. Big Chief in the sky tell me white man up to no good.

AJ Lynch said...

I call BS on Steinem taking a geology class. It would have been too much like real science. She may have taken one of the earliest classes in ecology or how to hug a tree correctly.

c3 said...

I know he's a dead white male but I believe this was more clearly and succinctly stated many years ago:

"The road to Hell is paved with good intentions."
-- Dr. Samuel Johnson

Synova said...

I found a giant snapping turtle on the road. I wish I'd gotten a picture but I'd have had to roll a soda can over next to it or no one would believe how big it really was anyway. I doubt two grown men could have lifted the thing.

I stayed until it moved off the road so I could be sure that no one bothered it but no way I got closer than 5 feet to it.

Handling a snapping turtle is like handing a rattlesnake. People do it, but generally they know what they're doing or they get bit.

Chip Ahoy said...

Your cynicism warms my heart, but I do like to always start out believing people at face value, with whatever translation needed to make the story believable -- avoids the conclusion that people are lying. Otherwise there'd be no point in paying any attention, and I admit that is sometimes the case.

Assume it really did happen and a lesson really was taken.

It was probably a regular turtle that snapped at being disturbed and was rather large besides. Therefore, a giant snapping turtle.

The lesson learned is indeed taken to heart and applied to all other turtles. But not applied to fellow citizens. That much is obvious. See how this work?

AllenS said...

I don't do it anymore, but when I was a young 'en, I used to eat snapping turtles. There's about 5 different kinds/colors of meat in one. A taste ranging from chicken to beef.

Synova said...

The turtle's message most certainly is "leave me alone".

But for those who must be done-to, asking the turtle really can't mean anything but finding out what the turtle is doing and then do it for her.

Paddy O said...

I've made it my policy to ask the raven instead.

Usually the response is somewhere between silent contempt and disinterested cawing, but I still ask. I heard somewhere that if you ask the right ones they'll tell you all about what goes on in the world.

Just have to make sure they recognize you.

That's the tricky part.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Why did the chicken cross the road?


To show turtles and armadillos it was possible.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

This story, which I also detect as BS, is similar to the stupidity that people do here.

They see a fawn hiding in the bushes or grass and in the goodness of their hearts, and pointy little heads, they pick up and SAVE the fawn. The fawn however, was doing what its mother trained it to do, hide and try to be invisible until the mother came back.

So by stealing the fawn from its hiding place they usually doom it to death and the mother is now missing her fawn child.

They just can't leave well enough alone and let nature take its course. They have to meddle and screw everything up and ruin the family unit. Kind of like the welfare state and the disintegration of the black family unit.

But...hey....the bleeding heart idiots sure feel good about themselves, don't they.

garage mahal said...

Depends how big it was. As long as you aren't trying to handle it on the business end [it's beak], you won't get bit. Here is a pic of a woman holding a snapper.

Turtle soup is quite good, fond memories of it, and a cold beer, after road hunting partridge.

Skyler said...

To be honest, it doesn't matter if the story is true. It's a fable, and there's not much wrong with that.

The problem is the dishonesty in claiming a learned lesson. It's very typical of democrats and leftists to claim the opposite of reality.

Beth said...

I don't believe the turtle story; no one would mess with a giant snapping turtle. I've encountered snapping turtles and my reaction has always been to get the hell out of snapping turtle range.

First, the turtle's message is obviously leave me alone. How am I supposed to believe that this is a message that liberals hold dear?

Drop this story into a thread on why some Western feminists (no, not all, but many) argue that they defer to Islamic feminists on the veil, or other issues of priority to those women, as opposed to ones Western women would more naturally prioritize. The moral of the story sounds accurate in liberal terms in that setting.

I guess where liberals and libertarians differ is liberals see the turtle as the Other; libertarians see the turtle as Self. Liberals who invest in a PC, post-colonialism worldview get overwrought about intervening abroad or cross culturally, but have no problem with intervening here. Conservatives want the turtle to bring the eggs to term, and not raise them in a same-sex turtle nest. Libertarians running for office in conservative states sign on for that, too, saving their cries of "leave me alone" for economic issues.

Back in the shell now. No snapping.

William D. Robertson said...

Just as a side note, the turtle in the linked photo ("an enormous snapping turtle") is an Alligator Snapping Turtle, which is found only in the Deep South. Steinem, who went to Smith College in Massachusetts, would have encountered the much smaller Common Snapping Turtle.

Still, the story is probably untrue for reasons noted in other comments.

Beth said...

unless she is referring to the ban on drilling. That may be the only issue with which she ever disagreed with Prez Obama.

I missed that - good to know, though.

Pogo said...

Conservatives want the turtle to bring the eggs to term, and not raise them in a same-sex turtle nest. "

Ha!

Although, a conservative might point out that in a same-sex turtle nest, there would be no eggs bring to term.

Beth said...

Pogo -

Turtle parthenogenesis? Turtle turkey baster?

Pogo said...

Spores, most likely.

Turtle spores.

Pogo said...

Turtle spontaneous generation!

Much better than turtle spontaneous combustion.


Unless you like soup.

Beth said...

Sure, Turtle Egg Drop Soup.

Synova said...

"I guess where liberals and libertarians differ is liberals see the turtle as the Other; libertarians see the turtle as Self."

Yes.

(I get a lot of second hand scolding about the wrongness of viewing anyone as Other though. So I'd thought that was supposed to be a bad thing.)

Hombre said...

All lefties are turtles and Obama is a "Post Turtle."

michaele said...

Snapping turtles also do a lunge/leap kind of thing (snapping wickedly the whole time) when they are threatened. It is very difficult to approach one to "help" it without learning about it's lunge ability. The story is total crap.

mrs whatsit said...

That is a ridiculous story.
1) Steinem was lying about "wrestling" an adult turtle anywhere. Snapping turtles have long necks that can reach astonishingly far from their bodies, powerful jaws, and a swift, vicious bite. Any idiot who tries to "wrestle" one off the road will certainly be bitten and badly hurt. I saw some men trying to get one out of the middle of a busy state highway once. After they realized they would lose fingers if they got anywhere near it, they tried to get the turtle to bite onto a two- or three-inch thick tree limb they found nearby so they could drag it off the road. The turtle bit right through the tree limb. Not until a telephone man came up with some thick steel-cored cable were tehy able to get the turtle to bite onto something that didn't break and get it off the road. It is not remotely possible that Steinem got an adult turtle anywhere without equipment, assistance or injury.
2) Steinem's professor may know something about geology, but not about snapping turtles. They are powerful and not particularly slow walkers who can and do cover long distances easily in order to move from pond to pond or stream to pond. It does NOT take any snapping turtle a month to climb some path from a nearby river. More like an hour, maybe. And that's assuming the turtle would want to lay its eggs in "mud" near a far-off uphill road rather than by the water to begin with, a dubious proposition if you ask me.

Why do people who know nothing about animals make up such utter nonsense about easily-researched simple facts?

mrs whatsit said...

That is a ridiculous story.
1) Steinem was lying about "wrestling" an adult turtle anywhere. Snapping turtles have long necks that can reach astonishingly far from their bodies, powerful jaws, and a swift, vicious bite. Any idiot who tries to "wrestle" one off the road will certainly be bitten and badly hurt. I saw some men trying to get one out of the middle of a busy state highway once. After they realized they would lose fingers if they got anywhere near it, they tried to get the turtle to bite onto a two- or three-inch thick tree limb they found nearby so they could drag it off the road. The turtle bit right through the tree limb. Not until a telephone man came up with some thick steel-cored cable were tehy able to get the turtle to bite onto something that didn't break and get it off the road. It is not remotely possible that Steinem got an adult turtle anywhere without equipment, assistance or injury.
2) Steinem's professor may know something about geology, but not about snapping turtles. They are powerful and not particularly slow walkers who can and do cover long distances easily in order to move from pond to pond or stream to pond. It does NOT take any snapping turtle a month to climb some path from a nearby river. More like an hour, maybe. And that's assuming the turtle would want to lay its eggs in "mud" near a far-off uphill road rather than by the water to begin with, a dubious proposition if you ask me.

Why do people who know nothing about animals make up such utter nonsense about easily-researched simple facts?

Trooper York said...

Hey how did you get that photo of those two dudes holding Gloria Steinem's twat?

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott said...

"Ask the turtle" sounds like "talk to the hand".

Paul said...

Blogger Hombre said...All lefties are turtles and Obama is a "Post Turtle."

I think Obama is Yertle the Turtle of the Dr. Seuss story. Wikipedia synopsis below:

>>>
“Yertle the Turtle”

The titular story revolves around a Yertle the Turtle, the king of the pond. Unsatisfied with the stone that serves as his throne, he commands the other turtles to stack themselves beneath him so that he can see further and expand his kingdom. However, the stacked turtles are in pain and Mack, the turtle at the very bottom of the pile, is suffering the most. Mack asks Yertle for a respite, but Yertle just tells him to shut up. Then Yertle decides to expand his kingdom and commands more and more turtles to add to his throne. Mack makes a second request for a respite because the increased weight is now causing extreme pain to the turtles at the bottom of the pile. Again Yertle yells at Mack to shut up. Then Yertle notices the moon rising above him as the night approaches. Furious that something "dares to be higher than Yertle the King", he decides to call for even more turtles in an attempt to rise above it. However, before he can give the command, Mack decides he has had enough. He burps, shaking the stack of turtles and tossing Yertle off into the mud, leaving him "King of the Mud" and freeing the others.
>>>

Megaera said...

Incidentally,speaking of fiction, the Chronicle of Higher Ed has concluded its review regarding the latest Bellesisles contretemps: its finding is that the student lied to the good Professor about the brother, the death, etc. No findings made about the Prof's culpability -- if any -- in publishing this load of old codswallop as gospel without investigation, verification, etc. Findings appear as a brief note appended to the original MB article/story/fiction.

Mitch H. said...

Do y'all think that there's a real shepherd & congressman somewhere behind that shaggy-dog story that ends "now give me back my dog"? There is a difference between an obvious allegory & a "no shit this really happened" story. Although neither whopper is really supposed to be taken for truth.

Synova said...

Now, going with the idea that libertarians see the turtle as Self rather than Other...

Asking the turtle is far less reassuring than it might seem.

And if it's not reassuring to Self to be "asked", then why assume that the Other would be reassured by being asked?

Certainly it's better than being done-to, but it still assumes the doing, once the proper thing to be done has been determined. The directionality is maintained.

former law student said...

Maybe it just looked big to Steinem. Most snapping turtles average 10 to 35 pounds and 8 to 19 inches long.

former law student said...

And Bellesiles must be a complete idiot for printing any story without having the underlying facts checked by a reliable third party.

Methadras said...

Smell-O-Meter just pegged to 20. Even if it were true, all it does is illustrate the super-hero leftard swooping in to save the day as a means to capitalize on a crisis only to fuck it up with their good intentions. The road to hell and all of that...

Cedarford said...

former law student said...
And Bellesiles must be a complete idiot for printing any story without having the underlying facts checked by a reliable third party.
=============
More to follow. Could be the next thing we hear is his "20-year Marine Vet Teaching Assistant" was not exactly an accurate story element, either. Because such people if bona fide, know the military system and are very good at sniffing out lies and excuses, because they have heard all of 'em.
A 20-year Marine knows you don't leave gravely injured head wound cases in a combat zone field hospital for weeks to die w/o medivac to a more advanced facility.
A "recently enlisted" making SP-4??? Doesn't happen.

Pastafarian said...

I've picked up snapping turtles before (ordinary snapping turtles, not those monstrous alligator snapping turtles from Beth's neck of the woods), so it's not impossible.

Not advisable, but not impossible.

When she said "giant" she probably meant that it seemed big to her, so since she's from up north like me, it was probably a 10 or 12 pound snapping turtle. Which is pretty big, for a reptile, north of the Mason-Dixon.

The parts of the story that seem unlikely to me:

a) When I've handled snapping turtles, it's been after I've accidentally caught or snagged them while fishing; and it's easier to get a grip where they can't reach you when you have them dangling from a line. When they're on the ground, they're quick, they have long claws, and you can't really mess around with them. So just going over and picking one up off the ground, when it's mature enough to lay eggs, seems unlikely. Not impossible, but unlikely.

b) They're one hell of a lot faster and more active when it's hot out, and if it's on the road, and if it's the time of year that they lay eggs, then that's going to be one warm, fast snapper. Again, fresh out of a lake, they're much easier to handle.

c) They took a field trip in June or July, when turtles lay their eggs? Was this a summer course? Most summer courses are compressed, and don't include luxuries like field trips.

d) What sort of professor would actually think that the turtle would take a month to walk a distance that a person can apparently cover in a couple of minutes? What adult would be both dumb enough to believe this, and bright enough to be admitted to college?

Pastafarian said...

Speaking of turtles: As I mentioned last night, I'm currently on vacation on Holden Beach in NC, and last night I was walking on the beach when I was approached by a buggy. The guy gave me a little scrap of red cloth, and explained that this would "filter" the light from my flashlight, so as not to disturb the sea turtles.

Apparently, I was preventing the turtles from fucking.

But seriously, I guess they might not come up and lay their eggs otherwise. So these people drive their buggies up and down the coast all night giving people little scraps of cloth, that don't even filter the light in terms of color (they just diffuse it and cut down on the illumination). There's a waste of carbon for you.

And I don't mean the CO2 belched out by the buggies -- I mean the CO2 produced by these humans. WAYSA, indeed. And WAYSA, turtles? What a piss-poor excuse for an animal. What, do you need humans to hold your dick for you when you're inseminating the female, too? Jesus Christ. This tequila is making me mean.

I'm now going to go out and shoot off some fireworks, in the turtles' honor. How do you like that, you sons of bitches?

But I'll be sure to put that little scrap of red cloth over my flashlight.

DADvocate said...

The story's crap. Ain't no woman like Gloria Steinem going to wrassle a giant snapping turtle and come back with all her fingers.

I saw a turtle the size of the one in the picture crawling across the highway. I swerved into the other lane as I thought the turtle was too big to pass under my car.

Plus, turtles aren't that slow and a professor who knew about turtle egg laying behavior would know that. Living with a creek bounding my backyard, I've seen turtles cover 30-40 yards at about 10 yards a minute or less.

DADvocate said...

Here's the snapping turtle I snapped in my neighbor's yard. It was about a foot wide and nearly 3 feet long. I took its picture and gave it a goodbye kiss.

DADvocate said...

I meant nearly 2 feet long, a mere baby.

former law student said...

Checking the Smith College website, I see most of the field trips occur in Western Massachusetts (a few farther afield in New England or NY State). So if this policy held in the 50s, the field trip would have been in Western Mass.

Now, the snapping turtle of Western Mass is Chelydra serpentina, which reportedly hibernates from November to April. But Smith College classes end at the beginning of May. So, if the current calendar reflects the past, the story is indeed improbable because there would not have been a month for the turtle to emerge.

R.L. Hunter said...

The lesson to be learned isn't "Always ask the turtle.", but "just because you don't know what the turtle's doing, doesn't mean the turtle doesn't know either."

From Inwood said...

The way I heard the story, Gloria picked up the turtle & kissed it, whereupon it turned into a prince, who then ran away seeing that it was, ugh, Gloria.

If that story was plagiarized, well, don’t blame me; blame it on the guy who told it to me!

BTW what happens in Chapter Three of The Grapes of Wrath? Sound familiar? Well, let me plagiarize from SparkNotes:

In the summer heat, a turtle plods across the baking highway. A woman careens her car aside to avoid hitting the turtle, but a young man veers his truck straight at the turtle, trying to run it over. He nicks the edge of the turtle’s shell, flipping it off the highway and onto its back. Legs jerking in the air, the turtle struggles to flip itself back over. Eventually it succeeds and continues trudging on its way.



Chapter 3 presents a symbolic depiction of the farmers’ plights in the turtle that struggles to cross the road. Both chapters share a particularly dark vision of the world. As the relentless weather of Chapter 1 and the mean-spirited driver of Chapter 3 represent, the universe is full of obstacles that fill life with hardship and danger. Like the turtle that trudges across the road, the Joad family will be called upon, time and again, to fight the malicious forces—drought, industry, human jealousy and fear—that seek to overturn it.


Gloria, c'mon, you can do better than that