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Archive for May, 2013

eddie mush

Hi, my name is John…and, a long time ago, I was a degenerate gambler.

Why do I tell this to the world…or, more accurately, the four people who read my blog?

Simple. Every time a “progressive” talks about “investing” my tax dollars, I get flashbacks to a time I’d rather forget. Hard core gamblers live in a fantasy land. “Make no mistake”, they often have fun, and, unless they’re “Eddie Mush” from “A Bronx Tale”, they even win occasionally; but they brainwash themselves into thinking that winning could be the norm. They have “hope” that their next “run” will be a big one and they “believe” that, eventually, their bad luck will “change”. Consequently, they “chase” additional “revenue” by spending (and losing) more and more. They borrow from their checking accounts. They borrow from their friends. They borrow from their credit cards and credit lines. They take out “markers” (casino loans) at the cage. And they lie…a lot…to themselves and others…all in a desperate attempt to prolong their fantasy. Believe me, this never ends well.

Over the past several years, the President and his Party have been “doubling down on dumb” by “chasing” a utopian dream that, like gambling, has no chance of “winning the future” in the real world. Even as we approach $17 trillion in debt, their “solution” is always to “invest” more of our tax dollars in failed policies.

Why do they continue to do this?

Simply put, we let them. They never get “shut off” by the voters or the banks. They raise taxes and fees, pile on costly new regulations and tell their friends at the Fed to print more money. Fearing no electoral consequences, they refuse to pass a budget so they can raise their debt ceiling to infinity. They say things that “sound nice” to various constituencies and, consequently, they keep getting elected by their “enablers”. When degenerate gamblers hit rock bottom, (often when they completely run out of money and credit), they have to stop gambling. There is simply no other option…other than suicide. If they don’t pay their debts, there are serious outcomes. Even their “enablers”–friends, family, banks, loan sharks and casinos–stop lending eventually. Folks, we are the “enablers” of our politicians.

It’s time for an intervention.

We need to shut them off before they destroy all of us. “We The People” are the bank. The “borrowers” have shown no willingness or ability to pay us back. Let’s close down their markers permanently because they are gambling not only with our money but with our children’s and grandchildren’s money. That’s wrong, but it’s our fault for letting it happen. I was fortunate enough to wake up from my dream and turn my life around. It’s never too late to start over. Let’s admit we have a problem, then stop the bleeding and embrace some “change” that actually makes sense for once. Vote the political equivalents of “Eddie Mush” out of office in 2014 and beyond.

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bs-meter-21

I’m tired. I’m really, really tired.
Am I getting old? Yes. But while I certainly prefer aging to its alternative, my sprint toward transitional assisted living and perpetual underground residency is not what this post is about. No, I’m just tired of the bullshit…and I say that in a true spirit of bipartisanship.

What bullshit, you ask? Well, if you have to ask, you’re probably a devoted fan of Mob Wives because you clearly don’t pay much attention to politics. To each his or her own, I suppose, (and for the record, I think “Big Ang” is hysterical). But, personally, I’m tired of the nonsense. I’m tired of all the spin. I’m tired of the straw man arguments. I’m tired of the lies. And most of all, I’m really tired of the false premises. Although there are dozens in circulation, let’s look at just one.

“Something vs. Nothing”

Leaving their motivations aside for a moment, it seems that when our “leaders” feel the need to ram a bill through Congress, one of their key talking points is invariably: “This is urgent…we have to do something before it’s too late. Doing nothing is simply not an option!” Sounds nice. Sounds like they’re actually working. Sounds like they “care”. But one phrase, or a series of phrases, shouldn’t ever justify something like, say, Obamacare or Dodd-Frank, two of the most ill-conceived legislative monstrosities in the history of the planet. The Democrats are very good at playing the “something vs. nothing” game, and the Republicans are often too squishy to tell the truth; namely, that doing something STUPID is never better than doing nothing.

Before Obama and his current gaggle of socialist friends arrived on the scene, Bill Clinton was the master of creating and selling false options like “something vs. nothing”. I once used a little (admittedly non-PC, but somewhat effective) hyperbole to describe his approach. (Do your best Bubba imitation while reading it aloud.) “Either you support my proposal or you shove a lit stick of dynamite up your butt. It’s your call, but you have to decide right now!” With all due respect to some of our Jihadi friends, most sane people would prefer even a bad bill to the second option; but an intelligent person might simply choose to reject the premise and propose a more reasonable “solution”, presumably one that doesn’t involve explosives.

To be “fair”, (I’ll get to that one at another time), many Republicans are not proud or principled enough to avoid using “something vs. nothing” or other “straw man” tactics. After all, “children are being left behind”, so we have to do “something” about that, right? Ooh, and yes, prescriptions are expensive for seniors, so we have to do “something” about that too, right? Fast forward to the current immigration debate. Karl Rove and his cronies say the GOP needs to do something to win Hispanic support, but their focus groups didn’t think “seal the borders, deport illegals who commit crimes and start enforcing current immigration law” was going to cut it. Consequently, I fear that the new Republican “something” will take the form of an all-out pandering campaign which is likely to produce a “bipartisan” bill that history will describe as unworkable, unenforceable, exorbitantly expensive, completely counterproductive and totally absurd. Nice job, Karl…the undocumented Democrats thank you and your OFA check is in the mail.

Sadly, the “something vs. nothing” approach often works because the average voter has the attention span of a fruit fly, the typical politician only cares about election-winning and the main stream media long ago abandoned the whole notion of objective journalism. If we stay gullible, apathetic, uninformed and/or misinformed, we as a nation probably deserve precisely what we get out of our public officials. It’s time to wake up, as they say, “before it’s too late”. We need to get informed, break out those bullshit meters and reject false premises whenever they surface. The sources of these false premises are irrelevant, by the way. Politics is downstream from culture. Faulty logic is often spewed not only by politicians but also by academics, reporters, pundits, celebrities, union bosses, Twitter trolls…and even your friends and family. Identify the premises of their arguments. Reject those premises if they don’t make sense. Offer alternative logical frameworks and solutions. It’s not hard once you condition yourself to listen first and talk (or tweet) later.

To summarize: “Something vs. Nothing” is a scam…don’t fall for it. You will never win an argument if you let your opponent frame the debate. Flawed policy always flows from false premises. Keep your bullshit meter with you at all times and know what you’re talking about. Thus endeth the lesson. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to take a nap. I’m really, really tired.

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