"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority ... the Constitution was made to guard against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." - Noah Webster

"There is no worse tyranny than forcing a man to pay for what he does not want just because you think it would be good for him."
-- Robert A. Heinlein

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Politics Still Boring You?

It was in the mid 1990s.  At that time, I was driving an 18 wheeler from Tampa to Orlando at night. Shuttling freight there and back for a single company between warehouses. It was at the time when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had been sold, and they were a losing team.  They were actually the most losing team in the NFL.  The new owners were "threatening" to find a new home for the team if they didn't get a new stadium courtesy of the taxpayers.

I had to avoid getting into arguments with the idiots who bought the lies about fiscal impact of having an NFL team.  I say professional sports is no different from museums or performing arts.  Either they produce something people want and can survive or thrive in a free market, or they deserve to dissolve.  Cut and dried.  Want to find the ugliest crap that is supposed to pass for art, but that nobody would allow on their own property let alone pay for?  Go find a government building.

I arrived at the dock in Orlando the night that it was announced by the front office of the Bucs, that Orlando was making overtures about luring the team there.  A warehouse worker approached me like a 12 year old on a playground to ask, "What you gonna do if you lose the Bucs to US?!?"

"Whaddya mean, nothing?"  From the look on his face, you'd have thought that I had turned down a chance to have sex with the entire Swedish Bikini Team.  Oh, I understood where he was coming from, and it made me angry, but I did my best to stay calm.

"Who is your congressman?" I asked.
"Huh?"  His face was contorted as if he'd just discovered an ice chest of fish that he'd forgotten about from last summer.
"Do you know which congressional district you live in?"
[blank stare, crickets chirping]
"Do you know who your Senators are that represent you in Washington?"
"What the hell does that have to do with football?"
"Nothing.  And that's the point.  The Bucs could disappear off the planet tomorrow and it won't effect my life one iota.  Yet there are people who gain political office, and make decisions every chance they get, which have direct and very negative impacts on my life."

As if I had just spoken in Mandarin Chinese, he picked up the conversation.

"You guys are gonna be so sorry that you lost the Bucs when Orlando gets them."

"I don't think you understood my point. I don't care if the Bucs move to Orlando.  You see, nobody at One Buccaneer Plaza employs me, or signs my paychecks, or is helping me get my college education or pay my mortgage.  Meanwhile, people like you help allow politicians to steal more of my money and liberty, because you don't care enough to pay attention to what they are doing. You have no idea who is making the laws and spending a hefty part of your paycheck, because you are more concerned with knowing the entire starting lineups of the offense, defense, and special teams for at least a half dozen NFL franchises."

"What are you talking about?  I've gotten money back from the IRS almost every year."

"Thank you for helping to prove my point.  How much did they keep?"

"The IRS."
"I said they gave me a refund."
"They gave you back a portion of the money that they overtaxed you."

Getting him to actually look at his paystubs and do the math was interesting.  It was priceless to see him find out that all the FICA was separate and not considered part of the income tax.

Why do I bring up this example?  It may be unlikely that someone who has been coming to my blog is as clueless as that guy, but in case someone is coming here relatively lately, I want you to learn something.

There are some clichés and sayings that are very true and have stood the test of time.  There are some that are true and valid depending on the context, and it is a wise person who can recognize the difference.  For example: "What you don't know, can't hurt you."  That might be true if it describes the fact that your co-workers are jealous of you and hate your guts, but they can't really do anything to sabotage your work.  But when it comes to the populace and politics, it's a big lie.

There is another saying:  People get the government that they deserve.  Supposedly de Toqueville said it about democracy, but nobody is sure.  It is true, nonetheless.  It doesn't matter if you are a soccer mom or a warehouse worker who loves football, or you are a college professor with lots of hobbies.  If you choose to take the attitude that politics is boring, or that you don't see any difference between the parties, or "Why vote, nothing ever changes."  You are just as much a part of the problem as the people who are actively trying to transform our society under the phony, slick, Madison Avenue, "Hope and Change" crap, into a quasi slave state.

There are very soon to be people who are going to be crying and gnashing their teeth, scared to death, wondering how they are going to afford their cable and internet service, cell phone service, and groceries.  They are going to be dumbfounded when they need medical care and find out that a third to half of the physicians who could, have already retired or just closed down, or just won't take Medicare or Medicaid unless it is at the point of a gun.  They will get to see,  just like already in England, women will be having babies in the corridors of the hospitals if they are lucky enough to get there in the first place.  We already know that people in several northern states are facing 30% fuel oil increases as winter is just getting started.  This is at the same time there is a moratorium by the administration on pumping, not drilling new wells, mind you, but pumping existing wells off the coast, and we are sitting on vast reserves of oil under the great plains and under Alaska.  We haven't built any new nuclear power plants in over 30 years, while France has raced ahead building perfectly safe, modern design reactors and produces 90% of their electricity this way.

While you were busy watching "Survivor," "Dancing with the Stars," "American Idol," "Monday Night Football," or any number of amusing things, your only considered thought on serious political issues came from the 10 second sound bites you got from the mainstream TV and radio, while the decisions on how to handle those issues were coming to dramatically affect or destroy your way of life.

When California, New York, and Illinois default and admit it, and the riots start here like they are happening in Greece and soon to be in Spain and Italy, and people are sitting here wondering how we got to this point,  I'll be telling my story from the top of this post.  That's how we got here.

You preferred bread and circuses over the tedious business of understanding politics and how it can and WILL effect your life.  You chose to abdicate your responsibility for your own life and put the decision making into the hands of others and as long as what they said sounded good, such as "caring" and "fair" and was "for the children." They could pretty much do what ever the hell they wanted to as long as they didn't preempt your soap operas or your game shows.  A lot of people are going to find out the hard way, that there are deep, far-reaching consequences for the decisions one makes or refuses to make.

I remember going to a Saturday "townhall" meeting in the summer of 1994. It was just before the voters gave the Republicans a chance to reign in some of the out of control crap that Bill and Hillary Clinton and the Democrats were trying to foist on the United States.  Pretty much the same crap that the Democrats have illegally done in the past 24 months.  About a quarter of the 60 or so attendees of this meeting, called by then Congressman Sam Gibbons D - Tampa, were there to petition for reigning in a lot of the unconstitutional garbage, and to see just how much the democrat congressman realized that his job was in danger.  But about a third of the people there were fawning over Sam and asking him how much more bacon he was going to bring to the district, without realizing that the hogs were there in attendance, and we were pissed.

It made me frustrated and angry that those people standing there with their proverbial hands out, couldn't comprehend that government doesn't have anything unless it first takes it away from somebody else.

Politics is like a dangerous predator in the jungle, it would prefer that it be able to stalk you while you are distracted by a host of other things. You ignore that subtle whiff of scent that you know doesn't belong.  You shrug off that shadow you "thought" you saw in the corner of your eye.  Some of us in the herd, the sheepdogs, barked and growled, but the majority of the herd told us to be quiet and not disturb their grazing.  Then before you know it, you are left with nothing but a look of horror on your face and the words, "Awww Sh%$#@% . . . " coming out of your mouth, as you realize too late that you should have taken this stuff more seriously.

Oh well.  Time to go work out my frustrations by making preparations to ride out this winter and think about what food I'll be growing in the spring.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent post.

    I've to the decision that Idiocracy was actually a documentary and that we're all doomed.


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