Binge Drinking is yet another Example of Young People making Poor Decisions

Posted by PITHOCRATES - May 26th, 2013

Week in Review

Border towns.  It’s where people can escape high legal drinking ages.  Laws against gambling.  And bans on totally naked girls at strip bars serving alcohol.  By simply crossing the border you can have all the fun your little heart desires.  Even get yourself into a whole lot of trouble.  Because most of this fun starts with young adults getting drunk.  And drunk young adults have a penchant for making bad decisions.

One of these border towns is across the river from Detroit.  Windsor.  A small city that thrives on that cross-border traffic pouring millions into their local economy.  But it’s just not the Americans having a really good time in downtown Windsor (see Health unit launches campaign to tackle binge drinking by Beatrice Fantoni posted 5/24/2013 on The Windsor Star).

Windsor is notorious for its busy bar scene but the public health unit wants to tone the binge drinking down just a little in the interests of long-term health…

A nasty hangover can last well past the weekend. Abusing alcohol today can have serious health repercussions years from now, in the form of increased cancer risk – most notably, breast cancer – or other serious illnesses such as high blood pressure, liver cirrhosis or stroke.

Using a set of guidelines for safe alcohol consumption developed by the National Alcohol Strategy Advisory Committee, the public health campaign – which eight other public health units in southwestern Ontario are also launching – involves the roll-out of a different poster every three months on topics such as what constitutes a safe serving size and the short- and long-term risks of heavy drinking.

The target population is the 25-44 age group and posters are being distributed to local bars, restaurants, gyms, workplaces, for example, McBeth said…

“The end result is going to be the same,” said Rich Kingsley, who used to own several restaurants in the city. When people head downtown for drinks, Kingsley said, they’re gonna binge.

Posters alone won’t help just like those graphic images on cigarette packages do little to dissuade smokers, he said. Policies like changing the legal drinking age or prohibiting smoking in public places have to go along with it, he said.

Raising the legal drinking age.  Makes sense.  Young adults make a bad decision to binge drink.  And when they’re drunk they make even more bad decisions.  Not to mention all of that health damage they’re causing.  So raising the legal drinking age to allow these people to grow up and become mature and responsible sounds like a good idea.  Good for them.  And good for us.  For our loved ones won’t make a bad decision with lasting consequences.  Nor will we have to see them suffer some horrible disease later in life.   Or pay the high costs of treating some horrible disease.  How can you argue with that?

Can you imagine leaving this up to the young people?  Say getting all the 15-21 year-olds together.  And have them determine the new legal drinking age?  Can you guess what they would say it should be?  I’ll take a guess.  They’ll probably say the legal drinking age should be 15.  For if they’re responsible enough to vote, they’ll figure, they’re responsible enough to drink.  Besides, what 15-year-old wouldn’t love to be able to walk into a party store and buy booze without a fake ID?

This is why we don’t let 15-year-olds vote.  And why we should never let 15-year-olds vote.  Because they are not wise enough, mature enough or responsible enough to do what’s best for them.  In fact, we probably should raise the voting age.  If people 25-44 are acting so irresponsibly by binge drinking perhaps we should just raise the voting age.  Maybe not to 45.  But definitely higher than 18.  For it’s obvious these people put their immediate wants before their long-term best interests.  Which explains how a country that is 21% liberal is being run by liberal Democrats.

Liberal Democrats get the youth vote.  And what’s important to the youth?  Having a good time.  Which means decriminalizing pot.  Free birth control.   And access to abortion.  Things the liberal Democrats tell these kids are the most important things in the world.  And that the Republicans want to take them away from them.  So they vote liberal Democrat.  Until they have children of their own.  Especially daughters.  Then an all-girl Catholic school doesn’t look that bad.  Because putting the fear of God into our kids is a good way of helping them make better decisions.  And it will help prevent some boy from knocking up our daughters.  Or giving them a venereal disease.

Perhaps we need a little less partying.  And a little more religion in our lives.  A little morality may make us drink less.  Smoke less.  Engage in sexual congress less.  Resulting in fewer unplanned pregnancies.  That will require fewer abortions.  If we do that perhaps our young people can focus on more important things.  Like getting a good education.  Establishing a career.  And starting a family.  Things that are in their long-term best interests.

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FT108: “The political elite has exploited women ever since they gave them the franchise to vote.” -Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 9th, 2012

Fundamental Truth

The Civil War feminized Men and gave us the Nanny State and the Progressive Movement

In all some 2-3 million men left their homes to fight in the Civil War.  Leaving mothers to raise their children on their own.  With Christian love and nurturing.  Especially the boys.  Whose fathers their mothers dearly missed.  And lived in fear that they would fall in battle.  So they smothered these boys with love and affection.  Made them feel special.  The center of the world.  The Civil War would claim some 630,000 lives.  A lot of them young fathers.  Who left their sons no father.  Only a loving and doting mother to raise them.  A mother who hated war.  And despised manly displays of aggression that led to that god-awful war.  Something they would protect their boys from.  Instead filling them with kindness and sensitivity.  Teaching them not to meet aggression with aggression.  But with understanding.  Empathy.  Kindness.  And if someone strikes them to simply turn the other cheek.  Like the good Christians they were.  Because manly displays of behavior led to nothing but trouble.  And war.

The Republicans won the Civil War.  And freed the slaves from their Democrat masters.  Giving them the franchise to vote.  And they, of course, voted for their liberators.  The Republican Party.  Anxious to keep this vast new Republican voting bloc voting for them the Republicans quickly passed the Fifteenth Amendment (1869), giving the freed slaves the Constitutional right to vote.  Forever.  And they did.  While the Union Army was still in the South after the Civil War to enforce the peace.  And protect the newly freed black population.  But after Custer’s Last Stand where the Sioux and Cheyenne decimated Custer’s army, that army was needed out West.  And when it left the South so did the security of black Republican voters.  So they stopped voting.  And the Democrats restored things the way they were before the war.  Only without the institution of slavery.

So the Civil War provided a couple of powerful lessons.  First of all, if a war kills enough men their sons will grow up feminized.  Taking on some characteristics of the fairer sex.  And shunning their more masculine traits.  Also, enfranchising a large group of the population can help you win elections.  These two lessons came together in the Progressive movement the late 19th and early 20th century.  When these fatherless sons grew up and entered politics.  And changed the nature of government.  No longer the limited government of our Founding Fathers.  But a larger and more active government to mother us.  A lesson Woodward Wilson was slow to learn.  As he opposed women’s suffrage until protesters made him change his mind.  Which may have played a part in the Progressives losing the 1920 election.  The Nineteenth Amendment being ratified just months before the elections.  Lucky for us he was slow in changing his mind.  For had he embraced women’s suffrage his party may have been rewarded at the polls by a lot of happy women.  Instead they voted for a Return to Normalcy with Warren G. Harding.  Who followed the advice of Andrew Mellon and cut taxes.  Igniting economic activity.  Giving us one of the greatest decades in U.S. history.  The Roaring Twenties.  Where limited government and free market capitalism modernized the world.  But it wouldn’t last.  For the heavy hand of government interfered with those free markets by the end of the decade.  Giving us the Great Depression.

As Women Empowered themselves with the Birth Control Pill they made Men Very, Very Happy

FDR exploded the size of government with his New Deal.  It was not JFK’s “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.”  Instead it was what can our new big-ass government do for you?  How can we now mother you?  And how can we get you to vote for us?  So we can continue our orgy of spending.  And the women’s vote no doubt helped.  Many of who were mothers.  With mothering instincts.  Who wanted to help and take care of people.  Who endorsed FDR’s policies.  The product of those feminized Progressive men.  Who worked diligently to change limited government into the nanny state.  To fill government with understanding.  Empathy.  And kindness.  Creating a new aristocratic class in the process.  Allowing these feminized men to achieve great levels of power and wealth.  Doing whatever they want.  Because they felt special.  The center of the world.  And superior.

The New Deal programs failed to pull the country out of the Great Depression.  World War II came around to do that.  Causing another generation to suffer through another horrible war.  This time putting some 13 million Americans into uniform.  Leaving a lot of mothers to raise their children.  Alone.  Raising them with a nurturing Christian love.  Especially their sons.  Whose fathers their mothers dearly missed.  And lived in fear that they would fall in battle.  So they smothered their sons with love and affection.  Made them feel special.  The center of the world.  To ease the fear and dread of the war.  Which killed some 400,000.  And wounded a million more.  A lot of them young fathers.  Leaving more sons with no father in their lives.  Only a mother who hated war.  And would raise their sons to hate war, too.  To love, instead, peace.  To be filled with feelings of kindness and sensitivity.  And to resist their manly urges.  Feminizing another generation of men.

These men came of age in the Sixties.  Who said “Make love, not war.”  And did.  Like their mothers taught them.  Well, sort of.  It was the age of free love.  The sexual revolution.  Where men had a lot of sex with lots of different women.  And when they weren’t having sex they were attacking the establishment.  Protesting the Vietnam War.  Capitalism.  Old white men.  Rich people.  Religion.  Pretty much anyone.  And anything.  Filled with rage because they grew up without a daddy.  Blaming the world for that.  (Don’t think so?  Listen to Pink Floyd’s The Wall for a real life example as Roger Waters wrote about growing up without a daddy).  Filled with hate.  Unable to love.  So they just had sex.  Lots and lots of sex.  With a lot of ready and willing sex partners.  Because women in those days weren’t getting married anymore to raise a family.  They were empowering themselves.  Using the new birth control pill to plan when they were going to have a family.  Making these men they were having sex with very, very happy.

Liberals encourage Women to Empower themselves and Explore their Sexuality as long as these Women are not their Daughters

The radicals of the Sixties went on to become university professors in the Seventies.  Continuing their antiestablishment and anti-capitalism ways.  Putting up pictures of Che Guevara up in their classrooms.  Preaching socialism.  And communism.  Teaching political science and journalism and prelaw students how horrible America was.  Itemizing every sin.  But glossing over every achievement.  Attacking religion and morality.  Saying, “Who’s to say what’s right or wrong?”  Encouraging more government spending.  And more government control of the private sector.  To make America the socialist paradise they sang about in the Sixties.  While high.  And to legalize the drugs they used to get high in the Sixties.  Attacking men for marrying women.  Making them nothing more than cooks and housekeepers.  And whores in the bedroom.  Encouraging women to burn their bras and have more consequence-free sex.  Which these university professors enjoyed during the Seventies.  Getting high and having sex with their students.  Doing whatever they want.  Because they felt special.  The center of the world.  And superior.

Life was a party in the Seventies.  And we paid dearly for it.  All our major cites became crime ridden.  Drug use soared.  Violent crime increased.  Including assaults on women.  For we were honoring and cherishing women far less in the Seventies than we used to.  Casual sex was in.  Making women just sex partners.  Again, something the men were really enjoying.  Especially those feminized men that went on into politics.  Who became liberal Democrats.  And feminists.  Protectors of women.  A handy title.  For it made the women look the other way every time these men cheated on their wives.  Or were caught in some sex scandal.  They were really enjoying life.  These men.  Running the government in the Seventies.  And controlling the news networks.  The old-boys club was never better.  But then the economy had to go into the toilet.  And the people finally said enough.  They voted for Ronald Reagan.  A conservative.  Who represented about 40% of the population.   And declared the nanny-state of liberalism a failure.  An ideology held by only 20% (approximately) of the population002E

Of course, the liberals weren’t just going to give up their privileged life.  Controlling all of that tax money.  And having whatever they wanted.  Including all that fun with young women.  They had to come up with some way to get a lot of people who did not agree with their ideology to vote for them.  Or who simply didn’t understand their ideology.  So they courted the youth vote.  Whose interests rarely went beyond the satisfying of their selfish desires.  Those they could so enamor in college.  By being cool.  What with these liberals being so unlike these kids’ parents.  Who said that there is nothing wrong with using drugs.  Or having casual sex with someone’s daughter.  The two things college students can really enjoy.  Especially the sex.  Which the liberals provided for them.  By exploiting these young women.  Showering them with birth control.  Even access to abortion.  Making a woman’s self-worth based on her attractiveness to men.  Or on her ability to sexually satisfy men.  They encourage women to think the sexier they were the better and more popular they would be.  And the happier they would be.  Encouraging them to have fun on spring break.  So what if they end up on some DVD having sexually explicit fun?  As long as they had fun.  And vote Democrat.  Because it’s the Democrats who make sure these young women can have fun.  And feel good about themselves.  By encouraging them to be sex objects for men to enjoy.  Especially those old men in politics.  The feminists.  Who say things like they admire the women’s movement.  Especially from behind.  They encourage these women to ’empower’ themselves and explore their sexuality.  With them.  For fun.  Their self-worth.  And their vote.  And these men don’t care what happens to them once they do.  As long as, of course, they’re not their own daughters. 

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The Electoral College

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 22nd, 2011

Politics 101

The Founding Fathers put Responsible, Enlightened and Disinterested People between the People and their Government

The Founding Fathers were no fans of democracy.  Election by popular vote was little more than mob rule.  It would lead to the tyranny of the majority over the minority.  And as Benjamin Franklin warned, once the people learned they could vote themselves money from the treasury, they would.

These feelings extended to the states as well.  The small states did not want to be ruled by the large states.  This is why every state had two senators in the Senate.  To offset the influence of the big states in the House of Representatives.  Where the people voted for their representatives by direct popular vote.  And to offset the influence of the new federal government, the state legislatures would elect their senators.  Giving the states a large say in federal affairs.

Knowing history as they did, this was all very purposeful.  Indirect elections.  Putting other people between the people and the power of government.  And the treasury.  The people would vote for responsible, enlightened and disinterested people to represent them.  Then these responsible, enlightened and disinterested people would make policy.  And by doing this the Founding Fathers hoped that the new republic would survive.

The Founding Fathers set up the United States as a Federation of Independent States

Blacks make up about 12% of the population.  Gay and lesbians less than 1.5%.  In a true democracy it would not be difficult for the majority to win a popular vote to make these people illegal.  As crazy as that sounds a democracy could do that.  If that was the way the mob felt at the time of the vote.  This was the kind of thing the small states worried about.  As well as the Founding Fathers.  A tyranny of the majority.  Where anything goes.  As long as the majority says so.

Interestingly, a popular vote could have freed the slaves.  Which was a concern of the southern states.  The Three-Fifth Compromise was yet another provision the Founding Fathers included in the Constitution.  To get the southern states to join the new union.  This counted 3/5 of a slave as a person to determine representation in the House of Representatives.  Which would offset the numerical superiority of free people in the northern states.  And prevent them from ruling the southern states.  Which is pretty much what happened after the Civil War.  As the freed slaves tended to vote along with their northern liberators.

The Founding Fathers set up the United States as a federation of independent states.  For before there was a United States of America there were independent states loosely associated together.  Coming together only when they needed each other such as winning their independence from Great Britain.  Even during the Revolution the states were still fiercely independent.  And getting these fiercely independent states to join together in a more perfect union required a lot of checks and balances.  A separation of powers.  And indirect elections.  Which the Founding Fathers dutifully included in the new Constitution.  It wasn’t perfect.  But it was the best such a diverse group of people and beliefs could produce.

The Seventeenth Amendment Destroyed a very Large Check on Federal Power

Of course, this leaves the presidential election.  And the Electoral College.  Which grew out of the same concerns.  Of trying to prevent the large states from ruling the small states.  The Electoral College blended together the popular vote of the House of Representatives.  And the indirect vote of the Senate.

Each state had electors who actually voted for the president.  The number of electors in each state equaled that state’s representation in Congress.  The number of representatives in the House (population-based).  And the number of senators (state-based).  The electors typically cast all of their electoral votes based on the outcome of the popular vote of their state.  Which is why sometimes presidents win elections even though they lose the national popular vote.  An outcome designed by the Founding Fathers.  To prevent a tyranny of the majority from ruling over the minority.

Some things have changed since the Founding.  We extended the right to vote to black men.  And then later to women.  Both good things.  But not all changes were good.  Such as the Seventeenth Amendment.  Perhaps the biggest change from the intent of the Founding Fathers.  Ratified in 1913, it changed the election of Senators from a vote by the state’s legislature to a popular vote like that for the House.  Destroying a very large check on federal power.  Creating a much more powerful central government by transferring power form the states to the federal government.  What the Founding Fathers tried to prevent in the original Constitution.  With their checks and balances.  Their separation of powers.  And their indirect elections.  Including the Electoral College.  Which, if eliminated, would give even more power to the federal government.  And a greater ability for the majority to rule unchecked over the minority.

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Primary and General Elections

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 15th, 2011

Politics 101

The Founding Fathers pledged to each other their Lives, their Fortunes and their Sacred Honor

People have protested and died fighting for the right to vote throughout history.  The American Revolutionary War was over taxation without representation.  Meaning that the American colonies wanted representation in British Parliament.  Something the British government did not allow.  Worse, they started taxing the Americans.  Who had no representation in Parliament.  And this did not go over well with the American colonists.  They had had enough.  They wanted a say in their government.

So the Founding Fathers committed treason.  They signed the Declaration of Independence.  And fought 8 years to have that say in their government.  It took awhile.  And a lot of the signers of the Declaration of Independence suffered for their treason.  They lost their property.  Their wealth.  And even their families.  Who suffered all sorts of brutality at the hands of the British.  These traitors.  Who defied their king.  But the cause persevered.  And the Americans won their independence.  As well as their right to self-government.

Back then people cared.  Enough to pledge to each other their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor.  But today?  People have other priorities in life.  Where reality television is more important in their lives than having that say in their government.  For they have no idea what the Founding Fathers paid to give us this cushy life of plenty.  And just assume the good times will continue to roll.  Especially if they keep voting for whoever promises to give them more free stuff.

Candidates move to the Center after Winning their Party’s Nomination and become someone Completely Different

In the country that struggled for 8 years to get the right to vote.  In the country that inspired people all around the world to follow them in the pursuit of happiness.  In the very bastion of liberty and self-government.  In America.  Guess how many people vote today in a typical presidential election.  Little more than half of eligible voters.  And that’s in the general election.  It’s far worse in the primary election.  Where we see maybe half of that turnout.  Which is rather sad.  Considering that these are the people who actually pay attention to politics.  For this is where a political party chooses their candidate for the general election.  You see, each party has a platform.  A set of political ideas.  Their core philosophy.  And the people choose who they think will best advance their party platform in the primary election.

So during the primary election candidates try to be that candidate.  The one who will best advance the party platform.  Typically the conservative moves as far right as possible to show his or her conservative bona fides.  And the liberal moves as far left as possible to show his or her liberal bona fides.  Here they’re trying to appeal to the party base.  The hardcore.  Those who are as far away from the political center as is possible.  Those who don’t give a whit about compromise or bipartisanship.  They want a purebred candidate that will take the country where they feel it should be.  They don’t want someone who will reach across the aisle and compromise away their most cherished principles.

The population roughly breaks down to 40% conservative, 20% liberal and 40% moderate/independent.  Which is all fine and dandy during the primary election.  But it’s a bit of a problem during the general election.  For that 40% moderate/independent forms the political center.  That area the candidates run away from during the primary election.  So they must scramble back to it after winning their party’s nomination.  And hope that most of those in the center didn’t pay attention during the primary.  To make the lying easier.  To no longer be who they said they were during the primary.  But to be someone completely different.  Someone who can reach across the aisle.  Someone who can compromise away their base’s most cherished principles.  Someone who believes politics should be bipartisan.  Or, better still, nonpartisan.  In other words, the last person their base would want.

When the Choice is between two Moderates, Democrats will always Choose the Democrat Moderate

Liberals have to run to the center.  For their base only amounts to about 20% of the electorate.  But it’s not quite the same for conservatives.  At 40% of the electorate they don’t have to run the center.  They only need another 10% or so of the vote to win.  So running to the center actually hurts them.  Because a lot of that political center is Democrat.  And if the vote comes down to 2 moderates they’re going to vote for the Democrat moderate over the Republican moderate every time.  Because all things being equal, a Democrat will vote for a Democrat.

When the Republicans ran a moderate who campaigned as someone who would reach across the aisle and compromise away his base’s most cherished principles, John McCain didn’t get the moderate vote.  They voted for the Democrat.  Who lied during the general election and ran as a moderate.  Sometimes he even talked like a conservative.  Even though Barack Obama was as liberal as they came.  At least based on his voting record in public office.

When Republican Ronald Reagan won his party nomination he didn’t run to the center.  He remained a conservative.  And he won.  Because a lot of Democrats voted for him.  The Reagan Democrats.  Because there was a real difference between him and Jimmy Carter.  There was a conservative and a liberal.  And the Reagan Democrats decided to vote for the conservative because they liked the conservative message better than the liberal message.  But when the choice is between two moderates who promise to reach across the aisle more than the other there’s no real difference between the candidates.  And no reason to vote for the other guy when he or she is no different than the one from your own party.

Ignoring the Primary Elections ignores the Philosophical Debate and turns the General Election into a Populist Contest

It is a shame the level of voter apathy in the country that stands for self-government.  Almost half of the eligible voters ignore politics 3 years out of 4.  And only vote in the presidential general election.  It’s a shame because we have a 2-party system.  Like it or not.  There are only two core political philosophies to choose from.  For those in the middle don’t have a philosophy.  A party.  A party platform.  A primary election.  Or a political convention.  They only get involved once every 4 years at the general election.  And ultimately end up voting for a Democrat or a Republican.  Even though they refuse to identify themselves with either party.

But ignoring the primary elections ignores the party platforms.  The meat and potatoes of the philosophical debate.  And turns the general election into nothing but a populist contest.  True democracy.  Mob rule.  With the winner often being the one who promises the most to the least politically informed.

Politics has come a long way since the Founding Fathers pledged to each other their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor.  It’s probably a good thing they’re not here to see what has become of their self-government.  They wouldn’t like what they would see.  Especially the voter apathy.

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FUNDAMENTAL TRUTH #83: “Those who don’t pay taxes will always approve higher tax rates on those who do.” -Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 13th, 2011

The Allies were Commanded by an American because they had the Greatest Skin in the Game

During World War II, SHAEF stood for the Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Forces. This was the top command of the Allies fighting on the Western Front during World War II. In the European Theater of Operations (ETO). The Soviet Union fought on the Eastern Front. Neither front was subordinate to the other in the command structure.

The supreme allied commander of SHAEF was General Eisenhower. An American. Why? Well the Nazis conquered France early in the war. Thanks to blitzkrieg. Which the Allies weren’t ready yet to battle. So the SHAEF commander wasn’t French. But the British were in the war from the beginning. They and their commonwealth put some 11 million into the field of battle. And suffered about a million killed and wounded. But the SHAEF commander wasn’t British either. Even though we couldn’t have defeated Nazi Germany without the British.

No, the SHAEF commander was an American because they put some 16 million into the field of battle. So excluding the Soviets, the Americans had the greatest skin in the game. Literally. And figuratively. It was the American Arsenal of Democracy that furnished the implements of war. Financed by the American taxpayer. Via bonds. Rationing. And inflation.

Those who Risk their Wealth should have a Say in How it is Risked

There were a lot of service flags hanging in American windows during World War II. And far too many of them had gold stars on them. One gold star represented the loss of a son or daughter in the war. There were about 417,000 gold stars in American windows. Not quite as many as the approximately 580,000 British dead. And a long way from the approximately 8,600,000 Soviet dead. But as America entered the war, the sheer numbers of man and material America provided made it America’s war. Which is why there was an American commanding SHAEF. Because even though Nazi Germany didn’t attack America, it was her blood and treasure leading the war against Nazi Germany.

So an American general would lead the Allies. Because the Americans had the most skin in the game. They were now bearing the greatest costs for the war. So they had the ultimate say in how the Allies waged war. I mean, no one would expect a Belgian general to command those 16 million Americans. No offense to the Belgians. I mean, I like their waffles and all. It’s just that Belgium wasn’t America. They didn’t have the resources. Nor the distance from the Third Reich.

Risk and wealth. Those who risk their wealth should have a say in how it is risked. Because it takes wealth (blood and treasure) to wage war. And this goes back to the birth of limited government. The Magna Carta. When the feudal barons of England met King John on the fields of Runnymede. And said, “Look, yeah you’re king and all but that doesn’t give you the right to do as you bloody well please.” I’m paraphrasing, of course. You see, the king was being rather oppressive. And fighting a lot of wars. Costly wars. And the funny thing about kings? They don’t have wealth. They get it from the landowners. The landed aristocracy. Those feudal barons. The men and material to fight wars, and the money to pay for them, came from them. So these barons were saying, “In the future, you clear things with us first, okay?” And constitutional monarchy was born.

Thanks to the Magna Carta those Paying the Taxes would have a Say in How the King Spent those Taxes

In the days of feudalism we defined wealth by land holdings. Because back then the most important industry was growing food. To prevent famine. And you needed land to grow food. So wealth concentrated to the land owners. The landed aristocracy. Who provided the food for the realm. Soldiers. And taxes.

Thanks to the Magna Carta, things changed. Those paying the taxes would have a say in how the king spent those taxes. He couldn’t wage endless war anymore. Or spend it all on royal accouterments. No. From then on, spending would have to be responsible. We take it for granted in the West today. And call it taxation with representation. But it was a BIG deal back then. And mostly only in England. France had an absolute monarchy. And the king did whatever he bloody well pleased. And you see how well that turned out for King Louis XVI. Ask Marie Antoinette. Of course you can’t. Because they were both executed by the people during the French Revolution.

The British took their representative government to the New World. And after the American Revolution, that was one of the British things the Americans kept. At the heart of the American populace was a hatred of taxation. And arbitrary rule. So they kept a tight grip on the government. And their wealth. There were no kings in the new United States of America. But there was still government. And a strong distrust of government power. So they were going to write their constitutions very carefully. And restrict the vote only to those who had skin in the game. Land owners. Who were paying the taxes.

Figuring out how to Amass Power despite the Inconvenience of Elections

Of course this changed over time. Nowadays, people who pay no taxes whatsoever can vote. We’ve come a long way from Runnymede. And returned a lot of power to government. In America, about half of all people pay no federal income tax. Yet they can vote. And they do. For the party that promises them more free stuff. By taxing ‘the rich’ to pay for it. And you know what these non-taxpayers say? “Raise tax rates? Absolutely. I mean, what do I care? It’s not like I’m paying them.” I’m paraphrasing, of course. But you can see the problem.

They have no skin in the game. And the only reason they don’t is because ‘the rich’ have been keeping them down. At least that’s what they believe. Because those in power told them this. So they can keep raising taxes. And keep increasing the power of government.

It’s nothing new. There are those who just want power. Kings often took power by force. When it was clear that the rich barons were more important to the king than the king was to them, though, things changed. There were limits on absolute power. So those who coveted power had to be creative. And figure out how to amass power despite the inconvenience of elections.

Politics Today: Buy Votes with State Benefits and scare the Bejesus out of Old People

The answer was the welfare state. And class warfare. Buy votes. And demonize ‘the rich’. Get the people dependent on government. And anytime there is political opposition, tell the people that the opposition wants to cut your state benefits. To scare the people into voting for you.

We call Social Security and Medicare third-rail issues in America. Because if you threaten to cut them (i.e., touch them), you will die politically. As you would die if you touched the electrified third rail in the subway. Because the recipients of those programs live in fear of losing their benefits. And will always vote for the candidate who promises not to cut them.

And this is how you amass power when saddled with the inconvenience of elections. Buy votes with state benefits. And scare the bejesus out of old people. Telling them the political opposition wants to take your benefits away. Attack the rich. And tax them. To pay for the ever bloating welfare state.

And if at least half of the people pay no taxes, you’re golden. Because when that many people have no skin in the game, you can get away with just about anything you want.

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FUNDAMENTAL TRUTH #24: “You cannot lobby a politician unless he or she is for sale.” -Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - July 27th, 2010

IT’S A PROFESSION as old as time.  Politics.  Prostitution, too.

Hooker:  Hey, baby, you got girlfriend Vietnam?

Joker:    Not just this minute.

Hooker:  Well, baby, me so horny. Me so horny. Me love you long time. You party?

Joker:    Yeah, we might party. How much?

Hooker:  Fifteen dolla.

Joker:    Fifteen dollars for both of us?

Hooker:  No. Each you fifteen dolla. Me love you long time. Me so horny.

Joker:    Fifteen dollar too boo-coo. Five dollars each.

Hooker:  Me suckee-suckee. Me love you too much.

Joker:    Five dollars is all my mom allows me to spend.

Hooker:  Okay! Ten dolla each.

Joker:    What do we get for ten dollars?

Hooker:  Every’ting you want.

Joker:    Everything?

Hooker:  Every’ting.

Joker:    Well, old buddy, feel like spending some of your hard-earned money?

(From the movie Full Metal Jacket, 1987.)

In the above scene from Full Metal Jacket, Private Joker (reporter for Stars and Stripes) and Private Rafterman (photographer for Stars and Stripes) are sitting at a table outside a cafe in Da Nang.  Minding their own business.  The hooker walks up to them.  She initiates the conversation.  She tells them that for a fee she’ll have sex with them.

Please note that it is the service provider that approached the two privates.  They did not go up to random women, offering them money in exchange for sex.  Why?  Because not all women are for sale.  They know this.  It would be a waste of their time to ask random women.   And it would be rather offensive to the laywoman in the street.  Now, Marines may be killers.  But they’re polite to the indigenous population.

When you’re selling favors, the onus is on the seller to find the buyers.  They have to put the word out that they are for sale (ultra-miniskirt, low-cut tops, high heels, heavy makeup, stand on a corner, flash their ‘wares’, etc.).  Or find someone who will broker these sales for them.  A pimp, if you will.  Or a brothel madam.  Or, mamasan, as she is called in Southeast Asia.  A prostitute must initiate the process with the ‘john’ (Hey, baby, you got girlfriend Vietnam?).  Or she goes to a place where other prostitutes ply their trade to a receptive clientele (such as a brothel).

A prostitute is often a victim of circumstance.  Few women seek this life.  They’re not shopping one day when a man walks up to them and says, “Wow.  I find you beautiful and would like to pay you to have sex with me.”   To which she replies, “okay” and leaves one life to start another.  It doesn’t happen like that.   Often it is some misfortune that forces them into the business.  And once there they have but one thing of value that they can sell for subsistence; a young attractive body.  For a limited time.

THEY WEREN’T PERFECT.  The Founding Fathers had their faults.  They knew the evils of a strong central government.  And they knew the dangers of a weak central government.  John Adams wanted to build ‘wooden walls’ (i.e., a navy) to protect America.  Jefferson opposed standing armies and expensive navies.  Washington was a nationalist.  Hamilton, too.  Madison and Jefferson were more states’ rights men.  Hamilton was a capitalist and wanted a national bank.  Jefferson hated capitalism, banks, cities and Hamilton.  It was a rocky start.  They had different views about what America should be.  But the administrations of the Founding Fathers (Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison and Munroe) were for the most part honest.  There was partisan fighting, but political corruption was still gestating.   Our first Democratic administration would give it real life.

Government was growing.  There were more federal jobs to hand out.  And with property ownership no longer a requirement to vote, more and more voters had no skin in the game.  People were now voting to have a say in how to spend other people’s money.  You put the two together and you get political patronage and spoils.  Those who help to ‘get out the vote’ to get Democrats elected were rewarded with federal jobs.  The more you helped the better the job.  And when Andrew Jackson won the election in 1828, federal job seekers overran Washington.

It may have started with the Democrats, but soon everyone was using the spoils of an election victory to repay their most loyal supporters.  And government continued to grow.  Back then, it was just politics.  Egregious, but just politics.  Patronage and spoils turned into graft and kickbacks.  And the bigger government got, the more money poured into and out of Washington.

Soon, congressmen, senators and presidents steered legislation and/or policy in exchange for sweetheart mortgage deals, vacation junkets, campaign contributions, legal defense funds, retirement of campaign debt, libraries, etc.  They were now offering services for a fee.  And for a lot more than subsistence.  During a limited time.  Due to the circumstance of holding public office.  Now, they’re not saying “me love you long time,” but they are taking money and someone is getting screwed.  And it’s a pretty sweet deal.  The prostitute has to earn her money the hard way.  She has to put out.  A politician, on the other hand, doesn’t.  They get rich the easy way.  While the public takes it up the pooper.

PEOPLE HATE LOBBYISTS.  They hate their influence.  They hate Big Pharma, Big Agra, Big Oil, Big Finance and the other ‘Bigs’ that lobby Big Government.  But these ‘johns’ only exist because politicians are more than willing (and make it known) that they are for sale.  You gotta pay to play in Washington. 

Are we to believe that politicians are as pure as the wind-driven snow until a lobbyist corrupts them?  Yeah, right.   If you believe that be wary of anyone trying to sell you a bridge.  It’s a game.  And they write the rules.  And if you don’t play nice, they can make it pretty unpleasant for you.  Anti-business legislation, justice department probes, attorney general investigations, public attacks by administration officials, etc.  Nasty things for a business.  And costly.  Often the cost of avoiding these (i.e., playing the game) is a cheaper option.  The business that does not lobby, then, may find themselves under assault by Big Government or at a disadvantage against their competitors who do.  So they enter the fray, hedging their bets by throwing large sums of money on both sides of the aisle. 

And even though the Republican Party is supposed to be the party of Big Business, have you seen who Big Business often contributes to?  More times than not they’re in bed with the Democrats.  Who did General Electric endorse in the 2008 election?  Obama.  Why?  You tell me.  For I have no idea.  They make MRIs.  And electricity-generating windmills.  I’m not sure how they could benefit by an administration that was going to reform health care and promote green energy.  It just baffles the mind.

THE CORRUPTION CONTAGION knows no party lines.  Unabashed greed is universal.  Especially with other people’s money.  Washington has become what the Founding Fathers feared.  Big, powerful and awash in cash.  Even during record deficits.  The days of disinterested public service are long gone.  Getting to Washington has become the objective.  Not what you do when you get there.  Because if you make it to Washington, you leave it rich.  And live comfortably ever after.

And now I must apologize to prostitutes everywhere.  For they truly earn their money.  It is unfair and unjust to compare them to politicians.  And the ultimate injustice is the fact that politicians enjoy their services.  One of the perks of being in Washington.  High-priced call girls at your beckoned call.  Paid for, of course, by others.

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