Okay, young people, this is very sage advice from someone not so very old himself. May all of you grow up to have the values that this young man has!
I get a high volume of email on a daily basis. Generally I’ll only post the negative ones on this blog. There’s two reasons for that: 1) They’re usually much more entertaining. 2) What kind of a pretentious loser would I be if I published my own fan mail? This particular email breaks the mold a little bit. I received it a couple of days ago and responded. I’m now (with the permission of the kid who sent it) posting the email and my response, because I think a lot of people might be able to relate to the subject matter. I changed his name and took out a phrase or two in order to protect his anonymity:
Dear Mr. Walsh,
I listen to your show whenever I can and I read your blog daily. Many of the things you write are really meaningful to me. I know you’re probably…
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Okay, it’s official– the world is coming to an end! What was up, is now down; what was true, is now false; the devil is winning. Pay attention now…
According to this study (see link below) by the Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (a redundancy if ever there was one), increased taxes on cigarettes have led to decreased drinking in certain subsets of the study. They go on to state that cigarette taxes are one of the most effective “policy instruments” in reducing smoking; and now, the additional healthy benefit of a reduction in drinking can be attributed to taxes as well! You got all that? Taxes are god for your health! Hallelujah!
If you’re unfamiliar with the term ‘sophism,’ what you’re reading in this ‘study’ is a precise definition of it. The study purposefully leads you to believe that it is TAXATION that is the sole cause for this decrease in a particular behavior when , in fact, it’s not. Sure, the PRICE of an item may definitely affect a consumer’s desire to use a product, and that’s always been a force of a free market system. To imply, however, that a tax is the same thing as a price increase is unconscionably egregious.
Price changes allow a consumer to choose between goods– taxes attempt to force a modification of your behavior by singling out a particular product or industry; they admit it themselves in this study.
But what’s really going on here is this– if cigarettes are so bad for you, WHY AREN’T THEY BANNED??? It’s simple– the tobacco industry (along with alcohol and firearms– yeah that’s right ATF) generate so much state and federal tax revenue that no self-respecting crony capitalist would ever let THAT kind of money get away. I’ll give you an idea of what kind of $$ is involved. In about 1985, Gramps visited a small distiller in the state of Tennessee. As we toured the facility, our guide broached the subject of federal taxes. He noted that even a small distiller like him had to pay the Federal government $500,000 EVERY TWO MONTHS or the Feds could shut him down. “But that’s nothing,” he added. Asked if we knew who R.J. Reynolds was, he informed us that they had to pay $1,000,000 PER DAY to keep their operation going– and these were just FEDERAL taxes. Yep, that’s $365,000,000 per year just from one company–AND THAT WAS ALMOST 30 YEARS AGO!! Imagine what the dollars are like now! (Actually, you can visit the U.S. Department of Revenue web site and find out for yourselves– and it’s a LOT)
Additionally what is at play here is that if taxes do influence people to smoke and drink less, then that means a reduction in revenue. Well, they can’t let that happen, so they’ll need to raise taxes to maintain the revenue stream… and guess what? It’s not only good for them IT’S HEALTHIER FOR YOU,TOO! Can you say win/win?
Okay, that’s enough for now, but I reiterate, PAY ATTENTION! This kind of nonsense is all over the place nowadays. If you don’t, you deserve what you get!
In my local paper, they listed the quotes from Hillary Clinton in this snopes report that purportedly highlight her extreme left-wing perspective. On this link, snopes attempts to defend her, claiming an ‘out-of-context’ argument. I don’t know about you but, even IN context, she sounds like a Marxist to me. After all, what she is always claiming is that humanity, and the free exchange of ideas and services, is an imperfect condition that needs to be governed and controlled in the name of ‘fairness.’ The question is (and always will be), however, who gets to exert that control? If the human condition is by its nature imperfect, why should we allow any single HUMAN entity control over the rest of us! Because it’s all about POWER– that’s why! Pay attention, America!
…from one of my new heroes!
Here he is again– Trey Gowdy of South Carolina. He’s not just some dumb Congressman, he’s an ex-federal prosecutor who has nailed it! I cannot understand how Lois Lerner is STILL able to avoid answering questions in front of Congress (and is still on the federal payroll). Everyone in this country should be OUTRAGED that this shit is happening. If you’re not, then once again, you deserve what you get. Wake up out there, folks! The slow destruction of your country is taking place now.
Okay, Gramps is on his second martini, so this will be brief. The SCOTUS has determined that an act passed by Congress in 1996 is unconstitutional. Then they determined that a proposition passed by the voters of California is a violation of civil rights. MAKE NO MISTAKE– THE ATTACK ON RELIGIOUS FREEDOM HAS BEGUN!!! Sartre was right– God is dead!!
…just not for me!
I’ve attached a link to an editorial written in one of my state’s “news”papers. As you will quickly discern, they are quite a liberal rag; but I’d like to point out that in this editorial, their level of hypocrisy is mind-numbing.
First, let me point out that this wicked ‘retreat’ is being paid for by independent U.S. citizens with THEIR OWN MONEY. But because they can afford it, they are just plain EVIL. Compare this to a Democratic function that typically involves public sector unions and organizations funded by government, all being paid for by taxpayer dollars! Business leaders in the state of North Carolina (and the U.S.) have been demonized for far too long and not only left out of the governing conversations, but punished as a result of them. Our state now has its first Republican governor in approximately 50 years and its first Republican congress in 100!! Maybe the citizenry is fed up with the Democratic (failure of) leadership.
Secondly, it is absurd that they should find McCrory so vile for spending $5,000 of some fat cat’s money but doesn’t seem concerned at all that the first family of the United States has spent somewhere in the neighborhood of $1,000,000,000 (yes that’s billion) on vacations since they entered the White House– ALL AT TAXPAYER EXPENSE!!
You may ask: “Why do you get this paper, Gramps?” Good question. For the comics and the puzzles– but occasionally I’ll read an article like this one just to remind myself what we’re up against!
I had an on-line encounter recently with a young person whose political ideology is, well, let’s just say slightly left of mine. It started out with the typical cries of ‘ignorance’ and personal attacks; yet after a few more communications, seemed to morph into a more reasonable dialog. This incident prompted me to thinking (I know, that’s dangerous for an old man like me), and I’ve decided to make a public statement to the young people out there who think that conservative ideas are the cause of our problems today. So here it is:
If you don’t believe the original United States Constitution is one of the greatest documents in world history—I can’t help you.
If, on the other hand, you believe that the Constitution is a ‘living’ document that is subject to the whims of time—I can’t help you.
If you believe that a government SEPARATE FROM THE PEOPLE will devolve into anything but tyranny—I can’t help you.
If you believe that abortion is not murder—I can’t help you!
If you believe in ‘social justice’ and ‘redistribution of wealth’ as opposed to self-reliance—I can’t help you.
If you believe that science will always trump religion—I can’t help you.
If you believe that national security is more important individual freedom—I can’t help you.
If you don’t take the time to seriously evaluate the people who claim to represent you and the things for which they really stand—I can’t help you.
Youth is a time of folly—and it should be! I remember my own youth with fondness as it was filled with frivolity and a careless attitude. I wish that for all of you. Yet you must begin at some point to look around at your world more critically. Until you do, remember this: it is people like me who are fighting for your future while you’re sowing your wild oats. I am closer to death than I am to birth so trust me, this is more your battle than mine—but I do willingly accept this fight in your interest. I know most of you think we’re all a bunch old fogies, but time will reveal things to you differently. As Mark Twain once said (paraphrased): “ When I was eighteen, it was amazing how ignorant my father was; when I turned twenty-two, it was amazing how much HE had learned in four years.”
Enjoy life– but pay attention!
Bill Whittle has this one right on the nose! It’s time to be happy warriors– the devil HATES happy warriors!
…and on that note, a belated “Happy National Martini Day” to all of you out there. It’s time for my medication right now!