Saturday, February 13, 2016

Poe-LIH-Ticks & Stickies

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Since there's so little political news at the moment (GRIN) I thought this would be a good time (this is being written the day after the New Hampshire primaries) to post a few thoughts on Bernie Sanders. Incidentally, when I become the king of America I plan on ordering that everything you'll find under the Glossary tab (which does not exist yet, but will, any moment now) on my blog site is to be officially adopted by dictionary publishers, grammarians and the like. One of the changes, which I'm introducing for the first time in this particular post (you heard it here first folks!), is that the pronunciation of politics will be po (as in E.A. Poe) -- LIH (as in literature) -- ticks (as in ticks), accent on the second syllable. This is because I like the way it sounds, and changing the pronunciation signals that we need to try and get away from business (or politics) as usual so that my grandchildren (the Stickies) aren't forced to grow up in a socialist workers paradise.

[Real quick -- the Stickies, a name that I use for my grandkids as a group, comes from the fact that when they were younger they, like all newish callowyutes, exuded  a general stickiness, to one degree or another, that transferred to any and all substances with which they came in contact with remarkable efficiency. Fortunately and unfortunately, they seem to (mostly) no longer exude this mysterious substance and the small fortune I expended trying to duplicate it in the lab (the potential commercial applications are legion) led nowhere, the seed money is gone and my investors are threatening litigation. If anyone reading this is inspired to pick up the baton, you have my blessing. Here's hoping that you might throw a couple of bucks this old farts way if you're successful. Suggestion: Forget the private sector and seek funding from the gubmint or The Gubmint, both of whom are well-known for investing in cutting-edge research that the private sector is leery of.]

As I was saying...most importantly, the last syllable will serve as a reminder that all politicians, at every level, should be term limited as even idealists that stick around too long often become ticks, not only living off the blood of the citizenry but also occasionally infecting the host. And, even if they manage to remain uncorrupted they are often prey to arrested development, Which brings us to Bernie Sanders.

Larry David's brother by another mother clearly means well.

BIG BUT.

Socialism, excuse me, democratic socialism -- Mr. Sanders is quick to point out there's a difference, and he's correct -- is not supposed to be scary (just don't google the following phrase, Greek financial crisis) because we already practice it to a limited extent. It's not particularly difficult to make the case that programs such as Social Security or Social Security Disability, Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps and no shortage of other programs offered by the gubmint and The Gubmint can be classified as democratic socialism, and many have. The vast majority of us, including me, have no desire to implement (or experience) a wholesale gutting of the safety net, and I'm a member in good standing of the vast right-wing conspiracy.

I'd tell you how to join us but then it wouldn't be a conspiracy anymore and where's the fun in that? However, on behalf of the VRWC, I'd like to thank Hillary Clinton for standing by her man and claiming that Slick Willie wasn't the Pedophile and Chief (stainer of dresses) and that it was all just a plot of a VRWC. See, up until that point there was no such organization but she inspired a bunch of us to get together and start one. We have a really cool clubhouse with cold beer on tap and I'd invite you over but we'd have to kill you afterward if you didn't agree to join our club.

Sorry, as I started to say, economists, who rarely agree on anything, almost all describe the USA as having a mixed economy. That is, part welfare state, but mostly a free market (to pay the bills). I agree and I heartily endorse the concept, but as always, the devil is in the details.

Mr. Sanders, the Washington outsider, has made a nice living as a professional politician for 35 years. He has faithfully served the citizens of the Green Mountain State, in Washington, for 26 of those years. Labeling him an outsider makes about as much sense as members of the establishment current obsession with calling each other members of the establishment without bothering to specifically define establishment, or why being a member is a bad thing, while the establishment media gleefully covers it all without bothering to specifically define establishment, or why being a member is a bad thing. And speaking of the Donald, ain't it amazing that an MBA from Wharton who clawed his way to lower level moguldom (despite four bankruptcies, and casinos that never made money and...) after starting out with a $100,000,000 dollar real estate empire his daddy turned over to him has managed to remain a member in good standing of the anti-establishment?

Excuse me while I interrupt myself again, but this is important. While most baby boomers will immediately grasp the significance of the "establishment" kerfuffle, most of the rest of you will not. When we boomers were adolescent and twenty-something callowyutes, The Establishment was your mom and dad. It technically referred to the evil system and its evil minions, those dopes that survived the Great Depression and won WW2. In actuality, it was your mom and dad, especially dad, and in a pinch, just about anyone that wasn't officially cool. The fact that it's become a thing is testimony to the arrested development briefly referenced above. Also, it explains the plethora of classic rock stations. How old were you when your life stopped (musically speaking)?

Gadzooks! I'm running low on words and I still haven't explained why Mr. Sanders is not my candidate. Long story short (too late), Mr. Sanders, a professional politician that's worked in Washington DC for 26 years without becoming an insider while the national debt went from roughly $3,000,000,000,000 to $19,000,000,000,000 bucks wants to spend $18,000,000,000,000 bucks, more or less, of other people's money on his Freebies for the Folks program. I wonder if that includes Obamaphones? Bernie hasn't mentioned that by 2027 (of course that's 11 long years away) The Gubmint will be on the hook for roughly 100,000,000,000,000 (the exact number depends on whom you choose to believe) in unfunded Gubmint mandated programs. These numbers just don't work for me.

Perhaps he should seek advice from his buddy and fellow non-member of the establishment, Ben Cohn, co-founder of the legendary ice cream company, Ben and Jerry's. Ben definitely understands the significance of numbers that include lots of zeros. He recently created a new flavor to honor Mr. Sanders called Bernie's Yearning in honor of Mr. Sanders. Unfortunately, you can't purchase it because he signed a non-compete clause when he and Jerry sold their cute little anti-establishment ice cream company to the ginormous food conglomerate Unilever (gross sales, 2014 -- 48,400,000,000 euros, which is, um, a lot of bucks) back in 2000 for $326,000,000 bucks and Mr. Cohn became a Unilever employee.

Have an OK day.                                                                                  

©Mark Mehlmauer 2016


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