I try to stay out of political discussions for a variety of reasons; my blood pressure, the effect of stress on other medical problems with my (rapidly) aging body, and the fact that most political stories–once the hyperbole is removed–are not interesting, and definitely not uplifting.
We adopted our dog Louie from the animal shelter about six years ago. We’ve been told that Louie is a “Walker Treeing Coon Hound,” whatever that means. To me it means that he has that distinctive combination of bark and howl that says, “Hound,” and he’s not afraid to use it.
He barks at squirrels, the garbage truck, the UPS truck, everyone walking down the street, and various imaginary threats. The doorbell immediately puts him into DEFCON ONE. He runs to the door, complete with cartoon-like running feet unaccompanied by forward motion.
He spends a lot of time in bed. In fact he has one on the back porch and one in the house just so it’s convenient for him.
He loves to eat, especially “forbidden fruit,” which has resulted in several (expensive) emergency surgeries to remove.
Nirvana, to him, is an open gate or door through which he launches like a rocket. Of course, he expects us to grab the car keys, follow him, and open the car door so that he also gets to go for a ride in the car.
- Louie makes a lot of noise for no good reason.
- When he does move, most of it is for show, not action.
- He spends a lot of time doing nothing.
- He partakes of things that he should not.
- He likes to travel without any particular reason.
- He believes that we should clean up after all his mistakes.
- When caught doing something he shouldn’t, he displays an amazing picture of innocence.
Why would I need to follow politics when I’ve got Louie?
Don’t be fooled by the innocent expression.
The 2012 presidential and congressional elections are reported to have cost a total of 7 billion dollars.
While there are only about 12,000 registered lobbyists, about 100,000 people are believed to engage in lobbying activities. Annual expenditures are about $9 billion every year. That’s a lot of cocktail parties.
Now think of this; with all the money politicians, lobbyists, and special interest groups spend, how much is your vote worth? Think about that next time you walk into the voting booth.
As Winston Churchill said, “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.”
There are alternatives, of course; it’s possible to select leaders and maintain order without all the cost and effort we expend in a democracy. There’s North Korea with Kim Jung Un or Vladimir Putin running Russia, Georgia, Chechnya, Crimea, (Syria?) and whoever’s next.
The Ultimate Politician
Up 6 7/8 points at the closing bell
Since politicians are theoretically required to report contributions, why don’t we just change things a little bit?
Let’s have all political contributions reported immediately, just like stocks and bonds. We could have updates throughout the day to see who’s getting how much. We could even have one tracking for incumbents – like the New York Stock Exchange and another for those new to politics, like the NASDAQ.
While you could still only vote in one state, you could influence any election you want. Don’t like that sheriff in Arizona? No problem.
When you see that the Chinese have started pouring contributions into Senator Schmukatelli you could decide whether to join them or not.
If Wall Street is bully for this Teddy Roosevelt guy, you can make a solid investment decision.
Naturally, somebody would start a futures market, so you could hear people say, “If I’ve got my campaign contributions figured out right, one of my great-grandchildren will be at least a senator.”
It couldn’t turn out any worse than what we have today.
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