Tag Archives: mike

Light Up!

Smoking is Cool!

It’s The New Land Rover…

The New Rolex…

The Ferrari you always wanted…

Once upon a time watches that couldn’t keep time and Cars that didn’t run were the Status Symbols of the Rich.

All you needed was a Rolex on your wrist or a Land Rover in your gara… well, in the shop… and you advertised for all who cared that you were doing so well that you could afford stuff that didn’t work.  You Had Arrived!

But thanks to folks like Nanny Mike Bloomberg, things are a Changin’.

Now a Smoking Habit is all the rage for those wishing to demonstrate their ability to prolifically waste money.

It’s the New Cool

From Movie Stars to your next door neighbor.

How did this occur?

Well, when you take something that is a mediocre product, harmful even, and Force the price up so high through taxing and regulation that ‘normal’ everyday people cannot afford it something changes…  (Remember Palm Pilots?  Saffron?  Pepper used to be this way too, but it’s very unlikely any of you are that old.)

It becomes a Status Symbol.

Why?

Because only the Rich, and those who want you to think they’re Rich, will buy them.  The Genuinely Rich get to continue eating.  The Rich in Name Only get the benefit of losing weight, but looking very, very hip.

That Product becomes a Talisman for all to see which says “I’m doing Awesome!  In fact, I’m doing way better than you.  And, I can afford this crappy item whenever I want.  Nana nana nanaaa…”

I suppose there might be some honesty well after the fact of owning these things is over…  I’m guessing Lung Cancer will be considered a drawback after the Coolness wears off as it’s hard to sell or give away.

Same with a Land Rover…

Ask anyone who owns one and they’ll regale you with what an ‘amazing’ and ‘wonderful’ piece of… equipment… it is.  But return after they have sold it and you get the truth.  Prepare yourself by setting aside an hour or so to listen to the horror stories of wasted time and vast black hole of expense associated with such items whose equity is built entirely on Status making for a very small and inexpensive secondary market.  But Rich people can often lose the kind of money that would make the rest consider stepping in front of a bus…

I have stated before my Love of Rich People.  My opinion has not changed.

They are the Guinea Pigs for the rest of us.  Companies experiment on them and the only the best ideas find their way down to the masses (me).  I like it that way.  Rich folks can afford to waste their money-making my life better.  Bless their Hearts.

But I just can’t figure out how smoking fits into that paradigm… unless removing themselves in the slowest possible way from being a long-term healthcare burden on the rest of us is taken into account.  However, I don’t give most folks the credit for thinking that far ahead, or being that benevolent.

Regardless of how turns out in the long run I will always be fascinated be the unintended consequences created by The Meddlers like Bloomberg, et al.

The hilarity of it all makes me want to light up.

And sip another Whiskey.

 


Machiavelli

Politicians love to hate him.

We should hate that they love him.

It’s fascinating how Machiavelli has earned an evil reputation from those who employ his tactics most often.  The people who fling his name as an epithet then go on to preach “pragmatic” solutions to our problems…

Machiavelli was indeed a preacher of ruthless pragmatism.  But, only under certain circumstances.

For many of us our exposure to Machiavelli is limited to The Prince.  Often the instructors who assigned this brilliant gem did not understand it, or if they did they chose not to present their students with the piece in context.  The Prince was an application for employment.  Nothing more.  Niccolo had bills to pay, just like we do.  He needed work and at the time the only need for a political advisor was by a monarch (Lorenzo de’ Medici).  So he wrote “the rules” on how to be a prince hoping to get a paying gig.

His “solutions” to princely problems were simple for the most part.  Kill anyone who has claim to the throne along with their family… (lest you be killed.)  Tell your subjects whatever they want to hear then do what you need, or want, to do to manage your kingdom… (lest you be killed.)  Isolate and blame an external enemy, real or imagined, for any and all problems within the kingdom… (lest you be killed.)  Make compacts and or create ties with the powerful and wealthy kingdoms that could pose a threat to yours… (lest you be killed.)  There’s more… but I think you get it.

Considering this was the only type of working government in existence at the time, and one could assume a Prince valued his life, then these rules make sense when spelled out, right?

Aside from monarchy in principle and design, where is the evil?  We’re told it lies in the idea that “the ends (not being killed) justifies the means.”  I might agree… if a prince could just quietly slip away without fear that these rules would be applied upon him from another prince.  But at the time that was not an option.

That was then, this is now.

Fast forward…  Look around you and see all of the examples of these rules being used when there is no threat of death, only the loss of power.

The people we should fear most call this “Just Politics”.

The Statists champion free speech only so long as it’s speech they agree with.  Political administrations promise to “investigate and bring to justice” those who create the housing depressions, kill diplomats and sell guns to drug cartels, when it was they who did it and continue to do things similar.  The “occupy protesters” who preach love and tolerance yet grab, push, shout down and spit on those who disagree with them.  You see it in every politician who champions individual freedom yet insists you are too stupid to make decisions for yourself and must be led, or “nudged” to the “right” answers.  It’s every leader who creates diversions, changes the meaning of words and combines multiple issues in order to leave you, the public, confused and uninformed.

These are the tactics of Princes in waiting.  The only problem is our current leaders have nothing to lose but power over you.  Nobody is waiting in the wings to wipe them and their family out of existence.  This fact makes their behavior… well… Sinister.

Our politicians are fully aware such behavior buys them time until you lose interest.  Once you lose interest you forget.  When you forget, you vote for them again, and they keep their power…

Fortunately, today’s politics is not about life and death.  Unfortunately, today’s politics is about getting and keeping one’s power over others.  It’s about amassing huge amounts of wealth based on using government force to benefit your friends and punish your enemies.  (The U.S.Costitution, if followed and enforced, was designed to protect us from this.)  Based on his writings in Discourses on Livy, Niccolo believed that a republic was the preferred structure for government.  Although he doubted it could ever be sustained.

I think he may be right.

(Originally Posted 020312)