Monday, December 16, 2013

Well it's not exactly a Mr A story....

Sorry for not posting in a while.   Have had holiday stuff.

To make up for it here's a rambling story.

Interestingly, I don't have very many Mr. A stories.

It seems that given the immense failure of Obamacare, Mr. A has not been at his normal levels of progressive bravado.

It helps that Mr. A is very into programming and thus has a personal measure of how inept and "Faith Based Legislation" the ACA ended up being.

But I do have some stories of a mutual associate of ours.

Let's call this fellow Tom  (I may have mentioned him before, but I can't quite recall).

Tom is also a progressive.

Now while Mr. A is of the wanna-be Limonene Liberal social climber of the "professional" class,   Tom is more blue collar and of the "Eat the Rich"  style.

On multiple occasions he's gone into rhetoric revolution and class warfare.  And I always needle him by asking "Oh? And will this be the one time the bastards at the vanguard *don't* put the useful idiots against the wall and enrich themselves while grinding the poor worse than even the previous regime?"

Here's an example of Tom's thinking.  He describes this as a very influential moment in his life. As a student he had an ethics class.  There was an exam with the bonus question of "Is Teacher X your favorite teacher?"

The teacher expected everyone to answer Yes.  And got angry when Tom answered No. And he was the only student to not get the extra credit

"I think all of the important things I learned from there were things they didn't intend to teach. There are two sets of rules, one for the rich one for the poor. Never trust anyone in authority, especially when they say they looking out for your best interests."

Keep in mind.  This is a progressive with faith in the state.  Sure he's suspect of evil corporations and their profits, but take a giant corporate monopoly that can throw you in prison and... well maybe you can get some gravy out of it...

Further, he's very suspicious of the police, and wary of police power.   Totally sensible.

Save for one blind-spot.  Tom is also anti-gun. Not in the way that he'd do anything about it, but he doesn't like guns and sees May Issue as being sensible.

Yes, let's connect the dots.

The guy that bemoans "two sets of rules"  and the power of the police, supports laws that empower the police to literally keep the poor disarmed while allowing the rich to carry guns.

Then again Tom isn't alone in having bizarre political views.   Mr. A, as mentioned before, hates Feminists, Greens, and Blood-Dancing Gun Grabbers (Mr. A says they're as bad as pro-lifers, a big ding in his book) despite him being a big Champagne Socialist.

Mr. A is no pro-gunner, he just sees the Gun Grabbers having counter-productive tactics.  For example Mr. A also supports May Issue because "There are some people that the police just know are scumbags even if they don't have enough proof to charge 'em."

Party of the little guy!

Now onto the next story.    Tom has a second job as a convenience store clerk (He's also made jokes about guns and getting shot, but OTOH notes that at least one of his co-workers carries on the job).

And working a convenience store does introduce you to many of the...  low points of society.

Tom's particular bane is when people go in for lotto tickets, specifically those who get scratchers and spend hours on them and are clearly addicted.

Recently, Tom was talking about how disheartening it was that people who were "mentally retarded" would come in and buy cigarettes and lotto tickets.

To which Mr. A snarked "Land of the FREE!"

(I should note that Tom is a former smoker and isn't against people smoking.  And Mr. A smokes pot and is a legalization advocate of that)

This is where I came in and asked: "Well, what would you do about it?"

And Mr. A replied. "Well I'd ban the use of accelerants in cigarettes."

Accelerants are the chemicals in cigarettes that keep a cigarettes burning even when no one is puffing on it.  Unlike pipes and cigars which will go out if you put them down.

To which I went "Well, what does that have to do with Tom's problem?"

And Mr. A then got huffy on how the tobacco companies profit off of these things (unlike his pot suppliers)  and how the accelerants make the smokes more harmful to inhale and are just a fire hazard and do you want people to burn?

And I replied: "Well, those latter points are a could be an argument for banning the addition of those chemicals and one I might be convinced on. But, again, what does that have to do with Tom's problem?"

And Mr. A eventually admitted that the problem Tom pointed out "People who are deemed* to not be of full mental capacity being able to buy harmful products" is not one that is easily solvable.

*Deemed by who?   And doesn't that sound a lot like literacy tests for voting?

I mention this because of how familiar it is.

Person 1 has Complaint X

Person A presents Plan Y.

Plan Y would not solve Complaint X  or even address it.

This is pointed out.  Person A gets angry and defensive.

Oh, as a bonus.  I asked Mr. A that given it was bad for big tobacco to profit off of their addictive product is it not also bad for the government to profit, by a larger margin, from the tax revenue on said smokes?

Or what about the lotto tickets.  That's entirely government profit.  And in progressive terms a direct manipulation of people with poor judgment or an inborn addiction.

But see, that's okay... for some reason.

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