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Subject: Tragic Stupidity, Water Czars & The Collapse of California rss

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Having caught wind of Barney Frank's plan to use TARP funds to bail out California I spent some time on the Intertubes getting some sense of how bad things might really be there.

Strangely enough I was unaware that California will have a new Federal Water Czar until I clicked on a link from MSN's weather page:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31610418/ns/weather/

Now some of you may not initially get the implications of what is happening out there... to you lettuce is just something green and bushy at the grocery store and artichokes are especially good with butter.

The fact is, the San Joaquin Valley is the richest agricultural region on the planet. Fresno County in particular (my old stomping grounds) tops the list in fecundity. But I assure you, if this level of insanity is allowed to continue lettuce will become an expensive treat for special occasions and artichokes will be something you tell your grand kids about... something you actually ate before they became the Beluga Caviar of the vegetable world.

Some highlights of how you, along with hard-working Californians, are getting screwed by the new administration, environmental activists, judges who life in rarified isolation and crazed liberals unable to fathom that they won't be getting any lettuce either...

Quote:
The cause of the state's water shortages is not simply due to three years of below-average rainfall. Federal protections for threatened fish has limited the transfer of water from lakes Shasta and Oroville through the Delta into the state's system of aqueducts.


Quote:
On the west side of Fresno County, the most prolific agricultural county in the nation, farmers have been told they would receive just 10 percent of their allocation this year, news that forced them to fallow hundreds of thousands of acres.


What makes this whole mess even messier is that on the one hand you have farmers... people you need or else you starve to death... then you have fisherman... more people you need in order to survive and then, on the third hand (yes, liberals are all mutants and have three hands, the third one grows out of their ass) you have "endangered" smelt and/or other little fishies. That last? The smelt? They don't mean shit when it comes to your health. I used to catch and eat them when they bred on the beaches and I don't miss it a bit.

Of course the farmers feel they're getting the proverbial "shit-end" of the stick. Which they are...

Quote:
Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno, told Salazar that farmers were bearing full responsibility for environmental problems also caused by wastewater discharges from cities and by invasive species that eat native fish.


So let's see... farmers can't get water because of smelt dying in the pumps. Urban centers pollute water which kills smelt and other fish. The salmon fishing industry is bust because of pollution, invasive species who thrive under the watchful eye of environmental activists and instead of common sense California is getting a Federal Water Czar?

Seems to me that the solution is to give farmers water, let the smelt die or survive on their own and tell the activists that jobs and eating trump snail darters and smelt any day of the week. But Ken Salazar, our Interior Secretary has this to say about protecting "endangered" species:

Quote:
"At this time, that would be admitting failure," Salazar said.


Well, there you have it. Fucking brilliant. Tens of thousands of jobs lost. Billions of bucks in productivity down the drain. Food prices soaring. California billions upon billions in debt. But Ken doesn't want to admit saving smelt is a failure?

I guess all I wonder about now is that if Barney Frank gets his way and the rest of America bails out California, how much of that money will go to productivity and how much will be spent on smelt recovery and benefits for out of work farmers and fishermen?

About the only sensible person in this mess... who isn't a farmer or fisherman is Paul Rodriguez, a comedian who owns an orchard. He says:

Quote:
"The canary is there so it will perish and the miner can live, but these people got it backward: They want the fish to live so we can die," Rodriguez said as audience members stood and cheered.


You folks out there in California need to start calling and emailing your elected officials PDQ. Same goes for the rest of America. I like to eat and lettuce is already too expensive.
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David desJardins
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DWTripp wrote:
You folks out there in California need to start calling and emailing your elected officials PDQ. Same goes for the rest of America. I like to eat and lettuce is already too expensive.


Maybe you should prepare to get hungry. If it comes down to you or the smelt, I'm not sure you're getting my vote.
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There's a drought. Both the fish and farmers are getting about 75% of the water they normally get. The 10% figure is a specific allotment and is a statistic to create fear and anger. Even if you took all the water away from the fish the farmers would only get 5% more water, and there wouldn't be any long term fix.

There's a recession. Surprisingly farms aren't hemorrhaging jobs as much as other industries. There's going to be job and profit loss.

There is only so much food that can be made with so much water. Problems like this are only going to get worse. Especially with people like Tripp willing to jam the environment even further under the bus. Add another billion people to the world and fuck with the climate patterns and a 25% water shortage is the least of our concerns.
 
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MusedFable wrote:
There's a drought. Both the fish and farmers are getting about 75% of the water they normally get. The 10% figure is a specific allotment and is a statistic to create fear and anger. Even if you took all the water away from the fish the farmers would only get 5% more water, and there wouldn't be any long term fix.

There's a recession. Surprisingly farms aren't hemorrhaging jobs as much as other industries. There's going to be job and profit loss.

There is only so much food that can be made with so much water. Problems like this are only going to get worse. Especially with people like Tripp willing to jam the environment even further under the bus. Add another billion people to the world and fuck with the climate patterns and a 25% water shortage is the least of our concerns.


I accept that any viewpoint not in lockstep accord with the liberal agenda is license to attack and marginalize the person holding that viewpoint... such as: people like Tripp willing to jam the environment even further under the bus

But, I quoted and linked the article that specifically said 10% and referenced hundreds of thousands of acres going fallow. Rather than produce data or evidence to the contrary you chose to accuse me of advocating throwing the environment under the bus?

Brilliant.

I take it you agree then? That solving the problem of reduced smelt populations is more important than maintaining agricultural jobs and growing food for humans?
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DWTripp wrote:
I accept that any viewpoint not in lockstep accord with the liberal agenda is license to attack and marginalize the person holding that viewpoint... such as: people like Tripp willing to jam the environment even further under the bus

No I'll happily attack and marginalize anyone with a stupid opinion. I don't think there is a unified "liberal agenda" since I disagree with Democrats roughly half the time, and I disagree with the Green Party roughly half the time.

DWTripp wrote:
But, I quoted and linked the article that specifically said 10% and referenced hundreds of thousands of acres going fallow. Rather than produce data or evidence to the contrary you chose to accuse me of advocating throwing the environment under the bus?

Brilliant.

The numbers you quoted are true. I'm not surprised that fields will go fallow when there is only 3/4 of the water there is normally. The 10% figure is from a specific allocation, not the total water available to farmers.

DWTripp wrote:
I take it you agree then? That solving the problem of reduced smelt populations is more important than maintaining agricultural jobs and growing food for humans?

I think protecting the smelt is worth the 5% water loss to the farmers. Killing off the smelt for a short term gain of only a small percentage of water is stupid. If the options where a long term fix (as in no water shortage for years to come) in exchange for killing off the smelt I might side with the farmers. That's not the case.


If you're concerned about the farm workers then improve the social safety net, and work on a long term solution for sustainable farming in the region.
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No I'll happily attack and marginalize anyone with a stupid opinion. I don't think there is a unified "liberal agenda" since I disagree with Democrats roughly half the time, and I disagree with the Green Party roughly half the time.


I dunno Matthew, if your view really is that I'm stupid then you seem to be joining forces with David who basically calls me a liar anytime I write something he disagrees with.

There most certainly is a unified liberal agenda as well as a unified conservative agenda. That you could even question that confounds me. Like you with the liberals, I am not always in accord with the agenda of conservatives.

Quote:
The numbers you quoted are true. I'm not surprised that fields will go fallow when there is only 3/4 of the water there is normally. The 10% figure is from a specific allocation, not the total water available to farmers.


That's the second time you said this without offering anything to back it up. If the farmers say they are only getting 10% and you say they're actually getting 75% then why not at least point me in the direction of what you're basing your numbers on.
 
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From a guy with a "think green" badge.
Nowadays it is difficult to distinguish the genuine environmental concerns from the business interest that are just surfing on the wave to get a market share.

But a global green conspiration is hard to swallow, too, don't you think?

So for california' s shortage, there will be scavengers to benefit from the situation, that does not mean that acting like if there was no problem at all will make the problem disappear.

Farmers are nowadays farming the crops that yields the biggest money (I believe the climate and the problems are the same than in Spain).
Golfs and lawns in deserts are a problem, too.
Eventually, farmers will have to stop trying to harvest lettuces in deserts, replace maize by less thirsty crops. It's either changing gradually or going on full speed and face dire hunger and desertification problems in a few years.

But I'd prefer a giant conspiration and going on eating strawberries in the winter, too. Environmentalist does not mean crook, and it does not mean I'd rather live in a cave, neither.
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DWTripp wrote:
I dunno Matthew, if your view really is that I'm stupid then you seem to be joining forces with David who basically calls me a liar anytime I write something he disagrees with.

There most certainly is a unified liberal agenda as well as a unified conservative agenda. That you could even question that confounds me. Like you with the liberals, I am not always in accord with the agenda of conservatives.

You're not completely stupid, but you do have some stupid opinions. The two conflicting agendas are polarized caricatures. I don't have a problem with using stereotypes as a shorthand, but I don't appreciate you putting words in my mouth because you think I'm part of that stereotype.

DWTripp wrote:
That's the second time you said this without offering anything to back it up. If the farmers say they are only getting 10% and you say they're actually getting 75% then why not at least point me in the direction of what you're basing your numbers on.

THIS is one source of a "water expert" giving that figure. There isn't an online source quoted for his figure, so I can't back it up. This is what he says:
Quote:
In a remarkable letter sent by DWR Director Lester Snow to Senator Dianne Feinstein on May 15th, official data show that the major Central Valley districts will use at least 75% of their average water use by mixing sources, using stored groundwater, participating in water transfers, and so on. Not 10%

The California Water Farm Coalition offhandedly says 30% of there water comes from ground water, and in a drought that percentage is higher.

The problem would be catastrophic if there was only 10% water. The current situation is that some farmers with no ground water (ie, a desert) are only getting 10% water and will have to buy water from other farms for jacked up prices and/or fallow a bunch of land. It's a shitty situation, but not 90% of all the water disappeared and there's going to be a dust bowl bad.

Sorry I couldn't get a better source. The California Department of Water Resources has a pdf with better figures, but I can't seem to find it right now.
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DWTripp wrote:
There most certainly is a unified liberal agenda as well as a unified conservative agenda. That you could even question that confounds me.

Tripp, it's not that we deny there's a Liberal Agenda. We just deny that it's "make people's lives miserable".

Like conservatives, liberals mostly just want to get elected again. Everything they do has that as the primary motivating factor. You don't get re-elected in the valley by taking farmers' water away. So you don't do that unless there's a real good reason to do that. Use your fucking head.
 
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DarthXaos wrote:
Maybe people should stop moving to a state that seems to have nothing but earthquakes, droughts, mudslides, and wildfires all the time.

Maybe your parents should have thought again about a condom. Everyone makes mistakes.
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Quote:
You're not completely stupid, but you do have some stupid opinions.


Coincidentally Matthew, I feel exactly the same way about you. I just have better manners.

Quote:
THIS is one source of a "water expert" giving that figure. There isn't an online source quoted for his figure, so I can't back it up.


Right. So who's telling the truth? This guy says unemployment isn't high in Fresno County but apparently Fresno County hasn't had the news delivered yet that they really aren't in dire straights:

http://abclocal.go.com/kfsn/story?section=news/business&id=6...

So we have an expert (environmentalist) who suggests that water isn't really an issue there and locals who say it damn well is an issue... in unemployment context. Maybe the truth is somewhere in between? Still, the expert's attitude regarding the plight of Fresno County workers is pretty dismissive... "so what" he says, they've always had high unemployment. I'm not sure that's true. As the city manager of Firebaugh says in the interview, unemployment is traditionally high during late Fall and early Winter anyway. Perhaps the expert was using numbers that were off-season snapshots in order to bolster his opinion.

Whatever the actual case is... I'm certain it will only be made worse by a Water Czar. And by the way, I am very pro-conservation of the environment. Just not to the excesses of the environmental activists and courts that legislate from the bench.
 
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Tripp, it's a little more complicated than that, as it's more of a Northern California (which has the water reservoirs/supplies) versus Central/Southern California (which wastes the most water -- why do you think those golf courses are GREEN in the Palm Springs desert?!). And this fight has been going on for years and years and years. I left CA 10 years ago, and it was a Hot Topic back then, for at least the previous 20 years before that!

P.S. I lived in both the North and the South, so I've seen/heard all the arguments from both sides at one point or another. A Water Czar might be just the thing!
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pdclose wrote:
Tripp, it's a little more complicated than that, as it's more of a Northern California (which has the water reservoirs/supplies) versus Central/Southern California (which wastes the most water -- why do you think those golf courses are GREEN in the Palm Springs desert?!). And this fight has been going on for years and years and years. I left CA 10 years ago, and it was a Hot Topic back then, for at least the previous 20 years before that!

P.S. I lived in both the North and the South, so I've seen/heard all the arguments from both sides at one point or another. A Water Czar might be just the thing!


I don't think it's complicated at all. Having lived in Central California for a number of years and being in business there I assure you, this fight dates back even further. I even sold one of my semi-rare sports cars to the great grandson of William Mulholland and he personally got me interested in reading up a bit on the darker side of water rights in California.

Essentially, water boils down to money. The battle is ages older than this current wrinkle in California's drama over water.

Adding another appointed official to the chaos cannot, will not, solve anything. In fact, the more I think about it, the more I remain convinced that it will never resolve.

Personally I come firmly down on the farmer's rights to access as much water as reasonable to grow food and maintain the essential agricultural industry in California. Secondly, I agree that water is rightfully owed to urban and suburban residents... they live there too.

Thirdly, if I was Water Czar, I'd allocate the remains to how I weighed the relative value of lawns in Palm Springs versus endangered wildlife. There would be some unhappy golfers for sure... and maybe a few more smelt. But definitely more lettuce than smelt.
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Drew1365 wrote:
Quote:
But I assure you, if this level of insanity is allowed to continue lettuce will become an expensive treat for special occasions.


Only for the idiots who can't grow their own.

Which reminds me, I need to start a new row.


Yep. That's why I ignored David's snipe:

Quote:
Maybe you should prepare to get hungry.


I can grow more crops where I live than he can on his lawn. Plus, who needs smelt when less than 1/2 mile from my front door I can drop a line and haul in some stunning trout. Deer bounding across my pastures? One bullet makes for tasty venison stew.
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Drew1365 wrote:
Quote:
But I assure you, if this level of insanity is allowed to continue lettuce will become an expensive treat for special occasions.


Only for the idiots who can't grow their own.

Which reminds me, I need to start a new row.
So true. I'm already a bit sick of my nightly salad, though:



"Cadillac Desert" is an interesting book about the history of water usage in the West. I have a relative that once practiced water law. It was a blood sport.
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Drew1365 wrote:
Quote:
But I assure you, if this level of insanity is allowed to continue lettuce will become an expensive treat for special occasions.


Only for the idiots who can't grow their own.

Which reminds me, I need to start a new row.


You grow lettuce without water? Amazing.
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DWTripp wrote:
I don't think it's complicated at all. Having lived in Central California for a number of years and being in business there I assure you, this fight dates back even further.


Exactly. And they've yet to come anywhere near a solution. So a Water Czar couldn't possibly make it worse, and if he did then at least they'd have something to join up for and fight together. Better than my solution of put 'em all in a room with a pack of rabid wolves, and the last one standing gets the water rights!
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Drew1365 wrote:
I like the nasturtiums. Do you put those in your salad, too?
Yes, both leaves and flowers.

My favorite things we grow are the peas (sugar and snap) and greens. I had kale and turnip greens last night, and they were incredibly good.
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DWTripp wrote:
Strangely enough I was unaware that California will have a new Federal Water Czar until I clicked on a link from MSN's weather page:


Notice that the article says nothing about actually appointing a "water czar" (whatever that is). It seems to be something the headline writer invented.
 
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California isn't the only state with water problems. Arizona's problems are even worse. Then there's GA, they just lost a water battle with TN. The population growth in CA and AZ is unsustainable.

'Arizona Daily Star (Tucson, AZ), Apr 26, 2009

You could call Tim Barnett the Southwest's water Cassandra -- gifted with visions of the future, but doomed to be ignored.

Since the middle 1980s, many climatologists, hydrologists and other scientists have predicted that global warming and other forms of climate change will mean less water for the Colorado River and, by extension, the Central Arizona Project, the $4 billion collection of canals and pipelines that is Arizona's water lifeline.

But few experts have belted that message as forcefully as Barnett, a marine physicist at Scripps Institute of Oceanography in San Diego.

His warnings have been met with doubt by some of the West's water managers who have long felt they could plan, design, engineer and manager their way out of a future water crisis caused by the collision course between population growth and the region's aridity. Some scientists questioned Barnett's first study, which predicted that Lake Mead and Lake Powell had a 50 percent chance of drying up by 2021 due to human-caused climate change. In the second study, like the first co-authored with fellow Scripps researcher David Pierce, he predicts that by 2050 the river could see water flow cut in half in some years due to human-caused climate change and natural variation in precipitation.

Since Arizona has the lowest priority of any of Southwestern state for Colorado River water -- California is legally entitled to get its entire share before Arizona gets any -- that kind of shortage could curtail CAP deliveries to Tucson and Phoenix by one third to one-half for up to 10 years in a row.'

California is fortunate compared to Arizona.
 
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DarthXaos wrote:


Because I can grow a ton of lettuce in my apartment.


You're not convincing anyone that's lettuce, man.
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Brad... you were doing fine until you got to this:

Quote:
liberal propaganda (A.K.A "facts")


Diane sees no issue with a Water Czar... can't hurt she says. Right. Add another layer of government and another unelected powerful executive answerable only to a President and it won't get worse. Not a chance.

Look, fact is that where America is headed with all this shit is to a level of unaffordability that is staggering. Even that insane Cap & Trade bill that nobody has read does MANDATE that California standards will be required for the rest of the nation.

Low flow shower heads? You think it'll stop there when the EPA is running every aspect of your daily life? I reckon they'll require any new housing to have time limited shower heads with lock-out mechanisms that can only be opened and inspected by Federal officials. You want that in Colorado where there's plenty of water because they might need it in Arizona where there isn't?

I'm interested in what happens in California because California is the poster child state for how to fail at everything and succeed at nothing... in the context of government controls and economic "wisdom".

We will, as a nation, under this President's regime, be faced with measures that will enforce the standards upon us that helped bankrupt the richest state in the union. From emissions to water, to light bulbs to perhaps even what size door you're allowed to hang in your doorway... the rumble in the distance here is not whether the agenda is for the federal government to take control of virtually every aspect of how we live our lives... but how quickly they can get that control.

Water is a damned good starting place in California because it's got so much history, it's sparse and it drives the underlying economy of the state.

By the way... since nobody has directly mentioned Obama* in this thread I just heard on the news that Rasmussen has a new poll showing that while 31% of Americans approve of how he's handling the economy and his job, 33% disapprove. They'd better get going quick before his polls fall to levels below Bush or the only way he'll be able to finish his job is to call out the National Guard. And we all know they're soldiers... and therefore potential terrorists.

*That last paragraph is for quozl and the German guy who drop into every thread looking for Obama attacks.

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All I have to say is...

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Anyone got the time to go back through Trippy's thread titles and see how many include words like "collapse", "ruin", "destruction", "utter devastation", and "sky is falling"?

I bet the ratio's up since January.
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CapAp wrote:
Anyone got the time to go back through Trippy's thread titles and see how many include words like "collapse", "ruin", "destruction", "utter devastation", and "sky is falling"?

I bet the ratio's up since January.


You're right.

I'd bet though that you and I agree on a lot more than we disagree on.

You probably already know I'm conservation-minded on the environment. That I parked my truck when gas got to $4 and began driving a fuel-efficient smaller car. That I am pro-wind, pro-solar, pro clean water, pro animal and pro-life in general.

Since I was 20 and bought my first house I have been a stickler for repairing leaks and conserving water... perhaps growing up in a desert instilled that in me. I insulate and attack with vigor heat and cooling loss sources in my homes. Hell, I even personally bought all those new-fangled low-energy bulbs long before any government agency came along and began the process of mandating it.

And I'd bet we both agree that we don't need government to mandate common sense for ourselves. It doesn't matter one whit whether there is an R or a D behind the current crop of government power sources... the bottom line is this Cappy:

Do you want the government to institute measures that restrict what you can and cannot buy, sell, build, or do... that tell you when and where you can or cannot camp, hunt, fish or fly... and that just flat out pool you into the clump of humanity that isn't as responsible as you are?

For what it's worth the current President is just, in my view, the latest incarnation is a seemingly endless and persistent political procession that views all citizens as if they are exactly the same as the least bright and most irresponsible citizens.

Not smart enough to understand that the crushing debt of an easy mortgage is going to ruin you? No problemo... bail out! Too fucking dumb to get your car tuned, change the oil and air filter? No problemo, mandated emissions for all! Too moronic to realize that leaving all the lights on and the toilet running wastes valuable resources? No problemo... everybody will now have to buy idiot-proof toilets and lights.

To me it's an onslaught... an endless and crushing demand from a massive and pervasive collection of governments that all want nothing less than to control virtually every aspect of your life.

Do you really, truly want that? I wouldn't believe you if you said you did, because you're not stupid and I reckon you can do quite well on living life without being told how each and every step must be taken.

From my perspective the excesses and foolishness of the few is now going to be paid for.... really, really paid for... by the many who are not morons and who do think stuff through and recycle or tune their cars or insulate the windows.

I think the only difference between me and you is that you just haven't realized how few choices you're going to have and how much less money you'll be able to keep once all the current programs, bailouts and massive hidden tax increases take effect.
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