Sunday, December 23, 2012

We are the last 28%

Open letter to Mssrs Obama, Boehner, LaPierre, posted on my blog and personally addressed to each on their websites (most were limited in their volume of acceptance, so I could only provide a URL to here. As a consequence I am free to edit and approve this content until such time as I am called on a particular edition):
  • I address this to you because you are the people I can touch with votes or money. I can't touch the Rothschilds, so conspiracy theories don't work for me.
  • It is also incredibly complex, so not amenable to sound-bite politics. Don't go there.
  • You three have the fate of this nation in your hands.

Bill Whittle, Mr. Boehner, and I have been laboring under a false assumption.

Our assumption has been that the people currently destroying the nation are thinking. Silly me.

As a consequence, any rational and logical analysis of their behavior leads one to conclude that they are evil.


But on reflection (considerable reflection) I am convinced that our assumption is incorrect: they are not evil. They simply are not thinking.

They are just feeling. Doing what feels right. Based on... what? a host of things:
  • Visceral, hormonal responses: sex, desire, hunger, desolation, misery, greed, jealousy, ambition, narcissism... Who knows...
  • Imbued responses: media, environment, advertisement
  • Cultural responses: historical cultural senses of disentitlement or entitlement, of abuse or superiority. A huge range of cultural causes.
  • Mental conditions. These are empirical fact well known in the literature. Some people are just plain crazy.
So what to do?

+ Start by recognizing a fundamental truth:

This nation's culture is a brutal culture of conflict, competition, and winner-take-all. Has been for centuries, but that no longer works when we have to live as closely together as we do now.

This self-destructiveness has got to cease. Now.

Especially at your highest levels of responsibility for the welfare of hundreds of millions of people in your care.

What would your mother say? My mother would say: "Stop playing your silly games. Shame on you. Get real."

So we need to adopt the mantra: It is not a contest. We all win or we all lose.

We presently are all losing.

+ The government has ground to a halt (as designed by the Constitution, yes the law of the land), and neither of you first two, Mr. Obama or Mr. Boehner, seem to have any clue on how to get it moving again.

With good reason. It is broken.

People of principle (I and many others) have had it. We would rather have it all trashed than continue to put up with the nonsense and abuse that we have been enduring for many many years. We are not advocating the destruction of the Constitution, but a return to it instead of an ignorance of it.

+ And if you continue with your ways there will be blood in the streets:

Please reread Thomas Paine and our other forefathers (and the citation below about Constantine). At some point people just get fed up and take to the streets.

Heck, don't worry about Thomas Paine or Constantine. Just look at Egypt and Syria today!

So there needs to be another way.

+ The other way is:
  •  work together
  • stop playing silly politics
  • look at the right answer
  • offer reasons (not feelings) as to why it is right
  • and tell all the other feelgood people to either get on board or pound sand.

"Lead, follow, or get out of the way."

Yes, I know that takes courage, yes I know that is not in the normal political correctness lexicon, yes I know that may end up with you becoming unelected, (term limits anyone?) but it is the right thing, and the government pension is very generous, so you can both go home quite comfortably without being reelected.

And it works. Bullies are almost always cowards. If you call them out they will fold.

So please, think of Robert E. Lee and do the right thing. Not the politically correct thing.

+ Next: simplify the message. Make it a feelgood message. Don't ask them to think. Just make it cool. For example:

  - It is not cool to:
  • kill people
  • run around half naked
  • be lazy, fat, and a couch potato
  • get drunk and complain about being dissed
  • do drugs, get pregnant without a spouse and a job, or generally make a mess of yourself (like covering yourself with tattoos).
  - It IS cool to:
  • Put your hat on straight, pull up your pants, shave, get a haircut, and put on a full set of clothes, male or female.
  • Be the best that you can be
  • Be better than your dad was
  • Do what you want to do
  • Go where you want to go
  • Be who you want to be
  • But not at the expense of your neighbor.
      - Bring him along, teach him to be as good as you are, but don't do it for him. "Give a man a fish... teach a man to fish..."

+ Next, simplify the math. People can't understand eight zeros behind a number. It is irrelevant. But if you put it in their terms: like, how much do you make, dude? How much can you afford?

Try this:

    - Take the national figures, remove 8 zeros and pretend it's a household budget:
  • Annual family income: $21,700
  • Money the family spent: $38,200
  • Resulting new debt on the credit card: $16,500 (um, what you spent minus what you earned)
  • Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
  • Total budget cuts so far: $38.50
What person, even a non-thinking feelgood person below the 50th percentile can't immediately see that this will never work? Even if he paid his ENTIRE salary to the credit card debt it would take over 7 years to pay it off, nevermind the interest.

So, duh, he has to sell some assets to pay off the bill. I, for one, am selling my house. (I'm out of work because my contract couldn't be renewed thanks to you both because of the continuing resolution , but I digress).

And, he has to cut his expenses, at least cut out the 16.5K over-expense.

+ And finally, since I know you and your staffs also have a limited attention span, CONVERT YOUR MESSAGE INTO SOMETHING THAT FEELS GOOD.

  - Don't ask people to think. 47% of them can't, another 25% don't want to. Saving this nation is up to the rest of us.

The last 28%.


+ For Mr. Boehner:

  - You are closest to the image of Constantine The Great in these times that I can imagine:
  • Principled, heroic, and capable of reaching the people. Please take thirty minutes to peruse his history:

  - You are better than most. Don't be humble. Be an example. If you've got it flaunt it:
  • from janitor to Speaker of the House: you have a hammer. Use it.
  - The Bell shaped curve is a fact of life. USE it.

+ For Mr. Obama:

  -I will give you the benefit of the doubt, but you have not earned it. Please do better:
  • Explain to the American people and me what is wrong with the simple household budget math above. I don't think you can.
  • And if you cannot, then you have to amend your ways because you are hurting each and everyone of us by taking money from those of us who work for it and giving it to people who do not and therefore will not. And, as my mother taught me, if someone is purposely trying to hurt you, they are not your friend.
  • So unless you can explain it better (as in keep it simple) you are by definition, not my friend, nor the friend of anyone else I know. Please do better.
+ As for Mr. LaPierre:

  - I am a member. But you need to broaden your message and simplify it at the same time.
  • More police and more guns are not the answer:
  • More mental illness screening and treatment and public education about the 2nd Amendment and responsible use of firearms are a contributory answer:
          - Whatever happened to NRA sponsored young people rifle clubs? BB guns etc?

    Teach people early the value and utility of firearms and at the same time the responsibility and honor incurred with their use.

Why not publicize this:

Start treating the root causes, not the symptoms.

     - Instead, now it seems cool to take your mother's semi-automatic and kill people, including your own mother and yourself.

(NO, it is not an "assault" rifle. You have to purposely pull the trigger for each round. A purposeful act by a purposeful person. A crime by the person, not the gun. Facts, please.)
  • I suggest that Federal intervention against the abuses of the media are at least one answer:
  - The media are hideously to blame for propagating a culture of political correctness, moral decadence, and violence.

Because it sells.

There is constant noise, generated by the media: commercials, radio, TV, earbuds, romance magazines, pornography, etc.

So who's fault is that?

When you surround yourself with violence, hatred, and falsehood, how can you possibly expect anything other than violence, hatred, and falsehood to permeate your existence?

+ For all:

  - What about the elephant in the room: CREDIT CARDS? Talk about an assault weapon...

Uncontrolled expansionary debt and the accompanying mentality of "oh, I can just charge it and kick it down the road" that drags everyone down?

What if we had to pass a background check including our family and friends before getting a credit card?

Hmmm, Mr. President? But oh, we can't do that. It will irritate the banking industry...

A credit card and the mentality that accompanies it is far more deadly than a weapon that requires you to purposely pull the trigger. And affects far more people than a single target.


OK guys, all three, let's pull together. Please do better:
  • Do the math. This household cannot survive. We need to cut the expense, we can't get more money unless we make more money by working. We need more, not fewer, people working to earn money for the family (and pay taxes). Put the kids to work, like John Boehner. Or me. I spent time as a bus boy, cleaning up the mess the football players left behind.
  • Be brave. Speak up, make it simple, stop being nice. Political correctness be damned. Like me. But I haven't heard a peep from any of you except Mr. LaPierre. THIS IS WAR. Call it out. Stop being nice.
  • Go after the underlying issues, not just the symptoms. Go after people not thinking, people feeling good, instead of doing the right thing. And mental illness, and credit cards, and the media's infatuation with falsehood, make believe, and most especially shoot-em up violence. 
Maybe we need a background check before we allow someone to sign up for television. The UK have TV licenses. How about a background check before being given a TV license or allowing them to rent a violent video, hmmm? But that would reeely irritate Hollywood and the media.

Maybe we need ratings on Internet content. Hmm. How would I rate? PG-13? Oooh. What a First Amendment fist-fight that would be...


I know you all three intend the best in your own view. I also know you are all three exhausted. I know hurtling. I know the Beltway. The Beltway is no friend of mine. I really do understand. Does anyone have a clue of how many hours it has taken me to craft this single post?

But I don't WANT to be either President, Speaker, or head of the NRA. I know better.

On the other hand, I do want to do something about this current mess, and you three are on point by your own volition.

And not one of you are doing your job well. You're finger pointing and muscle-flexing and playing the same ol' stupid political game.

So do  better. I will gladly show you how, because I care, both for the outcome and for each of your own happiness'.

Let's work together for the people, instead of our egos. You must all three be totally miserable with your state. Have any of you read Scott Peck's People of the Lie?

Get factual, get real. What we have now will not work. And as of now, does not work.

Your job is to be the best that you can be, to do the best that you can do for all of us in the long run. With vision, forethought, (mostly thought), and to discourage the culture of political correctness and feelgood politics that is dragging this nation down to the least common denominator.

Please let me know how I can help.

Best regards,

Andy Lavarre
C. Andrews Lavarre
15 Willow Street
Newport, RI 02840
+1 401-339-7189

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