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Springtime for Obama

March 22, 2010

When you wake up in Texas on the first day of spring to find the ground covered with snow, you might ask yourself what other places may have frozen over. 

Like snow in summer or rain in harvest,
so honor is not fitting for a fool. (Prov. 26:1) 

Our Nobel-laureate-in-chief has led his Light Brigade to Pyrrhic victory. He seems to have achieved an unpresidented unprecedented accomplishment: an at least seven-layer cheat. Yes, I will explain. 

Something I had been trying to put into words for a long time became clear the other day when I heard my kids talking about video games. There’s the game as conceived, and then there are various “cheats” that can be downloaded and incorporated into the game, as if it were the game. Thus my epiphany: in life, in our society we have “game” and we have “cheat.” Game is an arrangement that accords with reality, that works by recognizing natural forces and employs them in a way that produces (at least relative) balance and harmony. Exchange of goods and services is game. Exchanging work for livelihood is game. Family is game. 

Cheat is a method of beating game by finding a weak spot and exploiting it. It is a way someone discovers to get ahead not by aligning with reality, but by tricking one’s way around it. Crime is a blatant cheat. Mooching is cheat. The way we use credit cards in this society is cheat. The welfare state is a cheat. 

There are at least two problems with cheat. First, once someone introduces a cheat it tends to become an integral part of the game–though it is still cheat. So pretty soon everyone has to do the same or lose. It spoils the game for everyone. 

Second, since it is not based on reality, reality tends to adapt, to come back and fill in, engulf things so you really don’t end up ahead ultimately. Often, in fact, things are worse than where you started. Reality finds a way, and bites you in the end. And that’s not just for the cheater but for everyone, because it makes everyone into a cheater. 

Now the six-layer cheat: 

1. Cheat One: Food that isn’t. 

Little know fact: health has a vague connection with what you put in your mouth. Nutrients are either fuel or material for the structure and function of the body. Reality (code for God?) has this food-thing for this purpose. However, it seems by mutual consent non-food can be deemed food. And so Americans (at least) are massively overfed and undernourished. This cheat begins with agricultural cheats that pump out pseudo-veggies whose ancestors once contained actual nutrients because the soil did. Then we have a food pyramid which turns out to be indistinguishable from hog-fattening formula. And the results speak for themselves. Your system is perfectly designed to obtain the results you are now getting. Funny thing but food is an important part of a balanced diet. (stolen line) We Americans, however, think we are big trash cans with hairy lids. (stolen line) 

2. Cheat Two: Band-aid medicine. 

I’m an insider; I know. I’m a licensed medical practitioner, and I can tell you, what passes for medical practice is in large measure cheat. It’s mostly about zapping symptoms, treating effects while leaving causes untouched. We find a way to trick the body into giving us nicer numbers on a lab test. Demon cholesterol getting uppity? Just induce partial liver failure with a statin. That’ll take care of it. Forget the food-thing (see number one) we got a pill for it. Reality here is that we have a body-thing that is fearfully and wonderfully made. It will do amazing things for it, with proper care and feeding. But what fun is that? Who needs to do routine maintenance when we have a box full of band-aids? 

3. Cheat Three: Insuring against certainty. 

Insurance itself is debatably a cheat: we try to trick “fate,” as it were. But on the other hand, making wise provision in an uncertain world is probably game. However, insurance is making provision against uncertainty. What has happened is that we have taken a system of pre-paid medical care and called it “insurance.” We have insured ourselves not against uncertainty (only) but against certainty. Yes, you probably will go see the doctor at least a few times this year; count on it. So instead of figuring that in life expenses, we have pretended it is an insurable risk. And so costs rise (The Reality Cavalry comes charging over the hill.) Then there is a vast gap between consumer and producer, a middle-man in-between. We were all absent that day in Economics 101 and so we are shocked, shocked when prices rise, again…then spin out of control. 
4. Cheat Four: What’s in your neighbor’s wallet? 

If the people that devised our system of government had one fear about a weak spot in democracy it was that a 51% majority could just vote themselves a juicy share of the national treasury. Charity may begin at home, but charity that begins in the House involves the virtue of being generous with OPM (other people’s money). Mr. Obama, apparently, spoke to ol’ Joe the Plumber with a straight face when he conflated “transfer of wealth” with “making others successful.” Now we have the vacuum hose not only in our neighbor’s pockets but in our grandchildren’s pockets. 

5. Cheat Five: Demagoguery. 

Who was it who said no one ever went broke by underestimating the intelligence of the American people? We’ll whoever it was, we’re gonna show him. We’ve been working long and hard at dumbing down the populace. (Yet another cheat. Maybe we should count it in the list.) So flim-flamming the electorate may not be as hard as it used to be, who knows? But the Great Sophist has managed to persuade a number of people that if doing the wrong thing has gotten us into trouble, we need to do more, much more of the wrong thing. Here’s a concept (I recognize it from Europe): “Healthcare is a right.” Okaaaay. We are talking about (in reality) goods and services. So someone else’s goods and someone else’s services are yours by unalienable right? How exactly does that work? Or here’s a line from just yesterday: “X-party wants to put the fox in charge of the henhouse.” Yeah, much better to hand it over to a pack of ravenous wolves (gubment…if you didn’t get the reference). 

6. Cheat Six: Parliamentary Tricks. 

Mr. Kerry said “I voted for it before I voted against it.” Now we have voting for it without voting for it. 

Mrs. Kerry said “Shove it!” Mrs. Pelosi didn’t just say shove it, she actually did it. 

If it ain’t so, deem it so. Deem is an interesting word: it is an old word that means “judge.” The noun form is doom, as in “doomsday,” i.e. Judgment Day. 

7. Cheat Seven: Sick Semper Tyrannis (sic) 

Speaking of “Judgment Day,” if you’re up on your Terminator lore, that’s the day when Skynet employed the nuclear option and the machines took over. In case you missed it, life imitated art, when the Machine took over. Welcome to the United States of Chicago. 

All seven of the above are cheats and are being cemented into place by this new Healthcare Plan. Seven may be the number of perfection, but I think “they” can actually do better. In days to come look for new cheats to be added onto this seven-layer cake. Abortion, which is itself a cheat, will unquestionably be on your nickel. (If you wish to delude yourself with the O-man’s assurances to the contrary, please consider some property I have for sale in Florida.) Illegal aliens (cheat) will necessarily be included in coverage…except…we have a good cheat for that…amnestize ’em into Obamacrats…and then no cheating will be necessary in 2012. Then, of course, we know (from the horse’s mouth) what the GPS is set for, a single-payer system. The best cheat is yet to come.

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