Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Dog and Pony Show Revisited (DAPS)

I have written before about the dog and pony show that plays out before us each day. If the problem of the day is Obamacare, the media and the democrats will talk about immigration. Each problem is huge and blown out of proportion. Once again we were faced with shutdown of government and once again it was going to be a huge disaster. In the latest one I had driven 4,000 miles to see the Grand Canyon and wasn't sure I would be allowed in. (They did open it three days before I arrived.)

Each time they want the debt limit raised we are told the government will default on our debt if they don't get their way. While a few political and economic junkies know this is a lie, the rest of the country isn't sure. Most of the country has become numbed by the constant flow of lies. A few cling to the lies of their favorite party and happily pass them along to anyone who will listen. Too many, either out of ignorance or just happy to tow the party line, are willing participants in the dog and pony show.

Today one of the top stories is about an 11 year old girl that was selling mistletoe in a Portland, Oregon park. Yes, it is a heart warming story about the entrepreneurial spirit of a young American. The story is used to imply the young girl was treated harshly or unfairly. It is made to look like the entrepreneurial spirit is bad and begging is okay. Park officials stated correctly, begging is free speech, which has been upheld by the courts. New York has tried to ban panhandling in the past and has been successful in only limiting aggressive begging or for reasons of safety.

The little girl has learned a valuable lesson. If park officials had given in, the girl would not have learned there are regulations that control street vending. She is learning a lesson in how to fight regulations and making them more sensible.

The lesson I truly hope she learns is to not become a part of the dog and pony show. She is being used to push a political agenda. I'm not saying the agenda is a bad one, I'm speaking solely to the game being played in her name. Things have worked out well for the young girl and she has had a wonderful learning experience.

Each day as we surf the daily news, or watch our favorite channels on television, we must remember that media has one purpose only, and that's to make money. Each story is calculated as to who will be drawn to their advertisers. This doesn't tell us if the information is right or wrong, it's just a reminder that it's all part of the dog and pony show. The news makes an effort to appear in the middle, but often appearances are deceiving. The middle is relative to the viewer's beliefs.

Today we all get a lot of our information from bloggers who don't have profits in mind. Some are part of the propaganda machine that drives candidate popularity. Many are people that have willingly become a part of their favorite dog and pony show. Then there are those who enjoy research and look for only truth. Sometimes the truth is hidden by the dog and pony show, but with enough perseverance it's out there.

We know the biggest dog and pony show of our era is climate change/global warming. There are some brilliant minds that participate in the show. They do so for a variety of reasons, some for research grants, or some just because it's the cool thing to do. Scientific participation in the dog and pony show can be dangerous. Millions could end up starving or it could cause economic collapse. The two major political parties are guilty of using the topic of climate change to their advantage. The dog and pony show is often filled with extremes on either side of the argument.

We must always look past the dogs and ponies if we are to advance this society in a civil manner. The dog and pony show has not only divided America, it has divided the world. We can't be fooled by those who sell tickets to the dog and pony show and then sit back and laugh. We must stop playing the party games and always think first about liberty and equality under the law. Some will always place their prejudices and bigotries first. That forces the rest of us to work harder to break down political lines. We must be wary of the two main political parties because they are major producers of dog and pony shows.

In 2008 the Democratic party had total control of government. They could have rushed through any legislation of their desire. Why didn't they legalize marijuana? Why didn't they pass the Dream Act, gay marriage, or immigration reform? The democrats had their entire agenda before them. They could have put may issues behind them. The reason they didn't is because they would have lost some of their best dog and pony shows. They would have lost issues on which to pledge promises come election time. The only major bill that passed was the Affordable Care Act. This is the only one that mattered because it grew government and gave them massive control. All the other issues are just shiny objects that are dangled before voters come election time.

Republicans are just as guilty. When they had complete power they fulfilled few promises. In every case where the Republican party had control, they increased spending (94 might be an exception) and grew government. That would have been the opportunity to dramatically reduce government by taking power back form the Executive Branch. They didn't because they love power and control as much as the democrats.

We have two ideological beliefs in this country. One segment believes in the most liberty possible and equality under the law. The other wants to control aspects of our lives, from the food we eat to the lives we live. Not all of either segment is in a single political party. Once we become entrapped by the dog and pony show we often become attached to a single political party. We must close our eyes to the show and think liberty.

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