Editorial 6/23/97

Feather pen


An Editorial Allegory

Dear Uncle Sam,

    It's been a long time since I have written, Unc, so I thought I would drop you a line. I've been keeping in touch with you via the news so don't feel I haven't been taking notice of what you're up to. I know you would want your trusted nephew and student to do that.

    I have been listening to the proposals being introduced which would give you control over the tobacco trade. You would not only get to regulate the drug nicotine and its delivery system, but you would get a huge part of the profits. Hey, Unc, that's pretty cool! Just think, you will be the largest drug dealer in the world and it will all be legal. Oh, I know, you promised to share some of the drug money with the people by helping them pay their hospital bills. In this way the population will go along because they get a cut too. Yeah, Unc, that's pretty cool!

    The income will stay nice and safe, too, because people will not be able to sue for damages. Oh, well, serves them right. It said right on the package that if they smoked that stuff they would get sick. But at least you get the profits instead of the private companies. The medical folks will cash in too. I wonder if there are any other companies you can take over like that. Just brilliant, how did you ever think of it?

    It never seems to occur to folks that if Ford put out a car that they knew would kill 400,000 people every year, you would smoke 'em. If General Mills put out a cereal that they knew would kill 400,000 people every year, they would go to the pen for mass murder. But, wow, Unc, you slipped this one in really smooth. You approve a drug that you know will kill 400,000 people next year, and guarantee its security, getting a nice cut of the cash, and no heads roll. Not even yours. That is simply the ultimate of capers. I've talked it over with some of my friends and they think you are doing something really good and you get a bunch of bucks at the same time. Smoooooth. That is all I can say. They never ask, why doesn't your uncle simply ban cigarettes and save 400,000 lives every year? It never seems to occur to them that if you did that you wouldn't get the 368 billion bucks. That is simply way out. You are about the smartest uncle I have ever seen!

    Oh, I know that people would really howl if you banned cigarettes. You talk about human rights and freedom and all that stuff whenever necessary. Maybe that makes sense, but it was really great how you get the money instead of the companies. I was wondering Unc, maybe you could explain this one to me. You throw thousands of people into prison every year for taking drugs like marijuana and cocaine. Those drugs don't kill or make sick nearly as many people as cigarettes do. Why is it people have to go to jail for smoking pot, but they don't have to go to jail for smoking nicotine which is more dangerous? Is it that you don't get enough money for pot? Is it that you are not in control of it? Is it that if you were in control of it, and the industry would give you a cut, it would be okay? It seems to me that if people get rights to smoke nicotine they would naturally expect rights to smoke pot. I have wondered that maybe you throw all those people in jail for a few years for smoking pot because you need some cheap labor for those prison businesses. You know, keep the license plates coming folks. Also, it gives us a few more goodies to export helping the balance of trade and the labor is almost nothing. People are led to think that all those folks went to jail because they smoked something that was bad for them and they need to support themselves while they are in there. I am only bringing some of these things up because I want to be able to do these real slick deals you pull when I get older. I would like to be able to learn about how to pull off these really neat tricks and get rich at the same time without anyone noticing.

    That brings up another matter, uncle. I noticed how you spread the word that big government is being cut back; you know, your story that you want to make life better for Americans and you want to cut back big government. Lots of folks are getting booted from welfare so we won't have to pay out so much to take care of all the poor people. Just one question though, I have noticed that government services are being cut back like with national parks and stuff, but our taxes haven't gone down any. Pretty slick. Cut back on the service but keep the money coming in just the same. I know you need a lot of money now with taking over the world and everything, but it's really neat how you make it look like your cutting back costs and saving the people money. I think they really believe that according to the poles.

    I heard last year that you are planning to extend the retirement age so people would have to be 75 to retire instead of 65. You're talking about how to make older people more productive. That has a really great sound to it! They have been paying social security taxes all their lives so that they can retire and enjoy life a little without having to go to work every day and - oops - sorry, another ten years, folks. That is just too slick. I bet you laugh all the way to the bank when you figure these things out. Why not just have them work until they die? Or is that too obvious? No one would pay social security taxes if they knew they would not get to retire anyway. At 75 they are just about finished off as it is, so why not let them retire then? In that way you don't have to give them much of their money back. Neat!

    I really do think it is a good idea, Unc, that you keep them busy. You know, all the volunteer stuff you are talking about and education for life? If folks have too much time off they start thinking. When people start thinking they get dangerous. If people think too much you might not get to be Uncle any more. As long as they're busy surviving they don't give much consideration to what is happening to them. If you instruct me just right, Unc, I may be able to fill your shoes before long. I can hardly wait to do some of those wonderful things you pull off.

    I just think I have the smartest uncle in the world!

Your affectionate nephew,

Lucius Tapeworm


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