Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Know When To Hose 'Em, Know When To Fool 'Em

The constitutional amendment to allow casinos in Ohio will kill puppies and kittens.

If you want to get people to vote against something, there are two proven methods:
1) Tell them it will raise their taxes.
2) Tell them it will hurt some innocent, pitiable victims.
If you go with option 2, the harm you claim does not need to be factual; people will not read the actual proposed law, they will believe what you say if it creates a perception that there’s a threat to their family (including pets)..

A recent example is the charge by some that the proposed health care legislation would establish “Death Panels” to decide if your grandparents should die. A catchy phrase that people can repeat always helps put the argument over. “Weapons of Mass Destruction” was another recent driver of policy.

Locally, in Ohio we have a new example of the “Pitiable Victim” strategy. “Foes: Casino plan hurts church festivals” (I lied about the puppies and kittens). Notice that the victim is not the Church; it’s the Church Festival, your source of summer fun, inflatable rides, beer and gambling.

Universal health care sounds good until you realize it means killing those family members we can’t afford to take care of. Casinos bringing in tourists and tax money sound good until you realize you can’t play Texas Hold ‘Em in the church parking lot next month. (And also when you realize that everyone else already has their own casinos so we’re just losing our own money). Festivals are a big deal around here, killing festival gambling might be worse than killing grandma.

Gambling is not specifically named as a sin in the Bible (I’m counting on you all not having actually read the document) but love of money, greed, coveting another’s money are all bad things in either the Torah or the New Testament Bible. Probably in the Koran - I mean - I am sure in the Koran also. So I figure the priests and ministers of the churches don’t organize the festival and probably avoid the events so as not to have to toss the moneychangers from the Temple … er, Church.

Those same religious leaders can’t actually push this initiative to protect gambling at church (possibly because it’s a lie, which is one of the commandment even priests follow). So the leaders are probably not the “Foes”; who is? It is “opponents including ‘church groups’…and attorneys for TruthPAC, a casino opposition group financed in part by horse tracks.”

Ah, the horse tracks. I am not cynical enough to suggest that it is the horse tracks who would be hurt most by the existence of casinos and that they just fabricated this “Demise of the Church Festival” story to divert our attention. Wait. Yes I am exactly that cynical, and more!

The basis of the claim is that “The very last paragraph of the proposed six-page constitutional amendment states that lotteries and bingo would not be limited by passage of the casino issue”. The contention is that church Monte Carlo nights, poker games etc. would be banned because they are not specifically mentioned. . I don’t really know if that’s true; I haven’t read the proposed amendment. But, if it is, the amendment would likely outlaw other forms of gambling not specifically mentioned, like life insurance and stock investments.

8 comments:

Susan said...

That is the cutest puppy ever. If they tell me health care reform will kill him, I'll just have to vote against it.

jesus said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Margaret

http://powerleveling.info

jesus said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Margaret

http://powerleveling.info

JohnnyB said...

Susan, health care reform will kill your grandmother; casino gambling in Ohio will kill the puppy.

Jesus - oh my god (well not technically my god), I am intimidated to have you reading my blog - but thrilled! I would love to also get Moses if you would talk to him, please.

Anonymous said...

You're hilarious!

Karen

JohnnyB said...

I'll bet you say that to all the blogs

Beth said...

While looking for pictures of puppies on the web, I stumbled on to your blog. What an entertaining and insightful read. All of it.

Thanks!

Beth

P.S. They aren't really going to kill puppies, are they?

JohnnyB said...

Beth
I'm glad you enjoyed it and I hope you come back to read often.
If you do, the puppies live.