Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Hypocrisy and Bennett

Here is Julie Ann Ponzi’s take on the Bennett matter. Read the whole thing, but here is how she begins:

"It is a particularly disgusting habit of the human mind that propels it to dismiss virtue because of some perceived hypocrisy on the part of virtue’s defenders. What is worse is the childish delight some characters seem to take in the public unveiling of such hypocrisy. With his recent admission of a gambling problem, former Secretary of Education and Drug Czar, William Bennett, has provided every unthinking liberal wag the opportunity to indulge their greatest fantasy: the public whipping of virtue and her defenders (particularly conservative ones) as irrelevant, impossible and hypocritical.

Ignoring any sense of perspective, the spectacle has led some critics—still smarting from the conservative denunciation of Bill Clinton’s foibles—to proclaim that this is a case of six of one and a half dozen of another. On the other hand, conservative defenders of Bennett, in their rush to defend him, have argued that his vice is different not only in scale but in kind and that it is purely a matter ’between him, his wife, and his accountant.’ Both go too far in their respective directions." 

Discussions - 1 Comment

Ponzi is a woman can she understand gambling? Must gambling be a vice for all people or only for some? Doesn’t the american dream involve a gamble? At some point in life you have to go all in, or else miss the boat. Of course you can play it safe, but why is this a good thing at all times? Live hard, play hard, gamble and let it all hang out(toungue included if you ask Jordan).

Harry Truman, playing marathon sessions between momentous decisions as commander in chief, was accused by a reporter of "running a straight stud filibuster against his own secretary of state." Richard Nixon won enough playing cards in the Navy to help finance his first run for Congress. As one of his professors at Whittier College pointed out, "A man who couldn’t hold a hand in a first-class poker game is not fit to be president of the United States." This may be a terrifying notion for some of us, but it’s one that we all should face up to, Mr. Bennett included." (Virtues, values and Vegas)

I guess one could say that gambling is not worth the calories, but the very fact that our culture is so concerned with diet not to mention diet analogies is hardly the greatest sign of virtue is it? (Dr. Atkins book is the number 1 best seller)

Life is pretty much boring after college, (college is as good as it gets) or so I am told. Afterwards you get a job, then get married, have some kids, try to educate them, they turn out like you and end up doing what they want, only to become like you in the end and repeat the same process. In between you watch football games on TV and glance at commercials, some funded with tax payer money on topics as diverse as the dangers of smokeing, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, Viagra and male pattern baldness.

There is one type of gambling I have never liked. Or at least a preoccupation with it could be a vice. Life insurance! Why is this a gamble of the worst sort? Well unlike Poker, Life insurance only pays out when you are dead. It is a form of betting against ones self. If one thinks one is going to die soon, it behoves you to buy more health insurance(but only if you are actually still young and healthy!) Sometimes it is a self-fullfilling prophecy (i.e. your wife hires someone to do you in) Most other forms of gambling are in some way a bet on yourself. A sort of show of confidence, which says I am willing to bet that I will win, not when I die, but right now in this hand. Am I bluffing? Call me... make my day!

In fact if all decent men are somewhat hypocritical then it behoves them to play poker. If you lose in poker the other person will say "Gotcha!" but perhaps you will only smirk in knowing that it was all a setup, for the next time he thinks you are bluffing. He who says Gotcha last also has the last laugh. He that laughs last laughs best, even when everyone else has already collected on Life insurance!

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