Thursday, January 22, 2009

He really was dying inside

In my interview with George, I mentioned a little incident regarding an acquaintance who thought he had something wrong with him. I told him everyone had pains (and I think they do) but he went to the doctor anyway. Turns out he wasn't in the best shape. He had an infection and high blood pressure and was told by his doctor to stop smoking and drinking. He did stop and is now on the patch. Someone nearby mentioned that they also had stopped smoking (this is a young man, just in his twenties) and felt, after a couple of weeks of coughing up black stuff, as if he now had a third lung and was able to run and climb stairs like someone his age. The dangers of second (and now in the news, even third) hand smoke came up, but the first guy, Mr. Patch, said he still favors smokers' rights. In other words, just because he himself has stopped, he hasn't suddenly become an anti-smoking Nazi.

The discussion turned to the news that California, broke and out of money, will issue IOUs soon to those it owes money, including taxpayers due income tax refunds.

"Well," said Patch, "then I guess I'll issue them a promise to file my return later."

We talked of the money the state is wasting, and how if we as citizens fail to pay our tax on time, the state comes after us, often with a vengeance. California doesn't except IOUs when it's your turn to pay them, not even if you're broke and out of money. The subject of cans and bottles and California's CRV tax came up next. I don't buy my bottled water in California anymore for the simple reason that I'm now charged $1.20 extra per case of 24 (used to be about $1.00). In Arizona there isn't such a politically correct tax on cans and bottles, so I buy them in AZ. Everyone agreed the CRV fee was evil.

These young men (no women in this conversation, though from hearing some of their opinions previously, the females nearby lean toward busybody totalitarianism) all supported Obama in the recent election, mostly because of the Iraq war and the erosion of civil liberties under Bush, and yet they have an instinct for liberty and personal freedom deep within. Too bad the Republican party doesn't even pretend to stand for such values anymore. A lot more of such young people might have found a reason to support them if they did.

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