Brave or Foolish?

foolSome say smokers are brave. Knowingly, fearlessly facing early and unpleasant death, they remain calm and carefree.  Ought we celebrate their bravery or shake our heads at the foolishness?

Similarly, Libertarians would take great risks with our economy. Experts say default would be disastrous; being without precedent the full extent of the likely damage can’t even be accurately assessed. Yet some, fearless and careless with the well-being of others, would have us try it and see what happens.

Small government cost-cutters would take similar risks. Drastically cutting government spending might create a boom or not.  I don’t want to experiment without solid evidence and a sure exit strategy, it’s too risky.  Tom Reed and others, without justification, acting on what they learned in kindergarten, would try it and see. They show a reckless disregard for the probable consequences of their ideas. Reed’s constituents are thus ill-served.

This argument might be turned back on me. Some say raising the debt ceiling, big government, and much government spending represent foolishness. I disagree–these things are tried and proven safe; they aren’t contrary to expert opinion.

My view, don’t rock the boat carelessly, is conservative. Those who would heedlessly experiment with our economic well-being can’t be called conservative or liberal, but rather radical and foolish.

© William Hungerford – February 2014

About whungerford

* Contributor at where we discuss the politics, economics, and events of the New New York 23rd Congressional District (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, (Eastern) Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben,Tioga, Tompkins, and Yates Counties) Please visit and comment on whatever strikes your fancy.
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37 Responses to Brave or Foolish?

  1. Deb Meeker says:

    As a smoker, I’ve never heard some say I was brave, nor carefree. After years of proven research as to the effects of tobacco use, most would say I’m being personally irresponsible.

    As to comparing the attitude of tobacco users with Libertarians, there is merit, since there has been enough experimentation in both topics to prove both ill advised. Even in moderation, both could cause individual, on through to widespread demise. The effects of smoking however, have been seriously curbed with the modern day ( in the US at least ) shunning of tobacco use in general. I believe we outcasts of society (tongue in cheek), have been thoroughly chastised into keeping our bad habits out of the public’s lungs. I have no argument with that. On the other hand Libertarian policy is being pushed as a cure for society’s ills, and could cast a much wider net in terms of damaging the over-all health of society.


  2. whungerford says:

    Tom Reed says cutting benefits to the needy will cause them to find work. This must be a blind leap of faith in something he feels in the seat of his pants. Tom offers no evidence to support his view. But Tom risks nothing–he won’t go hungry whether his idea works or not.


  3. BOB MCGILL says:…/obesity-now-costs-americans-more-in-healthc…‎Cached
    SimilarForbesLoading…Apr 30, 2012 – Reuters is reporting that obesity in America is now adding an astounding … smoking as public health enemy number one when it comes to cost.


  4. BOB MCGILL says: › Obesity Prevention‎Cached
    SimilarNew York State Departme…Loading…new york state and county obesity statistics. … Obesity was highest and increased the most among people living in low-income neighborhoods. Differences in …


  5. Deb Meeker says:

    Agreed. Neither will his family. Whatever Reed feels in the seat of his pants, is no substitute for common decency. I believe he has none.


  6. whungerford says:

    Sometimes things take an unexpected bounce. It wasn’t my intention to discuss smoking, but rather folly and heedlessness. Before the second Iraq war, the Bush administration assured us that the war would be short and cheap. Top generals knew better and were replaced. General Shinseki resigned with honor; events proved him right. Don Rumsfeld resigned later in relative disgrace.


  7. BOB MCGILL says:

    They probably won’t find work but maybe they will lose some weight.
    Obesity StatisticsNew York State——Obesity was highest and increased the most among people living in low-income neighborhoods. 🙂


  8. BOB MCGILL says:

    Oh, come on you intend to bash Tom any way that you can think of, true or not !!!!!


  9. whungerford says:

    Tom seems to be doing a good job of bashing himself.


  10. BOB MCGILL says:…/poor-smokers-in-new-york-st...
    ‎SimilarThe New York TimesLoading…Sep 19, 2012 – ALBANY — Low-income smokers in New York spend 25 percent of their … Mr. Sciandra said state statistics showed that smokers earning less …


  11. BOB MCGILL says:

    and you display no decency with your nonsense


  12. BOB MCGILL says:

    You may be right. Tom actually has hope for this mess called the United States. He may have no idea of just how ungreatfull most people are, and I am sure he had no idea as to how many crack-pots there are .


  13. BOB MCGILL says:…/obesity-now-costs-americans-more-in-healthc…‎Cached
    SimilarForbesLoading…Apr 30, 2012 – … exceeding smoking as public health enemy number one when it comes to cost. “Obese men rack up an additional $1,152 a year in medical …


  14. whungerford says:

    Oh, Bob, I really missed your point about obesity. Obesity is associated with poor nutrition don’t you know?


  15. whungerford says:

    Bob, have you ever disagreed with anything Tom has said or done? Do you wait for him to say or do something before agreeing, or do you agree even before he says it or does it?


  16. BOB MCGILL says:

    i do not pick out one guy and blame him for everything that is wrong with this country. Rather, I tend to blame stupid people of which there are many. There are so many deals going on in Washington that never get exposed because the press is so unreliable. Unlike you, I don’t have a lynch mob mentality. Tom makes sense, you on the other hand are just plain NUTS ! Someday I hope that at one of Tom’s town hall meetings, Tom has the guts to tell one of your crackpots they are full of crap and to shut up and sit down.


  17. BOB MCGILL says:

    SNAP does nothing for personal eating habits. If you meet a homeless person and give him $5 so he can get something to eat,he will most likely spend it on booze. When you take MY $5 and let the same thing happen, you screwed me, not him.


  18. Anne says:

    And with that comment, Bob, you’ve just lapped yourself on the idiocy track.


  19. Anne says:

    Man, I’d like to see that, too….and see it caught on tape. Rep. Grimm is still catching the fallout from his tough-guy threats to that young reporter. I can envision Tom auguring himself right into the ground, trying to spin that one….


  20. BOB MCGILL says:

    maybe I’ll do it for him, how’s that 🙂


  21. BOB MCGILL says:

    you would ! ( I really missed your point about obesity )


  22. BOB MCGILL says:

    hey anne, in case you didn’t know, it is a politicians responsibility to make sure the tax payer’s money isn’t wasted. Must be you never gave money to a panhandler ! If you did you would know that is the dumbest thing you could do.


  23. Anne says:

    When you’re in, or running for, office, definitely go for it, Bob.


  24. BOB McGILL says:

    I already have !! Besides if the people can’t take the truth, I don’t want to be in office !!!


  25. Deb Meeker says:

    “Fun with Bob” soon to come out in paperback.


  26. solodm says:

    Now we hear that at least in part due to the sequester, the Army will be reducing the number of troops by quite a bit. I’m not complaining about that, but Libertarians and Republicans might. It’s my understanding that R/T/Cs believe the strength of the country hinges on it’s ability to overturn and occupy other countries, under the guise of “spreading Democracy”.


  27. BOB MCGILL says:

    Hey Meeker, when you can’t win the arguement on the issues, just bash your opponent with little snide remarks.


  28. whungerford says:

    Congressman Tom Reed recently signed a pledge against the SAFE Act and in support of Second Amendment rights. However, a new poll found that most New Yorkers support the SAFE Act.

    Sixty-three percent of voters say they support the new gun laws, while one-third oppose the SAFE Act. A majority of Republicans — 55 percent — oppose the law, while a vast majority of Democrats (83 percent) and downstate voters (79 percent) back the NY SAFE Act.

    Tom didn’t have to sign that pledge. Most of his supporters already know his views well. Moderates, whose votes Tom needs, might be unhappy with his hard line, however. Assuming Tom honestly believes the SAFE Act is unwarranted, was he brave or foolish to sign another pledge.


  29. Barbara Griffin says:

    Ha! I thought Deb’s comment was pretty funny. On the other hand, let’s review Bob’s snide remarks during this lively exchange: “stupid people…lynch mob mentality…you’re just plain NUTS…crackpots…full of crap…shut up and sit down”. Those comments will surely win any argument when it comes to intelligent debate.


  30. BOB MCGILL says:

    BUT, BUT, BUT, everything you people say about Tom and others is just a bunch of made up opinions based solely on your personal feelings. Now tell me there are ” NO ” stupid people, ” NO ” crack pots, NOBODY is full of crap, and there is not one single person with a lynch mob mentality. I did say whungerford is nuts but I never said that the other things pertained to any particular individual. But of course, if the shoe fits wear it. I am sure that it won’t be the first time you heard those terms used to describe yourself.


  31. BOB MCGILL says:‎CachedJan 24, 2014 – Do you support or oppose the NY SAFE Act? Support: 38% Oppose: 62% Which of the following best represents your view of the NY SAFE Act?
    More than half of the poll respondents—some 53 percent—say the law should be repealed. Nearly 30 percent say changes are needed to improve the law, and 18 percent say it should stand as is.

    The poll results are similar to those from March 2013, when the same question was asked and 61 percent of respondents opposed the law.


  32. whungerford says:

    RBJ’s snap poll isn’t a scientific poll, so the results are relatively meaningless. Nice try Bob but no cigar.


  33. BOB McGILL says:

    Sorry I didn’t respond right away, I have been rolling around on the floor laughing my___ off. Not scientific ? How much science is involved in asking someone a question ?
    You accuse me of cherry picking, what a joke ! 🙂


  34. whungerford says:

    Bob, to be meaningful there must be a random sample of voters. Just asking whoever cares to answer doesn’t cut it. However, I’m glad you are enjoying yourself


  35. BOB McGILL says:

    ok lets ask the people in Miami, or Montana how about Arizona. But you probably would prefer the dementia ward at the nursing home wouldn’t you. Isn’t that what you democrats do ?, and lets not forget the grave yard.


  36. BOB McGILL says:

    you do realize that the above statement makes no sense at all, don’t you ? But if someone doesn’t care to answer you just put them down as being for it, right !


  37. BOB MCGILL says:

    What’s the matter, does it bother you that I know that the democrats in Yates County went into the dementia ward at the local nursing home and got all the little old ladies to vote for Obama ? Bet they got them to vote for pystew also. My sister, who is unable to see, read, write, and talk voted !!!


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