Tag Archives: Penn Jillette

Penn Jillette on Reason.TV

Watch the whole thing; some great stuff at the end.

I don’t know, either

Penn Jillette’s commentary at CNN is awesome.

It’s amazing to me how many people think that voting to have the government give poor people money is compassion. Helping poor and suffering people is compassion. Voting for our government to use guns to give money to help poor and suffering people is immoral self-righteous bullying laziness.

People need to be fed, medicated, educated, clothed, and sheltered, and if we’re compassionate we’ll help them, but you get no moral credit for forcing other people to do what you think is right. There is great joy in helping people, but no joy in doing it at gunpoint.

So well said.  Compare this to the crap Warren Buffett got published, where he complains that he pays too little in taxes, but does nothing to increase his tax burden voluntarily (he could take a larger salary instead of capital gains, hell, he could contribute all of his earnings if he wanted).  Instead, he thinks we should use force to take more stuff from more people.

I know one thing:  which side I’m on.


Sometimes, you need to trust your intuition

Penn Jillette on Obama turning into the skid.

I trusted my Dad that turning into a skid would work. I trusted my carny mentor, Doc Swan, that closing my mouth around a burning torch would put it out. They were right. Maybe the United States borrowing more money than I could imagine in a billion years with a billion computers and a billion monkeys typing on them, will get us out of financial trouble. I really don’t know. It’s certainly true that many counterintuitive things are true, and when you have the guts to do something counterintuitive that works, it’s really cool. It’s a superpower under our yellow sun.
But there are some things that are just intuitive. Did you know, that if you’re going 100 mph, directly at a very, very thick, reinforced concrete wall, and you speed up, so you’re accelerating right when you hit the wall that the accident you have is going to be much worse than if you’d jammed on the brakes as soon as you saw the wall at the end of the street? Did you know that? It’s exactly what everything you know and feel would tell you, and it’s exactly true. Most times when you’re driving, or playing with fire, or handling money, the thing that makes sense to you is also true.

Intuitively, we’re headed for the wall… we aren’t going to spend our way out of debt, and giving a failing government more power isn’t the answer.
But you already know that.

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