The American Dilemma and How We Can Fix It

LESSONS FROM PRISON

In the United States we don’t get a lot of news from foreign sources.  I’ve never seen a copy of a newspaper published in Sri Lanka.  Perhaps the same is true of foreigners who may not be as informed about life in America – although the internet has helped democratize the process of news dissemination.

Making the assumption that matters of interest in the United States might not hold the same importance to my foreign readers, you’ve probably never heard of an American by the name of Kevin Trudeau.  In fact, I suspect there are a fair number of my countrymen who are similarly ignorant of this individual.

If you are an insomniac or just a television junkie, at some point over the last decade you’ve probably seen one of Trudeau’s infomercials.  For those of you abroad who may not know about infomercials, they are the advertising version of reality TV, normally lasting for one half hour.

A typical setting for an infomercial is a studio, the “pitchman” pushing the product is most often male and is usually accompanied by an attractive, younger female who asks insipid questions of the host or oohs as the host describes and normally demonstrates the product he is promoting.  These  might be vacuum cleaners, a kitchen appliance – or in Trudeau’s case – books.  Kevin has written a number of these whose subject matter includes “unique ways to get out of debt,” “’natural cures’” that the health care industry doesn’t want you to know about” and, of course America’s favorite health issue, “no effort ways to lose weight.”

You can certainly understand the reason that Mr. Trudeau appeals to a wide audience.  After all, being debt free, healthier and better looking are things that most of us would embrace as goals to which we would aspire.  In fact, at his sentencing hearing yesterday in Chicago, the courtroom was packed with his supporters as the judge remanded him to ten years in prison.

Mr. Trudeau had previously been convicted of bilking the public out of $37 million.  You see, what Mr. Trudeau promised to deliver the prospective buyer in his infomercials was substantially greater than the value of the advice which appeared in the printed word – or so the court found.

Mr. Trudeau has been imprisoned since his conviction late last year.  In an impassioned twenty minute speech he said that, “Prison has changed me.  If I ever write another book I promise that there will be no puffery, no embellishments, no lies and no mis-leading statements.”  Sadly for Mr. Trudeau, that plea fell on the ears of a deaf judge who agreed with the prosecution’s recommendation that he receive the full ten year term.

I’ve seen a number of Mr. Trudeau’s infomercials though I’ve never purchased any of his writings.  I can see how a person would be inclined, were they interested in the subject matter, to understand why he sold a lot of books.  Mr. Trudeau is an outstanding pitchman.  He’s the kind of person who is believable and could convince a farmer dealing with drought that he was the long awaited rainmaker.

But I couldn’t help thinking …

If we held the Congress and the president to the same standards regarding Obamacare as we held Mr. Trudeau, our correction facilities would be breaking out a lot of orange prison suits and we’d have a great number of political vacancies to fill.

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Comments on: "LESSONS FROM PRISON" (7)

  1. Ain’t that the truth.

    • And he got ten years for a mere $37 MM. I wonder what the just sentence would be for the billions they’ve wasted.

      • In Chicago as we both know, for these cretins probably 10 days, suspended. But in truth the satisfaction of watching them in the dock would be nearly enough.

        Wonder who he irritated. anyway? Caused that really is severe, judges daughter, maybe?

  2. My thought for a just punishment would be to take the lot of them, equip them fully, and put them on an ice floe off Alaska (during the spring thaw) – and have them give us a complete report on global warming.

  3. Unfortunately you are right. The rest of the world is well informed about America. I think they get a false impression from Hollywood movies which are watched openly or behind closed doors in the most remote places. I believe Time and Newsweek have done a lot of damage to the US image by airing national dirty linen and sharing it with the world. That is viewed with surprise in Asia and makes Asians wary about their communications which are likely to be spread around the globe by western news media. As for the average US view of the world? I’ll illustrate it this way. When my daughter who had her college education on the west coast was taking a shared ride to LA to visit friends she was asked where she came from. She told those in the car she lived in Singapore. She was asked if the driver was dropping her off on the way to LA. Maybe France penetrates the consciousness judging by Hollywood movies, or perhaps Great Britain?

    • Your daughter’s story is funny. I remember a conversation overheard in a casino a few years ago. (Both parties appeared to be totally sober). Apparently, these two ladies hadn’t seen each other for awhile. The one asked, “How have you been? It’s been a long time.” The other said that she had been in Italy.
      The first woman asked, “Did you drive there?”

      It’s frightening that we allow these people to vote.

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