Lorie Kramer - Houston, TX
There's an old saying...but as many old sayings often go, I'm not even sure if I can quote and source it correctly, or not. How I first heard it was "When you've got them by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow." I believe I first heard it from my father sometime in the late 60's or very early 70's...probably related to refinery worker union stuff and such. I remember my father saying it with a twinkle in his eye, yet a definite serious undertone. The statement is certainly one to ponder, if only briefly. When first heard, it generally leaves an impression. Things that threaten balls are usually things to which people pay attention...usually. But, "usual" doesn't mean the same now as it did back then, I suppose...but, balls does.
I have seen the quote used with various first words..."when", "if", "once." All three pretty much impart the same message in the end, just subtle differences in timing and possibilities. But then, isn't life all about subtle differences in timing and possibilities?
I have seen the quote attributed most often to John Wayne, although I have not been able to find out when and where John Wayne supposedly said it. I just see lots of people and places saying he said it, repeating each other with no further verifiable information. You know, like today's so-called "journalists" do? Wayne may have said it, but I can't find the source. It's getting harder and harder to get to the source of things anymore. Newspaper reports haven't even had bylines for years now.
His quote used the "if" word. There's an implied threat there, the potential victim's balls haven't actually been gotten yet. There's still a chance that one's balls might be safe, but don't count on it. One can also see that there is a pretty good level of confidence in hearts and minds following, should said balls be gotten.
I've also seen it attributed to Richard Nixon, which is undeniably plausable. I don't know if that was before, after, or during Watergate. One guess is that he was probably reading it off Chuck Colson's office wall.
In the 1976 film "All the President's Men", Harry Rosenfeld, Watergate times editor of The Washington Post, played by Jack Warden, said, "The most powerful man in the United States is President Nixon. You've heard of him? Charles Colson is special counsel to the President. There's a cartoon on his wall. The caption reads, "When you've got 'em by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow." The use of "when" shows planning for getting balls in solid grips. It is a priority, something for which one needs to allot time. It also indicates a level of confidence in the resulting direction of hearts and minds, and pretty much assumes that said balls WILL be gotten. So...I guess they use the "When" word in the White House.
Billionaire Leonard Stern, former chairman of pet-supply giant Hartz Mountain Inc., is reported to have had a sign using the "Once" word in his office. That's probably gone now. The use of "once" again shows great confidence in the eventual outcome of ball getting, and even looks forward to what happens after the hearts and minds have followed. It is a foregone conclusion that somebody's getting some balls from somebody, and it's NOT going to be theirs.
So, this is all very interesting, but it still doesn't leave us with who truly said what when, which is typical when dealing with Hollywood, politics, and big business...nothing new in that aspect so, we will move on.
All this talk about ball getting, and hearts and minds, and following and such... made me think about money. Go figure. Who knows why the mind thinks what it thinks, when it thinks it? Hell, Warren Buffett thinks about Bank of America in the bathtub. (shrug)
Maybe because when it comes to money, more and more people these days feel that irritating tug down there which might be reminiscent of some sort of ball getting attempt. Many might even feel what could be described as a death grip on the family jewels. And many of those who feel that way are women! Just shows how powerful those who desire to grip balls can be; attempting to get people by the balls, regardless of gender. Back to the money.
The money, you see, is the all time humdinger, all-round best weapon for those whose sport is ball getting. It works great. It's not even real, yet it provides such tremendous capacity to go out and GET those balls and twist, and crush, and SQUEEZE them with SUCH INTENSITY that the victims forget they even HAVE hearts and minds! It's like the nuclear weapon of the ball getting world.
Like it or not, most of us have at least one ball in their grasp. If you use a bank, or a credit card or anything that can be swiped through an electronic teller, or cashier, or fuel pump...don't look now, but someone's got a hold of your balls. It may just feel like some tight jeans, or the heat of summer, but mind my words...your balls are in a vise and the ball getters are turning the handle a little tighter every day. If you aren't feeling it already, you will be.
I'm thinking that we can clog up the systems and loosen the grip on our balls by using their money....literally. So my idea is, they like their money so much, I'm going to give it to them as much as possible. I'm going to shove it down their throats. Every chance I get I am paying in cash. Bills and coins, and LOTS of them. I will be the person in the commercial that slows down the Visa line, because at the end of that line there's someone waiting to GET MY BALLS!
They think they have things so slick anymore that cash is obsolete. Kind of the same way they think about the Constitution, values, freedom, liberty, and the success and exceptionalism of the individual and community. Here's the thing...cash is still king. They just want you to forget that part.
They aren't prepared to handle a bunch of cash anymore. They don't want you to use it, they can't trace it, they have to count it, account for it, secure it, transport it, and risk losing it from theft. Cash is a royal pain in the ass for the ball getters. They want it to go away. But they still print it and strike it, as if it really means something, only because they have fooled hearts and minds with it...which probably won't work for much longer.
So, I say let's give them a dose of their own medicine, because you can't fool all of the hearts and minds all of the time.
Give them their cash, not their electronic data, for as many transactions as you can. Yes, it may be an inconvenience, yes you might have to plan to carry certain amounts on you, but it's not impossible. We managed back in BATM. If enough people did it, it would clog the cash handling system. It would lessen the data they collect on everything we do. If done right, as in not going into debt by paying cash, that would also eliminate the interest and fees that the ball getters just LOVE to take from We the People. Bonus!! And they REALLY wouldn't like THAT! It would give us a chance to at least show them that we do NOT intend to either have our balls gotten, OR change the direction of our hearts and minds. It is BECAUSE of our hearts and minds that they want our balls in the first place!! They KNOW our hearts and minds, if not distracted by ball grabbing attempts, are more powerful than their money. Our hearts and minds, as well as our balls, deserve protecting.
So there you go. It's not a fix everything solution, but it sure is a "WTF do they think they're doing?" solution from the perspective of the ball getters. They won't know what we're doing....because we are using their money. Of course bartering and local co-ops and such things are even better ways to get the grip off your balls, but cash is something we can all use to at least make it irritating for them. To show them that subtle differences and timing could add up to big changes in hearts and minds...theirs.
It's not a solve all our problems solution, I don't think that exists at this point...but, it's something.
Protect your hearts and minds...AND your balls...while you still can.