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The Migratory Habits of the Tufted Southwester Tea Bagger

Some days are just meant for bitching. Don’t lie to yourself; you’ve had’em. You wake up on the wrong side of the bed and someone’s going to have a worse day than you. It doesn’t have to make sense. It doesn’t have to be fair. The first person who falls into your sights is toast. If my wife (who is as close to uniformly charming as anyone walking) gets out of bed and does a crab-walk to the bathroom first thing in the morning, I’m outta there. Sometimes I might have to throw her a piece of raw meat to distract her while I sneak out the door, but whatever it takes to find a cave in which to hide is what I’m going to do. No one’s immune from the wishfully rare, but all too common human ailment.

A small percentage of people seem to have been born to bitch. It’s not a once in a blue moon thing. They get out of bed every day intent on making everyone who crosses their path into road kill. They’re constantly negative. They delight to bringing people down. It’s as if they find it easier to elevate their own mood by making everyone else’s lower than their own. We all know a few of them and if possible, we avoid them like the social boils they are. Their complaints don’t have to make sense. They don’t have to think things through. They can’t seem to take responsibility for their own actions. They live as perpetual consequences. They are victims. Everything that happens to them is beyond their own control and everything that happens is bad.

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Talking to Stumps

Sure, I’m generalizing. So be aware I acknowledge there are exceptions to what I’m about to say. At last count there were twelve. Not bad for a group of a few tens of millions. It’s increasingly difficult to pick a descriptive name for the group. Call them FOXites, tea baggers, right wing-nuts, religious zealots, conservatives or Republicans, each group disavows automatic inclusion in the other, but the reality is that by superimposing each group’s demographic over the others, the boundaries are barely blurred. Sadly for some (namely conservatives and Republicans), their labels used to carry an element of pensive respect, but those were the days of William F. Buckley and other educated, intelligent icons of their philosophical sect. Buckley and his ilk have been replaced by the likes of Beck, Limbaugh, Hannity, O’Reilly and numerous other doctrinal windbags that don’t even believe in their own theater. They pander to the under-educated, intellectually lazy “patriots” that find a three piece jigsaw puzzle a formidable mental challenge. They’re making a mockery out of the American political system by feeding nonsensical populist rubbish into the unfiltered minds of the philosophical zombies that roam the range contributing little beyond mental defecant to the discussion of the substantive issues confronting America today.

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Econ 101 – He Never Saw it Coming

Sometimes people just don’t look both ways. That’s how wrecks happen. In this country, the level of economic expertise is pathetically low. We don’t mandate even basic economics classes in most high schools. The average American doesn’t have a clue how the economy works or what the Federal Reserve does. If the paycheck clears the bank, the economy must be good. If our collective ignorance didn’t have such a monumental influence on our future, it would be funny. But when some people listen to the likes of Glenn Beck for their economic knowledge, our future is bleak indeed. Tea baggers sit in judgment of President Obama, Ben Bernanke, Tim Geithner, Barney Frank and myriad others who provide direction to our economic policies, yet few could tell the difference between their economic philosophies and Shinola. It truly portends of a dismal future.

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Maybe the Tea Sippers Can Explain It

I’m sure I’m not the only one that feels cerebrally challenged from time to time. I’m pretty well educated and I’ve rolled the odometer over a couple times on the experience machine. It could be because I like to surround myself with people that are a hellava lot smarter than I am, but I’m always feeling like the short leg on a wobbly library table.

So I prostrate myself before the FOX hounds, tea party participants, Limbos and the rest of the purveyors of the lofty premise and beg for your insights and answers. There are a couple of things I haven’t been able to piece together. If you can enlighten me, perhaps, I can join the Republican Party and start sipping a cup of tea myself. If anyone can answer these questions, I know it’s you because you guys are always the ones screaming the loudest on the subjects.

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Satan – My Personal Banker at BMW Bank of North America

A bit hyperbolic? You be the judge. This is a true story about the decay in the moral code of the American banking system. It’s not restricted to the banking industry; sadly, it permeates much of American business ethics. But in this case, the scene plays out in the offices of a diabolical brotherhood of banditos headquartered in the nation’s scam capitol, Salt Lake City, Utah. Utah has a lengthy history of producing some of the country’s most colorful criminals, thieves, hawkers and hacks. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and Frank and Tom McCarty (my wife’s family) engaged in a similar form of banking from their Hole-in-the-Wall branch office for a long time. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that my wife’s superior cooking abilities were passed down from Aunt Zinnia who was the gang’s cook. Utahns can hold their heads high in knowing that BMW Bank is maintaining that tradition in the grandest style.

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Slapped by the Invisible Hand

We live in a capitalist society. I am a capitalist. I certainly don’t feel compelled to apologize for that belief. At the same time, I break with most of the “tea party” types and acknowledge that nonexistent, pure capitalism as well as our imitation of it are both flawed. Pure capitalism is like aqua regia, an acid so strong that it will dissolve anything and everything in which it comes in contact. It can’t long exist because nothing could contain it without itself being dissolved. So it is with pure capitalism.

In my thinking, the flaws of our system must be recognized and acknowledged, otherwise, they corrode our society. Unlike the demagogues of the right wing media and their tea party lemmings, I don’t view those who talk about the flaws and weaknesses of our culture as traitors. I view them as saviors. It is difficult to improve anything if you think it has already attained perfection.

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Quit Your Bitchin

President Obama ran for office promising hope and change. He arrived amidst falling debris of a collapsing economy, a world on the verge of disaster, and an America bitterly divided.  He walked into office as a massive government bailout of Wall Street orchestrated by his predecessors was underway.  On countless occasions, he said it would take time, there would be suffering, a need for patience and that the ride to recovery was going to be a bumpy one at best.

Surely, I’m not the only one that heard him say these things. In fact, if he hadn’t made these claims, they would have been self evident. It didn’t take terribly deep thinking to see the size of the hole we were in. It takes a hellava lot more time to rebuild a house of cards than it does to knock it down.  But a lot of Americans either weren’t listening or have frighteningly short memories. A small percentage, people like Glenn Beck, appear to be too thick skulled to comprehend the realities, but most Americans should have some understanding or the reality in which we find ourselves.

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