Tea With The Mad Hatter

If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense.  Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t.  And contrary-wise, what is, it wouldn’t be.  And what it wouldn’t be, it would.  You see?  (The Mad Hatter)

I do recognize that the tea party people want us to think of the Boston Tea Party, where the famous motto was “No taxation without representation!”  Surely I’m not the first to recognize that they have more in common with the participants in that much earlier, if fictional, tea party?

Let me begin by saying that as a former student “leftist” sort, and sometime marcher/rallier, it’s a bit hypocritical to complain about the tea partiers because their views are so different from mine.  (Actually I’d say their grasp of reality is different from mine, but facts are slippery things.)

The tea partiers are on my mind more than usual because of the fact that Thursday was April 15th, aka “Tax Day”.  That morning I arrived at work to find a two-page invitation, printed from someone’s Facebook page, to join that day’s Tax protest–not as a participant exactly, but as an infiltrator.  Here’s the plan, it said, more or less:  we will carry misspelled signs and hurl epithets, and make them look more stupid than they already are.  I was outraged. 

Who would put such trash on my desk?  It broke every rule Fakename has, starting with not discussing politics (or sex) in the workplace.  I calmed down a little when I realized it couldn’t have been printed from any of the computers in my office, since until I or my assistant get there, no one has access to the Internet.  After thinking about it all day, I concluded it was something a customer must have handed to the overnight Security officer, who dutifully placed it on my desk.  (I WILL find out.)  But the reason I think that is…

Since Tallahassee is the capital, we had the obligatory tax protest that day.  A little later in the morning, two women about my age stopped in to ask directions to the Old Capital (since it’s across the street, this is how you know they are Not From Around Here).  One of my employees must have said something about tea partiers because by the time I tuned in, one of the women was saying, “Aw, we aren’t that bad–we’re just concerned about being overtaxed.”  As I was in mid-leap out of my chair, the employee said “I am terribly sorry, I didn’t mean to offend you…let me show you the way to the capital grounds.”  Whew. 

To the tea partiers, I say:  Go for it.  Except don’t try to use spurious comparisons to the Boston Tea Party.  Without having to give you a whole history lesson, the difference is, you DO have representation.  You just don’t like it.  Yawn.  Been there done that. 

Also I’d like to advise you that what you’re doing will not do a damn bit of good.  Not that you shouldn’t enjoy yourselves anyway.  In the early seventies, we didn’t have much more of a grasp of the facts than you do–in fact, arguably less.  But we did have youth and inexperience going for us, whereas you’re old enough to know better. 

In closing, I’d like to say that I think infiltrators are the most despicable of all people.  I illustrate this with a brief story about a manager I know of who rented a car on his company’s credit card, then quit without notice and left the rental car in an airport parking lot.  Needless to say, he was mad at his company.  Until they located the car, the company had to pay the rental fees.  That showed them, I guess.  Except for the part where the ex-manager might have been charged with grand theft. 

If you want to prove someone else’s ideas are stupid, try not to be more stupid than they are.


11 responses to “Tea With The Mad Hatter

  1. Holy Donald Segretti Batman. Pow bam boff whammo!!

  2. “Power to the people” and make love not taxes. The TEA folks don’t volunteer to be donors in public wealth distribution. We all know that the government takes $10 in taxes, and distributes $0.05 in benefits to the disadvantaged. Small example, social security taxes have been collected by a plan designed to take the baby boomer excess contributions, in order to fund their retirement group that would outnumber the younger workers. Congress left $2.5 trillion in IOU markers. Now HealthCare is to take in excess taxes prior to paying out benefits in 2014. Right!? Just like $2.5 trillion gone, means gosh, we have a crisis in social security, and gosh you rich old folks don’t really need that social security money, did you?

  3. > Boston Tea Party

    I have a completely different view of that event.

    While ostensibly about “no taxation without representation”, was that not the M.O. in the colonies from Day 1? So why then does the issue apparently arise at that point in time? Why not much earlier?

    What we have here is the desire for a free lunch, or at least a value menu which costs more to produce than can be charged for it.

    And that value menu is named: defense of the colonies. The French and Indian War had cost the crown royally! 😉 Was it unreasonable to ask the colonies to pay more of that cost? But the colonists felt that was so terrible and began a revolution. It was about money, that is all.

  4. It is always about money, food, stuff people value like beads, baubles, or pebbles. Every major historic change in our country has been forced by a dynamic and active minority. TEA is all of that. The colonies did not like their contract with the colony owners. War breaks all contracts, and made more money for colonists free of any financial contracts.
    TEA are claiming the buildup of government policies presumes that goods produced, gains made at risk of time and money, are all claimed by regulations, taxes, fees and we should feel grateful for our privileges. We have the privilege to fail and our tough luck. Government chooses to meddle by propping up Government Motors, and creating a crisis by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac giving money to anybody that wanted to buy a $300,000 house.

  5. Speaking of taxes, I invited everyone to read Gail Collins’ op-ed piece in the NY Times from last Thursday, entitled, “Celebrating the Joys of April 15th”. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/15/opinion/15collins.html

  6. “It was about money, that is all.”

    That’s not correct sir. You can say that it was partially about money but not all about money. Some of the American colonists began to value freedom from foreign rule as much as they valued their own lives. It was definitely a mixed bag among the colonists and those that chose to fight for their freedom payed a heavy heavy price for it. There were many loyalists that turned on the freedom fighters.

    It is the point that you and I continue to disagree on. There was then, and is now, something greater about freedom than money, and it requires loyalty and collective vigilance to preserve. Without that vigilance by those willing to back up their beliefs with action we would have long ago vanished as an independent and autonomous republic and these philosophical discussions would not be possible. And yes I know you can make all kinds of speculative comments re our autonomy but the fact is we still have self rule and the strongest military presence in the world. History has shown that to be necessary not philosophically suspect. Would that it were not so.

    • OK, OK…I admit to my usual rhetorical, agitprop overstatements.

      I’m kinda like Dr. Strangelove, in the infamous scene where he can’t help but jerk his arm in a Nazi salute as he prattles on about nuclear war survival, etc.

      It wasn”t “all” about money. But I do believe that money precipitated it.

  7. “Would it were not so”. Yes, but in order for it not to be so, we humans would have to evolve into some other species that is presently nonexistent on earth, either for us or any other animals. Until that day, there is no substitute for strength as a deterrent.

  8. > strength as a deterrent.

    I can accept that in theory. But in practice “deterrent” has meant “pre-emptive” action on the flimsiest grounds, starting with Nam and right through Iraq.

    And before that, was the “missile gap” which was BS.

    Which is why I say, don’t shoot until you see the whites of their eyes. We’ve been shooting on a par with Cheney. And we don’t pick on anybody our own size. Isn’t that what a bully does?

    You want a threat to freedom? China. Who’s screaming for regime change in Tibet? Oh, we can’t…we owe China way too much.

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