I’ve been watching a lot of Sopranos lately. Every morning I tune in to the 8:00 A&E showing. I’ve not been awake ten minutes and I’m watching Paulie smash a guy in the back of the head with a shovel, Chris put five across his bitch’s eye, Tony fuck some broad in a roadside motel. Before I’ve finished a cup of coffee I’ve seen sex, violence, chauvinism, prostitution, embezzlement, collusion, theft and murder. It’s great.

Part of what makes David Chase’s show brilliant television is that the characters are dead on. There are thousands of Jersey knuckleheads out there just like the guys in The Sopranos who are willing to kill, maim and take what they want. And that’s just in Jersey. There are goons the world over willing to step on you to get what they’re after. And I’m not just talking gangsters and tough guys. Look across the George Washington Bridge, to Manhattan, to find even bigger hoodlums. No, not Johnny Sack and the New York crew—I’m talking about the financial district crew—the guys who conned the nation out of tens of billions of dollars in taxpayer money. These thugs in their high rise offices at JP Morgan, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, just to name a few, are hard fucking core gangsters. These guys shat all over us and took what they wanted.

The point is, the world belongs to people with balls. Whether it’s through twisting arms or twisting laws, it doesn’t really matter. Some people have balls and take whatever they want. Then there’s the rest of us who play by the rules.

But there are rules, and then there are “rules.” Tony Soprano is at heart a pragmatist. What allows him to be one, however, is that people know he’s a big, bad motherfucker who will, in the end, take care of business by any means necessary. The unspoken threat that Tony will carve you up and dump your body in the harbor gives his negotiations that extra “oomph.”

Now, to diverge for a moment, I’d like to talk politics—specifically, the tea party movement. Guys, I like your anger. The problem is that you’re mad at the wrong people. The real enemy is not Obama, liberals or socialists—it’s not universal health care, illegal immigrants, homos or dope smokers. It’s the Wall Street plutocrats who rig the system and take all of our money—who wreck the economy and get people kicked out of their homes—who nearly plunged our entire nation—the world, possibly—into economic ruin. These rich pricks are the enemy.

The tea partiers always like to talk about what patriots they are. I’m all for being patriotic. But, I’d like to remind those historically myopic rabble-rousers of exactly what a Patriot is. The tea partiers chose to name themselves after those people who, in 1773, boarded ships docked in Boston harbor and dumped their cargo of taxed tea into the water in protest. But the Boston Tea Party was just a small part of the Patriots hard-line stance against their oppressors. They regularly tarred and feathered Loyalists. Think about that: dumping hot tar all over somebody’s body and then, to add insult to injury, a few feathers. That’s some hardcore gangster shit. Not only that, Patriots burned down Loyalist homes to get their point across. Not surprisingly, it worked. They chased those British bums out of town.

Tea partiers: if you want to talk about patriotism, at least get your terminology right. Let’s step off of this flag-waving, dumb hillbilly, Fox News, anti-intellectual, Mexican/darkie-hating, drill baby drill, get-your-hands-off-my-guns, the founding fathers were infallible man gods, bullshit. Patriotism has somehow been subverted by a political vein that clings to a nostalgic, romantic fantasy of America as a good ol’ boy club for whom Ronald Regan is the eternal hero. It’s John Wayne in a western who dispatches of the bad guys, gives a laconic, feel-good, one-liner with a tip of his cap then saunters off into the sunset. Patriotism has been turned into a myth and hijacked by the far right.

How did our nation react after the bank bailouts? Aside from some cries of protest—some professorial finger wagging from the Administration—nothing. Despite pointed work by journalists such as Matt Taibbi, who laid out the entire hustle for us, who described, in detail, the horse-race financial schemes that led to this crisis, we as a nation have sat back on our heels and let it keep happening. Sure, some of the banks are beginning to pay back their debts, but no real work has been done to close the loopholes that led us into this malaise. The people who work for Goldman Sachs et. al are still getting millions of dollars in bonuses precisely for coming up with new financial schemes. This is what investment banking has become. These guys don’t fund emerging markets and industries. They create bubbles that burst in their favor, flood the system with toxic junk and then profit by betting against the fact that their own unsustainable policies are going to fail. Even if we change the laws, I’m confident they will come up with new ways to hoodwink the public at large. These guys are good.

But while they may be really smart, I’m willing to bet they’re not that tough. That is, if a shovel was to connect with the back of their head, or a 9mm to somehow find its way into their mouth…

Tea partiers, if you really want to be Patriots, here’s your chance. Stop burning Obama effigies, bemoaning how we’re becoming commies and praying to God for faggots to die. Pick up your pitchforks, your torches and those guns you oft demand to keep but rarely have cause to use and go after these investment bankers. Consider this the new Glorious Cause.  Push these guys around, slap them, kidnap their wives…whatever it takes. These firms like to talk about how they’re too big to fail. Well, so was Dirty Harry’s .44 magnum.

Perhaps a strong populist movement will send a message to the top. Since many are already looking ahead to the mid-term elections, even the presidential election, it’s got me thinking who I’ll be casting my ballot for. I’d vote for Tony Soprano in a heartbeat before I put another politically correct liberal or politically retarded conservative in office. Give me some good ol’ guido pragmatism. Would Tony lecture the banks about how they should be ashamed of themselves, and that maybe they shouldn’t be paying out such big bonuses? Of course not. Would he let Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao snub him at the Copenhagen Climate Conference? Fahgettaboudit. I’m not sure exactly what he’d do, but the one thing Tony Soprano does not do is not get results. He doesn’t do “shame on you.” He does “If that’s how it’s gonna be I’ll cut your balls off, you fucking cockroach.”

That sounds like a real Patriot to me. The plutocrats of today are the new aristocracy. They are the same kind of people that we strong-armed back to Britain over 225 years ago and began a nation in defiance of. America, it’s time to run the bums out of town again. But to do so we need to have balls.   We need to remember what the tough sons of bitches who helped win our freedom knew; what every Jersey wiseguy with a gun in his track pant’s elastic waistline and a bat in his hand knows: there are rules and then there are “rules”. Capiche?

I’m also thinking, if it can work for the good ol’ Stars & Stripes, then it’s good enough for me. Writers, after all, aren’t exactly known for being the ballsiest lot—not in real life, anyway. If pressed to a fight I’d probably run away and use the confrontation as the basis of a misanthropic vignette.

Part of what’s frustrating about being a writer is that you submit your work for review to total strangers far away. I’ve often thought, “If only I could meet these people…put a personal face to my work…not have it just be the manuscript of some abstract person…maybe it would make a difference…”

But now I’m thinking I show up at their office with a different strategy—like the hardbound edge of my rejected manuscript to the back of the head. Maybe then they’ll reconsider. If not, it will make for a really deep, dark story full of irony, pain and regret. Either way: bada bing.

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BRIAN ECKERT recently gave up his SUV and life in an idyllic New England seaside town for a single speed bicycle and the smog of Beijing, China is back from China and living in Denver, Colorado. Check out more at his website.

26 responses to “Patriotism is a Warm Gun”

  1. Simon Smithson says:

    Ralphie Cifaretto for Secretary of Defense!

  2. I like your pro-anger/anti-wrong-kind-of-anger sentiment. The teabaggers are a bunch of rapist, homophobic degenerates who dig a hole for themselves with every justification they attempt.

    I would argue, however, that patriotism is not a good thing. I can understand people taking pride in their nation, but I think that patriotism – like race & religion – is very easily used to justify evil deeds. Wars always come down to patriotism, race and religion. It’s all about identity. People forget that we aren’t really citizens on a place or members of one group at heart… We’re all part of the world.

    Perhaps once people stop focusing on differences, we’ll stop killing each other. (I don’t honestly believe that will ever happen.)

    • Brian Eckert says:

      I also hate Patriotism…but I despise hypocrisy even more. The tea baggers think they’re doing the country a favor while they’re really just dragging their heels into the 21st century.
      Also, I’ve found as I get older I ditch the kumbaya attitude in favor of a more pragmatic one. We’re not going to stop killing each other, you’re right. So maybe if we at least kill a few of the worst soilers of humanity that will somehow mitigate the overall barbarism.

    • Becky says:

      This confluence of statements strikes me as problematic:

      “The teabaggers are a bunch of rapist, homophobic degenerates…”

      “People forget that we aren’t really citizens on a place or members of one group at heart…”

      “Perhaps once people stop focusing on differences, we’ll stop killing each other…”

      • Yes, that was a stupid first sentence… The word “rapist” was meant to be “racist,” referring to the extremely offensive signs that they have been parading around with.

        • Becky says:

          I have to admit, I was confused. I thought maybe it was standing in as hyperbole for sexism. Still, though, there’s a whole hate-for-hate issue simmering underneath the Tea Party issue on both sides.

          I have been regularly shocked at some of even my most liberal/pacifist friends’ venom in the last year or so. Like, swap out “teabagger” for a racist, homophobic, or other epithet, and the rhetoric is virtually identical to that of those they’re railing against. Of course, their rationale is that their hate is righteous and justified. But that’s always everyone’s rationale.

          I’m really kind of losing sympathy for everybody involved. Like, some in the Tea Party movement are proving to be assholes, but some of their most vocal detractors are just boorish and wild-eyed and scummy.

          I’m not calling you boorish and scummy, just that, much of the tea party’s opposition is proving to be rather easily drawn away from their expressed ideals. It wears me out. People are fucking nasty. Virtually to the man.

        • I have a lot of respect for people who can retain their cool when confronted by nastiness. I think I used to be better at it, but as I get older I grow tired of trying to tolerate hate. I see more and more nasty people and my patience runs out. My girlfriend is great at it. She can sit down with a homophobe and argue calmly and rationally with him/her. Same with sexists, racists and all other hate-filled morons.

          I know that’s the right thing to do, but I get carried away. When I see people marching around under a false flag, looking for an excuse to hate, and doing so badly – in other words, their true agenda comes through crystal clear – I find it very hard to maintain my cool.

          For the most part I actually try and just stay away from things that piss me off, but every now and then I get drawn into making comments.

        • Becky says:

          As a person with a vile, vile temper, I can attest from experience that it doesn’t have to be about tolerating anything, really.

          It’s just that getting just as pissy as someone who’s pissy never does any good at all. I mean, that’s as true in politics and social issues as it is in an argument with a significant other. My thing became, eventually, not that keeping my cool was about some kind of kum-bye-ah or Zen mentality, but just that getting all pissed off was an incredible fucking waste of time. Or, I mean, go ahead and get pissed off, but you’ve got to maintain your wits. Ad hominem stuff is, without exception, a gaping rhetorical weakness, as are a lot of logical fallacies, but that one in particular will lose an argument for you the second you let it slip.

          The issues are important and important to talk about, in my opinion, and I don’t advocate avoiding them. But my personal experience has been that when I engage in tit-for-tat, it does nothing but exhaust me and cede the rhetorical high ground to my opponent, who is usually an idiot. And that’s just a damned shame. I mean, if thinking of it as tolerance bothers you, think of it as strategy.

  3. The original Boston Tea Party was more of a random act than any concrete political action. They dressed up and pretended to be someone else.

    Yes, I agree that Americans tend to think that “might equals right”, especially if we have the might and think we are right.

    Alas, I agree with the point of the chronicler. Strong stupid tends to win over smart weak in these kinds of arguments.

  4. Paul Clayton says:

    I went to the Pleasanton CA, teaparty partly to express my opinion by my presence, with no signs, that I was onboard with the tone of the event, that is, we don’t need any more of your fucking laws… And, you, in BIG GOVERNMENT, are getting too intrusive, and also, why the fuck do you want more of my money in taxes? What are you doing with the fifty percent of my income I already hand over to you? Why do you need more?
    Now, I was not upset when I went to the gathering, nor when I left. But I must say, that when I read some of the bs here, I do get upset.
    You talk about, “historically myopic rabble-rousers,” “flag-waving, dumb hillbilly, Fox News, anti-intellectual, Mexican/darkie-hating, drill baby drill, get-your-hands-off-my-guns, the founding fathers were infallible man gods, bullshit…” And some of the responders here go further. Problem is, I didn’t see any of that there. I saw a mostly older crowd of people, probably average age of fifty, law abiding, expressing, by their presence, and yes, a few signs, their displeasure with this government. I did not see any lynchings, tarrings, white sheets, swastikas, etc. No, this was not the MARCH AGAINST THE MACHINE or some such lefty movement, with windows being smashed, cars overturned, brave young men with bandanas hiding their identity.
    What I see and hear a lot of, however, is hysteria on the left. No, these people that I saw today are not going to be assaulting your condo with AKs and pulling you out into the night to tar and feather you. Indeed, when I came away from this event, before reading your inciteful article, I was sticken by how elderly and vulnerable these Tea Party folks would be to a mob of young brown shirts or union goons. You seem to be suggesting something unseemly here, your words, “But while they may be really smart, I’m willing to bet they’re not that tough. That is, if a shovel was to connect with the back of their head, or a 9mm to somehow find its way into their mouth.” I saw people there who were mostly your parents age. I saw a few boy scout troops.
    These people are not a threat to you, and certainly not to the government, except when they enter the ballot box.
    Let’s hope that they and you and I will be allowed to continue to do that on a regular basis.
    I see a bunch of people responding reflexively here, with a few exceptions.
    One of the things that never fails to astound me is how on a lot of WRITERS web sites, people engage in group think. Some of it is reflexive, not thought out, merely repeating what they’ve heard on the news or from someone else. BUT, I think some folks see it as sound business sense. If you want to suceed in this biz (writing, publisihing) you better mirror the opinions of the gate keepers.
    This piece does that and should further your career.
    I think that, if you want to expand your mind, you should put on your backpack, leave your bandana at home, and go to a fucking Tea Party (NOT TEABAGGER) event take look. Then go home and take a warm bath and lighten up.

  5. Brian Eckert says:

    Paul, I appreciate the comments. I did, perhaps, lump together the tea party with the entire right, in part because they are the most vocal and visible part of it. No, I don’t think all of the tea partiers, or even those on the right, are crude, dangerous hicks. But I do think the general reason for the tea party and a resurgence of the far right have come about b/c this country is moving in a new direction due to shifting demographics and political ideals. That is, we are seeing a conservative backlash against a 21st century America, one that is inclusive of people of different race, sexual orientation, etc. Don’t kid yourself. This is a culture war.

    I think you misconstrue my point. I’m not suggesting these people are a threat to me, I’m saying I wish their anger (or discontent, at least) were directed at entities that are actually a threat to our democracy (Wall Street capitalists). I’m not some bleeding heart liberal, believe me. What I’m suggesting is that a little hard nosed populism is very American and helped lay the foundation for this country. The tea party likes to tap into that sentiment, though, without much of a real agenda except “the government is bad”. While I’m sure it was just one poor, stupid sap, the sign by a tea partier that read, “get your goddamn government hands off my medicare” says it all about the credibility and political IQ of those associated with this movement. Sorry, Paul, but any movement that embraces Sarah Palin as their spokesperson, somebody who lives in a non-factual world of demagoguing, will not earn my respect. They want lower taxes? Well, yesterday saw huge rallies against Obama’s oppressive taxation. Only thing is Obama has considerably lowered taxes since he’s been in office. I don’t ask that everyone get along…but I do ask that if they are going to make a stink they appeal to those of us who live in a fact-based world, not one that is merely reflexive against that which they would like to believe.

    The people at the rallies are a small portion of those who sympathize with the tea party. You saw at the rally you attended the same people who tend to vote the most…older people. But political action alone does not comprise political ideology and I am concerned by the tea party and the far right. For every peaceful older person at a rally there is somebody out there who would mire in their own hatred of “tax and spend liberals” (choose your generalization) without engaging in any kind of meaningful political action or discourse. And just because you’ve been to one rally, Paul, does not make you an instant expert on the demographics and intentions of the tea party. I would love to attend a tea party rally. Perhaps I will this weekend, as there is one in NH.

    As far as me bowing to the literary gatekeepers, I hardly think many of them would condone violence against white collar criminals.

  6. Paul Clayton says:

    This “21st century America,” that you are an apparant proponent of, “one that is inclusive of people of different race, sexual orientation, etc,” doesn’t sound very inclusive to me of people with a different view, a different lifestyle (conservative, Christian, etc).” Not only does your American not sound very inclusive, it sounds pretty threatening. And anybody that doubts that onlly has to go back and read your words, especially your thinly veiled inducements to violence against people who don’t agree with you.

    “I’m not suggesting these people are a threat to me,” Okay, if they’re not a threat why the vehement dehumanification of them. You have to dehumanize your enemy, right, so it makes it easier to kill them. But I’ll go on the record here in saying that people like you sound very much like a threat to people like me, who might want to go to a political rally to listen to, say, Carly Fiorina, who was there yesterday, going after Boxer’s seat, and I/we might have to worry in the future about people like you, or people you have fired up with your rhetoric, who might show up with bricks and bats.,

    “Sorry, Paul, but any movement that embraces Sarah Palin as their spokesperson, somebody who lives in a non-factual world of demagoguing, will not earn my respect.” If she is a demogogue, I would think she’d have your admiration, as you seem to engage in a lot of that.

    However, I don’t have a spokesman, spokesperson. I’m not speaking for anyone but myself. And I could come up with a dozen examples of fools on your side of the argument.

    “I hardly think many of them would condone violence against white collar criminals.” Not sure what you mean here, but your piece seemed to be calling for violence against the people at the Tea Party rallies, like me.

    You better be careful what you pray for. You want revolution, wise guy style, with bricks and bats, it may not turn out the way you envisioned it.

    • Anon says:

      Paul, I believe Brian’s gist – assumptions about the so-called “Tea Party movement” aside – was that it might be more effective at changing the directions of Washington by engaging in overt acts of violence rather than simply showing up and calling bullshit.

      Brian, I was going to stay out of this but, since I’m in anyway, you really should attend a few of these rallies yourself and understand a bit more of the frustration. I’ve been to… three? four?… since the initial tax-day one. Initially out of curiosity and my own frustration but later in an effort to try and sway my so-called representatives. While this doesn’t make me an “expert” either, I don’t know where you and David get the ideas of wild-eyed, ignorant, racist homophobes. The rallies I attended were predominantly white – because so are the local population centers. However, there were a number of Mexican families as well, including one of my neighbors and his kids. I witnessed nothing remotely resembling racism being espoused and sexual preference certainly had nothing to do with anything (although it’s ironic that the word chosen to disparage people who attend rallies – I suppose myself included – is slang for a sexual act). It is about money and how it is spent. Amusingly, the only time I saw the potential for violence was when a Republican shill showed up, thinking it was a target-rich environment for getting people to register with his party. He got the message fairly quickly that it was time to move on.

      Yes, “my” taxes have gone down – but they’ve gone up for “the rich”. I don’t believe that singling out any group for punitive action is fair or right, whether or not it benefits me personally. It’s bigotry. Doing something oppressive to a group that may have it easier than you doesn’t make it right. We, as a nation, are spending too much. Period. Whether it’s atrocious bailouts of businesses that were mismanaged or well-intentioned entitlements, our resources are not limitless. And, in addition to the fiscal malfeasance of the past, oh, fifteen or more administrations, there is a disturbing pattern of government intrusion in each bill that is passed (health care somehow includes a capital gains tax, a jobs bill includes a 30% penalty for moving offshore funds back into the States, et cetera). It needs to stop.

      As for your overall – if darkly humorous – point about cutting out the foreplay and getting down to business, I would agree. Except, you know, violence is wrong. Or at least illegal (;. And I’d consider going hunting with Sarah Palin if she demonstrated some decent woodcraft but, like Paul, I don’t need or want a spokesperson. I can speak for myself and usually make a better point of it with less mindless jingoism.

      Okay, back to silly one-liners about eating hippies….

  7. Brian Eckert says:

    I’m sure both of us could go back and forth at each other on this one. However, I will say that if you think my piece is condoning violence against people at tea parties, please go back and read more carefully, for that is not my point at all.

  8. admin says:

    Andrew Sullivan’s Tea Party take over at The Dish might add some juice to the discussion:

    Obama’s fiscal and governing record is massively distorted by the impact of the bank meltdown, the steep revenue-killing recession, and the stimulus. Until its last months, the Bush administration could claim no such excuses for its awful debt-management. The big Bush jumps in discretionary spending, the big leap in entitlements under the unfunded Medicare D program, the long nation-building wars put off-budget, and the huge claims for executive power dominant in the first term: all these are far more damning to my mind than Obama’s pragmatism in grappling with an economic collapse or even the healthcare reform, which at least formally claims to reduce the deficit and pay for itself (unlike Bush’s Medicare-D). Even the protests at the manner in which the health reform was passed are disingenuous. The Medicare-D process – involving holding the vote open for hours and brutal arm-twisting on the floor of the House – was far, far more cynical and brutal.

    And this is why, despite my own deep suspicion of big government, I remain unmoved by the tea-partiers. Their partisanship and cultural hostility to Obama are far more intense, it seems to me, than their genuine proposals to reduce spending and taxation. And this is largely because they have no genuine proposals to reduce spending and taxation. They seem very protective of Medicare and Social Security – and their older age bracket underlines this. They also seem primed for maximal neo-imperial reach, backing the nation-building efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq, favoring war against Iran, etc. Only Ron Paul, peace be upon him, extends his big government critique to the military-industrial-ideological complex.

    So they are truly not serious in policy terms, and it behooves the small government right to grapple with this honestly. They both support lower taxation and yet bemoan the fact that so many Americans do not pay any income tax. They want to cut spending on trivial matters while enabling the entitlement and defense behemoths to go on gobbling up Americans’ wealth. And that lack of seriousness is complemented by a near-fanatical cultural alienation from the modern world.

    In my view, this confluence of feelings can work in shifting the public mood, as seems to have happened. When there is no internal pushback against crafted FNC propaganda, and when the Democrats seem unable to craft any coherent political message below the presidential level, you do indeed create a self-perpetuating fantasy that can indeed rally and roil people. But the abstract slogans against government, the childish reduction of necessary trade-offs as an apocalyptic battle between freedom and slavery, and the silly ranting at all things Washington: these are not a political movement. They are cultural vents, wrapped up with some ugly Dixie-like strands.

    When they propose cuts in Medicare, means-testing Social Security, a raising of the retirement age and a cut in defense spending, I’ll take them seriously and wish them well.

    Until then, I’ll treat them with the condescending contempt they have thus far deserved.

    • Anon says:

      “When they propose cuts in Medicare, means-testing Social Security, a raising of the retirement age and a cut in defense spending, I’ll take them seriously and wish them well.”

      While I obviously do not agree with your level of disdain, I have to give a phenomenal, standing ovation, “A-freaking-men” to the above line. During the last years – and especially final months – of the Bush administration, I wrote, called and visited my so-called representatives to the point where I expected a visit by the State Police and/or Secret Service (which is funny but for another time). As the first of the protests began after Obama took office and before the “TEA” thing was copyrighted and trademarked, I thought it was a great outlet and was inspired to see such large, independent turnouts. Then months passed and the thing became essentially a commercialized version of the same old “D versus R” bullshit. I have returned to voicing my opinions on a personal level and wish the movement well but…. As I wrote above, I speak for myself. I already have utter fools with their own agendas claiming to speak for me – I don’t need more.

      My elderly mother likes to often repeat the slogans and mantras against “those socialists”. Then I bring up her monthly Social Security check and hear one variation or another on “I deserve it – I paid into it.” and we devolve into changing the subject not long after.

      • admin says:

        Not my level of disdain, per se. Just happened to read it on The Dish and thought it made some interesting points. Though it would be fair to say that I share a lot in common with Sullivan’s worldview. I think he’s got a good, shrewd, sophisticated political eye. And I like the whole gay-pot smoking-Tory-Reagan-and-Obama-loving thing he has going in his politics.

        • Anon says:

          Ah. I misunderstood – my apologies.

          My chief political complaint until a few years ago was that I was pro-gun, pro-choice, pro-legalizing drugs and pro-militarizing the borders, leaving me with no one to vote for, including the Libertarians. Things have just gotten worse for me so I can appreciate the gay-pot smoking-Tory-Reagan-and-Obama-loving angle. Now I ponder how to elect a government that promises to do less for you and make you live with your own decisions in return for taking less from you and not telling you how to live your life.

  9. Brian Eckert says:

    Anon, I thank you for your thoughtful, well-reasoned responses. I did not write this piece from the POV of a liberal. I agree with the left on some things, the right on others. I generally consider myself unaffiliated, largely b/c I don’t want to get sucked into “D versus R” debates.

    I find the anger of the tea party interesting and telling. The fact of the matter is this country has been fiscally irresponsible for decades, collectively and individually. I think that largely the mess we are in is the reaping of so much poor budgetary sowing and it is deserved. I hope it serves as a wake up call for us all.

    The anger in the tea party is real, and once, they may have had some credibility. They still do on an individual level, but as a “party” they have no solutions. I agree with your assertion that it has been “trademarked”. A lot of politicians are trying to worm their way into the movement to gain votes, which is sleazy. Social security and medicare have become political third rails…but that doesn’t mean they don’t need to be dealt with. I fear if we don’t find a way to mitigate their drain on the economy it could help to bankrupt us.

    • Anon says:

      Politicians? Sleazy? Un-possible!! 😛

      I think I’m responsible for half of the “Most Commented” list with my babbling but would like to thank you as well for your civility and writing. My response to admin above covered most of what I would’ve written in response to you, had I only waited a few minutes. In short, I believe we are in agreement on many issues.

      • Anon says:

        Of course – full-disclosure – I confess that I put a Gadsden flag on my truck for the sole purpose of antagonizing several of my coworkers. It’s just fun – they make these squeaky, strangled noises when they get all offended but 1. don’t quite know why they are offended and 2. don’t have the stones to say something to my face because they know I’ll ask them “Why?”. Plus, there’s that whole Soprano “nine-in-the-face, shovel-to-the-head” thing you referenced….

  10. Brian Eckert says:

    Hah…maybe I’ll try flying a Confederate flag up here in NH just for shits and giggles…though you never know how far people will take things.

    Yeah, I’m kind of a muckraker at heart…I like to play characters when I write, assume a divisive role just to polarize and fire people up for the sake of stoking a good debate, which I always hope people get but often realize after the fact they don’t (at all.)

    • Anon says:

      “…which I always hope people get but often realize after the fact they don’t (at all.)”

      Ah, I didn’t realize you were new here. Welcome. We call our planet “Earth”. Enjoy your stay but, um, watch out for the hairless monkeys – they are moody, unpredictable and sometimes violent.

      : )

  11. Carl D'Agostino says:

    Can someone help me get dis stain out of my shirt? I just bought it.

  12. Carl D'Agostino says:

    Speaking of the financial banking crew can’t we get these guys for ripping off billions from Americans under the Patriot Act? They certainly have committed treason against Americans via their financial domestic terrorism. They have destabilized the economic security and have robbed the pensions of millions which is antithetical to promoting the general welfare. They have obliterated economic security and destroyed domestic tranquility. Sounds like treason to me. It’s not only treason. It is an act of war in that they have Pearl Harbored the whole country. I can’t think of any entity in American History that has hurt this country more.

  13. Brian Eckert says:

    I like that idea, Carl. As loosely as the Patriot Act can define a terrorist, why can’t we use it to bag these assholes? Let’s hope the SEC steps up and socks it to these guys…

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