Category Archives: Aldous Huxley

The Pencil Today:


“That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.” — Aldous Huxley


No matter how spineless, ridiculous, fatuous, self-sabotaging, flip-flopping, pompous, pretentious, condescending, naively idealistic, or downright batty my Democrats are, we have nobody on our side — repeat, absolutely nobody — as mad as Donald Trump.

Let me reiterate: Nobody.

(BTW: I want my props for using the term reiterate properly — I had repeated the word nobody once already, which was an iteration, then I used it a third time. Ergo reiterate. Thank you.)


Speaking of Democrats, today is Bloomington City Council member Steve Volan‘s birthday.

No word yet on whether ice cream and cake will be served at City Hall.

Birthday Boy

(Just in case anybody gets the wrong idea: Tall Steve is not spineless nor is he ridiculous, fatuous, self-sabotaging, flip-flopping, pompous, pretentious, or downright batty. Sadly, this means he has no future in state or national party affairs.)


Without I don’t know how I could survive in this crazy, mixed-up world.

The comedy website this week linked to a site that is pure genius. It aggregates FB posts, Tweets and other social media ejaculations, all of which have in common some variation on the caveat, “I’m not racist, but….

Here’s an example:

Or how about this?

Homo Sapiens sapiens is billed as the Earth’s most intelligent species but, honestly, even Equus africanus asinus is disgusted with us.

“Jesus, You People Are Idiots.”


We Democrats are fortunate to have as “The Others” a gang as wacky as the Tea Party.

We make fun of Tea Party-ists dressed up as colonial rebels. We dig pointing out the risible hypocrisies in their rants.

Tea Party Party

When they call themselves true Americans we even go so far as to say that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Ho-o-o-o-old on there, paisanos.  A closer look at the origins and execution of the what the history books refer to as the  Tea Party reveals that the 21st Century apers are as American as, well, pizza or even chop suey.

(Side note: I grew up thinking that chop suey was the definitive Chinese food. It wasn’t, of course, but such was the extent of our ethnic and cultural understanding in those days. Does anybody even order chop suey anywhere anymore?)

Anyway, here’s the dope on the Tea Party, Part I.

There wasn’t just a Boston Tea Party; there were a minimum of five, all of which took place relatively simultaneously. Tea Parties also broke out in the harbors of New York City, Greenwich, Connecticut, Philadelphia, Charleston, South Carolina, and Annapolis, Maryland.

Between smokes in the teacher’s lounge, your seventh-grade history teacher told you angry patriots dumped tea in Boston harbor because those mean old Englishmen were proposing to tax the bejesus out of it. Those Englishmen, her story went, loved taxing us and not allowing us representation in their hall of flatulence otherwise known as Parliament. Ergo, we started a Revolutionary War to fix their asses.

The Teachers Lounge At My Elementary School

Like the story of chop suey (and chop suey itself) — it’s full of shit.

The tax on tea actually was imposed on The British East India Company, a multi-national outfit headquartered in jolly old. BEIC raised its prices accordingly for everybody it shipped the leaves to, including colonists and Englishmen alike.

As for the tea trade in the New World, BEIC was the sole approved dealer of the stuff. When that company raised its prices, a lot of colonists, including many surprising names, cranked up a black market, importing tea illegally from places like the Netherlands.

Suddenly, BEIC found itself stuck with tons of tea it couldn’t sell in the colonies. So the company slashed its prices to compete with the black market.

Our patriotic forebears became quite huffy about this turn of events. They didn’t like an enormous British corporation trying to muscle in on a market they’d created for themselves here.

In fact, no one was more put out about it than the guys who ran the black market import operations. In other words, businessmen. As opposed to patriots who spent their free time mulling over history and philosophy and the rights of man and so forth.

In the case of the Boston version of the Party, big shots like Sam Adams and Benjamin Edes whipped up crowds with fiery rhetoric and filled dozens of tough guys with high-proof rum as three BEIC ships sat in the harbor ready to unload their cargo.

Instead, Edes’ gangs of drunken men boarded the ships and for three hours dumped the tea into the drink. The task might have been accomplished in less time but many of the raiders (dressed as Indians — what is it about Tea Parties and the wearing of Hallowe’en costumes?) began puking their guts out from the cheap rum they’d been drinking and had to be carried away.

The English closed down Boston harbor as punishment. One thing led to another, war was declared, the plucky Americans won, and now we’re free to listen to the Lady Gaga CD of our choice.

So, the original Tea Party was nothing like the grass-roots uprising we’ve been led to believe. It was manipulated, financed, and directed by big business. Precisely as the Koch Brothers and the Mellon Empire are propping up the modern Tea Party.

Americans all.


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