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From the Mouth of the River

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Politicians have two hands and they're both out to get you

My dad was a muleskinner, so I knew words like%^&#@!!! and *&UNOGD%#$ for a long time. But it wasn’t until election year that I got to learn whole phrases like “@#$&%!! That lying, no-good +&$#@ couldn’t tell the truth if his life depended on it!” It’s a good thing elections didn’t happen every year or I would have spent my entire school years in detention.

For years I thought all politicians came from another country. I knew they were certainly not from here, because all the people we knew told the truth, and if they said they were going to do something, they did it.

For over 70 years (that I know of personally) politicians have told the same lies. There must be a book of lies somewhere that they all memorize. You’d think that, by now, people would have caught on. 

Apparently, though, it’s all in the telling. Like, “If I’m elected, I’m going to lower taxes! And what little tax money we have left, we’ll put it back into our economy!” It’s all in the wording—just whose taxes are they lowering? Whose economy are they investing in? Yours, or whoever financed their campaign?

If there’s anything I learned over the years, it’s that politicians have two hands, and if they’re waving one of them at you you’d better be watching the other one—it’s probably in someone’s pocket, most likely yours! That’s politics in America, always has been, always will be. This is a capitalistic country, run by big business. The only time the little fellow counts is when they want his vote. I remember the only time our county road was graded was just before an election, followed up by the commissioner stopping by to shake Dad’s hand and ask for his vote. 

One year Dad got a letter from the commissioner, telling him that he would have stopped by except the bridges were washed out and, if he was elected, he would see to it they were rebuilt. X%[email protected]#(@)! I could always tell when I was about to learn new words—the veins on Dad’s head would start to pop out and his eyes would bulge. “@!%{[} that no-good (#*%&#!” That was a good one, Dad. I can use that one at recess.

Don’t get me wrong—I’m an American, through and through. In school, I stood by my desk and said the pledge of allegiance to the flag, followed up by an Our Father. That’s back when America was all one country and we were fighting World War II. We gave it all, one nation under God… your god, my god, “our” nation!

Big business has always been most profitable during a time of war. (It’s in the history books.) But after World War II we stopped building army trucks and started building cars, stopped building army tanks and started building farm tractors. Life was good… or was it? A new car sold for about $1,800, an army truck for about $18,000. Farm tractors were about $3,500 at that time while army tanks were $350,000. So in a darkened room, in the back room of a sleazy hotel, Big Business, with its secret handshake (known only to politicians who belonged to exclusive college fraternities) met for a set-down. 

“Uzz guys need’t starts a-nudder worra!” the business guys said.

“We can’t do that,” answered the politicians. “America wouldn’t stand for it.”

“Okay den, start jus a lila war. Here, here is some financial support to help youse overcome any hardships dat may accrue from your constituents.”

Korea was just a testing ground for what was to come. General MacArthur said, “I can win this war in a week’s time, just give me one A-Bomb!” President Truman took MacArthur to one side and said, “This is not that kind of war. In fact, this is to be called a “police action,” not a war.” The first Marine Division sent Truman five thousand purple hearts and MacArthur said, “This is a war!” Truman said, “%#*@! MacArthur, this is politics!”

We have been at war ever since. What did America get out of the Korean conflict? Cheap t-shirts, made in Korea. Big corporations received some lucrative contracts, however. International Harvester, which makes hay balers and gas refrigerators, received a contract to make M-1 rifles. The specs were a little vague, so they made them out of cheap pot metal (more profit that way) but they would blow up in your face. “What the $*@#! Take those out there, bury them in a rice paddy and keep your mouth shut!”

Halliburton got the big contract on our latest endeavor, to restore Iraq to its old oil-flowing self. I bet their contract reads, “Billions of dollars, plus cost and overruns, please pay at the pump.” 

The auto industry is doing their part by building big, gas-guzzling monster autos and advertising you’re a wimp if you don’t drive one. Gas companies feel so guilty about sticking it to you, they want you to pay at the pump so they don’t have to face you. I think those corporate executives should have to come out to the stations and start washing the windows and checking the oil, myself. 

Damn those (#*$&%^# politicians! At least they bladed the county road today.


Boots Reynolds is a veteran of the Korean police action.

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Boots Reynolds Boots Reynolds The "internationally-renowned cowboy artist" Boots Reynolds has moved his comedic interpretation of life into the writing field with his regular column in the River Journal - From the Mouth of the River.

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Politics, humor, war

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