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As Long as We Remember...

July 6, 2011

From Frederick to Athens, itís same-oh, same-oh

Tom McLaughlin

Kuching, Malaysian Borneo – “Nattering nabobs of negativism,” the infamous quote by tragic-comic Vice President Spiro Agnew, seems to be the emotional mind set of the planet.


From Frederick County to Greece to the Netherlands, William Safire’s quote, referring to very wealthy people (a nabob is a very rich person) seems to pervade the international psychic.


Blasting over FaceBook, in her successful efforts to petition the government to repeal legislation that denies “illegal” immigrants in-state tuition, nabob Kathy Afzali natters that for some reason, it is unfair. What nabob Kathy fails to realize in her negativism is the illegal’s are here, they are going to stay and she and her friends need to accept it and figure out how to best integrate (that horrible liberal word!) these wonderful people into society.


Although probably a “NIMBY” (not in my back yard) person, it has been proven that an educated person becomes a productive member of Frederick County, forgoing a life of crime. And that is best for all of us.


Shifting to Spiro’s homeland Greece (he was the only Greek elected to either the presidency or vice presidency), the German government seems to want to force the denizens to live in poverty for the foreseeable future to pay for their economic misdeeds. The penalty should be enforced before they will consent to another bail out of the country.


The London based magazine, The Economist, read by millions of nabobs, natters that a Greek bankruptcy would “trigger a financial crisis that would reverberate around the world” (June 25, p. 24) for other nabobs. Kathy dear, be aware and afraid.


The problem is most Greeks, except for the nabobs and even they are questionable, really don’t care if the country goes bankrupt. The economy is based on tourism and as long as the Acropolis stands and people read Homer (see Kathy, if you educate people they will come to Greece and help out) they will visit Sparta, Athens and the Greek Isles. There will be an income in dollars, Euros, Baht and a myriad of other currencies.


The land of tulips, windmills and the girl that put her finger in the dam has elected a nabob, right wing government that wants to close down the coffee shops that sell marijuana. In some convoluted twist of moral logic, the government will keep prostitution but oust a grand outing of sitting around blowing dope.


I asked the many friendly Dutch tourists here in Kuching why they would want to give up such a lucrative tax base. They told me the government does not tax the weed because the joy stick is technically illegal, therefore not taxable. I now think the Dutch governments have been strapped to a windmill’s blade and circled a few dozen times, ala Don Quixote, while smoking the stuff. I mean, NOT tax the greatest tourist attraction? It’s like letting everyone into Disneyland free.


In these cases, we espouse a typical nabob philosophy. If they cannot get a part of the action, if it does not benefit them directly or indirectly, they use morality to shut it down because they cannot get part of the action.


If their kids did not make use of a local college education because they went to a four-year institution, then it should be denied to others. Those “others” are the most vulnerable and easily attacked because of language and skin color.


If the huge financial institutions will suffer some loss because of the mismanagement of a few, and that could never happen in the United States, then a whole nation must suffer.


And if people are enjoying themselves smoking pot and the nabobs can’t get a piece of the action, but apparently enjoy a piece of the prostitution trade, then that action must be closed down.


Yup, they are all nattering nabobs of negativity.


For essays on Malaysian Borneo please redirect to Tom’s blog


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