Bob Sweigert


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July 30, 2013
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Grasshopper Soup: The collapse of society has begun

Last week’s “My Turn” letter from Rusty and Carol Pauli about their extensive experience with Truckee’s Fourth of July parade was an eye-opener, and an embarrassing indictment of some in the crowd of spectators.

I had no idea that crowd control at the parade had been so unsuccessful for so long. The letter completely changed my opinion of the new parade rules. Hopefully everyone in town will read it, repent and go forth and throw water balloons and shoot Silly String no more, and leave their water blasters at home next year.

Though, I must admit, the idea of engaging in fisticuffs with a horse is very amusing on some level. It worked in “Blazing Saddles,” that satirical and ground-breaking, hilarious Western movie in which a horse gets punched out cold by a cowboy and falls to the ground.

I had to sit through the movie again when I spent the night with friends in South Lake Tahoe last weekend. I went to bed after the bad guys on horses paid their way through the coin-operated toll booth that they could have easily rode around for free.

It is so charming when the bad guy suddenly acquires a conscience, like Anthony Weiner, the sexting addict running for mayor of New York City. He makes for a good character in the political circus of today, which is like “Blazing Saddles,” only real.

Government is out of control, and so are a lot of the citizenry. We are seeing crowds in the streets full of anger and hatred towards an entire race of people because two guys let their egos get the best of them and engaged in mutual combat.

The people telling everyone to be good are being shouted down and told they don’t understand the problem. And the people, who claim to be men of God, and who should be telling them to be good, are saying they are misunderstood and that their anger and hatred is justified.

Individuals at the highest levels of what has become the best form of a dysfunctional, adversarial democracy are on record making a mockery of our laws and our system of government. They are incriminating themselves with their own words and actions.

Controversies and scandals that just a few weeks ago aroused Obama’s indignation so much that he demanded he would get to the bottom of them are now “phony scandals.” If the IRS scandal is phony, why did the IRS admit to targeting conservative groups and apologize for the wrongdoing? Since they have confessed to their nefarious deeds, no one can allege that a republican conspiracy of lies caused the scandal.

How anyone interested in achieving everything Obama promised can continue to praise the man for his virtuous intellect now that we have proof that he is as wishy-washy as a hooked fish, and as ornery and quick with his trigger finger as a Republican, is beyond me.

Both parties, and their cronies, believe they have the most honorable motives, but you can’t achieve justice, fairness, transparency, equality and integrity of government by lying and trying to pin all the blame on someone else just because they disagree with you and because you believe your motives are always pure and theirs are always despicable.

Both parties have forgotten that everyone has a right to be represented and supported. They have also forgotten the meaning of the word, “together.” And we have forgotten that every ethnic group in the world has been guilty of, and victims of, oppression in the past, even against their own kind. No group is more special than others in that regard.

We’ve seen dishonest politicians before, but we’ve never heard them so boldly and repeatedly malign the perfectly legal thoughts, words and deeds of half the country. We’ve seen corruption before, but we’ve never seen so many people blinded to it for so long.

OK, so it’s really nothing new. It’s still not working. It’s like herding cats. At least watching “Blazing Saddles” over and over again is harmless.

Bob Sweigert is a Sierra Sun columnist, published poet, former college instructor and ski instructor. He has a B.A. and an M.A.T. from Gonzaga University. He has lived at Lake Tahoe for 30 years.


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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Jul 30, 2013 05:34PM Published Jul 30, 2013 09:44AM Copyright 2013 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.