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“Progressives are forever longing to replace the governance of people by the administration of things. Because they are entirely public-spirited, progressives volunteer to be the administrators, and to be as disinterested as the dickens.”

George Will

I’ve had some differences with ol’ George of late, but this is a vintage, Martial-like epigram.

(A glass of wine with Jonah.)

Scene:  The Port-Swiller bedroom.  Time: 12:30 A.M.

Youngest Gel (banging on door): Mommy! Daddy!

Self (coming out of deepest sleep of the night): Umph?

Y.G.: Moommy! Daaaaaddy!

Self: Mfffght….whiirrr….Wha-?

Y.G.: Daddy! You forgot to turn off my radio when I went to sleep! It’s still on!

Self (with Oscar-potential feeling): Well, turn it off yourself, you crazy loon, and go back to bed!!!!!


Self (sotto voce): @#$&* children…think we’re their bloody servants……

(Sound of Y.G. retreating back down hall to her room)




Y.G.(offstage): Oomph!


Y.G.: Ooomph!……Ooomph!


Y.G.: Ooomph!……Mooooommy…….

Self (resolutely):

Y.G.: Oomph!…Mooommmy……Mooom….Yyyy……

Mrs. R: What is that?

Self: That is the sound of somebody trying to get attention.  In about thirty seconds, she’s going to regret it.

(Mrs. R hastily scuttles down the hall.)

Self: Note to self – check yellow pages for child-slavers in morning to discuss possible deal.

(Mrs. R returns.)


Mrs. R:



Whilst I was away on my recent travels, Mrs. Robbo took the youngest gel off to tea and a stroll in the gardens one afternoon at Hillwood, a former home of Marjorie Merriweather Post and current museum.

During the obligatory visit to the gift shop, the gel selected for purchase this wonderful little item – a tin of “Commie Mints”.

Of course, the symbolism of the cover meant absolutely nothing to her – given that she’s only eight – and she was drawn to them by little more than the bright colors on the outside and the sugary treats on the inside.

I, on the other hand, was somewhat disturbed when I first spotted them, and on further consideration found myself disgusted.   I mean, I understand that it’s all supposed to be a great joke, but this is a political philosophy that killed better than 100 million people during the course of the 20th Century and reduced countless million more to slavery and abject misery.

And if you’re saying to yourself, “Oh, Tom, don’t be a goose,” let me ask you this:  If they’d been called “Hitler Mints” and featured a swastika on the cover, would you find that funny?  I didn’t think so.

On the other hand, “Mao Mints” would probably get a pass, but that just strengthens my point:  What is it about communism that causes us to wink and nod and joke about it?  That causes us to think it a benign memory or even resurrect it as something “hip”? That compels us to make excuses or cling to outright lies about its evil?

The world wonders.


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March 2010