Gas Pains

Tom grew up in Milwaukee, bartended in Wauwatosa in the '70s and moved here in 1984.

Commentary, observations and musings about the outdoors, life in general and maybe Tosa politics and personalities will be the order of the day. He savors a lively debate as much as terrific cooking.


The Big Fat Middle

Former Alaska GOP Gov. Sarah Palin said last Wednesday night that Republicans should stop worrying about winning the middle because it will come to them.

Some Republicans have evidently thought that they have to kind of move to the left of the center or move to the middle in order to win, Palin said during a speech in Rosemont, Ill.  I’m saying, No, no, no, no, no. You win by letting the middle move to you.

I hate to break it to you Governor – but those of us here in the Big Fat Middle are quite comfortable where we are.  You see - we're using Ronald Reagan's Big Tent.  By the way  - thanks for leaving it at the curb.  Did you know that it's capacity for pragmatism can accommodate the vast majority that occupies the middle? 

Since it’s nice and cozy here under our big top - we’re content to wait for you to come to us.

And while you’re at it – bring along some of those wacky socialists you continue to carp about.


One night last weekend my buddy Braumeister and I were solving the world’s problems over a cocktail or two and we came to a small handful of conclusions.

First among them -

The truth is always found in the middle.

It is the middle where compromise and common sense prevail.

Those on the fringes really have nothing to offer of any substance except living proof that scary people walk among us and they afford us occasional comedic relief.

Braumeister and I also concluded that -

The political climate has become obscenely skewed by a venomous tone and coarse lack of civility

A 24-hour news cycle, the blogosphere (I admit to chucking a grenade now and then) and information at the speed of light.  It has become like drinking from a fire hose fed by a poisoned well.

Our third, and final, conclusion-

Americans have lost much of their capacity for critical thinking.

They have become a collection of craven idol worshipers.

As evidence of this I submit to you a few of these infidels I happen to be personally acquainted with.

Take, for instance, the fella that is sincere in the belief that President Obama is perhaps the equivalent of the second coming of the Messiah.  Through his glazed eyes the President is without peer and can do no wrong.  The enrapturement has drifted beyond a bad case of Man Crush.  It is cult-like.  And it gives me the heebie jeebies.

Or the woman I know who is convinced that Obama is a foreign-born pretender to the throne.  A stealth impostor probably sent to establish an Islamic caliphate in the United States.  Her days revolve around daytime angry radio.  And to my face she made racist remark about the President which I will not repeat.

This madness is not only incredibly bizarre - it is disturbing.

Among the things I learned from my father was that I should have a healthy respect for authority.

He also counseled a healthy measure of skepticism.  And to question authority from time-to-time.

It went something like this-

Never follow blindly - because it just might lead you into an ambush

I believe he knew what he was talking about.  That would be sound advice regarding most affairs of daily living.

Especially with regard to politics.

It is an election year. 

Begin the blood sport...

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