Clowns - And Response (3)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Back in 1973 Stephen Sondheim wrote a song for a Broadway play he titled Send in The Clowns. It subsequently became popular fare for many artists including Frank Sinatra, Shirley Bassey and others, becoming a popular hit, twice, for '60's activist and protester Judy Collins. I first thought of it as just another boring, elevator music attempt by a former HippyChic to pump up her musical career and because of her name the radio stations played it. Then one day I listened to the lyrics.

Isn't it rich?
Are we a pair?
Me here at last on the ground,
You in mid-air.


Send in the clowns.

Some time ago I was looking for something else and found an interview with Mr. Sondheim about his song, an interesting read. Beyond the frufru girlie lamentation of a failed relationship stuff, apparently the phrase "send in the clowns" is showbiz lingo for situations when an audience is becoming bored with the performance, so the performers attempt to liven things up a bit with jokes or other humor... sending in the clowns.

The other day as I read here on the Chattanoogan.com that our United States Congress voted, again, and for the 37th time, to repeal the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as "Obamacare," the opening line of an old Roy Orbison song immediately flashed across my little pea brain:

Dumb-dumb-dumb-dumdy-doo-wah...

Even more interesting were the comments of one of our Tennessee Homie Congressmen, Chuck, Esquire, about full time employees at Hardee's being moved to part time employment status. Is this the best he can do? Not to belittle Hardee's employees, many of whom work very hard for the wages they earn, accent on E-A-R-N, when some of them could just as easily be on the public dole, but how about all the electricians, plumbers, controls technicians, printers, secretaries, bookkeepers, computer programmers, and the myriad of other members of the work force in this great nation? Is Mr. Fleischmann's first thought about the working man and woman in this nation, the greatest nation ever to grace the face of Planet Terra, that we're relatively low skilled individuals working in an industry historically staffed by entry level, part time employees in the first place that's now become a means of survival for some who've lost better paying jobs due to our congress' incompetence? I mean, like, some cat who's spent an entire career as a collections lawyer and is now a member of our elected elite doesn't have a lot to stand on when it comes to real employment creds, and skills, does he... or scrambling to make ends meet every week, or toughness.

Perhaps it's bad attitude when I think of some of our elected elite homies, but when I see them flap their jaws about protecting us by making us criminals for smoking in our own offices, the offices we pay for without any assistance from them (yoohoo, Richard Floyd), repealing "Obamacare" when they know full well the bill will be killed in the Senate, shutting down the abortion industry if it takes every dime we've got, further controlling our possession of weapons of self defense with registration, complaints about over-regulation of industry, giving government employees, but only some of those employees, pay raises when those who tote the note are fortunate to have jobs and their property values are in the septic tank, and sending our treasure across the big water to people who hate us while 1 in 5 families here at home is receiving government assistance in some form, when our nation is broke, and how "tough" they are in general, it usually brings a smile.

Hearing elected elites, the political elite generally, either elected or appointed, speak of toughness often brings to mind a time I was smoking a cigarette out in a field with a farmer while we discussed the weather, or some other issue that was important to us at the time. He noticed a tick crawling up my shirt, picked it off, laid it in the palm of his left hand and with his right, used his own cigarette to make a crispy critter of that dude. That's tough. It wasn't so tough crispenizing that tick in his palm because the callouses were so thick it didn't hurt. It's tough having those callouses, the way he got them.

But Congressman Chuck, Esquire, thinks being tough is thumping his chest about voting to repeal "Obamacare, " while Congressman DeJarlais, MD, bloviates about oil and Benghazi. One needs only to watch the responses of administration Big High MuckyMucks as they testify before congressional committees, under oath and with subpoenas, to see the absence of respect for this gang by administration operatives.

Dumb, dumb, duh deedly dumb, ahh-uh-huh... oops, sorry, Roy Orbison not Brenda Lee.

Dumb-dumb-dumb-dumdy-doo-wah... Ooh-yay-yay-yay-yeah...

We see these people bumping their gums about repeal when the answer is quite simple. Instead of repeal, defund. Congress, if they simply read our founding document, the one that controls all other legislation, or at least is supposed to, is charged with control of this nation's purse strings.

Cut off the money.

It's easy to vote for continuing resolutions. It isn't much more difficult to go through and fund only those programs that aren't redundant, duplicitous, wasteful, and flat out bastardizations of our Constitution. But to do so requires something more than swagger and prattle, something more than causing a convenience store clerk to lose a day's pay so some politician can make himself look good, or dragging a prescription pad behind to attract a date.

The rulers of ancient Rome, when their society was falling apart, brought in circuses and gladiator games, feasts, and public welfare to keep the populace entertained, their minds occupied with something other than the state of their State. They brought in the clowns. One must wonder if that isn't exactly what's happening here in our nation, but as Mr. Sondheim wrote in the last verse of his song:

Isn't it rich?
Isn't it queer?
Losing my timing this late
In my career?
And where are the clowns?
Quick, send in the clowns.
Don't bother - they're here.

Yes, the clowns are here. But the question to ask ourselves is this; are they our government or are they us for allowing it? Why do we keep sending the same old people, or the same type of people, who generally haven't accomplished much in the capitalistic sense of accomplishment, to run our government?

And those who will be smiling the least will be those who have the most to lose, due to no fault of their own, with no control of the outcome... our children and grandchildren.

Maybe some of Scottie Mayfield's Turtletracks will improve this pithy attitude while the neighbor and I fill in our road that got washed out yesterday, on our own without government assistance, while we discuss ticks and chiggers and mowing hay and snakes.

Royce Burrage Jr. 

* * * 

I agree with Royce in his reference to the Clowns. 

It just amazes me that our "representative" can have cute little shared pictures with scare-tactic phrases accompanying them on his Facebook page, one even touting 20,000 jobs for "the good of America" pipeline that should be built. 

But, like Waldo, where in the world is our "representative" when it comes to decent wage paying jobs for our area? I've not heard one word from him in a very long time on any subject, especially since he was noticeably absent/AWOL/hiding from the Chickamauga Lock event recently. That project would put a lot of local and area folks to work. 

Just what has he been doing lately? 

Seems the time is ripe for someone who really wants to work for us to step up and decide to lead. You can almost set your clock to when you will be seeing the first recycled campaign rhetoric ad from our missing "representative."  

Rick Tucker
Hixson 

* * * 

Royce, what did you expect from a bunch of clowns, er, Republicans? 

I was just reading an article from the new head honcho at Erlanger Hospital when he said that he and his team had staunched the flow of dollars shelled out in uncompensated care this last month. He said that 10 months into the present fiscal year Erlanger had paid out more than $62.4 million in uncompensated care. He said that they had paid out $5.7 million in April alone. This was paid out for people who do not have insurance. 

Now enlighten me about how Obamacare as the Republicans call it is so bad? If everyone in the USA had health insurance, do you think that Erlanger would be paying out the big bucks as they do now, they would be on Easy Street. Is all this money paid out to treat Democrats only? I think not. All the Republicans want to do is try again to shoot down Obamacare again, knowing full well they are against their own people who elected them to office. 

I guess "Chuck" and the "Doc" don't have much to do while in office, we might as well pay them to stay home because they have nothing else to do except complain about what Obama did yesterday or today or tomorrow and they have the best insurance coverage money can buy, paid for by the taxpayers in the USA. 

Gary Dixon 

* * * 

That you Mr. Dixon for taking a good non partisan issue and attempting to turn it into Obama praise.  I will try to get this much needed discussion back on course because I believe Mr. Burrage and Mr. Tucker were prodding us to search within and ask ourselves some important questions that would pertain to both sides of the isle. 

Such as:
Do we always go vote and if so, do we vote just for the party or for the incumbent? 

Do we vote for our "friend" or someone we know, or do we vote for the most qualified? 

Do we take the time to find out what a person actually believes or do we only listen to what they tell us while campaigning? 

Do we really take the time to find out what our candidate has accomplished or just settle for their rhetoric? 

Do we search for what and who they have supported in the past? 

Do we check out their past work experience or just believe what they tell us? 

We have a Congress that is all about taking care of themselves while they foist new laws and regulations on "we the people." No one in the private sector has a benefit package like what they have voted for themselves with our tax dollars. While you have the right to defend Obamacare some in your own party are calling it a "train wreck" waiting to happen and the very ones putting it on our backs don't want it for themselves, their family or their staff. 

To sum this up here is the real question: When will we stop electing self-serving clowns and elect a real citizen servant?  Remember that Monday is Memorial Day and if you want to meet a real hero, look no further than those who have and do serve in our military. 

J. Pat Williams



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