White Pebbles

White Pebbles
a modern parable
by
Briseadh na Faire

Once upon a time, there was a people who lived on an island with black sand beaches. The sand was black, the pebbles washed in the sand and smoothed by the sighing waves of the ocean were black. But, ever so rarely, a white pebble could be found.

So rare were the white pebbles they were highly valued, and even used in trade amongst the peoples.

Now there lived a young man who devoted all his time to scouring the beaches, looking for white pebbles. After many years, he amassed a basket full, and was considered the wealthiest man on the island.

But he wanted more. Because he spent all his time alone on the beaches gathering pebbles, he had no friends. Because he hoarded his white pebbles, he wasn’t well liked. He wanted to go to a new island, where no one knew him, where people would be impressed by his wealth and like him.

And so he placed his basket in a small boat along with some provisions and set sail. After a few days, his provisions ran low, but he spied another island on the horizon. He immediately set course for the new island.

And ere long, he set foot ashore on a white sand beach. The sand was white, the pebbles were white. But, ever so rarely, a black pebble could be seen. There, on this new island, black pebbles were so rare they were a valuable commodity. The man’s white pebbles were worthless, and he had to spend many months combing the beaches for black pebbles enough to buy provisions to get back home.

© 2012 Briseadh na Faire

The Watering Hole – Saturday May 26th – We Don’t Need Grover Norquist

One of the most powerful people in this country isn’t an elected official, has never been an elected official, and will never be an elected official. It shouldn’t be surprising that he’s never been a public servant because he knows nothing about what’s in the best interest of the People, and only operates to serve himself and his rich friends. His one claim to fame is based on an idea that he had when he was twelve years old. His name is Grover Norquist and if you haven’t heard of him by now, well, you haven’t been to our blog before, that’s for sure.

In addition to a pledge he requires Republicans to sign promising not to raise tax rates, and not to close tax loopholes without a matching reduction in spending, Norquist has a fairly simplistic idea of what he’s looking for in a candidate for President of the United States.

All we have to do is replace Obama. … We are not auditioning for fearless leader. We don’t need a president to tell us in what direction to go. We know what direction to go. We want the Ryan budget. … We just need a president to sign this stuff. We don’t need someone to think it up or design it. The leadership now for the modern conservative movement for the next 20 years will be coming out of the House and the Senate.

. As David Frum put it, “His requirement for president?

Pick a Republican with enough working digits to handle a pen to become president of the United States. This is a change for Republicans: the House and Senate doing the work with the president signing bills. His job is to be captain of the team, to sign the legislation that has already been prepared.

Now, Norquist is always quick to point out that his pledge isn’t to him, personally, but to the American people. The thing is, he’s the only one trying to enforce it. We never asked Norquist to make candidates sign a pledge conceived by a twelve-year-old. Norquist appointed himself head of Americans for Tax Reform; he wasn’t elected to the position. And yet it’s because of him that our country faced a debt crisis for so long that it resulted in our nation’s credit-rating being downgraded.

We don’t need people like Grover Norquist in this country. We need people who don’t think like twelve-years-olds.

And here’s a tweet I sent him last night. His figures are, as usual, wrong.

Later, when someone tweeted that the pledge was losing its power in Washington, Grover tried to say that his pledge was gaining strength. If you actually read the article (the link in the tweet works), you’ll find that HE was the one saying that the pledge is strengthening.

I love getting snarky with Grover. Especially when he fights back. I wish he would again. He did before, and if he responds to me, I’ll add his reply to this post.

This is our daily open thread — feel free to discuss this topic, or whatever’s on your mind!