Monday, November 20, 2006


Tariff, n. A scale of taxes on imports, designed to protect the domestic producer against the greed of his consumer.
The Enemy of Human Souls
Sat grieving at the cost of coals;
For Hell had been annexed of late,
And was a sovereign Southern State.

"It were no more than right," said he,
"That I should get my fuel free.
The duty, neither just nor wise,
Compels me to economize —
Whereby my broilers, every one,
Are execrably underdone.
What would they have? — although I yearn
To do them nicely to a turn,
I can't afford an honest heat.
This tariff makes even devils cheat!
I'm ruined, and my humble trade
All rascals may at will invade:
Beneath my nose the public press
Outdoes me in sulphureousness;
The bar ingeniously applies
To my undoing my own lies;
My medicines the doctors use
(Albeit vainly) to refuse
To me my fair and rightful prey
And keep their own in shape to pay;
The preachers by example teach
What, scorning to perform, I preach;
And statesmen, aping me, all make
More promises than they can break.
Against such competition I
Lift up a disregarded cry.
Since all ignore my just complaint,
By Hokey-Pokey! I'll turn saint!"
Now, the Republicans, who all
Are saints, began at once to bawl
Against his competition; so
There was a devil of a go!
They locked horns with him, tete-a-tete
In acrimonious debate,
Till Democrats, forlorn and lone,
Had hopes of coming by their own.
That evil to avert, in haste
The two belligerents embraced;
But since 'twere wicked to relax
A tittle of the Sacred Tax,
'Twas finally agreed to grant
The bold Insurgent-protestant
A bounty on each soul that fell
Into his ineffectual Hell.

—Edam Smith
2006 Update: The perfect gift of government to the poor and working people who have everything.


The amoeba said...

TARIFF, n. Improvisation on the theme of asphalt.

Where is everybody?!? Especially Minka?


Minka said...

I am right here, behind you Oc!*buh*
Scared you didn´t I? *takes of mask*
There was a bit of hang up this morning around this blog!

tariff, still thinking of Milton are we?!

Anonymous said...

gee, this is a precious word to start off Thanksgiving week with, Doug. can't wait to see what treats you have in store for us next.

Tariff: insult, added to injury.

Anonymous said...

Tariff: The fashion trend for Spring 2007 prancing on the runways of Milan.

It's good to be back from vacation. :)

The amoeba said...

buh, Minka? Do you mean boo? Hallowe'en was, like, three weeks ago. There should be a tariff on costumes and tricks out of season.


Anonymous said...

Tariff,n. Historical state practice for trade protectionism, rendered obsolete by the advent of multinational corporations and their purchase of national sovereignties worldwide.

Minka said...

I am German, OC! If I say "Buh" it means boo but is pronounced properly Germanic!
And I can be pretty scary all year round! Think outside the box, will ye?
And you jumped, like a little girl...becuase you were NOT expecting it!

Anonymous said...

Tariff: Imagine the government as a gigantic laundry machine, big enough to hold and soak all 300 million of us. Got it?

Now, Imagine its final rinse- and spin- cycle.

Exactly. Tariff.

Anonymous said...

Minka, when I read your comments out loud to myself, you sound just like Arnold Schwarzenegger.

And, OC: careful! Sie beißt.

Anonymous said...

Tariff: The gift that just keeps on giving, as in, "the tolls for this road/bridge will be lifted as soon as it's paid for." (See also "net profit participation" regarding the motion picture industry)

Sar said...

Doug, I read your word and my caffeine deprived mind just adapted an earworm - I shot the tariff.

Sar said...

(Puppybrose - your definition is awesome. I want some of your coffee.)

Minka said...

Al...that isn´t funny and so prejudiced. I sound nothing like Arnold!*hurt face* Don't make my European arse come over there and fire some well pronounced insults at you...presumptious git! ;)

Wait a minute... did I have two comments on WA before you even showed up? *laughs in his face*

ps. loved your laundry metaphor :) I´d spin you twice, just to make sure!

Anonymous said...

Sar, "...but I did not shoot the customs du-ty."

Charlene Amsden said...

Why do I come here? It's too early in the morning and I can't compete.

Tariff the birth cry of a nation (and likely it's death toll as well)

Anonymous said...

Minky, aww, Minky, who loves ya? *makes indescribably stupid-looking face* I didn't mean it. I'm sorry. And, you're absolutely right, you got here way ahead of me today. QUEEN MINKA RULES.

So, please don't go all Teutonic on me.

(In case that isn't calming you down, my name is Doug Pascover, and I live in Santa Clarita, California.)

Anonymous said...

Tarrif: individualized grips against paying for something as evidenced by the definitions before mine.

True bridges are paid for a thousand times over in New York but I believe that the rationale is if they didn't keep the tarriff they would have to raise the subway and bus fare.
Though no monies from any bridge has been seen by a subway

Tarriff: the art of rationalizing anything

Anonymous said...

Tariff: 1) A mechanism to keep poor farmers poor (see Oaxaca) 2) La Mordida (see Mexico City)

The amoeba said...

Pia dahling - did Boston's Big Dig wonks learn that little tariff trick from you, or was it the other way 'round?

Mo'a said...

Is this Al from NJ who has a new blog from NYC?
Does one pay tariff to be linked or to leave a comment on said blog?

Doug I love that poem....what has the world come you sound like an bitter old lady?
Had a run inn with Whirlpool over a $210.00, dehumidifier that my Mother bought. She has a wet basement....the dehumidifier broke down after five weeks, Lowes would not replace it, Whrilpool wants to have it fixed. The first shop had it for 3 weeks claimed they needed it for 6 more, as that is how long it would take to get a new part.....Whirlpool refuses to take it back, set up an appointment for another shop to have a look at it....they called and said "We cannot do anything till spring, when it gets humid again" my Mother said "My basement is humid" that does not matter was the answer, we cannot fix it until spring when it gets humid again.
Today I will take it back to Lowes and tell them they can have it back and that the......TARRIF is $210.00
So the moral of the story is....there is spring humidity and then there is basement humidity and according to the brainiac my Mother talked with they are not the same ROFLOL

Mo'a said...

*blush* that is do I sound like a bitter old lady.

Anonymous said...

M'oa, absolutely not! You don't at all sound like a bitter old lady. However, I do recommend you serve a nice brie with that particular whine.

(The "al"s to whom you refer are, indeed, one and the same, and united in their support for free trade in electronic media. So, feel, uhh, free to stop by.)

Indeterminacy said...

Tariffs: the only sure thing next to death and taxes.

Mutha said...

Ahoy from Boston! This post makes me think of the Boston Tea Party Ship that sits in Boston harbor not far from the Children's museum. Every hour on the hour (weather permitting) there is a demonstration of the uprising, including tourists wearing feathers (to imitate the Boston whites who were trying to be taken for Native Americans), and fake boxes thrown over the side (tethered with a leash so that it can be hoisted back up again.

Who new a tariff could inspire a tourist industry?

Doug The Una said...

O Ceallaigh, you're just first today. Good foundation.

Minka, great surprise. I think O Ceallaigh divided.

Good definition, Puppybrose. Holidays make me boring.

Good to have you back, Brer Brian.

O Ceallaigh, what is an avatar but electronic halloween?

Duxfine, well and leftishly done. Good to see you back here.

Minka, you're cracking me up right now. Truly.

Al, *applause* You're gonna get it making fun of Minka's accent, though. She claims not to have one.

Joel, or a tax purported to be on someone you do business with instead of you.

Sar, that was perfect. No more coffee. I got a pretty good chuckle.

Minka, Al just doesn't understand- You'll be bach!

Al, nice follow up to Sar. What did I tell you?

Quilldancer, that definition is actually philosophically brilliant. Now I need coffee.

Al, I thought you looked familiar...

Pia, the irony is people complain less about death.

And to keep the people who sell them rags rich, Mule.

O Ceallaigh, I just want to know where they learned engineering. New Orleans, maybe?

Mo'a it's nice when people stand by their merchandise, isn't it? I hope your mom doesn't catch cold. There's only one Al around these parts that I know of.

Al, how many Icelandic women are you planning on pissing off today? See you at the holm.

Indie, and a cousin to both.

Mutha, that's actually what tariff's are for.

Minka said...

If I didn´t know better I´d feel like you are laughing WITH Al ABOUT me!

I know where you live!

Can´t say I didn´t warn you, Pascover!

And rest asured, I´ll be back!

Anonymous said...

Oh she will. You'll need more than a tariff to ward her off!

The amoeba said...

Sie beißt, does she, Al? Well, she can gnaw on my arm, which she herself turned to stone, months ago now, all she wants, and see how much satisfaction that gives her.

Teach her to plant me in her garden and then entertain boys in it. Ignoring my tariff on such things.



Charlene Amsden said...

So, I'm philosophically brilliant, but in actuality ....

Charlene Amsden said...

Oh, Doug, I almost forgot. That blog whose name thrills you so much? It has a new story on it.

Doug The Una said...

But you do know better, don't you Minka? Would I make fun of you? Ever?

G, I don't do a lot of tarrifing anyhow.

The amazing thing, O Ceallaigh, is that you learned so little from the ordeal.

Quill, you'd be right to get your hackles up if I'd said "theoretically." I'll go look at "The Grownups Wanted Us Dead."

Charlene Amsden said...

Doug, I believe I was implying that you were implying that I wasn't real ... I think.

Oh wait -- I think, therefore I am?

Minka said...

Doug, if you were awake all´d try 24/7. I am sure of it :)
Oc, there are worse thing than biting your arm, you garden statue you! *drags a bucket of purple paint and flowers to pin on*

The amoeba said...

At -14 C, none of it will stick, Minka. Nyah. :)

(Meanwhile, Quilly's wondering what's happened to my sense of dignity. Not realizing that I left my shovel at home, and I'm unwilling to pay the State's highway tariff to go back and get it.)

Anonymous said...

speaking of shovels, O'C:

Tariff: doodie call.

Charlene Amsden said...

OC -- dignity can often be highly over-rated. I have a fondness for silly. Please keep in mind, I hang out with 10 year olds.

What happens if Minka pins that stuff on the arm that hasn't turned to stone?

Minka said... ain´t that big and my garage is huge;) You just added an extra layer of spaghetti hair to yourself :)

Doug The Una said...

Quilldancer, as the memorialee of the site once said, Cogito ergo cogito sum. And I caught your drift.

Minka, I'm heading out for coffee. 24/7 is less than you deserve.

O Ceallaigh the search party for your dignity is back, looking cold and regretful.

Puppy, I think you're over my head today.

Good question, Quill. Shouldn't be long before we know.

Minka, your garage would need to be big now, wouldn't it? I mean for you to park in.

The amoeba said...

puppy - why do you think they call it a Ph.D.? you know, BS, More of the Same, Piled Higher and Deeper ...

quill - you didn't tell me you were rich! And at -14 C, Minka will have a hard time finding an arm that isn't stony.

Doug, send 'em on a more fruitful search tomorrow. Like Quilly's fortune. Or Minka's taste in art.


Anonymous said...

thanks for that gracious save, O'C! Doug, since when is equating something as basic as sh*t with a tariff over your head? have i missed something here??

"Next time remind me to quit while I'm ahead." ~ famous last words of Survivor winner, Richard Hatch, as he prepared to serve out his sentence for tax evasion. (and/or Puppybrose after earning praise for a clever definition, only to blow it all on a crappy second attempt.)

Charlene Amsden said...

OC -- I am rich in lots of things, and silly is definately one of them. I don't believe I'll be converting my silly to frank -- I'll just keep both -- though I probably won't be spending them both at the same time.

Anonymous said...

Are you all too blind to see?

Doug is going away, we will miss him, he will then impose a tariff on comments in his blog.


You could have just come out and said it instead of doing it in such a sneaky way Dawg.

Cie Cheesemeister said...

I really can't top the 2006 update. I just have to say that it is this very thing which makes buying fun gifts from the catalogs of my clever British cousins impossible.

The Boy from S.A.C.A.D.A. said...

Tearriffs - I think kids shuold allways get in for free.

Indeterminacy said...

Cheesemeister: I think I have figured out a loophole for the import tariffs, at least ordering from USA (via Amazon) to Germany. (Might also work for UK Amazon). In Germany commercial packages are taxed if stated value plus postage exceeds 22 Euro. The trick (I found this out by accident) is to buy yourself a gift certificate and apply it towards your purchase. The price they list on the package is thus reduced!

Doug The Una said...

Good one, O Ceallaigh. I'll refill the brandy.

Puppybrose, you may have overestimated the level at which I carry my head.

Quilly, then your next career shouldn't be jestering. Too bad because you have the perfect resume.

Alice, I'll only tariff anonymous comments from people who know perfectly well who they are.

Cheesemeister, you should get some Canadian cousins, then, or Mexican primos.

Boy, did no-one tell you about the single ticket by the fire exit trick?

Indie, you, my friend, are a criminal genius.

Charlene Amsden said...

Doug -- what can I say? It's the company I keep.

Oh, and for a change you might actually want to go back and read the responses I leave you in my comments. I don't want to seem immodest (you're buying that, right?) but my latest is pretty dang good.

Doug The Una said...

Quill, low standards explain the entire life cycle of the human female.

Charlene Amsden said...

Yes, because they accept men as part of it.