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diaryland: entry for 2006-04-24 (19:43)
In which our plucky young hero tells a completely imaginary fairy tale.

Once upon a time, there was a leader, and the leader's soldiers were in a war in a far-off land. And as is the case when soldiers go to war, some of them died in the course of their duties. The people looked to the castle, where the tradition was that the flags would be lowered to half-mast when a brave soldier died. But the people saw the flags flying as high as ever. One or two of them, scribes by trade, waited for the designated time for asking the leader questions, and carefully asked why the flags were not flying at half-mast.

"Look," said the leader, "it's for your own good. We have a national resolve, and I know that you want us to have a national resolve -- it's why I'm the leader, after all. But it is a fragile resolve, and you morons are just too goddamn easily swayed. If you saw a dead body you'd just give up the fight. If you passed by a flag at half-mast you'd cut and run."

Then he cancelled a bunch of meaningful and well-designed tax cuts because they'd remind the voters too much that the previous government had spent almost a decade cutting taxes and paying down the debt.

And they all lived happily ever after, except the dead soldiers, whose bodies were smuggled back into the country buried at the bottom of a haycart, lest people freak out or something.

The end.

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