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Reader: teaching our little ones that cheating and lying are the only way to win 

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As a kid, swallowing axle grease, copper rivets, dingleberries, road tar, spiders, coal dust, steel shavings, lead paint, chicken beaks, mercury balls, mouse bones, my sister's snot, the tiny magnets glued to the bottoms of those little black-and-white Scottie dog toys from Woolworth's, chips from Uncle Charley's permanent asbestos siding — mostly I swallowed crap similar to what my dad'd swallowed in the early 1900s before the age of 5.

I survived his whacks to my ass when I busted our only thermometer to cop the mercury to swallow on a dare and every time I got new Scottie toys, the magnets mysteriously went missing.

But back in those days, nobody never sued nobody for nothing. I've swallowed a lot but I cannot swallow the gaudy narcissism, the hypocrisy and the bullying of a nation's government that serves its righteousness to me on a bloated bladder that spews its selfishness all over this earth while the shameless leader of the pack teaches our little ones that cheating and lying are the only way to win.

I will stand when you stand, but I will grip my grieving gut with my right hand while you put yours to your heart.

— The Poet Spiel (Tom Taylor)

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