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Those watching a certain cable news channel yesterday (hint: it rhymes with "pox") might have gotten the impression that the entire nation had risen up as one to slay the dragons of fat taxes and big government. Actually, as Gallup reported earlier this week, more than half of Americans think the amount they pay in taxes is "about right" or even too low. Sure, that leaves 46 percent saying taxes are "too high," but as Gallup notes, this is "one of the most positive assessments [of taxes] Gallup has measured since 1956."

We all complain about taxes. As George Washington once put it "no taxes can be devised which are not more or less inconvenient and unpleasant." But they're a necessary evil, like taking out the garbage or cleaning up after your cat vomits in your shoe. And as Robert Reich points out in a pointed blog post, we here in the US actually have the lowest taxes of all the developed nations. So I'm a little puzzled by the protests.

Hoping to quell this confusion, I spent a little while last night looking through pictures of the various Tea Parties to see just what exactly has gotten the protesters so angry. And I'm still confused. Here are a few of the signs that caught my eye:

Here's one that compared Obama to a pirate (and it's not Jack Sparrow).

This person suggested a slight alteration to the title of a famous fat novel by Ayn Rand.

This woman raised the specter of communism. Sorry, Obamunism.

This woman celebrated her work ethic. (Presumably she was planning on staying late at the office to make up any hours she missed while attending the protest.)

The guy in the suit here hates taxes, but apparently loves the wolverines!

An assortment of signs from Atlanta, including a memorable one reading "Size Does Matter: Give Me Smaller Government." (At least I assume that last word is "government"; it's sort of hard to read.)

This protester helpfully provided snacks for the crowd.

This guy just creeps me out.

And here's where some of the signs went when it all was done.

--David Futrelle