Fox Frauds and Limbaugh Legions who carped pre- and post-election about ‘creeping socialism’ might consult dictionaries: Under socialism, the state owns and controls production. Examples: the Soviet Union until 1991 and Cuba until the not-too-distant future. Socialism is neither regulated free-enterprise nor government helping people with Medicare or Social Security or unemployment checks. In their defense, attitudes of uneducated (that’s a polite label for those who disregard reference volumes such as dictionaries) who moan mistakenly about creeping socialism might have been spawned during the recent presidential campaign: Both sides performed enough flip-flops on substantive issues to start a political gymnasium. But low-quality debate is irrelevant to real-life definitions. Dictionary-definition socialism has been a failure. (See Cuba and the Soviet Union again) Regulated capitalism, the other side of the political divide, has “been the greatest eradicator of poverty in history,” political commentator Joe Klein declared correctly.
A-E’s advice to grumblers: Elevate discourse beyond whining to levels that will encourage adult discussions of vital issues. Don’t imitate recent Congresses that laughably or sadly tried to pass dead-end legislation to repeal or defund Obamacare. Consider Jefferson and Lincoln as role models for more successful strategies. Want contemporary leadership? Maybe generous helpings of political courage could transform Congressional stances into mature movements that stifle gasbags
Lions and tigers and electric eels, ohm my
Everybody knows solar, wind and water are alternative power sources. A Greater Jasper engineer created a new technique to generate electricity: harness the awesome power of electric eels. Entrepreneur C. A. Watt said each eel generates up to 600 volts and one amp. A single amp won’t get an electric car much more than 20 feet but with enough eels Watt’s futuristic fishy format may work. “Eels per mile” could become a standard with miles per gallon. Watt’s eel pond is on Generator Drive in Battery Park. Ohm my, A-E says of the shocking story: Imagine being first driver on your block to ask the station attendant to “check the tires and feed my eels some ground corn.” Quick ichthyology lesson: Electrophorus electricus is an electric fish. Those living batteries are air breathers so break the surface frequently.
Frau for Speaker of the House
(Not her Greater Jasper hut)
The next speaker of the United States House of Representatives (and second in line of succession for the presidency) doesn’t need to be a member of House of Representatives. (See Article I, Section 2 of our Constitution) House members can choose anybody a majority wants to fill the post. The old pattern of selecting fellow Representatives clearly is not working. (See articles about Fiscal Cliff, Plan B, political intransigence, et al) Frau thinks her greatest asset is probably that she isn‘t a house member. (See time-wasting votes from our current Congress) Other credentials include she traveled widely with her parents. (Dad was a retired Army officer) She spent much of her youth in California, a stint that gave her an understanding of what the other side looks and thinks like.
If Lincoln could start from a log cabin, why can’t Frau start from our Greater Jasper hut. Her mildly eccentric husband, A-E, could get used to taking the limousine to soirees around the District of Columbia Beltway while Frau’s speakering. And maybe she can throw some pork toward Greater Jasper. A-E especially enjoys ribs with an Eastern Carolina barbeque sauce simmered under a Carolina blue sky.
Maybe A-E’s all-time favorite malapropism
“Where do you go from here, Mike?” sportscaster Jeremy Schaap asked Mike Tyson after Lennox Lewis knocked Tyson out. “I don’t know, man,” said Tyson, face swollen and infant son in his arms. “I might just fade into Bolivian.” Jeremy, Cornell Class of ‘91, is the son of Dick Schaap, Cornell ‘55.
When he’s not shilling for Frau, A-E writes this weakly column from her Canisteo hut.