I receive emails from all over the world concerning some of the stuff I write. Eighty five-percent of them come from people here in the <?xml:namespace prefix =”” st1 ns =”” “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />United States. The email represents a myriad of viewpoints relative to many of my columns. And, oh boy, do I get questions! “Do you really believe that two can live as cheaply as one?” asks Marlene from Ding Dong, Texas. “Why do people spend all that money on those bottles of Evian water?” asks Todd from Toad Suck, Arkansas. “What are false choices?” inquires Brutus from Hot Water, Mississippi. Ahlota Krapp, who lives on Tater Peeler Road in Lebanon, Tennessee wants to know if there ”Shouldn’t there be a law against stupid people having kids?”
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I know! I know. Who the hell was Edward Everett? I’m getting there. Just hold on and be patient.
No one can say that Joe Walther does not know his limitations. The fact is that many of these questions are just too, um, shall we say… intellectually unremarkable but obviously important to those who ask them. They require the services of a trained expert.
To this end, let me welcome you readers to what, hopefully, will become a regular segment of this column. Not every week, mind you, but perhaps five or six times a year. A dear friend of mine, Dr. A. Hewge-Pyle, (Dr. Debbi to her, um, close friends) has volunteered to help with some of the questions. She is a Ph.D’d expert. She’s written several books, all of which contain big words, covering a lot of stuff.
No, I have not forgotten about Senator Edward Everett. I have to set this up just right or it won’t register. I’ll get to him in a minute. In the meantime, here is part of the exchange I had with my good friend, Dr. Debbi.
Me: Welcome, Dr. Debbi.
Dr. Debbi: My pleasure, Joe.
Me: What about Marlene’s question: “Can two live as cheaply as one?”
Dr. Debbi: Absolutely, two can live as cheaply as one, but for only half as long.
Me: Should there be a law against stupid people having kids?
Dr. Debbi: If this were the case, the human species would have become extinct about a million years ago. Besides, I’ve never met a parent who looked into the eyes of a newborn and asked, “How can I screw this kid up?”
Me: I see your point, but on the up side, we wouldn’t have to deal with public school administrators and school boards!
Me: Emma D, who lives on Farfrompoopen Road (the ONLY road, incidentally, leading up to Constipation Ridge) in Tennessee asks, “My uncle is senile. Is this a problem for him?”
Dr. Debbi: No it isn’t. When you’re senile, you’re too senile to know it, Emma. He’s a happy as a pig in slop. How about you?
Me: Ah so! This explains public school administrators and school board members. Now, if only we could find a way to explain the lack of congruence between the looks on their faces and the things they say in public.
Me: Several readers have accused me, from time-to-time, of calling George Bush stupid. I don’t recall doing this. But, do you think he’s stupid?
Dr. Debbi: No! He is not stupid. He knows a lot of stuff. It’s just that he…well, he just never seems able to think of it.
Well, thanks, Dr. Debbi. I’ll be calling on you to address readers’ concerns in future columns. However, I just learned of a statistic that goes a long way towards explaining some of the intellectually unremarkable attitudes that all of us seem to encounter almost daily.
No, Senator Edward Everett was not one those intellectually unremarkable people. An intrepid windbag? Yes. A moron? No! I’ll get to him soon.
In his book, Useless Information, Jon Wilman recalls a 2006 poll by the McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum where 22% of Americans could name all five Simpson family members: Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. “So what!” you exclaim? What’s the big deal, here? Here’s what the big deal is.
The same survey found that only 0.1% (That’s ONE TENTH of ONE PERCENT!) of Americans could name the five freedoms—speech, religion, press, assembly, and petition for redress of grievances—guaranteed by the First Amendment. Even worse, about 20% of Americans thought that owning a pet is a First Amendment protection. The poll used a 95% confidence interval and a ±3% margin of error.
While I think that it should scare the hell out of us to think that such people might vote, not to mention for whom, I am going to take this an additional step. We all deal in semantic fool drudgery when we assume that our Constitution/Bill of Rights guarantees anything. The ONLY rights that we possess are the ones that we are both WILLING and ABLE to defend, even to the death of necessary. This applies to the entire human population, regardless of where they reside.
Perhaps we, including our elected politicians, should think about this prior to the next time we go attempting to shove democracy down another sovereign nation’s collective throat, unless we receive a credible request for help from folks living there who are, likewise, willing to die achieving it.
Now, on the other hand, if other sovereign nations show intent to harm us or our legitimate allies, we should kick some collective butt. We should do it quickly and decisively in order to show that we live by our Constitution and that we will not be screwed with by any nation on this globe.
See you next week. Oh, my, I almost forgot about Senator Edward Everett. He was one of our nation’s greatest orators. He was the thumbs down favorite to win any speech-delivering contest on the windbag circuit of his era. On November 19, 1863, he delivered a two-hour main speech on the battlefield of Gettysburg. Of course, a poll today would find that 99% of Americans don’t remember it because of the short, poignant two-minute Gettysburg Address delivered by one Abraham Lincoln immediately afterward.
Joseph Walther is a freelance writer and publisher of The True Facts. Send your comments. Just click here.