Have heard again from Billy, a college friend from thousands of years ago. He’d spent the day with friends at Haw Creek Falls sipping Newton County “spring water” and throwing back a few Bud Lights as chasers.
He was wired. And pissed. He said they began by talking about how the NCAA should punish Penn State, and then they “got all wallered up” when the “debatin’ switched from pedophiles to politicians.”
Before we move on, Kind Reader should know that Billy is convinced The City Wire will never be a long-term success unless it includes stories about hunting seasons, high school football, NASCAR, and presents a weekly photo feature of a local Hooters girl.
We began the phone call with at least one thing on which Billy and his friends — who were still gathered near Billy’s campsite — were able to agree.
Billy: We done decided that when they rip down the Joe Paterno statue they should place it in the prison where they send that sumbitch Sandusky. And then they tie Sandusky up to it so as he’s all convenient for some of the other inmates to access — if you know what I mean.
MT: Yes, I know what you mean, but the courts might nix that idea. A judge might consider that “cruel and unusual” punishment.
Billy: Well, that’s the response expected from a spineless member of the liberal media. Sometimes you gotta make an example out of folks. Like that joker who killed all them folks in that Colorado theater. Don’t see a reason to waste taxpayer money on a trial and stuff. We all know he did it. I say we tie him to the end of an eight-foot rope with the other end tied to Dale Jr.’s car, and then let Dale go until they ain’t nothing on the other end of the rope.
MT: And I suppose you’d want it to be televised to achieve the most impact?
Billy: Hell yes!
MT: The problem is, folks like that Colorado shooter aren’t motivated by
Billy: Yeah, I know, you’re gonna say they don’t think like normal folks so such demonstrations do nothing but make the rest of us feel better. Well, that’s BS. You can’t prove if he thought he’d be dragged behind a car at speeds of around 200, that he’d maybe thought twice.
MT: OK, I’m not going to argue this point with you. What else did the Haw Creek brain trust discuss?
Billy: We talked about how silly it was for them U.S. Olympic athletes to be wearing clothes made in China. But there was a kid there from one of them fancy private schools in Conway who said it was another sign we Americans is losing our edge. He said we have to hitch a ride with the Russians to get into space, may soon have to negotiate with hardcore Muslims to use the Suez Canal, and we still get most of our energy from the Canadians and Saudis even though we have plenty of our own natural gas and oil.
MT: Those are good points. But lemme guess, you guys probably didn’t react well to being told the U.S. is losing its
Billy: Dang right we didn’t take it well. Especially when that little smart ass asked how many of us mad about the Olympic uniforms didn't realize that most of our Fourth of July fireworks were from China or Mexico or some of them commie countries like Vietnam.
MT: Ouch. I hadn’t thought about that.
Billy: We let him stay, ‘cause he was with a couple of college girls who were wearing dang-near next to nothing. But he didn’t get another sip of our spring water.
MT: Good to hear your patience with the young man was based on honorable reasons.
BIlly: Whatever. We also talked about this Medicaid report that I read on your little City Wire thing. Now, this Andy Allison guy with Arkansas’ Medicaid program says if we use federal dollars to expand the number of folks in the state program that we’ll save $372 million over seven years.
MT: Right. It’s going to be a controversial issue, especially during the upcoming Legislative Session set to begin in January.
Billy: I tried to follow Mr. Allison’s logic, but I get lost.
MT: His point is that the federal money will free up Arkansas dollars, provide more care to more people, and the influx of federal dollars will also generate positive economic activity.
Billy: But don’t this imply that there is a magical pot of money in Washington? If I follow this logic, then why doesn’t the federal government “expand” the money it sends to states for roads and bridges and stuff? That federal money would free up Arkansas dollars, provide more roads and bridges to more people, and all that activity would boost the state economy.
MT: Well, it’s difficult to compare
Billy: Or why doesn’t the federal government “expand” the money it sends to states for education? Them federal dollars would also free up Arkansas dollars, provide more schools and books and access to more people, and all that stuff would boost the economy.
MT: As I was trying to say earlier, it’s difficult
Billy: Or why doesn’t the federal government “expand” the money it sends to states for just about anything? We’d have all 50 states with more federal money that frees up state funds and generates activity that would make all them state economies better. The economy would be booming and we’d all be sending out for whiskey and hookers.
MT: Well, your examples, under Allison’s logic, would have the effect you've described in theory — sans the whiskey and hookers. If the feds would just spend more with the states, we'd stimulate ourselves into prosperity. Is that what you’re saying?
Billy: Yes, college boy, that’s what I’m trying to say. Also, this doesn’t even begin to address the issue of who is going to take care of all those folks. We were facing a shortage of doctors and other folks at hospitals and clinics as it was. Now, with federal health care essentially killing most of the incentive for doctors and specialists to stay or enter the field, combined with more patients entering the system, we are heading for a Canadian or a European style cluster f%$# in which the care is free, but you need to schedule that major surgery six months before you think you need it.
MT: I’m impressed, Billy. You’ve really thought this through. And I suspect the basic elements of your argument will be heard again when Arkansas Democrats and Republicans have a go at this issue.
Billy: That doesn’t make me feel better. The other thing we agreed on was that most of this country’s debt and other messes are primarily the fault of Democrats and Republicans who’d sell their children to the Chinese just to make some silly political point. We also all agreed that we’d be better off sending people to Congress by randomly picking folks out of phone books and then paying them each a $1 million bonus if they really reduced the deficit within five years.
MT: Those are interesting concepts. I’d bet many frustrated Americans from both parties might agree with your
Billy: Hey, sorry to cut you short, but I gotta go. Those college girls are about to leave and I sure like watching them walk away.
MT: Billy, don’t you have a girl in college?
Billy: You jerk. Thanks for ruining it for me.
MT: Sorry. But you’ll still save me a few jars of that spring water, right? Billy? Hello. Billy?