Random Shots: Fables of Bill and the Newt

Against the Current, No. 69, July/August 1997

R.F. Kampfer

NEWT GINGRICH ACTUALLY had the money to pay that fine ($300,000 for ethics violations); but it was in his wife’s name and she didn’t think he was good for it.

Bill Clinton’s plan to discourage illegal immigration: Create an environment that nobody wants to escape to.

Stung by criticism of his indifference towards human rights in China, Clinton has acted decisively to impose sanctions — on Burma.

Remember when the biggest scandal in Washington was when Ike wanted to poison the squirrels on the White House lawn? They were digging up his putting green. [Kampfer is dating himself here; he’s old enough to remember that President Dwight Eisenhower (“Ike”) was a notorious golfer — ed.]


I SWEAR THE following is true: All the hype about Ellen made me think about a lost Mary Tyler Moore episode, where Mary and Rhoda came out — before MAD TV did their skit on exactly that.

It seemed contradictory for a restaurant to be offering an all-you-can-eat special for Lent.

One thing we learn from “The Crucible:” Teenagers haven’t changed a bit over the centuries.

National Public Radio announcers, before being hired, have to demonstrate the ability to read their copy without displaying any animation while a scorpion crawls across their bare flesh.

In the original Hunchback of Notre Dame, as opposed to Disney, Quasimodo was a Gypsy but Esmeralda was not. Quasimodo’s mother had stolen the infant Esmeralda and left her FLK in exchange; Esmeralda’s mother never recovered from the experience.

Signs we’d like to see: If You Aren’t Handicapped When You Park Here, You Will Be When You Leave.

Political Economy for Beginners

THE LIBERTARIAN FALLACY is that capitalists oppose government intervention. In the real world, every “free- market” boss wants the politicians and the state to intervene on his behalf.

It used to be said that in Europe the unions pretended to want to abolish capitalism, and in the United States the bosses pretended to want to abolish unions. Both have changed, for the worse.

Someone once observed that life was basically fair because the rich got ice in the summer and the poor got it in the winter.

You’ve reached the middle class when the quality of your pizza takes precedence over the quantity you get for the money.

Frederick the Great knew what North Korea’s Kim-Il-Sung-and-son dynasty has found out the hard way: You can only turn so many peasants into soldiers before both groups starve.

ATC 69, July-August 1997