recently learned of an event involving Boozer and Three Eight Ball
while they were trying to find Big Foot in Saw Mill Hollow. Usually,
I learn of these stories after they are written by A. A. Asbury, but
as you know it is thought that A. A. is dead. So, since Boozer has
directly informed me of this event, I feel obligated to pass it on
in memory of A. A. Recall that Boozer and Three Eight Ball were
camping out in ďThe HollowĒ trying to capture Big Foot when they
discovered a creature that they thought was Elvis. They surmised
that Elvis wasnít really dead and that he was simply hiding out,
trying to escape the pressure to perform again placed on him by his
you know, Boozer and Three Eight Ball had some strange encounters
while in Snake Run and Saw Mill Hollow: The Sweet Little Old Lady
from Alabama who danced a jig while singing Ramma Jamma, Ramma Jamma,
giveím hell Alabama and the family that hung upside down like bats
from the limbs of a tree. So it may come as no surprise that another
strange event took place in Saw Mill Hollow while they were there,
an event that Boozer had kept to himself for some time.
Since Boozer is my only source for the story, I canít actually
verify that it is true. However, Boozer swears that he thinks that
it did actually happen, that is, if he wasnít dreaming. Moreover,
you can rest assured that on my Cub Scoutsí Honor, I wouldnít think
of reporting anything in these pages that I didnít feel had a ring
of truth to it.
How it Began
happened one evening in Saw Mill Hollow after Boozer and Three Eight
Ball had bundled up in their sleeping bags for the night. They had
decided to separate themselves by some distance while sleeping so
that if one was attacked by a wild animal or possibly a creature
such as a Big Foot, then the other could come screaming to the
rescue and help fight or scare off the dastardly beast. Just as
Boozer was beginning to doze off, he spotted a rabbit hopping
through the woods. As the boys were beginning to run out of food,
Boozer thought that if he could catch the rabbit, then he and Three
Eight Ball could enjoy a nice rabbit stew for dinner the next day.
As Boozer chased the rabbit, he was slowly closing the distance
between himself and the rabbit and, strange as it might seem, the
rabbit would stop at times as if beckoning Boozer to follow.
Finally, just as Boozer was about to catch the rabbit, it hopped
into a large hole at the base of a tree. Boozer, thought to himself,
well, the hole canít be that deep, so he dove into the hole
searching for the rabbit. Boozer went down and down, ever deeper
into the hole and then he lost his grip. He free-fell for some time
before landing in a large pile of leaves. Looking around he found
himself in a forest, a forest with beautiful flowers and other
foliage that he had never seen before. Boozer was scared and
wondered to himself if he would ever find his way out. As he was
beginning to explore the forest and as he was walking down a path,
he entered a small clearing where he came upon a very pretty young
girl sitting on a log looking at flowers. Boozer spoke to her.
Boozer: Young lady, could you tell me where I am?
Pretty Girl: Yes, Sir, youíre in Wonderland.
Pretty Girl: Yes, itís a magical place where a lot can be learned.
Animals and other creatures in Wonderland can actually talk and
since they have lived on earth longer than humans have, they can
often give insight into many things.
Boozer: Whatís your name?
Pretty Girl: Alice
About that time a Cheshire Cat appeared in the air and floated
slowly downward coming to a gentle landing on a large moss covered
Cheshire Cat: But thatís not the real Alice.
Alice: I donít know if I am the real Alice or not, but I seem to
have been here before, but maybe Iím just dreaming.
Boozer: Alice, whatís your full name?
Alice: Alice Ann Asbury.
Boozer: Were you any kin to A. A. Asbury?
Alice: Yes, he was my twin brother.
Boozer: Do you know how he died?
Alice: Yes, he was killed jousting at wind turbines in Scotland
while hunting for Wireís teeth. A. A. thought that the wind turbines
were soldiers from the Middle East who were seeking the Treasure of
King Solomonís Temple.
Boozer: Yes, I have also heard that story, but no one seems to know
if A. A. is actually dead.
Alice: I believe he is dead. If not, he would have been in touch
with me. But he was a Knight Templar, you know, and he was wearing
his magic underwear when he left, so I guess he could still be alive
and searching for Wireís teeth in some far-off land.
Boozer: Alice, do you live here?
Alice: No, I fell down a rabbit hole and ended up here. I have met
many wise creatures in Wonderland and I hope to be able to increase
my understanding of politics in America while here.
this point, Boozer glanced over his shoulder and saw Les Miles, The
Mad Hatter, twirling a football on his finger while Jabber-Walking
through the forest.
Boozer: Alice, do you know The Mad Hatter?
Alice: Yes, Iíve met him, but he canít help me with politics. Seems
all he wants to talk about is LSU football and the national
championship. I had hoped that he could help me to learn more about
the motivations of John Boehner and Mitch McConnell.
this point in time a short woman and her entourage appeared in the
clearing. She was addressed as Queen by two small twin fat boys in
her entourage whom she called Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. The Queen
had quite a large head for her body and her hair was bright red.
then she spoke.
Red Queen: Did I hear the names John Boehner and Mitch McConnell?
Off with their heads! Off with their heads!
hearing this command, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum ran off in
opposite directions to hide, fearing that they might also be the
subject of such a command from The Red Queen.
the ensuing minutes, Boozer, Alice and The Red Queen had quite an
Alice on Socialism
Alice: My first conversation about politics was with a big fat
caterpillar hanging in its cocoon while it was waiting to change
into a moth.
caterpillar? Surely, you must be kidding!
Alice: No, remember that animals and other creatures can talk in
Wonderland. Fat Caterpillar told me about the commons and socialism.
Boozer: The commons
Alice: Yes, the commons are those properties in America that every
one owns such as the national parks and socialism is a theory of
government where programs for the people are established by
government and paid for through the collection of taxes. In fact, in
true socialism the government owns all means of production.
Socialist programs in America are often promoted by liberal
democrats and socialists such as Bernie Sanders.
The Red Queen:
Democrats, Socialists, Bernie Sanders? Off with their heads! Off
with their heads!
Alice: According to Fat Caterpillar, we all enjoy socialist programs
and in fact most of these programs are taken for granted by the
people. They are so accepting of these programs that they donít even
think of them as being socialist.
Boozer: Really, I
Alice: Think of our roads, our water and sewer systems, our police
department and fire departments. We have city police, state police
and national police such as the F.B.I and the Secret Service. We
also have public secondary school systems and public state colleges
and universities. Some health services are also provided by the
government such as Medicare, Medicaid and the Veterans Health Care
System. All of these systems are socialist in nature. Our military
is also a socialist program established by the government and paid
for through the collection of taxes. Even though the military is
provided for in the constitution, it is a socialist program
Boozer: But Iím a committed capitalist, couldnít these programs just
Alice: Well, yes, but letís take the case of our road systems. If I
owned all the roads in Alderson, then I could charge the citizens of
Alderson a hefty sum of money each month for the privilege of
traveling on my roads. Moreover, if you owned a business in
Alderson, I could demand a percentage of your profits for permitting
an entry off my road to your business. And who would set the
maintaince standards for my roads? Not the government, since
Republicans would not permit that. The Republican refrain these days
is to get government off our backs. If other roads such at the
interstate highway system were privately owned, then you would
probably have to stop every few miles and pay a toll. Also, many
years ago the fire departments of New York City were private
systems. If your house was on fire and if a fire department arrived
at your house, then they would let it burn if their fire department
sticker was not on the front of your house. Eventually, the people
of New York City got fed up with this and demanded a socialized
system of fire protection run by the city and paid for through the
collection of taxes. And think about it, would we want our police
departments privatized and what about the military? If such were the
case, what would happen if America had international crises and the
military decided to go on strike for higher wages and benefits? And
what would happen if our military was owned by a corporation with
international interests and the corporation decided not go to war
for America because of its own economic interests?
Red Queen: Capitalists, Republicans? Off with their heads! Off with
Boozer: Alice, I guess youíre right. There are many socialist
programs in America that we take advantage of and often take for
granted. On the surface socialism sounds good to me, couldnít we
have more of these programs?
Alice: Yes, but Fat Caterpillar thinks that too much socialism kills
the incentive for people to work. His species has lived a long time
on earth, observed many political systems and recorded the results
in their DNA. Fat Caterpillar told me that this information is
passed on from one caterpillar generation to the next through their
genes. Fat Caterpillarís observation is that socialist programs have
many positive benefits within a society, but any caterpillar will
tell you that socialism must not be permitted to go too far. The
theory is that a delicate balance between socialism and capitalism
is required if society is to function efficiently. Unfortunately,
many Americans have been conditioned to the point that they will
often begin to salivate like Pavlovís Dog at the mere mention of
Boozer: O.K., but how does capitalism fit into a good system?
Alice on Capitalism
Alice: Capitalism is an engine for economic growth. It provides jobs
for the people in a society and if it is structured correctly with
socialism, then this combination provides a ďladder upĒ to the
middle class and beyond for those willing to prepare themselves and
work hard. Socialized programs such as public schools and public
colleges and universities prepare most of the people for jobs that
capitalism provides. But we must be careful with capitalism.
Boozer: I donít understand what you mean when you say that we must
be careful with capitalism.
Alice: Fat Caterpillar told me to think of capitalism as a pair of
draft horses plowing a field. We want the horses to pull strongly
ahead, but someone must be at the reins of the horses to make sure
that they stay on track and that the plow stays in the right place.
Fat Caterpillar says that capitalism operates the most effectively
when it is pulling strongly ahead but is controlled in a manner that
keeps it on track. Capitalism left on its own will often become
predatory and eat its own base.
Boozer: Eat its own base?
Alice: Yes, we see that happening now. For example, look at the
ďtricks and trapsĒ that are written into credit card applications,
where interest rates can more than double because of a minor
infraction by a card holder. Remember also the Glass-Steagall Act of
1933. This law separated commercial banking from investment banking
in order to limit speculation by bankers. This act was repealed by
the Clinton-Rubin team and this opened the way for much of the
trouble that we have with banks today. The repeal was sold to the
American people as: if this act is not repealed, then the financial
markets will move to London, England. This repeal led to speculation
and the subsequent collapse in the housing market when risky loans
were made by lending institutions such as Country Wide to people who
didnít have the ability to meet their monthly mortgage payment.
Banks on Wall Street knew this but went forward anyway since they
could buy and package these loans and then sell them to unsuspecting
investors. It was simply Plunder, Plunder, Plunder, the crime of our
time, and it appears that they got away with it. Capitalism is also
eating itself by not paying its workers a decent wage. Business must
do this for if not, then people will not have the means to buy what
is produced. Right-to-Work Laws may also be part of the problem.
These Laws were adopted by many southern states who implicitly said,
ďwe know about that slavery thing" and jumped to adopt those laws.
Red Queen: Clinton, Rubin? Off with their heads! Off with their
Boozer: But wasnít the banking problem the fault of Fannie May and
Freddie Mac, the quasi-government institutions that were established
to encourage home ownership?
Alice: Not really! The point is that banks and loan institutions
were making risky loans in many countries around the world. Fannie
May and Freddie Mac werenít backing those loans and the housing
market collapsed in many of those countries. Banks in other
countries often adopted the speculative methods of the Wall Street
banks since there was a great deal of money to be made. Also, Fannie
May and Freddie Mac werenít backing commercial real-estate loans in
the U.S. and that market has also collapsed. So it was basically a
problem induced by speculating banks on Wall Street. Both Democrats
and Republican are to blame and donít you remember Wís speech
promoting an Ownership Society?
Red Queen: George Bush? Off with his head! Off with his head!
Boozer: Alice, even though I am a committed capitalist, I really
hadnít thought of it like that.
Alice: Capitalism has to be kept in check. Remember the wisdom of
Fat Caterpillar; a delicate balance between Socialism and Capitalism
must be maintained if society is to function effectively. Socialism
and Capitalism provide a ladder up to the middle class and beyond.
Public institutions such as colleges and universities prepare people
for the jobs that capitalism provides so that people can climb that
ladder. These public institutions must be maintained, even if they
are socialist in nature!
About that time Boozer felt someone punching him in the ribs. Wake
up, Wake up. It was Three Eight Ball punching him in the ribs with a
Three Eight Ball: You going to sleep all day? Itís 6 in the morning
and we need to start searching for Big Foot.
Boozer, unzipped himself from his sleeping bag while thinking to
himself, how did I get back from Wonderland and into my sleeping
bag? Did I really meet Alice in Wonderland or was I just dreaming?
Boozer didnít tell Three Eight Ball of this, he just scratched his
head, confused and wondering what it was all about.