Minden Press-Herald

Oct 01st

A Definitive Definition

Just when you thought you'd heard everything about Congress, along comes a friend with his laptop dictionary. Now, every time that group meets I'll think just what real little jokesters those Merriam Webster people are.

A brief regression: Of course, you've heard the old standard: If the opposite of "pro" is "con," isn't it reasonable to assume the opposite of progress is Congress? But did you also know the collective noun for a group of baboons can be either troop or (you guessed it) congress? A congress of baboons. Somewhere a troop is really miffed at the comparison.

Back to the dictionary...and since this is a family publication, we'll keep it as clean as possible, unlike some in Congress during election season. Friend steered me to the definitions listed for the word which has become synonymous with partisanship. Using the Letterman technique, let's start from the bottom:

Definition #3: The supreme legislative body of a nation and especially of a republic; Number 2: a formal meeting of delegates for discussion and usually action on some question; and (drum roll) definition #1: the act or action of coming together and meeting or (b) coitus. You can look that one up for yourself.

Nothing more needs to be said, but it becomes crystal clear what happens to us when the hired hands get together "on our behalf."

Occupying as an


Occupy Wall Street has become an occupying movement across the nation, and it has also become a dividing issue among many commentators. Our curiosity was aroused when a couple of individuals, during polite discourse of course, began mentioning a list of "demands" which had been published on the OWS web site.

A visit did indeed uncover such a list, but a disclaimer by the site's web guru let us know this was not a group of official demands of the self-identified leaderless movement. It was, we were told, the handiwork of a single individual on a forum post. This particular list, plus another which appeared on another site, quickly became fodder for some conservative talking heads. While your obedient observer does not usually see ear to eye with these commentators on many issues, the items did raise an eyebrow.

Just in case you're interested, here are a few items gleaned from a couple of wish lists of someone somewhere who needs something of substance to occupy his/her time ... like an occupation. The comments enclosed by parentheses are those of your humbleness.

Demand: Restoration of the living wage...another policy that must be instituted is raise the minimum wage to $20 per hour. (Great idea if the writer's goal is to eliminate small business and, by association, capitalism.)

Demand: Institute a universal single payer healthcare system ... all private insurers must be banned from the healthcare market. (And, naturally, our healthcare will be in the hands of Congress ... please see aforementioned definitions.)

Demand: Guaranteed living wage income regardless of employment. (Or, we suppose, non-employment.)

Demand: Free college education. (Where were you when the two Culverhouse kids were hitting the higher education scene?)

Demand: A fast track process to bring the fossil fuel economy to an end ... bring the alternative energy economy up to energy demand. (Hope the Energizer Bunny has a trailer hitch 'cause that big battery thing just ain't cuttin' it.)

Demand: Open borders to all immigrants, legal or illegal. (Millions love this one, especially those with the first name, Al.)

Demand: Immediate across-the-board debt forgiveness for all ... outlaw all credit reporting agencies. (Showed this one to my banker ... he's recovering nicely at home.)

And, demand: Make homeschooling illegal. Religious fanatics use it to feed their children propaganda. (How about illegalizing education altogether. Too often, fanatics use it to feed spongeheads propaganda.)

Here's hoping these demands are the work of only one intellectually superior individual. We're willing to bet, though, somewhere, several someones are reading the demands right now and seeing them as reasonable alternatives to the status quo. Che' would be so proud.

Pat Culverhouse is a journalist and political columnist who lives in Minden. You may contact him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .






Who's Online

We have 1215 guests online