• Ayatollah Khomeini and Putting the Shoe on the Other Foot

    • Posted on Nov 30, 1979

    Suppose Richard Nixon had actually done what many of us feared: suppose he had actually killed or imprisoned those many citizens on his "enemies" list.

     And suppose, to help him, he had created his own secret police force to intimidate and terrorize all those who might be candidates for Nixon enemies, meaning hundreds of thousands of the noisy minority.

    Suppose he also formed alliances with other countries who supported him (some might even say helped put him in office) and who bought American products in return for, say, oil. 

    Now suppose that we fiercely independent Americans, after a few years of Nixon's secret police and foreign oil, decided to rise up and turn him out of office. Nixon would wisely flee, taking millions of our dollars with him to the countries who had supported him.

    And suppose Nixon ended up in a hospital bed in one of those countries, under their guard, supposedly ill with, say, cancer. Would we have trouble believing that, since he had lied to us so often before? 

    And don't you suppose we'd want him back? Don't you think we'd be angry at the country that refused to send him back, especially if that country arrogantly insisted that our new leader was a fanatic, when all the new leader had done was to help throNixon out and punished his secret police force? 

    Wouldn't you be tempted, honestly now, to take a few of that country's citizens hostage until they returned Richard Nixon for trial?

    I submit: we would, by now, have demanded that Nixon be returned or else. Hell, we probably would have sent in the marines to drag him home, kicking and screaming, for trial. 

    So let's stop our self-righteous ranting about the Iranians. Put their shoe on our foot and we likely would stomp just as hard. 

    Khomeini, however, certainly has some communication problems with the West. That's because communication involves communing, a commonality—look at the word.

    Without some common agreement, however small, no communication can take place. 
    We've all had the frustrating experience of trying to explain a point to someone with whom we disagree entirely. The argument goes round and round, in and out, up and down, until both arguers either quit in disgust or find some bludgeons. 

    Once in a great while, though, the arguers find to their surprise that they do agree on a point or two after all. Then, and only then, do they proceed to actually disagree and —communicate. 

    But with Khomeini, we're at the round and round, in and out, get out the bludgeons stage, with no commonality in sight. He thinks we're satanic, we think he's fanatic. He thinks we're imperialist war-mongers, we think he's a monomaniacal absolutist. He thinks we're capitalist manipulators, we think he's a throwback to pre-industrial zealotry. 

    No wonder we're not communicating. 

    Go comment!
    Posted in
    • Politics
    • Hot Button Issues
    • Cedar Valley Chronicles
  • Three groaners to liven up Thanksgiving (1979)

    • Posted on Nov 22, 1979


    Three groaners:

    Pearls are actually clam tumors. That’s not very romantic I know, but it’s true: pearls are formed when a grit of sand gets inside a clam’s shell and the clam secretes some stuff to surround the grit. Eventually it hardens into a pretty little ball: a clam tumor.

    So from the clam’s point of view, pearls are to be avoided, just like all but the most perverted human would prefer to avoid tumors. So: A gritty pearl is a malady. (Thanks to Chuck Jones, creator of Road Runner, for that one.)

    Roy Rogers left his brand new red-sequined cowboy boots out by the door. He ordinarily would have brought brand-new boots in, but this time he left them out, since Trigger admired them so much. But in the middle of the night, Roy awoke with a start when he heard some growling and chomping on his porch. He ran to look, and there was a big mountain cat chewing on his new boots. Trigger was no where to be seen, dumb horse. And the cat ran away, seeing Roy’s sequined pajamas.

    Roy was furious and awoke sleepy Dale, saying “Dale, I’m a-goin’ after ‘im!” And he grabbed his sequined rifle and went to find Trigger. The old dumb horse was asleep in the barn under his sequined blanket, and Roy jumped on him and rode away into the sunrise.

    That night, much to Dale’s relief, Roy and Trigger came loping into the Rogers Ranch Corral. And Across Trigger’s saddle slumped the big cat, dead. Roy was proud of his successful revenge, and Dale sang out happily, “Pardon me Roy, is that the cat that chewed-ya new shoes?”

    A Chinaman named Chan was a famous and beloved maker of teak-wood furniture. People would come from miles around to order his furniture made of teak, which Chan always made by hand. And he did it all alone, almost. He had only one helper, a small bear whose main oddity was his feet. His feet, strange to tell, were little boy’s feet, not bear’s feet like one might expect on a bear. No one knew how Chan’s little bear got the funny little boy-feet, but since the bear was such a faithful helper and knew Chan’s teak-wood furniture business so well, no one complained. They did sneak looks at the bear’s feet once in a while, but that was only natural.

    One sad day, the little bear fell victim to an ancient malady: pride. He thought he could make the teak furniture just as well as Chan, so he decided to leave Chan and go into business for himself. The strange little bear knew that he could never afford the teak-wood needed to start his own business, so he decided to steal enough teak from Chan. Soon he saw his chance, grabbed a bear-load of teak and ran off.

    Just then Chan came out of his shop, saw what was happening, and shouted at the top of his lungs, “Come back, come, O boyfoot bear with Teak of Chan!”

    Go comment!
    Posted in
    • Cedar Valley Chronicles
    • Humor
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“Even before the advent of the Internet, Cawelti’s columns went 'viral' in the Cedar Valley… the role of a columnist is to be thought provoking, to take tacks that shed a different light on an issue or possibly cause a reader to reevaluate a position. At the very least, it should bring clarity to a particular perspective, whether you buy into the commentator’s worldview or not.

Scott's work does just that.  Enjoy this collection of his writing.”

-Saul Shapiro, Former Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier Editor
Read Shapiro's entire introduction.


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