The socialism solution: Pay for everything

Today we're going to look at a way for you to help injured soldiers, check in on some local arts donors who turned a cultural affair into an economic-development one, too — and disclose my new crush.

But first, let's talk about socialism.

I was somewhat surprised to see readers inundate the Sentinel on Tuesday with complaints about a new state proposal to tax drivers by the mile.

After all, isn't that what those of you who are increasingly complaining about "socialized government" wanted?

I mean, what are highways — government-controlled and funded with confiscated taxes — if not socialized roads?

Come to think of it, to get into the office today, I also had to walk along socialized sidewalks — and pause at a socialized crosswalk. I saw kids walk into a socialized school!

Have we gone mad? Not only is this socialist, it's Marxist ... and communist ... probably czarist, too.

Who cares if I'm not actually using any of those words correctly? All I know is that the latest and greatest way to complain about anything I don't like is to slap an "-ist" on the end of it.

But fear not. To combat this rampant socialism, I have a solution: From now on, it's pay-as-you-go for everything you do — with the private sector running it all.

No more strolling through a socialized park — without first dropping a dollar in the admission bucket.

No more waiting on socialized air-traffic controllers to make sure planes don't crash. If I want to make sure my plane doesn't burn up, I'll hire a controller myself, thank you very much.

And heaven knows you freeloaders shouldn't just expect the Fire Department to come when your house is burning down. Each call will cost you $500. Because I've never called the Fire Department — and I certainly shouldn't have to pay for your socialized life and property protection.

Whatever is required to stop this rampant socialism, we must take action!

Oh, except for Medicare, of course. 'Cause I sure do like Medicare.

Wounded warriors

As we all know, there's plenty to debate politically in this country. But there's no debating that the men and women who bravely serve this country deserve proper care when they come home.

Too often, that doesn't happen — which is where organizations such as the Wounded Warrior Project come in.

Wounded Warrior helps service members who are severely injured while serving their country.

This paper has introduced you to some of these brave men and women through the years And local supporters have scheduled a fundraiser for Sept. 25 at 6 p.m. in Apopka with dinner, dancing, an auction and more. Tickets start at $50. For more information, contact Debra Giangrande at dgcircleoflife @yahoo.com or 321-256-2228.

For information on the agency in general, check out woundedwarriorproject.org.

Aspiring docs in the house

A Shakespearean soiree last weekend featured a couple of unusual twists — including some big bidding over a tiny car and a creative approach to economic development.

The event was the Orlando Shakespeare Festival's annual gala, where donors watched scenes from The Big Bang (very, very funny) and raised about $87,000 for the theater.

The best bidding action happened over a Smart. Longtime donors John and Rita Lowndes had offered $10,000 to get the bidding started, prompting guest emcee Alan Ginsburg to tell Lowndes: "That's right, John, trade in your Rolls-Royce. Actually, you could put this car in your Rolls-Royce." Local lawyer Jack Lord ended up taking the tiny car for $14,000.

But perhaps the most unique aspect was the way arts supporters also tried to turn the event into a community-building affair. In order to show students at the University of Central Florida's new medical school that Central Florida was a well-rounded place — one where, ahem, they might like to practice after graduating — theater supporters offered to buy $150 tickets for any aspiring doctors who wanted to come. The result: 24 of the 41 members of the school's inaugural class took a break from the books for a night of culture in Loch Haven Park.

Don't tell my wife ...

... but I think I may be falling in love — with a politician. It's Republican Nancy Argenziano, who first lit my heart on fire back in 2001 when she sent a special-interest lobbyist a gift-wrapped box of cow poop. And now, as a member of the Public Service Commission, she continued her fight against rate-hiking utility lobbyists by calling them "scumbags." Be still my heart. You can read more at OrlandoSentinel.com/takingnames.

Scott Maxwell, who sure hopes you're not reading this on a socialized park bench, can be reached at smaxwell@orlandosentinel.com or 407-420-6141.

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