Weighed down by heating bills


— Bumper sticker of the week: Save democracy — plant a bush in Texas.

— Quote of the week: ÒFor in a Republic, who is 'the country'? Is it the government which is for the moment in the saddle? Why, the government is merely a servant — merely a temporary servant; it cannot be its prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong, and decide who is a patriot and who isnÕt. Its function is to obey orders, not originate them.Ó Mark Twain

— Weighed down by heating bills: The catch-up game is going to kill many a family's budget this spring. Already burdened by the high cost of gas, real estate taxes, double-digit inflation health-care costs, and pitifully low salaries, along comes AmerenIP, with criminally high natural gas prices. I guess they figure they might as well get into the game. This is the game called capitalism. When they got you down, why not stomp on you. People will be crushed beneath late fees, reconnect charges, and deposits, added to an already exorbitant bill. The cost will be insurmountable for many. You might as well bend over and kiss your house goodbye.

— Nursery rhyme facts that may peeve you:

¥ The Big Bad Wolf was a pimp.

¥ Alice was high on drugs.

¥ Old Mother Hubbard was on welfare.

¥ It wasnÕt a little lamb that Mary had.

¥ Little Bo Peep sold her sheep to Woolrich.

¥ Humpty-Dumpty was a bad egg.

¥ Rub-A-Dub-Dub, Three Men in a Tub. Guess what?

¥ How could Three Blind Mice run after the farmer's wife?

¥ It's been said Mother Goose was not really a goose, or a mother, but an Englishman writing about the many trials and tribulations of living in England. IÕm not falling for that.

— Answering the e-mail:

¥ Question: You sure are hard on the President. ShouldnÕt you show some respect, if for no other reason than heÕs the President?

  Answer: No.

¥ Question: Do you think itÕs ok for older people to have sex?

  Answer: ItÕs ok, but highly unlikely.

¥ Question: I hear you have never joined a fraternal or service organization. Do you have a reason why?

          Answer: IÕm not lonely.

¥ Question: Who do you think the Democrats will run for President in 2008?

          Answer: Hopefully, someone with a brain, which eliminates everyone mentioned so far.

¥ Question: You are against the war. Are you a coward or a commie?

  Answer: Let me make this perfectly clear: IÕm a coward. I wouldnÕt like anyone shooting at me. I have a hard time staying alive as it is. I do not believe it is right to kill people in the name of democracy, religion, revenge, or pretty much for any other reason you can think of. If we are made in GodÕs image, then I would assume we each have a part of that divine matter within us. To destroy it puts one on thin ice. We rationalize exceptions. Not taking another life is a difficult position to take. There are always doubts.

¥ Question: How do you view the world as a whole at this time in our history?

  Answer: It pretty much sucks. Still, IÕm optimistic that Elvis will show up somewhere.