First readings are out. Taxing us is in.

– Bumper sticker of the week: There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."

– Quotes of the week: "For evil to succeed, all it needs is for good men to do nothing." Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul." Edward Abbey

"No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible." Stanislaus Jerzy Lee

– "While the United States will constantly strive to enlist the support of the international community, we will not hesitate to act alone, if necessary, to exercise our right of self defense by acting preemptively against such terrorists....." : This is our new national security strategy, published by the White House in September, 2002. All I want to know is, who is the "we"?

– A taxing situation: So much for first and second readings at the city council meetings. Apparently the council sees no need to do so when taxing us, which of course would seem to be one of the primary times when you would want to use a first reading, giving the public ample warning that the council is about to do something stupid. Like taxing us into oblivion. To quote one of our esteemed aldermen, "There’s no thinking or dwelling on it for a couple of weeks. That’s nonsense." I do agree there’s no thinking going on, although it has been for much longer than a couple of weeks. This is yet another example of the council blindly nodding their approval to the city’s economic geniuses and city administration. They want us to pay for overpriced land purchased to start another industrial park, which is likely not to come to fruition for at least five years. In the meantime, we’re going to have thousands of people out of work. Now is not the time to raise taxes. Once again, the council rushes into the past, where deals to help "the good old boys" seem to just not want to go away, like a bad case of the clap. This council needs a shot of penicillin. And I just happen to have some.

– Three strikes, you’re out: By the usual 5—4 margin, the right—winged Supreme Court upholds the 3 strikes you’re out law, used in about 20 states in the place of responsibly justice. There is clearly a minority of right—winged, scared white folks who support this stupidity, and the Supreme Court sides with all ten of them. I think it’s time for a new court. I’m going to the zoo and see if I can’t recruit a couple of chimps and a baboon or two. That should at least bring the intelligence level of the court up to about a 65 or so.

– My recommendations for a "one strike you’re out" law:

• Any politician found guilty of cheating the public is out. No pension. No politically appointed job. Out. Go find a real job.

• A priest found guilty of sexual abuse gets to work for Bubba at the state pen. Private communion.

• A pharmacist or doctor who passes drugs illegally – done. Take up painting or underwater basket—weaving.

• A CEO of a large company who cheats employees out of money, benefits, pension, or just looks at them with that stupid, superiority smirk. Life. The priest is probably going to need some help with Bubba.

• A cop who mistreats the accused, they have to wear "I was a bad cop" on their shirt and jackets, forever.

• For any hospital who attempts to collect catastrophic medical claims from patients who have no money, resulting in their bankruptcy, the CEO gets a lobotomy and has to wear a sign around his neck stating, "I caused more pain than I alleviated." This perhaps needs to hold true for the doctors also.

• For any defense attorney who doesn’t have a clue what he’s doing, he gets the same sentence as his client.

• To all SUV drivers who run into another car causing injury or death, your SUV gets shoved up your butt, one piece at a time. Non—violently.

• To insurance companies and salesmen who try to weasel out of paying claims, you get a satisfying life of working in a prison for 50 years, trying to keep Bubba away from the priests and CEO’s.

– Stupid White Men: Stupid White Men, the stunningly irreverent expose’ of W. George and his merry band of oilmen, written by Michael Moore, remains on the New York Times best—sellers list for the 46th week. This is an incredible statement from the American public, making Moore’s book the best selling non—fiction work in 2002. Needless to say, I love it. I’ve bought ten copies. I send them to all my right—winged friends. I like to look at it as missionary work, spreading the Gospel According to Michael.