­­ Bumper sticker of the week: There must be an answer?

­­ Quote of the week: ''We didn't send our young men and women off to fight for a government of, by, and for the corporations.'' --Granny D

­­ Average cost of winning a seat in the Congress (1996): Senate-- $3,750,000; House-- $675,000. (Source: Federal Election Commission)

­­ If the Pentagon were a normal corporation, the whole outfit would be in jail, pretty much forever. Pentagon accountants had to make $7 trillion of adjustments on their last audit. Most of those adjustments had no proof, no receipts. Despite those slight errors, the Director of Defense Financial Audits, Lisa Jacobson, says thing are getting better. Yea, and I'm trying out for the L.A. Lakers next week.

­­ Illinois is the proud owner of Dennis Hastert, Speaker of the U. S. House. We're good at producing powerful House leaders. Dan Rostenkowski was chairman of the Ways and Means committee for years. Stamps and booze finally did him in. Bob Michel would have eventually been Speaker but he retired just in time for Newt Gingrich to get the job. Hastert is the kind of politician you could easily live without. Better than Gingrich but worse than anyone else. Almost. I heard him talk about Granny D, the 90-year-old great-grandmother who walked across the country in support of campaign finance reform. Rep. Hastert said he was happy for her but that she should have spent her time doing something more meaningful, like watching after her grandchildren. This is the quality of leadership that we have in Washington. I suppose the one good thing is he's in Washington more than Illinois. We need to get rid of this type of politician. His day is long over. He's outdated. Shelf life expired.

­­ Campaign finance reform is not alone going to solve the problems we are facing with paid and bought politicians. With campaign finance reform, we will also need term limits. Politicians immediately cry that term limits would be unconstitutional, which as usual, much of the public buys. Little do the politicians understand that it is we who the constitution was written for, not they. If term limits are seen by judges as unconstitutional, perhaps it is time we made a change in the constitution. The founding fathers called us to do this with amendments. Lincoln himself said, ''This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or exercise their revolutionary right to overthrow it.'' Most of the politicians on capital hell have lost touch with the founding principles of this country. They are taking us towards a dark day. Term limits of ten years in any one office coupled with limited corporate and special interest contributions of say one dollar per year are the only way to renew the public's hope in government. The constitution does not provide for career politicians. Most are bad lawyers who can't make a living at it, so they become politicians and stay in office forever. With longevity comes committee chairmanships and favors get thrown back at the home district. We hate to kick out a good connection, so we don't. Campaign finance reform alone won't help this, only term limits can.

­­ St. Patrick's Day is tomorrow. The patron saint of corned beef and cabbage. I ain't ever figured out what corned beef is, but it sure is good. So eat a lot of corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, and carrots and drink some green beer. The more you eat and drink, particularly drink, the more Irish you'll feel. You'll know you had enough when, if you're Catholic, you start hating Protestants, or vice-versa.

­­ Spring begins March 20th. On top of that, it's a full moon. Should make for an interesting day. Try to do the following:

1. When you wake up, dance around your bed in the nude. This is an ancient tradition which continues to be practiced by the insane. Take pictures and send them to me; I'll check to see if you're doing it right.

2. For breakfast, eat raw liver and drink the blood of a billy goat. Should you not have either of these available, just go get an Egg McMuffin and some tomato juice and make-believe. Better to make-believe than to just forget about it.The gods do get upset.

3. Don't forget to give praise to the full moon. This is best done by shooting-the-moon, an ancient ritual whereby you drop pants, snuggle up to the front picture window, and let her fly. Just pray to God you don't cause anyone to have a heart attack.

4. Finally, at the end of the day, when you lie down in bed next to your partner, remember this advice: having sex with another is a sacred right that must be undertaken with great caution and humility. Before proceeding, bow to your partner, bow to the moon, do-si-do and allemande left. That ought to do it. Good luck.

Uploaded to The Zephyr Online March 14, 2000

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