­­ Bumper sticker of the week: I embarrass my offspring.

­­ Quote of the week: ''The world being illusive, one must be deluded in some way if one is to triumph in it.'' - W.B.Yeats

­­ I was thinking about going down to a city council meeting, but they start too early. Being a white collar worker, I work until 7pm. Working in Kewanee, it takes 40 minutes to get back to Galesburg. By the time I eat a little supper, freshen up my deodorant, put on some new undershorts, and say hello to the wife and dogs, in that order, it's 9pm. What do you think council? You ought to be able to do your damage in 2 hours.

­­ The Gun Slingers of America are getting nervous. More and more citizens are demanding that a lobotomy be given to this wild west mentality that the NRA continues to promote. I hear Charlton Heston is starting to recite the Old Testament every night before he goes to the firing range. You'd think Moses would have more up his sleeve than a 45 magnum. He is not doing any favor for the religiously inclined. Every time I think about the Ten Commandments, I think about the NRA. This is not good. These right-wing Christian soldiers want to hang the commandments from the barrel of every gun in America. Heston is sorry he didn't add number eleven to the commandments when he had the chance: ''Thou shall be able to own as many guns as Thou would like.''

­­ The Democrats of Knox County have a new party chairman. I don't run for precinct committeeman because I don't like party politics. It reminds me too much of kindergarten and having to leave my mother at such an early age. Anyway, good luck to Caroline. The first thing she'll have to figure out is which ones of us graduate to the first grade. It won't be easy.

­­ Wrestling rules the airwaves. Where else can you gather up a group of men and women with a combined IQ of 46, get them high on steroids, let them run around half naked, and have the audacity to call it anything but a circus? Where else but in America, where at least 7/8ths of the population are so bored with their lives that they would rather watch this nonsense than go bowling.

­­ A federal judge has ruled that the government has overstepped its bounds with the new ''give welfare to the rich rather than the poor'' program that it adopted, unfortunately, with President Clinton's cooperation. Seems the boys got greedy and took hundreds of thousands of needy people off Medicaid who should not have been taken off. The judge recommended that they put them back on immediately and pay any back medical expenses. Word on the street has it that the whole back to work welfare program has been a disaster, particularly for children. The government continues to report that the program has been the best thing since the income tax became permanent. I much prefer to believe street talk over governmental psycho-babble. If you lost your Medicaid over the last couple of years due to this brilliant scheme, give them a call. You might have been one of the cheated ones. I don't imagine they'll call you.

­­ The Farm Bureau. I always figured breathing that fresh country air over a lifetime could make you goofy. Sure enough. 60 Minutes did an expose' on the Bureau's policy statements. As fate would have it, it seems the Bureau has made a sharp turn to the right, bypassing rural America and heading straight towards corporate agri-business. I looked up for myself some of the legislative interests of the Farm Bureau on the Internet:

-- They call for repealing the voter's right act. Since the report, they're making a hasty retreat to cover their butts. They had a brief rebuttal on the Internet by Monday, but they had taken it off by Tuesday.Watch out for the psycho-babble.

-- They call for dramatic reform of the endangered species act. You know, the one that saved the bald eagle from extinction due to farmers using DDT. They want species protection efforts to be compatible with landowner rights, or put another way, they want reimbursement if they have to go out of their way to protect God's creatures.

-- They believe the theories behind global climate change are make-believe.The administration should withdraw its support of legally binding reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

-- The Farm Bureau supports locally designed and implemented solutions to water quality problems rather than EPA standards. They oppose increased regulation of animal agriculture.

-- They oppose the raising of the minimum wage. Their having to pay a man or woman a subsistence wage is not in their winter Florida vacation plans.

-- Most people don't know that if they buy insurance from one of the many Bureau owned insurance companies used exclusively to service the Farm Bureau, they automatically become a member of the Bureau. Because of this, the Bureau shows a large and growing membership, which is very misleading. Many of these new members are not even farmers. The Farm Bureau was at one time an organization that was very helpful to the rural farmer. Today it is an organization that is more helpful to corporate agri-business and the spreading of right-wing ideology and government mistrust. It gives little of its time and money to struggling rural farmers. It is more like the Farm PUreau.

Uploaded to The Zephyr Online April 18, 2000

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