­­Bumper sticker of the week: Witches Parking (All others will be toad)

­­Quotes of the week: ''The end of all our exploring

Will be to arrive where we started

And know the place for the first time.'' T.S. Eliot

''When the bird and the book disagree, always believe the bird.'' James Audubon

­­Some good signs: Right-winged ideology, be damned. Three recent signs that we seem to be emerging from this fascist ooze.

1.''Stupid White Men,'' by Michael Moore, of Roger and Me fame, has been number one on the New York Times bestseller list for over a month now. This is a satirical, humorous, sometimes brutal portrayal of W. George and his Washington entourage. It seemingly is testimony to the fact that the American public is not buying what these right-winged Christian white men are selling, which amounts to a bunch of baloney.

2.The U.S. Supreme Court, by a 6-3 vote, (which is highly unusual, with 5 of them leaning to the right), overturned a congressional ban on made-up pornography. Our fine right-winged Congress thought it best that people should not think up virtual-pornography and put it on the Internet. The case specifically featured make-believe child pornography. While obviously disgusting in its content, it is not a good idea to try to control the thoughts of others, and less of a good idea to try and control anyone's right to express those thoughts. The Supreme Court agreed, although it is scary that three of them don't. Censorship is not far behind this type of philosophy.

3.A federal judge in Oregon scolded U.S. Attorney General Ashcroft for interfering with Oregon's right-to-die law, which the citizens of Oregon voted for, not once, but twice, by overwhelming majorities. Judge Jones stated, ''Ashcroft is attempting to stifle an ongoing, earnest and profound debate in the various states concerning physician-assisted suicide.''

­­Another good sign: A crowd estimated at over 50,000 were present in Washington to protest the U.S. led war on terror, Israeli military actions in the West Bank, and the World Trade Organization. When Bush took office, I stated that street protests would steadily increase in the U.S. This is in fact exactly what is happening. Before he leaves office in 2004, millions will take to the streets to protest this administration's right-winged political ideology, which is grossly dehumanizing in every respect. My only hope is that it's in a peaceful way. The march in Washington on April 20 was a good sign. Sept. 11 was a good reminder that violence will not take us where we want to be. Violence is what we need to be protesting against.

­­The CEO of Maytag, Ralph Hake, and the local VP of human resources, talk frankly with the Register-Mail about cheating their employees into oblivion. To paraphrase: ''Now that we have smashed their union and negotiated the contract we wanted, our profits will go up, we can pay ourselves more and them less, and things will be just fine.'' Hake feels pretty good about what's going on. At $710,000 per year, I'd feel pretty good myself. Watch his bonus for 2002 for pulling this one off.

­­The power of positive doubt: I've always thought that being a conservative would be an awful way to lead one's life. Conservatives have always struck me as people who are not very excited about the possibilities of life. They prefer things the way they were. They are hesitant to try new ideas, new paths, new ways of looking at old problems. They need everything written down in neatly displayed categories. I have never seen any conservative initiatives that would move things forward. They all go backward. I have never felt thinking conservatively would lead me to my greatest potential, which at a minimum I figure needs to include casting positive doubt on anything being done in the name of right-winged ideology. Some alchemists try to change base metals into gold. I try to change control into chaos.

­­The state is broke. And of course, no one in Springfield knows how to fix it. Here are some suggestions:--

Charge a sin tax for sex. This obviously would be ''hard'' to collect. I'm sure there would be a lot of ''limp'' reasons for why people are having so ''little'' sex, but I still think we should be able to ''raise'' plenty of money.--

We could put specialized booths around the state for priests to be able to, not hear confessions, but make them. Maybe charge like $100. But it doesn't appear the Pope would go for this.--

How about toll booths on all roads leading into and out of Illinois. Ten bucks for going and/or coming. No, I think if you want out, which apparently many people do, it should be$50.--

How about every time an attorney or politician, which are generally one and the same, gets a good idea, we charge them $50. This should raise about, well, maybe $300 per year. Tops.--

How about a tax on taxes? Think of all the things we could tax: sales tax, real-estate tax, gas tax, cigarette tax, alcohol tax, state tax, federal tax, food tax, luxury tax, photo processing tax, capital gains tax, surcharges, toll charges. All these taxes came from years of following the Republican strategy, ''Read my lips, no new taxes.''

P.S. The Senate, at least for now, ending the administration's hope that their oil buddies could make a bundle drilling in Alaska. Oh happy days!

Uploaded to The Zephyr website May 1, 2002

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