­­Bumper sticker of the week: In BushWorld, keeping you scared is part of the program.

­­Quote of the week:

''Here dies another day

during which I have had eyes, ears, hands

and the great world round me;

and with tomorrow begins another.

Why am I allowed two?'' G.K. Chesterton

­­I'm not much in favor of missions. I don't think it's a very fair trade, all that religious talk for food and shelter. I always thought if you were following a charitable path, you should give unconditionally, no strings attached. Selling Christ or Buddha or Mohammed or whoever, seems an unfair price to pay for life's fundamental necessities. But I could be wrong. In BushWorld, there obviously are no free lunches.

­­Speaking of missions, I get the impression our local one has severely swerved to the right. I'm hearing they are more interested in recruiting right-winged converts than they are helping the down and out. Women seem to be receiving fewer services, in favor of men who can join the ''Mountain Movers?'' (Don't ask, I don't know.) And I hear they make it difficult for those staying there that could benefit from attending AA or NA because the local groups do not specifically use Christ as the stated higher power. Recently the director was heard stating that anyone needing detox should be sent to jail. This would obviously be misguided and dangerous. I've just about heard enough: The Mission is officially on the Peever's boycott list. You shouldn't have to buy any of this right-winged Christian nonsense for a meal and a place to lay your head.

­­A morning at Swedoughs: What a way to start the day! An endless cup of coffee and a donut for a buck seventy-five. I particularly enjoy all the baloney. The amount of bull being spread each morning is equivalent to about three Republican National Conventions.--

The topic of religion comes up fairly often. We got some Lutherans, Catholics, Baptists, Methodists, and a couple of skeptics. We usually keep the discussion pretty light, so as not to upset anyone, but one day it took a nasty turn towards the second coming. From my experience, second comings are fairly unusual.--

Politics get a lot of play. Being a local politician, I catch a lot of flack on this one. One thing I learned pretty fast, if everyone likes you, you probably lost the last election. If you please anybody, ever, it's probably a miracle. People love to hate politicians. You end up the butt of everyone's jokes. And I understand why the Republicans were so hard on Clinton -- he was still having sex.--

Mornings at Swedoughs allows me time to keep up on local issues. Some of the most recent hot topics and questions seem to be: Why are all the roads in town tore up at the same time? People still want to burn. This seems to have more to do with psychology than ecology. When is Carmen Vianna coming back to town? How much does the President of Carl Sandburg College make? What does GREDA stand for? Why do we allow all the trains to honk all the way thru town at 2am? Does a soccer complex have to cost $1.7 million? Why do we give tax breaks to businesses? Whose idea was it to remodel the downtown? Is Gates moving? Is Maytag moving? Is everyone moving? And how about those Cubs?--

Social security is a big topic. Everybody is on it, or wants to be on it. The United States is the only industrialized country in the world who waits until you're just about to die before you get universal health care.--

Our group is not very diverse, although we have a couple of Swedes and one guy who was in prison, although he claims to have worked there. Actually, there are not many minorities at any of the tables. Perhaps this is because Swedoughs is on the north side of the tracks. Maybe minorities don't like donuts? Whatever the case, it would be nice if this changed. It would help all of us white folk to understand it is whites we should be afraid of, not minorities.

I like Swedoughs. It's locally owed and operated, which I favor more and more, and locally patronized. Stop by and say hello. For a buck seventy-five, you can partake of some of the Midwest's finest baloney. And for five bucks, I'll keep you out of the Peeves.

Uploaded to The Zephyr website May 29, 2002

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