I've been having trouble with gas.

­­ Bumper sticker of the week: The Bush administration's climate policy smells like Exxon-Mobil.

­­ Quote of the week: ''Attorney General Ashcroft, a graduate of the Üniversity of Chicago Law School, should sue to get his tuition back.'' Nat Hentoff

''Now is not the time for liberal laryngitis.'' Nat Hentoff

''I have doubts that George W. Bush is the type of messenger God would choose if he had something to tell us.'' Edwardo Galeano

''We have a choice to make between freedom, on the one hand, and religious totalitarianism on the other.'' Barbara Ehrenreich

­­ The New McCarthyism: Welcome to BushWorld, where protesting the totalitarian regime is thought to be un-American. Anything this administration wants, odds are 5-4 the Supreme Court will back. Jail American citizens for no cause -- no problem. Have the FBI visit editors, writers, artists, activists, who protest the present injustices being done to immigrants, students, academics, booksellers -- sure, let's try to intimidate them into silence. And all this is going on while I thought the world was moving forward. Wrong again.

­­ Summary of the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy report on the Illinois tax system:--

Illinois has historically relied primarily on property taxes to fund elementary and secondary schools and other government functions. While states across the country have moved to reduce their reliance on regressive property taxes by expanding income and sales taxes, Illinois has bucked this trend and has continued to increase property taxes.--

While Illinois lawmakers have enacted a series of mechanisms for property tax relief, they have been poorly targeted and ineffective.--

The Illinois income tax has historically been a low-yield tax because of its low, flat rate.--

The Illinois sales tax base is among the narrowest in the nation, due to the almost complete exclusion of personal and professional services, and partial exemption for groceries and drugs. These imbalances all hurt low and middle income Illinoisans. The legislators in Springfield have not been able to fix this problem in 25 years. It is time to clean house and give a whole new group a chance. It's not like they won't be able to find other jobs. They can all go back to selling used cars or cheating people with their lawyering.

­­ Here's Exxon-Mobil: Profit in 2000 -- $17.7 billion, the largest profit of any company in history; the world's largest oil and gas company; the world's largest polluter; lobbied the Bush administration to abandon the Kyoto protocol on climate change; rejects all evidence that fossil fuels cause global warming. Exxon-Mobil has moved onto the Peever's boycott list. This one hurts because it's so handy and I have a Mobil credit card. But hey, it's nothing personal. It's just business.

­­ What do you get when you consolidate power into 4 or 5 legislative leaders? The Illinois General Assembly. This is a group of people who couldn't collectively out think a second grade spelling bee champion. Illinois stands on top of The Peever's ten most messed up states in the union. This is due to total incompetence, which seems to be one of the inherent traits that show up in all politicians. Perhaps as scientists unravel the genetic code, they will find this incompetence gene and be able to remove it. Until said time, it appears up to us to remove them. A daunting task for an electorate with an IQ just barely above a rock.

­­ A motion to adjourn is always in order.

Uploaded to The Zephyr website July 10, 2002

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