­­ Bumper sticker of the week: A mall is a poor substitute for a community.

­­ Quote of the week: ''On any given day, in North America, almost 5 million kids will take a powerful psychostimulant drug. The geographical caveat is important: more kids in North America are diagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADD) and given drugs like ritalin to ''help'' them behave than in the rest of the world combined. In fact, the U.S. and Canada account for a startling 95 percent of worldwide ritalin consumption.'' DeGrandere, Ritalin Nation.

­­ Had the U.S. minimum wage gone up at the same rate as CEO pay in the last decade, it would be $24.31 today.

­­ Corporate Thuggery: Welcome to the wonderful world of capitalism run amok. Fasten your seat belts, the race is on. We're headed for a showdown to see who will control the world economy. Soon fewer than 50 mega-corporations will control the whole banana. One of the seedier byproducts of this race, they hire an army of attorneys and lobbyists to make sure things go their way. And if you have anything to say about them that may be perceived as negative or damaging to their tightly woven, high-tech image, bingo, you get a letter in the mail from their corporate counsel insisting that you not be so nasty, or else. Luckily, they sic lawyers on you. I figure you should be able to outsmart them pretty easily. They're into intimidation: Monsanto, McDonalds, Wal-Mart. I think we should give them a run for their money. Dial into adbusters.com. Get a feeling for rebellion, the high-tech way.

­­ Twinkle, twinkle, little star, who's going to save the Orpheum? Some ideas:--

We could turn it into a Buddhist temple and apply for faith-based money for doing charitable works through the feds, compliments of W. George.--

I've got nothing against burlesque.--

It would make a really nice Knox County Board room. It would be almost as nice as our tourism center.--

The city could run the Orpheum, but then it seems to be in enough trouble already.--

We could sell it at a sheriff's auction. That seems to be where most of these renovation projects end up.

­­ The virtues of wearing bibs:--

You never have to worry about being in style -- you never are.--

If you hide your hands inside your bibs, you can do things in public that you would normally be arrested for.--

Bibs are one of those things that if you've seen one pair, you've seen them all.--

Bibs definitely make a statement: the wearer doesn't care what other people think.--

Bib overalls are not to be confused with bibs like babies wear, although they do serve some of the same purposes, which no one has ever quite figured out.

­­ Some things the Democrats in the Senate need to do, but likely don't have the guts for:--

They piddle around with a patients bill of rights when what they need to be doing is promoting universal health care. It's like feeding a candy bar to a starving nation. And of course we fall all over one another trying to get a bite.--

Campaign finance reform. Real campaign finance reform, not the watered down Republican scheme being championed by McCain. Public finance of all elections. No outside money, period. A rich man has no more advantage than a poor one. Probably less.--

Get out of NAFTA and the World Trade Organization. These things are nothing more than corporate scams, the primary purpose of which is to maximize profits by taking advantage of cheap labor. It's called globaloney.--

A living wage, which for most of these jokers averages $350,000-$500,000. Speaking for everyone, I think we would settle for half that.--

Get into the renewable energy business. Of course, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney have no interest in this, which should tell you something.--

Individual privacy is gone, thanks to our government, corporations, policing powers, and an ever increasing right-wing Supreme Court. This trend should trouble anyone who cherishes individual rights over right-wing state control.

These are things the Senate should begin to push forward, but I wouldn't hold my breath that they will. When Democrats get in charge, they seem to want to conform. This is a terrible habit they have picked up from their conservative brethren. Ask Al Gore and Glenn Poshard how it works.

Uploaded to The Zephyr Online July 17, 2001

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