Rochester Rag June 1996
Brought to you by...


(formerly the _News from Detroit_)

Motto: The surest way to get a reputation for being a trouble maker these days is to go about repeating the very phrases that the Founders used in the struggle for independance.

-- C.A. Beard


Steve Langer
anon ftp site
News Archives News Archives
Standard disclaimers apply. In addition, the author makes no guarantees concerning the grammatical accuracy of his writing. Submitted text files must be in raw or compressed (.Z, .gz or PK Zip) ASCII. Image files must be in raw or compressed (see above) GIF89 (or older).

On last month's Fix;

the answer to last month's Fix,

"What would be the best way to finance state and federal elections?"

Sad to dissapoint Doug, but I don't have a brilliant solution for this. My thought was to have the radio and TV stations in a given market granted a lump sum of money to finance air time, to be divided equally among the local candidates. For the Presidential race, the $1 check off on the IRS returns could be used similarly. If the time bought in this way is short, the candidates will just have to learn to get to the point faster. I realize that this idea will short change candidates that have the appeal to get large numbers of supporters (and hence constributions), but this short fall can be somewhat compensated for by printed materials, door to door, and a WWW presence. Of course I'd also shorten the campaign season to about July on.

On all politics is local

If so, we're in even bigger trouble than I wanted to admit. Last night (June 11) there was a city planning meeting. Sheryl's house is on a dead end avenue that comes off of 4'th Street. 4'th will be torn up from next week through Oct. for various reasons. After the city planners explained to everyone 3 or 4 times how the detours would work to their homes, the self serving requests started. Now mind you that mere moments before these people were complaining about how long the project would take, how slow the workers would be, and how much their taxes were raised to pay for everything. In a flash, all was forgotten as one lady repeatedly asked if she could get new trees along her yard, another person wanted her sidewalk narrowed so she would not have to shovel as much snow, another person wanted the narrow strip of grass that did exist to be completely turned into concrete so that he wouldn't have to mow it, another guy wanted his driveway widened (which irritated his neighbor who would have been encroached on), ...

If these people vote, we're all doomed.

On a personal request

This past week (June 19-26) while I was in Seattle for a conference, Brian and Anne Donahue moved off to Vanderbilt and was unable to see them off or get news of their new address. Could anyone of you provide same? I'd be grateful.

Guest Editorial:

don't have one


1. Texas Tom writes;
>From Fri Jun 28 12:36:50 1996

>"What would be the best way to finance state and federal elections?"
Just let everyone hold the office for a month, alphabetically.  Then ya don't
need elections.  Might want to skip over the L's, though--them people are


2. Arizona Matt says ...

>From birkholz@dagobah Fri Jun 28 14:23:33 1996

   "What would be the best way to finance state and federal elections?"

And why is *money* such a big issue?  The reason is the root of the
problem, I'm afraid.

Someday, I'll punch up the policy positions of the competitors via the
Internet and maybe have to think about it for a whole afternoon.  Seems
like most of the cost will be borne by *me*, and I won't mind -- a Sunday
afternoon -- seems a small price for responsible citizenship -- certainly
an improvement over the incessant bickering in 10second spots.

Let's *all* do this and finesse problems like campaign finance,
mud-slinging/muck-raking, etc.

Matt Birkholz 

3. Doug Wilken writes.


My Dear Steven,

> "What would be the best way to finance state and federal elections?"

For starters, permit campaigning to start about six weeks before the
election.  That gives us a slight gastro-intestinal break.  This also
limits the necessary funds to campaign.

Other than that, every idea I can come up with seems to have potential
abuses and/or inequities in it.  It seems to be a fundamental fact
that if you have more money and capital, you are going to have
more influence than someone living hand-to-mouth.  If you try to go
around this, I think you give someone else more influence.  Heck,
no matter what we do someone seems to lose.

Let me guess, you have a brilliant idea?

-Doug Wilken

Quotes(s) of the month:

Cleanliness is next to Godliness, except in camp when it's next to impossible.


Fix of the month:



1. May 30: A state law, enacted a year ago on the initiation of a high school student, is well on its way to completion. Every Minn. state natural landmark with the word "Squaw" in its name is being renamed. The 19 landmarks (and an undisclosed number of towns and roads) will all have their names changed to something "less hurtfall" by Oct. The costs associated with the address and map changes, and who will pay them, have not been dicussed.

2. June 29, Rochester: Over one dozen Porta Poties have been burned by vandals in area parks and festivals. The question on everyone's lips is, "How can we sell this as being racially motivated?"


1. May 30, JORDAN: - The FBI is ordering reporters and photographers out of the area around the farm complex where the anti-government Freemen have holed up for more than two months. They must leave the area by 9 p.m. Wednesday, th order said.

Ed: And I'm sure this is only for the safety of the reporters. After all, FBI said and did the same thing at WACO.

2. June 4, Jordan: Just a few days after clearing out reporters, the FBI has cut power to the Freeman ranch, brought in black helicopters and armored personnel carriers, and sent a note to the ranch which is thought by many to contain an ultimatum.


1. Little Rock, May 29: One week after Sen. Alphonse D'Mato (Rep. NY) dismissed the congressional investigations into Whitewater (citing lack of progress and public interest), a jury here found Clinton partners Jim and Sue McDougal and Govnr Jim Guy Tucker guilty on over 30 counts. The jury foreperson, asked on whether Bill Clinton's video taped testimony for the defense helped or hindered, said it was irrelevant. "The paper evidence was overwhelming," she said.

Wash. D.C.;

1. June 5: In a commencement speech, Clinton proposed a tax credit for youths attempting their two year degrees. Under the proposal, the credit would be $1500 per year for two years, assuming that the student maintains a B average and is drug free. Presumably, the student will be subject to a blood test prior to getting the credit.

2. June 5: The board of Trustees overseeing the funding of Medicare/Medicaid announced today that their warning two months ago that the system would be broke by 2002 was in error. They now say that the program will be broke in 2001.


1. Paris, June 5: The olympic synchronized swim team will have to revise its planned routine for the Atlanta Summer games. The team had planned on goose stepping to the pool-side in black suits, then swimming to the music of Schindler's List while re-enacting the massacre of the Jews. The French foreign service requested a change in the program.

Saudi Arabia;

1. June 28: A US Air Force base was car bombed, resulting in the deaths of over 20, with many more injured. This act is the worst "peace time" terrorist attack on an abroud US military installation since the mid-80's when a marine barricks was bomed with a loss of over 200.

Please note the Rochester Rag is available on the web at: