So how about an entire column of questions only? Be honest now, do you think President Bush could come within $10,000 if he had to guess how much the average oldtimer’s monthly Social Security check is? Did you know that the great explorer Hernando De Soto probably died in what is now the state of Arkansas? Do you care? Do you think Sen. Holt would have denied him burial here on account of his being an illegal? Do you think Sen. Holt would object even now if Hernando DeSoto were awarded a posthumous Arkansas Traveler certificate? Did it ever occur to you during the public TV fundraiser that Judgment Day may come and Hell freeze over but the old heifer will still be there bawling you out to get your pledge in? Couldn’t we compromise on this Ten Commandments squabble by just agreeing to omit 1, 2, 3, and 4 — we already ignore 4 — and having the remaining Six Commandments posted promiscuously and ubiquitously? Wouldn’t the Six Commandments on every schoolhouse and courthouse wall be a sufficient concession to the scoffers, the backslid, and the cow worshippers while at the same time serving as adequate enough tribute to the Judeo-Christian thing to pacify every politician who thinks he needs sponsorship of a gaudy show of piety and heathen-baiting to win him perpetual re-election and to starstud his personal bye-and-bye crown? Or how about adding a new one that everyone could get behind — Thou shalt support the troops, say, or Thou shalt pray loud and long in public, especially at ball games, never mind what Jesus said — to make it the Seven Commandments, like in “Animal Farm”? Seriously, do you have to be a moron to get into talk radio? And what is that host so everlastingly angry about? Do you think it might really be, as the recent joint OSHA-CDC study theorized, just old-fashioned penis envy cut loose and gone amuck out there on the Schickelgruber fringe? Listening to this AM racket, watching it come to grotesque life on TV, do you ever recall the Shirley Jackson story “The Lottery,” and wonder if 21st century America isn’t getting along nicely toward such a denouement its ownself? Ever get the feeling it would improve these yammerers’ disposition enormously if we inaugurated regularly scheduled public stonings of notorious accused liberals? They do so love getting stoned, don’t you know? How many Beebe school board members do you suppose are Mensa recruits? Doesn’t the upper management of Wal-Mart sound like a laid-back, fun-loving bunch? Doesn’t it just hurt you to think how tight they must tie their shoes? Wouldn’t that headquarters be a much more comfortable fit relocating to Utah? Is there some mathematical formula showing that the likelihood of one’s son or daughter or brother or sister or other immediate family member or loved one announcing that he or she is gay is directly proportional to the sanctimoniousness that one has shown in publicly espousing and expounding “family values?” Or does some go-around, come-around behavorial principle apply in such cases, one that might be called Newt’s Law, or Dick’s, or Rush’s, or Strom’s, or… ? Does the preceding item raise the specter of a variation in which an inordinate number of the daughters of the state legislators who recently voted against the separation of church and state will be eloping sooner or later to covenant link with nonbeliever anarchists? Can you hardly wait until the first Falwell family uncloseting occurs? So let me get this straight: If you’re a TV or radio station or network, and you broadcast a news report that factually and accurately quotes the vice president of the United States telling a Vermont senator what he can go do to himself, you can now be fined up to a half-million dollars for indecency, right? Don’t you imagine the compelling promise in that recent high-profile covenant marriage was the one where she vowed to beat the living crap out of him if he ever gives her half a reason to? Is this the worst state legislature since the one that passed all the hateful segregationist legislation nearly 50 years ago? On the big drinking-water sellout, which ones do you suppose went down for gum wrappers and who held out long enough to need the truck? Do you think the reason they voted against church-state separation was because one of their back-home preachers told them that it was Charles Darwin who came up with the idea? Remember the concept of dialogue, and when lots of people on both sides thought it was important? Do you think there’s formal editorial competition at the local daily for the Brownest Nose Trophy in the big Bro.-Gov. for Bro.-Prez in 2008 promotion they’ve got going? How about this as a name for a drink? — the tequila mockingbird.

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