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Gas Pains 

It's good to hear our reps down in Columbo making noise again. Last week, State Rep Bryan Williams of Akron unveiled a bill to alter our fave misguided program, E-Check. Hmm, wasn't he the Repub who beat Dem incumbent Karen Doty in '96 by ripping her support of E-Check?

Yep, Williams said kill that car emission test, repeatedly, with mucho TV spots. Now he wants to keep it going seven more years. And Mouth's here to give his proposal a deep oral exam. First, he wants to go back to the old tailpipe test. Hey, a positive step. Second, his bill would exempt all vehicles under five years old. That's cool, too. Third, he'd make the state study a remote-sensing program to check cars driving on roads for excess pollution.

Remote-sensing? Jeez, we know all about Big Brother's wandering eyes and ears--but now he's gettin' a big nose, too? Just imagine the "refinements" the FBI would add. Comrades, we don't need taxpayer funding of shit like this.

Williams also wants to purge the $19.50 fee and, as we heard TV3's Romona Robinson report, make it "free." Hey, nothing's free with government--although that's never really analyzed in this era of the corporate-financed two-party monopoly and their obedient media lackeys. So E-Check this-- Williams wants to finance free E-Checks with another half-cent hike in Ohio's gasoline tax.

Whoa. Once a hidden excise tax passes, no politico ever tries to remove it. That's why taxes make up 54 cents (and rising) of every dollar you spend on gas. You think gas is cheap now? Consider this: The U.S. pre-tax price of gas dropped 31 cents between 1980 and '95, but gas taxes rose 27 cents. Why not post info like this--instead of Auditor Frank Russo's mug--on gas pumps? Nyet, comrades, the public must be kept ignorant of hidden taxes. If you care to keep tabs on hidden tax abuse, your uncivil servant recommends the National Taxpayers Union website at http://www.ntu.org.

We'll stick with Chesterland State Rep Diane Grendell's bill to end E-Check, then make the utilities finally reduce their emissions. Whew, we gotta go. Chewing Williams' bill gave us gas pains.

Capitol Hell
They started like balls of fire. Senator Mike DeWine was on NBC's Meet the Press and CNN's Crossfire, and Senator George Voinovich was on the PBS Newshour. They were there spouting their takes on the trial of Bill J. Clinton. Lately, at least Ohio's two senators have cooled it, as other Washington windbags babble on and on. If only they'd be this talkative when their campaign finance reports come out.

We don't care to hear these supposedly solemn senators doing their "triers of fact" act in front of every TV camera they see. This group can make you long for the O.J. jury. And this "partisan" arguing is nothing more than free bi-partisan face time. Whether Republocrat or Demoblican, most of 'em bow down to the same globalist New York bankers. IMF bailouts of Chase Manhattan and company in Mexico, Indonesia, Russia, Brazil? Now there's an issue where you'll get "buy-partisan" Senatorial support.

The key benefit of the Senate trial? It keeps these career politicos from spending our money for a month. That's a big plus, and here's another. Hearing Senator Trent Lott say, "Do you know how tough it is for 100 senators to sit there and not speak?" Heh-heh, we sure do, you tiresome twit.

Piercing Parents
Yo, we got another fun case of government intervention in the body-piercing biz. A Jane Doe from Copley, age fifteen, goes into North Akron Tattoo and says she wants her tongue pierced. The owner/piercer asks for her ID. She slaps down an eighteen-year-old gal's driver's license and signs the required form. She pays, and the piercer does the deed. Then Jane goes home and mom spots the stud in her tongue. Well, a stud is not what the average mom wants to find in her daughter's mouth, even if it's a steel one.

So mom calls the Akron Health Department, which grants licenses to tattoo and piercing parlors. They do what bureaucrats do, which is collect info and make reports. Then they turn the case over to other 'crats at the Akron Health Commission. All this happened last fall. Then last month, the Commission gives the piercing parlor a 60-day suspension. But they decide to hold it "in abeyance," as long as the piercer follows more "precautions."

These include more inspections, posting more signs, keeping photocopies of IDs for every customer under 26 and, of course, filling out more forms. Between piercing and filling out forms, the guy will have carpal tunnel syndrome in a year. And what about Jane and her fake ID? Hey, we can't discipline "the children," even though this one will be eligible for a real driver's license soon. Better to give the piercer more duties. Let's see, we've got teachers, cops, librarians, and now piercers, all taking on parental snoop responsibilities. Wow. As some lawyer once said, probably while her husband was off getting blown, today "it takes a village to raise a child."

Pigskin Pinups
They've tried everything from a slacker mag to Denise Dufala. Now, in another stunt to boost sagging Sunday circulation, The Plain Feeler honchos invite us to "take a page right out of Browns history." Hmm, like The PF did when they moved their production facilities from Clevo to Brooklyn? Oh, that's right, they actually moved out before Modell did.

They call it the Legends on the Lake poster series. It started last Sunday with a pensive Paul Brown. You can "collect all 8" and recapture the days when NFL football was more game than government program. What hit Mouth is no defensive players. Hell, '50s DE Len Ford is a Hall of Famer, but he ain't included. You will get Hall of Famers Jim Brown, Otto Graham, Leroy Kelly, and Paul Warfield. No argument there. And star QBs Brian Sipe and Bernie Kosar are here cuz they're still marketable.

And the eighth Legend? Doug Dieken. Uh, was that pick Bill Futterer's last act before leaving town? If you want an O-lineman, we'd pick Mike McCormack or Gene Hickerson. Oh wait, now we get it. One legendary goal must be to showcase great action photos from PF archives. They musta dug up a real award-winner of Diek holding.

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