Chicago's aldermen unanimously passed a measure establishing December 4 as "Fred Hampton Day." Slain by Chicago police in 1969, Hampton was the Black Panther Party member who coined the phrase, "Off the pigs." But now there's a move afoot to rescind the measure. Seems that many of the aldermen thought they were honoring Chicago Bears defensive lineman Dan Hampton.
The Census Bureau has revealed its 1990 population count for Caswell, Maine: The feds say Caswell now has 2,743 residents—a 368-percent leap from 1980's count of 586. But city officials want to know where all these people are. They say the city has lost residents because of a lack of jobs. "We have a little over 400 people who live here now," says Town Clerk Doris St. Pierre. You know what happened: The Census Bureau let the guys who found 3 million homeless people count the residents of Caswell.
Hitler-loved-his-dog department. From 1975 to 1978, Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge killed an estimated 1 million of their fellow Cambodians. Now, even as he fights to reestablish his rule, Pot has ordered his men to build sanctuaries to protect animals, and he has directed his countrymen not to kill birds or animals for any reason. To make certain that his edicts are obeyed, Pot has placed one of his most trusted henchmen, Ta Mok—called by Cambodians "the butcher" because of his cruelty—in charge of his environmental policies. He can't fool me. This is all just a ploy to meet that bodacious Rue McClanahan.
While some of us worried about American troops in the Middle East, environmentalists had other concerns. "Tanks could crunch grass and other vegetation, knock down dunes and kick up sandstorms," one told the Boston Globe. "Plants and animals there are already living on the edge, and this insult could be enough to push them over." God forbid we should insult sand dunes.
When asked why he didn't write about the National Acid Rain Precipitation Assessment Project report, Washington Post environmental reporter Michael Weisskopf said he was on vacation. He further claimed that the report "had little news value." A 10-year government study that found the damage from acid rain is negligible has little news value, but if Jeremy Rifkin belches, it's a front-page story.
Plainclothes police officers in Miramar, Florida, arrested a grandmother of 10 for selling a Playboy magazine to two 16-year-olds. Elaine Ott, a convenience store clerk, was handcuffed, taken to jail, strip searched, and placed overnight in a cell with other felons. After posting bail for his wife, Mr. Ott opened the convenience store and was robbed at gunpoint.
And in Palm Beach, Florida, a crime wave has broken out at the intersection of Military Trail and Forest Hill Boulevard. Gloria Gonzalez decided to wear a thong bikini while operating her hot dog stand, and her sales skyrocketed. So Lisa Wyrick and Martha Morin, who run a frankfurter stand across the street from Gloria, decided that they too should wear thongs. Their sales improved as well. But the matrons of Palm Beach are trying to close down the vendors. They want them prosecuted for public indecency. Said one woman, "Children should not be exposed to this. If other girls see them doing it, you'll have them on every corner." So what's the problem?
In Illinois, the ACLU opposes a proposal to install cameras in unmanned toll booths, calling it "creeping fascism." As every student of history knows, the Nazi reign of terror began with the infamous "Night of the Broker Toll Booth Cameras."