To love animals isn't necessarily to know them. An anonymous critter lover complained to the Overland Park, Kansas, animal-welfare office that the udders on some of farmer John Eastland's cows were too big. The cows, the caller feared, might have been abused. In response, the city dispatched inspector Joey Headrick, who discovered nothing but the works of nature. The cows had recently given birth and were nursing. Says Farmer John, "I've dairied for 56 years, and this is just natural."
Chicago Police Superintendent LeRoy Martin has been to China, and he liked what he saw. Martin toured Chinese prisons, and he thinks Commie-style justice—the suspension of constitutional liberties and a harsh penal system—could be the key to victory in .the war on drugs. "I know we're a democracy, but you know, I don't think everything the communists do can't be copied. And I think there are some things they do that are better than what we do."
At a Des Moines fair, an animal-rights activist threw a cream pie in the face of the Iowa Pork Queen to protest America's "meat addiction." While I have my doubts about animal rights, I believe any woman who allows herself to be called a "pork queen" deserves at least a pie in the face.
The Progressive reports that 250 PBS stations now carry Lawrence Welk. (There are roughly 300 public broadcasting stations overall.) Maybe it's a sop to conservatives to balance all those leftwing documentaries. Or maybe program directors just wanted something to make their pledge breaks look exciting.
Auto-safety nabobs complain every time a car company touts its latest model's speed and handling, so Subaru decided to avoid any negative publicity by parodying sports-car ads in its new campaign for the SVX. In a television commercial, an announcer says in a sarcastic voice that the SVX "can reach speeds of 140 miles an hour." But, he adds, "How important is that, with extended urban gridlock, gas at $1.38 a gallon, and highways full of patrolmen?" However, Subaru didn't count on the safety nazis' single-mindedness or their lack of a sense of humor. The Center for Auto Safety and other safety groups immediately attacked the ad for its reference to speed. Maybe next time Subaru should try something a little less controversial, such as, "The SVX comes in a wide variety of stylish colors."
A tale of two cities. In mostly black, working-class Compton, California, the local branch of the NAACP bucked its national board by supporting Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. But just a few miles away, in the affluent, white westside of Los Angeles, the local ACLU has broken with its national board to oppose Judge Thomas.
In Baltimore, election officials nixed city council candidate Donna Shapiro's idea to give away goldfish as a campaign gimmick. They said that it would violate laws against providing material incentives to voters. How silly. American voters can't be bribed with a goldfish. A cute puppy maybe, but not a goldfish.
In Devils Lake, North Dakota, Christian fundamentalists are demanding that Central High School drop its decades-old nickname, the Satans. The school board will likely put the issue before voters. No word yet whether there will be a referendum on the town's name.
President Bush's new crime bill imposes the death penalty for certain violent crimes. On the list: assassinating the president, hijacking an airliner, and murdering a federal poultry inspector. Well, that should send a warning to Frank Perdue.
This article originally appeared in print under the headline "Brickbats".