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Fulton Files

Twenty-Dollar Bills and Fascist Dogs



So, when is Lonsberry moving to Salt Lake City? What’s bad for Rochester, N.Y., is still good enough for Salt Lake City, where we don’t make such a big deal about the occasional racial slur from radio-show hosts. Or do we, folks? After getting canned from his roost at an AM station for comparing Rochester’s African-American Mayor William A. Johnson Jr., to a “monkey” and an “orangutan,” Salt Lake City’s KNRS-AM 570 has decided to put Lonsberry back on the job so we can enjoy more of his bent ravings. Do they still call it “Family Values” radio? Hell—or, as Lonsberry might say, “Heck,”—if the only place the man will be tolerated is Salt Lake City, he might as well move here. The man might feel more comfortable living and working in honkeytown central.

& ull; The wacky world of crime and punishment: First, according to The New York Times, a federal appeals court ruled that Arkansas law-enforcement officials could force an inmate to swallow pills that would make him sane enough to face the death penalty. Now, according to the Associated Press, former Utah prison inmate Edward J. Hackett blames the Utah parole board for his Sept. murder of a 21-year-old woman in Oakland, Maine. Hackett said the board shouldn’t have let him out of prison, where he served 11 years after trying to kill a Salt Lake City woman.

& ull; The root of all stupidity: Now that you’ve noticed just how sharp those new Andrew Jacksons look, take a moment to thank the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing, which spent $32 million in taxpayer money to promote the $20 bill’s new, high-tech format. According to the D.C.-based Citizens Against Government Waste, the bureau hired the Burson-Marsteller marketing firm to produce two television commercials, a Time Square billboard, and materials for train placards, billboards and taxi toppers in four major cities. The bureau plans on spending $21 million to tell the public about the upcoming redesign of the $50 and $100 bills. Just think, we could have spent it all on Iraq, or our own $375 billion-and-counting fiscal deficit.

& ull; A numbers game: A recent article by David S. Bernstein in The Boston Phoenix revealed just how tricky bureaucratic figures can get. Remember the U.S. Census Bureau report late last month showing that 1.7 million more people are living below the poverty line than last year? Bernstein showed that the report, as admitted by the Bureau’s Housing and Household Economic Statistics Division, used incorrect marginal tax rates to calculate the income of Americans for 2001. “The result is that after-tax income dropped more steeply last year than the Bureau reported,” Bernstein wrote.

& ull; A dog’s life: As reported by Associated Press, a 54-year-old Berlin man by the nebulous name of Roland T. was almost charged in a German court for training his—you guessed it—German shepherd—to mock the “Heil Hitler!” salute. In the end, the charge was dropped, as Mr. T was brought up on more serious charges of donning fascist paraphernalia in public. Dog or not, you can’t teach an old fascist new tricks.