Safe from terrorist attacks: According to the Rand Corp., since Mr. Bush declared an “end to major combat,” jihadist attacks have increased by 600 percent.

Capitalism: The average CEO of a major corporation is now paid $11.8 million annually. If the minimum wage for the working stiffs had kept up as a share of business costs, it would be $36.03 per hour instead of $5.15.

Iraq oil prices: Our monthly expenditure in Iraq is $9 billion. At the current rate of Iraq’s oil production, that is about 8,000 bucks a barrel.

Death do us part: Approximately 800 American civilians have been killed in Iraq and 3,300 wounded. Most are contractor, Rambo-type operatives not subject to the Geneva Convention and international law, who typically earn $600.

Drug testing: Levy County, Fla., used to have 56 library volunteers, mostly retired folks in their 70s and 80s. Citing a lack of dignity, all but two have resigned since drug testing became mandatory.

Mexican hat dance: In Tijuana, a city of a million people on the U.S. border, municipal police have had their guns taken away by the Federales. The homicide rate has decreased nearly 10 oercebt and overall crime is down.

Line of fire: 28 percent of American combat soldiers say they have been responsible for the death of a non-combatant.

War dances: Maine Indian prison inmates have sued the state because religious facilities, including sweat lodges, music and powwow are not provided. Peyote was not specified.

Latte, anyone? Consumer Reports advises that a large group of taste testers preferred McDonald’s coffee to Starbucks by a substantial margin.

Dressed for sex: A survey of 1,000 women revealed that they preferred new clothes to sex and would gladly refrain from sex for 15 months in exchange for a new outfit.

Science 101: Just over half of 279 career government scientists said they have been pressured by Bush administration officials to eliminate references to global warming in their reports.

Value of US crops: Cotton – $6 billion. Truck veggies – $12 billion. Corn – $28 billion. Marijuana – $36 billion.

A man for all seasons: Robert M. Gates, the secretary of defense, used to be deputy director of the CIA where, in 1984, he recommended we bomb Nicaragua because it was “controlled by the Soviet Union”.

Debt, schmet: We are now paying interest on our national debt four times as much as we spend on education, NASA and transportation. Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve, calls our fiscal policy “a death spiral.”

Notes from Iraq: In the last year of Saddam Hussein, just under 100 percent of Iraqi children attended school. In 2006, it was only about 30 percent. Also, since Saddam, the number of Iraqis in jail is up 30 percent.

Term limits: If we had a single sixyear term for president:

a. Nixon would not have had Watergate.

b. Reagan’s elves would not have had Iran/Contra

c. Clinton would not have received Monica’s ministrations.

d. Bush would have been back in Texas months ago.

Rodney Quinn is a freelance writer and former Maine secretary of state. He lives in Gorham.

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