Jul 20, 2009

Plans Unveiled For New "Light Rail" Mass Transit System In State's 2nd Smallest Town

After spending almost 48 hours in the unnaturally alluring yet shockingly liberal bastion of Portland, Oregon - a local mayor returned to the Palouse with vigor, vitality, renewed zeal and no shortage of hair-brained schemes for bettering all of mankind and setting the scales of social justice right once again - one small, struggling, battered town at a time - with Lamont (pop 101) as the test bed for this global transformation. "Well, when I went there for a conference I had a few free hours before it started to just mill around and breathe in the fetid breath of liberalism, so I figured 'when in Rome', you know?" said the now starry-eyed mayor with a 'Yes We Can' button pinned to his brand new multi-colored (llama hair) poncho hand-made in South America by an indigenous tribe struggling against the evils of globalization (made from all natural 'earth friendly' materials and dyes, of course). "The place I was staying at was right by a major highway that just so happened to have a light rail component built adjacent to it. When I saw the rail cars lumber by, almost all empty except for some guys in conductor uniforms, I began to see the wisdom of huge governmental programs that provide no practical value whatsoever and address problems that are manufactured by a government/media mafia-like cabal that is primarily devoted to sustaining itself at the expense of the country as a whole and realized that Lamont was largely missing the boat in this regard" he gushed enthusiastically. "I saw that I was dropping the ball and I felt shame."

"Sure, cramming outrageous government-sponsored 'boondoggles' down the throats of a semi-informed citizenry has its challenges, especially in towns like Lamont that are not made of money (and that doesn't even have its own grocery store!!). And given that Lamont is so decidedly rural and that the cows outnumber people by about 100-to-1, just the sheer weight of numbers pointed me to the funding solution. (that decision was eased by the fact that cows don't vote!) By combining several themes so popular these days - global warming, destruction of the environment and people's natural aversion to things that smell really bad, we hit upon the novel idea of taxing the natural methane (a suspected greenhouse gas) output of the local cattle population (cattle 'emissions', although a less than glamorous conversation topic in some polite circles, is indeed deemed a major problem by some in the environmental movement - usually among hardcore vegetarians!) - and if push comes to shove (given the decrease in normal tax revenues due to the recession), we can strap those 'new-fangled' monitoring devices on the farmers/ranchers themselves - which will solve another of the Town's major problems!" said the mayor while fussing with his 'worry beads' he bought from a Portland hippie who said they were once blessed in a mountain temple in Tibet by the Dalai Lama himself. "So, if the Town mandates that all cows (and selected citizens?) wear the 'tried-and-true' monitoring device - the 'Methane-O-Meter 2000', Lamont would be able to monitor actual greenhouse emissions right at the source and tax them accordingly - thus providing a geyser of ready cash so the town could fund the 'light rail' project! It's just beautiful in its simplicity!" he stammered. "And I always thought those 'carbon credits' were stupid!!! Who looks stupid now?? Al Gore is a genius!" (On a serious note, taxing greenhouse gas emissions from livestock is currently being considered in DC - so this story is not completely off in left field. At the Lamont blog we pride ourselves on reporting the facts, regardless of how 'off-putting' or uncomfortable they may appear to the uninitiated. So, when you need the cold, hard, often shocking facts about life in the 21st century (to say nothing of the 19th!)- you can trust the Lamont blog to give it to you straight without all the fluff and nonsense you get from the other big news sources that so jealously covet our cutting-edge, well-above-average readership!) (yes, that was a shameless plug!!)

"Well, we are farmers/ranchers and this 'cow tax' would directly affect our 'bottom line', but if it could in some way help my husband with his 'little problem', then I am all for it" said Judy Brister, 39, a local farm wife with an unfortunately overly sensitive nose. "I don't care how often I alter the dinner menu or work over-the-counter products like "Bean-O" into his food, nothing seems to help! (rumor has it that her 'Bean-O Brownies" are well above the norm). So if we have to get the full power of the government behind this effort in order to be successful, then that is just one sacrifice that I am willing to make!! I mean, we have not had company in our house that stayed for more than 5 minutes in the last 16 years. That is really cramping my social life and the lives of the kids. Is it too much to ask for them to have school friends over once in a while? Who cares about the cows, we have a national emergency right here in my own home!!!" she bellowed while grabbing handfuls of her own hair with both hands and jerking her head back and forth violently as a sign of no small amount of cumulative frustration and angst. "Oh please! Someone help us! Please!" she begged pathetically.

For their part, the cows appear to not care 'one wit' about any of the larger global implications, given that they have an average IQ someplace between a cabbage and a chipmunk, but are only hoping that the "Methane-O-Meters" come in bright, neon colors that, when strapped to their nether regions, will allow for the proper expression of their respective personalities and only ask (or was it a demand?) that the boxes themselves not be made out of actual leather. (which seems reasonable, all things considered!) As for Lamont's 'Light Rail' system, this project may yet prove to be a smashing success (repeat travelers as a percentage of total population), given that the angry, bitter, 'mad-at-the-world' types that currently drive up and down the streets of Lamont trying to draw attention to themselves are by their very nature quite lazy, so the train might allow them to still tour the town (back and forth endlessly!!) while giving their fellow citizens the 'stink eye' without actually going to the trouble of getting behind the wheel of a vehicle that is on its last leg anyway and needs to be sent to the junk heap along with all those appliances and furniture they have so lovingly stored in their yards.

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