Joe Stead – The Ramblings of an old Codger – Volume 106 – July 2009

Don’t be surprised if there is a sudden and unexpected right wing revolution in Thailand in the next three weeks, because I’m heading there this Thursday; which is why the July Ramblings are arriving in your computer a few days early. Any rumours you hear that imply I’m actually making the trip to attend the wedding of my son Jonathan should be dismissed immediately as a very big red herring. In my absence my personal matters are being handled by a new consultancy called ‘Smith-Smaje’ they can be contacted through Mudcat or through the main offices which front as a record shop somewhere in deepest Huddersfield.

I was originally amazed, incredulous even, although time has subsequently softened the amazement into mild humour. I’ve received (although I suppose I might have guessed) two remarkable letters this month in response to last months Ramblings. Of course I have realized that I am a provocative writer, but knowing the authors of both I am somewhat surprised, as I certainly wouldn’t accuse either of them as being ignorant, that they are incapable of reading and understanding what I’ve said and as a consequence have immediately accused me of right wing ‘isms’ and propaganda. Apparently I’m told (because I can’t be bothered to read it) that on Mudcat I’m now being labeled as a racist. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that neither Messrs Smith or Smaje have my sense of humour; a humour that is sometimes more sardonic than others, but taking the humour aside I always try to write fact rather than fiction although my opening paragraph might belie that statement. There is no point in burying your head in the sand and being liberal at the same time. In one letter I’m advised to vote BNP! Can you believe that? The other tries to muddy the waters by bringing Pete Seeger and Jews into the subject. Clever? Well rather pathetic I thought.

If you believe that everything the BNP preach is wrong you are living on a desert island; and because the BNP happen to agree with me on one point doesn’t mean I’m BNP material; as much as one or two of you might like to think or hope. Some people seem to delight in knocking others, especially in public. Something Pete Seeger would never do by the way. Anyway I’ll leave those who want to have their way with me on Mudcat to get on with it; they are only belittling themselves. Frankly I care not. As dear Catherine would say “look at my face am I bovvered?”

But getting back to the point the hard facts speak for themselves. The number of Muslim children in a class of 30 children in Holy Trinity Church of England School (run by the Diocese of Bishop of Wakefield a religious Anglican School) in Halifax in 1986 was no more than 8; and to be fair approximately 6 was the norm. Today in a class of 30 children 22 of them are Muslim. Now this is a fact it is not right wing rhetoric; it is not something the race relations board can argue with or find fault in. It is fact, and if some of you are not prepared to face up to facts then you are simply turning your back on possible problems hoping they will go away. It has nothing to do with catchment areas changing either. Burying your head in the sand does not work. Ladies who find a lump in their breasts and do nothing about it are simply inviting larger problems later. And our present government is doing exactly the same thing.

There are numerous families with children attending this Halifax school who have 5,6,7 siblings. And again this is fact not fiction and again it’s not a racist statement either; but strangely they are all Muslim.

Oh crikey here I go again!

So why do I see this as a problem?

How many families in West Sussex have 5,6,7 children either attending the school or passing through it? Precious few I would think. Of course the problem of writing nonsense from West Sussex is that the writer has not the slightest notion of life in industrial west Yorkshire. The number of Muslims passing through Lewes streets on a Saturday afternoon must be considerably smaller than in Bradford; and probably the only Muslims you are likely to meet are the friendly sort who run the local Asian restaurant.

And herein lies the hub of the problem. The word ‘friendly’! The majority of Muslim people living in this country are kind considerate folk who go about their daily lives all day without a devious thought. I’ve never said otherwise. But unfortunately since the Iraq war the number of Muslims who have devious thoughts has risen considerably; and this is not surprising considering the anger they must feel at the assault. And we have to do something to change this. Letting more and more Muslims into Britain, a percentage of whom are likely to have terrorist leanings, is not the right way about it. If you think there are not factions of Muslims living in Pakistan and Afghanistan who want to bring our civilization down in preference to their own you are living in cloud cuckoo land, and as we have seen they will stop at nothing to achieve their goal.

Now I marched against the Iraq War in London and I’m proud to be able to stand up and say so. But I have to wonder if either of the two gentlemen in question got off their backsides that day to join me and the million other people who protested. And if they didn’t does this make them BNP material as well, because I don’t think there were many BNP voters marching beside me? Well of course it doesn’t but if I take their line of argument it does. I also managed to do the walk three weeks after coming out of hospital having had major surgery on my right knee so thankfully the march was incredibly slow, but nobody can condemn me on lack of commitment.

Now I have previously suggested that both Bush and Blair should be tried as war criminals and I endorse that statement especially now that it has been proven that Bush and Blair deliberately lied to their countries to give credence to an illegal war they were bound to win; and when it was proven that there were no weapons of mass destruction they clouded the picture by daring to suggest that it was after all what the Iraqi people wanted!

So we now face a situation in this country where the BNP appears to be gaining credence with the public; but this is probably and hopefully due to the low turn out of voters brought about by apathy from the general public who are completely disillusioned with our members of parliament. Well it’s simply not good enough. In Australia it is against the law to not vote and I believe it would be sensible to introduce this system here in Britain. And I also believe that the Australian system of whom they are prepared to allow to live in their country and whom they are not prepared to accept holds a lot of credence as well. It took Nora’s daughter Angela 7 years to become an Australian citizen because every time she thought she had collected enough points the government moved the goal posts. Had she been a plumber or a nurse she would have been accepted a lot quicker. People with degrees searching for work as school teachers were not in demand. But do we accuse the Australians of being racists? Well I certainly don’t, so why should I (or any of us) suddenly become racists for following their sensible principles.

And please don’t bleat on about the civil right not to vote. (Although that’s not saying you shouldn’t if you really want to write to me about it). But we have laws in this country which we have to obey – or be punished. We cannot drive anywhere at any speed with excess alcohol in our blood because there are sensible laws which prevent us from doing so. So there’s a few civil rights destroyed for starters. But a law that dictated that anybody not voting in a general election without a good excuse for not doing so was fined £100 would bring our public to the polls by a figure somewhere nearer to 90% than 35% and at the same time would also bring a true reflection on what the public thought and wanted. It would also hopefully push the BNP into last position in most constituencies, something which might actually bring Smith and Smaje into some form of harmony of thinking with my own.

So when I infer that the rise in the Muslim population will cause tension within the population I am not speaking as someone who wants this problem I am speaking as someone who can foresee that there are a growing percentage of Muslim people who will eventually turn into terrorists. Things might be quiet right now; but it could be the lull before the storm. What the government of the day, be it Conservative or Liberal Democrat have to do (because it certainly won’t be Labour in power) is to understand the rise in the Muslim population will cause a problem and work out the best way to allay the difficulties which will eventually arise. Obviously members of the European Union be they Muslim, Christian or atheist have a right of passage, but it’s not the European Muslims who are likely to be carrying bombs in their suitcases. Now I’m not a member of parliament but I would suggest that the best way will be to curb the number of Asian immigrants entering Britain and to attempt to educate those who are here to understand we want peaceful co-existence. Is that a difficult or unreasonable request? I won’t be here in 100 years to see it, but I can tell you now I would hate to revisit Britain in 100 years to discover that all women are second class citizens and that our churches have all been pulled down; because that is what some Muslims, even some Muslims in this country, want.

Oh dear I must be a racist!

Silly buggers the pair of them.

Joint Fixture List for Kimber’s Men and Joe Stead.

2009
Jul 24th (KM) Warwick Folk Festival
Jul 25th (KM) Warwick Folk Festival
Jul 26th (KM) Warwick Folk Festival
Aug 28th (KM) Shrewsbury Folk Festival
Aug 29th (KM) Shrewsbury Folk Festival
Aug 30th (KM) Shrewsbury Folk Festival
Aug 31st (KM) Shrewsbury Folk Festival
Sep 4th (KM) Hull Festival of the Sea
Sep 5th (KM) Hull Festival of the Sea
Sep 6th (KM) Hull Festival of the Sea

Sep 9th (Joe) North Bradford Men’s Forum. - Valparaiso
Sep 10th (Joe) Heckmondwyke Supper Club. - Robeson
Sep 11th (KM) Swanage Folk Festival
Sep 12th (KM) Swanage Folk Festival
Sep 13th (KM) Swanage Folk Festival
Sep 18th (KM) Deal Maritime Festival
Sep 19th (KM) Deal Maritime Festival
Sep 20th (KM) Deal Maritime Festival

Sep 29th (Joe) Leeds Elmete Probus Club, New Inn, Eccup Lane, Bramhope. – Valparaiso
Oct 9th (KM) Clarinbridge Community Festival, County Galway, Ireland.
Oct 10th (KM) Clarinbridge Community Festival, County Galway, Ireland.
Oct 11th (KM) Clarinbridge Community Festival, County Galway, Ireland.
Oct 19th (KM) The Bridge Folk Club, Newcastle Upon Tyne
Oct 25th (KM) Scrag End Folk Club, Shoulder of Mutton, Oakthorpe, Leicestershire

Nov 14th (Joe) The News from Nowhere Club, Waltham Forest. – Robeson Lecture.
Dec 3rd (KM) Meadow Close School, Shelf, Halifax. HX3
2010
May 14th (KM) Clennell Hall Folk Festival
May 15th (KM) Clennell Hall Folk Festival
May 16th (KM) Clennell Hall Folk Festival
Jul 2nd (KM) Cleckheaton Folk Festival
Jul 3rd (KM) Cleckheaton Folk Festival
Jul 4th (KM) Cleckheaton Folk Festival
Aug 20th (KM) Fano – Denmark

Aug 21st (KM) Fano – Denmark
Aug 22nd (KM) Fano – Denmark
Sep 24th (KM) Exmouth (venue to be confirmed), Devon
Sep 25th (KM) The Castle Inn, Combe Martin, High Street, North Devon


Letters

Hi all,
If asked, as a moderator, whether someone should post on this topic on this list, I'd probably say no - but I'm going to anyway.
You may or may not be aware that the BNP are specifically targeting the English folk scene to garner support and blur their public image. Quite a few folkies are deeply uncomfortable about this and so have set up a number of websites to counter this move:
The British National Party's manifesto encourages its members to insinuate themselves into the folk and traditional customs and events of Britain. This involves the appropriation of British folk music, customs and culture as a means of spreading their racist policies. They are selling traditional music through their Excalibur merchandising arm, despite the protestations of many of the artists included, who find their policies abhorrent.
The UK folk scene is a welcoming and inclusive one. Folk music and dance is about collaboration, participation, communication and respect.
This group is being created to take a stand against the appropriation of folk culture by the BNP. They want to take our music. We will not let them.
You might want to read about the issues here (there has been discussion about whether clubs should be booking 'other-ethnic' music, for example): http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=121472&messages=206
If you have a facebook, you might want to know about this: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=114616997574
Or if myspace then this: http://www.myspace.com/folkagainstfascism
There is a 'proper' website on the way.
I happen to find the BNP odious and dangerous in the extreme, but I hope we'd all be against the 'branding' of folk music for any one political group.
Fire away
Tom Bliss
__._,_.___

Joe,
Sadly, your circular contains statements that would bring you into conflict with the Race Relations Board if they were published widely. You write:- if Muslims and non-Muslims continue to breed at the present rate then the Muslim population will eventually outstrip the non-Muslim population in Great Britain. Already at my wife’s old school (a Church of England school please note) the Muslim intake of children now outstrips the non-Muslim children and as a consequence my grand-daughter Jasmine has more Muslims in her class than non Muslim; and I’m wondering, if this trend continues, just what are we going to do with all the forthcoming taxi drivers, Asian restaurateurs and corner shops?

Please think about what you are writing. Your anti-Muslim tirade comes across in the same vein as Enoch Powell's "Rivers of Blood" speech and has the same racist undertones - and this is not the first time that your "Ramblings" have followed this theme.

Surely a man that has been a lifelong admirer of Pete Seeger should be saying "A pox on both your religious houses" rather than upholding one set of misleading intolerant guidelines over another. International Socialism, Joe, must be truly universal. At the Obama inauguration, Pete Seeger sang:-
"This land is your land, this land is my land.....
This land was made for you and me."

I don't remember anything about "except followers of Islam."

Try substituting the word "Jew" for "Muslim" and the words "successful small traders and money lenders with good business acumen" for "taxi drivers, Asian restaurateurs and corner shops" and then think who could have written your intolerant message.

VIC & TINA SMITH
26 Ferrers Road
LEWES
East Sussex
BN7 1PZ
England

Tel & Fax:- 01273 478124
Email:-
tinvic@globalnet.co.uk
folk@brighton.co.uk


Joe,
Regarding your chicken and egg question rephrased to ponder politicians and corruptions, one is often proffered the old adage "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely." I, however, tend to subscribe to the premise that power attracts the corruptible and absolute power attracts the absolutely corrupt. Ponder the cost, effort and personal sacrifice required in order to achieve national office either here or in your good country and ask yourself what decent self-respecting person would choose that route. The more power the national government has over the average citizen's life and money, the more ardently that power will be sought by those who want to control and manipulate it for personal gain. The simple cure for much government corruption is to simply remove the motive to corrupt them. If a politician can't hand out pork contracts to fat cats, then the fat cats have no reason to butter up and donate to the politician. The trick, really, is how to go backward and get people into office that will voluntarily release that power. Answer that and you'll be remembered as long as Cromwell, though likely in a bit better light.

I always find it quite puzzling that on the one hand your personal opinions expressed are often not too far from mine, yet your professed political leanings and support are vastly divergent. While I know first-hand that Labor/Democrat/Socialist bent is almost de rigueur in the folk music world, looking from the other side of the mythical political median it seems to me that we (Conservative/Republican/Capitalist) are assumed too much to simply be caricatures and stereotypes pushed by your leading political agitators. For example, you often like to use the catch word "fascist," for example in reference to GWB, but following the definition that fascists believe in "government control over business and labor " as a "Third Way" then this sobriquet fits the economic policies of our current Administration far more closely than any action by our former. As for your almost Orwellian reaction to the logical conclusions that arise when considering birth-rates and non-assimilation, I urge you to be not afraid of labels and epithets such as "racist," "Islamophobe," or "bigot." It is entirely possible to recognize a societal and cultural threat posed by non-assimilated immigrants with religious and cultural beliefs antithetical to liberal Western philosophy of individual freedoms without being a racist/biggot/whateverist, even if one is also a believer in Conservative/Republican/Capitalist political philosophy. Sticks and stone and all that rubbish, you know.

As some here in the States might say, it sometimes sounds to me that, despite your personal convictions and better sense, you've drunk too much of the "Left good, Right evil" Kool-Aid. In the words of two great American philosophers, "Don't believe the hype" and "Free your mind..." Not sure if your ass really will follow, though.

Cheers,
David Henry (USA)


Joe,
That film you referred to in last months Ramblings is just utter nonsense, used to stir racism and Xenophobia. Exactly the same logic could be used with the Hindu population, the Sikhs, and the rastafarians.....( they've finally stopped scaremongering about the jews) all of whom are the majority population in some small enclaves. The whole set of assumptions that the demographics are based on are false, and don't compare like with like.

For every inner city school with a preponderance of black kids there are hundreds of rural schools ( try devon and Cornwall) where a black kid is a rarity.

Could go in to lots of detail here, but believe me, that film sucks.

Cheers, Jeff Lewis

Dear Joe,

Whatever your arguments might be, how am i expected to take you seriously when you come out with this racist stereotype shit - joke or not?
Just vote bnp like you really want to and have the courage to admit it - everything you spouted in your narrow view of the world leads you straight to their path. Maybe you'll deny it - but I can't see anything different in what you say to what they do. I can't see you offering any solutions to what you see as a problem other than those that the nazis do. You either live with it - my culture is not threatened by muslims - I don't see them protesting outside your gigs - or you get rid of them - the nazi solution. Nora's school is not a microcosm of society, Most ethnic groups live in pockets - maybe some might even call them ghettos. You just happen to be in the middle of them.
Do I assume from your diatribe that you do not eat curry? Never use a corner shop? or a taxi? And presumably you also boycott smokable squidgy stuff if it comes from a muslim country?
The greatest fear is fear itself. As you are a musician you are a propagator of culture. That is the most sensible thing you can do, rather than a) feeling it threatened - which it clearly isn't ( you should worry more about market forces trying to sell you britain's got no talent) - and b) stop the 'my culture is better than your culture' paranoia, which only leads you into the bnp's hands.
The best way to protect your culture, is to live it - I suspect that is all that 99.9% of muslims do too. The youtube bullshit you suggest we watch is just the equivalent of the 0.01% of christians that you really should be equally wary of.
Culture is only culture if it is lived rather than imposed.
Of course I agree entirely with your observations about Calderdale Council. you may be aware of my long term slogan about them - which seems more appropriate than ever given the current climate..
Calderdale Council - too incompetent to be corrupt.
It should be on all the logo's as you enter the borough.
Elliot Smaje


Hi Joe,
Thanks, as always, for the Ramblings.
Re. your dire thoughts about the forthcoming "European" and Muslim population Disaster, what happens when a European marries a Muslim: the end of civilisation as "we" know it, or an enriched civilisation? And what will happen when the 2nd and 3rd generation Muslim children discover the, considerable, pleasures which European cultures accept as the order of things--and which Muslim cultures present as forbidden fruit? The end is not in sight, Joe. Jasmine, a lovely Persian word, will probably come home with a few new recipes, and pals.
Charlie Reilly, Philadelphia

Hi Joe,
If we all have to breed a bit more, could you please send some nubile young women in my direction, and I will do my best.
Dick Miles

Hello Joe,
Just thought I would write and say that I saw the U Tube video about the Muslim encroachment. Funny thing is, I remember seeing something about this with Catholics a quite few years ago. Quite a few I am sorry to say. Of course it was from the Protestant perspective. Now I have a Muslim in the family who came from the Protestant side I wonder if that cousin is Shiite or Sunni. Guess he doesn't believe in creating converts as he knew none can be found but I hear he makes a great dinner when having other family over. In a positive sense then, I expect better dinners in the future.

In the long run, they have the same issues Christians have in the mideast so if there is some overwhelming catching up to do, who is catching up? The Sunni or Shiites? They kill each other just as we (Christians) have done and they are ALL Muslim. Shiites are the minority but you know how that goes historically.

Also, what about the folks in India? Never mentioned in the film. I think religion has a place but I wonder where sometimes.

And another thing. I know a couple of families in Alaska who are Muslim, Only one offspring went along with being a ardent church goer. So to speak. That is one kid who became a believer. Guess we have an influence after all in terms of what you choose or not choose to believe in. The rest?!?! Pretty much are part of the culture. Don't wear scarves nor do they really want to. Even when it is cold out it is noticeable. This generation will be the parents and so will guide the next.

Yin and Yang. I need to check that out a bit more closely.

Regards,

Chris Berg.


Hi Joe,

It's not a very satisfactory situation at all, and all the Political Correctness crap means that people are not even allowed to express an opinion without being accused of some sort of "ist".

Makes old jokes like this one seem all the more plausible:

In deference to the Archbishop of Canterbury and The Royal Commission for Political Correctness, it has been announced that the local climate in England should no longer be referred to as, "English Weather". Rather than offend a sizeable portion of the population it will now the referred to as "Muslim Weather," In other words. "Partly sunny, but mostly Shi'ite.

Regards

Ron Gardner – Scotland.

Funnies
Economics
It is the month of August, on the shores of the Black Sea . It is raining, and the little town looks totally deserted. It is tough times, everybody is in debt, and everybody lives on credit.

Suddenly, a rich tourist comes to town.

He enters the only hotel, lays a 100 Euro note on the reception counter, and goes to inspect the rooms upstairs in order to pick one.

The hotel proprietor takes the 100 Euro note and runs to pay his debt to the butcher.

The Butcher takes the 100 Euro note, and runs to pay his debt to the pigfarmer.

The pig grower takes the 100 Euro note, and runs to pay his debt to the supplier of his feed and fuel.

The supplier of feed and fuel takes the 100 Euro note and runs to pay his debt to the town's prostitute that in these hard times, gave her "services" on credit.

The hooker runs to the hotel, and pays off her debt with the 100 Euro note to the hotel proprietor to pay for the rooms that she rented when she brought her clients there.

The hotel proprietor then lays the 100 Euro note back on the counter so that the rich tourist will not suspect anything.

At that moment, the rich tourist comes down after inspecting the rooms, and takes his 100 Euro note, after saying that he did not like any of the rooms, and leaves town.

No one earned anything. However, the whole town is now without debt, and looks to the future with a lot of optimism.

“””””””””””””””””””””””

The hair cut
One day a florist goes to a barber for a haircut. After the cut he asked about his bill and the barber replies, 'I cannot accept money from you. I'm doing community service this week.' The florist was pleased and left the shop.

When the barber goes to open his shop the next morning there is a 'thank you' card and a dozen roses waiting for him at his door..

Later, a cop comes in for a haircut, and when he tries to pay his bill, the barber again replies, 'I cannot accept money from you. I'm doing community service this week.' The cop is happy and leaves the shop.

The next morning when the barber goes to open up there is a 'thank you' card and a dozen donuts waiting for him at his door.

Later that day, a college professor comes in for a haircut, and when he tries to pay his bill, the barber again replies, 'I cannot accept money from you. I'm doing community service this week.' The professor is very happy and leaves the shop.

The next morning when the barber opens his shop, there is a 'thank you' card and a dozen different books, such as 'How to Improve Your Business' and 'Becoming More Successful.'

Then, a Member of Parliament comes in for a haircut , and when he goes to pay his bill the barber again replies, 'I cannot accept money from you. I'm doing community service this week.' The Member of Parliament is very happy and leaves the shop.

The next morning when the barber goes to open up, there are a dozen Members of Parliament lined up waiting for a free haircut. (but not of course Hazel Blears – she’s far too nice don’t you think?).


%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%


Why America is in Trouble?
(Sent by an American I would hasten to add. Hopefully this won’t be considered racist)

A DC airport ticket agent offers some examples of 'why' America is in trouble ! *

1. I had a New Hampshire Congresswoman ask for an aisle seat so that her hair wouldn't get messed up by being near the window. (On an airplane!) *

2. I got a call from a candidate's staffer, who wanted to go to Capetown. I started to explain the length of the flight and the passport information, and then she interrupted me with, ''I'm not trying to make you look stupid, but Capetown is in Massachusetts .'' *
Without trying to make her look stupid, I calmly explained, ''Cape Cod is in Massachusetts , Capetown is in Africa '' *
Her response - click.

3. A senior Vermont Congressman called, furious about a Florida package we did. I asked what was wrong with the vacation in Orlando .. *
He said he was expecting an ocean-view room. I tried to explain that's not possible, since Orlando is in the middle of the state. *
He replied, 'don't lie to me, I looked on the map and Florida is a very thin state!'' (OMG)

4. I got a call from a woman who asked, ''Is it possible to see England from Canada ?'' *
I said, ''No.'' *
She said, ''But they look so close on the map.'' (OMG, again!)
5. An Illinois Congresswoman called last week. She needed to know how it was possible that her flight from Detroit left at 8:30 a.m.,and got to Chicago at 8:33 a.m. *
I explained that Michigan was an hour ahead of Illinois , but she couldn't understand the concept of time zones.. *
Finally, I told her the plane went fast, and she bought that.

6. A New York lawmaker called and asked, ''Do airlines put your physical description on your bag so they know whose luggage belongs to whom?'' I said, 'No, why do you ask?' *
She replied, ''Well, when I checked in with the airline, they put a tag on my luggage that said (FAT), and I'm overweight. I think that's very rude!'' *
After putting her on hold for a minute, while I looked into it. (I was dying laughing). I came back and explained the city code for Fresno , C A is (FAT - Fresno Air Terminal), and the airline was just putting a destination tag on her luggage.

7. A Senator's aide called to inquire about a trip package to Hawaii
After going over all the cost info, she asked, ''Would it be cheaper to fly to California , and then take the train to Hawaii ?''
8. I just got off the phone with a freshman Congressman who asked, ''How do I know which plane to get on?'' *
I asked him what exactly he meant, to which he replied, ''I was told my flight number is 823, but none of these planes have numbers on them.''
9. . A lady Senator called and said, ''I need to fly to Pepsi-Cola , Florida . Do I have to get on one of those little computer planes?'' *
I asked if she meant fly to Pensacola , FL on a commuter plane. *
She said, ''Yeah, whatever, smarty!''

10. A senior Senator called and had a question about the documents he needed in order to fly to China . After a lengthy discussion about passports, I reminded him that he needed a visa.
'Oh, no I don't. * I've been to China many times and never had to have one of those.''
I double checked and sure enough, his stay required a visa. *
When I told him this he said, ''Look, I've been to China four times and every time they have accepted my American Express!''

11 A New Mexico Congress woman called to make reservations, ''I want to go from Chicago to Rhino, New York .'' I was at a loss for words. Finally, I said, ''Are you sure that's the name of the town?'' ' *
'Yes, what flights do you have?'' replied the lady. After some searching, I came back with, ''I'm sorry, ma'am, I've looked up every airport code in the country and can't find a
rhino anywhere.' *
''The lady retorted, ''Oh, don't be silly! Everyone knows where it is. Check your map!'' *
So I scoured a map of the state of New York and finally offered, ''You don't mean Buffalo , do you?'' *
The reply? ''Whatever! I knew it was a big animal.'' *

YES, THEY WALK AMONG US, ARE IN POLITICS, AND THEY CONTINUE TO BREED *

Keep well, keep singing.

Joe Stead