But for those of us living in the countryside,rnin a state we love for its patchwork ofrnsmall family farms, it sounds like not justrnthe end of an era, but the end of thernworld.rn—Katherine DaltonrnEPICYCLES:rn• Phasing Out Guns: In August, PresidentrnClinton announced that the federalrngovernment would begin to implementrn”phase two” of the Brady Bill,rnrequiring background checks on thosernattempting to purchase rifles and shotgunsrnas well as on those who wish to buyrnhandguns. While this expansion was notrnunexpected, another provision of phaserntwo came as a shock not only to gun owners,rnbut to all advocates of private property.rnTreasury Secretary Robert Rubin, inrna Rose Garden ceremony with the ubiquitousrnBradys present, announced thatrngun owners who had pawned a firearmrnwould be required to pass a backgroundrncheck in order to redeem the weapon.rnThat’s like requiring a homeowner tornundergo a background check before herncan pay off his mortgage —and if herndoesn’t pass, evicting him from hisrnhouse. Of course, the latter idea is justrnsilly—after all, houses don’t kill people;rnguns do.rn• Bennett-Clinton 2000: In a speechrnin Boston that must have warmed BillrnBennett’s heart. President Clinton announcedrnthe creation of “value-based”rncrime prevention grants. The grants willrnfund “proactive” programs —often runrnby churches and other religious organizationsrn—designed to keep children outrnof gangs and off the street. Drawing onrnhis own well-honed moral sense, Clintonrndeclared, “When young people learnrnto turn to values, then they turn awayrnfrom gangs. When they learn the basicrnrules of right and wrong, then they canrnreject the rules of the street. If it’s true inrnBoston, if it’s true in Washington, if it’srntrue anywhere, it can be true everywhere.rnAnd that is what we’re herernabout. If something can happen somewhere,rnit is our duty to make sure it happensrneverywhere.”rn• Cleanliness Is Next to Sickliness:rnThe American obsession with health hasrnbackfired again. For several years, studiesrnhave shown that the overuse of antibioticsrnhas led to the development of antibiotic-rnresistant bacteria, includingrnseveral virulent forms of pneumoniarnand tuberculosis. Now, in the midst ofrnan unprecedented round of E. coli andrnsalmonella outbreaks comes news thatrnthe widespread home use of anhbacterialrnsoaps—fed by fears of food poisoningmayrnbe creating more dangerous bacteria.rnOverly fearful of sickness and death,rnmodern man may be tipping the scales ofrnnatural selection against himselfrn• More Tolerance: “The billboardrnwill be set on fire or de-faced on Saturday,rnJune 27,” announced Mario Obledornof the California Coalition of HispanicrnOrganizations. The billboard, erectedrnon Interstate 10 near Blythe, California,rnby the California Coalition for ImmigrationrnReform (CCIR) —which includes,rnamong other groups. BlackrnAmericans for Family Values, Asian-rnAmericans for Border Control, and Latino-rnAmericans for Immigration Controlrn—read: “Welcome to California.rnThe Illegal Immigration State. Don’trnLet This Happen to Your State. CallrnToll Free – (877) No Illegals.” When thernoriginal sign was taken down because ofrnthe threats and CCIR’s billboard companyrnrefused to return it, the coalitionrnerected a duplicate sign on July 4 at thernfederal building in Westwood. Not surprisingly,rnthe messages left on CCIR’srnanswering machine were, let us say, colorful:rn”You’re a bunch of racist pigs!”rn”You f- lazy white trash piece ofrnsh-. . . . You’re here in AZTLAN! YournEuropean immigrants get the f- – -rnout!” “Thomas Edison was a Mexican!”rn”Barbara Coe [CCIR chairperson], rememberrnme when you die!” “I’m a Mexicanrnguy…. I live in Huntington Beachrnand I’m selling dope in your neighborhood.rnThere ain’t nothin’ you can dornabout it.” CCIR, forget the billboard:rnMr. Obledo’s fans are making your casernfor you.rnO B I T E R DICTA: Charles EdwardrnEaton, who lives in Chapel Hill, NorthrnCarolina, has contributed two newrnpoems to this issue. Mr. Eaton is the authorrnof 14 collections of poetry, four volumesrnof short stories, and a novel. Hisrnlatest book of poetry, A Scout in Summer,rnis forthcoming from Cornwall Books.rnHe is the recipient of the North CarolinarnAward for Literature, among otherrnprizes, and was awarded an honoraryrnDoctor of Literature by St. Andrews Collegernin May.rnChronicles Art Director Anna Mycek-rnWodecki has illustrated this month’srnissue. An award-winning artist, she hasrnexhibited her work in Warsaw, Paris,rnNew York, and, most recently, Rockford.rnSouthrons, take note. Chronicles isrnavailable at the following outlets inrnLouisiana: Lakeside News, 3323 SevernrnAvenue, Metairie; Baton Rouge CityrnNewsstand, 4592 S. Sherwood Forest,rnBaton Rouge; and Barnes & NoblernSuperstore, 5705 Johnston Street,rnLafayette. In Alabama, Chronicles canrnbe found at Anderson News/Huntsville,rn9632 Highway 20 West, Madison; andrnBarnes & Noble Superstore, 201 SummitrnBoulevard, Birmingham. If your localrnbookstore or newsstand is not on thernlist, please ask the manager to carryrnChronicles. If he has any questions, hernmay contact Chronicles’ circulationrnmanager, Cindy Link, at (815) 964-5 813.rnThe Rockford Institute is considering expanding itsrndevelopment/promotional staff. Interested personsrnshould send a letter and resume to:rnStaff OpeningrnThe Rockford Institutern928 N. Main St.rnRockford, IL 61103rnOCTOBER 1998/9rnrnrn