George who?
As the millennium comes to a close, it's good to know that American democracy rests firmly in the hands of a contented and thoroughly confused electorate--at least among Republicans and non-Texans.

But of course.
For evidence, we look to last Sunday's New York Times and an article on the troubles pollsters are having assessing Gov. George W. Bush's presidential chances. Bush, who has not even said he intends to run for president, has become the frontrunner for the GOP nomination in large part because those being polled can't tell him from his daddy, former President George Bush.

Early presidential polls show Bush leading Vice President Al Gore. The question is, which Bush? (To counter the threat, maybe Al should try a name change. Albert "Beanie Baby" Gore has nice ring to it.)

Buzz doesn't know which is more troubling--the ignorance of voters or the knowledge that a sizable contingent of them look back so fondly on the administration of Bush the elder, the Millard Fillmore of 20th-century presidents. The situation does, however, offer possibilities for some entertaining campaign slogans: "George W., the other white bread," and "Try a real Texan for a change."

Don't shoot, I'm the algebra teacher
What do Dallas' teachers want in a modern schoolhouse, besides a wet bar in the teachers' lounge?

Concertina wire, perhaps?
According to a survey commissioned by Heery International Inc. of teachers in seven cities, Dallas educators rated security as the No. 1 issue in school design. Security ranked just ahead of "flexible classrooms" and "interactive learning classrooms."

In other words, teachers want interactive, hands-on learning for their students, but they want to feel safe from the little thugs too.

We can't say we blame teachers for their desire to keep their hides free of bullet holes. But Buzz wonders exactly what Heery, an architecture, interior design, engineering, and construction management firm, has in mind to resolve the paradox. You can't easily be an interactive educator if you're cowering behind the bulletproof glass of a teller's booth.

Leave it to Buzz, along with one of our favorite right-wing loons, Senate Majority Leader Trent "Peckinpah" Lott, to come up with a compromise. Lott last week told an NRA convention that the best way to curb gun violence is to put more guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens.

Like teachers, maybe?
That's right. We figure the cheapest way to ensure hands-on learning and make teachers more secure is to allow educators to pack iron. A .380 semiautomatic tucked under Mr. Chips' tweed jacket will get the kiddies conjugating verbs like nobody's business and make little Johnny think twice about toting his dad's deer rifle to school.

Hey, if the leader of the Senate GOP and the stalwarts of the National Rifle Association believe it, why can't we?

--Compiled from staff reports by Patrick Williams

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Patrick Williams is editor-in-chief of the Dallas Observer.
Contact: Patrick Williams