The Iowa Caucus- The Litmus Test for American Politics?
This past week saw the biggest meeting of all the top brass in the Republican party since the last barbecue for Saturn owners. The cause for this was the Iowa Caucus, where all the top Republican presidential nominees finally get to see where they stand in the race for president. Everyone from Bob Dole to Steve Forbes to Phil Graham joined together in kissing the ass of every citizen in the great state of Iowa. What I want to know, is why does how a candidate stands in Iowa really mean two shits? Personally I would vote against anyone who had a good showing in Iowa. Well anyway, to honor to Iowa Caucus I am dedicating this Whack to taking a look at the Hawkeye State. One quick warning, if you are one of the seven people in Iowa who know how to use a computer, and of those seven people you are one of the three who know how to read, than I suggest you don't read this because it may be somewhat offensive.
Iowa became the 28th state to join the Union on December 28th, 1846. The state motto of Iowa is your basic run-of-the-mill state model: "Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain." It's not a very creative motto, and some sources say it was first found in a fortune cookie. The state song of Iowa is "The Song of Iowa," with words written by Major S.H.M. Byers. I have yet to discover what the S, H, or M stand for, nor why the good Major had so many damn initials in his name. Anyhow, "The Song of Iowa," which is such a creative name, is sung to the tune of "Der Tannenbaum," and "Der Tannenbaum" is sung to the tune of "Oh Christmas Tree." There are about three million people living in Iowa (and I am using the word 'living' very loosely). Of the three million people, 99% are white and 1% are African American (his name is Earl).
Iowa is one of the greatest farming states in the United States. In fact, Iowa is sometimes called the 'Corn State', and it is know as "the land where the tall corn grows." Other than corn, Iowa's chief agriculture products are beef cattle, hogs, soybeans, milk, and eggs. The chief manufacturing products are food products, chemicals, fabricated metal products, printed materials, and nonelectric machinery (don't ask). And the chief mining products of Iowa are stone, sand, and gravel (I always wondered where gravel came from).
Iowa obviously has a thriving tourist industry, and some of Iowa's most interesting places to visit are:
Amana Colonies: The Amana Colonies are seven villages located southwest of Cedar Rapids. Visitors to the colonies can watch craftsmen build furniture, make yarn, and weave fabrics. Yes! What better way to spend a vacation than watching craftsmen make yarn.
Dodge house: The Dodge House is the restored home of railroad builder Grenville M. Dodge. I'm sure it's loaded with good-time family fun.
Dvorak Memorial: The memorial in Spillville honors a visit by the Czech composer Antonin Dvorak in 1893. A collection of clocks carved by the Bily brothers, Czech craftsmen, is housed in a building where Dvorak lived. Come on folks, you see one clock, you've seen them all.
Herbert Hoover's Birthplace: Yeah, right.
Floyd Monument: A one hundred feet stone shaft in Sioux City which marks the grave of army Sergeant Charles Floyd, a member of the Lewis and Clark expedition who died in 1804 while serving with the expedition. How much time can you possibly spend looking at a stone shaft?
Little Brown Church: The name says it all, sadly.
Living History Farms: Located near Des Moines, the farms show agricultural life in Iowa about 1840 and 1900. The attraction also has a farm of the future. Damn, this sure beats the hell out of Disney World.
Well I think I'll stop now, I think you get the picture that what people think in Iowa is not necessarily the mood of the nation. Anyhow, being from New Jersey, the single most belittled state in America, it was fun taking some licks at another state for a change. So to conclude the Whack for this week, Herbert Hoover caused the Great Depression, corn is overrated, and vote Harry Browne for president in November.
For this week special feature, we have Feff's top ten annual events that take place in Iowa:
10. Iowa Girls' State Basketball Tournament in Des Moines
9. Tulip Festival in Orange City and Tulip Time in Pella
8. North Iowa Band Festival in Mason City
7. Riverboat Days in Clinton
6. Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival in Davenport
5. Nordic Fest in Decorah
4. Iowa Championship Rodeo in Sidney
3. National Hot Air Balloon Races in Indianola
2. National Hobo Convention in Britt
1. Livestock Exposition, including Dairy Cattle Congress and American Poultry Congress, In Waterloo