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There are 6.4 million people living in Washington, and altogether about 6.6 billion on Earth. So — round numbers — of every thousand people on our planet, only one lives in our rain-drenched 42nd state.

Or, to spin it another way, 99.9 percent of humanity ain't from around here. So no matter how proud you are of your Bloomsday time this weekend (or any of your other accomplishments), remember: There are 1.3 billion people in China who don't give a damn. And that's one-fifth of the planet right there.

Hectoring the Hogs

When Jim Hightower was still but a calfboy, he remembered visiting his great aunt's home out in the Texas sticks, where fresh running water was still a marvel of the modern age. One day, that water was running brown, and the grownups couldn't figure it out — except for Hightower's salt-of-the-earth auntie, who told him: "The water won't run clear 'til we get the hogs out of the creek!" At Lewis and Clark High School on Monday night, Inlander columnist Jim Hightower shared this and other anecdotes (and jokes) with the packed house. "And that's where we are today," Hightower continued. "We've got the hogs in the creek!" Getting the fat-cats out of our collective creek is part of the mission ahead, Hightower said, and his populist troops were pumped, ready to go forth and make a difference.

Mariachis and Margaritas

It's been three years since Post Falls' Old Church was restored and started hosting artsy events as the Jacklin Arts and Cultural Center. Do you really need a better excuse to eat tacos and shatter piñatas? Didn't think so. Wear your sombrero to 405 William St. on Monday from 5-7 pm. Ultra-prepared partygoers will write theoldchurch@verizon.net or call (208) 457-8950. This is a serapes-optional event.

Rolling Up Our Sidewalks

Maybe not quite. But at the intersection with Madison, you can see down Sprague all the way from Cedar on the west and past Bernard on the east. And on Sunday at 5:36 pm, you would have seen three cars being driven on Sprague. Three. And two of them were stopped at red lights.

264 Days Until Jan. 20, 2009.

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