Maybe it's the burrito he ate the other night. The Schnoz would prefer, however, to think that his foul mood--he's feeling more ill-tempered than a Russian gymnast forced to settle for silver--is due to a variety of uncivil actions on the part of his fellow countrymen.


* Alfred French, the senior deputy district attorney in Clackamas County, who has decided to wallow in the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" mud bath. French, an armed-forces vet, appears in a Swift boat TV ad saying, "I served with John Kerry.... He is lying about his record."

When asked later to support such a claim, French, a public employee who tries cases for a living and should know something about the rules of evidence, said, "I was not a witness to these events," adding, "but my friends were."

That's right. And the Nose swears Uma Thurman was doing shooters down at the Low Brow Lounge last weekend. The Nose himself wasn't there, mind you, but he completely trusts his buddy who maintains that's what he saw.

* Sen. Gordon Smith, who a couple of weeks ago got in trouble for accusing John Kerry of acting French, prompting many (including this paper's Rogue desk) to label him a hypocrite, given Smith's love for Europe's finer things.

The Nose found far more offensive Smith's comment that Kerry "advocates all kinds of additional socialism at home." Hypocrisy is a misdemeanor compared to the felony of McCarthyism that Smith is guilty of here. Is this any different than the redbaiting of the '50s? Is a Smith-appointed Senate UnAmerican Activities Committee very far behind?

* Tim Hibbitts, the Portland pollster who has done work for The Oregonian and KATU-TV and who has been showing signs of vitamin deficiency. The other day, Hibbitts commented that City Commissioner Jim Francesconi's loss of the police union's endorsement might be good for his mayoral candidacy because many of Portland's liberals hate the police.

Earlier, in an interview with Slate magazine, Hibbitts lamented Portland's Democrats, who he says have become extreme "latte leftists, pathetic rich wackos and oddballs."

Excuse me, Mr. Hibbitts, but the Nose thought this region's problems had more to do with extreme moral minorities who won't allow a moderate to win a statewide Republican primary and Texas carpetbaggers who are trying to steal a local utility.

* Jack Cummins, a Portlander who signed a petition to get Ralph Nader on the ballot in Oregon. The Nose will leave it to others to rail on those who think Nader for President is good for the republic. The Schnoz's particular beef is that for more than 10 years, Mr. Cummins has been a resident of the Lincoln Memorial Park--lot 231, grave 2.

Dead man voting, apparently.