Today we covered 200 miles or so of Route 34 of western Nebraska, the reddest part of one of our reddest states. We started in the high steppes and finished in fertile (when irrigated) farmland. Here are some of the roadside highlights. Nine reassuringly green John Deere dealerships, evenly spaced along the route. A number of llama farms, producing either wool or llamchops, I don't know which. Outside Benkelman, a large roadside sign: "Birthplace of Ward Bond." Entering Funk, Nebraska (pop. 204), a sign, "Welcome to Funk." The curious slogan of the small community of Minden: "The Christmas City" (for which act of arrogance Minden should be rechristened "The Chutzpah City"). Just west of McCook, a giant billboard: "In God we trust, not Hillary." A challenge to logic, I think. Or perhaps, a challenge to divine exactly what the billboardist was thinking. Are we supposed to imagine that Hillary Clinton is conceived of in McCook as the anti-Christ? And finally, just east of Hastings, for some years the residence of Willa Cather, the largest of billboards, viewable for miles: "Don't Beat Your Kids -- God." An admirable sentiment to be sure, and one to which we can all subscribe. Alas, the words that God put on the record are these: "He who spareth the rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him correcteth him betimes (Proverbs 13:24) and also "Withhold not correction from a child: for if thou strike him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and deliver his soul from hell" (Proverbs 23: 13-14). The amateur theologican who composed the words on the billboard offers a paraphrase of God's words which is, how shall I say this kindly, somewhat loose. Revisionist even.