Am I part of the cure, or part of the disease?


— Bumper sticker of the week: Blind faith in bad leadership is not patriotism.

— Quote of the week: ÒFor the average man, the world is weird because if heÕs not bored with it, heÕs at odds with it. For a warrior, the world is weird because it is stupendous, awesome, mysterious, unfathomable. A warrior must assume responsibility for being here, in this marvelous world, in this marvelous time.Ó Carlos Castaneda

— Positive peeverism: Things always get better, just not necessarily on our schedule.

— Troubles that words are just not adequate for:

¥  The fear of living.

¥  A child dying before the parents.

¥  Looking at a picture that troubles your soul.

¥  Being alone, but married.

¥  Alzheimer's, before itÕs diagnosed.

¥  Being broke, but working a 40 hour week.

¥  Hatred rising up from a place you donÕt quite understand.

— The ethics of capitalism: Essentially, there are none. Every profession has a code of conduct. A lot of us use the Ten Commandments, or the Golden Rule. Basically, capitalism uses and promotes no specific code of conduct. We hope the entrepreneur, the CEO, the businessman, is honest, is a person with character. However, when that self-imposed integrity withers away under the pressure of making a profit, or satisfying his Board of Directors, or stockholders, we are left with a stampeding monster no longer serving the purposes of a democracy, and it becomes in and of itself an ideology, most often in direct opposition to the defining principles of a democracy. If we look to the courts for remediation from this tyrannical monster, usually what we get from the pro-business judges is a slap on the hands and a fine that's a millionth of a percent what's been stolen. Since I was 21, I have not believed capitalism is a viable companion with a democracy, at least not the brand currently practiced in the U.S. The combined motives of profit, market domination, and labor exploitation are not compatible with sustainability, cooperation, a living wage, and justice, and no amount of flag waving is going to make it so.

— Am I part of the cure, or am I part of the disease:

¥  Do I practice, and preach, racism to my children?

¥  Do I promote violence over negotiation and compromise?

¥  Do I act crazy repeatedly and believe an apology will suffice?

¥  Do I take and never give?

¥  Do I think my way is the only way?

¥  If I know another person is hurting, do I offer my help?

¥  Would I stand between the rapist and the victim?

¥  Would I give my seat up on the bus, to anyone?

     ¥  Do I dare to tell the spreader of right-wing bullshit that I donÕt buy it?

— 2006 predictions:

        ¥  IÕm guessing the power companies are not going to be satisfied with quadrupling their

profits. Watch for a rate increase.

¥   There are going to be a lot of Washington boys going down this year. DeLay and Cheney

will be among them.

   ¥  Hillary Clinton will remain a Senator after a morally degenerate campaign by her opponent.

   ¥  The Senate, or the House, will be controlled by the Democrats come 2007.

   ¥  President Carter will become the most trusted person in America.

   ¥  The Leaning Tower of Pisa will fall over.

   ¥  Andrea Zinga will lose another election.

   ¥  The Knox County Board will decide to do something.

   ¥  Gov. Blagojevich will remain our governor.

   ¥  And finally, to make sure I hit at least one, the infamous wringer: The Cubs will have another disappointing season, missing yet another World Series.