­­ Bumper sticker of the week: All the world is queer save for thee and me, and even thou are a little bit weird.

­­ Quote of the week: ''Look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as may times as you think necessary. Then ask yourself and yourself alone one question: This question is one that only a very old man asks. My benefactor told me about it once when I was young and my blood was too vigorous for me to understand it. Now I do understand it. I will tell you what it is: Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good. If it doesn't, it is of no use.''--

Don Juan speaking to Carlos Castaneda

­­ How to be a help instead of a nuisance:--

Talk only when you have something to say. Otherwise, listen.--

Press conferences = nuisance.--

Give your money to someone who needs it more. Like me.--

Don't bellyache about things you know nothing about.--

Accept diversity as something positive rather than something to be afraid of.--

Keep your religion to yourself unless you mean to do something decent with it.--

When you stand in judgment of another person, remember, you're being a nuisance.

­­ A lot of people go about living their lives in such a way that they appear to be creating their own soap operas. As though there's not enough of that rubbish on TV already. They jump from one idiotic relationship to the next, one tragic consequence after another, all seemingly in some frantic effort to create mental illness in themselves. Then they want pills to cure their ills. Slow down! Relax. Lead your life as though it is sacred. The more ''soap-like'' it is, the further away from the truth you become. The soaps generally present life at its most despicable. This should not be your goal.

­­ Enron is a terrorist act perpetrated by home-grown entrepreneurs who are more interested in their own wealth, power, and position than they are the common good. They take an oath of greed, which seems to emanate out of unregulated capitalism. Someone needs to look after these guys, otherwise turmoil and chaos are going to prevail. We need a sudden attack of common sense concerning big business regulating itself. It won't.

­­ Galesburg continues to struggle to find itself: In a long line of misguided attempts at finding direction and character, Galesburg continues to languish between the days of yesteryear and the bright hope that something good might happen tomorrow. This leaves us never quite in the now. My take on Galesburg is that it tries to be something it once was, or something it probably wouldn't want to be, while never mustering up the courage to look at what it is. Most of our ''leaders'' are too busy protecting their turf and/or their egos. I continue to have positive doubt about much that is taking place: Drugs are being sold on street corners, influencing a significant percentage of our population; our courts dole out unequal justice, with most prisoners being poor and/or minorities; health care is handed out readily to the haves, the have-nots continue to struggle, even with two hospitals and a health department; we have a huge high school drop-out rate; the community has lost population the last 25 years; we have a much higher unemployment rate than anyone is willing to admit; we can save the Orpheum, but what about the elderly couple down the street who can no longer afford to stay in their home of 45 years; businesses sell unnecessary and unwanted products to vulnerable shoppers; police officers are inadequately trained concerning our rights; businesses extort money from us be threatening to leave; some ministers use the Bible to cover up their own insecurities and lack of compassion while their colleagues remain silent. I long for the day when this community discovers what it really cares about.

­­ It's always nice to hear from the wife of a crook. They never seem to get it. Probably they've been too busy shopping. Here's a statement from Mrs. Lay, Ken (Kenny Boy) Lay's wife, the ex CEO of Enron: ''Nobody even really knows what the truth is yet. The only truth I know 100 percent for sure is that my husband is an honest, decent, moral human being who would do absolutely nothing wrong.'' Very touching. I suppose it was the decent and moral thing to sell $16 million of Enron stock from Jan.1 to Aug. 31, 2001, while telling others to not worry and hang tight. Still, I admire her. She's loyal. I'm betting she'll even visit him in prison. Of course, he's a long way from being found guilty of anything. So far he's only stolen, swindled, and cheated tens of thousands of people out of their money. It could have been all just a terrible mistake.

­­ Strike three, you're out: The California fiasco. Let's get tough on crime. Two felony convictions and one more, you're history. So guess what they count as a serious felony: burglary of an unoccupied home, and shoplifting. Makes sense. Now they have 340 people serving life terms for shoplifting. A federal judge finally got a sudden attack of common sense, which scares me, and ruled that life in prison for shoplifting is probably cruel and unusual punishment. I wonder how many pills he had to take to figure that out?

Uploaded to The Zephyr Online February 12, 2002

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