­­ Bumper sticker of the week: Crime wouldn't pay if the government ran it.

­­ Quote of the week: The Knock. ''The truth knocks on the door and you say, Go away, I'm looking for the truth. And so it goes away. Puzzling.'' Robert Pirsig.

''Ask, and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you.'' Matthew 7:7

­­ Some observations on life:

-- You can't continually take two steps forward and two steps backward.--

Forget what the other guy does and concentrate on what you're doing.--

Power doesn't have anything to do with who you are, or what position you hold, or what profession you're in. It has to do with being openhearted. It presents itself in a very gentle way.--

Life is not set up to be fair. It is set up to be challenging.--

Each of us must come to understand God in his or her own way. Otherwise, we would come to know God from the outside-in rather than from the inside-out.--

Money makes accessing things easier, but it cannot make you happy. Happiness does not reside in things, it resides in us. Discovering that will put a smile on your face.--

Being educated has little to do with knowledge. Knowledge has to do with living and experiencing life to the fullest extent allowed by law.--

Talk only when you have something positive to say.--

Take only what you need and leave the rest.--

We're all going to die. It's not the dying that you end up being troubled with. It's the living. The regrets, the unfulfilled dreams, the lost relationships, the inability to forgive. These are the things that will haunt you into eternity.

­­ Fifteen of the dumbest things I've ever had the privilege of seeing, knowing, hearing, or doing:

1. I didn't believe them when they said you shouldn't stick anything in that outlet.

2. The notion that a Republican president is going to help the poor and working poor is unsatisfyingly stupid.

3. I've seen and heard the Bible used to endorse some pretty strange ideas.

4. I can't understand why aliens always land in rural areas. And why would they abduct humans? What possible advantage would that be to them?

5. TIF districts are one of the biggest taxpayer rip-offs in existence.

6. No one in their right mind would argue that guns are something that humans should be playing with.

7. I once tried to across the street in New York when the light was flashing ''Don't Walk.'' Dumb.

8. I argued with my surgeon beforehand about the amount he was going to charge me. Dumb.

9. I now have a deeper appreciation for life, having heard Rush Limbaugh debate Pat Buchanan on the topic, ''The feminine side of males.''

10. Picking a President has become a lot like picking a new car: we go for the fanciest and most loaded rather than the most economical and proven.

11. Why we would allow large mega-monopolies to control everything is beyond my wildest imagination. They are doing the world irreparable damage.

12. The United States could grow enough to feed the world. But we won't do it. Instead we pay farmers to grow weeds. The worst part is we have an explanation for why.

13. Not providing universal health-care to all citizens in this country is our worst sin.

14. Dumb is always having to say you're sorry.

15. I recently read an author who used alchemists as an example of people who failed because they were unable to change base metals into precious metals. His logic was shallow and arrogantly idiotic.

­­ It's convention time. Some differences I noticed between the Democrats and Republicans:--

When music is playing, the Democrats clap in tune.--

The Democrats have minorities on the floor as well as on the stage.--

Republicans look backward for answers. Democrats look forward.--

None of the candidates could beat Bill Clinton for a third term.--

The Republicans try to look more and more like Democrats and the Democrats try to look more and more Republican.--

The Republicans have become neurotic in their attempts to look favorable to the American public.

Uploaded to The Zephyr Online August 22, 2000

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