-Bumper sticker of the week: Lord, help me to be the person my dog thinks I am.


-Quote of the week: “Life is just one damn thing after another.”  Albert Hubbard


“Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life.”  Immanuel Kant


-Church: Most church services I’ve ever attended leave me with the impression it’s a white-collar endeavor, and I must be a blue-collar kind of guy. I don’t like sitting in church. The pews are uncomfortable, the sermons are for the most part dull, the creeds being recited are scary, and the songs being sung are for the most part disturbing. I figure I must be a Pentecostal at heart, lacking the religious conviction to play out the part. Pentecostalism is not to be mistaken for right-wing Christians, although they at times can be one and the same. For me, Pentecostalism is a type of worship, while right-wing Christianity is a type of ideology. Pentecostal’s get into it. There are signs of life, which for the most part is missing from main line Christian churches. I like movement, action, a bit of hell raising. I’m a blue-collar kind of guy who has worn a white-collar for way too long.


-Citizens unite: We the people pretty much get pushed and shoved around by just about every governmental body and big business in America. Do this, don’t do that. Pay for this, don’t bellyache. We know what’s best for you. Fall in line, salute, and shut the hell up. You get tired of people pushing you around. You get to feeling like a sap, like you’re helpless. I don’t have a descent retirement, but I contribute to every city, county, state, and federal employee’s retirement. All the Congressmen have government sponsored health-care, but they don’t want it for us. I don’t see many of the rich taking risks during wartime, but we’re right out front dodging bullets and bombs. Oil prices per barrel go down, but the price of gas at the pump goes up. The prices of goods go up, but our salaries stay the same or go down, or our jobs go overseas. You get tired of it all. It’s about time we do some pushing of our own.


-Leadership: Leadership is a funny thing. It’s not that you either got it or don’t, It’s that you do it or you don’t. Leaders are born and leaders are made. The most telling leadership quality is that the leader picks the right issue, the right thing for him or her to lead, at the right time. Outside of that, anyone can lead. The city is once again going to waste time and resources attempting to teach leadership. While certainly it is always worthwhile to listen to new information and attempt to gain some knowledge, it is evident by the number of people who have been stepping up to the plate that leadership or lack thereof is not our problem. Our biggest problem might well be to have the city and county step out of the way and help citizen initiatives move forward. For the first time in the 30 years I have been in town, I see aldermen and some elected officials stepping forward along with the citizens in hopes of getting something done in Galesburg. It appears this could be a defining moment in our history, a moment when we move away from reliance on our city and county government to give us answers and make “things better,” and go it alone, or rather, together, hopefully with their encouragement and cooperation. I don’t believe any of us need to learn how to become a leader. I believe we need to step forward and do it.


-Policing: It is wrong when policing becomes a major revenue producer for government. That doesn’t make us safer. It only makes us broker.


-Speaking of policing: I’ve been hearing some troubling things about our local police. One I read about was an officer who was accused of domestic violence. If found to be true, he should be looking for a new career. During his career, he will be called upon to arbitrate and/or intervene in probably numerous domestic situations. It appears likely that his judgement is clouded on that specific topic. It would not be wise, nor responsible,  to allow him to intervene in such a situation between a couple. Maybe a desk job, preferably with only men around. Another incident I have heard about involved an officer demeaning a citizen who was being dealt with on a minor incident. For granted, officers often see people at their worst. I’m sure that gets old. But I would assume they understand that reality while being schooled. An officer’s job is not to judge, but to resolve. Such a violation should result in immediate suspension, without pay. If the violation is proven to be true, the officer should once again be looking for work. We, the public, pay these people. We entrust them with a lot of power and responsibility, not the least of which is the right to carry a gun and intervene in our lives. There is no room for hooligans and “I am better than thou” types. Most people are afraid to say much for fear of retaliation. While I certainly understand this, we should not condone it. A bad cop is a blight on the community. Speak up. We’ll stand behind you if you speak the truth.