-Bumper sticker of the week: My religion is simple.  My religion is kindness.  The 14th Dalai Lama


-Quote of the week: ÒEvery religion is true one way or another. It is true when understood metaphorically. But when it gets stuck in its own metaphors, interpreting them as facts, then you are in trouble.Ó  Joseph Campbell


-Let the good times roll:

     * Unemployment up. America down. The government is reporting unemployment at 6.1%, which in reality probably means 15-20%. The boys in Washington, among other things, canÕt count very well.


     * Home foreclosures at record high. Welcome to BushWorld, where the old saying ÒHome Sweet HomeÓ takes on a whole new meaning.


     * Financial institutions are falling faster than George WÕs popularity. Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch are the latest casualty. A leading economist predicts 100-200 banks will fold due to the mortgage crisis. Ma, bring me the mattress.


     * The Iraqi War, a total disaster from start to present, is still being taunted as a success by the Bush administration. ItÕs amazing how dumb they think we are. Actually, itÕs amazing how dumb we are. Hardly a Republican or Democrat ties our war spending into an economic disaster. TheyÕre all too scared what weÕll think. TheyÕve fooled us on this one before.  The older generation should be stepping up to stop this thing. Our children should not be killed for such useless folly. We know whatÕs going on, but our pride wouldnÕt let us act. We are paralyzed by fear and nationalism.


     * Everyone acts surprised that the oil and gas industry has made more money in the last 8 years than ever before. ExxonMobil is making more money than most countries. Bush and Cheney and the good-old-boys have oil seeping out of their ears. Maybe we should drill?   


     * Now, a $700 billion bailout. I like that. TheyÕre as incompetent as the day is long, and weÕre suppose to pay for it. Who pails us out when we donÕt run our finances very well? We go bankrupt, end up with bad credit, have to sell everything we own, and basically get looked upon like a leaper. The guys who drove these companies into oblivion will likely get millions in compensation. ItÕs called ÒThe Rich Man RulesÓ rule. We obviously are not covered by that particular rule.


-I wonder where IÕd go if I were going to run away from all this madness? France? Mexico? Italy? Canada? Arkansas? Probably when I got there IÕd discover people were just as goofy there as they are here. They probably believe everything theyÕre told by the government. They probably think their way is right, and the rest of the worlds wrong. So I might as well stay here and keep wondering: What if there was no war? What if all the parents in the country told their sons and daughters not to join the military? What if no one was hungry and everyone had a roof over their head? What if everyone could walk into a hospital and get the same treatment as our President? What if no one was denied a college education that made the grades? What if all the companies in the United States were forced to pay their fair share of taxes? Or what if the rest of us paid none until that happened? What if politicians talked more about  issues and less about nonsense?  I wonder if a Jeanie could make all of these things come true? Maybe IÕll just move.


On my way out to Carl Sandburg, I notice a sign that reads ÒVote Pro-Life.Ó IÕm tempted to stop and ask the owners if they are against the war; against capital punishment; for universal health-care; in favor of a living wage. IÕm sure they would be against nuclear weapons,  smart bombs, and Air Force bombers.  And surely they  would favor food, shelter, and justice for all, no matter what the cost, or what the social status of the person in need.  But IÕm betting they donÕt fit that description. They are anti-abortion, anti-choice, but I doubt pro-life.