– Bumper sticker of the week: A penny saved is a government oversight.

– Quote of the week: "It’s a great huge game of chess that’s being played – all over the world – if this is the world at all, you know. Oh, what fun it is! How I wish I was one of them! I wouldn’t mind being a pawn if only I might join – though of course I should like to be a Queen, best." Through the Looking Glass, Lewis Carroll

– In Paradise, there are no right-wing Christians. Fascism and Christianity don’t mix. Not in Paradise!

– Illinois Power, which is actually Dynergy, is wanting to sell to ComEd, which is actually Exelon. Mr. Moffitt, our State Representative, had given his blessing to this monopolistic union. I hope he takes a closer look at what these two have in mind. Along with their marriage papers, they also filed for a rate increase, and want the legislature to expedite their marriage before anyone has an opportunity to stand up and object. Does anyone object to the uniting of this couple? Mr. Moffitt, I do. This is not going to be good for us. While I understand you’re happy about Exelon’s promise to keep Illinois Power employees employed, large corporate promises are about as good as a politician’s word: both generally peter out fairly quickly. My advice to Illinois Power customers: get ready to bend over! If you think your utility bills are high now, stay tuned. I would pay serious attention to this if I were Mr. Moffitt, because it’s going to chase a lot of people out of their homes. When this all comes to pass, be sure and thank Mr. Moffitt for endorsing a real bad idea. P.S. Ends up the Democrats (particularly Speaker of the House Mike Madigan) wouldn’t speed up the deal. Excelon got mad and backed out. Shoot! Mr. Moffitt was left hanging. More due diligence.

– Speaking of chasing people out of their homes: The city council has struck another blow to the citizens of Galesburg. They ok the budget pretty much as it was presented, continue to give hefty raises to city employees, and once again raise our taxes to pay for it all. This near-sighted bunch of nitwits (minus Mike Spah) seemingly don’t have a clue what’s about to happen. I was afraid we were going to get this kind of nonsense rammed through without much of a problem with Roland Paulsgrove returning. This formed a nifty little coalition that the city manager can rely on to pass just about anything he conjures up in the backroom. Remember where you read this: By 2008, or thereabouts, they’ll have drug the population of Galesburg down to around 30,000 or so. And still, at that point, they’ll be praising one another and giving raises to the city manager and staff for jobs well done. They continue to dump their ineptness onto the taxpayer.

– When is the Wong trial going to take place? Just how the hell deep are they going to try to bury this? Six feet is the legal limit.

– War is brutal and tough and unfair. And worst of all, dangerous. I’ve been blessed and fortunate enough to steer clear of it. Some would call that cowardice. I’ve always thought of it as smart. With maybe a little luck thrown in. Ends up I, like many, have been engaged in a battle for years. No Germans, Japanese, Vietnamese, or Iraqis. Only a tormenting feeling that calls out for justice and equality; an unexplained urge to find food for the poor, give help to the sick, find shelter for the homeless. Fight intolerance, question unjust laws, protest bigotry, confront racists, work to improve and save the environment. You eventually come to understand that these things are bigger than you, that it’s not likely you’re going to win many of these battles, much less the war. But that doesn’t keep you from fighting them. That doesn’t get rid of the nagging feeling that you could always do more. That you could sacrifice more, suffer more. You’d sure like to win. Or at least have it come to some kind of conclusion. Most wars eventually do. This one’s not likely to. However far down your internal war takes you, however deep down you need to dig, however tired you may get, whatever the cause, as long as it’s to the good, it’s a war worth fighting.

– I should have just about managed to peeve off everyone this week. But just in case:

• How about those ministers who deny evolution? What seminary did they go to – Bozo U?

• Car salesmen cry about how little they make on any given deal. Have you ever seen one that looks malnourished?

• Knox College does about as much for Galesburg as the city manager,

• With two hospitals in town, you’d think we would have one of the best health-care systems in Illinois. Yea.

• And I love dogs. I’ve just never learned how to cook them.