­­ Bumper sticker of the week: Keep honking, I'm reloading.

­­ Quote of the week: ''He had watched all my documentaries, read all my books. He thought what I did was great. But I talked about evolution. Was I religious? Did I believe in God? Had we really descended from chimpanzees? And so I tried to answer him as truthfully as I could, to explain my own beliefs. I told him that no one thought humans had descended from chimpanzees. I told him that millions of years ago there had been a primitive, apelike, human-like creature, one branch of which had gone on to become the chimpanzee, another branch had eventually led to us. But that doesn't mean I don't believe in God. I told him that I had always thought that the description of God creating the world in seven days might well have been an attempt to explain evolution in a parable. In that case, each of the days would have been several million years. And then, perhaps, God saw that a living being had evolved that was suitable for His purpose. Homo Sapiens had the brain, the mind and the potential. Perhaps that was when God breathed the spirit into the first man and the first woman and filled them with the Holy Ghost. I ended by telling him that it honestly didn't matter how we humans got to be the way we are, whether evolution or special creation was responsible. What mattered and mattered desperately, was our future development. Were we going to go on destroying God's creation, fighting each other, hurting the other creatures of His planet? Or were we going to find ways to live in greater harmony with each other and with the natural world? That, I told him, was what was important.'' From Jane Goodall, My Life with the Chimpanzees.

­­ Misguided justice. We want our kids in school. Makes sense. At least most of the time. What if a kid doesn't want to go to school? Up until a certain point, that can pretty well be handled. ''I'm bigger than you, get your ass to school.'' Usually pretty effective. Of course they may not stay there, but hey, you gave it your best shot. However, another certain point comes along when the little tikes get as big and mean and nasty as we are. Then what? The Regional Superintendent of Schools for Warren, Henderson, and Mercer counties has answered that question. The kiddies don't go to school, arrest the parent(s). Brilliant solution. This is going to really help matters. The kid is already pissed off at the parent(s), so now give them all the power in the world they need to get mom and/or dad thrown in the slammer. And he has the guts to call this a solution, which once again the Register-Mail confirms as a brilliant idea. This ain't a solution, it's stupidity. It represents a total lack of compassion, understanding and common sense.This is typical of the answers we are coming up with to deal with our children. It's the same mentality used in the concept of zero tolerance for violence, or arresting parent(s) if their child commits a crime. The brainpower behind these types of nonsensical solutions should do something useful, like quit.

­­ Speaking of leaders, the Galesburg City Council, along with the Mayor, have once again shown us what not to do when you step forward to lead. On numerous occasions, and over an extended period of time, they have had an opportunity to arrive at a reasonable compromise concerning the issue of burning, but have failed miserably to do so. The Mayor is to be primarily blamed for not taking a leadership role in finding a compromise. This ''blind spot'' in leadership comes up repeatedly. Our leaders lack the ability to see and define that moment when compromise and mediation can produce a positive outcome, allowing both sides to feel good and confident about the situation, producing a win-win situation for everyone. Our federal and state legislators don't lead, they follow the special interest groups and their money. School boards are casting aside leadership to follow vague and impossible concepts, rather than having to use their hearts and minds. County governments follow decades old statutes that the state is too lazy to update. County leadership drowns in archaic rules. The Galesburg City Council, along with just about every governmental body in existence, is in a losers mode. No one seems to have a clue as to how to bring together a group of diverse individuals in order to arrive at decisions that serve the common good. I was hoping the mayor would or could do this for the City of Galesburg. He's a fine individual and someone I'm glad to know, but he needs a good kick in the rear. He's not stepping forward at the right moments. It's easy to be a hero to some, rather than a leader for all.

­­ The government will hide, deny and distort evidence and information long before it will admit to any wrongdoing. In more and more situations, It doesn't feel It can afford to tell the truth. What's unfortunate is that the It is us.

­­ Neighbors. Who are they? I don't know if most of them are half nuts, think God is a Republican, or might be murderers about to pounce on me and my family. A lot of these unknown folks are no more than a 100 yards away, all of us living out our existence as though we were hundreds of miles apart. I don't know what this means, or what it says about me or them. We live together but apart, locked out of one another's world. We surely all lose because of this.

Uploaded to The Zephyr Online December 7, 1999

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