Thanks to Mike Bailey and the Journal Star for their fairly accurate appraisal of me and picture in the Journal Star today. I just finished reading a book “Will we win the Clash of Civilizations” by Tony Blankley. Tony says that “decent, honorable people have a duty to oppose conduct they judge harmful to their civilization.” We are becoming a nation of disrespect for authority that is mainly the reason why Judge Shadid said yesterday that he’s tired of the growing number of teenagers he sees waiting in front of him awaiting sentences for serious crimes. I perhaps have visited too many classrooms and witnessed first hand kids out of control and excuses made that “well, kids will be kids” and if we send them to the principals office we are judged as being a teacher unable to handle our assignment or receive a call from the kid’s home the next day. Maybe my observing a plastic container being pitched out of a car on Knoxville fifteen minutes before a crushed pop can was hurled at me while I was traveling 65 miles an hour on Rt. 74 or maybe my reaction was triggered by some emotion inherited by ancestors a twenty-five generations removed. I received no pleasure or feeling of authority from my actions but attention has to be called in one way or another to what is happening in this country. Most of my friends in the school systems and law enforcement agencies, call it the “broken window theory”. I also believe that the time to correct the error is when it is discovered. Call the police? (I don’t endanger the public by using a cell phone while I’m driving. I don’t use a cell phone.) I didn’t endanger anyone by asking the bus driver to pull over both by hand signal and after approximately one quarter of mile slowly pulling over in the aright lane and again by turn signal and hand signal indicated there was a problem either with or on his bus. Those who say I had no right. What if I had observed a fire under the bus, a tire going flat or some mechanical failure? Then I would be asked why I didn’t stop the bus and report it. Should I have waited for a school board meeting or drove a couple of miles where I could have found a phone and called the police? I suspect that many hours after the incident, a story would have been made up and a denial so then it again would be my word only and the incident would have been closed. I appreciate the coach for at least finding out who the culprit was right then.
I did apologize to Morton High School’s Roger Kilpatrick by phone for lecturing the kids about good behavior. Mr. Kilpatrick assured that appropriate action was taken. I do not apologize for asking the but to stop, which by the way he did not have to stop, he could have switched lanes an kept moving. I’m not about to challenge being rear-ended by a bus. Maybe Phil will check my accident history.
Each of us in our own way makes decisions every day, some of which get questioned daily by ourselves and in the media. As George B, Shaw said “A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.”
By the way I have had far more emails and phone calls in support of my actions than those who sent “anonymous” hate messages on this site. Except the lady who identified herself and wrote she wouldn’t have stopped because she had been raped once. I have always had the courage to use my name on any position I took. Have I always made the absolutely correct decisions? No. But then have all of you who? You even might be interested to look further into critic Phil Luciano’s background to see if he has been a paragon of modesty and virtue.
As to my new neighbors of the past three years, Steven and Michele Aaron Hope, we enjoy each others company and they throw one of the best Mardi Gras parties in Peoria as my wife and I have been their guests for the past three years.
What happened to the former black and white unmarried couple neighbor? I was told by a man who worked with him that they left the community by request of his company after he had filed two lawsuits against them and he had intended to hit me with a civil suit as he heard I had a lot of money. Two Peoria Police Officers, one a Lieutenant, told me to make no contact with this couple because they were considered dangerous.
Why did the JS reporter, Andy Kravetz take a shot at me in year 2000? Because my now long removed neighbor was a PHA Section 8 investor and Andy covered PHA proceedings and was a friend of my neighbor. He mis-read the police report but the JS City Desk actually corrected the error in a a remote spot of the newspaper after I threatened them with libel. As to Terry Bibo, she was upset when I asked her to look into local fund-raising drives in which the fund raiser was keeping 90% of the funds raised. She never wrote on the subject and after a year, I went over her head again with no results except a phone call from her that wasn’t very flattering. That fueled her vicious column calling my attacking and long departed 27 year younger neighbor a “mild mannered Arthur Ashe”. (To my knowledge the fund raiser is now only keeping 85% of the funds raised by certain social clubs.)
Anyway, I’ll try to be a better citizen. I have nothing on my record except some speeding tickets or parking tickets. The day the Journal Star’s writer Luciano’s vicious attack appeared in print, I had my usual breakfast meeting with friends, played and won 2 and one half tennis matches at the Clubs at Rivercity; a privately owned fitness club (not taxpayer funded), had lunch with my Southwest Kiwanis Club friends, had two county board meetings where I was asked to make a presentation before an upcoming community wide business event, and attended a dinner (at the request of the county); a meeting of the Council of River Governments of which I am the only elected representative for Peoria County. The meeting was at the Ashford Convention Center in Morton; my mother and father and two sisters lived in Morton, considered by them and most others to be a fine community. I will keep on working for the Peoria County taxpayer to help keep the county fiscally responsible. And I’ll keep doing what I perceive to do as my civic duty.
Abraham Lincoln is quoted as saying “The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present.” Things haven’t changed much in 140 years or so.
As to my “anonymous” attackers, why not come out from behind your secrecy and talk to me personally. We might get to know each other better. You can tell me what you are doing to make this a better place to live. And yes, back in year 2000, I did say I would need an “equalizer”. What would you say if your neighbors said they were going to send someone up from the south side of Peoria to take my M-F head off in at least three rather unpleasant ways?
After all, can’t we all just get along?