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Recently, we mourned the passing of our old friend, Common Sense. Common Sense, aka C.S., lived a long life but died from heart failure as we near the end or year 2000 and the Twentieth Century. No one really knows how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape He selflessly devoted his life to service in schools, hospitals, homes, factories and offices, helping folks get jobs done without fanfare and foolishness.

For decades, petty rules, silly laws and frivolous lawsuits held no power over C.S. He was credited with cultivating such valued lessons as to know when to come in out of the rain, the early bird gets the worm, and life is not always fair. C.S. lived by sound financial policies (don't spend more than you earn) and reliable teaching and parenting strategies (the adult is in charge, not the child). A veteran of the Industrial Revolution, the Great Depression, and the Technological Revolution, C.S. survived cultural and educational trends including feminism, body piercing, whole language and "new" math. But his health declined when he became infected with the liberal virus, "If-It-Only-Helps-One-Person-It's-Worth-It."

In recent decades his waning strength proved no match for the ravages of overbearing federal regulations. He watched in pain as good people became ruled by self-seeking lawyers and enlightened auditors. His health rapidly deteriorated as schools mindlessly implemented zero tolerance policies. Reports of 6-year-old boys charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate, a teen suspended for taking a swig of mouthwash after lunch, and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student. Finally, C.S. lost his will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband, churches became businesses, criminals received better treatment than victims, and federal judges stuck their noses in everything from Boy Scouts of America to professional sports.

As the end neared, C.S. drifted in and out of logic but was kept informed of developments regarding questionable regulations for asbestos, low flow commodes, "smart" guns and mandatory airbags. Finally, when told that homeowners association restricted exterior furniture only to that which enhanced property values, he breathed his last. C.S. was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his Son, Reason. He is survived by three stepbrothers, Rights, Tolerance, and Whiner. Few attended his funeral, since so few realized he passed away.

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