“Why are we violent, but not illiterate?” This question, originally posed by writer Colman McCarthy, was asked at the Midwest Regional Department of Peace conference, which was held last weekend outside Detroit. It cuts to the core of our troubles. The answer is agonizingly obvious: “We’re taught to read!” Could it be we also need to be taught, let us say, calmness, breath and impulse control, practical applications of the Golden Rule? But until we know enough to ask these questions, violence, like ignorance, is just a fact of life. — Robert C. Koehler