New Year Revolutions


It’s the new year. 2009. It comes in with a bang. It leaves me with a ton of mixed emotions, and guess who I get to share them with?


A new President. Thank God for that. We have seen eight years of sheer misery. It is a national disgrace that we fell for Bush’s nonsense. But it’s over, kind of like making it through a bad bout of diarrhea. You wonder where the hell all that stuff came from, but you’re glad it’s over. Now for Obama. I backed him even before he announced he was running, so I pretty much put all my marbles in one bag. He is young, intelligent, energetic, and not as tied into Washington as many of the other candidates. I hope he will be able to work us out of the mess we are in, which is both deep and troubling. It is with a great sigh of relief that we enter 2009 with a leader that can move us out of the primordial ooze we find ourselves mired  in. Good-bye Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney. I hope our paths never cross again. I don’t intend on visiting you in jail. Hello Mr. Obama. I hope you are ready for some gray hair.


I’m hoping Galesburg has turned the corner on our ineptness and unwavering grip we have allowed the status quo and the good-old-boys to have on our souls. There are some faint signs that we might be wiggling free. Breaking free of our failed economic polices is the first step in our liberation. You can tell how important it is by all the commotion. The Register Mail immediately back-peddled, which it does extremely well and often. They preferred to frame the refusal of the city council to throw away any more of our tax dollars on a failed economic development plan as a personality conflict. It seemed, at least to me, to be one of the councils most significant attempts to set us in a new direction that I’ve ever seen. Perhaps now, we can move towards something more reasonable. China visits and buying overpriced farmland from friends are wrought with old school favoritism and personal gain. The powers-that-be cries out, “Now what? Doing nothing will be a disaster.” Hello! Doing nothing is exactly what we got for the last 30 years. And you’re right, it was a disaster. If we did decide on doing nothing, what exactly would change? They don’t have any answers. Frankly, they don’t have a clue. A new mayor will help, although our choices are so far mostly more of the same. Generally speaking the power- that-be seek exile in a revolution, not office. We need a mayor and four aldermen who can lead. That’s only five individuals. That is not asking a lot. Surely we can come up with five people who can make a difference and support the revolution?


My New Years Revolution for the county board is that they disband or seek consolidation with DuPage County. Nothing of any relevance has come from this group for the last 6 years. They are mired down in their own ineptness. They finally make a decision to not give GREDA any more of our tax dollars, only to fold under the pressure of the good-old-boys and recant the only sliver of sanity they have shown in years. They stand in the way of the revolution, which is never a good idea.


Hard times are here. In my sixty years, I have personally never seen anything like what has happened to the economy. The supply side, free market economy taunted by the great Milton Friedman, has failed. You can’t keep beating the poor into the ground and expect them to not revolt. The rich cannot monitor their greed and their continual need for more. They eventually implode. And we eventually explode. So where do the rich turn in times of need: The government. The one institution they deplore and want less of. I would hate to say I told you so over the years, but I told you so. The free market will always overindulge itself with cheap labor and unbridled profit. It has to be kept under control, or it will consume everything in its path. My hope is that this God forsaken disaster will help bring us to our senses, and that in the future, we approach capitalism a bit more cautiously and with a healthy dose of government regulation, as scary as that might seem.


Speaking of responsibility. We each need to take some to help our neighbors through these hard times. If you can, buy some groceries for FISH. Put some “heat” on AmerenIP, who are in the process of gouging us this winter. Call them, send an e-mail, stable a letter to your check, do anything to let them know that you are displeased with their thievery. Check on your elderly neighbors; if you can afford, give a little to someone unemployed; channel your anger and disappointment toward a positive outcome. I realize that is a difficult challenge, but that is what this new year revolution is about. The time is now and we are it. So Happy New Year Revolution.