Plastic, fantastic, super Wal-Mart

– Bumper sticker of the week (a beauty for Galesburg): I’m just working here until a fast food job opens up.

– War: I wonder how it would feel to lose a child, spouse, friend, in a war being fought over a lie? I can’t imagine how George W. Bush can look in a mirror. Young men and women, Iraqi civilians, being killed just so he and his family can save face. Like every war before it, this one will be deemed "justified" by the Christian warriors who make such idiotic pronouncements. Seems that’s all we ever end up with: just war.

– Hats: I’m a hat person. I get my love of hats from my father. He wore what used to be called a "cat hat." I never remember seeing him without it. I myself prefer fedoras and baseball hats. I probably have around 15 of each. I usually wear a black fedora in winter, and a baseball cap in summer. Some of my fedora’s are new, some I have bought in vintage clothing stores. You never know about wearing another man’s hat, whether it’s an honor or a curse. At any rate, I like my hats. It helps keep alive the memory of my father, who died when I was 18. I like that about the hats.

– A crappy meeting: Man, all the big shots were down at Crappy’s the other night. GREEDA, and supposed investors in Galesburg, although I didn’t see anyone who looked loaded or I’d have asked them to pick up my tab, as sort of a gesture of good faith. It appeared to be quite a crappy meeting. I volunteered to give the key-note address, which I had already entitled, "What a crappy idea, giving our tax dollars to fake businessmen." I thought it was pretty clever. They didn’t.

– Speaking of clever ideas. Here are a few:

• End farmer subsidies.

• End corporate subsidies.

• Remove the salary cap on earnings taxed for social security. (This would solve the problem in and of itself.)

• Establish universal health-care instead of waging war.

• Start a Department of Peace. Can the Defense Department and Homeland Security.

• If a kid can make the grade, guarantee them an education thru the 16th grade.

• Pay people, in the form of a tax credit, to not reproduce.

• Instead of real estate taxes, how about charging people who are leaving Galesburg an escape fee?

– NO SUPER WAL-MART ON SEMINARY STREET: I’ll never get out of my drive-way. (I recently heard a Menard’s is supposed to go on the same site.) We clearly don’t need a new grocery store. We don’t need another drug store. We don’t need another service station. We don’t need another lumber yard. The damage a super Wal-Mart would do to this town would greatly exceed the good it would do. At the very least, Wal-Mart should have to do an economic and environment impact study. The city administration and city council will claim they can’t do anything to stop a super Wal-Mart. That will be a lie.

– The Wal-Mart way:

• They oppose unionization. They close stores rather than negotiate a contract.

• Unfair competition with small businesses. They’ve become so big, no one can match their price.

• They are into homogenized globalization. What’s good for America is good for the rest of the world.

• Unfair treatment of employees.

• Unfair buying practices.

• Unfair treatment of non-Christian would-be hires, employees, and makers of products.

• Endorse sweatshop clothing. They’ve even at times denied this, in spite of clear evidence to the contrary.

• They will take any tax breaks they can get from communities they build in, in spite of the fact that they are the world’s richest company and the world’s richest family owned business.

• They’ve taken on a cavalier "don’t bother challenging us" attitude.

• They buy low, sell low, and pay their employees low.