– Bumper sticker of the week: Give Bush a pretzel.

– Quote of the week: "I should like to be able to love my country and still love justice." Albert Camus

– Five things you can always count on:

1. Your taxes will always go up.

2. On a bus, train, plane, the person sitting next to you will always be a moron.

3. When washing socks, one always comes up missing. (I saw the little bastard that takes them on a commercial the other day.)

4. As soon as the warranty is up, it will break.

5. When you’re super hungry for, willing to die for, willing to kill for, that one special treat you like to indulge yourself with, they will be out of it.

– Positivisms:

1. We need a full-time mayor and a part-time manager.

2. We need fewer rules and more common sense.

3. We need to move economic development away from "landing that big manufacturer," to more quality of life areas. I agree, part of that movement might be the Railroad Hall of Fame. How about trying to pull in some artsy people. An art colony? How about music, recording, trying to give some young people a break? Or writing? After all, we are the home of Carl Sandburg. A publishing company? A music row? We have a good start with Legends. Film making? We do have some of the pieces, we just need someone to help us put them together.

4. We have a huge senior citizen population that we barely begin to capitalize on. We look for very little information from them, yet they have a world of experience. And we should work harder at getting their money from them. Dance band halls, bingo parlors with big pay-outs. I still think a Saggies strip club would go.

5. We could have one of the best medical care plans in the state, if we could only get the two hospitals to cooperate. Think of it: Our own universal health care, available to you if you own a home. The premium paid for by your real estate tax, or a special medical care tax. This would draw thousands, maybe too many.

6. We should be able to capitalize on our cheap cost-of-living. There is a down side to this, obviously. We need to answer the question: Why do people not want to live here even though the living is cheap? We need to carefully market around the idea that you don’t always get what you pay for.

7. Diversity is paramount to any type of recovery that we might achieve. Knox College should step forward as a leader in this area, but it unfortunately hasn’t.

8. Speaking of Knox College, they have a lot of high rolling alumni that could be a big help, and would probably be more than willing to, if we only asked.

9. We should have a real Railroad Days, like Burlington has a real Steamboat Days. This could help support the Railroad Hall of Fame, both patron-wise and financially. Building on the Hall of Fame, we need to make this an exemplary railroad town – i.e. silent trains at night, railroad crossings that don’t knock your tires crooked – not a backward, outdated one.

10. I frankly would kick all the right-wingers out of town, which I would personally see as very positive.

11. We need to work on a couple brick streets in historic areas and dump the rest.

12. Hoping for more manufacturing is probably like hoping for world peace, it just ain’t going to happen without radical changes. Twenty-five to a hundred employees is probably the name of the game. And we need to quit giving things away unless we get something in return, like a promise to pay a living wage, which most of these jokers have no intention of doing. It ain’t worked, and no one has ever shown that it has worked, anywhere, much less in Galesburg.

13. We need a local beer. Being a substance abuse counselor, I probably shouldn’t recommend that, but a home brewed beer can do wonders for a community.

14. We’re close enough to Chicago that we should be able to feed their industries with hundreds of things, helping suggestion number 12. With a lower cost-of-living, we should be able to produce things much cheaper. This might range from metal products, to gaskets, to caskets, to supplying them with antiques. The possibilities are endless.

15. We are something of a golfing mecca. We need some thought on a golf trail, maybe opening up Soangetaha and Bracken for public play, the city building one or two additional courses, and selling, of course, our local beer.

There, you talk about positive. It almost makes me nauseous.