Face the face


-Bumper sticker of the week: Go to heaven for the climate, hell for the company.


-Quote of the week: ŌHow many deaths by bombing or starvation are we willing to accept in order that we may be free, affluent, and (supposedly) at peace? To that question, I answer: None. DonÕt kill any children for my benefit.Ķ  Wendell Berry


-Face the face:

     * You cannot hide behind a lie, because a lie never stands still.

     * You screw up, you re-do. You donÕt re-do, you stay screwed up.

     * In seeking revenge, youÕll never be satisfied, because revenge has no final resting place.

     * Talking the talk is not enough. Walk the walk. Do the work. Bust your ass. Pay the price. Draw the line.

     * In seeking The Call, follow your heart, not the sales pitch of a recruiter or the promises of a minister or the beckoning of your family.

     * I would just as soon feel pain as nothing at all. Pain reminds us we are alive, when sometimes we forget.

     * Fight the fight without ever raising a hand or making a fist. Give up the need to conquer and dominate.

     * ThereÕs nothing wrong with silence. Feeling the need to talk fills no human requirement, outside of showing others just how dumb you really are. Or perhaps by taking the talk, your trying to impress yourself.

     * When you look in a mirror, donÕt turn away and run, or ignore what you see.  Face the face.


-Speaking of tragedies: A couple of weeks ago, Norm, our editor, wrote an article about GalesburgÕs worse tragedy, the burning down of the library. What a library it was. The replacement seems a pathetic substitute. Things being what they are nowadays, I thought of a couple other Galesburg tragedies:

     * The single most tragic thing I have seen happen in Galesburg was inviting the state to locate a prison here. While we certainly needed the jobs, it was a short-sighted and ill-conceived idea. Everyone, from the Chamber to the police department to the news media, have downplayed the prisons effect on Galesburg ever since. It could well rank as the single most tragic event that has ever occurred in Galesburg. If not the most tragic, at the very least, the stupidest.

     * One of the most tragic things IÕve seen lately is Knox College inviting former Attorney General John Ashcroft to give his canned, pro-war, pro-torture, pro-Bush administration, wasnÕt I just great after 9/11, speech. He blames Congress for all the failures of the Bush administration.  Oh, I can hear the hotdogs at Knox barking: What about free speech? Well, the thing is, it wasnÕt free. I hear he was paid $10,000. He could give his speech down on the town square, on any street corner, or IÕm sure one of the tavern owners would let him use the back room, assuming he bought a round. IÕll bet the Legion or VFW would be glad to have him. But Knox? A ŌliberalĶ arts college. I expect maybe theyÕre trying to even the score, what with Clinton, Obama, Colbert, and now Madeline Albright giving  commencement addresses, they wouldnÕt want to annoy any of their conservative alums. After all, donations are donations, regardless of ideology.

     * The economic progress Galesburg has lacked over the last 30 years has been the making of a real tragedy, depicting the downfall of a once proud city. In the early 80's, our factory jobs started leaving and no one has known what to do since. The answer lies in our leadership, or lack thereof. First the EDC (Economic Development Council), and now, GREDA (Galesburg Regional Economic Development Association), both composed primarily of GalesburgÕs good-old-boys, have had a serious lack of insight, creativity, and an overwhelming desire to stay inside the box. In fact, both organizations have pretty much been the box. The consequence has been  losing our good paying jobs, with benefits.  People now have to take one or two retailing jobs, receiving just over minimum wage, with usually no benefits, just to make ends meet. We have gone from a union town that was prospering, to a non-union town just barely making it. Our population has declined over the last thirty years, and  the burden of our tax base has shifted more from business owner to home owner. Without new people coming to town, and our young people leaving, our future looks bleak. In all fairness to the powers that be, some things are out of their control. The economy is falling apart, agribusiness has run the family farmer out of business, we are in a war we donÕt want to be in, millions have no health insurance, mortgage promises went bad, prompting an unprecedented number of bankruptcies, and for the most part, life has been sucked out of us by eight years under the Bush administration. All things being equal, we need to face the face.