The gulag of our times


— Bumper sticker of the week: If you been born again, do you have two belly buttons?

— Quote of the week: ÒBush is just another liÕl upper-class white boy out trying to prove heÕs tough,Ó Molly Ivins

— My vision for the development on N. Seminary Street:

1.   I wish they would put it on S. Seminary Street.

2.   Short of that, IÕm hoping for a Margaritaville. I like Jimmy Buffet. HereÕs a guy with very little talent who made it big. That should be an inspiration for Galesburg.

3.   We donÕt need another grocery store or filling station. But we could use a Hooters.

4.   It would be nice if it wasnÕt more of the same old thing, but that would be asking way too much.

— Speaking of a Super Wal-Mart and Menard's: Is this really what Galesburg needs? My first impression is no, although IÕm sure that will be seen as an obstructionist view. I think it will do more damage than good, although IÕve already won $100 betting that is what it would be. ThereÕs a sucker born every minute. Anyway, at the very least, the council should ask for an environmental and economic impact study to help answer some of the following issues:

1.   How much road work will need to be done, and who will pay for it?

2.   Who is going to pay for the infrastructure to support these businesses?

3.   Is it wise to use 140 acres of prime farmland for sprawl development?

4.   What are the projected taxes these businesses will pay?

5.   What are the projected number and types of jobs these businesses will supply us with?

6.   How many businesses will we likely lose because of this development? What will be the likely bottom-line net gain in jobs, taxes, etc.?

7.   Have you thought to ask the residents of the community what they think about these businesses?

8.   Will local people be employed in the building of this development?

9.   Will union workers or scabs be employed?

10.    Do we need another grocery store and filling station?

I put this list together in 5 minutes. There is probably at least another 20 additional questions that could and should be asked. Watch to see what happens.

— Calling stem cell research unethical demonstrates just how ignorant President Bush really is: ItÕs very clear he ainÕt got a clue. Too bad the president doesnÕt have to take an intelligence test. This guy wants to play more to the religious right than I want to retire. If the U.S. does not lead the way in stem cell research, it will be done in China, India, Japan, Russia. Many of their great scientists are no longer coming to America, and it wonÕt be long before ours go there. All we will be left with are these religious morons, none of whom, I bet, will make many great scientific discoveries. You see, they donÕt like science. It stands in the way of their beliefs. They are not able to reconcile the two, mainly because they canÕt think.

— Amnesty International brands the U.S. prisoner of war camp in Guantanamo Bay a human rights failure: Calling it Òthe gulag of our times,Ó Amnesty International released a stinging report last week criticizing the U.S. for creating a new axiom of abuse and torture of prisoners of war. Bush responded to the report by saying, ÒItÕs an absurd allegation. The United States is a country that promotes freedom around the world.Ó HowÕs that for an answer? His buddy Cheney said the same thing. He thinks itÕs a bunch of nonsense. HereÕs a world-respected organization that these two guys think are stupid, gullible, and anti-American. No talk of opening up the camps for the Red Cross to inspect. Instead, the same old line of bull — Trust us. We wouldnÕt do anything nasty. WeÕre America. I say send Bush and Cheney to the camp, for maybe like six months, to make a personal inspection. Let them learn first hand about the conditions. Why guess at it, or take Amnesty InternationalÕs word for it? Live it. Experience it. Taste the food. Enjoy the showers. The dog collars might be nice. And I hear the women are something.