Keeping up with the mail


– Bumper sticker of the week: A politician is someone who will lay down your life for his country.

– Quote of the week: "Republicans liken universal health-care to socialism, but I bet not many of them pass up Social Security or Medicare, both reliant on government, which Republicans swear up and down to be socialism if the government is involved." The Peever

– Answering the E-mail:

Dear Peever: You support universal health-care. Isn't relying on government for health-care a socialist idea? And wouldn't it be too expensive? Lois

Dear Lois: The answer to your first question is yes, but so is Social Security and Medicare, and farm subsidies, and bailing out Wall Street. The government is us, as you might remember. It represents us, and exists for our pleasure. Government needs to be involved in health-care. Probably over 60 million people are without health-care. Regulation is sorely needed. The AMA, doctors, insurance companies, will not regulate the industry. That's why I recently saw a 30 day prescription cost someone $500. It's pathetic. As for too expensive, so is the war in Iraq, and Afghanistan, and the bailout of Wall Street. But somehow we found that money. I am suggesting that the American public get no better a deal than our politicians in Washington get. When our health-care matches theirs, I'll shut up.

Dear Mr. Weik: What three things would you say Galesburg needs to do to get back on track? Ron

Dear Ron: I would first of all suggest we need to relocate, although I realize that might be pretty difficult. Next, I would suggest that we elect, by write-in, Warren Buffett as our mayor. And finally, I believe it would be to our best interest to get rid of all the churches and open a few more bars.

Dear Mr. Peever: Do you support medical marijuana? Carol

Dear Carol: Yes. I also support decriminalizing marijuana. I also support growing hemp. And no, I didn't inhale.

Peever: Any comments on the Obama detractors? Lee

Dear Lee: Yeah. They're all nuts. They would sooner promote their right-wing ideology and misguided Christian nonsense than help someone straighten out America. And they call themselves patriots. I call them fools.

Dear Bruce: In a violent world, how can you promote nonviolence? Mary

Dear Mary: I stay indoors a lot.

Dear Mr. Weik: What about the recent vote of allowing people to carry weapons across state lines? Lee

Dear Lee: It is beyond me why someone other than a gun manufacturer would want people to carry weapons. It is a dumbfounded notion based on fear. They'll shoot someone they love, or themselves, long before they shoot a criminal, which more than likely will end up being them.

Mr. Weik: A new library! Give me a break. Don't you think we have more pressing needs? Amy

Dear Amy: We have a lot of pressing needs, the most important of which is probably not a library. On the other hand, a library is an important social institution. Malls have taken over much of the social function that libraries once filled, but we have seen how that worked out. Galesburg probably had one of the top ten public libraries in the country, prior to it burning down. While it would be foolish to think we could replicate that effort with today's inflated building prices, it is not foolish to remember our past and attempt to recreate the memory. The courthouse presents the same situation. Both the library and the courthouse have historic significance beyond just Galesburg. Both institutions have always been at the center of cities throughout our history. If we are a city that does not want to forget its past, we will save the courthouse and build a new, modestly spectacular library in the downtown area. We are looking for something to hang our hat on. Perhaps these two issues present us with an opportunity to weave together our past and our future.