Ten predictions for 2001

1. Under the leadership of W. George, it's going to be a long year. Luckily, not much will happen this first year. He'll be busy getting all his ducks in a row, or rather, his father and Dick Cheney's henchmen, in a row. After that, all hell will break loose.

2. On a local note, Galesburg will decide to run our own cable system. However, this will happen only after the mayor, the city council, and the city administration commit to leaving whoever runs it alone.

3. The debate on capital punishment will heat up, particularly here in Illinois. One of the only sound things Gov. George Ryan has done is to place a moratorium on executions until we can determine exactly how many people on death row are actually innocent. Unfortunately, most Illinois citizens believe this is the worst thing he has done, making the seeking of revenge one of our highest priorities for the coming year.

4. Attempts by the world's largest corporations to control the world economy will continue to generate protests around the world. The protests for the most part will remain peaceful. However, the powers that be will increasingly deal with non-violent protests in a violent way. Seems they don't want anybody suggesting their motives are anything but altruistic.

5. Here's a bold one. Galesburg will see a new mayor. Incredibly, Mayor Sheehan has ended up being one of the good old boys. Seems to be drawn more and more towards the ceremonial pomp and circumstance of the position, and less and less towards the leadership role. I personally would have never thought this, and feel a deep disappointment. He has had numerous opportunities to step forward and lead, but has not done so. The city manager continues to lead, which is a clear indicator that the council-manager form of government is not all it is cracked up to be. We need a mayor with some level of future vision, who will use a city manager for support, data collection, and typing. Beyond that, a king doesn't do us much good.

6. Health care and the ability to acquire health insurance will deteriorate at an alarmingly fast pace this year. Large HMO's and insurance companies will increasingly control the whole affair. Health insurance costs will go up 15 percent alone this year, with health care costs soaring even higher. The ability to afford health insurance will be lost to millions more this year, raising the already staggering total from 40 million to 50 million. This is a major crisis just waiting to happen. The only answer, universal health care.

7. Extending a continuing population slump, more people will leave Knox County than arrive. The 2000 census will show a continuing decline. Numerous factors are involved with this decline, not the least of which is a short-sighted approach to economic development and the continuing proliferation of corporate farming. Having a winter also does not help.

8. On a more optimistic note, I do not believe we will be troubled by any hurricanes over the coming year.

9. The stock market will take a dive, interest rates rise, and unemployment figures will start an upward trend. Welcome to a Republican administration.

10. In the general scheme of things, I'm hoping 2001 will be better than 2000. While I do not see things as improving much for the poor and disenfranchised, I am hoping personally to stay out of hospitals, begin a business, and eventually cheat hundreds of people out of their hard earned dollars, all proving that even the most liberal of persons can adjust to the times and go with the flow.

That's 2001 in a nutshell. I wish I could be more upbeat, but my driveway has a foot of snow in it, I'm recuperating from attempted murder, and W. George just stole the election. My soul's beginning to get a little thin. Good luck in the new year. Remember, if you drink, don't talk.

Uploaded to The Zephyr Online December 26, 2000

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