Sunday, April 8, 2012

Occupy Peotone, ceremonial groundbreaking; a real stretch

SUITLAND, MD - JANUARY 11:  The Rev. Jesse Jac...
The Rev. Jesse Jackson looks to "Occupy" eastern Will County! (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

Jesse Jackson Senior has now joined his son to push for a new airport at Peotone.

Jackson is calling for an "Occupy" style protest in eastern Will County to bring attention to what he calls the "need for Peotone."

He will join his son Jesse Jackson, Jr. who has already planned a party of his own in the form of a "ceremonial groundbreaking."

Occupying and groundbreaking are hardly representative of this father and son's actions, as they continue their efforts to distort reality.

Occupy Peotone

Jackson simply cannot equate his son's push for a Peotone Airport with the grassroots movement designed to protest the greed on Wall Street, big banks foreclosing on people's homes, and corruption of big business and big government. It is inaccurate and it is insulting to the 99-percent of the American people who are represented by the Occupiers.

The Jacksons are on the wrong side.

It is the opponents of the Peotone Airport, which has endured since 1988 that more clearly represent the Occupy Movement. Since then and prior, officials in the state of Illinois have tried to bully landowners into selling their homes and farms to make way for a project that is supported by only a small, and dwindling few who hope to personally gain by it. Jackson is just the latest in a long line of them.

It is the opposition to the proposed airport, which includes the airline industry, that has protested the governments' inane action to take people's land and build a sprawling airport on some of the best farmland in the world. The people of eastern Will County have been subjected for decades to the uncertainty and stress in their lives, at the hand of the few who support this project.

Jackson's intentions are the the exact opposite of what the Occupy Movement stands for.

Ceremonial groundbreaking

Junior's groundbreaking is nothing more than a publicity stunt about a publicity stunt.

Generally a "groundbreaking" is held by a group of politicians and businessmen who gather around the area where a new business will be located. Their pretense of digging into the earth with golden shovels as they strike a pose for the camera is a symbolic gesture to advertise a business that will be located there.

Junior has called for a ceremonial groundbreaking on state-owned land Saturday, April 21. He will be joined by clergy members from several south suburban churches. It is highly unlikely that any of the congregants represented by these pastors actually reside in or around Peotone. It is also highly unlikely that any of the people belonging to the representative churches have ever been to Peotone or even know where it is located.

Junior's groundbreaking is inappropriate because there is no business. There may never be another airport built in eastern Will County. The decision has simply not been made, nor will it be for several years.

This is nothing more than a publicity stunt in an effort to persuade Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn to turn over state-owned land to the airport authority Jackson has created--the Abraham Lincoln National Airport Commission, (ALNAC)--which is made up of as many municipalities as Jackson can convince to sign on.

Perhaps the next headline will read, American Samoa becomes ALNAC member. It doesn't matter to Jackson where support originates, nor does it matter if support is in name only, as long as he can claim it. Some support comes from town councils in DuPage County; some is from Cook County. The closest towns to support the project are only partially located in Will County where the airport would be located if it was ever built. Since the support from a community measures only six or seven individuals, even that support is subjective and misleading. The men and women who sit on town councils have nothing to lose and everything to gain by supporting a congressman's cause, hoping for their own version of quid pro quo in the future. In Will County, however, most residents, who would live with and pay for an airport in their midst, have proven their opposition to it.

Lies being told about jobs

The elder Jackson has also joined his son in the lies that are being told about the proposed project for which no need has ever been established. Make no mistake, the only perceived need for the airport, is the one Jackson, Jr. and others before him who hoped to gain personally by it, are trying to manufacture.

According to a CBS Chicago story Saturday, "Jackson said the construction of the airport, which has been championed by his son, U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. will bring an immediate 17,000 jobs to the area."

Jackson's claim is pure fiction

As the years wear on, more people realize that any once-perceived need for the project slips further away as changes occur in the airline industry, economic realities such as higher gas prices, and a lack of disposable income combines with more frugal travel plans.

Jackson continually blurs the line about what is actually being proposed. When Jackson's wide-eyed reference to the potential jobs creator or the possible positive economic impact from an airport, he refers to a fully built 23,000-acre mega airport. Yet the more realistic proposed airport--the inaugural airport, one which would be redundant with so many other facilities around the Midwest, the reality is simply one simple ribbon of concrete and a terminal building. The potential of 17,000 jobs immediately is quite a stretch.

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