There's no bigger booster for the Metro East than the Record newspaper. We love Madison and St. Clair counties and all the unique communities found there. We want both to grow and prosper and be places in which our children and grandchildren will want to put down roots and raise children of their own.

We're boosters all right, but we're boosters who also feel obliged to shine light on the defects and shortcomings in our area and the persons responsible for them. We don't do that to offend anyone, but only to help make our community even better.

For instance, we pay a lot of attention to the annual ranking of judicial hellholes – and the fact that Madison and St. Clair Counties show up so often in the list of the worst five.

We also report and editorialize on the local attorneys and judges who helped earn that dubious distinction.

Lately, it's occurred to us that these individuals may not see the folly of their actions, that they may not really mean to do them, or that they may not be able to help themselves because they were just born that way.

In case we've hurt the feelings of any of these sensitive citizens – who, we now realize, may be wreaking havoc on our community with what they believe are the best of motives, or are quite unintentional -- we'd like to take this opportunity to say we're sorry.

We're sorry for hurting some feelings, but we're not sorry for exposing self-centered and socially destructive practices. We're going to keep on doing that, because that's what we do. We're boosters.

In the meantime, we recommend that all you hellhole-makers form a support group, so you can whine together whenever we say things that hurt your feelings.

Wait. Stop the presses. This just in. You already have a support group. It's called the Madison League. Now we can honestly say that you're all in League with each other.

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