Good thoughts. I couldn't agree more. Ordinary average people need to become active and informed so they can see the truth and act accordingly. There is a website that has a program to help ordinary people organize and become active effective voters and citizens. It is www.youthepeople.com. You may want to look at it. Charles Heberle Tacoma, WA Curtiss Priest wrote: > According to the Business conference board's survey > of consumer confidence, we are close to an all-time high. > > I wish I could feel the same. > > Clearly there is an elation to this period in time that > simply escapes me. > > I see gross over-consumption (materials, goods, oil, etc.) > > I see friends and neighbors who have no time for anything but work. > > I witness items in the Boston Globe that do NOT look like news > to me. I do not consider car crashes, fires, bizarre human > conundrums to be news. > > When a writer spoke beyond the gross cost over-runs of the Boston > "big dig" (moving a highway down about 300 feet) and extolled > the significance of the accomplishment, I, momentarily felt connected. > Here was a monumental construction of human engenuity. > > And, a week later, another reader had a letter to the Editor, expressing > the same emotion. > > But, the "big dig" may become the "big calimity" if the costs keep > escalating. > > *** > > I often turn to _Editorial Humor_ for some catharsis. > > But, I am dismayed to see that the current political scenary > has dulled even these pundits of sobrity. Where is a good Tole > cartoon when you need one ? -- perhaps I should visit > www.uexpress.com/ups/opinion/cartoon/tt/ if this site is still alive. > > *** > > So, in my need to find something of significance, I did find a local > professor of cartooning, of the Boston College of Fine Arts, David > Omar White, to have this to say: > > It's The Economy, Stupid! > > Advertising keeps America's economy up. America's economy consists > of people working at jobs they barely tolerate, producing junk that no > one really needs but are convinced they they must have (by smooth-talking > snake oil salesmen in the advertising industry) in order to keep the > suppliers > working at jobs they [bold] barely tolerate long enough to retire > and take art lessons taught by old fools like me, who have spent their > whole lives living on a shoestring, out of the loop and patronized by > their > students to-be. > > In this, American's economy is able to expend gargantuan amounts of > energy in order to produce one-half of the world's trash so that its > citizens can be odorless, overweight and unencumbered by thoughts > which are too weighty to be reduced to slogans which can be read in > less than twenty seconds. Everybody's too busy at their jobs to > think longer than that. > (article continues) > > [Source: Editorial Humor. Somerville, MA: August 24, 2000, p. 15)] > > Yes, this is the mainstream American as I have come to know it. > > That I spent some ten thousand hours trying to rescue people from > environmental pollution, job risks, and bathtub falls, just doesn't > get much attention today. > > George Bush (senior) made sure of that by convening his anti-regulatory > council in 1980. > > Perhaps I am feeling a bit sorry for myself. Friends and acquaintances > about me are counting their ".com" earnings while I count the rising > level of debt. > > *** > > History has shown that mankind seldom changes the course of human > activity until mightily perturbed to do so. > > We are on an economic growth curve. Many expect China with its > enormous population to simply join in. > > But, we who look at the basics -- energy, food, production -- cannot > image that China will achieve the "standard of living" that comprises > massive SUVs, guzzeling gas (and rolling over). > > No. This is not the future. > > The future is "sustainable growth" and that is certainly not the > propagation of our American "life-style" to the rest of the world. > > *** > > The more I think about it, the more I think the French got it right > when they refused to accept the "Americanization" of their culture. > > Not that this has not been a hard battle. Imagine having to ban > the phrase "le hot dog?" > > But Canada, like France, has been slowly shifting away from > Americanization. > > How can we tell? Just look at the Candadian dollar compared to the > US dollar. It has "slipped" to $.66. > > But is this really a slippage? I think not. I just think Canadians, > and especially French Canadians have placed their emphasis on living > a good life, and not in competing with the American rat race. > > Regards, > > Curtiss > > W. Curtiss Priest, Director, CITS > Center for Information, Technology & Society > 466 Pleasant St., Melrose, MA 02176 > Voice: 781-662-4044 [log in to unmask] > Fax: 781-662-6882 WWW: http://Cybertrails.org > > *** > > And I presume, according to a very fine psychologist, Festinger, that > this quotation will either be greeted with "I am not alone" or, my > likely, based on the statistics, "cognitive dissonance" -- this > is trash, I can't possibly agree with this! > > ________________________________________________________________ > YOU'RE PAYING TOO MUCH FOR THE INTERNET! > Juno now offers FREE Internet Access! > Try it today - there's no risk! For your FREE software, visit: > http://dl.www.juno.com/get/tagj.