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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!
>
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