RE:>> Now I am really confused -- first being misled by Gore and Bush,
and now Beth -- what will happen next?
You mean I've been in a big tither about nothing? I have
got to quit listening to my big sister to be (we're trying to be adopted
by the Conner's so that we can be around baby Hostas in their TC lab).
She's probably in the know, however, since she is so close to the business.
I do believe that if there isn't legislation on this issue, there should
be or will be soon. We human beings HAVE to be protected from ourselves,
and I'm not just saying that. I really do believe that many have
to be lead like children to do the right thing, for themselves and in regard
to others (if you don't believe that, look at how many people still smoke
Most of the time, we're just not being kept up to speed on the research
and we hold onto old notions that are detrimental to ourselves, preferring
instead to be "independent and free". Free to pollute; free
to drive without seat belts or air bags, but at whose expense? I
like MY freedom but I don't like the OTHER guy being quite that free.
I'm a whole lot more conscientious than some of these big monopolistic
companies. And yes, I am in favor of the Justice Department
breaking up Microsoft. If you don't believe they have a monopoly,
try buying a computer at your local computer store with something other
than MS-Windows loaded on it. And what market share does MS-Office
hold for new computers?
(Beyond here, delete if not interested. It's just me taking a
few moments to vent... )
Part of the problem is like what the Ohio Supreme Court Justice once
said, "Most people are 100% for progress, and 1000% against change".
I suppose there were others that said this in a lot of different forms
that should receive credit, too, but this is one adage that stuck
and it is often so very appropo.
So sure, this Presidency thing IS a big deal, but fortunately it's NOT
as big a deal as it would be in other countries where there is only the
king or a premier to "rule". We've seen it so many times--a candidate
makes big promises and yet years and years later, they haven't been able
to keep those promises. They want to implement big changes but they
don't get it done. Why? Because they may be the "leader"
of the country, but they don't really "run things". This is actually
done for them by those who REALLY are in power--whose names we seldom
hear but we know as being members of the Council on Foreign Nations, or
the good ol' boy clubs, where major decisions occur on issues for which
we will never have a chance to vote.
I'm not a wild radical by any means, but I do believe we often vest
to the President much more "authority" than he/(she some day?) really has.
Sure, they make the announcement, and sure, they have some input during
the decision making process. Most decisions, however, are the judgement
of many people that get congealed into a statement that appears to be "their"
I spend a lot more time thinking about the ideals espoused by the
candidate than I do about their party affiliation. I don't vote for
the person because they are a "Democrat" or a "Republican" -- that is just
where they get the money to fund the campaign. I try to find certain
values that they hold with which I can agree, or can at least respect
their opinion. I'm not a green party member but I happen to
like the idea of holding companies accountable for cleaning up their own
polution. I remember the view of Denver from the continental divide
thirty years ago--when the city was engulfed by this huge blanket of smog.
I made a decision at the time that I liked clean air and that I would never
live in a huge city. Des Moines is plenty big enough for me.
We don't have smog and I hope we never will. We do however,
have to smell the National By-Products odors from time to time and is it
ever horrendous!!! I believe these companies should have to turn their
profits back around into pollution cleanup efforts. Massive odor
eaters, if you will. Does that make me a Democrat? Maybe.
But more importantly, it just makes me pay attention to what these super
collassal companies are doing and to be glad that the big, bad Federal
Government CAN help pull in the reigns on these folks. Left to their
own desires alone, without intervention, they would NEVER clean up their
messes-- and Des Moines would stink ALL of the time.
I remember taking a school trip down the Cuyahoga River near Cleveland,
OH. This was about 40 years ago. The captain of the ferry said
that it was okay to throw our popsicle sticks over the side into the river
because the high acid content of the river would desolve the wood and debris
so that it wouldn't be unsightly. Wow. The river was
so acid that it would devour the litter! I understand that
now Cleveland has taken a great deal of responsibility for this travesty
and is cleaning up this river, and Lake Erie. Do you believe, Beth,
that this would have occurred without government intervention?
Without the long arm of those "dastardly Democrats" or at least the environmentally
conscientious Republicans, who would force this to come about?
(Why do I believe there are fewer in this party than the other?
-- because of statements like GWB's about being a pragmatist on bringing
more oil down from Alaska--if it means we don't invest in research to avoid
over reliance on fossil fuels, then I don't want to be that practical).
I know we need a strong military (which seems to be one on the continual
major platforms of the Republican party), but at what price? Are
we falling behind in the international ratings for quality of life because
we're still spending too much on the war machine? These issues are
what helps me determine how I will vote. So, Beth, my perspective
on this is if we can encourage the Maytag's, the White-Westinghouse's,
etc. of the world, to introduce these new European styled, water-miser
appliances (they tend to be front loaders)AND to get them to be mass produced
so that don't have to cost $1,000 apiece, I'm all for it. Why do
we always have to have the cheapest thing that is not "good" for us--with
"us" being defined as ALL of us, not just me or you.
Were it not for the Japanese teaching the American automobile manufacturer's
a lesson about the American consumer; that we DIDN'T all want to buy big
gas-guzzlers that would be lucky to see 100,000 miles; that we would pay
MORE for a car if we could have fewer repair bills; that we would LIKE
to treat our car purchases more like an investment than a vanity item that
was mostly about exterior appearance and little about quality; we
wouldn't be seeing most of the greatly improved autos that we have today.
Once their market share got into the 30's, Detroit finally woke up and
started to listen to the consumer. Now the average life expectancy
of car has been pushed up to 8 years (or is it higher?) and people are
"investing" in cars, as though they could be driven and enjoyed for well
over a decade. And American cars are the most reliable
they have ever been. Are these changes solely the result of
American creativity and the morals of the manufacturer management?
I wish I could believe that it was. Instead, I believe
it was foreign competition and the strong arm of the government, forcing
quality in manufacturing, fuel economy and safety issues into the design
of the car from conception to manufacture. Left to their own devices,
we'd still be seeing a lot of Chevettes, Eidsels, and Corvairs coming off
the assembly lines.
I have some history, too, for forming my opinions. I remember
the supply side economics era (fiasco?) and the financial hardships with
near double digit unemployment, deflation, and lots of folks losing their
shirt. I'm not too excited about going there again.
Now, about those Hostas....
>I could care less if you lose your washer.
I was only trying to make the
>point that the government should not be able to tell me what kind
>or anything else for that matter that I can buy.
I happened to be in an appliance store today, shopping for a new
refrigerator, and asked the owner about this new federal law prohibiting
the manufacture and sale of top-loading washers. To quote him,
to stop believing what you hear on the Internet. There is no
truth to that
rumor." Now I am really confused -- first being misled by Gore
and now Beth -- what will happen next?
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