February Thoughts

Lawrence R. Velvel

Editor's Note: The following are some of Dean Velvel's thoughts from last February.

"The Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself," we have heard this again andagain in our lifetime. In our lifetime we can only make a difference when we get up off our chairs and take action. Perhaps it was Howard Zinn who said that we ought to pretend that we have boils on our bottoms so that we will take action. There is no way to come up with the plan that will solve our problems for that would be the easy and simple solution and as H. L. Mencken said, it is usually wrong. There is no one person either that will lead us through the desert to the promise land. Collectively getting together to put our shoulders to the wheel of our common destiny will get us a long way down the right road.

Setting our goals and objectives to making your land and my land into a place where we are united by a passion for making life better for one another now and in the future is indeed a fresh start. From this start we can leave a land where our children and our children's children can build on this foundation. Liberty, equality and brotherhood/sisterhood can be gained through constant collective action.

We must now go forth with a belief that we can come to our senses, if we continue to try, and start fresh again and again until we get it right. Let us continue to try to bring about peace and prosperity by collectively joining the actions of groups like the AMERICAN FRIENDS' Wage Peace Campaign, or the AMNESTY International's Act Now for Human Rights, or Doctors Without Borders or Save Darfur or some STOP THE WAR group, or local housing and food organizations, eldercare groups, early educations groups, etc, etc. Turn your local public library into a resource for action. Turn your home into a place where neighbors meet to take action. Be alive with action. Let the television stations watch you. You are the interesting ones.

American competence and its decline can be largely traced to comfort and self-indulgence. It is the comfort and self-indulgence of the American establishment that has allowed the salt of the earth to toil away, whether in the strawberry fields of California or in the pizza fed tech work places in Silicon Valley, for more hours every year in order not to fall farther behind.

The American economy lives off the cash flow of Social Security payments that the average American worker collectively sets aside in his patriotic commitment to one another's benefit.

Everyday we come up against the good reason and the real reason to rationalize each of our actions taken and not taken. It is my belief that the good reason that Arthur Sulzberger and Bill Keller at the New York Times act as they do is that they are afraid of the Bush Administration's reprisals; it is my belief that the real reason is that they support the goals and objectives of the Bush Administration's foreign policy.

Competence and intelligence is about our collective dialogue tested by scientific method. Incompetence and ignorance is about the individual intent on proving himself right through the use of magical thinking.

The "smart money", a known Wall Street term, is about money and not about smart. The "smart money" is as often correct as a coin flipper hits heads on the flip.

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