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A Country or a Country Club?

Sometimes I wonder if by living in the USA, I am living in a country or a country club. Scooter scoots free--not that he was the real criminal in the case, anyway. And government duties go--not only to high or low bidders--but to buddies. Billions of dollars are changing hands. It's not the money that's maddening, but the fact that while money is being made, lives are being lost, and our country is turning into a business. Ever spent a year in a corporation's cubicle? Did it feel like peace, liberty, and justice for all? Hardly.

Joan Baez wrote, "Action is an antidote to despair." I add, "You need information to know how and when to act." (something our newly elected dems are not doing just real well--acting, that is.) Jim Hightower is doing a fabulous job of getting information out that is ordinarily very hard for the public to access. You can subscribe to his detailed newsletter The Hightower Lowdown for just $10, or you can check out the website here. I can't recommend it highly enough.

Now, still on the subject of government as country club, I'd like to encourage all to look at our upcoming presidential candidates not as potential class favorites or club presidents, but as real, intelligent, and courageous leaders. I don't need "Rudy Gear." I don't care where John Edwards gets his hair cut (although I do care that he would be careless enough to be so incongruent with his message about addressing poverty). And who cares what Hillary's theme song should be or if Barak should stop smoking? Mitt Romney's moral and political inconsistencies are of far greater concern than his being Mormon.

I've heard more sense and gumption from Michael Bloomberg than all of the above. Jury's out on whether or not he would run. I mention him, however, as an example of thinking outside that proverbial box. He is now an Independent. It's time to vote for a leader, not a party. Consider looking for and voting for a leader outside your usual political neighborhood.

WE NEED A LEADER, folks. Don't let these candidates get by with convincing us why we should like them. It's far more important to trust our leaders than to like them. Think about that before you spend your hard-earned money on some Tooty-Rooty Rudy Gear. Think about it the next time you see the news of who else has died in Iraq today, or when you watch the man in Michael Moore's movie who had to choose which fingertip to save because he had no medical insurance.

Get informed. Choose your leader(s). Disarm despair.

Photo: New Orleans Shop Window, French Quarter, copyright 2007 Ysabel de la Rosa.

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