I received my gas bill the other day. For just 19 days, it was just over $300. Thanks to a variety of conditions, our gas company has raised its winter rates considerably over last year.
Now my wife and I are not spendthrifts. There is insulation in the attics, plastic on key windows, heavy curtains over nearly every window and we keep the thermostat set at 62 degrees when we are here during the day at 58 degrees at night and when we are at work.
We tend to stay in our den, naturally the warmest room in the house and heat it with a small electric space heater when we need it.
When we are in the den we turn down the thermostat even more. We are doing what we cannot to waste fuel and money.
Energy, not terrorism, is the most important issue facing this nation and it’s the one that no one really wants to address. The future economic development of this nation depends on affordable, renewable, clean forms of energy.
Coming up with the different technologies is right in line with the great American traditions of invention and investment. This is the New Frontier.
Republicans don’t want to touch it and neither do Democrats. It’s too hot for any conservative or liberal because it goes to the root problem in this country: the overwhelming influence of large corporations.
When it comes to the two major political parties, there are fewer and fewer differences these days. Oh yes, we still have the window dressing of the “cultural wars.”
If there was ever a greater waste of concern then I haven’t heard about it. The right wing propagandists such as Limbaugh and O’Reilly only want to use such issues as gay marriage and whether or not to say “Merry Christmas” because they are easy topics. They don’t dare touch the tough ones.
And while some liberal pundits do address issues other than the typical talking points, too many of them waste too much time on engaging the conservatives. The conflict makes for great show business.
And please don’t start me on the “war on terror.” Capturing and punishing those responsible for 9/11 should be the priority. I don’t ever think that was the priority.
Both Democrats and Republicans should hang their head in shame.
All of the billions that have been poured into the Department of Homeland Security have had minimal results. The response to Hurricane Katrina showed that. Through our negligence we have show the world we are not much better than a third world nation in addressing a national emergency.
And since these many of these national commentators are employed by large corporations or rely on advertising from them, they’re not apt to use as much time as they do yakking about abortion, for instance, than uncovering truly significant problems.
Our electric company is raising its rates for businesses as much as 50 percent. Small family-owned businesses will be directly affected. How much of this increase they can absorb is of paramount concern. Will it result in higher prices or lay-offs?
These are the tough issues that few in elected office want to touch.
I talk to politicians on the local level every week in western Massachusetts. I also cover statewide issues. And I’ve met very few people with real ideals, real ideas and real courage.
But to quote the late Walt Kelly, “We have met the enemy and he is us!” Our willingness to sop up all of the mental slop offered us by the mainstream press as “news” and as “issues,” has prevented us from really looking at what’s important.
It’s time to wake up.