Voter-ed... GREAT!!!

The speakers were engaging and the voters were engaged, vocally, emotionally and intellectually. In a casually polite, openly friendly, warm, upbeat, proactive, IQ-lifting, mentally stimulating, and (dare I say it) spiritually invigorating sort of way. It was, as one of those present attested, 'democracy in action'.

ABOVE: Student-performers presented a welcome skit, titled "Let's Go OLA-ing!"

Read more about the OLA "voter education" assembly. Click here!!!

Selling Baby Pictures....
My husband tells a story about the days when he was selling baby pictures to earn a living. The job was, as he puts it, “a gimme.” The hardest part was finding a cool spot of shade wherein to park his car and grab an afternoon nap between customers.

The sales routine consisted of him – and he is a dashingly ruggedly handsome man – arriving at the home of “new parents” armed with a plethora of pretty images of their “darling newborn infant.” He would spread the studio-quality photos across their dining room table, listen to the oohs and ahhs, calculate the gleam in their proud eyes and, putting it bluntly, guesstimate just how much he figured he could sell.

Like he says, it was a gimme… and he was also very good at it. So good, in fact, that the company he worked for put him in charge of training other sales reps. Well….

One day he and a brand new trainee knocked on the door of a lovely home. They were graciously greeted by the lady of the house and invited to the formal dining room. My hubby noticed that the walls were liberally hung with gorgeous (and very expensive) portraits of children, and he could hear the cash register ringing in his ears.

After brief introductions, my hubby’s inexperienced associate set to work, making the standard $9.95 pitch, just as he’d been instructed to do by the sales manual that came with the job. Patiently, my hubby watched in silence as the nervous trainee mumbled and jumbled his way through the presentation. He was, my hubby knew, botching up what had all the makings of a fabulously huge sale.

Now my hubby is not a greedy man, nor could anyone ever accuse him of conniving to sell someone something they didn’t want or couldn’t afford. Yet he is a great salesman and – since he and the trainee would split all the commissions earned during the training mission – the dollar amount of his own paycheck was as stake.

He felt justifiably stymied, because – according to “the rules” – this was the kid’s sale. My hubby was only supposed to “observe” and then critique his performance after the fact.

But as the trainee pulled out his order pad, inscribing the customer’s name and address, and confirming that she wished to order only the basic, bottom-of-the-line photo pack, my hubby flipped. The kid had not pitched even one of the custom items, which included such things as technologically mimicked oil paintings laminated in 2’x3’ oak portrait frames.

Very classy and very pricy, my hubby had seen the potential for such a sale the moment he stepped through the door. Heck, he was already planning an evening out for his own family on the incumbent bonus check!

But now, here he was, watching this tense and anxious trainee botch-up what should have been a monster of a sale. And he knew, in fairness to everyone involved, that he had to do something and do it quick, before the customer signed on the dotted line.

Thus my hubby, being a man of dignified decorum, assertively but politely, raised a hand (crossing-guard style) and uttered the single word: “Stop.”

He then explained to the lady of the house that the young man who had been writing up her order was a trainee, and that they were both going to step outside for a minute, knock on her door, and start all over again. And this time, he would be doing the presentation.

Well, to make a long story short, my hubby was right. The sale he made proved to be the biggest sale ever made by anyone who worked for the company. It was so big, in fact, that before my hubby would allow the woman to confirm the order, he requested that she call her husband and tell him how much she intended to spend.

Now you may be wondering, aside from taking a stroll down memory lane, what is the point of this story? Well, turn up your hearing aid because I’m about to get preachy again…

I feel very strongly that most all of our societies today are at a similar crossroads. Our collective future is on the line and we are watching as things are getting increasingly botched up.

I offer as proofs the reports on the evening news, right along with the back-fence and water-cooler conversations amongst friends, work-mates and neighbors. Dastardly deeds are brewing and animosity is afoot.

Factually, this “negative energy” is culminating as volcanic eruptions of tumult, disorder and harm. Yet it is coming from “somewhere.” And I sincerely believe, as Pogo once said, the enemy is us.

The enemy is in our promulgated policies, which distort and pervert our Constitutional guarantees of liberty and justice for ALL. The enemy is in our endorsement of special interests and our adoption of exclusive alliance pacts. The enemy is in our own judgment about what (and who) is right and wrong, good and bad, sacred and evil. And this enemy shall be our undoing unless and until all of us and all the leaders of all our governments politely raise a hand and say “Stop. Let’s back-up for a minute and think things through again.”

And I do not believe that this is as insane an idea as it may sound on the surface, because I do believe that most if not all of the leaders of the world today are decent human beings who cherish the ideals of peace, liberty and justice but who are also caught-up in a snowball from hell that was started rolling down a hill by some devil a long-long time ago.

That is, the whole concept of “adversarial” socio-political systems is built on the premise of “might makes right.” Such systems were in power since practically the dawn of creation; however our own Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights took the first landmark steps away from such dictatorial governance and opened the door for informed self-governance, “of the people, by the people, and for the people,” in accord of informed free-will consent.

Yet the invisible tenets of antiquated dogmas tend to thread their way though the most determined efforts for change. And our “we, the people” will to change is still in its infancy, barely a 200-year-young toddler in the multi-millennium global scheme of things. Thus we all have plenty of room to educate ourselves, grow-up and become something far more genuinely egalitarian than we have ever been before.

Of course, as I’ve said many times, I’m an altruist. But I freely confess that I’m a devoutly selfish one. That is, I do not believe in anyone taking any sort of action that is self-detrimental… even and especially when such action supposedly results in something purported to benefit “the common good.” Because you see, the well-being of the whole is incumbent upon the well-being of each and every individual who composes the conglomerate. There is no way to extricate one from the other. It is like the chicken and the egg.

Neither comes first nor last, both must be cared for together – at precisely the same moment in time. So humbly, with respect, I beseech our leaders to ponder this conundrum the way the framers of our Constitution did. And then, perchance, muster the bravery and courage required to stop, step back from the table, and do some things differently than they're now being done. 

The rules are already established. They are found in every worldly scripture and in the founding documents of every democratic nation on the face of the earth. Our mission, should we choose to accept it, is simply to live in accord of these self-evident truths and, every day in every way, start living anew our deepest precepts over and over again.

Four Questions:
The General Election is a scant heartbeat away. Do you know -- with confidence -- who and what you are voting for or against?

In the interest of paving this information highway with useful data, I've put together a special Election 2002 Voter Information Section. Though far from comprehensive (and before you get critical, remember that Gozarks is primarily a "one-woman-show"), there is a goodly amount of useful information to be found in this little directory -- and if you know of info that belongs there, please email it to

One of the things I'm doing as Editor-in-Chief of this Gozarkian publication is soliciting response to four questions from various candidates. Thus if YOU are a candidate for public office in Arkansas, and your name will be on a ballot (or you are running as a write-in) anywhere in the Arkansas Ozarks, AND if you desire to get this absolutely free exposure of your positions posted on the Internet, please have a look at these questions and submit your responses to (you guessed it!):

As I write this, only one candidate has thus far  responded to my questions: Oscar Stilley, Arkansas Gubernatorial Candidate. In all fairness, however, I must confess that the questions only went into distribution just recently and many candidates are probably not even aware that the opportunity to respond exists. (Did I mention that I run this newspaper office pretty much single-handedly?)

Thus if you, dear reader, would like to do something useful to forward the cause of Liberty, Justice and Democracy for ALL (whilst at the same time lightening my editorial load), I heartily encourage you to contact your local candidates, point them to Gozarks four questions page, and nudge them to respond.

You may also wish to bring to their attention (and mark on your own "to-do calendar" to attend), the Voter Education Assembly, coming to our region of the Ozarks on Thursday, October 24.

Though NOT a "political stumping" session, this public meeting will explore two hotly debated ballot initiatives ("Ax the Tax" and "Animal Cruelty"), and it would be heartening to see those candidates who take seriously the issues of democracy, integrity, and accountability show-up and pay attention to what the voters are concerned about.

Set for 6:00pm on October 24 at the Petit Jean Electric Cooperative Community Room in Van Buren County, clicking here will get you more info about the location and what's on the Voter-Ed agenda.

Finally for today's go-round, a regular reader writes:

And from today's Arkansas Gazette:

Hutchinson has been labeled by the League of Conservation Voters as having "one of the worst anti-environment records in the nation". He has blocked the nomination of the Arkansas River for enhanced environmental protection under the American Heritage Rivers Initiative. He has voted to weaken water quality protections and exempt industries from water treatment requirements.

He has voted against "critical land protections" on 37 of the 39 major public land votes during his tenure. He regularly supports taxpayer subsidies of "large, polluting corporate factory farms". And year after year his record on environmental issues has been abysmal.

As noted in the paper there are many "pro-environment Republicans" but Tim Hutchinson ain't one of them!

There are other issues addressed to this point on the discussion page I copied this from. Just wanted to throw this on your table.

And as to your page (see: September 2002 edition), something probably does need to be done about Saddam, but do you fight fire with fire or water? I have no answer, but do not think all out war is it.

Oh yeah. How are you and yours. Hope all is well. You been a busy girl.

CYA and God bless

And that shall have to be the long and the short of it for now as other obligations (such as sorting through the 287 backlogged emails cluttering my Inbox and a never ending list of household and homeschooling tasks) seem to have priority on my time today. But please, don't let my duties detain you from fully exploring and evermore educating yourself about these important voter-ed issues.

Remember with me, if you will, the wonderful phrase enunciated by the talented actress, Allison Janney, in the course of portraying White House Press Secretary C.J. Craig in the NBC-TV  Peabody, Emmy, and Golden Globes Award winning “West Wing” (episode aired 10/2/02), which seems to me to sum up the mind-set we all *should* be holding:

"Decisions are made by those who show up. Rock the VOTE!!!"

PS: If you're wanting to think about answers and solutions to a variety of "we the people" issues, have a look at Gozarks special LJD section!

Christine Weiss

Hey! Come visit us at SassafrasWilds!!!


Wanna see the FLASH
I been playin' with?

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Rants of an Agitator

A Special "Reality Check" Report by Gozarks

Meet the folks you'll be voting for in November, 7pm, Woodmen of the World building, 563 Main St., Clinton. All candidates and voters welcome and encouraged to attend. Contact Kenny Lasater for details

October 24 -- 6:00pm
Focus: "Ax the Tax" & "Animal Cruelty" ballot initiatives, pro/con information.


Cancer cure research buried and ignored.

SAY WHAT...???

November Elections
are coming!!!

Find out what you need to know now!

West Nile Virus - A Manufactured Crisis

UN World Conference on "Sustainable Future" wraps up with dramatically conflicting reports.
click for details


In the interest of fanning the most valiant flame and adding fuel to a vibrant fire, Gozarks is pleased to debut our brand new Liberty, Justice & Democracy section... which we hope will become a personal treasure for you!!!

Visit the brand new Website of the VBC Special School!

My house is
for sale!


Feel like your 'puter is under attack by the virus-mongers?
Click here for help!

Looking for a great source of "NOT the same-old, same-old" news?
Click Here!!!

and then also
Click Here!!!

Be proactive...

Great Family Project!!!  Learn how to build a model of a geodesic dome with instructions provided by:





"You ain't seen nothin' yet!"



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