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'.
Student-performers presented a welcome skit, titled "Let's Go OLA-ing!"
Read more about the
OLA "voter education" assembly.
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
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
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
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.
“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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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:
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
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
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
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
Hey! Come visit us at
Wanna see the FLASH
I been playin' with?
And be patient.
It takes a minute to load.
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
Cancer cure research buried and ignored.
MOTHER SENTENCED TO DEATH BY STONING
WHO'S RUNNING FOR OFFICE? WHAT ARE THE ISSUES?
Find out what you need to know now!
<< MUST READ
West Nile Virus - A Manufactured Crisis
UN World Conference on "Sustainable Future" wraps up with dramatically
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
Justice & Democracy section... which we hope will become a personal
treasure for you!!!
Visit the brand new Website of the VBC
My house is
Feel like your 'puter
is under attack by the virus-mongers?
Family Project!!! Learn how to build a model of a geodesic dome with
instructions provided by:
"You ain't seen nothin' yet!"