On Saturday, October 24th, I posted a small item that got a large and impassioned response.
Headlined Number, the post simply stated "The hungry people in the world are now 1.02 billion."
There was a photo of two starving children in Africa.
In recent days, we have been told in various newspaper reports that a mere one dollar a day from every Canadian could eradicate the housing deficits and homelessness in our country.
Yesterday, the United States took its first tentative step in providing real and affordable health care for more than 35 million of its currently uninsured. Of course, more fighting will occur in the Senate before President Obama will be able to sign this important initiative into law.
What do these three pressing and often depressing stories have in common?
Politicians are and have been and apparently will continue to be the single biggest obstacle to human progress.
More often than not, politicians represent the most reprehensible in human nature - greedy, tiny-minded, and self-serving.
So many years ago, Buckminster Fuller declared that if we eliminated politics from the earth, nothing of significance would be harmed or negatively changed; he added that if we eliminated designers and scientists, the world would crumble.
Are there in fact enough food stuffs to feed the human family tonight?
I think there are.
But this tribe hates that tribe and this government is in revolution against that and this corporation is vying for this or that and, after all, guns can be sold.
A friend of mine who raises money for AIDS victims in Africa takes the cash in her hand and gives it directly to the women in the villages, lest it gets "re-directed" by some helpful agency.
Could we house our own here in Canada, including the north?
If we really wanted to and didn't let our votes or optics or petty allegiances or plans for the next election interfere with common good sense and good will.
Could the Americans adopt a public health care similar to the one we cherish here in Canada?
Of course they could and should, but that might not serve the Obama-bashers or the Republicans in general or the insurance giants or the rabid anti-socialist day dreamers, who see red at any sign of human kindness.
Of course, I am not suggesting we rid ourselves of these politicians.
But we could do at least two things that might help.
One is pay less attention and the other is pay more.
For the daily grind of headline after headline and column after column and interview after interview about Iggy Pop or Sarkozy or the local goons - JUST IGNORE IT.
These are diversions. You might just as well read something rally weighty like People Magazine or Star.
Blah, blah, blah.
Don't give these suckers the time of day.
On the other hand (to quote a famous milkman), when elections are at hand, this is when we should really get into action.
Challenge these simpletons, ask them the tough questions, assure them that they will not get your votes without real commitment to real programs.
Stop voting for clowns because they have a shiny nose or a big smile and you have some childish idea that they might "be a nice guy."
Last year, a new Vancouver City Council was elected with 30 something per cent of eligible voters showing up at the ballot box.
This is what soldiers died for on foreign fields?
When we welcome new Canadians into the fold, do we encourage them or ask them or demand of them that that they vote, that they carry the democratic dream forward?