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All content © 2002-2005 Anne Zook

August 20, 2004
For Every Drop of Rain That Falls....

Someone gets wet, okay? Cause and effect.

I believe in personal responsibility. I believe we should all be educated and encouraged to be active, participating citizens of the country on all levels, from the neighborhood to the federal government. Government should be as transparent as practicably possible and we should be raised and socialized to understand our place in it.

I think we should get rid of the pointless, "In God We Trust" and make our national motto something more akin to the Golden Rule. And then start living it.

And I believe in a lot of other things, but in moderation. I'm very moderate.

I believe in personal freedom, up to a point. I believe that your freedom stops when you start impinging on my personal space and I believe society's authority to interfere with my freedom should be limited to cases involving criminality or violations of the personal freedom of others. (Thus, I'd approve of anti-noise ordinances, but not of laws dictating whether or not my boyfriend and I can use sex toys in the bedroom.)

I believe in freedom of the press but at the same time I believe in responsible journalism. I believe that the press is separate and distinct from almost every other "business" and that it should be treated accordingly. There should be independent ethics standards and publications/stations violating them should be fined. We need to care less about airwaves transmitting curse words to the public and more about them transmitting lies or only telling half the story.

I believe the planet matters. I believe in ecological responsibility and I believe we need to be spending more of our time and energy evaluating our impact on the planet and how to minimize it. (I guarantee you, if you made it illegal, tomorrow, to cut down any more trees, manufacturers all over the country would quickly and magically figure out how to recycle the millions of tons of reusable waste we now bury every year.) I don't believe in nuclear power plants and I don't believe in nuclear bombs. I think a reasonable amount of R&D would provide us with sufficient wind and sun power to accommodate most of our fuel needs.

I believe education the population should be one of the most prominent features of government. I think we need more money for education in this country, but not blindly. (I believe in public schools because they're transparent. As long as the school is open for inspections and evaluation, we know what's being taught.)

I believe that children raised with a cultural expectation that they'll absorb a certain amount of knowledge will absorb it. I believe that children raised to believe their schools are no good or aren't treating them right, won't learn. I believe Bill Cosby is right. When children don't want an education, it's because everything around them tells them it's not important and won't do them any good in the future.

I believe we should put money into the education infrastructure because that will show children that our society respects education and the process of acquiring it and I believe we should put money into the classrooms because children are the only future and the only immortality we have.

Classrooms mean teachers. A good teacher can change a child's life, even in the face of crumbling roofs, broken windows, tattered textbooks, and mismatched school desks. Take a teacher who can teach. Take a child who has been told they can do it and we know they will do it. Put them together.

I believe in health care. For everyone. If that means some version of socialized medicine for those who can't afford any other healthcare, so be it. I'm willing to help pay for it.

I believe in self-sufficiency and I want to live in a country that can provide that for the maximum number of citizens. Reasonably satisfying, income-producing jobs don't seem like too much to ask of a money-grubbing, capitalistic society, but somehow we don't seem to be able to produce them. We're either insufficiently money-grubbing or we're just very inefficient, it's hard to know which.

But mostly, I believe we should pull our socks up and start being the country I always thought we were.

We should stop supporting crazy people around the globe for short-term political or "policy" gains. It never pays, in the end. Can someone explain that to Washington?

You know that expression; "draw a line in the sand"? I've always hated that. A line in the sand can be smoothed out and redrawn someplace else, a thousand times.

Carve a line in some granite. This is what we believe. This is what we'll support, and nothing less.

While we're at it, let's stop using military muscle to enforce the desires of USofA (or multinational) corporations. While I understand the importance of corporations to economic success, corporations' goals and aspirations rarely match the ideals of this country. I say, any time someone wants us to intervene militarily to protect the rights of a corporation, they have to get up on their hind feet and make a speech on television, in prime time, admitting it and making their case.

I believe that no USofA troops should ever be sent anywhere without that deployment being front and center in the newspapers and on the television. We're entitled to know where we're sending troops and for what purpose. We're entitled to know what and who they're defending.

Also? We should tidy our own house. We shouldn't get so busy acting superior to the treatment of minorities, women, children, protesters, gays, or the handicapped elsewhere on the globe that we forget that our own record in those areas has been and still is nothing to brag about.

I've said it before. I don't believe in grading on the curve. That we're better than the worst is nothing to strut about. That we're better than the average is nothing to write home about. The only thing that matters is that we're the best we can be.

A flower doesn't grow for every drop of rain that falls, okay? It takes a lot of raindrops. (Even some fertilizer.)

Moving ahead isn't simple. It won't happen quickly and it won't happen easily, but if we don't keep making the effort, it won't happen at all.

Posted by AnneZook at 01:26 PM


"I believe in personal responsibility...
I believe in ...moderation ...
I believe in freedom of the press...
I believe in ecological responsibility ...
I believe that children raised with a cultural expectation...
I believe we should put money into the education infrastructure...
I believe in self-sufficiency...

And here you had us believing you couldn't write a post about what you believe.

Posted by: Lawrence Krubner at August 21, 2004 12:04 PM


Posted by: Anne at August 22, 2004 08:49 AM