[This week's Letters to the Editor were submitted via our website. - web.ed]
I have noticed an air of contention and division in our country as of late that almost makes me feel more depressed than the atrocity of the war in Iraq, the rampant joblessness and lack of healthcare for our citizens, the demise of our democracy when elections can be stolen and the media refuses to report on huge voting irregularities, voter disenfranchisement, and the rise of poverty for children, and profit for corporations not held accountable for their crimes and corruption.
Across all party lines, and putting aside our differences, shouldn't creating real and lasting peace be a priority in our country? It is up to the people
of this great country to step forward and act. This president is not strong
on domestic policy. We must demand the changes that are desperately needed in
our society and government. These changes include an end to the war in Iraq,
and end to building bombs and a start to funding schools, a rise in the federal
minimum wage to provide an actual living wage for our country's workers, a single
payer healthcare system that would refuse no one treatment and prevention for
illness, injury, and disease, election and campaign reform, decentralization,
deglobalization... the list is endless.
Why are people having such a hard time in finding common ground and the strength
to demand what is good for our country? In a speech in Northfield, MN. last
month, Ralph Nader put forth the question that when your grandchildren ask you
years from now "What were you doing when this country was falling apart?
How will you answer? 'I was watching the third rerun of Friends.'"?
law will never make men free; it is men who have got to make the law free. They
are the lovers of law and order, who observe the law when the government breaks
- Henry David Thoreau
This is one of my favorite quotes on law, and perfectly appropriate for these
times. I've been thinking and thinking about what we can do, and encourage others
to do, to right things. How to build bridges to peace and prosperity when those
things seem out of reach.
The challenge is overcoming the apathy of the masses and/or mobilizing on the
side of those who are daily affected by hunger, war, joblessness, bigotry, chauvinism,
and despair. I think many of them are too engaged in the struggle to survive,
to have much energy to engage themselves in the struggle to live.
I wrote one editorial already asking people to consider discussing and acting
on those things which can rightfully bring us real and lasting peace. I have
to do some revision. It just became too long, and I became sort of depressed
envisioning this soul crushing waste of a nation. I don't think I want to affect
others that way too. It's better to orient around hope that we can do something.
Let's do something.
An ex-Nike inventor, University of Minnesota graduate and track coach named
Rob Lyden has essentially reinvented the running shoe, and the method of manufacture
and delivery. He's managed to streamline the procedure, while allowing for total
personalization and the use of environmentally-friendly materials. He's even
figured out a way to cut out the need for overseas sweatshop production.
That aside, Lyden holds numerous patents in everything from parabolic ice skates
to lowrider rollerblades. He's even approached California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
with the idea of building a highway flanked in solar receptors shaped like palm
trees, the power from which he wants to use for alternative vehicles...
I've done a great deal of reporting on this guy and already written one story
about him for Willamette Week, here in Portland, OR where Lyden's business is
based. If you're interested, you can read it this Wednesday. I am also told
Bob McGee at Sporting Goods Intelligence (leading specialty pub on sporting
goods marketing) is planning a piece.
Given the obvious Twin City connection, I thought you might be interested in
a feature about this fascinating fellow. I am not familiar with your submission
guidelines or pay scale, but I have written a good deal of news, some for The
Oregonian, and more for Willamette Week.
Thanks for your time,