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Is government the 'fly in the ointment' to solving our nation's ever-growing list of priority problems? Are the true solutions with the private sector and the ingenuity of Americans when put to the challenge? I've always thought the real power for stability, growth, and renewed Global stature lies with 'we the people'. But, as 'we the people' descended into a society of division, consumerism, special and self-interest groups, and apathy, expecting government to solve all the problems, we dropped the ball.  

Unfortunately, big business and big labor, too, were caught up in the fray of favorable tax deductions, the strategies and corruption of lobbyists, stalls on standards and regulations, pork-barrel spending, political partisanship, and the profit and greed for a few at the expense of the many. But, for the ingenious and honest out there, hope dies hard. Investment in a future that will be profitable to all is alive and well and has continued in some areas of innovation. There do exist, a few government officials who still embrace the genuine American ideals and values. We simply don't hear enough about them as media, in general, has been trained to focus on and to badger and breathe life into the negative, the scandalous, and the ratings builders.

Earlier today, in my quest to think of something for a column that wouldn't fall into the 'more of the same' category, I was coming up empty. Moved to take a break from the computer, I decided to leaf through my new AARP magazine, as yet unopened. Suddenly, there it was!  A flash of light in the form of a short blurb in the News Briefs. A short blurb for what, it seems to me, should be a front page story on the air and print waves! Why hadn't this been given more national attention? It was the first I'd heard of it and I spend a lot of time searching through this kind of stuff.

On December 2, while the nation was focused on the antics of the governor of Alaska, the governor of Hawaii, Linda Lingle, and Hawaii's largest utility endorsed the plans to construct more than 70,000 recharging stations for electric vehicles by 2012 by investing in a joint-funded public-private project that will cost $70 million dollars in partnership with a California-based battery manufacturer by the name of "Better Place". Better Place which will build the stations and supply the batteries creating thousands of new jobs. Governor Lingle touted the project plans as a "major step in curbing emissions and rising energy costs."

California, with all its other problems, is, arguably, the leader in dealing with environmental issues and often serves as the standard bearer for other states to follow. Governor Lingle went on to say, "The state needs to do something. It spends nearly $7 billion each year on imported oil." My kudos to Governor Lingle and the State of Hawaii. Good things do come out of our newest island state, I must say.

"Better Place" is seeking similar deals with Israel, Australia, Denmark, and the San Francisco area. Don't you think it's about time the rest of the nation, including industry, woke up and jumped on board the movement toward the future? If we don't do something pretty soon, we will be left in the dust as the Globe moves on without us. Already, several nations rise above us in healthcare, education, energy production, and modern, high speed mass transit. While our infrastructure crumbles around us, we fall deeper into economic decline and lack of progress in developing renewable energy sources and independence. Have we been reduced to a nation of consumerism and a war machine? A nation of importers rather than exporters? A world follower instead of a world leader?  

When I read information such as this, I'm immediately inspired to write to my governor and my congressional representatives and ask, “What's the matter with Florida? Are we only good for oranges, tourism, and shuttle shots?” I'm moved to call my local paper and ask, “Why these kinds of stories aren't making front page headlines?” It's past time for America to awaken the 'Sleeping Giant' once again. It is all up to 'we the people' and the hopeful leadership that we've entrusted to our new president-elect. I think he is up to the challenge. What about us?  

Susan Haley, Author


**Susan Haley is the published author of two books, several articles on networking, an award-winning poet, and the copy editor and book reviewer for Pepper Tree Press Publishing, book reviewer for AME Marketing out of San Diego and poetry editor for The Infinite Writer.. She also contributes a column to "The Florida Writer" the official magazine of the Florida Writers Association, of which she is Facilitator for the Sarasota County Chapter. The audio version of her novel "Rainy Day People" was recently awarded runner-up Finalist in the 2008 Indie Excellence National Book Awards. She is a contributor to a variety of editorials and excerpts of her work can be found in various E-zines, newsletters, and local papers.


Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Susan Haley wrote Dec 16, 2008
    • Hi Annie - Hope you are well.

      That’s my point. Everyone else is already ahead of us. Half of our industry is foreign owned or foreign invested as it is. That’s why the south is against bailing out Detroit. Both Toyota and Nissan have numerous factories in their states employing their citizens. If Better Place is California based and is providing Americans jobs and the Governor of Hawaii and its largest utility is joining in a partnership to improve the state and our overall energy dependence, at least progress is being made. Who developed it is irrelevant to me.
      Most of the advancements in medicine have come from foreign scientists then we put the money in the research and development. Most of the ‘war’ machines were first invented and developed by the German-American scientists. The Atomic bomb we dropped on Japan for one.
      As for the environment, we all know that the Cosmos knows not our man-made borders. The ravages on the environment have Global effects regardless the point of origin. I strongly believe all those who think progressively have to stick together for the sake of humankind. Nationality is becoming less and less of an issue on the course of progress. It’s now a Global Community. That’s my opinion, of course. :)

      Merry Christmas to you and yours.


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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Midnightmom wrote Dec 16, 2008
    • Boy, what a Great idea! I have been behind in listening to the news lately. Really, I think I have had it with all the negative media. We actually live into what they report to us, and they sure don’t know how to have a creative or positive thought in the longest time.

      Yes, I think our president elect is up to the new demands of the optimistic and ingenuity actions of the new generation of leardership. The quagmire, and the porkers who have been rolling around in it for years, have met their end. Often it is painful to change, but I think good things often come out of painful growth.

      Yup, I see us having growing pains, but hold on, because the spirit of America is live and well within us all. We just need the spark to ignite us again. And, that would be Barak Obama and his new leadership team. Did you notice how he put together a team who knew sussess not so long ago? :)

      We create our own reality one idea at a time. Shine on!

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mztracy wrote Dec 19, 2008
    • What about when we ‘killed’ all the electric cars? 2002 or so. 1000’s were crushed. Why...maybe because the oil companies would have lost too much money.  

      I think it would be awesome if this could actually happen!!

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Midnightmom wrote Dec 23, 2008
    • Susan, and all others here, I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas. I love the Christmas scenes you have on your website, Susan - and the music. :)

      [Link Removed]

      I have enjoyed reading your articles. You have a bright mind and a good heart, too. Just right for leadership.

      Merry Christmas! :)

      Midnightmom, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.

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