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I've noticed that a lot of people have concerns about things that are happening around them. That people are worried about the mistreatment of animals, particularly when raised in bulk for food. I've noticed, too, that a lot of people are concerned about the way that large corporations make use of sweat shops in order to provide us with cheap sneakers, coats and shirts.

I've noticed that people in communities are concerned about the way that additions are being added in a homogenuous manner -- that everything seems the same, that there is no character involved.

People are also upset with their politicians, who break their promises. People are upset about the way that their government appears to be accounting itself more important than the people whom it represents.

And, people occasionally stop eating meat. People occasionally write a letter, or boycott this or that. But how do you know what to boycott? What products that you purchase do not have some connection to things which make you recoil in disgust? The American Cattle Industry is so pervasive that virtually every food product aside from produce contains some piece of a cow or another. Not to mention that it shows up in glue, and even some kinds of paint and paper. The artistically inclined may be interested in that.

The problem is not what you're looking at. The problem is not the 9-year-old girl working in a Nike sweatshop. The problem is the system which gave rise to that.

What's that? The thought of the "System" is laughable? I'm bringing back bad memories of "The Man"? Well, there is a system, sherlock, and nobody's paying enough attention to keep it under control. People spend their time attacking the symptoms, but that doesn't do anything. It's like going after a hydra without access to fire. So Nike closes down 2 sweatshops in Mexico and opens 3 in Malaysia, and we're still paying $200 for shoes that cost $1.20 a pair to make and $30 a pair to market. Something wrong with that equation?

We're being overrun by industry, and we're all aware of it, and there's not too many people doing much about it. Globalization is an attempt to expand markets. Don't be fooled, it's not about you. It's about somebody you're never going to meet unless he happens to drive past you one day.

If you want to make a difference, attack the system, not the symptoms. Doctors learned awhile ago that treating the symptom doesn't do too much when you take into account the state of the organism. You should, too.

Politics are not that hard to enter into. Demonstrations are not that difficult to go to. It's not hard to find a copy of Henry Adams' or Gandhi's books. It's not too hard to find other people that are disgusted with what's going on. It's not hard to learn to read between the lines, to file a FOIA request, to publish your findings.

It's time to find the real problems, and it's time to fix them. We didn't go wrong, we've just never had it right, and it's up to you (& me) to change that.

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