07/16/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Smart Cars, Terrorism, and Hoping for Audacity

Waiting for my dearie in the parking lot of Whole Foods this weekend, I approached the woman loading her groceries into her adorable silver Smart Car. "Do you like it?" I asked. She gushed, thrilled to boast about its ease in parking in Boston's lunatic parking scheme. "The only thing I don't like is the potholes in Somerville. I have to drive around them."

Always interested in things green, I repaired to Google to find out about SmartCars. I'd heard of them, of course, but what I wanted to know was what made them so smart. I have to admit, despite a quick toot around the SmartUSA site, that I still don't know. What froze me in my tracks was the gas mileage 33/41; city/highway, respectively.

What's so smart about that?

My Mitsubishi Galant gets 23/28. The Honda Insight, available in Europe for years, gets 60/66. Why should I be impressed with SmartCar's 33/41? It's half the car size-wise. Shouldn't it get double the mileage?

Domestic terrorism has raised its ugly head in the past two weeks. The death of women's health caregiver Dr. George Tiller points to further dissonance in the United States over the subject of abortion. The Holocaust Museum killing perpetrated by white supremacist James Von Brunn is another example of domestic terrorism.

Why do we persist in thinking that terrorism is limited to extremist Islamic perpetrators when it's patently clear that we have our very own terrorists at home?

Bill Maher, bless him, is given to sermonizing at the end of Real Time; it's my favorite part of the show. In this Friday's episode, he told President Obama that the "time for the audacity of hope is passed," and that now Bill is "hoping for audacity." I'm with him 100%.

Smart Cars aren't so smart.

Domestic terrorism is alive and well on U. S. soil.

President Obama is taking careful, strategic steps in Washington.

The AA definition of insanity is "doing the same thing, over and over again, in the same way, and expecting a different result." Change, dear one, is the only option at this point. The only option. Change. Radical, untried, brand new ideas implemented to change the way things have been done around here for decades.

When are we going to get it? What's it going to take?

More car companies combusting and rising from the ashes with taxpayer dollars?

More senseless murders because we do not agree, let alone play well, with others?

More talk and less action till yet another bottom falls out of another industry?

Years ago, I went to see a friend and his son in Idaho. He was a single dad, and his son was eight at the time. At one point Josh tore into the living room where we were visiting and begged his dad for some ice cream assuring us that he could get it himself. My friend acceded to the demand. It was summer holiday. His son had eaten whatever protein necessary.

Josh tore into the kitchen. We heard the scraping of an old chair on equally ancient linoleum as he dragged it to the freezer to get his prize. We heard the bowl. We heard the spoon. Then we heard a huge crash.

My friend, without missing a beat in our conversation, called out, "Hey, Josh, whatever you're doing, do something different!"

Hey Smart Car, whatever you're doing, do something different!

Hey Homeland Security, whatever you're doing, do something different!

Hey President Obama et al, whatever you're doing, do something different!

If we want change, we have no choice, but to do something different. Are you in?

For spiritual nourishment, visit Susan Corso's website at