01/20/2012 04:37 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

It's a Mad, Mad World

In May I will turn 71. From the perspective those years bring, I find the world seems to be changing in strange ways. It seems to be changing in fundamental ways, which disturb my logical sensibilities.

To be sure, there are positive changes, like improved information accessibility and communications brought by computers and the Internet, as well as cell phones. This brings people together in ways never before possible. Everything, including commerce, is sped up. Greater productivity results.

I see negative changes in the structure of society brought on by the loss of traditional values, which seem to be replaced by rampant materialism and the quest for stuff. When I was young, the "Protestant Ethic" of hard work, perseverance, frugality, fiscal responsibility and sobriety were the rule. The family was at the center of all that was important.

Nowadays the center of focus seems to be the acquisition of stuff. Family values seem to have taken a second seat to materialism. People seem to be judged by what they have, not who they are.

This national pursuit of stuff and attendant greed lust has so permeated the power center that is Wall Street that fundamental principles of banking have been done away with. No longer do mortgage bankers need concern themselves with repayment of loans they make. This flies in the face of history, as well as common sense and all logic. This is mad!


Redlands, Calif.

On another front, I recall until about 15 years ago, when I looked into the sky, I saw either clouds or clear sky. Now I see "striped skies." The official explanation for this relatively recent phenomenon is "jet contrails." There have been jets carrying passengers since the early '60s, but only "striped skies" much more recently. The denial of obvious spraying is mad!

I see candidates for the highest office in the entire world who are anything but the "brightest and best" this country has to offer. I hear of Europeans who look at our political process with disgust. We need to have people in office the world can respect. We need to provide a shining example of the highest ideals for the rest of the world to emulate.

What is wrong here?

What is wrong, basically, is our priorities have become debased. A clique of greedy, power-mad, myopic, egocentric, non-thinking sycophants is running the country. Common sense, logic and the lessons of history are lost on them.

Unless we as a nation return to priorities where family is the most important thing, and acquisition of stuff assumes its proper place in the list of priorities; unless the lessons of history are recognized; unless common sense and logic become the prime movers of legislative change; unless we can come up with a way to bring our "brightest and best" into public service; unless all these things change, our society is bound to degrade into an arena where only self-serving individuals devoid of ethics will continue to dominate, and revolution will occur, as an increasingly dissatisfied public will take matters into their own hands.

It is a mad, mad world we live in, but it doesn't have to stay that way. With the proper changes, we can achieve utopia, and revolution can be avoided.