“The revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe. You have to make it fall.”
- Che Guevara

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Question: When is it going to stop? Answer: When you want it to stop. I hate to be so negative during the holiday season, but when are people going to get angry enough to put an end to the ridiculous state of affairs we live in today?

Is it that difficult to shut off the television, stop worshipping professional athletes and get involved? We hear it everyday – people complaining, people whining and people crying, yet they have never make any attempt to change the problem. What will it take for people to become frustrated enough that they demand and act for change?

Others are indifferent, stating there is nothing they can do about it anyway. As a result, we allow our elected officials can get away with spending billions of dollars on a war while ignoring the needs of its citizens. Jobs are lost, health care is still not a right, and the social safety net has a gaping hole in it. Where is the concern about improving the physical and economic health of this country?

What about the last free-trade agreement (Peru-NAFTA) that passed in the U.S. House last month? I thought the Democrats had learned from and promised us during the last election that free trade agreements were going to stop unless we had enough protections to create a fair trade deal. But do we care?

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The Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (a block of 30-plus Central and South American countries united under one trade deal) fell apart under the Bush administration as some South American countries, like Venezuela, cried foul at the unfair imperialistic one-sided agreement. So now our country pursues deals one country at a time.

U.S. Reps. Brad Ellsworth and Baron Hill (also voted for NAFTA) were two Democrat officials who decided to vote in favor of its passage. These will be the same two candidates next year promising to again create new jobs and voice support for working people. But do we care?

At the same time, more and more jobs will continue to be transferred across the oceans because of “free trade” deals they supported. I know there are reasons for why they voted the way they did (the farmers and agriculture), but the vote stands on its own merits and working people should be irate.

Our health care crisis is getting worse. Forty-five million Americans do not have health care, and children, if fortunate enough, receive medical care from state programs. Many elected leaders still aren’t convinced that the system is broken, and the few that do insist the solution is not national health care but in trying to “fix” the current for-profit, insurance company controlled health care system. But do we care?

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It’s sad and it’s disgusting. Why? As we lose more jobs due to trade agreements, we add more to the number of people who do not have health care.

How many jobs being created offer health care? Very few.

How many lost jobs employing autoworkers, steelworkers, and other manufacturing positions that were union provided health care? All of them!

These jobs weren’t exported because companies couldn’t make a profit but because the corporations are greedy and will reap a greater profit margin exploiting less fortunate workers.

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What about the goods and food imported from China containing lead and other contaminants? After elected officials knew in 2001, before voting to let China be admitted as a trading partner under the World Trade Organization (WTO), that environmental, safety and labor standards were non-existent, corporations took advantage of their successful lobbying efforts and began dismantling more jobs here.

Sent initially to Mexico under NAFTA, jobs were being exported once again, this time from Mexico to China. Many of the manufacturing jobs remaining here went to the communist-controlled capitalist nation. I guess those Commies aren’t so appalling when there is money to be made!

Enough of that, I don’t care. I have to go now and vote for an American Idol, stop at Junk-Mart and save a few cents on plastic things that I really don’t need, and, because of those selfish striking union writers, watch some boring reruns on the tube!

Tom Szymanski can be reached at .