The first week in September is traditionally the time when America's power structure pays lip service to the American worker, lavishing praise and gratitude upon those whose backs serve as the foundation of our extravagant lifestyles. And so it was last week on Labor Day 2002.
Sometimes, being an American is just too embarrassing to contemplate. Times like these, for instance, when our elected leaders in Washington, acting on our behalf, are arrogantly snubbing the rest of the world on critical 21st Century questions of environmental degradation and global poverty.
When Chris Gaal, Andy Ruff and Jeffrey Willsey were elected to the City Council in 1999, I wrote a column in the Bloomington Independent celebrating the emergence of a long-overdue progressive voting bloc on the council. Even though three new voices were two shy of a majority, it seemed the progressive community would finally have a voice on the council, especially on the critical issues of the environment, growth and development.
Listening to James Alexander Thom last Tuesday recount the recent attacks on Scott Wells' reputation reminded me of an ominous observation Charlotte Read shared a few years ago. Since 1952, Charlotte and her husband Herb, working through the Save the Dunes Council, have dedicated their lives to protecting the crown jewel of Indiana's environmental heritage - the Indiana dunes on Lake Michigan, literally the birthplace of the science of ecology.