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By The Staff

Come on, folks,

buy American

Now that two of the three American automobile corporations have been given some billions of our faithful taxpayers’ dollars, isn’t it about time we instituted a buy American campaign for American made automobiles? The bailout will do nothing for our auto industries unless we, the people, start buying their products.

Thinking back, the good old days were when we had loyal Americans buying American products. Now we have every country in the world copying our cars and our people buying them.

Think about Korea, just one of the foreign manufacturers sending their cars to America while we prop up their industry with our “standing army” for their protection from North Korea at our expense. When will Vietnam be sending cars to the U.S. or has it happened already?

For one, I have been putting my hard earned dollars where my mouth is; started buying Fords, General Motors and Chrysler cars over 70 years ago. My dad bought my first, a Model T, to drive to high school. My one deviation, a VW Bug for a second car.

Come on, you loyal citizens, buy American!

Donald W. Fridell

Ocala

Who cares which

jock a jock wears?

Recent publicity about the outrageous salaries and so-called severance agreements afforded top management of our industries is most welcome.

All of these dollars must be added to the price of their products or services so we, the consumers, finance the costs of these bloated compensation awards.

This may be the time to look at some other travesties in the economy; the earnings of entertainers, TV personalities and professional athletes. TV airtime is expensive and paid for by advertisers. Again, these costs are added to the price of the product paid for by us, the consumers.

The claim that some very well-paid sports jock wears a certain kind of footwear does not entice me one iota to buy the product. The practice even extends to the purchase of automobiles.

A recent article in Parade magazine listed a famous TV host’s earnings as $90 million per year. Young women boasting of some enticing appearance are “worth” millions. TV reporters hold highly-paid positions, some to read the news, some to try and make some.

All of the above situations add many dollars to our cost of living expense.

The only way to curb these expenses is to totally boycott those who resort to such methods to induce us to buy their products. This would entail a groundswell of protests of sufficient magnitude to force suppliers to address the protests.

Any success achieved would stretch our hard-earned dollars to counter inflation and enhance our purchasing power. Reasonable costs for marketing products surely can be absorbed – but we are a long way from that happy state.

The uproar generated by disclosure of the salaries of CEOs seems to have aroused the public. A similar result could be realized by exposing excessive marketing expense as a result of paying actors, etc., money far out of line with reality.

Don Pixley

Ocala

Dumbing of America

seems to be working

We live in two Americas. One America, 20-some percent college educated, functions in a print-based, literate world. It can cope with complexity and has the intellectual tools to separate illusion from truth.

The other America exists in a non-reality based belief system. This divide, more than race, class or gender, believer or nonbeliever, red state or blue state, has split the country into very distinct, opposing entities.

Illiteracy statistics as per the National Right To Read organization:

1) 42 million American adults can’t read at all; 50 million are unable to read at a higher level that is expected of a fourth- or fifth-grader.

2) The number of adults who are classified as functionally illiterate increases by about 2.25 million each year.

3) 20 percent of high school seniors can be classified as being functionally illiterate at the time they graduate.

Given statistics, one has to wonder about home schooling?

The illiterate rarely vote and they cannot protect their children from dysfunctional public schools. They struggle with the most basic chores of daily life from reading instructions on medicine bottles to filling out bank forms, car loan documents and unemployment benefit and insurance papers.

They are hostages to brands. Brands come with images and slogans. Images and slogans are all they understand. Many eat at fast food restaurants not only because it is cheap but because they can order from pictures rather than printed menus. And those who serve them, also semi-literate or illiterate, punch in orders on cash registers whose keys are marked with symbols and pictures.

Political leaders in our post-literate society no longer need to be competent – how well we know. They only need to appear to have these qualities.

All they need is a story. The reality of the narrative is irrelevant. It can be completely at odds with the facts.

What is vital is the consistency and emotional appeal of the message – such as WMD in Iraq. That is why and how many got duped into accepting the Iraq war and the death of our sons and daughters.

The most essential skill in political theater and the consumer culture is pretense – and boy did we got taken.

Edmond de Bie

Ocala