Trivia 2G

The next time you buy bottled water because you think that your city’s tap water isn’t up to your standards, consider this. Dasani and Aquafina, put out by Coke and Pepsi respectively, come directly from municipal tap water sources. It’s then run through a “reverse osmosis” filter system (check your local K-Mart and get one of your own for about $20), bottled as “purified water” and sold to unsuspecting customers as something that it isn’t, healthier water than you can get at home. What you are really buying, gentle readers, is the same water used to wash your dishes, clean you in the shower, wash your clothes and flush your toilet but at a mark-up of about 100,000%. Skoal! (1)

Do you think that you’ve seen ads just about every place imaginable? Not quite, gentle readers. According to a Dec. 12, 1999 article in the Wall Street Journal, Otis Elevator has plans to add a small TV screen above the doors and just beside the area where the floor number is displayed, where 10 second “news and advertising” spots will play during that boring two minute ride to your destination. Their rationale? It will make the ride “a little more enjoyable.” (2)

That old Yankee entrepreneurial “Can Do” spirit? That “Get It Done” American attitude? The power of the lone American making their way into the capitalist system to become self-employed and wealthy? Are these really attributes of Americans, alone?

Consider the following. While America boasts about its ability to create self-employment opportunities that make Europe pale in comparison, the U.S. claims that, of all jobs available, 8% are self-employed Americans. In Europe, meanwhile, Belgium boasts a 15% rate, France 11%, Germany 10%, Italy 24%, the Netherlands 11%, Spain 21%, Sweden 11% and the United Kingdom 12%.

What one factor might be the crux of such a huge disparity between us and these nations? Every single nation mentioned above, except of course the U.S., has universal health care available. This difference, alone, allows individuals to strike out into the world of commerce without the fear that Americans carry that they will lose all of their health and dental coverage. Compounding this fear is the knowledge that an illness will not only destroy your personal financial world but will very likely drive you out of business, as well.

Think about that, folks. The businesses and services that could be offered by entrepreneurs would be a wall against the monopolies and high prices enjoyed by Corporate America today. With small, well managed and staffed companies acting as competition to the behemoths of Corporate America, prices could fall, the quality of service would certainly increase and many more Americans could opt out of the ulcer-ridden lives of Corporate America’s employee slaughter houses. Wouldn’t that be a brave, new world? (3)

Here are some rather frightening poll results accumulated between 12/99 and 1/16/00.

39% of those polled “recall a news story about the [presidential primary] campaign.”

71% say they are paying “only a little” attention or “none” to the presidential primary campaign.

65% say the “campaign has been boring”. (In other words, it can't compete with "Who wants to Be a Millionaire", although the end results are the same in both examples.)

34% have “thought about the campaign”.

Only 15% have “talked about the campaign”.

Okay, gentle readers, let’s all sing together, “I Can’t Get No . . . Satisfaction!” (4)

With over 2500 independent scientists proclaiming that the danger of global warming is not only real but that we are already deep into that possibly irreversible process, who in their right minds could argue with them? Well, the key phrase in that sentence is "right minds" (although those two words side by side may be a huge and unforgivable oxymoron).

The Global Climate Coalition, a group of over 40 major corporations who are directly responsible for a huge portion of the pollution that is dragging the Earth into global warming, will happily argue. This coalition claims that there isn’t sufficient evidence to prove that decline and, thus, laws limiting pollutants must be repealed and regulations on their factories and plants eliminated. This group has been the source for nearly every article written that attacks the idea of the coming catastrophe, enabling the very lazy “journalists” in the “Liberal Media” to create articles without the bothersome necessity of actually fact checking their sources.

On a positive note, however, a number of major corporations have left the coalition of late, including Ford Motor Corp., British Petroleum, Shell Oil and Dow Chemical. These defectors haven’t come out in favor of increased regulations on greenhouse gas pollutants, understand. They have just abandoned the sinking ship that is the movement to attempt to undermine the evidence that anyone who follows the weather statistics around the world already know for a fact. (5)

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