Mike Keefe’s May 25 cartoon, “The 21st Century Playground,” in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent shows nearly a dozen children texting each other, yet none recognizing a strange-looking soccer ball at their feet. The cartoon’s message may not be far removed from the brave new world we face as the iPad, cell phones and texting become society’s primary vehicle for communication and social contact.
While seated near an open window at a Columbus Street restaurant in San Francisco, I counted seven out of 10 passing pedestrians using earplug speaker phones or iPads. Earlier in the day in a small open space on the Embarcadero, people were sitting on benches, fingering their iPads and not a human conversation passed between them.
Sadly, this conduct seemed the rule rather than the exception. It is fortunate that our valley has not yet advanced to this enlightened stage.
In the real world of face-to-face contact, more than 50 percent of communication is nonverbal, through the body language of signals, expressions, smiles and gestures. With the iPad, this necessary component of human interaction is lost.
Do individual members of our school boards realize the dangerous direction we are headed? Do schools in our valley effectively ban the use of cell phones and iPads on site? And I emphasize, effectively!
At first reading, R. Mark Talbott’s May 26 letter to the editor got me to thinking that it was just more of the Talbott family’s seemingly inherited rage against “the machine,” and I was tempted to simply ignore it and move on. But his obvious heartfelt frustration struck a chord with me.
While I disagree with his interpretation of property taxes and home ownership, I do agree with his sentiment about changing the tax code to something more simplified and more ethical.
Mr. Talbott and I clearly belong to the 99 percent (actually, the 99.99 percent) and carry the lion’s share of the burden of educating the populace, keeping the streets safe for commerce, protecting our homes and businesses from fire, and all those benefits that property taxes fund.
Meanwhile, the 0.01 percent that controls the vast majority of business and wealth of the country, along with all influence in Washington, pay a tiny portion of these same taxes, yet reap a far greater share of the rewards.
Paraphrasing Elizabeth Warren: “There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. They built a factory out there; good for them. They moved their goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. They hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. They were safe in their factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. They built a factory and it turned into something terrific or a great idea. God bless. Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.”
Too many describe the process as redistributing wealth. I believe Ms. Warren’s description is more accurate, more ethical and far truer. It’s an area in which conservatives such as the Talbotts and liberals like myself should be able to agree.
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The Glenwood Springs City Council voted to extend the existing face covering mandate for indoor public-facing spaces within city limits during Thursday night’s meeting.