Editorial 10/22/96

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    Once upon a time (about now) and a long way away (about here) there was a sleepy little village called Peaceful Triunity, nestled deep in the Abundant Mountains. All of the villagers got along quite well and each year the yield from their crops was quite sufficient to care for their needs. The citizens of the small village were all quite united and seemed truly interested in the welfare of the other.

    This small community was actually a number of large family units that inhabited the upper slopes, the lower slopes and the central valley. Each group had its part to play in the welfare of the village as a whole. The families on the upper slopes had the responsibility to provide water, forest products and animal products, such as wool, to all of the citizens. The valley families were largely responsible for the fresh produce and the orchard, and the lower slope families were responsible for storage and marketing of all of the produce of the other families.

    Not far away was a rather small, lazy family who mainly eked out a living off of the labor of others. They would purchase products from the families in the village and sell them at a profit to others some distance away. This family, called the Nolanders, lived in the wilderness areas and seemed to have an abundance of a commodity called money. This somewhat lazy family was quite jealous of the little village of Peaceful Triunity.

    The Nolanders thought, to themselves, that if they could own this peaceful village they would certainly be able to increase their wealth; but how would they succeed in taking control of this peaceful valley of Triunity? The citizens got along so well and were in no mood to sell their land so what could be done?

    The elder of Noland came up with a plan. "We of Noland have no place to call our own, so let us use our wisdom to take the land of Triunity. If we use our skill and cunning we can succeed." Secretly, the family of Noland made their plans and set out to secure the land for themselves. They could not just go in and take the land since they were but a small family, so they would have to use skill and cunning.

    The elder of Noland, whose name was False Desire, took a journey to the village of Triunity. He visited each of the families making sure to flatter them on their great achievements. He assured them of his interest in their welfare and he was even willing to start a newspaper to keep them in touch with all of the affairs of the land. A little time later, after they were all sufficiently flattered and quite grateful that he started a newspaper for them, he suggested that they might increase their wealth and their lot in life if they would just build a little dam on the river that transversed their land. Now it never occurred to the families of Triunity that they needed any increase in their wealth and lot in life or that they needed a dam. It seemed a whole new idea to them. Elder False Desire seemed ready to seize upon the opportunity and he immediately set out to explain to them how families just across the mountains had so much more than the families of Triunity. They had many beautiful painted machines and many wonderful homes and electronic devices. He had pictures to prove what he was saying. Elder False Desire went on to explain that it was because the people across the mountains had money and it would be very simple for Triunity to increase their wonderful things if they would build the dam and also do a few other little necessary things. They knew these things were true, since just the previous day the newspaper that elder False Desire started had a wonderful story about all the wonderful things possessed by the people over the mountains because they had money.

    The families at Triunity began to speak together about these things. They were not quite in unity about it. The older folks seemed satisfied with the way things were, but the younger family members thought they should indeed modernize so that they could have the things the folks had across the mountains.

    The families were now quite perplexed since they had no idea how to go about all of these things. "No need to worry," said elder False Desire. "I can take care of everything. "We will lend you some money that we happen to have plenty of." Elder False Desire had just printed off this new and wonderful money on his printing press. It had pictures of all the heroes of the land and it said right on the front that it was good to spend for all debts, public and private. "All you will have to do is pay me back a little at a time until it is all paid back, with a little interest of course. I will buy your products and you can pay me back with them." "I will do something else for you, he said, I will provide some men to administer all of the details. Every so often you can vote for which of these men you would like to oversee the business. They can take the responsibility and you can freely elect them. I believe in free elections you know." Oh, wonderful, thought the citizens ofTriunity, now all of our problems are over. "Thank you, elder False Desire, for all of your unselfish help." They signed the necessary papers and elder False Desire set the men of the village into action to build their dam. He was creating jobs for them, he said. He paid them with some of the money he printed. The citizens of the town were never really sure what the dam was for, but it did make a nice lake and they now could buy boats to float on it since they had some money from elder False Desire.

    The following year elder False Desire came for payment on the loan. He told them how sorry he was that their produce could not purchase what he thought because so many people across the mountains produced the same thing. He offered them only half of what they expected, but it was better than nothing. They would have to increase their loan just a little since they had not produced enough to pay the payment in full. He also suggested that revenue could be increased with taxes on the community. He suggested that the folks were lazy and not working hard enough. That was surely the reason that the loan wasn't paid. He pointed out how many of the people may even be stealing from each other and that might very well be the reason they didn't have enough. Surely it could not be the only reason that he was paying them so little for their produce. The villagers knew all of this though. Just the day before, they had read all about it in the village newspaper that elder False Desire had started.

    The folks of the valley and lowlands were very upset at those they suspicioned might be the lazy ones or those who may be stealing from them. How dare they put them in such a perilous circumstance by not working hard enough! And how dare they be so criminal. They began to argue one with another over the terrible circumstance and who was to blame. As the years passed, circumstances only worsened. All of the families were now opposed to the others since they were all seeing that the others caused them to not be able to pay the loan. Elder False Desire gave them what help he could, but their products were never enough since prices were so low you know. They had to borrow more money now to buy weapons because they could not trust the other families. They did need protection you know. They were sure grateful to have elder False Desire to counsel them in this matter. He also gave them a very good deal on the weapons he happened to have. He told them that the neighbors were all buying weapons to shoot them with so surely they must defend themselves. They already knew this though, since just the day before the newspaper had reported the very same things.

    Elder False Desire was very sympathetic. He told them of a United Villages organization they could join and it would solve their problems. They could arrange a treaty with all of the other villages and it would help keep the price of their produce up and it would help the peace as well. United Villages sure sounded nice and they quickly went about to sign the necessary papers. They just wanted some peace. The folks at the highlands were suffering hunger, said elder False Desire and he was willing to take some of his money and buy them some food. That was so thoughtful of him, they thought. What would they do without him?

    As it turned out, the food given to the highlands made it unnecessary for them to purchase from the valley and the lowlands. This put some of these folks out of business and, from this,increased the tensions and the villagers found themselves fighting each other on occasion. Because they could not pay their taxes, they lost their land. The villages had started to tax their families in order to pay their debts, but now the taxes didn't cover it. The United Villages under the good services of elder False Desire were working to bring unity to all the families. That was surely needed since all of the families were breaking up with debt and the loss of their land. Elder False Desire now had all the land. Maybe he didn't though. It was hard to tell. The villagers had their name on a paper that said it was deeded to them, but each year they were obliged to pay rent on the land. It was called a tax and if they didn't pay it, their land was given to someone else who would pay the rent on it. No one was sure how that came about, but elder False Desire was good enough to build little cabins for each family to rent and give them jobs in his orchard that they used to own so they were able to pay their rent. The wages were not very high but it was better than nothing. The highlands were off limits to people now. Elder False Desire said it was grizzly bear habitat. It sure made sense that all the grizzlies needed protection. The lowlands were taken over by the United Villages as national monuments so all the people now lived in the valley. The wars were still going on but they could trust the United Villages to take care of that. They sent in their army they called the Peace army. They had nice little blue hats and their weapons were all clean and white. That surely sounded and looked good. Someday they all hoped for peace. The neighbors are all untrustworthy now and you might be robbed just for stepping outside. The newspapers reported on all of that and kept them warned of all their possible dangers from their neighbors. All the people were all surely thankful for elder False Desire and his great interest in them. Somehow he sure understood how to handle all of their problems.

    The villages' names have been changed to United Villages. They were not quite sure why since the villages were not united. There seems to be just one vast village now with alot of places the people are not allowed to go and it seems no one gets along. Elder False Desire is trying hard to protect all of the resources though and to make everyone peaceful. They sure need that. He makes sure they have a job in one of his businesses. They get some money so they can buy the produce from the land they used to own. They are sure grateful for money, they are not sure how they ever got along without it. Oh, elder False Desire changed his name to Mr. Peace-and-safety. "That has a nice ring to it", he says. He sure is a nice man. What would they have done without him!

    The villagers don't have much freedom anymore, but it is only temporary. Mr. Peace-and-safety has to take so much of what the villagers have to help other people around the world as he helped Triunity. Everyone in the town sure wants to help the world get better.


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