The fear factor is once more hitting our society. This month has been declared a month to be alert and prepare for a disaster. And while we look in that direction the budget will incline towards defense and not towards life.

Poverty and oppression have created a worldwide situation of violence. The big companies are taking the resources that belong to the peoples of the third world countries and in order to continue their profiting, they have as allies the elites who rule in each one of those countries.

In order to maintain control, those countries receive “aid” from the United States, but such aid is given in military support both with training and arms. At the same time that the US budget continues to be allocated to military expenditure to protect ourselves from the situation created abroad, the people in US would like to have a higher quality of life with more coverage for those who need the help here in “living” aid such as health, education, and social services.

People in other countries are not asking for charity. What they want is to be able to enjoy their rights without the pressure of military force in their territories.

It is an all round business for those who manufacture the arms and sell them worldwide as it is for those who train others how to use them. In the news this past week I was reading how United States is very concerned about the short-range missiles that were ‘donated’ to Nicaragua during the 80’s. Also, there is a new consideration to once more ‘aid’ Guatemala even though their military have not made great changes in their structure, nor have they been punished for the war genocide that took place for a decade.

In the same way, Colombia, a country that has been declared a place where the worst civil rights violations against the people take place, is about to receive more billions under the Plan Colombia.

I continue to ask:” Do the people in the United States and the immigrants that come from third world countries know where their taxes go? Do they care? Do you care?

I have been told that in this country it is not polite to talk about politics. Then, consider it a MONEY matter. I am talking about the gigantic debt that your children and grandchildren will have to pay. I am talking about your money going for destruction and death, which does not benefit you. Maybe you want more parks, camping sites, lower medical costs, improved schools. I am talking about your money. If it is your money, you should be interested in knowing how to affect the way in which it is spent.

Years ago this country was able to change the course of history at the time of Viet Nam and during the Civil Rights movement. The people made changes because they cared; they talked about it and organized in order to make the right decisions.

Each one of us is important now; join others in informal conversations and listen to each other. Invite others to dialogue, especially if you have never had the opportunity before to talk to them. Extend your circle; go out of your church, committee, relatives and friends and have a real creative encounter with others.

If we try we can become a country of the people, by the people, for the people. We deserve that for each other and for others in the world.