When you consider the minimalist and shoddy services, be it infrastructure maintenance and repair or the speed and efficiency of the security and medical services you're getting for your investment, and the ease of which your city has gone into receivership, your county has closed its parks, clinics, crime-stoppers and public services, your state has had to sell its lands to Indians (how deliciously ironic, don't you think?) to legalize gambling just to stay a 'state', and your federal government has bankrupted your children's children's children to wage unnecessary wars and allow corporate monoliths to manhandle the earth and everyone on it in the name of love.....love of money, that is, it's a wonder there's not much of a critical 'buzz' in the mainstream press about it. Hockey strikes and baseball's steroids, and manufactured 'celebrities' from Robert Blake to Paris Hilton fill the pages instead.

Instead of parsing and passing around blame, in the the business world your duly elected representatives would have been put out of business long ago. Yet you continue to reelect them over and over again. Business Week, in a cover story on the working poor, stated: "Today more than 28 million people, about a quarter of the work force between the ages of 18 and 64, earn less than $9.04 an hour, which translates into a full-time salary of $18,800 a year - the income that marks the federal poverty line for a family of four."

Now consider this: Congress has had seven pay raises since 1997, which is when the minimum wage increased to $5.15 per hr., while approving NO INCREASES for minimum-wage workers. In 2004, congressional pay rose to $162,100 -up from $133,600 in 1997. In 1963 members of Congress earned nine times the pay of minimum-wage workers. Now, they earn 15 times as much! The Erie County Executive had a $185,000 a year chauffer! Iraq is costing you A BILLION DOLLARS A WEEK!

Where was the News while this was happening? Where was the ever-vigilant 'fourth estate'? Where was the spotlight, the outrage? Where was Warren Buffett? They failed you. But they'll never tell you so we have to.

While it's nice to know our friends in the arts community are enjoying each other's efforts and get easy access to directories of upcoming cultural events, IF ANYONE SHOULD BE PAYING ATTENTION, IT'S THE ARTISTS! That's their job. They failed you too. We'll be the first to tell you so. From Move On's musicians for change tours of swing states to Ani and the Goos and all the rest of us, we failed you too. Some of us tried though. Some of us are still trying. Why don't you?

Because you, as free and politically empowered members of a democratic society, are the real problem here.

You are so pacified by your blinking lights and shiny objects, even though you are cognizant and aware of all that is being done wrong in your name with your tax dollars since you're reading this paper, you are allowing the entire world from now until its end to pay for your spoiled and lazy, self-indulgence.

Now what you have to ask yourself is: are you enjoying it? If so, you should be ashamed.

If not, you should REALLY BE ASHAMED.

alexander graham
graham.myexpose.com For those of you who visit this site for aternative press coverage of events that the daily corporate News press propagandists put too obvious a 'spin' on and weekly art community back slapping in the Voice gives a partial page of college prof. lip service to, think about this: Right now in your city, county, state and federal governments fiscal irresponsibility has reached the flash point.