Digressions and Diatribes

by Kort E Patterson, Editor

Fear - its the oldest tool of power. If you're distracted by fear of those around you, it keeps you from seeing the actions of those above.

Agent Mulder character, The X-Files

As some of you may have noticed, there have been an underwhelming number of submissions to Port of Call of late. As a direct result, I have been obliged to fill in the empty spaces with my rambling diatribes. Which makes me wonder even more at the lack of response from you, the readers. After all, under the current circumstances, your submission can serve a double purpose: First you receive the intellectual satisfaction of seeing your words in print and knowing they'll be read by at least hundreds, maybe thousands, of people. Second, the space your submission occupies directly reduces the volume of my verbiage to which you'll be subjected.

As for the curiously missing controversy... While I, of course, see my various opinions as being perfectly reasonable and logical, past experience indicates that I should not expect the rest of the world to respond similarly. I find it hard to believe that there are no other Intertel members in Region 7 who are as opinionated as me - but perhaps suffering from a different perspective... But then again, maybe I AM so totally right that NONE of you have been able to find the slightest flaw in my arguments! Yeah right....

In a more pro-active vein, I've received a number of suggestions on ways to increase interest and participation in Port of Call. One suggestion was to pose a question to the readership, and publish the replies in the following issue. Readers would also submit questions they find interesting for the next issue. Questions could be serious or absurd.

I'll make a suggestion to see if there's any interest: The Soviet Union broke apart because it no longer made sense as a single entity. What would happen if the geographic area of Region 7 were to secede from the USA and Canada? Could we be a viable economic and political entity? Would we be better off than now?

Don't like my question? Submit a better one!

Another suggestion was a column of obscure trivia - the kind of thing most readers would be unlikely to know, but would provide a chuckle, an Ah-Ha, or maybe just a Hmm! Surely you've come across some off the wall bit of knowledge that you'd like to share. This may be your only chance to find a useful purpose for that nagging little factoid that's been rattling around in your brain for so long!

My mind is usually awash with useless bits of trivia. But of course, as soon as I actually have a need for one, its a complete blank. This bit of trivia isn't quite as obscure as the Government would like, but in 1992 the typical American family spent 39.7% of every dollar in taxes - more than on housing, household expenses, food, health, and personal care combined!

Agree or disagree with the articles and letters in Port of Call? Write down your opinions, rebuttals, and/or encouragement, and send them to the editor! If you don't contribute your thoughts, I'll just have to keep filling up the space with my digressions and diatribes. Remember - the more we get to read of yours, the less you have to read of mine...

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