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Knowledge is the Currency of the Future

Watch this video and ask yourself whether you're keeping up!  Where does knowledge meet the leading edge? By 2010, the amount of new technical information is predicted to double every 72 hours. For students starting a four-year university degree…most of what they learn in their first two years will be outdated by the time they graduate. Can you find out what you need to know by relying upon government agencies, large corporations, and their charitable foundations? They all have a vested interest in your loyalty and compliance. But do they have your best interests in mind? It starts with knowledge... the bottom line information we need in order to make good choices. Only, it's not so easy to find the truth. We learn that reporting of the news has many slants and angles.

Corporate Influence

Today, over ninety percent of mass media is controlled by five corporations versus fifty companies just twenty-five years ago. More than one in four internet users in the U.S. now log in with AOL Time Warner, the world's largest media corporation.

Consider the clout of the pharmaceutical industry and contemplate its influence on science, news and politics. The combined profits for the ten drug companies in the Fortune 500 exceed total combined profits for all the other 490 businesses combined. This permits the industry to outspend any other U.S. industry on lobbying and to allocate over $70 billion annually on advertising, almost double the amount it spends on research and development. Ever wonder about the ethics of scientific and medical ghostwritingRead The Truth About Drug Companies by Dr. Maria Angell, former Editor-in-Chief of The New England Journal of Medicine and a Senior Lecturer at Harvard Medical School. She would know.

Listen to this report detailing Monsanto's role in suppressing the Fox News story about their bovine growth hormones in your milk.

The Role of Government

Reflect upon the carefully selected words in President Eisenhower's 1961 farewell address:

"... research has become central, it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.

The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present – and is gravely to be regarded.

Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.

It is the task of statesmanship to mold, to balance, and to integrate these and other forces, new and old, within the principles of our democratic system – ever aiming toward the supreme goals of our free society.

Another factor in maintaining balance involves the element of time. As we peer into society's future, we – you and I, and our government – must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering for our own ease and convenience, the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without asking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow..."

Decide For Yourself

As a parent, will you make informed choices for your children and your families?

As a consumer, do you consciously purchase from companies whose values and ethics you support?

As a citizen, do you research about candidates and legislation before you proudly exercise your right to vote?

As a human being, do you think about humanity, morality and the varied ways that our choices, collectively made, create our society and the world our children and grandchildren will inherit?

There are no shortcuts. Take the time, do your research and behave as if the quality of your life depends on it. Because it does.

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