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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

For the week of August 20 - 26, 2003


Ignorance is not bliss

One of the most endearing qualities of Americans is their ability to take virtually everything in life for granted.

Then come the inevitable days of reckoning, such as last week’s electricity blackout that nearly paralyzed 50 million people in the Northeast and upper Midwest and transformed their lifestyle from kilowatt power to candle power.

"What happened?" they gasped with stunned disbelief, assuming that electricity would always be there for lights, appliances, cell phones, offices and whatnot while casually flicking a switch.

If average Americans wallow in blissful ignorance, the same can be said of those responsible for guarding and maintaining the nation’s infrastructure.

Intelligent, thorough studies have exposed a national scandal of rotting bridges, cracked dams and highways, inadequate airports, deteriorating air and water quality, unguarded transcontinental petroleum pipelines, and, yes, a decrepit electric transmission grid—worthwhile studies duly consigned to dusty shelves to be promptly ignored until the next crisis.

Americans also assumed their nation’s commercial and technological supremacy was invincible—only to watch millions of jobs vanish to overseas plants while household names of U.S. products were eclipsed by brands made in Japan and Germany and China.

The world’s most envied lifestyle cannot be regarded with this casual indifference or taken for granted. Americans must take a greater interest in public policy decisions, even dull as they often are, and demand the same greater attention and responsible management by those who now are inclined to ignore warnings until the lights literally go out.



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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.