We all have our own ideas about who the "good guys" and who the "bad guys" are in today's world. Currently, we may be experiencing one of the biggest philosophical gaps in history as to which is which.
Forgetting the non-controversial evil individuals (like rapists, dictators, molesters and serial killers) and speaking on a bigger-picture scale, in my humble opinion, the three worst enemies to humankind right now are:
1. Overpopulation Decide for yourself whether the main causes for this problem are the Koran, the Vatican or third-world birth-control illiteracy. In any case, too many people, taking too much of everything and putting back much less than they take is a humongous problem for our world, and for our children and grandchildren of the future. When I rule the world, people will have the freedom to have as many children as they want, but they will be taxed proportionately for each child after two. "Have less kids, pay less taxes" is the mantra of the future. You want more of da kine, you help pay for the carbon footprints they leave.
2. Runaway corporate power This is a very simple concept. Name a worldwide problem and you can bet that one or several corporations are either causing it or supporting it--outwardly or behind the scenes. War, oil spills, safety accidents, poverty, famine, selfishness, over-forestation, pollution, etc. It's important to remember that corporations are really not people, even though our current Supreme Court has deemed them so.
Corporations are run by CEOs. A CEO's main priority is to enrich, nurture and nourish the bottom line. His/her obligation--his/her purpose--is to make a profit by any means necessary, even if that means cutting costs, cutting quality, cutting safety, cutting employees and even cutting off its own head, if necessary, to continue to profit.
This is how the shareholders and the financial establishment define a really good CEO. These unbridled, runaway, unimpeded corporations (which President Eisenhower warned us about in the '50s), as well as the recent takeover of media and how we receive and interpret information, have changed life on this Earth and our perception of our personal experiences so drastically, that the future can be looked at as optimistic only with the rosiest of colored sunglasses.
A little regulation never hurt anybody--a lot of regulation hurts everybody. Finding that in-between number is the challenge ahead.
3. Lack of respect for other living beings No need to expound. It's all around us--and it's a bit sad.
Charles Laquidara has lived on Maui for over 11 years. He worked at WBCN radio in Boston for 30 years as the morning-drive host of a show called "The Big Mattress" and is occasionally heard on Mana'o Radio here on island.