I continue to wonder at what I see around me. I am continually told that manufacturers are utilizing conservation measures to improve their profits, but are also continually increasing the amount of packaging on their products despite the increasing dearth of places in which to dispose of packaging.

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When I was on the tree board in Amesbury, I warned that if the big sycamore tree at the library was not sprayed for anthracnose, a fungus disease, it would eventually kill the tree. Each year the tree starts to grow foliage and each year the fungus kills the foliage and the tree has to start over to develop new foliage. Each time it weakens the tree. This year the tree was defoliated and it is virtually unable to refoliate. Next year it will be dead and it will cost more to cut it down than it would have to have sprayed it.

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It seems from the "As I See It" columns in the News that "creeping socialism" is at fault for all of our problems. While it is true that many social programs are poorly thought out and/or were poorly executed, it strikes me that they are intended to benefit the inclusive "WE" instead of the exclusive "WE"! It is difficult to remember what it was like in the United States before Social Security. It was a time when a small, wealthy elite controlled over 90 percent of the wealth in the country. It was a time when the vast majority of people worked long hours at less than minimum wage and were unable to put aside anything for their old age. They had to depend on charitable agencies that were often more interested in indoctrination than in aiding "THEM"! I can't help wonder if that is not what is "creeping up" on us.

We seem to have shifted our priorities to concerns about "ME" and "WE," that funds that should be invested in improving the world around us and in educating our children to prepare them for the future are invested in entertainment, personal beautification and personal aggrandizement. Walt Kelly's "Pogo" once commented, "I has found the enemy and he is us!" It seems that the more of "us" there is, the more that it is so!

Ron Irving of Amesbury is an amateur historian.

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