Sunday, July 5, 2009


We all have images in our minds of bucolic small towns where everyone knows everyone else and all the people get along for the most part. A place where most are disposed to help anyone in the town in almost anyway they can. It does not matter whether it's Mayberry, Lake Wobegone, or the suburb of "The Wonder Years." These places are part of the American Identity and what makes these places such a persistent idea is that they exist and existed- not as perfect as the myth, but closer to it than one might imagine. These places are rapidly disappearing due to a number of factors and one of these is chrystal meth. According to Walter Kirn, writing in today's New York Times Book Review, Methland - The Death and Life of a Small American Town by Nick Reading gives the reader a very effective and engaging account of how, why, and by whom these towns are being destroyed. Reading also describes how meth is a symptom of the diseases destroying the towns - it is not the cause. Finally, he also shows how one town began a process of recovery that appears to be working. I have placed this book high on my reading lst and I hope you will do the same. The unending "Dateline", "60 Minutes", et al reports will not bring about the political action needed. The only thing that will lead to political action is us. Our leaders will not act until we force them to - with letters, emails, phone calls, demonstrations, etc. There are solutions out there and it is up to us to make the politicians find and adopt them.

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