Ignorance is bliss, until you burn to the ground

“Hey my favorite Aunt (who shall remain nameless)! Why haven’t you evacuated yet?”

“For what?!”

“Your town is on fire and you’ve been evacuated!”

“Oh, well your other Aunt (who shall also remain nameless) just went to the store, I’ll let her know when she gets back and see if she wants to leave.”

This conversation may seem ridiculous and fabricated, and I have to admit it was paraphrased and not actually me that was involved, but I did hear it and participate in the events that transpired post-conversation.

The recent fire in Fairview drew an interesting parallel for me when the issue of voting came up at a family dinner last week.

Another nameless acquaintance of mine and his wife (who is pregnant with twins), didn’t even know that there was an election that day, and obviously did not find their way to their local precinct to perform their patriotic duty.

As we discussed the virtues of casting a ballot, the point of view was brought up that their vote didn’t matter and wouldn’t make a difference. Do I really need to argue this point? Seriously? I guess it doesn’t matter that your vote could help shape the world in a way that you would like to have your soon-to-be daughters raised in.

At that same dinner, we got the call that the aunts would be our new house-guests for the evening. I couldn’t help but compare the two situations. On one hand, you have the aunts that don’t watch TV, listen to the radio or even surf the net. Living in their own world, they were totally unaware that a monstrous blaze was making its way to their property like a runaway-freight train. On the other hand, you have a lovely couple (with child x 2) that turned a blind eye to the metaphorical political inferno headed their way.

Apathy has come to town and settled over a worn out people, plaguing our citizens that just want to take a rest.

Our national debt is overbearing, student loans are about to skyrocket and there are several scandals that could ignite the White House and possibly cause a national panic.

Operation Fast and Furious took a turn for the Nixonian, as President Obama exercised his executive privilege clause to conceal documents related to the failed government-run gun-walking program that armed Mexican drug cartels. The thought was they could track the guns and crack down on the drug war. Some say they wanted there to be a scandal so they could enact tougher gun legislation, but either way it failed. The guns got to the bad guys and the good guys got killed. By our own guns! Whatever the scandal, the White House and President Obama himself said they had no knowledge of the program.

By exercising executive privilege, he either acknowledged he had a role in it (because that clause is to protect conversations the president had with advisors) or he is covering up what happened. So either he lied repeatedly to the American public or he is pulling a nuclear version of Richard Nixon.

Scandal number two: White House leaks.

Leaks happen. I think I’ve seen that on a bumper sticker somewhere. What makes these leaks different is that it involves our allies and our covert operations in foreign countries. Iran has been a thorn in the side of America for a while and has blatantly given the international community the bird every time a sanction is levied or threats are made. Their nuclear program has no good intentions and whoever believes their spin is a fool.

The fact that I know it was us and Israel that inserted a computer virus to shut down the Iranian nuclear command center is a little more than slightly concerning.

The key word is covert, when an administration is leaking “secrets” it is bound to upset our friends and send a message that if you work with us, everyone will find out about it whether you like it or not.

Our world is moving and changing so fast that you can barely get all the facts of a story before an even more sensational bomb hits the wire. It’s very easy to wall yourself off and worry about the tree in front of you but it will become increasingly imperative that you step back from that tree and take a look at the whole forest.

In a topic that hits a little closer to home, ignorance can cause interruptions in your life as you try to finagle your way through our new construction zones.

In our previous issue, we had someone write for our opinions section that voiced what can be described as “the collective student frustration” brought on by jackhammers and padlocked doors. We have all been there, whether it’s construction on campus or those blasted orange barrels on the freeway. It is very easy to curse the powers that be and express outrage at the situation and call into question the motives and timing of those planning and implementing the change that causes chaos in our lives.

Before we flip off the driver that cuts us off in traffic, we need to take a breath and make sure they weren’t trying to avoid hitting a child. Before we cry conspiracy about a government program, we need to research who is developing it, who will benefit and basically flesh out the whole issue before making judgment.

Our new student center will be the jewel of campus once it’s built, but as with all things that are worth it, there will be some growing pains and inconveniences along the way. We may get locked out and trapped in construction zones that are all fenced off every now and then and we will definitely have to park 328 miles from campus most days, but there are no conspiracies and there are resources available to stay informed.

I will make a shameless plug for the UVU Review right off the bat, we have been covering the new construction and all the changes happening on campus for several months and will continue to be right on top of things. The school also has in place a website (www.uvu.edu/pardonourdust), to share pertinent information. You are able to view when and where new projects take place, where you can park, as well as information on construction projects off campus that will impact travel and parking.

If you focus for too long on one tree, pretty soon you won’t see the fire coming and nothing you can do will save the forest. Whether it is your home in the middle of an actual wild fire, or the system that surrounds you, figuratively engulfing what is important to you, if you bury your head in the sand and pretend everything is fine, it will all burn to the ground.

All it takes to save your life, defend your country, or to make your way to class on time is a little information. A little bit of time and a little elbow grease will go a long way. Everyone screams they want their voice to be heard, but when it is finally heard, have you actually done your research and do you actually know what you are talking about, or are you just ticked off?

“Information is the currency of democracy” – Thomas Jefferson

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