Niagara Gazette

October 30, 2012

BRADBERRY: Feeling tricked & cheated? Happy Halloween!

By Bill Bradberry
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — Here they come again — ghosts, goblins, zombies and costumed politicians, some looking for sweet treats, some begging for sugar-coated votes.

Unfortunately for me, I won’t be able to hand out candy from my porch this year, doctor’s orders, but I did cast my absentee ballot already.

Sorry, kids.

Not among the highly sought after “undecided,” I made up my mind a long time ago who and what I want my sweet little votes to support; not willing to be tricked, cheated and mistreated ever again by real demons masquerading as honest politicians, I refuse to be confused and distracted by the hype. As elected officials unpopularity numbers demonstrate, especially regarding Congress, too many voters have become so frustrated and disgusted with politics and government in general, especially with the abundance of negative political campaign advertising, they have simply tuned out of the process.

But WE cannot afford not to participate.

At least once Halloween is gone, the candy goes on sale at half price, but when the elections are over, we are pretty much stuck with whatever we got, and as the old saying goes, “Sometimes you get and sometimes you get got.”

Once again, at this point in our nation’s and our city’s development it is critically important that we know when we’re being tricked, treated or cheated; the problem is, sometimes we cannot tell the difference until its too late.

Elections should be about the future, not battles about the past; we should have learned from our mistakes by now.

We have a number of opportunities before us now which, if handled right, could lead us back in the right direction, giving us a real chance for a brighter future, one that is easily within our grasp and attainable within our children’s if not our own lifetimes.

Here at home, our brightest future may lie within the brilliance of our past as world renowned leaders in the search for and creation of new energy development and distribution alternatives. Though much of the fascinating pieces of the old Adams Plant machinery are gone, some scattered around the world, that very same machinery so struck famed science fiction writer H.G. Wells, according to the late Niagara Falls historian, Daniel M. Dumych, to write “These dynamos and turbines ... impressed me far more profoundly than the Cave of the Winds ... They are clean, noiseless, and starkly powerful ... These are altogether noble masses of machinery, huge black slumbering monsters, great sleeping tops that engender irresistible forces in their sleep…”. Wouldn’t it be worthwhile if we could get some of those pieces back where they belong and to continue what was not so long ago started here by men like Westinghouse and Tesla?

While millions of American families, many within five-hundred miles of our doorstep are suffering right now without electricity to power their homes, hospitals, schools and businesses, courtesy of Hurricane Sandy’s recent wrath, should not we be finding ways to improve our electrical grids and distribution systems so that these predictable tragedies which continue to inflict immeasurable human suffering here and around the world might be lessened, if not completely avoided?

Why can’t we begin the process of making things better for everyone right here where it all started? We could start by encouraging the politicians, in exchange for our precious votes and our elected representatives to work together in our best interests to connect our stellar past with a potentially brilliant future based on picking up where we left off.

And in support of our tourism industry, would it not be fitting to memorialize here, with fine statuary, sculptures, public art, and special events, our history, people, places and things all of which have served to change the world in magnificent ways?

Would not such a monumental celebration of our history serve to excite us and our children as well as the millions of globetrotting guests who come to this place to be educated, entertained and bewitched?

No single project will, by itself be enough to reverse the loss of so many of our young bright stars, but taken together, they could be enough to highlight Niagara Falls as a place where they may have a future, not only in culinary arts and in the hospitality industry, but also as scientists, engineers and technicians studying and resolving the predictable challenges that future generations will be forced to deal with around the world.

We can do that!

But in order to capture the opportunities before us, we need to be able to correctly distinguish between the tricks and treats lest we cheat ourselves out of our future.

Contact Bill at bill.bradberry@yahoo.com.