We have launched on yet another campaign tour of Ohio. Our first stop was South Cleveland where we talked with peace activist Tim Musser. He told us he was tremendously impacted by the writings of Dorothy Day. I, in turn, was impacted by a May 2007 National Geographic article in the Musser home about the “Jamestown Settlement,” which marked it’s 400th anniversary this last weekend. Amidst the patriotic hoopla of the weekend celebration in Virginia, perhaps a few things got lost. For instance, the National Geographic article noted that the Jamestown settlement was, basically, a ‘venture capital’ endeavor. The settlers were subsidized to look for gold and precious metals. Not finding these, they turned to growing tobacco — which became a huge cash crop driven by English demand. A couple problems: Tobacco fueled an addiction for more and more land. And tobacco also has an almost “unique ability to suck the life out of the soil,” according to Leanne Dubois, the agriculture extension agent in James City County… So we kept clear cutting more and more forest and sucked more and more land lifeless at a breakneck pace. Later we started using toxic farm chemicals that sucked more and more life out of the soil. Added to this, with urbanization we paved over a lot of soil and lawn chemicals sucked more and more life out of the soil as well. And now urban sprawl is doing this to more and more rural land… Can anyone see a pattern here? This is not about sustainability and the “common good.” Common sense would say: This just continues to be about money.