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While We Still Have Time

In spite of the grimness of the times in which we live, there is still hope. If you feel, like I do, that the usual discourse about matters of critical concern tends to be superficial, misguided, and false, then you might find some solace and inspiration here. I will try to offer insight and a holistic perspective on events and issues, and hopefully serve as a catalyst for raising the level of dialogue on this planet.

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Location: Madison, Wisconsin, United States

I was born in 1945, shortly before atom bombs were dropped on Japan. I served in the U.S. Army from 1968 to 1971. I earned master's degrees in Economics and Educational Psychology, and certificates in Web Page Design and as a Teacher of English as a Second Language. I followed an Indian guru for eight years, which immersed me in meditative practices and an attitude of reaching a higher level of being. A blog post listing the meditative practices I have pursued can be seen here.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Jackhammering

At my job they had a book sale today, with a wide variety of offerings, with children's books, Christian books, self-help books, and some political books, both "left" and "right." One that caught my eye was titled "The Enemy Within: Saving America from the liberal assault on our schools, faith and military," by Michael Savage (Real name apparently is Michael Weiner). I opened the book briefly to get a glimpse of what Mr. Savage has to say, and found the topic "Jackhammering the Ten Commnandments." I read no more.

This could have been one of any number of screeds, diatribes, rants, howls, or screams by one of any number of supposedly "right wing" thinkers, ideologues, demagogues, and/or opportunists. It just happened to be the one I saw at the book sale. I don't think anyone bought it. What it does point out, though, is that the supposed "right wing" has insinuated itself into the American maninstream in a big way. But is this something to be alarmed about, amused about, or is it just a matter of passing interest?

Within the context of what I have already written about on this blog, the phenomenon of "right wing" authors is worthy of some interest, but more so worthy of analysis. Michael Savage has nothing meaningful to offer, and his hour upon the stage will be soon forgotten. He, like all "right wing" fulminators, represents not a philosophy but a mental condition, marked by intolerance, bigotry, crudeness, disrespect, dishonesty, and a desperate need for attention. That he is somewhat in the national spotlight is a testament to the corruption of the broadcast industry, wherein he finds employment.

I have known a few "right wingers" in my time, and they have been mentally ill people, with pathological needs to control other people, and with strange self-esteem problems. One, a former friend of my father, operated a gas station in my home town, and when he joined the John Birch Society my father never had anything to do with him again. Before that happened I worked for him for a while. He was a slave driver, cheated me on pay, and lost his franchise with a major oil company for selling off-brand gas. He was as phony as a three dollar bill, pretending to be friendly with customers and cursing them when he thought they couln't hear him.

Another "right winger" I knew was the alcoholic older brother of one of my best friends. He told war stories in a local bar, though he served nary a day in the military. He was a know-it-all, but lost the family business shortly after taking it over when his father died. He died of alcohol related illness a year ago.

The reason I bring this up is that "leftists" waste their time taking these people at face value. There is always a mental and emotional condition underlying the "right wing" ideology. What needs to be looked at deeper are the conditions in our culture that encourage and create such desperate needs to feel superior to others, to fear others, to control others, and to kill others. It is much easier to view our cultural conditions when we are free of "otherness." This topic will come up again, but for now I think the point is made. Among the topics I will explore in future postings will be the need for "leftists" to self-identify as other than the mentally challenged "rightists."

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