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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.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Concentric Circles

A number of years ago I took a class in wilderness tracking. One of the methods introduced was a practice of indigenous tribes of North America, or First Nations, a method known as concentric circles. In this technique the location of the human or animal being tracked is deduced from what can be seen, heard, smelled, and felt. Activities of birds and other animals, changes in trees and other plant life, and changes in the land, water, and sky all are observed for evidence of what has taken place at succeeding distances from where one is.

This method can also be used in the man-made industrial world to deduce not only location, but to trace criminal activity. For instance, in both Ohio and Florida, the evidence provided by exit polling revealed the likelihood of vote fraud in last November’s presidential election. More importantly, concentric circles can be used to assess whether the Bush regime had advance knowledge or even complicity in the attacks of September 11, 2001.

The most immediate evidence the American public has of what goes on in its government is in the propaganda superstructure of public relations, corporate media outlets of television and radio networks, their local affiliates, newspapers, magazines, and other mass information media such as movies and the Internet.

What the public perceives and believes to be the truth can be carefully manipulated by various methods of information control, spin, framing of acceptable limits of thought and speech, and marginalization of dissenting views. The version of reality presented by the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal, as well as the TV networks, have great influence on what parameters, or bounds, of acceptable thought and discourse are for the country as a whole. The acceptable bounds of perception of the causes of the September 11 attacks are that the intelligence agencies failed to "connect the dots" from the myriad of warnings about the impending attacks. The other cause, in the conventional wisdom, was the laxity of immigration laws and policies, which allowed foreign infiltrators to take advantage of American freedoms.

In recent years a new element has been added to further skew levels of acceptable perception and discourse: the bombastic, hypercritical news and talk show. The object of these programs is to create a sense of anger and fear in the audience, and to arouse animosity to targeted individuals and groups. These shows are modern high-tech versions of the lynch mob agitators of the 1800s and 1900s.

The mistake "leftists" make about these shows is to take them at face value, to refer to their hosts as "right wingers." Just a little use of the concentric circles method would reveal that all these people work for someone else. They are employees. The false accusations, lies, innuendo, posturing, and ranting of Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, and the numerous other talkers on the hate media are all done at the behest of the providers of their paychecks. It is in the interest of the owners of these TV and radio networks to have the waters muddied, to have the people distracted, angry, and scared instead of focused on what is actually going on. In the presidential campaign last fall, John Kerry was attacked for "looking French" and for falsifying his war record, among other untrue and misleading accusations.

In this context, the filmmaker Michael Moore can be seen as one of the great trackers of modern times. By looking a couple of levels deep in his movie "Farenheit 9/11," Moore was able to deduce that there has been something very suspicious going on at the highest levels of the Federal government. He wasn’t the only person to notice the connections between the Bush and Saud families, the stolen presidential election of 2000, the longstanding plan for the invasion of Iraq, the global interests of corporations like Halliburton, Bechtel, and the oil companies, the willful ignoring of warnings of an imminent attack, and the need fora "catastrophic event" to enable all these interests to converge. But he was the best person to inform the entire planet of what he discovered.

In Economics there is a concept know as the rationality assumption. It is the contention that people behave "as if" they are rational when making economic decisions when they try to maximize satisfaction. By trying to have more goods and services people are "behaving rationally," whether or not they actually are rational. All that matters is that they are behaving "as if" they are rational.

The rationality assumption can be used to describe the Bush organization. We cannot be sure that they had advance knowledge or complicity in the September 11 attacks, but they sure did a pretty good "as if." They did not behave "as if" the protection of the country was their top priority. They did not behave "as if" they thought the warning "Osama bin Laden determined to attack inside the United States" was in their "interest" to take seriously. They did not behave "as if" anything mattered other than their own preconceived plans to invade Afghanistan and Iraq, and establish an empire of preemptive wars all around the world. They did behave "as if" they knew the attacks were coming, and allowed them to happen.

Now we have another stolen election, and it would seem that more of the same is in the offing. But I would not be so sure. There are other concentric circles to read. Bush is hated all over the planet. There is a movement picking up steam worldwide to boycott American corporations and products. Our trade deficit has reached a crisis stage. The budget deficit is also at a crisis stage. The Iraq war is costing much more in lives and treasure than the Bush gang ever thought possible. It is likely to get worse.

The curtain is being pulled back from the hidden nature of the Bush regime. Similar to the proverbial "Wizard of Oz" movie, it is becoming apparent day by day that the American government is run by not just incompetents, but by criminals. The congress may have quashed the investigation into the voting irregularities in Ohio, but the effort to investigate was there, and subject will come up again when other realities come to the fore. The torture mongering Attorney General-to-be may be able to lie himself into a successful appointment, but again, the subject will return when other realities come to the fore. Any number of criminalities of this regime will come oozing out in the days ahead. The energy task force, the plans to gut the environment, the new version of the Patriot Act, privatization of Social Security, tax cuts for the rich, Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, the entire Iraq debacle, even the coup in Haiti and the attempted coup in Venezuela - all these criminalities will be seen in a new light in the days ahead.

Why do I say this? For the simple reason that eventually a government has to come up with real solutions to real problems. The Soviet Union failed for a number of reasons, but the main reason was it no longer served the people. We are about to see the same thing here. We are at the end stage of the Industrial Revolution. Our infinite growth system has already gone beyond all constraints of sustainability. The oil will run out in our children’s lifetimes. Other resources, like land, water, fish, timber, and minerals will become dearer and dearer. Climate change will become more serious every year. Genetic mischief in seeds and animal products will come back to haunt us. Sociopathic corporate policy will cause widespread unemployment, suffering, and unrest. The wanton squandering of our military might will make our nation’s defense weaker. The criminalization of our electoral system will degrade the political process.

Though this is a pretty grim forecast, it is based on fact and careful analysis. A social-political system that does not serve the people and provide real solutions to real problems will eventually fail. It will be good riddance. There is an entire elite structure in support of the Bush crime family, and they don’t know how to act in their own best interest. The theft of two elections may have seemed like a good idea at the time, but ye reap what ye soweth. If we can learn a few basic tracking skills, maybe we can find a way out of this madness. I think we can.


Blogger debate08 said...

You say "Bush is hated all over the planet" ... then why did 60+ million Americans vote for him?

1/08/2005 7:30 PM  
Blogger John Hamilton said...

I suppose the day will come when I no longer respond to comments, but there have been so few, and I'm still new to blogging, so I'll keep answering.

This one is almost not worth the bother, a comment that is known as "non-serious" in intellectual circles. Bush's popular vote total, including inflated results, was 50,456,002. No matter how high it was, his standing in the world has no correlation to his domestic vote total. Casual observation of U.S. and foreign media will reveal that Bush is detested worldwide by many millions of people.

It is both curious and amusing that of all the things I wrote in this posting, the only thing this person chose to challenge was a well established fact: the detestation of George W. Bush by most people who know of him on Planet Earth.

I don't happen to be one of them. As I have said before, I find Bush revolting, but hate is not a useful or productive emotion for me. He is a mortal, just like the rest of us, and his hour upon the stage will be over relatively soon. A mere blip in the long trudge of history. An odious blip, but thankfully a short one. Mortality is one of the Absolute's ways of providing the Universe with balance.

1/11/2005 7:07 PM  
Blogger John Hamilton said...

I erred. Bush's vote total was 59,117,523. I read the wrong website. Discounting for vote fraud in Ohio, Florida, New Mexico, Iowa, Pennsylvania, and other states would drop his real total another 3 to 5 million, but that's something for historians to fight over.

1/11/2005 7:53 PM  

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