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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, December 15, 2005

Animal farm

This picture is from the website FactoryFarming (http://www.factoryfarming.com/gallery/pigs15.htm). To find out more about the issues related to corporate pig production, this site is also informative: http://www.goveg.com/f-top10pigs.asp
If this picture looks painfully similar to your own life, at least you can say you are not alone. Except we are alone, at least compared to animals caught in the web of the mass industrial system. When we drive on freeways in our cars we tend to be driving alone. When we work in jobs of mass employment we tend to be working alone or independently of others. When we engage in mass entertainment, we are either watching TV alone, or going to events where we are in a mass with strangers. Even in worship we organize in masses that are increasingly anonymous. Our "democracy" is based on mass voting for distant candidates, and the voting, thanks to corporations like Diebold, is easily manipulated and defrauded.

Alone or in concert with other people, our lives are bound by the near-omnipresence of the mass system. Like in the picture above, we are herded, filed, threatened, and disposed of in a regimented, aggregated manner. Just looking at the picture should arouse a bit of intuition that this is not the way we should be producing food, and it also is not the way we should be living our lives.

Since things weren’t always this way, it can safely be said that they won’t always be this way in the future. The industrial model of world organization is only one of many ways to organize societies, and it reached its peak of popularity and preeminence after World War II. The booming postwar economy, the advent of television, the expanded use of the automobile and the proliferation of suburbia, all combined to create the illusion of abundance, freedom, leisure, and luxury.

But times have changed. Jobs are fleeing overseas. Driving is tedium, and gasoline supplies are heading toward decline. TV is mostly crap, its content driven by the crudest dictates of the profit motive. And our country’s morality is breaking down, led by the rampant and blatant criminality of the country’s leadership, both corporate and governmental.

Then there is the environment, the ecosystem, the web of life on the planet. It is breaking down, and eventually will complete the process if the presence of man continues on its present path.

Into this milieu came the Bush crime family in January 2001. For them, the mass industrial system provided the perfect context for their plan for world domination, for endless rule, for vast wealth for their corporate sponsors, and for horrific punishment for those who would oppose them. The torture they have sponsored around the world was intended as both an experiment and an object lesson for the entire planet. They could institutionalize the practice of torture, perfect the methods, and terrorize all who might interfere with their plans.

At least that was how it was supposed to work. The best laid plans of mice and men often gang awry, though, and the plans of the Bush crime family were not so best laid. Torture, for example, turns out not to be so effective in terrorizing the planet. It terrorizes the people being tortured, but has the effect of emboldening those who aren’t being tortured. It also causes a lot of revulsion around the world, which creates public relations problems for the criminals who depend so much on public relations. Among the ruling elites, the embarrassment of supporting a torture regime also has its costs. If the American corporate system appears to be an immoral presence on the planet without any proper ethical standards, then the rest of the planet will have to save itself in spite of and in opposition to this system. They will have to organize against the American corporate and military empire for their own survival.

The American people, of course, will also have to organize against the corporate and military empire. It will not be enough to rid ourselves of the Bush crime family. Unless the system is changed, another, likely more competent and diabolical criminal organization will step into the vacuum. The system itself is set up for criminality. The crime "family" that controls it is only the most visible manifestation. Bush himself is little more than a pitch man for his criminal organization. The real decisions are made by people like Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rove, Wolfowitz, and God knows who else.

Since the Bush crime family is now in its downfall phase, we are at a time of historic opportunity. We can bring the Bush criminal organization to justice, preferably in Nuremberg-style war crimes trials, and we should punish them as befits their crimes. I prefer life at hard labor for the entire bunch of them. I don’t like capital punishment for the simple reason that someone has to be hired to commit premeditated murder. That is not an activity that is proper for anyone in a civilized society, whether for pay or otherwise.

But the real opportunity here is to change the system. Change it we must, and change it we will. We have no choice. Because of climate change, also known as global warming, we will change whether we like it or not. We will keep having debacles like Hurricane Katrina until and after we do. "Brownie" was a luxury of the era of the Bush crime family. The days of such luxury are over. We will, if we wish to survive, have competent, honest leadership at all levels. We will live in such a way as to keep natural and man-made disasters to an absolute minimum.

So, as I love to say to all the Bush haters, of which there are many, George W. Bush is a blessing. What if he were a competent criminal? What if he really knew how to run an effective, viable, long-lasting criminal operation? What if he were not a brain-damaged drug and alcohol addict? What if he were not a military deserter? What if he really had a record as a successful entrepeneur? What if he had great personal appeal, like, say, Brad Pitt, Denzel Washington, or Julia Roberts? What if he were an electrifying speaker? What if he had great intelligence? What if, like Hitler, he had real beliefs beyond crude narcissism?

Thankfully, he has none of these qualities. If someone this low can become the leader of the most powerful economic and military presence in history, then someone more competently evil can also attain the office. We should consider ourselves lucky. We also cannot waste this opportunity. Otherwise, we are as dumb and incompetent as Bush and his cronies. And equally criminal. Maybe the pigs can do better.

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