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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.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

The Great Man theory revisited

The great man on his way to work
It seems the "Great man" theory of history has gotten a new lease on life. Patrick Fitzgerald is the latest great man, and his ascendancy to greatness comes not a moment too soon. His subdued announcement of the indictment of Irving Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the chief of staff for Dick Cheney, revealed a man of courage, integrity, tenacity, patience, brilliance, and shrewdness - all qualities necessary for a great man. Timing, or luck, of course has a lot to do with it, and Fitzgerald has timing like that of Count Basie.

As Fitzgerald chips away at the Bush regime's hold on power, it will be interesting to watch how the various forces respond, jockey for position, spin, maneuver, posture, fulminate, cooperate, succomb, and opinionate. Fox News and Rush Limbaugh can be counted on for a lot of desperate smearing, lying, distracting, and obfuscating. The network news and analysis shows can be counted on for playing it both ways, testing the winds for direction, and trying to create their own brands of conventional wisdom. Republican politicians can be expected to fulminate, exaggerate, pontificate, and deviate. Democtratic politicians can be expected to posture, commiserate, denounce, and collude. It will be grand spectacle, likely better than Watergate, and stretched out over a longer time period.

Because the forces that still support the Bush crime family are formidable and entrenched, it is better that this process take a long time to play out. Supposed "conservative" ideologues, who are really just a lot of narcissistic, greedy, power obsessed promenaders, will be doing a lot of promenading in the coming months and years, but they will eventually have used up their time of prominence (and prominadence). Various criminal corporations and their echelons of corporate criminals will continue funneling vast amounts of money to Republican coffers, and will continue wreaking havoc upon the planet. The enabling that the Bush crime family has given them is good for a lot of loyalty and loot.

But the great man has arrived, and he also has a lot of support. He has the tide of history as well. The entire planet is hungering for someone to stand up to Bush and his gang of destroyers, for a man of integrity and courage. Day by day, the truth of the last four years will be revealed, and the human species now has a golden opportunity to move toward true civilization.

By contrast the Bush criminal organization is a pretty shoddy one, and they will crumble, possibly faster than did the gang that surrounded Nixon. These are not formidable men. Bush is a brain-damaged drug and alcohol addict, a certifiable military deserter, a ne'er do well corporate criminal, a war criminal, an election thief (twice, maybe three times), the enabler of the worst attack and the worst natural disaster in the history of the nation, and the sponsor of torture and illegal detention worldwide.

His fellow gang members are perhaps smarter than he is, but no less criminal, and they have little experience in the areas of honor, decency, ethics, morality, and courage. Lacking these qualities, they are not well positioned for redeeming their relatively brief tenure in positions of power.

One of the benefits of the emergence of a great man is the "spread" effect of his example. By seeing an actual man of honor and integrity, more and more people become inspired, and are moved to do great things themselves. There is also the shame effect for those who support the criminal power structure. Especially in the context of global warming and environmental degradation, the greed model of human endeavor is likely to fall into extreme disfavor.

So let's cheer up. The great man has arrived, and the Wizard of Oz, Humpty Dumpty, the king who hath no clothes, the pretender to the throne, the idiot king, the psychopath, the homicidal maniac George W. Bush will be gone soon enough. He can take his gang with him when he leaves, and if there is any justice on this planet, they should be breaking rocks in the hot sun for the rest of their lives. For the rest of us, we must make sure this never happens again. We may not get a great man next time.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Countdown to impeachment

The power behind the throne
It seems safe to say that the downfall phase of the Bush crime family has finally begun. George W. Bush himself doesn't seem to be able to do anything right, and reports of his resumed drinking have begun to appear. His "subordinates" don't look to be doing any better, with indictments of advisor Karl Rove and others in his gang likely any day now. The word "impeachment" is being mentioned more as each day passes.

This was inevitable. I admit to having some doubts from time-to-time, but there have been too many things that are way too criminal about this regime for it to last a full eight years, to say nothing of the planned worldwide empire that would last until at least the end of the century (See previous posting).

Though the "treasongate" fiasco is the proximate cause for the collapse of the BCF (Bush crime family), other criminalities would eventually catch up with them. Cronyism, September 11, 2001, the Iraq war, Hurricane Katrina, the Cheney task force on energy, the two stolen elections, the Enron-California energy scam, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, the excesses of the Patriot Act, DeLay, Abramoff, and numerous other criminal activities either actively pursued or suborned - one or all of these together would eventually cause the Bush gang to implode.

What we should be doing at this point, along with keeping the pressure on our various institutions of government and news media, is figuring out where we go from here. Do we want to keep New Orleans, rebuild it, and prevent another Katrina debacle? Do we want to save the rest of the country from a similar fate? Do we want a foreign policy that respects the sovereignty of other countries, and that lives up to high standards of human decency? Do we want an ecosystem that supports human and other forms of life for generations to come? Do we want an economic system that answers the questions of what, how, and for whom in a civilized way? One that respects and fosters the aspirations of all people to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Do we want an information system that is not hostage to the whims and control of moneyed interests? Do we want a social policy that is based on a genuine contract beween the citizenry and the government? Do we want a society where spiritual practice is based on pursuit of connection with the Divine, or do we want to have a system where the phoniest hucksters we can find are anointed as representatives of "God" on Earth?

These are questions we all have to ponder and find a way of answering. Otherwise, we will have an endless succession of Bush crime families running things. Half the American population has been more than willing to put crooks in office time after time. It was obvious from the get-go what we were getting and going to get with Bush. He appealed to the country's darkest nature, and the country rewarded him with two terms in office. The elections of 2000 and 2004 may have been stolen, but they weren't stolen by much.

We don't have a way, at this point, of talking meaningfully about the difficulties we face. As I have written before in this blog and elsewhere, the old divide of "left" versus "right" is not only a meaningless metaphor that is mistaken for fact, it is an impediment to dialogue and progress. People are required to take "sides" on every "issue," guaranteeing a polarization. What ends up happening is that grandstanders and opportunists seize the stage, and the forum is corrupted.

If we can look at human existence as something greater than one "side" or the "other," then maybe we can find a way to better our condition. I have mentioned before that Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs is a much more appropriate way of looking at human aspiration and interaction. Improvements on his hierarchy are starting to appear, outlined in "A Hierarchy of Consciousness" by Stephen Kiesling.

We have some blame to dish out. But if all we have is blame, we're doomed. We need a clear vision of where we want to go as a species, and what it will take to get there. One thing that can be said for sure is that we won't get there if we have no idea of what "there" is, and we had better make sure everyone is included in the journey. We could easily do worse next time.