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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, January 31, 2006

Finding your inner Bush

Tonight is the State of the Union speech. One of the writers on the Huffington Post is staging a "9/11 Beat the Clock" guessing game for how long it takes Bush to mention the September 11, 2001 attacks. The norm is about 90 seconds. I probably won’t watch. As I have said before, I don’t hate Bush, but I find him revolting, and I’m not in a mood for revulsion. I should record it for times when I need to induce vomiting. Sometimes I eat too much pizza, and a few minutes of Bush could come in handy.

Like a lot of people around the world, I’m subject to thinking these are the worst of times. When this happens I quickly remind myself of the late 60s and early 70s, when Henry Kissinger was wreaking havoc on the planet. Kissinger is actually a personification of perfidy, directly or indirectly responsible for the deaths of millions in places as varied as Vietnam, East Timor, and Chile.

Kissinger, even more so than Bush, is a veritable archetype of the mindset of the overseer, the self-defined Übermeister. Some of the best quotes of this mental state come from Kissinger: "The issues are much too important for the Chilean voters to be left to decide for themselves" (quoted here); and "Military men are just dumb stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy." - Henry Kissinger, (quoted in "Kiss the Boys Goodbye: How the United States Betrayed Its Own POW’s in Vietnam", quoted here); and "I don't see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its people." (quoted here).

Saddam Hussein is supposedly the greatest modern example of perfidy, but he has been so fiendified by politicians and news media that he is nearly useless as a model for evil. But Kissinger, he is a media darling, a familiar face on talk shows and news analyses. If someone that commonplace and ordinary can be such a killer, what of any of us?

This is one of the places where I part company with "leftists." To most of them, Kissinger is a "right winger," a "fascist" and a "racist." In fact, none of these terms apply to Henry Kissinger. He is widely known as a "pragmatist," a schemer who plays all sides against each other, and his main interest is his own ego and power. He practiced "Realpolotik,” the art of the practical and doable. Ideology only matters as context for whatever scheme he is involved in. As far as being a "racist," the term only applies if one considers Kissinger himself as a one man race, believing himself superior to everyone else.

Bush, the front man, the presenter of sales pitches, is no Henry Kissinger. We will see a simple-minded speech tonight, filled with platitudes, misstatements, lies, grandiosity, and emotional appeals. But we will not see the level of craftiness, of deviousness, and of complexity of the kind of evil represented by Henry Kissinger. In a way, we should consider ourselves lucky. Except the Bush gang hasn’t finished yet. We would be better to try to understand such men. And painful though it may be to admit, the best way to understand such men is to look within ourselves. We all contain that evil person, and all we have to do to understand such a being is to find him, and to probe his nature. It doesn’t cost anything, and when we do a bit of investigating, we become better able to deal with such people, and to keep from becoming one on the outside.

It may be very painful to find the inner Bush, and I have to admit I haven’t come around to looking myself, but I eventually will. The yogis say we should be beyond attraction and repulsion. I need the practice, so Bush is a perfect subject. Maybe I’ll even watch the speech tonight. If I'm feeling really brave, I might try to find my inner Kissinger. I'll be calling Bush our meatball president in no time.

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