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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.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Looking back, looking forward

The oaf visits New Orleans. He's the one with the Texas Ranger belt. You can get your own at http://www.cowtowncowboy.com/Content/Product-40-1-134.htmIf we are fortunate enough to survive the Bush era with some semblance of civilization, and I believe we will be, the serious work of saving ourselves and our decency will begin. Of course, the number one priority will be undoing the damage of the age of fossil fuels, but there will also be much serious analysis and literary critique of this sordid time in history. How a complete oaf could become president of the most powerful country in history will be the subject of much study, ridicule, wonder, hypothesis, and conjecture.

Even more interesting will be the theorizing of how a raw criminal organization could so easily take over the country and have its people effectively fooled and manipulated for as long as did the Bush crime family. The BCF is not through yet, so they no doubt have a few tricks up their sleeves, but the fooling and manipulating is finally starting to fail. Reality has a pretty ruthless way of eventually separating the wheat from the chaff. It’s one thing to create a frenzy for invading another country. It’s quite another to actually do the invasion, and then go about the business of occupying the country and controlling its people and the country’s future. It’s one thing to bluster about competence and integrity, but quite another to prepare for and provide aid and reconstruction after a major hurricane. It’s one thing to boast about creating a competent, affordable health care system, but quite another to actually create it.

Hubris, conceit, smugness, haughtiness, pomposity, effrontery - all synonyms for arrogance - explain much about the "success" of the Bush crime family. You can find the same thing all day long on Fox News, but also to a considerable degree on the major TV networks. Tim Russert and George Will immediately come to mind. The worst, of course, is the now melting into the floor Bill O’Reilly, but his imitators around the country are multitudinous, whether on the air or not.

Indeed, it can truthfully be said that the single greatest factor in the long-running success of the Bush criminal operation is the complicity, cheerleading, myth-making, and suppression of dissent provided by the "news" and public affairs operations of the major print and broadcast media. The New York Times, the Washington Post, Time, Newsweek, CBS, NBC, ABC, and Fox all gave critical and indispensable aid to the Bush crime family in its efforts to create propaganda cover for its various schemes. (If you would like to hear a bit of truth about what really goes on at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp, click here. It's the program titled "Habeas Schmabeas.")

Then there are the criminal relationships between major corporations and the Federal government. As is being revealed in the Jack Abramoff scandal, the U.S. Congress is almost totally for sale, and the regulating agencies are equally bought and paid for through both tradition and political control.

This criminality also thrives at the state level, but the tide may be turning. The former speaker of the Wisconsin State Assembly, Scott Jensen, was convicted yesterday on three felony counts for secretly turning staff, offices and equipment at the Legislature into a massive campaign machine. Jensen, a Republican, chose to fight the charges at trial rather than accept a plea bargain like his smarter Democratic counterparts, accused of the very same crimes. Hubris has its costs, as it turns out. Jensen will probably get at least a couple of years in jail. His rise to power was during the heyday of former governor Tommy Thompson, who seemed for his 14 years in office to be invincible, and created the climate of corruption that led to today’s shame. Tommy Thompson’s day is also likely to come.

All this will change because it has to. We have to solve the problem of Climate Change. We have to solve the problems of criminal government, news media, and corporate behavior. We have to solve the problems of worldwide warfare and its corporate promotion and profiteering. We have to solve the problems of overpopulation and destruction of the environment. We have to solve the problem of the unsustainability of our economic system. We have to solve the problem of crackpot religious fanatics trying to take over the world, most particularly the "Christian" "fundamentalists" of the United States of America.

We will. We will solve all these problems because the alternative is a combination of chaos, descent into madness, universal poverty, rampant disease, and collapse of any semblance of civil society. Even the rich and otherwise privileged would get caught in the maelstrom, and they will find the prospect less attractive than loss of wealth and privilege. It is the rich and otherwise privileged who brought us the Bush crime family, and it has been they who have enabled its various schemes and flim-flammery. They did it to enhance their own wealth and power, and any solution requires an accounting.

So for anyone looking to the future, the first question to ask is what kind of future we will have if we keep doing things like they are done today. Then ask what the world will look like if we change our ways to a survivable and sustainable civilization. Then the question to ask is what it would take to get to such a future. We are humans. We can figure it out. We have plenty of information. What we need is a bit of wisdom, virtue, and clarity. Thanks to our corporations and the Bush crime family, we have firm knowledge of what not to do.

In this context, it will be interesting and amusing to watch as the DLC (Democratic Leadership Council), composed of "elite" members of the Democratic Party, tries to control and manipulate the political process in the coming years. Smelling blood, these schemers believe that all they have to do is pose as "not Bush," and they can then pull the same kinds of criminality as the BCF, just more competently. The DLC gave us Bill Clinton, and as far as they are concerned, that's good enough. Since actually solving problems that have to be solved is not part of their scheme, they will fail miserably. They are as corporate-sponsored as the Bush crime family, guaranteeing their demise as a force for change. In this day and age, anyone sponsored by corporations is a crook. Again, we have to solve the problems critical to our survival as a species. Since necessity is the mother of invention, we will have to come up with something new, and especially something other than the "Bush-lite" posturing of the Democratic Leadership Council (Prediction: they will change their name.)

It's a great time to be alive.

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