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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.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Texas Ranch House

The 'cowboys' of Texas Ranch HouseIt's been a busy week in the annals of the Bush crime family. By the way, there seems to be some disagreement about whether to capitalize the "c" and "f" in Bush crime family. Actually, I'm the disagreement. I thought I invented the term (though I probably wasn't the first), and I didn't feel the Bush crime family deserved the honor that goes with being a full-fledged proper name. True to my original intent, the Bush crime family will remain as the Bush crime family, at least in this Blog. The acronym BCF will remain upper case. Otherwise it would look like a word without a vowel, sort of like Joe Btfsplk from the comic strip "Li'l Abner."

But I digress. It's been a busy week, with the performance by Stephen Colbert at the White House steno pool annual banquet leading the way. He stuck it to the man. Er, well, he stuck it to the semblance of a man. The man behind the curtain. The curtain was pulled back, ne'er to be closed again.

Then there's the new album by Neil Young, a rage of anti-Bush broadsides. He sticks it to the, uh, man behind the curtain. I played the free download all day at work Monday, listening in with my subversive earphone.

There also was the question and answer session at the highfalootin' "Southern Center for International Studies," where former CIA analyst Ray McGovern asked Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld why he lied about pre-Iraq war intelligence. Rumsfeld of course lied some more, but the pressure is increasing. He no longer talks so loud, no longer seems so proud. He is traveling around the country, scrounging for his next spiel.

Many of us were expecting Fitzmas by the end of the week, but it looks as though we have to wait a little longer. Bush Rasputin Karl Rove is likely to be indicted within days for his role in the Valerie Plame treason case. He will probably be charged with felony perjury for lying to the grand jury, but the untruth was intended to cover up his role in the treasonous revelation of Plame's Top Secret role in the CIA. As fate would have it, her role apparently was in investigating the nuclear energy and/or weapons program of the country known as "Iran."

Curiously, Bush's highly partisan CIA director, Porter Goss (Or is it Goss Porter?), abruptly resigned today. He didn't even bother to say he wanted to spend more time with his family. Apparently he was fired. It's really just a bit of furniture rearrangement on the Hindenburg, but what it shows is that appointing a political flunky to head the nation's top spy agency is not a decision based on competence or wisdom.

For all the energy and encouragement these various events and circumstances provided, what I found most interesting this week was a few obscure items on the Web. One is an interview in Salon, with "House of War" author James Carroll, where he elaborates on his argument that the Pentagon, as an institution, forms U.S. policy, rather than policies being shaped by individual "leaders."

The second item of interest was a posting in Kurt Nimmo's Another day in the Empire, where he talks about how Americans are being dumbed down, and observes that "Dictatorship and despotism thrive when ignorance and stupidity rule societies." He references a brilliant essay by the too-little known educator John Taylor Gatto, who describes the decline in literacy in "America" since World War II.

Another article in Salon, entitled "Lapdogs," is exerpted from a new book by Eric Boehlert in which he details the cowardice and cluelessnes of American maistream media (now known as the "MSM") in providing propaganda cover for the BCF's war in Iraq, a function that continues to this day.

Chris Floyd wrote an incisive essay in Empire Burlesque in which he contends that the Iraq war, the impending bomb assault on Iran, and unknown invasions thereafter are all part of a long-term strategic plan of American moneyed elites to control worldwide petroleum production, distribution, and pricing far into the future.

Not to ignore the impending collapse of our economic system, Mike Whitney writes in Smirking Chimp that, largely due to Bush's huge tax cuts for the rich and huge increases in military spending, and of course the trade deficit, the dollar is going into free-fall in world markets, and Iran is about to switch to the euro as the means of payment for its oil. This is the exact same move that Iraq's Saddam Hussein was planning when the Bush crime family invaded his country.

Through my Web searching I also became aware of Noam Chomsky's new book "Failed States," in which he delineates how the United States of America has become a failed state - failing to protect its citizens from violence, behaving as an international outlaw, suffering a "democratic deficit," and becoming a danger to its own people and the world.

The last item that caught my eye was another posting in Smirking Chimp, in which Elliot Cohen explains how our government and corporations are conspiring to limit access to the Internet, converting it to a weapon of mass deception.

The thread that runs through these various items is that our institutional framework, our infrastructure of government, corporations, information media and the school system are all working in their own ways to concentrate power and wealth to the very few, to foment wars all over the planet, to limit our ability to generate and have access to information, and to control what we think and do.

It might work for a while. A short while. The ultra-rich in this country got that way by rigging the system for themselves. They depend on the law-making, law-enforcement, judiciary, and military infrastructure to maintain their pre-eminence at the top of the mountain. True lords of the flies, their lordship exists in the pre-collapse American empire. Once the empire fails, their positions become highly precarious.

This precariousness was depicted in a most serendipitous manner this week, in a "reality" series on PBS titled "Texas Ranch House". A modern-day family was chosen to operate a ranch in what looked like southwest Texas, in conditions that existed in 1867, and a crew of eight men were recruited to work as cowhands, the ranch foreman, and a cook for just the buckaroos.

I don't subscribe to cable TV, so PBS is pretty much all I watch. I didn't expect much out of this show, because the previous "back to the settling of America" series were not very good. In the first segment of "Texas Ranch House," my expectations were confirmed, I thought, mainly because the cowboys-to-be didn't look very impressive. None of them even knew the correct way to swing a hammer when building the corral and fences.

Robby Cabezuela, foreman of 'Texas Ranch House'That turned out to be a minor concern. After "The Colonel," the first foreman, was fired, the group of cowboys jelled into a skilled and cohesive unit under the direction of the new foreman, Robby Cabezuela. This development in itself was enough to make me keep watching over the next several days.

The dynamic that was most metaphoric in this mini-series, though, was the interplay between the cowboys and the family chosen to "own" the ranch. The husband is a hospital administrator in real-life, and for the show he lived in the ranch house with his corpulent wife and three daughters. The cowhands stayed in a typical old-west bunkhouse. The living arrangement came to symbolize the more serious divisions between the two groups.

The arrogance, callousness, conniving, dishonesty, and narcissism of the family proved to be the undoing of the ranch. In typical ruling class mentality, the family lived in relative privilege, keeping the best and most nutritious food for themselves, while the cowboys gradually became gaunt from the poor quality food they were allotted.

The husband of the family was completely incompetent in running the ranch, continually alienating the cowboys with his laziness, dishonesty, and disrespect. He blamed them for everything that went wrong, and took credit for everything that went right. He continually went back on his word, and allowed his wife to intrude on private meetings and to override decisions made with the cowboys. In the end, the cowboys all quit and rode off, leaving the family to their own devices. If this had happened in 1867, the family would have perished in short order. If the indigenous tribes in the area, mainly the Comanches, didn't get them, their own stupidity would.

Very quickly I intuited this family as an archetype of Republican America. The overseer mentality, sense of "entitlement," self-centeredness, disrespect, ignorance, and extrapunitiveness are all characteristics of the "base" of support for the Bush crime family. You can see it in the fulminations of their myth-makers: Fox News, the MSM, the network of fundamentalist Christian-charlatans, and various story-tellers of the entertainment industry.

Ahh, the tragedy of the myth-making aristocacy. There's just one little problem with myth-making. It better have some relationship with the truth other than being 180 degrees opposite. This has been the downfall of liars throughout human history: Lying does not make things true. Your saying so doesn't make it so. You reap what you sow. Truth wins in the end. Events overtake.

So this past week was a bit of a watershed. The momentum of the BCF lying-thieving-murdering-destroying juggernaut was slowed down a bit, maybe even a lot. They will have to cook up even greater lies than in the past in order to regain their momentum. They also will have to have an even bigger "Pearl Harbor event" than the attacks of Septemeber 11, 2001, if they want to stay out of jail.

This will be interesting to watch, and maybe even a little fun. I don't believe the law enforcement, intelligence, and military superstructure of this country had any knowing involvement in the September 11 attacks. There may have been individual involvement, but not likely institutional involvement. As institutions, I believe they will not allow this to happen again. They have all been played for chumps by the Bush crime family. They have been disrespected, lied to, blamed, and made to shoulder the burden of the vile schemes of the Bush crime family.

Unlike the cowboys of "Texas Ranch House," they will not quit and ride off. If the Bush crime family is planning some kind of "Burning of the Reichstag" event, I trust that our intelligence agencies know about it. I may be wrong, but I believe they will thwart the plan or plans. There is much turmoil going on at the CIA, and presumably at our other law-enforcement and intelligence agencies. More than a little of it can be surmised to be resistance to the schemes of the Bush crime family.

The future of the entire planet hangs in the balance. The likelihood of its future being handed over to a pipsqueak criminal gang is about as likely as flying toads and big rock candy mountains. The real-life "Texas Ranch House" is about to get very interesting. Be sure to have enough popcorn and chocolate bars. Let the show begin!

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