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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, November 24, 2006

A new direction

Bush doing the perp walk. Visualization leads to actualization. Read the article where this picture was found at http://www.uruknet.info/?p=14599.My previous post made its way to the front page of Smirking Chimp, where it elicited a lot of comments. I wrote a general reply, and a reply to the one comment on the original version. I am reprinting them below, because they mark the direction that I want to go in future explorations. I hope readers find them helpful.

Link to original comment

States of consciousness

This has been an interesting exercise. I didn't expect my post to be placed on Smirking Chimp's home page, but once there, I knew it would get a lot of reads.

Some of the comments have been gratifying, while others are pretty much template remarks that appear after every other post on this site. What I find consistent among them is the egotism and rage of the writers. This is something I have observed ever since I started reading Smirking Chimp.

The egotism and rage comments fall into two categories. One is the cynic, defeatist, disempowered and disempowering type. All is hopeles, the "powerful" will rule forever, resistance is futile, assimilation is inevitable, and on and on and on.

The other category is another form of cynicism, except that no one - other than the ego-centered rager - is doing enough, all others are dishonorable, especially anyone holding office. Thus we get that Nancy Pelosi is "an arrogant lightweight and more concerned about herself than anything else." Such mindreading capacity. Such keen insight into the character of another. The world truly needs such talent. Not.

We are all part of the world predicament, and can do much to make it better or worse. If you do little more than sit at a computer and rage away, you harm yourself, and are not in a state of consciousness to be of help to others. In this hectic, overly tasked life that is modern day "America," it is a great challenge to live a balanced life. For some, the challenge isn't even conceivable. In every city in this country and on almost every college campus there is some kind of meditation group, Tai Chi class, Yoga class, outdoor organization, or even a book club. If you find that cynicism is not leading to inner peace or harmony, you might find one of these groups or activities helpful.

None of us is "better" than anyone else, and hating Bush, Nancy Pelosi, everybody else, and ultimately yourself will not make this delusion true. The yogic ideal is to be beyond attraction and repulsion. I find Bush revolting, so I haven't attained any great state of being. But I don't hate him. Mostly I laugh when I see him on TV, but I can only handle about 30 seconds before I have to change the channel or walk away when it's a more public television set. There are times when I feel compassion for him, realizing the long path of suffering he has paved for himself.

We have a difficult road ahead, impeachment or not. Global Warming is a much greater challenge than the impeachment of an international pariah like George W. Bush. In the days ahead we will all need to be the best persons we can be in order to face this and other environmental and social problems. Hating will not get us anywhere.

Let there be no mistaking my belief that the Bush criminal organization should be brought to justice, and I believe it will. In a few years, though, it will seem a luxury to have raged about what will then be seen as a petty concern. We have very serious work to do to save life on this planet. It won't be done by raging cynics, though we might find a few trying to run the show. I live in Madison, Wisconsin. This type exists here in spades, and left unchallenged can ruin any attempt at making the world a better place. We have our work cut out for us.

Nov 11 2006 - 3:35am |

Link to original comment

It didn't occur to me to compare Bush to Clinton. Since the comparison has been made, a bit of background is in order. The label "conservative" is something I always put in quotes because it is an assumed identity, and usually a fake identity. Mostly they are common criminals, pretending to have a belief system.

The impeachment of Bill Clinton is no justification for the impeachment of George W. Bush. Bush's criminality is a stand alone phenomenon, comparable to the world's worst criminals in both intention and action.

As far as "deserving" the death "penalty," one has to assume two things. One is that death is a penalty rather than the inevitable end to all temporal incarnation. The other is that death is something to be "deserved." To deserve death is to be human, since it comes to us all eventually.

Then there is the presumption of qualification to pronounce death on someone else. This presumption is commonly referred to as murder. No matter how you cut it, presuming the "right" and power to take another person's life is to presume the power of murder. This is the same presumption that George W. Bush has made many, many times over, whether it was in his youth blowing up frogs, executing prisoners in Texas, invading Afghanistan and Iraq, or in enabling the September 11, 2001 attacks. I would much rather see him endure civilized punishment, such as life in prison at hard labor. For him any labor would be hard labor, but clearing brush would certainly be a nice twist.
11/10/2006 11:24 PM

Friday, November 10, 2006

To impeach or not to impeach

The conquering heroThe subject of impeachment is being talked about enthusiastically on the Web and other media, and a bit of overview might help.

George W. Bush was placed in the office of President of the United States twice through criminal action, mainly by vote fraud in the states of Florida and Ohio. He engaged in active criminal negligence prior to the attacks of September 11, 2001. He lied the country into a mass-murderous invasion and occupation of Iraq. He engaged in active negligence prior to and after Hurricane Katrina. He authorized torture, kidnapping, secret imprisonment, denial of due process, and spying on American citizens, all without legal authorization. He presided over the exposure of an intelligence officer, severely damaging the nation's ability to gather information about Iran's nuclear program. His war in Iraq has been marked by crony contracts with civilian contractors such as Halliburton and Bechtel, with billions of dollars completely missing.

His entire life has been marked by failure and criminality, including cruelty to animals, drug addiction, alcoholism, military desertion, and insider trading. He is a man of no worth as a human being in any honorable way. To say he deserves impeachment is one of the great understatements of human history.

House speaker-to-be Nancy Pelosi has indicated that she does not support impeachment. At first glance this would seem to be a capitulation, a backing down from principle, bowing to expediency. Many are already making such accusations.

Oh, the honor of it allI beg to differ. As we saw with the downfall of Richard Nixon, principle is one thing, and the survival of the republic is sometimes another thing. It took the educational process of the Watergate hearings, an investigation by the House of Representatives, the reporting by various news organizations, and Nixon's strange behavior to bring him down. The country was spared impeachment by Nixon's resignation, which he clearly did bacause he was facing immanent impeachment.

Now we have a president who is far worse than Nixon. He should be facing an international trial for war crimes. He should be breaking rocks in the hot sun for the rest of his life. But there needs to be a groundwork laid before such trial and imprisonment take place.

The "American" people have given Bush a sharp rebuke in Tuesday's election, but may not be ready for the rancor of an impeachment. In this light, Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats are playing it very smart. She has said that there will be investigations, implying that Congressman John Conyers will be allowed to pursue his investigation of Bush's crimes. Other investigations will also proceed without hindrance.

So Nancy Pelosi and Senate majority leader-to-be Harry Reid are doing the wise and intelligent thing. It would be foolish for them to say that their first priority is to impeach Bush. There needs to be a warming-up process first. The "American" people need a thorough education on what has been going on for the last six years. The truth needs to come out, and it needs to come out in a deliberative way, free of hysteria and rush to judgement.

Another aspect of the bringing to justice of the Bush criminal operation is that there is one television network, "Fox News," that is a propaganda arm of the criminal "right," and will try to incite any manner of hysteria and threats in order to prevent the impeachment of Bush, Cheney, or any of their partners in crime. Fox can be defused by a number of means, but mainly they have to be debunked, shamed, sued, and prosecuted. This is where citizen action can come into play. Why has no one sued Fox and its owner Rupert Murdoch? Why has the architect of Fox's lie machine, Roger Ailes, not been sued, prosecuted, or called to testify? Mainly because of the perception of power they have been able to project. That projection is now a bit limp, rendered impotent by Tuesday's election. Though not on the Fox network, Rush Limbaugh can be seen as the poster boy for limp propagandists nationwide. He shot his wad, so to speak, on a long career of lying and cruelty. Now rendered impotent by his own hyperbole and its ironic empowerment of those he lies about, he will likely depart the airways before long. Claire McCaskill, the new senator from Missouri, credits his making fun of Michael J. Fox for her victory. Nice life, Rush. Better luck next time. A##h@*e.

So to zealots for impeachment I say be patient. It takes process. It took a long time for the country to sink to the level where a George W. Bush could become its president. Getting rid of him and bringing him to justice won't happen overnight. But if we are determined, careful, mature, and honorable as a people, he just might end up breaking rocks in the hot sun for the rest of his life. I would settle for clearing brush.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

"America" "votes"

We have "elections" in "states" all over the "country" in two days. They are seen as the most important "elections" in "American" history by many, critical to stopping the Bush crime family. What is more critical is whether the votes will actually be counted, and counted as cast. Whatever the outcome, the decline and fall of the Bush criminal organization is already well advanced. The decline will continue regardless of who wins the "elections." The real question is whether the BCF takes the "country" down with it.

Rather than write extensively about the "elections," I am reposting some comments I made to articles that appeared in Smirking Chimp. It is likely that very few people read any of them, so they're a bit like trees falling in a forest.

Like everything I write, these comments present a holistic perspective, and are not bound by conventional wisdom. The links preceding the comments will take you to the original articles. I don't necessarily wish for agreement, but hopefully to provide examples and inspiration for people to do their own thinking.

Better than thinking, though, is to connect with your intuition. When I read or watch someone speak, I pay attention to how it makes me feel. By exploring what I feel and intuit of what comes my way, I can use thought to express my own view. Hopefully, you can do the same.


The criminal mind, supported by the defeatist mind

No doubt there will be any number of negative, defeatist, and cynical responses to this article, as has happened so many times in the past when something uplifting appears in Smirking Chimp. What these authors are stressing is that the tide of history has changed. The Bush regime and its enablers nationwide are mere criminals, without honor, and they are mortal. Defeat will come to them inevitably as it does to all criminals.

My stock response to defeatists is that Global Warming trumps all human endeavor on this planet. The Bush criminal operation is trying to build its own momentum against the momentum of the need to survive as a species. Does anyone think that the power of a relatively few sociopaths could ever be greater than the survival instinct of all of mankind?

Not likely. Stolen election or not, life is going to be very unhappy for the Bush gang for the rest of their lives. Their scam has failed. All the talk about "failed policies" is euphemism. This mob doesn't have any policies, only schemes. And, as Louis L'Amour loved to say in his Western novels, the criminal mind always underestimates the forces it is up against.

So, winge-ers of defeat and pessimism, get some help. Don't stand in the doorway, don't block up the hall. For the times they are a-changin'.

JAH Nov 4 2006 - 9:20am |


Only "approved" stories welcome

When the movie "Schindler's list" was making its run in 1993, a reviewer at the official "leftist" radio station here in Madison found the movie to be a big failure because it didn't tell the story she wanted told. The story she wanted was of the Jews who resisted the Nazis, so "Schindler's list" was a bad movie. Nothing about the quality of the film, the power of the story it actually did tell, the acting, or even its historical accuracy. It was just a bad movie. And bad, bad Steven Spielberg for making the movie.

The same level of wisdom is displayed a few comments above in criticizing Greg Palast for not telling the story the criticizer wants told. To which I have the same response as I had to the criticism of "Schindler's list": Tell the story yourself.

Make a movie of your story. Make a TV show of your story. Do some work, and tell your story right here in Smirking Chimp. The New York Times. The Washington Post. The L.A. Times. The New Yorker.

As far as Greg Palast is concerned, he has told the story of vote fraud almost continuously since 2000. He has risked his life covering this and other stories. Has the critic from the peanut gallery lifted a finger to tell a story worth telling? It's hard to say, but his name doesn't exactly ring a bell.

When someone takes on a life's work to tell the world stories that need to be told, he or she does not hesitate, thinking "Gee, I don't know. What will Joe Btfsplk in Keokuk think if I write about this?"

For Joe Btfsplk, I offer this suggestion: Get off thine arse and do something productive, something positive, something that needs to be done. And since you are so sensitive about writers only telling "approved" stories, be sure to ask permision from a list of post commentators in Smirking Chimp.

JAH | Nov 3 2006 - 9:58pm | ______________________________________


What it means to be a Houston homebuilder

Payceck stub from Joe Swartz Electric. Joe Swartz put 50 trucks on the road every day, with three man crews in each one, wiring houses in Houston's boom of the early 80s.I moved to Houston in late 1980 to do construction work. I found a job wiring houses for the largest residential electrical contractor in town, for $5.00/hour. Crews of three rough-wired four houses a day. Unions were communism. Anything "government" was communism, such as sewers, zoning, public transportation, and regulation of home building.

As a result, thousands of houses were built that could easily be blown over by the Big Bad Wolf. One of the more shocking practices was to apply siding that was a thick cardboard, textured to look like wood, and disguised by paint.

I can only imagine what happens when Houston experiences one of its frequent floods. The town is built on a flood plain, and the sewer system they have now is an add-on. These houses were built all over Houston, but if my memory serves me right, most of them were built in the southwest part of the city and outlying areas.

It would be interesting to know how many of these substandard houses were built by Bob Perry. Knowing Houston like I do (remember Enron?), he likely thrived there because of the laissez faire attitude towards business and the corruption of public life.

So he became rich in wide-open Houston, one of the true hell-holes on this planet, a place that made me physically ill with its bad vibes. I could feel it when I entered the city limits, and said to myself, "Whoa! What did I get myself into?" I lasted four months.

From easy money "home" building to funding the Swiftboat liars. What a legacy.

Rigged election or not, the Bush crime family is headed for defeat. What will become of Bob Perry as this defeat spreads its tentacles? It's hard to say. I'm just glad I'm not him. And I'm glad I don't live in one of his houses.

JAH | Nov 4 2006 - 12:07am |


The real villain

It's a bit of a stretch to lay so much responsibility on David Letterman. He's an employee, the same as Bill O'Reilly. And George W. Bush, for that matter. The real question is who is the employer?

Diebold and other forms of vote fraud notwithstanding, the real support for the Bush criminal operation has been money. "Money doesn't talk, it swears," Dylan once sang, which we now see as an understatement. Money destroys. Men don't matter in a world of money supremacy. They are merely cogs in the machine, selling their souls without hesitation. Even the supposed "genius" Karl Rove is merely filling a money mandated job vacancy.

All for money. And its perverted partner: power. The two become one, mixed together in a toxic brew as if by the witches fromMacbeth. Performers, entertainers, jugglers, mimes, and minstrels like David Letterman are only making money. If, as this author states, all he is is a former weatherman, then his influence can only be that of a former weatherman. It is the money that is the real influence.

Is there a way out of this? Yes. Time is the way out of this. We have an economic system that depends on continuous growth of output for its survival. Infinite growth on a finite planet that is heating up. Every day we become closer to the end of the rule of money. No one in "mainstream" or "alternative" analysis is capable of dealing with this fact. Why? Because of the ego needs of their own relative positions. They all have vested interests in their own little niches in the sphere of conventional wisdom.

So it's a system of denial and escape, driven by money. Today becomes tomorrow. And tomorrow becomes the next day. Watch the changes. Watch especially what happens with money, the medium of exchange, store of value, unit of account, standard of deferred payment, and god of the modern era. The golden calf, worshipped by nearly everyone. And soon to be melted, literally.

JAH | Nov 2 2006 - 10:10am|


Rush to judgement, judgement to Rush

I have only listened to snippets of Rush Limbaugh, and am reminded of who were the devotees of his brand of hatred: unhappy people, people in need of a sense of importance, people with a need to look down on other people, and people who aren't very bright.

In this world of ceaseless change, it will be interesting to watch how the phenomenon of Rush Limbaugh changes. Like his cohorts in the hate-mongering media of television, radio, books, the Web, etc., Rush has no choice but to outdo himself. This is in the context of the decline of the Bush crime family, and by extension, of its corporate sponsers, also the sponsors of hate media.

So let Rush outdo himself, over and over again. It should be fun to watch, as the gang that he promotes asymptotically approaches jail. If our civilization is to survive, maybe the gang will actually arrive in jail. Will our surviving civilization have the wherewithal to also put the media propagandists in jail?

However this era turns out, the end will not be good for the likes of Rush Limbaugh and his compatriots. Or, more accurately, comtraitors. His form of "entertainment" will likely become uproariously entertaining. For a taste of that uproarious entertainment, listen to the Stephanie Miller Show.

JAH | Oct 29 2006 - 2:09pm |


The part reveals the whole

The jury, real or metaphoric, will be out for a long time on the Duke situation, and even longer on the untouched subject of the culture of "amateur" and "professional" athletics in this country.

A few years ago I enrolled in a reporting/newswriting class at a local college. Part of the course was to write for the school paper, and I was recruited to write sports. For my first article, I interviewed the athletic director, and was introduced to the brotherhood of college athletics.

The interview went pretty well until I made a passing remark about the violently abusive erstwhile Indiana basketball coach Bob Knight. The athletic director corrected me, asserting that Bob Knight was one of the most inspiring people in the country, a dynamic speaker, and a great guy. He said that he saw Knight speak once, and was "blown away" by his high character and principles.

One thing I gleaned from that interview is that the coaches, administrators, hangers-on, supporters, and sports journalists are one big fraternity, another "American" culture closed in on itself. They all are in the business of making contacts, reinforcing the influence of sports and its infrastructure of employment, and of expanding their own employment possibilities. The technical college athletic director was young, starting at the bottom, but pretty obviously positioning himself for moving up to a higher-level job somewhere else.

Whatever happened at the Duke party, the case has served to awaken the country to the insularity of sports teams on college campuses. Other scandals will repeatedly happen elsewhere, for certain, because the empire of the "U.S" is in its decline and fall. Holographically, the part reveals the whole. There will not likely be meaningful change in the world of college sports any more than there will be meaningful change in other areas until the entire system crashes, which it will.

We can at least look at the dysfunctionality of college athletics as a bellweather of the country as a whole. And the dysfunctionality of "60 Minutes" as a bellweather of journalism as a whole, and also of the country. Everything relates to everything else.
JAH | Oct 16 2006 - 3:22pm | ______________________________________


The conservative culture of criminality

This article is a good start in revealing the comprehensivity of Republican criminality. The conventional term for this phenomenon is "culture of corruption," but that is a toothless ascription, devoid of linguistic and psychological power.

The Republican party is a culture of criminality. They are criminals of the worst sort, approving any evil that comes before them, as long as it rewards the rich, entrenched power, and large corporations. They zealously approve invasions of countries that mean us no harm. They zealously approve destruction of our environment.

They zealously approve redistribution of income and wealth to the already well endowed. They zealously approve kangaroo courts, spying on innocent civilians, torture, kidnapping, murder, theft, and extortion. They are, to a man and woman, confidence artists, propagandists, liars, and thieves.

Now we are finding out that pedophelia, the molestation of children, is an accepted practice among Republicans. Surprise of surprises. In the coming days we will likely find out much more about the holism of Republican perversion and criminality. What will be interesting to see is how much the American people continue to support these criminals. It will be a good measure of how far our civilization has declined. Or, as Chubby Checker once put it, "How low can you go?" (From "Limbo rock")
JAH | Oct 1 2006 - 10:08am | ______________________________________


More likely a whimper - a lot of whimpers

As today's speech by Hugo Chavez reveals, the planet has had enough of Bush and his gang. From here on out, the stress on every member of the gang will intensify. One of them will crack. The first is likely to be Bush himself, a weak person, and an unrecovered addict. Cheney, with his bad heart, may crack sooner, but whoever goes first will not bode well for the other. "Leftists" shudder at the idea of "President Cheney," but I look forward to it with glee. Cheney will have to perform the duties of president while the energies of the planet are building against him. He is not a strong person, public persona notwithstanding. Think Wizard of Oz.

Put another way, it's all bullshit. Everything most people think they know about any of the Bush gang is P.R. These are not formidable people. They're con artists. It's like a pyramid scheme. They rose to power because of a network of con artists. With the fall of Bush, the pyramid also falls.

Difficulty lies ahead, but also the possibility of a real civilization.
JAH | Sep 20 2006 - 8:55pm |