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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, January 05, 2007

A golden opportunity

Nancy Pelosi after her inaugural speechI watched Nancy Pelosi's inaugural speech during my lunch break yesterday. She was sparkling and inspiring, but the most fun was when the camera cut to Dennis Hastert, stewing in the back of the hall. Oh, the indignity of it all!I used to live in his district, and did some canvassing for his 1990 opponent, Patrick Welch. Welch almost won, but Hastert had more money. Since then Hastert got his district (the 14th district of Illinois) gerrymandered, guaranteeing victory. Illinois had a Republican trend for a while, but it ended with the nauseous corruption of former Secretary of State and Governor George Ryan.

Nauseous corruption nationwide is what made possible the rise to prominence of the Bush crime family. Washington, D.C. is now known for its "culture of corruption," but it really should be called the culture of criminality. Jack Abramoff with his good friendThe formerly "Republican" Congress, with its connection to lobbyist Jack Abramoff, to the schemes of Tom DeLay, to legislation for sale to the highest bidder, and to its support for the Bush crime family, finally proved to be too much for the American people.

What a golden opportunity! Now that it has become pretty obvious that Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Gonzales, Negroponte, Chertoff, Bolton, et. al., are nothing more than common criminals, we can now broaden the inquiry.

What about every last thing that "Republicans" stand for? All of it is criminal. That is why it was so easy for them to look the other way while the country was being attacked. That is why it was so easy for them to look the other way when one of our greatest cities was being destroyed. That is why it was and is so easy for them to lie the country into war. That is why it is so easy for them to look the other way while an entire country (Iraq) is being destroyed. That is why it is so easy for them to look the other way while our climate is reaching the boiling point.

Now that we know that "Republicans" are criminals, let's look at their "beliefs," their "policies." Upward redistribution of wealth and income, for one. Tax cuts for the rich, regressive taxation (higher taxes as income declines), subsidies for corporations that donate to campaigns, no-bid contracts for corporations like Halliburton.

When "Republicans" are in power, environmental protection is reduced, workers' rights and protections are reduced, occupational health and safety is reduced, health care declines, clear-cut logging increases, corporate farming increases, pollution increases, prison populations increase, with an increasing percentage of poor and minority prisoners, and civil liberties are restricted.

This is no coincidence. The "culture of corruption" goes hand in hand with all of the "Republican" criminal policies because the "Republican" party is the criminal party. They are thugs, mobsters, crooks, liars, thieves, whores, murderers, cutthroats, torturers, kidnappers, terrorists, robbers, and perverts. They should be run out of the country on a rail, except who would take them? Not their former clients, like Saddam Hussein's Iraq. They double-crossed him, even allowing a snuff film of his "execution." The Gambino family must be in awe.

I don't mean to suggest that "Democrats" are necessarily any great gift from the Beyond. Bill Clinton gave us NAFTA, CAFTA, the WTO, neo-liberalism, the Communications Act of 1996, the bombing of Belgrade, the starvation of Iraq's children, and wefare "reform." He looked the other way (though he peeked back) at the slaughter in Rwanda, was the first president to approve "extraordinary rendition," and, most tellingly, has become good friends with George H.W. Bush, the patriarch of the Bush crime family.

In spite of all this, the one difference with "Democrats" is that, by and large, they advocate for distributive justice and protection of the ecosystem. They need a lot of prodding and cajoling, but can be depended on to practice the art of the possible.

The "Republicans" can be depended to advocate for criminal "policies" and actions, such as the impending attack on Iran and God knows where else, "privatization" of Social Security, spying on you and me, and they want touch-screen voting so that they can be guaranteed endless and limitless power. They want a corporate state, so that energy, pharmaceutical, weapons, finance, agribusiness, chemical, and communications media corporations monopolize our production and employment. They may not all be sociopaths, but they do have the disorder of acting against the general well-being of society and the planet. They are bad people, and should never be trusted, believed, or elected. Jail is the appropriate place for them, and with our support, the 110th Congress just might seize this golden opportunity to put them there.

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