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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, February 20, 2007

A reminiscence

Map of IranIn my first time around in graduate school in the early '70s I got to know a number of students from “Iran.” (For those not used to my writing, I put the names of countries and other entities in quotes, because they are assumed names, arbitrary ascriptions given by men, and subject to change, as we are now finding out with "Iraq.") I enjoyed their good humor, their easy facility and sense of perspective on the “dismal science” of Economics, and their knowledge of world affairs. I especially was impressed with their dedication to the future of their homeland, and their commitment to ending the reign of the brutal “U.S.”-installed dictator, Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi.

An “Iranian” friend came to me one day with a letter he wrote for the school paper, rebuking a campus administrator for his glowing praise of a visiting official from Mashad University. The letter revealed that the visitor was a Shah appointee or collaborator, and that the rosy picture he painted of academic freedom in “Iran” was a lie. My friend, who later would become a high official in the “Iranian” revolutionary government, wanted me to sign my name to the letter, because he feared the “Iranian” secret police, the”Savak,” would have him deported back to “Iran,” where he would certainly be tortured to death. The “Savak” was very active in the “United States,” spying on “Iranian” students, and reporting on them to the “authorities” back home.

I told him I would write my own letter, based on what he wrote. I did, in my usual irreverent style. It got printed, and caused a bit of a stir on campus, particularly within the administration. It also gained me the great thanks of the “Iranian” students, and I was invited to their annual dinner, which I believe was the celebration of No Ruz or Nowrooz, the “Iranian” New Year. I was something of a guest of honor, and can't remember a time when I felt more honored. It also was my first experience of Middle Eastern food, and I loved it: spicy yogurt, pita bread, falafel, and a vegetable dish I don't remember, probably tabouli. After the dinner there were music, dance, and dramatic performances, including anti-Shah skits by students with paper bags over their heads to disguise their identities.

I remained close to my “Iranian” friends for the rest of my time in school, but once I left, never saw or heard from any of them again. Throughout my life I have made many fresh starts, and have left the past behind without looking back. But never forgetting.

Now the Bush criminal regime is planning to bomb and/or invade “Iran,” motivated primarily, I believe, for purposes of concentrating their power, and also to deflect the building legal case for impeachment and other legal prosecutions for the many crimes of the last six years. The memories of my old friendships have been revived, and I am reminded of their anger and fear of the “United States” government that had for so long supported the oppression of their friends, neighbors, relatives, and fellow citizens.

It’s all completely crazy. The major “U.S.” media have been involved in giving Bush propaganda cover, similar to what they did in the buildup to the invasion and occupation of “Iraq.” It is different this time, because the media are under continuous pressure, exposure, criticism, debunking, ridicule, and, most of all, competition. The Internet is proving to be the greatest source of pressure and competition, and the momentum for bombing “Iran” is continually having to restart, build up, and get knocked down again. If this continues for much longer, Bush and his gang may have to give up their scheme and dedicate their energies full-force to fending off prosecution.

This is where the situation stands at this juncture. The latest Bush propaganda effort, to blame the “Iranians” for the “explosively formed projectiles (EFP)” has failed. Kurt Nimmo contends that the devices are actually made in America. It is likely, since Bush says they were made in “Iran,” and Bush is a liar. Not someone who lies, but a liar. A liar is someone who lies whenever he speaks. Bush lies whenever he speaks.

What I would like to add to the discussion about “Iran” is a bit of the human side of the country the Bush crime family is hoping to bomb, invade, and dominate. “Iran” is the name for a large area on this planet. It is the former “Persia,” a civilization that existed long before the idea of the “United States” was ever dreamed up. The area of “Iran” is populated by 68,688,433 human beings. They live in houses, apartments, and probably a variety of other types of abode. They have families, jobs, hopes for the future, and fears of annihilation. Their bodies are made primarily of oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus - just like ours. They mostly believe in a higher level of being, just like most “Americans” do. They call their higher being “Allah.” We call ours “God.” I can say from personal experience that they have great senses of humor, are very smart, they love the freedoms that the founding fathers of "America" instituted, and they have much to give to world civilization. They should not be bombed by the Bush criminal organization or its proxies.

There is a nasty element in this country that relishes the thought of obliterating “other” people on this planet. They have a lust for murder, a lust for power, and a lust for the wealth and resources of “others.” They lie, browbeat, condemn, attack, revile, shout, threaten, ridicule, and whatever else they can conjure up to generate hatred and violence towards “others.” The “others” are “foreigners” of any kind, with the enemy du jour moving from “Arabs” to “Mexicans,” and from “French” to “Iranians.” Domestically the enemy du jour moves from “homosexuals” to “blacks,” from “liberals” to “feminists,” “Jews” to “Democrats,” and from “Hollywood” to “Boston.” They also have attempted to demonize relatives of the victims of the September 11 attacks, and to ridicule victims of the Indian Ocean Tsunami of 2004.

The loudest voices of this incitement to violence are the radio and television personalities Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, and Glenn Beck. Among the “Christian” fulminators there are Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, and the “God hates fags” fanatic Fred Phelps. There are many imitators on a smaller scale all over the country. If there truly is a Hell, that is where these people are headed. They are bad for “America,” bad for the planet, bad for themselves, and just plain bad human beings.

By themselves these people are not very interesting. What is interesting is the support they have from “ordinary” people all over the country. People who should know better. They can be forgiven to a certain degree because they have been duped by seemingly powerful, credible people, but still the gullible should know better. If you fall for the lies and hatred of Hannity, O’Reilly, and Limbaugh, then you are either an idiot or someone who is a criminal at heart.

More reprehensible, though, are the media companies and their executives who put these people on the air and publish their insidious books. For money, for relative status, for ego-gratification, and for other gratifications, these prostitutes of human discourse have defiled the public forum. They are worse than the people they employ, and of course can expect the same fate.

We all die. Some consequence to our lives happens to us all. Every religion or “wisdom tradition” professes a belief that we reap what we have sown in our short time on the physical plane. None of us at this level can say with certainty what fate will befall the fomenters of hatred who are proliferating like rats in the sewers.

We can surmise, though. For instance, it is a safe surmise that the inciters to the bombing and/or invasion of “Iran” will attain the eternity they so eagerly wish for those they hate. The same can be surmised for the planners and implementers of the bombing and/or invasion. I don’t know what my next assignment will be when my time here is over, but I’m sure glad I’m not them.
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For a slide show of “Iran,” click here. It has a soundtrack.

For a little light reading on the background of the planned attack on “Iran,” click here.

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