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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.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Thinking outside the box

Destroy the reactionaries. From art of the Cultural RevolutionI read a lot of Smirking Chimp articles in the past week(s), and commented on a goodly number of them. Writing comments is a bit like trees falling in the forest when no one is there, so I compiled the most recent of them below. The links are to the original articles. What emerges as a theme in most of what I write are (1) that the supposed "right wing" is actually a criminal element; (2) that the mythical "left" is a mistaken identity, and the illusion of ideology causes its adherents to see the criminal "right" as something to be reasoned with or defeated in the forum of ideas; and (3) that our economic system is about to collapse, and we need to start planning for its replacement. In other words, we need to do something.
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http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/5861

Mar 5 2007

It's time to prepare

I've written elsewhere on this site that these horrific stories are actually cause for optimism. The supposedly all-powerful corporate state is falling apart. It is befouling its nest.

Looked at in the broad view of history, the phenomenon of the corporation is a relatively short-lived entity. It had a beginning, a rise to prominence, and will have a decline and fall. Good riddance.

Corporations are fictions, collections of individuals who are joined for their own benefit. The corporation has to provide a benefit in order to remain in existence.

What we need to do is prepare for the day when corporations no longer exist. That day will come, but without a plan for the next phase of civilization, we could end up with something worse.
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http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/5866

Mar 5 2007

Tally ho!

This is really valuable. Courageous too. I've never seen some of the people in this video, except snippets of Bob Barr, Mitt Romney, and David Horowitz. Even without cable, it would be hard to have completely avoided Ann Coulter.

It was a bit of an eye opener for me, because I have known a number of "right wingers," and have always found a fundamental dishonesty and ego-centeredness to be their main characteristics. True believing actually exists, as the video reveals, though I still think dishonesty and narcissism are at its root.

The video also revealed something about the nature of fanaticism. It is a group phenomenon. The followers of Tancredo were the clearest evidence of this level of consciousness. It is hard to imagine a lone fanatic.

The most valuable aspect of the video, though, is its very existence. The momentum has shifted, and the "conservative" movement is now on the run. The hounds are on the scent, and the chase is on. Tally ho!
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http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/5858

Mar 5 2007

What's in a name?

The comment above is self-contradictory. The writer states that it is the "Five Percent Who Own and Operate America" who will wage war against "Iran," but "If America does not control this vital region, and its resources, America faces sharp economic and political decline."

This is a common confusion. Five percent of "America" is not "America." It is the ruling elite of "America." The 95% that is controlled by the 5% can get along quite nicely without them, and can get along quite nicely with the rest of the world.

So the task at hand is to displace the 5% that controls the 95%. It can be done without "hating America," because "America" is not identical with its 5% ruling elite.

"America" is an abstraction anyway. The land mass, between "Canada" and "Mexico," plus a couple of disconnected "states" and "territories," does not call itself "America," and got along fine for millenia without being called "America" by others.

So, to paraphrase Lily Tomlin, "America" is a collective hunch, a conventionally agreed upon entity that had a beginning, and, not being God, will have an end.

This is not a meaningless exercise. We can better stop the plans of the Bush crime crime family if we are clear about in whose interest its plans are made.
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http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/5845

Mar 4 2007

The real Joe Lieberman

I was expecting something of substance in this rant, but it was just a Lieberman bashing, an easy task that anyone could write. I missed the part in Lieberman's "address" that revealed his "Republican" nature. He gave a stock mini-speech about caring for the troops.

On the bright side, with forty nine "Democrats" in the Senate, one "Independent," and one "Connecticut for Lieberman," sore loserman won't be giving the address for a while. It's kind of strange that we're hearing from him so much, when there are so many other senators we could hear from, like Daniel Inouye, a war hero who lost an arm in World War II.

I don't hate Lieberman, so I can look at his antics with some distance, and some dispassion. Given that the Bush regime is a criminal operation rather than an ideological one, and that this is likely common knowledge in Washington, D.C., the stupid capital of the universe, then Lieberman is not an ideological partner with the Bush crime family, but an accomplice. He is a criminal. The only real question is what is his role in the criminal operation, and what is his gain.

In the spirit of J. Edgar Hoover, the Bush gang probably has something on him. Hoover had files on everyone, and used them to blackmail elected officials into voting for appropriations for the FBI, and for other favors. Lieberman likely has a skeleton or two in his closet, and the Bush gang has the goods on him.

The other factor is Lieberman's unquestioning support for "Israel." For some odd reason, the Bush gang is perceived as more supportive to "Israel" than are the "Democrats." It is likely that Lieberman is in on the grand plan to attack Iran, do something nasty to Lebanon, and possibly attack other "Arab" nations. There are probably contingency plans for the "Palestinians" too.

The key to Lieberman's soul is his continuation to run for the Senate after being defeated in the Connecticut primary election. In knee-jerk fashion, "leftists" attributed this to his ego, when a desperate need to continue Bush's criminal operation is the more likely reason. Where this will be clearly in evidence is when Lieberman switches to the "Republican" party.

Peripherally for reasons of principle, it should be obvious that the real reason is criminal. As I enjoy saying at every opportunity, "leftists" are incapable of seeing the Bush gang, "Republicans," Joe Lieberman, and the hate-o-sphere of Fox News and its brethren in any other terms than ideological, when they are actually just common criminals. This ideological addiction actually gives the criminals power. It gives them a fake argument to foist on the public, by playing along with it. I don't enjoy saying this, but also do at frequent opportunity: thanks for nothing.
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http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/5845

Mar 5 2007

Left of the right, right of the extreme left, which is left of..

It is, I agree, like walking on thin ice to make generalizations about "leftists," but I do anyway. What makes it easy is that to identify with a direction, a handedness (I am "left-handed," but I don't identify with it, and it doesn't make me a "leftist."), a relational side, or a cadence call (yo left-yo-le-eft) is a form of delusion. There is no "left," but there is an identity with "it" anyway.

Supposedly there is a "leftist" belief system, and a membership. The problem with these phenomena is they cannot be either defined or codified. One man's "leftist" belief system is another's accursed "liberalism." One woman's membership list is another's list of half-steppers and "rightists."

So I can generalize about "leftists" because they are the "leftists" that fit my generalization. And, they exist, though "the" "left" doesn't exist. There isn't much talk among people who identify themselves as "leftists" about the fundamental criminality of the ruling elites in "America." What they concentrate on are the various "policy failures."

Criminality is the very core nature of the ruling elite in this country. Sociopathy is their basic manner of being. To understand them, to predict what they will do, and to overcome them, they must be seen as criminals, first, last, and always. Except for Mike Malloy, I don't hear that from any "leftists." And I don't listen to Mike Malloy.
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http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/5855

Mar 4 2007

Now is the time to plan for the next civilization

This is cause for optimism. The money and power elite in this country has sown the seeds for its own ruin, to coin a phrase. With their greed and zeal for empire they put themselves above all of creation. That is the kind of pride that precedes a great fall.

What is called for now is a plan for the replacement of the money and power elite, and the kind of country or web of countries that will replace it. Rather than focus on the negative, we badly need to stake out a future.

The first requirement is for a new economic system. It will have to be a steady state system - having a limit to total output. There will have to be limits to what is produced also. And there will have to be a moral, ethical method of distributing wealth and income.

The planet will have fewer people by necessity. The current elite method of population control - endless war and oppression - will not be a part of any true civilization. The twin policies of balanced standard of living and family planning are the only moral and humane ways of controlling population.

A productive and social system that is consistent with the planet's ecology will be our only option as a viable species on this planet.

The elites here and elsewhere have had their chance, and they have squandered it with narcissism and rapaciousness. It is now time to replace them, but it must be done with a plan. Otherwise, we will likely do worse.
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http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/5849

Mar 4 2007

Why "Republicans" are not funny

A good point could have been made here if the critique weren't so badly written. It was painful to read this, having to disentangle the arcane connections from one sentence to the next.

It does afford an opportunity to deconstruct the faux spectrum of "left" to "right." If there really is a linear spectrum of "left" to "right," then the "wings" should be equally funny. A horizontal spectrum would be asymmetrical if one "wing" has gradations of funniness that decline towards the center, but don't increase when moving away from the center in the direction of the opposite "wing." The spectrum could be a scale, such as from zero to ten, with zero being unfunny, and ten being very funny. If that were the case, then we would have a "zero wing" and a "ten wing."

The reason the supposed "right wing" isn't funny is because it is not a "wing" at all, but a criminal identity. The "Republican" party is a criminal party. The "Democratic" party is at least superficially the party of distributive justice, regardless of however well it lives up to its obligations.

Just one final note in case the criminality of the "Republican" party isn't clear. The goal of all "Republicans" is to "have it all," to have all the wealth on the entire planet. This isn't just greed. It's rapacious, murderous greed. No one can have all the wealth in the world, so they have to fake togetherness, unanimity, in order to stay in the game of "having it all." This mental attitude is a criminal attitude. With this criminality as a foundation, the crime they foist on the world naturally follows.

Nowhere can this criminality be explained by a symmetrical spectrum based on pretend ideologies. The real spectrum is from civilization to barbarism, and it has no symmetry. Barbarism is not funny.
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http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/5829

Mar 2 2007

The tide of history

Not one to be Pollyannish, but I see cause for optimism. For one thing, history waits for no one. The situation we have now did not exist 20 years ago, or even 10 years ago. Or ever before in human history. The human species, by virtue of its survival instinct alone, is on notice about the crimes and excesses of the Bush regime and its cronies.

Also, though it may not seem like it, we are at the final stage of what is known as Capitalism. It has used itself up. There is no room left for either expansion of output or for gutting the planet's resources. In the very near future we will see something on the order of a maintenance-type economy. We will have to move to a steady-state form of economic system whether we like it or not.

There is not a dynamic for increasing monopoly control and criminal government, though it doesn't seem like it now. The actual dynamic, for those who aren't looking, is for economic collapse. The "Iraq" "war" is the proximate cause, but it is only the accelerant. The long-term, or secular trend, is for collapse anyway, due to our structural imperative for growth, and its concurrent destruction of the ecosystem.

Which is where the argument leaves "liberals" behind. In the Western tradition, there is an ego-centered need to argue everything out on an intellectual level. Like this article, the issue of monopoly control is couched in terms of an intellectual position about the good of society versus another intellectual position.

The phenomenon of the Bush regime is presented in other studies as an intellectual argument between competing "ideologies," when the Bush gang is just the final stage of a long line of criminal organizations, existing solely to use political power to steal, murder, torture, kidnap, deceive, and control.

I suggest everyone watch "The life of Brian." It is a masterful satire of human folly, and the way it depicts "leftist" cell groups is pure genius.
The best thing we can do is to see where the flow of history is going, and what we can do to ease the transition. Huge change is on the way, with or without us.
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http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/5816

Mar 2 2007

Semantics

I suppose this is a valuable contribution to our understanding of the gang that foisted the invasion and occupation of "Iraq" on us, but it's just more of the same. The criticism is couched in terms of the Bush regime's dishonesty and incompetence.

Pardon me, but the dishonesty and incompetence of this regime are givens. We can analyze to death, theorize, satirize, harp, and rage about Bush and his "administration" until we are blue in the face, but it's additive analysis. It's based on the view that these are people with a wrongful "ideology," and that because of that they make bad decisions. Then the analysis and criticism is piled on, with the weight of the criticism supposedly creating a preponderance of evidence that this regime is misguided and lacking in the ability to govern.

They are not misguided! They are criminals! They have not had for one minute the intention of governing competently. Their only intention is crime. The supposed "New American Century" is not intended for "America." It is for themselves. The "empire" is not for "Americans." It is for the Bush gang. There is not one smidgeon of evidence that the empire planning of the Bush crime family had the betterment of the "American" people in mind. It has always been about the oil, and the control over it for the Bush crime family and its cronies.

"Leftist" analysis and criticism is genetically incapable of looking at anything other than ideologically. But I can. Douglas Feith is a criminal. He is part of a criminal gang. The "ideology" is all crap, window dressing. Even the think tanks are just PR operations.

All the fear-mongering about "fascism" is also ideologically driven. Bush and his gang certainly would like to enact fascistic controls, but it's not because of ideology, a belief in "fascism" as a political philosophy. They want impunity from prosecution, and a free hand to commit more crimes. The "fascism" they want is fascism for themselves. They wouldn't want it so much if they were under its boot, out of power, and oppressed.

So the same can be said about "leftists." Who is the "leftist" analysis for? It is for themselves. I know many "leftists." The more ideological they are, the more ego-obsessed they are. The most extreme are also the most entertaining. They resemble their counterparts on the "right" more than they would ever believe.

This is not an idle intellectual exercise. If we can see the Bush regime for what it is, and call it what it is, then we will be better able to do what is necessary to remove it from power. We will also find it easier to put the members of this regime where they belong, in jail. As it stands now, our best hope is to wait for the next election, and replace this "administration" with one of a different "ideology."
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http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/5738

Feb 26 2007

If we can't stop this attack, then we are the incompetents

I wouldn't get my hopes up for military resignations deterring the Bush gang. For one thing, such imagined resignations would occur after attacks on "Iran" will have already begun. Another thing is that by this time the promotion process has secured willing collaborators in key positions.

Most important to realize, though, is that the Bush regime is a criminal operation, and in their eyes they need to invade Iran. If they don't, then the momentum for aggression goes in the opposite direction, making them vulnerable to increased scrutiny and criminal prosecution.

Which is where citizens come in. We can do more than make snipey comments about Bush on obscure websites. Pressure works. Writing congresspersons actually works in today's climate. Writing to newspapers, TV stations, the "Army Times," the U.N., the Pope, and anyone else you can think of also can increase the pressure.

It may seem that increasing the pressure on the Bush gang won't affect them, but that is presuming the media hype that these are strong people. They aren't. They are weaklings. They depend on the illusion of strength and the obeisance of subordinates to pull off their crimes. If there is one slogan we ought to have for stopping this planned attack, it is break up the gang! Get the underlings to jump ship! Find a whistleblower! Get someone to talk! Someone has to spill the beans, tip over the applecart, eject, squeal, rat, fink, sing, and inform.

Another way of looking at it is that it is the height of absurdity that a small criminal gang has the entire planet under threat of conflagration. We aren't much of a species if we can't stop this bunch of ridiculous crooks.
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http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/5495

Feb 14 2007

Cultural factors

This is an excellent and exhaustive study. Concise too, for the material covered. There are a couple of other factors that are worth considering. One is the escapism of mass culture in the "U.S." Through the delivery of mass media: newspapers, magazines, television, radio, movies, the Internet, video games, ipods, and new devices that are coming out by the minute, "Americans" are consumed with gossip about celebrities, sensational "news" about such nonevents like runaway brides, diapered astronauts, and the personal lives of movie stars Tom Cruise and Angelina Jolie.

Another factor is the posturing and self-caricaturizing of the various elements of the "American" "left." Cocooning themselves in any number of factions of ideological purity, they parade in their sundry uniforms of dreadlocks, dishevelment, black leather jackets, piercings, tattoos, beards of various lengths, berets, army fatigues, cowboy hats, faux-proletarian costumes, advocacy buttons, and "anarchist" black.

Beyond the uniforms, there is the rhetoric. I live in Madison, Wisconsin, where you can see and hear it all. One faction tries to drum the airwaves with retro-indoctrination of the Internationale, Paul Robeson, the Wobblies, Phil Ochs, the Civil Rights movement, and the anti-Vietnam war movement. All these historical facts, figures, and movements are great lessons, but they are not owned by any group or faction, and are not weapons for propaganda.

Other factions are not so blatant, but exist mostly by cultural cohesion. They are not so much exclusive of each other as they are exclusive of the general public. And therein lies the rub. They have no intention whatsoever of communicating with the general public, but are more interested in jockeying for position among themselves. The term "preaching to the choir" is not quite accurate. It's more like lording among the flies.

As far as the general public is concerned, they are free to "join us" or be excluded and estranged. And there it stands.

Nothing happens in a vacuum, though. The predicament we are in is synergistic, and the dominant factor is the natural environment, manifesting most synergistically in Climate Change, also known as Global Warming. No amount of superficiality, escapism, posturing, or groupthink is going to solve the problem. We are in a condition metaphorically similar to the time before Noah's Ark. Something monumental is going to take place within the next several years. It will be a test of the intelligence of homo sapiens, and its ability to deal with unavoidable reality. The focal point of the change in consciousness is not likely to be the "United States of America," but some other place on the planet that will emerge in surprising ways. My pick is Iceland. It's as good a choice as anywhere else.

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