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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.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Interchangeable parts

The joy of blunderPBS aired a documentary last Wednesday entitled "The Blair Decade." In seemingly detached and objective fashion, the program covered Blair's tenure as British prime minister, from 1997 to the present. Blair has announced his resignation as of June 27.

In a nutshell, Tony Blair's time in office has been marked by three events: the death of Princess Diana, the peace agreement in Northern Ireland, and his complicity in the "Iraq" war. There have been other events, like his collusion with Bill Clinton in "Neoliberalism," "globalization," and the NATO incursion in Kosovo/Serbia. For the people of "Great Britain," there are also the terrrorist bombings of July 7, 2005, the infighting with rival Gordon Brown, and Blair's role in the creation of "New Labour," but his term as prime minister will be identified worldwide for his facilitation of the "Iraq" war.

For whatever the incarnate being known as "Tony Blair" is remembered, I have this simple question: Who cares? The PBS show had only one concern - the "legacy" of Tony Blair. How "History" will "remember" him. The man more than the people he may have helped or harmed. A side question I have is who is this all-remembering being, "History?" Is the memory of "History" worth the selling of one's soul?" History, like beauty, is in the mind of the beholder.

What told the whole story for me was a brief clip that showed Tony Blair entering a building with his entourage of men in suits, one of them talking importantly on a cell phone. They were interchangeable parts. It could have been anyone in suits, with any one of them talking importantly on a cell phone. Like in "America," someone runs for "leader," someone gets "elected," and whatever someone "wins" gets to walk into buildings with an entourage of sub-someones in suits, with one of them talking importantly on a cell phone. The medium is the message.

This, I believe, is closer to the essence of the problem we face as a species than any study of "legacy." It was inevitable that someone would start a war like the debacle in "Iraq." Some guy in a suit would inevitably join forces with some other guy in a suit to bomb the bejesus out of some little country somewhere in order to engage in a crime spree, and to concoct a "legacy."

What the "Republican" party did in 2000 was to pick a guy in a suit over other guys in suits as the most likely candidate to make life better for themselves. The whole operation was a criminal endeavor from start to finish, with the "election" rigged beforehand. Not that the "Democrats" are any great presence on planet "Earth," being other guys in suits, but they at least had and have some sense of caring about the common good and the health of the planet.

So as the future of the world is concerned, is it feasible to have a system of groups of guys in suits deciding the course of mankind? More specifically, is the construct known as "representative democracy," in the form in which is has evolved, a help or a hindrance to the survival and progress of mankind? The "legacies" of George W. Bush and Tony Blair might give us a hint.

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