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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.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A study in contrast

April 14, 2005 - College Republican LaVonne Derksen pushes anti-war protester Bob Veith in a confrontation at University Square (Media Credit: Nathaniel Greenbaum/The Daily Cardinal)When I found out about the death last month of longtime Madison civil rights and peace activist Bob Veith, I was reminded of an incident on April 14, 2005, in which he was assaulted by a leader of the College Republicans at the University of Wisconsin. A campus newspaper report of the protest where the attack occurred can be read here.

Bob Veith was a veteran of the Korean war, serving in the Navy. I wasn't aware of his courageous work during the civil rights movement of the 1960s, but it's a pretty amazing story. A synopsis of his life is available here.

The contrast between his life and that of the College Republican who was pushing him is stark. He was 74 at the time, the student presumably about 19 or 20 years old. As a budding Republican, she was violently supportive of the criminal activities of the Bush regime. The apple does not fall far from the tree.

This incident is symbolic of the slow decline in public civility that has been an integral part of the "Republican revolution." Now that the "revolution" is in its downfall phase, we can take a step back and look at what it hath wrought. We can ask ourselves if this is the kind of society we want to have, or whether we would like to have a society of mutuality, of social contract, and of distributive justice. Thankfully, the criminality of the Bush regime is now laid bare. As can be easily seen from the picture, the example set at the top easily filters to the bottom. The Republican party is now a criminal organization, and we need to be relentless in bringing to justice all of its wrongdoers (Read more here). Then will we be able to advance as a civilization.

Bob Veith made many contributions to American society. May his legacy live on in the picture of him being attacked. A true peacemaker, he didn't push back.


Anonymous LaVonne Derksen said...

I am extremely offended you chose to use this very misleading picture without actually checking the facts first. I would have appreciated being contacted before you just decided to post this picture as "proof" of Republicans being violent. Here's the 411, just to clear things up: Bob was attempting to intimidate me by getting in my face and yelling at me. Pretty aggressive behavior for a 74-year-old peace activist, I must say...I simply put out my hand (there was NO physical contact whatsoever) and told him to back off (I had to yell over the noise of the event going on around us), and conveniently enough, that's when the Daily Herald reporter snapped the picture. There you have it. The pure, unvarnished truth. I would appreciate you removing this post, as I would prefer not to have to file a lawsuit against you for libel.


LaVonne Derksen

2/08/2009 2:14 PM  

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