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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, December 28, 2007


Benazir Bhutto shortly before the explosion that killer herA number of seemingly random thoughts came to mind since the assassination of Benazir Bhutto yesterday. I wondered if there would have been such a frenzy of terrorist acts in "Pakistan" had the Bush criminal regime not have been thrust upon the world. If Bush and his cronies had failed to enable the attacks of September 11, 2001, we would not have invaded "Afghanistan" and "Iraq." Islamic fundamentalism would likely not be flourishing so rampantly throughout the Muslim world.

I also thought of "Pakistan," and its "Madrassas," Islamic schools where fundamentalism is encouraged and nourished. Such schools grow in the vacuum left by an inadequate public school system. It's happening here too, where our public schools are underfunded, castigated, and displaced by a growing movement of religious institutions of various denominations. I know well the insularity and paranoia religious schools can generate, having been educated in "Catholic" schools for seventeen years.

I thought of our own assassinations of Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and Malcolm X. Lest we forget, "U.S." Senate candidate Mel Carnahan of Missouri died under mysterious circumstances in 2000, and defeated Bush crony John Ashcroft posthumously. Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone died in similar circumstances in 2002. His seat went to Bush criminal regime supporter Norm Coleman, who now faces reelection. His opponent is likely to be comedian and Air America founder Al Franken.

Benazir Bhutto in happier timesAnd of course I thought of Benazir Bhutto, a woman in politics that I have admired for a couple of decades. I have been inspired by her clarity, her beauty and grace, and her courage in the face of the great obstacles she faced. I had great hope that she could guide her country in its transformation to a modern society.

I also felt anger at her recklessness. A suicide bomber killed 136 people in an attack on the day she returned to "Pakistan." If the country is so inflamed, her return and campaign for the country's presidency seems to me to be extremely selfish and irresponsible. It is a disease that afflicts politicians everywhere on this planet. Blind ambition does not come close to describing this disease.

The explosion that killed Benazir BhuttoSelf-delusion is more accurate. I'm not sure if there is a name for this particular delusion yet, but Savior Complex, or Messiah Syndrome would be good designations. Benazir Bhutto's crusade was to return "Pakistan" to "democracy." A cause to die for. As if by returning to "Pakistan" and winning the presidency that "democracy" would be attained.

In the milieu that exists in the world today, and in "Pakistan" in particular, I'm not sure that "democracy" should be the first step. It is more of an ongoing process, and for real "democracy" to exist, it has to be universal. Without "democracy" in the "United States of America," "the world's only superpower," it is not very likely to exist in "Pakistan."

The Bush criminal regime has stolen two presidential elections in the "United States." In its illegitimate time in power, this regime has presided over the worst attacks in the nation's history, invaded two countries, is threatening to invade another, has enabled the destruction of one of its greatest cities, and has moved the country in the direction of a police state.

The Bush criminal regime has supported the dictatorship of "Pakistan" dictator Pervez Musharraf. It has fueled resentment and inflamed tensions in the provinces that border "Afghanistan," especially among the "Pashtun" people.

Who knows what is the right thing to do? Benazir Bhutto's father, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, was executed, with no small influence from Henry Kissinger. She may have had a death wish, or had some kind of fixation on her father's fate. We all die anyway, so maybe she wanted to go out in a blaze of glory, a national and world hero, remembered for her sacrifice for her country. This would be the perfect way to clear her father's name, and secure both his legacy and her own.

Whatever the motivations of Benazir Bhutto, I believe it is safe to say that she has dwarfed the omnicriminal George W. Bush as a world leader. Bush, the military deserter, corporate criminal, election thief, enabler of the September 11, 2001 attacks, lying invader of two countries, enabler of the hurricane damage that destroyed New Orleans, international and domestic voyeur, kidnapper, torturer, executioner, purveyor of corruption, drunk, drug addict, intemperate oaf, incompetent, war criminal, and terrorist, will live on in infamy in world history, compared with various other sociopaths such as Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Pol Pot, and, ironically, Saddam Hussein.

Benazir Bhutto, in contrast, will be remembered as a martyr to democracy, a pioneer of female leaders in politics, an inspiration to Muslim men and women worldwide, and a model of courage and determination. In death, she may be just what the world needs right now. Her cowardly opposite, Bush, should be cringing in a corner, shamed by a woman whose glow shines a bright light on his mediocrity.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The greatest catalyst for change in modern history

Bush showing his true colorsI wrote a couple of comments to Smirking Chimp posts in the past few days, which call for elaboration. First, the comments:

Power and Corruption: Just What Is Their Relationship?

Move outside the box

This is a worthy and meaningful contribution to the dialogue about the survival of our civilization. One problem with the essay is the lack of a definition of corruption. Without a definition, we are left with an assumed understanding of the term, which may mean different things to different people. This definition works for me, but this one for political corruption is more focused.

Another weakness is the failure to look at human psychology and character beyond the level of actions. It is the vast interior landscape of the human individual that predisposes him or her for corruption. The best model in Western psychology for looking at level of being is Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Corrupt individuals can properly looked at as existing at the lower end of the needs hierarchy, having a deficiency of proper needs satisfaction - mainly in the areas of sex, power, and money.

People who aspire to meet the higher needs - cognitive, aesthetic, and self-actualization - are at least less likely than those stuck in the deficiency needs to engage in political corruption.

Looked at in this context, it is easy to see the difference between the Bush criminal regime - Bush, Cheney, Rice, Mukasey, Gates, Hayden, and arch-members Rumsfeld, Powell, Gonzales, Wolfowitz, Perle, Libby, Bolton, and, lest we forget, Rove - and the New Dealers of the Roosevelt administration. There is no evidence whatsoever that the Bush criminal regime has ever had the intention of making the world a better place, or of improving the lives of "American" citizens. They are worse than corrupt. They are criminal sociopaths.

I have been referring to the Bush gang as criminal sociopaths for the last seven years, almost alone. Ideologues of "left" and "right" only see the world in terms of horizontal paranoia, and because of this the Bush criminal regime is looked at as either "our" team or "theirs."

Thus, we are stuck in the narrow paradigm of horizontal polarization. Bush is supposedly a "right-winger," when he can barely form a thought. A lifelong addict who was deposited in the presidency by other criminals, he should have been run out of office long ago. With our stifled ideological discourse, we are self-limiting our perspective for ego and deficiency needs reasons. In other words, we have a corrupt forum of ideas.

The Bush criminal regime could not exist in a system of being needs pursuit. It is actually fed by this phony divide. We have only ourselves to blame.

How Torture Cost Lives

All things must pass

Good writing, good insight. It was mentioned on the Stephanie Miller Show this morning that waterboarding is the very same torture that "we" prosecuted "Japanese" commanders for after World War II. Victor's justice. And that's not Victor Buono, Victor Mature, or Victor Argo.

We can complain about the hypocrisy all we want, but historically, empires have not fallen because of internal opposition.

Internal collapse will bring this empire down, and that is the thing to pay attention to. Try as they may, our great institutions will not be able to put the Humpty Dumpty of the economy back together. What we should be doing is making plans for the next economy (Hint: Small is Beautiful, growth has limits).

And, lest we forget, the whole world is watching. Whatever alliances our degenerate elite has with other countries go as far as their own self interests allow. When circumstances dictate abandoning our elite, they will make other alliances. It's sort of like our alliances with the Sunni tribal leaders in "Iraq."

As far as the complicity of the Congress is concerned, they are part of the elite. If you look at it as organized crime, it is easier to understand. A mafia keeps control of its "soldiers" through fear and reward. Every Congressperson has done something in his or her life that he or she would not like the public to know. In our total information awareness system of today, those somethings are most certainly filed away somewhere in various mafia databanks.

On the bright side, everything that has a beginning has an end in this temporal world. The push for totalitarianism will end some day. The actors on the stage now are mortals, and they will be gone relatively soon. Whatever pressure can be applied will help to hasten that day.

Here's a little tune for some comfort and inspiration.

These two comments are compacted versions of what I have been writing since the Bush criminal regime came to power. We are going down the path of self-destruction because of our own narrow language and way of looking at the world. Bush is a sociopath, but "leftists" still argue against his "policies." He has no policies. He has criminal schemes.

The economy is not collapsing because of mismanagement. It is collapsing because collapse of this kind of system is inevitable. The mismanagement is only hastening the collapse. An infinite growth system on a finite planet will eventually reach a maximum level of output.

All the semantics about torture, what constitutes torture, and the morality of torture are missing an important point. The Bush criminal regime instituted a regimen of torture for a purpose: terrorism. It is counterproductive internationally, but its real purpose is domestic: us. As we saw in the case of Jose Padilla, any "American" can be picked up at any time, charged with fake evidence, and whisked away to be tortured endlessly and with impunity. Once the torture practices are institutionalized through legislation and decisions by the Supreme Court, the framework is in place.

The mainstream news media are using the institutional control of language and perception to aid in the propagandization of our national discourse. It is no accident that they are trying to foist a presidential contest between Hillary Clinton and some "acceptable" "Republican" like McCain or Giuliani on us. For both internal and external reasons, minions of the news industry presume that their perceptions, opinions, and bounds of thinkable thought are the ones that matter. We are supposed to sit here and take it.

They are failing. The grassroots efforts behind such campaigns as those of Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich are examples of how the news media are no longer the arbiters of truth, wisdom, and the "American" way. Their declining revenues are further evidence.

It may be a little too early to say it, but the failure of the Bush criminal regime is becoming the greatest catalyst for change in modern history. The ruling elite of "America," in their hubris, their arrogance, their smugness, thought they could put anyone in the presidency to do their bidding. I realized long ago, during the Kissinger-Nixon sponsored coup in Chile, that our "leaders" would do the same thing here if they thought they could get away with it.

Enter, the Bush criminal regime. They thought they could get away with it. They have failed. They still have some momentum, winning a Supreme Court case here, a war appropriation there, but the game is over. The whole world knows what they are really about, and that is unfettered, heinous, murderous crime. World civilization cannot continue if it is run by completely worthless human beings, and the Bush regime's plan is to be in control of world civilization.

It remains to be seen whether or not world civilization will survive the damage done by the Bush criminal regime, but the momentum has shifted. The world's eyes are on this gang, and it will be increasingly difficult for it to start another war, enable another terrorist attack, avoid preparation for another hurricane, or spread diseased organisms like Anthrax (Yes, I think they were behind this one. Who else?).

For the rest of us, a little meditation is in order. Freeing the mind can free the way we think. Freeing the way we think can free the language we use. Freeing the language we use can free our actions. The possibilities are endless.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Turning our lives around

The “Washington Reskins” logoThe mainstream news media have been hyping the death of "Washington Redskins" player Sean Taylor for the last several days. He was shot in his home by intruders, who apparently were there to burglarize, but were surprised when he appeared. Four men have been charged with his killing.

Taylor's murder is seen as tragic because he was a professional football player. He was described as the National Football League's "hardest hitter." Here's an example.

Another cliché being tossed about is that Taylor had been "turning his life around," after years of association with criminal elements. It would be nice if we could hear the same about our president.

But I digress. A pro football player "turning his life around" is part of our national mythology.

Advancing another element of our national mythology, the news media are making much of the grieving process for players, fans, and members of the "Redskin family." Here's an example.

Reality check: It is tragic when anyone is murdered. It is not more tragic when a football player is murdered. The game has degenerated to a cheap thrills spectacle of brutality and maiming. When the game was invented, men "blocked" other men to prevent them from "tackling" the man carrying the ball. It was a violent game, but mild compared to today's bread and circus spectacle. Look again at the "Pro Bowl hit." This is not sport.

Almost comical is the hype about how the "Redskin" players are closing ranks, bonding together in grief. The "Redskins" do not have red skin. They have brown skin and ecru colored skin, commonly known as "white." Looking at their player roster, it's hard to tell if there are any other colors represented, but red does not appear to be one of them.

The name "Redskins" is meant to symbolize "Native Americans," who, though a diverse and complex collection of tribes, are stereotyped as fierce warriors. A "hard hitter" would fit perfectly on a team of "Redskins." This is about as close as "Native Americans" come to getting any respect in this not-so-native culture. It's a bit strange, isn't it, that no team is named after the 7th Cavalry? Maybe some day in the future we'll have teams called the Abu Ghraibers, the Guantanamos, or the Extraordinary Renditioners.

I'm kind of partial to having a team called the Traitors. The Washington Traitors. Every Thanksgiving we could have them play the "Patriots." The team mascot would be a hopping, jumping Dick Cheney, complete with blunderbuss.

Still another aspect of the hype is that the "Washington Redskins" is a business. It is a money-making operation. It has a marketing campaign, a business strategy, income, expenses, and, most importantly, profits. When you "root" for the "Redskins" you "root" for a business. Go, the owners and management of the Washington Redskins!

The business of the "Washington Redskins" is brutality. Not mere brutality for brutality's sake. Brutality as public spectacle. Money is made by filling stadiums with hysterical "fans" who pay to see men brutalize other men. Vast additional revenues are made by broadcasting the games on television.

The mythology of the "team" bonding together is largely an illusion. Players become members of the team through the college draft, trade, and by "free-agency." They are completely interchangeable with players from other "teams," and represent the cities in which they play only because that is where their "home" stadiums are located. The entire "Redskin" team could be traded for the entire Green Bay team, and immediately become "Packers." They would be real packers only because they pack their suitcases. All football players are packers. A few of them use the activity as a symbol of their manliness, wearing green and gold uniforms. When the "Packers" play the "Redskins," it is a showdown of the manliness of packing versus the manliness of pretending you're an "Indian." Sometimes when I'm feeling unmanly I pack a suitcase while wearing moccasins. The earth trembles.

The death of Sean Taylor was a great tragedy. He was in a loving relationship, and recently became a father. His death was not tragic because he was a "Redskin," a "hard hitter," or that he helped a multimillion dollar business make multimillions of dollars. It was tragic because he was a human being who was wantonly murdered by other human beings. It is happening all over the country on a daily basis. And, thanks to our president and his criminal gang, it is happening in "Iraq" and "Afghanistan," among other places. We have a lot of "turning our lives around" ahead of us if we have any desire at all of de-murderizing our civilization.

We can start with impeachment proceedings.

Here's a song to sing when facing a murderer. Here's a video of some "Redskin" fans. Here's the "Redskin" cheerleaders. Maybe they're embarrassed.