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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, February 10, 2008

The next president of the "United States"

Barack Obama at a rally in Santa Barbara, California last SeptemberPredicting the future is always tricky business, but I think it is safe to say that Barack Obama will be the next president of "The United States." He has the mojo, the energy, the thunder of the moment. Even the owners and managers of Deibold have to realize that to steal this election would likely cause riots and maybe even a revolution, resulting in the end of Diebold.

On issues I supported Dennis Kucinich, but he had no hope of becoming president. People vote based on perception, and Kucinich doesn't exactly project leadership. It matters little. Obama can lead the nation, but he will be a follower as well as a leader. Global warming is now clearly recognized as a serious problem, and as recent weather, forest fires, and drought have shown, we either reverse the warming trend or we join the long list of extinct species.

The Obama administration will be replacing the regime of George W. Bush, the most brazenly criminal presidency in the nation's history. To have any meaningful credibility, Obama will have to remake the Justice Department, and will have to bring to justice the perpetrators of the crimes of the past seven years - Bush, Cheney, Rove, Rice, Powell, Rumsfeld, Gonzales, Wolfowitz, Bremer, Perle, Libby, Tenet, Chertoff, and many others.

A good place to start is to have a real investigation of the causes of the attacks of September 11, 2001. This could be followed by a real investigation of the reasons for the invasion and occupation of "Iraq."

Our infinite growth economic system is now breaking down. The criminality of our corporate and investment classes of course is accelerating the process, but the breakdown would be happening anyway as a long-term trend. One way or another, Barack Obama will have to form policies to deal with this breakdown.

He will likely find that trying to form a national health care policy by cooperating with the insurance companies will be a painful lesson. The only way to have a real, equitable national health care system is to establish what is known as a single payer system. My father, a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, favored socialized medicine. When I asked him about it, he replied, "I don't care who pays me, as long as they pay me!"

He knew all too well the criminality of the medical profession - money grubbing, unqualified doctors pronouncing themselves "surgeons," splitting fees for referrals, doing unnecessary operations based on fake referrals, etc., etc., etc. - all so they could live the high life, pillars of the community, rolling in relative wealth.

Nowadays, of course, it is much worse. Patients are lucky if they get necessary surgery. The money has moved to the insurance companies, the HMOs. Doctors are still making plenty of money, but they are mainly in the various surgical specialties - neurosurgery, cardiac, cancer, cosmetic. The old-fashioned general practitioner has been transformed into today's "care provider," hostage to an HMO.

Barack Obama will have to reform the Department of Labor, making it actually do its job of acting in the interests of "American" workers. This includes reviving the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), so that the "American" workplace is not a life-threatening place to be earning a living.

The distribution of income in the "United States" will have to be made vastly more even than what it is now. One way to do this, that no economist that I know of has ever proposed, is establishing an income and wealth ceiling - a maximum income. Gandhi once said that to have more than you need is to be a thief. We have a thief class running this country - corporate, political, personal. We can relieve them of their sinful ways by making it illegal to have, say, more than five times the average income in the country. Barack Obama is the man to get such a law established.

The only meaningful penalties for polluters of our air, land, and water are long-term prison sentences. Barack Obama is the man to make such penalties be a matter of law.

There are many more things our man of the hour, Barack Obama can do to save this country. In the coming days and months, many ideas will be expressed. For now, these few will do. The first order of business is to get elected.

The smartest thing Barack Obama can do to get elected is to select a female to be his running mate. I don't think Hillary Clinton would be suitable, but I have someone else in mind who would be a perfect choice. Barbara Mikulski, senator from the state of "Maryland." She has a spotless and honorable record as a true democrat, advocating for the well-being of all people for decades. Her age, 71, could be seen as a drawback, but she's a month older than the likely "Republican" candidate, John McCain, and would take votes away from him among older voters.

McCain posing in front of the nation's capitol buildingSpeaking of McCain, I believe he has little, if any, chance of being elected, Diebold be damned. A former tortured prisoner of war would be a great risk to put in such a position of power. The post-traumatic stress of his years of torture would manifest in the first national crisis he faces, a near-certainty. He also is a survivor of the fire aboard the USS Forrestal in 1967, another source of traumatic stress.

If you ever have wondered why his left cheek is swollen, it is because of his treatment for Melanoma - a very serious form of cancer. It is extremely unlikely that he has been "cured" of this disease, and if he were "elected," his tenure would not likely be for very long. He's 71 years old, and the post-traumatic stress and cancer histories, added to the pressures of the job of president, would tend to make his time in office a short one.

Then, of course, there are his "policies." War, war, and more war. "Conservatism," a free-floating term. In essence, what "Conservatism" really means is a free ride for the rich, bigotry, destruction of the ecosystem, empire, and movement towards police state. All of this is under the guise of "free enterprise," "freedom," and "family values." It's all B.S., but it's been a "successful" "movement" since 1980. Its days of "success" are over.

The curtain has now been pulled back, thanks to the Bush criminal regime, but "Conservatives" still have a few tricks up their collective sleeves. McCain is the perfect last trick. An ill-tempered, ethically tarnished, intellectually weak politician, he is an appropriate choice to lead the comprehensively criminal "Republicans." He has no charisma, no thunder, no ideas, and little ability to lead. With the legacy of "Conservatism" in tatters, he would find his short tenure in the presidency a form of torture, with results most would not care to contemplate.

It's all pretty moot. McCain is not the man of destiny. I predict - with the caveat that he who thinks he knows, knows not - that Barack Obama will defeat McCain by the largest margin in "U.S" history - 70% to 26%, with the other 4% going to Ralph Nader and other minor candidates.

One piece of advice I would offer to Barack Obama is this: Stop rounding off your words, and stop stretching your vowels ala Dr. Martin Luther King. Your only roots in "American" slavery are from your "white" ancestors, who likely owned a few. JFK and FDR felt no need to "commonize" their public speaking, and you shouldn't either. Best of luck. I don't envy you the task ahead.
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Here's something for a little inspiration.

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