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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 25, 2008

A super thing to do

When I was young there was no Super Bowl. There was just the NFL Championship game. There were no supergroups. We had Bill Haley and the Comets, Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, and Sam Cooke. There were no superstars, supermodels, Super Mario, the Superdome, Super Tuesday, or super delegates.

There were no "superpowers" either, though according to legend, the term had been invented in 1944. It wasn't until the 1970s that the two largest nation states became "super," adding some hype to their rivalry. The Cold War between the "U.S." and the "Soviet Union" began at the end of World War II. With the "Axis" powers defeated, these unions of states and countries became the major political and military powers on the planet. After decades of threats, vast spending on military procurement, a nuclear arms race, alliance formations around the planet, and proxy wars, the "Soviet Union" collapsed in 1991, crashing under the weight of its bloated military spending.

Now, supposedly, the "U.S" is the "world's only superpower." This has been the rallying cry of braggarts of the "right wing" and in the news media for the past seventeen years. As with the concept of the "U.S.," we might want to ask just what the term "world's only superpower" means.

As we have learned painfully over the past seven-and-a-half years, the meaning is elusive. January 20, 2001 marked the start of the criminal regime of George W. Bush. His first few months were not of much consequence, noted mainly for his refusal to be a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol, an international agreement to reduce greenhouse gases.

Then came September 11, 2001. It was the golden opportunity for the Bush criminal regime. By ignoring urgent warnings that an attack of the sort that took place was imminent, the Bush gang scored the "trifecta," an excuse to not only raid the Federal Treasury, but to enact Draconian laws authorizing expanded police powers to the Federal government, to pre-emptively attack and invade other countries, and to govern by secrecy.

All this has been in the context of the most corrupt, corporate-crony era in "U.S." history. By partnering with coporate accomplices like Ken Lay of Enron, Congressional accomplices like Tom DeLay, and lobbyists like Jack Abramoff, the Bush regime has turned the Federal Government into a pay-for-play criminal operation. This type of operation is known to some as fascism, but I believe the term Mafia is more accurate, though still inadequate. It is likely that after the Bush era has ended, a designation like Bushism or Cheneyism will be the operative appellation (Can I have an Amen for operative appellation?).

Had the Bush regime not been so blatantly criminal, the "superpower" status of the "U.S" might still be intact, or even enhanced. Sadly, or encouragingly, depending on one's point of view, being the world's only superpower no longer has much meaning. With all our superpowerness we are bogged down in piecemeal little occupations in "Iraq" and "Afghanistan," spending billions every month, with our forces being attacked on a daily basis by indigenous guerillas, whom our government and news media refer to as "insurgents."

Part of the meaning of "world's only superpower" is the economic strength and size of the "U.S" productive system. With a Gross National Product of over $14 trillion annualy, it is the largest economy on the planet.

As we have seen in recent months, the strength and size of the "U.S." economy are not as secure or certain as it once was. Given the cumulative effect of environmental carelessness and destruction, along with the likelihood of planetary climate change, the prospects for the "U.S." economy growing indefinitely and being dominant are not good.

That leaves only the "U.S" nuclear arsenal as a qualification for "superpower" status. "We" can threaten the rest of the planet with nuclear annihilation. Hillary Clinton, presidential candidate, has already made such a threat to "Iran."

Some superpower. If all a country can do is threaten nuclear holocaust, it isn't much of a superpower, and has no moral standing among nations. As we have seen with the Bush regime's lawless practices of invasion, kidnapping, torture, domestic spying, show trials, and criminalization of the justice system, the "U.S" doesn't have much moral standing to lose.

As it now stands, the "U.S" is personified by the Bush criminal organization. An organization that is criminal to the extent that is possible, its only tool left to maintain the "U.S" status as a "superpower" is nuclear weaponry.

This is a recipe for disaster of a magnitude the world has never seen. The Bush regime only has a few months left in office, is a gang of unscrupulous criminals, and it faces criminal prosecution domestically and internationally once it is out of power. Desperate to avoid prosecution, to say nothing of its compulsion to cause death and suffering, will this gang resort to the last remaining "superpower" tool to keep itself above the law?

Based on past experience with this criminal organization, the prospects are not encouraging. We have already seen what it has done with the opportunity provided by the September 11, 2001 attacks. Left to itself, the Bush regime is not above any depravity.

Ergo, maybe we shouldn't leave it to itself. If we can take ourselves away from the election hype for a short while, maybe we can influence our representatives in Congress to start impeachment proceedings. It would be a super thing to do.
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Multiply this scene by about three billion.

A tune for the times.

Here's another.

I always liked this song, though it's not one of my all-time favorites.

Here's a great song with a terrible video.

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