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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, June 11, 2008

Breaking the inertia

A slight pause in reading 'My Pet Goat'I was listening to National Public Radio Monday Morning, and among the news stories was this gem: "President Bush has reiterated his confidence in the American economy," and blah, blah, blah.

One could joke about this absurdity, Bush the economic soothsayer, but I didn't have my usual sense of irony. What struck me was how freely the term "President Bush" flowed from the lips of the news reader. "President Bush." It's kind of like "President Manson" or "President Speck." Or "President Gacy." "President Bundy." For Texans, how about "President Whitman?" For Nebraskans, "President Starkweather." For Wisconsinites, "President Gein," or "President Dahmer." No matter who it is, no matter how great the crimes of the occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, our news establishment will behave as if he is someone worthy of honor, to be quoted and listened to, that his words have meaning.

This comparison will likely enrage some, but that's life. Bush is responsible for vastly more deaths and suffering than all of the aforementioned killers combined, thousands of times over. That he is still treated with deference and honor is a testament to the lack of standards in established "American" institutions - the news media, government, the corporate world, the wealthy, and hangers-on.

Examples abound. Glenn Greenwald of Salon routinely skewers propagandists and liars in the corporate news media, especially in their complicity with the plans, schemes, and crimes of the Bush regime. Last Saturday's offering is a good example, where he took the Washington Post's David Broder to task for his soft-pedaling of the crimes of the Bush organization, but still believes Bill Clinton should have been removed from office for fooling around with an intern. No complaints from Broder or anyone else in the corporate media about Clinton's bombing and enforcement of sanctions against "Iraq," resulting in the deaths of 500,000 "Iraqi" children.

Greenwald doesn't spare the New York Times either, as he demonstrates here and here. Almost a year ago he wrote about the ongoing journalistic scandal at the New York Times.

If you are enamored of Tim Russert, host of NBC's "Meet the Press," read this.

The list goes on. Even Scott McLellan, erstwhile Bush press secretary, criticized media complicity with the Bush criminal regime in his sort-of tell-all book, "What Happened." In this Washington Post article about McLellan's book, it is telling that no mention is made of that criticism.

Thankfully, not everyone in the ruling structure of the country is a sheep (I was going to use lemming, but read here that they have been given a bum rap, fueled by a fake story by none other than Walt Disney.). Dennis Kucinich, congressman from Ohio, introduced articles of impeachment yesterday. Here's a good analysis.

Kucinich's impeachment effort will likely fail. The Bush regime's crimes, heinous though they may be, are the kinds of crimes our ruling elite has supported for the past century or so. Stealing elections, starting wars, spying on "Americans," using the Justice Department as a political tool, governing by secrecy - these things are nothing new. They have not been so concentrated in one presidency before, but they all have happened to some degree in many presidencies.

What is revealing in this presidency is the degree of acceptance and support Bush's crimes have among the most powerful news media. If they accept and approve the level of criminality we have seen over the past 7½ years, then what level is too much? How much perfidy in the nation's highest office will our ruling elite go along with? Will bombing "Iran" with nuclear weapons be too much? How about "North Korea?" "Russia?" How about worldwide nuclear holocaust? Would that be too much?

I don't think any crime is beyond acceptance by our ruling elite and their media lackeys. It's not a matter of their own criminality, but of simple psychology. The minions of our corporate news media are addicted to their status and privilege, to their placement in the social matrix of Washington, D.C. It is as if they were androids, programmed robots who look like humans, but are actually conditioned responders, not to some inner guide or conscience, but to a shallow feedback loop of colleagues, high government officials who "speak on condition of anonymity," lobbyists, politicians, social elite-ites, and other "players."

Shaming by writers like Glenn Greenwald and Joe Conason is vital, but one thing we all can do about the corporate news media is to drain the swamp. Don't pay to read the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, or any of their subsidiaries. Don't buy anything advertised on the corporate television networks, or even PBS. PBS shills for such corporate malfeasers as Archer Daniels Midland, ExxonMobil, various automakers, chemical companies, and others wishing to polish their images.

Boycott them all if you can. You can always find a Citgo gas station. Most products advertised on corporate TV are either useless, harmful, unnecessary, or available cheaper and better from smaller producers.

These efforts, in combination with the rise of alternative media, might be enough to break the inertia of the corporate news conglomerates. Most importantly, it might be enough to shake them up before the Bush criminal regime perpetrates its next great crime.

We'll find out soon enough.

Here's some presidential music.

Here's some more.

Here's a few questions for the "president."

And finally, a bit of Keith Olberman.


Blogger Jonathan Versen said...

I'm just responding to your Salon commentary-- I'm voting for Trent Lott's hairpiece.

6/17/2008 6:20 AM  
Blogger John Hamilton said...

I guess that would be a hairpiece, wouldn't it? I'm not much of a student of Trent Lott, but fake hair would be par for the course.

Someone else wrote in Salon today, er, yesterday, that Joe Lieberman might be McCain's VP pick. My first reaction was "Who cares?" Then I came up with my own prediction: Kit Bond. No particular reason. It would have good phonetics: McCain-Bond.

Obama would have even better phonetics with Arizona governor Janet Napolitano. "Obama-Napolitano! The winning team for tomorrow! It would give "right wingers" and the news media fits trying to pronounce it all correctly.

6/18/2008 12:12 AM  

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