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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, October 19, 2008

Debunking a few myths

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama speaks to thousands of supports at Monona Terrace in Madison last fall. JOSEPH W. JACKSON III - State JournalIt's kind of old news, but the Wisconsin State Journal, Madison's "conservative" newspaper, endorsed Barack Obama in its Sunday, October 12 edition (This version loads easier). There were some snide comments posted on the paper's website, and I had a bit of fun replying to a couple of them. Here's the first one:

There will be many sour grapes to pick this fall, which can be stomped into a bitter wine for supposed "right-wingers" to drink. I see one guy, a supposed raptor, is already picking sour grapes. Drink deep, and drink often, feathered one.

Check yo mama's citizenship! If Obama were not a citizen, he would not be running for president. You can trust me on that one. He was born in Hawaii on August 4, 1961. Hawaii became a state of the Union August 21, 1959.

McCain was born in Panama. Though a citizen, he is actually unqualified to be president on place of birth alone. Of course, he's unqualified for other reasons, not the least of which is the boatload of PTSD he's carrying around. He also is a certifiable corrupt politician, having been a member of the notorious "Keating Five" savings and loan criminal conspiracy. I could go on. Let's just leave it at etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

Most people who use the term "Socialism" don't know what it means. It is the investment of the means of production in the people as a whole. Barack Obama hardly qualifies as a "Socialist," but if ideology is the world you live in, then he has to have some kind of label. It's likely more acceptable than what the feathered one would prefer to use.

I'm not particularly an Obama fan, but will probably vote for him. I toyed with voting for Nader, but don't like him much, though he's the most truthful, and advocates the policies most likely to advance civilization. Whoever is president will have a very difficult time in office, as our entire economic system teeters on the verge of collapse.

Here comes McCainWe may end up "Socialist" whether any of us like it or not. It would be a bitter irony for supposed "ideologues" of the "right." Capitalism, through its excess of greed and rapaciousness, ushers in its own demise. A bitter wine, indeed.

By the way, I served in the U.S. Army from 1968 to 1971. I didn't kill anyone, and certainly didn't bomb any civilians even once, to say nothing of 22 times (23 if you count the one failure). I much prefer my military record to that of John Sidney McCain. Wink
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There was a reply to my comment, and I answered:

Someone is curious about my voting habits. Though I vote by secret ballot, I don't mind mentioning a few votes. I voted for Clinton in '92, Nader in '96, Nader in 2000, and Kerry in 2004. I was going to waste my vote on Nader again in 2004, but went to the Bruce Springsteen/Kerry rally in Madison the Friday before the election, and gave in.

In 2004 I was naive enough to think that voting for Kerry would help defeat Bush. I didn't realize how far advanced the vote theft infrastructure the "Republicans" set up was. I don't think they will be able to pull it off this time, though I could just as easily be wrong again.

As far as being a "Vietnam" veteran is concerned, I don't look at it as a qualification or disqualification. It wasn't the people who went there who started the war. One does reap what one sows, though, and bombing women, children, the elderly, the infirmed, and other civilians does not a hero make. As far as McCain's supposed heroism is concerned, we won't be hearing any more about it in a few weeks.

The reptilian brain, home of “right-wingers”I should mention a little about the mythical "right wing" that has so many people either scared, alarmed, repulsed, or aroused, one way or another. I don't look at it as an "ideology" so much as a mental and emotional condition. Psychologists liken it to the "reptilian brain," because it is characterized by a sub-rational perceptual-emotional connectivity and fight-or-flight hyper-reactivity. Additional factors are low self-esteem and inferiority complex, and resentment of others, especially those perceived as smarter, privileged, and successful.

The metaphor of the linear "spectrum" of "left" and "right" is outmoded, adhered to by people who have an ego interest in its continuation. Hate media of various kinds are the most obvious. But you can't have a "right" without a "left," and Madison is replete with followers of the sinestra side of the pretend "spectrum." It is equally unthinkable to them that the "spectrum" doesn't actually exist. They also have to have someone to oppose, fear, and loathe.

I don't expect a lot from Obama's presidency, but his tenure is likely to be at least the beginning of the end of the silly and harmful model of reality known as the "left" to "right" horizontal "spectrum." It will be good riddance. I hope it is accompanied by "treatment" options. Like in any addiction remission, it will take great skill, compassion, and patience.
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The fun continues. Peggy Noonan, former speechwriter for Reagan and Bush 1 (or 41, depending on your preference), is among the shameful "conservatives" trying to revive their reputations (good luck). She was interviewed on the October 3 edition of NPR program "On Point." It wasn't exactly memorable, but I felt compelled to have some fun responding to what she said:

Peggy Noonan, voice for "patriotism." Not a partisan, just a "conservative." This was edifying

Factually, she wrote speeches for Ronald Reagan, who should have been jailed for supporting the "Contras," a terrorist group that murdered civilians in Nicaragua. He financed this terrorism by selling weapons to our supposed enemies in, hmm, Iran. He also invaded Grenada for no good reason, a criminal act.

She also wrote speeches for George H.W. Bush, who invaded Panama and, hmm, Iraq, of all places. The Iraq incursion was the more curious, since Iraq was our ally up to that point, and Saddam Hussain was led to believe that he had U.S. tacit approval, if not backing (for his invasion of Kuwait). In other words, he was double-crossed.

Tonight, Peggy Noonan sounded like a fake Beat poet, with the practiced intonation of a Village Vanguard wanna-be, pretending to be disheartened by the current political landscape.

If it takes a bloodbath, let's get it over withStill, she couldn't help proclaiming that Sarah Palin "killed" in last night's debate. How did she "kill?" Not by offering anything substantive, but by offering projection of personality, ala, hmm, Ronald Reagan, criminal.

The "Reagan Revolution" is over, rendered to the dustbin of history, never to be revived. "Conservatism" is also headed for the same dustbin. It was always a scam, not a serious philosophy. It is fitting that Peggy Noonan would mention her supposed dismay at Bush's 2005 inauguration speech as being "utopian, aggressive, and nutty."

Pardon me, but are "Republican" partisans so deluded that they actually believe that anything Bush says is real, truthful, and meant to be taken at face value? Does Peggy Noonan actually believe that Bush and his gang ever had any intention of spreading "democracy" and "freedom?"

I don't think so. Bush is an omnicriminal, obviously so to any sane, intelligent observer. I don't believe Peggy Noonan's dismay is any more real than Bush's supposed utopian dreams. More likely is a desire to reclaim whatever reputation she thinks she had before the farce that has been playing out for the past eight years.

It's a bit late for that. The punditocracy that enabled the destruction of our system of social order over the past 28 years is disgraced for good, and deservedly so. The dustbin of history is filling up.
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It isn't just fun writing these comments. The dialogue on our national media is locked in a narrow sphere of conventional wisdom, a mutual masturbation society of careerists reinforcing one another's sense of self-importance and "player"-ness. It's good practice for me to hone the analysis. The way it feels is that I'm zeroing in on the Western intellectual tradition - the entire perspective and approach that has emanated from "Europe" since the ancient "Greeks" and "Romans." Maybe even farther back, to the "Fertile Crescent."

I don't always do my usual thing of putting country names in quotes, so as not to confuse the unfamiliar. Too much debunking of conventional wisdom in one dose can cause overload. It's enough to instill cognitive dissonance in bite-size pieces.
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This picture is for old times sake. It was taken in Cambridge, Massachusetts in late August, 1974. For the unaware, Archibald Cox was the special prosecutor fired by Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal. Read about him here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archibald_CoxFor some further info on the double-crossing of Saddam Hussein, click here.

There are other views of McCain's tenure at the "Hanoi Hilton." Click here to read. This video is a good synopsis, an interview on a "right wing" radio show.

This is the website of today's Hanoi Hilton. Here's the site for the Paris Hilton.

Here's a video of McCain when he was a POW.

Here's a bit of Allen Ginsberg.

A study on "left-wing brain/right-wing brain" is summarized here.

For an update on "Republican" vote fraud, click here. Here's some more info. And still more.

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