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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.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Mediterranea

The Mediterranean Sea and surrounding countriesNew Year's has to be the emptiest holiday of the year. It is the weak sister (or brother, etc.) to Christmas, and for millions of "Americans," it means recovering from the previous night's festivities. My father hated New Year's. A surgeon, he would get called almost every New Year's morning at about 2:00 a.m. to put someone's body back together. One New Year's morning he was in surgery for about eight hours, picking windshield glass out of a formerly beautiful girl's face, while the town's oral surgeon sewed her tongue back on.

For decades I have practiced my own little ritual of going to sleep in one year, and waking up in the next. It's not much of a ritual, but it beats having glass picked out of my face.

The "Catholic" church has its own observance of New Year's, the Solemnity of Mary. It used to be called the "Circumcision," but that apparently lost its sex appeal, or something. I haven't been around "Catholicism" much since my graduation from a "Catholic" college, so I wasn't aware that the change had been made. The holiday was never explained to us when we were kids, and, obedient "Catholics," we didn't question it. It was enough just to be on vacation from school.

This new year is a little stranger than any I can remember. We have a new president, replacing the most criminal to occupy the office in the nation's history. President-elect Barack Obama holds great promise as an agent of change, with the daunting task of reviving our economy, our place in the world, and our sense of who we are.

There's a beauty to the challenges Obama faces. The momentum of our policies and practices is for the vulgar: favor the rich, the corporations, the destruction of the planet, and state terrorism internationally. As a perceived "black" man, Obama faces the additional burden of "white" "racism." No one is actually black or white, and race does not exist, except in the minds the racially oriented, but the danger of racially motivated violence will circle over Obama's presidency like a vulture.

These pressures make it unlikely that Obama will make any significant changes, but the beauty of his predicament is that he has a freedom to act that is unprecendented. The old momentum is breaking down. It doesn't work anymore. The easy invasion of "Iraq" turned out to be a disaster. The "free market" policies of the "Republicans" wrecked the economy. The enabling of environmnetal destruction has enabled the destruction of the environment (duh).

There is no better test case of Obama's opportunity to make changes than in "Mideast" policy. The "Mideast" is a term invented by the "British" around 1900. I wonder if the Brito-centric terminology might have something to do with the troubles in the region. Whatever the case, the seeming stalemate in relationships can't go on forever, and now is the most opportune time for a change.

Obama has said he believes in the sanctity of the "Jewish" state. It is an easy thing to say when running for office. Millions of "Americans" also identify themselves as "Jews," and they vote. Largely due to the atrocities of World War II, the nation of "Israel" was created, more as a refuge than a country. In an ideal world the country would have been carved out of land not being used by anyone else. In the actual world, the nation of "Israel" was founded on land that had been settled by "Arabs," who are now known as "Palestinians."

The prevailing view among "leftists," "rightists," and "centrists" is for a two-state solution, wherein a peaceful "Israel" will exist in side-by-side harmony with "Palestine." For these people I am tempted to start my own Bernie Madoff style Ponzi scheme, offering stock in the Brooklyn Bridge.

I wrote about the predicament of "Israel" and "Palestine" in 2006 and again in 2007. Both posts could be written today with the same pertinence, and the same departure from conventional wisdom. The difference now is that conventional wisdom is no longer seen as wisdom, and it is long past time for real wisdom to emerge.

So, how about a little heresy? How about a real solution for the "Mideast." The core conflict in the region, between "Israel" and the "Palestinians," can only be resolved by establishing one-state. It would be free of official religion, like the "United States," and free of official ethnic dominance. It could be called "Semitestine," since both ethnicities are "Semitic," but a more acceptable name might be something like "Utopia" or "The Promised Land." "Christians" refer to the region as the "Holy Land," so maybe that name will work. An ancient name like "Phoenicia" might work. My preference is "Mediterrania," since the land is bordered by the "Mediterranean" sea. Some might prefer the spelling "Mediterranea."

Again, whether he likes it or not, Barack Obama has taken on the responsibility of changing the world for the better in a significant way. Unlike his predecessor, he doesn't have the option of fakery. On all fronts - the economy, domestic harmony, the ecosystem, international relations - only real solutions will do. He has little time to waste. Our task, should we accept it, is to guide him towards those real solutions.
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I've been indulging in a bit more heresy over the past few weeks. Here are a few samples:

Freedom's just another word...

There's a bit of a semantic problem with the Freedom from Religion Foundation. If they don't want prayer at a government function, then they should start an organization called the Freedom from Spirituality Foundation. Prayer is not religion, unless it is practiced as part of a specific organization. If a preacher makes an exhortation to people to join his faith or else be damned into "Hell" for eternity, then that would be a violation of the separation of church and state.

It's tricky business, being an atheist. You first have to create a "God" to disbelieve. Handily, "God" has already been conjured up by the various religions, who also provide a theism to be "a" of. It's too easy, and atheists think they are really brave and smart, when they actually have fallen into a trap of being against or disbelieving of the existence of a being that others have made for them.

If one were to take the view that "God" is beyond our limited three dimensional understanding, then we all would be a lot more humble in our believing and disbelieving. We also would be more oriented towards direct experience, which can be gained through various spiritual practices like meditation, prayer, divine love, and selfless service.

Meanwhile, the arguments go on. It will be nice to watch the inauguration. The exit of the Bush criminal regime will be cause for great joy. And a prayer of thanks. We will be aBush, and not a moment too soon. Wink
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Welfare reform

At least David Gregory looks the part. He probably won't be in the job for very long. He looks like the weasel that he is, and the show will probably "lose audience."

Something different going on that this situation brings into focus. The past eight years were a distinctly negative time, with the appropriate prominence of a gang of sociopaths. Because of this, and the great promise offered by the candidacy and election of Barack Obama, hopes and expectations have been raised. We voted for and presume that we will have clean, honest, and decent government. If Obama turns out to be just another toad posing as a statesman, then the rest of his life will be one of sorrow and shame.

There has been a shift in consciousness. It will take some time for the transition, but the old, criminal ways of doing things will have to change. One of the ways the change is likely to manifest is in television, where the emphasis on crap is at such a fever pitch. The choices now tend to be grisly cop shows or trashy comedies. Fittingly, the networks are losing money on these shows, and might actually have to come up with real dramas and comedies, such as was done in the 50s and 60s.

Because Obama talks a good game, and actually seems to mean it, people believe he will bring a higher level of effort to his tenure as president. One of the ways he can start is to cancel all foreign aid to "Israel." Let them pay for their crimes with their own money.
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About "Blackness"

This article is certainly a lot of words about not much. None of us are "black" or "white." The color black is the color that does not emit or reflect light. White is the opposite, the color tone that reflects the entire color spectrum. "Caucasian" skin does not have this characteristic, and "African" skin does not have the characteristics of black.

The notion that anyone is a member of a "race" is true racism, and perpetuates the whole gamut of prejudice. Race actually does not exist, except in the minds of those who through ignorance or need to feel superior to others (perpetuate the delusion). "African-Americans" had the notion of race foisted upon them by slavery, and after generations of tribal mixture, they lost their identities with their root ethnicities.

For some further reading about the existence of race, check this out. To continue with corrupted notions of "black" and "white" will only keep us stuck in a rut of artificial difference. We can have "Irish" "Americans," "Italian" "Americans," and "Chinese" "Americans," but we can't have a "Kenyan" "American."

Obama is identified with a "race" and color that don't exist in human experience. He further is identified with an ethnicity for which he has no historical connection. The slaves in the "U.S." came from the areas of "West Africa" that are now the countries of "Angola," "Ivory Coast," "Sierra Leone," and others. "Kenya" is in "East Africa."

posted Dec 16, 2008 at 18:33:22
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What's the word? The Bible on Gay Marriage

John Hamilton (HappyJack) wrote:

The argument about "Biblical" authority for banning "gay" marriage is silly at best. For one thing, it rests on the assumption of the existence of "The" Bible, when there have been many versions over the centuries. Another assumption is that "The" Bible is "scripture," divinely inspired stories, sermons, prescriptions for a good life, and predictions of the future.

There is a further assumption that "Christian" beliefs have the authority of law of the land. I was raised as a "Catholic," a denomination that would like to resume its former place as inheritors of the Roman Empire. If you left the Church, you supposedly gave up any notions of going to "Heaven." I spent eight years as a follower of an Indian guru. Curiously, we were told that if we left, we would give up all ideas of "enlightenment." It's the same the whole world over.

I'm not pro "gay" or anti "gay," but if two people want to commit to each other in a loving relationship, they could do a lot worse. For example, is it worse than ignoring warnings of an immanent attack, lying a country into war, kidnapping, torturing, killing, spying on everyday citizens, and turning the Justice Department into a gang of political hacks? Then, of course, there's Hurricane Katrina.

Monday, December 15, 2008 4:00:07 PM

Recommended (5)
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Obama Ditches Press Pool To Take Daughters To Aquatic Park

The series of stories emanating from Hawaii are sheer fun in the way they show how the MSM (Mainstream media) just make things up out of thin air. They refer to the Kaneohe Marine base as part of the town of Kailua. Kaneohe is a town in itself, a few miles west of Kailua. The fashionable smug thing at NBC (starting with Tom Brokaw) is to pronounce Hawaii as "Hawai." #%%holes.

This article refers to "Sea Life Park" as an "amusement park." It actually is a marine research facility, and has some lectures and animal shows for the public, but is hardly an "amusement park," ala Disney World or Six Flags. I read another report today (AP) that said "Obama, wife Michelle, and daughters Malia and Sasha are staying in a $9 million, five-bedroom oceanfront house near downtown Honolulu." Kailua, where Obama is staying, is on the other side of the island from Honolulu, separated by a small mountain (Pali) range. Liars.

It takes a minimum of care for the truth to get these facts straight, but our corporate media couldn't care less. It didn't matter a bit that someone as low as Bush lied us into war, looked the other way when warned about imminent attack, corrupted our system of justice, kidnapped, tortured, killed, and stole two elections. They partied with him, laughing at his stupid slide show about searching for WMD. They have no souls, and will be remembered as symbolic of this age of mediocrity.

posted Dec 27, 2008 at 22:16:29
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And, of course, I had to get in a few words about Rod Blagojevich:

Light the torches!

It might be worthwhile at this point to put the Blagojevich situation in a bit of perspective. For one thing, the trading of appointments for money or favors in politics is pretty commonplace. What is different this time is the blatancy and stupidity, hardly reasons for tar and feathering. Unlike in the case of his predecessor, no one has died as a result of Blagojevich's crimes.

Indeed, compared to our soon-to-be former president, Blagojevich is downright statesmanlike. He hasn't invaded anyone, hasn't kidnapped anyone, hasn't tortured anyone, hasn't looked the other way when warned of immanent attacks, hasn't turned the Justice Department into a club for political hacks, and hasn't enabled the collapse of our economic system. But wait, Blagojevich's wife uses foul language! The shame! The outrage! Light the torches!
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For a look at Bush's WMD slide show, click here. There are links to other videos along the side column with more slides, but they tend to add their own crap to the videos - goofy music, cartoons, pictures.

Here's some appropriate music. Here's another.

This song by Steve Earle offers some hope.

Here's some background reading on Obama's approach to the "Mideast."

Here's a site for info on the "Mideast."

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