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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, March 15, 2009

Meet the new boss

It's been amusing to watch, the past few weeks, as drug-addicted Dominican Republic sex vacationer Rush Limbaugh was anointed as the leader of the "Republican" party. The actual chairman of the party, Michael Steele, attempted to challenge Limbaugh, and, like many before him, found himself issuing a groveling apology.

Such is the status of the "Republican" party these days. It has long been a propaganda cover for an extensive network of criminal activities, and now that the country is reaping the results of that criminality, we can look at the nature of this criminal operation. Then we can do something about it.

The criminality is not, of course, confined to the "Republicans" and their supporters and beneficiaries. There are plenty of "Democrats" among the criminals who have brought us to our present condition. But the hub, the central criminal organization that has enabled so much irresponsibility, theft, negligence, pollution, war, destruction, and crimes against humanity has been the "Republican" party. Thanks to their unmitigated arrogance in placing a completely worthless human being, George W. Bush, at the head of their criminal operation, they have far overplayed their hand, and are now in disrepute. In what other condition would another completely worthless human being, Rush Limbaugh, rise to such prominence that he would be credibly and effectively anointed as the head of the party?

Barack Obama has said numerous times that he wants to look to the future, and not get bogged down in the past. That would seem to be a laudable attitude, but it leaves some questions unanswered. Are we a nation of laws, not of men? Do we only give lip service to the rule of law? Is the criminality so rampant that Obama realizes many "Democrats" might face prosecution? Is he perhaps vulnerable himself to charges of corruption? So many questions, so few answers.

I actually believe Obama is following the "centrist" approach that he has said he would follow, hoping that his potential successes in restoring the economy, "winning" in "Afghanistan," changing our use of energy, and establishing a healthcare plan will make people forget about what got us into this condition. He is "centrist" about crime, in the sense that the treasonous practices of the past eight years are not going to be prosecuted, but they are not being continued.

He will fail. The reasons for prosecution of criminals are not just to punish, but to prevent them from committing further crimes, and to provide society with some sense of justice and deterrence from criminality. As we are seeing with the "bailouts" of various Wall Street banking and investment firms, insurance companies, and money managers, if given any opportunity at all to continue with their destructive practices, these greedy people will do the exact same things again and again, no matter whom it hurts. They also will do some new things.

As far as rescuing the economy, the reason I can say Obama's plan will fail is that it is all about money, as if money were the essence of life, the answer to all our woes. In a previous post I mentioned the work of economist Joseph Schumpeter. He stressed that the principal factor in economic growth is entrepeneurship, the innovative role played by individuals who develop new products, new methods of production, new sources of supply, new markets, and new organizations of industry.

At best, Obama's plan will repair some of the damage done by the negligence, rapaciousness and fakery of the past, with innovation that merely substitutes less efficient technology for the life-destroying fossil-fuel methods of the past. For example, solar energy. It is planet-friendly, but has little, if any, potential for increasing the all-important motor for growth: output per man-hour.

There may be a secret island in the hinter regions of this planet that has vast sources of raw materials and hordes of unmarketed people ready for TVs, computers, cars, ipods, cellphones, and Barbie dolls, but so far that island hasn't manifested itself.

As far as reorganization of an industry, let's take the financial sector as an example. It was the thievery, the irresponsible lending, the housing "bubble," and the "securitized" debt that fueled the growth of GNP until recently. In the Clinton years, of course, there was the "Dot-com bubble," the hyped-up boom of investment in businesses on the World Wide Web that had little possibility of earning a profit. Together, these were the factors that gave us the false growth that is now going bust.

I have my own "centrist" approach to getting the country on the right path. There should be a reasonable limit on prosecutions of "Republicans." The Bush criminal regime should pay for its crimes, with life sentences for the principal actors. The vote fraudsters that helped them win elections should suffer the same fate. The war profiteers who had such close ties to this regime should also be prosecuted. Those who corrupted the Department of Justice should be in jail. Members of Congress who committed crimes in office deserve long sentences at hard labor.

Hmm. That would seem to mean that all "Republicans" should be in jail. Au contraire. People who voted for "Republicans" should be allowed to remain free. People who, through their own bigotry, greed, loathing, and criminal mentality put these people in office, hoping to reap some benefit for themselves in the process, should be allowed to remain free. We have an effectively criminal society, with a critical mass of low-level, narcissistic, violent, and predatory citizens, held at bay by the checks and balances that are necessary for any society to function. The one place these people can converge to express their hostility to humanity is at the ballot box.

"Republican" voters are also losing their jobs and homes. Car dealerships are closing. Mortgage brokerages are closing. Realtors® are going out of business. Malls are closing. "Fortune 500" companies are suffering. This economic collapse is hurting almost everyone. Maybe even "Republican" voters can now see the folly that got us into this mess.

Not all "Republican" voters are criminals, or deliberate criminal enablers. I know a lot of them. It mostly has to do with what they perceive as their peer groups: family, community, ethnicity, religion, relative income, etc. Somehow this complex of identities has divided the country to a point where people have been fooled into supporting the criminal "Republicans."

In this context, it's pretty easy to see the ease with which "right-wing" media companies could walk right in to fill a vacuum. By fueling the fire, inciting even more bigotry, hatred and division, opportunists like Rupert Murdoch have made billions of almighty dollars. A genuinely evil person like the drug-addicted Dominican Republic sex vacationer Rush Limbaugh has risen to be the uncontested leader of the "Republican" party.

Continuing in my "centrist" vein, I don't feel the need to recommend anything, other than paying attention. I have said many times in this blog that what is sown is reaped. We can do the right thing, or we can do the wrong thing. We reap the results one way or the other. A year from now I don't think we'll be hearing much about Rush Limbaugh. Or Ann Coulter. Or Bill O'Reilly. Or Sean Hannity. Or Glenn Beck. I suspect they will be a luxury that we, as a society, will no longer be able to afford.
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Here's a tune to hum for a little inspiration.

Need a little more inspiration? Click here.

Here's another.

This one is for Rush Limbaugh.

For his fans.

When Rush is gone, we can sing this in his memory.

And finally, this.

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