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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, April 21, 2011

Sarah Palin Speaks to a Tea Party Rally in Madison

Sara Palin came to Madison last Saturday to speak at the "Tea Party" tax day rally. It was a raucous event, with a seemingly endless series of speakers building invective to a crescendo that culminated with Palin's speech.

A lot of interesting things happened on the sidelines, with counter-ralliers from Madison's union supporters outnumbering the "Tea Partiers" by about three to one. The most interesting thing to me didn't become clear until I looked at the pictures I took of the event. Three of either Palin's or the "Tea Party" security detail wandered away from the stage area to linger among the counter-ralliers. I was in a picture-taking mood, and took a couple of shots of them. Curiously, as I was lining up my shot from the front, one of them got camera-shy and started to slink away. He wasn't fast enough, and I got the picture before he slipped away. In the picture of "Security" from behind you can see him glaring at me. He didn't like having his picture taken.

As I was getting photos together for posting on this blog I found the security detail more curious, and especially the guy who was so camera shy. I zoomed in on his hat, and it says "Los Angeles Police Special Weapons and..." I couldn't make out the rest, but it would seem to have been the word tactics.

Could a guy from the Los Angeles Police Department SWAT team come all the way to Madison, Wisconsin to provide his talents? What might he have had in mind? And why were he and his partners in security lurking among the counter-ralliers? Did his camera-shyness have anything to do with his curious background?

The likeliest thing is that the guy isn't or wasn't on the LAPD SWAT team at all. You can buy Los Angeles Police gear at a number of websites, like this one, and it is likely the hats can be bought at gun shows and gun nut conclaves like National Rifle Association meetings, or in ads in Soldier of Fortune Magazine. In other words, the "Security" man with the SWAT hat is in all likelihood not a law enforcement officer, but a fugitive from justice, who would have good reason for being camera-shy.

I don't have any certainty as to who the SWAT guy might be, but the times are certainly very weird, and Madison seems to be a big draw right now for strange people of all kinds with questionable of agendas. Here's an example of the kind of person the "Republicans" have hired to collect signatures for petitions to recall "Democratic" state senators.

This guy asked me to put this picture on the Web, so here it is. He was at the official counter-rally at the opposite side of the Capitol. He epitomized for me the best type of activist - soft-spoken, humble, sincere, someone who would rather be doing something else.

I wonder why Atlas shrugged

WKOW TV News crew

Here's a video of part of Palin's speech. Here's another.

This is Michelle Shocked with the Madison Firefighters bagpipe band, April 4, 2011This video of Michelle Shocked with the Madison Firefighters bagpipe group is priceless. It was at the Wisconsin State Capitol on April 4, the anniversary of Martin Luther King's assassination. Jesse Jackson spoke afterwards. I managed to squeeze into a space behind the stage and get a few pictures. Jesse Jackson is at left in the picture at right, and one of the Memphis sanitation workers of 1968 is behind him.

I was going to blend these stories in a different post, but didn't. They're worth reading:

Fire the Rich

Anatomy of an Afghan War Tragedy

Budgetary Savings From Military Restraint

Walker's Budget bill is really about hurting unions

Here's a bit of old news.