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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, September 22, 2013

The Land of Make Believe

Public radio has a show called "On the Media," which airs here on Sunday. Today's show had a segment about how border patrol agents are abusing citizens who are returning from travels to foreign countries, often gratuitously and seriously. The story also detailed the futility of getting any answers or cooperation from the various agencies involved in regard to the facts of the cases, and of corrective measures, punishment, or even acknowledgement that the abuses took place.

It was a great story, but this kind of tale that results in NOTHING. It just goes on and on. We have reached the stage as a people where we can't solve problems. We just whine about them. As such, we are finished as a functioning society. This country has run its course.

I responded to the "On the Media" story thusly:

John Hamilton from Madison, Wisconsin
This is an excellent story, but it goes nowhere, which puts it in what I call "leftist" whining, like what I hear on Democracy Now. If you took it a little deeper you might get to understanding why these things happen, and thereby approach solutions.
We live in a mass society. It is in the nature of mass society that people live and work in subsets of the mass society - workable units of people and location that simplify daily life. Whether in government or in business the overall operation is broken down into divisions and bureaus that perform specific tasks, with the purpose being a coordinated output of goods or services that contribute to the well-being of society. Inevitably these subdivisions become self-focused, and the internal dynamics of the bureau or department dwarf the overall purpose of the organization.
A well-functioning society develops ways of minimizing this tendency, but the "American" system is not one of them. On the Media could be a national leader in pointing out this syndrome, and inspiring the necessary self-reflection and study that could lead to solutions and safeguards. I know this is a tall order, but the option is doing these stories repeatedly that go nowhere. It is good for job security, but not much else. Sep. 22 2013 07:55 AM
If you need any further verification of how far we have fallen, I offer the recent example of grandstanding Senator John McCain, who thought he was doing something brilliant by responding to Russian president Vladimir Putin, writing an op-ed in a conspiracy theory website that appropriated the name of the defunct Communist newspaper Pravda.

What an idiot. And he's the loudest voice in opposition to our President, who himself is severely deficient in intention and performance. The Congress is now fighting over the budget,and another grandstanding senator, Ted Cruz, is vowing to shut down the government if he doesn't get his way.

Whatever. Next week it will be someone new. The news media will prop him or her up. He or she will strut and fret his or her hour upon the stage, and then will be heard no more. Then there will be someone else. I could give many more examples, but what would be the point? We're screwed.

It won't go on forever. We live in an interactive and consequential universe. For example, if you have an economic system that behaves as if it can get larger every year when the planet isn't getting any larger, eventually it will reach a point where it can't get bigger. We are near or past that point. We are pretending we aren't. We won't be pretending for much longer.

Here's a better land of make believe.

Meanwhile, here we are. Here's a song for moving on.

Here are some great John McCain quotes.

On another note, Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill appeared on Fox News yesterday, and said "This isn't about meaningful statesmanship. This isn't about doing what we were sent to Washington to do, and that is, compromise and run the government." Pardon me, Senator, but the Affordable Care Act IS a compromise. Obama originally favored Single Payer Health Care, and then a watered-down version with a "Public Option." After the health insurance companies and the American Medical Association got involved, working through their lobbyists, we ended up with "Obamacare."