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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.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Sony Hacking in Larger Context

It now seems all the media hysteria about "North Korea" hacking Sony's Internal files is much ado about not much. According to Common Dreams, experts on Internet security are saying that it was likely an inside job, with easily transparent attempts to make it look like the chicanery emanated from "North Korea." The New York Times was the source of the Common Dreams report.

Skepticism is mounting. CNN is joining the mounting chorus of doubters.  Who will be next? It doesn't particularly matter. What is becoming clear is that our national "security" apparatus cannot be trusted. They lie us into war, repeatedly. They torture people, pretending that they don't, for nefarious purposes, then claim it "works." They spy uncontrollably on "American" citizens. They spy on Congress. They gather scarce resources to themselves, using fear as a bludgeon to get what they want. They act with impunity, absolving themselves of all responsibility for what they do.

The question at this point is why the FBI (and president) would claim to have clear evidence that "North Korea" is behind the hack attack, when it very likely isn't. Is war being planned, looking for an excuse? Not likely. "China" is next door to "North Korea," and any incursion in its neighborhood is a non-starter. Unless, that is, our national security apparatus is desirous of thermonuclear war.

It wouldn't be the first time. During the "Cuban" Missile Crisis, President Kennedy single-handedly prevented the chorus of war mongerers (not mongers) from attacking "Cuba" with nuclear weapons. When a bureaucratic infrastructure gets itself into a syndrome of self-perpetuating myths and delusions, it can get desperate if reality doesn't share in its falsehoods. The hack on Sony, in this context, is too great an opportunity to pass up. Now "North Korea" is upping the ante, accusing the "U.S." of causing its Internet outages, and calling President Obama a monkey.

It's hard to tell what is really going on, but it likely has something to do with the national security budget. In these stingy economic times, the fires of fear need to be fueled for that extra edge in muscling ahead of competing interests in government spending.

Other questions about the Sony hack are being raised. The absurdity of a nation threatening retaliation against another nation for a corporate security breach is new and ominous in international relations, as David Atkins explores in this insightful analysis in Alternet. In this modern world of increasing corporate dominance of public and private life, skewing of economic reward to the relative few, and the gradual disappearance of middle class employment, the melding of corporate interests with national security interests is a natural progression.

For me, the media frenzy about the hacking was the first thing that aroused suspicion. A movie about assassinating a reigning foreign leader, no matter how bad we think he is, is an exercise in bad taste at best, and sets a dangerous precedent for "artistic" expression. Heads of other states are apparently fair game for comedic ho, ho, hee, hee, hoo, hoo, hah, hah, let's all have a big laugh about killing this guy who we have heard bad things about and whom we don't like. It's our "civil right" to joke about assassinating foreign leaders. We're "Americans." We make the rules for everyone.

Where does it stop? Various fulminaters are calling our president a "traitor" for changing policy about "Cuba." They have been slandering him for years about everything he has done and for things they imagine he has done or will do. Could a movie be next? A comedy?

Polar bears taking a break. They depend on our good will for their survivalAnd, of course, putting it all in context, we are in a condition of increasingly troublesome effects of global climate change. Our infinite-growth mass industrial economic system is very near its limit to growth. The planet is near its man-made carrying capacity, if not past it already. All the king's horses and all the king's national security apparatus won't be able to put this Humpty Dumpty together again. Something new is coming, whether we like it or not. We should be preparing for the inevitable change in the way we inhabit this Earth. Time waits for no one.
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President John F. Kennedy addressed the nation regarding the presence of "Russian" missiles in "Cuba" on October 22, 1962. I was a senior in high school, and watched it on TV. It was the first time I heard the word clandestine being used. I remember having complete trust in Kennedy, having no inkling of how alone he was in opposing a nuclear attack on "Cuba." He was killed a year later, supposedly by a "lone gunman." If you believe that, I have some land in Arizona you might be interested in.

Here's a story of the "Cuban" Missile Crisis.

Eckhart Tolle has some words of wisdom about our obsession with "security."

Here's a bit of info on the weaponization of Hollywood. The power of entertainment media to control mass perception is too tempting to pass up. Abraham Lincoln believed that you can't fool all the people all the time. He was a bit short-sighted. All that is necessary is to fool enough of the people all the time. Time-and-again our image-makers show how easy it is. It is known as perception management.

Here's a song from seemingly innocent times. Here's another tune from those days.

Here's the trailer from the original hacking movie. It would be the greatest irony if it had been made by Sony, but United Artists was the production company.

For a full movie about surviving a thermonuclear war, click here.

The best movie of all time about the aftermath of thermonuclear war is On the Beach, from 1959. Here's a clip, perhaps Fred Astaire's greatest role.

This bears repeating.  This too.

Here's a song for our president, the national security establishment, and our entire ruling elite. Here's another.

R.I.P. Joe Cocker. Here's his best known song, a Beatles cover. This is my favorite, a Traffic cover. He also did a great cover of this Randy Newman song. Another Beatles song. This song was Joe Cocker's favorite. It applies to a number of people I know.
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Here's a timely update for the new year.

Here's another.

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