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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, April 16, 2016

After the Fall

As we have long suspected in Wisconsin, the real purpose of the voter ID law enacted by the "Republicans" in the state legislature is to suppress the vote. A former "Republican" legislative aide said so publicly last week, describing a planning meeting where one state senator said that all he cared about was winning elections regardless of the negative effects. A former state senator, who is now serving in the House of Representatives in Washington, let it slip that the intention of the law is to elect "Republicans." The Congressman, Glenn Grothman, also said "I think Hillary Clinton is about the weakest candidate the Democrats have ever put up. And now we have photo ID, and I think photo ID is going to make a little bit of a difference as well."

The same is true nationwide. Legislatures dominated by "Republicans" have introduced voter ID laws in 41 states since 2011, and 18 of them have been successfully enacted. A Frontline investigation in 2014 revealed how the laws are not about voter fraud, but to restrict voting.

Given the putrid candidates the "Republicans" are offering for president this year, the voter ID laws likely won't be enough to ensure victory. Still, they are confident that they can prevent Obama's Supreme Court nominee from being confirmed long enough for their presumed "Republican" president can nominate someone more to their liking, i.e., a "Conservative" sociopath.

What, I wonder, makes them so confident? What do they know that the rest of us don't know? Given that they have no qualms about suppressing the vote, and stole the 2000 and 2004 elections, it is an easy conclusion that they have something up their individual and collective sleeve(s).

It's not the end of the world. Donald Trump is right: the system is rigged. In a likely contest of Hillary Clinton versus whomever non-Trump candidate the "Republicans" come up with it will truly be a choice between the lesser of two evils. She will be a terrible president, as will be Cruz, Trump or Kasich. None of them will do anything that needs to be done, and all of them would do things that are harmful to people and the planet.

The "Republicans," of course, will be worse. The political parties are essentially criminal organizations, but they exist along a continuum. It is not the continuum of "left" to "right," but of perfidy and evil. What they have in common is the burning need to win elections. The "Democrats" rely on fooling the less-well-off and more-civilized, while the "Republicans" are more about crony capitalism, xenophobia and scapegoating. The lines of division between and among them are not drawn in stone, so there is plenty of crony capitalism and xenophobia on the "Democratic" side and plenty of fooling the less-well-off and more-civilized among the "Republicans."

Given the the two major parties are criminal and/or do-next-to-nothing parties, and that drastic climate change is encroaching, as well as the impending collapse of our infinite-growth economic system, one can easily conclude that they are speeding up the process of their own demise. The challenge for the rest of us is to find ways to prevent them from taking us with them.

How about another party? Today I attended the state convention of the Wisconsin Green Party. There were few attendees, and not much of significance went on. It's a party that has struggled for attention and impact over the years, reaching its pinnacle of sorts when Ralph Nader was its candidate for president in 1996 and 2000. Some still blame him for the "defeat" of Al Gore in Florida in 2000, when the real culprit was the "Republican" party, which suppressed the vote through various forms of chicanery, blocking people from voting, purging voter registrations, sending people to the wrong polling places, and various other methods of election fraud.

They had their chance. More than a chance. An abundance of chances. They squandered their opportunities, all in the name of petty narcissism and outright sociopathy. Their time is up. Let's get rid of them. The Green Party is small and ineffective now, but when people have had enough of the greater or lesser of two evils, they (we) might start looking elsewhere. The Green Party in Germany actually has people holding public office, with 63 representatives in the Bundestag, the national legislature.

Polar bears taking a break. They depend on our good will for their survivalIt isn't much, but it's a start. With increasing drought, forest fires, floods, storms, hurricanes, tornadoes,  rising sea levels, crop failures, species decline, the spread of disease, and worldwide economic collapse, something new will take the place of the old. Necessity is the mother of invention, and just as throughout history when circumstances converge, change takes place. The Green Party of the United States can be a catalyst and focal point for that change. On November 8 we "choose" a new president. On November 9 we can start planning for real change.
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Here's a song. Here's another. And another. This too. And this.

R.I.P. Merle Haggard. This is my favorite of his songs. This is my second-favorite. Here's an alternate version. This was one of my mother's favorite songs. Alternate version. They even did this Merle song with the Beach Boys. Who'da thunk?


Update April 22 : Here's something we won't be seeing a movie about any time soon. It wouldn't conform with the manufacture of consent, which dictates the bounds of thinkable thought.

Meanwhile, back at the Great Barrier Reef.

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