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Alfred McGuire
01 September 2008 @ 10:52 pm

 

 

 
 

 

 

 
 
Alfred McGuire

 

 

 


The Republican party came into being in the early 1850s. Its purpose was to foster the abolition of slavery, the provision by the government of free land in the west, equal protection of the law for Americans and voting rights for blacks and women. Abraham Lincoln was the party’s first elected president.

The Republican party I just described ceased to exist a long time ago. Early on it was taken over by wealthy corporate interests which were- and are- directly and overtly opposed to the founding principles of the party- and the country for that matter. Republican politicians- who are in fact not Republicans at all in the original sense of the word- are devoted solely to fostering the interests of the wealthiest minority. They view the general population as a force to be kept in line, considering any expansion of the wealth, privileges, liberties and rights of the American people as a threat to their supremacy and as money out of their pockets. Lincoln, were he alive today, would renounce and condemn this modern so-called "Republican" party as in no way associated with the party he belonged to. There is absolutely no doubt about that. These “Republicans” are violently opposed to equality in any sense of the word. They are fully dedicated to insuring that the United States be a mercantile aristocracy of wealth and that the general population be subjects of that ruling oligarchy. Not citizens in the true sense of the word. Subjects.

That’s why the “Republicans” have strenuously fought every effort to bring a better life to the American people. They don’t want that. It’s a threat to their power. That’s why they violently- and often murderously- fought the establishment of labor unions. That’s why they fought- and continue to fight- minimum- wage standards. That’s why they fought tooth and nail to defeat social security and medical assistance for the elderly. That’s why they’ve destroyed pensions, forcing the elderly to continue to work until they drop dead on the job. And they’ve fought civil rights and women’s rights and environmental protections and constitutional rights- and on and on and on- for the same damn reason. They want the people to be kept down and they want their own pockets to be filled to the breaking point by the sweat and blood of an enslaved population. Damn it, that’s the truth and you people who naively call yourselves Republicans better hear it. You’re not Republicans at all. You have been conned. What in the name of God Almighty do you have in common with these criminal sons-of-bitches? What?

Dwight Eisenhower, when he left office, warned strongly against the burgeoning power of what he called “the military-industrial complex.” What was he talking about? He was talking about what I’ve been talking about in this post. I’ll put it this way: When all branches of government join as one with big business and the military and embark upon a scheme to derive maximum profit for their elites by securing absolute domination of economic, social and political life, both nationally and internationally, you have what used to be called in Europe “fascismo”- fascism, which of course also implies the lessening and systematic elimination of the rights, liberties and securities of the vast majority of the people. Why? Because absolute domination doesn’t want any competitors. The more power you and I have, the more threatened the elite feels itself to be. It’s a vicious combination of suppression of the people at home and imperialist warfare abroad- warfare for profit that is. And whether you want to hear it or not, that is the malignant cancer that has taken over this nation. It’s killing us as a people. It is destroying our beloved nation. And it is the essence of what the (so-called) Republican party is all about. And don’t think I’m absolving the Democrats, too many of whom are fellow-travelers with the Republicans, no matter how they may try to mask the fact.

This is deadly serious business and the epidemic of denial has to stop. If we don’t face what is happening we are lost. I hear someone even as politically savvy as Bill Clinton talking about all this in terms of being a difference in “political ideology” that will be cleared up if the elections go right. It doesn’t have a damn thing to do with political ideology. The Republicans and their Democratic fellow travelers don’t give a damn about political ideology. They’d use freaking Scientology or any other ology if it suited their purpose. This is all about suppressing and manipulating the population for maximum profit. It’s all about war for profit. How many billions have gone into the pockets of Bush and Cheney’s corporate fraternity brothers as the direct result of the Iraq war? I’m amazed to hear the pundits talk about “the cost of the war.” Who’s getting the money? The soldiers? The money for the supplies, weaponry, the mercenary operations, and so forth and so forth, is all going into the pockets of the merchant elite- in other words the elite of the Republican party. Are you surprised that they want to continue the war for “a hundred years?” The bullshit and the cant has to stop. That’s what’s going on- all at the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives. Mass murder-for-profit. That’s what’s going on. A war invented to fill the pockets of Bush and Cheney’s fellow-criminal “Republican” cohorts. And too damn many Democrats. My God, this is what the Calvinist money ethic has come to? And we can sit back and let it happen?

This is the most critical moment in our history. If we don’t measure up to it we’re gone. What we have to fight with everything in us is an enormously powerful evil. I know it’s not fashionable to use the word these days; but that’s what it is- a tremendous, treacherous evil. You can call it Fascism or the Military-Industrial Complex or degenerated Republicanism or whatever the hell you want to call it. It is ruthless. It has no conscience. It can kill for profit without batting an eyelash. It is vindictive and merciless. It has no respect whatever for human rights and liberties. It will do anything whatsoever to attain its continuing objective: more and more power for more and more profit. It hides behind the corporate veil and “executive privilege” and considers itself entitled to call whatever it does “right,” It is the direct opposite of what this nation is about. And most unfortunately, it is now in the driver’s seat. It must be defeated. Now .We’re Americans and we can do it.
 
 
Alfred McGuire
11 July 2008 @ 10:56 am
July 11, 2008

 

 


 

 

 
 
Alfred McGuire

 

 

 


"Who else is Christ but the Sound of God." (Gnostic Acts of John)"In the beginning was the Word" (Logos--AUM--Tao--Shabda--Nada--Sound Current--Song of the Creator--Holy Stream of Sound--Audible Life Stream--Music of the Spheres--Akash Bani--Bang-I-Asmani--Anhad Shabad--Naam--Vadan--Saut-e Sarmad--Kalma or Kalam-i-Ilahi--Sarosha--Harmony of All Harmonies--The Voice of God that vibrated: "Let there BE, and all all became"]).

Excerpt from the Ancient Nada-Bindu Upanishad on Inner Sound Meditation. The Yogin being in the Siddhasana (posture) and practising the Vaishnavi-Mudra, should always hear the internal sound through the right ear. The sound which he thus practises makes him deaf to all external sounds. Having overcome all obstacles, he enters the Turya state within fifteen days. In the beginning of his practice, he hears many loud sounds. They gradually increase in pitch and are heard more and more subtly.At first, the sounds are like those proceeding from the ocean, clouds, kettle-drum and cataracts; in the middle (stage) those proceeding from Mardala (a musical instrument), bell and horn. At the last stage, those proceeding from tinkling bells, flute, Vina (a musical instrument) and bees. Thus he hears many such sounds more and more subtle. When he comes to that stage when the sound of the great kettle-drum is being heard, he should try to distinguish only sounds more and more subtle. He may change his concentration from the gross sound to the subtle, or from the subtle to the gross, but he should not allow his mind to be diverted from them towards others.The mind having at first concentrated itself on any one sound fixes firmly to that and is absorbed in it. It (the mind) becoming insensible to the external impressions, becomes one with the sound as milk with water and then becomes rapidly absorbed in Chidakasa (the Akasa where Chit prevails). Being indifferent towards all objects, the Yogin having controlled his passions, should by continual practice concentrate his attention upon the sound which destroys the mind. Having abandoned all thoughts and being freed from all actions, he should always concentrate his attention on the sound and (then) his Chitta becomes absorbed in it.Just as the bee drinking the honey (alone) does not care for the odour, so the Chitta which is always absorbed in sound, does not long for sensual objects, as it is bound by the sweet smell of Nada and has abandoned its flitting nature. The serpent Chitta through listening to the Nada is entirely absorbed in it and becoming unconscious of everything concentrates itself on the sound.The sound serves the purpose of a sharp goad to control the maddened elephant – Chitta which roves in the pleasure-garden of the sensual objects. It serves the purpose of a snare for binding the deer – Chitta. It also serves the purpose of a shore to the ocean waves of Chitta. The sound proceeding from Pranava which is Brahman is of the nature of effulgence; the mind becomes absorbed in it; that is the supreme seat of Vishnu. The sound exists till there is the Akasic conception (Akasa-Sankalpa). Beyond this, is the (Asabda) Soundless Para-Brahman which is Paramatman.The mind exists so long as there is sound, but with its (sound's cessation) there is the state called Unmani of Manas (viz., the state of being above the mind).This sound is absorbed in the Akshara (Indestructible) and the Soundless State is the Supreme Seat. http://www.geocities.com/advaitavedant/nadabindu.htm

THE AUDIBLE STREAM: THE SOURCE OF ALL BEINGBy Julian P. Johnson, in, Path of the Masters1. THE CENTRAL FACT IN SANTON KI SHIKSHATHE Audible Life Stream is the cardinal, central fact inthe Science of the Masters. It is the keystone of thearch. It is the cornerstone of the structure. It is the structure itself. And it is the Path of the Masters.One might say that the Master and the Life Stream constitute the Path of the Masters. The great spiritual Current is not only the central fact in the Science of theMasters but it is the supreme fact and factor of the entire universe. It is the very essence and life of all things. It is perhaps less known than any other important fact of Nature, yet it is the one determining factorof all Nature. That is indeed a pity. This great truth or fact is significantly spoken of in the first chapterof the Gospel of John:"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,and the Word was God. All things were made by him and without him was not anything made that was made."Here it is definitely stated that something which is called "Word" is identical with God, the Creator.Although not at all understood by the Christian church, this statement is an important announcement of the stupendous fact of the Audible Life Stream.It is often called the Sound Current. But that is not agood name for it because it is not sufficiently definitive.The Indian name is simple shabd, meaning sound.But that is not definitely clear. There are many sounds. Logos was the Greek term used by the Neoplatonic school, whose masters were familiar with portionsof the Eastern Wisdom. Logos means the divine Word.It is this divine current, wave or stream going forth from God himself and flowing throughout the universe.It is not only an emanation from God but it is God himself. When any man speaks in this world, he simply sets in motion atmospheric vibrations. Butwhen God speaks, he not only sets in motion etheric vibrations but he himself moves in and through those vibrations. In truth it is God himself that vibrates all through infinite space. God is not static, latent : He is superlatively dynamic. When he speaks, everything in existence vibrates, and that is the Sound, the Shabd;and it can be heard by the inner ear, which has been trained to hear it. It is the divine energy in process of manifestation which is the holy Shabd. It is in fact theonly way in which the Supreme One can be seen andheard-----this mighty, luminous and musical wave,creating and enchanting.Now, this great fact of Nature, so little known to either ancient or modern thought, is the vital substanceof the Science of the Masters. It is cardinal and central in all their teachings. It is the one thing which distinguishes Santon ki Shiksha from all other sciences or systems. It is the very foundation of their system of yoga. It is the key to all of their success in unfolding their spiritual powers and controlling their minds.It is the one sign by which a real Master may be known and recognized from all others. No one is or can be a genuine Master unless he teaches and practices theAudible Life Stream; because it is impossible for anyone to become a spiritual Master of the highest order unless he consciously utilizes the Life Stream to gain his development.2. NAMES OF THE SUPREME LOGOSIt is commonly called Sound Current in India,among those who speak English. But the best translation which we have been able to discover is: Audible Life Stream. This appears to carry its deeper meaning and is more comprehensive and inclusive. It is, in fact, a stream, a life-giving, creative stream and it can be heard. The fact that it is audible is extremely important and that idea must be conveyed, if possible,in any name that is applied to it. This current or wave contains the sum of all teaching emanating from God.It is his own Word. It includes everything that God has ever said or done. It is God himself in expression.It is the method of God in making himself known.It is his language. It is his Word.This Sound sometimes is called Name; in Sanskrit or Hindi, NAM. But in English, we are not accustomed to put so much meaning in the word 'name'. It isonly correct if we understand that 'name' or Namstands for all that the Supreme Being is. It is just another way of saying Word and Word is what God says. It is equally what he does. It is the whole of the divine being in action. To distinguish God in action from God as divine Essence, we call him Shabd or livingWord. The name of anything or anybody is the sound symbol which stands for the reality itself. The name conveys to thought everything which belongs to the reality for which it stands. When the Master is said to give "NAM" it means that he gives the Current, theReality for which Nam stands. He literally gives theAudible Life Stream itself. (Just how the Master can give it is discussed in Chap. XII : 4).This divine NAM, or Sound, or Word, stands for all that God is or has ever said or done. It include sall of his qualities. As said before, it is the only way inwhich the universal Spirit can manifest itself to humanconsciousness. So when the Supreme Being manifests himself as Sat Nam in Sack Khand he there becomes fully personified, embodied, and brings into manifestation all of the qualities of deity. As Sat Nam he becomes personal Creator, Lord, God, and Father.There he becomes the Fountain out of which theAudible Life Stream proceeds. This stream may be perceived and heard by all who participate in it throughout all worlds. It may be seen and heard by such asattain an awakened consciousness under the training of a Master. When a man hears it, he hears God. When he feels it, he feels the power of God. This Shabd is,therefore, the Divine Being expressing himself in something that is both audible and visible. This current must not be understood to be like a river running in one course. It is more like a radio wave flowing outin every direction from the grand central broadcasting station. In fact, it comes from the Supreme Creative center of the universe of universes.This wave has two aspects, a centrifugal flow and a centripetal flow. It moves outward from the central dynamo of all creation, and it flows back toward that dynamo. Moving upon that current, all power and all life appear to flow outward to the uttermost boundsof creation, and again upon it all life appears to be returning toward its source. It is the latter aspect ofit with which we have to deal mostly.Upon that wave we have to depend for our return to our original home. When the Master makes the connection or as we say in radio, "tunes us in," it is then that we begin our homeward journey leaving all perishable worlds behind us.This Word is called Nada (pronounced Nad) in the Vedas. In Vedanta, sound is always spoken of as creative. Sound or anything that sounds is the creative energy. It is referred to as the Nada Brahma meaningthe primal word of Brahm. By this Nada Brahma all creation was brought into existence. The whole of the visible and invisible universe is the manifestation of this Primal Nada.
 
 
Alfred McGuire

 

 



I just had my 66th birthday. I don’t know, I guess you start having flashbacks to your early days. But anyway the other night I was having trouble sleeping-- sleeping off and on; and at one point it flashed into my mind: “What ever happened to Bobby Lewis?” Bob Lewis was a classmate of mine in elementary school in a small New Jersey town in the 1950s. He was also in the local scout troop with me. I haven’t had any contact with him in about 56 years- and have hardly given him any thought at all. But I finally realized only a few days ago what a major influence for good Bobby had been in my life. I was about 10 the last time I saw him. Fifth grade.

As for me at the time, I could have hardly been described as a well-adjusted kid. People considered me “serious.” I stayed mostly in my room at home and was ill-at-ease around people. I thought a lot about questions such as “ If God created the world, what was here before that?” and I’d drive myself crazy trying to imagine space as being somehow “bricked up;” but then I’d realize that packed-up bricks were something- not nothing- so that they couldn’t have been here either- nor the space which they would have filled- which was also “something.” I gave myself some relief from these metaphysical conundrums by reading comic books intermittently or by playing with my toy cars and trucks.

My report cards were good; but I was starting to have problems vis-a-vis “conduct.” I was bored all the time; wasn’t paying much attention to the teachers; and was doing “class-clown” stuff to interrupt the classes and get attention. And I was starting to develop a problem with “sick headaches” which would often last for as long as two days during which I’d have to stay in a dark room with the back of my head feeling like someone was pounding it with a mallet; and I’d be throwing up constantly. I was really turning into a wreck of a kid.

One day, as I was leaving school Bob Lewis, whom I hardly knew, came up to me and said “ Hey, Al, you want to go get some praying-mantis cocoons?” Well, I knew what a praying mantis was and they basically gave me the creeps; but a cocoon I didn’t know from a hole in the wall. But for some reason I answered “OK.” And that was the beginning of my friendship with Bobby, a friendship that was all too brief and which I’ve forgotten about almost entirely for 56 years.

The town we lived in- Wood-Ridge- was about a mile square and was bordered on one side by a woodland area that I knew very little about prior to exploring it with Bob, who knew every square inch of it and just about everything about its flora and fauna. He knew exactly where the mantis and butterfly cocoons were and when they would hatch. He knew where the various kinds of turtles and chameleons and frogs were. He knew all about the plants and berries and mushrooms and what was good to eat and what wasn’t. He could identify all the birds and small animals that inhabited the woods. He knew where the good trees were for climbing. And he revealed it all to me all so knowledgably but in a way that somehow conveyed a sense of total wonder. He could have written an article for Boys Life magazine.

And then there was Bobby’s basement. Good Lord, it was a world in itself: The electric trains and the model planes and ships; the gadgets and the gizmos. The transition from nature to technology was incredible; and again Bob knew all the whys and wherefores and hows; and he gave of his knowledge with generosity and not a shred of ego. What he enjoyed was to be shared unreservedly. His enthusiasm was so catching. And it took you out of yourself.

That was the thing about Bob Lewis: He didn’t seem to have a bit of ego. His interest in the world around him was all-consuming and in-depth; and it didn’t even occur to him to be involved in any kind of nonsense. He was completely non-obtrusive. He wasn’t self-assertive; he didn’t argue; he didn’t fight; he didn’t gossip; he didn’t criticize; he didn’t complain. I think I remember a couple of times when kids tried to tease him about something or another. His reaction was a kind of good-natured non-reaction that said: “I have better things to do.” He could handle anything. In a certain very real sense Bob was a man at 10.

I guess my friendship with Bob went on for about a year. We explored the woods in summer, fall, winter and spring and also got into the local Cub-Scout troop, which kept us busy with projects. Needless to say, my psychological and physical health had taken a decided turn for the better and life was looking pretty good.

Well then came the transfer. My family was Catholic and I guess Bob’s family was Protestant if they were affiliated with any organized religion at all. The Catholic church in town was stressing the importance of getting a “Catholic education,” which conveyed pretty clearly to parishioners that they were missing the mark if they were sending their kids to public school instead of the parochial school run by the parish. So my folks finally decided to transfer me to Catholic school for my sixth-grade year. The whole transfer procedure is vague and foggy in my memory; but the September after I had completed fifth grade in public school I found myself in sixth grade in Catholic school.

Catholic schools in those days discouraged their students from associating with non- Catholic groups. For instance we were forbidden to join the YMCA but had to go to CYO ( Catholic Youth Organization ) instead. There was still a strong tinge of the “outside-the-Church- there-is-no-salvation” mentality; and Catholic kids were encouraged to stick together and not consort with the opposition. This was all well before ecumenism. A lot of people today would deny that that was the case; but nevertheless it was.

So that was that. I found myself in a new world. Public school- and Bob Lewis- were part of my past. I never met up with him again. I guess he went on and graduated from elementary school and the public high-school. And I went on and graduated from Catholic school and then attended a Catholic prep school which was located in another city. And life continued. And except for a rare passing thought I totally forgot about Bob for fifty-six years- until the other night when I realized what a God-sent gift he had been to me and how much I owed him.

A good person like that can be swallowed up by a not-so-good world; but somehow I don’t think that was the case with Bob. As I mentioned earlier, he could handle things. And he had it together. I wouldn’t be surprised if he eventually became an Eagle Scout. God I wish I could know what became of him.

Sorry I flew the coop, Bob. And whatever you became and wherever you are, my dear friend and teacher, thank you. I pray life has been kind to you and that it will always shower you with every blessing.
 
 
 
Alfred McGuire
26 June 2008 @ 03:30 am
 
 
Alfred McGuire
25 June 2008 @ 01:08 pm

 




“The last vote that George Carlin said he cast in a presidential race was for George McGovern in 1972.When Richard Nixon, who Carlin described as a member of a sub-species of humanity, overwhelmingly defeated McGovern, the comedian gave up on the political process.
‘Now, there's one thing you might have noticed I don't complain about: politicians,’ he explained in a routine that challenged all the premises of today's half-a-loaf reformers. ‘Everybody complains about politicians. Everybody says they suck. Well, where do people think these politicians come from? They don't fall out of the sky.They don't pass through a membrane from another reality. They come from American parents and American families, American homes, American schools, American churches, American businesses and American universities, and they are elected by American citizens. This is the best we can do folks. This is what we have to offer. It's what our system produces: Garbage in, garbage out. If you have selfish,ignorant citizens, you're going to get selfish, ignorant leaders.Term limits ain't going to do any good; you're just going to end upwith a brand new bunch of selfish, ignorant Americans. So, maybe,maybe, maybe, it's not the politicians who suck. Maybe something else sucks around here like, the public. Yeah, the public sucks. There'sa nice campaign slogan for somebody: 'The Public Sucks.'"

 

posted by Alfred McGuire | 12:51 PM   

 
 
Alfred McGuire
24 June 2008 @ 07:56 pm

 


 

 

 
 
Alfred McGuire
24 June 2008 @ 10:14 am
 

 

 



Like misty moonlight,
watery, bewildering
our temporal way (Issa)

Thus spring begins: old
stupidities repeated,
new errs invented (Issa)

A world of dew,
and within every dewdrop
a world of struggle (Issa)

A flowering plum
and a nightingale’s love song
he remains alone (Issa)

From the Great Buddha’s
great nose, a swallow comes
gliding out (Issa)

Fallen red blossoms
from plum trees burst into flame
among the horse turds (Buson)

In my hidden house,
no teeth left in the mouth,
but good luck abounds (Issa)

So very still, even
cherry blossoms are not stirred
by the temple bell (Fuhaku)
 
 
Alfred McGuire
24 June 2008 @ 10:08 am

 

 


When George W. Bush was “elected” the second time a British journal queried: “How can 69 million people be so dumb?” How indeed. I noted Bush’s election for a second term as somehow comparable to 410A.D., the traditional date given by historians for the fall of Rome. Mired in a war that has netted the Bush-fraternity profiteers billions of dollars; that has cost thousands of American and God knows how many hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives; sunk in an economy that has made the exorbitantly rich outlandishly richer while Americans slavishly multi-task to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table while wildly usurious interest mounts up on their debts; spurned, mistrusted and ridiculed by the people of just about every nation of the world as a population that’s lost its senses--- what does something approaching one- half of Americans do? Persist in the folly

An extraordinarily high percentage of Americans have lost their way due to a remarkably chronic susceptibility to the self-serving propaganda of a ruling faction which is motivated by unlimited profit and unconcerned with the general welfare. The cable-TV pundits like to talk about the “wisdom of the American people.” Wisdom? The flattery is good for business as the pundits hawk their books and magazines and God-knows-what. And they go on and on gabbing about what color to paint the walls- as the house burns down. The politicians we don’t even have to mention- Democrat, Republican- What’s the difference? Most of them the well-paid errand boys of the plutocrats who install them in office to do their bidding at the expense of the American public who cower in fear and debt and persist in consistently voting against their own interests while the food is being swept off their tables. Or they don’t bother to vote at all. They continue their shopping sprees while their debts mount to the skies. It’s the American way. And God forbid that they should think about what‘s happening to their lives. Let somebody else do that for them. Thinking might give one a stroke. “Ask your doctor.”

It can get a lot worse. But I nurture the hope that our nation can come back to its senses. We have been making much too serious mistakes for much too long. And people can’t let themselves be slapped around forever, can they? Or can they?

Enter John McCain. Current polls show that McCain has a good chance of becoming the successor of George W. Bush. Millions of Americans are quite ready and eager to prop him up in Bush’s baby-chair in the Oval Office. They consider him to be the straight-talking “maverick” who has their best interests at heart. All this despite the fact that he has fully supported about 95% of Bush’s policies, including indefinite continuance of the Iraq occupation and continued tax breaks for the very wealthy. And McCain mirrors Bush in another- not quite so obvious- respect. His biography presents him as another “ I’ll- Be- Better- Than -Daddy” striver. Bush’s father viewed George as a reject compared to brother Jeb. And McCain’s father (and grandfather) was a four-star admiral. What aching voids must have been created in the psyches of these two. Oedipus reigns! Bush had to try to show up daddy by going all the way to Baghdad. And look what wonders that’s done for the country. I won’t even mention his corporatizing and politicizing the entire government and nullifying the Constitution while he was at it. Daddy had refrained from going quite that far. And McCain, what will he do? God only knows. Pardon my psychologizing; but are we going to be presented with an out-admiraling- the- admirals situation? He certainly seems to be well able to wave his sword quite gingerly and with jingoistic fervor. Just what we need! Maybe he’ll invade Luxembourg while he’s extending the Iraq fiasco for a hundred years. But one thing you can be sure of: The wealthy will get a lot wealthier and Mr. and Mrs. America will wind up scraping up crumbs from the doghouse floor. And if we allow these political aberrations to go on we will be entirely deserving of the consequences. As far as Bush goes, the damage is done- possibly irremediably. As for McCain somebody ought to pin four stars on him and give him command of a fleet of shrimp boats somewhere to keep him out of trouble and the world from augmented strife--- or much worse. Good grief, what will it take for us to learn? This just can’t continue.

Madison Avenue has done an exemplary job creating a nation of programmed consumers whose “needs” are dictated to them and whose responses have become increasingly reflexive and predictable. And the corporate politicians have been remarkably adept at applying Madison-Avenue techniques in the area of propaganda and social control. Look at the results: An enormous segment of our population has been conditioned to accept the self-serving slogans of the moneyed elite as absolute truth. And it’s much more than just acceptance. It has all the fervor of pseudo-religious creed. And all the dogged inflexibility. Corporate elitist fascism has presented itself bearing the “flag and the cross” and millions have come under its thrall. Can anything break the spell? I don’t know, but current polling is far from encouraging. And it hardly looks as though there’ll be landslide victory for opponents of the Neo-Cons and their surrogates. The better McCain presents himself as another Bush-and-Cheney the better he does in the polls. The irrationality of it all is staggering: Bush is at an all-time low in the polls; yet the more McCain emulates him the better he fares with our mesmerized Americans. Tell me that Mad-Ave conditioning doesn’t work!

And then we have a further complication--- the Crypto-Neo-Con phenomenon. This one is a real doozey: The Crypto-Neo-Con adopts the rhetoric of the libertarian left but in fact is a Neo-Con with minor modifications. I think the Crypto-Neo-Con is the most devious and malignant entity that has emerged from modern Madison-Avenue programming-politics. Here the politician, in actuality a firm adherent to corporate-imperialist elitism and fully supported by its plutocracy, employs the strategy and tactics of Mad-Ave marketing to present himself or herself as “for the people,” utilizing populist sloganizing to condition the voting public. The most brilliant current practitioner of this nefarious art is Hillary Rodham Clinton--- whom I like to refer to- not so affectionately- as Madam Wal-Mart. And she has a slew of confreres among the Democratic establishment. And if you don’t think the strategies work look at the recent results in Ohio and Pennsylvania and consider her current hold on the Democratic party.

Have modern marketing techniques created a permanent flag-and-cross majority in this country, a solidified bloc that will continue to thwart the meaning and purpose of our de- jure democratic republic indefinitely no matter which party holds ostensible political power? That’s the very sobering question that presents itself as we approach the mounting challenges of the new millennium. And we had better be prepared to give our all to what looks to be a very tough climb.