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If you travel often, by plane, or are older than 25, you're probably familiar with having developed a personal set of ritual routines making for the most painless and least stressful airline-going experience.

I know I have.

I've learned that getting to the airport early with ample time allows for the unexpected while still preserving one's peace of mind. Checklists help, after all, you are picking up in one place and contemplating having it all together in another.

With all that time on my hands at the airport--providing no unforeseen circumstances emerge--there are a limited set of activities from which to occupy oneself.

People watching: always fun at the airport. Random traveler rushing late running to the gate (of course confirming the infinite wisdom of diligent pre-planning, don't we always like to be right?). Overheard banter shared between airport workers speeding the hourly clock along. Or, a mile tall flock of college b-ball players floating through the concourse.

One thing I do find myself repeatedly doing with my extra moments is a reconnoiter to the airport newsstand or gift & snack shop. I'm looking to survey the latest book offerings the limited shelf space allows: left and right politics, dominate in business and get rich, romance novels, a little fantasy and sci-fi thrown in for good measure.

There are always the 'poll positions' in a marketplace—premium product placement locations. One particular book caught my eye, "The Overton Window" by Glenn Beck. Hmmm. I picked it up and was surprised to learn it was a work of fiction; a novel.

The first thought that came to mind was, 'there's no way Glenn Beck has had the time to crank out a novel'. He's daily on radio, on TV, doing public appearances and events, what gives?

Can anyone say ghostwriter?

Apparently, "The Overton Window" has a plot nearly identical to an earlier work by one of the novel's "contributing authors", Jack Henderson.

Chris Kelly, a writer for Bill Maher writes in Huff Post,

"So why -- except for the completely inverted politics -- does The Overton Window read so much like Circumference of Darkness? Because they were written by the same guy, a 52-year-old computer programmer named Jack Henderson. He gets sole credit on Circumference. (And why shouldn't he? He published it himself.) On Overton, he gets thanked by Beck for "pouring his heart and soul into this project." And, apparently, his leftover plot."

My second thought at seeing Beck's tome for sale at LAX, was he is shamelessly cashing-in, hoarding every buck he can get a hold of. He's just a profiteering demagogue masquerading as populist prophet.

For example, at Beck's Restoring Honor rally, to his credit he preached a message of inclusion and for the need to heed divine guidance. Only problem is, in most of Beck's broadcasting he has been divisive, widening the chasm between constituencies of Americans. Such inconsistencies in other venues have been called hypocritical and obsequious. Money, power, fame seem to be the operative source code for Beck.

On one hand, the phrase 'white privilege' was actually sounded on the Restoring Honor stage (Alveda King said, "white privilege will become human privilege and that America will soon repent of the sin of racism and return itself to honor.")-- on the other hand, Beck has made his mark with Tea Party activists by stating such ridiculosities as President Obama having 'hatred of white people', or that America's on the verge of a Marxist-Communist-Fascist takeover, at the same time waving swastikas and hammer-and-sickle flags.

Beck can only have it both ways here if the jokes are on us as he laughs all the way to the bank. Very Palin-esque, wouldn't you say?

What we have in the form of Glenn Beck is a shill for top-down power structures under the disguise of his timely and convenient Libertarian limited government policies.

On Fox News, he recently stated, "I'm not anti-government. I'm anti-big government. Suddenly, now, I'm looking for a religious takeover of the government?"

The bottom line is, there is a form of tyranny and top-down power, but it's not the false choice between government on one hand and multi-nationals on the other -- it's a bed shared by the unholy alliance between big business and their paid-for political operatives: lobbyists, politicians, appointed officials, public employees.

As I wrote in a Dobbs and Palin for President speculation,

"What's an interesting dynamic in all this, are the right wing rabble-rousing cheerleaders like Limbaugh and Beck, et al. They don't have to articulate a message that communicates an inclusive political mindset, in fact, most of their rhetoric sensationalizes -- because its show biz -- stereotypes -- because its show biz -- stokes fear -- because its show biz, you get the point. Their model is entertainment parked in a political vehicle, ministering to a minority of folks verging on xenophobic affliction, deathly afraid their conception of "homeland" has been stolen away; they are losing their country, and are freaked out about it."

And so the demagogues come out, play the people like a fiddle, and consequently, are getting very rich. If this behavior on the part of Beck and Palin is just explained away as a normal expression of the American way of life -- quit and cash in, throw away propriety to make a buck -- in some respects, rewards such as these have alot more in common with the Donner Party, than making an honest living.  

At a time like this, American democracy could sure use a better natured Angel, don't you think?

I not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

Originally posted to Byron De Lear on Sat Sep 04, 2010 at 09:21 AM PDT.

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