Saturday, February 26, 2005

Where Are They?

No Word From Them On A Gay/Porn Prostitute In The White House?
by The Old Hippie Because They Have Become Mute

Hasn't anyone else noticed there isn't a sound of outrage from any of the right's Christian base on this?  An openly gay/porn prostitute given full access to the White House press room, using a fake
Read name, given a pass around the Secret Service checks, and the security background checks, given "breaking" stories, connected directly to a fake internet "news" site - that is an openly arrogant front for the right's propaganda machine, and yet - Not a single rant, editorial, or even an angry comment, from the Republican's 47% moral-
ly superior Evangelical base?  The insanity of all that has occurred, and is continu-
ing to happen, in America today has surpassed the surreal.  Half of the problem is that half of our nation's citizens are within a well coordinated, and purposeful, state of denial-of-reality of their own destruction, because they truly "believe" that they are doing what is needed to bring on the "2nd coming of Christ," or "The Rapture."
The other half of the problem is that we Americans have "allowed" corporations to reach such a level of power that they are now able to control the media, to opportunistically control the manipu-
lation of the delusions of the born-again Evangelical "bring-on-the-Rapture" nut-jobs, to be able to manipulate them into voting for anything the "party" tells their "leaders" to preach to them.

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Attack when you are told to, otherwise shut up, and stay out of it.  Vote as you're told to, and you will be "one of the chosen," when Christ returns. . .

I, along with many others, have been harping on the very real danger of the manipulation this 47% Evangelical segment of our American electorate, since the first Bush, Sr. presidency - And now - All of the stated fears of what their insane ignorance could produce, is successfully destroying our American Constitutional Democracy - Is successfully being used to create "in plain sight," from within, by the opportunistic criminals, (that are the very definition of "domestic enemies,") a Corporatist Plutocratic Theocratic Empire - Which, if you aren't aware of it, is the definition of the Fascist form of government.

[ The following is from the Feb. 18th Harris Poll.  (LINK)  Proving their level of ignorance. . . ]

"More surprising perhaps are the large numbers (albeit not majorities) who believe the following claims not made by the president and which virtually no experts believe to be true:

* 47 percent believe that Saddam Hussein helped plan and support the hijackers who
   attacked the U.S. on September 11, 2001 (up six percentage points from November).
* 44 percent actually believe that several of the hijackers who attacked the U.S. on
   September 11 were Iraqis (up significantly from 37% in November).
* 36 percent believe that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction when the U.S. invaded
   (down slightly from 38% in November).
Another interesting finding is that only 46 percent believe that Saddam Hussein was prevented from developing weapons of mass destruction by the U.N. weapons inspectors, a fact which most reports now support."

I've also noted this ~47% factor in several of my e-mails to my e-list, on my website, and in this blog.  As has other websites, blogs, Op-Eds, and most of the few honest journalists that are left out there.  It is real.  The destruction of the "Separation of the Church and the State," is a tangible thing, it is effecting, (and affecting,) all of our lives - right now - And it will get worse.  It must be stopped.

These ~47%, the insane, and the dangerously in-denial, born-again "bring-on-the-Rapture" fundamentalist Evangelicals, of which "our" president "proudly" claims membership, refuse to see the corporatists' manipulation of their beliefs and fears.  They will not see, refuse to see, how they are being used.

What can be done about it?  To be honest, at this late stage, after they have successfully changed so many of the laws, destroyed the Checks & Balances, and the fact that they have the secured, and firmly controlled, one-party-rule of "our" nation now, and let's not forget that they have almost completely destroyed any hope of "our" mainstream media to be able to report the truth, plus their very successful marginalization of dissent. . .  Outside of an open, and sustained revolt, I don't really see much hope of stopping them.

Do You?

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Friday, February 25, 2005

A Direct Quote. . .

From The Daily Kos, Because It Says It All. . .
by Daily Kos and, Feb. 24, 2005

The corporate media strikes again:  
[ That links to the article, requires an ad, but worth it. ]

Ordinarily, revelations that a former male prostitute, using an alias (Jeff Gannon) and working for a phony news organization, was ushered into the White House -- without undergoing a full-blown security background check -- in order to pose softball questions to administration officials would qualify as news by any recent Beltway standard.  Yet as of Thursday, ABC News, which produces "Good Morning America," "World News Tonight With Peter Jennings," "Nightline," "This Week," "20/20" and "Primetime Live," has not reported one word about the three-week-running scandal.  Neither has CBS News ("The Early Show," "The CBS Evening News," "60 Minutes," "60 Minutes Wednesday" and "Face the Nation").  NBC and its entire family of morning, evening and weekend news programs have addressed the story only three times.  Asked about the lack of coverage, a spokesperson for ABC did not return calls seeking comment, while a CBS spokeswoman said executives were unavailable to discuss the network's coverage [...]


Meanwhile on the newsstands, through Thursday, there had been no meaningful coverage in USA Today or in the Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Detroit Free Press, Cleveland Plain Dealer, San Francisco Chronicle, Indianapolis Star, Denver Post, Oakland Tribune and Philadelphia Inquirer, to name a few that have effectively boycotted the White House press office scandal.  Leo Wolinsky, deputy managing editor of the Los Angeles Times, says the Times is running its first Guckert story on Friday, focusing on the guidelines for securing White House press passes [...]

As for the editorial pages, it's curious that the nation's five largest papers, all pillars of the media establishment (the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal and USA Today), have been silent on the Guckert saga -- especially when dailies in more out-of-the-way places such as Tulsa, Okla.; Bangor, Maine; Niagara Falls, N.Y.; Augusta County, Va.; and Pensacola, Fla., have all deemed the story troubling enough to require attention, as noted by Media Matters for America, a liberal advocacy group that first raised questions about Guckert and Talon News.


Daily Kos and Salon pretty much covered it - Nothing else to see here - Move along. . .

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Thursday, February 24, 2005

Reminders. . .

See The Previous 3 Reprised Postings, Which Are Needed Reminders
by The Old Hippie Because It's All Still True, And Continuing To Worsen

"...even though they can take away my liberties with laws, can take away my wealth, power, position, freedom, security, hopes, and even my life - The one thing they can not take from me,
is my knowledge.  The "old truism" of "knowledge is power" is not a cliché, and it has never had more meaning, at least in the American political reality, than now."

- - The Old Hippie - from
"On My Joy Of. . ." - Jan. 5, 2005

New Postings are "Below The Fold."

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If you haven't yet read today's three previous reprised postings, please do that now.
Then return here, and read the new items presented in this posting.

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A listing of recent, and current, articles of importance, and interest beyond "just politics."  News, information, and informed opinion with a reality-based perspective.
All of which were selected for the over-all impact of the information/opinion each present - and the fact that they are damn hard to find in the American corporate media, if at all, and when found there, they're usually buried, or twisted by the wants of political theater and profit, over the needs of the public interest.

All selections are clearly linked to their sources.

I have strived to make sure all of the selections are fair, balanced, and reality-based.  Not the biased partisan propaganda pretending to be news, which has reached such a level as to be a real danger to the continuing existence of our democracy.

Enjoy. . .
          (by The Propaganda Remix Project)

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Just go watch it. . .

"Environmentalist Robert Kennedy Jr. takes aim at the press, blaming the major TV networks
for failing to focus on the environmental record of the Bush administration -- an administration
he calls "the worst in history" for environmental protection.  Join host Colin Sullivan and reporter Darren Samuelsohn for a very lively edition of OnPoint."

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Let's start with how the world's largest arms dealer (us) is threatening our allies for selling arms.

Bush Threatens Reprisals over EU Arms Sales to China

by Stephen Castle - The Independent U.K. - Feb. 23. 2005

"Divisions over Iran, the future of Nato and EU plans to lift an arms embargo against China yesterday cast a shadow over carefully stage-managed efforts to heal the transatlantic rift."

Link To Full Article Here

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I found the next item originally at Michael Moore's "Must Reads" website.

China's military might worries world leaders

by Geoffrey York - Globe & - Feb. 23. 2005

"After 14 consecutive years of double-digit increases in its military budget, China has become powerful enough and assertive enough to provoke growing worries among its Asian neighbours and in Washington."

Link To Full Article Here

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I found the next item originally at the Project for an Old American Century website.

With a Hush and a Whisper,
Bush Drops Town Hall Meeting with Germans

by Matthias Gebauer in Berlin & Georg Mascolo in Washington - - Feb. 23. 2005

[ As presented at the P.O.A.C. ]
"Bush cancels town hall meeting with German citizens because German government wouldn't guarantee friendly audience and softball questions.  
Where's Jeff Gannon when you need him? -ed."

[ As presented by the original authors of the article. ]
"During his trip to Germany on Wednesday, the main highlight of George W. Bush's trip was meant to be a "town hall"-style meeting with average Germans.  But with the German govern-
ment unwilling to permit a scripted event with questions approved in advance, the White House has quietly put the event on ice.  Was Bush afraid the event might focus on prickly questions about Iraq and Iran rather than the rosy future he's been touting in Europe this week?"

[ As presented by this Old Hippie. ]
"Try to imagine any other president in our history being so cowardly.  Even his father, or Nixon, would have had the guts to face any questions by the German people, but not this one, not this corrupted "Godly president" of the convinced rich."

Link To Full Article Here

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I found the next item, again, originally at the Project for an Old American Century website.

Why is Bush Betraying America?

by James - Blog - Feb. 23. 2005

"While paranoid fascists like Hinderocket from the "blog of the year" spout off about the demo-
cratic party's plans to "betray America", based on nothing but right wing rhetoric and zero facts.
Here's a factual list of Bush's 2006 budget, and factual ways he is currently betraying America by cutting its funding.  This list doesn't include programs he plans on significantly reducing funding on.  Notice how many education programs he's cutting.  Say goodbye to your future."

Link To Full Article Here

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Domestic Enemies (Reprised)

They Are Not Who You Think They Are. . .
by The Old Hippie, Because This Is So Out Of Control

Domestic Enemy A quote by Avi Schlaim, an Israeli histor-
ian, on the issue of comparisons to Nazi Germany (in this instance referring to the Israeli government and military leaders, but the parallel works here as well--)

"The issue isn't whether or not we are the same as the Nazis, the issue is that we aren't different enough."

Source: Armando at the Daily Kos

Any American that does not see the par-
allel between our current history, and the history of the rise of the Nazi party in the Germany of the 1930's, is one of the fol-
lowing. . .  delusional, ignorant, stupid, or - is profiting, or at least "believe" they are somehow profiting, economically and/or socially, from it.

All federal officers for the United States, both military and civilian officers, must swear an oath, that in part says. . .

"To protect and preserve the Constitution of the United States of America from all enemies, both foreign and domestic."

[ Note: Feb. 24, 2005 - Repeated history doesn't change - All still true. ]

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To Simplify The Obvious. . .

by The Old Hippie, Because History Is Repeating Itself

Hitler did three things that brought his nationalistic party (Nazi party) to power.

1.  He destroyed Germany's "Separation of Church and State" - - -

"The national government will maintain and defend the foundations on which the power of our nation rests. It will offer strong protection to Christianity as the very basis of our collective morality. Today Christians stand at the head of our country. We want to fill our culture again with the Christian spirit. We want to burn out all the recent immoral developments in literature, in the theatre, and in the press — in short, we want to burn out the poison of immorality which has entered into our whole life and culture as a result of LIBERAL excess during the past years."
- Adolph Hitler - Taken from The Speeches of Adolph Hitler, 1922-1939, Vol. 1, Michael Hakeem, Ph.D. (London, Oxford University Press, 1942), pp. 871-872.

Think!  Faith-Based Initives, Creationism in schools, Evangelical insanity - The Rapture - etc.

2.  He consolidated and took control of Germany's media - - -

"It is the absolute right of the State to supervise the formation of public opinion."
- Joseph Goebbels

Think!  Fox - Washington Times - Limbaugh - Hannity - Ann Coulter - Weekly Standard - etc.

3.  Propagandized a non-existent enemy in the State controlled nation's media, to instill
     fear for social and governmental manipulation - - -

"The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders.  That is easy.  All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.  It works the same way in any country."
- Hermann Goering

Think!  Iraq - No WMDs - Did not attack us - No Iraqis on the planes - etc.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Now, dear readers - Can you guess who our "domestic" enemies are?

Shouldn't all of us true-blue, (pun fully intended,) patriotic Americans do something a bit more dramatic than "angry words" about it?  About "them?"

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

While we are on history repeating itself. . .  How many of you, or people you know, actually remember that back in the Nixon Administration, at the beginning of detente, the beginning of the end of the cold war with Russia, that three men in his administration fought to stop this coming peace, by claiming that the Russians had super-Weapons-of-Mass-Destruction, that - all - of our intelligence agencies said didn't exist, just exactly like how we Americans were fooled into the war with Iraq?

Know who those three men were?  Dick Chaney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Paul Wolfiwitz.
[ You are on the web - Look it up right now - Google it - Go ahead - I dare you. ]
[ Okay, Okay - Start here with this link - Then keep searching - It's Your right. ]

Isn't that odd?  What was it Bush tried to say. . . ?

"Fool me once, shame on you - Fool me twice, shame on me"

( Shame On Us )

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Just Another Rant (Reprised)

Time For A Bit Of The Old Rant. . .
by The Old Hippie, Because It Is So In Our Collective Face

[ Note: Feb. 24, 2005 - To the readers of this blog - This "rant" is still true. ]

This picture says a thousand articles about how we "elected" this administration.  In essence "We" didn't.  "We" all know it is true - not possibly, not maybe, not could be - but definitely true.  You know it, and I know it.  It's a sure bet that all of us Americans deserve what is coming, because we did allow this to happen.  No ifs ands or buts - We allowed, and are still allowing it to go on.
Hacker All of the born-again imbeciles that actually wanted this do truly deserve what's coming much more than the "we" that fought this, even though it is now obvious we just didn't fight hard enough.  Most of us, the other 49%, actually believed, right up to the end, that our democracy was still intact, and would weed out the insane religious zealots and the criminal politicians with the vote - What a joke on us.  But the "why" of our deserving what's coming?  Is because - "We" knew -
"We" knew private corporations, run by two arrogant "Bush Pioneers," two brothers heading both corporations, had full control of the voting computers, and "we" knew these same corporations had 23 convicted felons in positions of manage-
ment, and software control, of the programs that control the
"count," without any traceable paper trail.  "We" knew it, and allowed it to happen anyway.

So. . .

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Yes - I'm angry at "them" for bringing this about - BUT - I'm much more pissed off at the "we" that allowed this come about.  No matter how you reason it, or justify it, or deny it, the "we" are more at fault, than the "them," of our divided nation.

"We" were not deluded by insane religious rapture, "we" were not lost within the throes of profit and power of neo-con'ed aggressive Empire, "we" were not members of the corporate criminal cronies - "we" were/are simple naive Americans that believed our Constitutional Democracy actually was still a reality.  Believed it would protect us.  But the reality is our government is now, and has been for the last four years, run by the combination of insane fundamentalist zealots, delusional neo-con imperialists, and opportunistic corporatist criminals taking every advantage of the other two's insanity.

No matter how you twist it - It is conspiracy that is so obvious that it is invisible within the denial.
Every day we look more and more like Germany of the late 1930s.  We deserve what is coming.

The rest of the innocents on the planet do not.

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Wake The Fuck Up! (Reprised)

"Anyone, Who Still "Believes," After All That has Been Exposed Within the Last Five Years, That the Republicans are Ruled by Anyone Other Than the Ideological Theocratic War-Profiteering Corporatists, Using Lies, Death, and Manufactured Fears. . . To Destroy the American Democracy, Which Stands in the Way of Their Profit/Power Agenda - Are Either "Part of Them," or Completely Blinkered and Delusional In-Denial Cowards, or Total and Dangerous Idiots."

[ I sent the following to my e-list on May 12, 2004]

The 46% Factor Still Is 46%!

[ Note: Feb. 24, 2005 - Everything listed in this reprised posting is still true. ]

The right-wing media is outraged at the outrage of everyone else, over the revelations that Americans torture of humans in their [our] prisons.

For whatever reasons one can rationalize - They can't handle the truth.

Denial, blinding obedience, bigotry, America-right-or-wrong, just plain dangerous politics-over-reason, god is on our side, it is just a few of the aberrant soldiers - not the system, etc., etc., etc., - - - - - -

The fact remains, as more and more evidence pours in from more pics, and now - the videos - which CBS is going to show today, that they are wrong - dangerously wrong.

I personally don't care what they do with Rumsfeld, or what happens to him - I do care that the "system" is not being fixed.

I do care that Americans prisons, here within the United States, have for years been known to be "broken" - violent places of rape, death, abuse. . . Like the California Youth Authority prisons - evidence is abundant on the web - continues to "abuse," and rape, and kill, the good and the bad.

I do care that the largest business lobby here in America is private prison corporations - - !

I do care that America has imprisoned more of its population - us - than any nation in history - in raw numbers and percentage of total population - and that the very large majority of these prisoners are "on the inside" for non-violent reasons.

I do care that in the face of all of the proof of the bad, stupid, and the dangerous criminality of this administration - that 46% of Americans still "approve" of this administration!

I do care that the voting machines obvious criminal design - is not yet being fixed - the majority during this coming election will not be fixed - - The majority of them - - It is insane.

Go to any or the right-wing's propaganda web sites, FOX, Limbaugh, Novak, NewsMax, Hannity, CATO, The Heritage Foundation, the American Enterprise Institute, listen and watch and read their denials, their rationals, their lies, their propaganda - and absorb that 46% of Americans believe them!

"Get over it" - "It's time to stop apologizing" - "They're evil killers" -
"This only helps the terrorists" - - - - - - -

Never mind the it has been shown that 70% to 90% of these feared evil Iraqi prisoners have been shown to have arrested by mistake!

Never mind that the large majority of them did exactly what you or I would have done - would do - in their situation of a disastrous, and outright criminal foreign occupation, that is "privatizing" all of their national assets away from them, that is killing them in the thousands, not killing just men - but women and children also - proven - pictured and taped for all to see. (Which some right-wing deniers are saying "must" be fakes!)

But yet - 46% still "approve" of this criminal administration - - -

They have made it clear to all - The draft is returning - except it will now draft women - and those to the age of 35, rather than 25. . .

46% approve - -

They have made it clear that they support the corporations over the democracy itself. . .

46% approve - -

They have made it clear that are doing all that they can, legally and illegally, to privatize as much of America's assets as possible. . .

46% approve - -

They made it clear that when Bush said "God chose me for this time", that they supported the demonizing of anyone "doubting it," or "questioning it". . .  in their 5-corporation media - - -

46% approve - -

They may it clear that the "separation of church and state" is in their way, and must be done away with. . .

46% approve - -

They have made it clear that when they can't get their way - they will bypass Congress - even illegally - to get around us - and so far have successfully gotten away with it. . .

46% approve - -

They have made it clear that they "money-laundered" the entirety of our treasury into the pockets of the top 2%, and that they are coming for even more, and that the lower 80% of us fodder-units, and our children, will have to pay for their theft - and so far - they have been totally successful with the largest open theft in U.S. history. . .

46% approve - -

They have made it clear they will "protect their way of life," and will "protect their freedoms" - even from us lowly 80% - at any costs to us and our children. . .

46% approve - -


Insane off-the-fringe born-again evangelical dominionists with a real hope of creating "the rapture", in combination with the opportunistic corporations, that are taking every advantange of their insanity, to do all that they possibly can get away with, to "take over the this nation, and the world."

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Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Maybe If. . .

Our Mainstream Media Actually Told The Truth, There Would Be Hope?
compiled by The Old Hippie Because Truth Is Not Subjective

"Our" president will meet with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder today, with the hope of keeping NATO, dominated by the United States, central over the European Union, which is the
"revamp" that both French President Jacques Chirac, and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, and as desired by other EU partners.  Which this insultingly arrogant Bush administration has rebuffed, but which the EU is going to insist upon, without fearing any "Bush/Rove/Empire-like Retribution," unlike "our" mainstream media cowards.

So - Now Bush, after completely ignoring our EU allies, after insulting them publicly, and with current insults still being flung by the likes of O'Reilly, and others within our "liberal" media, Bush goes to these EU leaders, with an obvious velvet-covered iron fist, (publicly humble, but in reality arrogantly and insultingly demanding,) requesting the mending of the fences. . .

If this wasn't so disastrous to so many lives on this planet, it would be tragically funny - But it is not, is it?  Definitly not to the Europeans.  For example - A quote, by Martin Schulz, leader of the EU parliament's Socialist represen-
tatives, speaking to
Der Spiegel, on the first day of this trip by George W. Bush, was asked whether he thought Bush
 Germans Protest
February 22, 2005 | Demonstrators protest
against U.S. President George W. Bush in
Mainz, western Germany. Bush will meet
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder on
Wednesday, February 23 in Mainz.
(Photo: Markus Schreiber / AFP)
would support Europe's push for a diplomatic solution to the Iran question:

"No.  Too much broadcast-consciousness penetrates his speeches.  Men like him, who are in-
spired by a mission, often don't act rationally and therefore become difficult to calculate, some-
times even dangerous.  Bush has expressly not ruled out becoming involved militarily in other parts of the world, as he did in Iraq.  That is a risky type of politics -- far away from the US,
but right on the doorstep of the European Union."

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A few days ago, Scott Ritter said: U.S. Plans June Attack On Iran.

"02/19/05 --United for Peace of Pierce County (WA) - - Scott Ritter, appearing with journalist Dahr Jamail yesterday in Washington State, dropped two shocking bombshells in a talk delivered to a packed house in Olympia’s Capitol Theater.  The ex-Marine turned UNSCOM weapons inspector said that George W. Bush has "signed off" on plans to bomb Iran in June 2005, and claimed the U.S. manipulated the results of the recent Jan. 30 elections in Iraq."

Remember Scott Ritter?  He is the (republican) U.S. chief weapons inspector that first said there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, before the war, and was instantly demonized by all of our brave, and patriotic, mainstream liberal media. . .  Remember?

From . .
"Claims by Scott Ritter that President Bush "signed off" on plans to bomb Iran in June 2005, and that the U.S. manipulated Iraqi election results, find few takers.

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Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Oh Give Me A Break. . .

Mainstream Media Doesn't Know Why. . . ?

They're Confused As To Why The Left, And Right Don't Trust Them?

by William River Pitt's FYI Blog at, and This Old Hippie

Geoduck at William Rivers Pitt's FYI site said it best. . .

"Self Inflicted

It really pains me to say this but I don't have much sympathy for the NYT and other mainstream journalists.  There are some that are trying to do a good job but the American Press/Media/Enter-
tainment/Business has lost, no, strike that, has thrown away it's credibility with both hands.

Printing government and corporate publicity as "news" should never have happened.  Using the news to publicize the other shows on your network and products of your parent company should never have happened.  Pushing the Bush Air Guard story out last fall without checking the sources should never have happened.  Allowing themselves to be "embedded" during the war should never have happened.  Good journalists said so at the time but the corporate suits that run the news overruled them.

For the Executive Editor of the NYT to bemoan the fact that the mainstream press is under attack from all sides sounds a lot like how GM and Chrysler complained about Japanese cars in the 1970s.  If the American press had done a better job in the last 10-15 years then they would be trusted now.  As it is when I want to find out what is going on in the world I check the BBC, CBC, Haaratz and a few trusted blogs like this one and  I even go to the web for weather forecasts now."

by geoduck on Tue Feb 22nd, 2005 at 11:20:54 AM EST (Link)

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Hunter S. Thompson. . .  Nothing I can say can convey my feelings.  Gonzo came from my part of town back in Louisville, KY.  Same basic "crowd," but I never met him, as he was a decade ahead of me in years, but eons ahead of most of us in conceptualization.

But, again - William Rivers Pitt says what I can't, so well. . .

For Hunter by Pitt

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Back to the media. . .

I long ago, like so many other Americans, not to mention the rest of the world, came to under- stand that our mainstream media lost its credibility long ago.  Through corporate take-overs, and consolidation down to 5 corporations owning almost all of the American mainstream media, and their turning it from "news" to entertainment/profitable business/bottom line over the public's interest/advancing their own corporate political propaganda needs. . .  Americans, all of us, the liberals, the conservatives, and those in between, lost trust and faith in this now fully corrupted source of the truth.

I long ago, like many others, now turn to the internet, the BBC, the CBC, independent (what remains of it) media, online access to non-corporate broadcasts, both video and radio, of the "news," the truth.  And more recently a small list of trusted blogs.

I have been "on the internet" since 1972, and have watched our mainstream media deteriorate, consolidate, deteriorate, consolidate, etc., until it has reached this final "Orwellian" state of corruption, of itself and the truth.

This destruction of our free and unfettered media is the single reason we find ourselves in this insane Empire of constant war, destruction, and corruption.  Because if "our" mainstream media had reported even 1/2 of the truth over the last 25 years or so, none of this would be the case now.  We had trusted them, for they had earned our trust.  But with slow corporate take over, which accelerated within the past decade, the continued growing corruption of the truth of what they reported, and the truth of what they didn't report to us, and the realization by more and more people of the "why" of it. . .  They lost their credibility, and our trust.  And I, for one, blame no one but them.

Many of us online tried to warn, tried to "spread the word," tried to write unendingly to editors, owners, fellow citizens, media watch organizations, etc., to no avail.  But most Americans were not online during the transition, even today most Americans are not online, and of those that are, most are on for entertainment, not the "news," and most Americans still get their "truth" from the 5 corporations that now control almost all of our media.

The American plutocratic corporatist theocratic government, with its corporately controlled media, is the very definition of Fascist now.  But try to say that to most Americans, even today, and you will be sneered at, looked as a "conspiracy nut," like we who have followed the history, as it developed, have seen the history being repeated again, are the ones "out of touch with reality," in their eyes-of-denial.

Watching this happen in plain sight, knowing it is continuing to worsen, seeing the coming of even more irrational destruction. . .  I can understand the "why" of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson's decision. Not that I approved, or disapproved, of his decision to leave this mortal plain - - -

I just understand it.

Read the Rest of this Posting    →  Below The Fold  ←                  (Permanent Link Here)

Monday, February 21, 2005

Just A Few. . .

Notes, Quotes, Etc. To America. . .
compiled by The Old Hippie Because I Love Pissing Off Fascists

"Note to America

You did just notice that the Senate passed a bill severely limiting class action lawsuits, didn't
you?  You realize this is a big deal, right?  That you just lost some major, big-time freedom?
Just checking."

- - Jen Sorensen, Creator of Slowpoke

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Sen. Carl Levin has released emails showing that the Bush Treasury
Department knowingly abetted illegal shipments of millions of barrels
of Iraqi oil
to Jordan and Turkey as late as March 2003.

In other words, right up the eve of bombing.

It really is a new Watergate every day with these people."

- - Bob Harris at

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"...the smells - that's what I hate about this place.  There
are only two smells:  smoke or death, one or the other."

- - Lance Cpl. Jeff Merbs, As quoted in this article

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"This is a once-in-a-lifetime event. We have observed an object
only 20km across, on the other side of our galaxy, releasing more
energy in a 10th of a second than the Sun emits in 100,000 years."

- - Dr Rob Fender, Southampton University, (Article link here)

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"If you want these low prices, then you go buy your products from Wal-Mart.
But what does that actually do for this country?  It's putting people out of work.
And it's lowering our standard of living.  That's the bottom line."

- - Steve Ratcliff, Quoted in this "Is Wal-Mart Good For America?" video.

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While the NY Times (Rich's employer), the Chicago Trib, the LA Times,
and USA Today only covered the Gannon story a combined total of twice,
Rich still believes that: "Even now, we know that the fake news generated
by the six known shills is only a small piece of the administration's overall
propaganda effort," and even that: "How this happened is a mystery that
has yet to be solved."

- - Found at's Media Culture News Log website

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"If you've done time, you're a Democrat, so vote for Hillary."

- - John Gibson, John Gibson's My Word

Read the Rest of this Posting    →  Below The Fold  ←                  (Permanent Link Here)

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Bar None. . .

This Is The Most Important Read Of The Day. . .
Forwarded To Me By A Member My E-List, Feb. 20, 2005

The main article, (
"Nobles Need Not Pay Taxes",) is by Thom Hartmann, and the rest is related to
his article's content.  You'll have to click on the "Below The Fold" link to read it, as this is just an introduction to this important information.

It is a longish "in-depth" discussion, with links to additional sources, and referenced information, that requires one spend some real quality time in it - But - It is, bar none, the best "in a nutshell" exposure of today's American reality that I have found to date.

"Worth the time," is an understatement.

I strongly suggest that you, dear reader, pass this important information
 Your Right
on to as many people as possible, especially those that are misinformed, in denial, etc., because it will take the dedicated efforts of all of us Americans to turn this incredible mess around. . .

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Nobles Need Not Pay Taxes

by Thom Hartmann

A new aristocracy is taking over not just the United States of America but also the world.  Proof of how far along it has come was in an article by Glenn R. Simpson in the January 28, 2005 edi-
tion of
The Wall Street Journal.

"European countries have been steadily slashing corporate tax rates," wrote Simpson, adding, "...
between 2000 and 2003, one nation after another has moved toward lower corporate rates with fewer loopholes."

On January 31, 2005, the Journal followed up with another story (
"Tax Showdown Promised by
EU Chief"
) pointing out that "...the new president of the European Commission launched a blunt attack on French and German efforts to end tax competition among European Union countries."
Ironically, EU leader José Manuel Barroso is also quoted in the Journal as saying: "Corporatist vested interests are the most important problem, be they from the left or the right."

This is more than just a tax cut story.  It's about a fundamental shift in power and wealth from average people and the governments they had formed to represent them, to the capture of those governments and economic enslavement of their people by corporate aristocracies.

In it, Europe is simply following the lead set out by the United States, starting with the Reagan-
/Bush administration, when, in 1983, corporate taxes revenues were slashed to a low not seen since 1929.

This isn't the first time this has happened.  Marc Bloch is one of the great 20th Century scholars of the feudal history of Europe.  In his book
"Feudal Society" he points out that feudalism is a fracturing of one authoritarian hierarchical structure into another: the state disintegrates, as local power brokers take over.  In almost every case, both with European feudalism and feudalism in China, South America, and Japan, "feudalism coincided with a profound weakening of the State, particularly in its protective capacity."  Whether the power and wealth agent that takes the place of government is a local baron, lord, king, or corporation, if it has greater power in the lives of individuals than does a representative government, the culture has dissolved into feudalism.  Blunt-
ly, Bloch states: "The feudal system meant the rigorous economic subjection of a host of humble folk to a few powerful men."

This doesn't mean the end of government, but, instead the subordination of government to the in-
terests of the feudal lords.  Interestingly, even in Feudal Europe, Bloch points out, "The concept of the State never absolutely disappeared, and where it retained the most vitality men continued to call themselves 'free'."

The transition from a governmental society to a feudal one is marked by the rapid accumulation of power and wealth in a few hands, with a corresponding reduction in the power and responsibilities of governments that represent the people.

Once the rich and powerful gain control of the government, they turn it upon itself, usually first eliminating its taxation process as it applies to themselves.  Says Bloch: "Nobles need not pay taille [taxes]."  Or, as Glenn Simpson noted in the
Wall Street Journal, "General Electric Co., for example, reported paying an effective tax rate of 19% last year on world-wide income, compared with 26% in 2003."

Corporations are taxed because they use public services, and are therefore expected to help pay for them - the same as citizens.  Corporations make use of a work force educated in public schools paid for with tax dollars.  They use roads and highways paid for with tax dollars.  They use water, sewer, and power and communications rights-of-way paid for with taxes.  They de-
mand the same protection from fire and police departments as everybody else, and enjoy the benefits of national sovereignty and the stability provided by the military and institutions like NATO and the United Nations, the same as all residents of democratic nations.

In fact, corporations are heavier users of taxpayer-provided services and institutions than are average citizens.  Taxes pay for our court systems, which are most heavily used by corporations to enforce contracts.  Taxes pay for our Treasury Department and other governmental institutions which maintain a stable currency essential to corporate activity.  Taxes pay for our regulation of corporate activity, from assuring safety in the workplace to a pure food and drug supply to limiting toxic emissions.

Under George W. Bush, the burden of cleaning up toxic wastes produced by corporate activity has largely shifted from polluter-funded Superfund and other programs to taxpayer-funded clean-
ups (as he did in Texas as governor there before becoming President).

Every year, millions of cases of cancer, emphysema, neurological disorders, and other conditions caused by corporate pollution are paid for in whole or in part by government funded programs from Medicare to Medicaid to government subsidies of hospitals, universities, and research insti-
tutions funded by tax dollars through the NIH and NIMH.

Because it's well understood that corporations use our tax-funded institutions at least as heavily as do citizens, they've traditionally been taxed at similar rates.  For example, the top corporate tax rate in the US was 48% during the Carter administration, down from the a peak of 53% during the Eisenhower and Kennedy years.  Today it stands at 35%, but in May of 2001 Bush admin-
istration Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill suggested there should be no corporate income tax whatsoever.  This was the opening salvo in a very real war to have working people bear all the costs of the commons and governance, while the wealthy corporate elite derive most of its benefits.

And, as George H.W. Bush pointed out when he was president, this isn't just an American phenomenon.  It's a New World Order.

"The corporate tax-cutters of recent years stretch from Portugal, where the rate has dropped 10 points to about 17%," notes
The Wall Street Journal's 28 January article, "to Austria, down nine points to about 25%."

A cornerstone of the conservative movement to consolidate power in the hands of a wealthy corporate elite, the campaign to end corporate income taxes altogether - and leave the rest of us to pick up the entire tab for corporate use of our institutions and corporation despoliation of our commons - first picked up steam when Reagan came to power in 1980.  As Cato Institute adjunct scholar Richard W. Rahn noted in Rev. Moon's
Washington Times, "The idea and practice of the corporate income tax has been dying slowly for the last two decades."  The December 1, 2004 Washington Times article, titled "End Corporate Income Tax," reflects a powerful and growing movement not just in the United States but across the world.  So-called "free trade" agreements and supranational institutions like the WTO have given multinational corporations control of the economic lives of nations that were previously democracies.  Holland, Ireland, Germany, Portugal, Belgium - the list goes on and on.

In a feudal state, as Bloch reminds us, the nobles need not pay taxes.  And as Mussolini told us, the newest form of feudalism has been reinvented and renamed.  He called it "fascism" - a word that was defined by The American Heritage Dictionary (Houghton Mifflin Company, 1983) as "
*fas-cism* (fash'iz'em) n. A system of government that exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with belligerent nationalism."

We are quickly shifting toward a corporate-run state in countries all over the world.  It appears "free" and even allows elections, albeit they are only among candidates funded and approved by corporate powers, held on voting machines owned by those corporate powers, and marketed in media owned by those corporate powers.  But this bears little resemblance to the democratic republic envisioned by our nation's Founders.

If our elected representatives - and those of other "free" nations - don't quickly wake up and reverse course, we will soon again be in a feudal world.  And it's up to us - We the People - to help them awaken.

Thom Hartmann ( is a Project Censored Award-winning best-selling author and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk show.

Comment from a reader:

I agree that the rising power and wealth of Corporations is another sign of the growth of fascism in the world.  I'm not so sure corporations are the new feudal lords.  As bad as the feudal barons may have been, they were at least local.  In any case the attachment came from Mark Irons last month and I think it's a good one for identifying the growing signs of fascism in this country.

On Fascism. . .

About twice a year something comes along in email or on the internet which is this thoughtful and articulate.  It starts off heavy enough but by the end I found inspiration in it.  This prints out at about seven pages but it reads quickly and for me it's a good place from which to move forward into the unknown new year. First Unitarian Universalist Church of Austin , Texas About Minister, Davidson Loehr, Ph.D.

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SERMON: Living Under Fascism You may wonder why anyone would try to use the word "fascism" in a serious discussion of where America is today.  It sounds like cheap name-calling,
or melodramatic allusion to a slew of old war movies.  But I am serious.  I don't mean it as name-calling at all.  I mean to persuade you that the style of governing into which America has slid is most accurately described as fascism, and that the necessary implications of this fact are rightly regarded as terrifying.  That's what I am about here.  And even if I don't persuade you, I hope to raise the level of your thinking about who and where we are now, to add some nuance and perhaps some useful insights.

The word comes from the Latin word "Fasces," denoting a bundle of sticks tied together.  The individual sticks represented citizens, and the bundle represented the state.  The message of this metaphor was that it was the bundle that was significant, not the individual sticks.  If it sounds un-American, it's worth knowing that the Roman Fasces appear on the wall behind the Speaker's podium in the chamber of the US House of Representatives.

Still, it's an unlikely word.  When most people hear the word "fascism" they may think of the racism and anti-Semitism of Mussolini and Hitler.  It is true that the use of force and the scape-
goating of fringe groups are part of every fascism.  But there was also an economic dimension of fascism, known in Europe during the 1920s and '30s as "corporatism," which was an essential ingredient of Mussolini's and Hitler's tyrannies.  So-called corporatism was adopted in Italy and Germany during the 1930s and was held up as a model by quite a few intellectuals and policy makers in the United States and Europe.

As I mentioned a few weeks ago (in "
The Corporation Will Eat Your Soul"), Fortune Magazine ran a cover story on Mussolini in 1934, praising his fascism for its ability to break worker unions, dis-
empower workers and transfer huge sums of money to those who controlled the money rather than those who earned it.

Few Americans are aware of or can recall how so many Americans and Europeans viewed eco-
nomic fascism as the wave of the future during the 1930s.  Yet reviewing our past may help shed light on our present, and point the way to a better future.  So I want to begin by looking back to the last time fascism posed a serious threat to America.

In Sinclair Lewis's 1935 novel "
It Can't Happen Here," a conservative southern politician is helped to the presidency by a nationally syndicated radio talk show host.  The politician - Buzz Windrip - runs his campaign on family values, the flag, and patriotism.  Windrip and the talk show host por-
tray advocates of traditional American democracy - those concerned with individual rights and freedoms - as anti-American.  That was 69 years ago.

One of the most outspoken American fascists from the 1930s was economist Lawrence Dennis.
In his 1936 book, "
The Coming American Fascism" - a coming which he anticipated and cheered - Dennis declared that defenders of "18th-century Americanism" were sure to become "the laugh-
ing stock of their own countrymen."  The big stumbling block to the development of economic fascism, Dennis bemoaned, was "liberal norms of law or constitutional guarantees of private rights."

So it is important for us to recognize that, as an economic system, fascism was widely accepted in the 1920s and '30s, and nearly worshiped by some powerful American industrialists.  And fascism has always, and explicitly, been opposed to liberalism of all kinds.

Mussolini, who helped create modern fascism, viewed liberal ideas as the enemy.  "The Fascist conception of life," he wrote, "stresses the importance of the State and accepts the individual only in so far as his interests coincide with the State.  It is opposed to classical liberalism [which] denied the State in the name of the individual; Fascism reasserts the rights of the State as ex-
pressing the real essence of the individual."  
(In 1932 Mussolini wrote, with the help of Giovanni Gentile, an entry for the Italian Encyclopedia on the definition of fascism.  You can read the whole entry at

Mussolini thought it was unnatural for a government to protect individual rights: The essence of fascism, he believed, is that government should be the master, not the servant, of the people.

Still, fascism is a word that is completely foreign to most of us.  We need to know what it is, and how we can know it when we see it.

In an essay coyly titled "
Fascism Anyone?," Dr. Lawrence Britt, a political scientist, identifies social and political agendas common to fascist regimes.  His comparisons of Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, Suharto, and Pinochet yielded this list of 14 "identifying characteristics of fascism."  (The following article is from Free Inquiry magazine, Volume 23, Number 2.  Read it at  See how familiar they sound.

1.  Powerful and Continuing Nationalism Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia.  Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.

2.  Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need."  The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.

3.  Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial, ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.

4.  Supremacy of the Military Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected.
Soldiers and military service are glamorized.

5.  Rampant Sexism The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated.  Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Opposition to abortion is high, as is homophobia and anti-gay legislation and national policy.

6.  Controlled Mass Media Sometimes the media are directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media are indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives.  Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.

7.  Obsession with National Security Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.

8.  Religion and Government are Intertwined Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion.  Religious rhetoric and term-
inology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions.

9.  Corporate Power is Protected The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business-
/government relationship and power elite.

10.  Labor Power is Suppressed Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to
a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.

11.  Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostil-
ity to higher education, and academia.  It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested.  Free expression in the arts is openly attacked, and governments often refuse to fund the arts.

12.  Obsession with Crime and Punishment Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws.  The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism.  There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations

13.  Rampant Cronyism and Corruption Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups
of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability.  It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.

14.  Fraudulent Elections Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham.  Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manip-
ulation of the media.  Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.

This list will be familiar to students of political science.  But it should be familiar to students of religion as well, for much of it mirrors the social and political agenda of religious fundamentalisms worldwide.  It is both accurate and helpful for us to understand fundamentalism as religious fas-
cism, and fascism as political fundamentalism.  They both come from very primitive parts of us that have always been the default setting of our species: amity toward our in-group, enmity to-
ward out-groups, hierarchical deference to alpha male figures, a powerful identification with our territory, and so forth.  It is that brutal default setting that all civilizations have tried to raise us above, but it is always a fragile thing, civilization, and has to be achieved over and over and over again.

But, again, this is not America's first encounter with fascism.

In early 1944,
The New York Times asked Vice President Henry Wallace to, as Wallace noted, "write a piece answering the following questions: What is a fascist?  How many fascists have we?  How dangerous are they?"

Vice President Wallace's answer to those questions was published in
The New York Times on April 9, 1944, at the height of the war against the Axis powers of Germany and Japan.  See
how much you think his statements apply to our society today.

"The really dangerous American fascist," Wallace wrote, "is the man who wants to do in the United States in an American way what Hitler did in Germany in a Prussian way.  The American fascist would prefer not to use violence.  His method is to poison the channels of public infor-
mation.  With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power."

In his strongest indictment of the tide of fascism he saw rising in America, Wallace added, "They claim to be super-patriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution.
They demand free enterprise, but are the spokesmen for monopoly and vested interest.  Their final objective toward which all their deceit is directed is to capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the common man in eternal subjection."  By these standards, a few of today's weapons for keeping the com-
mon people in eternal subjection include NAFTA, the World Trade Organization, union-busting, cutting worker benefits while increasing CEO pay, elimination of worker benefits, security and pensions, rapacious credit card interest, and outsourcing of jobs - not to mention the largest prison system in the world.

The Perfect Storm

Our current descent into fascism came about through a kind of "Perfect Storm," a confluence of three unrelated but mutually supportive schools of thought.

1.  The first stream of thought was the imperialistic dream of the Project for the New American Century.  I don't believe anyone can understand the past four years without reading the
Project for the New American Century, published in September 2000 and authored by many who have been prominent players in the Bush administrations, including Cheney, Rumsfleid, Wolfowitz, Richard Perle and Donald Kagan to name only a few.  This report saw the fall of Communism as a call for America to become the military rulers of the world, to establish a new worldwide empire.
They spelled out the military enhancements we would need, then noted, sadly, that these wonder-
ful plans would take a long time, unless there could be a catastrophic and catalyzing event like a new Pearl Harbor that would let the leaders turn America into a military and militarist country.
There was no clear interest in religion in this report, and no clear concern with local economic policies.

2.  A second powerful stream must be credited to Pat Robertson and his Christian Reconstruc-
tionists, or Dominionists.  Long dismissed by most of us as a screwball, the Dominionist style of Christianity which he has been preaching since the early 1980s is now the most powerful religious voice in the Bush administration.

Katherine Yurica, who transcribed over 1300 pages of interviews from Pat Robertson's "
700 Club" shows in the 1980s, has shown how Robertson and his chosen guests consistently, openly and passionately argued that America must become a theocracy under the control of Christian Dominionists.  Robertson is on record saying democracy is a terrible form of government unless it is run by his kind of Christians.  He also rails constantly against taxing the rich, against public education, social programs and welfare - and prefers Deuteronomy 28 over the teachings of Jesus.  He is clear that women must remain homebound as obedient servants of men, and that abortions, like homosexuals, should not be allowed.  Robertson has also been clear that other kinds of Christians, including Episcopalians and Presbyterians, are enemies of Christ.  (The Yurica Report.  Search under this name, or for "Despoiling America" by Katherine Yurica on the internet.)

3.  The third major component of this Perfect Storm has been the desire of very wealthy Amer-
icans and corporate CEOs for a plutocracy that will favor profits by the very rich and disem-
powerment of the vast majority of American workers, the destruction of workers' unions, and the alliance of government to help achieve these greedy goals.  It is a condition some have called socialism for the rich, capitalism for the poor, and which others recognize as a reincarnation of Social Darwinism.  This strain of thought has been present throughout American history.  Seventy years ago, they tried to finance a military coup to replace Franlkin Delano Roosevelt and establish General Smedley Butler as a fascist dictator in 1934.  Fortunately, the picked a general who really was a patriot; he refused, reported the scheme, and spoke and wrote about it.  As Canadian law professor Joel Bakan wrote in the book and movie "
The Corporation," they have now achieved their coup without firing a shot.

Our plutocrats have had no particular interest in religion.  Their global interests are with an imper-
ialist empire, and their domestic goals are in undoing all the New Deal reforms of Franklin Delano Roosevelt that enabled the rise of America's middle class after WWII.

Another ill wind in this Perfect Storm is more important than its crudity might suggest: it was President Clinton's sleazy sex with a young but eager intern in the White House.  This incident, and Clinton's equally sleazy lying about it, focused the certainties of conservatives on the fact that "liberals" had neither moral compass nor moral concern, and therefore represented a dangerous threat to the moral fiber of America.  While the effects of this may be hard to quantify, I think they were profound.

These "storm" components have no necessary connection, and come from different groups of thinkers, many of whom wouldn't even like one another.  But together, they form a nearly com-
plete web of command and control, which has finally gained control of America and, they hope,
of the world.

What's coming When all fascisms exhibit the same social and political agendas (the 14 points listed by Britt), then it is not hard to predict where a new fascist uprising will lead.  And it is not hard.  The actions of fascists and the social and political effects of fascism and fundamentalism are clear and sobering.  Here is some of what's coming, what will be happening in our country in the next few years:

The theft of all social security funds, to be transferred to those who control money, and the in-
creasing destitution of all those dependent on social security and social welfare programs.  Rising numbers of uninsured people in this country that already has the highest percentage of citizens without health insurance in the developed world.  Increased loss of funding for public education combined with increased support for vouchers, urging Americans to entrust their children's edu-
cation to Christian schools.  More restrictions on civil liberties as America is turned into the police state necessary for fascism to work Withdrawal of virtually all funding for National Public Radio and the Public Broadcasting System.  At their best, these media sometimes encourage critical questioning, so they are correctly seen as enemies of the state's official stories.  The rein-
statement of a draft, from which the children of privileged parents will again be mostly exempt, leaving our poorest children to fight and die in wars of imperialism and greed that could never benefit them anyway.  (That was my one-sentence Veterans' Day sermon for this year.) More imperialistic invasions: of Iran and others, and the construction of a huge permanent embassy in Iraq.  More restrictions on speech, under the flag of national security.  Control of the internet to remove or cripple it as an instrument of free communication that is exempt from government control.  This will be presented as a necessary anti-terrorist measure.  Efforts to remove the tax-exempt status of churches like this one, and to characterize them as anti-American.  Tighter control of the editorial bias of almost all media, and demonization of the few media they are unable to control - the New York Times, for instance.  Continued outsourcing of jobs, including more white-collar jobs, to produce greater profits for those who control the money and direct the society, while simultaneously reducing America's workers to a more desperate and powerless status.  Moves in the banking industry to make it impossible for an increasing number of Ameri-
cans to own their homes.  As they did in the 1930s, those who control the money know that it is to their advantage and profit to keep others renting rather than owning.  Criminalization of those who protest, as un-American, with arrests, detentions and harassment increasing.  We already have a higher percentage of our citizens in prison than any other country in the world.  That percentage will increase.  In the near future, it will be illegal or at least dangerous to say the things I have said here this morning.  In the fascist story, these things are un-American.  In the real history of a democratic America, they were seen as profoundly patriotic, as the kind of critical questions that kept the American spirit alive - the kind of questions, incidentally, that our media were supposed to be pressing.  Can these schemes work?  I don't think so.  I think they are murderous, rapacious and insane.  But I don't know.  Maybe they can.  Similar schemes have worked in countries like Chile, where a democracy in which over 90% voted has been reduced to one in which only about 20% vote because they say, as Americans are learning to say, that it no longer matters who you vote for.

Hope In the meantime, is there any hope, or do we just band together like lemmings and dive
off a cliff?  Yes, there is always hope, though at times it is more hidden, as it is now.

As some critics are now saying, and as I have been preaching and writing for almost twenty years, America's liberals need to grow beyond political liberalism, with its often self-absorbed focus on individual rights to the exclusion of individual responsibilities to the larger society.
Liberals will have to construct a more complete vision with moral and religious grounding.
That does not mean confessional Christianity.  It means the legitimate heir to Christianity.
Such a legitimate heir need not be a religion, though it must have clear moral power, and be
able to attract the minds and hearts of a voting majority of Americans.

And the new liberal vision must be larger than that of the conservative religious vision that will
be appointing judges, writing laws and bending the cultural norms toward hatred and exclusion for the foreseeable future.  The conservatives deserve a lot of admiration.  They have spent the last thirty years studying American politics, forming their vision and learning how to gain control in the political system.  And it worked; they have won.  Even if liberals can develop a bigger vision, they still have all that time-consuming work to do.  It won't be fast.  It isn't even clear that liberals will be willing to do it; they may instead prefer to go down with the ship they're used to.

One man who has been tireless in his investigations and critiques of America's slide into fascism is Michael C. Ruppert, whose postings usually read as though he is wound way too tight.  But he offers four pieces of advice about what we can do now, and they seem reality-based enough to pass on to you.  This is America; they're all about money:

First, he says you should get out of debt.  Second is to spend your money and time on things that give you energy and provide you with useful information.  Third is to stop spending a penny with major banks, news media and corporations that feed you lies and leave you angry and exhausted.
And fourth is to learn how money works and use it like a (political) weapon - as he predicts the rest of the world will be doing against us.

Coincidence:  I just picked up his book "
Crossing the Rubicon" today....

That's advice written this week.  Another bit of advice comes from sixty years ago, from Roose-
velt's Vice President, Henry Wallace.  Wallace said, "Democracy, to crush fascism internally, must...develop the ability to keep people fully employed and at the same time balance the budget.
It must put human beings first and dollars second.  It must appeal to reason and decency and not to violence and deceit.  We must not tolerate oppressive government or industrial oligarchy in the form of monopolies and cartels."

Still another way to understand fascism is as a kind of colonization.  A simple definition of "coloni-
zation" is that it takes people's stories away, and assigns them supportive roles in stories that em-
power others at their expense.  When you are taxed to support a government that uses you as a means to serve the ends of others, you are - ironically - in a state of taxation without representa-
tion.  That's where this country started, and it's where we are now.

I don't know the next step.  I'm not a political activist; I'm only a preacher.  But whatever you do, whatever we do, I hope that we can remember some very basic things that I think of as eternally true.  One is that the vast majority of people are good decent people who mean and do as well as they know how.  Very few people are evil, though some are.  But we all live in families where some of our blood relatives support things we hate.  I believe they mean well, and the way to re-
build broken bridges is through greater understanding, compassion, and a reality-based story that
is more inclusive and empowering for the vast majority of us.

Those who want to live in a reality-based story rather than as serfs in an ideology designed to transfer power, possibility and hope to a small ruling elite have much long and hard work to do, individually and collectively.  It will not be either easy or quick.

But we will do it.  We will go forward in hope and in courage.  Let us seek that better path, and find the courage to take it - step, by step, by step.

-- "Beware the leader who bangs the drums of war in order to whip the citizenry into patriotic fervor, for patriotism is indeed a double-edged sword.  It both emboldens the blood just as it narrows the mind.  And when the drums of war have reached a fever pitch and the blood boils with hate and the mind has closed, the leader will have no
need to seize the rights of the citizenry.  Rather, the citizenry, infused with fear and blinded by patriotism, will offer up all their rights unto the leader and gladly so.  How
do I know?  For this is what I have done.  And I am Caesar."

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Saturday, February 19, 2005

The “Must Reads” Of. . .

Today's “Must Reads” That Mustn't Be Missed. . .
compiled by The Old Hippie Because I Had The Time To Do It For You

[From Michael Moore's “Must Read" Section:] - - - - -
The head of ExxonMobil (AKA: The World's Biggest Company)
suggests Kyoto Protocol adherents need a reality check.

A leading US team of climate researchers on Friday released
the most compelling evidence yet” that human activities are
responsible for global warming. (Reality check continues here.)

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Voice of America

by Evan Derkacz, MediaCulture:AlterNet, Feb. 14, 2005

An interview with Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now! — the only “daily, grassroots, un-embedded, international, independent news hour” in America today.

Link To Full Article Here

[ Note: I watch this newscast on an almost daily basis myself. ]

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[From:'s “Media Patrol” section:] - - - - -
Writing in Mothering, Helen James argues that it is not too soon
to start looking for ways to 'Help your peace-loving child avoid the
draft,' while Molly Ivins says, 'Screw the Children.' Plus: 'Kids
Say the Darndest, Most Stalinist Things.'

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Human Rights from POAC Gallery This is taken from the Project for the Old American Century, (P.O.A.C.,) One of the best of the websites that list multiple-Must-Read news listings.

"This weekend we'll focus on John Negroponte after some very important headlines -ed"

Very few news sites do a better job than the P.O.A.C., They do need much more exposure, and better support, within this community of us political newshounds, and knowledge-spreaders.

A lot of the more up to date and in depth items that I post here in this blog, I quite often originally found the reference at the P.O.A.C.  It is well worth one's time to visit it daily.

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[ A final "Must Read" - In my humble opinion, the best read today. ]

Pharisee Nation

American Nation Brainwashed
by John Dear, Information Clearing house, Feb. 17, 2005

02/17/05 "CommonDreams" - - Last September, I spoke to some 2,000 students during their annual lecture at a Baptist college in Pennsylvania. After a short prayer service for peace centered on the Beatitudes, I took the stage and got right to the point. “Now let me get this straight,” I said. “Jesus says, ‘Blessed are the peacemakers,’ which means he does not say, ‘Blessed are the warmakers,’ which means, the warmakers are not blessed, which means warmakers are cursed, which means, if you want to follow the nonviolent Jesus you have to work for peace, which means, we all have to resist this horrific, evil war on the people of Iraq.”

With that, the place exploded, and 500 students stormed out. The rest of them then started chanting, “Bush! Bush! Bush!”

Link To Full Article Here

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