Saturday, November 27, 2004

How Close Are We?

My thoughtful, insight, beautiful wife, Tina, reminded about “The 14 Defining Characteristics Of Fascism”, an article I found on the Environmentalists Against War web site. She reminded me of how much it scared the hell out of each of us. So I’m thinking I might as well share the fear. Let’s look at the “defining characteristics”, shall we?

1. I don’t know how many of you have heard of the English comic Eddie Izzard but he did a stand up in San Francisco. It was hilarious. However, as is the case with most politically based humor, his expressed the lack of logic of many political conditions.

“Flags” was one of them. He said that when England took over India, the Indian people said that was their land and England couldn’t have it.

The English, according to Eddie, asked the Indian people if they had a flag.

“No flag, no country”, they said.

I don’t have to tell you how many flags have been pasted, posted, hung or worn since September 11, 2001. But, as Michael Douglas’s character in The American President says, it’s not the flag that makes America free, it’s the right of a person to burn that flag in protest.

If I ever went to war to defend my country, I’d be defending the ground upon which we walk, the water which we drink and the air which we breathe within the borders of my country. Most of all, I’d be defending the people who walk, drink and breathe that live within the borders of my country. Wouldn’t it be sad to know that, if people really believe that our military in Iraq is defending our country, they're actually only defending a piece of cloth?

2. Although we are keeping people in prisons who haven’t been charged with a crime, although The Patriot Act has given law enforcement a wider range of latitude, although we want to put the discrimination against a group of people into the constitution, although Walden O’Dell, the CEO of the Diebold electronic voting machine company said he would “deliver Ohio to the president”, people still voted for Bush and his cabal.

Republicans used to be known as conservatives and those conservatives used to believe in less governmental interference. However, this group of “compassionate conservatives” believes in more government when it comes to what they consider “moral” issues.

They don’t mind at all if they give up some of their rights to be protected, either.

As Benjamin Franklin said, “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

3. In Orwell’s “1984”, The Party creates a fictitious character named Goldstien. Every afternoon at two pm, people gather for a “2 minute hate”. They gather in front of a picture of Goldstien and scream aspersions and disparagement at the picture until they work themselves up into a lather.

Notice that we supposedly waited until “Saddam Hussein” proved that he “disarmed” before we attacked “him”. We didn’t go to war against Iraq. We didn’t even go to war against the Iraqi government. We went to war against “Saddam Hussein”. We created a criminal for the American people to personally hate. And it wasn’t even the right criminal!

Bush doesn’t talk a lot about Osama bin Laden, does he? Hmmm.

4. To say that the funding for the military has been “disproportionate” would be the understatement of all time. Not only does Bush continue to ask congress for more and more money to “fund the war on terrorism”, and always seems to get it, by the way, but he’s slashing social programs like housing for the elderly and otherwise disabled Americans, education and fighting aids.

5. I don’t know that the Bush cabal is sexist as two women, Condolizza Rice and Karen Hughs, are two of its most important and hateful members.

However, one of the “moral” issues that people used to vote for Bush was to hopefully put a Supreme Court in place that would overturn Roe v Wade.

And I don’t have to tell you that Bush supporters need to feel safe from homosexuals.

6. I could use Fox News as an example of how the Bush administration controls the media.

Fox is not alone, though. Of course the mainstream media is said to be a “liberal” media. That’s amusing.

I read things on Antiwar.com and CommonDreams.org that never make it to the mainstream media. People would say that Antiwar.com and CommonDreams.org are just liberal biased crackpot sites and I might say that they could use that argument if much of what those sites contain didn’t make it to the mainstream media eventually, but it does.

Of course, when the mainstream media presents it, they sanitize it so as not to upset the American people with the whole truth.

7. I won’t write much on the subject of people’s feelings about national security because I think that number 2 says it all.

8. Did I write “to say that the funding for the military has been “disproportionate” would be the understatement of all time”? If it is, trying to create a Christian theocracy in the US is a close second.

Again, people voted for Bush because he, in their eyes, stands for “good, Christian values.” The founding conquerors took over North America because they wanted the freedom of choice in how they did or did not worship.

But we’ve become a “Christian” nation and, of course the enemy, Islam, is made to appear that much more evil for it.

“The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.” That statement was made by George Washington. Oh, how soon we forget

9. I wrote that this column would not be about the $136 billion in tax cuts that Bush gave to corporations, but it’s obvious to the most casual of observers that globalization of US corporations is OK with Dubya. I know this because he has defended sending American jobs to third world countries. He said that it was a “good” thing.

10. It seems to me, especially in the airline industry, a successful bargaining session between labor and management is measured by how little labor has to give up to “keep the company afloat”.

If you look at The Executive Paywatch Database, you will find other things that CEOs and top executives of corporations can do to “keep the company competitive”.

You’ll see a gap that’s basically immoral, unethical and just plain greed based.

11. One of the things that Bush supporters were calling Kerry and his supporters was “elitist”.

Now, I don’t know if Bush and his supporters were saying that they admit that Kerry and his supporters are more intellectual, but I don’t find anything wrong with being an intellectual.

Some of the phrases that the dictionary uses for intellectual are “of or relating to the intellect, rational rather than emotional, appealing to or engaging the intellect, having or showing intellect, especially to a high degree and given to activities or pursuits that require exercise of the intellect.”

I can surely see why a leader who invades a nation that was not a threat would want people to be emotional instead of rational. It’s the Goldstien thing in real life, isn’t it?

12. One of the things that Bush said after September 11 was that “The United States will hunt down and punish those responsible for these cowardly acts.”

“Punish” is a word that Bush likes to use a lot. A look at his record as Governor of Texas as it relates to “punishing” people by putting them to death is a good way to gauge how he feels about “punishment”. His supporters like that in him.

It’s not good enough to defend and protect, but, in doing so, the “evildoers” need to be punished!

13. As we witness the dismantling of The CIA, we hear that its new boss, Porter Goss, sent a memorandum out to all of the employees stating that they will not do anything, say anything or engage in activities that are opposed to administration policies.

I’ve already mentioned Walden O’Dell.

I could mention Key Lay and how much Enron gave to Bush for his various political campaigns, but I think the examples of putting “buds” in charge of intelligence (I really hate using that word when I’m referring to anything that has to do with Bush) and voting machines sort of sums it up really well. In fact, I think that O’Dell’s pre-election statement about Ohio sums it up really well.

14. Did I say that O’Dell’s pre-election statement about Ohio sums it up really well?

Of course O’Dell had help from people who were disqualifying voters who shouldn’t have been disqualified and steering voters in the direction of the wrong polling places.

But, then, again, O’Dell’s pre-election statement about Ohio sums it up really well.

I guess the question is are we there yet?

I often wonder how long it will take Bush to start talking about amending the twenty-second amendment to the constitution because it’s not good to change leaders in mid war. I think he can get people to buy it, too.

If we’re not there yet, how close do you think we are?

Maybe you don’t see us heading in that direction at all. If not, which of these fourteen points are “lacking” and why and how?

Please feel free to comment.

"We confide in our strength, without boasting of it; we respect that of others, without fearing it." - Thomas Jefferson

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