Archive for May, 2007

31
May
07

Worth Reposting

Dr. Lawrence Britt has examined the fascist regimes of Hitler, Mussolini, Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia) and several Latin American regimes. Britt found 14 defining characteristics common to each:

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. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.

6. Controlled Mass Media – Sometimes the media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is 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 terminology 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 hostility 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 and letters is openly attacked.

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.

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 manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.

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30
May
07

Courageous Carter?

President Carter has been quietly keeping the peace for years (here and around the world), speaking out only when he has something important to say. Though he may not have been one of the greatest Presidents ever, he was a hell of a lot better than the current one, and President Bush could certainly benefit from the wisdom of his experience. I am concerned that he has apologized for the harshness of his statements. If a former President who knows the pressures of the job can’t criticize, who can?

Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis are dying in the streets of Baghdad and all over their occupied country for a war that has no reason. Their country has descended into chaos and our young men and women (though women are never shown in combat on the news) are coming home in boxes or being kidnapped off the streets. Will people ask why when the war is over, or will we retreat from finding answers in the interest of “healing the nation”?

The Iraqi Parliament is drawing up plans for a quick US withdraw. Why aren’t we doing that instead of considering a LONG TERM PLAN? And remember: Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility 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 and letters is openly attacked.

30
May
07

In His Own Words…

By Donald Hudson Jr., 1st Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division.

BAGHDAD, May 12 — My name is Donald Hudson Jr. I have been serving our country’s military actively for the last three years. I am currently deployed to Baghdad on Forward Operating Base Loyalty, where I have been for the last four and a half months.
I came here as part of the first wave of this so called “troop surge”, but so far it has effectively done nothing to quell insurgent violence. I have seen the rise in violence between the Sunni and Shiite. This country is in the middle of a civil war that has been on going since the seventh century.

Why are we here when this country still to date does not want us here? Why does our president’s personal agenda consume him so much, that he can not pay attention to what is really going on here?

Let me tell you a story. On May 10, I was out on a convoy mission to move barriers from a market to a joint security station. It was no different from any other night, except the improvised explosive device that hit our convoy this time, actually pierced through the armor of one of our trucks. The truck was immediately engulfed in flames, the driver lost control and wrecked the truck into one of the buildings lining the street. I was the driver of the lead truck in our convoy; the fifth out of six was the one that got hit. All I could hear over the radio was a friend from the sixth truck screaming that the fifth truck was burning up real bad, and that they needed fire extinguishers real bad. So I turned my truck around and drove through concrete barriers to get to the burning truck as quickly as I could. I stopped 30 meters short of the burning truck, got out and ripped my fire extinguisher out of its holder, and ran to the truck. I ran past another friend of mine on the way to the burning truck, he was screaming something but I could not make it out. I opened the driver’s door to the truck and was immediately overcome by the flames. I sprayed the extinguisher into the door, and then I saw my roommate’s leg. He was the gunner of that truck. His leg was across the driver’s seat that was on fire and the rest of his body was further in the truck. My fire extinguisher died and I climbed into the truck to attempt to save him. I got to where his head was, in the back passenger-side seat. I grabbed his shoulders and attempted to pull him from the truck out the driver’s door. I finally got him out of the truck head first. His face had been badly burned. His leg was horribly wounded. We placed him on a spine board and did our best to attempt “Buddy Aid”. We heard him trying to gasp for air. He had a pulse and was breathing, but was not responsive. He was placed into a truck and rushed to the “Green Zone”, where he died within the hour. His name was Michael K. Frank. He was 36 years old. He was a great friend of mine and a mentor to most of us younger soldiers here.

Now I am still here in this country wondering why, and having to pick up the pieces of what is left of my friend in our room. I would just like to know what is the true reason we are here? This country poses no threat to our own. So why must we waste the lives of good men on a country that does not give a damn about itself? Most of my friends here share my views, but do not have the courage to say anything.

Donald C. Hudson Jr. is a private assigned to the 1st Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. E-mail: donaldchudsonjr@yahoo.com.

28
May
07

You Prey on Me

Dave posted the lyrics to a Timbuc3 song called “Prey” and I think it pretty much sums up my feelings on religion as well as the death of Jerry Falwell. The teaching of world religions in schools is something I advocate, and even teaching electives on each of the major religions would be acceptable in public schools, but teaching classes in which particular emphasis is given to one of the sects of Christianity and its accepted version of the bible is not allowed by the US Constitution and should not be happening in Texas. A school district in Louisiana didn’t see the need to separate church and state when they allowed bibles to be distributed to children inside the school. It seems that James Dobson is stepping up to the Falwell plate by denouncing Giuliani. I have my own reasons for doing the same, but Dobson’s saying that if Giuliani is nominated, he may not vote for anyone. So, let’s get Giuliani nominated so that the Religious Right will stay home on election day.

25
May
07

Media Cover-Up

In this article, 20 journalists (such as Dan Rather) describe the ways in which corporate media ownership prevented them from reporting important – and often troubling – stories. Rather than allowing these stories to air and letting the people decide their importance, they were stifled by corporate brass and the threat of pulled sponsorship. Some writers and journalists have even been fired.

Not all of these stories would be detrimental to the government, but they would have an impact on the profits of key government employees. Some expose things like the expensive and pointless war on drugs or the hormones put into our milk supply, but others talk about the detaining of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay and voter fraud in the 2000 election. Most important is the reason why all this censorship is possible – the consolidation of the country’s major news outlets.

Let’s not forget that in a fascist government the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives, sometimes under the guise of consumerism. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.

Especially this weekend, but as always, take a look at these faces:
3,435 US Soldiers killed in Iraq
25,378 US Soldiers wounded in Iraq

21
May
07

Dishonerable Deceptions

Military recruiters are becoming even more desperate as young people show their distaste for the war by not joining the military. Recruitment numbers are down, ROTC enrollment is low, and Uncle Sam wants anybody, and I mean ANYBODY to pick up a gun and point it at Iraqis.

A man who had been discharged from the Army a decade ago for suicidal feelings (not to mention talking to himself) during boot camp was allowed to try again and killed himself as a result. Military personnel are resulting to telling new recruits to lie on forms and top Army officials are becoming fed up with these practices, but not the reason recruiters are resorting to them.

We’re recruiting gang members and the mentally ill to serve in our military while young, healthy men and women refuse to even acknowledge that a recruiter is speaking to them. I wonder why that is? Have the youth of this country finally decided that they do not want to go to war? Are they tried of being raised in a nation where violence and war is the norm? Probably not. My guess is that they’re just too egotistical to dedicated their lives to anything bigger than themselves. But at least they’re not joining the Army.

20
May
07

Sicko

Michael Moore’s next film, Sicko, will be premiering at the Cannes film festival on June 29th. This film is being blocked by the Bush Administration because Moore visited Cuba with 10 first responders from 9/11 for a segment for the film. They were there to receive treatment that they could not get in the US due to the Bush Administration’s denial that anything was wrong with the air around ground zero in the days directly following the demolition of the Twin Towers. Whatever your personal feelings about Michael Moore, it has to be acknowledged that there are very few reporters, journalists, and documentarians asking the questions he’s asking. I hate that he is my only source of information when it comes to the answers to these questions. He has his own agenda, of course, but NO ONE ELSE IS ASKING. And before you say, “Well, he went to Cuba, and that’s illegal,” please remember that Oliver Stone got to go, as did Stephen Spielberg.

Our media is conspicuously absent from this administration. Controlled mass media is a symptom of a fascist nation. Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common. Here is the very least you can do to get the word out to as many poeple as possible that this Administration has to go.

UPDATE: At the screening of ‘Sicko’ several journalists and critics admitted to crying, and even Fox News gvae the film a good review.




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I am not perfect. I do my best to practice what I preach, but I am human. My mantra is, "DO NO HARM". I may not always succeed, but I will always try. My goal is to be a better person today than I was yesterday.

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