First, the new and improved Republicans (Now with Neo-Cons!) stole two Presidential elections in a row. Some `progressives' still don't fully buy that. In my humble opinion, that's because they are gullible idiots who still like a little Kool-Aid with their truthiness. These are the same geniuses who believe that the war in Iraq is part of the Global War on Terror, or that tax cuts to billionaires help the economy, or that now that we're in Iraq, we can't just leave. If you ask me, they're a bunch of trickle-down dummies! What the hell are they thinking? Lots of people in France didn't think that Hitler was bent on world domination either. By the time they woke up it was too fucking late.
For the `reality based' community, we sure have swallowed a lot of big fat Republican stinkers! One blogger the other day said to me, "Bush isn't all bad. I think he honestly tried to start a democracy in Iraq." Please. Enough of this willful ingestion of the neo-con fantasy pills. Let's face some basic facts:
* There is no war on terror - it's just an elaborate ruse (see PNAC and their plan for a `New American Century').
* The threat of terrorism is deliberately hyped to manipulate the public though fear, and is statistically a lesser threat than global warming, the deficit, taking a bath, driving in traffic, or the overall policies of the Bush Administration.
* The Republicans hate freedom and democracy, and consider them nothing more than great words for manipulating the gullible.
* Republicans are unprincipled authoritarians who need a fuehrer figure.
* The Republicans have been stealing elections since 2000 via their in with the electronic voting machine companies (with a little initial help from SCOTUS), and they fully intend to keep on doing so - especially in the face of the timid and tepid response from Democrats.
These facts, whether you buy them or not (you know not buying a fact doesn't alter its nature), should be enough to shake any true, freedom loving American patriot to their core. It is my contention that today we face nothing less than the very real and very distasteful threat of outright and absolute fascism in America.
The following 14 points are from Political scientist Dr. Lawrence Britt's article on the Veterans for Peace Website, titled Fourteen Defining Characteristics of Fascism
I'm going to quote each point and then provide commentary, either visual, verbal, or both..
1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism
Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottoes, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.
Sound like anybody you know?
When facism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross. Sinclair Lewis
God bless America! - and I think that's enough on that particular point.
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.
We do not torture. Right. That's why Amnesty International, the International Committee of the Red Cross, Human Rights Watch, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and the ACLU all say we do - right? (Not to mention those hideous (and most embarraskin) pictures from Abu Ghraib.)
If the events I am about to describe were taking place in a movie, or novel, I would lose my ability to suspend disbelief: Who could conceive of an American President and Vice President demanding that Congress give them authority to torture anyone, under any circumstances?
This little episode has shamed our nation before the world. These are war crimes, and there's no parsing that.
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.
Terrorists! Islamofascists! Evildoers! Sound familiar?
Question: What does a Strausian neo-con rightwing Machiavellian Republican do when all the commies go away? Answer: He starts making shit up. Ooooooooh! It's the boogey man! Be afraid! Be very, very, very afraid!
What a bunch of assholes! Scary assholes though - considering that so many Americans seem to lack the discernment to see through the bullshit.
Question: Why do you think they haven't caught Bin Laden? Answer: It would be too much trouble to find a replacement.
Now, before I am flamed into oblivion, let me explain that yes, I do see OBL, AQ, and terrorists in general as a real threat. I'm just trying to put things in perspective.
Any violent crime is terrible, but terrorism is extremely rare in the United States. The risk that any given American will be killed by a terrorist is about the same as the chance that a randomly selected high school football player will one day be a starting quarterback in the Super Bowl. One's chance of being killed in a terrorist attack is many times less than one's chance of drowning in a bathtub or being killed by a fall from scaffolding or a ladder.
the Cato Institute
Granted, terrorism is a real threat that we must face, a challenge to be met responsibly - but the Bush Administration has done an abysmal job of it. They've done next to nothing to increase security or to strengthen our first responders' capabilities. They've not increased our security one iota. They just haven't. What they have done is strip us of our Constitutional rights and turn the NSA spying machine on us, while dishing out unsupervised no-bid billion dollar contracts to their cronies.
What we have gotten instead of protection is hype, hysteria, fear mongering, hideous lies, monumental thievery, and cynical manipulation. These things are the lifeblood of fascism.
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.
I think that's enough said about that.
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.
There's all that - and then there's this...
6. Controlled Mass Media
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 wartime, is very common.
You don't say.
7. Obsession with National Security
Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.
Bush's campaign in 2004 catapulted the propaganda that Americans were and should be terrified and that only by voting Republican would we be safe.
The Bush Administration has used fear as an excuse for oppressing freedom of speech and has questioned civil rights long taken for granted - such as privacy. They have injected fear into our political discourse and used it to dishonor patriots and heroes.
A new doc on Peru chronicles how fear of terrorism was exploited to undermine democracy. Sound familiar? Alternet Article
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 is openly attacked, and governments often refuse to fund the arts.
I marvel at all of these Ivy League types, products of the best schools, rich, sophisticated, and smart, but utterly lacking in both the heart and soul that comes with true education. Why are so many professors liberals the wingnuts are so fond of asking, with their constipated little faces all ablush with consternation? Because colleges tend to compete for and hire the best and the brightest is the answer, and, as Stephen Colbert points out, reality has a strong liberal bias - and where is reality more vigorously challenged and examined than in college? So the more plugged into reality a person is, the greater the likelihood that they are going to be a liberal. Of course some people have no heart or soul to begin with and all the education in the world won't help those folks.
As people do better, they start voting like Republicans - unless they have too much education and vote Democratic, which proves there can be too much of a good thing.
That Karl Rove! He slays me! I swear! Yes folks, too much education in the electorate is NOT good. Why if people actually started thinking, and if it were to catch on, then people would eventually stumble upon the truth and these ass-clowns would be out on their butts in no time flat. It is the truth brothers and sisters that shall set us free - and for that reason our opponents fear the truth more than anything else in this world.
Notice the woman in the lower middle above. Her sign says, `Give War a Chance.' John Lennon would be so proud.
"It's amazing how much panic one honest man can spread among a multitude of Hypocrites." Thomas Sowell
Heh, love that Thomas Sowell quote. Venceremos!
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 manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.
For those of you who don't buy the whole fascist thing, make sure you get a big swig of Kool-Aid so you don't choke on all that truthiness.
Get Up, Stand Up! Stand up for your rights.
You can fool some people sometimes
But you can't fool all the people all the time
So now we see the light
We gonna stand up for our right
So you'd better get up, stand up, stand up for your right
Get Up, Stand Up, don't give up the fight
Get Up, Stand Up, stand up for your right
Get Up, Stand Up, don't give up the fight.
from Get Up! Stand Up! by Bob Marley and the Wailers
It's time to wake up America. It's time to stand up for our rights. Get Up, Stand Up! Stand up for your rights!
Let's kick their asses in November - and keep them honest while we're at it. Let's exact a little justice and deal with those who need to be dealt with - so that we can begin the long and difficult cleanup that lies ahead.
And let's NEVER allow this country to fall back into the hands of those who would do her harm.
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