The following post was written by our friend Left oCenter at THE BLUE REPUBLIC . Initially we suggested that George W. Bush suffered from Antisocial Personality Disorder, but as we read this we wondered quite seriously if he didn't suffer from aspects of two disorders--Antisocial Personality Disorder and Malignant Narcissism. Both are pesonality disorrders with disturbing symptoms and characteristics and neither is easily cured (read cannot be cured). But whether Bush is a sociopath or a maligant narcissist is less important than the fact that we have a highly aggressive president with a proclvity for violence and an inability to feel sympathy for anyone except himself.
And this man has just been given the right to torture and the right to limit habeas corpus without impunity. With that in mind, please be so kind as to consider the following Guest Post
Main Entry: ma·lig·nant
Etymology: Late Latin malignant-, malignans, present participle of malignari
1 a obsolete : MALCONTENT, DISAFFECTED b : evil in nature, influence, or effect : INJURIOUS c : passionately and relentlessly malevolent : aggressively malicious
2 : tending to produce death or deterioration <malignant malaria>; especially : tending to infiltrate, metastasize, and terminate fatally <a malignant tumor>
nar‧cis‧sism /ˈnɑrsəˌsɪzɛm/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[nahr-suh-siz-em] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
1. inordinate fascination with oneself; excessive self-love; vanity.
2. Psychoanalysis. erotic gratification derived from admiration of one's own physical or mental attributes, being a normal condition at the infantile level of personality development.
(1) has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
(2) is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
(3) believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
(4) requires excessive admiration
(5) has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
(6) is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
(7) lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
(8) Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her
(9) shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes
by Paul Levy
Psychologically speaking, Mr. George W. Bush is what is called a 'malignant narcissist.' A narcissist is someone who has become hypnotized and entranced by their own inflated self-image. They have become so self-absorbed that not only are they not in genuine relation with others, but they relate to others (including the environment) as objects to satisfy their own need for self-aggrandizement. A 'malignant' narcissist, however, is a narcissist who reacts sadistically to others who don't support and enable their narcissism. For example, instead of self-reflecting and taking in critical feedback, the Bush administration reacts with ruthless contempt for anyone who disagrees with them. Like a mean and cruel-spirited malignant narcissist, Bush and Co. deny the accusation and try to destroy the messenger. Ultimately, a malignant narcissist wants to annihilate anyone who in any way threatens their illusory self-image and self-serving agenda.
Malignant narcissists can be very charismatic, and are very adept at charming and manipulating others. They are clever at camouflaging their malevolent agenda, even to themselves, and can appear to be very normal, regular, and seemingly loving people. To quote the great doctor of the soul, psychiatrist C. G. Jung "only a very small fraction of so-called psychopaths land in the asylum. The overwhelming majority of them constitute that part of the population which is alleged to be "normal."" And, I might add, that many of these so-called seemingly 'normal' psychopaths are drawn to positions of power. Malignant narcissists are very skilled at entrancing others, at putting other's under their spell. They are master hypnotists. They are like 'black magicians,' in that they are very talented at hooking others through their fear by using 'mind-control' techniques such as lying and propaganda to control them.
The narcissism of a leader such as Bush resonates with the narcissism inherent in his supporters, who identify with Bush's seeming certainty and lack of doubt (it never occurs to them that, to quote John Kerry "You can be certain and wrong."). This creates a very dangerous and pathological situation called "group narcissism," in which a large group of people have dis-connected from their critical faculties and entrusted their power to their narcissistic leader. This is a perversely symbiotic, co-dependent relationship in which all members of the group are colluding with and enabling each other's narcissism. For example, George Bush, in his utter narcissism thinks that God speaks through him. Instead of being seen as deluded, his supporters reflect back to him that they, too, think that God speaks through him. This, of course, just reinforces Bush's narcissistic delusion. Seeing Bush as God's instrument concurrently fulfills in the Bush supporters their adolescent fantasy of having someone who is playing the role of the divine leader to protect them. This mutually interdependent and reciprocally reinforcing delusion is what is called a 'collective psychosis.'
By playing with people's fear, Bush is hypnotizing people to give their power away to him. Unfortunately, by doing this he has hypnotized himself as well, which is to say he is deceiving himself in the process of his deceiving of others. Malignant narcissists are pathological liars. They are very adept at both lying and then believing their own lies. The conviction they carry in this act of self-deception can easily 'entrance' people. To quote Jung "Nothing has such a convincing effect as a lie one invents and believes oneself, or an evil deed or intention whose righteousness one regards as self-evident." A malignant narcissist plays with people's fears so as to gain their trust and control them, which is based on the abuse of power over others that is the signature of a true dictator.
At their core, a malignant narcissist's desire is to dominate and have power over others. The perverse enjoyment of complete domination over another person(s), which involves transforming a person into an object (a 'thing'), in which their freedom is taken away, is the very essence of the sadistic drive. Their sadism is a way of transforming their feelings of powerlessness and impotence into an experience of omnipotence.
A malignant narcissist is the incarnation of the separate, alienated self spinning out of control to a pathological degree. They are unconsciously identified with and will protect at any cost an imaginary 'separate self' that is alien from the rest of the universe. Paradoxically, at the same time that they experience themselves as separate from others, the malignant narcissist lives in a state of 'unconscious fusion' with others. To a malignant narcissist, other people don't truly exist as autonomous beings. Other people only exist as disposable pawns to feed and support their narcissistic, masturbatory fantasies. A malignant narcissist hasn't developed a sense of their own authentic self, which is why they are unable to be in genuine relationship with others. Psychologically, malignant narcissism is a very primitive and un-evolved state, one which is totally lacking in eros (relatedness).
Because they don't relate to other people as independent and separate from their own inflated, narcissist self, the malignant narcissist doesn't respect other people's boundaries. Their self-serving, narcissistic illogic allows them to justify, even in the name of God, transgressing other's boundaries, be them an individual's civil liberties, or another nation's sovereignty. Interestingly enough, etymologically, the word "evil" is related to the word "transgress."
Malignant narcissists are not conscious of the interconnectedness between themselves and others. They are unable to feel empathy for others and have an overwhelming lack of genuine compassion (so much for compassionate conservatism). Concerned about nothing other than themselves, malignant narcissists are indifferent to other people's suffering, all the while, though, professing their compassion. Malignant narcissists are unable to genuinely mourn, for they are ultimately only concerned with themselves. They will show grief, however, just like they will try and appear compassionate, if it is politically correct to do so and, hence, to their advantage, as they are master manipulators. They are a true 'wolf in sheep's clothing.'
Malignant narcissists are unconsciously possessed by the power-drive of the archetypal shadow. Being possessed by an archetype means that the malignant narcissists have lost their freedom, as a more powerful transpersonal, archetypal force has so unconsciously taken them over that it compulsively acts itself out through them. They themselves are being used and manipulated like puppets on a string by the more powerful archetypal force. Becoming possessed by an archetype like this, to quote Jung, "turns a man into a flat collective figure, a mask behind which he can no longer develop as a human being, but becomes increasingly stunted." Jung continues "Since nobody is capable of recognizing just where and how much he himself is possessed and unconscious, he simply projects his own condition upon his neighbor, and thus it becomes a sacred duty to have the biggest guns and the most poisonous gas."
Malignant narcissists can seem confident and self-assured, but are, in reality, covering deep insecurities and fears through an inflated self-image. Intense feelings of revenge, fury and rage verging on insanity manifests when their fear is exposed, and their narcissism threatened. At the core of their process is self-hatred, as malignant narcissists split-off and dissociate from a part of themselves. As Jung points out, "a habitual dissociation is one of the signs of a psychopathic disposition." Jung talks about this condition by saying it may even result in "a splitting of the personality, a condition in which quite literally one hand no longer knows what the other is doing…..Ignorance of one's other side creates great insecurity. One does not really know who one is; one feels inferior somewhere and yet does not wish to know where the inferiority lies, with the result that a new inferiority is added to the original one." A malignant narcissist falls into an infinite regression of being in denial about being in denial and hiding from their own lies. A malignant narcissist such as Bush is continually in a state of hiding from himself.
Malignant narcissists have contempt for and flagrantly violate the rule of law, which, in their inflation, they believe themselves to be above. "International law?" Bush arrogantly smirked in December 2003, "I better call my lawyer." Malignant narcissists, like a true bully, abuse their power simply because they can. They can endlessly 'talk' about taking responsibility, but they never genuinely face up to and become accountable for their actions.
Malignant narcissists are unwilling and unable to experience their sense of shame, guilt or sin, as their narcissism doesn't allow these feelings. This inability to consciously feel their 'negative' feelings is at the root of the dynamic in which they dissociate from their own darkness, blaming and 'projecting the shadow' out there onto some 'other.' This splitting-off and projecting out their own evil results in always having a potential enemy around every corner, which is why malignant narcissists tend towards paranoia. Malignant narcissists continually 'need' an enemy and will even create new ones to ensure that they don't have to look at the evil within their own hearts. They react with aversion to the reflection of their own evil, going so far as to want to exterminate evil from the world. Or as George Bush would say "to rid the world of evil-doers." Ridding the world of evil is an act that can never be attained, however, as by 'projecting the shadow,' malignant narcissists themselves become the very evil-doer that they see out there and are trying to destroy. George Bush has become possessed by the very thing he's fighting against.
Caught in the vicious cycle of the repetition compulsion of the traumatized soul, malignant narcissists create more of the very evil that they are fighting against, as is evidenced by the way George Bush is fighting terrorism. He has become a terrorist in the way he has reacted to terrorism. In essence, Bush is at war with and trying to destroy his own shadow, which is not only a battle that can never be won, but is a form of insanity. And he's acting it out on the world stage.
Thai intellectual and social critic Sulak Sivaraksa likens Bush to two other malignant narcissists, Hitler and Stalin, pointing out that Bush's "axis of Evil," Hitler's "Final Solution," and Stalin's "pogrom of peasants" were actually analogous attempts "to perfect the world by destroying the [projected] impurities." Interestingly enough, another modern day malignant narcissist is none other than Saddam Hussein.
If left in power, malignant narcissists ultimately destroy themselves and everyone around them. Malignant narcissists are what are called 'necrophiles,' in that their impulses are perversely directed against life, the spontaneity of which they are afraid of, and towards death and destruction, which they are secretly attracted to. To quote the psychologist Eric Fromm, this "severe mental sickness….represents the quintessence of evil; it is as the same time the most severe pathology and the root of the most vicious destructiveness and inhumanity." The 'force' used by malignant narcissists to achieve their ends, to use Simone Weil's definition, has the capacity to turn a man into a corpse- literally. To quote Eric Fromm "Just as sexuality can create life, force can destroy it. All force is, in the last analysis, based on the power to kill. I may not kill a person but only deprive him of his freedom; I may want only to humiliate him…...behind all these actions stands my capacity to kill and my willingness to kill." Malignant narcissists have a sadistic 'willingness to kill' so as to protect their own self-serving delusions, which makes them particularly dangerous, as they will literally stop at nothing to hold onto the position of power they find themselves in. Malignant narcissists are murderers who are criminally insane.
Malignant narcissism is a deadly illness that deserves our genuine compassion. However, it is an extremely dangerous situation if the malignant narcissist, like George Bush, is in a position of power where he can create endless, unnecessary suffering and destruction. If we fall under Bush's spell and elect him to be our leader for another four years, we would be in a situation similar to the Germans in WWII, who, to quote Jung "allowed themselves to be driven to the slaughterhouse by their leading psychopaths like hypnotized sheep." It is time to wake up from our spell. We need to do everything and anything in our power to remove George Bush from office, for God's sake, as well as our own.
Paul Levy is a spiritually-informed political activist. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please visit his website at www.awakeninthedream.com, where his article "The Madness of George Bush: A Reflection of Our Collective Psychosis" is available. Please feel free to pass this article along to a friend if you feel so inspired.
I have posted this in part to punish you for posting such long pieces as to torture those of us with ADHD.
Saturday, September 30, 2006
Thursday, September 28, 2006
- Scary Stories (Series) by Alvin Schwartz
- Daddy's Roommate by Michael Willhoite
- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
- The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
- Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
- Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling
- Forever by Judy Blume
- Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
- Alice (Series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
- Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
- My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
- The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
- The Giver by Lois Lowry
- It's Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
- Goosebumps (Series) by R.L. Stine
- A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
- The Color Purple by Alice Walker
- Sex by Madonna
- Earth's Children (Series) by Jean M. Auel
- The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
- A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
- Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
- Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
- In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
- The Stupids (Series) by Harry Allard
- The Witches by Roald Dahl
- The New Joy of Gay Sex by Charles Silverstein
- Anastasia Krupnik (Series) by Lois Lowry
- The Goats by Brock Cole
- Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane
- Blubber by Judy Blume
- Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan
- Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
- We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier
- Final Exit by Derek Humphry
- The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
- Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
- The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
- What's Happening to my Body? Book for Girls: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Daughters by Lynda Madaras
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- Beloved by Toni Morrison
- The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
- The Pigman by Paul Zindel
- Bumps in the Night by Harry Allard
- Deenie by Judy Blume
- Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
- Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden
- The Boy Who Lost His Face by Louis Sachar
- Cross Your Fingers, Spit in Your Hat by Alvin Schwartz
- A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
- Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
- Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice)
- Asking About Sex and Growing Up by Joanna Cole
- Cujo by Stephen King
- James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
- The Anarchist Cookbook by William Powell
- Boys and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
- Ordinary People by Judith Guest
- American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
- What's Happening to my Body? Book for Boys: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Sons by Lynda Madaras
- Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
- Crazy Lady by Jane Conly
- Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher
- Fade by Robert Cormier
- Guess What? by Mem Fox
- The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende
- The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney
- Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
- Lord of the Flies by William Golding
- Native Son by Richard Wright
- Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women's Fantasies by Nancy Friday
- Curses, Hexes and Spells by Daniel Cohen
- Jack by A.M. Homes
- Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya
- Where Did I Come From? by Peter Mayle
- Carrie by Stephen King
- Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
- On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
- Arizona Kid by Ron Koertge
- Family Secrets by Norma Klein
- Mommy Laid An Egg by Babette Cole
- The Dead Zone by Stephen King
- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
- Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
- Always Running by Luis Rodriguez
- Private Parts by Howard Stern
- Where's Waldo? by Martin Hanford
- Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
- Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman
- Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
- Running Loose by Chris Crutcher
- Sex Education by Jenny Davis
- The Drowning of Stephen Jones by Bette Greene
- Girls and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
- How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
- View from the Cherry Tree by Willo Davis Roberts
- The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
- The Terrorist by Caroline Cooney
- Jump Ship to Freedom by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
And if you think that was bad we have news for you-- it gets even worse. In 2005 the top ten banned books were as follows: 
1. "It's Perfectly Normal" (for homosexuality, nudity, sex education, religious viewpoint, abortion and being unsuited to age group)
2. "Forever" by Judy Blume (for sexual content and offensive language).
3. "The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger (for sexual content, offensive language and being unsuited to age group).
4. "The Chocolate War" by Robert Cormier (for sexual content and offensive language)
5. "Whale Talk" by Chris Crutcher (for racism and offensive language)
6. "Detour for Emmy" by Marilyn Reynolds (for sexual content)
7. "What My Mother Doesn't Know" by Sonya Sones (for sexual content and being unsuited to age group).
8. Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey (for anti-family content, being unsuited to age group and violence);
9. "Crazy Lady!" by Jane Leslie Conly (for offensive language).
10. "It's So Amazing! A Book about Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, and Families" by Robie H. Harris (for sex education and sexual content).
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Recently, there has been a lot of flak against the Bush Administration with regards to its handling of the rather shambolic "War On Terror". From retired generals to senior Republicans, everyone seems to have a say in this war, sending the beleaguered White House Bushies into a state of frenzy.
Of course, matters, are not helped when the President-in-charge is about as adept as a fumbling buffoon, when it comes to giving proper, articulate speeches.
Having said that, however, the reason why I post this article is not to criticize Bush nor his cronies on a personal basis; rather, I would like to describe, in great detail, why America has failed to arrest the spiralling situation in both its current theatres of war, Iraq and Afghanistan respectively, and why, in the strictest sense, the war on terror isn't really like any other conventional war in the history of America.
To begin with, I shall commence with Part I of my series with regards on this subject.
PART 1: THE DEFINITION OF TERROR
Prior to 911, the word "terrorist" was as synomynous to the word "obscure". Aside from the Oklahoma and Atlanta bombings, terrorism just didn't register in the minds of the average America.
911, however, changed the face of America, and redefined terror: For the first time, America was under seige by foreign terrorists, terrorists that, for the longest time, appeared only on BBC and CNN news. Scenes of mangled bodies, broken body parts and screaming, terrified crowds was suddenly brought close to home in the shape of two burning towers.
The events immediately after 911, however, did give the definition of terror a whole new dimension.
For example, a person who commits arson may or may not be classified as a terrorist, even if he or she is a serial arson. Blowing up a building may be an act of crime, but does it necessarily be an act of terror?
The definition of the word "terror", or that of the perpetrator of terror, i.e the terrorist, can be somewhat ambiguous, since the actions of a terrorist may sometimes cross-link with other types of criminals.
According to the Oxford's dictionary's definition:
• noun a person who uses violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.
The Encyclopedia Britannica gives a slightly more precise definition:
the systematic use of violence to create a general climate of fear in a population and thereby to bring about a particular political objective. Terrorism has been practiced by political organizations with both rightist and leftist objectives, by nationalistic and religious groups, by revolutionaries, and even by state institutions such as armies, intelligence services, and police.
Hence, what really separates the average criminal from a terrorist is perhaps the intent: A need to make a political statement, or to be heard, so to speak, via the use of violence to create a climate of fear.
POST- 911: THE REQUISITES OF BEING A TERRORIST
Having defined the roles of a terrorist, the next question would be: What are the requisites that a terrorist really needs to, erm, become a full fledged terrorist? How does one distinguish a terrorist from other criminals, such as mafia and triad gangs and petty, small time thieves and other unsavory street thrash?
Post 911 era has a whole new definition for the average terrorist, although some of which may actually deviate from the original version.
i. Join A Political/Religious Organization (The more violent, the better)
To become a successful terrorist, it is most likely that the terrorist in question be a member of a politically or religiously-motivated group.
It is imperative to note that while it is not impossible for a terrorist to work solo, it is quite plausible that the individual in question would have to be influenced by an external group's doctrines to be docile and crazy enough to create a scene of horror and destruction.
Having said that, terrorists who work together tend to achieve higher success and shock rates. Throw in a few potential, religiously-motivated crazies, and you get the epitome of terror, the likes of which we have witnessed on the fateful day of September 11, 2001.
2. ABILITY TO COMMIT OR PERPETRATE VIOLENCE
Now, one would ask, wouldn't mob gangs and mafia crooks be capable of commiting violence? Not to mention street gangs, petty thieves and all.
As the definition of terrorism goes, one cannot be a terrorist simply based on actions. The motives, for one, would eliminate street gangs and the likes as terrorists, although that doesn't mean they don't get a spot in FBI's top ten list.
As far as perpetrating violence goes, it is simply not enough to earn that terrorist tag.
3. Ability to Perpetrate Pyschological Impact And Fear
Now, this trait will kick-start the elimination process of separating the chimeras from the real players. Of course, we know that mafias and triads do thrive on impact and fear, but this will eliminate petty crime and small-time criminals from the big players, for it is the big players who perpetrate violence on a grandiose scale.
Terrorists and mafia gangs, however, have a knack of wrecking fear for two reasons: One, to drive the fear of terror into the hearts of ordinary folks. Two: To make their points heard.
4. Achieving a Political/Religious Goal/Statement
Perhaps the one trait that separates the terrorist from the last group of triad-related criminals. Criminals of the terrorist nature commit mass murders to make a statement, while mafia groups generally commit bloodshed for wholly financial or vendetta-related purposes.
5. Affiliation To Creeds
This one may sound really controversial here: The FBI and other law enforcement agencies, I suspect, do differentiate criminals of this nature along religious and racial lines.
Take, for example, Eric Rudolph: His crimes ought to classify him as a terrorist. The only reason why he was not thrown into Guantanama and humiliated is due to the fact that he was a Christian.
Of course, the fact that he acted alone may have denied him that uncoveted status, but if he were a Muslim, I doubt he would never have been tried under existing American law.
The Bush Administration's subsequent willingness to jail POWs, or should I say, muslims who are even remotely suspected to have links with the Al-Qaeda demonstrates this little-publicized fact: That the Americans are targetting middle-eastern and muslim men as prime suspects in the ongoing fight against terror. Only a muslim, or a Middle Eastern person, it seems, is capable of terrorism. Or so the Bush Administration seems to be thinking.
However one wishes to define the act of terror, it is clear that, at this point of time, we are merely looking at the definition of terror from the viewpoint of the Bush Administration.
In the next chapter, I would be discussing in detail, as to the strategy of the first first theatre of war in the "War on Terror": The Attack on Afghanistan, and the Failure to Catch a Bogeyman.
Saturday, September 23, 2006
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
SUMMARY AND EPILOGUE
PROPAGANDA AND FALSE PREMISES: THEN AND NOW
Brandon, Jeffrey, Kyle, and Daniel
Only a few days after we began the revision of this project, the Bush Administration launched another propaganda campaign, this time a concentrated effort that was, and is, designed to convince the American people that an over-glorified cult of right-wing, Islamic religious fanatics were the modern day equivalents of World War II Fascists. Indeed, President Bush has coined a new term--Islamo-fascists, as if the term Islamicist weren't enough to distinguish moderate Muslims from the fanatical variety, but who said Christianists like George W. Bush are consistent much less accurate?
According to William Shirer: "By the end of 1942, Adolf Hitler seemed once more to be on top of the world...On the map, the sum of Hitler's conquests looked staggering. The Mediterranean had become practically an Axis lake, with Germany and Italy holding most of the northern share from Spain to Turkey and the southern share from Tunisia to within sixty miles of the Nile. In fact German troops now stood guard from the Norwegian North Cape on the Arctic Ocean to Egypt; from the Atlantic at Brest to the southern reaches of the Volga River on the border of Central Asia."
In a similar vein, Hitler's ally, Imperial Japan, controlled a significant share of Eastern Asia. An equally significant share of the Pacific Theater, including, but not limited to, Sumatra,Borneo, the Solomon Islands, the Gilbert Islands, Attu, Kiska, and the southern half of Sakhalin (Karafuto) had been conquered and occupied by the Imperial Japanese military.
The upshot here is that terrorist organizations do not possess the military might of Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan. They do not have standing armies, navies, and air forces. They are not nations with definable boundaries; they do not have the boundaries of a modern nation state. Under certain circumstances they may inflict significant, even devastating, damage, but they do not possess the ability to conquer and occupy a nation the size of the United States. For all intents and purposes, international terrorism operates like a transnational corporation, more like a crime syndicate than a fascist empire with a standing military. And yet this Administration not only wants to equate international terrorism with World War II totalitarianism. It now appears as if the Administration wants to equate itself with the allied leaders of World War II, Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt.
Now that is a rather bizarre claim when you consider the fact that George W. Bush and his fellow Social Darwinists have spent the past twenty-six years trying to dismantle everything Roosevelt and subsequent generations Democrats implemented throughout the 1930s and afterward to protect American workers and the weakest of our citizens from corporate exploitation. Whether it was Newt Gingrich intoning that we should let medicare "die on the vine," or or George W. Bush trying to privatize Social Security, or the Republican-dominated Congress meddling with bankruptcy laws and over time regulations, the fact of the matter is that Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld are not fighting World War II (or World War III if you will) and they are not the intellectual equals of Churchill and Roosevelt. They have systematically done anything and everything in their power to placate the military-industrial complex at the expense of the shrinking and increasingly nervous middle class.
Of course, it might just be that they are trying to capture the mantel of Roosevelt's wartime record, but that doesn't seem likely when you remember the fact that Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld have opted to emulate Hitler, Mussolini, and the Imperial Japanese military, essentially transforming the barbaric act of invasion into a blood soaked art form.
Isn't it ironic? While the Republican leadership has been trying to portray others as fascists, it has repeatedly revealed itself as fascist in nature-- the invasion of Iraq being a perfect case in point.
In Mein Kampf , Adolf Hitler specifically revealed his militaristic policy towards Eastern Europe and "Bolshevik" Russia:
"With this, we National Socialists consciously draw a line through the foreign policy trend of our pre-War period. We take up at the halting place of six hundred years ago. We terminate the endless German drive to the south and west of Europe and direct our gaze towards the lands in the east. We finally terminate the colonial and trade policy of the pre-War period and we talk about new soil and territory in Europe. Today we think primarily of Russia and its vassal border states." Only a few pages earlier Hitler said: I must attack most sharply those folkish scribbler souls who claim to see a 'breach of sacred human rights' in such an acquisition of territory and who consequently direct their effusions against it."
Likewise, The Project for a New American Century (think "Thousand Year Reich") not only presented the guidelines for American hegemony, it also advocated for the invasion of Iraq in the delusional hope that such an invasion would promote democracy, stability, and greater American influence over the Mideastern oil supply. Indeed, these renegades from the Nixon Administration were so eager to flex their military and political muscle that they approached Bill Clinton in 1998, asking if he would consider just such an invasion,
Lesson learned? When power-hungry megalomaniacs with Anti-Social Personality Disorder have the audacity to put their socopathic ideas into print, the world should take them seriously.
Like their Neocon descendants, the Nazis of 1939 went through elaborate means to justify their aggression to their own people--even when the outside world recognized what they were doing. During the run up to World War II, the invasion of Poland, the Nazi-dominated press portrayed Poland as the aggressor:
"Whereas all the rest of the world," wrote William Shirer, "considers that the Peace is about to be broken by Germany, that Germany is threatening to attack Poland...here in Germany, in the world world the local newspapers create, the very reverse is maintained...What the Nazi papers are proclaiming is this: that it is Poland which is disturbing the peace of Europe; Poland which is threatening Germany with armed invasion.
To justify the invasion the Nazis engaged in a bit theatrical propaganda:
"For six days," writes Shirer, "Alfred Naujochs, the intellectual S.S. ruffian had been waiting at Gleiwitz on the Polish border to carry out a simulated attack on the German radio station there. The plan had been revised, S.S. men, outfitted in Polish Army uniforms, were to do the shooting and drugged concentration camp inmates were to be left dying as 'casualties'--the last delectable part of the operation had...the expressive code name 'Canned Goods.' There were to be several such faked Polish attacks, but the principal one was to be the radio station at Gleiwitz."
Seventy-four years later it appears as if the Neocons have learned their lessons well. During the run up to the American invasion of Iraq, the phony issue of mushroom clouds rising over American cities was drummed home on a regular basis. Our media were filled with frightening stories about how our troops were learning to wear and use special gear that would protect them from chemical or biological agents. In addition, we were led to believe that Saddam Hussein had direct ties to Al Qaeda and 911. We were told that we had a moral duty (odd words coming from an Administration that is essentially amoral to the core) to remove a blood-thirsty tyrant whose hand Donald Rumsfeld had once shaken while Saddam was our ally against Iran. And, of course, we were informed that our troops would be welcomed with candy and flowers and that their efforts would result in peace, freedom, and democracy throughout the entire Middle East. At it's cynical worst, the Administration sent then Secretary of State Colin Powell to the United Nations to deliver a propaganda show piece which had been built upon the flimsiest of evidence, if not out right distortions and prevarications. Granted, it lacked the originality and excitement of a phony attack on a German radio station, but it did the job; and through the entire process our corporate-owned media behaved like a well trained lap dog, seldom if ever bothering to check the administration's "facts."
If the prewar propaganda was a sham, the conduct of both, the occupation and the war on terrorism were little more than a continuing study in sexual perversion.
Does anyone remember how the Administration and its minions of double-speaking pundits fanned the flames of hate against Iraq by reminding us that Udai and Qusai Hussein had used everything from threats, rape, and executions to extract their sociopathic ideas of revenge? We sure do, and as we look at the Administration's attitude towards Article III of the Geneva Conventions we find ourselves wondering if the Administration was complaining or admiring when it talked about the infamous Hussein brothers.
"This debate," said President Bush at his 15 September 2006 press conference, "is occurring because the Supreme Court ruling said that we must conduct ourselves under the common article three of the Geneva Convention. And that common article three says that--you know--there will be no outrages upon human dignity. That's like very vague. What does that mean? Outrages upon human dignity? That's a statement that's wide ope to interpretation."
We're sorry, but human rights are not vague statements--at least not to a normal human being with a fully developed conscience. A truly moral human being--not a pseudo Christian who spews quasi-Biblical platitudes when ever it serves his or her own interests--should know the difference between good and evil, between normal behavior and sadism.
Stripping people of their clothing and forcing them to masturbate; threatening people with vicious dogs; inserting objects into a victim's bodily orifices; connecting electrodes to genitals; smearing your intended victim with fake menstrual blood; strapping your victim onto a chair, forcing a feeding tube down the victim's throat and then letting that victim sit in his own fecal matter; placing underwear on your victims' heads; stripping your victims naked and forcing them to form a human pyramid: Those are all acts that might be construed as violating human dignity. Those are acts which some might correctly define as sexual assault. And the fact that this president doesn't understand this tells us that he doesn't need an enabling piece of legislation to approve his perverted sense of (in)justice. Instead, it tells us that he needs to be a resident in a ward for the criminally insane.
We're sorry, but this president has been practicing what John Dean and more conscientious Christians refers to as "cheap grace." For some time now we have wondered how this man can claim to be a Christian, claim to love America, and yet, at the same time, violate every standard of decency about which Christ ever spoke. By the same token we have also wondered how anyone can claim to love America on one hand and then drag her moral reputation through the mud: quite an accomplishment after September 12, 2001, when virtually the entire world was offering us sympathy and assistance.
In many ways the kind of religion that George Bush and others like him practice actually lowers the inhibition against harming or dehumanizing others. Instead of feeling a legitimate sense of guilt, Bush and many of his supporters--indeed many of the president's advisers--merely confess their sins to Jesus, dispense with the idea of penance, and sin again. They sin, wash away their guilt and graduate to commit even greater, more heinous violations. Without guilt they seem to develop a sense of arrogant self-righteousness which only encourages them to become more aggressive and more sadistic. In the end you see religious figures like Pat Robertson calling for the assassination of world leaders; world leaders like George W. Bush experiencing what left wing comic/commentator Stephanie Miller refers to was "wargasms" whenever he talks about torture or the invasion of a sovereign state.
Of course, we can hear the Neocon lemmings, those who would follow this president over the edge of a cliff if he asked them to, chiming in with comments such as: "You don't grant human rights to people who saw off heads." To which we would respond, that the Bush War against terrorism and the Constitution has only been raging for five years and already the far right has begun to resemble and imitate the enemy which it so viscerally claims to hate, ignoring the distinct possibility that they have adopted the same attitude towards human rights and human dignity as the terrorists themselves. Five years: That's how long it took the President's followers to lose their souls and their moral compasses
Whether its rampant nationalism, a disdain for human rights, sexism, or the corporate press distorting the truth to placate Republican politicians it seems to us that there is a common thread that runs through all of the Fourteen Characterises: a craving for an and acquisition of power that has dehumanized our leadership to the point of sadism and cruelty. The attacks on New York City and Washington DC were traumatic--that much was a given--but on September 12, 2001, we had an opportunity to do so much more.. Instead of building a genuine alliance of nations, instead of reaching out to moderate Muslims and creating true coalitions against savagery and barbarism, our leaders exploited the tragedy of 9-11 to satisfy their own petty wants and desires. Another Republican, Abraham Lincoln, asked us to "embrace the better angels of ourselves." This President has asked and demanded that we embrace the malevolent demons of our inner selves.
And when we listen to the vitriol that emanates from the radical right we are forced to conclude that some people heeded the President's call.
The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich
By William Shirer
Pages 563, 594-595, 913-914
Simon and Schuster 1959, 1960
by Adolf Hitler
Pages 948, 950-951
Unabridged version as published by
Houghton-Mifflin 1939, Boston
The Project for a New American Century
by William Rivers Pit
February 25, 2003
From Information Clearing House
tt's always an interesting (aka hitting one's head repeatedly against a brick wall) discussion when the far right claims that Nazis and fascism are leftist ideals. Socialism, at least, has smatterings of left leanings (well, perhaps not Hitler's kind), of course, but to assert that fascism has anything to do with the left at all is ludicrous. Hitler made it well-known that he had no use for communism or socialism. Let's all remember that communism and fascism are mutually exclusive. A totalitarian dictatorship doesn't work so well if it's a collective.
Bush called Saddam Hussein an "imminent threat" to our country...and yet, Hussein did not have political interests outside Iraq. He did not control the Middle East like Hitler controlled Europe. He didn't even seem to have any weapons with which to fight. How, then, is this a threat? Oh, it must be that famous Bush logic: of COURSE you can fight a war without allies, other political interests or weapons. Sometimes, I have to wonder if our commander-in-chief honestly believes that "God makes all the bad men go away." It does seem to be the base of all the foreign policy we've seen in the last five years. Hell, it seems to be the base of any policy we've seen in the past five years. There are some stunning historical parallels between Hitler and our own little Georgie and yet, nothing is being done. Have the free-thinking people of this nation really given up to the Insanity Party (aka any sort of radical right-wing anything)? My history teachers always taught me that the reason Hitler was so effective--and therefore so dangerous--was that for the most part, he came to power through the proper political means. He staged no coups and overthrew no governments. He was elected. George Bush was elected at least once. He seems to move further and further to the right with every passing day. In fact, he's moving so far right, he just might end up in Germany soon. Truly, has no one noticed the echoes of a supremely treacherous government? All the promised (and yet-to-be-delivered) economic reforms? The emphasis on military strength? Less and less tolerance for individuality and beliefs other than the leader's? The founding of policies based on one man's opinion of religion (Hitler's being a backlash against, Bush's being ultimate faith in)? The xenophobic tendencies of a nationalist obsession? Need I go on?
I'm fairly certain I don't need to point out eerie and ominous similarities to the members here. What about the common public? Thomas Paine incited a revolution with one pamphlet...why aren't we trying harder when one tactic fails? Why are we letting anyone bulldoze our lives with ideas of, "My vote doesn't count" (well, that's a bad example...sometimes, as Florida has shown us, it doesn't) and "I only have one vote." There are close to 300 million people in this country. I'm willing to bet at fair number of them are of voting-age. 150 million people. If we can gauge a vote by public opinion, it seems like an overwhelming majority are not in support of right-wing ideals. Let's say that 3/5 of that would vote for a more liberal candidate, ideology, whatever they're voting for. 3/5 is 90 million people. That's 90 million votes, or 60% of the estimated total voting population. Last time I checked, 60% wins an election. A whopping 9% ( 8.1 million) of those votes could be declared useless and the liberal candidate would still win. That's roughly the population of New York City. One city has the power to change an entire election. And yet...
Nothing happens. We've still got Adolf Jr. in office. Why? Because of mindless propaganda. Remember all those propaganda posters from WWII? Sometimes, I feel like I'm going to wake up some morning and see a big sign that says "Don't get involved, it's bad for your health!" There are obvious and blatant commonalities between Hitler's regime and Bush's regime. Doesn't that tell us something about which side of the political spectrum they reside? Though it's rather like preaching to the choir at this point, I leave you all with two words:
Saturday, September 16, 2006
FRAUDULENT ELECTIONS, STACKED JUDICIARY
By Brandon, Daniel, Jeffrey, and Kyle
Editor's Note, by Enlightenment
The penultimate installment in this series, by necessity, paints with a broad brush. Simply stated, there was so much in the way of Republican-instigated election fraud that we decided to stick to a few concrete examples and let them speak for themselves.. The upshot however, could not be more clear. Just as Adolf Hitler used chicanery, threats, and intimidation to get himself appointed to the office of Chancellor by President Hindenburg, so too have the Republicans tampered with our electoral system to select a president and rig elections, the end results of which benefit the increasingly corrupt and disreputable Republican Party. So, without further hesitation, my team mates present...
ESSAY NUMBER I
In Four Sections
By Brandon, Daniel, Jeffrey, and Kyle
Voter Fraud, 2004
For one cannot expect that these elected ones of the nation are also the elect of intellect or even of commonsense. And I hope that one does not think that from the ballots cast by a body of voters which is anything but clever, the statesmen will come forth by hundreds. On the whole, one cannot contradict too sharply the absurd opinion that men of genius are born out of general elections. First, there is only one real 'statesman' once in a blue moon in one nation and not a hundred or more at a time; and record the masses' aversion to every superior genius is an instinctive one. It is easier for a camel to go through an eye of a needle than a great man is discovered by and election."
Adolf Hitler From the complete, unabridged edition of Mein Kampf
Houghton Mifflin Company
Chapter 3, page 113"
I told all four of them that there were going to be times when we don't agree with each other. But that's okay. If this were a dictatorship it'd be a heck of a lot easier--just so long as I'm the dictator." President Select George W. Bush on December 18, 2000"Now Many of our Christian friends have what I call the googoo syndrome--Good Government. They want everybody to vote. I don't want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of the people. They never have been from the beginning of our country and they are not now. As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite considerably goes up as the voting populace goes down."
Speaking at a 1979 training session for 15,000 conservatives preachers in Dallas, Texas
Contrary to popular belief Adolf Hitler was not elected to the office of Chancellor. Like George W. Bush, he was selected for the position. In the case of Adolf Hitler, he was chosen by the ailing President Hindenburg following series underhanded, albeit clever political and parliamentary machinations which eventually positioned him for the Presidency and eventual control over the entire German Reich. Granted, Hitler was subsequently rubber stamped by a large majority of the German people. For example, on March 7, 1936, Hitler dissolved the Reichstadt, calling for new elections and a referendum calling on Germany's move into the Rhineland; and the ensuing March 29 elections were interesting to say the least. Only 540,211 people voted "NO." Out of the 45,453,691 registered voters approximately 99 percent turned out to vote. Of that number approximately 98.8 percent gave an eager thumbs up to Hitler's policy towards the Rhineland. Despite the fact that foreign observers (correspondents) noted irregularities (such as open voting as opposed to closed voting) there was little doubt that a majority of the German people approved of their Nazi warlord's policies. Mind you, this was a repressive, even sociopathic regime in which there was not a free choice between individual candidates or lists of candidates; a regime which had embraced everything from marking ballot with skim milk to identify naysayers to violently disrupting the political rallies of opposition parties. And yet, in 1936, when the regime staged to what amounted to a rubber stamp election, the end result proved that Adolf Hitler was an overwhelmingly popular leader who had received an overwhelmingly majority of the German vote.
Would that the same could be said about George W. Bush, who, despite an arsenal of dirty tricks and underhanded tactics has managed to steal two elections. True, the Bush Regime isn't marking ballots with skim milk, and it isn't offering preselected lists of candidates from the which the American people are forced to choose. All right, there was that frightening incident in which Bush operatives and Republican Congressional staffers were sent down to Miami to threaten vote counters, and then there were reports of unidentified individuals photographing black voters in Florida, but there are distinct differences between the Nazi goons of the 1930s and the Republican goons of the 21st Century. The Nazi goons had been supplied with Nazi party uniforms while the Republican goons had been forced to settle for every day street clothing. The Republicans won't need armed Brownshirts and weapon-waving soldiers during the 2004 election cycle. Instead of blatant threats, the GOP casually closed polling places to discourage minority and/or lower income voters; gleefully discarded provisional ballots, and surreptitiously employed computerized voting machines which may well have been rigged to fix the election.
Shortly before the 2004 election the Republican Party mailed thousands of first class letters to (primarily) African American voters in African American neighborhoods. In the dysfunctional State of Florida, this included ghetto areas in Lauderdale, Pompano Beach, Plantation, etc. If by chance the first class letter was returned unopened, the person to whom it had been mailed was then placed on a special list and challenged when he or she arrived to vote. Note that with large numbers of people expected to vote the challenges also had the beneficial side effect (for Republicans, that is) of lengthening the line of frustrated voters, many of whom simply ran out of time and had to leave for more pressing reasons, thereby sabotaging the entire electoral process. Not surprisingly many of the letters were sent to colleges, rescue missions, homeless shelters, and deployed black soldiers. Translated into modern English, the GOP specifically and knowingly sent these letters to people who they knew had recently changed their addresses, explicitly intending to challenge these voters when they arrived at their respective polling places. Indeed, the idea that the "fiscally responsible" Republican Party would pay good money to obtain an expensive set of return addresses and then mail them first class instead of bulk rate, speaks a lot to the Republicans' ulterior motives. Under normal circumstances, clerical information such as this would have been handled by an office clerk, but in 2004, the information was being sent to state and national campaigns. And it gets even worse. In their initial attempt to explain this blatantly illegal practice ("caging" is prohibited under the 1965 Voters Rights Act) a Republican hack named Joseph Agostini, the GOP Director of Communications) claimed that the caging lists were composed of potential Bush-Cheney donors. That seems "a little" bizarre when you consider the fact that one of the lists included homeless people at the Sulzbacher Center, a homeless shelter. At this point, Mister Agostini's immediate superior, another Republican hack named Mindy Tucker Fletcher (who, indigently, was a Republican spokesperson for the Bush-Cheney re-selection campaign and a former press spokesperson for former Attorney General John Ashcroft), brazenly suggested that the letters had come back from newly registered voters with "bad addresses."
Oddly enough, the BBC, and Greg Palast, who broke this story, never would have uncovered these events, if it hadn't been for a clerk at the Republican National Committee, who sent the caging lists to the wrong email addresses; instead of sending the lists to a GeorgeWBush. com address, the lists were sent to a GeorgeWBush.org address. The intended recipients were Brett Doster, the director of the entire Bush-Cheney campaign in Florida, a certain Randy Kammerdiner, who directed research ops for the Republican National Committee, and Tim Griffin, a Research Director and Deputy Communications Director for the Bush campaign.
And now the kicker. In his recent book, Armed Madhouse, Greg Palast notes that there were fifty such lists, each of which included approximately 2000 names, mailing addresses, and a spreadsheet--all of which were in a file titled "CAGING-XLS." Which brings us to a related topic.
Ironically, provisional voting was a well-intentioned, albeit naive idea, that was quickly perverted by the rapacious Republican Party into another method by which Democratic (read black or lower income) votes could be thrown out. Simply put, a provisional ballot is a means by which the GOP can steal additional votes and future elections. A voter is allowed to obtain a ballot, even if the voter's name does not appear on the voting rolls. The ballots cast under such circumstances are marked as provisional, and under ideal circumstances, are counted, pending a review after the polls are closed. The assumption here is that your provisional ballot will eventually be counted unless it can be demonstrated that you are not a legitimate voter.
Initially sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus as a response to nationally based election fraud in Florida during in Florida during the 2000 Presidential Election, provisional voting was quickly, and, in retrospect, suspiciously agreed to by the Grand Old Party. The Republican response was the Orwellian titled "Help America Vote Act," which, among other electoral bastardizations, mandated that the fifty states hand out provisional ballots. Regrettably, it did not direct the states to count them. In Ohio, only days prior to the 2004 Presidential Election, Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, the co-chairman of the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign in Ohio (think Katherine Harris in a three piece suit) issued a new diktat: if a provisional ballot was cast in the "wrong" district it would not be counted. Subsequently, many voters were not even informed as to where the correct precinct was located. Instead, they were informed that the correct precinct was irrelevant because they had cast a provisional ballot. Moreover, in many cases, the correct precinct could have been located by merely strolling to another table in the school gym where the people had congregated to vote. The results in Ohio were telling. At least 33,998 provisional ballots were thrown out because they had been cast in the wrong district. Nationwide, approximately 3,107,490 provisional ballots were cast. Of that number a third, or 1,090,729 were rejected, tossed out. You just have to admit--those caging lists proved useful when the GOP decided to fix the election by dumping all those provisional ballots.
Computerized Dirty Tricks in Ohio
Sadly, the situation gets even worse. In a bizarre twist of fate (assuming of course that you can refer to election fraud as a bizarre twist of fate) there's a distinct possibility that John Kerry actually won the state of Ohio, which--surprise surprise--would have given him a victory in the electoral college. Of course the unusual thing about all of this is that we may never know the actual degree to which Ken Blackwell and his puppet masters in Washington rigged the election, because the Republican and Corporate Powers That Be wasted little time when it came to covering up (read "destroying") the evidence.
Ohio State law mandates that only three percent of a county's vote has to be tallied by hand before the entire county can be recounted. Under normal circumstances, the three percent is obtained by selecting a whole precinct or only two or three precincts to meet the three percent requirement. After the ballots are counted by hand, the sample ballots are then counted by a tabulator. In the event that there is a discrepancy, the remaining ballots must be counted by hand. If there is no discrepancy, the remaining ballots are mechanically counted.
In Ohio, a representative of Triad Governmental Systems appeared in Hocking County where he allegedly made several adjustments to the Hocking County tabulator. According to sworn testimony in Columbus County, Ohio, Green Party Candidate David Cobb stated:
"A representative from Triad Systems came into a county board of elections office unannounced. He said that he was just stopping by to see if they had any questions about the upcoming recount. He then headed into the back room where the Triad-supplied tabulator...is kept. He told them there was a problem with the system, had a bad battery and had' 'lost all of its data.' He then took the computer apart and started swapping parts in and out of it and another 'spare' tower.type PC also in the room. He may have had spare parts in his coat as one of the BOE people moved it and remarked how heavy it was. He finally reassembled everything and said it was working, but not to turn it off.
"He then asked which precinct would be counted for the three percent recount test and the one which had been selected as it had the right number of votes was relayed to him. He then went back and did something else to the tabulator computer.
"He said Triad Systems representative suggested that since the hand count had to match the machine count exactly and since it would be hard to memorize the several numbers which would be needed to get the count to come out exactly right, that they should post the series of numbers on the wall, where they would not be noticed by observers. He suggested making them look like employee information or something similar. The people during the hand count could then report these numbers no matter what the actual counts of the ballots revealed. This would then 'match' the tabulator report for the precinct exactly. The numbers were apparently the final, certified counts for the selected precinct."
Cobb later stated "The source of this information believes they could lose their job if they came forward... "
After the recount Hocking County Officials decided to go with a different precinct "
The implication here is obvious. A representative of Triad may well have rigged the recount so that the hand counted sample ballots and the tabulator count thereof would match, thus avoiding a recount of the entire county.
Why, if you didn't know better, you'd think that the Republicans were fishing for precincts which would avoid a county-wide recount. And now the bad news. Similar misbehavior apparently took place in other counties, including Green, Monroe, and possibly others.
Needless to say, this kind of conduct violates both federal and Ohio State Law, but that doesn't seem to matter to the Republican Party which is determined to win elections either by hook or by crook.
Forced Redistricting in New Orleans
You no sooner think the Republicans have hit a moral low but what they find a way to sink even deeper into their own sewage. As if the above examples weren't bad enough. GOP machinations have sunk to an all time low in Louisiana where the Republicans are using the aftermath of hurricane Katrina as an opportunity to change the population, the voting demographics of a once predominantly black and democratic stronghold.
Between downtown New Orleans and the French Quarter you'll find some of the most beautiful (and, we might add, expensive) townhouses that you could possibly hope to find. This area had not been severely damaged by the flood, the water never reached the door sills, and yet, for reasons which boggle the imagination, the residents of this area were forcibly removed by the 82nd Airborne, which informed the residents that they would be shot if they did not evacuate. To this day, the doors and windows of these townhouses are decorated by prison bars which have been welded to the doors and windows; the electricity has been turned off, and the residents are still not allowed to return to their homes. Translated into modern English, you can be arrested for trying to enter your own home.
As if to rub salt into an already open wound, FEMA refuses to reveal what parts of the city will be rebuilt; won't reveal in which areas you will be allowed to purchase flood insurance; won't reveal where the levies will be repaired, and won't reveal the housing standards that will be utilized during reconstruction.
By this time, you're probably asking yourself a few questions. Why would the Powers That Be drag their feel when the life of an industrial American city is in the balance. Why hasn't the black mayor of a predominantly black American city been more forceful in this regard?
The answer is obvious. The Republicans want a smaller New Orleans with fewer blacks. Oh, they'll keep a few remnants to keep the tourists happy and to project a sense of legitimacy to the rest of the country, but when it's all said and done, the Republicans are, in effect, trying to transform New Orleans into a playground for the white, upper class, conservative elite. And if anyone is foolish enough to think for a moment that Mayor Ray Nagin will do anything to stop this, please remember that mister Nagin is a former Republican. He may be a black mayor, but he is a Republican first, a black second, and an American last. He, like the Republicans in Washington, understands that if nothing is done, Katrina refugees will simply give up and decide to abandon their city and their homes. And that's abominable, because New Orleans was a black, working, industrialized city; it had the highest percentage of black home ownership in the United States
Regrettably, it didn't have to turn out this way, but this is what happens when you combine greedy developers with rabid privatization. New Orleans has always been a coveted target for rapacious developers who have looked upon Black Americans as an obstacle to their lucrative pet projects. Moreover, prior to the flood, the Bush Administration handed a sweet heart contract to Innovative Emergency Management, a company whose primary qualification was the fact that it made fairly generous contributions to the Republican Party. Innovative, believe it or not, had been hired to create an evacuation plan for the city of New Orleans, a task which it never even bothered to tackle.
The upshot to all of this is that after Katrina, the situation played into Republican plans on two levels: It created a lucrative situation for private developers and greedy corporations, and it gave the GOP an excuse to ethnically cleanse New Orleans for both, financial and political purposes.
In the meantime, we have 73,000 refugees in a FEMA trailer camp on a parking lot in Baker, Louisiana. This camp, by the way, has been enclosed by barbed wire and is completely subcontracted--right down to the privately hired mercenaries who guard it. And the tragedy in all of that is that it now appears as if this horrific GOP tactic has succeeded. A majority of the displaced refugees have, in fact, given up. More than half of the population of New Orleans has yet to return, and the Powers That Be are openly encouraging refugees to settle with friends and relatives in other states (eg Houston, Texas, a red, Republican sea that can easily afford to absorb a few refugees without endangering its political demographics).
You just have to give the Republicans credit. In the early days of the Hitler Regime the Nazis were content to harass or beat their victims. Later, the dreaded 1935 Nuremberg Laws stripped Jews of their German citizenship and banned marriages between Jews and Germans. In a similar vein, the GOP is content to exile blacks from a predominantly black city, and they certainly have no problem when it comes to bastardizing, or even making up the law as they go along, when they want to ethnically cleanse the City of New Orleans.
Those were just a few of the many topics that we could have discussed. Sadly we don't have the time nor the space to discuss other issues. Like the fact that in 2004 the Republicans mailed official-looking fliers, informing voters that crowded polling places would require Republicans to vote on Tuesday, Democrats on Wednesday; or the fact that Republicans jammed phone lines, preventing Democratic voters from learning where they should cast their votes; or misinforming voters that they couldn't vote if they were behind on child support ot if they had outstanding traffic violations, ad nauseaum. Yes, we'd like to discuss so much more, but we still have one more issue to discuss...
By Adolf Hitler
The complete, unabridged edition
1939, Houghton Mifflin Company
by Gregg Palast
See the chapter titled "The Con."
2006 Dutton, New York
WEBSITES Black Box VotingHomepage etc
Was the 2004 Election Stolen?
By Robert F. Kennedy Juinior
From the online edition of Rolling Stone Magazine http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/10432334/was_the_2004_election_stolen/4
SPECIFIC SOURCES WEBSITES Democracy Crisis Election 2006: Will All Votes Count?
From Democractic Underground .com
Proof of Ohio Election Fraud Exposed
By William Rivers Pitt
December 15, 2004
From Truthout.issues http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/121604Z.shtml
Black Voters in New Orleans
By Ed Davis
Common Cause Apilr 19, 2006 http://www.commonblog.com/story/2006/4/19/13428/7894
The August 27, 2006 broadcast of Ring of FireMike Papantonio interviewing Greg Palast
Topic: Republican dirty tricks in New Oreleans
Broadcast on WCPT 850 AM Chicago
The New Face of Jim Crow: Voter Suppression in America
People For The American Way
RADICAL VIEWS ON THE CONSTITUTION AND THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM:
STRICT CONSTRUCTIONISM AS A MEANS OF OPPRESSION
"There is no independence of law against National Socialism. Say to yourselves at every decision which you make: 'How would the Fuhrer decide in my place?' In every decision ask yourselves: 'Is this decision compatible with the National Socialist conscience of the German People?' Then you will have a firm foundation which, allied with the unity of the National Socialist People's State and with your recognition of the eternal nature of the will of Adolf Hitler, will endow your own sphere of decision with the authority of the Third Reich and this for all time."
Dr. Hans Frank, Commissioner of Justice and Reich Law Leader, to German judges in 1936
From THE RISE AND THE FALL OF THE THIRD REICH: A HISTORY OF NAZI GERMANY By William L. Shirer Page 238
When the far right complains about "activist judges" they are actually complaining about an independent judiciary which recognized the unconstitutional nature of the unitary form of government as proposed by their would be Fuhrer, George W. Bush. On a broader level, the term "activist judges" has also been applied to those judges who would expand the rights of their fellow Americans, as opposed to the truly activist judges on the far right who, having taken their oaths to defend and uphold the Constitution, would use their seats to limit or even abolish the rights of American people. In other words, the only activism which is coming from the American judiciary is not from the left, but from the right, which has seen the constitution as an inconvenience for at least twenty-six years and probably longer.
A case in point was Friday's decision by a federal appeals court which sided with the Bush Administration in an electronics surveillance case, a decision which will inevitably make it easier for the regime in Washington to tap our phone calls and broadband transmissions. I won't bother you with the details of the case; instead I shall merely ask that you click on Appeals Courts Backs Bush on Wiretaps for more information. That said, I will offer the following commentary.
This is not a good sign.
The far right has been packing the federal judiciary for the better part of twenty-six years And when they weren't able to further pack the judiciary they blocked (during the Clinton Administration) virtually any federal court nominee who didn't pass their reactionary litmus test, virtually guaranteeing that the instructionsoffered by Doctor Frank to German Judges in 1936 would become a reality for Republican Judges in 2006.
I see no reason to differentiate between the situation that occured in Nazi Germany and the situation which currently exists in the United States. Both Frank and Hitler were opposed to the idea of an independent judiciary. Both, Bush and his inncer circle, are dedicated to the idea of an obedient judiciary that will rubber stamp virtually any attempt by this president to impose right wing Christianity and limit the rights of those who disagree with their very narrow and very unconstitutional agenda Just as the National Socialists of the 1936 were dedicated to the eradication of the Wiemar Constitution, so too are George W. Bush and his fifth column followers dedicated to the abolition of the form of government that was handed down to us by James Madison and Alexander Hamilton. I don't know if they want to create Christian theocracy in which non Christians will serve in the roll of second class citizens, or if they want to create a cult of one in which the president is the supreme commander in a unitary form of government. For all I know the might embrace the worst of both alternatives--a repressive theocracy in which the President serves as a sort of Totalitarian Divine.
But I do know this: Right wing activists want to use the federal and state judiciaries to dismantle our Constitution. They even have a process, a "legal" philosophy, by which they intend to accomplish this. It's called the doctrine of "strict constructionalism" and it's based upon the truly oppressive idea that Americans in the year 2006 should interpret the constitution in the same way that it was interpreted in the late 18th Century. They genuinely believe that the Constitution is a lifeless piece of rock, that it should be interpreted in a manner that will grant the fewest possible liberties to the fewest possible people. I would not be surprised if, at some future date, these strict constructionists were to propose bills and amendments, or reactionary judgements that would truly take us back to 1787, to a time when a black man was considered only 3/5 human. I would not be surprised if they were to propose measures that would abolish the 19th Amendment and recreate a system in which voters were defined in terms of white, male property owners. As you can tell, 1787 was a fine time to live--if you were a white, male, Christian property owner with enough slaves to keep the plantation up and running. But it wasn't such a fine place to live if you were black, female, Jewish, or otherwise non-christian. And yet these right wing activists routinely espouse a system of constitutional law that would both, ignore more than 200 years of history, and drag us back to the bad old days when a select ruling class of self-declared divines was allowed to vote, to a time when the State legislatures elected our Senators, etc
Instead of a legal philosphy which recognizes both, social and technological changes, these radical right wing activists (many of whom come with the most dismal of qualifications) propose a repressive batsradization which would almost invariably be used as a millstone around the necks of nonwhites.. And to make the situation even more bizarre, the idea of original intent wasn't even the intent of the Founding Fathers. The Framers knew that American society would evolve. They foresaw this. To that end they gave us the right to amend the Constitution. They left certain provisions deliberately vague, understanding that the Constitution would be interpreted by future judges. Moreover, Thomas Jefferson, who was not a framer per se, actually suggested that no generation had a right to impose its beliefs on the next generation, going so far as to suggest that each generation should tear up the constitution and rewrite it from scratch. That may sound radical, but it is no less radical than the idea that we should all live in a replay of 1787 and ignore every artistic, religious, technological, or societal development that occurred during the last 219 years.
Moreover, the term strict constructionalism is so vague that it means next to nothing, and, as if that weren't bad enough, at the very worst it is little more than a catch phrase, a buzz word, for the appointment of conservative, activist judges.
Ultimately the term strict constructionist, like the term judicial restraint is Orwellian in both intent and practice. Translated into modern English, it means protections for the rich and powerful--not to mention a class war upon the poor and powerless. Indeed, a constructionist view of the Constitution has very little to do with the Constitution itself, but a great deal to do with the people who believe that corporations should dominate both, the government and the every day lives of the American people. Like Benito Mussolini, strict constructionists believe that the American people have been given too many rights, that the wrong kinds of people (perhaps gays, lesbians, racial minorities, and non-Christians) have been given too much freedom. Indeed, they seem to be acting on the old adage that says "democracy is beautiful in theory, in practice it is fallacy" Or, if you prefer, "Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power." That too may sound outrageous, until you realize that those are quotes that are attributed to Benito Mussolini, the Italian granddaddy of European fascism. This may come as a shock and a revelation to the right wing activists (I just can't bring myself to call them judges) but the Republic did very nicely as a Republic for nearly 119 years. The founders did not want us to be a monarchy; the founders did not want us to be a theocracy, and--no matter what the Neocons may believe--they did not want us to be an empire. And if the right wing activists don't get that then I see no reason why they should be called Americans when they are so clearly dedicated to overthrowing the Framers' creation. When it's all said and done, the present incarnation of the Republican Party prefers he "stability" and "order" of an economic caste system over freedom and social mobility. And to secure that objective they will do anything, even appoint reactionary judges like Samuel Alito and Supreme Court Justice John Roberts, to preserve their archaic views of law, order, and social stagnation.
Ultimately, modern day Republicans do not believe in democracy--and that isn't surprising when you consider the fact that so many of them are operating under a corportist mindset.
"Democracy will in practice lead to the destruction of a people's true values. And this also serves to explain how it is that people with a great past from the time when they surrender themselves to the unlimited, democratic rule of the masses slowly lose their former position; for the outstanding achievements of individuals...are now rendered practically ineffective through the oppression of mere numbers."
From the unabridged edition of
The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany
by William L. Shirer
1959, 1960 Simon and Schuster
Adolf Hitler: by John Toland
Der Fuhrer: Hitler's Rise to Power
by Konrad Heiden
1944 Houghton Mifflin Company
by Adolf Hitler
1939 Houghton Mifflin Company
Quotes From Thinkexist.com http://en.thinkexist.com/quotes/benito_mussolini/
Adolf Hitler's Views and Opinions on Democracy
By Matt Brundage From publications http://mattbrundage.com/publications/hitlerdemocracy.html#democracydefinition
I am not a strict constructionist and no one ought to be posted on The University of Chicago Faculty Blog
From Reconstructionism to Dominionism, Part 2
By Mainstream Baptist
November 26, 2005