Wednesday, December 27, 2006

We've seen this movie before

Throughout my life, until recently, I learned about the phenomenon of fascism and the world war that it caused, and thought to myself “that could never happen again”. After all, it was so very long ago, and fascism was an anomaly caused by the leadership of a madman. As far as fascism in the U.S. was concerned, the thought never occured to me. I wrongly thought America was immune to this because of strong democratic principles in our Constitution, upheld by the great moral principles of her citizens.

Lately, more and more historians of are saying that America is in danger of sliding into fascism, bit by bit. History is repeating itself. For example, Hitler introduced the Enabling Act, (similar to the Patriot Act), and it passed the German legislature democratically. Hitler took over that country in gradually and legally.

Observing the similarities begs the question, how does a nation slide from being a democratic republic, and egalitarian society, where free speech is not only valued, but enshrined in your founding documents and enforced by the law of the land? How do you slide from that, to being a state where people are simply vanished; whether they are undocumented workers, whether they are “terror suspects” like Jose Padilla, who is no longer charged with any terror crimes? I would submit that a good chunk of what makes that transition is people in the media URGING IT.

The racism against Muslims seems to be getting worse and worse. The Reich Wing Media is attacking with the organized murderous rage of the German SS, vital sources of information, such as the brave hosts of Air America Radio who would dare to speak truth to power. I have never heard such vitriol.

BILL O’REILLY: “So, all those clowns at the liberal radio network, we could incarcerate them immediately. Will you have that done please? Send over the FBI and just put them in chains?”

Ha, ha. Very funny, Bill.

The so-called “liberal media” (which does not exist, outside the Air America syndication and a single TV show “Countdown” with Keith Olberman on MSNBC), is one of their favorite targets. Another are the so-called “Hollywood liberals”. In other words, talented, creative, artists, actors, and musicians with a conscience, who use their celebrity to speak truth to power.

Mike Galleger was invited to sit with George W. Bush, one of the Reich Wing talk show hosts to broadcast from the White House talking about Jill Behar, on The View, who made a comparison between Donald Rumsfeld and Adolph Hitler – that they are both war criminals. I’ll go on record saying they are both war criminals, although I don’t think there’s a good clean comparison between Rumsfeld and Hitler. Hitler was a maniacal madman, the consequence of whose actions caused the deaths of 10s of millions of people. Don Rumsfeld, he’s a small time mass murderer. Just a few hundred thousand people who have died as a result of his actions. But they are both war criminals. So, she points this out and Mike Galleger goes NUTS.

MIKE GALLEGER: “This is for Joy Behar – I think we ought to round up all these folks, round up Joy Behar, round up Matt Damon, who last night on MSNBC attacked George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld, and Dick Cheney… round up Olberman, take the whole bunch of them, and put them in a detention camp until this war is over, because they are a bunch of traitors.”
What did Matt Damon say that he should be put into a concentration camp for? This is Mike Galleger, the Reich Wing talk show host, friend of George W. Bush, saying that Matt Damon should be put in a concentration camp. What did he say that was worthy of that?

MATT DAMON: “The sacrifice of the war should be shared by everybody, and if the President has daughters that are of age, then maybe they should go too.”

THAT’S worth putting somebody in a concentration camp?!?

Mike Galleger is representative of the same kind of media that expedited the rise of the Third Reich. (see Wake up and smell the fascism)

This phenomenon is tearing America apart from the seams. For example in the music field, once upon a time, the Dixie Chicks and Ricky Skaggs worked together, but because Natalie Maines made an innocuous spontaneous comment about the President in the lead-up to the war in Iraq, (“I’m ashamed that the President is from Texas”), Ricky decided that she had committed an act of treason. Many like-minded Republican country fans agreed, “How could she say that about our Dear Leader? So they formed mobs that smashed their CD’s in a similar fashion to the book burnings of Nazi Germany. Treason is punishable by death in this country. Does Natalie Maines deserve to die for that off the cuff comment?

It’s looking more and more like the German Fatherland in this country. Anyone can be named an enemy combatant without trail, and rendered to a secret prison and tortured for the rest of his or her life. If you would have told me 6 years ago that Habeus Corpus would be suspended, that the 1st, 4th, 5th, 7th, and 9th amendment of the Constitution would be broken, the Bill of Rights would be shredded, so that our houses could be searched without our knowing it, our phone conversations and online activity could be monitored, that we would attack a sovereign nation that didn’t attack us, and as a result 3000 Americans and 600,000 innocent people from that country would die, I would have said you were crazy. But everyday I wake up to this horrible reality, and I wonder where my country went.

Historians say this kind of thing happens almost in perceptively. It didn’t happen overnight. Most Americans didn’t even notice it, but now many are drawing eerie parallels to 1930’s Germany.

Milton Mayer was a Jewish American reporter from Chicago. He spent a year or two in Germany after the war, and interviewed ten average Germans. He really got inside their heads and wrote the book “They thought they were free” based on their stories. It chronicles in a very personal way, Germany’s slide toward fascism. Here are some excerpts. You can draw your own parallels to current day events in this country.

“What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if he people could understand it, it could not be released because of national security.”

"This separation of government from people, this widening of the gap, took place so gradually and so insensibly, each step disguised (perhaps not even intentionally) as a temporary emergency measure or associated with true patriotic allegiance or with real social purposes. And all the crises and reforms (real reforms, too) so occupied the people that they did not see the slow motion underneath, of the whole process of government growing remoter and remoter.”

"To live in this process is absolutely not to be able to notice it - please try to believe me - unless one has a much greater degree of political awareness, acuity, than most of us had ever had occasion to develop. Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, 'regretted', that, unless one were detached from the whole process from the beginning, unless one understood what the whole thing was in principle, what all these 'little measures' that no 'patriotic German' could resent must some day lead to, one no more saw it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing. One day it is over his head.”

“Pastor Niemoller spoke for the thousands and thousands of men like me when he spoke (too modestly of himself) and said that, when the Nazis attacked the Communists, he was a little uneasy, but, after all, he was not a Communist, and so he did nothing: and then they attacked the Socialists, and he was a little uneasier, but, still, he was not a Socialist, and he did nothing; and then the schools, the press, the Jews, and so on, and he was always uneasier, but still he did nothing. And then they attacked the Church, and he was a Churchman, and he did something - but then it was too late."

“‘Yes,’ I said.’”

“‘You see,’ my colleague went on, "one doesn't see exactly where or how to move. Believe me, this is true. Each act, each occasion, is worse than the last, but only a little worse. You wait for the next and the next. You wait for the one great shocking occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will join with you in resisting somehow. You don't want to act, or even to talk, alone; you don't want to 'go out of your way to make trouble.' Why not? - Well, you are not in the habit of doing it. And it is not just fear, fear of standing alone, that restrains you; it is also genuine uncertainty.”

"Uncertainty is a very important factor, and, instead of decreasing as time goes on, it grows. Outside, in the streets, in the general community, 'everyone is happy.' One hears no protest, and certainly sees none. You know, in France or Italy there will be slogans against the government painted on walls and fences; in Germany, outside the great cities, perhaps, there is not even this. In the university community, in your own community, you speak privately to your colleagues, some of whom certainly feel as you do; but what do they say? They say, 'It's not so bad' or 'You're seeing things' or 'You're an alarmist.'”

"And you are an alarmist. You are saying that this must lead to this, and you can't prove it. These are the beginnings, yes; but how do you know for sure when you don't know the end, and how do you know, or even surmise, the end? On the one hand, your enemies, the law, the regime, the Party, intimidate you. On the other, your colleagues pooh-pooh you as pessimistic or even neurotic. You are left with your close friends, who are, naturally, people who have always thought as you have.”

"But the one great shocking occasion, when tens or hundreds or thousands will join with you, never comes. That's the difficulty. If the last and worst act of the whole regime had come immediately after the first and the smallest, thousands, yes, millions would have been sufficiently shocked – if, let us say, the gassing of the Jews in '43 had come immediately after the 'German Firm' stickers on the windows of non-Jewish shops in '33. But of course this isn't the way it happens. In between come all the hundreds of little steps, some of them imperceptible, each of them preparing you not to be shocked by the next. Step C is not so much worse than Step B, and, if you did not make a stand at Step B, why should you at Step C? And so on to Step D.”

"And one day, too late, your principles, if you were ever sensible of them, all rush in upon you. The burden of self-deception has grown too heavy, and some minor incident, in my case my little boy, hardly more than a baby, saying 'Jew swine,' collapses it all at once, and you see that everything, everything, has changed and changed completely under your nose. The world you live in – your nation, your people – is not the world you were in at all. The forms are all there, all untouched, all reassuring, the houses, the shops, the jobs, the mealtimes, the visits, the concerts, the cinema, the holidays. But the spirit, which you never noticed because you made the lifelong mistake of identifying it with the forms, is changed. Now you live in a world of hate and fear, and the people who hate and fear do not even know it themselves; when everyone is transformed, no one is transformed. Now you live in a system which rules without responsibility even to God.”

“How is this to be avoided among ordinary men, even among educated ordinary men?” Mayer’s friend asked rhetorically.

He said, “Frankly, I don’t know.”

Here’s how. The Germans in the thirties did not have the benefit of looking back to previous Nazi-like regimes and saying, “Ah, oh! We’ve seen this movie before”.

We have that benefit. So when we see stories like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, saying, “Well, we have nuclear power now.” And Bush saying, “Well, we’re sending another fleet of aircraft carriers to park up alongside Iran” - at the same time Iran is talking about switching oil dollars into euros. Well, we’ve seen this movie before.

Last week, George Bush signed a bill allowing us to sell nuclear technology to India. Sending this fuel in the first place is like pouring gasoline on the fire of war that could spread worldwide. But Bush went a step further. He didn’t like the restrictions that Congress tried to place on India’s use of the stuff, so he attached a signing statement to the bill. Bush has now attached over 1000 signing statements to laws passed by congress. Most of our laws are meaningless now, because of these signing statements. Executive power increases out of control whenever a country is at war. We’ve seen this movie before.

When will we ever learn? We have the precedent of history, so we have no excuse. We also have a new Democratic congress with subpoena power to investigate how this happened, and who is responsible. Perhaps the new legislative branch can reign in the arrogant overreaching executive branch, which continues to threaten the world with more pre-emptive wars. Perhaps the 110th congress can also gradually undo the tremendous damage this administration has inflicted upon this country, but it will take generations to dig us out of the economic hole we find ourselves in. Facing a recession, George Bush’s solution is to encourage Americans to shop. He suggested that after 9/11, when we could have united the world behind us. Shopping didn’t work then, and it won’t work now, because Americans have a negative savings on the average, and spending beyond our means will simply put another nail in the coffin of the middle class, which has been attacked by every administration since Reagan.

Obviously, we cannot leave the politics up to the politicians, be they Democrats or Republicans. The power still belongs to the people somewhat, so we must start the parade, and the politicians will naturally jump in front of it and carry the baton. The ISG is correct. The situation is dire. Our President is ignoring the intervention. The dry drunk is threatening Iran. We are teetering on the brink of World War III. We must act, before it’s too late. Otherwise, like Pastor Niemoller, if we survive the “long war”, we will have to humbly tell the saga of the downfall of American Democracy and economy to our children, and how we stood still and did nothing to stop it.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Nukes for mangoes

America’s nuclear leadership - trading nuclear technology for tropical fruit.

Last Monday, December 18th, George W. Bush signed into law a bill that would allow the U.S. to trade nuclear, or as the shrub would say “Nucular” technology to India.

I believe there should be certain minimum qualifications for a President - he should at least be able to pronounce the type of weapon he's launching when he presses the button.

By signing this bill, Bush scrapped the U.S. Atomic Energy Act. And by doing that he scrapped the idea of us being a force for less nukes in the world. It will also fan an arms race with India's nuclear rivals Pakistan and China. Now that we can ship nukes to India, can we also now ship nukes to Pakistan? How can you ship nukes to India and not to Pakistan? Pakistan has fought three wars with India, and rising power China will expand their arsenal against New Delhi. Beijing will also offer Islamabad nuclear assistance that Washington has refused to provide.

Last summer India test-fired the Agni-III surface-to-surface nuclear capable missile off the coast of Orissa state. It crashed into the Bay of Bengal without reaching its target. The listed range of the Agni III, is 1,865 miles, hundreds of miles longer than that of other missiles India has tested, would put more of China's major cities within striking distance.

The despotic murderer Idi Amin once said that the way to make peace in the world is to arm every country with nuclear weapons. He also admitted to eating human flesh, and thought his face was the most beautiful face in the world.

Another despotic murderer, George W. Bush, after signing the bill, said, “After 30 years outside the system, India will operate it’s civilian nuclear energy program under internationally accepted guidelines, and the world is going to be safer as a result.” Looks like the two despots use the same philosophy and Orwellian doublespeak. Up is down - right is wrong - war is peace. Bush is living in the alternate universe called upsidedown world.

The deal reverses 30 years of U.S. policy that, until July 2005, opposed nuclear cooperation with India because it developed nuclear weapons in contravention of international standards and never signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty, or NPT.

The new law “may well become the death warrant to the international nuclear nonproliferation regime,” said Democratic Rep. Edward Markey of Massachusetts.

What this says to the rest of the world is that if you develop your nukes outside the system, then you get rewarded for it by the United States.

In this deal, India gets nuclear technology and fuel, in exchange for opening some of it’s civilian sites for inspection. The eight of it’s military nuclear sites will closed. The question as to whether or not India was trading nuclear technology with Iran was closed off for comment by the Bush administration. Congress asked about that when they were voting on this. The Bush administration said “You don’t have any right to know about that.”

Bush sold the Indian government technology which was really everything that India dreamed of having, because India is not a signatory to the non-proliferation treaty, so India gets to import nuclear fuel and technology to produce nuclear energy, and also got permission from Bush to continue to build as many nuclear weapons as it desires. They can build bombs in their secret sites, and no one can inspect them. Bush just went over there gave them Carte Blanche, and in so doing completely obliterated the very serious non-proliferation treaty, because other countries who see this deal will think they can do the same thing. It’s a good deal for India. What did we get?

“The United States is looking forward to eating Indian mangoes.” – George W. Bush, March 2nd, 2006

We got mangoes.

They did that deal in under two hours, because Bush really didn’t feel like negotiating that day, and he didn’t want to change his schedule, so he just said, “whatever you want”, and walked away.

India and Pakistan are natural rivals because of disputed territory in Kashmir.

Thirty years ago, an Indian holy man, Swami Prabhupada, predicted that World War III would start between India and Pakistan.

From a morning walk conversation, April 4, 1975, in Mayapur, India:

Prabhupada: Yes. All Western adventure to keep people in darkness. And that is going on. Now it will be smashed by the next war. Next war will come very soon.
Tamala Krsna: (Surprised) Oh!
Prabhupada: Yes.
Tamala Krsna: Next war...?
Prabhupada: Your country, America, is very much eager to kill these Communists. And the Communists are also very eager. So very soon there will be war. And perhaps India will be the greatest sufferer… Because America is aiming to start the war from India.
Devotee: Oh!
Prabhupada: Yes. Because India and Russia, they are...
Brahmananda: They are... Friendship.
Prabhupada: No. Side by side. If the war is started from India...
Rupanuga: So India will become...
Prabhupada: And the Russians are ready here already, I have heard, with soldiers and... Not soldiers. I mean to say...
Hamsaduta: Missiles.
Prabhupada: Yes. They are also vigilant… Pakistan will start the war with India. And then everything will be...
Tamala Krsna: Will this war spread to many different countries and continents?
Prabhupada: Yes.

The swami predicted WWIII would come “soon”. How soon is soon? Well, back in 1956, Prabhupada wrote an article in Back To Godhead called "Blind Materialism” in which he gave a very chilling estimate:

“By the grace of the illusory energy of Godhead we are now engaged more and more in the dangerous type of work in this machine-age. The machine-age is the result of dangerous type of work. When we leave aside the culture of spiritualism, we are entangled in the dangerous type of work. Nobody can live for a moment without work and therefore when finer elements are made to stop working, gross materialism occupies the devil's brain. The result is that we have now come to the age of nuclear weapons for the destruction of material civilization. By the law of nature, the nuclear weapons have been produced for crushing the result of blind-materialism.
The peace move of different powers of the world, by the false gesture of suspending the experiments of dangerous weapons--may be very much pleasing to the comparatively weak nations--but these temporary peace-moves will prove useless by the law of material nature. When the dangerous weapons are produced, they must be utilised for annihilation of blind materialism by the plan of the Daivi Maya or the external energy of Godhead. The problem can be solved when they are taught about their spiritual identity. The soul-killing civilization is progressively taking to the dangerous type of work by invention of huge mechanical means. The illusory energy is creating this atmosphere for blind materialism and on the other hand she is arranging for their destruction also. Such opposite methods are called illusory energy. The human energy is thus misused for breaking the same thing which is produced by the same energy. It is something like blazing the fire and extinguish it by pouring water simultaneously--a sign of insanity or spoiling the valuable human energy meant for spiritual culture. History has been repeated so many times and many many leaders of materialism like Napoleon, Hitler and others now remain in name only without any sign of the material progress planned by them. De-Stalinisation has already begun in Russia. Nobody is enjoying the result of civilization created by atheists like Ravana, Kamsa, Aurangzeb, Napoleon or Hitler. Everything is in oblivion and this teaches us the lesson that the materialistic plans of the present age will also meet with the same fate after a lapse of 50 years. Therefore blind materialism does not bring in any permanent relief in the world.”

Do the math. 1956 + 50 years = 2006

It just looks like, to me the whole world is preparing so that Dick Cheney can have the war he wants. People were really disappointed that we didn’t really get to use nukes on Russia - people like Cheney, who I believe has an “innie”, and he want to use nuclear weapons so he can feel like a man. They never got their war because Russia went broke fighting Afghanistan. If that is what everybody is posturing for, and people are literally choosing up sides right now by launching their missiles and showing where they are right now in WWIII, it’s probably going to be us, Israel, and India, against Pakistan, China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea.

Although the situation in the Middle East is currently spiraling out of control, I don't think even that is going to be enough for Bush and the chicken-hawks in his administration. It looks like they will never settle down until they get WWIII, the war they really wanted. That's the gift the President wants to give you this holiday - perpetual war for perpetual profit.

And a basket of tropical fruit from Haridas Patel's Orchard.

Merry Christmas, America!