September 17, 2007One Nation, In Denial -- David Podvin at makethemaccountable.com administers a little tough love to the American people in a piece called "Progeny of Gepetto", reminding us of things we'd rather forget. But then again, there may be some truth in the aphorism about people who forget history being forced to relive it. When someone mentions, as Podvin does so rudely in his opening line, that "In 1962, the Joint Chiefs Of Staff unanimously recommended that President Kennedy bomb New York City to frame Fidel Castro and provide a pretext for conquering Cuba," it's the kind of thing that usually makes people's eyes glaze over. It's such an outrageous datum, though well documented. Kill the messenger I say! How dare he disturb my sleep! The nerve of him to bring it up! Such an ugly piece of history, and such an aberration in America, where democracy prevails and freedom rings across thine every mountain tip, or top!
This is especially annoying at a time when, as Podvin brings up next, by some wild coincidence, practically the same scenario as the joint chiefs signed off on in 1962, but that President Kennedy declined to adopt, actually played out in the U.S. in 2001. Of course we don't know that 9/11 actually was a false-flag operation as was recommended in 1962, but it is remarkable how closely it resembles it from the outside. Making extrapolations between the differences between JFK, who was an honored World War II hero and George Bush, the stool pigeon of the military industrial complex, can't lead us to any final conclusions either. But the speculation is irresistible. And the increasing consolidation of power and economic momentum of the military industrial complex in the 40 years since Kennedy vetoed the measure 40 years ago do seem to heighten the probability that such a measure could find legs today. But of course that is no proof that it did.
Another disturbing historical fact that's been poking its ugly head up a lot lately is the attempted coup launched in the early 1930s by a group of America's wealthiest, most aristocratic industrialist families who wanted to overthrow Roosevelt and institute a government on the model of Mussolini's fascist state in Italy. (As reported by the book The Plot to Seize the White House: The Shocking True Story of the Conspiracy to Overthrow FDR by Jules Archer, or the BBC's "The White House Coup".) That was another of those ghastly old stories of American fascism in which Prescott Bush's name pops up, again coincidentally and insignificantly. It's a little irritating to be woken from one's pleasant dream with such unpleasant historical facts... Could such forces still be at play in the U.S. today as in 1962 or 1932? Does the fascistic tendency of unchecked industrial capitalism still play a role in today's world, or was all of that obliterated with Hitler's corpse?
America is a nation in denial, looking over the edge of the abyss of fascism and turning away in a crippling seizure of vertigo.
And in other news ... The BBC reports "US Iran report branded dishonest," saying "The UN nuclear watchdog has protested to the US government over a report on Iran's nuclear programme, calling it 'erroneous' and 'misleading'."
September 19, 2007No Profile in Courage this JFK -- John Kerry is like a caricature of himself, the wishy-washy politician as portrayed in the song of the same name: "I support the left, but I'm really leaning to the right..." Kerry came out with a perfect politician statement about the tasering incident (he had to say something.) If it were an algebraic equation it would reduce to zero. If CBS News is to be believed, he said he still doesn't know why the cops tasered a student while he stood quietly by, saying, "I could have handled the situation without interruption." On the other hand he didn't want to criticize the cops for their decision to "use force", that is, five cops on one student resorting to a taser gun because they apparently didn't thinK their ten hands and handcuffs and police authority were enough to handle the situation without resorting to the electroshock weapon. Kerry came forth in typically forceful and courageous fashion, saying, "I don’t know what transpired. The police must have had a reason to make their decision." Kerry was not even willing to commit himself on the question whether five cops needed to use a stun gun to subdue a student who was ... raising his voice, talking too much, whatever it was he was doing. "That is a law enforcement issue." Well, then, no need for him to comment, he who recently sought to lead the executive branch, the supreme law enforcement agency. Kerry is a sad story. So much potential as a Vietnam veteran against the war back in the early 1970s. What happened? With every act he seems to diminish.
Shoot First ... Here at State News at Michigan State University, police explain why they would use the stun gun. “Crowd control is our main job," said East Lansing police Lt. Kevin Daley, "Demonstrators have the right to demonstrate, but they have to do it within the confines of what we allow. Many times, that’s very tough.... If an individual was so unruly that he could not be removed without individuals being hurt, we would deploy whatever means necessary to ensure safety of all individuals." Looking at the tape, it's very hard to make the case that the kid was any kind of threat, or even rowdy before the cops grabbed him. At that point, he resisted them, which was certainly not wise, but five police could have easily handled him without resorting to a stun gun. If five cops can't handle an unarmed, unagressive, physically undeveloped young nerdy student without resorting to a stun gun, they shouldn't be police. Managing Student Cattle -- Farhad Manjoo at Salon, once a champion of the now thoroughly discredited Diebold voting machines, compiled a list of links of videos of recent campus police taserings, apparently becoming quite a popular practice these days. It Gets Worse -- In this video, one of the cops can clearly be seen aiming his pistol at the student. Oh wouldn't that have been nice if that lunatic had gotten one tiny bit crazier and pulled the trigger? What are these cops on? They seem extremely excitable, quick to resort to ultimate force. Supporting the Troops, Ruler Style -- Kissinger, quoted in Woodward and Bernstein's book Final Days told Nixon and Alexander Haig that military men are “dumb, stupid animals to be used” (see Fairbanks Daily News-Miner). Kissinger has never disputed the book.
September 20, 2007GOP Filibusters Restoration of Habeas Corpus -- This is really astonishing. It's amazing to be in an America where Habeus Corpus, a recognized human right since the Magna Carta of 1215, has been abolished, and when some senators try to restore it, the Republican party filibusters to prevent it from reaching a vote. There are so many ways this is astonishing, where do you begin? The Republicans threatened to outlaw filibustering when they controlled congress. Now they use it for everything they don't like that they can't stop some other way. So what does the GOP care for so passionately that they would pull out this extreme measure that they recently threatened to outlaw? The right of an accused person to be shown the charges against him, to be charged at all. The Republicans want their dictator Bush to have absolute power over everyone, to be able to throw anyone in prison that he wants and leave them there without another thought, without having to bother to have a case against them or even to cite a charge, a reason for their incarceration. This is what the party of Lincoln, so-called, now stands for. These people have such abhorrent positions it is hard to believe they ever expect to face the will of the people. They behave like rulers who are unaccountable. And by the last few elections, they have good reason to believe that they will be well insulated from will of the people. This in itself is very disturbing. Bush has had an approval rating down in the 30 percent range since shortly after he allegedly won the 2004 election. This right wing regime obviously does not rely on or care about popular support. nwprogressive.org
Providing Cover -- The Washington Post reported that "Senate Blocks Bill on Iraq Combat Tours". For some reason the Post seems to want to be very mysterious about the fact that it was a Republican effort to block the bill that would have assured "that U.S. troops be given at least as much time at home as they spend on combat tours, shelving an amendment that supporters said was aimed at easing the strain of prolonged military deployments but that opponents argued was intended to undercut the Bush administration's Iraq war policy." The Post portrayed it as the "Senate" that rejected the bill when it was a party line vote, with Republicans opposing and making it impossible to get the 60 votes required to pass it, or the 67 needed to override Bush's inevitable veto. The reason it needs 60 votes to pass and not just a majority of 51 votes, is because the Republicans are filibustering. They are willing to do anything to run out the clock and make it impossible for the bill to get the 60 votes it needs to bring it to a vote on the floor of the Senate. So it's a Republican opposition to the bill, but most of the major papers, like the Post are obfuscating that detail, burying it or not mentioning it at all. The real story, the real drama was the filibuster. Why would they not want to report that essential part of the battle they are reporting on? Who can say, but it looks as if it's such a despicable policy to try to defeat a bill that is so humane and fair to our service people that no one wants to be seen as responsible for blocking it, and the Washington Post is only too happy to accommodate their wish to keep undercover. The NY Times also wrote that "the Senate" blocked the measure, not the more accurate and specific "Republicans block Habeus Corpus". You have to go outside of the mainstream for these simple parliamentary mechanics to be discused, in thecarpetbaggerreport.com, for example. The Republicans are more defensive of Bush's war policy than of the people who are sacrificing their lives to Tase 'Jerks' -- On Wednesday there was a tendency for reports about the tasering of the student at the University of Florida to start to focus on what a bad guy the person on the receiving end of the taser gun is. Travis Reed of the Associated Press wrote that "details from his online writings and videos raised the question of whether his harangue during the forum was genuine or some kind of stunt." Freeman (ironic name) focuses on how the kid's website is lousy, his writing includes something called "disorganized diatribe" and how he is known for "pranks". Salon's Farhad Manjoo, wrote an article called "Was the Tasered student asking for it?" in which Manjoo writes, "another side of Kerry's heckler emerged today. His jerky side. More important, there's also some suggestion that Meyer went into the forum looking for trouble. The cops overreacted, but was Meyer egging them on for the camera?" Now it's perfectly legitimate for Manjoo to report Meyer's "jerky side" if he wants, and it could be said that he is filling out the story, giving background, getting deeper into the whole story. But his emphasis, his focusing on Meyer's allegedly bad qualities smells of being a justification of tasering students who are "jerks" or "pranksters" or write things on their websites that seem stupid to the reporter. All of that may be true, and it may even be that Meyer was looking for trouble, as these articles suggest. But that is beside the point. If it is so easy for a student to get cops to exhibit their hysterical reactions and leap to pulling out the high-tech weapons, then it's far too easy to make them look bad. They are bad. They are unprofessional, at least by the standards of policing in a democratic society, not if they are supposed to be storm troopers. We can all see this video for ourselves; we don't need to take someone's word for what happened. There is just no way that this "jerk", even if he was "looking for trouble" should have gotten it so easily and should have been able to induce these people to behave unprofessionally and to use excessive force. Of course whether Meyer thought he was right or wrong, once the police gave him an order, if he didn't obey it, he was putting himself in danger. Agreed. He is not without fault in the situation. That is not the issue. The issue is that they used excessive force. With five armed police and one slightly obnoxious nerd, it just wasn't necessary to pull out the taser -- and the gun, which was also aimed at his head by one of the officers. That is the issue. Whether he should have been restrained is another issue, but if you accept that his behavior required intervention, you still have not justified the use of the taser. There is just no way those five cops or the crowd were in danger of Meyer. In fact when they tased him they were holding him down on the ground. If there had been danger, it was over at that point. They used excessive force, they went too far, they exercised poor judgment and Meyer's being a "jerk" doesn't justify it. Meyer's pulling a gun or a knife or another weapon, or even striking a blow with his fists, or even a verbal threat might have justified something more extreme than just firm force, but there was no such trigger, and with five police, the next more extreme action might have been a little rougher handling when he was resisting, but not a taser and surely not when he was already well subdued and pushed to the ground absolutely helpless. It's disturbing to see these writers trying to justify the tasering based on Meyer's behavior, as if there are not much less extreme and perfectly effective ways to subdue such an unintimidating character as this. O'Reilly: Tase 'Wimps' -- Bill O'Reilly calls Meyer a "wimp", apparently thinking that that somehow justifies tasing him. But it would seem that that would be a reason why the police could have easily dealt with the wimp with 10 strong arms. Too Late -- The oil companies and their corporate brethren have successfully postponed any action to ward off global warming and now, according to the latest study from the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, it's probably too late. According to The Independent, "A rise of two degrees centigrade in global temperatures – the point considered to be the threshold for catastrophic climate change which will expose millions to drought, hunger and flooding – is now 'very unlikely' to be avoided, the world's leading climate scientists said yesterday. The latest study from the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) put the inevitability of drastic global warming in the starkest terms yet, stating that major impacts on parts of the world – in particular Africa, Asian river deltas, low-lying islands and the Arctic – are unavoidable and the focus must be on adapting life to survive the most devastating changes." Bush's Big 29 -- A Zogby poll puts Bush's approval rating at 29 percent. In fact, very soon after he took office after the 2004 election in which he supposedly won a majority, Bush sunk into the 30s and never got out of them. Some election. Rather vs CBS -- Dan Rather is suing CBS for making him a scapegoat when they fired him for the story about Bush's failure to live up to his military obligation. The story was essentially true, but one piece of evidence cited was shown to be unreliable. NY Times
September 21, 2007Now the Economic Backlash -- According to USA Today, "The federal government recorded a $1.3 trillion loss last year - far more than the official $248 billion deficit - when corporate-style accounting standards are used, a USA TODAY analysis shows. The loss reflects a continued deterioration in the finances of Social Security and government retirement programs for civil servants and military personnel. The loss - equal to $11,434 per household - is more than Americans paid in income taxes in 2006." This is some seriously deep doodoo. "Taxpayers are now on the hook for a record $59.1 trillion in liabilities, a 2.3% increase from 2006," says the article. "This hidden debt is the amount taxpayers would have to pay immediately to cover government's financial obligations. Like a mortgage, it will cost more to repay the debt over time. Every U.S. household would have to pay about $31,000 a year to do so in 75 years." Hold on to your hat.
'There Is No Time' -- by Lou Reed Impeach, Imprison, Imagine -- Wyoming citizens topple Cheney effigy in front of his property. youtube
September 23, 2007Don't Mention Habeus Corpus -- The Sunday morning political talk show circus is always interesting. Somehow none of them seemed to find time to discuss the Republican filibusters last week against restoring habeus corpus and against guaranteeing Iraq soldiers more rest time in between deployments. These are both issues that should be middle-of-the-road American causes, not even controversial if politicians believe what they say, and both would have actually passed with the congressional majorities supporting them if not for Republican filibusters and the ultimate sure thing of a presidential veto. Hard-fighting tooth-and-nail Republican minority opposition prevents the U.S. from granting a drop of mercy to "our fighting men and women", and from recognizing a basic human right and principle of justice for centuries, a cornerstone of free societies: the right to have charges brought against you if you are imprisoned. Republicans love to blabber about how we are "defending our way of life" by destroying Iraq and killing thousands of innocent bystanders, but when it comes to defending these basic principles, they fight hard against them. Then our staunch institutions of freedom of the press who are charged with informing the people, neglect to point out the outrage of the filibusters by saying "Senate rejects..." not pointing out that the majority of the Senate did not reject, it was due to a Republican filibuster (see Washington Post and NY Times) Then when the Sunday TV news shows come around, they don't even mention it. The McLaughlin Report, one of the liveliest of the news shows, found time to report on the rising addiction to computers, which they assigned an acronym to and elevated to the status of a new syndrome, but didn't find time to comment on the filibuster against habeus corpus or giving American service people a little bit of a break before they break.
Bad People -- Of course Bush, McCain and their ilk say the habeus corpus should not apply to people the President decides don't deserve it. "These are bad people," they say. What if the next president (if there is one) decides that it's Bush and Cheney that are bad people. Can we then put them in jail without charge? According to the Des Moines Register, mega-bestseller author John Grisham, said the Bush administration is built around "bad people with evil intent" and that Bush played politics as thousands died in Iraq. "The war is an immoral abomination that we'll pay for for decades to come," Grisham said. "We're paying for it now at the rate of 100 kids a month while Bush plays politics with it." The Anti-antiwar Fringe -- It was amazing to see the political establishment's reaction to the allegedly scandalous ad by MoveOn.org. On Chris Matthews political pundit roundtable, there was unanimous agreement that MoveOn.org is a scandalous instrument of "the left", is really "out there" and its ad criticizing General Petraeus was disgraceful and in bad taste. These political insiders are very threatened by having their monopoly on political discourse disrupted. This fringe element, as they see MoveOn.org, represents the two-thirds of America who are intensely opposed to the absurd catastrophe that is being played out in Iraq by the political establishment. The vast majority of the country and their opinions are just an intrusion on the insiders who have gotten used to running the show with no interference from the people of the country, who not only have no power, but not even any voice. MoveOn.org has provided some of this vast majority a voice, and for those who are used to monopolizing all the power and all the discussion, this is a rude interruption. They say its disgraceful for this ad to attack this great general "personally". But the ad legitimately attacks the general's betrayal of an essential principle: if he is a general functioning as a general and worthy of respect as a general, he is not serving the political interests of George Bush. If he gets out of his role as general and joins the political fray, then he must answer political criticisms. That was the message of the MoveOn.org ad, and if some object to the wordplay on his name, it's a side issue. Moveon is not criticizing him as a general, though it is their right to do so. It is not criticizing him "personally", which is their right, but is irrelevant to the political issues. But it is criticizing his political actions, and specifically his blurring of the lines between his job as a general and his submission to being used politically. The argument is that he is misrepresenting the situation in Iraq. It is not "going well". The "surge" is not "working". It's just another ploy, another fraud, another way to extend the catastrophe and avoid coming to terms with it and starting to repair the immense damage it continues to wreak. While the Washington establishment wants to hogtie, strangle and butcher MoveOn.org, the population responded very differently. While the Senate stopped its "normal" course of business to condemn a newspaper ad, the organization itself received a surge of support. According to MoveOn.org, "By midnight, over 12,000 people had donated $500,000—more than we've raised any day this year—for our new ad calling out the Republicans who blocked adequate rest for troops headed back to Iraq." (See Mother Jones) Misplaced Priorities -- According to Op Ed News, "The misappropriation of priorities was on full display this past Thursday when the Senate voted 72-35 to pass a resolution condemning the liberal anti-war group Move On.org for its full page advertisement questioning the credibility of General David H. Petraeus in The New York Times. Americans will hopefully ask why the Senate wastes time passing resolutions over advertisements in newspapers when there is a truckload of un-answered questions regarding the circumstances that led to this disastrous mess of a war sitting in the Senate’s parking lot, waiting to be unloaded and asked." Senate Clown Show -- According to Jeff Cohen at Yahoo, "With most Americans wanting troops out of Iraq, Democratic leaders in the Senate failed to get enough Republican votes to overcome GOP filibusters for fairly tepid change-course measures. They could get only six Republican votes even for a Jim Webb proposal simply requiring that U.S. troops spend as much time at home as they spend deployed in Iraq. But thanks to 22 Democratic clowns joining a Republican circus, the Senate was able to break the partisan impasse by overwhelmingly passing one bold measure: A defense of Gen. David Petraeus against a MoveOn.org newspaper ad. The resolution expressed 'full support" for the general and condemned "personal attacks on the honor and integrity of General Petraeus and all members of the United States Armed Forces.' Cable news networks that cheer-led our country into invading Iraq took a break from their latest all-O.J.-all-the-time binge to make an antiwar ad more controversial than the ongoing slaughter of Iraqis and Americans that the invasion predictably unleashed. And 22 Democrats were more desperate to distance themselves from the 3-million-member MoveOn than from less than 50 Republican dead-enders bent on prolonging the killing."
September 26, 2007Call to Investigate -- According to OpEd News, seven CIA veterans have called for a new investigation into 9/11.
Successful Publicity Stunt -- The Smith Sophian of Smith College reported that a professor at the neighboring University of Massachusetts, Lynn Margulis, geosciences professor, "recently made local news when she published a statement on www.PatriotsQuestion911.com, decrying the government's involvement in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. 'The 9/11 tragedy is the most successful and most perverse publicity stunt in the history of public relations,' wrote Margulis in her statement on www.PatriotsQuestion911.com. 'I suggest that those of us aware and concerned demand that the glaringly erroneous official account of 9/11 be dismissed as a fraud and a new thorough and impartial investigation be undertaken,' she added. She later added that the 'false-flag operation' was used to justify the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as 'unprecedented assaults on research, education and civil liberties.'" Successful Publicity Stunt -- Clyde Wilson on "Black Ops, Conspiracy and 9/11" at Lew Rockwell "I am not a 'conspiracy theorist,' but, like any old newspaperman, I am a skeptic. In the years of my misspent youth as a reporter I saw police chiefs, mayors, newspaper executives, and other dignitaries lie and distort and suppress the truth. I am inclined to suspect that such is even more likely among the feds, for whom the stakes are much greater. Is the U.S. government capable of such an atrocity? I take this to be true: the politicians who wield the immense powers of the U.S. government will murder Americans if it serves their agenda and they can get away with. To think otherwise is to take an excessively naïve attitude toward Power. Those politicians have a lifetime record of self-serving and lack of moral principle – else they would not be where they are. Power corrupts." The Eloquent Theologian -- Here's a listing of articles by David Ray Griffin posted a the Muslim-Jewish-Christian Alliance for 9/11 Truth.
September 27, 2007Patriot Act Unconstitutional -- Hurray! "A federal judge in Oregon ruled Wednesday that crucial parts of the USA Patriot Act were not constitutional because they allowed federal surveillance and searches of Americans without demonstrating probable cause," reports the New York Times. "'For over 200 years, this nation has adhered to the rule of law - with unparalleled success,' Judge Aiken's opinion said in finding violations of the Fourth Amendment prohibitions against unreasonable search and seizure. 'A shift to a nation based on extraconstitutional authority is prohibited, as well as ill advised.'" Oh joy! An American public servant who will actually stand up for the Constitution. This does not mean the Bush stooge Supreme Court will not overrule this ruling, but at least it has been stated.
Madman Craig A Little Longer -- Madly conflicted gay-bashing gay Republican Idaho Senator in monumental denial Craig now says he will stay in the Senatorial gravy train a little longer. He's instructed his lawyers to withdraw his guilty plea for "disorderly conduct" for tapping his feet a little too far into the neighboring stall of a public restroom in a Minnesota airport. (See the fair-and-balanced report on the great Fox News) Mr. Craig wishes it was really only disorderly conduct. If only it hadn't been a case of him drinking too much and throwing a table at someone who said he supported gay marriage. But no ... Now that he is withdrawing his guilty plea, wishing to pretend it never happened and have it all go away, as he thought it did before, presumably the legal process will grind into action again and the charge will be reinstated and he'll have to defend himself against it. What on earth he hopes to gain from all this is anyone's guess. A little time? Every week in the Senate, these boys pull in tens of thousands of dollars in "contributions", so every day of delay and useless drama could mean thousands of dollars in Craig's pocket. Who knows? Surely he doesn't really think this is all going to go away. All War All the Time -- Here's a great headline from USA Today: "Defense secretary seeks $42B for wars". As the paper reports, "The request brings the total 2008 price tag to $189 billion for next year. Congress has approved about $450 billion for the war in Iraq and $127 billion for the war in Afghanistan." This is in addition to the regular ongoing "defense" budget of over $400 billion a year. While bridges fall apart, children go hungry and without healthcare or education. It's the world's largest third world dictatorship. Senate Authorizes Force Against Iran -- Amid all the hoopla, all the distraction, pandering, posturing and hypocrisy 76 senators voted for and passed the Lieberman-Kyl amendment that authorizes the Mad Dog Bush administration to "combat, contain and [stop]" Iran using "military instruments." Obama sat out the vote. Hillary Clinton approved it. Think Progress
September 29, 2007Republicans Give Up California Battle -- The Republicans who wanted to change the way California's electoral votes are distributed in the presidential election so Republicans could pinch some votes from the Democratic state have given up. According to the LA Times, "Plagued by a lack of money, supporters of a statewide initiative drive to change the way California's 55 electoral votes are apportioned ... are pulling the plug on that effort... The Times' Dan Morain reports that the proposal to change the winner-take-all electoral vote allocation to one by congressional district is virtually dead with the resignation of key supporters, internal disputes and a lack of funds. The reality is hundreds of thousands of signatures must be gathered by the end of November to get the measure on the June 2008 ballot."
Iraq Vets Against the War -- According to Geoffrey Millard at Truthout, "a major factor in the end of the Vietnam war was the resistance within the armed forces that all but halted the ground war. While at the Veterans For Peace conference this year I spoke with the next generation of GI resisters, who are being compared with the soldiers successful at shutting down the military in Vietnam." Send the Armchair Warriors -- A letter to the editor of Chicago's Beacon News from Richard Snowden says, "War supporters should join battle. With our nation-building experiment in Iraq not exactly going according to plan and our troop surge not exactly getting the desired results, I would like to submit the following modest proposal. Let's have Congress introduce the Unlimited Support and Auxiliary Corps Of Workers to Augment and Redouble Deployment Act, or USA COWARD Act. Its provisions shall be as follows: 1. All able-bodied Iraq war supporters under 50 shall be drafted into the military and sent to Iraq immediately, to remain deployed until ultimate victory is achieved. 2. All able-bodied Iraq war supporters over 50 shall be drafted into a new organization known as Civilians Helping In Certain Key Enterprises as Needed, or CHICKEN. This group shall fulfill a variety of non-combat supplemental functions, such as cleaning latrines and staffing freedom fries stands in Baghdad markets. While it's great that so many Iraq war supporters have heroically chosen to stay behind and cheer on our troops from the comfort and safety of their homes, the team needs fewer cheerleaders and more players now. And besides, there's no danger involved; everyone knows that Baghdad is just as safe as any average town in Indiana, right? Iron Fist, Velvet Glove -- Chris Rowthorn's article "When America Went Fascist" posted on smirkingchimp.com nails it with some brutal truth. "When do you think the average German realized that he or she was living under a fascist dictatorship?" Rowthorn asks. "How about the Japanese or Italians of the same period? Do you think that Hitler, Mussolini or Tojo made a public announcement to the effect of, 'Dear Citizens: Please be advised that you no longer have any rights or political power. We have taken control of the government. Opposition and resistance are futile and will be punished.' The fact is, most of the 'good' citizens of these countries clung desperately to the notion that it was business as usual long after constitutional government was dead and buried. Sure, they knew that their governments were a little further to the right than normal, but as long as they kept earning money and eating well, they ignored the grim realities of fascism. It’s easy to understand why: the 'good' citizens weren’t members of officially scapegoated groups or political activists, and thus they never felt the iron first of fascism." Onward Christian Soldiers -- On Beliefnet, a site allegedly dedicated to "Inspiration, Spirituality, Faith" our great devout warmongering senator John McCain explains that the "Constitution established the United States of America as a Christian nation" and says he is not comfortable with the idea of a Muslim president.