Dec. 10, 2004

SERMON: Living Under Fascism]

SERMON: Living Under Fascism Davidson Loehr 7 November 2004 First UU Church of Austin [Excerpt] You may wonder why anyone would try to use the word 'fascism' in a serious discussion of where America is today. It sounds like cheap name-calling, or melodramatic illusion to a slew of old war movies. But I am serious. I don'€™t mean it as same-calling at all. I mean to persuade you that the style of governing into which America has slid is most accurately described as fascism, and that the necessary implications of this fact are rightly regarded as terrifying. That'€™s what I am about here. And even if I donĂ¢€™t persuade you, I hope to raise the level of your thinking about who and where we are now, to add some nuance and perhaps some useful insights. The word comes from the Latin word '€œFasces'€ denoting a bundle of sticks tied together. The individual sticks represented citizens, and the bundle represented the state. The message of this metaphor was that it was the bundle that was significant, not the individual sticks. If it sounds un-American, it'€™s worth knowing that the Roman Fasces appear on the wall behind the Speaker'€™s podium in the chamber of the US House of Representatives. Still, it'€™s an unlikely word. When most people hear the word "fascism" they may think of the racism and anti-Semitism of Mussolini and Hitler. It is true that the use of force and the scapegoating of fringe groups are part of every fascism. But there was also an economic dimension of fascism, known in Europe during the 1920s and '30s as "corporatism", which was an essential ingredient of Mussolini'€™s and Hitler'€™s tyrannies. So-called corporatism was adopted in Italy and Germany during the 1930's and was held up as a model by quite a few intellectuals and policy makers in the United States and Europe. continued...... Gary Williams

Dec. 8, 2004 News | Whitewashing torture?

Whitewashing torture? A veteran sergeant who told his commanding officers that he witnessed his colleagues torturing Iraqi detainees was strapped to a gurney and flown out of Iraq -- even though there was nothing wrong with him." continued....

Dec. 7, 2004

Why the Feeney vote-rigging story sounds like disinformation

Why the Feeney vote-rigging story sounds like disinformation ABOUT DISINFORMATION: Like a good lie, it has elements of truth. Trouble is, the truth doesn't relate to the nuts and bolts of the story. For example in the Tom Feeney vote-manipulation story, people are documenting relationships between Tom Feeney and Yang, and between the writer of the story and other scandals, but so far the evidence presented does not back up the vote manipulation story itself" Continued.....

"The Bookie of Virtue" by Joshua Green

"The Bookie of Virtue" by Joshua Green: "The Bookie of Virtue William J. Bennett has made millions lecturing people on morality--and blown it on gambling. By Joshua Green 'We should know that too much of anything, even a good thing, may prove to be our undoing...[We] need ... to set definite boundaries on our appetites.' --The Book of Virtues, by William J. Bennett No person can be more rightly credited with making morality and personal responsibility an integral part of the political debate than William J. Bennett. For more than 20 years, as a writer, speaker, government official, and political operative, Bennett has been a commanding general in the culture wars. As Ronald Reagan's chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, he was the scourge of academic permissiveness. Later, as Reagan's secretary of education, he excoriated schools and students for failing to set and meet high standards. As drug czar under George H.W. Bush, he applied a get-tough approach to drug use, arguing that individuals have a moral responsibility to own up to their addiction. Upon leaving public office, Bennett wrote The Book of Virtues, a compendium of parables snatched up by millions of parents and teachers across the political spectrum. Bennett's crusading ideals have been adopted by politicians of both parties, and implemented in such programs as character education classes in public schools--a testament to his impact." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Seems to have a little gambling problem You seriously have to wonder if the real frive behind these loudmouthed moralists is denial of "self" or a well thought up means to divert attention away from themselves. Mycos

Dec. 6, 2004

Texas to Florida: White House-linked clandestine operation paid for "vote switching" software

Texas to Florida: White House-linked clandestine operation paid for "vote switching" software By Wayne Madsen Online Journal Contributing Writer December 6, 2004—The manipulation of computer voting machines in the recent presidential election and the funding of programmers who were involved in the operation are tied to an intricate web of shady off-shore financial trusts and companies, shady espionage operatives, Republican Party politicians close to the Bush family, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) contract vehicles. An exhaustive investigation has turned up a link between current Florida Republican Representative Tom Feeney, a customized Windows-based program to suppress Democratic votes on touch screen voting machines, a Florida computer services company with whom Feeney worked as a general counsel and registered lobbyist while he was Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, and top level officials of the Bush administration. continued..... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Quite the story. Lets hope it marks the beginning of the end of the Bush crime family

Dec. 5, 2004

Kerik nomination is a ticking time bomb

Kerik nomination is a ticking time bomb Ellis Henican December 3, 2004 Campaign bodyguard to Rudy Giuliani. Errand boy for the Saudi royal family. Energetic exploiter of Sept. 11th tragedy. Tough-talking publicity-hound vowing to bring law and order to Iraq - then hightailing it out of there after a disastrous 14 weeks, leaving the place far less safe than he found it. Oh, the bullet points on Bernie Kerik's real-life resume just go on and on. But is this really the guy we want standing between us and the terrorists? George W. Bush apparently thinks so. White House sources were saying last night that Kerik, the scandal-scarred former commissioner of the New York Correction and Police departments, will be named today to take Tom Ridge's job as head of homeland security. For now, let's give the Bush folks the benefit of the doubt: Maybe they've been wowed by Kerik's shameless swing-state Kerry-bashing in Bush's behalf. ('I fear another attack, and I fear that attack with ... Senator Kerry being in office responding to it.') Maybe they've been bullied by Giuliani's bulldog lobbying for a loyal business buddy and after-hours pal. ('OK, Karl,' you can almost hear Rudy say, 'I won't be attorney general, but you gotta take Bernie at homeland security!') Or maybe it's just that the FBI background check isn't back from the field.Whatever the reason, the White House personnel office really ought to ask some probing questions around New York. You can bet they'll get an earful of heads-up about this hard-charging, thick-necked, shaved-head lightweight. Let this be a warning from someone who's followed the man's ladder-climbing career: He's a personal and professional time bomb the Bushies will learn to regret. Don't say I didn't warn you, guys! That's certainly the message that smart law-enforcement professionals......" Continued