To subdue the enemy without fighting is the supreme excellence. - Sun Tzu

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Never Mind

just go here instead.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Curbing Hubris

I came across this, I think through Bless's blog, and it gave me an idea:

Let's make a massive internet petition to apologize to the people of Iraq and the Middle East in general for our fascist leaders' invasions and the death and destruction they have caused.

This petition-making website looks like it can host a petition, so we'll need the following:

Petition Statement:
(someone who can write well please do this. Something along the lines of, "The undersigned, citizens of countries involved in the invasions of Iraq and/or Afghanistan, apologize to the people of those countries for the death and destruction caused by these inhuman actions. We will do all in our power to repair your countries, reconcile the irreperable damage, and prevent another unjustified invasion.")

Signer information:
-Name (required)
-E-mail (req.)
-Country (req.)
-Comments (optional)

Petition Background Information:
-Petition Title (the website automatically adds the word 'petition' to the end)
('Apology to the People of Iraq and Afghanistan' Petition)
-Petition Target (such as 'The People of Iraq and Afghanistan')
-Petition Community and Community URL (obviously the PBA and PBA HQ at http://pbahq.smartcampaigns.com/)
-Petition Author: I'd rather not have my name on this, because of paranoia. Nick?
-Eligible Signatories would be "Coalition member-country citizens"
-Category: "Politics and Government - International"
-Geography of Petition Applicability: International
-State of Petition Applicability: International

Petition Author Contact Information
-I'm pretty sure we all already know where Nick lives.
-Share Contact Info with Press: If this goes somewhere, the PBA is sure to be mentioned, and whoever's name is on it might get the Touchdown of Blogging, a major media interview.

Any other points/notes? I'll do a running edit of this post (and the copy of this post at the now-mostly-defunct PBA forums) to reflect the most current agreed-upon changes.

Monday, January 17, 2005

No Mail- err, MLK Day

Over 30 (2000) years ago, one of this country's (planet's) greatest speakers was a catalyst for peace and tolerance here and worldwide. How quick we are to praise a wise man though we ignore what he actually said.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Fascism Checklist

came across this here by farker Brutal.
"Political scientist Dr. Lawrence Britt recently wrote an article about fascism ("Fascism Anyone?," Free Inquiry, Spring 2003, page 20).

Studying the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia), and Pinochet (Chile), Dr. Britt found they all had 14 elements in common. He calls these the identifying characteristics of fascism. The excerpt is in accordance with the magazine's policy.


The 14 characteristics are:


Powerful and Continuing Nationalism

Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottoes, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays."

Check.

"Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights

Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc."

Check.

"Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause

The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial, ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc."

Check. Who are "The Terrorists"? This administration hasn't been very specific, but there are zillions of 'em, and we apparently have to kill them all before they kill us.


"Supremacy of the Military

Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized."

Check. Never before has the military ever been so glorified.

"Rampant Sexism

The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Opposition to abortion is high, as is homophobia and anti-gay legislation and national policy."

Check. While women are not told their job is to produce healthy children, their rights are definitely restricted by this administration.

"Controlled Mass Media

Sometimes the media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common."

This one is not currently the case, although it should be noted that our media consists of a bunch of pansy little girls who cannot form opinions, say anything bad about anyone, or point out that anyone is an idiot.

"Obsession with National Security

Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses."

CHECK. "The Terrorists will strike possibly within the next few weeks... we expect them to try something around the election... or Christmas... We'll just raise the threat level to be safe."

"Religion and Government are Intertwined

Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions."

Check. Faith-Based initiatives anyone?

"Corporate Power is Protected

The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite."

CHECK +1. This government has shown raving support for business, giving corporations more rights than even individual people get, allowing them to ransack the environment, and changing the tax code blantantly to favor corporations and the wealthy.

"Labor Power is Suppressed

Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed."

1/2 check, because it hasn't really come up. Note, however, that Bush's Big Social Security Fix is to cut benefits.

"Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts

Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts is openly attacked, and governments often refuse to fund the arts."

Check, as per the slur "white tower College liberals".

"Obsession with Crime and Punishment

Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations."

Check. Patriot act, anyone?

"Rampant Cronyism and Corruption

Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders."

Check. What does this administration do when it needs a new Secretary of State? It picks Condoleeza Rice! ??? What did her former job as National Security Advisor have to do with international diplomacy, beside also serving on the National Security Council?
Who do they pick to run the EPA? Mike Leavitt, former Utah governor who oversaw some of the worst deregulation and lowering of protections that left the state open to be wantonly ravaged by corporate interest. For the Environmental PROTECTION Agency!

"Fraudulent Elections

Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections."

Doubleplus Check: Why did exit polls show that Kerry won?

"Any of this sound familiar to you guys?"

Edit: Daily Kos has much better commentary.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

also,

happy birthday me, so there.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Christian Founding Fathers: So What?

It is foolish to base our current laws entirely on what some people thought 230 years ago without considering the current reality.
If the Constitution and other early laws were re-written today, they would not include references to Christianity. This is a country of many religions, and we have a secular government. This is the reality today. No religion can be treated any better or worse than any other, because the laws are based on indisputible facts and truths. Religions are based on faith, which is beyond facts and evidence. If the government 'respected' any religion above any other, it would have to abandon its primary duty as defender of our freedoms.

So, no, you can't have the Ten Commandments in a courthouse, because that's lifting Judaism and Christianity above every other religion. If you put 'under God' in the pledge, then time can't be set aside specifically for it to be said in our secular government schools. Students can go ahead and say it on their own, as long as they don't interfere in class and as long as it's not broadcast to unwilling listeners (so, special after-school religious group, okay, entire student body, not okay). The word, and any references to, "God" need to come off our money in future printings, because that again raises a specific religion over every other religion.

This still leaves much leeway for evangelical, over-active Christian bible-thumpers who want to cram Jesus down everyone's throat. Churches will never be threated, for example. And they're not taxed, to boot! That's a pretty good deal for something based on a philosophy which is inherently unverifiable. You can have all the religious TV programs you want, and knock yourselves out building religious book/gift stores, celebrating Christmas, and praying before meals- Even if you're in a government building. Just don't try to preach to an unwilling listener, and don't spend MY tax money advertising YOUR religion.