September 30, 2004

Chalk one up for the good guys

Well I was relieved by the debate. Kerry did a good job, and Bush totally flaked out. No thinking person can have watched this debate and concluded that Bush deserves reelection.

I was astonished by Bush's total collapse and inability to articulate anything other than slogans his handlers have fed him.

My only disappointment was Kerry's courtliness, but perhaps that's the best way to win over people.

This was a real good outing.

September 29, 2004

The end of American democracy?

Many people have said to me that this is the most important election in their lifetimes. I neither agreed nor disagreed with the statement, but have just been thinking about whether it is so.

Today I concluded that the statement is true indeed.

I believe that the present regime is so immoral and dishonest, that another 4 years could mean the end of democracy.

1. The Bush crowd (the "fascists") fixed the election in Florida, disenfranchising tens or even hundreds of thousands of US citizens. The head of the Bush campaign organization was in charge of the election. It is a fact that under honest election conditions, Gore carried Florida, and Gore rather than Bush would have been president.

2. No one has been prosecuted for the crimes that were committed in Florida, because the crimes were federal, and John Ashcroft is in charge of the US Department of Justice. Were he an honest public official, he would be prosecuting the legion violations of federal law which occurred.

3. As every knowledgeable lawyer knows, the conduct of the US Supreme Court was totally illegal. In the first place 2 of the judges in the majority were required to be recused from the case, Scalia because 2 of his sons worked for the law firm representing Bush, Thomas because his wife worked for Bush and her job only existed if Bush were the winner. In the second place the decision itself was totally contrary to the unbroken line of authorities decided by the Court over a span of more than 30 years, all of which held that the equal protection clause does NOT mandate that people in different areas be treated equally (witness, e.g., the San Antonio School District case, in which it was held that it was permissible for children in poor school districts to receive an inferior education to that received by children in rich school districts, since it was okay to discriminate on the basis of poverty, poverty not being one of the factors meant to be prohibited by the equal protection clause). It was a totally fake decision, and the court signalled that by stating -- for perhaps the first time in US Supreme Court history -- that the decision could not be cited as a precedent. That is because the US Supreme Court did not want to ever have to explain how they came to their lawless conclusion.

4. The Bush regime is totally merged with the corporations it serves, and is even willing to wage war, and to occupy foreign lands, at the cost of thousands of lives, in order to aid its corporate allies.

5. The fascists in the White House seek to curry popular support by continually making references to disconnected symbols that have emotional resonance: 9/11, 'sanctity of marriage', rights of 'small business owners', 'family values', 'trial lawyers'. Meanwhile their legislation and acts break down families, deprive families of medical care and the right to subsistence, enhance the ability of large businesses to crush small businesses. Their lack of vigilence, and their obsession with corporate greed for oil, caused 9/11. And they have no problem whatsoever with 'trial lawyers' so long as they're trial lawyers that represent large corporations.

6. The Bush campaign is afraid of any kind of dialogue, insisting on 32 pages of preconditions before agreeing to debate Kerry, not letting anyone into a Bush speech who does not sign a loyalty oath, having dissenters and protesters arrested, carting innocent people off in mass arrests to silence dissent at the Republican convention.

7. The 2000 campaign sent a bunch of brownshirt congressional aides to intimidate election workers who were trying to count votes.

8. The tactics used in 2000 in Florida are being used all over again in 2004, due to the lack of law enforcement and totally fixed election process presided over by Bush's brother Jeb.

9. The Supreme Court, packed with right wingers, is on the verge of overturning Roe v Wade, a decision which has saved thousands of lives, and restored safety and freedom of choice to women.

10. The fascists, although quick to condemn dictators who won't play ball, are more than pleased to do anything for those dictators who ply them with money, such as the Saudi Arabian aristocracy, who behead people for being gay, stone women for wearing the wrong clothes, and haven't a clue as to democracy.

11. The fascists are attempting to fix the 2004 election across the country, making sure that the new electronic voting machines manufactured by Diebold DO NOT HAVE PAPER TRAILS. Meanwhile the head of Diebold -- the manufacturer of the voting machines -- has stated that he 'will do everything in my power to deliver Ohio for George Bush'.

12. Although campaigning in 2000 as a conciliator, and although he received no mandate for his platform from the people, having lost the popular vote, Bush then proceeded to go on a reign of terror, using the power he has to solidify more power, and showing no mercy to Democrats.

13. His crowd have illegally gerrymandered the Texas congressional districts in order to solidify a Republican stranglehold on Texas's congressional delegation.

14. Some of the most central themes in the Bush presidency have been the destruction of our personal liberties: destroying the separation between church and state, stifling dissent, instituting preventive detention, destroying the right to privacy, taking away the freedom of reproductive rights, taking away the right to vote, failing to enforce the laws to protect competition, taking away freedom of speech, arresting people who wear dissenting t shirts.

The similarity between the United States in 2004, and Germany in 1933, is startling.

How can any thinking person doubt that if the Bush regime gets another 4 years, it will be about nothing but (a) increasing the power of the corporations, (b) packing the courts with right wing judges, (c) destroying all checks and balances, (d) continuing to destroy our personal freedoms, and (e) destroying the rule of law in this country?

For these reasons I have concluded that this is the most important election in my lifetime.

September 22, 2004

Henry Wallace on American Fascism, NY Times, April 9, 1944

From an "op ed" piece by then Vice President of the United States, Henry Wallace, published in the New York Times on April 9, 1944 :


"The dangerous American fascist is the man who wants to do in the United States in an American way what Hitler did in Germany in a Prussian way. The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power.
If we define an American fascist as one who in case of conflict puts money and power ahead of human beings, then there are undoubtedly several million fascists in the United States. There are probably several hundred thousand if we narrow the definition to include only those who in their search for money and power are ruthless and deceitful. Most American fascists are enthusiastically supporting the war effort. They are doing this even in those cases where they hope to have profitable connections with German chemical firms after the war ends. They are patriotic in time of war because it is to their interest to be so, but in time of peace they follow power and the dollar wherever they may lead."


Sound like anyone you know?

A more fair society and world

I am a lawyer by profession, who lives in New York City.

I am a post war baby boomer, born in 1948, who grew up learning and trying to live by the ideals we were taught in history class.

I am appalled by the far right wing domination of public life, which began in 1981 with the Reagan presidency, and has continued to date, reaching its apex with the coup d'etat that took place in 2000 with the U.S. Supreme Court illegally ordering the State of Florida not to count the votes that were cast, and with the demonic George W. Bush presidency which in 4 years has brought our country's reputation to its lowest point in history.

The present administration represents the textbook definition of "fascism": a secret alliance of business and government which curries public approval by dishonestly invoking irrelevant, but highly charged, symbols which trigger strong emotion, such as the flag, religion, and "family values".

The present government has put all regulatory agencies in the hands of the industries they are sworn to regulate, thus putting the foxes in charge of the chicken coop, and ensuring the total merger of the moneyed interests into the government.

Abroad, this regime is in league with those who would 'privatize' water in the poorest countries, ensuring that poor people are required to drink water mixed with sewage and disease, so that wealthy 'moneyed' people might charge whatever unregulated price they choose for the water. One wonders what the Bush administration has in store, for its second term: the privatization of air, so that we will have to pay for the air we breathe?

The presidential campaign is composed of meaningless appearances, in which Bush surrounds himself with loyalists already pledged to support his candidacy, where no one is permitted to attend who might be in disagreement, and where -- if a dissenter should appear -- he is quickly silenced, removed, and arrested.

It is not America. It is totalitarianism, and it is the antithesis of democracy.

The hopeful sign is that there is a groundswell of grassroots activism, the likes of which I have not seen in my 56 years, and young people and others registering to vote in numbers that are unprecedented.

Don't believe the polls; they are being manipulated by right wing corporate media interests. Just get out there. Register, vote, get your friends and neighbors to register and vote. Help people get to the polls.