This sample was published on OpEdNews on September 29, 2012.
I’m proud to announce my first eBook, Is It Fascism Yet?, has been published on amazon.com.
Is It Fascism Yet? is a collection of blogs I wrote beginning in January 2011 to shed some light and try to understand the dangerous changes this country is undergoing. I’ve revised and updated the blogs and included over 70 photographs, which I took while attending Occupy Wall Street rallies and other recent demonstrations as well as 21 powerful images by the insightful political satirist, Tracy Knauss. My articles have been published on: Dandelion Salad, OpEdNews, Reader Supported News, Progressive Activist Voice and NationofChange and several made it to the #1 position.
My blogs incorporate, among other things, the ever growing threat of fascism in our country, our illegal unjust wars, the military industrial complex, the corporate coup, the right wing agenda and the collusion of the corporate media, the dismantling of our rights and the Constitution, the Democrat’s and Obama’s capitulation to the right, the so-called debt crisis, the shock doctrine, Wall Street and the too big to fail banks, the Occupy movement and police brutality and Occupy Wall Street to name a few.
When I was about 11 years old my father, a highly decorated Colonel in the U.S. Army who fought in three wars: WWII under Patton, Korea and Vietnam, took me to Washington, DC to the Lincoln Memorial where he read the Gettysburg Address off the walls to me. “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” These powerful words fell from his lips into my heart.
My father had a deep abiding love for this country and he instilled that love in me. Although we were estranged for many years due to our opposing political views over the Vietnam War, I’ve come to understand we were both fighting for the same things just from a different perspective.
My writing’s are also a call to action. We must all stand up to the corporate forces of darkness that threaten our very existence and say, “Enough! No more! Not on my watch!” We are one and together we can ignite change. We deserve to live in a clean, healthy, peaceful world but it is up to us to make this happen.
“But remember, this power of the people on top depends on the people below. When people stop obeying, they have no power.” Howard Zinn
Here’s an excerpt from the book. Enjoy!
IS IT FASCISM YET?
Blog originally published January 28, 2011
Recently, I boarded the C train in New York City where I encountered a woman who looked to be in her late 70’s sitting on the subway bench wearing a t-shirt which read: IS IT FASCISM YET? That really got me to thinking.
Okay, granted maybe I’m hyper sensitive because I’m an Army brat who went to high school in Germany. Or maybe it’s because my father was a highly decorated Colonel in the United States Army who fought in Patton’s 3rd Army in WWII, Korea and Vietnam to protect our democracy. Or perhaps it’s my interest in history. I’m currently reading “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.” Whatever the reason, let me assure you this is difficult for me to say, but I’m beginning to think America’s starting to look more and more like a (gulp) fascist state.
But before we freak out and jump to any conclusions, let’s take a deeper look, shall we? Fascism is defined as “a radical and authoritarian nationalist political ideology. Fascists seek to organize a nation according to corporatist perspectives, values, and systems, including the political system and the economy.”
In early 2010, the Supreme Court passed by a vote of 5 to 4 the “Citizens United” case, giving corporations (including those with foreign interests) the same rights as individuals (personhood). This ruling allows corporations to contribute unlimited money to political campaigns without having to disclose anything. Or how about the Wall Street bailouts where our taxpayer dollars were given away to the very people who gambled, lost billions and sunk the global economy.
“Corporate Socialism” anyone?
And now we have more tax cuts for the rich, while millions of ordinary citizens lose their homes, their jobs and their futures. America’s income/wealth inequities are at the greatest level in our history and comparable to those in many Third World nations. It was recently shown we’re worse than Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen as evaluated by our own CIA!
Let’s keep going, shall we?
Fascism is normally described as being on the far right but there’s a scholarly consensus that fascism was also influenced by the far left but with a “focus” on solutions from the right. Sorry folks but that sounds exactly like what’s going on in our country today. I voted for candidate Obama because I believed he was antiwar (even though he said he would escalate the war in Afghanistan). I know what was I thinking. To me he appeared to believe in many of the same American principles I do. These include a safety net for the less fortunate, healthcare as a basic human right, good jobs, education as the key to creating a better life, clean energy, etc. You get the gist and, yet, at every turn President Obama’s capitulated to the right and the corporations, appearing to drop his original ideals before there’s so much as one real negotiation.
It’s the Obama shuffle. Speak to the left and step to the right. Don’t listen to what he says, he talks a good game, watch what he does.
During healthcare reform considerations, the public option was taken off the table early and without that option there’s no way to curtail our out of control insurance costs. And the private meetings with big Pharma made sure we can’t negotiate for better drug prices. We lost the battle for cost effective universal healthcare almost before it began.
Should we panic yet?
To be fair, there was “Wall Street Reform” which contained a significant provision for consumer protection. And in order to avoid a Senate confirmation, the President appointed in the interim, Elizabeth Warren, a champion for consumer affairs and the Middle Class. Unfortunately, no one’s seen or heard hide nor hair from her since. My suspicion’s she’s been relegated to a broom closet somewhere in the White House. (Actually she’s currently running for U.S. Senate (D-MA) and can be reached at ElizabethWarren.com.)
There’s clearly not a “Too Big to Fail” provision enforceable in the bill. In fact, the recent findings of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission shows the concentration of financial assets in the largest commercial and investment banks is significantly higher today than it was in the run-up to the crisis. But no matter, the banks go fiddle de de as they continue doling out huge bonuses to their insatiable, reckless, self-serving executives.
So I ask you who is in charge here? Certainly not “we the people.”
We the people did not ask for these bank bailouts and certainly not our foreign wars. We the people want peace, the public option and accountability but nobody is listening to us. No one’s been prosecuted for starting these unjust wars or stealing all of our money.
Because our elected officials don’t have to answer to us anymore. We have a government, which is “the best money can buy.” The politicians now get the bulk of their campaign money from Wall Street, billionaires like the Koch brothers and big corporations so if our politicians don’t play by their rules they don’t get their money, and the person who has the most money or the greatest access to money wins.
Fascist governments also forbid and suppress opposition to the fascist state and any movement that opposes it, i.e. Bradley Manning, Julian Assange. (And Occupy Wall Street) Fascist governments identify violence and war as actions that create national regeneration, spirit and vitality. They create lies, which are repeated endlessly and call their opponents uncivil. Endless wars are promoted and supported and they manufacture and use terms like “exceptionalism” or superiority to other nations or groups of individuals all the while pretending to have a license on truth.
America has the largest military budget in the world, larger than all the other countries in the world combined. America’s largest exports are war and weapons. We glorify violence on television and film and in our daily lives and we allow any nut job with ready cash to purchase a semi automatic weapon with extra large clips of ammo, by screaming Second Amendment rights and are then shocked and appalled when these guns are used to perpetuate violence.
This is utter madness, folks, stark raving insanity.
Now all good fascist regimes need enemies: blacks, Mexicans, immigrants, Muslims, Christians, Jews, almost anyone will do. Bush and Cheney claimed Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (particularly nuclear and biological) and when that turned out to be a big fat lie, no problem, they just repackaged it like the next new and improved laundry detergent. And when the Bush brand finally collapsed under the weight of their lies and deceit they were merely replaced and repackaged into Obama’s Just War or the “real war” in Afghanistan. Or is that now Pakistan? How about Yemen, Somalia or Iran?
And now we have Obama’s “kill list” whereby so-called terrorist are assassinated by missiles being fired from unmanned drones around the world.
Feeling safe yet?
And the corporately owned media gleefully jumps on the bandwagon and doles out the necessary fear and misinformation–falling in goosestep behind the latest corporate spin.
Remember how the Bush Administration so skillfully used yellow, orange and red alerts to keep us all upset and fearful so they could have their way with us like some sexual predator grooming us to come in for the kill? Well, they learned that tactic from the Russians. In the 50’s the Russians successfully used their alert system to keep their citizens in line and compliant with their wishes so why not use it here in America? They did and it worked. If you can keep people afraid they’ll do almost anything. Fear is a powerful motivator especially when it is not understood. Our brains do not function properly when we are afraid. We can’t think.
Personally, I know all this “war on terror” stuff is just a distraction to keep us afraid so we don’t see what’s really going on in this country, which is the largest heist in the history of the world. All our money’s being siphoned off to the .1%. So pay no attention to the bankers behind the curtain because the terrorists are lurking around every corner, behind every bush and under every bed. The message is clear. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
For the most part our media is corporately owned and operated. The News Corp headed by billionaire Rupert Murdoch, who created Fox News, undoubtedly the best example, has become a mouthpiece for the right wing, Tea Party/Republican Party. This network spews out their corporate driven ideology based on white male supremacist rhetoric, laced with vile hatred of the other, (Muslim now equals terrorist) filled with racism and fear mongering from death panels to the Ground Zero Mosque, topped with out and out stupidity. Their head cheerleaders (propagandists) pose as news people: Beck (finally let go after a huge grass roots campaign), O’Reilly, Hannity and Palin, et al shovel lies and misinformation with their poisonous personalities for their corporate puppet masters, all the while shuckin’ and jivin’ for the almighty dollar. And then there is that illiterate “big fat idiot” (Re: Al Franken’s book), Rush Limbaugh regurgitates his version of hatred from right wing radio land.
With the growth of the Internet, a few media outlets have maintained some independence and resisted corporate control: Democracy Now!, Thom Hartmann, Media Matters, Truthdig, Truthout, OpEd News, Dandelion Salad, Reader Supported News, Common Dreams, and AlterNet to name a few. Some in our government have also maintained a contrary opinion to the corporate control such as Independent Senator Bernie Sanders, Kucinich, Feingold and Grayson (both were not reelected), Nadler (D-NY) and a few others.
So is it fascism yet?
Sitting on the subway that belligerent announcement, directly from the pages of “1984,” came barreling over the loud speaker informing me, “We have the right to search your bags at any time and blah, blah, blah.” I stood up, as it was my stop anyway, and said in a loud voice, ”F-you and your fascist bulls&*t!” or something to that effect and the two, middle aged, white business guys sitting across from me just stared at me blankly like I was the crazy one; which at that moment I probably was.
Is this what our democratic Republic has become? Why are we Americans so willing to give our rights away by not protesting against things like the Patriot Act or torture of every one declared an “enemy combatant?” Our surveillance systems have now proliferated faster than bunny rabbits before Easter. Our corporate state can now spy on us anytime/ anywhere. They can search your bags, pat you down, arrest you, and detain you without legal recourse. They can tap your phones and inspect your Internet email. Are you kidding me? My father who fought in three wars must be turning over in his grave.
And here’s the worst part. It’s our fault. We the people have allowed this to happen. We’ve been living in a fools’ paradise, in denial, keeping our noses stuck in our iPhones, iPads, iPods or whatever the latest electronic gadget is. We’re pretending nothing is going on, secretly hoping someone will save us.
Well, guess what? That ain’t happening. No one’s going to save us. We must save ourselves. Jefferson said, “If you do not fight for your freedoms they will be taken from you.” And guess what? They have and are. Our constitution is being systematically dismantled, our money squandered on endless wars, Wall Street thieves and tax breaks for millionaires. Call me crazy. Call me Cassandra but it is up to us. It is our choice. Will we continue to collude with the dark forces of the elites and corporate power for our demise or will we realign with our higher selves and remember who we are?
We must choose love over fear and we must awaken and rise up against the forces of darkness. We must stand for the good of humankind and with mother earth. We must stand in our truth and we must act. Denial and dysfunction do not work. We have given our power away and it’s time to take it back. We are here to make the world a better place for others. This is our mission should we decide to accept it. Ignore it at your own peril.
End of sample.
I hope you enjoy the book and share widely. The book can be purchased by clicking here.
Thanks so much. Oh, the SOLD OUT sign on the cover refers to the U.S. not the book.
Another world is possible.