Apocolypse Bush

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Thu, 02 Dec 2004 13:00:00 GMT
From lizmichael:
"As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron." -- H. L. Mencken

From kaba:

"After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it." -- William Burroughs, 1992

From muth:

"I worked with Dan Rather and have known him for more than 20 years. Listen to me: There is no way on this Earth that he would have knowingly used fake documents on any story. . . . Dan Rather was slimed. It was disgraceful." -- Bill O'Reilly
"At the founding of this republic, House members were given the shortest terms -- half the length of the president's, one-third that of senators -- to ensure that they would be sensitive to any shifts in public opinion. Now they have more job security than the queen of England -- and as little need to seek their subjects' assent." -- David Broder
"A poll shows that most Americans want a mandatory retirement age for Supreme Court Justices. So what! Most Americans think that the United States is supposed to be a democracy. Fact is that the 'most Americans' they're talking about are almost completely ignorant about the basics of American government and should be kept away from the polls with pit bulls." -- Neal Boortz

# Claire Wolfe at Backwoods Home Magazine - A Backwoods Homestead Christmas Gift List - lots of practical ideas for your backwoods friends. [clairefiles]

# Jesse Walker at Reason - The East Turned Upside Down: Carnival and conspiracy in Ukraine - commentary on the massive protests against the stolen election. [clairefiles]

The building blocks of politics are violence and consent: No state can exist without the threat of coercion, and none can exist unless its subjects are generally willing to acquiesce to its demands. As Foucault said in Power/Knowledge, "If power were never anything but repressive, if it never did anything but say no, do you really think anyone would be brought to obey it?" It requires the compliance of the governed. They must be persuaded to stay in their place.

But sometimes they reject their place in the pyramid; sometimes, indeed, they act as though the pyramid isn't there. If enough people ignore their orders, the whole edifice can crumble. Even the force of the government's arms can fade if the men who wield those arms refuse to use them. "If not one thing is yielded" to tyrants, wrote the sixteenth-centurty libertarian Etienne de la Boétie, "if, without any violence they are simply not obeyed, they become naked and undone and as nothing, just as, when the root receives no nourishment, the branch withers and dies." Such militant nonviolence deposed King James II in 1688 and Baby Doc Duvalier in 1986. It won independence for India in 1947 and for Eastern Europe in 1989. In the last half-decade, it has deposed Slobodan Milosevic in Serbia and Eduard Shevardnadze in Georgia. Now it is alive in the avenues of Kiev.

# weebies at Strike the Root - Egalitarianism: The Holy Grail of Socialism - all men and women are created equal, they should have equial opportunity, but if you demand equality of results, you guaranty poverty and oppression. Private property is an essential component of liberty. Socialism doesn't work. [root]

The most important issue is whether equality of results is practical. History shows that it is completely impractical. The only thing that equality of results has accomplished where it has been implemented is to spread poverty and famine. It has never raised the living standards of those it claimed to benefit, but has only lowered them. As has been noted by many -- "capitalism is the uneven distribution of wealth, and socialism the even distribution of poverty."

Karl Marx's most famous quotation is probably: "From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need." This egalitarian concept of Marx sounds good, but leads to mediocrity at best, and actually discourages production. It is completely out of touch with how individuals act in real life. As Thomas Shelly explained to his high school classes: "Socialism--even in a democracy--would eventually result in a living death for all except the 'authorities' and a few of their favorite lackeys."

# Paul Gilfeather at the (UK) Sunday Mirror - Fallujah Napalmed - if Bushnev is really responsible for napalming of Iraqis, he should himself be executed by napalm. [root]

US troops are secretly using outlawed napalm gas to wipe out remaining insurgents in and around Fallujah.

News that President George W. Bush has sanctioned the use of napalm, a deadly cocktail of polystyrene and jet fuel banned by the United Nations in 1980, will stun governments around the world.

# Nat Hentoff at The Village Voice - Worse Than Ashcroft - why Alberto Gonzales will be really bad news as The United States Government's Attorney General. [sierra]

I must credit National Public Radio's Nina Totenberg, an experienced analyst of constitutional law and a reporter who never stops digging to get to the core of Gonzales's ominous record as White House counsel. On November 11, she pointed out: "Gonzales was responsible for developing the administration's policies on the treatment of prisoners; for developing a new definition of torture to allow more aggressive questioning of prisoners. He developed the policy that allowed the indefinite detention of American citizens deemed to be enemy combatants without [being charged] or [having] access to counsel. . . . The Supreme Court, though, rejected that [Gonzales] theory . . .

"Top legal brass in the army, air force, and navy say that Gonzales deliberately left them out of developing policy on the treatment of prisoners because he knew they would oppose."

On November 10, Totenberg quoted retired general Jim Cullen of the U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals, who says Gonzales directly contradicted established military and international law. He added that Gonzales realized that "the Judge Advocate Generals Corps would never sanction departures from the Geneva Conventions or engaging in practices that the common man would regard as torture."


If there ever is an honest investigation of who is ultimately responsible for what happened there and at Abu Ghraib, Mr. Gonzales might well be in the dock, along with Donald Rumsfeld and a number of the defense secretary's closest aides.

Next week: Alberto Gonzales's role, and record, as legal counsel to the then chief executioner of the United States, Texas Governor W. Bush, in deciding on the petitions for clemency from 57 of the 150 men and two women executed during Bush's six years as governor. Gonzales was central to amassing that record--unrivaled by any other governor.

# Nicki Fellenzer at Armed Females of America - Gun Grabbers Say the Damnedest Things! - commentary on the latest Wanted for murder: Sarah Brady raft of Brady Bunch lies in the light of the Wisconsin hunting murders. In case you don't recognize her, that's Sarah Brady on the "wanted" poster [kaba]

# Bernadine Smith at Armed Females of America - The Right to Keep and Bear Arms Is an Absolute Right Beyond the Purview of Public Officials - now where did I leave that tar and those feathers? [kaba]

The prime purpose behind the writing of the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights was not only to guard against invasion from without, but primarily to guard against the invasion of the people's liberty from within. When public officials prohibit or obstruct the right to arms held by the people, and interfere with the citizen's use of arms necessary for the prevention of tyranny in government, that legislation is called sedition.

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