Saturday, May 31, 2008

Liz Trotta Apologizes

On May 26, Fox "News" commentator, Liz Trotta apologized for her remarks the other day joking that she wished both Sen. Barack Obama and Osama bin Laden could be assassinated. (See post and video below.) Her apology which I have seen on YouTube seems sincere. However, I'm not sure a simple apology is sufficient inasmuch as the comments were made and made over a nationally cablecast TV show.

At any rate, in the interest of completeness I present the Trotta apology as transcribed by < Politico.com >:


"I am so sorry about what happened yesterday. In a lame attempt at humor I really just fell all over myself in making it appear that I wished Barack Obama harm or any other candidate for that matter. I sincerely regret it and apologize to anybody I’ve offended. It’s a very colorful political season and many of us are making mistakes and saying things we wish we hadn’t said."

A petition advocating the firing of Trotta is up on Care2 Petitions and has garnered some 12,000 signatures.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Third Year

I am grateful for the opportunity to continue presenting this web log for a third year beginning today. Thanks to Blogspot for hosting, and thanks to all my readers for your support.

Recently added are videos. This new offering greatly adds to the quality of the experience since seeing is believing, as they say.

With the continued stranglehold of huge profit-seeking corporations on our media, blogging is more than ever seen as an alternative. I am happy and proud to be part of this citizen-journalist movement.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Fox "News" Commentator Jokes About the Assassination of Sen. Obama

Steps in a Fascist Shift:
Target Leading Figures

I have been horrified moments ago to view comments by someone named Liz Trotta on Fox "News" joking about killing Sen. Barack Obama after first calling him "Osama". (See video below.) This hideous joke is, in fact, reminiscent of Hitler who first joked about killing the Jews before setting out to do so. On another web site a writer asks of Fox: shouldn't someone be arrested? I agree with the question and urgently request our authorities to promptly launch an investigation of individuals who would joke on-air so inappropriately and dangerously. This is telecasting which is going either along public rights-of-way or through the public air space. Such joking must be condemned in the strongest possible terms.

It seemed especially appropriate to include this incident on my web log as it is an example of one of the tactics in a fascist shift. As part of the effort to close an open society, leaders (and their accomplices) begin to target key individuals, singling them out for scorn and derision. This is first often done in a joking manner. Later the targeting becomes actual. (See previous posts on this subject.)

And so I call upon the F.B.I. to question Liz Trotta, the host of this show, and all responsible for this verbal atrocity. And let a fair investigation lead where it may.





Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Best Wishes

Best wishes to Senator Edward Kennedy, the lion of the Senate.

The Presidential Diatribe

Today I interrupt my planned schedule in presenting the steps in a fascist shift to comment on a real-life use of one of the steps by the President of the United States. In a much-maligned broadside aimed at domestic critics and given before a foreign audience, G. W. Bush used one of the tactics of fascism this past week. Speaking before the Israeli Knesset, Mr. Bush attempted to equate critics of his policy toward Iran with the appeasers of Hitler. This preposterous and inaccurate comparison was deeply unjust both to history and to patriotic Americans who simply disagree with the President's policies.

It was also an attempt to characterize simple dissent as treasonous. This bizarre attempt to link legitimate and thoughtful political discussion to those who failed to oppose Hitler, stands history on its head. And coming from the President of the United States and before a foreign audience no less, it was an effort to vilify a sitting U.S. Senator, Barack Obama, and all those who simply do not agree with an ill-conceived rush to war with Iran, so reminiscent as it is of the rush to war with Iraq.

I will have more to say about this outrage at a later time. For now, I continue to recommend Naomi Wolf's best-selling The End of America as a most important resource for understanding the America of now.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Everyone is on Notice

Spy on Ordinary Citizens

As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there is a twilight when everything remains seemingly unchanged. And it is in such a twilight that we all must be most aware of change in the air -- however slight -- lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness.

Justice William O. Douglas


Naomi Wolf states in The End of America that "[t]yrants place populations under surveillance because this is a prime means of control." Agencies which gathered private information on citizens in the past included the Gestapo, the KGB, the Stasi, and the Chinese Politburo. One purpose of this kind of activity, says Wolf, is that it weakens persons' ties to private institutions and re-directs it to the state.

(to be continued)





Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Spread of Illegal Detention

Establish Secret Prisons

In the shift to totalitarianism, Naomi Wolf points out, the government begins establishing secret prisons with prisoners' rights removed. Usually, only one or a limited number of such prisons is opened. Both Mussolini and Hitler began this way. Only a relatively small number of persons was initially treated this way. But soon larger numbers of people were rounded up and placed in prison without the rights to due process, including the right to see the evidence against them, the right to face their accusers, and the right to trial by jury.

This is the danger of the Guantanamo prison, says Wolf. Once such a prison is begun Pandora's box is opened. There have been reports that the federal government is either planning for or has already opened such prisons on U.S. soil. We know legislation has been passed allowing for the mass round-up of people in time of "emergency."

In coming days, I plan to cite the sources supporting these various allegations. For the time being, I refer the reader to Wolf's critically important book, The End of America. Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot. The abridgment of our rights must stop and those doing the abridging must be held accountable!



Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Let Them Say It Isn't So

Invoke an External and Internal Threat


The first tactic of right-wing totalitarianism is to create both an external and an internal threat to the country. This is what Hitler did, and Mussolini before him, for Hitler learned from Mussolini. For Hitler the threats internal and external were numerous. The most-remembered supposed threat were the Jews. But there were other threats: intellectuals, homosexuals, gypsies, foreign powers, and later anyone who simply opposed Hitler.

The neo-cons of our country, being astute learners from history, have used this same tactic. Regardless of what one thinks of the origins of the attack on sites in America on September 11, 2001, the Bush administration took full advantage to clamp down on civil liberties and to attempt to quash dissent. (Remember the admonition not to be critical of the President in a moment like this?) In the years since there have been numerous terror alerts. There were allegations -- since proven false -- of al Qaeda "cells" operating within the U.S. Then there were charges that Iraq was capable of launching nuclear attacks against this country -- since shown to be preposterous.

The message of all this is, if you get a populace frightened enough of "enemies" they will accept limits on their liberties. At this point, you, the ruler, are much freer to do as you please. This has been done in America these last years. Needless to say, it is extremely dangerous to our democracy.

(Information source: The End of America by Naomi Wolf, and other works)

Sunday, May 04, 2008

The Road to Fascism

Overview


Tonight I begin a review of the important and best-selling Naomi Wolf book, The End of America. Because the information it contains is so important, and because the major media are not interested in such a book, I hope to be a part of making known the antecedents to a fascist shift in a country. For to be sure, we have the essential elements of fascism in America now. I am very glad to add that with the new Democratic-led Congress the fascist elements are beginning to be questioned, but we have a very long way to go to un-do the nefarious acts of the former Republican-dominated Congress.

For now, I mention some of the ten steps toward fascism which Wolf mentions in her book:

  • Invoke an external and internal threat
  • Establish secret prisons
  • Spy on ordinary citizens
  • Infiltrate citizens' groups
  • Detain and release citizens on an arbitrary basis
  • Restrict the press
  • Subvert the rule of law

It may seem on first glance that few if any of these tactics have been adopted by the current government. As Naomi Wolf shows and I hope to relate, however, all ten steps have been taken in essence, although many have not been put fully into practice as of yet. The biggest danger as Wolf describes it is for a society to ignore the danger signals of a fascist shift. This is easy to do in the early stages, when the attributes of a totalitarian regime are not fully visible.

Needless to say, I highly recommend the purchase of this book. And even more, I invite your informed assistance in resisting a fascist take-over in America.




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