There is an important sense in which I am no longer an American. I have lived outside the country for thirty five years. Being part of a culture that in many ways is more aware of and more connected to the world outside the US, has seriously altered my perspective on many things, particularly how America is viewed by the objective world and how Americans perceive themselves in that context.
I grew up in 'wrong side of the tracks' Alabama. A product of my class and Southern culture, I was an all American, Jesus loving, redneck, racist, flag worshiper of the first water. I couldn't wait to grow up to join the army to be like my dad.
Marx said that being determines consciousness. I am a long way from my origins. My former junior Nazi self seems almost a dream at times, but the fact remains that for whatever changes have occurred, I am a product of that place and time. Having been away for so long, I view it from the perspectives of both a citizen and a foreigner.
I do not share the contempt that much of the world feels for Americans. I share some of it, of course. It is difficult not to feel some contempt for such willful ignorance in a people. But having grown up on the low end of the working class, in the deep south, I understand the nature of that ignorance and how everything in the environment perpetuates the helpless ignorance of so many Americans.
I also see, very clearly, the hard reality of why a functioning democracy actually requires educated aware citizens to remain a democracy.
The checks and balances system that has worked for so long, has been over whelmed. Every branch of government is under direct control of, or under serious pressure from neo-conservative Republicans.
With that checks and balances system broken, leaving the constitution unprotected and unenforceable, it is up to the citizens of the country to bring the government back in line with basic democratic principles. The citizens of America, in their ignorance, hubris, and lack of will, are simply not up to the task. Many have no understanding of what has been stolen from them and therein lies the true danger of ignorance.
Reading the news, one is assailed with the evidence of the systematic destruction of all traditional American values, as this neocon/corporate coup continues to gain power in the state and the over the thinking of the American people.
Today, I want to bring to your attention three news items that I believe combine to paint a picture of this new Imperial America idea. From the growing white power movement that sees the political and cultural climate of America is ready for them, to the organized moral panic movement that blindly supports this corporate power grab and helped keep Bush and his wealthy cronies in power, to the latest White House budget. A budget which spells out in dollars and cents the real social and political goals of the Bush gang.
From the Los Angeles Times, a story by Stephanie Simon
about a white supremacist group making efforts to bring its violent racist ideology to the American mainstream. The story, titled Neo-Nazis Aim to Upgrade PR
is reprinted HERE
, at Truthout.org.A quote from the beginning of the article:
St. Louis - White supremacist groups around the country are moving aggressively to recruit new members by promoting their violent, racist ideologies on billboards, in radio commercials and in leaflets tossed on suburban driveways. Watching with mounting alarm, civil rights monitors say these tactics stake out a much bolder, more public role for many hate groups, which are trying to shed their image as shadowy extremists and claim more mainstream support. Watchdog groups fear increased violence from these organizations as they grow. But perhaps an even greater fear is that the new public relations strategy will let neo-Nazis recast themselves as just another voice on the political spectrum - even when that voice may be advocating genocide.
, the National Alliance, the organization responsible for the advertising campaign mentioned in the article does openly advocate the killing of non-whites, especially Jews. A quick look at their web site
will confirm the violent nature of the organization. I don't like to make a link to these creeps but it is an educational glimpse of the mentality involved.
Sick but intelligent minds that wish to resurrect the Nazi cause and introduce their dangerous, violent ideology to the American mainstream. They believe that conditions in America are right for them. They may be correct.
Scapegoats are all the rage in America today. Blame for Americas woes is being laid on every one, except those actually responsible for the terrible state of the Union.
The Christian Right blames gays, all Muslims, and titties on TV. Bush blames an already defeated enemy who happens to have a lot of oil and nothing to do with the events of 9/11. Suddenly, almost everyone is a threat to national security. Even veterans benefits are a "drain on National Security". Old folks are a threat as long as Social Security is functioning. Of course, during the election campaign, wimpy old Kerry was a threat to national security.
The Nazis ? Well, you may be surprised but to hear it, but the Nazis blame the Jews.
Bush is a Puppet of Israel and the neocons are rich Jews, controlling and ruining America for their own perverted interests. Reading some of their articles, you see that there are some bright if twisted minds involved in the leadership of the National Alliance. If you check out their discussion forum, you get a look at the kind of mindless violent brown shirt loser types that they appeal to.
It strikes me as odd that these hate filled people can advertise their hate and urge people to see all non whites as dangerous enemies and even advocate the killing of Jews, all in the name of the First Amendment. While university professors who raise too many questions regarding Americas dangerous actions, lose their jobs and are vilified in the mainstream media.
It would appear that first amendment protections are only for those whose ideas are in line the thoughts of our Fearless Leader.
Every one seems to have the 'final solution' in mind.
Now, speaking of final solutions, let's head down to the Florida panhandle, an area that has become the epicenter of the Christian right.
This article, Rapture Awaits in the Florida Panhandle
, is by Tom Harpur
, a leading Canadian theologian.A quote from the article:
(at the conference)There were stunning statements about humans having been only 6,000 years on Earth and other denials of contemporary geology and biology. And we learned that the Rapture, which could happen any second now, but certainly within the next 40 years, will instantly sweep all the "saved" Americans (perhaps one-half the population) to heaven, leaving the United States as "a Third World country" with the European Union becoming the revived Roman Empire.But these fantasies were harmless compared with the hatred against Islam that followed. Here are some direct quotes: "Islam is an intolerant religion - and it's clear whose side we should be on in the Middle East." Applause greeted these words: "Allah and Jehovah are not the same God ... Islam is a Satanic religion ...We will never be able to understand their (Muslim) mentality ... They're going to attack Israel for certain. ..." Gary Frazier shouted at the top of his lungs: "Wake up! Wake up!" And roughly 800 heads nodded approval as he added that the left-wing, anti-Israel media - "for example, CNN" - will never tell the world the truth about Islam. According to these three and the millions of Americans they lead, Muslims intend ultimately "to impose their religion on us all." Think
about how the world looks if you are one of the millions who have fallen for this political scam dressed up as a religious movement. If you actually believe that any minute now, when the things you set in motion seem to be at their worst, poof, you are going to be magically transported to safety, high above the ruined earth, where you get to watch and cheer the millions burning in the fires started by your leaders, with your support. If you actually believe that, then you also believe you bear no responsibility for your actions.
What is this, the religion of no money down, no payments until after the rapture, when the 'good people' have split the scene, leaving the bill they've rung up? That alone speaks volumes about the morality of these people.
Now, if you have any doubts about the political nature of this theology, think about this. In spite of the slavish literalism of these preachers, the idea that the universe was created in seven twenty four hour days, the earth is only six thousand years old and fossils are faked creations of evil scientists, they leave that literalism behind when it suits their purpose.For recruitment purposes
, they left out a very important biblical number regarding how many are actually qualified for the rapture. I will repeat a line quoted from above as it is important political adaptation these 'saints' have made for themselves.the Rapture, which could happen any second now, but certainly within the next 40 years, will instantly sweep all the "saved" Americans (perhaps one-half the population) to heaven, leaving the United States as "a Third World country" with the European Union becoming the revived Roman Empire.
that about half of America will suddenly pop up to heaven when the shit gets deep. Approximately the number that voted for Bush. How very comforting to believe your vote will get you into heaven while the rest suffer for a wrong vote.
However, in the Book of Revelations, from whence most of these strange ideas originate, it clearly states, in Revelations chapter 7 verse 4:And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.
The number sealed are the number to disappear in the 'rapture'. Now, 144,000
may have seemed like a big number at the time it was written but that isn't even a medium sized town in America. If you continue to preach what the bible says, that only 144,000 are chosen
, the sense of security given your followers is suddenly gone. Millions of Christians but only a virtual handful make it to 'home free'
. That number, no matter its source, is not good for business.
A huge number that includes half of America gives one the sense that one might be in that number. Odd again because the number was not chosen at random by the early writer. It says, further along in the passage, that there will be 12,000 taken from each of the 12 tribes of Israel
. Unless you believe that half the population of America belongs to the original twelve tribes, then you have yet more problems. If you can count, it gets even less likely that your vote for Bush will get you into heaven.
The most important idea in all of this is the belief that Christian right politicos bear no responsibility for what they do and what they support. The destruction of the worlds forests, oceans, and air will only bring about the rapture that much quicker. Implying, very strongly, that war and environmental destruction are God's work. Completely justifying evil, in the name of their Republican God. Why, letting the logging companies clear cut the earth will only bring Jesus back sooner.
To poison the earth is a good thing that will help bring back Jesus. However, a mega war
in the Mid-East is the only way to ensure his return, according to these Christian Brown Shirt types.
You know our war time president says a hearty Amen to that idea.The third
in this group of articles, that paint a picture of the American political and economic reality, is an article about who and what got the axe in this governments' budget.
Here are a list of programs cut from the federal education budget. Take a look, it is very revealing. Almost every thing axed in this budget were programs intended to assist the poorest and most needy, while permanently relieving the very wealthy and many corporate groups utterly free from taxes.
This is only the list of high school programs getting the boot. The total education rip off is longer. You can view the entire list of federal cuts at This Is What Tax Cuts and Stupid Wars CostHigh School Program Terminations:
Vocational Education State Grants, Vocational Education National Activities, Tech Prep State Grants, Upward Bound, Talent Search, GEAR UP, Smaller Learning Communities Perkins Loans:
Capital Contributions and Loan Cancellations, Regional Education Laboratories, Safe and Drug Free Schools State Grants, Ready to Teach, Parental Information and Resource Centers, Alcohol Abuse Reduction, Foundations for Learning, Mental Health Integration in Schools, Community Technology Centers, Exchanges with Historic Whaling and Trading Partners, Foreign Language Assistance, Excellence in Economic Education, Arts in Education, Women's Educational Equity, Elementary and Secondary School Counseling, Civic Education, and Star Schools.
Makes you feel right smart being an American, don't it?While reading the lists
, keep this in mind: Not one penny was taken from the 100 million tax dollars wasted on the destructive, counter productive Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage programs. No sir, this bit of government largess, that has destroyed comprehensive sex health education in American public schools, while fattening the coffers of various well to do Christian propaganda groups, is sacred and politically important. In fact, Abstinence Only Christian morality classes, got three time more
from this budget than from the 2001 budget. Ah, the smell of American Christian morality. Or is that a pig farm?
So we cut arts, civic education, mental health programs, alcohol abuse programs, and safe and drug free school programs while continuing to pump money into so called "faith initiatives' for a sex misinformation program that benefits no one but the president's pet religious supporters. Money taken directly out of other education programs of much greater value.Teen pregnancy
rates continue to climb well ahead of Canada and European countries that use real comprehensive sex health education in their public schools. But in America the great, that would be a waste of money. The health of our kids is much less important than the health of our giant pharmaceutical companies that sell the expensive HIV drugs. It would be economically unfair to the drug corporations teach these kids to protect themselves. Besides, Jesus don't like it.
And that seems to sum up the New American way.
The 'good people' have dumped all responsibility for the world in their preparations for a magical disappearing act that will save them from the consequences of their own stupid, self serving actions. The president considers himself to be one of the ones that will avoid the horrors set in motion by himself and his wealthy cronies. Straight up to his rich daddy in the sky.
I suppose that needles will suddenly enlarge, to let the camels through the eye and the wealthy into heaven. In the new American version of Christianity, the rich folks are sitting in luxury class on the rapture train to heaven.
The Bush government makes a stab at reducing the deficit by cutting education and poor Americans out of the budget while continuing to borrow ruinous amounts for his war, his Social Security scam, and his huge spy and security money pits.
Mean while, protecting those who benefit from the dismantling of America from any cost. Making sure that generations of ordinary Americans will be stuck with the endless cost of the irresponsible borrowing of our Christian President. So much for good stewardship.
The most violent race hate groups feel that mainstream America is ready to accept them. It certainly looks like they are correct. They have very much in common with what mainstream America has been molded into.
An obvious reference to "Tomorrow Belongs to Us
", a popular Hitler Youth song, the Nazi National Alliance slogan is "The Future Belongs to Us".
The future of America looks pretty dismal from where I sit. Something only a Nazi would feel at home in. Utter ruin.