THE JUDEVINE MOUNTAIN EMAILITE #29

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We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for the victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy, for no document from human hands can make these humans any less our brothers and sisters.

–Martin Luther King



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THE NEW AMERICAN FASCISM

In This Issue:

  • David’s Notes Fascism Defined

  • The Police State is Already Here

  • Dan’l’s Story
  • Two Quakers and the F.B.I.
  • And in Montpelier, Vermont . . .
  • The Disasters of War: 1939/2003, by Andrew Potok
  • An Email from Germany, by Howard Nelson
  • Three Things You Can Do
  • Veterans for Common Sense: A Website We Recommend
  • Carnage: Photos from the Last Gulf War

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    DAVID’S NOTES:
     

    FASCISM DEFINED

     

    Lest you think we are going overboard by referring to what is going on now in America as fascism, here is how WEBSTER’S TENTH NEW COLLEGIATE DICTIONARY defines fascism:

    “A political philosophy, movement or regime that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.”

    The current Bush administration is motivated by a political philosophy. It is a movement, a regime, that exalts this nation over all others. It seeks, as we’ve said here in the JME before, a Pax Americana. Jimmy Carter used this phrase in his op-ed piece* for the NEW YORK TIMES of Sunday, March 9, 2003. Bush and his cadre want nothing less than world domination and total control as the one and only super-power.

    In addition and contrary to Republican news-speak, this administration seeks to concentrate power in a centralized, autocratic government. See John Ashcroft on enforcing the death penalty as a national policy allowing no individual rights to the states. See also judicial appointments to district courts in which judges favor government and corporate interests over individual rights. In this regard, read Adam Cohen’s article“Deborah Cook Is the Typical Bush Judicial Nominee–So Watch Out” in THE NEW YORK TIMES, February 25, 2003. Also read “The Intellectual Heart of Conservative America” in THE NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE, March 9, 2003.

    The Bush administration also exalts a race–if you want to call it that–of rich, old, white, “Christian” men, over all other races and religions. The goals of this small group of white men–as articulated by their titular head and mouthpiece, George W. Bush–are the application of severe economic and social regimentation, such as tax cuts for the rich, reductions in governmental benefits and programs for the poor, and attacks on equal opportunity legislation, to name only three. All these efforts lead to rigid social regimentation and to less and less social mobility because those in the lower classes have less and less educational and economic opportunity. In addition, the rigid narrow-mindedness and intolerance associated with Fundamentalist Christian values also generates less tolerance for anyone who is not white and Fundamentalist Christian. Less “choice” and access to family planning for women in the U.S. and abroad is also evidence of social regimentation.

    As for fascism’s forcible suppression of opposition, one only need turn to the Patriot Act I and II. Under the Patriot Act the government may, “secretly detain citizens . . . monitor religious and political institutions without suspecting criminal activity, search and seize Americans’ papers and effects without probable cause, prosecute librarians or other keepers of any other records if they tell anyone that the government subpoenaed information, jail Americans indefinitely without a trial and without being charged.”

    Most shocking is Section 501: Expatriation of Terrorists of Patriot Act II which says, “An American can relinquish his citizenship [and] . . . be expatriated if . . . he becomes a member of, or provides material support to, (emphasis mine) a group that the United States has designated as a “terrorist organization,” if that group is engaged in hostilities against the United States.”

    Who is to decide what “material support” is? Does THE JUDEVINE MOUNTAIN EMAILITE, and the people who write for it, give “material support” to a “terrorist organization”?

    To read the text of Patriot Act II go to: http://www.dailyrotten.com/source-docs/patriot2draft.html

    Opposition to the government is also forcibly suppressed by an unholy alliance between the government and the corporate ownership of what used to be called “the news media.” Just one of many glaring examples of News-Media-as-Governmental-Patsy played itself out on Sunday, March 9, on MEET THE PRESS as Tim Russert, under the guise of hardball questioning, swallowed the government’s propaganda hook, line and sinker in his interview–it was really an attack–of Presidential candidate Howard Dean. For other examples of the “news media” in the pocket of the government, tune in Fox News anytime or go to:
    http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=15312 and to:
    http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=15311

    Almost all the pieces in this edition of THE JUDEVINE MOUNTAIN EMAILITE devote themselves to the topic of The New American Fascism, such as a man writing from present day Germany to point out how similar current American politics are to Nazi Germany or specific incidents of a police state in action such as what happened to Dan’l on a subway platform one night in New York City or to two Quakers in upstate New York or to some high school kids in Montpelier, Vermont. We also offer in this issue an eye witness to the march of fascism in 1939 in Andrew Potok’s article about his childhood in Poland and how it has affected his understanding of America today. And finally, we offer a link to a series of photographs of the first Gulf War, a sobering and horrific vision of what is just around the corner.

    Slipped in between these articles are pertinent quotes from Leo Tolstoi, Albert Camus and Harry Emerson Fosdick.

    God bless the people of Iraq. As-Salaam-Alaikum, Iraq. As-Salaam-Alaikum, Iraq. As-Salaam-Alaikum.

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    Patriotism in its simplest, clearest, and most indubitable meaning is nothing but an instrument
    for the attainment of the government’s ambitious and mercenary aims,
    and a renunciation of human dignity, common sense, and conscience by the governed,
    and a slavish submission to those who hold power.
    That is what is really preached wherever patriotism is championed.
    Patriotism is slavery.

    –Leo Tolstoi

     

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    THE POLICE STATE IS ALREADY HERE


  • Dan’l’s Story

    Editor’s Note: The following story comes from James Wagner’s blog. We’ve recommended james@jameswagner.com before and we do so again. This is from the blog for February 20, 2003.

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    We’re under occupation already. Barry and I saw soldiers in the subway on Valentine’s Day, in “camouflage” [no, they weren’t wearing tar paper] and armed with assault weapons, but we thought they were, what, just window dressing for the White House’s orange alert games? Or, whatever. Nothing surprises us any more.

    Tonight we heard in a blog from a friend who found out, the hard way, that we are actually under an occupying army. Dan’l describes his evening in his own words:

    “if you live in new york city you’ve probably seen the (hot) national guardsmen taking up residence in our subway stations lately… i have to admit that i was a little unnerved the first time i saw assault rifles on the platform, but i was just starting to get used to it… until…

    “tonight i entered the ACE station at 34th street carrying an overnight bag (containing my computer, clothes, and personal hygiene products) and a shopping bag with groceries i’d just bought for the making of peach cobbler… i was gonna travel up to 103rd street to stay the night with charlie… we’d be waking up late, [be] cooking all day and eventually going outside to play in the blizzard that’s hitting the city right now…

    “anyway, as i approached the edge of the platform, one of these camouflaged yummies steps in front of me and asks me to step aside… “we’re going to ask you to set your bags down and remove your coat and hat…”

    “[hmmm,] i think, [are we doing random security checks now like they do in airports???] yes sir, of course… i do as instructed and then am handcuffed… now i’m a little freaked out…

    “what’s going on???

    “sir, we’d like to examine the contents of your bags… will we find any weapons inside???”

    “no… i have some clothes and my computer…

    “i looked down at my bag and saw that the power cord and battery were hanging out of the top… [of course that looks suspicious, you idiot!!! not to mention i had a bunch of metal cans and flour in my food emporium bag…]

    “to make what is a very long (an hour spent with these guys) story a little shorter, i had to:


    –explain traveling uptown so late…
    –explain my computer and cell phone cords…
    –explain the workings of a laptop computer
    –explain the workings of a sprint phone…
    –explain pajamas with monkey print and two pairs of socks…
    –explain what q-tips are used for…
    –explain what it takes to make a peach cobbler…
    –prove that i’m not a terrorist and that i have no intention of building any kind of weapon…
    –do i look like him or him or him??? what the???”

     

  • Two Quakers and the F.B.I.Editor’s Note: this story is compiled from stories in the Syracuse, New York, POST-STANDARD for February 27 and March 3 and from conversations with Howard Nelson, Laura Buffam and Larry Buffam, all members of the Quaker Meeting in this story.

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    Irene Main is 4 foot 10 inches tall and in her mid-seventies. She’s a member of a Quaker Meeting in Poplar Ridge, a tiny cross-roads hamlet in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York.

    A while back Dr. Rafil Dhafir, an oncologist from a nearby town, came to the Quaker Meeting in Poplar Ridge to present a slide show about the starving and sick Iraqis plagued by poor infrastructure and crippling economic sanctions. Dr. Dhafir had been recommended to the Quaker Meeting by a member who was also a patient of Dr. Dhafir’s and who had come to like and respect Dr. Dhafir.

    Dr. Dhafir did not pressure the Quakers to make donations to an organization called Help the Needy, but did leave brochures about the group. A number of Meeting members sent in small amounts of money. Irene Main donated about $25.00.

    Recently, early one morning, two F.B.I. agents visited Irene Main. They questioned her extensively about her donation, implied that she had been taken advantage of and told her that the money she had donated had been used to build a mosque.

    Larry Buffam, who donated “a couple of hundred dollars,” was also visited and interrogated at 8:00 a.m by F.B.I. agents. The agents saw some Middle Eastern looking decorative plates hanging on the wall that years ago Mr. BuffamÕs father-in-law had brought back from Turkey. The agents wanted to know if Mr. Buffam had ever visited the Middle East.

    Both Irene Main and Larry Buffam said the agents who interrogated them were very polite.

    Dr. Dhafir, who has been accused of funneling money to Iraq in violation of U.S. sanctions, is now being held in the Justice Center jail in Syracuse. He has been denied the possibility of posting bail. Dr. Dhafir is being held on charges of money laundering for which, if convicted, he could be sentenced to up to 265 years in prison.

    MEDIA NOTE: In an interview with THE JUDEVINE MOUNTAIN EMAILITE Larry Buffam expressed concern about the way the U.S. District Attorney is using the media to spread unsubstantiated accusations about how Dr. Dhafir spent the money he gathered while Dr. Dhafir is incarcerated and unable to defend himself against these accusations.
     

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  • And in Montpelier, Vermont . . .Editor’s Note: this story was compiled from two stories in The Barre-Montpelier TIMES ARGUS for March 8 and 13, 2003.

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    In many locations around the country on March 5th there were walk outs and strikes to protest the impending war. Many of these actions were in high schools and colleges. At the high school in Montpelier, Vermont, a group of about 60 students marched from their school to the Statehouse where they held a rally and cornered Governor James Douglas whereupon the students tried, unsuccessfully, to get the Governor to explain his support for the war in Iraq.

    The Montpelier City Police took detailed pictures of the students involved in the protest. The police department planned to keep the photos on file.

    At one point Jeb Wallace-Brodeur, a photographer for a local daily paper, the TIMES ARGUS, who was photographing the demonstration was approached by a man Wallace-Brodeur took to be the high school’s resource officer. The resource officer asked Wallace-Brodeur for copies of the photographs he was taking so that they could be used for educational purposes. Wallace-Brodeur agreed. Later the “school resource officer” said to Wallace-Brodeur, “Make sure you get close ups of their faces in case they need to be suspended.” At this point Wallace-Brodeur withdrew his offer to share his photographs.

    It then came to light that the “school resource officer” was in fact Officer Eric Nordenson of the Montpelier Police Department.

    Emily Whitfield, a spokeswoman for the American Civil Liberties Union said, “It’s disturbing [the police] took the photos when there was no illegal activity going on, when there was a free speech activity going on.”

    “I think activity like this by police has a chilling effect on dissent.” Emily Whitfield said.

    UPDATE: GOOD NEWS . . . MAYBE : At a public meeting with city officials in Montpelier on Wednesday, March 12th, Mayor Chuck Karparis pledged that the city would destroy the photos of the students. However no firm date for their destruction was announced. It also came to light that the Montpelier city police had taken pictures of participants at a peace demonstration in town on January 18th at which the editor of this cyberzine was a featured speaker. To read his talk/poem delivered that day go to: davidbudbill.com/emperorlive.html#talkThe police have also pledged to destroy the pictures taken on January 18th.

     

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    There have been a lot of great signs at the many
    peace demonstrations so far this year.
    Here’s our favorite:
    Under a picture of George Bush, the caption:

    WHY SHOULD I LISTEN TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE?
    THEY DIDN’T VOTE FOR ME.

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    THE DISASTERS OF WAR: 1939/2003
    by
    Andrew Potok


    Early in the morning on the first of September 1939, I was soaring through a field across from our summer house on my new bicycle. I sang with the unparalleled ecstasy of bicycle freedom when three airplanes appeared just over the tree tops. The Polish red and white checkerboard insignia was bright and reassuring on their wings. I could see the pilots’ faces. I waved and cried for joy with an 8-year-old’s patriotic pride, but they were German men and they dropped bombs all around me, setting the fields and woods on fire. I ran screaming toward our house.

    Beyond the realm of possibility, Warsaw – my apartment house, my parks, my school, my city – was being bombed. The buildings which had stood with the certainty of stone and metal were crumbling together with my childhood. These were the streets on which I was pushed in a baby carriage, then walked, then ran, the streets I crossed holding my mother’s hand or alone, the stores where I bought playthings, the buildings where my parents worked. It was all I knew and its obliteration, its fragility, its not being a part of forever had been unimaginable.

    For the next two weeks, strafed and bombed along roads crowded with the carnage of war, we crossed the border into Lithuania, then Latvia and Sweden. Having fled from Poland on the last day before the border closed, we next managed – and the guilt of survival is with me still – to be booked on the last boat out of Norway before Norway fell. Shell-shocked but lucky beyond anyone’s rational expectations, we arrived in America. My child’s instinct for self-preservation chose emotional numbness as its strategy. It worked to keep me from insanity. The rest of my large family stayed and were slaughtered by Germans and Poles.

    In spite of the horrors of that war, it has faded into indistinct images, though they still have the power to wake me in the middle of the night. Then, for many years, I awoke screaming. Now it is merely panic.

    As I grew up and became politicized in America, despising nationalism and patriotism, I often over-reacted to acts of brutality and injustice in the name of realpolitik, an imperial obligation, democracy or preservation of “the American way.” “The country is going fascist,” I often thought, knowing that I was exaggerating, if only a little. Now it has finally happened.

    And here we are, silent or outspoken, wanting war or wanting peace, preferring domination to negotiation or the other way around, the very same dilemmas facing German citizens of the thirties and forties. With the might and arrogance of empire, we go to great lengths to try to justify illegal pre-emptive strikes and the use of “tactical” nuclear weapons. Corporate interests and radical ideology are on a rampage to cleanse the world of imperfection, of heretics, of the weakest of the evil doers, of “the other.”

    The German people of 60 and 70 years ago did have a choice. So do we. Having witnessed millions of refugee children world-wide and the other small and large terrors we have all watched throughout our lives, the possibility of the end of a future has never been more real or menacing.

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    Andrew Potok’s latest book is A MATTER OF DIGNITY: Changing the World of the Disabled (Bantam/Random House 2002). That book and a re-issue of his 1980 memoir, ORDINARY DAYLIGHT, have recently been released as paperbacks by Bantam. Mr. Potok can be reached at:lopo@adelphia.net

     

     

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    “I should like to be able to love my country and still love justice.”
    –Albert Camus

     

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    AN EMAIL FROM GERMANY
    by
    Howard Nelson

    I wrote an e-mail to my cousin Wolfgang in Germany.

    Not knowing what his opinion might be, I wanted, as a citizen of the United States to a citizen of Germany, to thank Germany for its resistance to BushÕs proposed war against Iraq, and also to tell him that the embarrassing arrogance and smugness of this President, such as in his State of the Union Address, is not applauded by all Americans. WolfgangÕs reply was as follows:

    “Thanks for your mail. We think just the same. We had nearly the same leader 70 years ago and we, together with other people around Germany, had to pay a terrible toll for ‘war games.’ Mankind should be more wise.”

    —–

    Howard Nelson is a poet and a teacher who lives in Upstate New York. His latest book of poems is BONE MUSIC, Nightshade Press, 1996. He can be reached at: nelsonh33@hotmail.com

     

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    THREE THINGS YOU CAN DO

    Petition to Impeach George Bush
    Former Attorney General Ramsey Clark is circulating a petition to impeach the President. You can add your name to the petition at:
    http://www.votetoimpeach.org

    Sign the Open Letter to the Silent Democrats
    Sign the Open Letter/Petition circulating to urge the Democrats to speak up and end their “silence in the halls of the Senate and Congress and to convey the will of the people in a way that will make President Bush take heed.”

    To sign, go to:
    http://www.PetitionOnline.com/notwar77

    Urge the Pope to Go to Baghdad
    In an effort to try to stop the impending war with Iraq, Dr. Helen Caldicott sent a letter to the Pope, asking him to travel to Baghdad in order to offer himself as “the ultimate human shield.”

    Join Dr. Caldicott and email, fax or call the Pope and urge him to move to Baghdad for awhile.

    Email: accreditamenti@pressva.va.
    Fax: from the US, the number is: 011-39-06698-85378
    from other countries drop the 011 prefix
    Phone: 011-39-06-69-82.

     

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    VETERANS FOR COMMON SENSE

    We recommend visiting the Veterans for Common Sense website. Their letter to President Bush sent March 11th is excellent and hard hitting. There are also many excellent articles on this website worth reading.

    Go to: http://www.veteransforcommonsense.org

     

     

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    CARNAGE:
    PHOTOS OF THE LAST GULF WAR
    by
    Peter Turnley
     

    We are all drowning in words these days. It is important, it seems to us, to keep aware of the emotional content of these words and the actual physical effects of war.

    To that end here is a link to a series of devastating photos of the last Gulf war:
    http://digitaljournalist.org/issue0212/pt_index.html

    Double click on each thumbnail photograph and it will enlarge.

     

     

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    COMING SOONTHE JUDEVINE MOUNTAIN EMAILITE #30

    I ACCUSE THE WHITE MAN!

    MALCOM X SPEAKS

     

     

     


     

    * Webmaster’s note:
    If you would like to pursue the Carter editorial, here are two avenues:

    This link takes you to a linking page to Carter’s piece that requires a free registration with nytimes.com

    This link goes to a page on 1010wins.com that contains excerpts of the piece.

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