|Threats to Our Democracy|
"An honest man nearly always thinks justly."
What might Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower think? See below...
The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli, the classic (and chilling) handbook on "power at any cost" government
Hunger for Dictatorship, the coming of fascism in America by The American Conservative (!)
The "Secret" Downing Street memo that proves Iraq invasion was planned prior to 9/11. Read the instructions from Bush's office to Blair's: "make the facts fit the policy", aka: lie to the public.
The Project for a New American Century (PNAC) -- Here is the blueprint for American global domination by THE think tank for the Neocon agenda, PNAC. Read an analysis here by William Rivers Pitt or visit the PNAC website. Their agenda is right on schedule.
Moral Politics by George Lakoff
Death of Deliberative Democracy, A Congressional Report on the Unprecedented Erosion of the Democratic Process by Rep Louise Slaughter and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (PDF)
Starving the Beast and other plans from Grover Norquist
Schwarzenegger, says one thing, does another by Arianna Huffington
Under Bush, a New Age of Prepackaged News by David Barstow and Robin Stein, NYTimes
The Radical Republican Manifesto: The Integration of Theory and Practice: A Program for the New Traditionalist Movement by Eric Heubeck —via the Yurica Report. *Cold, callous and very scary for the future of America.* Highlights and article first appeared on Buzzflash.
The President's Budget Shows
Hear Bill Moyers on the state of the media and our democracy. Standing ovation keynote speech at the National Conference on Media, 2005 (MP3 from FreePress.org)
Hear Bill Moyers give a powerful and moving speech from the 2003 Take Back America Conference (real audio streaming from WebActive).
Hear Eliot Spitzer, NY attorney general, on the middle class vs. failure of ethics in business practices, and where government needs to step in and set boundary lines. Highly recommended.
The Prince, educational video —review Niccolo Machiavelli's recipe for modern American politics, narrated by Donald Southerland, at the DiscoverySchool.com — find video, audio and a full range of online teaching tools.
Why the Downing Street Memo Matters -- Video clip from the documentary "Hijacking Catastrophe"
A DVD Interview with George Lakeoff (How Democrats and Progressives Can Win: Solutions From George Lakoff)
Learning guides from Teach with Movies are available for the following...
Embedded/Live a play-to-DVD now available from Netflix. Intelligent and very funny!
We Have a Common Enemy
We have a common enemy, a ruthless power destroying the fabric of our American Community thread by thread. America has been kidnapped by a small group of neo-conservative radical Republicans with a bold plan to take whatever resources they want, anywhere they want. It's about liquidating our public wealth for a quick buck, the lust for absolute power and the pursuit of self-interest over the best interests of Americans.
Let's take a look at the pivotal points that advance the radical Republican's dangerous and immoral agenda.
"Starving the Beast", the Radical's Plan to Bankrupt America
There is method to the madness that is the radical Republican domestic agenda. Grover Norquist calls it ""kill the taxes and you kill the government." otherwise known as "Starving the Beast". They believe that a government that cares for its citizens is a "beast" that must be destroyed. They see social security, environmental protections, veterans benefits, funding for police and firefighters, public education and other programs that make our society decent and livable as a menace to big business. Bill Moyers explains it as "Their stated and open aim is to change how America is governed - to strip from government all its functions except those that reward their rich and privileged benefactors."
How does one go about starving a government? Well, it appears to be a very easy recipe. First, declare enormous tax cuts for the already rich, declare one or more wars, add more tax cuts for the same elite during wartime, reduce corporate taxes to near zero by providing offshore tax havens, and then create programs that cost more to set up and administer than they will ever provide in benefits (Medicare drug program, social security privatization). It takes no time at all to run up a budget deficit of historical portions as we see today. The result is government bankruptcy. For the people who think this is a good idea, consider the consequences of a bankrupt government. No money, no services. No safety nets, no protections, no health, no livable future for our children or for us. Big consequences.
Why would they do this? The radical Republican worldview says that a government that helps its citizens is bad. They believe that government should exist not to protect and serve the people, but to clear people out of the way of profit making enterprise. Government is good when it regulates and disadvantages citizens so that the unethical Halliburton's of America can flourish. Traditionally, the Republican view has been in favor of smaller government. But that's what the Democrats stand for now. We know how to make government smaller and more efficient. This radical group is a new order of Republican. They are radical and extreme. And they are in charge of all aspects of government with no checks and balances to slow them down.
For the first time in memory, we have a
government and corporate partnership that protects the welfare of
corporations against the welfare of the people. This new form
of government is called "corporatism".
is the real beast. We the People must put aside our
wedge issues and differences to unite against our real common enemy,
the Corporatization of our America. When we do, we will regain
the liberty, honor and peace that is so missing from our troubled
Karl Rove and The "New Traditionalists"
Perhaps you've heard Karl Rove referred to as "Bush's Brain"? Let's take a look at what's on this powerful mind. Here are words from Karl Rove's own advisors telling him how to obtain absolute power and control over Americans, our wealth and future. This excerpt is from the document "The New Traditionalists" (see sidebar).
This is a window into Bush's Brain...
"Our movement will be entirely destructive, and entirely constructive. We will not try to reform the existing institutions. We only intend to weaken them, and eventually destroy them. We will endeavor to knock our opponents off-balance and unsettle them at every opportunity. All of our constructive energies will be dedicated to the creation of our own institutions....
We will maintain a constant barrage of criticism against the Left. We will attack the very legitimacy of the Left. We will not give them a moment's rest. We will endeavor to prove that the Left does not deserve to hold sway over the heart and mind of a single American. We will offer constant reminders that there is an alternative, there is a better way. When people have had enough of the sickness and decay of today's American culture, they will be embraced by and welcomed into the New Traditionalist movement. The rejection of the existing society by the people will thus be accomplished by pushing them and pulling them simultaneously.
We will use guerrilla tactics to undermine the legitimacy of the dominant regime...
We must create a countervailing force that is just as adept as the Left at intimidating people and institutions that are used as tools of left-wing activism but are not ideologically committed, such as Hollywood celebrities, multinational corporations, and university administrators. We must be feared, so that they will think twice before opening their mouths...
We will be results-oriented rather than good intentions-oriented. Making a good-faith effort and being ideologically sound will be less important than advancing the goals of the movement...".
Who Owns the Media?
Nine media firms dominate our world of mainstream information. Not so many years ago, we had more than 50, and our Democracy was not threatened as it is today. Our freedom depends on an independent media and its ability to report news and not opinion. However, what is presented as news these days is opinion. It's alarming to face the fact that we cannot rely on traditional media outlets for information. It's up to us to get our news from as many sources as possible. Or if that's not to your liking, then why not turn off the set? Change the channel on the radio. Because if you don't, you'll also fall victim to the endless repetition of the radical Republican's noise machine and start repeating their language. It's insidious. Try this: change your language from "pro-life" to "anti-choice". See how hard it is once you've been inundated by their repeated language.
We can no longer blindly trust what we see on TV, what we read in the mainstream press or hear on mainstream radio. It's a fact that the news is broken. We are on our own to sift through the mountains of opinion, find the facts and understand the big picture. Look to the Internet and wireless broadband connections to get news from a wide range of sources, including the comprehensive Jim Lehrer News Hour. For unfair, unbalanced and hateful propaganda, look to Fox News and Clear Channel radio stations. If you want the ultimate in brutal shock and awe, drop in on Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage and Ann Coulter. Do not trust CNN or the networks to give you news rather than opinion. The news is broken. Our future depends on our ability to gather and filter information wisely.
Let's face it, Progressives are at a severe disadvantage against the radical Republicans with regard to information infrastructure. The radicals have developed a mountain of powerful, well-funded and well-connected institutions that push the repetition of their message to everyone from legislators to media to youth groups. We see and hear these radical Republican "experts" on TV, on radio and in print at three times the rate that a progressive is heard. But what's most alarming is that the public doesn't know the "expert opinions" are coming from a propaganda mill and not a serious academic institution. They are simply presented as, or assumed to be, "experts".
Remember the "believe half of what you see and none of what you
hear" adage. Filter the media with the
knowledge of who's who, pass on what you know and feel good that
you're connecting important mental dots in the defense of our
Propaganda Purchased with Our Tax Dollars?
The Bush Administration paid media personality, Armstrong Williams, a whopping $240,000 of our taxpayers money to promote a Bush program. It's called "payola" — and it's propaganda funded by our American tax dollars. It should be illegal, and certainly it's unethical.
The Bush administration has been caught with its hand in the taxpayer cookie jar more than once. In 'selling' both the Medicare Prescription Drug Program and the fake crisis of Social Security, they've used our own money without our knowledge or permission. And it's happening again. As the story of the Bush Administration using tax dollars to fund propaganda takes shape, we'll see this list get longer and longer.
Read this quote from Republican President Dwight D, Eisenhower and recall the once honorable and moderate Republican Party.
it is true that I believe this country is following a dangerous
trend when it permits too great a degree of centralization of
governmental functions. I oppose this─in some instances the fight is
a rather desperate one. But to attain any success it is quite clear
that the Federal government cannot avoid or escape responsibilities
which the mass of the people firmly believe should be undertaken by
it. The political processes of our country are such that if a rule
of reason is not applied in this effort, we will lose
everything─even to a possible and drastic change in the
Constitution. This is what I mean by my constant insistence upon
"moderation" in government. Should any political party attempt to
abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor
laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in
our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course,
that believes you can do these things. Among them are H. L. Hunt
(you possibly know his background), a few other Texas oil
millionaires, and an occasional politician or business man from
other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid."
─ President Dwight D. Eisenhower, November 8, 1954
Destruction of Democracy, Dignity and the American Dream
Want to know more about threats to our American democracy?
Read how America has shifted from Democratic Capitalism to Elitist Corporatism
Understand the rise of the Religious Right
Explore the consequences of a careless attitude toward our shared environment
Fake Reporters Undermine Our Trust and Weaken National Security
A major GOP fundraiser has planted at least one known "reporter", Jeff Gannon, at White House press conferences with soft questions to ask. This reporter is well known by the White House (all reporters are investigated before issuing a press pass), often called on first and given preferential treatment. Further, the "news reports" he files are a cut-and-paste job taken directly from the radical's talking points. Gannon has since quit his position at conservative Talon News, a subgroup of GOPUSA, after this information was discovered.
The use of reporter "plants" helps the radical Republicans to frame their message and avoid answering serious questions. This is another dangerous betrayal of the public's confidence. Propaganda masquerading as real news is finding its way into our homes from every angle.
Every American should be concerned about the Gannon reporter plant. Beyond the distaste of propaganda, our Homeland Security was greatly threatened. Gannon is not this person's real name. He has a questionable personal past. However, he was allowed to bypass security with a daily press pass to the White House. A fake journalist sits just a few seats away from the president when real journalists couldn't get access? The radicals will do anything to win, including putting American homeland security on the line. Guckert/Gannon could have been an enemy of the State holding a free pass to spy —or worse.
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