The email with an attachment came to me Christmas morning. The forwarded message was titled, “I am honored to do this”. It was from a well-intentioned Christian friend. Unfortunately my friend was not as well informed as he could have been.
The radical right-slanted message presented two horrible lies about the ACLU while hiding behind the sacrifices of the military. Once again we see the dishonest and cowardly treachery of hateful “conservative” Americans. Their hatred for the ACLU, and for liberalism itself, is as blind as it is intense.
The words jumped out in huge letters.
Did you know that the ACLU has filed a suit to have all military cross-shaped headstones removed and another suit to end prayer from the military completely. They're making great progress. The Navy Chaplains can no longer mention Jesus' name in prayer thanks to the wretched ACLU.
This was followed by photos of cemeteries, and photos of mourning troops at memorial services for their fellow soldiers who paid the ultimate price. The fallen were most likely victims of Cheney’s and Bush’s trumped up war in Iraq. Notice how their hatred is not directed at the politicians who sent the soldiers to their needless deaths.
They died because Bush, Cheney, the Neocon warmongers, sycophantic media, and all the other war profiteering politicians frightened the American people with lies. Those soldiers gave their lives because they were told Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. They are dead because they were told they must go to war, because Iraq had a nuclear weapons program. Remember those scary aluminum tubes?
They were slaughtered because they were told Iraq had chemical and biological weapons, and would share them with Al Qaeda. They went to war because they were told Saddam had ties with Al Qaeda. Then they were sent to die in order to kill the Iraqis that would otherwise have come to kill us in America. Remember we had to fight them over there so we wouldn’t have to fight them here.
Operation Iraqi Freedom was really for neither Iraqis nor freedom. The war in Iraq was used for political gains for the Republican Party, and profit for Bush/Cheney cronies.
Now those troops are told to fight and die over in Muslim lands to protect our freedom. To protect our freedom? What freedom is that? Our freedom to scream medical care is socialism, communism and fascism? Our freedom to say our president is a secret Muslim who wants to destroy America? Our freedom to say the president is giving aid and comfort to the enemy? Our freedom to continue the lies of those who started the war? Our freedom to advocate racial profiling? Our freedom to be under warrantless surveillance?
That’s a lot of freedom for somebody. That’s a lot of freedom to scare and blame. That’s a lot of freedom to accuse, bully and threaten. That’s a lot of freedom for powerful economic elites to facilitate Nixonian “mobilization of resentments”.
This forwarded piece of propaganda is a classic example of mobilization of resentments.
Is this the freedom our troops are fighting to protect?
Republicans mobilized the resentments of angry white voters during the civil rights struggle. Republicans are employing the same strategy today with angry white voters. Resentment is being cultivated for an African American president and his entire party. Resentment is fueled by frightening terms like fascism, communism, and death panels. Resentment is mobilized toward the removal, and destruction, of all political opposition to the radical right.
The party targeted by obstruction and mobilization of resentments is the conservative party of the American government. That party would be the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party is fairly conservative, likes the status quo and looks after many of the interests of Big Money. Democrats, as a party, didn’t want to step on the toes of the insurance and pharmaceutical industries in the health care debacle.
On the other hand, there’s the party of the radical right. The Republican Party works completely in lock step for the top one percent economic elite of the country. They always support wealthcare for billionaires, and war is often their first choice in foreign policy. The Military Industrial Complex Eisenhower cautioned against is a prime mover, beneficiary, and benefactor of the radical right Republican Party.
This is the purpose of free speech as utilized by right wing interests. It is intended for nothing short of complete nullification of the process of democracy represented by the majority of American voters. Radical right wing ideology is intolerant of any rule outside its narrow interests. It will obstruct, demonize, slander and libel any proponents of civil liberties and government service working for the public good. Education, healthcare, collective bargaining, environmental concerns, and the preservation of American jobs are all targets for the radical right. And their voices have dominated the media through the access provided by their vast wealth and economic leverage.
We have a grossly unbalanced information network dominated by indoctrination from radical right interests. A significant part of the population doubts the American birth of the president. A significant part of the population believes Obama and the Democrats are socialists, communists, and even fascists. A significant part of the population believes in death panels. A significant part of the population believes universal health care is a Nazi-inspired conspiracy.
Yes, as extreme and delusional as this seems, the abuse of free speech has successfully sown the seeds of anger, ignorance, and hatred. We hear them tell us Obama and the Democrats are socialists.
We hear from the same voices the line that Hitler and his henchmen were socialists. Never mind that every extremist in the last century, whether communist or fascist, claimed to be socialist. This is because democratic socialism was the middle ground between fascism and communism. This was what people wanted. The Great Depression taught them the lessons of unregulated capitalism. There had to be a better way. FDR”s New Deal was attacked as socialism but it gave many people jobs, and helped turn our country back from the abyss.
Now the radical right is crowing about Hitler the socialist.
Not much has changed. The radical right wingers still believe what Hitler said. The old Nazi still dupes 'em.
Those concentration camps were filled with Jews, liberals, educators, socialists, communists, and anyone else who was not a war profiteering Nazi capitalist or enabler.
Or, maybe I'm wrong, and every government that promotes employment, education, and health care is a Nazi regime. Such is the absurdity of the radical right’s twisted logic.
But then, what would we call a regime that launched a war based on lies, without provocation, while profiting financially and politically from such action? What kind of regime would demand obedience and loyalty while imposing warrantless surveillance on dissident civilians in its Fatherland, or "Homeland"?
What kind of regime would have its chief law enforcement official warning, “Americans need to watch what they say”?
What kind of politician would accuse the other party of giving aid and comfort to the enemy? These are tough questions for anyone who can't remember anything that happened over a year ago, or didn't hear Dictator Dick recently on Fox propaganda.
Any sane, objective, or informed non-authoritarian personality will see the obvious fascism in the American radical right.
The radical right certainly reduces the freedom of speech to the level of vulgar and hateful propaganda. Where’s the counter balance to all this? Free speech cries out for the cause of equality and Constitutional liberty. But that free speech in support of democracy is in short supply in our corporate dominated media.
There are some progressive voices out in the corporate media, but they are a minority.
Who has the resources, time and access to the legal system to fight for the public’s civil liberties and right to know what the government is doing? This brings us back to the “wretched ACLU”.
Here’s what Glenn Greenwald said about the ACLU.
I can say with certainty that most of the evidence now in the public record has come from compelled disclosures by the ACLU’s FOIA litigations:
DOJ documents authorizing the “use of military force inside the U.S.”
The notorious Yoo and Bybee memos purporting to legalize torture in gruesome detail.
The CIA Inspector General’s Report describing the brutality in how those techniques were used.
The funny thing about this forward was a comment down in the chain from a guy named Mike saying, “You should check some of this stuff out. Snopes.com says this is false and the ACLU (as stupid as they can be at times) have never sued over this issue.”
Yet more proof the radical righties don’t care to read, as much as they don’t care about passing along falsehoods.
Knowing well enough that few would read what I wrote, I still added my two cents and hit “reply all”.
If you read below, you see Mike is right.
Anger and hatred is contagious. It is much easier for angry Right Wingers to spread lies and get other people angry, than it is to investigate the reality of an issue. This is one reason why Dick Cheney is not in prison.
Instead of blindly hating the ACLU, remember they even defended the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Ollie North when they saw their Constitutional rights threatened.
The ACLU is defending through the courts the SAME BILL OF RIGHTS and Constitution our troops defend. If you support the troops, shouldn’t you also support what they swore upon oath to defend?
We have a Constitutional Democratic Republic, not a theocracy. Wrapping oneself in the flag, in religion, and in militarism is NOT conducive to freedom and equality for all.
By the way, you can thank the ACLU for recently stopping the strip searches of your daughters in school. (One girl was accused of possessing a motrin tablet and strip searched for it.)
Please, people, join us and support the ACLU. Become a freedom fighter, because freedom can’t protect itself.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
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Your friend was right about that commie freedom-hating ACLU. But he forgot to mention the War on Christmas. Christians were persecuted worse than ever during this past season.
Every time some pagan store employee says "Season's Greetings" or "Happy Holidays" an angel cries.
It's an ongoing battle and right now its a losing battle, they have control of the language, not to mention the airwaves, fear is a powerful emotion and for some bizarre reason, more influential than love.
Anyway, I LOVE what you do. Have a great 2010, may we all be happier in a years time.
Tom Harper;could you please share your vast wisdom with us and explain to us knowledge starved commons why the ''commies''are known as the ''freedom haters''despite the fact that prior to the US entering the second world war,it was the right wing corporate capitalists who supported the facists with both financial and technical assistance ? Has the world been duped into believing that the Nazi's considered the communists their primary enemy ? I am sure that you have heard the adage,''FIRST THEY CAME FOR THE COMMUNISTS'', I suppose that perhaps you are going to tell us that in reality,the Nazi's first sought to destroy the capitalists,since according to your world view it is the capitalists who have always endorsed human freedom ? I suppose that you are even privey to information proving it was the ''freedom hating commies'' who established and maintainend for centuries the transatlantic slave trade !?
Please Tom,inform the world of the evidence you possess that shows that Presscot Bush and other power mad industrial capitalists who conspired to establish corporate facism in America,were in reality evil commies bent on carring out an inhumane agenda of wealth redistribution ! The fact that the commies believe that wealth should be evenly distributed amongst people,''espeacialy the people who create that wealth''is what makes them so evil, is it not ! ?
Tom;you should point out to people how ''freedom hating commies''have always strove to deny people the liberty of not just being homeless,but those dastardly,evil commies, do not believe in our god given right to starve to death !The nerve of the commies to believe that all humans,''even the poor,disabled,disavantaged children and elderly have an absolute right to the basic material goods which make life possible !
Tom Harper ,I believe it is your duty as a spokesman for the god fearing capitalists of the world, to spread the message that the freedom to exploit and profit from the needs of other human beings,is a freedom that should be cherished and acted upon everyday of the year,''except of course on christmas,less we should make the angels cry.
Tom if your mental simplicity were not in effect a danger to the cause of human freedom and progress,I would be hysterical right now.Instead I am saddend by the lack of cognitive depth far to evident in your blog.History teaches us clearly that ignorance,bigotry,greed and superstition,are the greatest threats to true freedom known to man.As long as there are people who believe that mythical beings,ie ''angels'' cry when we refer to the holiday season as just that,''the holidays''I do not see how humanity will ever have lasting peace nor prosperity.It is somewhat ironic that these so called angels are supposedly saddend when we fail to celebrate a particular holiday in the ''right'' manner,but as thousands of people die everyday all across the planet due to economic practices that cause the wealthy to become wealthier while the poor go hungary,these same ''angelic'' beings apparantly do not blink an eye !
have a wonderful holiday season and hopefully better 2010, where Dick Cheney remains in his bunker and the media wakes up - but that is wishful thinking
and if the collective brain on the right really understood how much the ACLU has helped them as well
oh i forget, the late and "wonderful" Jerry Fartwell blamed the ACLU for 9/11
The part that always floors me is the "cross-shaped headstones from military cemeteries." That line gets repeated over and over, proving to me that none of the people passing the crap along have ever bothered to actually visit a military cemetery. Standard issue military headstones within the US are and have been since military cemeteries were officially established (during the Civil War under Quartermaster General Montgomery Meigs) tablet style stones. I repeat, Tablets. Not crosses. I've seen that particular message in various e-mails for years, often accompanied by a photo of a military cemetery that is actually located in Belgium (it used to be an illustration common with the poem that begins "in Flanders fields the poppies grow. . .").
To me it's all part and parcel of the faux patriotism of the right wing. They cry a lot about supporting the military, loving the troops, loving the country, but obviously don't even care enough to bother looking twice at a photo from Arlington to see what a military gravemarker actually looks like.
The military will engrave religious symbols on gravemarkers, with a fairly wide range depending on the decedent's beliefs (including Wicca and atheism in addition to the more common Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and Buddhist).
Totally agree with your comments regarding the ACLU. They're about the only organization out there that doesn't have a political bias other than to protect everyone's constitutional rights.
Purely rhetorical question: what is it with the right wing fucktards that compels them to keep repeating the same stale lies over and over?
There are times that the ACLU takes a position with which I disagree, but I'm proud to be a member.
Off topic: Congrats Dave on being visitor number 25,000 at Politics Plus.
Happy New Year to you and all here!
As a Christo-Pagan, I resemble that remark.
You're right. The fear and anger from the Reich Wing is truly a contagion.
Thanks for stopping in. Hold your fire on Tom, he's one of us. It's just hard to tell sometimes. I highly recommend his blog, Who Hijacked our Country. I linked to it out front.
Happy New Year to you. Those bible-thunping, intolerant, authoritarian greedheads have always hated us for our freedom. Except for their ostentatious materialism they are way more similar to Al Qaeda than to freedom loving Americans.
I see you are another fact-based historical-minded observer. (AKA Progressive.)
It may be complicated to explain, so I like to pass along the old truism: You can lead a Republican to knowledge, but you can't make him think.
I like that number!
I wish I could contribute to more of the other worthy causes, but as long as I have a nickel to spare I will give to the ACLU.
AS D-Cap pointed out, if only the righties understood the ACLU represents them as well. Sigh. But that's part of what makes them such fools.
NNice rant & Happy New Year!
Dave, I generally limit my contributions to the non-profit for which I do volunteer work, but my annual ACLU membership is the exception.
I'm with you, Dave.
Every step of the way.
Happy Holidays to you, friend.
Here's hoping for (and working towards) a better tomorrow.
Why is it that the more wacko the idea, the quicker the Never-Right is to jump on it and run with it?? Once I received an e-mail with pictures of cross shaped headstones from a relative saying, "Who says they don't allow crosses on federal property??" I replied by saying, "That picture wasn't even taken in the US. It is in the country you Right-Wingnuts love to hate!! France!!"
Tom, I never used to have a problem with saying "Merry Xmas, Happy Holidays, or Seasons Greetings" until Fux Noise and the Christianists started their "War on Xmas". The above phrases were basically interchangable and conveyed the same message. Now the best anyone will get out of me is "Happy Holidays".
Thanks and Happy New Year to you!
High five to you, brother.
Thanks for the company. We will survive!
As we've learned from our socialist mentor, uncle Adolph, and defender of democracy and freedom, uncle Dick Cheney, the bigger the lie, the easier the sell.
I heard recently that the ACLU is being infiltrated by right-wing attorneys to try to undermine them.
If you can't beat them join them I suppose. Not sure if it's true. Heard it on the radio but figured I would pass it along.
I get tons of these propaganda pre-fab emails from relatives. I used to research them and reply with facts.
But the problem I ran into is they question any source that isn't right wing. If I use snopes they claim it is a left wing organization. If I use NYT, WaPo, or CNN they they claim those are liberals.
The only sources they will accept are WND, Fox News, Wash Times, Red State, and other right wing commentators (Malkin, Coulter, Limbaugh, Beck, Etc).
If it doesn't come from them they don't think it's true.
So I gave up. Might as well talk to a brick wall. I have no idea how to combat it. When it works on naive people is when I get really upset. With rational but naive people who don't follow politics you can often prove to them that the emails are untrue.
But for every email you can prove to someone as untrue they are sending out 10 more lies. It's a tactic. They start as many fires as possible knowing no one can possibly put out all the fires. It puts us immediately on the defense.
I've given up trying to combat it. I figure at this point they can have the 20% +/- of the population who are authoritarian in personaitly, who are followers, and who don't do their own thinking.
I just don't know in this country of 400 million how many are drinking the fox news koolaid. It's a minority for sure, maybe 11 million.
But to hear some of my friends and family members tell it "this country is conservative - the majority of Americans are conservative" - that's frightening.
Of course when they say conservative these days they really mean right wing fascist tea baggers. True conservatives died off long ago.
How can they claim to love the Constitution while simultaneously calling for it to be violated when it comes to prosecuting terrorists? How can they claim to be for the Constitution while advocating for torture or warrantless wiretapping?
Makes no sense.
When they say "this country is conservative - the majority of Americans are conservative", that only means they are drinking the koolaid. One could respond by asking them, “Why are the Democrats in the majority?” Unfortunately the majority of Americans are neither liberal nor conservative. They are apathetic, uninformed, and frightened, which makes them prime targets for the Reich Wing indoctrination machine.
As we have observed the Constitution takes a back seat to the authoritarian leaders. I insist this is nothing other than a cult. It operates exactly in the pattern of true believers following their anointed charismatic, deceitful leaders.
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