The Presidential election is far from over (it's not over until each state's votes have been certified--after any recounts have been completed--the Electoral College has cast its votes on December 13, and the election has been certified by Congress.) Serious efforts are underway to challenge and/or recount the votes in several states. And we don't even know who officially won Ohio's 20 electoral votes; Ohio has JUST BEGUN its official vote counting today, Saturday, after receiving absentee ballots throughout the past ten days. If Kerry wins Ohio's electoral votes and no other state's votes swing to Bush in the meantime, Kerry will win the Presidency.
IN THE MEANTIME, THE BUSH WHITE HOUSE IS REPORTEDLY COOKING UP SOME BLATANTLY ANTI-CONSTITUTIONAL PLANS FOR ITS NEXT FOUR YEARS.
If the reports are true, the administration's next four years will be far more compassionless than the past four years have been.
PLEASE READ ABOUT THESE PLANS BELOW.
But don't just read! Forward this to your friends and family. Get this information to a local reporter you trust. Urge your elected officials to wake up and to preemptively speak up.
Most importantly, PLEASE DONATE to the organizations that are leading the charge for recounts:
* The Alliance for Democracy (leading an Ohio recount effort on behalf of David Cobb, Green Party candidate and Michael Badnarik, Libertarian Party candidate) http://www.thealliancefordemocracy.org/html/eng/2138-AA.shtml
* Nader/Camejo Campaign (calling for a hand recount in New Hampshire) http://www.votenader.org/contribute/index.php
* Help America Recount http://www.HelpAmericaRecount.org
It'll cost about 5,000 to recount all of Ohio; let's help these groups raise the money right away.
FOR MUCH MORE ON THE EFFORTS TO CHALLENGE THE ELECTION, GO TO http://arkansas.indymedia.org/feature/display/5103/index.php
(Note: The author of this posting is not associated with any of the above-named organizations, nor is the author associated with ANY political party or campaign. The author is a Christian progressive who believes that an official Kerry victory is possible in the weeks ahead.)
THE BUSH TEAM'S BIG PLANS?
The following are excerpts from the November 8 edition of a column titled "Voice of the White House" at www.tbrnews.org, a website associated with "The Barnes Review" magazine.
The column is written by an unnamed White House insider--one who refers to the White House as the "Monkey Palace." TBRnews.org offers the following caution in its introduction to this column: "Not being able to either confirm of deny any of this information, we present it without comment or endorsement."
(Bothered by the insider's anonymity? Keep in mind that many or most mainstream news stories about the Bush White House also rely on "unnamed" sources.)
NOTE: Before you dismiss these plans as "impossible" for Bush to carry out, ask yourself: exactly who could or would step in to PREVENT the implementation of these plans?
“November 7, 2004. Many manifestations of pathological glee here in the Monkey Palace these days. We learn that Bush has cut down on his medication because he is euphoric over the election. He claims, and has done so in my presence, that God had given him a complete mandate (51 percent and a lot of that outright stolen by the Rove people) to change the political and moral face of America! Rove is behind all of this, telling everyone that God did indeed demand a complete restructuring of the grossly immoral American lifestyle.
homosexuality is to be made illegal (a new Federal law suggested by Delay and firmly endorsed by Rove)
a form of Creationism to be taught in all schools,
a modified draft, (mostly of technicians),
military action against Iran and Syria, a strong message sent to both North Korea, the PRC and Russia to keep out of American business or suffer “serious consequences,”
utter destruction of Iraqi cities that harbor any terrorists, regardless of the civilian casualties (‘Nits make lice,” as Rove told me when I mentioned the possibility of large casualties, to include women and children)
a board to be set up to control “vile and degrading pornography” in the films coming out of Hollywood and “encouragement” to produce more Mel Gibson-style religious films,
resurrection of the old sedition laws to prevent any more criticism of government or what is amounting to the state religion,
the overturn of Rove [sic] v. Wade and a host of environmental acts that Bush’s business friends claim are restricting their businesses,
investigation of legal possibilities to permit Bush to run again (i.e., lifting the two-term mandate), and
the calculated marginalization of the Democrat party and a planned strategy to oust Democrats as state governors. Another planned assault on Democrats in Congress is being worked up even as I write. Rove has told me, and others, that this is to be a one-party state and if he achieves this, it will be his “crowning glory.” "
(The full text of the column is at http://www.tbrnews.org/Archives/a1180.htm#001
PUTTING ALL THIS IN CONTEXT
If what you've read surprises or outrages you, the following excerpts from the March, 2004 issue of "Museletter," a newsletter by Professor Richard Heinberg of the New College of California, may help you understand the neo-conservative and ultra-fundamentalist, so-called "Christian Reconstructionist" context in which the administration operates.
In particular, Heinberg writes that some who operate in this context seek to:
"...replace democracy with a theocratic elite who would govern according to 'Biblical Law.' They would also eliminate labor unions, civil rights laws, and public schools. Women would leave the work force and return to the home. Capital punishment would be applicable to crimes such as blasphemy, heresy, adultery, and homosexuality."
(For more about so-called "Christian Reconstructionism," see Chapter 6 of Mark Crispin Miller's book, "Cruel and Unusual: Bush/Cheney's New World Order." Some excerpts are available in "Bush & the Extreme Right: Hello Theocracy?" at http://seattle.indymedia.org/en/2004/10/242675.shtml
From Heinberg's March, 2004 newsletter:
"...I believe that the neoconservatives now in power are extraordinarily dangerous people by any historical measure. In four short years, Bush, Cheney, and company have managed to do the following [Heinberg elaborates on each of the following points in the full text of his newsletter]:
1. Steal an election.
2. Place criminals and human rights violators in prominent policy-making positions.
3. Facilitate a terrorist attack on the US in order to consolidate political power.
4. Lie to the American people and the world in order to justify the illegal invasion of a sovereign nation.
5. Undermine the system of international law by proclaiming the validity of a policy of pre-emptive attack.
6. Use weapons that kill indiscriminately - i.e., "weapons of mass destruction" - in the invasions of both Afghanistan and Iraq.
7. Subvert the US Constitution.
8. Undermine the US economy through unwise tax cuts and vastly increased government borrowing. The administration's evident goal is to bankrupt the US government so that social programs (including Social Security) can be entirely privatized or eliminated.
...The Neocons and Machiavelli
The current US leaders' actions are so clearly sabotaging the very system that sustains them that an explanation is in order. What motivates these people? Is it mere thirst for wealth and power? Perhaps we can gain some insight by examining the philosophies they espouse.
Neoconservatism, the political movement to which most of the current administration belongs, is widely attributed to be the intellectual offspring of Leo Strauss (1899-1973), a Jewish scholar who fled Hitler's Germany and taught political science at the University of Chicago. According to Shadia Drury in "Leo Strauss and the American Right" (Griffin, 1999), Strauss advocated an essentially Machiavellian approach to governance; he believed that
* a leader must perpetually deceive those being ruled;
* those who lead are accountable to no overarching system of morals, only to the right of the superior to rule the inferior;
* religion is the force that binds society together, and is therefore the tool by which the ruler can manipulate the masses (any religion will do);
* secularism in society is to be suppressed, because it leads to critical thinking and dissent;
* a political system can be stable only if it is united against an external threat, and that if no real threat exists, one should be manufactured.
Drury writes that, "In Strauss's view, the trouble with liberal society is that it dispenses with noble lies and pious frauds. It tries to found society on secular rational foundations."
Among Strauss's students was Paul Wolfowitz, one of the leading hawks in the Defense Department who urged the invasion of Iraq; more distant followers include Newt Gingrich, Clarence Thomas, Irving Kristol, William Bennett, John Ashcroft, and Michael Ledeen.
...Enter the Religious Right
Strauss's belief that religion is a tool that leaders can use to manipulate the masses naturally leads one to wonder about the history and nature of the collaboration between neoconservatives and the Christian evangelical movement. Clearly, the neocon agenda is not what most people would traditionally have thought of as exemplifying the teachings of Jesus; how, then, has the philosophy of Strauss, Kristol, Podhoretz, and Wolfowitz come to achieve virtual sanctification in the eyes of tens of millions of devout American Christians? To answer this question, we must first examine developments within the more conservative US Christian churches in the past few decades.
In her essay "The Despoiling of America," investigative reporter Katherine Yurica explains the origins of the now-dominant faction of the Christian Right, which she calls "dominionism," and how it has found common cause with the neoconservative movement.10 Dominionism, closely related to another Christian movement called "reconstructionism," was founded by the late R. J. Rushdoony, who also co-founded the Council for National Policy - which has been called the politburo of the American conservative movement, since it is composed of top political and business leaders who set the national agenda for the vast network of right-wing foundations, publishers, media, and universities that have schooled a whole generation in the ideology of neoconservatism, much the way the extremist Wahabbi religious schools funded by Saudi billionaires have seeded the Middle East with Islamic fundamentalism. Dominionism began to flourish in the 1970s as a politicized religious reaction to communism and secular humanism. One of its foremost spokesmen, Pat Robertson (religious broadcaster, former presidential candidate, and founder of the Christian Coalition), has for decades patiently and relentlessly put forward the dominionist view to his millions of daily TV viewers that God intends His followers to rule the world on His behalf. Yurica describes dominionism as a Machiavellian perversion of Christianity.
The original and defining text of Dominionism and Reconstructionism is Ruchdoony's 800-page Institutes of Biblical Law, (1973) a turgid exegesis of the Ten Commandments that sets forth the Biblical "case law" that derives from them. "The only true order," Rushdoony wrote, "is founded on Biblical Law. All law is religious in nature, and every non-Biblical law-order represents an anti-Christian religion." Further, "Every law-order is a state of war against the enemies of that order, and all law is a form of warfare."
Reconstructionism argues that the Bible must be the governing text for all areas of life - including government, education, law, and the arts. Reconstructionists examine contemporary issues and events in the light of a "Biblical world view" and "Biblical principles." Reconstructionist theologian David Chilton summarizes this view as follows: "The Christian goal for the world is the universal development of Biblical theocratic republics, in which every area of life is redeemed and placed under the Lordship of Jesus Christ and the rule of God's law." Reconstructionists espouse the goal of world conquest or "dominion," assured that the Bible has prophesied their "inevitable victory."
Reconstructionists would replace democracy with a theocratic elite who would govern according to "Biblical Law." They would also eliminate labor unions, civil rights laws, and public schools. Women would leave the work force and return to the home. Capital punishment would be applicable to crimes such as blasphemy, heresy, adultery, and homosexuality. While not all viewers of Robertson's popular daily 700 Club television program would agree with the most extreme dominionist and reconstructionist dogmas, most have been conditioned to believe that the US is a "Christian nation" that is under attack from within by secular humanists, homosexuals, and socialists; and that George W. Bush has a mandate from God to govern America (on behalf of the Lord Jesus Christ) during these troubling times. The rise of the religious right has so shifted the American political landscape in recent years that a law, the "Constitution Restoration Act of 2004," which would have been unimaginable only a decade or two ago, is now making its way through Congress. Introduced in February, the new law would, if enacted, "acknowledge God as the sovereign source of law, liberty [and] government" in the United States. Thus, in effect, the arbitrary dictates of a "higher power" - as interpreted by a judge, policeman, bureaucrat, or president - could override existing legal precedent. Any judge who presumed to overrule "God's sovereign authority" as so interpreted could be removed from office.
All of this provides tinder for the spark of Mel Gibson's recent film The Passion of the Christ, which Roger Ebert has called "the most violent single movie I have ever seen."
For the devout...the blood and flying flesh are sacred reminders of what our Lord endured for us. They are a measure of the wickedness of the secularists, the Muslims, the unbelievers. "See what they did to our Lord!," the well-schooled dominionist must thing when leaving the theater. "When the time comes that we have them supine before us, we must show them no mercy!"
And so, for the next few months, until the election, we will, all of us - like it or not - be marinating in a dangerous mixture of religious fanaticism, political intrigue, economic upheaval, and unraveling scandal. The people in power (and their supporters) are not open to logic or compromise. Nevertheless, challenges to their power are arising in ever-greater number and intensity. An irresistible force is about to encounter an immovable object."
(The full text of the newsletter is at http://www.museletter.com/archive/144.html
ICING ON THE CAKE?
Early indications are that Bush's ultra-right supporters are ultra-psyched. Consider the following excerpts from a "Congratulatory letter to President George W. Bush from Dr. Bob Jones III" of Bob Jones University. (I've added ALL CAPS for emphasis.)
The full letter is available at http://www.bju.edu/letter
November 3, 2004
President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
The media tells us that you have received the largest number of popular votes of any president in America's history. Congratulations!
In your re-election, God has graciously granted America—though she doesn't deserve it—A REPRIEVE FROM THE AGENDA OF PAGANISM. You have been given a mandate. We the people expect your voice to be like the clear and certain sound of a trumpet. Because you seek the Lord daily, we who know the Lord will follow that kind of voice eagerly.
Don't equivocate. Put your agenda on the front burner and let it boil. YOU OWE THE LIBERALS NOTHING. They despise you because they despise your Christ. Honor the Lord, and He will honor you.
...It is easy to rejoice today, because Christ has allowed you to be His servant in this nation for another presidential term. Undoubtedly, you will have opportunity to appoint many conservative judges and exercise forceful leadership with the Congress in passing legislation that is defined by BIBLICAL NORM regarding the family, sexuality, sanctity of life, religious freedom, freedom of speech, and limited government.
...The student body, faculty, and staff at Bob Jones University commit ourselves to pray for you—that you would do right and honor the Savior. Pull out all the stops and make a difference. If you have weaklings around you who do not share your biblical values, shed yourself of them. Conservative Americans would love to see one president who doesn't care whether he is liked, but cares infinitely that he does right.
Sincerely your friend,
Bob Jones III
PS: A few moments ago I read this letter to the students in Chapel. They applauded loudly their approval.
When I told them that Tom Daschle was no longer the minority leader of the Senate, they cheered again.