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We Are Here! We Are Here! Resistance to the emerging fascism goes beyond the polls

by : Daniel Patrick Welch
Tuesday November 9, 2004 - 02:09
15 comments

by Daniel Patrick Welch

For several months, one of my brothers, who is a bit prone to hyperbole, kept insisting that speculation about the election was meaningless, basically because it wasn’t going to happen. He was absolutely convinced that the Bush regime would manufacture some excuse to postpone or cancel the election in a bid to stay in power. However, I did not consider his proposal paranoid (for reasons that should now be obvious to the whole world) and in hindsight, even hyperbole may have been a bit harsh. An educated guess by a concerned and well-informed citizen can’t be far off. Even Darwin wasn’t exactly sure how natural selection played itself out, and came up with all sorts of intermediate species that turned out not to have existed.

But he was still right. In fact, I basically agreed with my brother, except I thought they would do it in a less obvious way. Then, in July, Tucson-based investigative reporter Wayne Madsen wrote a piece ( http://www.politrix.org/modules.php... ) laying out a different scenario: a sort of fudged attack on the West coast rather than an outright postponement. He was off, too. Many of us, though, were only looking for how, not if. Greg Palast came closest, in his investigative piece released just before the election explaining how Republicans had scrubbed more than a million votes from Kerry’s total even before the votes were cast ( http://www.tompaine.com/articles/an... ). Bush’s goons are a creative lot, and their dirty tricks ranged from the merely ugly?gay bashing, fearmongering, and vicious smear campaigns ?to the obscene and illegal: unleashing an army of trained intimidators on poor and minority precincts throughout the swing states.

It is a frightening measure of just how far backward we have slipped: When Ol’ Bill Rehnquist was caught participating in “Operation Eagle Eye,” a targeted effort to intimidate minority voters in Arizona way back, he had to deny it twice, once upon his appointment to the Supreme Court, and again during his hearing to be named Chief Justice. You at least have to hand it to the guy for knowing it was wrong. Nowadays, Republicans run to their Supreme Court to protect such shitty practices, and Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell thinks he’s channeling Martin Luther King by requiring that registration forms be disqualified if they are not printed on paper of a certain weight, or if he risked going to jail to protect voter intimidation tactics. We shall overcome, my ass.

In the hindsight now available to us, it’s interesting to sift through the rubble of people’s bitter disappointment. One friend wrote this: "It’s obviously going to be very difficult for Kerry to fight this for any length of time. [any time at all, it turns out]. The strongest argument for fighting — that the Bush cabal controls the machines, the administration of the voting, and the media reporting the voting — is obviously one that the media won’t touch, and I don’t think Kerry and company have the guts to try to force the issue.

(You have to admire those Bush operatives — they make it so that the truth is the one thing you can’t say or use against them!)

They’ll probably cave into Ohio’s "statistical impossibility" argument, because the only way to challenge it is to challenge the numbers they are reporting. The benefit of the doubt will be given to the "respected election officials" of Ohio.

One of the saddest things I heard was a call into the Mike Malloy show late last week. The call was from a lawyer who was going down to Florida to help observe the election. Even though he was part of the effort to ensure clean balloting, he was absolutely resigned to the fact that the Bush cabal was going to manipulate the vote counting, and there was nothing we could do about it."

This hit a nerve with me, and I immediately concluded my friend was right—we learned last time the limits of being polite. This one should be confronted in the streets: marches, protests, civil disobedience, creative and sustainable disruption campaigns, tax or federal obligation avoidance, etc....anything to make it difficult for the bastards to continue to take over the world. This is a stolen election—the worst thing that can happen in a democracy. Americans have to develop a stomach for the types of resistance and struggle other populations have to resort to in similar circumstances. One thing is probably already clear: it won’t have much to do with the Democrats.

I think Americans need to learn from other populations whose votes are regularly rigged. There has to be sustained popular resistance in as many forms as people can creatively imagine. We are no different now than any banana republic with a strongman manipulating the election to his own ends, and we have to learn to react accordingly. There is a smugness among Americans about the sanctity of our vote that is quite clearly unsupported by history. Many US voters, even lefties, bristle at the notion of international observers poking their noses into our election. In fact, foreign monitors were barred from voting stations in Columbus, OH by republican officials. ( http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set... ). Jimmy Carter was seen as some sort of weirdo when he claimed in 2000 that his organization couldn’t possibly monitor such an election because US voting doesn’t meet the minimum standards required by the Carter Center. Of course, other un-free people respond with strikes, slowdowns, marches, protests, civil disruption, boycotts, antitax campaigns...things that are as varied as the population and spanning a wide range of actions that appeal to different sectors. Think of Dr. Seuss and the little girl who saved her tiny town with a yip or a yop. We should race, figuratively, to the top of every high building and shout WE ARE HERE, WE ARE HERE!! in as many ways as possible.

Another friend took issue with my stance, saying: "I do think some people were disenfranchised, but what’s more frightening is that the American people were willing to vote for Bush. Kerry did a more than adequate job of explaining the deficiencies of the Bush Presidency and offering an alternative."

This may be true, I replied, though I have to disagree about the fight put up by Kerry and the Democrats. But it does indeed depend heavily on what we mean by "some" (is it more than a million, plus untraceable more scared away through intimidation and fear?) and by "the American people." 49.99% would indeed be scary; but then, it wouldn’t be a majority—an important distinction—and 25 or 30% of a population willing to tolerate fascism is plenty scary for my taste. Remember those international polls done in various countries saying that the rest of the world was ’overwhelmingly’ in favor of dumping Bush? I remember looking closely at them and being surprised that he even polled 35 or even 40% in some places, even though it was in the single digits in some Latin American countries. It is logical that it would be highest in the belly of the beast, and reasonable to think that there will always be an opposition. But the Germans tolerance for Nazism doesn’t absolve Goering and the other propagandists of their smug contempt for their own people, and their outright pride in their success in using fear and threats to cow the populace into submission. Likewise, it can’t absolve us of our own duty to recognize and resist fascist tendencies where we see them.

It is also healthy to remember that it’s not over by a long shot. The whole world knows this election stinks, and Bush is more isolated than ever. Never forget that the halls of this administration is crawling with criminals, and impeachment and prison are still an option for a population angry enough to notice. Revive John Kenneth Galbraith’s unheeded advice from last time around, when he warned that we should never, not for one minute, regard this junta as a legitimate representative of the popular will?and heed it this time. Also comforting are the Bushh thugs’ twin Achilles’ heels of avarice and hubris. They think they are home free because they got past their own people, and their actions will reflect this dangerous lack of caution. The rest of the world does exist, however, and will not go meekly into that dark night. Iraq is every bit the quagmire we warned it would be, and we are freed from having to split the hairs the Democrats’ position required.

And last but not least: We are Americans, too—just as much as any of these jackass republicans—and our voice deserves to be heard through the corrupting fog of bought-off media, brain-dead fellow countrymen, the perfidy of our leaders and the cowardice of our own opposition. Be counted—at the polls, in the streets, in the media, in all aspects of public life. We are here! We are here! We are here!

© 2004 Daniel Patrick Welch. Reprint permission granted with credit and link to http://www.danielpwelch.com . Writer, singer, linguist and activist Daniel Patrick Welch lives and writes in Salem, Massachusetts, with his wife, Julia Nambalirwa-Lugudde. Together they run The Greenhouse School, www.greenhouseschool.org . Some of his articles have been broadcast on radio, and translations are available in up to 20 languages. Links to the website are appreciated at http://www.danielpwelch.com



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> We Are Here! We Are Here! Resistance to the emerging fascism goes beyond the polls
Tuesday November 9 - 13:35 - Posted by 2959eb8dfd5c6566...


> We Are Here! We Are Here! Resistance to the emerging fascism goes beyond the polls
Tuesday November 9 - 14:14 - Posted by e7ea8128a99af72d...

Instead of denying the election results, disappointed democrats should start some sort of dialogue as to how it is that they have become a minority party that is out of touch. A majority of people out there really don’t agree with your agenda or you would not have lost seats in both houses of congress and among governorships. I myself think that you democrats cater and pander too much to the europeans and the UN.




> We Are Here! We Are Here! Resistance to the emerging fascism goes beyond the polls
Wednesday November 10 - 18:21 - Posted by 834544dafbc7ac66...

America was one of the countries that started the UN.What right do they now have to blatantly disobey.



> We Are Here! We Are Here! Resistance to the emerging fascism goes beyond the polls
Wednesday November 10 - 19:27 - Posted by e7ea8128a99af72d...

Disobey? Does the UN rule the world? That really would be the beginning of hell on earth.



> We Are Here! We Are Here! Resistance to the emerging fascism goes beyond the polls
Thursday November 11 - 03:12 - Posted by 8e4865e955a2a182...

If you Bush followers hate the United Nations so much, why don’t you convince your boss to withdraw the US from it? He’s got a mandate after all! Let’s see if he has the guts to do it. Actually, I’m quite sure the UN would work much better without a member country which is undermining the organization every step of the way.



> We Are Here! We Are Here! Resistance to the emerging fascism goes beyond the polls
Thursday November 11 - 05:31 - Posted by e7ea8128a99af72d...

Withdraw?! It’s our land in New York, we tried to kick them out and they didn’t go. Actually some 20 years ago, the UN threatened to leave over some issue. The US ambassador to the UN said he’ll be there to wave them off with a bon voyage. THEY DIDN’T LEAVE!



> We Are Here! We Are Here! Resistance to the emerging fascism goes beyond the polls
Thursday November 11 - 17:37 - Posted by 8e4865e955a2a182...

WITHDRAW = leave the organization

On the UN headquarters’ topic, I’m quite sure other countries would be honored to receive it...



> We Are Here! We Are Here! Resistance to the emerging fascism goes beyond the polls
Thursday November 11 - 18:20 - Posted by e7ea8128a99af72d...

Well then tell those countries to come and take it because you will find many americans glad for the UN to be gone. On top of which, we don’t have to keep paying exhorbitant membership dues for which we don’t get much back.



> We Are Here! We Are Here! Resistance to the emerging fascism goes beyond the polls
Friday November 12 - 01:34 - Posted by 1122a42601ceb4e3...

Absolutely right we should withdraw from the UN, they don’t want us and we don’t want them. Our continued membership is just a way to keep them impotent. That is the only reason we still insist on being a member....a fox to guard the hen house theroy. I can not figure out how other countries want us there and it is not the money we pay to belong because for many years we did not pay our dues, so Ted Turner stepped up to the plate and paid them for us....they could get much more done if they would move out of this country and ask the Americans to withdraw from their membership.



> We Are Here! We Are Here! Resistance to the emerging fascism goes beyond the polls
Thursday November 11 - 17:44 - Posted by 5d493332b539bed8...

AND THE US RULING THE EARTH WOULD BE HEAVEN I SUPPOSE.NO THEY DONT RULE THE WORLD BUT THERE IS SUCH A THING AS INTERNATIONAL LAW.



> We Are Here! We Are Here! Resistance to the emerging fascism goes beyond the polls
Thursday November 11 - 18:21 - Posted by e7ea8128a99af72d...

International law is baloney, that’s just something europeans put together so they can tell everybody what to do.



> We Are Here! We Are Here! Resistance to the emerging fascism goes beyond the polls
Friday November 12 - 18:33 - Posted by d1149b44a040bab1...

The only people bothered by the Law are crooks and criminals. Which one are you???



> We Are Here! We Are Here! Resistance to the emerging fascism goes beyond the polls
Wednesday November 10 - 18:04 - Posted by 8e4865e955a2a182...

The author is right. Bush acts like a Third World country dictator. I must confess it’s quite disappointing to see how unprepared the Americans are to deal with this type of fellow...

I guess Bush didn’t screw you enough. Maybe after two more years of Dubya you will kick him out of office. After all, as mentioned above, "TO REBEL IS RIGHT, TO DISOBEY IS A DUTY, TO ACT IS NECESSARY!"




> We Are Here! We Are Here! Resistance to the emerging fascism goes beyond the polls
Thursday November 11 - 11:18 - Posted by 1122a42601ceb4e3...

Fuck the South. Fuck ’em. We should have let them go when they wanted to leave. But no, we had to kill half a million people so they’d stay part of our special Union. Fighting for the right to keep slaves - yeah, those are states we want to keep.

And now what do we get? We’re the fucking Arrogant Northeast Liberal Elite? How about this for arrogant: the South is the Real America? The Authentic America. Really?

Cause we fucking founded this country, assholes. Those Founding Fathers you keep going on and on about? All that bullshit about what you think they meant by the Second Amendment giving you the right to keep your assault weapons in the glove compartment because you didn’t bother to read the first half of the fucking sentence? Who do you think those wig-wearing lacy-shirt sporting revolutionaries were? They were fucking blue-staters, dickhead. Boston? Philadelphia? New York? Hello? Think there might be a reason all the fucking monuments are up here in our backyard?

No, No. Get the fuck out. We’re not letting you visit the Liberty Bell and fucking Plymouth Rock anymore until you get over your real American selves and start respecting those other nine amendments. Who do you think those fucking stripes on the flag are for? Nine are for fucking blue states. And it would be 10 if those Vermonters had gotten their fucking Subarus together and broken off from New York a little earlier. Get it? We started this shit, so don’t get all uppity about how real you are you Johnny-come-lately "Oooooh I’ve been a state for almost a hundred years" dickheads. Fuck off.

Arrogant? You wanna talk about us Northeasterners being fucking arrogant? What’s more American than arrogance? Hmmm? Maybe horsies? I don’t think so. Arrogance is the fucking cornerstone of what it means to be American. And I wouldn’t be so fucking arrogant if I wasn’t paying for your fucking bridges, bitch.

All those Federal taxes you love to hate? It all comes from us and goes to you, so shut up and enjoy your fucking Tennessee Valley Authority electricity and your fancy highways that we paid for. And the next time Florida gets hit by a hurricane you can come crying to us if you want to, but you’re the ones who built on a fucking swamp. "Let the Spanish keep it, it’s a shithole," we said, but you had to have your fucking orange juice.

The next dickwad who says, "It’s your money, not the government’s money" is gonna get their ass kicked. Nine of the ten states that get the most federal fucking dollars and pay the least... can you guess? Go on, guess. That’s right, motherfucker, they’re red states. And eight of the ten states that receive the least and pay the most? It’s too easy, asshole, they’re blue states. It’s not your money, assholes, it’s fucking our money. What was that Real American Value you were spouting a minute ago? Self reliance? Try this for self reliance: buy your own fucking stop signs, assholes.

Let’s talk about those values for a fucking minute. You and your Southern values can bite my ass because the blue states got the values over you fucking Real Americans every day of the goddamn week. Which state do you think has the lowest divorce rate you marriage-hyping dickwads? Well? Can you guess? It’s fucking Massachusetts, the fucking center of the gay marriage universe. Yes, that’s right, the state you love to tie around the neck of anyone to the left of Strom Thurmond has the lowest divorce rate in the fucking nation. Think that’s just some aberration? How about this: 9 of the 10 lowest divorce rates are fucking blue states, asshole, and most are in the Northeast, where our values suck so bad. And where are the highest divorce rates? Care to fucking guess? 10 of the top 10 are fucking red-ass we’re-so-fucking-moral states. And while Nevada is the worst, the Bible Belt is doing its fucking part.

But two guys making out is going to fucking ruin marriage for you? Yeah? Seems like you’re ruining it pretty well on your own, you little bastards. Oh, but that’s ok because you go to church, right? I mean you do, right? Cause we fucking get to hear about it every goddamn year at election time. Yes, we’re fascinated by how you get up every Sunday morning and sing, and then you’re fucking towers of moral superiority. Yeah, that’s a workable formula. Maybe us fucking Northerners don’t talk about religion as much as you because we’re not so busy sinning, hmmm? Ever think of that, you self-righteous assholes? No, you’re too busy erecting giant stone tablets of the Ten Commandments in buildings paid for by the fucking Northeast Liberal Elite. And who has the highest murder rates in the nation? It ain’t us up here in the North, assholes.

Well this gravy train is fucking over. Take your liberal-bashing, federal-tax-leaching, confederate-flag-waving, holier-than-thou, hypocritical bullshit and shove it up your ass.

And no, you can’t have your fucking convention in New York next time. Fuck off.

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> We Are Here! We Are Here! Resistance to the emerging fascism goes beyond the polls
Sunday January 2 - 16:03 - Posted by 5612d6d63e81810a...

Nothing like an intelligent, erudite debate. Is this part of the solution, or part of the problem?






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by : David R. Hoffman, Pravda.Ru Legal Editor
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LIVE, from the State that brought you Senator Joseph McCarthy, Wisconsin voters now proudly present, fresh from his recall election victory, Governor Scott Walker! At first glance, it is almost unfathomable that anyone with a modicum of intelligence would have voted to retain Scott Walker as Wisconsin’s governor. This, after all, is a man who openly declared he is trying to destroy the rights of workers through a “divide and conquer” strategy; who received 61% of the (...)
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PEOPLE WITHOUT SOULS
Tuesday 13 March
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
2 comments
A question I’ve frequently been asked since I began writing for Pravda.Ru in 2003 is, “Why did you become disillusioned with the practice of law?” This question is understandable, particularly since, in most people’s minds, being an attorney is synonymous with wealth and political power. I’ve always been reluctant to answer this question for fear it will discourage conscientious and ethical people from pursuing careers in the legal profession—a (...)
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