Utah Tea Party Falls Off The Deep End

 Crack Pots, Legislature, Politics  Comments Off on Utah Tea Party Falls Off The Deep End
Feb 272016
 

AlJacksonJust in case you’ve forgotten, U.S. Senators were not always elected by the people. The Constitution allowed the state legislatures to decide how their states’ Senators would be chosen. In the early days after the Constitution was ratified, legislatures often chose the Senators themselves. However, as people began to demand it, many legislatures gave the voters the right to choose their Senators even before the federal Constitution required them to do so. This was changed in 1913, by the 17th Amendment, which provided that Senators would be chosen by the people in the same way the Representatives were.

Well, those good Mormon Republicans in Utah have decided the 17th Amendment was a bad idea, and wait ’til you hear the explanation offered by Senator Al “I hate representative Government” Jackson (R-Idiot). It might be important to note that being “appointed” to representative government has a special place in Al’s life, as he wasn’t elected to his seat, but appointed to fill an unexpired term of someone else.

According to Jackson, no branch of the federal government represents the interests of the states. Funny thing about that though, I thought our government was formed to represent the interests of the citizens, but Al looks at this way, “Today, senators are more beholden to special interest groups than to their states because those interests give them money for reelection. It’s time for our senators to come home every weekend and take direction from this body and from the House and the governor on how they should vote in the upcoming week.” Continue reading »

May 242008
 

It’s hard to believe, but Deep Sand debuted on May 24, 2004. I can’t believe I’ve maintained this blog for that long. Lot’s of blogs out there have been abandoned over the past four years.

We’ve gone through a couple of site redesigns, and we’ve tried to keep up-t0-date with the software versions and enhancements. I’ve learned a lot about PHP and the open source world through all this and we’ve written about a lot things over those four years.   Continue reading »

Defining Characteristics of Facist Governments – Scary

 Corruption, Election, Politics  Comments Off on Defining Characteristics of Facist Governments – Scary
Sep 232005
 

The reconstruction of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama provides a fascinating picture of how the Bush administration actually works. His government represents an odd melding of corporatism and cronyism, more in tune with the workings of 1930s Italy or Spain. In fact, if one looks at fascist regimes of the 20th century, it is appears that the Bush administration draws more from these sources than traditional conservatism. Dr. Lawrence Britt has examined the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia) and several Latin American regimes. Britt found 14 defining characteristics common to each:

  • Powerful and Continuing Nationalism – Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.
  • Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights – Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of “need.” The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.
  • Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause – The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial, ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.
  • Supremacy of the Military – Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.
  • Rampant Sexism – The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.
  • Controlled Mass Media – Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.
  • Obsession with National Security – Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.
  • Religion and Government are intertwined – Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government’s policies or actions.
  • Corporate Power is protected – The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.
  • Labor Power is suppressed – Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.
  • Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts – Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked.
  • Obsession with Crime and Punishment – Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.
  • Rampant Cronyism and Corruption – Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.
  • Fraudulent Elections – Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.

(Source: The Fourteen Defining Characteristics of Fascism, Dr. Lawrence Britt, Spring 2003, Free Inquiry)

Perhaps it is unfair to characterise the Bush Presidency in these terms, because it would imply the existence of a coherent governing philosophy.