Only the Paranoid Survive
Here's something else Leonard Cohen sings: "There is a war between the ones who say there is a war and the ones who say there isn't." You can see that divide online today within the ranks of American Democrats. While one side collects evidence of another stolen election and has shaken off the illusion of democracy, the other still holds an unrequited love for the system, and passionately strokes off to Hillary/Obama revenge fantasies for 2008. ("Just wait - We'll get 'em next time!")
Do you know what's happening in the Ukraine, America? Tens of thousands are in the streets of Kiev, protesting alleged election fraud:
Vote results from Ukraine's Central Election Commission showed Yushchenko trailing Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych in last Sunday's race, but final results have not been announced and Yushchenko's supporters want a re-count. Yushchenko backers claim he won 300,000 more votes than Yanukovych. Some exit polls also put Yushchenko in the lead.
In the Ukraine, when election results conflict with exit polls, it's grounds for belief a fraud was perpetuated. While in the United States, when results reverse exit polls only in battleground states, even outside the margin of error, and only in favour of Bush, it's the fault of bloggers for disseminating "erroneous" data which "confused" voters.
"Why don't you come on back to the war - that's right, get in it."
Can we stop saying, please, that fascism is coming to America? Fascism has arrived. We needn't await a Holocaust to say so. (Though we needn't have long to wait.) The regimes of Mussolini, Franco, Salazar, Peron, Marcos and more - many of them loyal US allies - were fascist as well, and some were better than others at maintaining the illusion of representative government.
I expect most Democrats who believe they lost fair enough last week, and are picking themselves up with the mantra of "third time's the charm," would balk at the notion that America is now a fascist state. Some will concede that fascism - understood chiefly as a vague boogie man to "get out the vote" - may threaten America, but many more would say that using the f-word demonstrates political immaturity and "alienates the heartland." They argue the Democratic Party merely needs to repackage, or redefine itself, or whatever; and then, God willing, it can groove once again to "Don't Stop thinking about tomorrow."
To the former I say, what are you waiting to see before you will be able to see? To the latter, enjoy your coping mechanism. It may save your peace of mind, but it won't save your country or our world.
"Why don't you come on back to the war - don't be a tourist."
November 2 confirmed the sum of my fears. That is, it isn't "just me" - the world really is this fucked. But the self-diagnosis isn't exactly cheering. Rather a dose of mental illness than global calamity. But we "tinfoilers" expected the worst last week, and damn if we didn't get it. We had been screaming since the mid-term theft of 2002 about the vulnerability of America's electronic vote, and were roundly ignored by many because, in the words of J Edgar Hoover, "the individual is handicapped by coming face to face with a conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists."
Here's Chris Floyd, more than a year ago:
Who's behind these private companies? It's hard to tell: The corporate lines – even the bloodlines – of these "competitors" are so intricately mixed. For example, at Diebold – whose corporate chief, Wally O'Dell, a top Bush fundraiser, has publicly committed himself to "delivering" his home state's votes to Bush next year – the election division is run by Bob Urosevich. Bob's brother, Todd, is a top executive at "rival" ES&S. The brothers were originally staked in the vote-count business by Howard Ahmanson, a member of the Council for National Policy, a right-wing "steering group" stacked with Bushist faithful.
Ahmanson is also one of the bagmen behind the extremist "Christian Reconstructionist" movement, which openly advocates a theocratic takeover of American democracy, placing the entire society under the "dominion" of "Christ the King." This "dominion" includes the death penalty for homosexuals, exclusion of citizenship for non-Christians, stoning of sinners and – we kid you not – slavery, "one of the most beneficent of Biblical laws." Ahmanson also has major holdings in ES&S, whose former CEO is Republican Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska. When Hagel ran for office, his own company counted the votes; needless to say, his initial victory was reported as "an amazing upset." Hagel still has a million-dollar stake in the parent company of ES&S. In Florida, Jeb Bush's first choice for a running mate in his 1998 gubernatorial race was ES&S lobbyist Sandra Mortham, who made a mint installing the machines that counted Jeb's votes.
Ahmanson, counter of America's votes, has admitted "My purpose is total integration of biblical law into our lives." Now, and in light of mounting and massive evidence of anomalies favouring the Republican ticket, which is more incredible: that fundamentalists would allow unaudited virtual ballots to be hacked in order to further the establishment of God's law upon American lives, or that George Bush won 51% of the vote? (Coincidentally, the 51/48 split was the margin Dick Cheney forecast a week before the election.)
Eva Sion on the Christian reconstructionists and their faith-based electronic voting machines:
Theonomic Reconstructionism is a belief that the only true authority is God's, that allegiance to biblical laws trumps that of civic law and that the Kingdom of Heaven needs to be built on Earth before Jesus will come again. In addition to that, homosexuals should be put to death, women should be banned from civic office, apostates and heretics should be stoned to death and there is a great need for more Christian politicians.
Not content to philosophize about such things, the TR movement sprang into action. Funded by billionaires such as Howard Ahmanson and the Coors and Hunt families, Reconstructionists formed think tanks such as the Chalcedon Institute and the Rutherford Institute (the friendly guys that funded Paula Jones' lawsuit against Clinton) to give the Christian Right a philosophical base to draw from, and political action committees to finance their elections.
Ahmanson inherited his money from his father, owner of Home Savings & Loan (during the S&L scandal of the Reagan years, Home's investors, mostly small family investments, lost over $150 million dollars. No one went to jail). In addition to funding PACs and think tanks, Howard Jr. parlayed his fortune into the majority stock of a business called American Information Systems (AIS) started by two enterprising brothers, Todd and Bob Urosevich. AIS later merged with Business Records Corporation (BRC) and became Election Systems & Solutions (ES&S). ES&S is the number one provider of touch-screen voting machines. Their website claims that their products were used in collecting 56% of the national vote in the last presidential elections.
Todd Urosevich is now Vice President of ES&S. Strangely enough, brother Bob moved on to head the second largest computerized vote-counting business, Global Election Systems, recently purchased by ATM and security giant Diebold. (They now have both the Ohio and Georgia contracts.) In a round table swap of incestuous patronage the previous executives of Global moved on to head the third largest vote-counting company in the nation, Advanced Voting Systems. Combined, these three corporations will process nearly 80% of the next nationwide elections.
So wake up, America, to your perfect Straussian nightmare: abroad, the neoconservatives are pursuing their imperial energy strategy, while at home Christo-fascists dope the populace on crusader morality and levitical law. If you still can't see the lights going out, it's because your eyes have adjusted to the dark.
"Why don't you come on back to the war - let's all get nervous."