Monday, July 30, 2007

Song Parody: "GET OUT OF TOWN!"

By the Electric Light Orchestra

New lyrics by Praetor One and Bible Belted

You Keep on lying, are you out of your mind?
You keep on talking but you're in such a bind
Get out of town. Yo yo yo yo yo
We tell you dear friend, all your deceit better end
Get out of town.

We kind of think that you've got something to hide.
You lied again with your maw open too wide.
Get out of town. Yo yo yo yo yo yo yo yo.
We hear what you say, a contradiction today
Get out of town!

Get out of town! You!
Get out of town! You!
Get out of town! You!
Get out of town!

You brought the papers that would give Bush our land
Card at the door while you were moving John's hand
Get out of town! Yo yo yo yo yo!
You said "we're ahead," but then the corpse wasn't dead
Get out of town!

You come before us and you give an account.
The truth is something you will never surmount!
Get out of town! Yo yo yo yo yo!
You covered it well, but then your plan went to hell
Get out of town!

Get out of town! You!
Get out of town! You!
Get out of town! You!
Get out of town!

You're acting tough like you've got balls made of brass.
But some day soon you're gonna fall on your ass!
Get out of town! Yo yo yo yo yo yo yo yo!
We tell you again, it's just a question of when!
You're out of town!

You qualified because you're W's hack.
But brains and morals are what you clearly lack
Get out of town! Yo yo yo yo yo!
We think it's a flaw, that you can piss on the law!
You're out of town!


The following article was posted by our Friend Dusty at THE BLUE REPUBLIC 
You may read her blog, IT'S  MY RIGHT TO BE LEFT OF CENTER at:

I genuinely enjoyed this piece.  In many ways it reminds me of the kind of material that my son used to write on the original version of this blog, THE COALITION FOR A REPUBLICAN-FREE AMERICA.  We offer it here as a Guest Perspective because it is both humorous, and indicative as to how far certain right wing religionists will carry an irrational thought pattern.

Enjoy it.  I know we did.



Lately I have noticed that American culture has embraced the word "Fatwa". It of course has a negative connotation no matter what group uses it. We, as American's, use it in a humorous fashion to note something completely ridiculous and outside the normal scope of logic. So lets take a humorous look at the original use of the word. Your obviously not working humor me people!

A Fatwa is explained by Wikipedia as: "a considered opinion in Islam made by a mufti, a scholar capable of issuing judgments on Sharia (Islamic law). Usually a fatwa is issued at the request of an individual or a judge to settle a question where fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) is unclear." I think that's pretty lets just call it a Religious Ruling by a guy who probably wears a funny hat or head-covering ok?

This seems simple enough..reminds me of a religious edict, you know like the Pope is wont to do on occasion and something that asshat Pat Robertson does on a semi-regular basis.

Foreign Policy has an article up which lists what they consider to be the dumbest most fuckwitted Fatwa's ever handed down. They list the 'Fatwa" and the moron who issued it and why. Lets visit some of these bonehead pronouncements ok?

1. Salman Rushdie. The idiot that issued this Fatwa was none other than Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran. As most people know, this one was issued because the mullahs didn't like his book entitled "The Satanic Verses", which was about the Koran and its dubious merits. The rest is history. Oh..The Queen has knighted Salman for his literary talent..

2. Unclothed Sex. I kid you not..unclothed sex. Rashad Hassan Khalil, former dean of Islamic law at al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt issued this winner. This dipshit ruled in January 2006 that for married couples, "being completely naked during the act of coitus annuls the marriage," For the love of Pete, every normal Muslim this side of Osama went crazy over this one. The article points out how this was settled as "a husband and wife could see one other naked, but should not look at each other's genitals. And they should probably have sex under a blanket, he added for good measure. Bet that one went over big in the middle of the 118 degree summers in the Middle East..Get laid and get a heat rash..wotta deal!

3. Pokemon…yes, I said Pokemon. That innocent little set of Japanese cartoon characters had a Fatwa issued against them for 'possessing the minds' of young Muslims. Saudi Arabia's Higher Committee for Scientific Research and Islamic Law issued this sucker. Everything Pokemon was banned from Saudi Arabia in 2001 my dear reader. Something to do with the Star of David..that horrid signature of Zionism. The United Arab Emirates joined in the fun of banning did…wait for it… The Catholic Church of Mexico.

Click Here For More Fat-Whaaaa?

4. This one is an absolute trip..The Polio Vaccine. Some hayseed mullahs from Pakistan instigated this one. I can't begin to describe the logic for this one, so lets quote the FP article: "Pakistan's largest Islamist umbrella group, the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), issued a fatwa in January 2007 endorsing the provincial government's efforts to immunize children from polio in the country's Northwest Frontier Province.

But even though health workers carried copies of the ruling with them as they trudged across the province, The Guardian reported in February 2007 that the parents of some 24,000 children had refused to allow the workers to administer polio drops. It turns out that influential antistate clerics had been issuing their own fatwas denouncing the campaign as a Western plot to sterilize Muslims. Although Pakistan only saw 39 cases of polio last year and most children have now been immunized, a similar religiously motivated firestorm against polio drops in Nigeria in 2003 allowed the eradicable disease to spread to 12 new countries in just 18 months."

5. We come to the last contestant for dumbest religious decree in the history of Islamic law folks. It's a real doozie as you might imagine. Its…drumroll please: Breast-feeding. Some jackass lecturer at Cairo's al-Azhar University had the nads to state that since unmarried Muslim men and women shouldn't work alone together, the best way to solve this problem was to let the female breastfeed the male she worked with. He based his logic, and I use that word loosely, on stories from the Prophet Mohammed's time in which, he maintained, the practice occurred. Everyone went ballistic on this dipshit extraordinaire real he recanted his Fatwa saying his ruling as a "bad interpretation of a particular case."—No Shit Sherlock..ya think??

So, there you have it my dear reader..a short list of the dumbest most asinine Fatwa's in modern history. What can we learn from this, you might be wondering at this point? For starters, that the Pope isn't the most idiotic religious leader on the planet and neither is Pat Robertson….although you might get a rousing argument out of me about the latter, THAT man hasn't got the brains God gave a Grapefruit for Christ's sake. His Pope-ness isn't the brightest bulb on the planet either imho with his desire to go revert back to Latin in Mass…come on wingnut..the original language was HEBREW..try that one on for size you nimrod! They both have some serious competition from the religious leaders of one of the world's oldest religions.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I Love Books!

My God, I love books.  No this isn't a plug for National Banned Book Week which is coming up in September.  Instead it's just a happy little piece about how I still enjoy the feel, scent, and comfort of a good book or books.

Earlier this year I offered to run the annual book sale at the public library where I am a part time employee.  The books that we sell are donated by our patrons and by other generous people who learn about our sale and who want to help us become the best public library that we can possibly be, people who appreciate the value of a small town library and the many services that it provides to the community at large. 

Call me strange but I love rummaging through and sorting all those boxes upon boxes of donated volumes.  And if any of you have ever been involved with a library book sale you probably know what I am talking about.  I get a genuine high, looking at all those hard covers and paper backs, sorting through the different types of literature out there.  Personally speaking, my favorite sections are the history/political, biography/life stories, and adult nonfiction, although there are certain classics that send gleeful chills of pleasure down the back of my neck.   This year the biography section was both amusing and enlightening.  General Sherman, Abraham Lincoln, Shirley Temple Black, Herman Goering.  Okay, Shirley and Herman are a bizarre coupling, almost as interesting as the Marquis De Sade and Dolly Parton, but that doesn't change the fact that I still get a kick out of books.

I know, I know, we have the Internet, the World Wide Web, but for some reason I don't find the personal comfort, the intimacy on line that I find when I curl up with a good book.  Moreover, there are still tidbits of information that do not always appear on line but which ca only be found in a --you guessed it--a book.  When my team members and I bite off extensive writing projects for The Blue Republic, The Peace Train, or our group blog, we almost invariably use the net to track down tidbits of information, while one of us uses the card catalog at a local library.   Our library, by the way is one of 53 libraries in an even larger consortium of libraries, so in a very real sense we use the net and online card catalogs to track down detailed information that we can't find through Internet searches.  And to be perfectly honest, the material we find in books has, to date, proven more accurate and more detailed than some of the sites we discard during a long and creative writing process. 

So while I appreciate the Internet and its wonderful (and at times not so wonderful contribution to society at large) I feel that I have to put in a plug for the all time classics.  Printed materials.  Books, newspapers, and magazines.  But first and foremost, the wonderful, educational book.

Have a good one


Live Long and Prosper

Ignorance and Hypocrisy in Northern Illinois

For the record, the city in which this debate is taking place is only a brief drive from my house in Wisconsin to the Illinois side of the border, and as I read the piece I was actually rather surprised by the number of mindless homophobes who would be opposed to having a Gay Straight Alliance as a part of their curriculum.

What does this article tell me? It tells me that this northeastern Illinois, like certain areas of Southeastern Wisconsin, has a huge problem with bigotry and that both the adolescents (please read in a derogatory tone of voice) and the so called "adults" in the picture have a long way to go before they can be accepted as genuine members of the human race.

Some of the comments here are truly amazing (read asinine). "This is no chess club we're putting together here.," said a protohominid from Roscoe. Really? I'm surprised he was erudite enough to tell the difference. And then there's this line of dysfunctional reasoning: "Lora Sue Hauser, a representative from the Illinois Family Institute, cited research that asserts 75 percent of boys who label themselves gay as teens become straight in adulthood. It would be 'educationally irresponsible,' she said, for the school to endorse homosexuality." Frankly I'm getting a little sick and tired of these Manson Family Value Institutes spewing their pseudo science and half baked reasoning as sociological fact. The truth of the matter is that these people are not thinking scientifically. Instead of beginning with a hypothesis and allowing the data to lead them to a conclusion, they begin with a conclusion, stack the data to support their conclusion, and then claim that they engaged in legitimate research as they use their fraudulent research to support their delusional preconceived ideas. sweet pea recently covered the manner in which these people fudge the facts in our series about Right Wing Revision, so I won't repeat that information. I shall merely leave you with a link to SweetPea's excellent article about phony research by the Radical Religious Right.*

But I will add this. In addition to allowing their delusions to get in the way of serious research, I would humbly suggest that these creatures are also allowing their all too hysterical emotions and their fanatical religious views to color, to contaminate their attitudes towards gays and lesbians. Why, you must ask yourself, would it matter one iota as to how a young person identifies himself? Why is the Illinois Family Institute so obsessed with the idea of sexual orientation, indeed with sex in general? Oh Jeez. I don't know. Could it be because the right is dependent on scapegoats to unify their base? Could it be because gays provide a convenient group to persecute, that people on the religious right are so deeply entrenched in hate disguised as religious fervor that the only way they can feel better about themselves is by persecuting those who they consider below them, as somehow subhuman or inferior? Could be. God knows it wouldn't be the first time that religious mania has led to the persecution of the different. Witness the countless crusades, witch hunts, and bloody Inquisitions in which the Christian community has engaged while trying to secure his brother's and sister's place in blissful, Utopian paradise. Granted, we aren't burning people at the stake or torturing them on the rack or in the iron maiden, but the mindset is clearly there, and whether we like it or not, there is a great deal more straight (Christian?) violence against gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transsexuals than there is gay on straight (Christian?) violence.

So again, the question must be asked? Just who does it hurt if students want to form a gay-straight alliance? What exactly are these religious loonies afraid of? The possibility that clear-thinking individuals will find a common basis for peaceful coexistence? The frightening possibility that people will discover that they aren't so different from one another after all? A peaceful, tolerant, and accepting society in which trivial matters such as race and sexual orientation have no bearing on whether one is a loving and caring individual? No. We wouldn't to do that. W wouldn't want to do anything that contradicts the violent, hateful, perverted, and self contradicting sections of the Holy Bible, and we certainly wouldn't want to make life a little easier and more pleasant for those who are not like us.

In closing I would offer the following suggestion. I find it interesting that student led groups are allowed to use tax payer dollars to pray around flag poles and to create religious after school programs. In other words, when something violates the Constitution of the United States and creates a little religious fiefdom within your local school district, the far right has no trouble when it comes to both, spending the tax dollars of the dissident to shove their moronic belief systems down our throats. But when those who differ want the same right to form organizations and to express themselves then the Christian Neanderthals will lumber out of their caves to beat back anyone and everyone who disagrees with them. Well, they can't have it both ways If religious groups can violate the constitution and use the public school to indoctrinate school children with their asinine ideas, then gays and lesbians should be allowed the same right to express the truth and to set the record straight. On the other hand, if gays and lesbians can be banned from forming gay-straight alliances based on some psychotic reading of the so called holy text, then the low brow Neanderthals and their subhuman religious delusions should also be banned.

In other words, I have just about had it with these people, and I'm beginning to wonder if it isn't time to drive them back into the dark, dank cave of ignorance and superstition from which they lumbered.


Monday, July 23, 2007


I just "love" this.

The far right in this country typically loves to demonize gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and the transgendered as perverted or abnormal, claiming we are unnatural or otherwise harmful to society, but when you think about it these are the same twisted individuals who seem to get a sexual thrill out of torture.

Frankly I don't get it. Or maybe I DO get it and I just hate to admit that we have fallen under the sick, twisted, domination of authoritarian (some might say totalitarian or even fascist) leaders for whom the inflicting of pain, suffering, bleeding, and dying are little more than a part of an average day's work. Or maybe I don't want to admit an even frightening truth: that our leaders in the Bush Administration and their theocratic supporters have actually WELCOMED the terror of 911 because it has offered then an excuse to reveal their demented ideas pertaining to patriotism and nationalism.

Under normal circumstances patriotism, the ability to love your country and to right it when it is wrong, is a good thing. But the current batch of reactionary totalitarians have used patriotism as an excuse to indulge their dark sides. Not only do they see torture and sadism as tools of the Bush foreign/intelligence policy. They seem to enjoy the pain and suffering that they impose on others. In other words, I would suggest very strongly that Praetorone (Brandon) has it right. We have fallen under the repressive yoke of sexual sadists, of demented sociopaths and psychopaths who to revel in the pain and suffering of others and for whom laws and social norms have no meaning what so ever.. They seem to operate on their twisted, inner instincts, showing nothing that even resembles a human conscience, except on those occasions when they decide to play the part of caring, compassionate individuals. Of course it's all a front, because when it is all said and done these people have no feelings for anyone except themselves and, to make matters worse, they show a strong proclivity for destroying everything they touch. Worse yet, they refuse to learn from their mistakes. Or rather, they are incapable of learning from their mistakes.

And now the bad news. Whenever these creatures are bailed out of their self-created dilemnas it only reinforces their dysfunctional personalities, encouraging them to behave even more outrageously than they had before. And God knows Bush has lived an entire lifetime, sixty miserable years in which he has been bailed out of trouble by friends, family members, and business partners who unknowingly encouraged and nurtured his sociopathic/psychopathic nature.

So now the Administration has unleashed the CIA and given it permission to resume torture as a part of our national defense policy. Translated into modern English, the Psychopaths in the Executive Branch of the federal government felt the need, the overpowering urge, to torture and murder again.

Which makes me wonder. How are they different from classic serial killers suck as Jack The Ripper, Ted Bundy, and the Boston Strangler? I would suggest that the only real difference is one of power. The Bush Administration, the cold blooded murderers and sadists who we so foolishly elected to power are merely upper class versions of the above-mentioned serial killers. The only difference is that while jack the Ripper used a knife, the Bush Administration uses the power of the federal government that it usurped in both, 2000 and 2004 to commit cold blooded murder and torture.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

It's official: WE'RE PREGNANT!

That's right. It is now official. Donatra and I are expecting a baby! Okay, SHE'LL be doing the actual work in this particular situation, but if all goes well our household will soon welcome a special bundle of joy.

Needless to say we are both thrilled by this and more than just a little eager to share the good news.

It was kind of funny. Kelli hadn't been feeling quite right for some time now. She'd been kind of irritable. Angry one minute, crying the next, and she said she felt like she "was coming down with something." She was telling this to BibleBelted when we were at his house. My dad was sitting behind her at the table listening to all this when Kelli tells Bible "Brandon must be ready to divorce me by now." Bible asked why. She told him about how she feels like crying for no reason at all, how she feels week and fatigued. And then, to top it all off, she adds, "and to make it even worse I'm getting fat. I could hardly squeeze into my blue jeans this morning." By this time my dad is making facial gesticulations at Bible. We left shortly after supper. My dad and step mother stayed behind and then my dad asked Bible: "I know the doctor said Kelli might have trouble conceiving, but are you SURE she isn't pregnant?" Bible just looked at my dad and tossed out "I"M NOT GETTING INTO THAT MESS! I think we should talk to Brandon (Praetor) and let HIM ask her!" They called me, Dad asked me if Kelli might be pregnant. I asked Kelli (AKA Donatra) and Kelli nearly laughed herself silly. I kept asking her if she was sure and all that crap and finally she said, "Look. If you want to put this to rest we'll get a home pregnancy kit and I'll show you just how crazy the idea really is." But when she came out of the bathroom after having taken the test, she had this expression on her face that said it all. We have since received confirmation and yes, it is definite. We are pregnant. The baby is due in February, and we're both elated.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Our Brother's and Sisters Keeper: Peace is Patriotic

by Praetor One, SweetPea, BibleBelted, and Matthew5

"Just a minute.  Now hold on Mister Potter.  You're right when you say my father was no business man, I know that.  Why he ever started this cheap, penny-ante Building and Loan I'll never know.  But neither you nor anybody else can say anything against his character because his whole life was...Why in twenty-five years since he and Uncle Billy started this thing he never once thought of himself.  Isn't that right Uncle Billy?  He didn't save enough money to send Harry to school, let alone me, but he did help a few people get out of your slums, Mister Potter.  And what's wrong with that?  Why...Here, you're all businessmen here.  Doesn't it make them better citizens?  Doesn't it make them better customers? said that uh...What'd you say just a minute ago?  They, they had to wait and save money before they even thought of a decent home.  Wait?  Wait for what?  Until their children grow up and leave them?  Until they're so old and broken down that they...Do you know how long it takes a working man to save five thousand dollars?  Just remember this, Mister Potter, that this rabble you're talking about...they do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community.  Well is it too much to have them work and pay and live and die in a couple of decent rooms and a bath?  Anyway, my father didn't think so.  People were human beings to him, but to you, a warped frustrated old man, they're cattle. Well, in my book he died a much richer man than you'll ever be."

From the Frank Capra Film, It's A Wonderful Life
Written by  Philip Va Doren Stern (story) and Frances Goodrich (screenplay).

In a slight change of pace we've decided to write about another kind of peace.  The kind of peace that comes from knowing you live in a sane, prosperous society where the middle class is valued and treasured, not undermined at every turn by conservative leaders who are terrified of and perhaps even jealous of a prosperous middle class.  The dirty little secret in Republican Administrations from Reagen onwards, has been the disturbing fact that right wingers aren't only fearful of gays, lesbians, and minorities.  They are also frightened by the idea of a prosperous middle class, disturbed by the idea that people might actually have leisure time in which they can think about their condition and take steps to improve their lot in life. 

This may come as a surprise to corporate America and its theocratic allies; and it may even come as a bigger supply to the burdened middle class, but in many ways the most politically productive times in this country are those in which large numbers of Americans have disposable income and leisure time to think about the important issues of the day.  It is no coincidence that one of our greatest eras of change, the 1960s, was a prosperous era in which Americans enjoyed little things like decent health care and a relatively rational health care system; when workers stood up for workers rights, and when employees were more cooperative with their workers and more willing to make concessions than they are in today's economy.  It is not a coincidence that the Civil Rights movement, which had been slowly building in previous decades, began to bear fruit in the 1960s and 1970s when Americans still enjoyed little things like pensions, vacation time, an eight hour day, and safe working places.  With extra time and extra income the American people were more willing to think about the critical issues of the day.  Not threatened by an ever increasingly competitive workplace and a limited number of jobs, the American people were more willing to share slices of the political and economic pies with those who differed from them. 

By the same standard, it is no coincidence that the women's movement came to the forefront during the early 1970s, again a time of relative prosperity when people had the time and resources to consider the great issues of the day.

Unfortunately for us, for the American worker, taxpayer, and middle class citizen, the Powers That Be, the corporate overlords and aristocrats, discovered, during he late 70s and especially during the 1980s, the era of Reaganomics, that there were ways to curtail thoughts about freedom and reform, and the primary way in which this could be achieved was through the weakening and virtual destruction of the Middle Class.  And the best way to do that was through the dismantling of the reforms that were set down by Franklin Roosevelt and the Democrats during the 1930s.  Mind you, this is not a debate as to whether or not the New Deal was a successful remedy to the Republicans' Great Depression.  This is a discussion about the protections that were set in place during the Roosevelt era which were designed to protect the rights of he American worker and to limit the power of and ability of corporate America to exploit the American worker. This is not a a discussion as to whether or not the New Deal was Socialistic.  The primary topic of discussion here is one of whether we want efficiently regulated capitalism or the kind of cutthroat highway robbery which is passed off as capitalism in the modern era of Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II.

You just have to give the Republicans' credit.  In their modest opinion (and they have a lot to be modest about) Ronald Reagen is a bona fide political saint; a modern day reformer who arrived just in time to defeat the forces of communism and socialism.   But when Ronald Reagan denigrated the words "I'm from the Federal Government and I am here to help," he was in fact announcing his intention to deregulate big business (read " to encourage corporate corruption) at the expense of the America worker and middle class.  Or, as we are so fond of saying, "When Democrats wage a war against poverty they wage a war against social, political, and economic injustice, against social problems; when Republicans wage a war against poverty they wage a war against the weak, the ill, the poor, and the middle class."  In other words, Reaganomics (and the current economic/financial policies of the present Bush Administration, are based primarily upon Social Darwinism and totalitarian values, not values such as freedom, democracy, and Constitutional liberties.

The first indications to exactly how ruthless the far right could be was when Ronald Reagan placed our air traffic by summarily firing the air traffic controllers.  Not only did this create a situation in which countless lives might have been put in danger (a condition which seldom bothers Republicans if there is a profit be made), it also sent a signal that the new (Reagan) Administration would be more than willing to side with the few and the powerful and against millions of hard working American taxpayers. 

Reagen's tax cuts were a joke as well.  Why?  Because they weren't really tax cuts.  Each time Reagan cut taxes at the Federal level the states and local governments were forced to increase state and local taxes to make up the difference. And who were the ultimate victims?  You guessed it.  The average taxpayer and home owner who paid the difference in state,county, local, and real estate taxes. moreover, there wasn't even that much cutting at the Federal level.  Orwellian to the very end, the Reagan Administration merely made up the difference by increasing fees and plugging loopholes.  In the crazy, inverted world of Reaganomics, terms such as "tightening IRS enforcement," "Revenue enhancements," ad nauseam were all synonymous with the term "raising taxes," although the Administration in Washington would never admit as much. 

The Tax "Reform" Act of 1986 offered more in the way of imbecility.  Only this time the act was so convoluted and so confusing that the only people who could even vaguely understand it were accountants and tax lawyers.  Indeed, the Reagan class warriors had finally succeeded in creating a tax code that was so confusing and so bizarre that he IRS didn't even understand it.  At the same time the various loophole closings resulted in another burden on most of the middle and even some of the upper class.  According to a study conducted by Hausman and Poterba, the 196 Tax Reform translated into a marginal tax increase for more than 40 percent of the nation's tax payers, while a majority of those who did see a reduction only 11 percent saw an reduction of 10 percent or more.  Translated into modern English from the Orwellian Double Speak the end result of the 1986 ax Reform Bill was negligible. 

And while we're at it, let's not forget that the Reagan Administration's remedy to inflation was so shocking that it threw the United States economy into not one, but at least w steep recessions, leading many unemployed Americans to quip at the time that "at least under Carter I at least had a job." 

But the worst thing that the Corporate dominated right wingers have discovered is the fact that if you can limit the supply of jobs, that if you encourage the importation of illegal workers (although we suspect there is no such thing as an illegal worker, only illegal employers), and ship American jobs, both blue, and white collar, overseas, you can efficiently dry up the labor pool at home and set the American worker against both, immigrant labor and his fellow Americans.   This of course is not an accident.  It is not a coincidence that George W. Bush has continued the policies of Ronald Reagan.  It is no accident that this Administration has done everything in its power to further dismantle labor, to undermine worker safety legislation, and to strengthen the hand of big employers, while reducing the constitutional and worker place liberties of the American worker.  Like the Reagan Administration before it, the Bush Administration is using a divide and conquer strategy.  Continuing deregulation, encouraging tax loopholes for American headquarters that operate over seas, and openly encouraging American jobs to fly East and South to China, India, and Mexico, etc.  Again the tactic is obvious.   The Bush administration like the Reagan Administration before it, understands that a prosperous middle class will only encourage instability by daring to think about freedom, liberty, reform, and the rights and well being of others.  To prevent this and to maintain strict political and economic order (some might call it fascism) the Powers that Be in Washington and Corporate America have decided that Peace of mind is the last thing that Americans should enjoy.   Instead, they have decided to institute a policy in which the American worker is over-stressed, over-tired, and always willing to find someone else to blame for his or her financial status.  The Powers that Be would rather see the typical American take out his frustrations on the people he or she considers below him or herself.  Whether it be the poor who are almost invariably blamed for their own poverty, or the immigrant worker, who is scapegoated as a brown-skinned subhuman, or gays and women who are denigrated as perverted or disobedient, the Powers That Be are thrilled to see Americans backstabbing one another instead of taking out their frustrations the leaders and corporate fascists who have created the situation in the first place.

Heaven forbid that we might actually experience a period of domestic and overseas prosperity and tranquility.  God forbid that we might actually take all the time, energy, and resources which are currently being used for destructive purposes and use them to create a new Golden Age in America.  We wouldn't, after all, want to encourage little tings like education, thinking, reasoning, compassion, and benevolence towards ones fellow man or woman.   Noooo.   We wouldn't want to do that.  No.  we would much rather declare peace unpatriotic.  We would rather promote war and hatred as American values as opposed to true American values such as tolerance, acceptance, and liberty.  We wouldn't want to build new schools, new museums, and new libraries, or new theaters and concert halls.   Why would we want to do that when Corporate America would rather build bombs, tanks, and weapons of mass destruction?

It seems to us that we are paying an incredibly high price for allowing the Powers that be to turn us against our fellow human beings.   It seems to us that the price is too high.  Too high in waste, to high in blood, too high in death, and too high in the destruction of the human soul.  All this because we have been indoctrinated into taking out our hostilities on the other, on those who are weaker or different from us.   In the end we may just realize that we are indeed our brother's and sister's keeper.

"They've started a lot of talk about free people going soft, that we can't take it.  That's a lot of hooey.  A free people can beat the world at anything, from war to tiddle-de-winks if we all pull in the same direction.  I know a lot of you are saying "what can I do?  I'm just a little punk.  I don't count.  We;, you're dead wrong!  The little punks have always counted because in the long run the character of a country is the sum total of the character of it's little punks.

But we've all got to get in there and pitch.  We can't win the old ball game unless we have team work.  And that's where every John Doe comes in.  It's up to him to get together with his teammate.

And your teammates, my friends, is the guy next door to you.  Your neighbor!  He's a terribly important guy, the guy next door.  You're gonna need him and he's gonna need you, so look him up!  If he's sick, call on him!  If he's hungry, feed him!  If he's out of a job, find him one.  To most of you your neighbor is a stranger, a guy with a barking dog and a high fence around him.

Now you can't be a stranger to any guy that's on your own team.  So tear down the fence that separates you, tear down the fence and you'll tear down a lot of hates and prejudices!  Tear down all the fences in the country and you'll really have teamwork.

I know a lot of you are saying to yourselves:  "He's asking for a miracle to happen.  He's expecting people to change all of a sudden.  Well, you're wrong.  It's no miracle.  It's no miracle because I see it happen once every year.  And so do you.  At Christmas time.  There's something swell about the spirit of Christmas to see what it dos to people, all kinds of people.

Now why can't that spirit last the whole year round?  Gosh, if it ever did, if each and every John Doe would make that spirit last three hundred and sixty-five days out of the year, we'd develop such a strength, we'd create such a tidal wave of good will, that no human force could stand against it.

Yes sir, my friends, the meek can only inherit the earth when the John Does start loving their neighbors.  You'd better start now.  Don't wait till the game is called on account of darkness!  Wake up, John Doe!  You're the hope of the world!"

From the Frank Capra Film Meet John Doe
Written by Richard Connell and Robert Presnell (story) and Robert Riskin (screenplay)

Have a Happy Fourth of July
From the Cast and Crew at