Mikael of ImpeachforPeace

January 31, 2007

Cindy Sheehan visits Minneapolis

Filed under: Impeach for Peace — Mikael @ 1:35 am

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Just seconds later, after I teased Jodin about needing to “Push the button” to take a picture, Cindy smacked me over the head with my “Impeach for Peace” sign.

True!

We of ImpeachforPeaceorg could not have been happier with Ms. Sheehan’s emphasis on impeachment as the only reasonable course of action in the current circumstances.

Now if only the peaceniks are listening!!!

And the Republicans, who have the most to lose as this horrible pResident continues to destroy what is left of their party’s reputation.


January 27, 2007

Impeach Cheney? Imprison Libby? But they are coming clean!

Filed under: Impeach for Peace — Mikael @ 5:51 pm

Documents submitted in the Lewis “Scooter” Libby CIA leak trial are reminescent of a recent headline in “The Onion”, the lampoon magazine which proclaimed in its November 30th, 2005 issue:

CIA Realizes It’s Been Using Black Highlighters All These Years

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Now that we know for sure that the Bush Administration is dropping their secretive tactics and allowing the antiseptic light of truth to shine into their dark corridors before a jury of their peers, we can let down our guard and go back to watching “Bosum Buddies” reruns.

Libby Trial Evidence Documents (updates daily)


U.S. Protesters Send Bush Impeachment Message

Filed under: Impeach for Peace — Mikael @ 2:43 pm

~ American citizens dream of justice ‘From Sea to Shining Sea’
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[UPDATE]

On Saturday, January 6th – just three weeks ago – over 1,000 Californians positioned themselves in the sand on Ocean Beach on the Pacific coast just west of San Francisco spelling out the word “IMPEACH!” in 100-foot letters. The story and photos, with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background, was seen worldwide from the front page of the Christian Science Monitor to a virtual “above the fold” feature appearance on web-based OhMyNews International.

At noon EST today, January 27th, as a last minute addition to a major antiwar, anti-Bush Administration protest planned for months by multiple political activism organizations, this ‘performance art’ statement was replicated – albeit on a smaller scale – on the National Mall in Washington D.C. Photographs were taken from atop the Washington Monument of a couple hundred protesters spelling out “IMPEACH!” again and include the Capitol Dome in the background.

As hundreds more protesters and activists were pouring into Washington D.C. from all over the United States, Newsham announced to the growing crowd that the stunt would be remounted at 3 p.m.

Debra Sweet, National Director of World Can’t Wait a New York-based accountability group dedicated to seeing that President George W. Bush be forced to “step down” from power said in an e-mail to supporters yesterday that this is “one thing that World Can’t Wait will participate in… as a way to send a large “IMPEACH” message. We have lots of plans, and they won’t all fold into this one action. But, we should be in on it and invite others to help.”

San Francisco cab driver and author Brad Newsham, whose 10 year-old daughter had originally inspired him to instigate the original Beach Impeach Project late last year, was frantically recruiting participants into the wee hours last night in a plaintive e-mail appeal:

“We need 1,000 people to fill the lettering, but can accommodate thousands more. It will be a ‘bang-bang’ affair – no more than 15 minutes from start to finish. If we pull this off, it will be huge… and it will be historic”.

This generation’s “March on Washington”, largely coordinated by United for Peace & Justice with the support and assistance of AfterDowningStreet.org, ImpeachforPeace.org and other like-minded groups, draws its name from the August, 1963 “Jobs and Freedom” march in which Martin Luther King, Jr., Roy Wilkins, Whitney Young, Jr. and others pushed for meaningful civil rights legislation, the elimination of racial segregation in public schools, a national minimum wage increase to $2.00 an hour and other demands.

As the chilling reverberations of last week’s Orwellian remarks by U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez at a Senate Judiciary Hearing hung odiously in stark contrast:

“The Constitution doesn’t say every individual in the United States or citizen is hereby granted or assured the right of habeas corpus (due process). It doesn’t say that. It simply says the right shall not be suspended…”,

… memories of past protests and the words of national icons were recalled.

An estimated quarter million people descended upon the nation’s capital four decades ago to protest, listen to the music of Bob Dylan, Mahlia Jackson and others and to bear witness to one of the most famous speeches in American history in which Dr. King memorably said:

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’ ”

Thousands, perhaps tens or even hundreds of thousands will protest on the National Mall today, but it isn’t just an early end to a war that they are yearning for, it is an early end to what Sweet, Newsham and those that are joining them consider a most horrendous American era.

Should President Bush step down early, for whatever reason, and America become a nation in which equality and due process are again assumed to be indeed self-evident, inalienable rights, Sweet and Newsham, along with those who will join them today in protest, would rejoice along with many others in an echo of Dr. King’s climactic crescendo ‘On the Mall’ so many years ago:
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“From every mountainside, let freedom ring…

… Free at last! Free at last!
Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

©2007 OhmyNews


January 21, 2007

Less Popular: Bush or Impeachment?

Filed under: Impeach for Peace — Mikael @ 9:11 am

“Do we have a baby coming?”

That is reportedly how newbie House Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) answered her first phone call of the early morning on Wednesday, November 8th, 2006. The voice on the line was not bringing news of the overdue bundle of joy she was expecting. It wasn’t her daughter Alexandra announcing the birth of a sixth grandchild.

The 10-term lawmaker most likely wouldn’t have answered in such a peculiar way had she known that the caller was a White House aide.

President Bush congratulated Ms. Pelosi on her impending ascendancy to the Speaker of the House position following the ‘something, anything, everything blue’ mid-term election voter referendum that had handed her Democratic Party the House majority.

“Pack your bags, Mr. President!” was one greeting apparently not under consideration. Pelosi had made very clear on CBS’ 60 Minutes and in other venues that the impeachment of Bush and Cheney wasn’t going to be pursued. According to Pelosi “… making them lame ducks was good enough for me.”

Pelosi does not, however hold dictatorial powers over “The People’s House”, and although she can oppose and resist the filing of articles of impeachment against President Bush, Vice President Cheney and/or other cabinet officials, she could not stop Impeachment from gaining official consideration should the American people demand it of their Representatives.

The President’s job approval ratings have continued to fall since MSNBC ran a story about polls showing Bush and his party “mired in political quicksand” last November. USA/Gallup polls showed an additional 3% drop in reaction to Bush’s “Surge” speech on January 10th of this year in which the President called for an escalation of troop levels in Iraq.

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Some polls show the President’s approval rating at a new low of 30%. This nadir marks exactly one third of the 90% zenith he reached from atop a pile of Manhattan rubble for a prime photo op in September of 2001.

Impeachment is not intended to be a popularity contest. Neither should it be a partisan weapon to be wielded as political retribution nor as a stepping stone to power. Pelosi’s reticence to pursue it from her 2nd position in the line of succession to the Presidency should both Executives above her step down or be removed is understandable and wise.

That said, the reasons for Bush’s plummeting popularity are inextricably intertwined with parallel falls in approval of his handling of the threat of domestic terrorism, his inattention to homeland security, other domestic needs and the hugely unpopular Iraq War. Strong disapproval of his warrant-less wiretapping, torture and other Constitutional and legal compromises and violations have further undermined his support.

Conversely, what has been steadily growing is the opinion that President Bush lacks credibility and has proven unworthy of the trust of the citizens on whose behalf he swore to “faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States…” and to “…preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Underscoring all of these growing citizen complaints is the question of whether a President who has proven himself incapable of staying within the constraints of the law, unwilling to be forthright to the American people and to Congress and not interested in any advice he disagrees with – even from his own military commanders – can be trusted with another two years at the helm of our nation.

An Ipsos poll commissioned by grassroots coalition AfterDowningStreet.org found that 50% agreed with the statement: “If President Bush did not tell the truth about his reasons for going to war with Iraq, Congress should consider holding him accountable by impeaching him.”

In a less scientific ongoing online poll conducted by MSNBC, 87% of over 390,000 respondents to date have answered the question: “Do you believe President Bush’s actions justify impeachment?” by choosing: “Yes, between the secret spying, the deceptions leading to war and more, there is plenty to justify putting him on trial.”

Other polls with a variety of wording over the last half of 2006 showed that between 30-42% of Americans favor impeachment of the President. Two polls showed that 42-45% favored Senator Russ Feingold’s call to censure or formally reprimand President Bush over the warrant-less wiretapping program that got little to no support from his peers in Congress.

On December 8th of last year, in the waning hours of the 109th Congress, Representative Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) introduced House Resolution 1106 calling for the impeachment of Bush, Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. It was comprised of three Articles, focusing on violations of their oaths of office to protect and defend the Constitution, manipulation of prewar intelligence and lying to justify war as well as illegal domestic spying.

The Resolution had no hope of any real consideration by the House under the Republican majority, but the point was made. Outgoing Speaker Dennis Hastert had no power to keep the resolution from being initiated and referred it to the Judiciary Committee where it expired at the final gavel. The Resolution remains as a part of the permanent Congressional Record in the Library of Congress.

The new Majority Leader of the House Judiciary Committee, John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) had introduced a similar Resolution a year earlier with 38 cosponsors knowing full well it would go nowhere in the GOP-controlled House. Additionally, Conyers and his staff published a 287-page book entitled: ‘George W. Bush versus the U.S. Constitution’ in which multiple impeachable offenses were codified.

Conyers has since changed course – at least in public – agreeing with Pelosi “that impeachment is off the table” on his ConyersBlog, saying: “Instead, we agree that oversight, accountability and checks and balances, which have been sorely lacking for the last six years, must occur.”

As Congress reconvened earlier this month, the House Rules Package for the 110th Congress was ratified, including Thomas Jefferson’s Manual of Parliamentary Practice as a supplement to its standing rules within which the procedure for the initiation of impeachment is laid out.

The relative authority of the various methods by which impeachment can or must be initiated in the United States is debatable. The initiation of impeachment proceedings based upon this document however, has historical and legal precedent. According to Jefferson’s Manual:

“In the House there are various methods of setting an impeachment in motion: by charges made on the floor on the responsibility of a Member or Delegate by charges preferred by a memorial, which is usually referred to a committee for examination; by a resolution dropped in the hopper by a Member and referred to a committee; by a message from the President; by charges transmitted from the legislature of a State or territory or from a grand jury; or from facts developed and reported by an investigating committee of the House.”

Impeachment of the 43rd President of the United States of America has been or is being pursued by citizens and groups utilizing every one of those means – with the obvious exception of “by a message from the President”. Despite his known penchant for malapropisms and creative use of the English language, enactment of this clause by the President against himself is highly unlikely.

With it becoming increasingly apparent that there is no drawdown or end in sight for the Iraq War with Bush remaining in power, and an imminent attack on Iran sounding increasingly less like a rumor and more like a plan, with nuclear bunker-busters possibly to be used, more and more Americans are deciding that neither our nation, the rest of the world, Alexandra’s daughter, nor her Mom can afford to risk two more years with this President in power.


January 12, 2007

U.S. Protesters’ Sandy Impeachment Message
~ Pelosi’s Californian constituents put that word back ‘on the table’

Filed under: Impeach for Peace — Mikael @ 9:11 am

(Blogger’s note: This article was featured on the face page of OhmyNews International for a week and was the #1 Featured article for a day on OpEdNews. It also appeared on AfterDowningStreet.org and the Huffington Post)

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photo credit: john montgomery

“Have you ever heard of Google Earth?” a 10-year-old girl asked her father one afternoon late last year. Within minutes, married author and 55-year-old cab driver of 21 years Brad Newsham had realized how he could give the world a global perspective on impeachment.

This past Saturday morning, Jan. 6, the girl and her Dad, along with over a thousand of their fellow Californians, made a pilgrimage to Ocean Beach, which faces west just around the head of the bay from the south end of the Golden Gate Bridge. They then laid, sat, stood, huddled, and cuddled into the shape of giant letters spelling out the word that recently was so famously declared “off the table” by their very own Representative in Washington D.C., new House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

In addition to the press photographers and television news crews on the ground, both video and still cameras captured the political distress call from a helicopter, the rental of which Newsham paid for out of his modest personal earnings.

“I hope that this catalyzes the impeachment movement the same way the first photos of Earth taken from outer space catalyzed the environmental and humanist movements” said Newsham “and something seems to be working. I just looked, and one of our photos is already the 8th most-emailed photo on Yahoo. And this is just the beginning.”

Elementary school teacher Celia Docto also was joined at this event by her two children, continuing a family and Bay Area tradition of political activism.

Docto’s mother had worked just down the street from the location of the violent “Bloody Thursday” crackdown on student and citizen protests in May of 1969 ordered by then Governor Ronald Reagan, in which one young man was killed, another blinded and over a hundred others were hospitalized

“My mother worked at Cody’s Bookstore in Berkeley during the People’s Park protests.” Docto said, “I remember being dropped off after school and having to stay in front of the building in case tear gas bombs were thrown through the windows.”

Docto, whose son is in high school and daughter in college, always includes lessons on Martin Luther King, Ruby Bridges, and other activists and Civil Rights and Human Rights leaders to instruct her young charges on how to be active participants in the democratic process:

“As a culmination of the unit the students would work in our ‘rally headquarters’ making signs expressing their ideas and we would march around the neighborhood… usually singing a song like ‘We Shall Overcome’ or chanting, ‘NO MORE WAR!'”

Docto considers it “very important to have the students become activists and show them the importance and the power of working together for change.”

When asked what inspired her to participate in the Beach Impeach Project, Docto, who described herself as a “highly disappointed Democrat,” replied: “It was important to practice what I teach. ‘We the People’ are responsible for our government’s actions, especially when our elected, or not elected, officials are not taking care of the Citizen’s Rights here and throughout the world.”

When asked what it was about this specific cause that had inspired her to join with her fellow citizens on the Pacific Ocean shore last Saturday, the 45-year-old, who will celebrate 25 years of marriage next month, had much to say:

“The leader of a country should be someone with intellect, global awareness, wisdom, compassion, insight, knowledge, noble conduct, and articulation skills. The leader should be someone who takes care to preserve the health of the people of the world, and the global environment. The leader of a country should be working to insure liberty and justice for all, not just the wealthy.”

Docto then focused her attention to the topic foremost in the minds and hearts of Americans as this generation’s “War President” and Congress debate the relative merits of a possible escalation in the number of troops committed to the Middle East conflict:

“The leader of our country should be working to insure the rights of the soldiers who are losing their minds, limbs or their lives. The current soldiers should be assured that their term in the war ends under their original contract and is not extended without their consent. Upon arrival in the U.S. they should be assured that they will be mentally and financially taken care of by the government that sent them off to war.”

Despite spearheading the effort to coordinate this protest, Newsham acknowledged the thoughts of many Americans hesitant to drag the nation through what would certainly be a long, arduous impeachment process and offered an alternative:

“I really don’t want the country to have to go through a grueling impeachment. What I really want is for Bush to resign. First he should accept Cheney’s resignation, and then he should announce his own resignation.”

Hoping the nation would be spared the agony and the distraction of a drawn-out impeachment tangent as multiple investigations begin by the new Democratic Party majority in both Houses of the 110th Congress which commenced last week, Newsham spoke at length, as did most on the beach that day, of what some called the “multiple impeachable crimes and misdemeanors” committed by President Bush, Vice President Cheney and their administration.

Those who gathered discussed the confessions of felonious violations by the Bush Administration of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and the intentional misleading of Congress as exposed by the Downing Street Minutes, in order to get Congress to commit to an invasion and occupation of Iraq.

With the “Scooter” Libby trial about to begin, of particular interest to participants was the possible committing of treason in the outing of active non-official cover CIA agent Valerie Plame in an apparent act of political revenge against her husband Joseph Wilson’s “What I Didn’t Find in Africa” article published in the New York Times on July 3, 2003.

Others condemned the Bush Administration’s use of torture and ignoring Habeas Corpus for Guantanamo Bay Detention Center prisoners in violation of the Geneva Convention and the Nuremberg Principles, the plethora of non-compete defense contracts profiting their cronies and themselves and the looting of California by ENRON with alleged White House complicity.

Regarding resignations, Newsham continued: “Both parties would be ecstatic — the Democrats for obvious reasons, and the Republicans because they would not have to defend Bush and his Iraq disaster every day between now and the next election.”

A call to Speaker Pelosi’s office requesting comment was not returned.

When Newsham’s daughter was asked about the Iraq War, she said: “I know that there are a lot of soldiers and a lot of them have died because Bush sent them over there and a lot of people aren’t happy in America and in other places — and in Iraq, of course. I certainly don’t think it’s good…As far as I can remember Bush has always been president — I don’t remember anybody before that.”

Asked what the feeling might be if Bush left office early as her father hopes will happen, she replied:

“I think many, many people would be happy, not just in America, but other places too — especially in Iraq. If it’s true that he did lie to us — it’s definitely not good. You don’t want your president to be lying to you.”

Docto summarized for herself and said what appeared to be the thoughts of most involved in the Impeach Beach Project as well as a large and growing percentage of American citizens, according to recent polls:

“The leader of any country should not be a criminal, a covert terrorist or a national and global buffoon.”

article copyright: OhmyNews 2007
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January 8, 2007

The 14 Defining Characteristics of Fascism

Filed under: Impeach for Peace — Mikael @ 9:11 am

The 14 Defining Characteristics of Fascism ~ Excellent Video from Eric Blumrich

Fascism Anyone? ~ by Lawrence W. Britt as published in Free Inquiry magazine.

Interview with Mr. Britt

More of Mr. Britt’s Commentaries

Mr. Britt’s Novel: “June, 2004″ as sold on Amazon.

Lawrence Britt, Author and former corporate executive with Allied Chemical, Mobil and Xerox Corp, 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.

The following appears to be a paraphrase of Mr. Britt’s treatise that has been circulating the net, drawing much controversy and attention (pictures and links added):

1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism – Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia.
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Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing…
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…and in public displays.
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2. 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.”
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The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.
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3. 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;

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liberals;

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communists; socialists,

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terrorists, etc.
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4. Supremacy of the Military – Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding,
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and the domestic agenda is neglected.
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Soldiers and military service are glamorized.
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5. Rampant Sexism – The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated.

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Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed …

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… and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.

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6. Controlled Mass Media – Sometimes the media is directly controlled by the government …armstrong_williams.jpg

… but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation…

Gingrich Says Government May Have To Limit Free Speech In Terror War

… or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives.

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Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.
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7. Obsession with National Security – Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.
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8. 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.
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Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders …

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…even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government’s policies or actions.
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9. 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.
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10. 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.
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Professor arrested, students continue protest

11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts – Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia.

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It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested.

UMass-Boston professor arrested supporting students anti-war actions

Free expression in the arts…

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… and letters is openly attacked.

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12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment

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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.

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There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.

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13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption – Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates …
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… who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability.
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It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.
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14. Fraudulent Elections – Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against …

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… or even assassination of opposition candidates…

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… use of legislation to control voting numbers…

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… or political district boundaries…

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… and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate …

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… or control elections.

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January 2, 2007

The Price of Silencing an Accomplice

Filed under: Impeach for Peace — Mikael @ 9:11 am

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Thanks to Sgt. Fearn the “Impeachment Grunt” once again…


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