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<nettime> our lives in the ghosts of bush digest [x7]
nettime's_media_consultant on Fri, 5 Nov 2004 05:53:17 +0100 (CET)


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<nettime> our lives in the ghosts of bush digest [x7]


     Bill Spornitz <spornitz {AT} mts.net>
          How to Vote in US; please circulate
     andy {AT} remotelinux.com
          Re: <nettime> The Ministry of Disinformation
     "dr.woooo" <dr.woooo {AT} nomasters.org>
          Fwd: Resisting the 'Clash of civilisations' tour 
     "Sascha D. Freudenheim" <sascha {AT} sascha.com>
          George W. Bush Proves There Is A God After All
     Alan Sondheim <sondheim {AT} panix.com>
          Notes on the election -
     "Dan S. Wang" <danwang {AT} mindspring.com>
          So the Dems lose...again
     ben moretti <benmoretti {AT} yahoo.com.au>
          Bush's successor?

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From: Bill Spornitz <spornitz {AT} mts.net>
Subject: How to Vote in US; please circulate
Date: Mon, 1 Nov 2004 7:52:22 -0600

Reprinted without permission.

-b

What to Do on Election Day
 
Civics books make voting look like a breeze, but it can be hard work.
Voter rolls are inaccurate, ID requirements vary and are erratically
enforced, partisans try to disqualify likely supporters of their
opponents, and lines at the polls can be excruciatingly long. In 2000,
as many as six million presidential votes were lost for technical
reasons, and this year the number could be even larger. Voters,
particularly in battleground states, should head to the voting booth
prepared to fight for their vote to be counted: 

1. Know where to go. In many states, you will not be allowed to vote if
you show up at the wrong polling place. Worse still, you may be given a
provisional ballot to vote on that will later be thrown out. Your board
of elections can tell you where to vote. If you can't reach the board, a
nonpartisan hotline, 1-866-OURVOTE, has a polling place locator. So does
the Web site www.mypollingplace.com.

2. Bring proper ID. The rules vary by state. If you have a photo ID,
it's wise to bring it, just in case. Too often, poll workers demand ID
when it is not required, or demand the wrong ID. If you do not know the
law in your jurisdiction, you should check your local board of elections
Web site. 

3. Review the sample ballot before voting. Ballots are often confusing,
and their designs can change considerably from election to election. And
as the infamous "butterfly ballot" showed in 2000, a poorly designed
ballot can trick voters into choosing a candidate they did not intend.
If you have questions about how to vote on your ballot, ask a poll
worker or poll monitor for help.

4. Check your ballot before finalizing your vote. As we saw in 2000, if
punch card chads are not punched out precisely, votes may not be
counted. On electronic machines, a brush of the hand can erase or change
a vote. On paper ballots, stray or incomplete marks can disqualify a
vote.

5. Know your rights concerning provisional ballots. No voter can be
turned away in any state this year without being allowed to vote. If
there is a question about your eligibility, you must be allowed to vote
on a provisional ballot, the validity of which will be determined later.
But if you are entitled to vote on a regular ballot, you should insist
on doing so, since a provisional ballot may be disqualified later on a
technicality. 

6. Know where to turn for help. If you experience problems voting, or if
you see anything improper at the polls, you may want to get help. There
will be nonpartisan poll monitors at many polling places. (There may
also be partisan poll watchers, and it's possible one of them may be the
person objecting to your voting.) It is a good idea to bring a
cellphone, and phone numbers of nonpartisan hotlines like the Election
Protection program's 1-866-OURVOTE and Common Cause's 1-866-MYVOTE1.

7. Be prepared for long lines. In some precincts, the wait may stretch
into hours. Try to get to your polling place very early in the morning,
or between the before-work and after-work rushes. As long as you are in
line before the polls close, you are legally entitled to vote. Do not
let poll workers close the polls until you have voted.


Making Votes Count: Editorials in this series remain online at
nytimes.com/makingvotescount.


Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

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Date: Tue, 2 Nov 2004 14:55:26 -0500 (EST)
From: andy {AT} remotelinux.com
Subject: Re: <nettime> The Ministry of Disinformation

the americans of america that i know is characterized by my membership in
this species.

you must remember that americans think it is more important to support the
troops rather then why the troops are being deployed.

americans are more excited about seeing their television rather then their
reality as it is portrayed on this television.

across the board, americans define pragmatism and rational as accepting
the lesser of two evils in elections.

americans understand that cooperating with the authorities is easier then
disobeying.

americans also understand that when their coworkers at work get fired they
earn the benefits of seniority.

in america forgetting the results of a train wreck are easier to forget
then baseball games.  and if not train wrecks the outcome of previous 
military conflicts.

but americans know they have their priorities right.  

americans know they dont wont to pay for some slobs health care.

americans know they dont want to pay for welfare babies.

americans know they dont wont to pay for social security.

americans know they dont want more taxes.

americans know they have lives to get along with.  

americans know that blacks are dangerous.

americans understand that there is very little they can do about the
world.

americans understand that they can make a better living for themselves.

americans know that everybody has problems.  it is not up for an
individual american to do anything about it.

americans put their faith in the government they know is corrupt to
make things better.  

americans know that osama bin laden is an evil bastard that needs to be
killed.

americans will envy by the millions the lives of televised mafia shows.

americans dont know that they have played to osama bin ladens benefit for
over twenty years.

americans know that their society is founded on the concepts of truth, 
justice, and rule of law.

americans dont know that death in battle is the greatest possible outcome
for a mujahideen.

americans dont know what a mujahideen is.

americans dont know what terrorism is.  

terrorism is an act of violence against innocent people to advance a
cause.

without any difficulty, osama bin laden has exposed the united states as
the largest perpetrator of violence against innocent people in the world.

in the birthplace of islam. 

osama bin laden the other day stated it will not be up to political
personalities to change this outcome.  it will not be up to john kerry.  
it will not be al-Qaida.  and it will not be osama bin laden.

americans dont know this.

americans did not hear about this themselves.

they heard about it from television.  from the newspaper.  from a third 
party that could mediate his words.  

false consciousness is the disingenuous way of the marxo left to dismiss
these people.  all that is left is to dismiss the marxo left.

the only people that have not accepted the course american society is 
headed to are the american people.

americans you will remember do not decide what their elected officials do.  
americans do not question the pixels or decibels of media. the mass of
americans live their lives in fear of the Different. americans lack
imagination when they dont know they have imagination.

americans have no say in the outcome of military engagements. 

americans do not know how to challenge the platform of a united america
without subverting america.

americans do not know how to change the definition of what it means to be 
american.

americans allow other people to decide their identity for them, with some
brief historical exceptions.  and what culture is different?

it is a given in america that success and good luck is a blessing from god
or good honest work.

in Islam this is a direct blessing from allah.

muslims are the first to notice the many successes of the mujahideen.

on the world stage the only praise that is lacking is from the mujahideen,
republicans, democrats, and U.S. soldiers is for peacemakers.

the peacemakers are those who were against this business from the
beginning.  they are also those who are against it now.

the peacemakers are very numerous and very few. 

americans have faith in the outcome of the election to realize their
dreams or their fears.

i have no faith in the election.  

pray that im wrong. 

the establishment will make sure we follow the way of the establishment,
for better or worse.  if americans dont make a change to the establishment
of course.

the american memory is generational.  the children of the sixties are now
in the positions of society as guardians of american culture which comes
down to conserving the ideas and models of their upbringing, as is human
nature, and the same everywhere.

as a young american i hope to never sell out.  i have not seen the
ingenuity in the white hairs course of action, selling out the interests
of the next generation of americans just as they sold out the interests of
their own...  the younger generation could accomplish what amounts to
throwing some furniture around, like the flower children, and gen x-ers
after them and before me, but that would only amount to throwing around
some furniture, instead of the house in which it sits.

is that too radical?  is that too violent? 

or is their a greater violence we have yet to fear?

a violence that is promised by al-Qaida george bush and john kerry.

thats what scares me more.  as for what terrifies americans?  the fate of
a people rests on its individuals, so i dont know what  more can be said.

im scared as fuck.


On Thu, 28 Oct 2004, Bill Spornitz wrote:

> Randall said:
> 
> The frightening thing about all this, is the gullibility of the
> American people. They buy it. They believe him. They are going to vote
> for him and he may very well win this election and we are going to
> have four more years of a plot that seems to know no end to its
> thickening. 
> 
> I think to myself:
 <...>

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Date: Wed,  3 Nov 2004 20:48:23 +1100
From: "dr.woooo" <dr.woooo {AT} nomasters.org>
Subject: Fwd: Resisting the 'Clash of civilisations' tour 

fwd:

Resisting the Clash - Marhaba Europe Editorial (essential reading!)

The below frames the thinking and intention behind the Marhaba Europe
tour which sees the two groups of Israeli, Palestinian, Lebanese and
Interntional activists journey and talk through Ireland and Sweden
respectively...

Editorial: Resisting the Clash

Fear is quickly becoming again the main foundation for power in the
post-sept 11 world. For a long time, thanks to the living memory of
colonialism and World War II, those in power had to pay lip service
to the values that stood at the core of liberation struggles in all
continents, such as equality, freedom, justice, anti-racism, a fair
distribution of wealth, democracy of some form or another, etc. But
people are now bombarded all over the world on a daily basis with
messages designed to provoke a shift in their priorities. Human
rights and emancipatory social values, which for 50 years were held
as the goal by most of the world's population, are losing ground at
increasing speed as mainstream media and so-called 'experts'
and 'academics' continue promoting the security paranoia, the idea
that we need a strong state that is able to keep suspicious strangers
under control, and the racist notion that we are at the beginning of
a long-lasting conflict between 'cultures' or 'civilisations'.

This change in priorities happens at a time when, despite all
attempts at beautification, global capitalism can no longer hide its
outrageously violent, destructive and divisive character, and now
that its effects are also starting to be felt by the white middle
class of Europe and North America (who were previously protected
against it by the welfare state, the remains of the New Deal, etc).
History has shown that oppressive systems can be strong and stable if
a large share of the population supports them, but if they lose their
legitimacy, the same systems become volatile, expensive to maintain
and vulnerable.
However, history has also often proven that in the absence of
legitimacy, the status quo can nonetheless still be preserved by
fostering fear, and that there is nothing better to distract
attention from injustice than using all means available to focus this
fear (and the corresponding hatred) on an external (or
internal) "collective enemy". This is the beginning of quasi-fascism,
and it is what we are witnessing today, as mutual hatred between
different cultural, religious, national or 'ethnic' identities is
encouraged all over the world. [FOOTNOTE: It should be noted that
this is not a symmetrical situation, since people from the South have
been exploited, oppressed and exterminated by people from Northern
countries in ways that have never been experienced in the opposite
direction. But while this is an important fact to bear in mind and it
is vital to reverse this vast historical injustice, it does not
justify any form of collective hatred based on nationality, skin
colour or cultural affiliation.]

On a much more positive note, this is also a historical opportunity
to strengthen alliances of resistance all over the world. We are
living through times of rapid change, and the direction which these
changes take depends primarily on the response of our societies to
them. One of the few good things about the 'divide and rule'
strategies is that they can only work if the people who are being
pitted against each other don't know much about each other and hardly
have any contact or cooperation. This kind of isolation, which
enabled the cold war to last so long, is something that we can
successfully fight against. Grassroots groups cannot compete in
militaristic terms with the established powers, but we can dismantle
the mental framework on which their authority is based.

The speakers tour "Marhaba Europe!" is precisely a rallying call
against the racism and violence fostered by the 'clash of
civilisations' agenda, a cry to increase the contact and cooperation
across the Mediterranean through a better mutual knowledge between
people and grassroots groups in Europe and the Middle East. We are
focusing on this part of the world for obvious reasons (such as the
brutal violence inflicted by ruthless colonial regimes in Palestine
and Iraq and by corrupt neo-colonial regimes in many other countries,
the demonisation of people of different religions, nationalities or
cultures among increasing sectors of the population of the Israeli,
European and Arab states, the almost generalised growth of the
extreme right that this provokes, the increasingly inhuman and
disturbing nature of responses to oppression across the region, etc)
We would like to contact people interested in working on these lines
anywhere in the world. We are already in contact with people who are
planning a similar initiative in North America, and would love to get
in touch with people wanting to work in a similar direction
elsewhere.

The main objective of this project is to contribute to undermining
the imposition of the "clash of civilisations" agenda by promoting
more contact and solidarity between grassroots struggles across the
region, all over the world. The incredibly rich forms of grassroots
resistance and creativity that we want to help connect include anti-
colonial struggles, emancipatory struggles of women, queers and
minorities, the rejection of racism and xenophobia in all its forms,
and the efforts to overthrow authoritarian or oppressive regimes and
social practices everywhere. Although Palestine and Iraq are (again
for obvious reasons) in the focus of attention, we hope to motivate
groups all over Europe to collectively shape international
cooperation projects together with diverse organisations in the
Middle East and the North of Africa.

With these tours we would also like to foster connections with lots
of untapped cooperation potential. For example, most groups working
in Europe against the corporations and governments that determine our
energy policy focus on environmental questions (climate chaos, oil
spills, transportation policy, etc). These same corporations and
governments are behind the neo-colonial regimes of the Middle East,
which provoke widespread resentment and frustration among their
populations. Although this is a well-known fact, often denounced by
the environmental groups in Europe as part of their texts and
protests, most of them do not have any direct contact with grassroots
organisations in Arab countries. Connecting the different forms of
resistance against those governments and companies would certainly be
one of the best ways to challenge the oil economy. We are totally
aware that making these connections is easier said than done
(particularly to groups with less access to resources and
technology), and that maintaining balanced relationships across
continents is probably even more difficult. But we also believe that
it is totally possible if it is given enough priority. This project
aims at inspiring all kinds of grassroots groups in Europe to give
priority to this kind of connections, and to strengthen those already
existing and the obvious first step is to get to know a small sample
of the wealth of emancipatory struggles in the Middle East.
[FOOTNOTE: In August 2003, grassroots social movements from all over
the Mediterranean area and other parts of the world met in Barcelona
for a gathering at which this project was conceived. Many movements
that attended this gathering didn't have previous contact with other
movements in the region. For most grassroots organisations from Arab
states, international networking is difficult due to mobility
restrictions and economic disparities. Most European grassroots
groups were already internationally connected, but their contacts in
Arab countries and Israel are extremely limited (except in
Palestine), and their knowledge about social dynamics in these
countries is often influenced by mainstream stereotypes. Anti-Zionist
grassroots movements in Israel hardly have any contact with
grassroots organisations in Arab states, other than in Palestine.
This was one of the main reasons for us to facilitate this project.]

We are aware that many important struggles and issues related to the
Middle East and the North of Africa have been left out of the
speakers' tours and this magazine due to lack of capacity. Among them
are the Almazigh (aka Bereber), Kurdish and Saharahoui struggles, the
resistance against ruthless regimes in countries like Algeria, Saudi
Arabia, etc. The ones that are included (Palestine & Iraq, feminist
and queer struggles, independent media, etc) will be treated
superficially. Furthermore, this magazine uses concepts that we
reject, since it would become extremely obscure and difficult to read
if we didn't use words such as, for instance, 'civilisation' (an
extremely dubious and ideologised way to classify people in abstract
categories that are useful to the 'divide and rule' game). We do not
see any of this as a problem, since we do not claim (nor desire) to
have an all-encompassing analysis or ideology. We rather want to
foster a process of increased cooperation and exchange in a framework
that has room for diversity, while being based on a number of clear
principles, which will develop over time.

Among these principles, one that we consider particularly important
is to promote the self-critical analysis of our societies and
struggles. Boxes 1 to 3 provide brief examples for this kind of
analysis from Palestine, Israel and Europe. These excerpts relate the
domestic growth of racism, the extreme right and neo-colonial
policies to the development of global capitalism.

The speakers tours "Marhaba Europe!" will finish with an
international networking meeting to plan future projects and actions,
and find ways to make this process of resistance against the "clash
of civilisations" agenda more broad-based, inclusive and effective.
It will take place in Easter 2005 and you are all invited.

****************************

Box 1: Excerpts from "Flirtations with Fascism", by Asma Agbarieh*

The Arab leaders, and above all Yasser Arafat, promised their peoples
economic prosperity, provided they submit to American domination and
the capitalist ideology. Today they find themselves at a dead end...
In the absence of progressive socialist support, Arab nationalism is
in danger of falling into the waiting arms of fascism. The Arab world
is not ready to confront the US and capitalism, because until now no
true opposition-movement has arisen from within it. Given the vacuum,
nothing is easier than to blame everything on the Jews while
supporting fascist forces in the US and in Europe, looking to the
latter to "purify" the Arab world of the Jewish "parasite".

For the Arab regimes, anti-Semitism is preferable to a confrontation
with the real enemy: American capitalism and its agent, Israel. As
long as the latter are strong, after all, they guarantee the survival
of the dictators. These prefer to see the people going after Jews
rather than attacking their own corrupt regimes.

When Holocaust deniers convene in Arab capitals, they are not
adopting the Palestinian cause for its own sake, but rather
exploiting it as fertile ground for their ideas. In this way they
degrade the struggle - originally political, ideological, and
conscious - to a more nefarious level. When Arab leaders join hands
with them - as did the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, who
sought support from Hitler - they betray their cause.

Fascism is not just the enemy of the Jews, but of all humanity... Our
enemy is not an ethnic or religious group. It is the combined forces
of American capitalism, Zionism and the reactionary Arab regimes.

* Director of the monthly Palestinian magazine Al Sabar and
coordinator of the legal office of Workers Advice Centre in East
Jerusalem and Nazareth. The complete English version of this article
was published in Al Sabar's sister publication Challenge, and can be
found at  http://www.hanitzotz.com/challenge/67/asma.html)

*****************************

Box 2: Excerpts from "Zionism and Colonialism", by Gershon Shafir*

The 1967 war opened the door to the radicalisation of Zionist
colonisation (...) In independent Israel, after 1948, the Histadrut
[1] did away with the threat of Palestinian Arab competition in the
labour market and brought about the gradual substitution of the
exclusionary strategy of "Hebrew labour" with a scheme, that for all
practical purposes, amounted to a caste system. After 1967, this
caste system was dramatically expanded [2]. (...)

The post-1967 era in Israel was one of cultural transformation, of a
far-reaching, though ultimately inconclusive, legitimational shift.
This shift resulted from the efforts of the supporters of territorial
expansion to find a popularly acceptable replacement for the
demographic calculus that was deeply ingrained in most Israelis. The
rise of the Likud - National Religious party coalition, and the
retreat from democratic values and in certain areas from modernity
itself, were part of these "cultural revolutions". The latter
oscillated between the fully exclusivist homogeneous settlement
colony perspective of the various advocates of "transfer" [3], and
the more powerful wing of the Likud that adopted a supremacist
approach, typical of its hierarchical structure and its attendant
rigid primordial (and in many cases racial) justification. (...) It
is still in this respect, and in these terms, that the future of
Israeli society is likely to be determined.

* Gershon Sharif used to teach at the Tel Aviv University and is now
at the University of California at San Diego. The essay "Zionism and
Colonialism" is part of Ilan Pappe's compilation "The
Israel/Palestine Question", published by Routledge in 1999.

1 Editor's footnote: The Histadrut was the organisational and
economic umbrella of the Jewish Labour Movement. In 1920 it
centralised a vertically and horizontally integrated network of
Jewish enterprises and institutions, creating a homogeneous Jewish
economy with the aim of excluding Palestinian Arabs and removing them
from the labour market under the slogan "Hebrew labour".

2 Editor's footnote: after the displacement of most of the
Palestinian Arab population from 1948-Israel, the economic advantages
of exploiting the remaining Palestinians were more important than the
demograpic disadvantages of their presence. They became the bottom of
a stratified system where Jews of European and North-American origin
stood at the top, followed by "second-class Jews" from Arab
countries, Ethiopia, etc. Since then, the demographic supremacy of
the Jews has been the main concern of the Israeli right.

3 Editor's footnote: A small but vocal part of Israeli society
favours the forced removal of Palestinians out of the Occupied
Territories (hypocritically calling such a fascist measure "
transfer"), while others in the Israeli right are keen to use
Palestinians as a source of cheap labour.

******************************

Box 3: Excerpts from "State of Terror", by Raif Smythe*

In little over a year Britain has been turned into a 'police state on
paper' with scarcely a murmur of dissent from the public. Far from
the huge outcry in 1974 when the original 'temporary' anti-terrorism
laws were introduced, the public has believed (inasmuch as it cared)
New Labour's claim that the terrorism laws were merely being
modernised. (...) It was only with the publication of the list of
banned organizations in February 2001 that ethnic minority and
refugee groups woke up to the threat and were drawn in. In
particular, Kurds and Tamils in London, Sikhs in Birmingham and
Muslims in both cities became involved as groups in or connected to
their communities were the most banned. (...) While a tentative
proposal to introduce compulsory ID cards for everyone produced
immediate and incensed opposition and was quickly withdrawn, measures
to deny the fundamental rights of suspected terrorists won widespread
support. The message was clear: the public was concerned
about 'their'rights but not those of migrants. (...) The rest of the
population was instilled with a general fear it was under
surveillance or being "grassed up;" a similar form of social control
was used in the socialist countries of Eastern Europe, and is far
more effective than the usual deterrence of prison.

It is already well known that social authoritarianism, in particular
the identification and managing of the unproductive and surplus
elements in capitalist societies, is as essential, indeed just as
much a part of neo-liberalism, as is economic liberalisation. The
proposed computer system being developed for the UK to determine
sentencing of criminals by providing a risk assessment based on
factors such as previous offences, age and postcode could not be a
better example. This marks a fundamental shift from imprisoning
people for what they have done, towards imprisoning people for what
they might do in the future. Instead of being people they are simply
figures in an actuarial calculation of risk, fodder for the prison-
industrial complex to grow fat on.

Now, however, it is becoming clear that something more than mere
physical exclusion is needed for those who actively question and
oppose the neo-liberal vision of progress and contradict the
politicians' line that economic globalisation is the only possible
future. For this "progress" to continue, those elements need to be
excluded politically and ultimately socially.

By deciding that somebody is not just a suspected criminal but a
suspected terrorist, the odds are stacked against them from the
start. Magistrates will be unlikely to refuse requests for continued
detention, judges will be more likely to grant requests to withhold
sensitive evidence from the defence. (...) Anyone to whom the
label "terrorist" sticks will suffer what is known as stigmatic harm
and will find themselves increasingly sidelined in society, as others
will not want to be tarred with the same brush. Just as was the case
with women, people of colour and non-heterosexuals being unable to
join in public debate because they were seen as irrational, inhuman
or an object of hate, so it will be with the new terrorists.

Of course most people rely on information from media rather than
everyday life in this area. "The power to name, label and define
terrorism is especially relevant...since terrorism is so distant and
beyond the average person's experience. It is a case...where the
media wield exceptional power over popular conceptions of reality."
With a mass media of entertainers willing to sensationalise to
increase profits, this is obviously a problem.

* Coalitional Against the Terrorism Acts, UK. Complete article
available at  http://squat.net/cia/gp/hom3c.php?
artid=44&back=/cia/gp/hom.php

******************************

Table of contents of the magazine "Marhaba Europe!"
3-6 Editorial: Resisting the Clash
7 No, Anti-Zionism is not Anti-Semitism, by Brian Klug
8-10 The Clash Of Ignorance, by Edward W. Said
10-11 Old Hates Fuelled by Fear, by Naomi Klein
12-22 Anti-Muslim Racism and the European Security State, by Liz
Fekete, Institute of Race Relations
23-25 The Boy who Kissed a Soldier, by Starhawk
26-27 Flirting with Anti-Semitism, by Asma Agbarieh
28-29Globalization and the Rise of the Radical Right, by Yacov Ben
Efrat
30 Is The Islamic Hijab a Women's Right? by Nadia Mahmood, OWFI
31 Untold Stories of the Occupation of Iraq, by Houzan Mahmoud, Nadia
Mahmood and Lydia Ratna, OWFI
32-33 How to Strengthen the Palestine Solidarity Movement by Making
Friends with Jews , by Guy Izhak Austrian and Ella Goldman
34-35 Arab Nationalism, American Imperialism and my Boyfriend, by
Imad Mortada
36 Laila Was Eaten by the Wolf, by Sara Abou Ghazal
37-39 Resources and Links


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Date: Wed, 03 Nov 2004 06:58:20 -0500
From: "Sascha D. Freudenheim" <sascha {AT} sascha.com>
Subject: George W. Bush Proves There Is A God After All

I think it had to be said. So I said it!

Sascha


Posted with permission of the author. Original article online at:
http://www.thetruthasiseeit.com/Archive/2004/2004_11_03.html

George W. Bush Proves There Is A God After All
A.D. Freudenheim - 3 November 2004

According to this morning's news, President George W. Bush has won the 
popular vote in yesterday's U.S. national election against Senator John 
Kerry, with 51.1% of the votes counted. In achieving this victory -- 
which does not yet assure him re-election, though that outcome does also 
seem likely -- Bush has surely proved the existence of the god in whom he 
professes to believe so deeply. Why else would Americans re-elect Bush, 
given the state of the economy, the disastrous war in Iraq, the 
horrendous tax cuts, the erosion of our civil liberties, and above all, 
Bush's absolute inability to take responsibility for any bad decisions? 
Surely there *must* have been divine intervention on Mr. Bush's side.

However, if a Bush victory in this election proves that the President's 
god is real, then it also surely proves that this god is capricious, 
whimsical, cruel, and largely unconcerned with the fate of humankind. 
Only a god who believes in increasing the wealth of the wealthy would 
support George Bush. Only a god who enjoys greater destruction of human 
life and civilization -- and the mindless slaughter of innocent people 
around the world -- would aid Bush. Only a god who cherishes the 
destruction of the very planet we inhabit would think Bush is worthy of 
re-election.

Bush's god is certainly not a New Testament god, a god with lineage 
traceable to Jesus of Nazareth. After all, Jesus preached peace, 
humility, the value of human life, and aid to the poor -- all concepts 
and actions we have not seen from Bush during his first term in office. 
Nor is this an Old Testament god, the one often depicted as loving of 
his flock but capable of great cruelty, such as flooding the world or 
drowning the Egyptians in the Red Sea. How do we know? Because despite 
such acts of cruelty, the Old Testament god made clear that these were 
decisions made with great remorse and sadness -- and that they were 
exclusively god's decisions to make, not humanity's.

When it comes right down to it, in fact, the works of Bush's god look 
more like those of a hard-at-work Satan. Death, destruction, taunting 
humanity to go to war against itself, with little care for the outcome 
of such fights, and instead taking great, Rumsfeldian joy in the battles 
and the chaos that ensues.

Correction: President Bush has proved the existence of Satan, the Price 
of Darkness. Now that makes a lot more sense, doesn't it?

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Date: Wed, 3 Nov 2004 15:41:21 -0500 (EST)
From: Alan Sondheim <sondheim {AT} panix.com>
Subject: Notes on the election -

Notes on the election -

0. The Republican win was predicted and predictable. Now the infinity
of analysis begins, an infinity that has already missed the point.

1. There is nothing the Democrats might have done 'better.' The country
voted its conscience.

2. Its conscience is founded on a morality-based worldview, which is
rural in origin, and relatively rigid.

3. 9/ll played a critical role, not only in revealing the extreme
vulnerability of the country, but also in the production of an Islamic-
fundamentalist alterity that could not be dismissed.

4. With the religious right, fundamental ontology replaces the episteme.

5. Bush appeared, alive and life-like at the World Trade Center ruins
almost immediately after, conjoining his image with the intensity of
destruction.

6. The left continuously focused on the negative aspects of the
Republican party, over-determining, at least in print, the violence of
a world-view at odds with the rest of the planet.

7. Absolute morality is not concerned whatsoever with opinion.

8. The right has been organizing, in the US, for at least a century and
a half; this election and the last have been in preparation for decades.

9. In the 60s, which for many of us appears to be a history of the left,
the right quietly embraced both technology and structural compromises
that increased and solidified its power base, in rural and impoverished
areas of the country.

10. A fundamental flaw is the assumption that so-called minority votes
are liberal and leftist; in fact, the opposite is increasingly the case.

11. The 'American dream' is both part of class distinctions, and a
force in their elimination. Don't underrate its influence; no matter
how hard we try, there is no revolutionary class, but only power,
desire, economic status, and diffused and focused oppression.

12. Corporate America is far more diverse and problematic than the left
assumes; it also presents a very real world of almost infinite choice
and identifications. Its collusions and corruptions are our collusions
and corruptions, and have absolutely nothing to do with God and God's
State.

13. Cultural capital in the US is far more important than economic
capital, and its boundaries cut across the latter in terms of class. We
are all white trash and we are all intellectuals and theorists.

14. Far too many judgments are made 'for' rural and so-called back-
water areas, which are almost never heard themselves. The information
discourse networks and religious institutions of the majority of American
voters are concretely effaced by abstraction. The water of baptism is
not H2O.

15. Morality and fear are interwoven; it is the abject stereotyped
image of gays fucking that appears to corrode the 'clean and pure' body
politic. Your marriage wrecks my marriage. It is a failure of the left
not to deal with this; dismissing the violent imaginary out of hand
ensures its force within the political arena.

16. In conservative America, the negation of negation is not dialectical,
but also a return to a rapturous positivity.

17. If one's religion insists that abortion, for example, is murder,
then any means, including murder as literal self-preservation, may be
used in return as a defensive and pre-emptive action. It is not ever a
question of one side listening to another; it is a question of war to
an infinite degree.

18. The church in rural and disenfranchised America is a communal and
cohesive force, one of the few institutions capable of lived-community
and defense against the rest of the world. But more than this, the
church is also the locus for community activity and identity. To dismiss
it, even in its intolerant and sometimes evangelical varieties, is to
miss the point of its existence. For the individual, the church is
salvation, explaining and preserving morality, even forgiving and
abetting the temptations of sin.

19. The church overdetermines the rest of the world; rural and other-
wise isolated communities have a surprisingly low degree of information
flux. The church provides stability in a late-late-capitalist world of
postmodernity, where selves, ideologies, and languages are contested.
Within testament and testimony, there is no contestation; the church,
in other words, 'puts a hedge around the Torah' (Pirke Avot).

20. In my opinion, the image of Kerry hunting (and killing) was not
only hypocritical and distasteful, but also a premature sign of defeat.
However, this had no affect on the election per se, which was already
determined, way back in the late 60s and early 70s, when Billy Graham
created the first automated post-office in the US - a religious
embrace of technology that forecast the future of the country. Perhaps
the left 'created' - i.e. the hacking manifesto - but the religious
right utilized, entrenched, constructed a primary embrace of individual
and instrumental reason that guaranteed the supple application of power
when and where needed. The only real question here is why it took so
long.

21. The left has been hampered by split ideologies and critique; the
right, which permits no critique, has worked constantly with umbrella
ideologies.

22. What has been exposed and contested in the US is often business as
usual in the rest of the world. We are witnessing a movement from
republic to empire, from the primacy of voting, to the primacy of
dominant interests.

23. On a personal level - I have lived in West Virginia, Pennsylvania,
and the Bushlands of Texas and Florida. What happened was no surprise.
I voted early yesterday, and felt a sense of relief at the minor
_punctum_ I experienced. But I had no doubt that Bush would win, that
my voice was primarily personal therapeutic. Instead of despair late
last night/this morning, I've felt that our work, that of an opposition,
has only just begun - that it could only just begin. We have to
recognize, above all, that the US has done the will of the majority;
the more we overlook this, excuse this, theorize this, wonder 'what
went wrong,' the more we are weakened. Perhaps this is a positive sign -
in the sense that the enemy, if it is an enemy, is clear, and no longer
can be dismissed as an aberration.

24. The 'cultural war' is war.

25. Terror is an instrument of war.

26. Religion sublimates terror.

27. I live, you die. Vote or die holds no truck with the faithful.

28. Language is not action. Belief is action. Belief is not language.

29. The explication of fact in Michael Moore is replaced by the
internalization of sin and the body in Mel Gibson. Old Testament, New
Testament.

30  What the right knows: There is always already closure.
_

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Date: Wed, 03 Nov 2004 15:19:28 -0600
Subject: So the Dems lose...again
From: "Dan S. Wang" <danwang {AT} mindspring.com>

For those of you outside the US wondering why it is that a man such as
George W. Bush could win a second term--

I would say that if Bush had not gone into Iraq, he would have won this
election in an ungodly landslide. Misgivings about the war on Iraq is one of
the only reasons it was even this close. The US is a fundamentally
conservative country.

The Democrats can only ride the anti-war tide for so long. They are a party
of wars, plain and simple, and everybody including the DNC knows it. Kerry's
main thing wasn't even remotely anti-war; it was "let's fight a smarter
war." There is certainly something to be said for that, especially when
smarter might include not initiating quagmire-ish military campaigns against
innocent people. But Bush countered with the freedom card, as in, "we're for
Freedom! That's what we're fighting for!" The truth of his claim rests on
the fact that Americans reserve above all, the freedom to be stupid, to be
irrational, to not make sense, to confuse, to do and be something that
others don't like, understand, agree with, or want. To be irresponsible.

It may sound stupid to anybody with ears coming from such a
silver-spoon-in-his-nose fortunate son like GWBush, but the freedom card
rings true in the US, and people respond almost instinctively. There is a
kind of social space here in which individuals can realize themselves in
ways that end up being much more extreme than in other societies. For
immigrants this freedom might mean being able to own a shop, or get a degree
from an excellent university; for the good ol boys it might mean traveling
with a loaded gun, or owning a piece of land on which nobody will bother
you. Freedom so manifested is lame, but it's American. I've even known
several lefty intellectual types who came to the US expecting to hate it and
then find themselves positively intrigued by the everyday tensions of the
American lifestyle and charmed by the dysfunctional natives, and then,
surprisingly but very in keeping with the American seduction, wondering if
they too might make a home here. So the voters don't care if Bush's policies
screw us all; he is the asshole-in-chief, and that, for many Americans is
the basic proof that he understands freedom, because he himself is free to
be a jerk. 

There are other reasons for the results, of course, having to do with fraud
and dirty tricks, a lack of organization and rural strategy. But still, the
tide is clear: the Democrats have nothing to offer. Even the crowd that had
gathered in Copley Square awaiting a Kerry celebration last night seemed
less than enthusiastic about standing behind their man in defeat. And who
can blame them? They were just there to rub the victory in Bush's face.

The question is becoming When will the tide turn back? The Democrats may
have to utterly shrivel before an effective (meaning one that can actually
stop wars or elect people or implement policy) opposition to the Republicans
can emerge. And that means things will get worse before they get better. A
start would be working on this freedom thing, somehow grabbing it back from
the conservatives. 

For me, almost as disheartening as the Bush victory is the Nov 3 anti-war,
anti-Bush protest happening here in Chicago. Again, it will be in the
Federal Plaza, which is in the heart of the downtown concrete jungle.
Chicago's skyline looks great from either the far north lakefront, or the
far south. From the air, it always impresses. But when you are actually in
it, you just want to get out, and every weekday by 5:30 pm the area around
Federal Plaza is almost totally emptied of the people who have to be there
for work. Demonstrations presuppose an audience; there never is one at
Federal Plaza, and yet still we demonstrate there. Yoked to convention as
the activists are, is it any wonder that fellow Americans do not associate
our agenda with freedom?

Anyways, I've got a plane to catch. Anybody have other post-mortems to
offer?

Dan W.

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Date: Fri, 5 Nov 2004 14:44:15 +1100 (EST)
From: ben moretti <benmoretti {AT} yahoo.com.au>
Subject: Bush's successor?

So which conservative will succeed Bush for 2008? 


=====
ben moretti
e: benmoretti {AT} yahoo.com.au
w: http://www.geocities.com/benmoretti
t: +61 0438 822 196

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