is beyond the looking glass?
certainly the glass was beginning
to melt away, just like a bright silvery mist. In another moment
was through the glass, and had jumped lightly down into the
year ago, the comfort of my world severely diminished as I took my
journey through the looking glass and discerned the ugly truths
about the nation of my birth, the
United States of America
. "Logic and proportion" certainly seemed to have "fallen
softly dead" when I discovered that much of what I had learned about
my country as a child had been a lie. My world was turned upside
down. Now I passionately pursue my goal to share my awakening with many
others so they too feel inspired to struggle to preserve the excellent
and to eradicate the rotting decay.
each day I sift through a wealth of information I glean from books,
the Internet, and sometimes the mainstream media. I also read (and
respond to) many of the hundreds of emails I receive. Supporters of my
writing email me with thanks and observations. More neutral parties send
me information or viewpoints I had not considered and point out
factual or logical flaws in my essays. Antagonists and critics hammer me
with ad hominem attacks, invitations to leave the country, and even
death threats. I offer my thanks to each person who writes me. I
welcome support for obvious reasons, additional information expands the
limits of my knowledge, and attacks inspire me to pursue social justice
with a renewed intensity.
my base of knowledge and volume of communication with people on
political matters have increased, I have become increasingly certain of
an unpopular conclusion. Certainly it could be much worse in America in
some respects, but if one drills a bit beneath the surface, the
putrid stench of corruption and inhumanity is almost unbearable. The
United States of America
is governed by an aristocracy with globally imperialistic ambitions that
is preparing to sweep away the remaining vestiges of our Constitutional
republic. My viewpoint is based on a wide array of eclectic sources.
While many derive comfort from labeling themselves and following the
herd, I align myself with neither conservatives nor liberals, Democrats
nor Republicans. I pledge allegiance to no party, flag, or government.
My loyalty is to my Higher Power, my family, my friends, my fellow human
beings, and to myself.
democracy: the best government
"The Moneyed" can buy
's apologists can deny the reality to their dying breath, but the truth
is that the
United States of America
as a democracy, a republic, or a free society is a fraud. While our
nation was founded on high principles, even our founders fell far short
of the standards they set for themselves. Many owned slaves, despite the
fact that they may have had misgivings about it. Some, like Alexander
Hamilton, desired an overt aristocracy because they did not trust
the "people" to govern themselves. Virtually all of our
founders were wealthy, white land-owners. Throughout its history,
this nation has failed to deliver on the promises of its Constitution.
Even Lincoln, one of the finer men to serve in the Oval Office, did not
end slavery out of moral considerations. The Civil War and political
pressures led him to pursue the abolition of that abhorrent institution.
spite of the Emancipation Proclamation and the subsequent Thirteenth
Amendment ending slavery, Black Americans have continued to face
tremendous oppression, abuse, and racism throughout
's history. The feeble response of the federal government to the crisis
(a predominately Black city) and Bill Bennett's recent repugnant remarks provide
poignant evidence that bigotry and racism are deeply ingrained into
American government and society. As it continues to pour $5 billion per
month into an illegal occupation in
, the federal government plans to cut entitlement programs to pay for
the reconstruction of the city of
New Orleans. This will render
a significant blow to the impoverished victims of Katrina and to many
other poor Americans, regardless of their race.
intense opposition by the wealthy elitists who dominated
's government, throughout much of the Twentieth Century groups and
movements fought to utilize the mechanisms available through our
Constitution to advance the cause of social justice. The Women's
Suffrage Movement, the Wobblies, the Socialists, the ACLU, the Civil
Rights Movement, and many others employed non-violent means to gain
unprecedented rights for women, the working class, Black Americans,
children, the poor, and other minorities. Many paid for their
"crime" of standing up to the ruling elites through loss of
their careers and reputations, prison time, beatings, deportation, and
even assasination. Thanks to these brave individuals, the soulless
worshippers of money were curtailed in their oppression of the people,
at least for a time.
You have gone FAR enough....
Nixon was a felon, but the Watergate scandal was rather insignificant when
one considers that his presidency marked the advent of a new "Gilded
Age". Starting with the Nixon era, Social Darwinism began to
recapture the hearts and minds of many Americans. While fancying
themselves to be part of a pluralistic society resting on the pillars of
freedom, equality, justice, and democracy, many denizens of the
have willingly enabled their government to become one of the most
avaricious, corrupt, and covertly repressive entities in history.
Nixon, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, and Bush II have worked feverishly to
advance the "noble causes" of the enrichment of corporate
, the expansion of the American Empire, the steady erosion of the
populist gains made during the Twentieth Century, and the substantial
increase in the wealth chasm between the rich and the poor. When we see
Ronald Reagan's face enshrined on the $50 bill, we will know that the
tyranny of the wealthy elite has reached a milestone in convincing
average Americans of the "righteousness" of their cause. Few
worked harder than Reagan to advance their agenda and to bring the
social justice movement to a screeching halt.
needs the Constitution?
the circumstances of Jose Padilla, a
citizen arrested on
soil. He has been imprisoned by the
government without charges or a trial for 3 years and 153 days.
Violating principles which originated with the Magna Charta, and which
are clearly embedded in our Constitution, the federal government has
denied Padilla due process under the law. In our Constitutional
republic, civilian authority is meant to supersede military authority,
yet Padilla remains in military custody. While Padilla's plight remains
abstract to many Americans because it is not happening to them or
someone they know, the Padilla situation demonstrates our government's
newly self-endowed power to declare any
citizen an enemy combatant (or "terrorist") and hold them
without a trial. Do we toss the Constitution in the trash, recycle it to
help save a tree, or keep it as a relic of the past to remind the ruling
elite just how bad it can get for them?
serve as further harbingers of the collapse of the Constitutional
republic in the
. Once deemed unimaginable, torture inflicted by the "shining beacon
of truth and justice" has been exposed to the light of day. While
the Bush administration "cleanses its sins" by punishing the
enlisted soldiers who were carrying out their orders to inflict prisoner
abuse, it has promoted Alberto Gonzalez, the architect of the
torture policies, to the position of chief law enforcement officer in
. How ironic (and frightening) can it get?
one of the lofty ideals which the
supposedly exemplifies, is non-existent for those at
accused of "terror". If those in
custody committed crimes or perpetrated attacks against the
, I favor punishing them to the extent of the law. However, in denying
them due process, we have become the very tyrants our government
professes to oppose. Try them or release them.
champion the "nobility cause" for the aristocracy
World War II, the
has aggressively vied to expand its empire through covert CIA
operations, support of ruthless dictators who support US interests,
economic manipulation, and direct military intervention. While many
readers who email me agree with my condemnations of US state terrorism (which
has resulted in the murder of millions of innocent civilians), a
surprising number of bellicose, mean-spirited individuals have indicated
their strong support for such actions. The wealthy elite, who are the
true power-brokers in our nation, thrive on the support of such
spiritually shallow individuals who are blind to their own malevolence
and hypocrisy. Rallying for the cause of "conservatism" in the
face of the "weak", "whining" liberals, these
blindly patriotic individuals readily accept the false dichotomies such
as the "good American Christians" versus the
"bad Islamofascists" perpetuated by government shills like
Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly. While these "patriots" wave
the flag and rush to label those who dare to challenge the actions of
government as traitors, Communists, or even terrorists, they unwittingly
advance the cause of history's deadliest and most powerful terrorist, the
federal government of the United States of America.
"the majority rules": He who has the gold rules...
many supporters of the current paradigm in the
still believe they are a majority. On September 24 in
, I marched with over 300,000 others who support peace and social
justice, and who oppose the Bush regime. The next day, about 400 Bush
supporters "rallied". According to the Associate Press, a very
recent AP-Ipsos poll shows that 28% of Americans believe the country is
headed in the "right direction" while 66% believe our nation
is "on the wrong track". The truth is that the enemies of
peace and social justice are in power because they carefully constructed
a powerful propaganda and campaign finance machine, not because they
represent a majority of Americans' interests. The fraudulent
presidential "victory" of 2000 represents their crowning
achievement. Protecting corporate and aristocratic interests is
their goal, and they are accomplishing it quite handily.
the Machiavellian efforts of men like Karl Rove, the Tom Delay
indictments, Delay's connections with the Blunts, and the ongoing
investigation of Patrick Fitzgerald could spell significant trouble for
Bush, his corrupt cronies, and his allies in Congress. Possibly there is
enough integrity and power left in the
legal system to derail, or at least postpone, the obscene power grab by
the wealthy in the
. Sadly though, even if things end grievously for the current regime of
aristocrats, the American people will need to work vigorously to prevent
a new one from emerging.
of its legal difficulties, or perhaps because of them, the Bush regime
continues to push the
closer to the precipice of overt rule by an elite few. As many of their
Religious Right supporters demand a literal interpretation of the Bible,
the elite power brokers in the
government continue chanting their litany calling for a literal
interpretation of the Constitution. Lambasting the actions of judges who
"legislate from the bench", they continue their insistence on
judicial nominees who will "strictly interpret the
Constitution". Despite my disgust, I admire their strategic
brilliance. Tyranny thrives on reducing the populace to "black and
white" thinkers. Iron-fisted rulers crush dissent from those who
attempt to introduce thorny complexities which threaten the simplistic
propaganda with which they manipulate their subjects. Our leaders know
that if the American public accepts the absurd notion that there is no
room for subjective interpretation of the Constitution to adapt to the
changes that come with the passage of time, they can utilize the Supreme
Court as an accomplice in crushing the gains made by the social justice
movement in the Twentieth Century. The white, wealthy patriarchy is
salivating over the prospect of its return to unabated power.
many guns do you need? There are hungry people here...
the battle of guns versus butter in the
, guns are winning by a crushing margin. As the aftermath of Hurricane
Katrina clearly demonstrated, the militarization of
has severely weakened the capacity and the will of the federal
government to provide for the general welfare of its citizens. Despite
being the wealthiest nation in history, 13% of our citizens live below
the poverty level and the
is the only industrialized nation which does not provide health care to
100% of its citizens. There is no excuse for the existence of poverty in
a nation with such vast resources. The aristocrats build their fortunes
on the backs of the poor and working class, and the incestuous
relationship between the federal government and the corporate vehicles
of the wealthy is one of their primary means of maintaining the gross
disparity of wealth which exists in the United States. Former President
Eisenhower warned us against allowing the military industrial complex to
become too dominant, but as Andy Rooney recently opined on 60 Minutes,
we ignored Ike's sage advice.
other things, Rooney said:
still have 139,000 soldiers in
Almost 2,000 Americans have died there. For what?
Now we have the hurricanes to pay for. One way our government pays
for a lot of things is by borrowing from countries like
Another way the government is planning to pay for the war and the
hurricane damage is by cutting spending for things like Medicare
prescriptions, highway construction, farm payments, AMTRAK, National
Public Radio and loans to graduate students. Do these sound like the
things you'd like to cut back on to pay for
I'll tell you where we ought to start saving: on our bloated
We're paying for weapons we'll never use.
No other Country spends the kind of money we spend on our military.
spent $42 billion.
spent $28 billion,
spent only $19 billion. The
spent $455 billion."
hand washes the other, brother
have received a great deal of correspondence from
"patriots" who state that Americans in the peace and social
justice movement owe a debt of gratitude to the people who have served
in the US military for protecting our freedoms from external threats.
There is truth to this, and therefore I say thank you to those who have
served in the military. Meanwhile, I will remind the
"patriots" that they have the social justice movement to thank
for protecting their rights from the internal threat of the
government. We may not be winning (but then neither is the US
military in Iraq), yet we remain in the struggle, and will not
relent. You are welcome.
is about expanding the empire, not defending the homeland....
do respect those who have served in the
military with the intent to defend our nation. However, with the
exception of World War II, wars waged by the
have not been defensive in nature. Too often, our imperialist government
has used US soldiers as pawns in wars of aggression waged under the
guise of "protecting" or "spreading" democracy. To
maintain the obscene profits of entities like Halliburton and
the Carlyle Group, our government has sold many Americans on the notion
that wild hordes of barbarians stand ready to storm the "castle
gates" of our nation to rape our women and plunder our wealth. Even
if that were the case (and it is not), the
could mount a viable defense on much less than $500 billion per year.
believe in achieving goals through non-violence, but I am not a
pacifist. I own a gun and would not hesitate to act to protect my family
in the event of a real threat to their safety. As individuals have the
right to defend themselves and their families, nations possess the same
right. Yet why does the United States, a nation representing 5% of the
world's population, need to account for 50% of annual world military
expenditures while maintaining military bases in 130 countries? Were I
to follow my government's example, I would fill several rooms of our
home with a variety of munitions and explosives, and hire a squadron of
private militia to patrol our city, simply to ensure my family's safety.
what you wish for....
the avid supporters of the American Empire scorn those who support a
greater emphasis on the betterment of humanity, the military they are so
quick to deify is poised to nullify the very freedoms it purportedly
exists to protect. Throughout history, the state has been a threat to
the freedom of individuals. The principle weapon of government to
impose its will upon the people has been the military. For many years,
government has carefully crafted a covert tyranny of the wealthy through
the use of media and propaganda, but as more Americans awaken to the
true nature of their state, the Bush regime is becoming more eager to
employ its unparalleled military power on the domestic front.
Comitatus, a law which essentially prevents the military from
policing the domestic populace, represents a thin veneer of
protection against the imposition of martial law. Since it is statutory
law and not derived from the Constitution, it can be altered or
nullified by further legislation. Reagan trampled Posse Comitatus when
he used the Air Force and Navy to fight the "war on drugs".
Bush told us in his address during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina
that he wants to expand federal authority and the military's role in
domestic matters. In his recent press conference he told us that he will
press Congress for the authority to employ martial law in the event of
an Avian Flu pandemic. The presence of Blackwater paramilitary security
forces and the emphasis of property protection over saving human lives
provided a glimpse of what the Bush regime has in store for
on reader feedback I have received, it is apparent that a fair number of
Americans are prepared to sacrifice what freedoms they still have for
the "security" afforded them by increased federal and
military authority. Obviously they have not read Orwell, or if they
have, apparently did not take his ideas seriously. The Patriot Act
and the Department of Homeland Security have broadened federal
powers and seriously infringed upon fundamental rights guaranteed by the
Constitution. One of the most dangerous aspects of the Patriot Act is
that it empowers law enforcement to act outside of the system of checks
and balances so crucial to our Constitutional republic. Consolidation of
FEMA into Homeland Security was one of the causes of the feeble federal
response to the disaster in
. To those so eager to rush to the "secure embrace" of Big
Brother, I would remind you that the fates of Jose Padilla, the
, the residents of
, or even those of the Japanese citizens interned during World War II
could befall you.
Benjamin Franklin once said:
who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve
neither liberty or security."
1935, Sinclair Lewis published It
Can't Happen Here, his depiction of a
president imposing a tyranny on Americans. In 2005, life is
imitating art. However, there are those of us who are willing to
sacrifice and endure whatever is necessary for the cause of a more
humane and just government and society. I will stay in the
to work for something better. I will continue to teach my children to
struggle for social causes. And yes, I will persist in my writing and
other forms of dissent against the tyranny of the aristocracy,
regardless of the consequences.
Jason Miller is a 38 year old
activist writer with a degree in liberal arts. He works in the
transportation industry, and is a husband and a father to three
boys. His affiliations include Amnesty International, the ACLU
and the Americans United for Separation of Church and State. He
welcomes responses at firstname.lastname@example.org or
comments on his blog at http://civillibertarian.blogspot.com/.