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Do you recognize any of these traits in your party politics?

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  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    The 14 Characteristics of Fascism

    Political scientist Dr. Lawrence Britt wrote an article "Fascism Anyone?," in Free Inquiry, Spring 2003, page 20. He studied the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia), and Pinochet (Chile), and found 14 characteristics that they all had in common. The excerpt is in accordance with the magazine's policy.

    His 14 characteristics of fascism are:

    1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism

    Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.

    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." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.

    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; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.

    4. Supremacy of the Military

    Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.

    5. Rampant Sexism

    The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Opposition to abortion is high, as is homophobia and anti-gay legislation and national policy.

    6. Controlled Mass Media

    Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.

    7. Obsession with National Security

    Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.

    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. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions.

    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.

    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 .

    11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts

    Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts is openly attacked, and governments often refuse to fund the arts.

    12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment

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

    13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption

    Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.

    14. Fraudulent Elections

    Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------

    Okay...Thanks to Dr. Lawrence Britt and Free Inquiry Magazine. I just wanted people to take a hard look at these characteristics and do some critical thinking. How many of these traits are embodied in your party's platform or their day-to-day actions and rhetoric?

    Comments invited...
  • Democrat
    Oregon
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    In my party politics? I can't think of any.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    "Schmidt; yes you got the right elements; this led also to Germany's Nazi-ism. Keep it up America.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    I'll share some of my thoughts, and why I posted it. First, although we can probably recognize elements of all of these characteristics present to some degree in our society, I would be hard pressed to find any individual or group that strongly embodies ALL of the characteristics...and that includes the more radical elements of the Tea Party. We would have to go back in history to find authoritarian leaders that have the charisma and intellectual capacity to sway the masses into following their lead. I don't see any single America political figure that fits that description.

    Yet it has happened in the past, so we need to be wary again and here's why. First from my experience, most people are one or two issue voters. They really only have a superficial understanding (or maybe I should say misunderstanding) of most issues, but might strongly identify with one issue such as gun rights or abortion or the military or immigration or taxes to name just a few. Fear is an underlying trait driving many of those emotions.

    So if one were to look at our population as a whole, very few would align strongly on the right on all 14 characteristics, but they might agree strongly on a few of them...or maybe just one. It only takes one. My guess is that less then 5 percent of the population would strongly align with all 14 characteristics and maybe even less than that. However, if a charismatic leader can start hitting multiple hot button issues, the sum of the "one issue" individuals affected reaches a critical mass, emotions take over and critical thinking becomes absent.

    For example, the immigration protest groups in Murrieta, California waving their American flags are driven by a strong sense of nationalism and fear, but many probably do not align with many of the other characteristics. The militia at Cliven Bundy's ranch in Nevada are driven by fear and hatred of government, but probably have neutral views on many of the other issues. Ditto for the Christian evangelicals and their opposition to abortion or the LGBT lifestyle...many share otherwise liberal views on other issues.

    At a grass roots level, I do not see any spontaneous uprising of the masses...it requires leaders to stir the pot. In the case of the Murrieta protesters, it was the mayor himself that injected fear into a segment of the Murrieta population. On a much larger scale, billionaire plutocrat Rupert Murdoch is using his Fox News media outlet to interject fear and hate into a much larger segment of the population on a daily basis. Ditto for Rush Limbaugh and others like Alex Jones Infowars. Many websites cater to one issue voters and incite rage and fear.

    However, put all the malcontents and hot button issues under one umbrella and give them a party name and an authoritarian charismatic leader, and they will succumb to "tribalism" and party propaganda. They effectively become a passionate collective supporting all the hot button issues of the malcontents although probably never understanding why. Group think trumps individual thinking. Passions driven by rage and fear take on a life of their own...much the same as the Salem witch trials of the past or public hangings by vigilante groups. Or on a much larger scale, Europe of the late 1930s and 1940s.

    It can happen again...fear, hate and anger are in our DNA and can easily be tapped by the ruthless.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Schmidt Wrote: I'll share some of my thoughts, and why I posted it. First, although we can probably recognize elements of all of these characteristics present to some degree in our society, I would be hard pressed to find any individual or group that strongly embodies ALL of the characteristics...and that includes the more radical elements of the Tea Party. We would have to go back in history to find authoritarian leaders that have the charisma and intellectual capacity to sway the masses into following their lead. I don't see any single America political figure that fits that description.

    Yet it has happened in the past, so we need to be wary again and here's why. First from my experience, most people are one or two issue voters. They really only have a superficial understanding (or maybe I should say misunderstanding) of most issues, but might strongly identify with one issue such as gun rights or abortion or the military or immigration or taxes to name just a few. Fear is an underlying trait driving many of those emotions.

    So if one were to look at our population as a whole, very few would align strongly on the right on all 14 characteristics, but they might agree strongly on a few of them...or maybe just one. It only takes one. My guess is that less then 5 percent of the population would strongly align with all 14 characteristics and maybe even less than that. However, if a charismatic leader can start hitting multiple hot button issues, the sum of the "one issue" individuals affected reaches a critical mass, emotions take over and critical thinking becomes absent.

    For example, the immigration protest groups in Murrieta, California waving their American flags are driven by a strong sense of nationalism and fear, but many probably do not align with many of the other characteristics. The militia at Cliven Bundy's ranch in Nevada are driven by fear and hatred of government, but probably have neutral views on many of the other issues. Ditto for the Christian evangelicals and their opposition to abortion or the LGBT lifestyle...many share otherwise liberal views on other issues.

    At a grass roots level, I do not see any spontaneous uprising of the masses...it requires leaders to stir the pot. In the case of the Murrieta protesters, it was the mayor himself that injected fear into a segment of the Murrieta population. On a much larger scale, billionaire plutocrat Rupert Murdoch is using his Fox News media outlet to interject fear and hate into a much larger segment of the population on a daily basis. Ditto for Rush Limbaugh and others like Alex Jones Infowars. Many websites cater to one issue voters and incite rage and fear.

    However, put all the malcontents and hot button issues under one umbrella and give them a party name and an authoritarian charismatic leader, and they will succumb to "tribalism" and party propaganda. They effectively become a passionate collective supporting all the hot button issues of the malcontents although probably never understanding why. Group think trumps individual thinking. Passions driven by rage and fear take on a life of their own...much the same as the Salem witch trials of the past or public hangings by vigilante groups. Or on a much larger scale, Europe of the late 1930s and 1940s.

    It can happen again...fear, hate and anger are in our DNA and can easily be tapped by the ruthless.
    Schmidt, as always you've done your homework. However there is one thing you forgot. Since this country is a huge "melting pot" of all kind of cultures , it will be very difficult to get people all moving in one direction only. For such you need a dictator in charge or the "church" in charge as is the case with some Muslim countries. So I would n't worry too much. I'm more affraid of the wasteful government spending and our war mongering "generals" as well as the huge gap between the filthy rich and the poor; that may lead to turmoil for sure.
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    Since 9/11/2001, we have seen the exponential rise of Fascism in our own government. It had begun gradually in 1958, to indoctrinate some of the right-wing Republican Party leaders. Back in the Civil Rights era, we had a rise in KKK activities, & there has been a strong interaction between the JBS (Birch Society) & the KKK and the neo-Nazi groups in America. Revilo Oliver (on the Birch Society National Council) went on to influence lots of other more radical organizations.

    For instance he had given advice to the man who wrote the "Turner Diaries" (1978) -- it is the handbook for anarchists & militia groups all over the USA. It gives a story of America as a "police state" & depicts vigilante men hanging people from ropes, exploding buildings, etc. This book has been secretly handed around to most of the network of underground militia groups as a Guide & recipe book. (for bombs). This very book was found in the car of Timothy McVeigh, the day he was arrested for the Okla City 1995 bombing (of the Murrah Federal building).

    The writer of the "Turner Diaries" was William Pierce, who had been an early member of the John Birch Society. He later turned neo-Nazi, and he got the notion of using fiction to spread his racist white-supremacist ideas from Revilo Oliver.

    Revilo Oliver & William Luther Pierce joined together (in the 1960's) to form the "National Alliance" (white racist group) which later splintered off into the "National Vanguard" in 2005, (a NAZI organization), based in Charlottesville, VA.

    Keep in mind, Revilo Oliver was on the Nat'l Council of the John Birch Society, (1958): along with Fred C. Koch (father of the Koch Bros; Pres of Rock Island OIL, Wichita KS); Stillwell J. Conner (Claire's father); Robert Welch, (founder & leader); Thomas J. Anderson, (magazine editor); Lt General Charles B. Stone III (USAF); Robert H. Montgomery, (lawyer in Boston); Clarence Manion, (Dean of Notre Dame Law School). (This is only a partial listing of names, which usually total: 24 or more members).

    You can now begin to see the connections between the John Birch Society (exclusive "secret" orgn within the Republican Party since 1958) & the arrival of several Neo-Nazi groups, & then several white supremacist groups, (KKK), & the intense radical "political" groups, that have all morphed out of the JBS, --- like the Tea Party. All of them make use of American Politics to brain-wash & manipulate our people, to keep them agitated, so they will donate to the right wing causes, and raise their voices in protest, whenever called upon to do so by the GOP.

    Also, note, that most of these orgns use "wild & irrational" statements constantly, to keep their membership in a constant state of frenzy, which makes them "easy" followers, who do not ever question their leaders, or even their objectives. Deep rational thought is never encouraged by the Birch Society leadership. Members in the Birch Society are taught to never "debate" or "question" anyone in authority there, but they are just supposed to "obey" whatever they are told to do. Once hooked & indoctrinated, JBS members can gradually be led further & further into the trap. They are not allowed to dissent, but must follow blindly. Pretty soon, they will believe anything, even that Obama is a Martian Satanist come here to prepare the American people to become a dinner-entree for little green men, wearing space helmets, & carrying pitchforks. (Even Donald Trump would be putting his white napkin around his neck, to get ready for that meal. HOW CAN THEY BE THAT DUMB? (or is it all an Act)?
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Eternal Flame --

    You hit on several good points about the Birchers. And I like your statement:

    "Also, note, that most of these orgns use "wild & irrational" statements constantly, to keep their membership in a constant state of frenzy, which makes them easy followers, who do not ever question their leaders, or even their objectives. They are actually more like rabid animals."

    Fareed Zakaria had an interesting opinion piece in the Washington Post:

    Fareed Zakaria, Washington Post, July 3, 2014: Identity, not ideology, is moving the world

    Zakaria discusses the forces of nationalism that are in play around the world:

    "...around the world these days, we’re seeing the rise of another kind of nationalism, one that can be darker and more troubling."

    Recent elections in Europe including the European Parliament, "nationalist, populist and even xenophobic parties did extremely well. The U.K. Independence Party defeated all of the established parties. France’s National Front won handily against the ruling Socialist Party. In Greece, the quasi-fascist Golden Dawn won half a million votes, giving it seats in the European Parliament for the first time."

    Zakaria argues that the rise of these parties cannot be attributed to the deep recession and slow recovery that still afflict much of Europe because similar voting trends are being observed in more prosperous European countries like Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands, Finland and Sweden. What is common to the victors in the elections, is their focus not on economics, but rather on immigration and other expressions of nationalism based on fear, insecurity and anxiety.

    In the United States, Zakaria attributes the rise of the Tea Party to their stance on immigration, which perhaps is the central issue for many of the Tea Party members today. Whether the mobs that are protesting the arrival of bus loads of refugees in Murietta California are Tea party members remains to be seen, and it doesn't really matter. The Murietta protesters perhaps are being driven by the same fear and anxiety that are driving the folks in Europe...the racial and ethnic purity of the country.

    As Dutch has pointed out, with our racial and ethnic diversity, that kind of mentality is not likely to get a large foothold in America. But it can explain the Republican opposition to any kind of immigration reform...and right now they seem to have the bully pulpit laying all this on Obama. They appeal to our deepest underlying anxieties, much the same as a certain dictator did some 75 years ago.
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    There are a myriad of factors involved in all this: But I try never to forget that only 70 yrs ago, during WW2, a guy named Prescott Bush, the father of Daddy Bush & the Grandpa of "W" Bush -- was financing the Third Reich in NAZI Germany (our enemy) -- and Prescott Bush gave tons of money to a company named I.G. Farben, a corporation that built concentration camps & military vehicles, & Zyklon gas used to kill the Jews in the ovens.

    Grandpa Bush should have known that Nazi's were exterminating the Jews, (everybody knew) but he kept right on financing the Nazi's, until he was forcibly stopped by the U.S. "Trading with the Enemy Act of 1942." This is only 2 generations ago in the Bush Family. And they were quite happy to pay for war crimes, by a Fascist criminal govt in Germany. And to literally AID an enemy nation in a time of WAR.

    I think giving weapons and aid to an enemy in a time of War is actually one definition of Treason. But they may have made a few modifications to that definition during the last few decades. Then all THREE generations of Bush males were educated at Yale, and ALL THREE were in the "Skull and Bones" secret fraternity. There are 2 or 3 "movies" made about that fraternity, & I recommend you to see them. It shows the way men of wealth and privilege raise their sons to be snobs, elitist, fiercely competitive, greedy, & to know that nothing they could possibly do, would have any real consequences on themselves. They are literally "above it all" -- so "W" Bush can go AWOL, rig a couple of federal elections, start an entirely "fake war" for non-existent reasons, get millions of people killed, & nearly bankrupt our American economy --- & have NO CONSEQUENCES.

    THESE are the rich corporation types who control the Republican Party, & also the "fringe" nutcase Tea Party. They are always using their power against We the People, reaching out globally to search for more OIL and resources, (& start new wars) to have an excuse to "steal" oil from another enemy. If our whole govt went bankrupt, they would not care, since they usually keep all their money offshore (Cayman Islands or Switzerland). This way they can also illegally AVOID their patriotic duty to PAY TAXES (to support our federal govt, which we pledge allegiance to). They obviously do not HAVE such allegiance to our Uncle Sam, since they slash him & bankrupt him, every chance they get. -- So, DO I WORRY? (you betcha)!!

    The movies made about the Skull & Bones (fraternity at Yale) are called "Skulls I" & "Skulls 2" & "Skulls 3". They are quite good movies, & they can elevate your understanding about the "rich & powerful" & how they learn to "game" the system, but in the interim, they lose some of their humanity and their real patriotism for this nation. Probably at least HALF of the men now running for high office in the United States are somewhat into that category, where greed & corruption are their primary motivation, leading to a reckless use of Power (used against us all).

    But due to the JBS brain-washing which has permeated our entire society for 56 years, the Republican Party aka Tea Party is now an "enemy of the state," working against the true Govt of the United States in every treasonous way possible. They are actually a Trojan Horse, destroying our govt from within, & I feel the act is nearly finished. Our Congress is 50% dysfunctional, our Supreme Court has been 56% taken over, & the Presidency has been severely crippled, due to the sabotage of all the criminal Republicans on the Hill. (A virtual "coup d' etat" has been done). Our govt as it is,
    cannot function at all the way the Founders envisioned, -- so the GOP has "won" -- they have finally demolished our precious democracy.
    ------------- Is the party really over? --- What sayest thou?
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Eternal; wow a scary piece indeed; especially that of the "Bushes" support to the Nazi's; if that is true than this family never should have been allowed to get into the White House, but belong in jail. I have to throw up!!!
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Dutch Wrote: Eternal; wow a scary piece indeed; especially that of the "Bushes" support to the Nazi's; if that is true than this family never should have been allowed to get into the White House, but belong in jail. I have to throw up!!!
    I've learned not to second guess Eternal Flame. She does her homework. You might like to read this 10 year old article in the Guardian. It backs up what she said above.

    The Guardian, September 25, 2004: How Bush's grandfather helped Hitler's rise to power

    "George Bush's grandfather, the late US senator Prescott Bush, was a director and shareholder of companies that profited from their involvement with the financial backers of Nazi Germany. The Guardian has obtained confirmation from newly discovered files in the US National Archives that a firm of which Prescott Bush was a director was involved with the financial architects of Nazism."

    Read the rest of the Guardian article above.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Schmidt Wrote:
    Dutch Wrote: Eternal; wow a scary piece indeed; especially that of the "Bushes" support to the Nazi's; if that is true than this family never should have been allowed to get into the White House, but belong in jail. I have to throw up!!!
    I've learned not to second guess Eternal Flame. She does her homework. You might like to read this 10 year old article in the Guardian. It backs up what she said above.

    The Guardian, September 25, 2004: How Bush's grandfather helped Hitler's rise to power

    "George Bush's grandfather, the late US senator Prescott Bush, was a director and shareholder of companies that profited from their involvement with the financial backers of Nazi Germany. The Guardian has obtained confirmation from newly discovered files in the US National Archives that a firm of which Prescott Bush was a director was involved with the financial architects of Nazism."

    Read the rest of the Guardian article above.
    Thanks "Schmidt" ; my question stays the same; is there any decency in our government and its elected leaders; I guess the voters do not do any research but just vote based on "promises" only; otherwise the Bushes never would have been elected.
  • Democrat
    Missouri
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    Some of these I see as necessary and others as a cultural view of how America is evolving.

    Number 2, "Disdain for Recognition of Human Rights", is exposed in many traits of American life. I see a part of ignoring human rights on the Democratic Hub from responders on child abuse, human trafficking, and criminal elements in prostitution. It is an example of what some people desire from the expense of others is hands-off from stopping the abuse and crime.

    Number 5, "Rampant Sexism", was recently seen from the SCOTUS on women's rights where men dominate the vote to intimidate women. Of course, rampant sexism is seen in organized crime and prostitution of persons ignoring their pleas for help. It's all about "power" and "money", which purchases domination on anybody even others bodies for the selfish desires of those holding the power and money. SCOTUS will undoubtedly be held liable for their decision in the future.

    Number 7, Obsession with National Security", is a concern for may on the intrusion that takes place threatening our attempts as a peaceful existence. However, in today's events and threats to our country, it is a necessity. Because our America is founded on principles that include, "Immigration", we have attempted to blend or better in truth, overwhelm Native Inhabitants of America, our country allows opportunities for crime and terror to immigrate into our borders. If America reneges on immigration we violate the founding principles on how America was built. Thus National Security is a necessity of maintaining a safe and enduring life for all citizens. Criminal activity that threatens all America needs to be sought out and brought to justice. If that means covert means intruding on our livelihood, I for one can allow it. Shine the light on crime and make them pay dearly for the misdoing. Yes, I am obsessed with National Security and see it as necessary for a free America to exist with controlling crime.

    There are other "Numbers" identified in Characterizations of Fascism, but the way I see it and was educated in college, all political systems share some commonalities. It's the way social strata in the world evolves.
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    Thanks for the replies. About the Founding Fathers, who preached America would always welcome the "masses yearning to be free". BUT they also made the Constitution to be "flexible" - so we could change the rules, as events gradually progressed thru-out history.

    At the beginning, this continent was open & empty, inhabited mostly by wild animals. Only a few scattered Indian tribes and a very few small gatherings of European immigrants. EMPTY. So we could welcome any new immigrants, yearning to be free. But NOW, open your eyes & see, we are FULL (316 million people) -- overcrowding everywhere, too many people, growing every minute, & there are not enough Jobs for all of them NOW. We are possibly going to destroy our standard of living & our way of life DUE TO "over-population" -- which can easily destroy a nation.

    In other words, the Founders wanted us to be smart, & ADAPT to changing situations. Our Constitution was set up to be "flexible" if any situation drastically changed our needs or goals. Obviously in the predicament we are NOW in, we do not NEED to have any more immigrants coming over here, as our govt & capacity is already "stressed out to the max." Like ANY normal modern society, we have to control our population, especially any "illegal" population, or else there would be chaos. What good does it do to have millions of extra people here, if there are NO JOBS for them? Or no homes for them? // Or what if existing people here would have to GIVE UP THEIR homes & jobs to give to the immigrants? (Think about it).

    Also, original people who came to US, had to have a "job" & a "sponsor" waiting for them, (set up in advance) & they had to have certain paperwork done, & they had to go thru a legal process to be documented. And even after all this, if they even coughed or sneezed at Ellis Island, they would be sent back where they came from, immediately. (Our officials did not want to allow sickness or epidemics to enter our gateway).

    And my great-grandparents, when they came here, they were under a QUOTA system, where only 200 people from their country could enter the United States each YEAR. (Think about it). I've heard over 200 illegal Latino's sneak across our border every HOUR. (We are way too over-crowded already. And our schools, charities, & our job market is already maxed-out, so we just CANNOT ALLOW IT. (Our border policies must begin to become rational).
  • Liberal
    Independent
    Durham, NH
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    Some good reading material for this morning. http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/24854-like-his-dad-charles-koch-was-a-birche...s
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    Hey, Thanks, pgr --- for the articles you mentioned in the link (above). WOW --- an early birthday present. It looks like somebody is beginning to take notice of the JBS and its connection to the Kochs and many other powerful organizations. There is a lot of reading involved in this, so I probably won't get done for a few dozen hours. (ha) THANKS so much for telling me.