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14 defining characteristics of fascism: The U.S. in 2012

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Science is embraced when it is used for purposes such as weapons or surveillance technology development, but rejected when it is used to develop alternative energy sources, study the effects of carbon emissions on the planet or question the government's version of events.

12. Obsession with crime and punishment. Most of these regimes maintained Draconian systems of criminal justice with huge prison populations. The police were often glorified and had almost unchecked power, leading to rampant abuse. "Normal" and political crime were often merged into trumped-up criminal charges and sometimes used against political opponents of the regime. Fear, and hatred, of criminals or "traitors" was often promoted among the population as an excuse for more police power.

Under the guise of the wars on terror and on drugs, U.S. police forces are almost completely militarized and are allowed to violate the Constitutional rights of the citizenry at will. The U.S. has by far the highest incarceration rate in the world . There are now more Americans in jail -- more than 6 million - than there were in Stalin's Gulag . Military weaponry and gear was on full display as police from Los Angeles to New York cracked down on OWS protests. Since September some 6,700 Americans protesting against economic inequality and corporate greed have been arrested . Many were beaten or pepper-sprayed. (See video).

Three provisions of the PATRIOT Act of 2002 were reauthorized by President Obama in 2010, giving law enforcement an expanded ability to gain access to personal financial, travel and communications records and to conduct secret searches. The Federal Restricted Building and Grounds Improvement Act (HR 347) makes protesting in areas where the US President, or anyone protected by the Secret Service may be visiting, a felony punishable with hefty fines and up to 10 years in jail. In a recent Republican Presidential debate, Americans even cheered for the 234 executions in Texas under Governor Rick Perry. 

13. Rampant cronyism and corruption. Those in business circles and close to the power elite often used their position to enrich themselves. This corruption worked both ways; the power elite would receive financial gifts and property from the economic elite, who in turn would gain the benefit of government favoritism. Members of the power elite were in a position to obtain vast wealth from other sources as well: for example, by stealing national resources. With the national security apparatus under control and the media muzzled, this corruption was largely unconstrained and not well understood by the general population.

Cronies in U.S. government positions commonly award non-competitive contracts to former employers, who in turn, thanks to the Citizens United ruling, can now kick limitless amounts of money back into elections. The lack of competition and oversight leads to corruption.

No-bid, sole source, cost-plus contracts in Iraq were awarded to Halliburton and its subsidiaries while then-Vice-President Cheney, a former board member, held stock options in the corporation. According to a military census, in 2006 there were about 100,000 contractors in Iraq performing security and other logistical functions.

Private contractors are used more now than ever as more and more public functions are being privatized. A Baton Rouge company, Innovative Energy Management (IEM), lacking evacuation experience was paid $500,000 by FEMA to handle the emergency preparation and evacuation of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. IEM was a large contributor to President Bush's campaigns and the Republican National Committee. The Bush-appointed head of FEMA at the time was Michael Brown, an old friend of Bush's with no experience in disaster management.

Cronyism and corruption continues with the Obama administration and has exploded in the financial sector. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, former New York Federal Reserve chairman, has close ties to former Goldman Sachs CEO Henry Paulson and to Lawrence Summers. Geithner authored the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 giving banks free reign over derivative trading in energy futures, leading to a spike in gasoline prices .

Summers pocketed $5 million as a managing director of D.E. Shaw, one of the biggest hedge funds in the world, and another $2.7 million for speeches delivered to Wall Street firms that have received government bailout money. This includes $45,000 from Citigroup and $67,500 each from JPMorgan Chase and the now-liquidated Lehman Brothers. Summers is also a leading advocate of banking deregulation.

Michael Froman , deputy national security adviser for international economic affairs, worked for Citigroup and received more than $7.4 million from the bank from January of 2008 until he entered the Obama administration in 2009. This included a $2.25 million year-end bonus handed him within weeks of his joining the Obama administration. Citigroup has thus far been the beneficiary of $45 billion in cash and over $300 billion in government guarantees of its bad debts.

Obama's deputy national security adviser, Thomas E. Donilon, was paid $3.9 million by a Washington law firm whose major clients include Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and the private equity firm Apollo Management. The list of Wall Street cronies in government - David Axelrod, Louis Caldera, David Stevens, Neal Wolin, is seemingly endless. While the TARP bailout was signed into law by the Bush administration, the administration of funds was done at the hands of all of the above.

The result of these reckless policies are plain as day - a new ruling class with $13 trillion of public IOUs added to the national debt. Much of this was paid out in salaries and bonuses and to "make themselves whole" by paying on their bad risks in default. American taxpayers, on the other hand, got rising unemployment, collapsing infrastructure, a steady rise in home foreclosures, inflation and increased levels of economic stress. Bush-Obama policies have benefited those who wield real power in the capitalist world - the financial oligarchs and militarists who prospered from the bailouts and "War on Terror" military spending.

14. Fraudulent elections. Elections in the form of plebiscites or public opinion polls were usually bogus. When actual elections with candidates were held, they would usually be perverted by the power elite to get the desired result. Common methods included maintaining control of the election machinery, intimidating and disenfranchising opposition voters, destroying or disallowing legal votes, and, as a last resort, turning to a judiciary beholden to the power elite.

It is difficult to choose where to begin: Bush v. Gore in 2000, Voter ID laws , the swift-boating of John Kerry, the birther movement, portraying Obama as "secret Muslim", "un-American", "anti-business", "socialist"; "Our highest priority is to make Obama a one-term President", redistricting, denying minorities and college students the right to vote, easily-hacked electronic voting machines , no viable third party candidates, super PACs. It takes no more than a casual observer to know that the U.S. election process is fraudulent . The end result is a choice between two candidates vetted by the banks and corporations with little or no differences in policies.

The 2000 Presidential election may go down in U.S. history as the point of no return to not only fair elections, but also to a representative form of government. It came down to votes in Florida. The race was ultimately decided by the Supreme Court in favor of Bush even though Gore won the popular vote by over 500,000 votes. Secretary of State Katherine Harris, a Bush supporter, oversaw the certification process. On November 22, the anniversary of JFK's assassination, Republican protestors pounded on the doors and windows of the building where Miami's Dade county officials were counting the ballots.

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http://www.examiner.com/independent-in-madison/gregory-patin

Gregory Patin is a free-lance writer residing in Madison, WI. He earned a BA in political science from the University of Wisconsin - Madison and a MS in IT management from Colorado Tech. He is politically independent and not affiliated with either (more...)
 

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Asserted back in 2005 (in Harper's magazine) that ... by JimZ on Tuesday, Mar 27, 2012 at 12:24:18 PM
This is basically a very good article.  Impor... by Ross Heckmann on Tuesday, Mar 27, 2012 at 3:06:17 PM
no part of it involves disarming the population. ... by zon moy on Tuesday, Mar 27, 2012 at 3:23:13 PM
Because I bet the general population was disarmed,... by Skeptic1 on Tuesday, Mar 27, 2012 at 7:18:32 PM
Isn't a well armed populous.It is a well informed ... by Arend Rietkerk on Sunday, Apr 1, 2012 at 5:56:44 PM
They usually kill the "well informed", just like t... by Skeptic1 on Sunday, Apr 1, 2012 at 10:27:17 PM
I just don't have the time to address all of the m... by Skeptic1 on Tuesday, Mar 27, 2012 at 6:04:16 PM
For sure, there are plenty of valid problems in th... by Skeptic1 on Tuesday, Mar 27, 2012 at 6:56:34 PM
Skeptic: if you refuse to admit that there is a ba... by Bryna Hellmann on Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 4:24:04 PM
About GE being one of the largest defense contract... by BFalcon on Thursday, Mar 29, 2012 at 12:51:09 AM
... by John Jonik on Tuesday, Mar 27, 2012 at 7:05:23 PM
... by John Jonik on Tuesday, Mar 27, 2012 at 7:12:05 PM
Nice summary, Gregory.For this and more see my sit... by Kent Welton on Tuesday, Mar 27, 2012 at 7:16:46 PM
Lets put the blame where it belongs.  Poor gr... by Skeptic1 on Tuesday, Mar 27, 2012 at 7:38:36 PM
The general view I have of this site is that almos... by Skeptic1 on Tuesday, Mar 27, 2012 at 7:47:47 PM
or one of the deluders, or both? I suspect that th... by John Sanchez Jr. on Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 7:33:18 AM
And always appreciate the depth of your analysis. ... by BFalcon on Thursday, Mar 29, 2012 at 1:04:29 AM
that I flagged Skeptic1's comment. I did not. I ve... by John Sanchez Jr. on Thursday, Mar 29, 2012 at 8:04:54 AM
I know you better than that. Just mentioned it (to... by BFalcon on Thursday, Mar 29, 2012 at 8:59:37 AM
I have a lot to criticize our government about but... by Skeptic1 on Sunday, Apr 1, 2012 at 10:44:20 PM
But it seems to me that you think that quite a few... by BFalcon on Monday, Apr 2, 2012 at 2:59:55 AM
If a big corporation finds itself with a surplus o... by Skeptic1 on Monday, Apr 2, 2012 at 4:01:09 AM
A example if expanding horizontally might be produ... by Skeptic1 on Monday, Apr 2, 2012 at 4:19:37 AM
Too much taxes is bad (but I don't believe that we... by BFalcon on Monday, Apr 2, 2012 at 4:29:24 AM
When a CEO's pay is tied to the price of the compa... by Skeptic1 on Tuesday, Apr 3, 2012 at 12:24:31 AM
That when they buy others, they usually get rid of... by BFalcon on Monday, Apr 2, 2012 at 4:24:57 AM
Yes, sometimes there are layoffs, but not necessar... by Skeptic1 on Monday, Apr 2, 2012 at 5:17:03 AM
China's oil company is now producing more oil than... by Skeptic1 on Monday, Apr 2, 2012 at 5:20:00 AM
Too large is too bad. Sure, a tree will outcompete... by BFalcon on Monday, Apr 2, 2012 at 5:42:00 AM
due in part to US government policies and practice... by Doc McCoy on Monday, Apr 2, 2012 at 8:38:37 AM
I agree, Exxon will not be able to compete for the... by Skeptic1 on Tuesday, Apr 3, 2012 at 12:13:17 AM
I consider the US Constitution and Bill of Rights ... by Philip Pease on Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 2:30:29 PM
I reallt dislike this thiking that asserts that th... by Dar Gary on Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 8:33:41 PM
although I maintain that the Constitution is the... by John Sanchez Jr. on Thursday, Mar 29, 2012 at 10:13:57 AM
Okay Mr. Skeptic or should I call you Mr Septic.... by Mary Anne on Tuesday, Mar 27, 2012 at 10:05:49 PM
huh?No, I would have not written such a article be... by Skeptic1 on Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 2:23:35 AM
Just a few comments back, you were promoting gover... by John Reed on Monday, Apr 2, 2012 at 7:36:39 AM
But I actually take this as a positive in judging ... by BFalcon on Tuesday, Apr 3, 2012 at 5:14:21 AM
Yes, that is what I believe.  Sure, it is som... by Skeptic1 on Thursday, Apr 5, 2012 at 3:07:00 AM
that if you have nothing nice to say, don't say an... by Laura Roberts on Thursday, Apr 5, 2012 at 5:17:50 PM
In writing this article, I approached it with the ... by Gregory Patin on Tuesday, Mar 27, 2012 at 10:37:35 PM
At first glance, it sure looks like it, with new w... by Skeptic1 on Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 2:29:23 AM
If you can operate only  by communism labelin... by Mark Sashine on Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 10:00:39 AM
Could you give us a short version of your praise f... by BFalcon on Tuesday, Apr 3, 2012 at 5:42:29 AM
that to love your country means supporting honest ... by Mark Sashine on Thursday, Apr 5, 2012 at 7:45:33 AM
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is in two mottoes: The best - Honest work for H... by Mark Sashine on Thursday, Apr 5, 2012 at 11:43:42 AM
Interestingly I "love" three ladies: Elizabeth War... by BFalcon on Thursday, Apr 5, 2012 at 12:51:50 PM
But the real problem is that the students are runn... by Skeptic1 on Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 2:40:11 AM
responding to Morris' having written about the dir... by John Sanchez Jr. on Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 8:11:26 AM
that has over crowded class rooms, poor teachers -... by Doc McCoy on Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 8:43:54 AM
we agree on SOMEthing, Doc. I have a son born in 1... by GLloyd Rowsey on Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 8:59:43 AM
Unfortunately, most people do not realize that Dre... by Doc McCoy on Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 10:56:12 AM
But I would like to add something. In the "1%" I s... by BFalcon on Tuesday, Apr 3, 2012 at 6:13:17 AM
You assumed that the Sam Walton's kids took the mo... by Skeptic1 on Thursday, Apr 5, 2012 at 3:19:29 AM
Spending money is actually not bad (I am not talki... by BFalcon on Thursday, Apr 5, 2012 at 6:13:50 AM
However, in practice, over time, it is not sustain... by Doc McCoy on Thursday, Apr 5, 2012 at 10:47:08 AM
It is a very old saying coming from the time when ... by Mark Sashine on Thursday, Apr 5, 2012 at 12:08:53 PM
1.  O'Hara - who was arguably his own best fa... by Doc McCoy on Thursday, Apr 5, 2012 at 1:31:38 PM
Obviously, after a self- aggrandizement diatribe ... by Mark Sashine on Thursday, Apr 5, 2012 at 2:02:03 PM
and yes - we do live in different universes. ... by Doc McCoy on Thursday, Apr 5, 2012 at 2:43:08 PM
When you talk about 1% or 5%, it seems that you ar... by BFalcon on Thursday, Apr 5, 2012 at 11:24:13 PM
the .01% of the 1%.  Definitely a minority of... by Doc McCoy on Friday, Apr 6, 2012 at 12:23:54 AM
And sorry for misunderstanding. I don't mind those... by BFalcon on Friday, Apr 6, 2012 at 8:23:24 AM
It is part of the American culture or American way... by Doc McCoy on Saturday, Apr 7, 2012 at 5:04:22 AM
We need the taxes to balance the budget, don't we?... by BFalcon on Saturday, Apr 7, 2012 at 7:40:10 AM
First, you know that each coin has two sides. Seco... by BFalcon on Thursday, Apr 5, 2012 at 12:36:09 PM
and no - nothing is really etched in stone or is c... by Doc McCoy on Thursday, Apr 5, 2012 at 2:16:44 PM
The human nature is adaptable. If you grow up in n... by BFalcon on Thursday, Apr 5, 2012 at 11:11:29 PM
The US school system was based on the prussian edu... by Rob Kall on Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 9:04:52 AM
... recently when he claimed that the US is practi... by Hooker Jay on Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 8:24:22 AM
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GWB being the supreme narcissist with hubris and a... by bogi666 on Friday, Mar 30, 2012 at 12:47:02 PM
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yep, lazy people usually are poor people unless th... by Skeptic1 on Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 4:19:49 PM
 You are retired and  those professional... by Mark Sashine on Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 5:02:49 PM
Sorry, but I don't want a thief, a lazy person, no... by Skeptic1 on Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 9:35:54 PM
The president of a large company talking to a youn... by BFalcon on Wednesday, Apr 4, 2012 at 6:15:51 AM
from representative democracy to fascism.   ... by Laura Stein on Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 3:47:39 PM
Thanks for taking the time to read this rather lon... by Gregory Patin on Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 6:35:30 PM
You can view the original posting of this article ... by Gregory Patin on Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 7:25:34 PM
This is a very good article, but I can't say I agr... by Dar Gary on Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 8:48:54 PM
Thanks for a thorough evaluation.... by BFalcon on Thursday, Mar 29, 2012 at 12:40:22 AM
but  Germans were classics. The problem ... by Mark Sashine on Thursday, Mar 29, 2012 at 3:06:13 PM
"fascism is not a Russian thing" You know better t... by BFalcon on Tuesday, Apr 3, 2012 at 6:30:55 AM
the structures have more or less immunity to soci... by Mark Sashine on Tuesday, Apr 3, 2012 at 10:01:44 AM
If Beria was not outsmarted by Khrushchev the hist... by BFalcon on Tuesday, Apr 3, 2012 at 10:51:25 AM
and if we nivelirate history to who outsmarted wh... by Mark Sashine on Tuesday, Apr 3, 2012 at 12:53:53 PM
That Russia is "KGB country", "KGB crowd" represen... by BFalcon on Tuesday, Apr 3, 2012 at 6:32:59 PM
civilization, right. although  Japanese are i... by Mark Sashine on Tuesday, Apr 3, 2012 at 7:18:53 PM
Servitude applies to many nations and there is not... by BFalcon on Wednesday, Apr 4, 2012 at 5:37:04 AM
There is no ' Spartan structure'- there were likur... by Mark Sashine on Wednesday, Apr 4, 2012 at 7:36:05 AM
Tao Te Ching: "The Way (Tao) that can be named, i... by BFalcon on Wednesday, Apr 4, 2012 at 9:25:43 AM
Winston Churchill On Islam A quote from an 18... by Skeptic1 on Sunday, Apr 1, 2012 at 10:15:49 PM
This gives you some idea. Please also think about ... by Skeptic1 on Sunday, Apr 1, 2012 at 11:27:26 PM
"18,000 terrorist attacks in the last ten years"Th... by Dar Gary on Tuesday, Apr 3, 2012 at 8:20:43 PM
Yes, they are included, plus India, the Philippian... by Skeptic1 on Thursday, Apr 5, 2012 at 2:51:32 AM
Is this a facists demonstration by muslims in Engl... by Skeptic1 on Monday, Apr 2, 2012 at 4:31:52 AM