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The Contra Government
May 7, 2002
By Bridget Gibson

The twentieth century has been characterized by three developments of great political importance: the growth of democracy, the growth of corporate power, and the growth of corporate propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy.
—Alex Carey

How does one describe a government that is intent upon the destruction of "government?" The word contrarian comes to mind because it is for all intents and purposes, an anti-government movement within the government. There are those among the citizenry that wish to see the end of the government for a variety of reasons. Some associated with David Koresh and the Branch Davidians were "dooms day-ers" or "cultists" and wished a departure from our society - it appears they got their wish. Some militias have attempted secession from the United States (Bo Gritz of Idaho, the Texas Constitutional Militia and the Freemen in Montana come to mind). We can see from the actions of George W. Bush and his administration that he, too, wishes to end our government as we have known it.

Bush has taken our Securities and Exchange Commission and given it to the very folks that it is to monitor. He has taken the Environmental Protection Agency and given it to the polluters. He has taken the State Department and given it to a radical fringe. He has taken the Justice Department and given it to a fundamentalist zealot. He has taken the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and given it to the power companies. He has taken the Department of the Interior and given it to the companies that will profit from the removal of public resources.

We have the former Alcoa CEO, Paul O'Neil, as the Treasury Secretary who advocates that corporate taxes should be completely abolished and that "able-bodied adults who have the ability to earn income have an obligation not to pass part of their own responsibility on to a broader population." Bush appointed a commission to find the best way to dismantle our Social Security trust fund entirely. We have Michael Powell, son of Colin Powell, as the man in charge of the Federal Communications Commission (this is the segment of government that monitors the use of our publicly owned airwaves). Michael believes that he can only look at mergers one at a time and not look at the change in the landscape of the past in determining the landscape of the future.

Looking at the appointment of John Negroponte as Ambassador to the United Nations, one can only shudder. Mr. Negroponte helped conceal from Congress the murder, kidnaping and torture abuses of a CIA equipped and trained Honduran military unit, Battalion 3-16. Bush's recess appointee Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Otto Reich (also of Iran-Contra fame), was involved in the CIA-assisted attempt to overthrow Venezuela's democratically elected President, Hugo Chavez.

Many of George W. Bush's appointees have a common bond. They hold membership in two groups: one known as the "Federalist Society" and the other as the "Council for National Policy." These innocuous sounding names have been a part of a winning strategy for the radical fringe of the conservative movement. It is only in looking behind the facade of bland and vanilla pronouncements that one can see that the intertwined objectives of these two groups are to radically alter all three branches of our government. By securing the placement of members of these organizations to judicial appointments or upon advisory boards and councils, the landscape of our country begins to shift before us. Small steps have assumed the proportions of major victories. We now have a United States Supreme Court that has shown a disregard for the interpretation of our Constitution and Bill of Rights (April 2001 decision regarding warrantless arrest for misdemeanor charges - in this one case of failure to wear a seatbelt). This SCOTUS decision easily places the security of all citizens in doubt and can lead to a police state.

The financial backing from these groups helps to assure that advertising is skewed toward the victories (through election) of like-minded individuals. The word "conservative" has been taken as a mantle to cover the deeds and intentions of these radical organizations. It was not so very long ago that I, too, thought that I was "conservative" in my thinking. I now realize that the "party of Lincoln" is no longer about justice for all, but about the destruction of our democracy.

There is a place in our society for conserving and progressing. We, the people, have been taken for a ride. The United States, has gone from being the world's greatest producer to being the world's largest debtor. As our deficits skyrocket and our production declines, our debts mount. It is only a matter of time before we are no longer able to repay the monies that we owe. Much of our debt is held publicly, but other portions are held by foreign interests. We should question all things that are being done in our names and with us as cosigners on loans that have no chance for repayment. For sixteen of the past seventeen months, the lay off of non-farm workers in the United States has exceeded 100,000 people per month. Our unemployment rate is higher than anytime in the past eight years. The creation of new jobs has in no way matched the losses of the "old" jobs, and there appears to be no immediate recovery in sight.

The radical policy makers of the current administration have proven they cannot be trusted. What they are showing is their agenda for America's future. This agenda includes the corruption of the judicial system; the abuse of Christian principles to impose a theocracy (through the "faith-based" initiative); the destruction of the Constitution and Bill of Rights (through the USA Patriot Act); the destruction of democratic organizations (such as unions - as in the prevention of the UAL strike, which thwarted legitimate employee grievances); the dismantling of the public education system (through under-funding in excess of $10.5 Billion); the transfer of public and private assets (through eminent domain - recently in Mississippi the Courts ruled that independent landowners could not refuse to sell their land to Japanese-owned Nissan). We also have the continued usurpation of our public airwaves through media mergers. All major media is now controlled by fewer than ten (10) corporations. Their agenda is to shift our country from being one of individual liberty (as enumerated in the Bill of Rights) to one controlled by the ruling class of a self-selected few.

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