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March 31, 2006

it's worse than most of us think

Mark Crispin Miller gave an impassioned, persuasive, and deeply unsettling keynote address at the Communication in Crisis conference held at UMass-Amherst today.

He focused on the findings contained in his new book, Fooled Again: How the Right Stole the 2004 Election and Why They'll Steal the Next One Too. I followed some of the controversy as it was covered by Tom Atlee of The Co-Intelligence Institute. Miller presents a compelling array of "copious evidence" that touchscreen voting is a major culprit of vote fraud, and discusses the fear and denial driving major political figures and the media in general to avoid this most crucial fact of our times.

Part of what intrigued me about Miller's presentation was his unabashed characterization of a cadre of religious fundamentalist apocalyptics who have hijacked the Republican party in order to enact their paranoic vision of being the most discriminated against group of people in the US. He compared the zeal of these believers as being "the same animus" that drove the Crusades. Miller also spoke about waves of "fervor" that are roused during war and then "don't just go away" - citing the documented increases of domestic violence after World War I and the first Gulf War. In other words, it seems to me that he is talking about large scale group relations as theorized in AK Rice terms.

The image of the huge historical sweeps of these irrational forces - individuals, families, and groups-of-various-configurations - caught up in various projections of their own fears and their own evil capacities, is not only disturbing but absolutely downright terrifying. It would remain at that level if, in fact, we (supposedly!?) rational types didn't have some tools for putting these beliefs and actions into perspective. I felt Miller was particularly cogent on a few key points - specifying that there are many Republicans, conservatives, and evangelicals to whom the attribution of religious fanaticism does not apply and who did not, and do not, support the policies of the Bush-Cheney administration. Miller is also incisive that various and sundry ideological battles between the Right and the Left are not the most important point right now. What is at stake is the most essential foundation of democracy - the right to have our votes accurately counted.

If you didn't follow any of the previous links, I suggest you go back and do so. If you have, and you're not yet convinced how bad it really is, check out The Constitution Restoration Act, which seeks to establish "God as the sovereign source of law". In other words, to completely undo the separation of church and state and establish a christian theocracy. One might say it's another step (in keeping with many others) that seeks to hasten a biblical 'end times'.

Some recommended reading: With God on Their Side and Cruel and Unusual.

Posted by Steph at March 31, 2006 10:04 PM


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