Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Our Fairly Subtle Conversion to Fascism

Chris Hedges wrote an interesting article, published on CommonDreams,

Is America ‘Yearning For Fascism?

It quickly got almost three-hundred comments. One commenter likened what is happening in the US to Nazi Germany. A response to that was that we were being very disrespectful to equate the trashing of a synagogue here, a “few broken windows” with the holocaust, which killed millions.

I felt constrained to answer, and decided to put it in the blog lest we forget.

When people come apart at the seams because someone compares the US to Nazi Germany; "A few broken windows to the holocaust," I must point out that National Socialism started out with a few thugs breaking the heads of the opposition, vandalizing homes and buildings. As the power grew, the thugs became the SA, brown-shirted armband wearing arrogant thugs, using quasi-military training. Slowly, as their power grew, they became more intrusive. Finally, as Hitler came to power, the SA could enter your home, search it for any sign of opposition, or Jewish artifacts, trash your home, drag you into the street where you might be "shot while trying to escape." The alternative was a concentration camp.

It wasn't until the SA became internationally embarrassing to the Reich that Hitler instituted the "Night of the Long Knives," killed off the SA leadership and rid himself of possible competitors. After that, the "rehabilitated" SA and the SS really began their works of terror and the "final solution."

My point? Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, started small. They could even have been stopped early on, but nobody did anything. For the most part, they were treated as a bad joke. By the time the people realized they weren't, it was far too late.

It is starting small here, too. But it is growing and our apathy is giving it strength through non-resistance.

Read Sebastian Happner's Defying Hitler. It is an authentic journal by a German boy who grew up during WW-I and lived through the chaos that followed. He fled Germany in 1939, when it was becoming apparent that his chance of survival was becoming minuscule. One of the stories was of a group of friends of varying political persuasions who used to get together, sample good wine and talk. At the last get together of this group, one said to Happner, "For expressing those opinions, I should report you to the Gestapo, but as we are old friends, I won't this time." He waited in fear for several weeks for the knock on the door in the middle of the night, before he finally decided that his "friend" had not turned him in.

Haven't we been trained in the past decade or so to watch what we say or what we write? Political correctness! Think carefully before you open your mouth to be sure there is no possibility that some group might take offense, turn you in, have you arrested, sue you for everything you own. Any opinions expressed should be carefully vetted to see that it won't lose you your job, your place in the community. We went through that when I was in High School and McCarthy was running amok. We foolishly thought that was all over when he finally overreached himself and took on the army.

The ones we consider "crazies," the Tea-Baggers and others of their ilk need not worry. Their opinions are approved by Miniprop and the Thought Police, i.e., Homeland Security (HS) , as is the continually increasing intrusion into our lives and privacy "for our own good and safety, " of course.

Remember the program in Bush's early administration which Congress refused to ratify? Knowing government, they've gone ahead and done it anyway. "Citizens, watch your neighbors. Report anything unusual, or any controversial opinions expressed, for evaluation by HS. Remember, terrorists are everywhere and only your vigilance can root them out."

Millions of Americans on "no-fly" and "border watch" lists, travel restricted. Our e-mail, phone conversations, and even spoken conversation in our homes may be recorded and data mined. The list is growing by some twenty-thousand a day! If millions of Americans are considered potential terrorists and put on watch lists, then perhaps it is the government who should be on the lists, should be restricted by We the People from committing their excesses, but sadly, it won't be.

When the day comes that a large part of We the People are looking out through the razor wire, we will understand, but by then, it will probably be too late.

Obama's speech to the troops at Bagram Gulag and air base, (wearing his leather "Bomber's Jacket" reminiscent of Bush and his "Mission Accomplished" flight suit ) should be a wake-up call to us all. Endless deaths, of soldiers and peasants, endless war for oil and minerals and pipeline routes. The same sort of arguments Hitler used as he took small country after country.

Obama is just a shill, a mouthpiece like his predecessor. He just speaks better English. The Military-Industrial-Congressional-Complex that Eisenhower warned us about is very powerful, very wealthy, and has bought the government, lock, stock and barrel. War is the most profitable thing in the world and they are not going let it go as long as they are in charge. They are in charge.

Thomas Jefferson once said, When the government fears the people, that is freedom. When the people fear the government, that is tyranny."

Be afraid, be very afraid. Better yet, start thinking about how to turn this runaway freight around, or at least stop it.

Friday, March 26, 2010

A New START or the Beginning of the End?

I see that Obama and Medvedev are beginning to consider a new strategic arms reduction treaty! Now we can START again where we left off a couple of decades ago. I don't see Israel joining in, however.

We and the CCCP were mutually destroying our nuclear arms and delivery systems. Teams from the opposite country oversaw the destruction of warheads, the filling in of missile silos, etc. It was not a panacea, as the treaty left enough nukes to wipe the planet out twenty or thirty times over instead of several hundred, but it was a start. It was working well. Then Bush made an agreement with Yeltsin, called the START II Treaty. "Let's not destroy our weapons and warheads, we'll just put them in storage,” and so it came to pass.

When we had a Constitution, the President was to follow the "Law of the Land." International treaties, when ratified by the Senate, were part of the Law of the Land. Abandonment of a treaty was breaking the law, a good cause for impeachment, being the violation of the public trust.

Nowadays, under the doctrine of the Unitary Executive, apparently no agreement is worth the paper (or Parchment) it is written on, if it doesn't go along with whatever the Unitary Executive of the day (And his/her master or masters) wants.

I am a nuclear veteran and have spent much of my life working for nuclear disarmament and World Peace. Nothing would make me happier than to see the nuclear scourge removed from the earth.

In 1967, the US Senate unanimously ratified the Outer Space Treaty [AKA Peaceful Uses of Space Treaty] which banned WMD’s in space. This treaty, the Law of the Land, has been derided as "quaint and obsolete" by the US Military Establishment, just like the Geneva Conventions on the Treatment of Prisoners. They were both unilaterally discarded by Bush and his cohorts. The Military has said it fully intends to "arm the high ground” which will allow the United States "Full-Spectrum Dominance," i.e. world control, a PNAC goal for many years.

It would be quite easy to correct all of this, if we still had a functioning Constitution, but alas, that apparently is not to be.

Someday, somewhere, some misguided or fearful person is going to set off one of these damned things, which will trigger a massive response. Before the contrails have had a chance to disperse, the world will be reduced to a handful of hunter-gatherers trying to live on a poisoned planet with a poisoned atmosphere. The gains, the treasures of art and thought of several thousand years accumulation and study, will become ash drifting on the wind.

And on the moon, a pile of junk and some footprints in the soil will proclaim to the universe, "Kilroy was here."

Monday, March 22, 2010

Ohhh Boy! ObamaCare!

Well, the alleged Health Care Reform Bill has passed the House and the self-congratulatory hoopla has begun. The lobbyists have worked long hours, and spent million$ on their minions as usual. So, Big Pharma, Big Med, and Big Insurance get more billion$ of our tax money and We the People get tossed a peanut or two to keep us happy.

Meanwhile, Big Pharma continues off-label drug sales, despite fines and judgments against them, and Big Chem/Big Ag continue to put poisons on our crops and into our ground water on a global scale.

Now that the Supremes have given big corporations the “right” to spend as much as they want to “convince” legislators to do their bidding, I fear it will be a cold day in Hell before We the People get any actual legislation in our interest. Apparently every bill that is proposed is gone over with a fine tooth comb by lobbyists and special interests to make sure nothing interferes with profits or control. After those vital corrections have been made, then the Oligarchy allows a vote and, through the magic of money, makes sure the vote is “correct.”

“It can’t happen here,” you say? Too late, it happened years ago, but they kept it under the table in those days. Now, they can lay it on the table in full view and it is just a corporation, masquerading as a “person,” exercising his “civil rights.”

As was said in Orwell’s Animal Farm, “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.” Those with the big bankrolls are the ones that are “more equal.” The rest of us are just "equal."

"Cheer up," he said, "things could be worse!" So I cheered up and sure enough, things got worse.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Oligarchy is coming out of the Shadows

Over the years, the Oligarchy has stayed in the shadows, slowly gaining power, manipulating the economy, buying officials. Each election cycle, their power has grown. Their wealth has grown.

Now, they feel enough in control to start coming out of the shadows, climbing out from under their rocks.

Why do they feel safe now? Just as in Nazi Germany, they have gained control of the legislative branch, the executive branch and now the judiciary. Hitler said that control of the judicial system was necessary, as then anything you did was legal, anything the opposition did was illegal. It really simplified things.

The Oligarchs now holds about 98% of the wealth and power, world wide. They have left 2% for 98% of us to fight over, to feed, house, clothe and find health care for our families. That way, they don't have to worry about us forming a coalition that could sweep away their puppets. We're too busy trying to eat.

Remember, like their parents, the "Robber Barons" of the 19th Century, the Oligarchy feels that the natural order of things is a handful of powerful people controlling everything, and a huge number of sick, ragged, starving serfs with their hands held out, watching the limos drive by, willing to work for pennies to survive.

They are getting very close, my friends, very close indeed.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Day of Two Sunrises

This was written to honor and mourn the victims of the Castle-Bravo H-Bomb blast on 1 March 1954. the Marshallese still suffer, but were conned by the government to sign off responsibility for a cash grant. (wampun for land?) Now it is fifty six years, and the malady lingers on.

* * *

The Day of Two Sunrises

My brother and I went to play
By the boats pulled up on the beach.
We raced and played tag
And chased land crabs in the predawn light.

The sun began to light the east
As it always had before,
Suddenly, a second sun arose in the west
Where never the sun had risen!

We ran to Mama to ask her what and why.
She did not know and the new sun died
As quickly as it grew.
In the Men’s House, they talked and remembered.

The day began as always, the men to fish in their outriggers,
The mothers cooking and digging taro, gathering plantains
And watching over the children
Who played at fishing and gathering and ran and played tag.

Suddenly, from the sky fell white powder!
Once a missionary had told of snow. Perhaps this was snow!
It came down covering everything. It was sticky.
We played, and scooped it up and threw it at each other. It was fun!

That evening I did not feel so well. My eyes hurt and my stomach turned to water.
My brother’s body was covered with blisters and his skin began to fall off.
Mother was vomiting, too, and her beautiful hair
Began to come out in handfuls.

Mother wondered if it was the snow, so she washed us,
But the water was filled with snow and the scrubbing removed the skin.
Soon, the whole village was sick, and the animals, and the plants,
All were sick.

After two days, the strange men came, in boats with a large mouth
Which dropped open on the beach and white clad creatures came out.
They wore masks with strange eyes and a long round mouth.
They pointed sticks at us which buzzed and crackled.

They pointed the sticks at everything, the trees, the well, the fish,
And listened to the buzz and crackle, then made marks on little boards they carried.
Finally they left, but told us we were very sick and not to eat
Of the fish, the coconuts, the plantains, the taro, that they were now tabu.

The men returned in their large boats and said our island was now tabu.
They gathered us up, leaving everything behind
We were taken to another place where we were poked and bled.
We looked so terrible that the people must have been afraid.

They wore the strange white suits when they looked in on us.
My brother looked the worst, like an old man with scabs
Which broke and bled and his teeth fell out
And then he was dead.

Mama became an old woman with patchy hair
And always a sickness.
Each time she saw me, she cried.
I was so sick, so tired, and then one day I died.

* * *

In memory of the Rongalapese and other Islanders who were poisoned by Castle Bravo (13.5 megatons, 1 March 1954) and other bombs. Just collateral damage in the quest for knowledge and power.
Steve Osborn
25 February 2004

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

10 year old Palestinian boy a public enemy?

I read a sad story on CommonDreams this morning. It was about a ten year old Palestinian boy, dragged from his bed by soldiers and beaten so badly that he sustained internal bleeding. This was apparently in reprisal for his having told what happened to him earlier that day when he and his twelve year old brother were arrested by the IDF (Israeli Defense Force).

I felt committed to comment on this, and what I have seen happening for a number of years in Israel/Palestine. My comment is below. It is so sad that any dissent in Israel is apparently being suppressed by force.

* * *

The Israeli government learned well from the Nazi government, but they learned the wrong lessons. They have forgotten the Warsaw ghetto and the heroic resistance of the Jewish youth who held off the Germans until they finally cleared the ghetto with massive armor and troop action.

The lesson? Oppressed peoples fight, even against overwhelming odds.

The Nazis executed or sent to concentration camps any dissident voice. This in addition to the "Untermenschen" needing "extermination," i.e., Jews, Slavs, etc.

The Israeli government now has its own untermenschen, the Palestinians and, the Arab peoples in general. One of the government's people said a few years ago, "The entire Palestine population is not worth one Jewish fingernail."

In France, the Resistance fought on even against terrible reprisals. One act of sabotage, one killing of a Nazi, left whole villages being rounded up and shot. Still the Resistance fought on.

Now, I read, that it is illegal for an Israeli citizen to protest the government's actions. They are rounded up and jailed immediately as, I don't know, terrorists, terrorist sympathizers, perhaps just as protesters, but none-the-less, they are removed from public view and little is allowed to be published about it.

In short, and sadly enough, the Star of David could be replaced by the swastika in the Israeli flag and there would be little difference. People have said, "But the Israelis haven't killed millions, so they can't be compared to the Nazis!"

Remember, when the Nazis started, they hadn't killed millions either. Just beat up and killed opponents. Then dispossessed and jailed many more for having dissident opinions. With power, the cruelty and nastiness was unleashed on all who disagreed with them.

Israel has an estimated 200 to 400 nuclear armed missiles ready to go, largely due to our $3 billions per year that we give them (out of our taxes), mostly in advanced military hardware and advanced military technology. Israel has never admitted to having nukes. They sign no treaties, allow no inspections, but have said that, if it looked like Israel was ever going to be defeated, they would exercise the "Sampson initiative." That would be to launch all their nukes at the various capitals of Europe and the Middle East, to take everyone with them.

We used to have mental hospitals to put such people in so they could do no harm to themselves or to others. I guess the modern tactic, just as with Nazi Germany, is to cower in fear and appease, appease, appease.

At StratCom, the bar against using nukes preemptively against non-nuke forces has been removed. I imagine we can probably add our 3,000 plus ICBM's to Israel's 400, as we seem to do whatever Israel tells us.

I see a terrible end approaching, and see no way to head it off.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Black Hole Theory of Government

I wrote and had this article published on 4 August, 2007. I wrote it as a warning. Now, it has continued to grow until perhaps it is too late.
* * *
I WAS reading a paper on astrophysics when I suddenly made a connection which may explain our government and how it now operates. The Universe is a vast place, billions of years old and not filled with, but with a plenitude of stars of various sizes and types. These are formed into galaxies, which are formed of clusters of stars, dust from which new stars are born, nebulae, etc.

Galaxies and stars all have life spans. They are born and die over a span of hundreds of millions to billions of years. We might make an analogy that galaxies are like nations, in a way. They are made up of millions of stars of various ages, sizes and attainments, just as a nation is made up of millions of people of various attainments.

Most stars are average, providing a background of light much like the stars in our galaxy which we call the “Milky Way.” Some stars come to our notice, through brilliance, or proximity, like some people do, through genius or notoriety. People like Jefferson, Franklin, Voltaire, Di Vinci, Brahms, Einstein, King. Then there are Novas, Like Mozart, whose brilliance flared briefly and whose light echoes through time.

There have been bright stars whose legacy lives on in echoes of hatred and prejudice, such as Hitler and Stalin. Would that those would be mementos of things not to be repeated, but apparently such is not to be.

Then there is another phenomenon. The Black Hole. These are stars with an enormous wealth of mass. They tend to be short lived as a star, but when they collapse, that enormous mass gets to be so dense and concentrated that it is able to attract and hold everything that comes within its “event horizon.” It catches and absorbs all matter, energy and light that comes within its purview. We cannot see a Black Hole, as no light or energy escapes it for us to see and measure. Scientists are able to verify that they exist due to disturbances in the space-time continuum around their suspected positions. It is now postulated that they may exist at the bright center of each galaxy, invisibly consuming the substance of the galactic core and as its mass grows, its effects spread out consuming still more.

“How does this relate to government,” you ask?

Look at what has happened to nations and governments in our recorded history. To bring it closer to home, look at what has happened to the United States over the past few decades. Laws have been passed giving enormous corporations the same freedoms as individuals. Those corporations then use the power of enormous wealth to overcome the rights of the single individual or small group with no wealth with which to fight.

As this enormous wealth accumulates, the principals controlling the corporations begin to fade from view, but the wealth and power continues to accumulate at an ever increasing rate, and it soon begins to disappear. Look at Halliburton and KBR for instance in Iraq and post Katrina New Orleans. Hundreds of millions vanished without a trace and yet they get still more “no-bid” contracts.

It has been postulated that any person, say in a space ship, that crosses the event horizon of a Black Hole will be stretched and eventually torn apart by the steep gravity differential. What do we find happening to people that have dealings with these human Black Holes? They, too seem to stretch and distort, losing their principles, their honor, their sense of decency, until they vanish into the Black Hole of wealth and power.

In the past six plus years, the United States has been moved into the proximity of these corporate military and industrial Black Holes and its wealth and honor and people are being stripped away at a steadily increasing rate. Pensions, jobs, wages, the wealth of the US Treasury, all have vanished, or are vanishing, into the Military-Industrial-Congressional-Executive Black Hole. As the Black Holes acquire this mass, it only makes them greedy for more. Is it too late to break away from this decreasing orbit? I don’t know, but it will require an enormous expenditure of energy by We the People to do it. If we just sit here on spaceship earth and do nothing, we will all be swallowed up.

To continue the analogy, scientists have advanced a theory that perhaps the Black Holes are acting as a conduit, transferring this enormous mass , perhaps to another galaxy through “worm holes” in space. Our Black Hole government seems to fit in with this possibility also, for as the wealth vanishes here, it is possibly appearing in China, Russia and other foreign governments and exchanges. Much may be in the Black Holes of Switzerland. Just as certain is the fact that, as we have lost it, it is going where we will never have a chance to get it back.

Again, I ask, can we break free while we still have enough fuel and supplies to navigate to safety, or will we procrastinate until we have run out of fuel and helplessly crash into the Black Hole, to vanish from the earth forever?

The choice belongs to We the People, but time and resources are running out.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Our Schools, No Child Left un-Brainwashed?

Ignatius Loyola said, “Give me a child for his first seven years and I'll give you the man.

Goebbels said, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.
And, he wrote, “The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly - it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over.

In Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia and Fascist Italy, the children were not taught to think, they were fed propaganda until it came out of their ears. The result was millions of obedient robots who would do what they were told, follow orders without question, turn on any student who showed independence and report him to the authorities.

In due time, they became good obedient cannon-fodder, concentration camp guards, knowing that, in following orders, they were doing the will of their leaders.

At one time, the US had an envied educational system. All children had an opportunity for an early education. Those with abilities could continue on to college. They were taught to think, to evaluate, to discover, to create. The system was very successful in creating an educated populace that could think for itself. It could see errors in government and try to correct them. It had enough talent to select leaders who likewise felt an obligation to leave the planet, or at least their office, better than they found it.

The Oligarchy and the Pentagon made use of its stable of “lone crazed assassins” to get rid of most of our leaders. As the Oligarchy slowly gained control, they stayed in the shadows, always acquiring more power. They bought politicians, jurists, the Media, and others of influence, until they gained control. Meanwhile, they attacked the school system, dragging it down, dumbing it down, until it produced few thinkers, few critics. Schools are now reduced, for the most part, to indoctrination centers where children are taught to memorize the party line and regurgitate it on command.

Now that the Oligarchy has about 98% of the wealth, and has bought a vast majority of the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of the government, it is coming out into the open. As Hitler said, when you control the courts, whatever you do is legal, whatever your enemies do is illegal.

We are seeing that in the latest SCOTUS decision to remove restrictions on how much money the Oligarchy can use to buy or bribe legislators. We are watching as the civil rights, obtained at so much sacrifice by We the People, are being slowly eliminated by SCOTUS.

In my article If it was Good Enough for Hitler..., I pointed out the fact that the courts have repeatedly backed the school boards as having the right to fire any teacher who doesn’t toe the line and teach only what the school board tells it to. Teachers in many districts can no longer answer student’s questions except by giving them predigested answers, approved by the school boards, or telling them to ask their parents.

When the case I mentioned in my above article hits the Supremes, we will probably see the death of any independent thought in the school systems.

Then, indeed, Loyola, Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Big Brother and the Oligarchs will have won. We will have a generation of brainwashed little robots to do the bidding of the government which, they will be absolutely certain, knows best. They will have been taught to hate foreigners, worship the flag, enlist in the military to help purge any different thought or customs of our “enemies” around the world. And above all, they will have been taught to root out any deviance of thought or action in their friends and neighbors, “enemies of the state.”

When I was a little boy, I only knew one definition of “concentration.” So when I heard of concentration camps, it sounded like a place where you could think. Later, I realized it was a place where they put the thinkers. Bush had KBR build a lot of them here. I’m sure Obama and the Oligarchy will find a use for them.

Remember, NorthCom is training combat brigades in the “suppression of civil dissent,” at the same time that government policies are creating still more homeless, hungry, thirsty, sick people. I fear that when the kettle finally boils over, they will be ready.

Years ago, I read that one of the Founders of this Nation stated that, “We would have freedom as long as these letters remain on this parchment.” I looked at a recent photo of the original document and the ink has faded to near illegibility. Perhaps he was right.

By the way, if you can read this blog, thank a teacher.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

If it Was Good Enough for Hitler...

I wrote and published the article below on 27 March, 2006. The incident happened on 10 January, 2003. The case has wound its way through the courts, each time getting even more control over the schools by the school boards and limiting the teaching ability of the teachers. I am reprinting it in reaction to Obama's latest attack on education. i.e., Fire the teachers, close the schools.

Since 2003, the educational situation has steadily worsened, the teachers reduced to teaching their kids to be parrots, memorizing and regurgitating by rote, the answers to the tests demanded by the government. Read this carefully, the situation is more insidious than you think.

* * *
If it Was Good Enough for Hitler...
Steve Osborn
28 March 2006

Back in 1950, my wife was fourteen and in the eighth grade. The subject was History or Current Events. The Cold War was in full flower and Joe McCarthy was in his ascendancy. She had been told that Communism was evil and she was scared to death of Stalin, as she and the world had heard many tales of his murdering or imprisoning millions of his own people. The teacher was holding forth on the evils of Communism when Adrienne asked, “What is Communism?”

The teacher hushed the class, went to the intercom and called the Principal’s Office. Then she told Adrienne to go to the Principal’s Office.

“What for,” she asked?

“You’ll find out,” was the answer.

When she got to the office, she was told to wait, that the principal had called her mother to come and get her and take her home. When she arrived, Adrienne and her Mom were taken into the principal’s office. Adrienne and her Mom were told she must never ask that question again. The Principal told her that answering that question could get the teacher fired and the school in trouble. All Adrienne needed to know was that communism was evil and that we had to hate it and fight it. Talking about communism apparently made you a “Pinko.”

Eventually, McCarthy and HUAC overreached themselves and passed into history. People were again free to discuss political systems and philosophy without being pilloried. People remembered the Bill of Rights and freedom of speech.

Since the appointment of der Bush as President by the Supreme Court, the Constitution and Bill of Rights have been under increasingly heavy fire. The fraudulent election of 2004 has increased the pressure. The revised PATRIOT ACT has further eclipsed the founding documents of our country. Unfortunately, little attention is paid to the Constitution and Bill of Rights in school classrooms today, so most people don’t know what they are having stolen from them.

Today, an article by Matthew Rothschild in the Progressive Magazine published on Monday, March 27, 2006 by the Progressive caught my eye.

Judge Rules Teachers Have No Free Speech Rights in Class

On January 10, 2003, a teacher of fourth, fifth and sixth graders at Clear Creek Elementary School in Bloomington Indiana was leading a class discussion on an issue of Time Magazine’s “Time for Kids.” This was a regular routine and part of the school’s curriculum. Some of the articles related to the imminent Iraq war and one mentioned a peace march.

One of the children asked the teacher if she would attend a peace parch. She answered that she usually honked her horn when she went by a local demonstration that said “honk for peace.” She said she felt it was important to seek peaceful solutions before resorting to war and that was why they trained the kids to mediate disputes on the playground, to seek peaceful solutions to their own problems.

According to the records, apparently a student mentioned the conversation to a parent, who complained to the school that her teacher had advocated “peace.” The teacher was told never to discuss the war, or “peace “ in her classroom again.

At the end of that day, Principal Rogers circulated a memo, entitled “Peace at Clear Creek,” that said: “We absolutely do not, as a school, promote any particular view on foreign policy related to the situation in Iraq.” And she canceled the annual “peace month” that the school had been holding.

The case has now been tried with the above verdict. The ostensible reason for her termination was a poor work evaluation, though the evaluation before the incident had been effusive in its praise of her as a teacher. The poor evaluation was written and entered into the court records two years later, long after her dismissal.

On March 10, Judge Sarah Evans Barker dismissed Mayer’s case, granting summary judgment to the defendants.

The judge said the school district was within its rights to terminate Mayer because of various complaints it received from parents about her teaching performance.

But beyond that, Judge Barker ruled that “teachers, including Ms. Mayer, do not have a right under the First Amendment to express their opinions with their students during the instructional period.”

The judge ruled that “school officials are free to adopt regulations prohibiting classroom discussion of the war,” and that “the fact that Ms. Mayer’s January 10, 2003, comments were made prior to any prohibitions by school officials does not establish that she had a First Amendment right to make those comments in the first place.” The judge also implied that Mayer, by making her comments, was attempting to “arrogate control of the curricula.”

And the judge gave enormous leeway to school districts to limit teachers’ speech in the classroom.

“Whatever the school board adopts as policy regarding what teachers are permitted to express in terms of their opinions on current events during the instructional period, that policy controls, and there is no First Amendment right permitting teachers to do otherwise,” Judge Barker wrote

So, it is now official. Teachers can teach only the approved party line, with no interpretation, discussion or opinions expressed.

Hitler said the same thing to the teachers in the Third Reich and I'm sure Kindly Uncle Joe Stalin made the same thing clear to his teachers in the CCCP. We can hope that this will be reversed by a higher court, but when I read the article to my wife, who is a retired teacher, she said, "I would never have believed this could happen again in the United States."

Every little thing that can be done to chip away at the Constitution and Bill of Rights is being done by the Executive, the Judiciary and the Legislature. If the children are now to be taught only the approved curriculum, to be accepted without comment, we may wind up with the equivalent of a Hitler Jugend or a Soviet Young Pioneers here in the United States.

It is way past time to Wake Up, America or lose what has made the United States great, and respected, throughout most of the world. If der Bush and his gang can stifle independent thought and discussion even in our schools than we are truly lost. As Adrienne has said since 2001, Bush and his gang are like the bullies on the school playground that all the teachers hate and the children fear.
* * *

As I mentioned above, each hearing has upheld the school board's rights and restricted the teacher's right to teach, and by inference, the student's right to learn.

If this ever hits the Supreme Court, we know how it is going to go, don't we?