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OfflinePsilocybeingzz
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Is America Becoming Fascist?
    #1820515 - 08/16/03 06:45 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

Is America Becoming Fascist?

Is America becoming fascist? Since mainstream media refuse to seriously ask this question, the analysis of where we are heading and what has gone wrong has been mostly off-base. Investigation of the kinds of underhanded, criminal tactics fascist regimes undertake to legitimize their agenda and accelerate the rate of change in their favor is dismissed as indulging in ?conspiracy theory.? If the f-word is uttered, observers are quick to note the obvious dissimilarities with previous variants of fascism. American writers dare not speak the truth.

The blinkered assertion that we are immune to the fascist virus ignores degrees of convergence and distinction based on the individual patient?s history. The New York Times and other liberal voices have been obsessed in recent years with the rise of minority fascist parties in the Netherlands, France and other European countries. They have questioned the tastefulness of new books and films about Hitler, and again demonized the icons of Nazism. Max Frankel, former editor of the Times, quotes from biographer Joachim Fest in his review of Speer:

The Final Verdict: ?how easily, given appropriate conditions, people will allow themselves to be mobilized into violence, abandoning the humanitarian traditions they have built up over centuries to protect themselves from each other.? Is Frankel hinting at his anxiety about the primal being that has arisen in America? The pace of events in the last two years has been almost as blindingly fast as it was after Hitler?s consolidation of fascist power in 1933. Speed stuns and silences.

To pose the question doesn?t mean that American fascism is a completed project; at any point, anything can happen to shift the course of history in a different direction. Yet after repeated and open corruption of the normal electoral process, several declarations of global war, adventurous and unprecedented military doctrines, selective suspension of the Bill of Rights and clear signals that a declaration of emergency is on the horizon, surely it is time to analyze the situation differently. Several of the apparent contradictions in the Bush administration?s governance make perfect sense if the fascist prism is applied, but not with the usual perspective. Fascism is home, it is here to stay, and it better be countered with all the resources at our disposal.

American fascism taps into the perennial complaint against liberalism: that it fails to provide an authentic sense of belonging to the majority of people. America today wants to be communal and virile; it seeks to overcome what many have been convinced are the unreasonable demands of minorities and women; it wants to reinvigorate ideals of nation, region and race in order to take control of the future; it seeks to overcome the social divisiveness of capitalism and democracy, remolding the nation through propaganda and leadership.

We can notice obvious differences from the German or Italian nationalist traditions, of course ? we have our own nationalist myths. In the near future, America can be expected to embark on a more radical search to define who is and who is not a part of the natural order: exclusion, deportation and eventually extermination might again become the order of things. Fascism can occur precisely at that moment of truth when the course of political history can tend to one direction or another. Nazism never had the support of the majority of Germans; at best about a third fully supported it. About a third of Americans today are certifiably fascist; another 20 percent or so can be swayed around to particular causes with smart propaganda. The basic paradigm remains more or less intact.

Capitalism today is different, so are the means of propaganda, and so are the technological tools of suppression. But that is only a matter of variation, not opposition. With all of Germany?s cultural strength, brutality won out; the same analysis can apply to America. Hitler never won clear majorities (his ascent to power was facilitated by the political elites), and yet once he was in power, he crushed all dissent; consider the parallels to the fateful, hair-splitting election of 2000 and its aftermath. Hitler took advantage of the Reichstag fire ? the burning of the German parliament, which was blamed on communist arson ? to totally reshape German institutions and culture; think of 9/11 as a close parallel. Hitler was careful to give the impression of always operating under legal cover; note again the similarity of a pseudo-legal shield for the actions of the American fascists, who stretch the Geneva Conventions by redefining prisoners of war as ?unlawful.? One can go on and on in this vein.

If we look at historian Stanley Payne?s classical general theory of fascism, we are struck by the increasing similarities with the American model:

A. The Fascist Negations
Anti-liberalism.
Anti-communism.
Anti-conservatism.

B. Ideology and Goals
Creation of a new nationalist authoritarian state.
Organization of a new kind of regulated, multi-class, integrated national economic structure.
The goal of empire.
Specific espousal of an idealist, voluntarist creed.

C. Style and Organization
Emphasis on aesthetic structure, stressing romantic and mystical aspects.
Attempted mass mobilization with militarization of political relationships and style, and the goal of a mass party militia.
Positive evaluation and use of violence.
Extreme stress on the masculine principle.
Exaltation of youth.
Specific tendency toward an authoritarian, charismatic, personal style of command.


With American fascism, the first two negations are obvious; the third may seem unlikely. But fascism is not conservatism, and it takes issue with conservatism?s anti-revolutionary stance. Conservatism?s libertarian strand ? an American staple ? would not agree with fascism?s ?nationalist authoritarian state.? Reaganite anti-government rhetoric might have been a precursor to fascism, but free market and deregulationist ideology cannot be labeled fascist.

Continuing to look at Payne?s list, we note that the goal of empire has found open acceptance over the last couple of years. Voluntarism has been elevated to iconic status, as AmeriCorps members are recruited and directed toward homeland-security measures. The mass party militia ? especially large bands of organized, militarized youth ? seems to be missing, but there is certainly no doubt about the glorification of violence. The masculine principle (think Donald ?Rummy? Rumsfeld, or the president landing Top Gun-style on the deck of an aircraft carrier) has been elevated as the basis of policy-making. Command is authoritarian and personal. It is true that Bush is not as charismatic as Hitler, but one would have to ask if this is not a redundancy in a political model that raises the office of the presidency to an icon of celebrity.

It takes a bit more effort to notice American fascism?s emphasis on aesthetic structure, stressing romantic and mystical aspects. As Hebrew University political scientist Zeev Sternhell has described it for Nazi Germany, fascism in the American synthesis is a cultural rebellion, a revolutionary ideology with totalitarianism at its very essence.

In only the last few months, America has advanced tremendously from emerging to realized fascism. Its imperialist and expansionist tendencies need to be couched less and less in idealist terms for mass acceptance. The idea of a cohesive ?working class? has been dormant for more than a decade. Oppositional groups are often self-silencing ? the meek Democractic Party is only the most obvious example ? but most of the ruling establishment continues to practice a mild form of liberalism and hopes that if things get too out of hand it can mobilize public opinion against brutal suppression.

George Mosse, author of The Fascist Revolution, describes fascism as viewing itself in a permanent state of war, enlisting the masses as ?foot soldiers of a civic religion.? As Mosse points out, fascism seeks a higher form of democracy even as it rejects the customary forms of representative government. Government and corporate propaganda is pervasive in America; we need only to delineate its descent from the Nazi form. Mosse rejects the notion that fascism rules through terror; it is built, he says, upon a popular consensus. One must never underestimate the fertile ground American anti-intellectualism provides for more banal forms of propaganda and cultural terrorism. American media, entertainment and virtual technology have pioneered whole new methods of trivialization of ?mass death? and elevation of brutality as a ?great experience.? The current American aesthetic appreciation of technology, and especially the technology of war, is also of a piece with Hitler?s passions.

Even the puritanism of American fascism does not necessarily conflict with the Nazi emphasis on style and beauty. Nazism annexed ?the pillars of respectability: hard work, self-discipline, and good manners,? along with chastity and family values. The US certainly has its analogs to Max Nordau, whose rebellion against decadence in art and literature so inspired the Nazis. (Think of the demonization of photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, and the ongoing attacks on alleged artistic degeneracy.) We must be willing to consider expanded definitions of how romanticism has been incorporated by American fascism.

Liberals might complain that in America there hasn?t been a declared revolution, a fascist transformation that asserts itself as such. But fascism has simply taken over the liberals? own platform, including its appeal to ?tolerance and freedom.? As Mosse says, ?Tolerance . . . was claimed by fascists in antithesis to their supposedly intolerant enemies, while freedom was placed within the community. To be tolerant meant not tolerating those who opposed fascism: individual liberty was possible only within the collectivity.? Fascism is not a deviance from popular cultural trends, but only the taming of them within revived nationalist myths. Mosse holds that fascism didn?t diverge from mainstream European culture; it absorbed most of what held great mass appeal. The same principles apply to American fascism.

Perhaps a final means of taking the measure of American fascism is through the writer and intellectual Umberto Eco and his 1995 essay ?Ur-Fascism,? which identifies 14 characteristics of ?eternal fascism.? Not all of them have to be present for a system to be considered fascist, and some may even be contradictory: Eco is astute enough to suggest a family of resemblance, overlap and kinship, and the analyst?s task is to note which particular characteristics apply to a system and understand the reasons for the absence of others, rather than dismiss the fascist categorization if some features from a previous fascist variant do not apply. ?There was only one Nazism, and we cannot describe the ultra-Catholic Falangism of Franco as Nazism,? Eco says of the differences between fascist movements, adding, ?Remove the imperialist dimension from Fascism, and you get Franco or Salazar; remove the colonialist dimension, and you get Balkan Fascism.?

All 14 characteristics of Eco?s matrix of ur-fascism apply to America to some degree. (1) the cult of tradition; (2) the rejection of modernism; (3) the cult of action for action?s sake; (4) the idea that dissent is betrayal; (5) fear of difference, or racism; (6) the appeal to individual or social frustration; (7) obsession with conspiracies, along with xenophobia and nationalism; (8) the message that the enemy is at once too strong and too weak (note the media spin on Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein); (9) the idea that pacifism is collusion with the enemy, and that life is a permanent war; (10) scorn for the weak; (11) the cult of heroism; (12) machismo, or transferring the ?will to power onto sexual questions?; (13) the belief that individual rights are subordinate to the unity of the state, and that fascism ?has to oppose ?rotten? parliamentary governments?; and (14) ur-fascism uses a language of propaganda.

No doubt, fascism is a descriptor too carelessly thrown around. Perhaps a non-controversial statement may be that the fascist tendency always exists, at the very least latent and dormant. But when more and more of the latency becomes actualized, there comes a point when the nature of the problem has to be redefined. We may already have crossed that point. As Eco notes, ?Ur-fascism can still return in the most innocent
of guises. Our duty is to unmask it and to point the finger at each of its new forms ? every day, in every part of the world.?

Anis Shivani is at work on a novel about South Asians in New York during the boom years. He welcomes comments at Anis_Shivani_ab92@post.harvard.edu.

From the September/October 2003 issue of Adbusters magazine.



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Offlined33p
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Re: Is America Becoming Fascist? [Re: Psilocybeingzz]
    #1820533 - 08/16/03 06:49 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

Why using this articles logic you could show that bin laden is a christian beacuse his practices are similar to those of christianity. its easy to compare things.


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OfflineFileSoup
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Re: Is America Becoming Fascist? [Re: Psilocybeingzz]
    #1820556 - 08/16/03 06:55 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

There are so many flaws in that argument it would take a 500 page book to respond to them all. I will address one...

"Yet after repeated and open corruption of the normal electoral process, several declarations of global war, adventurous and unprecedented military doctrines..."

There was open corruption of the normal electoral process? We declared global war several times? Germany and Japan's military doctrines were not unprecedented?

The comparison of the US today to Nazi Germany is absolutely ridiculous.


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Anonymous

Re: Is America Becoming Fascist? [Re: Psilocybeingzz]
    #1820771 - 08/16/03 08:20 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

Fascism? In the good ol' US of A? No way! That is an impossibility!  :rolleyes:


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OfflinePsilocybeingzz
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Re: Is America Becoming Fascist? [Re: ]
    #1820776 - 08/16/03 08:23 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

thank you for being one of the americans that give me hope


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Anonymous

Re: Is America Becoming Fascist? [Re: Psilocybeingzz]
    #1820825 - 08/16/03 08:55 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

Are you being sarcastic or do I actually give you hope? I can't tell for sure. My posts are usually mocking other people in a sarcastic way and I'm guessing most of the time people won't understand where I'm coming from.


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OfflinePsilocybeingzz
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Re: Is America Becoming Fascist? [Re: ]
    #1820979 - 08/16/03 09:59 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

well did you use the rollyour eyes pic for a reason????
do you belive that america is fascist ?
if so you give me hope , and thats the truth , maybe not as much as the dew line but hope none the less, the dew line is a mesh like thing(looks like a volleyball net kida and it collects 500 liters of water every 24 hours!!!!!!!!)right from the air!!!!!!!

clean water , by the way


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OfflineBaby_Hitler
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Re: Is America Becoming Fascist? [Re: Psilocybeingzz]
    #1821091 - 08/16/03 10:41 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

What the hell is a dew line? Link?


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Offlinewingnutx
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Re: Is America Becoming Fascist? [Re: Psilocybeingzz]
    #1821162 - 08/16/03 11:00 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

The New York Times and other liberal voices have been obsessed in recent years with the rise of minority fascist parties in the Netherlands,




List Pim Fortyun in the Netherlands is not fascist.

France and Austria did give some big victories to authentic fascists, though.


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OfflineStrumpling
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Re: Is America Becoming Fascist? [Re: Psilocybeingzz]
    #1821186 - 08/16/03 11:07 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

"Is America Becoming Fascist?"

close to it..


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Offlined33p
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Re: Is America Becoming Fascist? [Re: Strumpling]
    #1821254 - 08/16/03 11:33 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

"Is the earth gonna crash into the sun"

close to it.


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OfflinePsilocybeingzz
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Re: Is America Becoming Fascist? [Re: d33p]
    #1821266 - 08/16/03 11:38 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

ITALY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


anyone that hasent heard already should know that Italy IS very very fascist at the moment!


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Anonymous

Re: Is America Becoming Fascist? [Re: Psilocybeingzz]
    #1821477 - 08/17/03 12:59 AM (13 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

Psilocybeingzz said:
well did you use the rollyour eyes pic for a reason????
do you belive that america is fascist ?
if so you give me hope , and thats the truth , maybe not as much as the dew line but hope none the less, the dew line is a mesh like thing(looks like a volleyball net kida and it collects 500 liters of water every 24 hours!!!!!!!!)right from the air!!!!!!!

clean water , by the way




It depends which personality you are asking. One of them thinks the US is great and the other thinks we live in a big prison.


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OfflineCornholio
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Re: Is America Becoming Fascist? [Re: FileSoup]
    #1821702 - 08/17/03 02:56 AM (13 years, 3 months ago)

FileSoup said:
There are so many flaws in that argument it would take a 500 page book to respond to them all. I will address one...

"Yet after repeated and open corruption of the normal electoral process, several declarations of global war, adventurous and unprecedented military doctrines..."



"There was open corruption of the normal electoral process?"

LOTS of evidence to support this.  But I'll give you one that I haven't seen disputed yet:
Poll abuses in Florida


"We declared global war several times?"

I'm sure you won't dispute the global war on terrorism.  Of course, we conveniently choose whom to call terrorist nations and whom not to, even though some of our "non terrorist" friends do things we consider terrorist activities (Israel, Saudi Arabia...)

And let's not foret Bush's Pax America policy.


"Germany and Japan's military doctrines were not unprecedented?"

Yes they were, but that doesn't disprove the statement that our own military doctrines are unprecedented.


"The comparison of the US today to Nazi Germany is absolutely ridiculous."

I agree with you in this link, which connects to another link that disagrees.


Time to write page 2 of your 500 page book.  :wink:       


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
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Re: Is America Becoming Fascist? [Re: Cornholio]
    #1822122 - 08/17/03 06:58 AM (13 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

LOTS of evidence to support this. But I'll give you one that I haven't seen disputed yet:
Poll abuses in Florida



Really? While there was a lot of claims, and hearings, I'm not aware this was ever proven to be the case.

You aren't suggesting they were found and then covered up? Jesse "who's your daddy" Jackson, Al "tawana brawley" Sharpton and their ilk would have raised quite the fuss had the disenfranchised voter theory panned out. I recall lots of rumors, but no actual proof "thousands" of people being unable to vote. Even the Cival Rights Commision, a group run by a shrill racist, didn't find evidence of this.

Of course if you'd care to show anything I may have missed I'd be glad to read it. Your article was from 2001, anything newer that has facts rather than speculation?


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You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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OfflineCornholio
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Re: Is America Becoming Fascist? [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #1822202 - 08/17/03 08:49 AM (13 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

luvdemshrooms said:
You aren't suggesting they were found and then covered up? Jesse "who's your daddy" Jackson, Al "tawana brawley" Sharpton and their ilk would have raised quite the fuss had the disenfranchised voter theory panned out. I recall lots of rumors, but no actual proof "thousands" of people being unable to vote. Even the Cival Rights Commision, a group run by a shrill racist, didn't find evidence of this.

Of course if you'd care to show anything I may have missed I'd be glad to read it. Your article was from 2001, anything newer that has facts rather than speculation?


Of course!! The NAACP took Harris to court and won. They won on five on different counts (though I emphasized the one that had the largest impact, and in which Jeb Bush was directly involved in):

COUNT I - Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses

Defendants Harris and Roberts have maintained and administered non-uniform methods and practices of administering elections and counting ballots in violation of the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution and 42 U.S.C. ? 1983.

COUNT II - Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965

Defendant Leahy's methods of administering the November 7, 2000 general election denied black voters an equal opportunity to participate in the Presidential election in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended, 42 U.S.C. ? 1973.

Defendants Harris, Roberts, DBT, Leahy, Oliphant (through her predecessor Carroll), and Iorio's actions in failing to adopt and implement uniform standards of reliability and accuracy for voting machines or systems that may be selected or utilized by county supervisors of elections, and procedures connected with their use; in the purging of voters from official lists of eligible voters; and in their maintenance and administration of "inactive" lists and the unequal availability of access to those lists denied black voters an equal opportunity to participate in the Presidential election in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended, 42 U.S.C. ? 1973.

COUNT III - 42 U.S.C. ? 1983
All Defendants, acting under color of state law, have deprived Plaintiffs of the rights, privileges, and immunities secured to them under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, the National Voter Registration Act, and 42 U.S.C. ? 1983 to participate in the electoral process.

COUNT IV - Civil Rights Acts of 1957 & 1960
All Defendants, by their actions as described in this Complaint, have, acting under color of law, applied different standards, practices or procedures in determining whether some voters were qualified to vote than were applied to other voters within the same county who have been found by State officials to be qualified to vote and denied individuals the right to vote because of immaterial errors and omissions in registration and ballot applications, in violation of 42 U.S.C. ?? 1971(a)(2)(A) and 1971(a)(2)(B).

COUNT V - Fla. Stat. ? 104.0515
Defendants, by their actions described in this Complaint, have applied prerequisites to voting, employed certain voting methods, and administered elections using standards, practices and procedures in a manner which results in denial or abridgement of the rights of citizens in Florida to vote on account of race or color in violation of Florida Statutes ?104.0515.



Two settlement agreement have already been reached, with more on the way:

Settlement Reached In Florida Election Lawsuit
NAACP Approves Second Settlement Of Voting Reform Lawsuit In Florida


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
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Re: Is America Becoming Fascist? [Re: Cornholio]
    #1822212 - 08/17/03 09:08 AM (13 years, 3 months ago)

I've seen some lame crap in my time, but this reaches new heights of lameness. (not on your part, on the part of those who wasted the courts time to begin with)

The original article states "thousands", your links show what??? A dozen, many of which appear to be simple clerical errors and some carelessness.

Where's the proof it was deliberate?

Where's the proof whites, asians, cubans, and others didn't suffer the same problems?

Of course since votor fraud only happens to black democratic voters, I guess Chicago and some other places will have to change there motto's from "vote early and often, bring your dead friends", to "whites only".

I mean, really.


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You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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OfflineCornholio
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Re: Is America Becoming Fascist? [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #1822221 - 08/17/03 09:19 AM (13 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

luvdemshrooms said:
The original article states "thousands", your links show what???


See paragraph 36 of the court decision.

Edit: for those that don't like links,

36. The number of black citizens of Florida who were denied the right to vote in the November 7, 2000, election, or whose right to vote was abridged or impeded, because of Defendants' practices complained of herein, is so numerous that joinder of all members is impracticable. On information and belief, tens of thousands of ballots in counties and precincts where substantial numbers of black citizens reside were not counted in that election. On information and belief, thousands of black citizens were denied registration, wrongly purged from the voter rolls, and denied the opportunity to vote in that election.


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Edited by Cornholio (08/17/03 09:39 AM)


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
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Re: Is America Becoming Fascist? [Re: Cornholio]
    #1822236 - 08/17/03 09:38 AM (13 years, 3 months ago)

What court decision? Your first link is the filing, not a decision.

Link 2 & 3 are press releases.

Unless there a 4th invisible link, none of those are court decisions.


--------------------
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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OfflineCornholio
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Re: Is America Becoming Fascist? [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #1822268 - 08/17/03 10:21 AM (13 years, 3 months ago)

I found a website that says the NAACP won the case and then provided that link, which led me to believe it was the court decision.  Sorry.  :ooo:

The settlements do seem to prove that some of the defendants agree with some of the charges, and it looks like Katherine Harris and Database Technologies are still defendants.  So we'll see what happens with them....  :smirk:   


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