Wednesday, June 29, 2011

An American Gulag

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

A famous Texas scandal spawned a legend and a movie: "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas", starring Burt Reynolds and Dolly Parton. Many, not familiar with Texas scandals, probably thought it referred to the state legislature where various "favors" and "special considerations" are sold to special interests and various lobbys. But --it's not a whorehouse; it's just a circle jerk.

Of late, Texas has taken political prostitution to levels not seen since A. Hitler pimped his "Third Reich" to corporate 'johns' --I.G. Farben, Thyssen, Krupp! All would get big, juicy, sexy government contracts if they but joined his crazy, evil scheme to enslave the world and exterminate jews, gypsies and anyone else not liked by Hitler, his cult of Nazis, his hand-picked perverts, whack-jobs, and a panoply of marginal and otherwise ineffective types, in fact, those who would be failures in a normal world. And those are the Nazis!! The GOP may be worse.

The scam is often repeated in various ways by the American GOP but the Texas model, cooked up by Herrs Bush and Perry, may have outdone Hitler's blunt approach but, in the end, it's all Nazism. Hitler met 'industrialists' Thyssen, Krupp and several representatives of I.G. Farben --the makers of Zyklon 'B'. The meeting is described in some detail by William Shirer in 'The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich'.
Goebbels was jubilant. "Now it will be easy," he wrote in his diary on February 3, "to carry on the fight, for we can call on all the resources of the State. Radio and press are at our disposal. We shall stage a masterpiece of propaganda. And this time, naturally, there is no lack of money."(2)

The big businessmen, pleased with the new government that was going to put the organized workers in their place and leave management to run its business as it wished, were asked to cough up. This they agreed to do at a meeting on February 20 at Goering's Reichstag President's Palace, at which Dr. Schacht acted as host and Goering and Hitler laid down the line to a couple of dozen of Germany's leading magnates, including Krupp von Bohlen, who had become an enthusiastic Nazi overnight, Bosch and Schnitzler of I. G. Farben, and Voegler, head of the United Steel Works. The record of this secret meeting has been preserved.

Hitler began a long speech with a sop to the industrialists. "Private enterprise," he said, "cannot be maintained in the age of democracy; it is conceivable only if the people have a sound idea of authority and personality . . . All the worldly goods we possess we owe to the struggle of the chosen ...We must not forget that all the benefits of culture must be introduced more or less with an iron fist." He promised the businessmen that he would "eliminate" the Marxists and restore the Wehrmacht (the latter was of special interest to such industries as Krupp, United Steel and I. G. Farben, which stood to gain the most from rearmament). "Now we stand before the last election," Hitler concluded, and he promised his listeners that "regardless of the outcome, there will be no retreat." If he did not win, he would stay in power "by other means . . . with other weapons." Goering, talking more to the immediate point, stressed the necessity of "financial sacrifices" which "surely would be much easier for industry to bear if it realized that the election of March fifth will surely be the last one for the next ten years, probably even for the next hundred years."

All this was made clear enough to the assembled industrialists and they responded with enthusiasm to the promise of the end of the infernal elections, of democracy and disarmament. Krupp, the munitions king, who, according to Thyssen, had urged Hindenburg on January 29 not to appoint Hitler, jumped up and expressed to the Chancellor the "gratitude" of the businessmen "for having given us such a clear picture." Dr. Schacht then passed the hat. "I collected three million marks," he recalled at Nuremberg.(3)

----William Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, The Nazification of Germany: 1933–34
There are other, corroborating sources for this meeting.
Hitler did not intend to share his power with coalition partners. After the dissolution of the Reichstag, he hoped to win an absolute majority for the NSDAP with a massive election campaign. To finance the electoral battle, he sought support from Germany’s leading industrialists. In a meeting held on February 20, 1933, Hitler and Hermann Göring (1893-1946) explained the benefits that industry leaders would derive from an NSDAP victory: political stability, the complete elimination of the Communist threat and, not least, a lucrative rearmament policy.

Among those present at the meeting was George von Schnitzler, a board member of I.G. Farben, then the world’s largest chemical conglomerate. (I.G. Farben would eventually go on to produce the Zyklon B gas used in Nazi death camps). In the following affidavit, given in English on November 10, 1945, Schnitzler describes the purpose of the meeting and provides the names of others in attendance that day.

The TX gulag system differs very little from concentration camps. To be expected, they look modern from the outside. But, like Hitler's string of concentration and death camps, they are the work of 'private enterprise' contracted by 'government'; it is private enterprise which benefits from the Faustian deals that created them. Reduced to its essence, Hitler's 'Nazi' scheme systematically murdered millions and just as systematically reduced as many to slavery amid unimaginably horrible conditions.

--German History in Documents and Images, Volume 7. Nazi Germany, 1933-1945, Georg von Schnitzler on Hitler’s Appeal to Leading German Industrialists on February 20, 1933 (Affidavit, November 10, 1945)
A 'party' is what it does! If the basics of this 'privatization scheme' are repeated by Texas Republicans with similar/same results, then in what way does it differ from 'fascism' or 'corporatism' or "Nazism'? In Texas, politicians have been known to say: "if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and swims like a duck, it's a duck!" Indeed! One is what what does! A political party is what it does! The GOP has repeated the Hitler model in Texas with respect to its gulag of prisons! Am I to call the Texas GOP 'boy scouts' because they are not in Germany? Of course not! I will call them what they are and what they are, in fact and deed, are fascists!

The Texas GOP Learned From Hitler's Mistakes

The Bush family has worked to establish the same or similar model in Texas. The fruition is seen in the Texas gulag of corporate-owned prisons. The roots of this horrific outcome may be traced to Nixon-Bush overtures to China. Bush Sr's efforts to set it all up are too often forgotten by writers focused upon Nixon's largely ceremonial trip to the Forbidden City. Recall that Bush SR was ambassador to China under Nixon, that it was Nixon that took the U.S. off the gold standard; but it was most certainly Bush Sr who cut the deals in advance of Nixon's largely ceremonial trip.

It was, therefore, Bush Sr who sold us out to China. Like a bad penny, a Bush always seems to turn up when one researches China, oil, the U.S. imbalance of trade with China, oil wars, and other 'rotten' things.

“There is something rotten in Houston”

That Texas would eventually play a role in the grand scheme of things was inevitable. It was an oil producing state; later, an oil refining state. And Texas has a history of often rampant lawlessness. Now –my great uncle, Lawson 'Loss' Hart, was on the right side of the law. As a federal marshal, he tracked down, outdrew, shot and killed the infamous outlaw --Bill Dalton of the notorious Dalton gang. We could use a few more 'Harts' who might, likewise, track down the lawless Bushes, the crooked gang called GOP!

Bush SR's choice of Houston as his permanent residence was unfortunate for Houston. I recall speaking with Houston Mayor Fred Hofheinz (middle 70s)! The occasion of that specific conversation was a 'smear job' that was making the rounds, a 'smear job' that might as well have had 'G O P' stamped on it with a copyright date. Hofheinz said to me: "There is something rotten in Houston!" It was as much his tone and demeanor as the sentence itself that sent chills down one's spine.

The mayor's comments came during an organized but shadowy campaign of rumor and villification against him. The rumor surfaced immediately following an infamous 'reception' for the Sr Bush at the venerable old Rice Hotel in downtown Houston. I believe that it was already envisioned, decided, that the Senior Bush would --one day --become President, and that Jr (Shrub) would, likewise, occupy the White House one day. Thus --in two generations the GOP would effect what Sr himself referred to as a 'new world order'.

The resulting fascist prison model that is now in place and operating in Texas is proof that they have not yet failed in their mission. As Hitler made promises to Thyssen, Krupp, Farben et al, one wonders: did Bush and Perry promise to subvert Texas education, in fact, reducing the state to dead last in high school graduations? Is this the crux of the deal? Essentially --we trash education and thus ensure the prisons a full house!

Texas became a different state after the election of Ronald Reagan

I thought it ironic that the man most responsible for the GOP infestations in Texas --Tom DeLay --was, himself, a roach exterminator by trade. GOP strong-holds with which I am most familiar were/are GOP infestations in Brazoria county and Fort Bend County. It was in Fort Bend County that Tom DeLay built up a base that would eventually allow him to gerrymander the state, making Texas safe for fascism.

Brazoria County got a new Republican High Sheriff who set out on a course of absolutely zero tolerance. So many were arrested he had to build his own little mini prison in the county. I am surprised that he was not awarded a title: 'Duke'.

The GOP/right wing inclined would rather build a prison than prevent the crimes that fill it. Why? That's easy! There is less easy money to be made locking folk up when crime rates are in decline! For the same reason, the right wing would rather not "waste tax payer money" to educate a child. Better to let him take to the streets, rob a convenience store, perhaps shoot someone, get arrested, sentenced and locked up in a corporate prison where the GOP's corporate/wealthy base and support could make an easy buck by warehousing him.
"Are there no workhouses? Are there no prisons? If they would rather die, they had better do it, and decrease the surplus." population."

But the Texas GOP has done Scrooge one better: they are making a profit off both their deaths and incarceration.

WHERE is the will to win? When the right wing has succeeded in destroying civilized society if not the world, the left will have failed to save it!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Rise of Fascism in Bush-Perry Texas

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

Recently --Texas Gov Rick Perry's boisterous audience of schizoid GOP idiots were caught waving US flags: SECEDE! Perhaps, because of what the GOP has made of it, Texas should secede. By presiding over the deterioration of public education in Texas, the Bush/Perry GOP has created a fascist model in which the profits of huge, right-wing inclined corporations rise as TX educational standards decline; a model in which illiteracy rises concurrently with corporate profits; a model in which the living conditions of millions deteriorate as the lifestyles of a dwindling few grow opulent beyond the ability of even oil barons to imagine.

Texas is about 50 years behind the US. As Bush-Perry neglected education, crime rates rose, most noticeably --murder! Drop-outs account for most, if not all, increases in violent crimes. Minorities --primarily black and Hispanic --are meanwhile disproportionately represented in the Texas gulag system but under represented in the State legislature, the various city councils, and the state judicial system.

Texas is about 50 years behind the US, much more so if compared to Europe. Minorities --primarily black and Hispanic --are disproportionately represented in the Texas gulag system but under represented in the State legislature, the various city councils, and the state judicial system.

Texas was once a Great State and, as a native Texan, I mourn its passing!

Declines in education and jobs are of no concern to the current Governor --Rick Perry, called Governor Good Hair by Molly Ivins, a real Texan, a patriot and brilliant writer. During the Bushy - Hair era, Texas became a gulag state by beating out Mississippi for dead last in high school graduations. A matter of considerable concern among intelligent, thoughtful people but for the axis of Bush-Perry it means more fodder for the corporate owned and run state prison system. The word for this is fascism! There is, in Texas, a corporate gulag of GOP making. One fears that the Texas model will be replicated across America:
  1. subvert public education
  2. exploit the resulting rise in crime to elect more GOP candidates
  3. lock up the victims in corporate-owned prison hell-holes.
That is how Texas became the lab study, the 'fascist model' upon which a fascist state is built. This model is not new. Hitler tried it with concentration camps. The primary corporate beneficiaries were I.G. Farben and Thyssen/Krupp.

These basic fascist principles have inspired movies --good, bad, and ugly. The 'bad' summons up memories of a horrible movie: Judge Dredd, a fascist 'wet dream' in which so-called 'judges', having murdered 'due process of law' could pass sentences on the spot! Fascists, red necks, Bush, Perry were most surely inspired by a single line summing up so many GOP aspirations: “The justice system works swiftly in the future now that they've abolished all lawyers.”

The rise of Fascist-Goppism in Texas was signaled by the constant anti-trial lawyer drumbeat. Soon --trial lawyers will be out of a job and no one will be allowed to present a defense. No problem --Judge Dredd and Gov Perry will just fill up those corporate hell-holes with fresh meat!

Slavery is back! Perhaps it never left! Every fascist dictatorship is preceded with cries of : kill all the lawyers! Depriving them of a profession, a livlihood may be slower but just as effective.
Crimes rates --rising, falling, stagnate --never justify the death penalty. In fact, crime rates invariably increase in death penalty states. States without the death penalty have consistently lower murder rates.

The GOP in Texas might prefer you think they are stupid. Otherwise, you might conclude that because these facts may be easily obtained and verified that their heinous policies were chosen --not out of GOP incompetence --but deliberately for the purpose of filling up the prisons, thus enriching the corporations which own and run the prisons.
The death penalty is medieval, barbaric and ineffective. Throughout history, the death penalty has failed to deter crimes of any sort. There is, therefore, no rationale for the state murder of anyone accused of any crime. Increasingly fewer cases are 'proven' beyond a 'shadow of a doubt'. A disproportionate number are arrested for the crimes of being black and/or poor.

States Without the Death Penalty Have Better Records on Homicide Rates
A new survey by the New York Times found that states without the death penalty have lower homicide rates than states with the death penalty. The Times reports that ten of the twelve states without the death penalty have homicide rates below the national average, whereas half of the states with the death penalty have homicide rates above. During the last 20 years, the homicide rate in states with the death penalty has been 48% - 101% higher than in states without the death penalty. "I think Michigan made a wise decision 150 years ago," said the state's governor, John Engler, a Republican, referring to the state's abolition of the death penalty in 1846. "We're pretty proud of the fact that we don't have the death penalty."

--New York Times, 9/22/00, Death Penalty Information Center
Texas, notably, has not occupied a position of prominence with regard to petroleum production since it was discovered that bombing Iraq and killing civilians there was much, much cheaper than is the secondary recovery of oil. Why spend millions exploring for oil when you can just steal fields that are already productive?  The cost of bombing the crap out of the oil's rightful owners?? Hell --the taxpayer is stuck with that tab!

Because of rapacious oil development, the neglect of education and the hubristic disregard for human rights and environment, so-called 'free enterprise' has robbed millions of children of a decent education and as many poor of justice in a state ruled by goddamned liars, elites and their ass kissers: the GOP!
  • Texas --Bush style --provides the residents of Texas with some of the nation's very worst crime and incarceration rates;
  • Texas subjects the residents of Texas to deteriorating air quality and wanton ecosystem destruction;
  • Texas can boast of the nation's very worst murder, crime and incarceration rates!
  • Texas --a state that now leads the nation in pollution, crime, and illiteracy --should be studied by any other state wishing to avoid a similar disastrous fate.
Fascism --now dominating the political and cultural life of Texas --spawns crime and creates the conditions in which it is nurtured and thrives and, worse, benefits the GOP and its corporate sponsors.
Still, most people are now ashamed to admit that punishment is based on vengeance and, for that reason, various excuses and apologies have been offered for the cruelty that goes with it. Some of the more humane, or “squeamish,” who still believe in punishment, contend that the object of this infliction is the reformation of the victim. This, of course, cannot be urged of the death penalty or even punishment for life, or for very long-term sentences. In these cases there is neither inducement to reform nor any object in the reformation. No matter how thorough the reform, the prisoner never goes back to society, or he returns after there is no longer a chance for him to be of use to the world or to enjoy life.
--Clarence Darrow, Crime: It's Cause and Treatment
Tea Baggers are Scumbaggers!

If there is a real and widespread desire among Texans to secede, then, by all means, secede. But in fact, I believe secession talk is just another right wing smokescreen with which it exploits its base and deceives otherwise good citizens of Texas!
Power may corrupt, and absolute power may corrupt absolutely, but in the comics Judge Dredd is basically Dirty Harry on Overdrive, an incorruptible lawman obsessed with The Law and Justice. The official plot synopsis of the 1995 movie swallows the official line too: “In the Third Millennium a powerful and efficient hybrid of the police and judicial system has given birth to group of new guardians of the law with the power to dispense instant justice and punishment. These judges are law enforcer, jury and executioner. One of these judges, Judge Joseph Dredd is a living legend - six feet of armored justice with no outside interests besides his devotion to enforcing the law.” Why anyone would however want to make a sequel or (bullshit Hollywood jargon coming up) “re-imagining” of Judge Dredd is a bit of a mystery. The original film disappointed at the box office and made a mere $113 million world-wide. Audiences who didn’t know the character beforehand were baffled. “Considering that the movie was adapted from comic books, the least we should expect is a juicy battle between good and evil,” Anthony Lane wrote in The New Yorker, “but the conflict is, in fact, a matter of fine distinctions between shades of Fascism.”

Fascist Bullshit: "I AM the law!"