Saturday, September 27, 2008

14 Defining Characteristics Of Fascism

14 Defining Characteristics Of Fascism

By Dr. Lawrence Britt
Dr. Lawrence Britt has examined the fascist regimes ofHitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia)
and several Latin American regimes.

Britt found 14 defining characteristics common to each:

1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism - Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs,and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.

2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights - Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascis regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need."

The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.

3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause - The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over theneed to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial, ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.

4. Supremacy of the Military - Even when there are widespreaddomestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiersand military service are glamorized.

5. Rampant Sexism - The governments of fascist nationstend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.

6. Controlled Mass Media - Sometimes to media is directlycontrolled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.

7. Obsession with National Security - Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.

8. Religion and Government are Intertwined - Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions.

9. Corporate Power is Protected - The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put thegovernment leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.

10. Labor Power is Suppressed - Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.

11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts - Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked.

12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment - Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.

13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption - Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability.

It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.

14. Fraudulent Elections - Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.

From Liberty Forum
Thanks, Sherry S.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Catholics will no longer address God as ‘Yahweh’

Catholics will no longer address God as ‘Yahweh’
Posted Aug 28, 2008
WASHINGTON – In the not-too-distant future, songs such as "You Are Near," "I Will Bless Yahweh" and "Rise, O Yahweh" will no longer be part of the Catholic worship experience in the United States.
At the very least, the songs will be edited to remove the word "Yahweh" – a name of God that the Vatican has ruled must not "be used or pronounced" in songs and prayers during Catholic Masses.
Father Ronald E. Brassard, the pastor of Immaculate Conception parish in Cranston, said the new directive is "a good thing. This directive is the Church showing great sensitivity to... our Jewish brothers and sisters."
The Tetragrammaton is YHWH, the four consonants of the ancient Hebrew name for God.
"Essentially the tradition in Scripture and especially with Jewish people is that the name of God is so sacred that it's never said, you never say Yahweh, it's offensive to the Jewish people," Father Brassard explained. He added that the change apparently is to go into effect immediately.
Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli of Paterson, N.J., chairman of the U.S. Bishop’s Committee on Divine Worship, announced the new Vatican "directives on the use of 'the name of God' in the sacred liturgy" in an Aug. 8 letter to his fellow bishops.
He said the directives would not "force any changes to official liturgical texts" or to the bishops' current missal translation project but would likely have "some impact on the use of particular pieces of liturgical music in our country as well as in the composition of variable texts such as the general intercessions for the celebration of the Mass and the other sacraments."
For most Catholics the change will only be apparent in a few pieces of music and perhaps in specific translations of the Bible, Father Brassard said.
Bishop Serratelli's letter to bishops came with a two-page letter from the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, dated June 29 and addressed to episcopal conferences around the world.
"By directive of the Holy Father, in accord with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, this congregation ... deems it convenient to communicate to the bishops' conferences ... as regards the translation and the pronunciation, in a liturgical setting, of the divine name signified in the sacred Tetragrammaton," said the letter signed by Cardinal Francis Arinze and Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith, congregation prefect and secretary, respectively.
John Limb, publisher of OCP, a nonprofit liturgical music publisher in Portland, Ore., said the most popular hymn in the OCP repertoire that would be affected was Dan Schutte's "You Are Near," which begins, "Yahweh, I know you are near."
He estimated that only "a handful" of other OCP hymns use the word "Yahweh," although a search of the OCP Web site turned up about a dozen examples of songs that included the word.
Limb said the company would be contacting composers to "ask them to try to come up with alternate language" for their hymns. But he said hymnals for 2009 had already been printed, so the affected hymns would not include the new wording for at least another year.
Even when the new hymnals are out, "it may take time for people to get used to singing something different," he added in an Aug. 11 telephone interview with Catholic News Service.
At Chicago-based GIA Publications, another major Catholic publisher of hymnals, no major revisions will be necessary, because of the company's longtime editorial policy against use of the word "Yahweh."
Kelly Dobbs-Mickus, senior editor at GIA Publications, told CNS Aug. 11 that the policy, which dates to 1986, was based not on Vatican directives but on sensitivity to concerns among observant Jews about pronouncing the name of God. As an example, she cited Heinrich Schutz's "Thanks Be to Yahweh," which appears in a GIA hymnal under the title "Thanks Be to God."

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The hidden risk of DNA experiments

The hidden risk of DNA experiments and genetic engineering

Today we get overloaded with success stories of genetic technology from industry and science. A genome of a plant or animal has been newly deciphered, an animal has been artificially cloned. Nobel prizes are handed out for research in this area and much more. All this hype is based on something, which is mostly unknown by the media and the public and which has been collectively hidden from the researcher's minds by themselves. It is the fundament of genetic science, the role of DNA in life. Unknown or repressed is that this generally accepted view of the DNA is not a proven fact but only a theory.

The basic dogma of the genetic community

The plan or program how to build a living creature lies in the genetic structure called DNA and nowhere else. The DNA is not only the program, it is the computer to operate on itself too. Moreover it is part of a robot, which actually builds the creature and thus itself. Not enough with that: This combined program-computer is able to develop itself through a random driven process called evolution. This is the genetic dogma and not a single part of it has ever been seriously doubted by admirers of genetic engineering. If you don't understand, you - and all other creatures too - are deemed to be such mechanically self building DNA-robots.

Does this DNA program-computer really work?

No one can know this for sure; neither now, nor probably in the future. If you were showing a computer scientist an abstract structural design of this hypothetical DNA based program-computer without revealing that you are describing life, you would surely be laughed at. There are shortcomings that seem to make such a machine nothing but a nonsense construction without any chance of functioning. Genetic scientists themselves have very little evidence and then for only tiny fractional parts of the hypothetical operation of this complex machine. They could have probably much more evidence that contradicts their theory, but of course every interpretation in an area that is mostly unobservable is only speculation. It is easy for them to shut their eyes.

Could this basic doctrine be wrong?

Yes, of course. That is the general principle of science. Everything is only a working hypothesis until it is proven wrong. But not so for genetic enthusiasts. They successfully exclude this possibility from their whole professional work, perhaps because it would be too disastrous for their self-conception as a researcher if they were acknowledging that all their effort may be based on a wrong premise. That is understandable from a psychological point of view, yet it imposes a big risk on all of us.

The crux

Genetic scientists think the DNA's mechanism is based only on known physical forces completely covered by chemistry. That implies that there are only short range effects of the scale of molecules at work. If such chemical reaction - the DNA manipulation - is artificially initiated, the effect is deemed to be limited to the test tube of the genetic scientist, the cell and its descendants. And that is the crux.

The big risk

If the machine of life works differently than genetic scientists think or if life is no machine in the mechanical sense at all, then the DNA must play a different role. It is clear from many observations that the DNA has some role in life, but it is uncertain what precise role that is. That means that the DNA could be very well involved in a long range effect. Quite some researchers have proposed such long range effects and many findings would be easily explainable with them. For example it could mean that an individual creature is not only determined by its own structure of matter at its beginning of being, but by a field which spans over its whole species. There could be even a forming field for organs or organelles of the same kind in different species. It is not that such a field of force has to exist. It is that no one can rule out its existence. So by all standards of applied science there is a chance of the existence of long range effects in conjunction with the DNA. And that chance is the big risk.

The long range effect and artificial DNA manipulations

So how could such a hypothetical interference of artificial manipulations with nature like merging DNA of different species look like? That is impossible to say precisely. Because of the long distance effect the extreme could be that a genetic manipulation on one side of the world could change the development of a living creature or a whole species on the other side. Mind you, it could be even another species than those involved in the manipulation.

What about the successes of genetic science?

The only operations of genetic engineering that are somewhat predictable, repeatable and explainable are at the lowest level of the DNA machine, the protein synthesis. That part of the DNA's role in life seems to be understood. Its genes are plans for building proteins. By injecting an alien gene into some DNA, genetic engineers can do fancy things like producing a fluorescent tobacco plant. But such injection of a complete low level functionality, in this case a gene that builds a fluorescent molecule, is everything that has been achieved. Implanting properties that go beyond that of a molecule, biological structures of any scale, is terra incognita. Furthermore injected genes might have myriads of unwanted or even unnoticed side effects and are often not stable. Mysteriously alien gene material seems to have a tendency to vanish in the descendants. Genetic scientists are fooling themselves with thinking that they know something about the general construction plan, where it is located, how it is realized and how it has been developed, just because they can deliver differently colored bricks at the building site.

But human's genome has been deciphered!

The "deciphering of a genome" of the DNA of an organism is roughly a list of genes and therefore proteins and other molecules, that could be build with that DNA. It is only a list of material, not the construction plan! Furthermore this list varies, depending on the methods used to analyze the DNA. Even more bizarrely this list itself can't be deciphered! For almost every of its items it is unknown whether it is a brick or mortar or whatsoever. It is even not clear if an item is an item at all, if it has to interact with others to be one, if it is nothing or if it has some other function than being construction material. In a nutshell, nothing has been deciphered and the way media, science and industry are celebrating these genetic "milestones" is irresponsible misleading nonsense.

Critics of genetic science don't know their best argument

Many people are critics of genetics, even more find it suspicious, but most of them don't see the real danger. Everyone, proponents and critics evenly, take it for granted that there are only local effects. The thinking goes like this: If I raise this cell culture in that petri dish and something goes wrong I will just kill it. Outside a laboratory people may take care to seed genetically altered corn separated from other plants and expect this to be safe. Despite the many problems with such precautions and their logic - the field in which genetic critics are combating - these very real threats are nothing compared to the big one described here.

The possibility of an unbelievable catastrophe

There is virtually no limit of what can happen. A whole species, e.g. the human one, could degenerate or even get extinguished. If there was some sort of threshold, a critical mass that manipulated DNA must reach to trigger a world wide change, it would mean that this could happen all of a sudden - in one generation - without any chance of rewinding of what went wrong. The degeneration could range from hardly noticeably like a statistical increase of a sensitivity for a specific disease up to a sheer horror scenario. In case of humans that would mean that some day our grand children would give birth only to nonreproductive humans or monsters anymore. There is a real risk for such an apocalypse which no one can quantify. The only thing for sure is that it is not zero.

Stand up against DNA manipulation and genetic engineering!

Here is a more technical explanation about the indications why the dogma of genetic scientists of the DNA as a combined computer and its program may be wrong, what else the role of the DNA could be and what reasons there are to assume a long range effect. One way to act is to spread the word by linking to this article from your website or to blog about it. Just because no one talks about it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. The danger is real - do something!