Today, I pinned a flag pin on my shirt. I am taking my country back.

The bill passed in Congress last week changed our government. Now, the right to trial and to due process no longer exists. Anyone, anywhere can be declared a threat and imprisoned and held without trial or review of any kind. And what goes on in the prison is also without review since no record or account of the fate of those imprisoned will be revealed.

As the dictators of South America did, the president and his agents can cause people to disappear. Anyone, anywhere.

This has actually been the practice of the Bush administration, but now the Congress of the United States has declared that the executive can do this, in defiance of the Constitution.

I no longer live in a democracy. I no longer live in a free country. I wish I thought that the US Supreme Court were going to declare this law unconstitutional, but the justices whom Bush has appointed are not likely to do so. When the Court declared that the detentions were illegal, the new Chief Justice, who had advocated those courts before his appointment, recused himself. He is not likely to do so now and his vote will make the difference.

Today, I put a flag pin on my shirt. I am a patriot. I am working to take my country back. I know people who, like Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and other of the world’s great leaders, are willing to go to jail for the good of all. I don’t know if I am ready for that, but I am not standing idly by as the rights and freedoms that the majority of the signers of the Declaration of Independance died for are destroyed.

The President has led us astray. The Congress has followed him. I cannot look to them for leadership. We, the People of the United States, can find the way together as our forefathers did. We do not have to be like the German people who let Hitler and the Nazis take over their government.

I have been wondering what the people of Germany were thinking about in March of 1933 so I looked for diary entries and other evidence. I found lots of things about the diary of Victor Klemperer from 1933 to 1945.

On a blog by Jonathan Delacour called The Heart of Things I saw a reference to a book by Robert Gellately Backing Hitler. I quote at length from Delacour about the diaries of Victor Klemperer, a German WW I veteran and professor of modern languages in Germany:

“[As Delacour read in Gellately’s book, he was struck by] a conversation Klemperer had with two of his students who, despite being anti-Nazi, had no sympathy for two young women executed for allegedly spying for Poland:

“They saw no fault in the procedures of the secret trial, nor were they troubled in the least that the accused had been denied essential legal rights.

“Klemperer’s first diary entry is for 14 January 1933. Hitler became Chancellor on 30 January 1933. Two months later to the day, on March 30, Klemperer writes:

“Frau Dember related the case of the ill-treatment of a Communist prisoner which had leaked out: torture, with castor oil, beatings, fear—attempted suicide. Dr Salzburg’s second son, a medical student, has been arrested—letters from him had been found in the home of a Communist.

“Gellately describes the ease with which the German people relinquished their civil liberties:

Hitler’s appointment as Chancellor on 30 January 1933 was followed next day by the dissolution of the Reichstag. His slogan for the elections called for 5 March, “Attack on Marxism”, was bound to appeal to solid citizens and property owners. Hermann Göring, one of the few Nazis in Hitler’s Cabinet, took immediate steps to introduce emergency police measures. Over the next weeks the Nazis did not need to use the kind of massive violence associated with modern takeovers like the Russian Revolution. There was little or no organized opposition, and historian Golo Mann said of those times that “it was the feeling that Hitler was historically right which made a large part of the nation ignore the horrors of the Nazi takeover…. People were ready for it.” To the extent that terror was used, it was selective, and it was initially aimed mainly at Communists and other (loosely defined) opposition individuals who were portrayed as the ‘enemies of the people'”. emphasis mine.

Will you join with others to restore our rights and liberties or will you be silent? Is the United States being taken over by the neo-conservatives virtually without resistance as Germany was by the Nazis? Can we not see that the analogy fits?

The entry below this one has a link to an article that compares the bill just passed with the Enabling Act of March 1933 in Germany. Please read it. Please act.


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