Direct Democracy and Historical Ignorance
Imagine 11,000-12,000 men coming into Valley Forge, 19 December 1777. Corporal John DeWatt Weimer, a German immigrant, was there in Stirling's Division. He'd left his wife and 7 young children on his Pennsylvania farm to fight for his new country."If a nation expects to be ignorant and free ... it expects what never was and never will be."
-- Thomas Jefferson The Declaration Of Independence is our most important living document and perhaps the most important living document on the planet. It is far more important than our Constitution, which just might be the second most-important living document on the planet.
From 1776 to 1787, the Declaration Of Independence held out the promise of the extraordinary rights of Americans, as opposed to the traditional rights of Englishmen. The DOI motivated and drove the winning of the Revolution. It was continually read and posted anywhere that Americans would hear or read it. And it set Americans on their principled path under the rule of law.
Of course, the predator authors of the Constitution had refused to include provisions for rights, freedoms, and liberties in their 1787 original. From ancient Rome, such constitutional features had always limited the profits and power of elites. The American elites wrote their Machiavellian Constitution to up their class, not to create a nation that would auto-center in equality, rights, freedoms, and liberties for ordinary people, as the DOI implied.
The Bill of Rights was forced onto the predators in the Constitution's unconstitutional and illegal ratifying conventions. (The ratifying conventions violated the standing, inviolable constitution, the Articles of Confederation.) And even then, the predators controlled and limited the contents of the Bill of Rights to the traditional rights of Englishmen, barring the extraordinary rights of Americans, as promised in the Declaration of Independence.
After utter betrayal by the predator authors of the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence has shown its high worth in the nation's blackest hours.
First Blackest Hours. One humbled leader stepped out of the darkness of the Civil War that had been created by the Constitution's elitist provisions and systemic problems. The American Civil War was the most visciously stupid and legally confused conflict ever faced by a free people, but Lincoln had lighted the path with the Declaration Of Independence.
In January 1863, Lincoln emancipated the slaves. He did it by combining the moral supremacy of the Declaration of Independence with the Constitution's 1st Amendment. He had combined the DOI's "all men are created equal" with the freedom from religion to yield freedom for an entire racial group of Americans. They are cousins in the single human tribe. Given the extraordinary rights of Americans promised in the 1776 Declaration Of Independence, only predator elites and religious bigots could have held them as slaves in the 1787 Constitution.
The Bible and the predator elitist authors of the Constitution had drawn the circle that shut the slaves out. Lincoln drew the circle that took them in. The tremendous event of emancipation added several orders of magnitude to the DOI's importance in our national life -- despite the emancipation's continual betrayal ever since by the predator elites, the religious bigots, and our corrupt, unchecked, wealth- and class-driven governments.
Second Blackest Hours. An angry but responsible majority stepped out of the darkness of state government corruptions in the Gilded Age. The Robber Barons were crushing the rights and lives out of ordinary people to maximize profits and power, and paying state-level politicians for the privilege.
Ethically normal Americans saw clearly that corruption had weakened and submerged the representative government that had been promised to them in the Constitution. The literature of the period shows that they saw clearly that without a strong representative government, their equality, rights, freedoms, and liberty would be wholly destroyed by the elites' corruptions. They saw clearly that only sovereign citizen lawmaking could minimize corruption and give them a strong representative government.
Not uniformly, but in citizen action pockets here and there, and in semi-national organizations, ethically normal Americans turned back to the direct democracy of the New England Town Meetings, turned back to the direct democracy promised in the Declaration of Independence, turned outward to Switzerland's direct democracy, and found their fundamental governance rights.
Seven DOI Governance Rights &We need to read again and again what might be the greatest writing in American history -- the first part of the DOI's second paragraph.
Eight DD Governance Components
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. ..."
We can derive seven fundamental governance rights from those founding principles in the Declaration Of Independence --
- Individual citizens have the right to be politically equal with all other citizens.
- The sovereign people have the fundamental right to speak for themselves, in their voting majorities.
- The sovereign people have the fundamental right to be their own sovereign masters, democratically and directly electing all of their public servant representatives.
- The sovereign people have the fundamental right to remove any elected representative, for cause, without interference from government.
- The sovereign people have the fundamental right to control the output of legislation by formulating their own, by vetoing law made by government, and by affirming existing law in such a way that government is barred from amending it -- at every jurisdictional level, without interference from government.
- The sovereign people have the fundamental right to alter details of their governance, without interference from government.
- The sovereign people have the fundamental right to protect themselves from themselves by establishing the powers within government to administratively, legislatively, and judicially prevent zealous majorities, greedy corporations, the corrupting superrich, and government itself from violating individual and minority citizen rights, as given in the constitution and laws.
Then, as citizen action groups crafted various constitutional provisions to activate their various governance rights, a total of eight direct democracy governance components were formulated. Of the 26 states that instituted one or more of the DD governance components, 19 finished the 1898-1918 Reform Era with both the initiative and the referendum.
And as the people formulated their DD governance components in the separate states, they did not usurp their state constitutions to create "pure democracy". Instead, they melded their DD governance components into the representative government that they wanted to strengthen by minimizing corruption.
These eight DD governance components, which sort themselves into three categories, simply express the seven fundamental governance rights of the DOI.
DD Administrative functions:
(1) The people's direct election of all representatives in all states; supposedly in open, fair, and peer-reviewed referendums called 'elections' (most Americans have been so propagandized into ignorance that they do not recognize "elections" as being the referendums and direct democracy that they truly are), and
(2) the people's recall of a public official's election who has violated the public trust or simply offended too many citizens; in 18 states; done by petition process.
DD Legislative functions:
(3) The people's constitutional amendment initiative in 18 states, to propose amendments to our consitutions without government interference; done by petition process;
(4) the people's statute law initiative in 21 states, to propose statute law without government interference; done by petition process;
(5) the people's statute law veto in 24 states, now known as the "referendum" (should be changed to the "remand" to minimize confusion with referendum-the-vote), to reject statute law made by representative government; done by petition process; and
(6) the people's statute law affirmation ("referendum on existing state law"), only in Nevada, to bar government from amending or repealing a law that the people want kept in place; contains a "see us first" provision that allows the legislature to refer proposed amendments/repeal to the people's referendum, but bars the legislature from ever again making law in that topic; a majority approval by the sovereign people in 1990 stopped the misrepresentative Nevada legislature from changing the state's abortion law to assault Roe v. Wade in 1990; done by petition process.
DD Consultative functions:
(7) The legislature's constitutional amendment referral to the people's referendum, in 49 states. It's the only way for constitutional law to be made in the non-I&R states, excepting Delaware. In Delaware, only the wealth- and class-driven predator politicians are allowed to make constitutional law. The sovereign people are locked out of their own constitution.
(8) the legislature's statute law referral to the people's referendum, in 25 states at last count, but sure to increase quickly. This governance component has become a "bait and switch" trick. It always offers something the people want, but it also frequently hides some spectacular advantage(s) for money-power. The politicians and their parasitic media hide money-power's dirty trick on the people, whose majority may never discover that they have themselves approved corruption. In fact, this "bait and switch" tactic has been appearing more and more often in the constitutional amendment referral, too. Both of the referrals need to be regulated with closely defined "single topic" constitutional provisions that bar omnibus bills. The constitutional limitation of "single topic" bills in the legislature has served the sovereign people of Nebraska very well for the 69 years since 1937.
The eight direct democracy governance components are the greatest corruption-fighting machine ever devised by ordinary people. But the greedy elites don't want the people's corruption-fighting machine to limit their profits and power. So the DD governance components have been made to look bad by the greedy elites in a relentless campaign over the past hundred years.
Reform Era Aftermath One tactic of the campaign against the DD governance components has been for the state governments to pass statutes directing officials and judges to take unconstitutional actions against all citizen-proposed law. With that gauntlet of arbitrary unconstitutionalities waiting, any citizen-proposed law that is offensive to money-power can be delayed, altered, and/or rejected. (See especially, "2nd Look--State Govt Unconstitutionalities Against Citizen-Proposed Law", 08 October 2006, on this blog.)
Another tactic has been to force a societal ignorance of how and why the direct democracy governance components exist.
The tactic employs many mechanisms to dumb down public education. Most students now go through K-12 and college without ever facing a required civics class. Ignorance of civic responsibilities -- beyond voting for the political hacks approved by the mega-corrupt political parties -- is nearly complete. Most people under the age of 30 are clueless about constitutional principles.
Most importantly, the tactic blocks as many mentions as possible in history books of the Reform Era citizens fighting corruption and instituting direct democracy governance components to handle future corruptions. You can go to any library, find the American history section, zero in on the early 20th Centruy, and not find a single book out of hundreds that discusses the gains of direct democracy in the 19 states that achieved both the initiative and the referendum from 1898 to 1918.
Look for any mention of Ohio's 1912 adventure. Within the calendar year of 1912, the sovereign people went around their corrupt, inflexible predator politicians to call a state constitutional convention, had their delegates to the convention propose over 40 constitutional innovations -- including I&R -- and then held a referendum and approved the entire 40-plus item package. All inside 1912.
The only book I know of that adequately profiles the direct democracy issues and achievements of the sovereign people during the Reform Era is Thomas E. Cronin's 1989 book, Direct Democracy: The Politics of Initiative, Referendum, and Recall". (There's a 1999 reprint that, true to the author's intellectual DIShonesty, does not mention that the original publication date was 1989.)
The book is heavily flawed by Cronin's anti-direct-democracy bias, which results in myriad distortions of reality and juvenile historical inaccuracies.
The Cronin book should be read by every democracy advocate, but only because it is one of the few good descriptions of the Reform Era's direct democracy increases. Its horrendous anti-direct-democracy bias, and its author's intellectual DIShonesty is typical of the bought-out sold-out "Madisonian scholars" shaped by the predator elites since the Reform Era.
The money-power predators have achieved the historical wash-out of the greatest democracy movement in recorded history by a vicious system of rewards and punishments for scholars. The "Madisonian scholars" who play along, omitting examinations of the Gilded Age, Robber Baron corruptions, and the citizen backlash of the Reform Era's direct democracy increases, are rewarded with prestigeous professorships, prestigeous convention destinations, and prestigeous book publishing houses. Those who do not play along get punished with backwater professorships, unfunded conventions, and little-press publishing houses.
Third Blackest Hours. The Delaration of Independence and the Constitution are dying of the people's ignorance. They're being pummeled and ripped apart by our unconstitutional, felonious, and treasonous national government, their corporate cronies, and the mega-unconstitutional and usurous Federal Reserve. But they're dying of the people's ignornace.
Today's corruptions far exceed those of the Gilded Age Robber Barons. But most Americans act as though the corruptions can't be real. Most sit on their hands waiting for government and the Democratic Party to save them, seemingly unable to understand that the government and the Democratic Party are a morass of corruption machines.
There are no significant numbers of Americans stepping out of the Bush-Clinton-Bush dark times to clean up the greatest anti-corruption machine ever devised by ordinary people. The anti-corruption machine lays hidden under elitist unconstitutionalities and lies. But it is not broken. It's secured in the I&R state constitutions, where corrupt politicians cannot meddle with it.
Most Americans are still being led around by their servility, believing everything the elites spew, not examining the evidence, not thinking critically, not questioning anything. Avoiding and rejecting reality can be great good fun. Avoidance and rejection really pump up the laughs for historical ignorance, political stupidity, and greed. And, in the eyes of most of the world, those three have become the chief traits of the American people -- historical ignorance, political stupidity, and greed.
We're closer now than we've ever been before to losing everything that our ancestors fought for and tried to protect, everything that millions have suffered, bled, hated, and died for so that we could have equality, rights, freedoms, and liberties. Ignorance up. Losing it all. Big laughs all around.
Or, do something. Organize and be something. Read political history and constitutional principles. Start playing smash-mouth politics with whatever direct democracy rights you have. You can find sugestions for smash-mouth politics in the "Unity America" action plan in the essay, "Open Letter To Susan--Making Bush-Cheney Null & Void", 13 September 2006, on this blog.
Do something. Start today, please.
© by Stephen Neitzke, 2006 -- 2190 words.
Modified Sat 25 Nov 2006, at 3:50pm CST.
Demofascists At The Helm
© by Stephen Neitzke, 2006 [1385 words].On January 20, 2001, GW Bush usurped the presidency of the United States. He was given that usurpation by the unconstitutional, felonious, and treasonous actions of SCOTUS after their felonious assumption of jursidiction in Bush v. Gore, which they decided unconstitutionally, feloniously, and treasonously on 12 December 2000.
It was the single most-illegal decision ever made by SCOTUS. It defined the entire Court as a pack of fascist thugs.
Bush v. Gore violated the Constitution' Article 2, section 1, paragraph 2. It also violated federal statute 18 USC 241 -- felony conspiracy against rights. By the provisions of 18 USC 241, the SCOTUS judges, if convicted, face fines, up to ten years imprisonment, and the possibility of the death penalty -- if their part in the usurpation conspiracy is extended to the unconstitutional war of aggression in Iraq, where every US soldier's death is a felony murder under 18 USC 241, and/or if the usurpation conspiracy is extended to the deaths of detainees, under 18 USC 2441, in the torture/murder Gulag clearly ordered by Bush.
The Constitutional violation stems from the Court's taking away the Florida state legislature's right to appoint the state's electors. The statute violation results from the Court denying the right of all Americans to have a president who is elected in accord with the Constitution.
The Court's violation of the Constitution and their violation of their oath to protect citizen rights as expressed in the Constitution is a straightforward treason, already established in law by verdicts given in the case of the secessionist state legislators in the 1860s.
Conclusively, the SCOTUS beginnings of the usurpation conspiracy have had far-reaching, internationally murderous, and nationally devastating consequences. Arguably, the SCOTUS thugs share the responsibility for everything unconstitutional, felonious, and treasonous that has happened as a result of the usurpation conspiracy.
The catalog of Bush's crimes against the Constitution, the statutes, and the American people since 20 January 2001 would have been unimaginable to any ethically normal American prior to the Bush usurpation. Despite that fact, it is clear that most, if not all, of those crimes were planned well in advance of the actual usurpation.
It has been clear to all ethically normal Americans for years that Bush's impeachment and removal is just the beginning of the justice that the American people deserve. Many of those, perhaps a majority of those, expected that the impeachment and removal of Bush would be part of the Democratic Party's takeover of Congress, if and when that takeover occurred.
The takeover has happened. And now the American people find that we have only replaced Republinazis with Demofascists at the helm.
This is a responsible use of the term, 'fascism', in combination with 'Democrats'. The Bush-Cheney fascist regime has been populated by the DNC and most of its powerful minions since January 2001. The evidence of that is everywhere we look in the political history of the past six years. The self-evident features of the regime's fascism number at least 26, arguably many more. And then there are the many millions of individuals within the civil society whose ignorance, political stupidity, and greed make them servile fascists in service to the regime and its fictional, failed status quo.
Too many Americans are too ignorant of what their national govt actually does. Most think that the national govt does what it is supposed to do, as described by the 1950's middleschool civics texts. It's an ignorance reinforced by money-power's parasitic media and by the predator politicians at every jurisdictional level in the country. The servile are rooted in ignorance of governmental realities by the machinations of those who hold power and gain profits from holding power.
"... As with German and Italian fascism in the early 20th Century, the Bush-Cheney Usurpation is pure fascism. It demonstrates a strong-man leader, extreme secrecy, controlled media, fraudulent elections, judicial rulings clearly violating the Constitution, negation of the rule of law by all three branches of government, obstruction of justice for political and corporate leaders, the making of ex post facto law to immunize political and corporate leaders from past crimes, redefinition of established law for corruption and ideological purposes, redefinition of commonly understood language terms to avoid legal retribution (e.g., 'torture' to mean only treatment resulting in severe organ damage or death, and 'terrorist surveillance' to mean the interception of any communication or bank activity done by US citizens), the making of unconstitutional law to limit rights, suppression of Constitutional rights for profits and power, misuse of policy and law for unstated intentions, cronyism and corruption, sham national security obsessions, warmaking for profits and power, supremacy of the military, sham nationalism for the masses while leadership creates policy to benefit the transnational and stateless superrich, hard science made politically relative, anti-intellectualism outside the political and corporate elites, suppression of critical thinking in public education, intermixing of government and religion, enemies and scapegoats obsessions, destruction of undesirable minority population and cultural centers (e.g., Warsaw ghetto and New Orleans), male chauvinism and suppression of women's rights, and corporation protection extremes including lassez faire economic policy and suppression of labor's rights and power.
"Fascism is not only a form of absurd, predator elitism governance, it is a national trait. Just as there was something inherently fascist about significant numbers of early 20th Century Germans and Italians, so there is something inherently fascist about significant numbers of late 20th and early 21st Century Americans. History will damn the American people for their fascism and fascist war crimes just as it damns the German and Italian peoples for theirs."
-- From "Homegrown American Fascists", 05 September 2006, on this blog
Ignorance of what the national govt actually does is so pervasive that bought-out, sold-out fascist nobodies such as Nancy Pelosi and John Conyers can say that Bush's impeachment is "off the table", and the servile say, "Uh-huh, uh-huh, well, if you guys think so, then that's how our great democratic government should work".
But this is not a "bi-partisan" determination of no impeachment. It is a unified fascism determination of no impeachment -- unified across Republinazi and Demofascist labels. The fascism within the labels is a simple unity, a simple identity. It's all one fascism.
And it's all in service to the superrich who control domestic policy through the treasonous central banking of the Federal Reserve and foreign policy through the Bank of International Settlements and its international cabal of central bankers.
Needless to say, the Dems' fascism and rejection of Bush's impeachment is totally acceptable to the ignorant servile. And, of course, it's totally acceptable to the fascist superrich class-race elite, the corporate fascists, and the fascist central bankers. And, of course, it's totally acceptable to the three-branch fascist despotism that is masquerading as our national govt, with its little fascist nobodies such as Bush and Cheney, Scalia and Roberts, Conyers and Pelosi.
The only ones who do not find the fascist no-impeachment to be acceptable are the stubborn patriots who want the three-branch fascist despotism to give back our constitutional republic/democracy.
The fact that the stubborn patriots are an overwhelming majority in this country is of no consequence to the fascists -- in and out of govt. It's certainly of no concern to the little fascist nobodies such as Conyers and Pelosi.
So it's a no Bush impeachment lead-off for the Demofascist-controlled Congress.
In short order, we can expect to see nothing done about:
- the Military Commissions Act of 2006, the most unconstitutional, felonious, and treasonous legislation ever passed by an American Congress -- a piece of legislation whose instant felonies on Bush's signing forfeited the legislative immunity of all Congresspersons who voted for its passage, as well as the executive immunity of the fascist usurper mutt who signed it, not into law, but into an unconstitutional anti-law regime,
- the unconstitutional, felonious, and treasonous Real ID Act of 2005, snuck in as a rider on a war-funding bill so that the people would not have time to object, and a huge advancement of the police state needed to cement the 3-branch fascist despotism's power,
- the unconstitutional, felonious, and treasonous North American Union, hushed in the media, secretively being developed away from the public's observation, and an even hugher advancement of the police state needed to cement the 3-branch fascist despotism's power,
- a tough new Independent Prosecutor law needed to break the obstructions of justice that are employed by Gonzales' DOJ for the protection of all the criminal fascist players in the 3-branch fascist despotism,
- the unconstitutional, felonious, and treasonous Federal Reserve System that has deeply damaged our country for the 93 years since 1913, and now is in a postion to utterly destroy us,
- the fraudulently ratified 16th Amendment of 1913, with its unconstitutional, felonious, and treasonous personal income tax couched in the too-vague provisions of the unconstitutional, felonious, and treasonous Title 26 of the US Code.
- the Bush tax cuts and related economy-wrecking financial policies,
- the unconstitutional, felonious, and treasonous USA Patriot Act of 2001
Demofascists at the helm.
All hail the 3-branch fascist despotism.
Or until the stubborn patriots figure out how to play smash-mouth politics. And how to kill fascists -- figuratively speaking, of course, at first.
For smash-mouth politics, see the "Unity America" action plan in "Open Letter to Susan", 13 September 2006, on this blog.
For fascist-media-smoothed Conyers and Pelosi no-impeachment stories, see: For where the Demofascist corruption machine fits into the 3-branch fascist despotism that is masquerading as our national govt, see Aaron Russo's film, "America: Freedom to Fascism". Free-per-view online. 1 hour, 49 minutes of political reality that will disgust every ethically normal American who has not already seen it.
Modified Mon 13 Nov 2006, at 5:50am CST.
The Despotism Is Dead--Long Live The Despotism
Predictions for the Dems after Election-2006© by Stephen Neitzke, 2006 [1530 words].With election totals for the House now revised, the Dems have taken 239 seats, leaving the Republi-nazis 161. The Dems needed to add 13 to get the majority -- they added 38.
In the Senate, the Dems seem to have the 51-49 prize -- if their squeak-win in Virginia will sit still. Looks like it will. If so, they've neutered Cheney's tie-breaking vote in any straight party-line vote. (Of course, everybody is including Independent Lieberman in the Dems' 51. Whore Lieberman says he'll vote Democratic -- which probably means as he's voted Democratic for the past 5-plus years, meaning somewhere to the right of most Republi-nazis.)
However, even with total control of Congress by the Dems, the American people's problems with the 3-branch fascist despotism that has destroyed our country and our Constitution are far from over.
The Dems have been the Republi-nazis' co-fascist wing for over five years.
If you expect any significant, proactive changes in the 3-branch fascist despotism now that the Republi-nazis have lost control of Congress, then you just don't understand the global corruption engine of which the DNC corruption machine is a part. You do not understand how fascist corporate money-power works generally. And you do not understand how the fascist central banking cabal works specifically.
Note that 'Republi-fascists' advanced to 'Republi-nazis' -- in my opinion -- with their passage of the very Nazi-like, unconstitutional, felonious, and treasonous Military Commissions Act of 2006. The parallels between the MCA and the infamous "Enabling Act" of 1933 Hitler Germany are spine-tingling. The MCA was signed by Bush 17 October 2006. It's not a statute law, of course -- it's an unconstitutional anti-law regime. It (1) uses an inferior statute to overturn the first nine of our ten Bill of Rights amendments, and, (2) in direct contradiction to the Constitution's provision that "No ... ex post facto law shall be passed", it includes provisions of ex post facto law, retroactively exonerating torture/felony-murder throughout Bush's unconstitutional gulag of military and CIA prisons around the world.
Including that defining, worst-ever legislation from an American Congress, the Demo-fascists have been spectacularly inactive as an opposition party for all nearly-six years of the Bush-Cheney Usurpation.
The Demo-fascists helped the Republi-nazis to unconstitutionally delegate Congress' war powers to Bush, in direct contradiction of the "nondelegation doctrine" established in the 1935 SCOTUS decision in Schechter Poultry, 295 US 495. The unconstitutional delegation of war powers violated our soldiers' Constitutional rights to be sent to war only at the expressed order of Congress. The violation of our soldiers' rights violated 18 USC 241 -- felony conspiracy against rights. That very legitimate statute says that any citizen's death, as a result of a felony conspiracy against rights, is a felony murder punishable by fines, up to life in prison, or the death penalty. 373 Congresspersons -- those who voted in October 2002 to unconstitutionally delegate their war powers to Bush -- are part of that murderous conspiracy against our soldiers' rights. They are all felons-in-waiting -- waiting for justice in the felony murders of now over 2,800 US soldiers. Among those 373 murderous-conspiracy Congresspersons are 110 Demo-fascists. There is no statute of limitations on felony murder. We can nail those rat-bastards any time.
It gets worse. By blatantly and unconstitutionally delegating their essential legislative war powers to Bush, the 373 Congresspersons violated their oaths of office to protect the rights of citizens. By blatantly violating the rights of our soldier-citizens, they perpetrated treason, as defined for the secessionist state legislators in the 1860s. That is, as a part of the 3-branch fascist despotism under the unconstitutional, felonious, and treasonous Bush-Cheney Usurpation, 373 American Congresspersons have perpetrated a massive treason against the American people. That massive treason has now spread into unimaginable proportions of international criminality worldwide.
My take -- incarcerate all 373, criminally prosecute them, convict them, and execute every one of them. Whore Lieberman is one of them. The death penalty fits the crime.
The Demo-fascists have helped the Republi-nazis to accomplish a catalog of crimes against our national Constitution and laws that were previously unimaginable by any ethically normal American. Bush's unconstitutional declaration of war in Iraq, his establishment of a worldwide torture/murder gulag, his violation of international law in his crimes against humanity and crimes against peace, his warrantless wiretaps and bank-transaction data mining of US citizens are just little tips of the iceberg -- all aided by the Demo-fascists.
The Demo-fascists have helped the Republi-nazis to put enough fascist thugs into SCOTUS robes to ensure the end of social justice for ordinary Americans, as well as to ensure the end of what little remains of our rights-freedoms-liberties package. Whore Lieberman, probably with promises of Diebold election hacks in his pocket, was one of 19 Dem Senators who voted to close off the Alito filibuster before it could start, even though Alito was publicly determined to end 14th Amendment liberties in arbitrary judicial activism. All of those SCOTUS fascist thugs clearly intend to follow through on their anti-Constitution convictions.
The Demo-fascists helped the Republi-nazis to privatize our electoral system into the hands of fascist corporatism's Diebold, ES&S, and Sequoia hack-o-matic vote-counting software -- with the deceitful HAVA (Help America Vote Act). And despite the proofs of hacks that have been made public from February 2004 to present, the Demo-fascists have done nothing to reverse that treasonous privatization.
No matter what the appearance of Election 2006, those easily hacked vote-counting software packages are still out there, ready to warp any crucial vote -- for Republi-nazis and for Demo-fascists. There is no evidence to suggest that the Dems want it any other way.
If we the sovereign people do not wake up to the need for harsh remedies for money-power, the 3-branch fascist despotism that is holding our national government's powers will block all the last-available approaches to peaceful revolution. We have many systemic problems to fix. If we don't fix them soon, the last of our sovereignty will disappear into the police state's "Real ID Act", and into the fascist corporatism of the central banking cabal's "North American Union".
There is no evidence to suggest that the Dems want it any other way. We need to organize nationwide citizen action groups, outside the two political party corruption machines. We need to bring a people's smash-mouth poitics to bear on the state governments first. We need to reduce, say, ten corrupt state legislatures to nonpartisan unicamerals on the successful 1934 Nebraska model, with recently developed clean-money campaign financing, putting about 1,000 corrupt legislators on the bricks. (Citizens in 17 states could start that march on corrupt bicamerals tomorrow.) And then we need four, first-wave national-level Constitutional amendments -- citizen lawmaking, DOJ reform to make it independent, federal bench reform to make the judges dependent on the citizens of the Court's jurisdiction, and electoral reform to outlaw all hackable vote-counting software.
Our ace in the hole is citizen lawmaking. With it we can end despotism and prevent despotism from happening. With it, we can force our politicians and judges to stick to our constitutions, which is something that they have not done for a very long time. Until we have fully independent citizen lawmaking melded to every governmental level in the country, we're doomed.
If you don't like the way citizen lawmaking has been going in the I&R (initiative and referendum) states, then give a fair reading to the essay, "2nd Look--State Govt Unconstituionalities Against Citizen-Proposed Law", 08 October 2006, on this blog. Citizen lawmaking is the greatest anti-corruption package ever devised. We just need to get the state-level unconstitutionalities off its back.
Nancy Pelosi -- "Democrats intend to lead the most honest, the most open, and the most ethical Congress in history".
Looks to me like money talking and bullshit walking for the servile.
(1) I predict that -- unless they are forced by we the sovereign people in a new smash-mouth politics (see especially the "Unity America" action plan in the essay, Open Letter To Susan, 13 September 2006, on DD Revival) -- this Congress will not repeal, will not make null and void:
- the UFT (unconstitutional, felonious, and treasonous) 16th Amendment, of 1913, and its subsequent UFT Title 26 personal income tax, as Aaron Russo's film "America: Freedom to Fascism" and historical evidence shows is clearly warranted,
- the UFT Federal Reserve Act of 1913, whose unconstitutionality has been a clear matter of fact since before its enactment, and whose unconstitutionality became a SCOTUS precedent reality in the 1935 "nondelegation doctrine" (in Schechter Poultry, 295 US 495) -- the treasonous usury of the Fed has financially wrecked this nation on many levels, now threatens to utterly destroy us, and is the second main topic of Aaron Russo's AFTF (see the Russo film online for free),
- the UFT presidential usurpation by GW Bush in 2001, which was orchestrated by the UFT actions of SCOTUS in their Bush v. Gore decision, 12 December 2000, and involves a very large felony consiracy against our rights, as defined in 18 USC 241, to have a president elected in accord with the Constitution,
- the UFT USA Patriot Act of 2001 and its many UFT derivatives,
- the UFT Real ID Act of 2005, which was injected by the Republi-nazis of Congress' "conference committee", without committee or floor debate/deliberation, and without giving the people any opportunity to react to its national ID card and police-state realities, and
- the UFT Military Commissions Act of 2006, the most unconstitutional, criminal, and treasonous legislation ever passed by any American Congress -- ever.
(2) I predict that this Democratic Congress will not pass a tough new Independent Prosecutor law. The American people's need for justice in the Bush-Cheney Usurpation's crimes is clearly a matter of indifference to the Demo-fascists. It makes no difference to them that Bush's torture/murder mouthpiece at Justice, Antonio Nogeneva Gonzales, constantly obstructs justice in the Bush-Cheney crimes. The Demo-fascists clearly want the same obstruction power for their criminality when they take the White House.
(3) I predict that the Democratic Congress will not take action to overwhelm the fascist thugs of the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals when they find some Nazi-like way to overturn Judge Anna Diggs Taylor's ruling against Bush's blatantly criminal, warrantless wiretaps of US citizens. Democratic presidential administrations have been illegally and massively wiretapping US citizens for decades.
(4) I predict that this Democratic Congress will not bar further development of the UFT and media-hushed North American Union. To the contary, I predict that the Demo-fascists will fall all over themselves to help Republi-nazi Bush to activate the NAU as soon as humanly possible. The Demo-fascists have a vested interest in the NAU's burying the sovereignty of we the people. They also stand to financially profit from fascist corporatism's and the central bankers' utter takeover of the hemisphere.
(5) I predict that the Democratic Concress will not impeach Bush, Cheney, Rice, or any of the SCOTUS fascist thugs masquerading as judges.
Now, my ten predictions are in. Let's see how they measure over time against Pelosi's prediction for "... the most honest, the most open, and the most ethical Congress in history".
Modified Thu 09 Nov 2006, at 2:35pm CST
Russo's "Freedom to Fascism"
Free-per-view online© by Stephen Neitzke, 2006 (2880 words)We'll talk some details. But, in the last analysis, Aaron Russo's 2006 film, "America: Freedom to Fascism" is a force of nature. It's the best documentary of the American poltical condition since the freedom march films of the 1960s. It rips through the secret society corruption culture's history, from 1913 on -- showing how both major political parties have engineered the police state that we've become, and how much worse they plan for the police state to be.
Aaron Russo's film is a deal-breaker. The deal -- the social compact between Americans and their secretly-fascist-since-1913 national government -- will be broken for most ethically normal Americans at the film's first viewing. The Russo-shepherded truths are self-evident. The corrections obviously needed are massive.
Russo has outed the constitutional criminals and class-war slavers of the US-national-govt / private-central-banks treasons. And he's done it in such a way as to present one of the first coherent-whole, high-impact pictures of their sneak-thief moves against Americans.
"America: Freedom to Fascism" is available in hi-Q DVD and pay-per-view. It's also available for free viewing online through lower-Q Google Video. In its "final cut", it runs 1 hour, 49 minutes, and some change. Go to Russo's site at --
and scroll down through the list of options. Free viewing is at "Watch the Movie Online". Just click on "Go".
Update, 17 Aug 2007 -- For free-per-view Google streaming video, click here.
Less than two minutes into the film, Russo has nailed together the events of the unconstitutional personal income tax (February 1913 fraudulent ratification of the insufficient 16th Amendment) and the unconstitutional Federal Reserve (December 1913 illegal delegation of one of Congress' essential legislative functions -- the coining and valuing of money).
For days after my first viewing of "Freedom to Fascism", my mind continually replayed Russo's quote from Paul Warburg, member of the Council on Foreign Relations and architect of the 1913 Federal Reserve Act. The quote is from Warburg's speech to the US Senate, 17 February 1950: "We shall have world government, whether or not we like it. The only question is whether world government will be achieved by conquest or consent".
The treasonous sneak-thieves of the American class-race elite and the European aristocracy are going to violently conquer the American nation? Hah! Not even with the 3-branch, Bush-Cheney fascist despotism in place. They just think that our side won't fight. Liberty or death, baby -- liberty or death.
Predator elitism's strategies for world government have been clear to them since the 1694 founding of the first central bank, the Bank of England. The authors of the Constitution knew and despised usurous central banks. They did everything they could to ensure that no such creature would ever hold power in the US.
Surprise. Since the 1913 founding of the Federal Reserve, the intentions of the Constitution's authors have been the laughing stock of the secret societies from Skull and Bones, to the CFR, to the Trilateral Commission, to the Bilderberg Group. Americans are way out on the edge of the near-future Owellian world government.
The central bankers knew, from their approx 220 years experience with the Bank of England and other European central banks prior to 1913, that American indebtedness would grow so large that the central bankers would eventually own the American nation.
Has that happened? We have (1) a national debt of $8.6 trillion, (2) the value of the dollar reduced to 4 cents in 1930 dollar-value by the continual inflation of the Fed's unsecured currency watering down dollar value by continual increases of the money supply, (3) the Bush-Cheney package of tax cuts for the multinational, stateless superrich helping to skyrocket the national debt, (4) the absurd, unconstitutional, felonious, and treasonous war in Iraq helping to skyrocket the national debt, while it provides war profiteering for the central bankers who finance it, with their phoney "interest" usury added on, (5) corporate taxation at an all-time low, and corporate tax evasion at an all-time high, helping to skyrocket the national debt, (6) a back-door, undebated, and undeliberated "Real ID Act" effective May 2008 -- attached as a rider to a May 2005 funding bill for the Iraq war by the "Conference Committee" (one of the most evil, stupid, anti-democracy, and unAmerican corruption machines in the national government) -- set to turn us into a very real police state for the benefit of money-power, and (7) the fascist leaders of the US, Canada, and Mexico -- unchecked by their civil societies -- about to use the media-hushed and secretive North American Union to reduce our three nations to the slave pool that the EU "Constitution" nearly achieved in Europe, summer 2005, and to replace the dollar with the central bankers' Canusmex currency, the Amero, in the process.
Do the central bankers own our nation? Russo thinks so. Most of his film is about the details of that ownership. And the more details he lays on, the more persuasive his sustained argument is.
Near film's end, he gives a 1991 quote from David Rockefeller, a member of predator elitism's Council on Foreign Relations. It trumpets the criminal CFR's secrecy, national ownership, and world-governing arrogance.
"We are grateful to the Washington Post, the New York Times, Time Magazine, and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years.
"It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subjected to the lights of publicity during those years.
"But now the world is more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government.
"The supra national sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past centuries."
I'm doomed to fail the CFR sophistication test. I'm convinced that the arrogant elites want to take away our rights, freedoms, and liberties to cut their costs, increase their profits, make their power over us predictable and safe, and turn our children into corporate zombies with short and miserable lives. There is no group of them that I'm willing to trust with the time of day, let alone the governance decisions that will rule human life worldwide. I'm unfit for their world. They'll just have to kill me.
As such thoughts sink in and spread because of Russo's work, Americans will become more and more combative. We didn't come all this way to be gang-banged by a bunch of prissy superrich. The unconstitutional IRS wreckage of American lives like those of Joe Louis, Willie Nelson, and John Colaprete will beg vengeance. The unconstitutional wreckage of our rights, freedoms, and liberties under the 3-branch, Bush-Cheney fascist despotism will beg vengeance. There is a new wall-slamming, smash-mouth American politics coming.
Reverse Propaganda--Federal ReserveIn some ways, Russo's film has a propaganda feel to it. However, it's the opposite of classical propaganda, whose purpose is to trigger emotions that keep many people from examining the evidence. "Freedom to Fascism" is an invitation to examine the evidence. Russo knows that the more the evidence is examined, the more effective his themes will become.
Russo doesn't have to lay out the detailed evidence of Federal Reserve treasons. He knows that the Fed's critics have been doing that since before President Wilson signed the Federal Reserve Act into law.
Go for the evidence. The online starter kit is the long page at EPFN, "Federal Reserve--The Enemy of America". The offline starter kit is G. Edward Griffin's 2002 4th Edition of his book, The Creature from Jekyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve. (Griffin is one of the many expert commentators in Russo's film.)
Money from the "voluntary compliance" personal income tax -- a shocking revelation from Russo's interview of former IRS Commissioner Sheldon Cohen -- pays toward the national debt that the usury of the Federal Reserve stacks against the nation in daily windrows. Personal income tax monies give the appearance that the Federal-Reserve-incurred national debt can be paid off. It's an illusion.
The Federal Reserve usury is like a giant magnifier for the superrich. Its treasonous "fractional reserve" hocus pocus creates indebtedness with every dollar created and loaned. The lawful counterfeiting of unsecured "fiat" money out of thin air -- horrendously unconstitutional -- multiplies the money supply ad nauseum, automatically reducing the value of the dollar while it creates automatic inflation. Every dollar created out of thin air has its bogus and usurous "interest rate" attached (read, "usury fee"), drawing very real compound interest. The overall effect is one of superprofits to the superrich private bankers who own the Federal Reserve -- an ownership list that is as secret as is the amount of currency in the money supply -- and daily increases of power within the Federal Reserve to go right on magnifying its profits and power.
If the national debt were every paid off, the Federal Reserve would be forced to cease to exist.
The purpose of the personal income tax is to redistribute wealth upward and to control the civil society. The purpose of the Federal Reserve is to redistribute wealth upward and to control the civil society. The receivers of the redistributed wealth and the controllers of the society are the private owners of the Federal Reserve -- not the government.
Why this descent into fascism in the early 20th Century?
The timing of the secret societies' income tax and Federal Reserve machinations is no mystery. It was the Reform Era. We the sovereign people were demanding state-level citizen lawmaking to end the Gilded Age's Robber Baron corruptions.
By 1909, when Congress sent the proposed 16th Amendment to the states for ratification, citizens in seven states had already rammed direct democracy's citizen lawmaking down the elitist throats of their elitist-favoring constitutions. By March 1913 -- in the last days of Republican Taft's presidency -- when Republican Secretary of State Knox fraudulently certified the 16th Amendment as ratified, citizens in nine more states had gained citizen lawmaking. By December 1913, when Congress passed the treasonous Federal Reserve Act, one more state was on the citizen lawmaking list -- for a total of seventeen. And the well-organized nationwide citizen action groups made it appear that there would be many more.
We were on the brink of a new political dynamic in which the rabble would have the power to shut down all of the arrogant elites' carefully crafted corruption machines.
Courts across the country, including SCOTUS, had rejected the elites' arguments and ruled citizen lawmaking intrinsic to the Constitution.
We were scaring the hell out of the murderous elites. The only answer to their loss of corruption was more corruption.
Control of the rabble was priority one. In the states with citizen lawmaking, legislatures passed unconstitutional statutes allowing government officials and judges to delay, alter, and/or reject any citizen-proposed law offensive to money-power -- those are unconstitutionalities, felonies, and treasons still being perpetrated today. Elitist academe instituted the IQ testing system that would intimidate the non-elite majority eternally. Congress gave in to the international cabal of central bankers, saddling the population with an unconstitutional income tax -- so that public monies would pay for public enslavement. Income tax monies would pay for a US copy of the original usurous central bank, the Bank of England. With the Federal Reserve entrenched in a time-proven partnership between politicians and private bankers, the ultimate power of national control would be hidden in the hands of financial complexity beyond the rabble's ability to understand.
But then the bankers slowly altered the partnership, until, with the Eccles-written Banking Act of 1935, and its push-out of Treasury, the politicians were locked out of Federal Reserve operations. Marriner Eccles, the treasonous New-Dealer banker, head of the Federal Reserve from 1934 to 1948, had blind-sided the American nation.
Control by the bankers was so complete by 1935, that they could order political immunity from the SCOTUS decision in Schechter Poultry. That decision made key provisions of the New Deal's National Industrial Recovery Act unconstitutional. It did that by establishing the "nondelegation doctrine" in Constitutional law. The SCOTUS ruling said, "The Congress is not permitted to abdicate or to transfer to others the essential legislative functions" given to it in the Constitution.
The ruling in Schechter Poultry confirmed that Congress had not had the power to delegate its "essential legislative function" of coining and valuing money to the Federal Reserve. Critics of the Federal Reserve system thundered. Congress did nothing. And the treasons of the Federal Reserve continued.
Reverse Propaganda--16th AmendmentIn the first two minutes of film, Russo has already said that US Secretary of State Philander Knox fraudulently certified the 16th Amendment's ratification. Because of this fraud, Russo says, the American people were led to believe that there was a legitimate, graduated tax on their labor and wages, when there was not.
Per several SCOTUS rulings since, the 16th Amendment granted no new taxation power. Constitutionally, we still have only indirect taxes, which are avoidable and must apply nationwide (excise tax is an example), and direct taxes, which are unavoidable and must be spread equally among the people ("apportioned" in tax jargon). The "graduated", unapportioned, direct income tax, Russo and many of his conmmentators argue, is as unconstitutional today as it was the day after the 16th Amendment's (fraudulent) ratification in 1913.
The fraudulent ratification of the 16th Amendment is a minimum-mention item. Go for the evidence.
The evidence shows that, instead of the approving 36 states required for and certified by Knox, there were only two -- two -- state ratifications that were constitutionally and legally valid (if the minor defects of spelling, capitalization, and punctualization are ignored).
As the evidence is examined, it becomes clear that Knox knew, or should have known, that he was certifying many invalid ratifications as genuine ratificaitons. The prima facie case for intentional fraud in Knox's certification is overwhelming. See especially, the synopsis of William Benson's research on the We the People web site; William Benson's own site, The Law That Never Was; and the expanded Benson research -- with defects chart -- on Political Resources
To point the viewer at a recent piece of 16th Amendment evidence, Russo quotes US District Judge James C. Fox in a 2003 ruling: "If you ... examined [the 16th Amendment] carefully, you would find that a sufficient number of states never ratified that amendment".
Judge Fox's quoted statement can be found on page 23 of the ruling's 26 pages. The ruling was in Sullivan v. U.S., 03-CV-39, US District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Wilmington, 21 March 2003. (Most readers will find the entire ruling riveting. Colonel Sullivan had asked for the court's injunction against the US invasion of Iraq, arguing in depth that the president does not have the constitutional power to declare war, that only the Congress has that power, and that it was unconstitutional for Congress to delegate that power to the president. The hearing was held one day after the invasion formally began.)
There is nothing about Judge Fox's ruling that is out-of-context with the case that Russo is making against government and private corporation unconstitutionalities.
Judge Fox used the invalid ratification of the 16th Amendment as an example to argue that some parts of the Constitution are in there because of long-term usage, despite those parts' being properly unconstitutional. Judge Fox comments that no federal court will throw out the 16th Amendment, no matter what evidence of its improper ratification is brought, precisely because of its long-term use.
It is exactly that federal bench motiff -- that nothing be done about past unconstitutionalities -- that Russo rightfully attacks throughout his film.
Money-Power Shill-TrollsThe Russo film is challenged by anyone with an axe to grind for predator elitism or for the electing of some few Democrats so that the Democratic Party Corruption Machine is made innocent and changed forever.
David Cay Johnston of the NY Times provides a money-power shill-troll's review. Under a mile-high headline that says, "Facts Refute Filmaker's Assertions on Income Tax in America", Johnston asserts that "every court that has ever ruled on those issues has upheld the constitutionality of the income tax".
Whoa. Russo's commentators provide eight SCOTUS decisions that squash the constitutionality of the income tax. Those SCOTUS decisions ruled that the 16th Amendment gave no new power of taxation, and did not alter the restrictions on taxation given in the Constitution. Equals unconstitutional income tax every time.
In fact, as the constitutionality argument unpacks, Russo documents that nobody in the IRS, from top to bottom, is willing to go on-camera to discuss the issue. He gets a former IRS Commissioner (Sheldon Cohen) on camera only to have him assert that SCOTUS rulings are "inapplicable" to the tax code. And he shows that lower federal courts continually bar SCOTUS decisions from being brought as evidence.
For example, US District Judge Dawson (presiding over his railroaded conviction of author Irwin Schiff) is quoted as saying, "I will not allow the law in my court room". He rejects SCOTUS rulings as "irrelevant". And he tells the jury, "You must follow the law as I give it to you". Schiff was convicted on Dawson's enforcement of jury ignorance.
(There are so many Bill of Rights violations and 18 USC 241 violations in Judge Dawson's rulings, that he should already have been impeached and removed, criminally prosecuted and imprisoned. We impeached and removed three federal judges during the 1980s for unconstitutional rulings far less offensive to the Constitution and citizen rights than Judge Dawson's.)
Russo's material shows conclusively that no recent or lower court that has ever ruled on the constitutionality of the income tax is to be trusted. The juries that get the text of the law safely acquit the defendant. The judges are pro-elites mouthpieces who force convictions whenever they can. They are not about to rule against the cash cow that has financed the corruption machines since 1913.
And then NY Times towering giant Johnston writes: "... Mr. Russo says in the film that the 16th Amendment was never properly ratified and thus a tax on wages is unconstitutional. This claim has been made in various forms by thousands of tax protesters since 1913, and so far their batting average with the courts is .000."
Pretty twisted stuff. The issue bearing on guilty/not-guilty is not the use by thousands of 16th Amendment unconstitutionality. The issue bearing on guilty/not-guilty is whether there is a law requiring US citizens to file an income tax return. "Show me the law", defendant Harrell says in open court, and he will gladly pay his tax. "Show me the law" is the centerpiece throughout the film's IRS seqment. IRS officials and judges go dark. No lights on. Nobody home.
Russo asks Harrell-case juror Marcy Brooks why officials don't just show the law. Ms Brooks replies, "Because there is no law."
Russo wades through the recent juries' not-guilty verdicts for Whitey Harrell, Vernice Kuglin, Franklin Sanders (along with his twenty-three co-defendants) and former-IRS-agent-gone-truth-rogue Joe Banister. Against that back-drop of acquitals, he shows a recent video clip of former IRS Commissioner Charles Rossotti saying: "When the matter is put to the test, which means in terms of court and enforcement action, there is a hundred percent success rate in shooting down these arguments".
NYT Johnston's zero batting average for tax protestors and IRS Rossotti's hundred percent success rate in shooting down anti-income-tax arguments have a suspicious similarity. But neither has a factual basis.
David Cay Johnston's pseudo-facts crash and burn against his mile-high headline.
Winners and LosersWith this film, the IRS hierarchy, the Federal Reserve and their international central banking cabal, the Congress, and the predator elites' secret societies have already lost. However, given their nine-plus decades of arrogant, anti-Constitution winning, only a wall-slamming, smash-mouth American politics will convince them of their loss. Murderers do not stop murdering until they are stopped. And make no mistake, those people are psychopathic murderers anytime it means secret profits.
Ethically normal Americans, who will like the Russo film, will suddenly understand the culture of corruption in which Bush is immersed as he shouts that the Constitution is just a goddamned piece of paper. Insider Bush, Empire prince of the blood, secret society predator from frat-boy "Skull and Bones" to king of the world in the boss-of-bosses secret society, the "Bilderberg Group", would see the Constitution from the corruption culture's point of view. From that point of view, the Constitution is just a godddamned piece of paper.
The corruption culture's point of view is alien to ethically normal Americans -- until they see the Russo film. Then the corruption culture's point of view crashes home.
For US elected officials who pretend that there is anything about our national fascist despotism that is politics-as-usual until the IRS and Federal Reserve racketeering frauds are repealed, watch your six. Something's going to be gaining on you. There is a new smash-mouth American politics coming. (See especially the "Unity America" action plan in "Open Letter to Susan--Making Bush-Cheney Null & Void", 13 September 2006, on this blog.)
The specter of a Constitution-regaining, bloody revolution/civil-war is looming larger and closer. We will lose too much in a bloody revolution and not gain one iota more than we can have in a peaceful revolution. We have to expect losses, but the only way we win is with a peaceful revolution.
After seeing the Russo film, re-read some of the other
essays on this blog:
Modified Sat 04 Nov 2006, at 6:35am CST