Saturday, August 18, 2007


The following post was composed by my blogging partner, Kelli (AKA Donatra) at THE COALITION FOR A DEMOCRATIC AMERICA.  I am publishing it here to dispense with the idea that George W. Bush is in any way an effective wartime leader.  This country has seen effective war time leaders, most notably, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  And after reading enough history about the Revolutionary, Civil, and Second World Wars I think it is proper and safe to conclude that George W. Bush is one of the most incompetent, immoral war time leaders that this country has ever known.

On that note, enjoy Donatra's interview with her great-uncle-in-law.  It goes a long way towards dispelling the foolish idea that George W. Bush and the Nazicons are in any way patriotic or effective


By Donatra
Edited by Praetorone

During the weeks and months leading up to my marriage, my then future husband told me that I would be marrying into a veritable united Nations and In many ways, he was right on center.  My husband is part Irish and Puerto Rican, a former Catholic turned Buddhist.  My oldest (half) brother-in-law is part Puerto Rican and Part Swedish, and is a very liberal member of the Unitarian Church, while my youngest (half)  brother-in-law is part Puerto Rican and part Danish and describes himself as a progressive Christian.  My father-in-law is part Irish, German, and Scottish, a former Presbyterian turned atheist.  His wife, my husband's step mother, is part Dutch, Polish, and German, a former Jew turned Episcopalian.  And her 87-year-old Uncle is a German-Dutch Jew who immigrated to this country with his parents in the year 1928, luckily missing the rise of Hitler and the nightmare years of the Third Reich. 

This is a man whose body is slowly but certainly being crippled by rheumatoid arthritis and failing vision.  that's a pity because this is also a man with degrees in both medicine and law, and who sees it as a civic duty to remain informed about what is happening in both, the country he adopted and in the rest of the world.  And yet, despite increasing physical infirmities his mind is alert and his memory appears to be as sharp as ever.  In may ways he and some of the middle aged members of our crew serve as our 'in house" historians and we are always grateful when Abe can offer his unique insight to some of our materials.  Indeed, up until a few years ago, when a series of mini strokes began to affect his vision, he was a semi active member of our old blog, and if you want the honest to God truth, we rather miss him.

One of the benefits that comes from having elderly in-laws (my "great uncle-in-law"  turned 87 earlier this year) is that he has actually experienced, lived through this wonderfully interesting and often times bizarre thing that we call history.  This of course means that he has  first hand information at his command that we don't have, the kind of information that comes from watching the march of history from a personal point of view, not from reading about events, places, and individuals in history books and biographies.   As an eye witness to some of the watershed events of the 20th Century my Uncle-in-Law naturally has opinions about current events, and as an 87-year-old man whose family followed the rise of the Nazi regime throughout the late 1920s and 30s, he of course has an interesting take on those who would compare themselves to the great and near great figures of the past.

Nothing irritates my Uncle Abraham more than when members of the Bush Administration compare themselves to the members of the Roosevelt Administration.

"It's Ironic," Abraham told me.  "On the one hand these people--and I use the term loosely--want us to think of them as modern Day FDRs, bravely leading America through another world conflict, but," he adds in a rolling German accent,  "on the other hand they are attempting to dismantle everything that Roosevelt did to protect the lower and middle classes.  They're trying to have it both ways and anyone with a serious background in history knows that they are playing fast and loose with the facts."   In addition, Abe is distressed by the disingenuous rhetoric from the current Administration which attempts to equate the current war on terrorism with the tragedy that was the Second World War.

"I don't think people today understand just how serious things were back then," Abe offers.  "By the early 1940s--1942 I believe--the world situation was grim.  Very grim.  Hitler, the Nazi war machine, and their Italian allies had conquered most of the European continent and were threatening to crush the Soviet Union."  Then, from memory he began to list the European nations which had come under the domination of Italian and German Fascism.  "Poland, Denmark, Norway, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Yugoslavia. and Greece.  Finland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and Albania, " he added, "were Axis occupied territories; Italy had swallowed up Libya."  Continuing in a similar vein, Abe pointed out that by 1942 the German war machine had conquered the Ukraine and was poised to swallow up Moscow, Stalingrad, and the oil rich Caucuses.  And then there was that matter of Italy's occupation of Libya."  Or, as my husband has put it on previous occasions, the Mediterranean was little more than an Axis dominated lake.

The situation wasn't any better in the Pacific where by September 1941,  Imperial Japan had consumed  Korea,  Manchuria, much of the Eastern Coast of China, French Indo China, Formosa, and Sakhalin Island.  Moreover there were plans in the making to conquer Thailand, Borneo, Sumatra, Java, New Guinea, the Philippine Islands, the Solomon Islands, the Kurile Islands, etc.  Chillingly, most of these objectives were obtained within a period of six months, including the sneak attack o Pearl harbor which quite literally destroyed the American presence in the Pacific Ocean.  "Again," Abe offers.  "Nobody realized how badly off the United States was during this time."  Noting past influence by the isolationists in the form of the America First Movement, Abe informed me that in the mid 1930s America had the 18th largest military in the world.  Both Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan had superior war machines and more war ready soldiers than the United States.  "You have to remember," Abe said, "that the Isolationist movement fought President Roosevelt at almost every turn.  They were determined to keep America out of another World War.  The only problem was that this was the wrong war to avoid.  But the Republicans were eager to score points against Roosevelt whenever they could and then, like now, they weren't afraid to engage in a little fear mongering.  When I was a young man it was the fear of another conflict like the first World War.  Today the Republicans use the fear of terrorism to smear their opponents.  It's the same tactic played over and over again like a badly scratched phonograph record."  When I asked Abe if the America First movement wasn't a broadly based movement that was composed of both, Democrats and Republicans, he responded by telling me that it was indeed a broadly based political movement, but that it was primarily a Republican led phenomenon.

"And I suspect that there was more than just a little Antisemitism mixed in there too.  According to Abe,  Antisemitism ran rampant in the years prior to the Second World War.  Indeed, it wasn't really until the liberation of the Nazi death camps near the end of the war that Antisemitism became a dirty word.  "There were people out there--at least i think they were people--who believed that Jews were in charge of the banks.  There was a belief out there that we were a part of some secret society or maybe a conspiracy to control and dominate the United States, maybe even the world."  During his youth Abe frequently heard the old cliches about Jewish people:  That they were all rich, that they were dishonest in business transactions, that they had killed Christ, that they were vampires who wanted to drink the blood of Christian children.  "Both the Catholic and Protestant churches had troubling theories about Jews," he remembers.  "Much of the hatred towards Jews in those days came from Christian denominations who taught that Jews were tools of the devil.  The Catholics and the Lutherans stand out as some of the most virulent, but other denominations were just as loathsome."  Abe also remembers reading about and seeing photos of Nazi youth, American children who burned books in public squares, and who goose stepped to the antisemitic chant that was drifting out of central Europe during the prewar years.  "They looked Iike and behaved like the Hitler youth," Abe said.  "Like their counterparts in Germany and Austria, they would congregate at some public square, throw books on blazing bonfires, and sing the praises of Hitler and antisemitism.  And it didn't help to have a national hero who was openly sympathetic to the German regime."  When asked to specify, Abe informed me that Charles Lindbergh, a popular aviation hero of the era, had been a driving force in the isolationist America First movement, as well known for his antisemitism as for his aviation talents.  "Lindbergh was no friend of the English or the French and he certainly wasn't a small d democrat.   If you ask me I don't think he saw the conflict between Hitler and the western democracies as a fight between freedom and totalitarianism."  This after all was a man (Lindbergh) who, had traveled to Germany and offered glowing reports about the rising Reich and German peoples love for their nation and Fuhrer.  Lindbergh, like so many of the people in the America First movement, refused to recognize Hitler and the Nazi government for what it was.  "As a matter of fact, I think he appreciated the regime, gave it what you kids call an 'official thumbs up.'"

So how does the current conflict differ from World War II?  "The terrorists can do a lot of damage if they set their minds to it," said Abe.  "But it isn't like World War II.  It is not as if they can destroy an entire nation state.  It is not a global conflict.  We see pockets of conflict.  An offensive here, and offensive there, but we do not have large armies of hundreds of thousands of soldiers sweeping across continents trying to capture Berlin, or Paris or London.  It's an entirely different situation.  Entirely different."

So are there other differences?   "Most certainly," Abe responded.  According to Abe, the entire attitude is different.  "No politician, no leader, not a Democrat or a Republican would have treated a returning Vet (during World War II) the way George W. Bush treats returning Veterans from Iraq.  "That creature in the White House has no feelings for anyone but himself.  He has this attitude that tells him volunteer soldiers are disposable.  He cares as little about our returning Veterans as he does for anyone else.  Your husband, and others, believe that the man is a sociopath.  I don't have a problem with that argument, because I believe it to be true."  In Abe's opinion Franklin Roosevelt had a watershed event in his life which made a huge difference in the way he treated people.  "The rich people in this country viewed Roosevelt as a traitor to his own class.  After he was struck with polio and lost the use of his legs, Mister Roosevelt developed an even deeper understanding for people."  And by people Abe does not mean the members of the economic elite.  He means the lower and middle classes.  "Unlike Herr Bush," Abe continued, "Roosevelt developed a deeper compassion--genuine compassion for the middle and lower classes.  Herr Bush, on the other hand, has yet to want for anything.  The man suffered, that much is certain.  He suffered when his little sister died of leukemia and his parents wouldn't allow him to mourn.  But Bush never used that experience to develop genuine empathy, genuine sympathy.  It may well be that he never could.  Sincere empathy and compassion are alien concepts to this man."  Bush, Abe believes. was probably born a psychopath or a sociopath.  The manner in which  he was raised didn't help the situation either.  When a sociopath or a psychopath is constantly bailed out of the trouble that they so often cause for themselves, it only makes them more reckless and more dangerous.  Bush has a long record of close calls, and a powerful clique of friends and family who have repeatedly pulled his chestnuts out of the fire.  He has yet to face the consequences for his wrong doing, although I suspect--very strongly mind you--that this is about to change now that the rats are abandoning the sinking ship of state." 

Unlike Roosevelt, Bush has yet to create a sense of the American people being "in it together."  This isn't only true of the failed invasion of Iraq, but in his failure to demand any real sacrifice from the American people.  "Look, Kelli, when I was a young man during World War II we rationed--don't laugh--rubber.  When it became clear that America required rubber and that the Germans had learned how to make synthetic rubber, we realized that we had to do something until we had the ability to synthesize rubber right here at home."  This Abe explains led to a number of unpopular steps by "that man in the white house."  One of the most unpopular involved tires.  In an effort to conserve rubber the Roosevelt Administration made it more difficult to buy a new set of tires.  Ultimately this led to gas rationing.  "The idea went something like this.  We didn't have a gas shortage, but Roosevelt realized that if he made it harder to drive long distances there would be an automatic conservation of rubber."  Other moves had already been taken with other products made out of rubber, but with the advent of gas rationing the people were not at all amused.  "Roosevelt remedied the situation with one of his fireside chats.  He simply went on the air, explained the situation, and promised that the government was actively promoting a synthetic rubber program."  In addition to an explanation Roosevelt initiated a drive in which various rubber products (everything from the rubber in women's girdles, to rubber balls, rubber bands, and pet toys) were collected during rubber drives and shipped off for recycling, to be used in the war effort.  "It made the American people feel as if they were doing something for the war effort."  And more importantly it reduced opposition to gas rationing.  "And there was an up side to the situation."  And what an up side it was.  traffic fatalities went down.  People went to movies and learned to enjoy simpler, more personal and interactive forms of entertainment.  "Instead of driving all over creation on weekend joy trips, we stayed at home, got to know our neighbors.  We rediscovered that wonderful thing called conversation--something your generation should rediscover." 

Rubber wasn't the only product that was rationed.  Sugar was rationed.  American housewives learned to use corn syrup and saccharine (yes it was around even then) as substitutes in their baking. Those same housewives also learned to cut back on eggs in their baking, they poured yellow dye into margarine so that our troops could use real butter.    Nylon was another product which had to be rationed.  To that end the one piece bathing suit disappeared and the two piece bathing suit was born.   The hemlines on now unpleated skirts rose to above the knee.  Even fat was recycled.   "And then there were the coupon books," Abe chuckled.  "As a part of the war time rationing families were given coupon books.  You'd use thee coupons to buy food, clothing, shoes, you name it.  If I remember correctly, you had to make the coupons last for a month.  It was an inconvenience, but it certainly rationed all those important things that were needed by our troops."  Revealing an obvious, but restrained anger, Abe then added, "that's a hell of a difference from THIS aschloch who sent our troops into battle without the proper equipment for an invasion."  

And then there were the price caps and tax hikes.  Unlike The Shrub, Roosevelt recognized the fact that America needed to properly fund the war, Bush has yet to so much as ask the American people to make a significant sacrifice towards for this war and the troops.  "He's more interested in protecting his own class and his own fortunes," Abe grumbled accusingly.  "If Roosevelt was a traitor in the eyes of the wealthy elite, what is the aschloch?   Your husband is a Star Trek fan.  He says it time and time again. 'The needs of the many must outweigh the needs of the few.'   Roosevelt understood this.  The American people (in the 1940s) understood this.  Bush, however is the only schwienhund who does not --as you kids like to say--'get it.'  He has taken your husband's very logical axiom and he has turned it on it's head.  'The needs of the few outweigh the needs of the many.'  Maybe it's even worse.  Perhaps he believes that the needs of 'the one,' (himself) outweigh the needs of the many."  In either event, Abe truly believes that Bush is more interested in protecting his own elite class than he is in preserving the middle class. "That young man of yours has a theory and it goes something like this:  Conservatives see democracy and a thriving middle class as a threat to order and stability.  To that I would add, 'you are damned right my dear boy.  Especially when it's the conservatives who will be dictating the order and stability."  In Abe's opinion the so called conservatives in this country despise, or perhaps even fear, a prosperous middle class because prosperity creates leisure time and leisure time gives people time to think about freedom,. democracy, and human rights.  Sadly for us, "freedom, democracy, and human rights are anathema to conservative notions of order and stability"

"My parents came to this country in 1928 after my father read a copy of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf," said Abe.  " Papa believed that if someone were crazy enough to write that kind of insanity that same person would be crazy enough to act on his writings if he ever came to power."  Regrettably Abe's Aunts and Uncles refused to take Hitler's rambling treatise seriously.  While Abe and his parents and three siblings came to the United States, the rest of the family refused to take the German warlord seriously.  I don't think I have to tell you what happened to the European branch of his family.  "Most of them didn't make it," Abe said ruefully.  "Between outright extermination, disease, starvation, and being worked to death...You can guess what happened.  Very few of them survived it."

Chillingly, Abe recognizes similar patterns between then and now.  "I see another leader," Abe said, "an American leader who is using the same tactics that Hitler used during his rise to power.  I see the scapegoating of racial minorities and homosexuals; and those antisemitic Dominionists who celebrate the idea of Jesus coming back to earth to kill and torture the Jewish infidels.  Oh yes.  They make me feel ever so safe."  But it is the political shenanigans which trouble Abe the deepest.  "I see (an abuse) of power at the expense of our civil liberties.  I see the emergence of a unitary executive branch which is undermining the separation of powers in the same way that the Nazis undermined the Wiemar Republic.  And the so called Patriot Act.  Is this not the American equivalent of the Enabling Act which Hitler used to claim dictatorial power in the days following the Reichstag Fire?"  According to Abe we have been here before.  Sadly, the American people are not well versed in their world history and that has made it much easier for Bush Incorporated to rewrite the past record whenever it serves him to do so.  "If Bush is cunning sociopath or psychopath--and I believe he is--he is also a megalomaniac.   He craves power in the same way that an alcoholic craves the next shot of vodka.  We've been here before,  We've seen all of this before.  But we still have people who think Bush is some kind of great war leader, and we still have people who are willing to give up freedom for security.  Ignorance and fear are a frightening combination--especially when they can be manipulated to serve the twisted impulses of a corrupt, and I might add, power hungry leader."

Daniel Andrew Gallagher

Monday, August 06, 2007


by Praetor One, SweetPea, BibleBelted, and Matthew5

"Just a minute. Now hold on Mister Potter. You're right when you say my father was no business man, I know that. Why he ever started this cheap, penny-ante Building and Loan I'll never know. But neither you nor anybody else can say anything against his character because his whole life was...Why in twenty-five years since he and Uncle Billy started this thing he never once thought of himself. Isn't that right Uncle Billy? He didn't save enough money to send Harry to school, let alone me, but he did help a few people get out of your slums, Mister Potter. And what's wrong with that? Why...Here, you're all businessmen here. Doesn't it make them better citizens? Doesn't it make them better customers? said that uh...What'd you say just a minute ago? They, they had to wait and save money before they even thought of a decent home. Wait? Wait for what? Until their children grow up and leave them? Until they're so old and broken down that they...Do you know how long it takes a working man to save five thousand dollars? Just remember this, Mister Potter, that this rabble you're talking about...they do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community. Well is it too much to have them work and pay and live and die in a couple of decent rooms and a bath? Anyway, my father didn't think so. People were human beings to him, but to you, a warped frustrated old man, they're cattle. Well, in my book he died a much richer man than you'll ever be."

From the Frank Capra Film, It's A Wonderful Life
Written by Philip Va Doren Stern (story) and Frances Goodrich (screenplay).

In a slight change of pace we've decided to write about another kind of peace. The kind of peace that comes from knowing you live in a sane, prosperous society where the middle class is valued and treasured, not undermined at every turn by conservative leaders who are terrified of and perhaps even jealous of a prosperous middle class. The dirty little secret in Republican Administrations from Reagen onwards, has been the disturbing fact that right wingers aren't only fearful of gays, lesbians, and minorities. They are also frightened by the idea of a prosperous middle class, disturbed by the idea that people might actually have leisure time in which they can think about their condition and take steps to improve their lot in life.

This may come as a surprise to corporate America and its theocratic allies; and it may even come as a bigger supply to the burdened middle class, but in many ways the most politically productive times in this country are those in which large numbers of Americans have disposable income and leisure time to think about the important issues of the day. It is no coincidence that one of our greatest eras of change, the 1960s, was a prosperous era in which Americans enjoyed little things like decent health care and a relatively rational health care system; when workers stood up for workers rights, and when employees were more cooperative with their workers and more willing to make concessions than they are in today's economy. It is not a coincidence that the Civil Rights movement, which had been slowly building in previous decades, began to bear fruit in the 1960s and 1970s when Americans still enjoyed little things like pensions, vacation time, an eight hour day, and safe working places. With extra time and extra income the American people were more willing to think about the critical issues of the day. Not threatened by an ever increasingly competitive workplace and a limited number of jobs, the American people were more willing to share slices of the political and economic pies with those who differed from them.

By the same standard, it is no coincidence that the women's movement came to the forefront during the early 1970s, again a time of relative prosperity when people had the time and resources to consider the great issues of the day.

Unfortunately for us, for the American worker, taxpayer, and middle class citizen, the Powers That Be, the corporate overlords and aristocrats, discovered, during he late 70s and especially during the 1980s, the era of Reaganomics, that there were ways to curtail thoughts about freedom and reform, and the primary way in which this could be achieved was through the weakening and virtual destruction of the Middle Class. And the best way to do that was through the dismantling of the reforms that were set down by Franklin Roosevelt and the Democrats during the 1930s. Mind you, this is not a debate as to whether or not the New Deal was a successful remedy to the Republicans' Great Depression. This is a discussion about the protections that were set in place during the Roosevelt era which were designed to protect the rights of he American worker and to limit the power of and ability of corporate America to exploit the American worker. This is not a a discussion as to whether or not the New Deal was Socialistic. The primary topic of discussion here is one of whether we want efficiently regulated capitalism or the kind of cutthroat highway robbery which is passed off as capitalism in the modern era of Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II.

You just have to give the Republicans' credit. In their modest opinion (and they have a lot to be modest about) Ronald Reagen is a bona fide political saint; a modern day reformer who arrived just in time to defeat the forces of communism and socialism. But when Ronald Reagan denigrated the words "I'm from the Federal Government and I am here to help," he was in fact announcing his intention to deregulate big business (read " to encourage corporate corruption) at the expense of the America worker and middle class. Or, as we are so fond of saying, "When Democrats wage a war against poverty they wage a war against social, political, and economic injustice, against social problems; when Republicans wage a war against poverty they wage a war against the weak, the ill, the poor, and the middle class." In other words, Reaganomics (and the current economic/financial policies of the present Bush Administration, are based primarily upon Social Darwinism and totalitarian values, not values such as freedom, democracy, and Constitutional liberties.

The first indications to exactly how ruthless the far right could be was when Ronald Reagan placed our air traffic by summarily firing the air traffic controllers. Not only did this create a situation in which countless lives might have been put in danger (a condition which seldom bothers Republicans if there is a profit be made), it also sent a signal that the new (Reagan) Administration would be more than willing to side with the few and the powerful and against millions of hard working American taxpayers.

Reagen's tax cuts were a joke as well. Why? Because they weren't really tax cuts. Each time Reagan cut taxes at the Federal level the states and local governments were forced to increase state and local taxes to make up the difference. And who were the ultimate victims? You guessed it. The average taxpayer and home owner who paid the difference in state,county, local, and real estate taxes. moreover, there wasn't even that much cutting at the Federal level. Orwellian to the very end, the Reagan Administration merely made up the difference by increasing fees and plugging loopholes. In the crazy, inverted world of Reaganomics, terms such as "tightening IRS enforcement," "Revenue enhancements," ad nauseam were all synonymous with the term "raising taxes," although the Administration in Washington would never admit as much.

The Tax "Reform" Act of 1986 offered more in the way of imbecility. Only this time the act was so convoluted and so confusing that the only people who could even vaguely understand it were accountants and tax lawyers. Indeed, the Reagan class warriors had finally succeeded in creating a tax code that was so confusing and so bizarre that he IRS didn't even understand it. At the same time the various loophole closings resulted in another burden on most of the middle and even some of the upper class. According to a study conducted by Hausman and Poterba, the 196 Tax Reform translated into a marginal tax increase for more than 40 percent of the nation's tax payers, while a majority of those who did see a reduction only 11 percent saw an reduction of 10 percent or more. Translated into modern English from the Orwellian Double Speak the end result of the 1986 ax Reform Bill was negligible.

And while we're at it, let's not forget that the Reagan Administration's remedy to inflation was so shocking that it threw the United States economy into not one, but at least w steep recessions, leading many unemployed Americans to quip at the time that "at least under Carter I at least had a job."

But the worst thing that the Corporate dominated right wingers have discovered is the fact that if you can limit the supply of jobs, that if you encourage the importation of illegal workers (although we suspect there is no such thing as an illegal worker, only illegal employers), and ship American jobs, both blue, and white collar, overseas, you can efficiently dry up the labor pool at home and set the American worker against both, immigrant labor and his fellow Americans. This of course is not an accident. It is not a coincidence that George W. Bush has continued the policies of Ronald Reagan. It is no accident that this Administration has done everything in its power to further dismantle labor, to undermine worker safety legislation, and to strengthen the hand of big employers, while reducing the constitutional and worker place liberties of the American worker. Like the Reagan Administration before it, the Bush Administration is using a divide and conquer strategy. Continuing deregulation, encouraging tax loopholes for American headquarters that operate over seas, and openly encouraging American jobs to fly East and South to China, India, and Mexico, etc. Again the tactic is obvious. The Bush administration like the Reagan Administration before it, understands that a prosperous middle class will only encourage instability by daring to think about freedom, liberty, reform, and the rights and well being of others. To prevent this and to maintain strict political and economic order (some might call it fascism) the Powers that Be in Washington and Corporate America have decided that Peace of mind is the last thing that Americans should enjoy. Instead, they have decided to institute a policy in which the American worker is over-stressed, over-tired, and always willing to find someone else to blame for his or her financial status. The Powers that Be would rather see the typical American take out his frustrations on the people he or she considers below him or herself. Whether it be the poor who are almost invariably blamed for their own poverty, or the immigrant worker, who is scapegoated as a brown-skinned subhuman, or gays and women who are denigrated as perverted or disobedient, the Powers That Be are thrilled to see Americans backstabbing one another instead of taking out their frustrations the leaders and corporate fascists who have created the situation in the first place.

Heaven forbid that we might actually experience a period of domestic and overseas prosperity and tranquility. God forbid that we might actually take all the time, energy, and resources which are currently being used for destructive purposes and use them to create a new Golden Age in America. We wouldn't, after all, want to encourage little tings like education, thinking, reasoning, compassion, and benevolence towards ones fellow man or woman. Noooo. We wouldn't want to do that. No. we would much rather declare peace unpatriotic. We would rather promote war and hatred as American values as opposed to true American values such as tolerance, acceptance, and liberty. We wouldn't want to build new schools, new museums, and new libraries, or new theaters and concert halls. Why would we want to do that when Corporate America would rather build bombs, tanks, and weapons of mass destruction?

It seems to us that we are paying an incredibly high price for allowing the Powers that be to turn us against our fellow human beings. It seems to us that the price is too high. Too high in waste, to high in blood, too high in death, and too high in the destruction of the human soul. All this because we have been indoctrinated into taking out our hostilities on the other, on those who are weaker or different from us. In the end we may just realize that we are indeed our brother's and sister's keeper.

"They've started a lot of talk about free people going soft, that we can't take it. That's a lot of hooey. A free people can beat the world at anything, from war to tiddle-de-winks if we all pull in the same direction. I know a lot of you are saying "what can I do? I'm just a little punk. I don't count. We;, you're dead wrong! The little punks have always counted because in the long run the character of a country is the sum total of the character of it's little punks.

"But we've all got to get in there and pitch. We can't win the old ball game unless we have team work. And that's where every John Doe comes in. It's up to him to get together with his teammate.

"And your teammates, my friends, is the guy next door to you. Your neighbor! He's a terribly important guy, the guy next door. You're gonna need him and he's gonna need you, so look him up! If he's sick, call on him! If he's hungry, feed him! If he's out of a job, find him one. To most of you your neighbor is a stranger, a guy with a barking dog and a high fence around him.

"Now you can't be a stranger to any guy that's on your own team. So tear down the fence that separates you, tear down the fence and you'll tear down a lot of hates and prejudices! Tear down all the fences in the country and you'll really have teamwork.

"I know a lot of you are saying to yourselves: "He's asking for a miracle to happen. He's expecting people to change all of a sudden. Well, you're wrong. It's no miracle. It's no miracle because I see it happen once every year. And so do you. At Christmas time. There's something swell about the spirit of Christmas to see what it dos to people, all kinds of people.

"Now why can't that spirit last the whole year round? Gosh, if it ever did, if each and every John Doe would make that spirit last three hundred and sixty-five days out of the year, we'd develop such a strength, we'd create such a tidal wave of good will, that no human force could stand against it.

"Yes sir, my friends, the meek can only inherit the earth when the John Does start loving their neighbors. You'd better start now. Don't wait till the game is called on account of darkness! Wake up, John Doe! You're the hope of the world!"

From the Frank Capra Film Meet John Doe
Written by Richard Connell and Robert Presnell (story) and Robert Riskin (screenplay)