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Someone at my job is fuckin' with us.

There's an old comic routine from the nineties, I think by Paula Poundstone but don't quote me on that, about the guys who look over airplanes every night. She claimed that the engineers would move the seats forward a quarter of an inch every night just to screw with their passengers' heads - that's why a flight BACK from somewhere is usually more uncomfortable then the flight THERE.

Okay, now take that routine and apply it to a (more or less) standard office environment. Three computers to a row in this particular section, back to back, with space in between for, you know, us.

Now, I realize that my job entails sitting on my ass in front of a TV and a computer and I realize that I don't get anywhere near as much exercise as I should, but lately, things have been kinda...cosy. Ok, like cramped-cosy. Like, sliding behind your deskmates with the backs of their heads uncomfortably close to your crotch, cosy.

So either we're dangerously obese (heh. no.) or someone's trying to hit us with a not so subtle hint.

I feel inexplicably dirty, like a telemarketer.

More Jaundice (with thanks)



August 5 2008 Morning

I arrive in Topeka. It's hot. Kansas is hot.

I get outside the terminal, see someone holding up a sign that says "Mr. Orange." Mr. Orange has got brackets around it, like a hard link. That's cute. The sign appears to be made of pulverized cedar shavings. As for the adhesive - I don't know. I don't know.

We make our introductions. The guy holding the sign is IWhoSawTheFace. He smiles a lot, and his eyes are empty. I learn later on that the man with him is RangyJoeyHondo. He doesn't give his name when he introduces himself. There are flies on his face. He doesn't swat them away. They walk on his skin.




August 5 2008 Evening

The truck quits on mile five. We walk the rest of the way.

I learn in the processing shed that I've been assigned to live with wertperch. I am given wool clothing and led to a small structure on the southeast hills, rising out of the dust like an exclamation point. I make no noise when I open the door, but still, wertperch is looking straight at me when I walk in. As if he's been waiting.

He says nothing.

"Whatcha up to?" I ask, gesturing to some small brown slivers he has on a pan that looks like hand-forged tin.

"I've got trenchfoot from standing all the time," he replies, and pauses. "I can fix my feet, but not this - not what's hurting." He almost gestures toward his heart.

"There are going to be stars tonight," he adds.

I don't say anything; we don't say anything. We don't say anything for a long time.




August 6 2008

Today, I learn to harvest wheat.

We use scythes forged from our own fire, hardened with hammers sculpted from ore dug from a small mine a mile East. I wear gloves yclept knits out of chenielle; they quickly wear out. I use them to absorb blood.

Children from the neighboring outside farms ride up on bicycles and sit a distance away. I see them point. I hear their voices rise, and fall, asking questions of one another which they know they cannot answer. As a gesture of goodwill, Swap approaches them to teach them conversational spanish. He returns limping. He continues to harvest, trying to smile.




August 9 2008

Still, I have chaff in my nailbeds. wertperch removes it with a staple. In our shed, I smell the sweet stink of strawberries fermenting.

"Making moonshine?" I ask, and laugh.

"Vinegar," he replies. "I have to clean the latrine."

"If you drank that now, what would it taste like?" I ask. "Would it taste like those little pop drinks they sell on the outside, you know, those fruity numbers the teenagers drink when they're breaking the law?"

wertperch frowns, and becomes rough with the staple. I learn then that the word "outside" is not to be used here.

"It would kill you," he says, looking me straight in the eyes. "It would eat your guts. You would die screaming."

I avoid eye contact. His eyes are terrible, so terrible.




To be continued ...

Today The Wall Street Journal is arguing against due process for military captives.

In today's left-hand opinion column I was greeted on my morning flight from Juneau, Alaska, to Seattle, Washington, by the following statement:

Last month's foiled plot to blow up 10 airliners over the Atlantic showed the importance of intelligence and surveillance to the anti-terror fight. By extension, it also showed the need for a system to prosecute captured terrorists that doesn't require compromising intelligence sources and methods. But as Congress and the President return to work on legislation authorizing military tribunals, the usual suspects at outfits such as Human Rights Watch are saying such tribunals would create "a travesty of a fair trial." They claim anything short of the guarantees American soldiers get before courts martial will fall afoul of the Constitution and international law.

At issue is whether or not an accused prisoner has the right to understand what he is detained for and the evidence being used against him, when the evidence may include secret military intelligence.

The Journal goes on to say:

...Finally, Administration critics allege that the tribunal bill would rewrite existing Geneva Convention prohibitions against "cruel, inhuman, and degrading" treatment of detainees. In fact, it would merely offer some substantive guidance as to the meaning of those vague terms.

Yes, these words appeared in a respected American periodical.

As my missive is also an opinion piece, I will eschew journalistic integrity when I say that we can find similar "redefinitions" of the Geneva Convention in the actions of the Nazi party during WWII. The Bush Administration spin machine spews through the mouths of the sitting public servants the characterization of the "War on Terror" as an effort similar to the legendary fight against the Axis in the 1940's. The idea here is that if they can stir deep-seated fears and hatred, and raise memories of Audie Murphy and Gregory Peck flying a bomber, then maybe the whole country will get behind their desire to continue random attacks on despotic middle eastern nations that have nothing directly to do with the current terror threat (other than we have given them justification for their white-hot hatred of American policy, and all of us).

It no longer matters to me whether or not the Iraq war is justified as part of our response to 3000 dead in lower Manhattan. That we may have been justified in destroying that nation's high-school age generation and their continued ability to self-govern is eclipsed, in my mind, by the government's unveiled attacks on the American populace and American civil rights.

Let's think about some of the characteristics of the fascism Rumsfeld, Cheney, and Bush claim to be fighting on our behalf:

  • Restriction (eradication) of the right of free speech including demonization of critics as criminals, and encouraging public outrage toward those who dissent
  • State control of the free press
  • Distribution of propaganda
  • Establishment of domestic secret police
  • Control of domestic public travel
  • Blurring domestic and international intelligence gathering
  • Monitoring domestic communication
  • Profiling-prejudging domestic population segments based on race
  • Unprompted invasion of targeted nation states
  • Utilizing torture as a means to collect intelligence
  • Utilizing torture as a means to inflict fear on an enemy
  • Suspension of human/civil rights for those accused under special circumstances
  • Unfettered, vocal belief in the support of God and history for all activities

Where in the world at this point in time are the citizens of a nation performing all these acts accused by its government of being confused, misdirected, and unpatriotic, for drawing such parallels?






Yeah, but it's okay because we know we're the good guys. We've got Gregory Peck and Jimmy Stewart fighting on our side. They've got those swarthy no-name actors who make less than scale (because they're undocumented).

We're the "E Pluribus Unum" guys. The "One Nation Under God" guys.

When we torture people, it doesn't hurt all that much.




Everyone knows they're the good guys. And as a good student of history, like Donald Rumsfeld suggests I should be, I know that populations of fundamentally good people have talked themselves into all sorts of evil, and have rationalized it based on fear and uncertainty and need to control the uncontrollable.

Ask anyone who had relatives at Manzanar.

But in the spirit of debate, I will make two outrageous suggestions:

Outrageous suggestion #1: When the American government starts performing and attempting to justify actions identified by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence as reasons for separation from Britian - when we cannot justify our actions through application of our own constitution, then we should stop.

Outrageous suggestion #2: If the "War on Terror" turns America into a fascist state, then it isn't worth winning.

Outrageous conclusion: this "war", declared on an ill-defined and diffuse enemy who has as its goal our extermination and has at its disposal at least some means to begin to execute that goal, is only worth winning if our fundamental values are preserved. If the America that emerges after the "defeat" of terrorism is one in which the rights of the citizens are curtailed by a domestic police state, and if the tenets of basic human rights are ignored in the act of self-preservation, then we have become Germany under Hitler. Chile under Pinochet.

Not one of us wants to live under those conditions. Not the left. Not the right. Not the Christians or the Muslims or the Jews or the Taoists or the Hindus or the Eckankars.

So let's stop heading in that direction. And it starts with reasonable people expressing their dissent and displeasure that we are exhibiting the stirrings of fascism - and irrespective of the Bush Administration's desire you shut up: you are unpatriotic if you do, and that is indeed written into the foundation of America.




Life would be easier for Donald Rumsfeld if his critics shut up. He's said so on a number of different occasions, including in the press today. He suggests that criticizing his failure to achieve success at any of his military ventures is the same as providing military intelligence to our enemies.

Because apparently, our enemies wouldn't know Donald had screwed up unless we pointed it out.

I feel the same way. If the teachers who gave me crummy grades in high school would have just got with the program and given me grade As, I would have had a much better GPA and could have got on with making my living without having to put so much effort into interviewing with prospective employers. But because they gave me negative feedback, I have found it more difficult to get higher paying jobs, and also, I've developed high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Also, my big screen television is broken. And Visa charges me too much interest on my purchases. Oh, and my dog pissed on the rug.

All because they had to give me those crummy grades. They were clearly confused about what was good for my future.




Reasonable conclusion #1: It is possible to prevent major acts of terrorism on American soil without sacrificing our fundamental values as a nation. That is, to observe basic human rights. To observe due process. To reserve the right to strike until the last minute, and to never order a preemptive strike. This is what separates us from dogs. This is what makes us the greatest nation in the world. Stooping to the level of criminals doesn't make us safer. It makes us previously good people who have become criminals.

Why has every prior administration of the United States understood this, at least to some degree?

I wanted to say I thought it was possible to win the "War on Terrorism", but I don't even know what that means, and I have never heard a logical definition put forth by my government except that winning it had something to do with creating total anarchy in Iraq. So I am deciding it means that nothing like 9/11 happens again on American soil, though in a free society , it is impossible to avoid all possible danger. Someone could always drive a car into a crowd and set himself on fire. We can't stop someone from taking a kitchen knife into a subway car and stabbing random people. We probably can't even stop someone from synthesizing poison gas in his house and letting it loose in a crowded theater.

But you know - we've never been able to stop these things. And ridding the world of all our enemies is not possible. So we have to live with some degree of freedom and uncertainty for the foreseeable future. Remaining free in an uncertain world is the American way. When we are attacked, we strike back, as we did in Afghanistan. Then we bring our fighting force home. We remain alert, and go back about our business.

That's pretty much it, even though it's not what anyone wants to hear.




I can only presume the reason the Wall Street Journal believes we should deny war prisoners due process and subject them to torture is they share the same disdain for the American public displayed by the Bush Administration.

Like Keith Richards once said about his adoring public: They eat any shit we crap out.

Outrageous Suggestion #3: we should stop.

When my alarm clock went off this morning I found it impossible to believe that it was actually morning. I reached over and grabbed my alarm clock, having just turned it off, and turned it toward me. I was hoping to find that there had been a mistake. I was hoping that it was really four or five in the morning - that I had just messed up when I set the alarm. I was wrong.

It was already seven o’clock. I thought for, oh, about fifteen seconds, and decided I was going to sleep for a while longer. I would be late for work, that was obvious, but if me walking into the office around 8:30 or 9:00 turned even one head then I should start sleeping even later; there hasn’t been a day this year that I have shown up to work on time.

As I lay there, trying to fall back to sleep, but trying not to fall all the way back to sleep – so that I could make sure and wake up at a somewhat reasonable time – I drifted in and out of wakenness.

Starting to fall asleep, but not yet all the way there, I heard a young voice cry from outside the apartment, “Help me! Help me!” And there was violent banging on my front door. Awake, I was worried for the child outside my door, but it seemed to me it had to be a dream.

Still, I wasn’t exactly sure, and something inside told me that I should go check to make sure everything was alright. My eyes impossible to keep open, I heard the child yell again, this time as if responding to someone, “Yeah right! Help! Help me! Please open the door!”

Waking again, I couldn’t help but feel that this might really be happening. It took every spoon full of determination that I had in me, but I got out of bed and walked to the front door.

Wearing only my boxers, which happened to not even be doing a very good job of covering me at that moment, I decided to look through the peep hole in the door. I couldn’t see anything. Not that I couldn’t see anyone outside, I couldn’t see anything, just blackness. So I was going to have to open the door if I wanted to make sure of what was going on.

I opened the door a crack to look out, but I didn’t see or hear anyone. I opened the door a little more and stuck my head out. If there had been a kid looking for help outside this door, they had either found it, or had been found by whatever they were running from. Besides, there was probably not a child to begin with.

As I walked back to my room, having decided that I was up now, and that I should probably just take a shower, I noticed that my pinky toe, the one on my right foot, it felt of pins as if it was asleep.

Wake up sleepy head!” I screamed as I prepared the shower. “If I have to be awake, then so do you, Mr Pinky-toe. This is a team effort we are shooting for, after all. We’re either all awake, or all asleep. Everyone else in this tired body is awake, so wake! and join us.”

As I stepped into the shower I wiggled my right foot and toes around a bit to get the blood flowing.

I, well, I am most defiantly not among to breed of what is referred to as morning people. Mornings, for me, are inherently bad – evil, even. At work, if someone asks me how I am doing, and it is before the hour of noon, I usually respond simply with the quip, “It’s morning,” and by raising my coffee mug, if it was handy, with a slight shrug.

I find it unfair that society has somehow decided that everyone should be morning people. I found it a bit ridiculous, actually, that anyone should have to be at work at eight in the morning, and functioning well enough to be a productive member of the corporate team.

When had this revolution occurred? When had the morning people won this war? And can the rest of society overcome this a.m. terrorism that it has been tormented by for so long?

These are the kinds of thoughts I think in the shower in the morning. These and thoughts about how there is no way I will make it through the end of the day still breathing.

Under the running water I slowly came to life. As I proceeded with the usual shower chores – washing my hair, washing behind my ears and such – I grew worried that my little pinky toe was still asleep. I worried about it, but not too much. That is, not until I got down there to the washing of my feet bit, and as I looked I found that my pinky toe wasn’t asleep – my pinky toe just wasn’t. I mean it wasn’t fucking there at all!

I’m not talking about one of those cool alien abduction things where my pinky toe is missing and it looks as if my pinky toe was never even there. No, I am saying that my pinky toe wasn’t there anymore, all that was left was a cauterized nub – and you have to wonder how something like that can happen.

I was so surprised by this that I pulled my foot up toward my sleepy eyes to make sure I wasn’t just seeing things. As I did this I was thrown off balance and fell backwards out of the shower - half pulling the shower curtain off the rings and about an inch away from the toilet doing real damage to my cranial member.

Wet and hurting from falling on my ass out of the bathtub, and still holding my foot as close to my face as I could get it, I couldn’t move for a moment. When I did, when I could finally move again, I did.

I jumped up as fast as I could and ran out of the bathroom into my bedroom. There I grabbed the covers of my bed and flung them back as fast as I could. No blood, there was no blood on the sheets.

“The – the – wha – the, what the hell happened to my toe!” I stuttered barely above a whisper. “It can’t just be gone!”

I grabbed the covers again, this time pulling them off the bed, shaking them to make sure there wasn’t anything in them. Nothing. I ran over to the other side of my bed where I had flung the covers before, and looked on the floor. I fell to the ground. I looked under my bed. I looked under my nightstand. I looked through my entire room.

One wouldn’t think that a pinky toe, or any toe, could just disappear, but I couldn’t find it anywhere, not even after frantically tearing apart my whole room in my search.

I pulled myself off the floor and walked through the rest of the apartment. I walked to the kitchen. Walked to the front door, where I had been lulled earlier by my dreams. Nothing. Nowhere.

One might not think that a pinky toe could just disappear, but if you’ve ever given it enough attention to notice, you will note that one finds their-self to be wrong quite often.

the funding for this production has been made possible by readers like Wordmongers' Masque (and you).
Wordmongers' Masque

Breath

I had been sitting in the metal chair long enough to warm it with my bare flesh. Purple silk braids bound my wrists and ankles. My eyes were wrapped in a sash of the same fabric.

The surface of my skin nearly reached out into the room as I tried to discern who was there with me. My sense of smell sorted through the ambient odors to note a new fragrance -- masculine -- with a tinge of citrus, cloves and vanilla.

I could feel the weight of his eyes as he inspected me -- who ever this man was. He might not identify himself by voice or touch, but his scrutiny was deep. I felt it like a fingertip pressing into the top of my thigh to where it dipped down into the warmest spot on my body. I felt it slip into me like a latex-gloved finger.

Through the purple blindfold I could make out the suggestion of presence. From the inside of my eyelids I now saw evidence of him like a full-spectrum heat sensor -- the center of his desire blazing red-hot in the black field of the room.

I resented his inspection, the ropes and the blindfold. Who was he? Why must I be the one to bear the exposure, with no clues?

I felt him shift his weight then disappear from my sensors. For a second I felt his breath on the back of my neck, then it registered that he was gone from the room.

I wondered if someone was eventually going to untie me or if I was bound to stay this way, forever.

Today is the first day of the rest of my life.

My fifth counselling session was yesterday morning, an early one at 8.30am. Despite the fact that I'm usually at work by that time, the week of annual leave - including a bank holiday, a wedding and an overnight stop in a cheap hotel near Stafford - I had eyes like a new born kitten as I forced myself to route march to the doctor's surgery; late due to my own irritating habits of procrastination.

Julia, my counsellor, is a great woman: upbeat, intelligent, sympathetic, helpful, strong - everything I would have chosen if I'd designed her myself. She points out the obvious in a way I really need right now. I know that much of my depression can only be alleviated by my own actions and choices, and she has been guiding me to realise that I have it in me to do it.

I do. Deep down I know I do, even though a lot of what I have to do scares me.

I have been able to talk honestly about my fears and feelings, my disappointments and lack of ambition. She has given me renewed confidence, and I have been able to write about my most traumatic experience at the hands of a relative at the age of nine.

My next session will not be for another 6-8 weeks, mostly to give me a chance to try and put into practice some of the changes we have agreed upon, although it's probably also something to do with the NHS and their limited resources. That feels like a long time as I think about it today, but I suppose I should be glad that it's not a repeat of the wait following the referral which was five months, interspersed with monthly appointments with my GP.

I'll take my next steps slowly, hoping that each one takes me forward.

The Man in White. Pt 2

Let me explain how this began. A few weeks ago I get a knock on the door. In walks the Governor of the state. He wants an investigator to look into the murder of his young assistant, Mark Freeman. I read about his murder in the papers. Murdered in his office just as he was about to leave.

I am immediately suspicious. First, why does the Governor of the state need a private dick to look into a murder when he has a huge police force? Secondly, I'm naturally inclined to be suspicious because a good part of the time the bastard that hires me is the one who committed the crime.

Lastly he's a politician. Enough said.

"So Mr Lavell are we clear on the matter at hand?"
"That depends Governor. Why do you really need me to investigate this murder?"
He leans in close and lowering the sound of his voice, answers:
"I need someone not involved in the Government to be sure there is no corruption. I can't trust the police to audit the affairs of Government- I strongly suspect the murder is related to some quite powerful people."

I grin slightly. Annoying people in power is something of a hobby of mine.

"Would I get full clearance to the murder scenes? No police interference in the investigation?"
"Certainly."
"Then I charge $150 a day plus expenses. I suggest you leave soon. The respectable tend to scare away my clients."

Me and John then leave to go search the office. We are confronted by the body Freeman as we enter. Apparently they hadn't come to fetch the body. They could have at least turned the air conditioning on.

"What do you think, John? How was it done?"

John walks around him a few times.

"Several stab wounds to the chest. Looks like quite a violent encounter. There is a definite sign of a struggle." He reaches down and searches Freeman's coat.

"Hey I found a key. This tells us a few things."
"Oh, care to explain?"
"I surmise that the key opens the locked desk." He confirms his theory by opening the drawers. "Seeing as the key was in the pocket of Freeman's coat we can tell the murderer didn't come here to steal anything. Any important documents would be in this drawer for security reasons. Freeman would have put what he was working with away before getting up to leave. If you did come here to steal something, why the hell would you put the key back in the victim's pocket?"

I smile slightly. John's getting better at thinking in terms of people. I decide to test him a little bit.

"What if he put the key back to screw with our heads?"
"Pardon?"
"What if he put the key back to make us think that he hadn't taken anything from the office, but he had?"

A puzzled look crosses John's face- he still doesn't quite comprehend the depths of people.

"Never mind John. Look you're probably right about the murderer. I have to warn you though our client seemed to think it was for political reasons." As I say this some of the colour drains out of John's face.
"Oh bugger. As if I didn't find it hard enough to comprehend people."


We search the rest of the room, but find no other clues. However, recently there was another murder reported in the papers that I believe to be related. Normally I don't pay murders any mind- living in the city hardens you to the chance of violent crime. But the violent nature of the murder has got my attention, as has the victim's occupation- a Civil Servant. It's a long shot but it's worth investigating.

Fortunately I don't have to get John to examine another corpse. A friend of mine happens to be investigating.


Previous...Next

For the Wordmongers' Masque

"Brian puts his hips into it..."

Well well, another day. How surprising. My hat (if I wore one... will my ponytail work, it's halfway down my back?) goes off to squeezie for dealing with his depression in such a standup way. It's no laughing matter, really, I deal with it often myself. But I like to think that no situation is ever too heavy to make light of.

I opened my big mouth too soon. I emailed my love, and discovered that she is in Thailand, observing the beauty there. But I told her of many things... and got the usual "(Insert my real name here), I just really don't see us going anywhere... you mean so much to me as a friend, but don't you dare try to hold my hand or smile that smile at me, or I'll break your nose again! ^_^."

I swear, maybe this whole waiting 15 years thing is for the birds. By the way... you know if the worm sleeps in, the early bird doesn't get a thing? Isn't that, like, against the rules, or something? But then again, whoever said life was fair?

Again, I am amazed by iceowl's wisdom and intelligence.

Now for the Dungeons and Dragons interuption: If I were a D&D character, I would most likeley be a human or half-elf fighter, as I am too intelligent and honestly not ferocious enough to be a half-orc barbarian or a dwarf. I may be skilled and tough as all getout, but I ain't no giant, and I possess only slightly above-average physical strength. I am having trouble deciding my alignment. I am pretty sure I am Chaotic Good, but I feel like I want to become Neutral Good, and if anyone can help me figure out what aligment suits me best, please message me.

I think my stats would be as follows:

Strength - probably 17

Dexterity - 14 or 15

Constitution - 15 or 16

Intelligence - 15 to 17 (cause I'm not sure if capacity for thinking is under intelligence or what)

Wisdom - Likely 12 or 13

Charisma - 14 to 16

As far as my actual combat familiarity, I (in real life, not some "game") enjoy practicing with swords, knives, claws, staffs, and my bare hands. Yep, I can be ferocious when I need to be, just... not like a barbarian. Even though I do look good in raggedy clothes.

I'm actually told I look pretty sharp dressed up, but I really only wear slacks and collar shirts to work. And I haven't worn my dress shoes since I graduated high school. On my free days, I can be seen most often in a worn t-shirt, tight-fitting and faded jeans or jean cutoffs, and ugg boots with bandanas wrapped around them. Yeah, I'm tacky. So what - I'm still young, too. Not like I once was, and maybe I'll straighten out when I get about 28 or 30... but I doubt it *wink*.

Also, this dial-up connection thing isn't working, I have to get a better connection - and one that doesn't tie up my phone line while I'm on. If anyone has any good advice or recommendations about DSL or Cable Internet, please give me a notice.

I'll put an egg in my shoe and beat it, now, but tomorrow I have to get some things about Nilok off my chest. Til then, aurevoir (think I spelled that right!)

Fascism: A philosophy or system of government that is marked by stringent social and economic control, a strong, centralized government usually headed by a dictator, and often a policy of belligerent nationalism.

-American Heritage Dictionary

How to seize control of the government of a democratic nation: A "How To Guide" for fascists

Rule the First: Disarm the media. While you cannot silence the media in a democratic society, you can marginalize it and intimidate it. The easiest way to do this is by propping up your own "news programs" as the only outlets of truth while claiming a bias against you in the mainstream media. "(Insert term here) media bias" works just fine once you can convince enough people that your chosen term is a bad thing.

Rule the Second: Identify external enemies and give them as much attention and publicity as necessary to effectively demonize and label them as being capable of destroying "everything we stand for" while trumpeting the positive values of your own society as what is under attack. Rally support from loyalists and encourage them to convince others of the dire nature of this threat and how it requires "certain sacrifices" in order to be defeated. Increase the level of these sacrifices as you bring more individuals into your camp of support, easing yourself into greater power in doing so..

Rule the Third: Marginalize protest by downplaying its significance. Effective means include utilizing protest as support for your cause instead of opposition. "We allow protest, which proves our way of life and government is excellent." If you do this correctly, any protest or show of opposition can be manipulated into support for your operation.

Rule the Fourth: Launch military campaigns against any and all enemies, real or perceived. State that these campaigns are absolutely necessary to maintain "our way of life." Never say "us," always say "we" in order to establish that all persons need to be thinking the same way because they are in the same situation under the same government. Decry opposition and criticism as detrimental to military campaigns and insinuate that criticism causes military campaigns to fail and soldiers to die.

Rule the Fifth: Centralize law enforcement and intelligence agencies as much as possible and work to give control of these as much as possible to the executive office in the interest of security, once again trumpeting the threats as making this necessary. Utilize this centralized law enforcement and intelligence service to manipulate the general population, harass opposition and eventually control the population by rewarding supporters and criminalizing opposition.

Rule the Sixth: Call other people facsists as a way of distracting attention to yourself when the people start to catch on.

"Tell them at Washington, if they have one man who speaks the truth, to send him to me, and I will listen to what he has to say."

--Sitting Bull

The more things change, the more they stay the same. To be silent makes us complicit.

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