Knocking on fascism's door

Where's the due process?
Fingerprinting folks without guaranteeing due process is a slippery slope

Like many folks in the United States, I’m an immigrant. But unlike many folks who crossed this nation’s borders, I was lucky to come here with a green card. I say “lucky” because getting a green card typically involves having the money and educational skills to make you “desirable” in the eyes of federal immigration authorities, things you are less likely to have if you are born into a dirt-poor country.

Getting my green card involved getting fingerprinted and biometrically assessed. So, I understand the national security argument for wanting every immigrant's fingerprints. And I hear the feds saying that, thanks to limited resources, their prime objective is to deport undocumented immigrants with criminal records.

The question I have around the Secure Communities program is this: Where are the guarantees that this system won’t be used, now or in the future, to deport long-term or juvenile residents who haven’t actually committed serious crimes?

Imagine that your legal immigrant co-worker is charged with terrorist activity? You’d expect them to get their day in court before being stripped of their citizenship, right? You wouldn’t say “due process’ was never meant to protect criminal behavior, would you? But that’s exactly the slippery slope that folks start sliding down when they say that sanctuary city policies were never meant to protect criminal behavior, while refusing to stand up for the due process rights of immigrants who aren't guilty as charged.

The point here is that there is a world of difference between being charged with and being guilty of a crime, (which explains why Arizona is trying to make it a crime to be here without paperwork.)  And without guarantees of due process, the potential for abuse of any law becomes immense.So, it’s kinda important that folks who want to be politcal leaders show us that they get that point. Otherwise, how can we trust them to stand up and do what's right in the future?


Do you even know what it means?

Why does the Guardian spend so much time bitching about the Chronicle creating news and whipping people into frenzy? You people try just as hard, just no one reads this paper, and the people who agree with you are already always in a frenzy.

Posted by glen matlock on May. 07, 2010 @ 12:37 pm

I have to agree with the implied answer to the rhetorical question in the first sentence of Glen's post. HItler and the Nazis are a very poor example of fascism. Mussolini was a much better example. I agree that the AZ law is racist and creates more of a police state, but those things are not the same as fascism. The first part of Sam's definition is good. As Mussolini said when asked to define fascism in one word, it's corporatism. Or as Robert F. Kennedy said, it's when the corporations control the government. (The U.S. is already well along the way, if not already fascist.) But let's not throw the word fascism around loosely. This is racism and police state crap, pure and simple. It has nothing to do with fascism.

Posted by Jeff Hoffman on May. 08, 2010 @ 10:28 am

Knocking on fascism's door. Interesting title. Interesting because about a week ago, I was on here talking about Hitler and fascism and the way it's creeping into this nation (particularly with the fascist AZ nonsense) and I got a warning from the Bay Guardian, specifically from Marke. He warned me to "knock off the Hitler talk..."

Today I come on here and I see Sarah's article about knocking on fascism's door. I thank her for her article (gracias), and I agree with what she wrote and the title. As I had said in previous comments, we are living in a corporate fascist nation.

But the hypocrisy of the Bay Guardian is blatant. Watch out'll get a warning from Marke.

But now I see that other sites and radio programmes are talking about this subject quite heavily. So, I guess The Guardian decided it's time to catch up to what others have been following for months now. But yet, when I bring it up, I receive a warning.

"Once in power Adolf Hitler turned Germany into a fascist state. Fascist was originally used to describe the government of Benito Mussolini in Italy...."

Okay Marke, give me another warning. The truth really hurts, doesn't it?

And here's additional information for you:

From Wikipedia:


Fascism, pronounced /ˈfæʃɪzəm/, is a radical and authoritarian nationalist political ideology.[1][2][3][4] Fascists seek to organize a nation on corporatist perspectives, values, and systems such as the political system and the economy.[5][6] Scholars generally consider fascism to be on the far right of the conventional left-right political spectrum,[7][8][9][10][11][12] while some scholars say that fascism has been influenced by both the left and the right.[13][14]

Fascists believe that a nation is an organic community that requires strong leadership, singular collective identity, and the will and ability to commit violence and wage war in order to keep the nation strong.[15] They claim that culture is created by collective national society and its state, that cultural ideas are what give individuals identity, and thus rejects individualism.[15] In viewing the nation as an integrated collective community, they claim that pluralism is a dysfunctional aspect of society, and justify a totalitarian state as a means to represent the nation in its entirety.[16][17] They advocate the creation of a single-party state.[18] Fascist governments forbid and suppress openness and opposition to the fascist state and the fascist movement.[19] They identify violence and war as actions that create national regeneration, spirit and vitality.[20]

Fascists reject and resist autonomy of cultural or ethnic groups who are not considered part of the fascists' nation and who refuse to assimilate or are unable to be assimilated.[21] They consider attempts to create such autonomy as an affront and threat to the nation...


And to the insipid, stupid trolls who don't know what this article is about or understand it: Engage your brain if you have one and Google fascism. Duh.

Posted by Sam on May. 07, 2010 @ 1:16 pm

Sam, I heart you, but there's a difference between decrying a certain political policy and devolving every post into something about Hitler. You could Google Godwin's Law

or you could read the fab Anna Applebaum on it

It just really shuts off debate. Yes, so do the trolls, but I think you have more to offer. Also, take a puff or something, dude. You're stressed.

Posted by marke on May. 07, 2010 @ 1:58 pm


Your comment is similar to ones I’ve received in the past from those who choose to live in denial. First, they start out by saying how they “heart me” or they love me. Then their inaccurate attack on me starts. You don’t strive to be at all accurate do you? I didn't and haven’t devolved *every* (your word) post into something about Hitler. So when you accuse me of something you should at least attempt to be accurate. I've talked about corporate fascism some (federal level government specifically and fascism regarding sit-lie) in comments but only recently have I brought up Hitler in connection with AZ and some comments I read from haters on SFHate (a.k.a. SFGate). If one doesn’t talk about increasing fascism (or Nazism or Hitler), it will happen again. Granted, those living in denial don't want to hear it.

You say I'm stressed and "take a puff or something dude." A very flippant, juvenile and patronizing suggestion. I usually get that suggestion from the rabid right-wing trash. Or they write drivel like, “you need to reduce your meds.” They think they’re being funny. They are not. Neither were you. So you're not in the best company suggesting that, Marke.

You and others appear to be in denial, or "taking a puffing" to use your own phrase back at you. Denial is a very comfortable place for many people these days. Many people exist on denial. If you are not stressed by the pro-war, pro-corporate neocon status quo continuing under Bush3 and the crumbling of this nation and the economy, immigrants being rounded up/deported in greater numbers than under Bush2, the continuation of 2 wars/occupations, droning Pakistan, continuing of the USA "Patriot" Act, hate groups gaining in strength, our environment being wrecked, perhaps our sanctuary city status being gutted (and there's a whole shit load of other garbage I could mention...none of it positive)...if you're not stressed by any of this stuff, I can only assume you've had a lobotomy or working at the Guardian is just a job for you and you have no emotional connection to its political content whatsoever. Either that, or you need to go into rehab from "taking a puffing or something, dude." Because you’ve OD’ed and your mind is numb to what's really going on.

You remind me of my experience at NPR. I sat in the NPR studios one evening during their production of All Things Considered about 10 years ago. After Ann Taylor read the news headlines, I asked the producer how he was able to deal with all of this bad news every day. He told me, “I ignore it all. I don’t pay any attention to any of it. I just produce the show.” I found that astounding. He seemed oblivious to what was really going on with the content of the news. But he didn’t tell me to take a puff, chill out or stress out.

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.
(That means you don’t just stop talking about problems because they make you feel uncomfortable). Isn’t that what The Guardian is supposedly for? To spot light major and minor problems?

Posted by Sam on May. 07, 2010 @ 4:13 pm

You read the title "Knocking on fascism's door"

We know that when referring to Fascism it means German Fascism right?

She wasn't referring to Peronism or wine drunken Italian Fascism.

These "progressives" views are the product of no input from the real world.

Posted by glen matlock on May. 08, 2010 @ 2:33 pm

Debating Fascism is like debating the wind. Fascism can in general can be anything depending on the circumstances. For example the left wing Peronist version, which resembles the San Francisco progressive vision of unions and the state merging, as much as oil companies and the federal government. That "you're a fascist" is such a tired game, especially from people who don't like being called communist.

Try a couple of these though...

Illegal aliens are not a race. Thus a failed analogy to Fascist racism. Also legal immigration is not hung up on these race issues.

Progressives complain "who will do the work" thus shilling for big business that wants to keep wages low" Thus a good analogy to Fascism.

The remaking of words and terminology and getting them into the general lexicon around this issue should be the envy of any neo-nazi group who studies Goebels.

Still, this is a game for children, like Sam and Sarah. Whine when you are called a communist then scream fascism at the top of your lungs, then go make common cause with people wearing Che shirts.

Posted by glen matlock on May. 07, 2010 @ 1:44 pm

Are we still using "aliens"?

Undocumented, immigrants, illegals, but aliens?

Posted by generic on May. 08, 2010 @ 3:19 pm

"Nobody reads this paper?" You do, Glen. (So, by fairly good estimates,do about half a million others, but never mind.) You do. And you seem more in a frenzy than anyone I know.

Posted by tim on May. 07, 2010 @ 2:26 pm

I get a chuckle out of things like the 700 club and the Bay Guardian.

Barry Goldwater, one of the last true liberals in national politics was sadly right, you can't start involving the government in everyone's business and then try and draw the line elsewhere after you crossed it long ago.

So I get a chuckle out of all of this, when I post at Frontpagemag and other right wing operations they complain that I am a leftist, when I talked to my religious relatives they thought I was anti-Christian when I asked them why they cared what gay people did in the privacy of their own homes. So I'm just getting a nyuk from people who want to jamb the government down our throats while complaining about it being invasive.

It's funny, it's pretty standard here that the Chronicle creates these issues and works people up for no good reason, while anyone who doesn't agree with the progressive agenda is helping creeping fascism along. It's the same type reasoning of people who think national socialism was socialist, and thus Hitler was akin to a modern American liberal.

Posted by tolerance of others, a one way street on May. 07, 2010 @ 4:51 pm

Additional Information:

Hispanics unhappy with Dem shift
Jeanne Cummings – Thu May 6, 5:39 am ET
Yahoo Politico


"To get an idea of how far Democrats have moved to the right on the issue of immigration reform, consider this: The Obama administration’s enforcement efforts in 2009 led to the deportation of 387,790 illegal immigrants — a 5 percent jump over the Bush administration’s record in 2008. [Sam's comment: More of that "Change we can believe in" stuff. Oh, it's "change" all right....just in the opposite direction of where most of the voters who allowed themselves to be duped by The Chairman of Change thought it was going to be.]

And this: A liberal Democratic senator from New York is a co-sponsor of a measure that includes what civil libertarians fear could become the first national ID card.

And this: A PowerPoint presentation offering guidance for Democrats in the coming Senate debate concludes that the most persuasive argument to voters for supporting reform is actually a classic Republican pitch: because it will force illegal immigrants to “pay their fair share of taxes.”"

(You can Google the title of the article, "Hispanics unhappy with Dem shift" to read the entire article. It's on Yahoo News).

Posted by Sam on May. 07, 2010 @ 2:27 pm

So if the Secure Communities program is incipient fascism, does that mean that Obama, whose Administration is carrying out the program, is a fascist? This hyperbolic attitude on the part of the Bay Guardian is somewhat reminiscent of the Communists in Weimar Germany lumping the Social Democrats together with the Nazis as equal enemies of the Weimar Republic. Opposition to an open border policy, which reduces the cost of unskilled labor & depresses wages, does not equal fascism. If you seriously think that the current Administration is fascist, just wait until Sarah Palin and the tea partiers take over. . .

Posted by Colin V. Gallagher on May. 22, 2010 @ 5:24 pm