Eden Hill Journal

Comments, dreams, stories, and rantings from a middle-aged native of Maine living on a shoestring and a prayer in the woods of Maine. My portion of the family farm is to be known as Eden Hill Farm just because I want to call it that and because that's the closest thing to the truth that I could come up with. If you enjoy what I write, email me or make a comment. If you enjoy Eden Hill, come visit.

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Location: Maine, United States

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Insane Blizzard

The wind chill in Greenville right now is -23F. The actual temperature is 3, but there's a ferocious wind. That in itself wouldn't be all that bad. After all, this IS Greenville, Maine. But what makes today special is the roughly two feet of new windblown snow that we have this morning. This storm began yesterday around noon with light rain, then light sleet, then moderate building to heavy snow all afternoon, but by mid afternoon a north wind had come up. By evening the snow was falling heavily with a strong north to northwest wind. Both continued unabated through the entire night and now at 7:00 in the morning the storm is still raging.
My driveway has vanished. Yesterday evening I watched as the snowbank at the entrance of my driveway grew with each pass of the town's snowplow, but even at bedtime that snowbank was far short of the four to five foot bank that runs along the street. This morning, the snowbank at the end of my driveway is almost even with the bank along the street. It's at least five feet deep.
My wife just heard on the TV that this storm is equivalent to a category 2 or 3 hurricane. I heard on an earlier report that the wind along the coast was gusting up to 80 miles per hour. I don't think it's gusting much over 30 or 35 mph here, but all night long I could hear twigs that were breaking off the trees hitting against my house.
I am procrastinating. I really don't want to go out there this morning.


Blizzard Conditions in Maine Posted by Hello

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

No Permanent Bases in Iraq

Juan Cole today posted a link to a truthout.org article where the leader of the Shiite party which won the January 30 election is quoted as laughing at the idea of permanent American military bases in Iraq:
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/030705I.shtml
I have long held to the belief that the Neo-Con objective of the Iraq invasion was always the establishment of permanent American military bases in Iraq from which the Neo-Con plan for the Middle East could be carried out. Outwardly, this has been backed up by Condoleeza Rice's "generational commitment" and Bush's claim that he'd rather fight the terrorists over there than fight them here in the US. The plan is for a long-term fight centered in Iraq.
Those who ask us to believe that we actually plan to remove America's military presence from Iraq ask a lot of us. They are asking us to believe that after spending hundreds of billions of dollars to rid Iraq of Saddam Hussein because he was or perhaps could have been seeking nuclear weapons, we will be content to turn Iraq over to a group with close political and religious ties to Iran which is, in the Neo-Con view, seeking nuclear weapons to use against the US. Doesn't that seem just a little bit Orwellian? Yet here we have the leader of the majority party in Iraq, a party with political and religious ties to Iran, laughing at the notion of the Americans staying on in Iraq.
When I think about it, it seems to me that the only hope the Neo-Cons have now of carrying out their Middle East plan of stabilizing and westernizing the region using Iraq as a center of operations is if they can convince Iraqi leaders that the only way to have any kind of security in Iraq is if the Americans can stay on there. In other words, the Neo-Con hope is that the insurgency remains strong in Iraq. Everything that the US military has done in Iraq since the fall of Baghdad fits conveniently into this scenario too. The actions of the US military since the fall of Baghdad have enraged the people of Iraq, fueling the fire of the insurgency. The only explanation that makes any sense at all to me for the US taking this course is that the US military would be asked to leave Iraq if the insurgency died down. The Pentagon and White House don't have any intention of letting that happen.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Fascism

"Fascism is a form of government headed, in most cases, by a dictator. It involves total government control of political, economic, cultural, religious, and social activities.
"Fascism resembles Communism. But unlike Communism, which calls for the government to own all industry, fascism allows industry to remain in private ownership, though under government control. Other important features of fascism include extreme patriotism, war-like policies, and persecution of minorities."
World Book Encyclopedia, 1992
"a system of government characterized by rigid one-party dictatorship, forcible suppression of opposition, private economic enterprise under centralized government control, belligerent nationalism, racism, and militarism, etc.: first introduced in Italy in 1922."
Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language, Second College Edition, 1986
It would almost appear that what we have here in these two publications is a left-wing conspiracy to brand today's Republican Party as fascist.
When we think of Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany, we tend to think in terms of imperial expansion and the persecution and execution of the Jews. What we have been taught not to think of is how fascism served the interests of many. As time goes on, it is becoming increasingly clear how fascism won Italian and especially German support and it is becoming clear why investors around the world including investors in England, France, even the United States, encouraged the Nazis. The recent popularity of Republican politics, patriotism, nationalism, and militarism, in the United States in many ways parallels the rise of Nazi power in Germany. Germany's anti-Communism translates into US Republican anti-liberalism, while anti-Semitic prejudice is being replaced with anti-Arab and anti-Islam sentiment.
People have asked me why anti-Bush people compare Bush with the Nazis and not the Communists. My answer is simple. If America continues on this right-wing agenda and succeeds in suppressing liberal and socialist political power, this nation will become fascist. We are laying the foundation for totalitarian rule in America even if it is too early to believe we have reached that goal. But when the goal is reached, and it will be if this trend continues, Fascism will be the victor.