Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country; and never to tolerate their violation by others.

As the patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and Laws, let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor; let every man remember that to violate the law, is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the charter of his own, and his children's liberty.

Let reverence for the laws, be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap; let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in Primers, spelling books, and in Almanacs; let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and Let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.

While ever a state of feeling, such as this, shall universally, or even, very generally prevail throughout the nation, vain will be every effort, and fruitless every attempt, to subvert our national freedom.

- Abraham Lincoln, January 27, 1838
  Address Before the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

We all have a stake in protecting our freedom

To my Representatives:

If you expect me to believe that we are not living -- right now -- under a dictatorship, then please write back and let me know what you intend to do about the contents of the article I am attaching below. Thank you.

"I have a personal stake here, but so do all Americans who take their political system seriously. Thus I hope you and your colleagues will take some positive action to bring the Administration's conduct to the attention of a far larger, and more influential, audience than I could hope to reach." - Walter F. Murphy

As an American citizen, I know my Constitutional rights, and I also refuse to accept tyranny in any form. That's right, as an educated American citizen, I was raised to reject tyranny: raised on the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights and the rule of law. If this is all now dismantled, then I demand an explanation.

I plan to travel to Ireland next year. And yes I did attend a peace rally, finally, in Washington D.C. last January. I took part in the rally and march around the Capitol building in an attempt to get your attention about this bone-headed war. This is the first time I have ever done this, and it was at great cost to myself physically (I have severe Fibromyalgia, and the 16 hour bus ride each way was excruciating.) I felt that I had no other choice - you all have left me no other choice. No one was listening. It was my right as an American to be there, assembling peacefully with a permit in defense of my democracy. As I recall, John Conyers was there - I suspect he is still flying, as are the Hollywood celebrities who spoke at the rally.

Just giving you a heads up, that if I ever find myself on one of these bogus no fly lists, I will get into my car and drive to Washington to visit each of you personally (or wait outside your office) until you - my representatives in this broken government - make it right.

I'd prefer you made it right in advance.

The Patriot Act was obviously put into place as a means to persecute American citizens and expand the reach of a power-grabbing executive branch -- and no I do not feel safe. I don't recognize my country at all. I ache for those who really did die for our freedom... because its being taken from us, by stealth, while those who should be defending it stand by and do nothing.

"I confess to having been furious that any American citizen would be singled out for governmental harassment because he or she criticized any elected official, Democrat or Republican. That harassment is, in and of itself, a flagrant violation not only of the First Amendment but also of our entire scheme of constitutional government. This effort to punish a critic states my lecture's argument far more eloquently and forcefully than I ever could. Further, that an administration headed by two men who had "had other priorities" than to risk their own lives when their turn to fight for their country came up, should brand as a threat to the United States a person who did not run away but stood up and fought for his country and was wounded in battle, goes beyond the outrageous. Although less lethal, it is of the same evil ilk as punishing Ambassador Joseph Wilson for criticizing Bush's false claims by "outing" his wife, Valerie Plaime, thereby putting at risk her life as well as the lives of many people with whom she had had contact as an agent of the CIA. - Walter F. Murphy

I will not be bullied by anyone, especially my own government. I am a law-abiding citizen. I am also - apparently - more patriotic and informed than my President. It appears to me that the people who refuse to abide by the rule of law and our Constitution are mostly in Washington these days. If they can fly, I expect to be able to fly as well.

Thank you, and please excuse my anger... but you will notice that this Walter F. Murphy -- professor emeritus at Princeton University and "most distinguished scholar of public law in political science" who also happens to be a retired Marine colonel, fought in the Korean War, was wounded, and decorated for heroism -- is a lot more distinguished than I am. If he is on a no-fly list for speaking out against Bush, then I ask you: who exactly is allowed to fly these days? Exxon executives? Christian fundamentalists? Or just loyal Bushies?

My God -- my country is looking more like a banana republic by the day. Did you not all -- all of you -- swear to uphold the Constitution? Did anyone happen to read it first?

Fix this.

March in peace protest, get on the no-fly list
By Joshua Holland
Posted on April 9, 2007, Printed on April 10, 2007

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