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, July 03, 2007

Holocaust Survivor Leaving US

Well, surely this is the canary in the coal mine.

I am experiencing the same internal screams of warning, stemming from a lifetime of studying history. I spent much of my childhood and well into adulthood denying any of my German ancestry, simply because I could not come to grips with German complicity in the Holocaust. I did not want to be 'German.' Germans were monsters, Nazis. Even the language repelled me, because I could hear in it the maniacal ranting of Hitler.

Imagine... how ironic. Now I cringe to be 'American.' And my anger at those who have perverted everything we have stood for in this country, is hard to express. The word 'outrage' falls short. Betrayal, perhaps.

It is too painful to think of all the people that our government is capturing, torturing and holding without due process or any proof of guilt; spirited away to secret camps... and this, only a few generations removed from WWII, when our own proud grandparents liberated Europe from fascist terror.

The evil has come home to roost among us.

How Ironic... that this man, this Holocaust survivor, is going back to Germany:

"I'm going back because I've seen this before." He then commenced to explain that when he was a kid, he watched with his family in fear as Hitler's government committed atrocity after atrocity, and no one was willing to say anything. He said the news refused to question the government, and the ones who did were not in the newspaper business much longer. He said good neighbors, people he had known all his life, turned against his family and other Jews, grabbing on to the hate and superiority "as if they were starved for it" (his words).

He said he was too old to see it happen right in front of his eyes again, and too old to do anything about it, so he was taking his family back to Europe on Thursday where they would be safe from George W. Bush and his neocons. He seemed resolute, but troubled, nonetheless, as if being too young on one end and too old on the other to fight what he saw happening was wearing on him.

I gotta tell you - it was chilling. I let him talk, and the whole time, my gut was churning, like I had mutated butterflies in my stomach. When he was finished, he shook my hand, gripping it really hard, until his knuckles turned white and he was shaking. He looked me in the eyes, hard, and said, "I will pray for your family and your country." He let go of my hand and hobbled away.

I see what he sees. But I am staying. This is, after all my country... my responsibility.

I am daily frustrated as I watch so many dissenting voices within the GOP and in the DoJ, simply resign their jobs rather than blow the whistle and try to save our government. I will not go quit, leave give up... because someone has to stay and speak out.

We have to try. Even if we lose, we have to try. This is not the fight for an elderly, Holocaust survivor... but it is our fight, our responsibility. Our children and the world are counting on us.

I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, and stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong.

- Abraham Lincoln

This is the very essence of why I blog out here. In every life there is a time to stand up and be counted - to stand for something more than just surviving, eating, sleeping and living your own private existence. My heart won't let me do anything else.

I will speak out for what American used to mean: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from oppression. I feel I must do this, because so many before me have paid for this idea with their blood. I owe it to them to speak on their behalf, as they have fought on mine.

We on the home front are the guardians of our troops overseas. We are their voice, we have their backs when they are unable to speak out for themselves. They are dying... for nothing. So I will speak out for them as well, until eventually our Congress wakes up and decides to save America and democracy from the rapidly advancing oppression that is closing in on us, every hour of every day that we sit idly by and do nothing.

Once, this nation was a beacon to the world. Bring us your huddled masses, yearning to be free. Yes free. Freedom of religion, freedom to live in harmony and pursue happiness without fear of repression. Freedom of speech, freedom to congregate, and a government of elected officials that serve the people.

I will speak out on behalf of the America that I love. Until they come for my keyboard... this I can do.

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