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

Friday, September 07, 2007

I'm starting to see the bricks

The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it's profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, pull back the curtains, and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater.

- Frank Zappa

When did our government decide that we citizens are the 'enemy?' Or has it always been this way? Appears Zappa was right after all. I'm beginning to see the bricks.

During the Clinton administration, I had this weird idea that we Americans were one nation. Oh, and that 'liberty and justice for all' bit still held true; or so it appeared. Perhaps we were all still asleep. These days, Clinton is golfing with Bush Sr. Makes you wonder.

Police break up anti-war meeting in Washington

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Mounted police charged in to break up an outdoor press conference and demonstration against the Iraq war in Washington on Thursday, arresting three people, organizers and an AFP reporter said.

"The police suppressed the press conference. In the middle of the speeches, they grabbed the podium" erected in a park in front of the White House for the small gathering, Brian Becker, national organizer of the ANSWER anti-war coalition, told AFP.

"Then, mounted police charged the media present to disperse them," Becker said.

The charge caused a peaceful crowd of some 20 journalists and four or five protestors to scatter in terror, an AFP correspondent at the event in Lafayette Square said. No one appeared to have been hurt.

Three people -- Tina Richards, the mother of a marine who did two tours of duty in Iraq; Adam Kokesh, a leader of the Iraq Veterans Against the War group; and lawyer Ian Thompson, who is an organizer for ANSWER in Los Angeles -- were arrested, Becker said.

I'm reading 'Presidential Courage' by Michael Beschloss. Fascinating book.

One of the things that has really stood out in the initial chapters (about George Washington and John Adams) is how... wonderfully unruly and free these early Americans were, to speak their minds and to get involved in their government. As I read, I see what real freedom looks like. And boy - we have lost it. I fear any semblance of free speech is hanging by a thread.

Perhaps that is why I test it so often out here on this blog. This is my wind sock.

These early patriots were in the streets demonstrating all the time; and their voices were heard. We really were a 'government by the people.'

This of course was before the banks and the corporations took over. The difference is painfully obvious - and I stress 'painfully,' because I am realizing more every day how much we have become like the old Soviet Bloc... how much we have lost of our wonderfully unruly democracy.

The frog in the pot is boiling now. Bush just tosses aside the laws he doesn't like and makes new ones to suit his and his corporate cronies' interests. The Constitution... to him, is just a 'damned piece of paper.'

We are definitely not the country we were. Lincoln used to welcome the widows and mothers of soldiers into his home; he didn't have them arrested.

But then... surely Bush is no Lincoln.

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