The Union is Sick!
by
Peter Mancus
Attorney at Law
Sebastopol, California
February 1, 2006
Copyright © 2006 Peter J. Mancus
Email Peter J. Mancus
Web Site: Cloud 9 Photography

President George Bush II on January 31, 2006 delivered his "State of the Union" address to Congress and on national TV. The real "state of the Union," however, was not what Bush II said it was. Instead, the real "state of the Union" was what happened in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere in the United States, before Bush II, gave his speech and later.

Last night, in this nation's capitol, two peaceful adult females were denied their First Amendment right of "free speech" by Washington, D.C. police for wearing clothing with political statements inside "the peoples’ house," namely, the United States Congress, before Bush II gave his "State of the Union" speech. These two females were a U.S. Congressman's wife and war protestor Cindy Sheehan. The Congressman’s wife was forcibly removed from the public gallery solely because she wore clothing that said "Support U.S. troops." Sheehan was arrested, manhandled, charged with "unlawful conduct," and was incarcerated because she peacefully and silently wore a sweat shirt that said "2,245 How many more?"

What happened to these two ladies is tragic on multiple levels. Sheehan’s son volunteered for duty in Iraq, and he was killed in Iraq. Did her son go to Iraq to help liberate Iraqui’s only to have his own mother stripped of her First Amendment right to "free speech"?

Sheehan is not the only mother of a U.S. military service member who has been stripped of her rights. A lady in Denver, Colorado, who has a son in the U.S. Armed Forces, overseas, while riding a public bus that stopped in a "Federal District" in Denver, where she made no effort to get off, was arrested merely because she peacefully stood on her rights and refused to disclose official identification to a policeman who demanded same from her, even though, objectively, she functioned only as a peaceful, law-abiding, passenger on that bus, going from Point A to Point B. Thus, "Your papers, please.," has begun to become reality in these United States. Thus, how many "Check Point Charlies," as in, along the now torn down "Berlin Wall," will our Misleaders erect for us in the United States? As "our fighting men" are overseas, spilling their blood and consuming our tax tribute, to liberate foreigners, why do we tolerate Misleaders who abandon Freedom at Home for ourselves?

The Congressman’s wife is one. Cindy Sheehan is two. The lady on the bus in Denver is three. Who is next? How many more will their be before our descent into a political-legal hell is over?

Everyone is free to agree or to disagree with Sheehan’s views about the war in Iraq and Bush II’s culpability for that war and the death of her son. However, per a faithful compliance with the real Constitutional Rule of Law, no one is free to strip Sheehan, or the Congressman’s wife, of their First Amendment rights, or the lady on the bus in Denver of her Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure.

Some believe that the police who exercised their power over these ladies behaved lawfully, and it is constitutional to impose neutral time and place limits on what the Congressman’s wife and Sheehan could wear, near, or inside, the building were President Bush II delivered his State of the Union speech. I, however, believe that what the police did against these two ladies is unconstitutional.

My primary reasons for that belief are: 1) Their messages were written on their clothing and their clothing, but for their message(s,) was not objectionable; 2) Since their clothing, but for their message, was not objectionable, government’s agents, by doing what they did, manifested an impermissible viewpoint discrimination against both ladies, which is an indirect way of government deeming what shall be orthodox, telling people what is permissible to think, to communicate and to act, which violates government’s duty to maintain official neutrality among competing points of view; 3) Neither lady held anything that blocked someone's view; 4) Neither lady made an audible interruption that interfered with, delayed, or disrupted, the proceeding or anyone’s enjoyment of same; 5) Even if others might be offended by either or both messages worn on their clothing, it is unconstitutional to hold against either lady how others might react to their written, silent messages; 6) These messages did not contain any foul word or libel, and they did not constitute an audible or visual disruption or impairment of anyone’s ability to hear, to see, to communicate, or to enjoy the event; therefore, there was no compelling government need to strip Sheehan or the Congressman's wife of their First Amendment rights; 7) First Amendment rights are in the most "fundamental" category, and they are also in the "conservative of all other rights" category, which means two things–first, they are entitled to the highest form of legal protection and second, government has a high burden of proof to establish a compelling need to impose any neutral time and place regulation, which, in my judgment, the government cannot do, especially since neither lady created an audible and/or visual line of sight obstruction or commotion; 8) The person(s) who created the otherwise unnecessary disturbance were the police who manhandled these ladies in order to enforce government’s impermissible, unconstitutional, viewpoint discrimination against these ladies; 9) A local ordinance or even a federal statute that does not pass strict scrutiny standards does not trump anyone’s First Amendment rights; 10) No one should have been permitted to create an audible and/or line of sight obstruction but neither lady did that, and it is wrong to presume that either or both would have; 11) It is unconstitutional to arrest someone for fear of what they might do before they do it; 12) Silently wearing clothing with a few words and numbers on it, none of which are foul words or libel, does not present a threat of imminent danger or violence; 13) These messages are well within the established boundaries of classic protected First Amendment conduct; 14) Precisely because this event was a gathering of the federal government’s senior leadership, that was a splendid opportunity and an inexpensive way for both ladies to convey their messages to VIPs, and each had a right to do so as long as they remained audibly and visually non-disruptive beyond just showing up wearing their message on their clothing; 15) The police in the United States are not literally the fashion police, especially when there was no excessive exposure of sexual body parts on public display; 16) The First Amendment is not limited to going into the desert or onto a stranded island and declaring something when no one is around to receive the message or to declare one’s message to people who are politically insignificant.

Thus, since when has wearing clothing that states "Support U.S. troops" or "2,245 How many more?" become grounds for police intervention? Since when has the peaceful, silent exercise of a constitutional right to communicate, as part of the political process, to support, or to object, become a crime? When did the police in the United States acquire legitimate power to arrest anyone who peacefully and silently exercises "free speech"?

Is the exercise of a right enshrined in the United States Constitution a crime? Legally, by definition, "No!" Conceptually, a crime, and the peaceful exercise of a right, are mutually exclusive. However, currently, realistically, when the real law is enforced arbitrarily and unconstitutionally, the peaceful—and legally correct—exercise of a right enshrined in the United States Constitution is now too often treated as a crime.

Question: Is the United States "united"? Answer: No! She is extremely divided against herself, and she is extremely polarized, paranoid, and sick.

Question: Is the United States a nation suffering from arbitrary rule? Answer: Yes.

Question: What is Mankind's greatest achievement? Answer: The Bill of Rights—the first ten Amendments to the United States Constitution, which further declared additional restrictions on governments' powers and further clarified what are among the most basic rights secured to United States citizens.

Question: What is under sustained attack in the United States? Answer: Each right declared in the Bill of Rights to the United States Constitution.

Question: Who is attacking these rights? Answer: Too many government officials and other fellow Americans. Tragically, there exists compelling evidence that the United States has become a gaggle, is no longer a thriving, coherent, rational, sane, viable, internally consistent with its own laws and avowed ideals, nation. Increasingly, there is compelling evidence of a stark realization. The United States is at war with herself, is divided against herself, and her own people, and, even though she is the world's only current Super Power with impressive military prowess, she is also politically and legally sick and is perhaps terminally ill.

A grand lady with a torch held high for the world to see, who stands tall in New York harbor, is a magnificent symbol, but this symbol is no longer reliable proof that the United States is composed of citizens who harbor a serious commitment to Liberty or to the Constitutional Rule of Law.

On January 31, 2006, a Congressman's wife and Cindy Sheehan, in the nation's capitol, repeat—in the nation's capital—had their free speech rights snuffed out by sworn peace officers who took a solemn oath to enforce the law, evenhandedly, consistent with this nation's Supreme Law, the Constitution. That duty included the duty to honor everyone's "free speech" rights and to refuse to enforce an unconstitutional order or an unconstitutional federal statute or local rule against "free speech."

At its core, the highest form of "free speech," the part deserving of the highest legal protection against infringement or suppression, is the right to publicly criticize government officials and to question "authority." A corollary to this right is government's corresponding duty to honor this right and to refrain from officially declaring what shall be orthodox. Cindy Sheehan exercised that core right responsibly. Her right to exercise that right is not dependent on whether a majority or officials agree with her.

Is there a meaningful distinction between what the Washington, D.C. police did to these two ladies on January 31, 2006 in the nation's capitol as compared to what Stalin, Hitler, and Saddam did to their detractors? As to punishment inflicted, there is indeed a meaningful distinction, but, as to the act of suppression itself, there is no meaningful distinction. The act of suppression itself is undisputed fact. To make matters worse, this act of suppression—of censorship—occurred in the nation's capitol, in the bowels of the Federal Government, the U.S. Congress, and it was enforced by police paid for by tax tribute.

If there is no meaningful distinction, as discussed above, to what extent is the United States better than the tyrannical regimes we oppose?

When comparing the current United States to Stalin’s Russia, Hitler’s Nazi Germany, or Saddam’s Iraq, I recall a TV interview of basketball legend Wilt Chamberlain. Chamberlain was discussing the then current world heavy weight boxing champion, who had been accused of multiple rapes. Chamberlain said that he personally had slept with thousands of adoring fans [I think he said over 20,000!,] and he was never accused of rape–primarily because he always treated his partners gentlemanly, but the boxing champ had a crude interpersonal style that alienated women who enthusiastically were once willing to become his sexual toy. My definitive point here is this: Like the boxer who was accused of rape, the United States, in 2006, while still overtly nowhere near as bad as a blatantly open totalitarian regime, has become more overtly crude with its increasing, overly aggressive, overly zealous, oppression and its increasing violation of its own bedrock laws. At the current rate, the number of "rapes" under color of law, will proceed, unchecked, at an apparent accelerating pace.

Has there been an outpouring of official or public outrage over what happened to Cindy Sheehan on January 31, 2006, in the nation's capitol? To the extent the answer is "No," how viable is the alleged right to free speech? What is the nation's life expectancy–especially in a constitutional sense? Are we killing ourselves? Murdering ourselves?

When government moves to gag Cindy Sheehan, to strip her of her "free speech" rights, and when our elected officials remain mute, and when the U.S. citizenry remains mute, how viable is the right to "free speech"? To what extent do you have meaningful First Amendment rights when your attempt to peacefully and silently exercise same is dishonored–by the police? When the vast majority remain mute?

Is a First Amendment right vindicated in court months or years later a delayed right? Is a delayed right even a right? Are rights a matter of government’s grace, which government may arbitrarily withhold? Is a right vindicated in court months or years later a substantive right or a mere shadow of the real deal?

Those who remain mute, in effect, have cut the First Amendment out of the Bill of Rights, granting Governments' Agents the dangerous power to declare what shall be orthodox and who is a criminal.

What happened to Cindy Sheehan and this Congressman's wife are tell tale signs of a nation that is mislead, divided, paranoid, mean spirited, dysfunctional, sick, and possibly terminally ill.

Does the name "Elena Ruth Sassower" mean anything? How many know Elena's story? Does the name "Rick Stanley" mean anything? How many know Rick's story? What about Irwin Schiff? Joe Bannister?

Sassower, Stanley, Schiff, Bannister, many others, and now Sheehan, have been singled out for arbitrary, harsh, unconstitutional, treatment by governments in these so called United States, all condoned by judges. Thus, there is an established pattern of serious, devastating, unlawful conduct by governments’ agents under color of law. But none of these agents have been held accountable for their unlawful conduct.

To the extent you do not know the stories of these fellow citizens, and others similar to them, the First Amendment's "freedom of the press" is wasted on the Media. As a sweeping generalization, the Media, the alleged "watch dog of government, "the Fourth Branch of Government," has, for the most part, been lying down on the job, allowing too many government agents to usurp power, with immunity.

The First Amendment is not the only Amendment in the Bill of Rights that is under serious, sustained attack by governments' agents. Many political whores, statist judges, actors, and media talking heads have built their careers undermining the individual right to arms guaranteed by the Second Amendment. The Fourth Amendment has also been under extreme, sustained attack. The Patriot Act is a full press against the Fourth. Bush II's domestic spying is only the latest tell tale sign that many in government, including at the highest level, hold the United States Constitution in contempt and have slipped their constitutional collar. There is even a documented case of a prosecutor successfully arguing to a jury that it was "weird" for a person to refuse a consent search request, when they had nothing to hide, and the mere act of a peaceful refusal of a consent search request, automatically, allegedly, gave a police officer probable cause to detain, to seize, and to search. What is "weird" is that a licensed, trained, prosecutor, who took a sworn oath to support the United States Constitution and has a law-imposed ethical duty to do so, would even dare to make such an argument–in an American courtroom—to punish a person for peacefully daring to exercise a right, and, to make matters worse, an American trial court judge and a dozen state appellate judges all condoned what that prosecutor did.

When the peaceful exercise of a right becomes a legal liability, of what value is the right?

Are we in a free fall toward tyranny? Are we already in the early, shadowy stages, of a tyranny that is now beginning to be revealed to us?

For many police officers, prosecutors, and judges in this nation, ordinary citizens–us common folks, we, the piss ants—have rights, as long as we dare not to exercise them, and, the instant we dare to peacefully and correctly assert our rights,—guess what?, they disappear!

What quality of "freedom" is that? Of what value is a "Freedom" that disappears upon its mere peaceful assertion?

Would you be comfortable with this: Your bank savings account deposit slips show you have $100,000.00 on deposit at your bank, but, when you go down to your bank to make a withdrawal, the teller informs you that your deposits disappeared because you wanted to make a withdrawal. All analogies are imperfect, including this one, but, in a very real sense, this is exactly what more and more officials are telling us is the true nature of our rights–they disappear when we try to assert them.

Now, why does Al Quida hate us? Why does Al Quida want to destroy us? Because they hate our Freedom?

If Al Quida wants to destroy us because they hate our Freedom they should conserve their energy and site back and watch us self-destruct.

To make matters, the Judiciary, and the U.S. Congress, have also gutted the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination when it comes to governments' efforts to collect tax revenue. Ponder what follows and try to reconcile it. Per the United States Supreme Court, if you were charged with multiple counts of the most serious non-tax felonies [e.g., treason or murder,] and if you asserted your Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination in a case of treason or murder, you would never be required to justify your assertion of that right. Never, even in a case of treason. If, however, the government thinks you owe it income taxes and, if you, in an income tax case, dare to claim your Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination, you, under pain of punishment, would have to give a judge, under oath, in the presence of the prosecutor, on the official record, a factually detailed justification of your assertion of your Fifth Amendment rights, so much so that that public disclosure amounts to a virtual gutting of your Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, and the prosecutor, with the judge’s blessings, would be free to use what you were forced to disclose against you! Now, how "free" do you feel?

But, the Fifth makes no exception to that vital right when government enforces its version of this nation's income tax laws.

The United States Supreme Court invented this alleged exception for income tax cases. Why? Because the government has an insatiable need for more tax tribute, it lacks the discipline to use the tax revenue it does collect prudently, too much of the Judiciary has a pro-Government bias [which they would never admit,] and, many judges probably do not want to be audited by the IRS, so, at some level in their reasoning-to-result, they give the IRS what it wants: U.S. citizen-taxpayers laid out on the table, naked and dissected, pinned.v Al Quida did not do that to the Fifth Amendment. The United States Supreme Court did. With the blessings of the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Department of Justice.

The United States Supreme Court, by inventing this exception to the Fifth Amendment for income taxes, engaged in law-making from the bench, e.g., that court, in effect, amended the U.S. Constitution without complying with its provisions for how that document shall be properly amended.

Is not "law-making from the bench" something Bush II railed against in his State of the Union speech when he proudly assured us that Roberts and Alito will not do that?

Do you think Roberts and Alito will vote to overturn that precedent, to make it harder for the Federal Government to collect income taxes? To restore real viability to the Fifth Amendment?

The primary purpose of the Bill of Rights was: 1) to declare further meaningful legal limits on the power of government and 2) to further declare what are citizens' legal rights, to impose additional meaningful legal limits on governments' abuse of its powers. But, when you look at the Bill of Rights in 2006, there are big holes in it. First Amendment? Substantially gone! Second, substantially gone! Fourth, substantially, gone! Fifth, in income tax cases, gone! Ninth and Tenth Amendments, ignored and ridiculed.

When these rights are gone, and when U.S. citizens are disarmed [e.g., defanged,] what will stop further government usurpations of power? A Bill of Rights, a piece of paper, will lots of holes cut in it? An outstretched hand and the word "Stop!" The threat "I’ll sue."? A plea to return to common sense? To restore the Constitutional Rule of Law?

When citizens surrender their arms, the pragmatic means to hold our Perfumed Princes and Princesses to the Constitution’s commands, what "teeth" will we piss ants have to hold our governments’ agents accountable?

We are "sick" because governments in this nation now too often function as if they have virtually unlimited discretion to do whatever they want to do, unchecked, not stopped by conscience or good judgment, not stopped by the "checks and balances" of our three co-equal branch of government system, not stopped by the electorate, not stopped by the Judiciary, not stopped by constitutionally illiterate juries. To make matters worse, government, especially the Federal Government, has a proven track record of being eager to oppress us at home and of even committing murder under color of law, and of promoting and/or providing legal cover for its agents who commit murder under color of law.

And these agents function this way even when they know there are 70 million armed U.S. citizens.

70 million armed U.S. citizens! That is the world’s–history’s–largest, latent, potential guerrilla force in waiting.

One serious misstep by our Misleaders could galvanize a significant percentage of that 70 million to find their courage to restore constitutionalism.

Our own governments routinely violate our bedrock laws, including the Supreme Law. In the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave," our own governments now brazenly declare what shall be orthodox, demand blind obedience, and punish peaceful and principled dissenters, which is tantamount to our own governments being the gorilla, the bully, the brute. Our own governments are driving a meaningful liberty from the Land. Not Al Quida. Our own governments.

The Soviet Union is defunct. We are the world’s only Super Power. Our Armed Forces cannot be seriously challenged on a sustained basis. If we elected to use our long range nuclear arsenal, no nation on Earth can defeat the United States militarily. However, our Federal Government functions as if it were running scared from some all powerful bogey man. If that bogey man did not exist, the odds are high that our Federal Government would perceive a compelling need to invent a bogey man. Our Federal Government seems to need a bogey man to sustain itself, to try to justify keeping us all regimented, as if we are on a perpetual war time footing against wars with no boundaries, with no end, with no objective measure of success, of failure, of victory or defeat, or when it is safe to get off the war time footing. How convenient for our mighty Federal Government and our Misleaders. Bush II seems to need Osama. Bush II seems to use Osama like a sail needs the wind to push a ship. But, in our form of government, citizens retain power to be the rudder. Power delegated is not power surrendered.

Nevertheless, we are treated as if we are on probation, as if we are governments' property, as if we are serfs beholding to government, as if our primary purpose is to obey government and to serve its function, as if the entire United States is some grand maximum security prison outdoor security yard, where we must take off our shoes and raise our arms and open our bags and be wanded, sorted, stamped, and examined, upon demand of some damn official. It is the dreaded "general warrant" all over again.

If you do not know what is "a general warrant" or the significance of that concept to the birthing of this nation, find out!

Our Constitution and our sacred birth rights as U.S. citizens are treated as unwanted garbage that interferes with our Misleaders grand plans for our future . . . and their careers.

If the United States is "healthy," if the state of the Union is good, if the United States is still the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, if there still exists a viable right to free speech, why was Cindy Sheehan arrested last night? Why was a Congressman's wife pulled from the gallery? How did the messages written on their clothing disrupt or delay Bush II’s State of the Union speech? Why did a peaceful lady on a bus in Denver get arrested because she refused to disclose her official identification upon demand to a cop?

The stark reality is this: U.S. citizens have been routinely electing, re-electing, appointing, and supporting officials who function unconstitutionally, and there has been no massive outcry against what happened to these two ladies last night–or about what happened to that lady in Denver. Governments’ Agents have, apparently, succeeded in inducing most of us to be unduly compliant and overly trusting of Government.

Is the United States, in 2006, where the peaceful exercise of a right enshrined in the United States Constitution, is now a crime, the United States envisioned by James Madison? Thomas Jefferson? George Washington? Patrick Henry? Nathan Hale? Was Nathan [the one who, just before he was hanged by the British, said, "I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country.,"] a sucker?

Do the words "EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER LAW," which are engraved on the roof of the building that houses the United States Supreme Court, mean anything beneficial, realistically?

On January 31, 2006, did Bush II have free speech rights but Cindy Sheehan and the Congressman’s wife did not?

Exactly what now is the "law" referenced in that inscription on the United States Supreme Court building?

Of what value is case precedents when the law is enforced so uneven handedly that it is now increasingly too difficult for veteran attorneys to predict accurately how a judge will determine a case?

If we were truly a "united" nation, what difference would it make who a U.S. President nominated to the be the next U.S. Supreme Court justice?

After well over 200 years of national existence, why is it that "the law" depends so much on what just nine people who sit on the U.S. Supreme Court say "the law" is?

This inability to predict assuredly what judges will declare the law is has gotten to be so bad that Harvard Law School Professor Laurence H. Tribe, renowned author of arguably the best single authoritative treatise on American Constitutional Law, a multi-set volume of the same title, who is often considered to be a U.S. Supreme Court nominee, recently announced that he would no longer continue writing his Third Edition of that treatise because even he was finding it too difficult to discuss "American Constitutional Law" in a coherent, logical, principled, manner! Professor Tribe has distinguished himself with his masterful command of that subject matter but he has given up trying to make sense of the new developments! And, believe it or not, we still fancy ourselves to be the world’s shining and best example of "a nation of laws and not of men." What a farce. May the good Lord help those whom we liberate after we bring them "American style Justice and Democracy." The joke is on us.

We are the pinata. Do you believe we pay public serpents to wack at us?

Is the United States, in 2006, worthy of trillions of dollars in annual tax tribute—to pay for governments and their agents that have morphed the peaceful exercise of a right into a crime?

A crime is society’s way of manifesting a serious social stigma.

We have descended into a dark, bottomless, topsy turvy, spinning, sucking, whirlpool, where the governments in this nation are now so powerful they have succeeded in making the peaceful and correct exercise of a right, one enshrined in, and guaranteed, by, the United States Constitution, to be a crime. Think about that and the logical implications.

Could Al Quida, left to its own devices, in 10,000 years, do that– to us?

Have you seen a horse? More than one? Have you ever seen a five legged horse? Have you ever heard anyone claim that they have seen a five legged horse?

If I called a horse’s tail a "leg" and counted its tail as a "leg" to come up with a five legged horse, would there really be a five legged horse?

A tail is not a leg. Calling a tail a leg does not make a tail a leg.

But, that is what too many government agents are doing in this county–they are calling things what they are not. They are employing language as a war tool, a tool of aggression, to wage war, non-violently, against us and our Constitution.

It is the same basic situation that existed pre-Magna Carta back in 1215 and in 1776, before and after the signing of the July 4th Declaration.

Too many officials are functioning like an unscrupulous insurance adjuster or card shark: they cheat.

Wearing clothing with a message was not and is not a crime. I do not give a damn how many officials call a tail a leg, there is no such thing as a five legged horse, and Cindy Sheehan did not manifest "unlawful conduct."

This nation is plagued with the following types of U.S. citizens: 1) Sheeple—those who are unduly compliant, who routinely lay down on their rights [which makes it harder for anyone who stands up for their rights,] who are constitutionally illiterate, who do not give a damn about civic affairs, who have lost the Love of Liberty, who are too gutless to stand up for their rights, who want the benefits of Liberty without its burdens; 2) Statist Judges—those who manifest a strained apology for virtually any government usurpation of power(s); 3) Useful Idiots for Tyrant Wannabees—those along the entire political spectrum, from Right to Left and back, who support anything that is unconstitutional; 4) American Talibans—the United States is infested with its own version of home grown Talibans. Talibanism is the self-serving exploitation of any extreme distortion of an otherwise valid, good, meritorious concept in an illegal, oppressive manner, to advance a private agenda in the guise of promoting a greater good; 5) Political Whores—the title is sufficiently descriptive; 6) MFFU types—those with a "Me First, F You!" orientation; 7) Self-Appointed Elitists who fancy themselves to place their butt on a saddle on your back and ride you into submission, per their arbitrary whim; and 8) Domestic Enemies of the United States Constitution—everyone who functions unconstitutionally.

The real battle is not between Liberals and Conservatives, Republicans and Democrats, Bush II vs. Osama. Instead, it is between Constitutionalists versus everyone else.

The United States Constitution is not self-executing, and it is not self-enforcing. It is only text on paper—a parchment barrier to public and private shenanigans. Text on paper never stopped a government agent's usurpation of power or, by itself, guaranteed a nation's future or its citizens Freedom.

The Constitution needs defenders. The Constitution needs to be enforced first. After all, it is the nation's Supreme Law. It says so in Article VI, Section 2.

The rallying cry that everyone should unite behind should be "ENFORCE THE CONSTITUTION FIRST" and "I WILL SUPPORT THE BADGE WHEN THE BADGE SUPPORTS THE CONSTITUTION FIRST." Such a mind set would be an invisible glue that would hold the nation together and keep it from functioning as a gaggle.

Cindy Sheehan, whether you agree with her or not, is a supporter and defender of the Constitutional Rule of Law, and she was well within her rights when she did what she did to offer the Constitution a saving hand. For that, she was handcuffed.

How civilized are we?

How "equal before the law" are we?

Too many in this nation are constitutionally illiterate, harbor an extreme anti-rights mind set or a selective, elitist approach to rights enforcement. Too many have lost a deep Love of Liberty, are too afraid to offer the Constitutional Rule of Law a saving hand, or, in the alternative, are too eager to slap a handcuff on anyone who does offer the Constitutional Rule of Law a saving hand.

When too many lose their Love of Liberty, when too many cannot find courage behind their breastbone or between their ears, to stand up for the Constitutional Rule of Law–for Cindy Sheehan, for the Congressman’s wife, for Elena Sassower, for Rick Stanley, for Irwin Schiff, for Joe Bannister, for the lady on the bus in Denver, etc., reliance on a written constitution to keep this nation free, under a Constitutional Rule of Law, is misplaced.

When too many in this nation are constitutionally illiterate, are unduly compliant, and usurp power, the United States Armed Forces will never be able to protect the United States from, guess what?—from ourselves. We are murdering ourselves with our, guess what?—our myopic, political fecal matter. Entire forests, oil fields, electrons, and cellulose have given their lives to communicate BS—myopic, stupid, counter-productive, unconstitutional trade-offs in the guise of being a solution.

Most people do not appreciate that a trade-off is not a solution. The Democrats and the Republicans offer us, at best, trade-offs, not solutions, and almost every trade-off offered to us, or, dictated to us, amounts to us being stripped of our rights.

Most people do not realize that government typically does not solve problems. Instead, government, typically, rearranges problems and makes them worse.

Regarding what happened to Cindy Sheehan last night, have you learned of any public protest or objection by Senator Joseph Biden? Senator Barbara Boxer? Senator Robert Byrd? Senator Hilary Clinton? Senator Dianne Feinstein? Senator William Frist? Senator Lindsey Graham? Senator Orrin Hatch? Senator Edward Kennedy? Senator John Kerry? Senator Patrick Leahy? Senator Joseph Liberman? Senator Trent Lott? Senator Richard Lugar? Senator John McCain? Senator Harry Reid? Senator John Rockefeller? Senator Charles Schumer? Senator Alen Specter? Senator John Warner? Bush II? Any surviving ex-President? Any Bush II cabinet member? Any journalist with a national reputation? Any academician? Any CEO from a major corporation?

We have 100 U.S. Senators and 435 U.S. Congressmen. Odds are high that all, or almost all, of these 535 official lawmakers were at that building last night when two fellow citizens were stripped of their most fundamental First Amendment rights, right under their noses. Many of these Perfumed Public Princes and Princesses, who routinely preen themselves in public, showing off their command of the King’s English, their debating skills, etc., while sucking up a salary and fringe benefits paid for with tax tribute, love to pontificate about the importance of the Rule of Law, etc. There is, however, an enormous gap between the Rule of Law [any Rule of Law] and the Constitutional Rule of Law. Every tyrant has his version of the Rule of Law and his enforcers and boot lickers.

What happened last night at the United States Congress reminds me of an experience I had with my father at Hickam Air Force Base on the island of Oahu, in Hawaii. My dad, recently deceased, was a retired U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant. I went there to visit him. By coincidence, I was there when the officials at Hickam Air Force Base had an official open house to celebrate the U.S. Air Force’s 50th anniversary as a separate branch of the U.S. Armed Forces. There was a public musical concert on the base, a rather pleasant outdoor gala with some talented U.S. military personnel as singers and musicians. There was also the largest, dense pack concentration of Admirals and Generals from the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, Air National Guard, Reserves, etc., and public dignitaries, that I had ever experienced in real life. Most of these Admirals and Generals wore multiple stars. One explosion there would have punched a big hole in the U.S. military’s senior leadership. I listened carefully as General after General gave glowing speeches about the value of the enlisted man and the non-commissioned officer, and, but for the sacrifices, talent, and selfless dedication of these lower-ranked men and women, the U.S. Air Force would not have accomplished what it did and these Generals and Admirals could not do what they do, and how much these high ranking officers really appreciated what the lower rank personnel did. But, then, I witnessed something that I experienced to be incongruent with these expressions of deep appreciation for the contributions made by the enlisted and non-commissioned personnel. After these fine speeches, all of this high brass exited the stage and took their chairs, immediately before and in the center of the stage . . . and all of those lower ranking folk in attendance, as always, were again relegated to the back. I thought to myself, those Generals and Admirals would have manifested real class, some true leadership of distinction if, on this one special distinction, if on this one day–one out of 50 years!—they had opted to one of two different seating arrangements–"open seating" regardless of rank, or "reverse seating," with the lowest rank seated closest to the stage. But, again, talk is cheap. Thanks, guys, we love you, but move back and let us hog the best seats.

"Rank has its privileges," in the military community and in the civilian community. But, in a system that claims to have a slavish devotion to "EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER LAW," there is, ideally, no such thing as "rank has its privileges."

Better yet, in a viable system of meaningful, true, Constitutional Rule of Law, there is something better than "rank"–there are inviolate "rights."

But, I have not heard a peep from any of this nation’s political dilettantes, some of whom are presidential hopefuls or also rans, about what happened to Cindy Sheehan or the lady on the bus in Denver. Instead, I have heard, "The nation mourns for your lost. Thank you. Now, sit down. Shut up! Go away! Obey!" But, if a Washington, D.C. cop had laid hands on them, to seize them because of what they wore, or had seized someone connected to them by blood or marriage or otherwise, we would all be bombarded by what the media would incessantly broadcast was their righteous squeal arising from that.

Our Federal Government initiated an undeclared war against Saddam and Iraq before we were attacked. We crossed an international border with arms, with hostile intent, uninvited, and we did so on flimsy evidence that did not hold up. When Cindy Sheehan asks "How many more?," peacefully and silently, she is arrested. Article I, Section 8, Clause 11, of the Constitution grants Congress the exclusive constitutionally legitimate power to declare war. Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution states that one of the President's duties is "he shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed," but, he purposefully engaged in an undeclared war, in violation of Article I, Section 8, Clause 11.

The U.S. Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the United Nations, and the President, individually and combined, do not have constitutionally legitimate power to grant an American President the power to commit U.S. troops to an undeclared war, but, that is what our Federal Government, and Americans, have tolerated and condoned. Thus, there has been a complete break down of checks and balances on an issue as vitally important as war, as international murder under color of law, of thousands of people—Americans and foreign—being maimed and killed, and of trillions of dollars in tax tribute being spent in violation of our Supreme Law.

How sane are we?

How law-abiding is the United States Federal Government?

What organization is the world’s biggest criminal enterprise?

I consider myself to be intensely nationalistic and patriotic. As a teenager, when Fidel Castro turned off the water in Quantanomo, I was willing to join the Marine Corps and try to be the one who put a 30-06 round between Fidel’s eyes. I remain intensely nationalist and patriotic, but I now see a lot more gray in what use to be stark black and white.

This nation has changed for the worse far more than I have changed. It has abandoned me. I have not deserted it. I have changed only in the sense that I have grown older and learned more. The nationalism and the patriotism is still there, intensely.

And, now, most of us seem willing to tolerate Washington, D.C. police violating Cindy Sheehan's First Amendment rights of free speech.

How much further erosion of the real Constitutional Rule of Law are we willing to tolerate?

All who were—and are—hostile to the Second Amendment's guarantee of an individual right to arms [e.g., Bill Clinton, Dianne Feinstein, Charles Schumer, Ted Kennedy, Don Perata, Gray Davis, and thousands of others] laid the groundwork for the Bush II administration to be hostile to Cindy Sheehan's peaceful and lawful exercise of her First Amendment rights.

Why do I make this assertion? Answer: Because constitutionalism, namely, functioning consistent with the United States Constitution’s commands, is not a pick and choose smorgasbord. Instead, it is a seamless cloth, principled, intellectually honest, way of thinking. Reformulated, it is constitutionally infirmed to arbitrarily select which right shall be enforced and which shall be under enforced and allowed to wither. The anti-Individual Gun Right Liberal Democrat crowd made it much easier for the neo-conservative Bush II Administration crowd to bring us Patriot Act I and II and the arrest of Cindy Sheehan.

Our best protection lies within this concept: ENFORCE THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION FIRST–24/7, 365 DAYS A YEAR, FOR ALL, REGARDLESS OF RACE, COLOR, CREED, AGE, SEXUAL PREFERENCE, and INDIVIDUAL QUIRKS, ETC.

The Bill of Rights is the nation's invisible glue that is suppose to hold us together as a nation, but too many of us are pouring a solvent on that glue with our myopic, infantile, imprudent, political discourse. When the Bill goes, the nation goes—into the toilet.

Envision a United States without a meaningful First, Second, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eight, Ninth, Tenth, Thirteenth, and Fourteenth Amendments. Now, who among us is willing to pay tax tribute for such a United States? To pick up arms and fight for such a United States?

Strip the U.S. of its Bill of Rights and do you still have that grand lady in New York Harbor? What do the words "EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER LAW" mean then?

Strip the U.S. of its Bill of Rights and I will tell you what you have: You have a Third World Banana Republic on steroids, a post-Industrial Age, over-the-hill, long in the tooth, needs Viagra to get it up and keep it up, gaggle on the decline, in free fall toward Tyranny.

Am I willing to fight for a United States that arrests Cindy Sheehan for what she wore on her clothing at last night’s State of the Union speech? No.

Am I willing to fight for a United States that abused Elena Sassower? Rick Stanley? Irwin Schiff? Joe Bannister? No!

What horrible bad things can Osama do to us that we are not now doing to ourselves? We are doing to ourselves, under color of law, what 100,000 Osama’s with 10 million virulent followers could never do to us: We are committing constitutional suicide or constitutional murder under color of law. What is worse than that? We can erect hundreds of Twin Towers at record speed if we wanted to, but, we cannot now save ourselves from ourselves.

We do not have a Culture of Constitutionalism in this country. If we did, Sheehan would never have been arrested.

Everyone in the chain of command that lead to Sheehan’s arrest needs to be held accountable, meaningfully, the quicker the better. Ditto the chain of command who have had the lady on the bus in Denver arrested and prosecuted.

We do not have a Federal Department of Bill of Rights Enforcement. We do not have one because those in charge do not want to be burdened or hamstrung by one that would live up to its name, in earnest.

We are all now virtually totally dependent on Governments' Agents interpretation of the Bill of Rights and the enforcement of same, which is a major reason why so many of those rights have been gutted. Police officers, prosecutors, and judges have too often interpreted the Bill in favor of government. Citizens who think civics are boring have failed to exercise oversight control.

Regardless of what you might think of Cindy Sheehan and her position regarding the undeclared war and who is responsible for her son’s death in Iraq, if you do not give a damn about what the police did to suppress her First Amendment rights, you are a hollow shell of my concept of what it means to be an American. The proverbial bell that tolls for Sheehan tolls for thee, too, whether you hear it or realize it, and for the United States.

There are far more Domestic Enemies of the United States Constitution than there are foreign ones.

There are more American Talibans in the United States than there are Afghan Talibans in Afghanistan.

The sworn peace officers who arrested Sheehan, who denied that Congressman's wife her First Amendment rights, who stripped the lady on the bus in Denver of her Fourth Amendment rights, etc., all acted pursuant to the orders of their superiors, who acted pursuant to orders from their superiors. Most public employees live in constant fear of being reprimanded or fired or sued. Hence, most act only when they are confident they will not be reprimanded or fired or will be protected by the legal system when sued. Reformulated, the official power structure in the nation's capitol is hostile to the peaceful, silent exercise of the First Amendment's "guaranteed" "right" of "free speech."

"Free speech" is code for "off limits," but, as enforced in the United States in 2006, "free speech" exists as long as one does not dare to exercise it or exercises it only as a cheer leader for the Establishment. "Free speech" is no longer "free." Instead, it is costly. It triggers a criminal arrest. Our combat vets planted in Europe and the Pacific, at the bottom of the oceans, and blasted in the skies into vapor, must be asking themselves did they make their sacrifice in vain.

Americans, on February 1, 2006, remain mute, acquiesce, and go about their business, blindly compliant or deeply satisfied that officials did what they did to enforce a regime against Sheehan and a Congressman's wife.

To make matters worse, American Talibans, Political Whores, Useful Idiots of Tyrant Wannabees, and Domestic Enemies of the United States Constitution enjoy protection from America's Statist Judges, who function as the opposite of Guardians of Liberty.

Only time will tell if Bush II succeeded in putting two more Statist Judges on this nation’s highest court.

There has been a complete break down in our system of checks and balances. The Media is a toothless dog who refuses to sniff out and track down official wrongdoing. Lawmakers approve unconstitutional laws without even reading them or knowing what they say. Judges sanction official lawlessness. Constitutionally illiterate juries convict people who peacefully and correctly assert rights.

We are sick. We have lost the Love of Liberty. We are unduly compliant. We pay tax tribute to governments' agents to slap handcuffs on anyone who peacefully and silently protests. We are digging this nation's grave deeper. The grave is dug. Too many stand in a pit—one dug by themselves and/or by those who pursue folly, deliberately or negligently, indifferent, to the wrongs committed in this nation under color of law.

What the government calls "law" is too often governments’ crime against the Constitutional Rule of Law.

Too many of us are "united" in only one meaningful way: They have broken faith with the Constitution envisioned by its Framers.