From the May 2007 Idaho Observer:

Camelot lost

"We the People" now live in a nation that calls itself the freest in the world and yet "we" are unable to assemble and peaceably protest government policies without first obtaining a government permit or risk being arrested or even shot!

"We" now have a military complex whose generals must execute the commands of Caesar or "fall on their own sword." If there is a difference in the "collateral-damage" to innocent people as a result of the bombing in Oklahoma City or the bombing of Baghdad, I can’t tell what it is.

A recent survey of nations revealed the United States to be the most hated country on this planet today, yet 230-years ago, "We the People" laid aside our plows and businesses to defeat the British who, at that time, had the strongest army in the world. Upon defeating the British, we won our independence from the Crown—and the respect of all Europe.

Sixty-five years ago the United States carried the bulk of the military burden to (we were told) rid the planet of the despotic leaders in Germany, Italy and Japan—and then assisted our defeated enemies in rebuilding their war-torn countries and helping them to install democratically elected leaders.

The nations placed a halo over the United States and elevated the men and women of our political/military complex to near sainthood—the defenders of freedom!

Until the last six years, foreign leaders facing major conflicts and seemingly insurmountable differences TRUSTED the American people’s choice for president to the extent that they would converge on Washington and Camp David in search of our presidents’ wisdom to mediate peace agreements.

When the American spirit was young at heart, the people were able to believe that freedom was the primary objective of our representatives in government; we were proud that freedom and America were synonymous.

History teaches us that every nation that has gone beyond its own shores to war upon, conquer, occupy and/or destroy other nations while attempting to create empires inevitably fall victim to their own folly.

U.S. arrogance to establish and "force" our "freedom" on other nations has dramatically accelerated the loss of our own freedom here at home.

Now, Americans are willing to forfeit their liberty without a whimper in favor of security from imaginary dangers. Fear is for slaves—not for free people in charge of their own lives.

From my current perspective here at a federal "correctional" institution, liberty is the greatest of all earthly blessings.

If the need for security has replaced your desire for liberty, then get out there and violate just one of the thousands of possible "offenses" against the "[l]aws of the United States" (as imagined into existence by the U.S. Congress and enforced as "law" by the U.S. Department of Justice) and come live with me—it’s comparatively safe in a federal prison.

Paraphrasing Patrick Henry’s speeches before the Virginia ratifying convention June 5 and 7, 1788:

When, if ever, will "…We the People set aside our petty political party differences and adolescent name-calling to unite as a people for the common good to reestablish the ideals of this Republic WE affectionately call ‘America’…where a society of honest, hard-working people can enjoy the fruits of their labor, where institutions encourage rest and thrive on virtue rather than greed, where public officials are servants of the people rather than oppressors, and where peace and prosperity come from vigilance and self-confidence rather than conquest and domination?"

We the people, in just 230 years, have exchanged the despotic tyranny of King George III for the despotic tyranny of President George II.

Duane Olson

Miami, Florida

"Whither is the spirit of America gone? Whither is the genius fled?" ~Patrick Henry (June 5, 1788)


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