With Liberty & Justice For
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So here it is... time for the "big event." That is, the 2nd annual Liberty & Justice Festival being held near Leslie all day on Saturday, May 1st. And I've done a fairly abysmal job of hounding y'all about this as I promised, two weeks ago, that I would. But hey... What can I say?
I don't like ragging on people... especially when I believe that what I'm stumping for is something that everybody ought to be able to figure out for themselves. But then that "mothering instinct" comes over me and I get this incessant craving to urge folks I care about to do things I sincerely believe will prove to be useful, beneficial, and valuable to them.
Yet at the same time I recognize that the "eat your spinach, it's good for you" approach seldom really works. I mean you may get momentary acquiescence to the idea, but in the long haul -- unless an individual sees that there will be significant and tangible benefit to doing anything, it is unlikely that they will carry on the recommended practice of their own volition. That's just the way human nature works.
Still I feel the need to emphasize the importance of each one of us finding a way to get involved with our own democratic process. I feel an urgency to inspire all of us to devote some time to learning about and practicing the tenets of democracy that are articulated in the Constitution of the United States of America.
I feel the driving passion to shout from the highest steeple... "Hey!!! Fellow Americans!!! This is OUR nation. We are "the people." And it is time for us to start calling our leaders (and ourselves) accountable to our own Constitutional tune.
In this interest, I entreat you... come join us at the Liberty & Justice Festival on Saturday, May 1, 2004. If nothing else, you will have the "rain or shine" opportunity to meet and greet a passel of like-minded advocates, and maybe -- just in the simple act of making these friendly connections -- a profoundly magical and effervescently synergistic process will fill your life -- and everyone's -- with liberty & justice for all...
One Truck Mind...
Thus in this regard, for the next two weeks I am going to have something of a "one truck mind," at least in the vein of what this front page column will be about... and that is the Liberty & Justice Festival coming up May 1st, right here in the Ozarks.
And, why YOU should and must make it a point to come.
Let me count the ways....
But they are all summed up in one sentence: "We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
More succinctly put, we must do this because we can.
Because it is more than our "right" as citizens. It is our duty. It is "what we do" as Americans. It is what we (say) we are all about.
The unabridgable right of free men and free women to gather in public and openly discuss, debate and celebrate the tenets of liberty and justice. This is "how" we "perfect our union." It is "the way" we "promote the general welfare" of our nation and "secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity."
And it is, like cleaning the gutters, something that we must willfully put some energy on attending to from time to time. Which should not be construed to mean that doing it must be a dismal, labor-intensive, drudgery-filled, uninspiring "job." I mean really, even actual gutter-cleaning doesn't have to be that bad a trip... so why on earth should anything else?
Which is the whole point of the Liberty & Justice Festival -- mixing serious business with conviviality. Getting down to earth, back to basics and at the same time moving forward to create a fresh new and awe inspiring "we the people" view of our co-creatively envisioned and collaboratively enacted "manifest destiny."
"We are the ones we've been waiting for... we have met the role models, and they are us!!!"
Let's just "do it!!!!" And while we're doing it, let's enjoy ourselves and have some fun, because if every heartbeat of life ain't worth livin' it sure ain't worth much of anything else.
This last week in addition to those speckled brown, pale green and cream colored beauties sitting on the table in front of her, she brought us a couple of delicious lush dark green clusters of Tot Soy (don't know if I've got the spelling right, but it's something of that ilk)... and trust me, you just haven't lived until you tasted these first fruits of springtime, straight from Kate's lovingly cultivated farm/garden.
In tribute to Kate's goats (and her provisioning skill) we are sometimes tantalized with wonderful homemade cheese, often laced with wild chive garlic. Thanks Lady Kate... for being such a magnificent grower!!!
PS: If you happen to be reading this on the afternoon of Saturday, April 17, and your are anywhere close to Conway... come by the Hendrix campus for their Earth Day event... We'll be there, having a Gozarkian party at the Kucinich booth!!!
Betrayal is (imho) an abomination on the face of the Earth.
And while I know that probably all of us can make a legitimate claim to the fame of having been betrayed by someone, I wonder how many of us can certify ourselves as 100% loyal and true non-betrayers of every given trust? Especially when we measure ourselves alongside the standards we "say" we are "all about."
Of course this presupposes that we do, from time to time choose to measure ourselves in context of something "bigger" than we are. And I wonder, really, how many of us actually do that.
In context of something bigger than we are.
I contemplate things like this as the emails roll through my Inbox, like this one that just came in:
At face value, I am somewhat inclined to agree with the above assertion. I understand, as Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz allegedly commented to reporters last week, that:
I am also inclined to agree, as Democratic Presidential Candidate Dennis Kucinich recently commented, that:
And I know that as I click the keys that type the words which represent my thoughts to this page, the death toll in Iraq and on other bloody battlefields mounts.
Yet still I wonder, who is the perpetrator of the hoax? And yes, I know... the Democrats say it's the Republicans, the Greens say it's all the other political parties, the Libertarians say its "the government," the Independents don't really give a horses' butt about who's at fault because they're too busy indulging lives of meaningless comfort and the Progressives want it fixed but aren't actually interested to do anything beyond moan about the injustice of it.
So I wanna know, who really is the betrayer?
Another incoming email reads:
Obviously, the officials of our U.S. Army believe that Sergeant Mejia is some type of betrayer. And I ask myself, can I agree with that verdict?
Or am I, perhaps like Mejia's mother, Maritza Castillo, more inclined to believe that the confidence this son entrusted to the moral certitude of patriotism was betrayed?
Whereupon I am again forced to ask, who is the betrayer of the brave? And, perhaps more importantly, who has the courage to stem the tide of betrayal?
Another email, credited to George F. Smith and Strike-the-root.com, asks the poignant question:
And with that last statement I wholeheartedly agree, however I would phrase it that our Nation's Founders learned some very brutal lessons for us, on our behalf. They did our homework for us, and they did it the hard way... But they weren't doing it for us, they were doing it for them. And they (as a group) were doing it entirely alone.
That is, they looked around at the circumstances that were culminating around them. Circumstances that were, in fact, world wide and socially accepted as The Norm. And then they did something unthinkable. They measured the quality of their lot in life alongside what they envisioned as an ideal.
Thusly they laid their intellects at the alter of liberty and justice, and then set their wills to make the unattainable real. They turned their actions to changing things, and they gave their lives and their fortunes to the cause of making those changes real.
They acknowledged the inherently ineffable, that here in this nation we call the U.S. of A., We the People are by default the ones who must call the shots. We are where the buck stops and the deciding vote about what ANY government (including and most especially our own) may or may not do to us... as private citizens... each with the Creator Endowed and thus unalienable right to liberty and justice.
All of which brings me, in a highly convenient way, to the last item from my Inbox that I'll share with you today. It's my cc: of a note sent around by the guy who is doing the major part of the speaker and musician scheduling for the Liberty & Justice Festival that is coming up (rather quickly, in nearby Leslie) on Saturday, May 1st:
Which seems like a fitting place to bring a conclusion to this little missive, and also a fine place to really think about who the betrayers are, and what We the People can and must do to end the terrorism of betrayal...
SEND YOUR CANDIDACY ANNOUNCEMENTS TO firstname.lastname@example.org
As always, I'm wishing all of us a life worth living, filled with all those things we prefer, desire, wholeheartedly celebrate and richly deserve to enjoy.
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