New Year’s Day Resolution
by Reasonable Veteran, January 1, 2006

As a war veteran who deeply appreciates the value of freedom, here is my New Year’s Day resolution:

Peacefully overthrow the unelected executive.

Although this proposal sounds shocking, my resolution remains protected as free speech under our U.S. Constitution.

With great seriousness, I believe it is time for me to exercise that right today, so we and our children may live with liberty and pursue happiness.

Toward that end, here’s an idea free people should ponder: Exercising our civil liberties on a massive scale on Friday, January 20, 2006.

That day will mark five years since our last properly elected president departed the White House and the disturbing downward spiral toward dictatorship began.

On January 20, 2006, free-thinking citizens in the United States should take one hour from work, school, or play in order to exercise our freedoms.

We should call it “Freedom Hour.”

This means using one hour, at any time of the day, to remember the meaning and value of freedom. Some may choose to take time from work. Others may choose to walk out of class. And others may decide to assemble in public, as is our right under our U.S. Constitution.

People should bring with them one of these three great works to share.

“Common Sense,” by Thomas Paine
“Declaration of Independence,” by Thomas Jefferson
“U.S. Constitution,” by James Madison

I’m suggesting we peacefully exercise our rights on January 20 because our Nation is facing a very serious Constitutional crisis due illegal domestic spying, questionable elections, and an endless pursuit of war using fear and lies.

Our Constitutional crisis began last year when Bush confirmed that he spied on U.S. citizens without a warrant, as required by our U.S. Constitution and the Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Act.

Interestingly, Bono, TIME Magazine’s man of the year, points out the seriousness of these times that try men’s souls. In an almost-hidden message in U2’s new video album, “Vertigo,” the band reminds us, using a one or two words per page:

Don’t become a monster in order to defeat a monster.

When Bush was confronted with the fact he broke our laws and ignored our Constitution, Bush only turned up the heat, saying he will keep undermining our freedom.

In Bush’s unreasonable view, Bush tells free people that he, as “Commander in Chief,” is above our Constitution and our laws. May I remind Bush what Thomas Paine wrote when describing the despotic George III during the Revolutionary War: “Law is King.”

Paine means that the King is not the sole decision maker for a free people. And that is why Americans revolted against the tyranny of the British Crown, including violent attempts to mandate the King’s version of religion and the King’s version of monopolized commercial profit.

Unless we act peacefully to recognize we are a free people who lead our Nation, then Bush’s pattern of behavior indicates Bush will raise the stakes and steal more liberties.

The loss of freedoms is not an academic exercise. In plain terms, Bush ended habeus corpus – your right to your day in court. Bush builds secret prison camps around the globe. Bush uses “rendition” – he sends suspects to other countries to be tortured without a trial, away from the Red Cross and your right to an attorney.

When Bush declares himself King, who, then is to prevent Governors, Mayors, police chiefs, and others from declaring themselves above the law? The potential for cascading abuse is real and upon us.

Recent news confirms the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the New York City police, and other police departments spied upon church groups and peace groups. Bush’s illegal spying involves the active support of major corporations who provide internet and phone service. That means everyone, every where, can be monitored by secret police without any reason, without any warrant, and Bush says there is nothing you can do about it.

Ask yourself this question: Do you want government police spies and big business in your church pews, in your work meetings, at your job site, or at your poker parties with your buddies where you slam the boss?

A similar theft of freedom was corrected in the 1970s, when former President Richard M. Nixon declared himself above the law. Nixon spied on innocent people, too. Lives were ruined, and many people went to prison for violating our Constitution.

Bush’s spying reminds me of Nixon. And remember Bush’s haunting quote on CNN news on December 18, 2000:

If this were a dictatorship, it’d be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I’m the dictator.

As a political moderate, I’ve been very concerned about the direction this country is going in the past few years. I keep asking myself, how bad does it need to get before the people say, “Enough is enough?”

On Veteran’s Day, I said this to a group of family, friends, and veterans gathered to recognize those who stand on the ramparts guarding our individual and collect freedoms:

The worst day free is always better than the best day safe.

Thus, I ask all fellow citizens to consider taking one hour on January 20th to stand up for ourselves and send a clear message to a reckless and dangerous President: we are strong because we are free, and we grow weaker when you steal our liberties, spy on us, imprison us, and otherwise ignore the fact that Congress and the Judiciary are co-equal branches of government responsible to the people, not you.

Bush proposes to tear our Nation in two. We’re better than that. Let’s resolve this New Year’s Day to be one free people. Let’s have a “Freedom Hour.”

On January 20, at the time you choose, begin to peacefully overthrow the unelected executive. Are you willing to pledge one hour to be free?

— Reasonable Veteran

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