Monday, January 16, 2006

Martin Luther King

Somehow it slipped past me that today (soon to be yesterday) is/was MLK Day. While I agree there are many 'hero's' who deserve to have a special day (it's not like there aren't plenty to go around) I will not deny this great man deserved every ounce of respect and reverence he is given.
Below is a speech given today in honor of Dr King. I'm not going to name the person who gave the speech (no it wasn't a Clinton), least you be distracted by the person over the content.


*******


Congressman Barr and I have disagreed many times over the years, but we have joined together today with thousands of our fellow citizens-Democrats and Republicans alike-to express our shared concern that America's Constitution is in grave danger.

In spite of our differences over ideology and politics, we are in strong agreement that the American values we hold most dear have been placed at serious risk by the unprecedented claims of the Administration to a truly breathtaking expansion of executive power.

As we begin this new year, the Executive Branch of our government has been caught eavesdropping on huge numbers of American citizens and has brazenly declared that it has the unilateral right to continue without regard to the established law enacted by Congress to prevent such abuses.

It is imperative that respect for the rule of law be restored.

So, many of us have come here to Constitution Hall to sound an alarm and call upon our fellow citizens to put aside partisan differences and join with us in demanding that our Constitution be defended and preserved.

It is appropriate that we make this appeal on the day our nation has set aside to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who challenged America to breathe new life into our oldest values by extending its promise to all our people.

On this particular Martin Luther King Day, it is especially important to recall that for the last several years of his life, Dr. King was illegally wiretapped-one of hundreds of thousands of Americans whose private communications were intercepted by the U.S. government during this period.
There have of course been other periods of American history when the Executive Branch claimed new powers that were later seen as excessive and mistaken. Our second president, John Adams, passed the infamous Alien and Sedition Acts and sought to silence and imprison critics and political opponents.
When his successor, Thomas Jefferson, eliminated the abuses he said: "[The essential principles of our Government] form the bright constellation which has gone before us and guided our steps through an age of revolution and reformation... [S]hould we wander from them in moments of error or of alarm, let us hasten to retrace our steps and to regain the road which alone leads to peace, liberty and safety."
We have a duty as Americans to defend our citizens' right not only to life but also to liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is therefore vital in our current circumstances that immediate steps be taken to safeguard our Constitution against the present danger posed by the intrusive overreaching on the part of the Executive Branch and the President's apparent belief that he need not live under the rule of law.

I endorse the words of Bob Barr, when he said, "The President has dared the American people to do something about it. For the sake of the Constitution, I hope they will."


*****


No truer words have ever been spoken.

Does anyone really believes the wiretapping being done by the NSA is restricted to terrorist or terrorist sympathizers. It all comes down to one's definition of who or what qualilifies as a 'terrorist'. Brenda says she has a little terrorist living in her house. Does this mean her phones should be tapped, her emails read, her private life invaded? Think that's absurb? Try telling that to the mother of the 9 month old who's name is on the 'no fly' list for 'suspected terrorist sympathizers'.
Dr King once said, "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."

We sorely need another Dr Martin Luther King. Someone to stand up for simple freedom and equality for all. Until one steps up, it's up to "WE" the people to decide where we go from here.

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