- The Constitution is under assault!
- The Great Wall of China was breached not by invading
hordes of terrorists but by betrayal from within. The threat to freedom
is not the work of al-Qaeda, terrorists of any stripe -- Israeli, Muslims,
whatever -- or a North Korean dictator. The attack has been launched from
within the bastion of America by self-proclaiming loyalists to our Constitution.
But they lie!
- Super patriots, in response to this article, will raise
high the flag and jeer "America - love it or leave it." But 30
second propagandistic slogans won't cut the mustard. The noose is being
drawn ever tighter around the nation that no longer has a government "of
the people, by the people, and for the people." Demagogues invading
our living rooms via T.V. avow commitment to "freedom" and "democracy."
But their empty words are devoid of evidence that they believe in Constitutional
- Flag waving, supercilious morality, display of military
might, claims that the economy is healthy and well do not stop the spread
of the deadly cancer. Its poisonous tentacles have metastasized throughout
the nation's life-stream.
- Do we embrace a Constitutional government based upon
checks and balances? Are we willing to grant to everyone the protection
of the Articles of the Bill of Rights? Is Valley Forge engraved in our
- The answer, from all present evidence, is a resounding,
- While the propaganda machine turns out lofty-sounding
slogans, the death squad is busy strangling America's soul. "Compassionate
Conservatism" is the banner of the skull and bones society numbing
our citizens into a state of insensitivity. "Leave no Child Behind"
is the opiate deadening the soul of our nation to the real needs of our
children. "No more taxes" is the venom destroying the infra-structure
of our nation.
- The ruling cabal makes a joke of Jefferson's words, "The
care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first
and only object of good government." Today's conspirators against
freedom elevate stone-cold, heartless, inhumane corporations to the position
of the ultimate god. Everything is being sacrificed -- people, freedom,
the Bill of Rights -- at the altar of the new god, "P and P,"
profit and power.
- The conspiracy against America has fired three torpedoes
sinking the ship of state. The missiles are not fired by the dispossessed,
the disenfranchised, the disillusioned. The powerful, the controlling,
the ruling have their trigger fingers on the red button unleashing the
fury of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: the conquering imposter, war,
starvation and death.
- These, then, are the three destroyers of the founding
fathers' dream for a government of justice, equity, and equal protection
under the law.
- 1. WOLVES IN SHEEP'S CLOTHING
- Under the guise of a petty moralistic agenda, America's
soul has been sucked dry by religious charlatans. Let's face facts. Many
of our leaders in the past have been involved in immoral acts. It is no
secret that FDR had a mistress. It was rumored that Ike had a mistress
while he was Commanding General, ETO. There is little doubt that LBJ stole
the election when he first became a United States Senator. JFK certainly
had a number of liaisons.
- But none of these private immoral acts caused these men
to act immorally when it came to the interest and the welfare of America.
FDR took over a nation in despair. He brought self-respect and hope to
millions. Ike had a deep respect for Constitutional government and warned
us of the nefarious union between big business and government.
- LBJ's "Great Society" was more than a cheap
slogan. He infused America with a sense of hope, of self-assurance, of
prospects of a brighter tomorrow.
- JFK, in spite of his indiscretions, instilled in America
a spirit of confidence and hope. The emphasis was upon leveling the playing
field to give the little people of our land a sense of self-respect and
a feeling of participating in the great becoming of a great nation.
- Now what have we got? A sense of a petty religiosity
allowing self-righteous Pharisees to beat their chests bragging about their
faith in God while pulling the noose ever tighter around America's soul.
They preach of sin while neglecting the weightier matters of justice and
mercy. They pretend to be pure and clean, bragging about their self-righteousness
but within they are full of self-loathing and want to bind others to the
death they sense in their own bones.
- They give us a god who is small, divisive, parochial.
They quote a few passages from the Bible and miss the splendor, the greatness,
the mystery, the awe of God. They know little of love because they do not
- They know little of hope because they have no hope inside
their entombed lives. They know little of faith because they have reduced
faith to petty legalisms.
- And millions, reduced to dryness and emptiness in their
lives, respond to the shallow emotionalism of these religious charlatans
and yet find little joy, little hope, little light. Their selfhood does
not rest within themselves. These supposedly Christian preachers teach
their followers to compare themselves to "sinners." But the "saints"
are filled with judgment, condemnation, and hatred of all who do not follow
their petty party line. In their hubris they fail to read and/or understand
Matthew 23:15. "For you cross sea and land to make a single convert,
and you make the new convert twice as much a child of hell as yourselves."
- Most of America does not understand that there are personal
immoral acts and the scandalous iniquities of a social nature. While much
publicity may be given to the former, it is the latter that brings destruction
and death to our society.
- I am not defending any acts of immorality. However, social
wrong-doings affect the entire nation. Let HMOs make a profit center out
of health care and all the people suffer. Let industries pollute the atmosphere
and all the people suffer. Let corporations buy the government and all
the people suffer.
- The inability to understand that crimes against society
are far more serious than personal immoral acts is a fact that has escaped
most religious fundamentalists and evangelicals.
- To preach without applying Matthew 23 to the current
political scene is to totally miss the substance of the biblical message.
- Pharisaical religiosity is tearing a gaping hole in the
soul of our nation. How deceived can we be to think that elimination of
abortion, persecution of homosexuals, or considering a constitutional amendment
about marriage, will solve the problems of the lack of social justice,
economic righteousness, and political equity?
- "Why do you call me 'Lord, Lord,' and do not what
I tell you?" (Luke 6:46)
- Today's self-styled, popular Christianity is destructive
of the essential character needed to maintain constitutional government.
A self-serving, dogmatic religiosity bears little resemblance to the biblical
- 2. POLITICAL POWER FOR SALE
- The Founding Fathers realized that power corrupts and
absolute power corrupts absolutely. The Constitution's unique political
contribution was to create safeguards so that no one branch of the government
could usurp the powers of the other two.
- Present day politicians fired the second torpedo tearing
a hole in the ship of state. Denigration of the constitutional surety to
maintain a government of strictly separated powers is proceeding at a record
pace. Freedom depends upon the strictest observation of checks and balances.
However, an evil and devious coterie of political hacks has almost totally
eliminated this major thrust of constitutional government.
- No written words can guarantee compliance with the essential
conditions needed for freedom. The genesis for their fulfillment rests
in the minds and heartbeats of its citizens and leaders. Leaders can scream
"democracy" and "freedom" from the tallest steeple
in the land but if there is no personal commitment to safeguard constitutional
balance, their voices are just so much hot air.
- The torpedo tearing a monstrous hole into the sinking
the ship of state is fired by potentates in all three branches of the government.
That which was to be a guarantee against a government of tyranny is being
torn apart and asunder. The Executive Branch is aided and abetted in this
degenerate trickery by the other branches.
- What psychological factors cause intelligent men and
women to destroy the noblest of all governmental forms? The time for being
nice and polite is past! The time to call a spade a spade has come. I found
a terse description of the man or woman set upon America's destruction
in the writings of Nietzsche. "What is this man? A mass of diseases
that reach out into the world through the spirit; there they want to get
their prey. What is this man? A coil of wild serpents that are seldom at
peace among themselves - so they go forth apart and seek prey in the world."
(Zarathustra, First Part, 6)
- President Eisenhower in an address to The Guildhall,
London, spoke these words, "Humility must always be the portion of
any man who received acclaim earned in the blood of his followers and the
sacrifices of his friends." The entire political apparatus is standing
on the shoulders of the soldiers who gave their lives to preserve the dream
of the Fathers. However, I see no evidence of humility. Bravado and conceit,
narcissism and vanity are the platforms disgorging disrespect for the Constitution
- Whatever deceitful statements serve the purpose to pervert
the separation of powers spews forth from the Oval Office. Whatever mendacity
serves the purpose of the moment hits the morning headlines and the evening
TV news. One moment we are told that Saddam was the power behind 9/11.
Then the tune changes when it is discovered that no Iraqis were involved
in that plot. The panic button of WMD was pushed one day. When it becomes
obvious there were so such weapons, the tune changes again. Was it bad
intelligence that prevented us from intercepting 9/11? Was it misinterpretation
of sound intelligence causing the terror? Was it blatant disregard of intelligence
causing the death of 3000 civilians? Or is the change simply due to arouse
stark, naked fear in the land? If so, to what purpose?
- In the midst of panic, the Executive Office forced passage
of an act totally destroying the balance of powers. The Patriot Act became
the law of the land. A servile Congress, stunned by 9/11, bowed and scraped
before the President and with one fell swoop put a deadly dagger into the
heart of the Bill of Rights.
- Did we not have laws on the books to protect ourselves
against those who seek to destroy us? If not, should we not pass laws that
with stiletto precision would seek out and punish terrorists? But what
bill did the Executive Branch present to Congress under the ostensible
façade of protecting America from terrorists? A bill that gives
the Attorney General such broad powers that no man or woman is safe from
a personal vendetta!
- Was there ever enacted a piece of legislation as destructive
of liberty as the Patriot Act? With one fell swoop, all civil liberties
are subject to erasure! The A.G. is given unilateral power to declare anyone
he chooses to be a terrorist. No definition is given of what constitutes
a terrorist. Is it someone with a truckload of fertilizer in his garage?
Is it someone hiding dangerous biological or chemical weapons in his basement?
Is it someone expressing ideas critical of the President? Is it someone
writing, "Requiem, U.S.A?"
- All interpretations are left to the single opinion of
- No standards are set. What devious mental attitude does
it take for the highest law enforcement official in the land to promote
a law placing dictatorial powers into his sole hands? No one accused of
being a terrorist has a right to an attorney, a right to have charges read
to him, a right to notify family of his whereabouts. For six months, the
A.G. can keep the accused incommunicado. At the end of that period, the
A.G. without further ado can aver that the individual continues to be a
threat and extend the period of confinement for another six months. This
procedure can be extended in six month increments until the person dies.
- What if the A.G. has a physically disabling condition
and in this state decides that someone he doesn't like is a terrorist?
He has the authority, granted by a Congress oblivious of its obligation
to maintain the balance of powers, to issue the order and make a person
a non-person. What if in the absence of physical pain but having gotten
up on the wrong side of the bed, the A.G. decides that someone with a point
of view different from the official party line is a terrorist? Again, that
person becomes a non-person. One fallible individual at his sole whim is
given power to eliminate the Bill of Rights! If that is not sinking America's
ship, then what is?
- Congress has not gone back and wiped this Act off the
books. Our Representatives could have said that under the emotional temper
of the moment, they over-reacted. They could have replaced the Patriot
Act with legislation reflecting the hopes and ideals of the Fathers while
still protecting us from terrorists. However, they did not. This, to me,
is evidence that the separation of powers is past history. Congress caved
in to the demands of a President whose press secretary said that to disagree
with the President is evidence of a lack of patriotism. I say to make such
a statement is the ultimate hubris denying the Constitution.
- A President who publicly acclaimed that he would be the
President of all the people shamelessly appoints the most reactionary,
dogmatic individuals to the courts of the land. These justices and judges
are mere rubber stamps for the agenda destroying constitutional precepts.
Our President nominates attorneys to the judiciary who pass a litmus test
based upon nothing more than his own personal value system. That system
embraces the agenda of the wolves in sheep's clothing.
- What personal prejudices, what religious convictions
are more powerful in the minds of those justices who place their personal
agendas above the protection of the Bill of Rights? What more evidence
of a lack of respect for the separation of powers is demonstrated when
a Justice of the Supreme Court has a little tete-a-tete prior to hearing
a case in which the Vice President has a personal interest? Even if they
just went duck hunting or whatever, the impropriety screams to high heaven.
- The denigration of the Constitutional separation of powers
calls to mind a scene from T.S. Eliot's play, "Murder in the Cathedral."
As the knights kill Thomas Becket, a symbolic vision of the cabal killing
the Bill of Rights, the chorus cries out, "Clean the air! Clean the
sky! Wash the wind! Take stone from stone and wash them. The land is foul,
our beasts and ourselves defiled with blood. Every horror had its definition,
every sorrow a kind of end: in life there is not time to grieve long. But
this, this is out of life, this is out of time, an instant eternity of
evil and wrong. We are soiled by a filth that we cannot clean, united to
a supernatural vermin.Clear the air! Clean the sky! Wash the windwash the
brain, wash the soulwash them wash them!"
- 3. BEGGARS IN VELVET
- The third torpedo tearing a gaping hole in the ship of
state is fired by the beggars in velvet. You do remember the nursery song,
"Hark, hark, the dogs do bark. The beggars are coming to town. Some
in rags and some in tags and some in velvety gowns?" We can readily
see images of beggars in rags and tags. But who are these beggars in velvet?
- In our day, they are the executives sitting in walnut
paneled offices, surrounded by accountants and lawyers devising ever more
devious ways to steal money from the tax payers. Under the guise of "private
enterprise," they are devoted disciples of Adam Smith.
- I wonder how many Americans know that Adam Smith's conception
about capitalism is built on two assumptions? The first one is that this
particular system of economics must only appeal to the self-centered interests
of the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker. All other considerations
are to be cast aside. Only what benefits the capitalist directly has any
- Then, I suppose, the good philosopher had some second
thoughts about his ideas. Smith suggested that there is an "unseen
hand" that will take care of all other concerns. The only problem
with Smith's proposal is there is not now, never has been, and never will
be such an unseen hand. The whole capitalistic system eventually evolves
into a rip-off of the public.
- When capital buys government, as it has done in recent
years, the system becomes the playing field for the raptors. Our "representatives,"
for the most part, are merely highly paid hustlers for their masters.
- Probably the worst of the predators are the defense contractors.
When the union between them and government is reality, Constitutional governance
is history. Remember, that is the ultimate chicanery we were warned about
- Of course, we need a defense department. Given the territorial
imperative that guides most human actions, we must be ready to defend ourselves.
The only question is the needed degree of the defense apparatus.
- At present, we are spending 399 billions annually on
defense. Of course, that figure must be placed into a meaningful context.
If our present and expected enemies were to spend 1 trillion dollars, we
would not be spending enough. However, Russia spends 63 billion, China
47, and the "Axis of Evil" a paltry 7 billion dollars annually.
In addition to our 399 billions, our allies put another 225 billions into
defense. So the totals stack up this way: 624 billions on our side and
117 billions on the other side.
- Who in the world needs this kind of imbalance? Our side
spends more than 5 times as much as our combined enemies! Somebody is feeding
at the trough of public money. It is not the liberals. It is not the welfare
mothers. It is not the poor. It is the fat cats who believe in Adam Smith.
They are taking his advice seriously. They only think of their self-interest
and leave it to the unseen hand to take care of all other issues.
- No other economic theory is based upon such a stupid
- It creates the beggars in velvet. Rich, influential,
amoral folks who hold out their fat palms demanding that the public put
ever more money into the bottomless pit of their greedy, self-justifying,
- But the defense folks are not the only pigs feeding at
the public trough. Can anyone count the economic and environmental disaster
inflicted by automobile manufacturers who not only insist upon producing
gas-guzzlers but prevail upon their Congressional minions to provide all
sorts of tax incentives and relaxation of emission devices for their product?
All this while our men and women are dying and sacrificing their lives
over a non-renewable resource.
- Who can count the misery pharmaceutical companies and
HMOs are inflicting upon the poor and the middle-class in our society?
What ruin and devastation is poured upon millions who are encouraged to
max out their credit cards and then apply for new ones? Avaricious bankers,
protected by Congress, reap profits from less than judicious folks who
only respond to the President's plea to "spend, spend, spend."
No unseen hand is here to protect them. Only cupidity and rapacity drive
- While capitalists are destroying the very system that
gave them birth and life, their paid lackeys provide a paltry 34 billion
dollars for education and a miserly two billions to reduce our dependence
on foreign oil. This imbalance of funding denigrates the nation.
- Kenneth Lay, Martha Stewart, .com executives, Anderson
Accounting, etc. are but the visible, putrid boils of a system permeated
with the infection of utter greed, amorality, and the destruction of all
decency at the altar of materialism.
- Oswald Spengler in "The Decline of the West"
described the latter days of the Roman Empire. "The Romans were barbarians
who did not precede but closed a great development. Unspiritual, unphilosophical,
devoid of art, clannish to the point of brutality, aiming relentlessly
at tangible success, they stand between Hellenic culture and nothingness."
Did he foresee America's ultimate demise?
- Conservatives have succeeded in establishing the sound
byte "liberal" as embracing everything evil and undemocratic
while "private enterprise" stands for God's approval of all things
promoted by the ruling elite. Walter Cronkite gives us this insight, "I
looked up the definition of 'liberal' in a Random House dictionary. It
gave the synonyms for 'liberal' as 'progressive,' 'broad-minded,' 'unprejudiced,'
'beneficent.' The antonyms it offered: 'reactionary' and 'intolerant."
- Unless we soon have a change of heart and mind it will
be time to play the funeral dirge for the Constitution: "Requiem,
- [John Brand is a Purple Heart, Combat Infantry veteran
of World War II. He received his Juris Doctor degree at Northwestern University
and a Master of Theology and a Doctor of Ministry at Southern Methodist
University. He served as a Methodist minister for 19 years, was Vice President,
Birkman & Associates, Industrial Psychologists, and concluded his career
as Director, Organizational and Human Resources, Warren-King Enterprises,
an independent oil and gas company. He is the author of <http://www.yellowtimes.org/gifts.php>"Shaking
the Foundations" and <http://www.yellowtimes.org/gifts.php>"Rebuilding
- John Brand encourages your comments: <mailto:jbrand@YellowTimes.org>jbrand@YellowTimes.org