Thursday, August 02, 2007

We the People--As Powerful As We Chose To Be

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.....
Declaration of Independence

"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."
Preamble to the United States Constitution

So many people have forgotten that "we the people" are the ultimate source of power in the government. From the President to the local city board members, they are all elected by the people. Yet they have forgotten the definition of public servant and have set themselves up as masters of society. Instead, of serving they use the privileges and power temporarily granted to them to further their own greed, bigotries and lust for power. Yet on their own without the machinations of the government, many of them are nothing.

Above excerpts are part of the Unites States History and government, but they are no longer a reality. The Civil Rights original afforded and those, which have been hard fought for, have been eroded by petty individuals, large corporations, and public servants who see themselves as above the law. Phone calls and bank accounts are monitored without obtaining search warrants. Individual are no longer safe from unreasonable searches in their homes, cars or on the street. Religious, medical and sexual decisions have been usurped by bigots in their attempt to force their religious and moral values on others.

The Scales of Justice System are no longer balanced as individuals from the Justice department to the local deputy sheriff have their fingers on their end. Based more on financial and personal ambition, the justice no longer is fair or balanced. Mike NiFong is only an example of the increasing problems in the judicial system. His personal ambitions were more important to him than the representing the truth. The college boys and the local woman are all equal victims of his lust for power. Yet he is only one of many prosecutor who are more concerned about building a reputations and racking up convictions than protecting the public or being representatives of justice. Law enforcement is worse. No longer serving and protecting, they use their power to intimidate, harass and humiliate those members of society they see as weak. Incidences law enforcement abusing individuals on the bases of racial, religious or lifestyle have been rapidly increasing. For most of them, promotions and job security is based on arrest track record. Yet there are those who see the badge as a source of personal power over others. It is all about have control over others. However, even with undisputable documentation, these officers are rarely held accountable for the harm they do. The blue wall protects its own even to the point of lying, altering records and intimidating. Enforcement of the laws are on longer based on laws, civil rights or common sense, but who can afford the best legal council.

The greed of big business has polluted the environment, manipulated the political system, and eroded the middle class. Companies who deliberately damage the environment receive only minor retribution in comparison to the damage they do. Whether it be contamination of ground water or release of toxic waste through improperly filtered smoke stacks, the companies pay small fines, while the public moneys clean up the hazardous situations. Oil, insurance and drug companies have manipulated prices and available of necessary product and services to insure they maintain a monopoly and thereby maximize their profits. Although alterative fuels like bio-diesel, solar, and wind are viable options, their availability has been limited by legislation and lack of governmental support. Drug companies’ sole goal is to maximize their profit margin. It is why they attack alternative healing methods and solutions, such as herbs, so aggressively. If they can’t sell it for a large profit, then it must be debunked or made illegal. It is the same tack they use to prevent individuals from buying the same drugs across both borders for sometimes less than half the cost. While medical insurance used to be an automatic benefit of having a full time job, many companies are no longer covering the costs of the premiums or not offering the benefit at all. With the reduction of coverage, the addition of co-pays and the increase in price, few individuals are able to avoid medical insurance on their own. Yet at the same time, insurance company’s profits are sky rocketing. The economic structure of the country is top heavy. CEO make obscene salaries, while the workers, who actually produce the services and products, are forced to struggle as wages and benefits are rapidly reduced. No longer can a single income support a family; at the same time, CEOs are paid hundreds of thousands of dollars as retirement bonuses or part of separation packages after being fired. Both the Japan and Germany have thriving economies, yet the difference in the salaries between the CEO and the person who cleans the bathroom is approximately 20%.

Whether financial, political or legal, intimidation only works if people back down. When we the people remember that we have the power to create change than change will happen. However, we all have to have the courage to say no more. 2008 is the next Presidential election. It is time to stop voting against an individual and start voting for the person who will represent the best interest of all the people of this country, not just special interests or big business. On a local level, we the people can hold law enforcement responsible by reporting abuses and speaking publicly. By being frightened into silence or by defending the abusers, the violence will only escalate. Bullies are bullies with or without a badge or a title. The only way to stop this is to stand up to them. We the people have the power. We the people can make changes. If we the people chose to have courage.

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