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After hearing Harold Ford Jr. justify the FISA sellout at the Netroots Nation Conference today I decided to post this on Kos.  I posted it on Street Prophets last week.

The autocratic Mayor of Yellow Belly, Texas has whipped up terrorist fever.  Fellow citizens have been deputized to spy on anyone in town who has contact with foreigners.  A college friend of yours who has returned to his native Iran travels to Yellow Belly for a visit.  The brigade of Howdy Doody deputies descend on your property using binoculars to peer in the windows.  They hack into your phone and e-mail to monitor the Iranian’s communications.

One of the Doody deputies realizes this caper has gone too far and informs you of the illegal spying.  You are justly incensed.  Despite your protests the practice continues even after your friend’s departure.  You sink in despair.  Who will stand up for the Bill of Rights?  During a sleepless night you print these words and post them on your refrigerator.

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
 
In your hour of trial you realize city council elections are on the horizon.  You campaign with every fiber of your being for the slate of new council members.  They win decisively on the platform of cleaning up the unlawful activities of the Yellow Belly Mayor and his Howdy Doody deputies.  You are refreshed as the fresh breezes of hope blow anew.  The rubber stamp city council is gone!  It is the dawning of a “New Direction” for Yellow Belly!!

After all the campaign bluster, opportunity after opportunity passes for the Yellow Belly Council to act on their promises.  Now that they have power they are more interested in keeping it than sticking to their avowed principles.
 
Even though the Yellow Belly Mayor has approval ratings in the 20’s the council still feels captive to the accusation of being “weak on terrorism.”  You awaken one Saturday morning sleepy eyed to this headline, “Yellow Belly City Council Grants Immunity to Mayor and Howdy Doody Deputies.”

You feel lower than a rattlesnake’s underside in a West Texas gully.  Even though you haven’t attended church since your confirmation you are so despondent you decide to give it a shot the next day.  After all, perhaps a few lofty bromides may be soothing.

Pastor Feingold’s demeanor is fiery.  He references recent Yellow Belly “capitulation.”  Your back begins to straighten a tad hearing Winston Churchill quoted.   “Courage is rightly esteemed as the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees all others.”

The good Pastor then closes with a stirring quote from the letter to the Hebrews. "My righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.  But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed but of those who have faith and keep their souls." 1

You walk fully upright out of the steepled edifice.  You may live there, but you are a Yellow Belly citizen no more.

  1. Hebrews 10:38-39, RSV

Originally posted to chuck freeman on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 06:11 PM PDT.

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