Last week a brave and principled senator from Kentucky broke through the iron curtain of lobbyists and lifers barricading Washington and began to tell this nation of complacent frogs that the water is boiling:"I will speak as long as it takes," said Rand Paul before the Senate, "until the alarm is sounded from coast to coast that our Constitution is important, that your rights to trial by jury are precious, that no American should be killed by a drone on American soil without first being charged with a crime, without first being found to be guilty by a court."Thirteen hours he stood and spoke without a break - without a catheter or diaper, we assume. That alone was heroic.It took this performance, after endless unanswered letters and media inquiries, to simply get Attorney General Holder to reluctantly state that the federal government will not summarily execute American citizens with drone strikes.Thanks so much, Mr. Holder. But the administration you represent is still fighting a legal battle to detain American citizens indefinitely without due process, despite that National Defense Authorization Act provision being declared unconstitutional by a federal judge.It's time for many liberals to come to the same realization that many principled conservatives came to about George W. Bush: President Obama cannot be fully trusted. Obama has not only continued but accelerated many of Bush's worst police-state and warmonger policies.The possibility of a drone strike in your neighborhood - like the ones overseas that kill about 10 kids for every legit takedown - is not the only symptom of some toxic brew bubbling in the Beltway. One of our snoozing lapdogs of the press, Forbes magazine, finally woke up to ask in a recent feature article: "1.6 Billion Rounds of Ammo for Homeland Security? It's Time for a National Conversation." The author, Ralph Benko, notes: "At the height of the Iraq War, the Army was expending less than 6 million rounds a month. 1.6 billion rounds, therefore, would be enough to sustain a hot war for 20+ years in America."While an aggressive campaign to disarm American citizens is underway, Homeland Security has been arming itself to the teeth. In addition to the enormous stockpile of hollow-point ammo, it has signed large new arms contracts with gun makers Sig Sauer and Heckler & Koch, acquired 7,000 assault rifles and 2,700 MRAPs (armored, gun-turreted street tanks) home from the Middle Eastern wars, and is about to spend $50 million on new uniforms. I'm sure jackboots and silver eagle medallions will be de rigueur, but will the new uniforms be more NKVD brown or Gestapo black?You may not think that a flippant joke when you see what the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) troops have been using their hollow-points on - so-called "no hesitation" targets of pregnant women, children and old men holding guns.It should be clear to anyone not totally brain-addled by blind partisan loyalty, meth, or a life in a cellar that the Executive Branch has been erecting the apparatus for martial law, and is either clinically paranoid and out of control, or seriously prepping for some imminent trouble that we should all be alerted to. As Ralph Benko states about gun control: "The federal government can begin practicing what it preaches by controlling itself."There is not now, and there will never be, a valid excuse to suspend or destroy the Bill of Rights. Unlike so many of our pathetic human drones in Congress and the press, the Founding Fathers well knew their history - that all democracies have proven vulnerable to the siren song of fearmongering control freaks. More than the threat of terrorism, it is now the possibility of false-flag terrorism by rogue elements within our own government that could trigger martial law and tyranny in our nation.The Bill of Rights, more than our supersized trucks and cheeseburgers, defines us as Americans. Anyone, or any party, foreign or domestic, assaulting the U.S. Constitution is a sworn enemy of the American people, and they must and will be defeated.Travis Kelly is a web/graphic designer, writer and cartoonist in Grand Junction. See his work or contact him at www.traviskelly.com.
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