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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 4/30/14

Torn and Tattered

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Message Dave Lefcourt
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  Picture of US Flag, gavel and "We The People" as depicted in the US Constitution

Today, someone very dear and close to me is on a class field trip to Philadelphia, the home of the Liberty Bell and where representatives of each state once met in a Constitutional Convention to write and adopt a new Constitution in 1787.

Last night she was reciting the "Preamble" to that constitution and doing a pretty good job of it. I was glad she was having the opportunity to visit the birthplace of our nations Constitution.

Yet sadly for her and her generation our government has seen fit to all but shred that Constitution, becoming a law unto itself with secret Justice Department memos "legalizing" the actions taken by the president which are clearly un-Constitutional yet go unchallenged for reasons of national security.

These gross violations of the Constitution-indefinite detention, suspension of habeas corpus, the NDAA, torture, undeclared wars which only the Congress has the sole responsibility, the targeting and assassination of American citizens by the president, to name just a few-by our government are certainly not what was deliberated and adopted by members of that Constitutional Convention some 227 years ago.

But that is the reality we face in America today.

There has been a usurpation of authority by the executive branch of the government that is not granted in the Constitution as well as an abdication by Congress of its constitutional responsibility specifically granted to the Congress whose sworn duty is to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and make sure the laws are faithfully executed.

So now with that Constitution in tatters by what means do the people have to redress their grievances, the usurpation of authority by the executive and the abdication of the Congress to fulfill its constitutional responsibilities?

Well short of a new declaration of independence and seceding from the union-sorry that ain't gonna happen- there's only voting to unseat current members of Congress as well as the president.

The only problem with these "solutions" is the political process is rigged so that "new" candidates for office are essentially chosen and funded by big moneyed underwriters of their campaigns which essentially prevent real reform while maintaining the corrupt revolving door system in place. 

As for our so called "free press" in America, it's owned and controlled by the large corporate interests so intertwined with the government's office holders they selected the MSM has become all but indistinguishable from the government pronouncements it regurgitates, nothing more than a megaphone trumpeting government propaganda. It has abandoned its role as a natural skeptic of government, conducting real investigative journalism that exposes government wrongdoing and reports those facts to the people. Today if it's not "happy news" of mindless trivia, celebrity gossip or some other inanity it's propaganda reflecting the views of the government without checking its veracity.

The corporate owned media in America is worse than a government owned and operated dictated press of a totalitarian country. At least those people know they are being lied to. In America we get government/corporate media lies, distortions, misrepresentations all depicted as fact.  If the viewer or reader in America takes in only the corporate media's presentation of the "news" it is nothing but government supplied propaganda. Just like "press" conferences held today in the White House, they're just pre-arranged affairs, questioners and questions pre-selected and "cleansed" of any pointed remarks. Contrast this type of question and answer forum with the four hour dialogue and discussion Russian President Vladimir Putin had with the international press a little over a week ago. Of course his press conference was labeled as propaganda, a farce and mere grandstanding by the media and its "pundits" in America.     

At least there are alternative news sources available to Americans competing with American corporate controlled and western media such as OPEDNEWS, RT News, the Information Clearing House (ICH), TOMDISPATCH, Truthdig et al that are fast becoming alternative news sources people are turning to in increasing numbers-that counters US and western "reporting"-which are reflecting more closely what is actually occurring in the world.

Maybe one day in America a new generation can recover that now tattered Constitution and make it the document their government is required to abide by and become truly what it's supposed to represent; the rule of law of, by and for the people.    

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