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Let Them Eat Candy:

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"Of War Criminals, Enablers, and the Decreasing Significance of We the People"

Remember the archaic notion that freedom of speech and peaceable assembly are guaranteed by a document the Bush Regime is rendering as "quaint" as the Geneva Conventions?

Here is a reminder:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

Since the "leader of the free world" has established a consistent pattern of over-riding, circumventing, or simply ignoring both the Constitution and judicial rulings, the hallowed basis for our Constitutional Republic has nearly been reduced to a "God-damn piece of paper".

As the mass murderer guilty of egregious war crimes descended upon Kansas City via Air Force One on 9/8, approximately 450 of us dissidents gathered to exercise what First Amendment rights we still have.

Bush and his entourage were arriving to raise funds for Jim Talent, Missouri's junior US Senator who is up for re-election in November and who has marched in virtual lock-step with the Bush Regime.

Where was this revolting spectacle to take place?

Envision a setting encompassing picturesque multi-million dollar villas, sprawling lush lawns, and the obscenely expensive retail establishments of the world renowned Country Club Plaza.

A study conducted at the University of Chicago in the 1950's called this corridor "the Ward Parkway and Mission Hills Gold Coast."

The same study concluded:

"The "blue bloods," "the uppercrust," "the Society Crowd," and "the topnotchers" were said to live in this area. A man who could afford one of these mansions was assumed to be "one of the big industrialists," "a leading man of commerce," "a well-to-do executive," "a top-ranking lawyer or doctor" or "one of the big shots among the real estate boys and stocks and bonds brokers." This was the area thought to supply most of the members of the elite country clubs, leaders in the Chamber of Commerce, and board members of various cultural institutions."

And little has changed since that study was published. Many of Kansas City's members of the United States' de facto aristocracy still reside along Ward Parkway and in Mission Hills.

Bush's and Talent's host, candy magnate Scott Ward, is one such denizen of Kansas City's "Gold Coast". Brothers Scott and Tom Ward inherited and share controlling interest in the privately held Russell Stover, Inc. Russell Stover is the third largest candy manufacturer in the United States, lagging behind only Mars and Hershey's. With 4500 employees and an estimated $450 million in sales in 2005, Russell Stover co-presidents Scott and Tom Ward wield far more power and influence than the 99% of We the People who comprise the "lower classes".

(As an aside, please pause for a moment to reflect on the three billion human beings who live on less than two dollars per day, the 13% of the population in the United States that lives in poverty, the three million homeless people in the United States, and the millions slaughtered over the years by the American Empire. Their involuntary sacrifices have enabled the existence of palatial estates, obscene wealth, conspicuous consumption, and the concentration of power into the hands of the plutocracy of the United States. If you are amongst the tiny percentage of humanity on the side of the wealth chasm which possesses most of the gold and makes most of the rules, or perhaps are simply a "wannabe" who thrives on Horatio Alger fairy tales, at least say a prayer of thanks for those who are suffering or have suffered needlessly on your behalf.)

What was the truly urgent aspect of Bush's agenda in visiting the "Candy Man" to stump for Republican Senator Jim Talent's re-election? To evade impeachment and possible prosecution for his numerous violations of domestic and international law, Bush needs a Republican majority in Congress. Nixon and Clinton both faced impeachment proceedings for committing far less egregious crimes than Bush has. Clearly, partisan politics trump the "lesser considerations" of legality and morality, even in "one nation, under God... with liberty and justice for all."

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Jason Miller, Senior Editor and Founder of TPC, is a tenacious forty something vegan straight edge activist who lives in Kansas and who has a boundless passion for animal liberation and anti-capitalism. Addicted to reading and learning, he is mostly (more...)
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