Goodbye to the Bill of Rights

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In case you have not yet been informed there is no longer a Constitution or a Bill of Rights in this country.


Ask your banker. He or she will tell you that your ATM does not belong to you; it belongs to the bank. He or she will not state that there are any rights available to you that might conflict with those who run the country. That is: banks, corporations, members of Congress whose Web sites cannot be reached much of the time, aides to members of Congress, and their spawn.


The last one of those I talked to, in Congresswoman Anna Eshoo's Palo Alto office, could not or would not and certainly did not tell me anything that might lead me to think I actually still might have any rights under the Constitution and certainly not under that suspect Bill of Rights.


I worked for a very liberal newspaper for about eight years way back when there may have still been a Constitution. One of its reporters famously went out onto the Square in Madison, WI, where the state capitol is located and took along a copy of the Bill of Rights. He asked passersby to sign it. No one would. Most thought it might be a communist document or, at least, a communist plot.


That was at the height of Tailgunner Joe's tyranny, the time George Clooney so correctly depicted in "Good Night And Good Luck." That was at a time when your thoughts or your refusal to be a traitor to your friends by turning over their names, were the soup du jour.


Now there isn't even any soup. George the Lesser has pocketed the Constitution, or what little is left of it after congress failed in its care and feeding. The Bill of Rights, he stomped to death one minute after, maybe even before, he was anointed the Supreme Court's President in 2000. We don't elect presidents anymore; we anoint them. Or, maybe Jesus does.


After all, King George IV does have breakfast with him or the voice of Dick Cheney on the intercom and disguised as the Son of Man, to whom Shrub has long sworn allegiance.


Presidents, not to mention your own congressional representatives, used to take an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States then maybe even try, at least, to do so.


They still take that oath as do credentialed teachers such as myself who have no choice in the matter. Some of us actually take that oath seriously. But, just try to act on it? Double dare you!


This president and his minions and they are legion has done everything that could be done to make the Constitution and the (what is this?) Bill of Rights disappear "Ala Peanut Butter Sandwiches!" just like on that commie plot to destroy all that is good about our beloved country, Sesame Street, which currently harbors a nasty little red furry subversive puppet with a high voice, ELMO.


ELMO, according to congressional neo-cons, is now the enemy, just as any of us who want to know if there is still a Constitution or maybe (and cross your fingers here) even a 10 point Bill of Rights is?


How dare we ask knowing how Elmo "hates our freedom."


I called my congresswoman's office recently to ask just that and no one, at least not her personal representative on the other end of the phone, could say anything in response to my questions about whether or not there still is a Constitution or a Bill of Rights and whether or not I could still call upon or even hope for their protections.


Silence. I got lots of silence. It was so loud I could hardly not hear it.


That Constitution's not for the little people, the ones who still pay taxes, as the unforgettable Leona Helmsley, once informed us all. We, the little people, are just supposed to roll, over, play dead or maybe get up and beg like Tony Blair, Bush's lapdog, does in the presence of his master.


Ask the same questions of your banker or at least the under assistant night vice president in charge of the day crew (I think) and you will be informed that all rights are the property of your bank. Your job is to get back in line and goosestep like the good German you ought to be.


The people who run your life at the retirement center you might live in will inform you that you are "insulting their intelligence" if you ask them the same. Then they will hang up on you.


Have the decency to at least act like one of the Lemmings!


I guess the only one who can address these questions now is the Decider. And we all know what he decided a long time ago.


He decided like Mel Brooks in "History of the World, Part One," that "it's good to be king."


But Mel Brooks was funny. The Attorney General of the United States. some of those Vietnamese displaced understudies to "Duck" Cheney, who work for our fearless leader, pick any bank vice president, director of housing in the "free" world or in the homeless underground of hopelessness- and you will not find them funny at all.


They ain't gonna take your side.


Lobbyists and Corporations, those entities Dianne Feinstein sneaked through a law for recently, a law that says it is a crime to do anything to harm a Great God Almighty They Are, At Least, Free At Last, omnipotent corporation!


And La Diane has her 18 million dollar new home, one meant to make room for her grandchildren. It's paid for by the blood of the people of Iraq the country her husband is rebuilding with all those fat contracts.


Wait a minute: Didn't we, or George the Great Argument for Birth Control, destroy it first?


Ghosts of "You're Doing A Great Job, Brownie," those same ghosts Cindy Sheehan told a San Francisco audience "don't exist" in 2005. Yet they still "make us afraid."


Don't try to wash that off your hands, Senator. It didn't work for Lady Macbeth and it won't work for you, either.


Corporations are, legally, individuals, and these individuals, who you may well have hated in high school, now run the world.


So send not to know for whom the bell tolls citizens?It tolls for them.


You can maybe take a number.


Gary Peterson lives in Belmont.


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