THOLOS OF ATHENA

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

SECOND ADDRESS TO FORT WORTH CITY COUNCIL

The City Council met again this morning, and I decided to take another run at them. What the heck, nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? I figure, at the least, it's worth something as a consciousness-raising exercise, not just for the mayor and council members, but for the citizens gathered in the room. I'd say the chamber was about half full this morning, not a bad crowd.

As for the council members, I have no idea what to make of their response, or lack of one. I tried to make eye-contact with them, as much as possible, but it's kind of hard to read their faces. I would say the majority of expressions ranged from boredom to pity to something that caused me to believe that in the minds of a few, I was almost certainly considered a nuisance. I'm sure one or two would have liked to see me thrown out, but forced to listen by the constraints of decorum and good conduct. Even if they think what I have to say are the ravings of a lunatic or a "radical," I don't present myself as such, so there's not much they can do, but wait it out.

I'm sure it would be better if I could speak without a script, but at this point, I'm too chicken-shit for that. Well, you do what you can, I suppose. Here's the speech:

Mr. Mayor, council members, I return to ask you again to consider a resolution to impeach the President and Vice President.

Thus far, 88 towns and cities have passed bills of impeachment, from California to Maine, from Vermont to New Hampshire. . .New York, Ohio, North Carolina. All across the country the call for accountability is being received by hundreds of thousands of people with welcome relief.

People who identify themselves as Republicans, evangelicals, veterans, and many elder Americans have signed petitions. And they've done so right here in my town, Fort Worth, Texas.

I know this is a "red state." I know we're all "Conservatives" here. Conservative used to mean being fiscally conservative, I think. You can't say that anymore, can you? Not when you have a war that to date has cost us about 480billion dollars. For Fort Worth taxpayers, that works out to about 890 million dollars for year 2007 alone. Boom. Down the drain.

I think at one time, Conservatism meant conserving the Constitution and being aggressive on law and order. But you can't say that anymore, either, can you? Not when you have a president and vice president who have told so many lies and broken so many laws, and no one seems willing to bring them to account.

So I don't know what "Conservative" means anymore. Unless maybe it means there's laws for regular people, but the rich and powerful are somehow exempt.

This impeachment request is not a radical idea. It was conceived of by men like Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Ben Franklin. Real conservatives. It was just simply a way to rein in a president or vice president who, somewhere down the line, might assume too much power and authority, who might cease to listen to the voice of the people.

I know perhaps some of you are thinking that I shouldn't be here. "Surely, this fool should be talking to his congressman." But if we should lose our democracy, here, if we lose our country, it won't just be because of the failure of my congressman or -woman to act. It will be because of the failure of ordinary people, like you and me, and the people in this room, and people in towns and cities across this country, in red states and blue states. . .who were too busy, perhaps, or too indifferent. People who said, "It's not up to me. It's someone else's job."

Or because the people became so blindly patriotic that they could no longer see how corrupt their leaders had become. So they did nothing. "My country right or wrong" is a formula for losing your country.

Okay, so the rest of the state, with the possible exception of Austin--bless their hearts--has chosen to do nothing. I like to believe this city--my city of Fort Worth--is better than that. I like to think they still have some of that pioneering spirit of independence, the spirit of a people who could think for themselves when trouble came, instead of just following the herd. Surely, we could be an example to the rest.

If Cheney's planned attack on Iran goes through, there might come a time when you good people and others might look back on this time and wish you had spoken out for the Constitution and the rule of law, as each of you swore to do when you took your oath of office.

Thank you.

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