Tuesday, December 18, 2007


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.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


Well a small group of the usual suspects have been trying to get our City Council to pass a resolution to impeach the Prez & Vice Prez. When I say a "small group," I'm talking about five people showing up at the last meeting. We did manage to get 368 people to sign our petition, not bad for Fort Worth, Texas. It would have been nice if some of them had actually showed up for the meeting, but I guess the TV fare that night was just too good to pass up. Of course, the City always pushes us to the end of the night's agenda--just to test our endurance, I suppose, but we waited it out. Then, three of us addressed the council.

Here's my little spiel. Cheers.

Mr. Mayor, council members, we have a president and a vice president who lied to Congress and to the American people to get us into a war, and they're still lying about the reasons for it to this day.

The invasion itself was an unprovoked, premeditated attack against a defenseless sovereign country, in direct violation of the U.N. and the Nuremburg Charters; and a violation of every principle this country stands for.

This unjust war has now killed over three thousand Americans and approximately 1.2 million Iraqis--men, women and children. 4.5 million human beings have been driven from their homes since the U.S. invasion in 2003.

Meanwhile, at Guantanamo, many of the 385 inmates have been held for five years or more, unable to mount a legal challenge to their detention.

Statements by the Bush Administration that these men are "enemy combatants," "terrorists," or "very bad people," do not justify the complete lack of due process rights.

Some 300 detainees are now held at a new facility that, according to Amnesty International, creates "even harsher and more permanent conditions of extreme isolation and sensory deprivation."

According to Human Rights Watch, each day brings more information about the appalling abuses inflicted on men and women held by the U.S. in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere around the world.

U.S. Forces have used interrogation techniques including hooding, stripping detainees naked, subjecting them to extremes of heat, cold, noise and light, and depriving them of sleep, in violation of the Geneva Conventions and the Convention Against Torture And Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment Or Punishment.

And there are many cases of vicious beatings, sexual degradation, sodomy, near drowning and near asphyxiation.

Our last Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales, was a straight ahead advocate of torture, including the use of waterboarding, which was first employed to great effect during the Spanish Inquisition.

And now, we have replaced him with a new Attorney General, Michael Mukasey, who refuses to say whether waterboarding amounts to torture.

The President can now declare anyone he wants an "enemy combatant," and thereby detain them indefinitely.

That means anyone in this room could be detained without the right of habeas corpus, the fundamental right to a lawyer or a fair trial. Anyone in this room could be picked up, carried away somewhere, interrogated, and even tortured.

The President acknowledges giving explicit and secret authorization for warrantless electronic eavesdropping and physical searches by the NSA.

There is proof that the Pentagon is illegally gathering and sharing private and protected information on American citizens.

The actions of this president, his administration, and these agencies are part of a broad pattern of disregard for the rule of law in the name of national security.

Mr. Mayor, council members, each of you took an oath of office in which you swore "to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution and the laws of the United States, and of this state," so help you, God.

The question is whether you will now do what you have sworn to do. Will you defend the Constitution? Will you stand for the rule of law?

Thank you.

copeland morris ENTWINED SONNET

Her shaded eyes, her necklace black velvet, onyx. Anguish she spoke; and he carried on, obsessed As only a young man could. An odd harm...