Oh. My. Did we have a good, soulful, soul filling dinner. MMMMmmmm. I made a fabulous meatloaf absent piquant sauce (too much sodium for those with colds), creamed potatoes (creamed to incorporate the homemade chicken stock for those with colds), green beans and turnip greens with turnips (because green must be a part of every meal), and homemade, hearth-risen Italian bread. Oh. My. My belly is so full.

The kitchen is clean, the coffee pot set, vitamins set out for Husband and kids, everyone filled with their prescriptive herbal remedies and preventions, and off to bed. I sit here by a very radiant fire feeling full in my stomach, heart, and mind.

I took real time this afternoon to write out remarks regarding the State of the Union speech presented last night by our President. And I cannot help but place those remarks in the context of the Bill of Rights which I am studying now with the children. Do you know YOUR rights?

The Bill of Rights was not written in addition to the Constitution because someone “forgot something.” The Bill of Rights was written to insure that the government could not act like a king. The Bill of Rights insures the freedom of the citizenry, not the government.

Patrick Henry and James Madison were among the most notable colonial figures to express grave concern about the strength of power the Constitution gave the centralized government. Madison reminded the Congree that “all power is subject to abuse.” And so after four more years of life as an independent nation amid noise and passionate, rancorous, and at times, less-than-civil public and private debate, the Bill of Rights was added to the original Constitution.

While reading President Obama’s State of the Union speech last night, with the bifocal lens of our Bill of Rights study, the direct, intentional, and blatant violations of the first ten amendments to our Constitution began to steal my attention. Let me share that I was not a blogger prior to this administration. I rarely watch State of the Union addresses and this one I did not watch. I read. I take the time to read and reflect. I have not listened to the talking heads or read any reviews of the speech. The thoughts and ideas I am sharing with you are my own. And because I am taking the time to reflect on these thoughts, and because I am currently typing on a tiny blackberry screen, I will not share all of my thoughts at one time. And because I am so random, my thoughts on the State of the Union (SotU) will likely come amongst other observations and stories. Welcome to my world of a brain that never stops and rarely travels straight ahead…

Prior to the SotU, there was a lot of jibber jabber of a “new civility” in light of the Tucson shooting. Well, yeah. Whatever. I don’t want civility. I want the “noise, passion, and rancor of public debate” President Obama admonished at the start of his address. We *need* this emotional, raw, intentional discussion. No, not violence. Discussion. And discussion is sometimes unpleasant.

As I’ve read diaries and historical records during our colonial studies, I’ve learned that conversations leading to our independence were often rancorous. Even among the women. Dolley Madison, James Madison’s wife was incredulously active as a patriot and was very vitriolic in her tone. And yes, there were moments of violence. The Battles of Lexington and Concord (remember the “shot heard ’round the world?) were led with fierce fightin’ words.

Don’t tone it down, America. Ramp it up! But use words. And think before you speak lest you require your fists to do your talking. Violence only hurts another, yourself, and your cause. Use your words gleaned from thought. And your first amendment as a shield.

The next line that stood out to me was that “they’ve determined that governing will now be a shared responsibility between parties.” Well, now. Lightbulb moment. Or Sputnik moment? Uh, excuse me Government, our DECLARATION of INDEPENDENCE determined that We the PEOPLE will share the responsibility of governing.” By referencing the November elections in such a flippant and “well, boys, guess they figger they’ll try it this way now” attitude demeans the ability of the very electorate our government represents. We are a representative democracy, right? Yes! We did vote! Yes! We did use thought to vote! Not just loads of buses and bribery with McDonald’s and Carl’s gift cards.

And lastly, and honestly, I even hesitate to bring this up, but it is glaring and therefore I cannot dismiss it. “…we sustain the leadership that has made America not just a place on a map, but the light to the world.” Oh. My. If ever there were a direct comparison of oneself to the Messiah, the One True Light of the world, I do not know of it. And again, I hesitate to bring it up. I don’t want to go there. I promise I don’t. It seems like a cheap jab, but here it is – in the transcript! A clear goal of the current executive administration has indeed been to roam the map and make the U.S. “play nice” with everyone else. Even those whose aim is to annihilate us. For some countries, well for their dictators, it’s a sole (and soul) aim. More on that later, because the SotU is riddled with minimalizations of the U.S. to other countries. Just keep in mind, I wasn’t aiming to go there…

So that’s Part 1. And I’ve got PAGES of notes left. It’s gonna be a party up in here!

My goal, by the way, is not a personal one to discredit our President or any other specific leader in our government. It is to shine a really, really bright light on government abuse. Abuse of our Declaration, Constitution, and Bill of Rights. We, and those before us have chosen to give these powers to the monster. Now it’s time to reclaim them. But only if we’ll speak up. Even if it isn’t always civil.

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.