If you still believe that the current 111th Congress is representative of the American people, then you exist in stubborn denial, likely as a victim of the most deliberately dumbed-down mainstream media in U.S. history. But you skate on that excuse only so far. After a while, when every instinct in your civic being tells you something is dreadfully wrong with what is passing for news each day -- makes no difference whether via the networks (ABC, NBC, or CBS) or cable news (CNN, MSNBC, or Fox) -- it's time to trust yourself and seek alternative news sources. All mainstream news is designed to keep you blaming the "other party," living in fear, and taking no personal responsibility.

If you are gullible enough to believe the yellow journalism that passes for news anymore, then you really have no one to blame but yourself, especially for ignoring what your instincts are correctly trying to tell you -- that the mainstream media is basically the public-relations agency for the govcorp (the unholy alliance of international mega-corporations composed of energy, food, finance, communications, insurance, and pharmaceuticals; elected officials; banksters; government bureaucrats; union bosses; large not-for-profit foundations; Democratic/Republican party leadership; and the cabal of lawyers loyal to the bar before the U.S. Constitution) that is seizing America's resources, and with it, our liberty.

In the last 18 months, we have seen treacherous legislation passed by legislators on both sides of the aisle, all of whom blatantly defy the American people. This legislative arrogance suggests a sense of impunity on the part of every incumbent. In fact, throughout the last decade, they have drawn so many lines in the sand that voters have stepped over, I'm inclined to think they are right. What have the consequences been for any of them?

Many of these elected criminals have been reelected time and time again, even after perpetrating the most damaging legislation in the shortest period of time since FDR. What does that suggest to you? If I were one of those criminals, I would absolutely believe I had the consent of the governed if voters repeatedly reelected me after I'd done my worst to them. At a minimum, I could justify every action with that tacit endorsement.

In the end, we have only ourselves to blame for our circumstances. We are not helpless. We are simply lazy, and seriously under-informed as a result. Too many of us are unwilling to take the time necessary to get informed so that we might participate in a meaningful way. We are pathetic in our civic lethargy, growing ever more complacent while we convince ourselves that there is nothing we could do anyway. For this, history will remember us as the worst kind of citizenry because it will be on our watch that the greatest experiment in governance of a society based on individual rights guaranteed through equality and the rule of law was allowed to fail!

A recent report by Bloomberg's Michael Smith (RCReader.com/y/bloomberg) exposed Wachovia (now Wells Fargo), Bank of America, Western Union, and American Express for laundering approximately half a trillion dollars in drug money between 1992 and 2007. When asked to explain, representatives promised that they are doing better in this area. Wachovia, by far the largest offender (and under Wells Fargo ownership as of 2008), has invested an additional $42 million in its anti-laundering program, barely more than a hundredth of 1 percent of the $378 billion Wachovia laundered from 2004 through 2007.

Even though these companies were caught outright, laws in place protect them from prosecution, including the policy of too-big-to-fail. In truth, no big bank has ever been indicted for money-laundering crimes. Instead of indictments for violating laws such as the 1970 Bank Secrecy Act, these organizations participate in "deferred-prosecution agreements," which amount to fines and a promise not to do it again. Wells Fargo's deferred-prosecution agreement on behalf of its new acquisition Wachovia paid $160 million in fines (less than 2 percent of its $12.9-billion profit for 2009), and if it keeps its promise, all charges will be dropped in 2011.

We watch fecklessly as corruption rules our land, our financial institutions, our law enforcers including lawmakers, and the courts. Meanwhile, we have prisons full of nonviolent offenders who bought or sold some minuscule amount of marijuana, while these monumentally larger crimes go unanswered for. In fact, taxpayers ultimately subsidize such operations, including wars in places such as Afghanistan, where the real stakes are the poppy fields.

But as long as our individual lives go merrily along, we do nothing. Except complain ... incessantly. There are no strong enough words for the shame we bring on ourselves for the state of our Union. The days of blaming everyone and everything other than ourselves are over. At a minimum we have the "power of the purse." If Americans took a stand by utilizing their consumer power and stopped doing business of any kind with corrupt organizations, they would soon realize they are not helpless but actually formidable. The same holds true for the power of the vote. If every American voted in every election, we could fundamentally change politics in this country in a much shorter period of time.

The recent H.R.4173 (the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform & Consumer Protection Act) that passed last week is just one more example of the complete lack of representation that exists in Washington. It gives unprecedented powers to the Federal Reserve Bank, which is a private foreign corporation not registered in any of the 50 states or the District of Columbia that has regulatory oversight over not just banks now, but also non-bank facilities and businesses engaged in financial activities -- which by definition includes every business concern in the United States Corporation of America. Believe it.

H.R.3590 (the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act) and H.R.4872 (the Health Care & Education Affordability Reconciliation Act), both of which passed in March 2010, have many oppressive regulations, including automatic access to patients' bank accounts for services rendered or as a determinant of potential services. Not to mention the components and earmarks that abound in these bills that have nothing whatsoever to do with health care. Also worth noting is that nearly all these bills' regulatory authority is confined to a single department -- Health & Human Services -- while their enforcement arm rests in large part with the IRS, greatly expanding its inherent tyranny.

The Department of Justice, in defending itself against the onslaught of lawsuits over H.R.3590's constitutionality, has admitted that forcing Americans to buy health insurance is, in reality, a taxation on the American people and as such is a legitimate revenue stream. This is a total contradiction to countless promises from Obama that health-care reform would place no additional taxes on Americans. Now the veil has been lifted, and as such, this health-care reform should be repealed due to the gross deception used to pass it in the first place.

I challenge you to read H.R.3590 and H.R.4872 at OpenCongress.org/bill/all, and see for yourself the Orwellian intrusion into American lives it provides the government. The language of these bills is meant to confuse you, or even better, to deter you from reading further, but persevere because the health-care bills are just the beginning.

Of equal consequence is S. 1733 (the Clean Energy Jobs & American Power Act), which is cap-and-trade legislation renamed. (H.R.2454 [the American Clean Energy & Security Act of 2009] passed in the House in July 2009.) This law will eliminate America's middle class, reducing us to a few haves and many have-nots -- typical of most other countries around the globe, especially those governed by dictatorships or socialism -- through excessive taxation on all emissions of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide. Simultaneously, it will allow for the establishment of a Climate Exchange to trade carbon credits against carbon emissions, creating a new commodities market worth trillions in annual revenues for Wall Street elites poised to benefit directly as a result of this legislation at every breathing American's expense.

S. 773 (the Cybersecurity Act of 2009) will allow government surveillance and collection of private data from all Internet activity of U.S. citizens at its whim. If you don't believe me, then read these bills for yourself at OpenCongress.org. The devil is always in the details. You will probably think me too light-handed on the subjects afterward.

Legislators are counting on Americans not reading any of the current legislation afoot. They make it deliberately obtuse, mired in legalese that is difficult to decipher. But not impossible. We cannot defeat things we do not understand, or rise above the evil and corruption that plagues our laws and lawmakers if we are not capable of culling it out. We have to do this together, not in a vacuum, and then share our findings with one another, and anyone else who will listen.

I also urge you to review the excessive number of executive orders -- issued first in the Clinton and Bush administrations, but (at the current rate) exponentially greater in Obama's -- at Archives.gov/federal-register/executive-orders/. That a multitude of Congresses has allowed this abuse of power to continue and grow without objection or challenge is unfathomable. We are passing from a republic, even from a false sense of democracy, to a dictatorship without the traditional checks and balances that have obviously been abdicated by the other two branches, legislative and judicial. This same abdication by voters looms large if we don't replace the incumbent in all elections whether national, state, or local come November. In Scott County alone, as property values decline, property taxes have been raised beyond appraised and/or market values and appeals denied with no justification beyond the county's/schools'/city's need to cover costs. (Heaven forbid cutting those costs.) This is government run amok in our own backyard.

Much of the damage can be undone by repealing all or parts of these laws that are unacceptable to a free republic, because the current legislators, whether Democrats or Republicans, have zero intention of doing so. It is time for Americans to get busy and exercise their own super-powers: their consumer choices and individual votes at the polls.

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