Roar like a lion
   by James Higdon

"By my physical constitution I am but an ordinary man...
  Yet some great events, some cutting expressions,
  some mean hypocrisies, have at times thrown this assemblage
  of sloth, sleep, and littleness into rage like a lion."
       -John Adams' personal diary, February 9, 1779

The question has often been asked of late:  "What is a hero?"  I will tell you what a hero is.
A hero is, by status and constitution, no different than any of us.  A hero is someone compelled
by circumstance and necessity to act boldly in the face of great risk when others may not, or can not.
A hero is Julie Hiatt Steele.

Shortly an event will take place in Washington, DC, at James Carville's West 24, that Bartcop has dubbed
Juliefest2002.  The purpose is to raise money for Ms. Steele to alleviate the destruction brought upon her
life by Kathleen Willey's lies, and Ken Starr's jihad to bring down America's last popularly elected president.
Ms. Steele suffered merely because she had the courage to speak the truth to those intent on illegitimately gaining power.

But Julie Hiatt Steele will not be the only hero shaking hands at West 24.  Since November, 2000, "great events,
cutting expressions," and "mean hypocrisies" too numerous to name, have been rousting progressives, moderates,
and even some conservatives, from their slumber to roar like the lion.  I send my best wishes to all who attend,
and my most sincere regrets that I will be unable to join you.  All of you who attend, boldly ask the cowardly,
lunatic fringe of the right wing, who have sought to destroy democracy in order to fill their pockets,
"While you've attempted to stab America in the back, do you have the courage to stand your ground if I turn
to look you in the eye?"  My feeling is that the answer to that question, chicken hawks as the neo-conservatives are,
will be a resounding, "no."

There is so much work for us ahead.  Lincoln once said:

"Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history.  We...will be remembered in spite of ourselves.
 No personal significance or insignificance can spare one or another of us.  The fiery trial through
 which we pass will light us down in honor or dishonor to the last generation."
 -A. Lincoln, Second annual message to Congress, 12/01/1862

My fellow citizens, whether you realize your significance or not, history will always take note of what you do
and say in Washington, DC.  While there is little doubt that the press will under report this event, if they mention
it at all, truth, combined with justice in purpose, is much like an honest and diligent weed.  History has no
sidewalk with concrete strong enough to prevent the truth from finding its way to the surface.

To the cynical right wing, I offer this.  Your time has passed.  Release your grip, or we will roll over you.
You have prevented the dreams of our founders for well over two hundred years.  We, who have dared to dream,
have had enough.  John Adams, one of our greatest forefathers, promised us that he would study war so that his
descendents could eventually study porcelain.  And now we seek the fruition of Adams' promise for our own children.
We will no longer allow those wretched few, who profit from war and misery, to obscure that promise.

To the five treasonous members of the United States Supreme Court, and to the naked emperor who they
placed in Al Gore's house, heed this warning from the greatest leader in our history.

"This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it.  Whenever they shall grow weary of
the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary
right to dismember or overthrow it." -A. Lincoln, First Inaugural Address, 03/04/1861

We do not seek to overthrow this great government, but rather seek to dismember those who are attempting to
alter its democratic republican form.  May we forever brand the weakest presidential administration in our history
with an historical asteric.

And to those, once again, on their way to Juliefest2002, at some point during your night of nights I will be raising
a glass to your courage, to your dedication, and to your heroism.  It is because of you and others, who have not
lost your sense of what America means, that I retain my pride in being an American.

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