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America Went Shopping

While our Constitution Slowly Burned…
By Amy Branham

What will be said about Americans in the future when history looks back at our time? What will I tell my grandchildren and my great grandchildren when they ask what happened to America? It is not just this President and his administration that will be judged by them and by time. It will also be the American people.

Nero fiddled while Rome burned. Sound familiar? Okay, so Nero probably didn’t really play a fiddle while Rome was burning, but it is a great analogy for the behavior of the American public at large right now.

Right after the horrific tragedy of 9/11, Americans were glued to their television sets. We couldn’t believe we had been attacked on our own soil and we were outraged. We mourned and we cried. We learned that it was terrorists who attacked us, specifically, al Qaeda. Shortly thereafter, the President declared war on al Qaeda.

Good American citizens across the country wanted to know what they could do to help. Go shopping, the President told us. Travel, and do the things you have always done. Don’t change your lives. Don’t let the terrorists win.

So, we went shopping in droves. We bought up gas guzzling SUV’s and RV’s, went to Wal-Mart en masse to buy up cheap goods from China, and we traveled the country. We continued to take our kids to soccer and baseball practice, went to movies and football games and did what we in America do best. We spent money. We bought homes and got mortgages we couldn’t really afford and the housing industry went through the roof.

We shopped until we dropped. We did this for years. We ran up our credit card debt and spent every penny we had to pay our bills. Savings went down and spending went up. But, we were being good little patriotic citizens to win our war on terror. We couldn’t let the terrorists change our lives. And we didn’t.

The average American citizen did not go to war and did not see it. There was no draft. Our military men and women, America’s sons and daughters, were called upon time and time again to go to Iraq for longer and longer periods of time. And the government would not give them equal time at home with their families. Veteran’s benefits were cut and those who returned home with PTSD and other disabilities were not helped and cared for as they should have been. Our military was broken.

We were to mind-numbed and shopping happy to see that our Constitution was being disassembled piece by piece. The enemy of freedom and democracy was not a foreign terrorist – although they do exist and are a threat. The enemy was our own government.

Behind the scenes, in the name of the Great War on Terror, people were being quietly picked up around the world and flown to secret bases and tortured for information – policies that are strictly forbidden in the Geneva Convention. This is called Rendition. We put hundreds of men and young boys into Guantanimo Bay and held them without charge for years on end, away from their country and their family and all they hold dear.

American citizens were spied on, had their phone calls listened to and emails read without the benefit of warrants and the FISA court.

In the name of the Great War on Terror and all Americans, prisoners at Abu Ghraib were tortured in the most hideous of ways and further humiliated by having their pictures taken by their torturers.

The mainstream media was bought by the government and did not report the facts, the truth. We did not question their reporting when, after we attacked and moved into Afghanistan, the build up for war in Iraq began. The leaders of this country used fear and terror to sell this war, with threats of mushroom clouds, biochemical attacks and the great evil one, Saddam Hussein. Never mind that the UN Weapons Inspectors told the leaders of this country and the world that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction and hadn’t had them for years. We were flat out lied to by President and his administration.

A private mercenary Army was created by Blackwater that moved into Iraq and did the jobs our soldiers used to do with more money – from a no-bid contrast. Halliburton and KBR also won no-bid contracts in Iraq and in the United States. New Orleans was destroyed when the levees failed, and the poor neighborhoods were not rebuilt. FEMA trailers meant to help those who were left homeless were left standing empty in fields full of useless metal that is rusted and useless.

Huge detention centers were quietly built (by Halliburton and paid for with no-bid contracts) beyond the sight of the public eye meant to hold hundreds of thousands of people “in the event of a national emergency”. Many dissenters fear they were built to hold us.

The leaders of this government have tried to quell of freedom of speech, dissent and democracy in general. The right of Habeas Corpus was taken away by the President, who declared himself the Decider. He gave himself the power to decide who was an enemy combatant and who was not. He declared that anyone who opposed the war could be called an enemy combatant.

Our jobs were sent overseas to China and India. Immigrants from Mexico poured over our borders freely.

Our national debt leaped in just a few years to several trillion, yes TRILLION dollars, much of it borrowed from China.

Children’s healthcare was denied but money was approved to continue a war that most Americans eventually came to disagree with. Citizens marched in the hundreds of thousands on Washington to demonstrate the public outcry against the war, but the media did not report it. We lobbied Congress day after day after day for years, yet they paid little more than lip service to us.

The Republicans ignored us. The Democrats told us, get us elected and we will help you. We got them elected and they turned their backs on the American People.

Our President wanted to be a War President. He believed the Constitution was nothing more than “a goddamn piece of paper” and the Vice President ran a shadow government. They believed themselves, and apparently rightly so, above the law. The President claimed that God talked to him personally.

Good Christian people went to church and listened to their preachers tell them to support the President. Some were told that it was a sin if they voted for anyone other than the President when it came time for re-election, so the college frat boy who failed at just about everything he touched in his life once again was elected President – some believe via a stolen election for the second time.

All of this while we Americans consumed goods in mass quantities and woke in the morning with the hang over of debt and worry. Our jobs were going and we started losing our homes.

And then they told us about Global Warming, Darfur and mass refugee camps. We began to hear the same rhetoric that was spewed about Iraq used to build the case for war with Iran. This, when our military was broken.

But we shopped. We did our duty to our country to keep our economy going and strong. The rich grew richer, the poor grew poorer, the middle class began to disappear, and We the People, will be paying for our blindness and stupidity for generations to come.

I ask you, who is the real enemy of Freedom and Democracy? Is it not the responsibility of every American citizen to see to it that our elected Representatives and Officials keep their oath of office to uphold and protect the Constitution of our country? This is their sacred duty.

Amy Branham

Gold Star Mother for Peace

Mother of Sgt. Jeremy R. Smith

Nov. 1981 – Feb. 2004


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thanks for that.. an excellent summary of the bullshit we've been put through by the people who are supposed to uphold the constitution and represent our interests.

Modern day history lesson.

Watch for the thief
She flies on the wings of the eagle

"The Democrats told us, get us elected and we will help you. We got them elected and they turned their backs on the American People."

Not true - they don't have the votes.

All they need to do is begin impeachment proceeding. There is so much crime and evil in the Bush regime, impeachment is a no-brainer. The only reason they aren't doing it is because the Dumbocrats are complicit. These people are not upholding their oath of office. They will have no excuse when America is destroyed by the evil of the Bush Crime family. We will all pay for their complicity.

Impeachment proceedings could begin, if the "Democratic leadership" chose to do so. They refuse to initiate those proceedings because, secretly, their mouths water at the opportunity to seize control of the powerful, far-reaching criminal apparatus which the Cheney/Bush administration has already institutionalized.

The Democrats are complicit co-conspirators in aiding and abetting a criminal enterprise, and they've grown comfortable supporting crime and evil because the Wall Street oligarchs who fund their neverending political campaigns are also active supporters of the Bush Crime Family.

As far as these people in the Beltway and Wall Street are concerned, we're expendable, and they'll gladly throw us to the wolves while they hide in their stone palaces. We're already paying for their complicity, while they continue to think that they won't pay the price for treason and conspiracy, but justice has a way of working itself out, and they will pay for their complicity.

If you can't stand American politics just leave. No one will notice if you never return.

Also try backing up your statements with proof rather than hearsay and personal opinion. Gossip won't change whose in the whitehouse. Did you even vote in the last election?

:O) we have another one that can see. It warms my heart and gives me hope that more and more and more are starting to see the truth. Very well spoken!

BS they have done nothing, I have written letters to our representatives and they don't feel it is in the best interest of the Democrats to do anything.

They could have stopped the financiang of the war instead they filled the legislation with more BS pork than anyone else, they could have stood firm with their demands for explantions, they could have started inquiries, they have backed down at every step, they have done nothing which is what they plan on doing, they have let many americans dies to bolster their party. It looks better if they let the Republicans just burn and by doing nothing that's exactly what is happening. So they just let the americans dies, they let America look like Nazi's, they have spent billions, they have run our economy into the toilet just for the party. At least the Republicans have done it for believes. Which is worse? Which are more of a traitor to our County?


Dear Nancy,

Support America!


... Buy a Table!

XXOO America


Amen. Thank you for that. It was truly inspiring.

There's no one listening cause they are all still out shopping or watching FOX news.

Do Americans realise how much they are hated by the rest of the world
If you read the above you'll know why...


...Or this writer isn't too great. What a pointless article.

I am not surprised by us. We are no longer a country of citizens (overall, as there are exceptions), but a country of consumers, who make decisions based on emotion and fear. Our primary motive is to make ourselves happy, and our immediate family, the heck with everyone else when it gets down to the core.

There is no way our country will ever see a revolution, or another 1960's again, where people stand up to the leadership and demand answers. Most people no longer question authority, because the leaders are keeping them happy. So what if the leadership does things that are sad, people don't care, as long as they can continue shopping.

This country needs another depression, sadly, to wake us up. Real growth and realization that we are hurting ourselves doesn't occur until we feel real pain. I look forward to gas prices hitting $10 a gallon, and unemployment hitting 50%. We are too comfortable. We have been living irresponsibly. Taking the benefits of a strong economy and nation and not re-investing (or caring) about our communities and the world.

The negative side to freedom without purpose and responsiblity, is a nation of self-centered "me, me, me" people. Consumeristic, materialistic, in debt, more worried about keeping up with the Joneses.

Yes, socialism is ideal but can never happen because humans are greedy and too easy tempted into corruption. Capitalism has a bad side too though, as people transform into consumers and the middle and poor get poorer as the rich get richer.

Wanna watch something fascinating, watch some of Adam Curtis' documentaries, like "The Trap" and "Power of Nightmares". This will make you realize the mentality of the mob.

You offer all the problems without one hint of a solution. You state that massive gatherings in Washington have been fruitless. Your bitching falls on deaf ears.

I'm afriad. I'm afraid to speak out. It has come to not being able to speak out against anything political without being called a terrorist.

I got that from

Thanks for the history lesson but you forgot the tax break during war time. We voted for the dems and they ignored us. What action should we take now? Protesting? Protests don't work. Marching in the street with like minded might feel good but has little/no effect now. Our elected officials do not care what we think. With only two pro-war parties that leaves people no one to vote for.

Ron Paul is the only one running for president who has his head srewed on strait. He is anti-war, pro-constitution and fiscally responsible. Lets get this man in the White House before its to late. Ron Paul has broad grass roots support, why he raised over a MILLION dollars in one week with an average donation of just FORTY dollars. Women like him. Men like him. When he came to Iowa for the Republican Straw Poll, my baby even liked him. I'll be voting for Ron Paul in the caucus, I'll be voting for Ron Paul in the general election, possibly by absentee ballot with a noterized copy to prove my vote was for him. Lets see Diebold hack that! Yours in the eternal struggle, Phil Dea

Vote for Ron Paul.

Is that its gotten to a point so severe that no one wants to do anything to fix this. No one can. If you try to speak out, "you are a terrorist". If you try to reason with idiots, are reasoning with idiots, so its pretty useless anyway. I almost fear for my safety for writing this post, even though there is absolutely nothing in it that isn't true. What happened to the principles that made this country what it was? Freedom of Speech, Democracy, Transparency in Government, the DUTY/RIGHT/OBLIGATION of EVERY citizen to create a new government in American when the status quo is NOT serving the people. Well, Thomas Jefferson said to do just that. When a government no longer serves its people, freedom is dead. Keep in mind our current administration could probably somehow spin the fact that Jefferson said that, and label him a terrorist. I mean after all, he did grow/smoke marijuana, and we all know that smoking marijuana promotes terrorism right?

I am a young, educated male living in Austin, Texas. I have traveled to several countries in the world since 9/11 and it is an embarrassment to tell people I am from America. It's not even the fact that they hate America (because 90% of the world does)- but rather it is embarrassing that our "great" country elected the same idiot two times in a row! God Help Us... as long as it isn't Bush's God...

Amy has written a great essay that outlines many of the problems the American Society faces today. It's unfortunate that even our elected officials don't stand up for their constituents. How long are we going to let our "representatives" spend their time driving our country to ruin? Elections shouldn't be a popularity contest to see who can raise the most money. It should be a contest to see who is the most qualified to represent our local opinions. And to do it with integrity. It's time for the people to take back our government.

Thats all good and all, but what good are you doing just talking about it? Our problems with the government isnt going to end, not a little bit, when we just talk about it, or have some protests. Some people have to be put down sometimes. Take out their leaders, and no more bullshit. We're comming too near to a fascist state.. So we need some action, holla

God Bless GW

You want change? Then make it happen!

There is something wrong in the USA and it is that the people fear their government.

"When the people fear the government you have tyranny...when the government fears the people you have liberty." --Thomas Jefferson

The American people need to stand up and make the government fear the people. The countries back is almost broken by crushing debt, a failing dollar and economy. When will it end?

How long will this go on before the people do something.

A once proud and free nation is turning into the latest tyranny where the people are afraid to speak or have their voice heard.

Land of the free and home of the brave? No More.


we need to revolt.

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