Enjoying The Perks Of Power

By Chuck Baldwin February 17, 2006

One thing is now crystal clear: powerful people such as Vice President Dick Cheney are not subject to the same laws as the rest of us. Who else could accidentally shoot a fellow hunter while not having the necessary non-resident hunting certificates, not even speak to local law enforcement personnel until the next day, and incur zero liability or consequence? Can you imagine the kind of trouble the rest of us would be in if we had done this?

For example, a few months ago in my hometown of Pensacola, Florida, our local sheriff and county administrator (and others) were charged by federal and state officials with "illegal" hunting in Wisconsin. What happened was the two men paid a professional guide service for hunting trips to that state. Unfortunately, the professional guide did not do his job. He failed to obtain all the necessary permits (just like Cheney) for his clients.

As a result of the guide's neglect (or dishonesty), his clients are now facing various state and federal charges. At least two of the hunters are facing felony charges. I shudder to think what the men would be facing if they had accidentally shot a hunting partner.

Please remember that the people who arrested our sheriff and county administrator for "illegal" hunting work for President Bush and Vice President Cheney. Yet, Cheney can be guilty of virtually the same kind of "crime" (failing to obtain all necessary hunting permits), accidentally shoot a fellow hunter, and not even speak to a law enforcement official until the next day, and do so with absolute impunity!

Not only did Dick Cheney not bother to discuss the matter promptly with law enforcement personnel, thus preventing them from conducting an immediate and thorough investigation, he refused to discuss the matter with the American people for 3 days! And, of course, now the victim of this unfortunate accident has had a heart attack and, at age 78, his total recovery is uncertain.

This reminds me of the despicable episode that took place back in 1969 when a thoroughly inebriated U. S. Senator by the name of Ted Kennedy drove his car off the Dike Bridge and into a pond after leaving Chappaquiddick Island near Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts. In that accident, Kennedy's "companion," 29-year- old Mary Jo Kopechne drowned, and the good senator quickly and quietly left the scene. His explanation was that he was "in shock." In Massachusetts, anyone who leaves the scene of a fatal accident is charged with manslaughter. Anyone, that is, except Ted Kennedy. Kennedy was charged with leaving the scene of an accident, thereby only suffering the embarrassment of having to explain to his wife what he and that young blonde were doing alone in his car while she and the children were all at home.

Can anyone remember when that phrase from our Pledge of Allegiance, "with liberty and justice for all," really meant something? Well my friends, it doesn't mean much today, that is for sure!

While the rest of us are being investigated, spied-on, wire-tapped, having our emails read, our phone conversations listened to, and our private letters opened, the privileged and powerful among us are free to carry on without oversight, restraint, or accountability! Their bodyguards carry fully automatic weapons with them everywhere they travel, while you and I are stripped of our fingernail clippers at our local airports. They give our hard earned tax dollars to foreign governments interest-free and with no requirement to ever pay the money back, while you and I pay through the nose for everything we borrow, and if we are too late making payments, they will throw our butts in jail without blinking an eye! While the government of Iraq receives billions and billions of taxpayer dollars, the governments of Louisiana, New Orleans, and Mississippi get billions and billions of federal excuses!

If Mr. Cheney had any character, he would have made himself immediately available to local law enforcement officials the way every law-abiding American would be expected to do, and let them properly investigate and decide what, if any, action should be taken. That he would use the power of his office to not allow himself to be questioned by local law enforcement officers until the next day demonstrated an arrogant "I'm-above-the-law" attitude usually seen in leaders of Banana Republics.

Then again, Cheney admits to having been drinking during the day of the shooting, and, apparently, police officials simply took his word that his alcohol consumption did not contribute to the accident. Of course, absent an immediate investigation of the episode, what else could they do?

Oh, I forgot. Cheney later sent a check to the State of Texas for the cost of the permit that he had failed to purchase. I'm sure my sheriff and county administrator would have been willing to do the same thing, but they were not afforded that opportunity!

It seems that virtually everything this administration does is hidden. Nothing, and I mean nothing, is done in the light. Everything is done under cover of darkness. Without a doubt, this is the most secretive administration in American history. Even what might have been a pure accident is shrouded in mystery.

This is not the kind of America our forefathers envisioned. In fact, this is more like the kind of nation from which our forefathers broke free!

How long will the American people tolerate this nonsense? How long with they continue to vote for these spoiled, arrogant multi- millionaires who couldn't care less about the welfare of the average American, much less the sacred principles that they vow to uphold? How long will they accept the blatant double-standards and the deceit? How long will they allow themselves to be bullied into servitude while "the powers that be" live as exceptions to the law? How long will it take the American people to wake up?

Frankly, I'm tired of hearing about how George Bush and Dick Cheney are Christians! I'm tired of hearing about how bad it would be if the Democrats were in the White House. The fact is, it doesn't matter to a Tinker's Dam which party is in the White House and whether the pot licker claims to be a Christian or not! It's the same millionaire's club. The same miserable conduct. The same duplicity and double-standard. It's the same everything!

I'm ready for a change, but apparently the majority of the American people like it the way it is. I don't understand it, but they simply must like it the way it is. I guess as long as they have their six-packs, their sports, their TV, and their easy chairs, they just really don't care!

I suppose, therefore, we should all just sit back and accept whatever the rich and powerful spoon-feed us, and remember that, in the new Amerika, with power comes the perks!

© Chuck Baldwin