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Defending Our America

romerobook.jpgThis coming Sunday at 5 pm ET/2 pm PT, we will be hosting Anthony Romero, the executive director of the ACLU, to talk about his book, In Defense Of Our America. This book is as compelling a read as it is important, and I hope that you will join us for a discussion of the civil rights and liberties that so many take for granted…no longer.

Mr. Romero and his colleagues at the ACLU have been standing on the front lines of these battles since the 1920s, with the single-minded determination to stand for the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, even when it was neither socially popular nor publicly supported in the moment. Often when no one else would step forward to do so.  And we cannot thank them enough for all that they do in support of the Constitution at such a critical testing point in our nation's history. (Hell, even Rush Limbaugh has come around to seeing their value as staunch supporters of individual liberties, at least when it means saving his own arse anyway.)

In light of the discussions that we've been having this week with the Senate Judiciary habeas hearing and the Goodling testimony in House Judiciary, I thought this bit from the very end of the book was incredibly poignant and yet altogether appropriate.  And so, I give you a bit of a teaser for Sunday's book salon, in Anthony Romero's own words:

I am also unapologetically patriotic.  That patriotism doesn't conflict with my day job.  In fact, it is my day job.  With all of its imperfections, and broken promises, and unrealized potential, America is unlike any other place on earth.  A melding of people from the world over.  A history of lofty ideals.  And a commitment to realizing those ideals, even if it is through lurching progress and intermittent setbacks.  I believe in the goodness and fairness of the American people, from South Dakota to Dover to the Lower Nines to Larned.  Progress will come only when we demand it and when we refuse to allow America's rality to fall far short of its ideals.  Upholding American values — in defense of our America.  That is both our birthright and our responsibility.

My grandmother used to say, "La luz de enfrente es la que alumbra."  The light in front is the one that shines the way.  That light is America.

That light is also every American who stands up and fights for what is right.  Anthony is right — it is our birthright and our responsibility.  So let's all shine a little light where it is needed today. 

And I certainly hope that you'll be able to join us for a discussion of this powerful book on Sunday at 5 pm ET/2 pm PT.  Even when you think you know the law, taking it to the level of the personal — with stories from everyday Americans who fought injustice as they saw it in their own lives, who stood up and simply said "enough!" — is a powerful and moving way to learn more about the impact that each of us can have in directing our nation down the path of who we ought to be instead of being cowed into the corner of who we are in the moment.  Powerful message, and it will make for an excellent chat this weekend. 

Huge thank you to Anthony (and his co-author Dina Temple-Raston) for writing In Defense Of Our America.  It raises a number of very important questions that every active citizen ought to be asking of themselves, and of the people elected to represent them.  For every story in this book, each of us could say "this could be me."  For that reason alone, it is a read that I highly recommend to each of you.

Book SalonCommunity

Defending Our America

romerobook.jpgThis coming Sunday at 5 pm ET/2 pm PT, we will be hosting Anthony Romero, the executive director of the ACLU, to talk about his book, In Defense Of Our America. This book is as compelling a read as it is important, and I hope that you will join us for a discussion of the civil rights and liberties that so many take for granted…no longer.

Mr. Romero and his colleagues at the ACLU have been standing on the front lines of these battles since the 1920s, with the single-minded determination to stand for the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, even when it was neither socially popular nor publicly supported in the moment. Often when no one else would step forward to do so.  And we cannot thank them enough for all that they do in support of the Constitution at such a critical testing point in our nation's history. (Hell, even Rush Limbaugh has come around to seeing their value as staunch supporters of individual liberties, at least when it means saving his own arse anyway.)

In light of the discussions that we've been having this week with the Senate Judiciary habeas hearing and the Goodling testimony in House Judiciary, I thought this bit (more…)

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com

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