Friday, July 5, 2013


A high school buddy who played trumpet in the band. Half way through his ninth decade, he can still coax a tune out of his horn when the occasion calls for it.

Like most of the remnant of our 1947 graduating class, Fritz is a solid citizen, long married, lots of family, patriotic, saves his money, pays his taxes, supports the Church. Did his time in uniform.

And worries about America.

Every few weeks, I get an email from him. Some of them are shrill, unSnoped propaganda.

But not all. And when he weighs in about Benghasi, or the bureaucracy, or the IRS, he gives voice to the frustration so many Americans feel these days.

And he usually ends up with a call to arms.

Much as he loves me – and he does – he is quick to say that my dogged preachments about constitutional reforms are a fool’s errand, and the only message that will get through to the powers that be in Washington will come when the citizens rise up.

He is not alone. I know some golfers who spend almost as much time at the shooting range as they do on the driving range.

They know that the second amendment was not written to accommodate duck and deer hunters, but to allow Americans to defend their homeland from the enemies of liberty.

Including, if necessary, their own government..

Indeed these are perilous times.

The blogosphere shows a campy interest in the quote by Thomas Jefferson to the effect that an uprising like Daniel Shay’s 1786 Rebellion in Massachusetts ought to happen every twenty years or so.

Just to keep the tax collectors on their toes.

Historians suggest that Shay and his musket toting farmers rang the death knell of the Articles of Confederation and set the stage for the adoption of the constitution written in Philadelphia in 1787.

That constitution distinguishes us from every other nation on the planet.

As Alexander Hamilton said, our constitution made history.

It birthed a nation with words on a piece of paper instead blood in the streets.

Most often, politics is a bloody business. History books are full of it. So is the nightly news on television. Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Syria. People killing and getting killed over who is in power.

For many Americans, presidential politics is the sport of choice.

No sooner had Barack Obama been elected to a second term, than speculation about the Presidential election of 2016 began.

Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, Chris Christie, Marco Rubio. Who will run? Who can win?

The President of the United States is the celebrity’s celebrity.

Frequently hailed as the most powerful human being on the planet, the occupant of the Oval Office is revered, feared, obeyed, envied, and, of course, hated by more than a few.

In most of the world and throughout most of human history, kings and rulers have been deposed and replaced by force and violence.

And not a few have stayed in power by ruthlessly dispatching their opponents and enemies.

It’s not that way in the U.S.A. At least, not yet, Thank God.

As my old law partner used to say, “Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.”

It’s good to have Fritz standing guard.


  1. Your Honor,

    I am glad to see that you are still sharp in mind.

    I'm not positive we met a long time ago, but I believe that my dad, John Sweda (who passed away in 2005), introduced me to you in Lansing in the late 70s or early 80s.

    To the point of your blog... I am reminded of the quote belonging to Ben Franklin that essentially states that those who would give up their liberties for a modicum of temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

    While my dad was alive, we traveled on several occasions to the then only national cemetery in Michigan, Fort Custer, for Veterans Day observance. One year, the commandant gave a speech noting that no politician ever secured the liberties that we Americans enjoy and often do not even think twice about how these blessings have come to be. Indeed, the men and women of our nation who have fought for this country - including those who made the ultimate sacrifice - are the ones responsible for having secured our freedom.

    That said, our constitutional framework is truly a masterpiece. It has allowed our nation to evolve and minimize bloodshed when bringing about change. God help us the day that we need to defend this country from an enemy within (our own government), but I pray that your friend, Fritz, will have played a part in keeping us ready.

    Thomas Sweda