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Slowly the mist of the hypnotic dream world dissipates.

Now awake and alert, our eyes see the real world, the hypnotic dream world competes only as a memory with the reality of here and now.

Here and now, awake fully at last, we find ourselves as a nation mired in the most destructive global act in decades. While we've slept, driven by greed for power and wealth, liars have been busy deprecating our good name, sacrificing our children's blood to false causes and fumbling their way to the economic ruin of our country.

Be brave, but be afraid.

9/11 generated fear and anger. The more we pondered 9/11 the more our fear receded and our angry outrage came to the front. We united one with another, found our resolve and responded to a president who spoke to our tragedy and our inherent national strength of will.

Be brave, but be afraid, he started saying.

We began again moving forward with our lives, grounded in our new resolve and outrage. Be brave, but be afraid, he continued to say. Our president continued the tough talk and we responded. Yes, yes ... we will do something about this.

Be brave, but be afraid.

Then, curiously, the more he talked the tough talk, the more we began to hear how afraid we should be. Tough talk from our protectors coupled with should-be-afraid talk from our protectors.

Be brave, but be afraid.

Soon we became used to a double menu of tough talk and fear talk.

Be brave .... be afraid...

When finally the blend of be brave and be afraid had reached its culmination in war, we saw first hand what happens when tough talk and fear talk are blended. We saw how we had - by remaining silent in the face of tough talk and fear talk - gone along with our leadership's stampede application: It's right to be brave, but better to be afraid.

Driven by tough talk and fear talk, we watched as our sons and daughters became the instruments of manipulation of our toughness and our fear.

We watched and gave silent consent as tough talk was replaced by the kind of talk that stampedes voters - authorizing the biggest mouths to take drastic actions that serve the mouth more than the body.

Be brave, but moreso be afraid.

We suffered an attack ... we looked for leadership ... our leader jumped into the empty seat on the lead horse and rode off in all the wrong directions, lying all the way. But we followed him anyway.

Be brave, but be afraid.

It's time now, in the light of truth and the obvious, to bring the stampede to a halt. The big bulls up front are liars and leading us in all the wrong directions. Too many of us see the lies, see where liars have taken us, see what has been done in our name.

Be brave, but be afraid.

Too many of us now see the kind of "credit" we have earned as a nation by the actions of the stampeders.

It's time to rein them in.

Be brave, but be afraid.

It's time for us to get out of our stampede mentality, tell the liars to shut up, take away their clout and call our warriors back where they belong - doing what they should be doing rather than acting as agents of extortion for political criminals.

It's time to fire the stampeders.

It's time to stop being afraid.

It's time to start being brave.

Arthur Ruger 2007

Arthur & Lietta Ruger 2002-2008. The American Choice is a  political internet journal based in Bay Center, Washington. The views expressed not authored by Arthur or Lietta Ruger are the writers' own and do not necessarily reflect those of The American Choice or SwanDeer Productions. Permission of author required for reprinting original material, and only requests for reprinting a specific item are considered.