a stroll down pennsylvania avenue / by Warrior Ant Press Worldwide Anthill Headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri, USA.

The 4-hour season premiere of 24 had just ended when the Chief Executive declared a state of emergency for the incoming Obama administration inauguration ceremonies. With the exception of forcing the Obamas to rent a hotel room in the city they'll soon own, Bush has gone to great lengths to court the incoming President, likely because Bush knows that his legacy can be helped if Obama doesn't spend his first 100 days in office lamenting on how bad things have become and expend early political capital on trying Bushites for crimes against humanity.

It likely the threats against Obama and his family have been many and a few wackos have probably had real intent to harm. Many pray for the families safety and fear the worse might just be around the corner. Each day the headlines are scanned with elation marred with a bit of uncertainty. Some days I'm almost afraid to look.

The problem is that presidents, not just this president-elect, continue to be shielded farther and farther from the public they serve. This distance just builds during their tenure. Instead they are constantly surrounded by advisers, bodyguards, and the security-vetted elite. The interests of the People, for whom the President must swear allegiance to uphold, are then marginalized, pushed behind the barricades, and each face regarded as a potential threat. This prevents an open and transparent government of, and by the people, and leads to a culture of royalty. Even the most well-intentioned and grounded President can't escape this security-bubble because the secret service won't let them. The balance of power shifts slowly away from the electorate to the safety of the back room and the country suffers ill because of it.

One of the best things Obama could do is to insist, as Carter did, to walk down the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue and shake hangs with the people during his journey to the White House. (During his second inagural parade, Pres. Bush and the First Lady, briefly stepped from the motorcade to show America that the country was "safe from the terrorists" but the phlanx of secret service agents had grown considerably larger since the Carter days). The police state might not like it, but Obama was elected rather than appointed. We hope for a country where every man, woman, and child - be they black, white, brown or the President, feels safe enough to walk down the street unfettered from fear.