this is a photograph of mouse and i, taken in washington d.c. in may of 2006. the government was demonstrating many visible tactics of intimidation and the nation was more afraid than at almost any other previous time in modern history. if this photo had been shot with a wider lens, you could see the guards who were patrolling the lawn with P-90s, accompanied by dogs. on the roof there were other security people, clad in black tactical gear and walking amid an array of spotter's scopes and other equipment.

however, in spite of all of this added security in our nation's capital (much of which is just posturing) mouse and i couldn't have felt safer. we didn't fear government officials stopping us for questioning around the next corner. we didn't fear an umarked car whizzing up to the curb to haul us off. in how many other nations could citizens so flagrantly show scorn for their government?

i love this country so much that at times it brings tears to my eyes. while in practice we don't always honor the principles upon which we were founded, the protections of our constitution still exist. this photograph captures the most beautiful celebration of freedom in which i have ever participated.

- deviant ollam