The following is a letter to the Washington Post from a prominent Washington, DC lawyer
who also happens to be my brother...

Civil Obedience

Dear Editor:

After last week's cowardly attack on the United States, we ask how we can help our country. Many have answered the call to service by volunteering as rescuers, blood donors, and financial contributors. These are critical and inspiring acts.

But we all have less dramatic, but vital, contributions to make. We must practice civil obedience. Civil obedience means following to the letter the rules that our society agreed to follow before the attack. Observe the speed limit. Pay your taxes. If you do not have a life-threatening emergency, find an alternative to our already over-burdened emergency rooms. Non-emergency room physicians and insurance companies, make non-emergency appointments more available. Customers, pay all of your bills on time or early. Merchants, conduct your business as an example for all businesses to follow. Settle your arguments without a fight or a lawsuit. Invite people into your traffic lane, elevator, or grocery store line.

If we are attacked again, we must be ready. The more resources that medical, law enforcement, financial, and civic institutions can devote to defend us, the more ready we will be. Everything we do that makes our country an orderly and civil place, and which eases the burden on our emergency response system, is a great contribution to readiness and to national safety and security.

Let each of us defend our country by practicing civil obedience every day.

Matt Swartz