Friday, February 03, 2006

Who Are The Brain Police? or: I'll Be Sheehan You

I don’t think I’ll ever quite forget that we once had an administration that escorted a gold star mother out of a State Of The Union speech in handcuffs, while a dog was given a designated seat.

It sort of sums up how things are going, I think.

No doubt you read about it. Cindy Sheehan was invited to the SOTU speech, but when she sat down (in a seat that was nowhere near the President or the cameras), she revealed that she was wearing a t-shirt with the number of American servicemen who’d died in Iraq on it.

For this infraction, she was led out of the room in handcuffs – handcuffs, mind you – and taken down to the old stationhouse until the speech was through.

As this was happening, Rex, a bomb-sniffing dog, was enjoying his seat in the visitor's gallery.

Now just in case anyone had a problem with this, they covered their asses in two specific ways:

The first was to escort out – without handcuffs – the wife of a Republican congressman wearing a t-shirt that read “Support The Troops.”

See? We weren’t picking on Cindy Sheehan. We’re eliminating everyone’s freedom of speech.

The other thing they did was drop all charges against Sheehan and apologize to both women.

Well, of course they did. The speech was over.

"The officers made a good-faith but mistaken effort to enforce an old unwritten interpretation of the prohibitions about demonstrating in the Capitol," the police chief wrote.

This is the way it works now.

We just blatantly ignore the first amendment and apologize later. When the Republicans held their convention here in Philadelphia, people were arrested by the score, only to have any charges quickly or eventually dropped. The important thing was to keep any protestors out of the sight lines of the cameras and the conventioneers.

That’s an amenity we provide when you put the down payment on our convention facility.

We now pay lip service to Freedom and What America Stands For and then cheerfully behave as if we were a police state.

From Rhode Island comes the story of a 7th grader who, when asked to write an essay describing his perfect day, included what authorities describe as “violence against President Bush, talk show Oprah Winfrey and others.”

He also suggested that a similar fate befall executives from Coca-Cola and Wal-Mart.

So his teacher did what any patriotic American would do these days. Turned him in.

To the Secret Service.

According to the AP, “The Secret Service investigation is ongoing, but the essay may have been a ‘cry for help,’ said Thomas M. Powers, resident agent in charge in Providence. Threatening the president is a felony, he said.”

Hey, you’re the ones who asked him about his perfect day. If you didn’t want to hear the answer, you shouldn't have asked.

“It wasn't any detailed, minute-by-minute plan,” a police detective was quoted as saying. “It didn't meet the criteria for a criminal charge.”

In the meantime, he’s been barred from school for “mental health” considerations.

Why does all this sound so familiar? It keeps reminding me of something, but I don’t think it was something that happened in this country.

Anyway, let’s hope the young man’s brain can be fixed. Perhaps he can eventually go on to become a productive citizen.

Even I wouldn’t go so far as to advocate violence against a sitting President.

I mean, you very rarely see him when’s he’s sitting, do you?


Blogger Miss Templeton said...

Ah Count Screwloose!

So today I listened to the Bright Eyes modern classic When the President Talks to God. Quite a number of times too, I should add.

And, just now, I found a loving tribute page to Allen Ginsberg which led to my Obligatory State of the Union Blog Post.

There's a John Dos Passos screed in my near future. I feel that in my bones!

Friday, February 03, 2006 3:02:00 AM  
Blogger Count Screwloose said...

And how very pleasant it is to see you here, Miss T. And appropriate, too, as we've just finished the Feast Day of St. James (Joyce)!

I did listen to the whole speech and was most intrigued by the warning that concerned the imminent onslaught of "human/animal hybrids." From the looks of things, it's probably already too late.

Today is the birthday of Gertrude Stein, who once wrote that the 20th Century was the American Century.

I wonder whose century this one is?


Friday, February 03, 2006 4:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Uncle Cleetus said...

I finally caught Enron- The Smartest Guys in the Room...whew! I knew it was bad but the tangled web of lies and deceit were quite frankly mind numbing. I believe our culture is poisoned by greed plain and simple. Decency and integrity has gone out the window to make a buck. The Bush Administration is complict in enabling this Culture of Corruption. These are strange times to be alive (like some bad screenplay). I just wonder how the plot ends...

Saturday, February 11, 2006 3:58:00 PM  

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