10/06/2005: Exercise your right to free speech, because it may be gone soon.
A couple minor tidbits from The Land of the Free, and the Home of a Cowardly President.
In North Carolina, a high school student and his civics/economics teacher were questioned by the Secret Service:
Selina Jarvis is the chair of the social studies department at Currituck County High School in North Carolina, and she is not used to having the Secret Service question her or one of her students.That the Secret Service has to investigate credible threats to the life of the President is a given. But this is definitely ridiculous:
But that’s what happened on September 20.
Jarvis had assigned her senior civics and economics class “to take photographs to illustrate their rights in the Bill of Rights,” she says. One student “had taken a photo of George Bush out of a magazine and tacked the picture to a wall with a red thumb tack through his head. Then he made a thumb’s down sign with his own hand next to the President’s picture, and he had a photo taken of that, and he pasted it on a poster.”
According to Jarvis, the student, who remains anonymous, was just doing his assignment, illustrating the right to dissent.
But over at the Kitty Hawk Wal-Mart, where the student took his film to be developed, this right is evidently suspect.
An employee in that Wal-Mart photo department called the Kitty Hawk police on the student. And the Kitty Hawk police turned the matter over to the Secret Service.
On Tuesday, September 20, the Secret Service came to Currituck High.“At 1:35, the student came to me and told me that the Secret Service had taken his poster,” Jarvis says. “I didn’t believe him at first. But they had come into my room when I wasn’t there and had taken his poster, which was in a stack with all the others.”
“Halfway through my afternoon class, the assistant principal got me out of class and took me to the office conference room,” [Jarvis] says. “Two men from the Secret Service were there. They asked me what I knew about the student. I told them he was a great kid, that he was in the homecoming court, and that he’d never been in any trouble.”Meanwhile a Portland, OR, woman was kicked off a Southwest Airlines flight in Reno for wearing a t-shirt featuring pictures of President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Condolezza Rice, and the caption "Meet the Fuckers" (a take-off on the recent movie, Meet the Fockers).
Then they got down to his poster.
“They asked me, didn’t I think that it was suspicious,” she recalls. “I said no, it was a Bill of Rights project!”
At the end of the meeting, they told her the incident “would be interpreted by the U.S. attorney, who would decide whether the student could be indicted,” she says.
I suppose she should be grateful that she was merely kicked off the flight, rather than given over to TSA and subjected to a stip search or something like that....
Len on 10.06.05 @ 08:12 PM CST