Thursday, December 6, 2007

Merle Would Be Proud.....

I don't think of myself as intolerant of others' beliefs or jingoist in terms of politics. Live and let live. You scratch my back and I'll use my hands for something better (or however that cliche goes). I'm a great example of that fine line between laid back and comatose. For the most part.
Only, however, for the most part.

This morning, one of our local papers (the story is in yours, too) has an AP story on "Court Hears Arguments on Guantanamo Case" on the Supreme Court's involvement in detainees' rights and protections. It came with an AP photo, by Lawrence Jackson, of a protester standing outside the Supreme Court, wearing a black hood and an orange jump suit, described as 'prison-like' in the photo caption, as the court was hearing opening arguments.

The photo beautifully underscores a critical point about the protections our Constitution guarantees to all citizens (and to those not citizens as well) and delineates if you're willing to see it, why despite our flaws and warts, we are in many respects the Last Great Hope of the World.
Freedom of speech, to include exhorting and/or encouraging those who would, given the opportunity to destroy our Constitution, do so, is protected by the very same Constitution.
As a comic once noted, "Is this a great country, or what?"

I think what wound me up about the image is my recollection of more than one video with a guy wearing a hood but brandishing a BIG knife slitting the throat of another human, an American, trussed up, helpless and clad in this selfsame orange jumpsuit.

What I DON'T remember are any photos or video of anyone, anywhere, in whose name and faith these cowardly murders were committed saying or doing anything to protest these actions. Meanwhile, I've got this well-meaning maniac mannequin posed on the front page. Does he (or she) think if the situation were reversed, the true believers would tolerate his presence much less allow a photograph or a protest?

As Three Dog Night sang "Well, I've Never Been to Spain, but I've been to Oklahoma." I'm thinking there's plenty of room for that country club, condos and detention center just down the street from The Fightin' Side of Me. Be advised: Alternate side of the street parking rules are in effect.
-bill kenny

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