Saturday, July 10, 2004

BushCo vs. Civil Liberties, PA Edition 

So I'm googling around trying to find confirmation on the rumor that Bush flipped a Whoopie-finger at a roadside protestor (nothing yet) a search under "Bush Pennsylvania protest" turns up some other items worthy of note. First, and sadly unremarkable these days, from the Shamokin Times-Item:

While the event [in Kutztown PA] was touted as a town meeting, it was much more of a rally in format. One woman wearing a Kerry campaign T-shirt was escorted from the arena by university and state police even before the president’s arrival.
But then, two items even more alarming, from the Allentown Morning Call:
After Bush went into the hall, Jim Wright, one of the protesters, returned to his car and found it had a broken window. Glass littered the back seat, and various items inside were shuffled around.

An officer told him the Secret Service broke into the vehicle because two metal military ammunition containers made it look suspicious. Wright said he uses the containers to carry camping gear.

''If the insurance company doesn't pay for it, I'm going to take them to court,'' said Wright, who has traveled to a dozen or so antiwar protests from Washington, D.C., to New York. ''This isn't freedom.''

Bryan Ross, chief of the Berks County/Lehigh County Regional police, confirmed that the incident happened, apparently because the Secret Service found the vehicle suspicious. There were no further details.

Daniel Finsel, 21, of Lehighton spent three hours in the Kutztown lockup — unjustly, he believes. He said he was arrested for disorderly conduct while carrying a sign reading ''U.S. Aggression Breeds Terrorism'' two minutes before Bush rode up Main Street.

Finsel was given a citation and has to appear in court to pay a fine.

''I think it was an atrocity,'' he said. ''I was put in jail because of the way I feel, and I don't think that's right at all.''
UPDATE: Alert reader Peanut pointed my wondering eyes to the primary source on the Whoopi-finger story, at a LiveJournal site of the recipient of the honor, who goes by the name of jiveturky. It's long, so just go there and read it.

The good news is that JT claims one of his co-protesting buddies and Presidential Salute recipients managed to snap a picture of the Divine Digit in operation. The bad news is that the picture posted is not of the said digit, but rather of a fence and a propane tank.

It is entirely possible that this is a subtle work of art of such profundity as to be entirely over my head, but then it is also possible that the Homeland Security/RNC Hacking Department Haff Vays Ov Playink Mitt Pictures. Or maybe it's just that jiveturky screwed up somehow. I usually leave my tinfoil hat off on weekends to let my hair recover.

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