Cindy Sheehan arrested for anti-war T-shirt
January 31, 2006 7:30 PM   Subscribe

Cindy Sheehan arrested for wearing anti-war T-shirt at State of the Union Peace activist Cindy Sheehan was arrested Tuesday in the House gallery after refusing to cover up a T-shirt bearing an anti-war slogan before President Bush's State of the Union address.

"She was asked to cover it up. She did not," said Sgt. Kimberly Schneider, U.S. Capitol Police spokeswoman, adding that Sheehan was arrested for unlawful conduct, a misdemeanor.


Remind me not to wear my "Impeach Bush" button on my next trip to D.C.
posted by frogan (520 comments total)

 
hey frogan, don't wear that button when you go to DC.
posted by Hat Maui at 7:32 PM on January 31, 2006


Does this boil down to "Unlawful Conduct" vs. "Freedom of Speech"?
posted by ericb at 7:34 PM on January 31, 2006


Remind me not to wear my "Impeach Bush" button on my next trip to D.C.

Didn't you get the memo? Alito was confirmed today. The White House considers the Constitution just "goddamn" toilet paper. Politeness is the new newspeak.
posted by Rothko at 7:34 PM on January 31, 2006


I think there's a difference between stating your opinion via shirt or button when you are out in public, versus deliberatly drawing attention to yourself during the state of the freaking union address. I have no love for the war in Iraq, but this woman is a cartoon character, and how she got an invitation to the speech astounds me.

Now, Tim Kaine... what a MAN.
posted by sdrawkcab at 7:36 PM on January 31, 2006


She was invited by an anti-war congresswoman. Is that really so astounding?
posted by rxrfrx at 7:38 PM on January 31, 2006


"I think there's a difference between stating your opinion via shirt or button when you are out in public, versus deliberatly drawing attention to yourself during the state of the freaking union address."

Then you're part of the problem.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:39 PM on January 31, 2006


Wait. There is probably a bit more to this. Are we sure it isn't something like being disruptive? I don't think freedom of speech extends to yelling and screaming at the president during the state of the union address. However, according to the ap story she was arrested for "demonstrating in the Capitol Building". Apparently a t-shirt counts? Or was she more "demonstrative" than that? Side information: she got her ticket to attend from my representative (Woolsey, D-CA).

Rachael
posted by R343L at 7:39 PM on January 31, 2006


deliberatly drawing attention to yourself

I'm sorry, is there more information available or are you referring to being fully dressed at the event? How was she drawing attention to herself?
posted by Manhasset at 7:40 PM on January 31, 2006


My unbridled rage just started boiling up, but I think I was able to tamp it back down again with a few Somas and about a dozen Krispy Kremes.

America! Fuck yeah! Whatta country!
posted by loquacious at 7:40 PM on January 31, 2006


Now, Tim Kaine... what a MAN.

Really?

I was not impressed with his address, demeanor and speaking ability.

Who would I have suggested in his stead to deliver the address?

Barrack Obmama.
posted by ericb at 7:40 PM on January 31, 2006


Okay, what everyone else said. :)

(And sorry for including my name before my handle. Look like a noob. Writing emails kind of re-writes my impulses).
posted by R343L at 7:40 PM on January 31, 2006


Rachael:

There's no need to sign your posts. We all can see it was "posted by R343L at 8:39 PM MST on January 31 [!]"

Todd Lokken
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:41 PM on January 31, 2006


Um -- Barrack Obama.

I'm still taking shots -- as I read the SOTU transcript! ;-)
posted by ericb at 7:41 PM on January 31, 2006


Any statement about it from the dems? Surely Woolsey will have some pre-written comment about this easily forseeable event.

Of course, Woolsey couldn't possibly have discussed this with the Capitol Police ahead of time, found out the guidelines, and instructed Sheehan to behave. It couldn't possibly have been a staged event, could it ;-)
posted by JekPorkins at 7:41 PM on January 31, 2006


jinx
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:41 PM on January 31, 2006


"Schneider said Sheehan had worn a T-shirt with an anti-war slogan to the speech and covered it up until she took her seat. Police warned her that such displays were not allowed, but she did not respond, the spokeswoman said."

I'm gobsmacked.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:43 PM on January 31, 2006


I think there's a difference between stating your opinion via shirt or button when you are out in public, versus deliberatly drawing attention to yourself during the state of the freaking union address. I have no love for the war in Iraq, but this woman is a cartoon character, and how she got an invitation to the speech astounds me.

I just want to make sure I'm clear. You do not believe people should be able to wear clothing to the State of the Union address if said clothing carries a message the president may not like. Is that clear?
posted by odinsdream at 7:44 PM on January 31, 2006


This is getting ridiculous. It's like reality has turned into high school.
posted by 517 at 7:46 PM on January 31, 2006


"Are we sure it isn't something like being disruptive?" - A T-shirt might be considered disruptive depending on one's perspective. There are many perspectives, not all in keeping with the US Constitution.

"this woman is a cartoon character, and how she got an invitation to the speech astounds me" - her sort - mothers of deceased soldiers and the like, should be undesireables kept far away from official events ?
posted by troutfishing at 7:47 PM on January 31, 2006


So it comes down to this: shirts or skins.
posted by Peter H at 7:47 PM on January 31, 2006


I guess the Capitol isn't a Free Speech Zone.
posted by homunculus at 7:48 PM on January 31, 2006


The article is vague and probably incorrect regarding the charge and reason for it. It would be hard to make wearing a t-shirt stick as probable cause for a charge of unlawful conduct. There's that whole, sticky free speech annoyance. However, if she was asked to leave, which is what probably happened, and she refused, then they could easily charge her with what in Muni court in my city would be called Criminal Trespass, a misdemeanor carrying up to 1 year in jail.

sdrawkcab: I don't think being perceived by you to be a cartoon character is a crime. Yet. However, at any moment perhaps Bush will appoint you as the Homeland's Special Prosecutor of Pests/Mothers of Dead Soldiers.
posted by onegreeneye at 7:48 PM on January 31, 2006


I think there's a difference between stating your opinion via shirt or button when you are out in public, versus deliberatly drawing attention to yourself during the state of the freaking union address. I have no love for the war in Iraq, but this woman is a cartoon character, and how she got an invitation to the speech astounds me.

Even if that were so, isn't it her right to be a cartoon character? There's no indication at all that she was in any way disruptive.
posted by duck at 7:48 PM on January 31, 2006


I can't figure out why they let her in in the first place? What did they think she was going to do?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:48 PM on January 31, 2006 [1 favorite]


"I can't figure out why they let her in in the first place?"

That makes you part of the problem as well.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:49 PM on January 31, 2006


Not like that, mr_crash_davis- I'm just wondering why would they look at her name on the list and let her in- I would think they would have screened her out.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:51 PM on January 31, 2006 [1 favorite]


My statement stands.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:52 PM on January 31, 2006


Hah.
posted by Peter H at 7:53 PM on January 31, 2006


You wouldn't wear a t-shirt to a wedding. You wouldn't wear a t-shirt to a job interview. You wouldn't wear a t-shirt to meet with an ambassador. You wouldn't wear a t-shirt at a fancy dinner at which you were the honoree, or even if you weren't on the dais. There are events at which you have to look a little less casual than you would just hanging out.

Regardless of what you think of the man and his policies, it's the flipping State of the Union Address. Dress nice.
posted by thecaddy at 7:53 PM on January 31, 2006


I guess the Capitol isn't a Free Speech Zone.

Well, since on the house floor members are not allowed to speak out of turn, and male congress members are required to wear a jacket and tie, I'd say that even in the capitol, there are constitutional time, place and manner restrictions.

What if Sheehan had wanted to scream at the top of her lungs throughout the speech? Then would you be upset if they arrested her? What if, rather than wearing a shirt with slogans on it, she had come to the SOTU naked and covered in glue and manure? Would you think it unjust for her to have been arrested in that case?

What, then, are the permissible restraints on expression through creative clothing in the House Chamber during the State of the Union Address? Is a dress code unacceptable, since it might preclude free expression through screenprinting?
posted by JekPorkins at 7:54 PM on January 31, 2006


What if Sheehan had wanted to scream at the top of her lungs throughout the speech? Then would you be upset if they arrested her? What if, rather than wearing a shirt with slogans on it, she had come to the SOTU naked and covered in glue and manure? Would you think it unjust for her to have been arrested in that case?

Interesting questions — but they have nothing at all to do with why she was arrested.
posted by Rothko at 7:55 PM on January 31, 2006


Yeah, but you would not get arrested at the wedding, or job interview or at a meeting with ambassador. Nor at a fancy dinner.
posted by c13 at 7:55 PM on January 31, 2006


AP:

"Sheehan, wrapped in a bright pink scarf against the cold, protested outside the White House with a handful of others before heading to the Capitol Tuesday evening. There were no cameras around, but the small band faced the executive mansion and repeatedly shouted, "You're evicted! Get out of our house!"
posted by stirfry at 7:56 PM on January 31, 2006


She could't find an Attention Whore shirt in her size.
posted by HTuttle at 7:56 PM on January 31, 2006


A side point about political demonstration at the SOTU: everyone invited by elected representatives is generally a political statement. For instance, last year, Bush apparently invited Safia Taleb al-Suhail (was leader of an Iraqi woman's political group). He generally invites some religious figure every year. Every member of congress, I believe, has some number of invitations and they seem to either dole them out as a political statement or as patronage. So, Sheehan demonstrating is nothing new -- it's just other guests' demonstrations are just the fact that they are there. :)

But then I do have to agree that it is in poor taste to wear a t-shirt to such an event.
posted by R343L at 7:56 PM on January 31, 2006


it's the flipping State of the Union Address. Dress nice.

Wow, I forgot the part of the constitution where that leads to a year in jail.

I mean, good thing we don't have an imperial president or anything.
posted by lumpenprole at 7:57 PM on January 31, 2006


Her t-shirt was a black shirt with the number of troops killed.
posted by alteredcarbon at 7:57 PM on January 31, 2006


Regardless of what you think of the man and his policies, it's the flipping State of the Union Address. Dress nice.

Yeah, I'm sure it's the t-shirt part that got her kicked out, not the message on it.
posted by smackfu at 7:57 PM on January 31, 2006


That makes you part of the problem as well.

This is great watching mr_crash_davis taking out inane comments by repetition of a single sentence. I may make some popcorn, grab and beer and wear out my F5 key tonight...

I'm just wondering why would they look at her name on the list and let her in- I would think they would have screened her out.

Because she was the guest of member of Congress. Though I'm sure that they would've liked to have never let her in to begin with.

She could't find an Attention Whore shirt in her size.

You remember Reagan's quote about how "he'd paid for that microphone?" Can you see where I'm headed with this?

Her t-shirt was a black shirt with the number of troops killed.

Fuck yes.
posted by jperkins at 7:58 PM on January 31, 2006


"Her t-shirt was a black shirt with the number of troops killed."

If only the Oakland Raiders had a player who wore number 2443, she'd have been left alone.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:59 PM on January 31, 2006


Ill dressed or cartoonish as she may be, didn't Bush send her son to die so that she'd be free to express herself here in God's country?

If there's a dress code I'll betcha' $5 it says nothing about t-shirts on women.
posted by onegreeneye at 8:00 PM on January 31, 2006


You wouldn't wear a t-shirt to a wedding. You wouldn't wear a t-shirt to a job interview. You wouldn't wear a t-shirt to meet with an ambassador. You wouldn't wear a t-shirt at a fancy dinner at which you were the honoree, or even if you weren't on the dais. There are events at which you have to look a little less casual than you would just hanging out.

If you did, would you get arrested? Maybe if they'd let her stay, we could all gossip about how underdressed she was, but since she was arrested, let's talk about the whole free speech thing.

I'd like to know if there was anyone else there wearing a t-shirt.

What if Sheehan had wanted to scream at the top of her lungs throughout the speech? Then would you be upset if they arrested her? What if, rather than wearing a shirt with slogans on it, she had come to the SOTU naked and covered in glue and manure? Would you think it unjust for her to have been arrested in that case?

Those are both examples of being disruptive. Perhaps in the naked case there might be a public nudity or some such charge. But a t-shirt isn't disruptive and it's not illegal to wear a t-shirt in public.
posted by duck at 8:01 PM on January 31, 2006


She should've shown up with a purple finger. (I'll leave the choice of digit up to you.)

Do not taunt Happy Fun Leader.
posted by FormlessOne at 8:02 PM on January 31, 2006


What if, rather than wearing a shirt with slogans on it, she had come to the SOTU naked and covered in glue and manure?

That would be wrong. Only the President may dispense manure.
posted by homunculus at 8:03 PM on January 31, 2006


She could't find an Attention Whore shirt in her size.

Yeah. Good thing for you, Htuttle, 'Thoughtless Dickhead' shirts come in all sizes.

Seriously, she lost her son in this war. You disagree with her, fine. You wish she wasn't there, fine. But she has more of a right to talk publicly about this than anybody, including me or you.

So, if you really want to shit all over the reltives of people who died in this war, your community awaits, you selfish ass.

Have fun.
posted by lumpenprole at 8:03 PM on January 31, 2006


But she has more of a right to talk publicly about this than anybody, including me or you.

Not so much.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 8:04 PM on January 31, 2006


meh, it was the state of the union address -- and she wanted to wear a tshirt?.

It would have been a great statement if she just attended in normal dress like everyone else, she might have gotten some screen time. This arrest looks like it was staged.
posted by mathowie at 8:04 PM on January 31, 2006


This reaffirms my preconceived notion that Bush is a weak, petty and insecure man.
posted by I Love Tacos at 8:06 PM on January 31, 2006


Since the press keeps changing the story from "unfurling a banner" to wearing a shirt, maybe the official charge should be "opportunistic bitch".
posted by Rothko at 8:07 PM on January 31, 2006


i didn't realize freedom of speech had a dress code.
posted by brandz at 8:07 PM on January 31, 2006


it's not illegal to wear a t-shirt in public.

Are you sure the SOTU is "in public?" It's an invitation-only event in a secured government facility.
posted by JekPorkins at 8:07 PM on January 31, 2006


She should have worn a diamond brooch that formed the numerals 2443.
posted by StickyCarpet at 8:09 PM on January 31, 2006


Interesting. Just prior to the speech, CNN was reporting that she "unfurled a banner" and that's why she was arrested.

There has to be a better way.

**raises right eyebrow**
posted by Otis at 8:09 PM on January 31, 2006


Another link to the t-shirt on nbc mentioning what was on the t-shirt.
posted by alteredcarbon at 8:10 PM on January 31, 2006


If the goal of arresting her was to keep her message from being heard, it failed miserably. Before tonight the lady couldn't buy media attention if she tried -- now it's a different story.
posted by pardonyou? at 8:11 PM on January 31, 2006


omg teh Bush!!1one

Cindy Sheehan is a caricature of a person, and has gotten way far off-message, and is boring.

Yes, thanks in advance, I'm a heartless bastard etcetera, but her son volunteered. Tough shit. If her son was so fucking anti-war, he would a) not have joined b) deserted or resigned once the illegal war in Iraq started. How can she claim to speak for the dead, or even other greiving parents?

She is just getting off on the publicity and probably getting paid in the process.
posted by tweak at 8:11 PM on January 31, 2006


Was she wearing anything else besides the T-shirt?
posted by stirfry at 8:12 PM on January 31, 2006


Are you sure the SOTU is "in public?" It's an invitation-only event in a secured government facility.

Ha-ha! Why, of course. Why would anyone think that the public is admitted to an event at which the president addresses it? Especially wearing t-shirts that present a clear physical danger.
posted by c13 at 8:12 PM on January 31, 2006


Martin Luther King and Ghandi were both attention whores. It was kinda their M.O.
posted by sourwookie at 8:12 PM on January 31, 2006


She couldn't even wait until the speech began? Y'know what, Cindy? We know your opinion, everyone knows your opinion.
posted by geekyguy at 8:13 PM on January 31, 2006


also: she is a clown, an actor, and a charlatan.
posted by tweak at 8:13 PM on January 31, 2006


Barrack Obmama.

Um -- Barrack Obama.


Barrack? Barrack? Barack.
posted by Kwantsar at 8:15 PM on January 31, 2006


Oh yeah, the dignity of the SOTU where a yr ago the W stood up there and lied about Soc Sec. and then spent the next 6 months removing people from his lying tour because they were dressed wrong or sported the wrong bumper stickers on their car.

The W is the worst chickenshit sissy in American history.
posted by wrapper at 8:15 PM on January 31, 2006


But she has more of a right to talk publicly about this than anybody, including me or you.

Okay, that's bullshit, regardless of how you feel about this situation. I can sympathize with the woman, but her having lost a son doesn't give her more of a "right" to talk about it than others. I suppose you could say it gives her more credibility (though, I don't think I'd necessarily agree with that either) or emotional appeal (certainly, but that doesn't translate into credibility or authority).
posted by Stauf at 8:15 PM on January 31, 2006


You wouldn't wear a t-shirt to a wedding. You wouldn't wear a t-shirt to a job interview. You wouldn't wear a t-shirt to meet with an ambassador. You wouldn't wear a t-shirt at a fancy dinner at which you were the honoree, or even if you weren't on the dais. There are events at which you have to look a little less casual than you would just hanging out.

Fuck that. I would, and have.
posted by eyeballkid at 8:17 PM on January 31, 2006


What do ya expect from white trash?
posted by TetrisKid at 8:17 PM on January 31, 2006


tweak : She is just getting off on the publicity and probably getting paid in the process.
If you can get arrested for wearing a T-shirt, I dread to think of the penalty for being a dick.
posted by kaemaril at 8:18 PM on January 31, 2006


It would have been a great statement if she just attended in normal dress like everyone else, she might have gotten some screen time. This arrest looks like it was staged.

Yeah, I'm going to have to cast my vote with "wanted to get in trouble". It feels like it's more important in her mind that she get hassled so that she gets press, rather than she gets taken seriously.
posted by 23skidoo at 8:18 PM on January 31, 2006


Fuck that. I would, and have.

If it's either a white trash or punk rock wedding, understandable. SOTU delivered by this particular Texan is neither white trash or punk rock. Even blue-blood yalie fratboys dress up.

What do ya expect from white trash?

He is pretending to be white trash to get the NASCAR vote, remember.
posted by tweak at 8:18 PM on January 31, 2006


She kinda did unfurl a banner. When she came in she was wearing something over her shirt and she took that off revealing the shirt.
posted by drscroogemcduck at 8:20 PM on January 31, 2006


If you can get arrested for wearing a T-shirt, I dread to think of the penalty for being a dick.

Er... you get elected?
posted by deCadmus at 8:20 PM on January 31, 2006


Yeah, I'm going to have to cast my vote with "wanted to get in trouble". It feels like it's more important in her mind that she get hassled so that she gets press, rather than she gets taken seriously.

Has Cindy come out with a book yet that she can whore out to DailyKos and Moveon.org? Cindy gonna get paid!
posted by tweak at 8:21 PM on January 31, 2006


What do ya expect from white trash?

A username like TetrisKid?
posted by eyeballkid at 8:21 PM on January 31, 2006


Dress nice.

You know, up until now, I've thought of Cindy Sheehan as a pretty inarticulate sideshow act picked up by the media.

But now, I think she's pretty clearly showing not only what's fucked up with our President, but with a lot of ordinary Americans.

She's still inarticulate. But things are now so bad that even an inarticulate sideshow can make a pretty clear point.

Dress nice or go to jail? In the immortal words our of Vice President, go fuck yourself.
posted by 3.2.3 at 8:22 PM on January 31, 2006


It would please me to no end if this entire thread disappeared in a ball of fire.
posted by I Love Tacos at 8:23 PM on January 31, 2006


i'm too lazy to do it -- and i may be completely, totally wrong, in which case i apologize in advance -- but i wouldn't be surprised if a cross check of this thread revealed that some of the same people who are saying sheehan was inappropriately dressed for this event were claiming that the way cheney was dressed for that event was a non-issue.
posted by lord_wolf at 8:24 PM on January 31, 2006


Remember this date: January 31, 2006.

The day Alito joined the Supreme Court and the 'anti-war mom' got hauled away will be more historically significent than 9/11/01 as the day Free America went brain-dead.


It would please me to no end if this entire thread disappeared in a ball of fire.

Don't worry. In another two years, the POTUS will be doing that.
posted by wendell at 8:25 PM on January 31, 2006


But then I do have to agree that it is in poor taste to wear a t-shirt to such an event.

Poor taste? They arrest the mother who lost her son fighting a spurious war - any war - in the service of our country and a t-shirt is poor taste!?

Wait... I'm confused. What planet is this? Where's Xenu? I WANT TO SPEAK TO XENU, NOW.


Do not taunt Happy Fun Leader.

Do not allow Happy Fun Leader to get wet. If Happy Fun Leader begins to smoke and emit shower of sparks, run away and seek shelter immediately.
posted by loquacious at 8:25 PM on January 31, 2006


Yea, Cindy is a nutter, poor girl. At least she wasn't caught with WMDs or something.

The W is the worst chickenshit sissy in American history.
posted by wrapper at 8:15 PM PST on January 31 [!]


reminds me of: General George A. Custer, patriot american indian fighter, he died with shit in his pants. fr: the minutemen.
posted by snsranch at 8:25 PM on January 31, 2006


Dress nice or go to jail?

If that were the rule, Barbara Boxer and Robert Byrd would be rotting in prison.

The goal of arresting her was to get her more publicity. That's why she intentionally broke a rule that was explained to her in detail before she entered the chamber. That was the Capitol Police, not the Secret Service. You don't think Woolsey could have cleared it beforehand? Please. It was a total set up from beginning to end.

If she didn't want to get arrested, there is any number of alternatives that she could have chosen in order to make her statement. But the fact is that she wanted to be arrested, and she's probably laughing about it right now. Anyone who's mad that she got arrested is directly opposed to her own wishes.

Her son did not deserve to be sent to Iraq or to be killed there. But she's not helping the cause. The only people who aren't simply annoyed at her display are people who already agree with her.
posted by JekPorkins at 8:26 PM on January 31, 2006


reminds me of: General George A. Custer, patriot american indian fighter, he died with shit in his pants.

My buddy who works for a funeral home does pickups and says about 1/3rd of the stiffs shit themselves post-mortem. You got a 33% chance to join that elite fraternity.
posted by tweak at 8:27 PM on January 31, 2006


Kudos to Cindy Sheehan. By her action(s) tonight she has managed to steer the conversation away from Bush's banal address to the nation on lefty, left-of-center, center, right-of-center and far-right websites!

Just goes to show how much Americans embrace and care about the Bush agenda.

/hyperbole/.
posted by ericb at 8:29 PM on January 31, 2006


Can someone explain an "unlawful conduct" charge? On the surface that sounds like a very circular "you are breaking the law called breaking the law." I'm sure the practical reality is that they just wanted her out of there so they had to say something regardless of legality but I'm curious to know the actual meaning of whatever statute is called "unlawful conduct."
posted by well_balanced at 8:29 PM on January 31, 2006


hmmm..credibility and authority... hmmm. ...hmmm... credibility? what does that mean exactly?

seriously, what does that mean? was Ken Starr showing credibility? was Gingrich? was DeLay? was Abramoff?
posted by amberglow at 8:29 PM on January 31, 2006


It feels like it's more important in her mind that she get hassled so that she gets press, rather than she gets taken seriously.
If you're a protester you want attention. Publicity is the oxygen of protest. Without it, you might as well sit at home and unfurl your banners. Getting arrested, especially if you've got cameras or reporters around you, is a bonus not a drawback.

And since when is refusing to cover up a T-shirt disorderly conduct? Dress code (where is it, btw?) be damned, she was a guest in the gallery. I'm pretty sure the cameras of the liberal media (sarcasm) would have received instructions to stay well away from her.

Getting arrested is playing into her hands, frankly. Non-story into a slightly bigger story. Good for her.
posted by kaemaril at 8:30 PM on January 31, 2006


What do ya expect from white trash?

Hehe. I can't stand Cindy Sheehan, but that is too much.

Also, I am sick of the justification that she deserves to speak more than others because her son died in the war. People who say this don't seem to have much of a grasp of what free speech means. As someone astutely noted above, she may garner more credibility, but not more of a "right." She is hanging out with Chavez and making pronouncements on Israel as well. What does that have to do with her son dying?
posted by Falconetti at 8:30 PM on January 31, 2006


"You wouldn't wear a t-shirt to a wedding. You wouldn't wear a t-shirt to a job interview. You wouldn't wear a t-shirt to meet with an ambassador. You wouldn't wear a t-shirt at a fancy dinner at which you were the honoree, or even if you weren't on the dais. There are events at which you have to look a little less casual than you would just hanging out.

Regardless of what you think of the man and his policies, it's the flipping State of the Union Address. Dress nice."


Go fuck yourself, you ignorant, passive, classist pussy.

The State of the Union from this un-American sack of shit isn't worth real patriotic Americans wiping their ass with. Good on Cindy, and to hell with all you appeasing jackanapes willing to ignore fundamental free speech issues by turning this into some sort of "faux pas."

Is there any fundamental American right you people WILL defend?
posted by stenseng at 8:31 PM on January 31, 2006


Barrack? Barrack? Barack. --

Kwanstar -- your are right.
posted by ericb at 8:31 PM on January 31, 2006


thecaddy said a bunch of crap. Oh fuck that. wear whatever frioggin t-shirt you damn well want. Don't presume to tell anyone what t-shirt they can wear to a wedding till you've been to an all t-shirt wedding. Geez. Second mr. Crash. You're part of the problem.
posted by filchyboy at 8:34 PM on January 31, 2006


Hey, and as long as we're name calling, Tweak, you're a scumbag, a fascist, and a liar.
posted by stenseng at 8:34 PM on January 31, 2006


This arrest looks like it was staged.

Ya, think? Of course it was -- and by evidence that we are all talking about it confirms such!
posted by ericb at 8:35 PM on January 31, 2006


A lot of you seem to be unable to grasp that the quality of Sheehan's character is not the issue here, it's the violation of a natural right by an administration with a frightening adversion to all dissent.
posted by Citizen Premier at 8:35 PM on January 31, 2006


[notes comments on this thread...] Well, looks like she succeeded. Those of you who are confused might want to read a bit.
posted by YurikoKinje at 8:36 PM on January 31, 2006


Is there any fundamental American right you people WILL defend?

I disapprove of what you wear, but I will defend to the death your right to wear it, no matter how poor your taste is, being a mediocre democrat (small d), it must be quite poor.

There's nothing wrong with establishing rules of conduct for ceremonial situations. These things are the grease the oil the gears of society. Without them, everyday life would be like MetaFilter: people would be running around the streets on fire, falling over, and getting ridiculed and shat upon by passersby. Egalitarianism has to make way for reality from time to time. I know it's difficult, just take a few deep breaths.
posted by tweak at 8:37 PM on January 31, 2006


Go fuck yourself, you ignorant, passive, classist pussy.

My next bumper sticker - how did you guess?

You can enforce a dress code in a government building. This is not the issue. The issue is that someone spread the lie that Sheehan "unfurled a banner" in the House chamber when the actual infraction was something much less disruptive.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 8:37 PM on January 31, 2006


Didn't Dick Cheney wear a parka to Auschwitz? Seems a bit odd to then turn around and insist on formality when you're hosting the events.
posted by Pseudoephedrine at 8:38 PM on January 31, 2006


the violation of a natural right

A natural right? What natural right would that be?
posted by JekPorkins at 8:38 PM on January 31, 2006


The issue is that someone spread the lie that Sheehan "unfurled a banner" in the House chamber when the actual infraction was something much less disruptive.

Repeating a lie does not make it true. Wearing a t-shirt is not disruptive.
posted by Rothko at 8:39 PM on January 31, 2006


Regardless of what you think of the man and his policies, it's the flipping State of the Union Address. Dress nice.

If that's really the problem, I'm sure there's someone out there who would be more than happy to run a few acceptable garments through their digital embroidery machine. You could do all sorts of things with that and still keep the place t-shirt-free.
posted by Vervain at 8:39 PM on January 31, 2006


JehPorkins is spot-on.
posted by ericb at 8:40 PM on January 31, 2006


Hey, and as long as we're name calling, Tweak, you're a scumbag, a fascist, and a liar.

You left out capitalist swine.

on preview: I totally agree that Cheney is a taste-less hypocrite.

Wearing a t-shirt is not disruptive.

Just stupid, classless, and uh, against the rules. Doesn't anyone give a shit about the rules anymore?
posted by tweak at 8:41 PM on January 31, 2006


26 feet of poop.
posted by loquacious at 8:42 PM on January 31, 2006


I just shit myself laughing at this thread, by the way. If we print it out will it get to 26 feet long?
posted by tweak at 8:43 PM on January 31, 2006


What if, instead of wearing a parka to Auschwitz, Cheney had worn a black T-Shirt with the number 6,000,000 on it really big? Don't any of you think that might have been a little worse than wearing a parka? Disruptive, even?
posted by JekPorkins at 8:43 PM on January 31, 2006


Didn't Dick Cheney wear a parka to Auschwitz? Seems a bit odd to then turn around and insist on formality when you're hosting the events.

For that matter, didn't Dick say "fuck off" on the floor as well some time ago? If they are that offended by disruption or uncouthness, they should have hauled his ass away as well.
posted by Falconetti at 8:43 PM on January 31, 2006


Just stupid, classless, and uh, against the rules. Doesn't anyone give a shit about the rules anymore?

Stupid and classless are subjective. Against what laws, precisely, are violated by wearing a t-shirt? Case law you'd like to quote?
posted by Rothko at 8:43 PM on January 31, 2006


Doesn't anyone give a shit about the rules anymore?

That was on the back of her t-shirt.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 8:43 PM on January 31, 2006


seriously, what does that mean? was Ken Starr showing credibility? was Gingrich? was DeLay? was Abramoff?
posted by amberglow at 8:29 PM PST on January 31 [!]


amberglow: In my opinion, no. And certainly not more than anyone else. What is your point, exactly?
posted by Stauf at 8:43 PM on January 31, 2006


What if, instead of wearing a parka to Auschwitz, Cheney had worn a black T-Shirt with the number 6,000,000 on it really big? Don't any of you think that might have been a little worse than wearing a parka? Disruptive, even?

About the par, really.
posted by Rothko at 8:44 PM on January 31, 2006


That Sheehan was attending the SOTU was a "breaking news" headline on CNN before she was arrested.

Here's a question. What if she sat quietly in her t-shirt the entire time and didn't disrupt anything? Would she have gotten more press than any other 15 second interview after it was over?

Here's another. What if she wasn't arrested before the speech but then tried to disrupt it by shouting? Wouldn't that have looked far worse for her cause than wearing a t-shirt with the number of dead American soldiers on it?

Getting arrested before the SOTU wearing that particular shirt but causing no other disruption, though, causes the maximum amount of "Bush is a coward who doesn't ever want to hear views other than his own" reactions and - right or wrong - seems to confirm the preconception many people have that BushCo is interested in suppressing free speech.

Really, agree with Sheehan or not, agree with Bush or not, the Capitol Police handed the publicity bonanza on this one to Sheehan. Bad marketing move.
posted by Joey Michaels at 8:45 PM on January 31, 2006


> 2443
I hope the President would have recognized the number.

But it is probably illegal to annoy the President during wartime.

March 2003, Chief Justice Scalia, speaking in public shortly before receiving a medal for supporting freedom of the press, at a meeting from which he had the press excluded:

""The Constitution just sets minimums. Most of the rights that you enjoy go way beyond what the Constitution requires."

... "the protections will be ratcheted right down to the constitutional minimum. I won’t let it go beyond the constitutional minimum."

Constitutional protections endanger the Nation.
2+2=5
We have always been at war with Oceania.
posted by hank at 8:46 PM on January 31, 2006


tweak : and uh, against the rules
What rule would that be? If you could link to the appropriate U.S. senate rule, that would be great.

I've just looked at the standing rules of the U.S. Senate, and I can't even find a dress code for Senators. Maybe I missed a bit. Where's the bit which dictates what the dress code for visitors in the gallery is?
posted by kaemaril at 8:47 PM on January 31, 2006


Didn't Dick Cheney wear a parka to Auschwitz?

Yep.
Vice President Dick Cheney's utilitarian hooded parka and boots stood out amid the solemn formality of a ceremony commemorating the liberation of Nazi death camps, raising eyebrows among the fashion-conscious.

Cheney replaced the zipped-to-the-neck green parka he sported in Thursday's blowing snow and freezing wind with a more traditional black coat — red tie and gray scarf showing underneath — for his tour of Auschwitz on Friday.

Washington Post fashion writer Robin Givhan described Cheney's look at the deeply moving 60th anniversary service as "the kind of attire one typically wears to operate a snow blower."

"Cheney stood out in a sea of black-coated world leaders because he was wearing an olive drab parka with a fur-trimmed hood," Givhan wrote in Friday's Post, also mocking Cheney's knit ski cap embroidered with the words "Staff 2001" and his brown, lace-up hiking boots. "The vice president looked like an awkward child amid the well-dressed adults," she said. [source]
posted by ericb at 8:47 PM on January 31, 2006


Constitutional protections endanger the Nation.
2+2=5
We have always been at war with Oceania.


Did you just read that in your grade 12 english lit class? Do you think you're clever?

Case law you'd like to quote?

What the hell does a dress code have to do with case law?
posted by tweak at 8:48 PM on January 31, 2006


kaemaril - they're in the House, not the senate. Look in the other rules. Here, I did it for you:

Dress Code and Electronic Devices (Clause 5 of Rule XVII)

* Members should dress appropriately, which has traditionally been considered to include a coat and tie for male Members and appropriate attire for female Members; Members should not wear overcoats or hats on the floor while the House is in session. No eating, drinking, or smoking is permitted. The use of personal electronic equipment, including cellular phones and laptop computers, is banned on the floor of the House.
posted by JekPorkins at 8:49 PM on January 31, 2006


d'oh! Hit post by mistake - was going to add : maybe different rules for the house? I'm a Brit, is "the house" the Senate or the one with the congress critters? :)
posted by kaemaril at 8:50 PM on January 31, 2006


What if, instead of wearing a parka to Auschwitz, Cheney had worn a black T-Shirt with the number 6,000,000 on it really big? Don't any of you think that might have been a little worse than wearing a parka? Disruptive, even?

It would be great if you were counter-protesting a neo-nazi rally, which some would argue (thought I'd borrow that line from Fox News for a minute), is exactly what the SOTU was the equivalent to.

We're threatened by many unknowned enemies! Rah! Rah! We're better than everyone else! Rah! Rah! You're an enemy if you think otherwise! Rah! Rah!
posted by Mijo Bijo at 8:50 PM on January 31, 2006


the Capitol Police handed the publicity bonanza on this one to Sheehan -- Joey Michaels -- you're right.
posted by ericb at 8:51 PM on January 31, 2006


my point is that if you only enforce rules against those you're against, and not against those on your own side who violate those rules more, then you really have no standing at all to complain. If Cheney says "fuck you" on the floor, then a tshirt is nothing. But i can't expect you to understand that, can i? which is more important?
posted by amberglow at 8:51 PM on January 31, 2006


loquacious- losing her son is not a free pass to have her actions and words not be criticised the same as anyone would be.

fashion is silly and social norms about them are fairly transient. But hey, they exist. There is still a large segment of the american public that considers dressing inappropriately to the situation fairly offensive. Even those who don't care will often note that someone is misdressed. Wearing a t-shirt to this kind of formal occasion violates current social norms.

This is all beside the point though -- if she really was arrested for wearing a t-shirt with a political statement on it and nothing more (of course the charges wouldn't read that way), then this is certainly wrong. But frankly, I don't think anyone really knows what's what.
posted by R343L at 8:51 PM on January 31, 2006


Wow, that was fast :)

Thanks, Jek. Quick question, though : Cindy Sheehan is not "a member". Where's the rules for visitors? :)
posted by kaemaril at 8:51 PM on January 31, 2006


From the House Rules Committee:

“The freedom of speech in debate in the House of Representatives should never be denied or abridged, but freedom of speech in debate does not mean license to indulge in personal abuses or ridicule. The right of Members of the two Houses of Congress to criticize the official acts of the President and other executive officers is beyond question, but this right is subject to proper rules requiring decorum in debate.”
-Cannon’s Precedents, Volume 8, Section 2497
posted by JekPorkins at 8:52 PM on January 31, 2006


right on Cindy.

and of course she expected to be arrested. good activists do what they can to provoke the most absurd, telling actions of our continually entrenching corporate-fascist government, and never, if they can help it, get arrested on accident. attention whore? only because it sometimes seems like the only way to get the drooling television nation to pay any attention to what's happening at all.
posted by RedEmma at 8:53 PM on January 31, 2006


The dress code only includes members. I have been in both the House and Senate galleries in jeans, during session, and nobody threw me in jail.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 8:53 PM on January 31, 2006


i guess Jek answered that--it's only about what you wear and not about what you say. So if you're a white guy in a suit, then everything is ok, no?
posted by amberglow at 8:54 PM on January 31, 2006


"this right is subject to proper rules requiring decorum in debate."

Makes you wonder if Sheehan is just retarded or did she test her theory out by trying to walk into an exclusive club or a 5 star restaurant in a t-shirt?
posted by tweak at 8:54 PM on January 31, 2006


What the hell does a dress code have to do with case law?

You said something about rules.

Apparently she was arrested for breaking a law.

Do you care to back up your ill-thought comment by telling us all what specific law was broken by wearing a t-shirt?

Dress codes are not laws.

Until Dictator-for-Life Bush sets up the Department of Fashion Security, there are no laws against wearing a t-shirt.

You're welcome to prove for us otherwise, but I doubt you'll get very far.
posted by Rothko at 8:54 PM on January 31, 2006


she broke the rules

am i even hearing that? what are you people? hall monitors?

she got arrested intentionally

and that makes arresting her alright? it seems her intentions are pretty much demonstrating her point.

only people who agree with her aren't annoyed

yeah, i don't agree with bush, and he's pretty annoying. somebody arrest him.
posted by 3.2.3 at 8:55 PM on January 31, 2006


Dress Code and Electronic Devices (Clause 5 of Rule XVII)
* Members should dress appropriately, which has traditionally been considered to include a coat and tie for male Members and appropriate attire for female Members; Members should not wear overcoats or hats on the floor while the House is in session. No eating, drinking, or smoking is permitted. The use of personal electronic equipment, including cellular phones and laptop computers, is banned on the floor of the House.


Ahem.. she's not a member.
posted by c13 at 8:55 PM on January 31, 2006


A natural right? What natural right would that be?
posted by Citizen Premier at 8:56 PM on January 31, 2006


Note that I would not give 1 shit if she had simply been thrown out by White House Security.
posted by Citizen Premier at 8:57 PM on January 31, 2006


Ha! amberglow, you need to chill, man.

my point is that if you only enforce rules against those you're against, and not against those on your own side who violate those rules more, then you really have no standing at all to complain.

Um, I didn't complain about Sheehan wearing the shirt.

If Cheney says "fuck you" on the floor, then a tshirt is nothing.

I agree, there seems to be a double standard.

But i can't expect you to understand that, can i?

*rolls eyes*
posted by Stauf at 8:58 PM on January 31, 2006


Jek I fail to see how her actions violate any of those rules you posted. Was she going to be on the floor of the House? Did she ridicule or indulge in personal abuses? I'm just wondering how you're interpreting it.
posted by crashlanding at 8:58 PM on January 31, 2006


A natural right? What natural right would that be?

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
posted by sergeant sandwich at 8:58 PM on January 31, 2006


it's only about what you wear and not about what you say. So if you're a white guy in a suit, then everything is ok, no?

I didn't know that "white guy" was something that you wear.

I'm pretty sure "middle-class white woman from California" works, too, as long as you dress appropriately for the occasion and don't make a scene.
posted by JekPorkins at 8:58 PM on January 31, 2006


Yeah Rothko but you don't need laws to ask someone who is breaking the rules to vacate the premises.

Did you read the fucking article? The first sentence says:

"Peace activist Cindy Sheehan was arrested Tuesday in the House gallery after refusing to cover up a T-shirt bearing an anti-war slogan before President Bush's State of the Union address."

She refused, so they were allowed to kick her out, and even have her arrested for trespassing since she was no longer welcome. I hope someone can write up a nice free-verse poem about how it's so tragic that people in t-shirts aren't welcome into their own governments parliament chamber. We could make it a folk song and have a Vegan singer-songwriter lay it down!
posted by tweak at 8:58 PM on January 31, 2006


Sheehan really should have worn a t-shirt from Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse, since Home Depot is the White House's official hardware chain.

Synergy, people.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 8:59 PM on January 31, 2006


well, i thereby arrest Frist, and Delay, and every single combover guy in the Senate. Those with hairplugs are even more guilty. Off to Guantanamo, and those secret prisons all over. It's ok, and legal, according to the President and Att'y General and now also the Supreme Court.
posted by amberglow at 9:00 PM on January 31, 2006


I can't believe that any of you are seriously trying to argue that she got arrested because of the dress code. Get real.
posted by joegester at 9:00 PM on January 31, 2006


Martin Luther King and Ghandi were both attention whores. It was kinda their M.O.

Equating Cindy Sheehan with MLK and Gandhi is when this thread kind of bottomed out for me, personally. Sorry.
posted by Pontius Pilate at 9:00 PM on January 31, 2006


Somebody here need to read about time, place and manner restrictons.
posted by JekPorkins at 9:01 PM on January 31, 2006


Jek, tell me how wearing a t-shirt is "making a scene"
posted by amberglow at 9:02 PM on January 31, 2006


Somebody here need to read about time, place and manner restrictons.

Jek some will direct you to Cheney's statements on the Senate floor in regards to those restrictions. I won't, but some will.
posted by crashlanding at 9:03 PM on January 31, 2006


Unbelievable the amount of furor some of you contributors are pouring in this thread. Looks like it's been mishion accomplished for some of you people -- the brainwashing just worked, next election, bend over and grease up and make it easy for the forces in control.

(I'm glad I left the US.)
posted by NewBornHippy at 9:04 PM on January 31, 2006


"Members should dress appropriately,"

I'd be curious to know what the rule state about guests and non-members. This passage does not apply, Jek.
posted by teece at 9:05 PM on January 31, 2006


Equating Cindy Sheehan with MLK and Gandhi is when this thread kind of bottomed out for me, personally. Sorry.

Then maybe you -- and those who are snarking on dress codes -- just don't get it. It's called Civil Disobedience, people.
posted by deCadmus at 9:05 PM on January 31, 2006


and please, do elaborate how clothes are vital to our rights. Shirts are in the Constitution, no? funny, words actually are. lying is too. Was she speaking, as our VP did? Was she acting?
posted by amberglow at 9:06 PM on January 31, 2006


Unbelievable the amount of furor some of you contributors are pouring in this thread. Looks like it's been mishion accomplished for some of you people -- the brainwashing just worked, next election, bend over and grease up and make it easy for the forces in control.

(I'm glad I left the US.)


Didn't leave your subtle homophobia behind, though, did you?
posted by Falconetti at 9:07 PM on January 31, 2006


Cindy Sheehan
Decided She
Wouldn't Cover
When Asked Politely.

She made a scene,
was taken away.
Everyone says
"That's not the way."

She'll be out
most likely
by the
break of day.

In Stalin's time,
to do this thing
would get a bullet
in the brain.

Mao too,
would take offense,
kill and charge the family
for the bullet, fifty cents.

Castro? No
dissent's allowed,
when you have
a rent-a-crowd.

Show a t-shirt
over in Saudi?
They'd hack the head
right off her body.

So Cindy gets
some easy cred.
Lots of places
she'd be... dead.
posted by JB71 at 9:07 PM on January 31, 2006


Hey Pontius,

Analogies =/ comparisons
posted by papakwanz at 9:07 PM on January 31, 2006


Hmmm .. a snapshot: Cindy Sheehan/SOTU Google Count at this moment -- 679 mentions.
posted by ericb at 9:09 PM on January 31, 2006


Dress code law? Damn, I must have missed that part of the speech. I did see the jab at Hilary, that was awful nice of him. I bet ol' Fristy nearly crapped himself.
posted by fenriq at 9:09 PM on January 31, 2006


This passage does not apply, Jek.

I didn't say it does. Somebody asked for the house rules, and there they are. You don't honestly doubt that there's an official dress code for the state of the union, though, do you?

And amberglow, if you really don't think that she was making a scene, I just don't know what to say. And where is lying in the constitution? I'm not saying that lying is ok, but I just don't remember the constitution mentioning it.

Crashlanding, Cheney's statements on the senate floor would be covered by the obscenity exceptions, and tpm restrictions probably wouldn't really come into play.
posted by JekPorkins at 9:10 PM on January 31, 2006


The point is, WHAT LAW SAYS SHE HAS TO COVER HER SHIRT?
posted by stenseng at 9:11 PM on January 31, 2006


Its a damned Executive Privilege Law, stenseng. You see, Bush can ignore whatever laws he wants AND he can invent any law he wants whenever he wants.

The smirk comes free.
posted by fenriq at 9:13 PM on January 31, 2006


BTW, TPM restrictions have to do with enacted statutes, not post hoc justifications.
posted by Falconetti at 9:14 PM on January 31, 2006


I was happy to hear that Cindy was arrested, since it is a clear warning, about the future of our nation. We, as a nation are really nice to those that stand up for our rights, but only after they die. The speech started with a tribute to Coretta King, but only after the newspeople explained that someone who isn't dead yet, was arrested, doing the job protecting our rights. I don't care how articulate, or wise Cindy Sheehan is, I appreciate her verve. The speech was predictible, and unmemorable, except for about four blatant delusions passed off as reality. My favorite part was the Democrats applauding the fact that the destruction of Social Security, didn't happen this year.
posted by Oyéah at 9:14 PM on January 31, 2006


I was happy to hear that Cindy was arrested, since it is a clear warning about the future of our nation.

Indeed, it is a litmus test.
posted by Rothko at 9:16 PM on January 31, 2006


Does Bush not know how many people have died for his oil war? The descriptions of the shirt I have read all said it was plain black with white block letters with the number of deaths in Iraq, 2443. How is this a protest shirt? It's a plain fact. I didn't know the truth was this threatening.

The truth will set you free, unless of course, you're close to the President and members of Congress, it'll land you in jail.
posted by Mijo Bijo at 9:17 PM on January 31, 2006


The point is, WHAT LAW SAYS SHE HAS TO COVER HER SHIRT?

Probably none says that specifically. Most likely, the Capitol Police are granted fairly broad authority to ask visitors to the Capitol to stop any conduct that they perceive as being disruptive or generally a breach of the peace. Once a person refuses to cooperate with an officer's request, then a plethora of other laws comes into play.

Since this was a special event, invitation only, there was most likely a very precise code of conduct and dress code issued with the invitation, with the warning that any failure to follow those guidelines would be considered a breach of the peace, and would constitue a waiver of the right to attend the event. Typically, invitations for events like this carry with them lots of those kinds of restrictions.

As the articles on this indicate, she was instructed of the rules beforehand, and apparently was planning to break them and get arrested.

Falconetti: Who says this is post hoc?
posted by JekPorkins at 9:20 PM on January 31, 2006


if just existing and being there equals "a scene" then you're right. normal people understand that "a scene" is much more than that. If i wear Blue when the GOP demands red is that a scene too? Did she shout? Did she speak out at all? In America, we all used to be innocent first, but i guess our wardrobes now count more--it's awfully gay of you all--i mince and applaud you closet fashion police. I know Dreier and Mehlman must be creating these loyalty rules, closet cases that they are. How about white after Labor Day? Is that now a Guantanamo offense?

I also have to applaud your obedience. If wardrobe is enough, then Osama has already won. Burkas are next, no? How much aquanet and plastic surgery makes someone ok? Libby Dole for instance. If it's bad surgery it's treason and arrestable? if it's bad botox it is? please let us know what true Americans believe.
posted by amberglow at 9:20 PM on January 31, 2006


I didn't know the truth was this threatening.

BAD FASHION SENSE IS TREASON
posted by Rothko at 9:20 PM on January 31, 2006


Was I the only one who heard the cell phones going off during the speech? It happened at least twice and was noticable on MSNBC. Were those people, who broke the explicit rules listed above, also arrested? Were they even escorted out?
posted by aburd at 9:20 PM on January 31, 2006


aburd, they were probably asked to turn their phones off. If they had refused to do so, I imagine that they would have been asked to leave.
posted by JekPorkins at 9:22 PM on January 31, 2006


I have found nary a discussion about the content of the speech but tons of discussion about her arrest - at sites both left and right. Is it safe to say that Cindy Sheehan's arrest has sort of upstaged the SOTU?

Again, bad marketing move. This doesn't help the president regain the center for the Republican Party before the next election, which was ostensibly the purpose of the speech in the first place.
posted by Joey Michaels at 9:23 PM on January 31, 2006


She should have taken the shirt off and revealed another shirt and another and another. That would have made for good tv.
posted by fenriq at 9:25 PM on January 31, 2006


Hey Pontius,

Analogies =/ comparisons.



Oh, for the love of...

"anal·o·gy: inference that if two or more things agree with one another in some respects they will prob. agree in others."

Let's not nitpick here. What's the point of bringing up Cindy Sheenan in the context of civil disobedience a la MLK and Gandhi if not to draw a connection between her and them?
posted by Pontius Pilate at 9:26 PM on January 31, 2006


I'd say that even in the capitol, there are constitutional time, place and manner restrictions.

There is not constitutionally mandated dress code or time, place or manner restrictions.

However, there are House Rules for guests in the gallery (as well as the previously mentioned house rules for members):
"[The Speaker] shall preserve order and decorum, and in case of disturbance or disorderly conduct in the galleries, or in the lobby, may cause the same to be cleared."
posted by miss meg at 9:28 PM on January 31, 2006


tweak:"Peace activist Cindy Sheehan was arrested Tuesday in the House gallery after refusing to cover up a T-shirt bearing an anti-war slogan before President Bush's State of the Union address."

She refused, so they were allowed to kick her out, and even have her arrested for trespassing since she was no longer welcome.

Where in the original article did it say she was asked to leave? Why was she arrested for "unruly conduct" instead of trespass, if that's what happened? Don't be a twit, tweak. She was arrested because she refused to cover up a T-shirt some petty-minded official didn't like, it's as simple as that. I bet if there were a few schoolkids there with T-shirts saying "God bless you, President Bush" they'd mysteriously end up with front-row seats instead of being kicked out or arrested.

This, it seems to me, is a potential first amendment issue if she wants to press it.
posted by kaemaril at 9:28 PM on January 31, 2006


Since this was a special event, invitation only, this evening's Code of Conduct decrees there was most likely a very precise code of conduct and dress code issued with the invitation, with the warning that any failure to follow those guidelines would be considered a breach of the peace, and would constitue a waiver of the right to attend the event.

This just in --
By attending this evening's event, you promise
(1) to wear professional attire -- suits for men; prom-dresses (red preferred) for the ladies!

(2) To refrain from "chewing gum" during the event.

(3) To 'clap loudly and enthusiastically' whenever POTUS says the word 'terrorist' or the phrase 'I have confidence...'

(4) To 'hiss' at any mention of the words 'Democrat,' 'nucelar' [sic], and 'Iran'.
posted by ericb at 9:29 PM on January 31, 2006


stenseng

probably none. duh. yes, some us (including me) were off-topic to point out it is culturally inappropriate to wear a t-shirt to a formal occasion. so yes, the fact that she wore a t-shirt per se is irrelevant. (on preview, what JekPorkins said)

A federal case (pdf) involving the no demonstration rule. A mere t-shirt with a political statement is apparently explicitly not considered demonstrating. Or at least not at the time (i can't seem to find the current regulations). But, in this particular case, the no demonstration rule seemed to have been deemed unconstitutionally vague (case was a preacher who goes on tours of the capitol and prays with his group). Can't seem to find anything else about that case though. In any case, IANAL and have a hard time slogging thru legal documents.
posted by R343L at 9:30 PM on January 31, 2006


miss meg, according to the supreme court, the constitution does not "mandate" tpm restrictions, but it does permit them.
posted by JekPorkins at 9:30 PM on January 31, 2006


Joey, for a man who had a really great day and now controls all three branches of govt., and this is what their base focuses on, then you know they're horribly bankrupt, and really afraid. They'd rather we talk about Cindy's clothes than Abramoff and his pervasive payoffs, and Delay's indictments, and Frist's insider trading from his own office, and the whole K St. Project focused on only rewarding Republicans. There are so many un-American and criminal things going on that of course they want to talk about what a nobody was wearing--that's how they operate. Forget about the leader of the free wor'd--a Democrat wasn't wearing a suit!!!!

They, and the mainstream media, have it all down pat. The real question is whether the people are buying it.
posted by amberglow at 9:31 PM on January 31, 2006


maybe the next time around, those of the opposition can send their own message ... and not show up

i'm serious ... a half empty congress would say it all

but of course, that would require some people to grow a set, wouldn't it?
posted by pyramid termite at 9:33 PM on January 31, 2006


JekPorkins - that is why they are allowable in the Rules of the House. What I meant was that there was nothing in the Constitution that expressly defined tpm.
posted by miss meg at 9:34 PM on January 31, 2006


I agree with fenriq.
posted by Stauf at 9:34 PM on January 31, 2006


and how weak Bush's support must be, if this is what they make an issue of, instead of our fabulous progress towards democracy in the Middle East and Iraq (at a trillion a week), and our roaring economy, etc, and the fabulous rebuilding of New Orleans, and the enormous work towards reducing the record deficits, etc.

How strong are those pills anyway? Laura's eyes have been rolling for 5 years now--what is Georgie on?
posted by amberglow at 9:35 PM on January 31, 2006


It was a total set up from beginning to end.

agreed.

she's not helping the cause.

agreed.

the outrage in here is tiresome. getting arrested is a demonstrators badge of honor. back in the '60's, if you went to a war protest and didn't get arrested, everyone knew you were just trying to score dope or chicks.
posted by quonsar at 9:35 PM on January 31, 2006


Bomb-Sniffing Dog Gets Good Seat at Speech
posted by homunculus at 9:35 PM on January 31, 2006


if you went to a war protest and didn't get arrested, everyone knew you were just trying to score dope or chicks.

I bet Sheehan scores all kinds of dope and chicks.
posted by JekPorkins at 9:37 PM on January 31, 2006


pyramid, if the media doesn't show it, then it's useless---and we've learned it's useless. Cindy Sheehan's shirt is far far more important than what the President said--Rove decided so.
posted by amberglow at 9:37 PM on January 31, 2006


Probably none says that specifically. Most likely, the Capitol Police are granted fairly broad authority to ask visitors to the Capitol to stop any conduct that they perceive as being disruptive or generally a breach of the peace. Once a person refuses to cooperate with an officer's request, then a plethora of other laws comes into play.

IIRC, the Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that the mere wearing of shirts with slogans, armbands etc does not constitute disruptive behaviour in and of itself. The capital police should be aware of that.
posted by kaemaril at 9:38 PM on January 31, 2006


Yeah. It's about dress codes, T-shirts and appropriate attire. Because, y'know, she'd have been arrested if she'd been wearing a T-shirt supporting Bush.
posted by tyllwin at 9:38 PM on January 31, 2006


the outrage in here is tiresome. getting arrested is a demonstrators badge of honor. back in the '60's, if you went to a war protest and didn't get arrested, everyone knew you were just trying to score dope or chicks.
I'm not outraged she was arrested. As said, she expected to be. What I am outraged at is why she was arrested. Trespassing, if asked to leave, OK. Being arrested for not taking off a T-shirt is bullshit. Clearly, freedom of speech is not what people thought it was.
posted by kaemaril at 9:41 PM on January 31, 2006


2,241 is only an anti-war slogan if you don't believe that the invasion and occupation of Iraq was worth it.

If we'd only lost 2,241 troops in World War II, people would wear 2,241 t-shirts as combination memorial/celebration.

The fact that her shirt is being universally described as "anti-war" emphasizes that at some level, people don't want to think about the true costs of war, because they know that this one wasn't worth it.
posted by I Love Tacos at 9:41 PM on January 31, 2006


well, next week is the renewal of the Patriot Act (which i guess has a t-shirt clause).

Will it be? Are our clothes more important than our rights?
posted by amberglow at 9:42 PM on January 31, 2006


So Cindy gets
some easy cred.
Lots of places
she'd be... dead
YAY! We're marginally better than Stalin! (uhhh)

Re: the accusation that Sheehan's an "attention whore"...do you who hold this position hold the same for Christopher Reeve, or Jim Kelly, or Cam Neely, or the parents of Adam Walsh, or Megan Kanka, or any one among countless people who've turned their personal tragedy into a crusade to prevent others from suffering the same fate? Do you realize how ridiculous you sound?

Re: "fashion faux pas excuse"...puleeze. She wasn't friggin ARRESTED for wearing a friggin T-shirt. (note, we're not discussing being "asked to leave", but ARRESTED.) She was ARRESTED because of the content of that T-Shirt. Who the hell you people trying to kid?

As for the travelling Potemkin Village which surrounds Dear President everywhere he goes, and those who enable it...nothing absolves them. Someone who can justify arresting a Gold Star Mother over a t-shirt truly hates America and everything for which she stands, and should never be entrusted with any power of any sort.

Bottom line: Dear Leader's (really, his controller's) ideas and results cannot withstand the scrutiny of honest opposition. Truth is their enemy, and that fact is evident in their every action.
posted by edverb at 9:42 PM on January 31, 2006


"You wouldn't wear a t-shirt to a..."

I'll wear what I goddamned please when and where I please.
It's my house.
posted by 2sheets at 9:43 PM on January 31, 2006


That's offensive but the Justices of the Supreme Court standing up and applauding the chimp's inane empty promises isn't. Beacon of freedom indeed.
posted by Devils Slide at 9:44 PM on January 31, 2006


the outrage in here is tiresome. getting arrested is a demonstrators badge of honor. back in the '60's, if you went to a war protest and didn't get arrested, everyone knew you were just trying to score dope or chicks.

Your excuse for hanging around the Lincoln Memorial wearing nothing but wifebeaters and boxer shorts is tiresome.
posted by Rothko at 9:44 PM on January 31, 2006


I wonder what would have happened to Cheney or Hastert, if they hadn't agreed to wear matching red ties, to flank the President tonight? Oh never mind, the fashion police had their way with them, and they just graciously submitted.
posted by Oyéah at 9:44 PM on January 31, 2006


i feel so much safer--tshirts count more than Osama and democracy--i guess that's why we never caught Osama, and that's why Iraq is falling into civil war. And all those people in Guantanamo and in Secret Prisons all over must have been arrested because of their tshirts, no? If i had only known, we could have invaded Fruit of the Loom and Hanes, right?
posted by amberglow at 9:46 PM on January 31, 2006


Are our clothes more important than our rights?

Jeff Gannon, our newly appointed taste czar leading the War on Fashion will be able to answer that question for you very shortly.
posted by Rothko at 9:47 PM on January 31, 2006


We're marginally better than Stalin!

Marginally? Alright: Former Soviet Union MeFi posters in the house say ho!! Anyone with real experience in the soviet union care to give a fair comparison of the state of the U.S. today and the USSR under Stalin? How about the current state of the U.S. versus the current state of Russia?

While trying to minimize civil rights abuses by saying "it's not as bad as Stalin" is quite lame, it's equally lame to pretend that Bush is anything like a totalitarian leader.
posted by JekPorkins at 9:48 PM on January 31, 2006


wearing nothing but wifebeaters and boxer shorts is tiresome.

i turn you on, eh alex?
posted by quonsar at 9:48 PM on January 31, 2006


i turn you on, eh alex?

Only when you put on that Chanel number that I like, you dirty, traitorous pig, you.
posted by Rothko at 9:52 PM on January 31, 2006


Bottom line: Dear Leader's (really, his controller's) ideas and results cannot withstand the scrutiny of honest opposition. Truth is their enemy, and that fact is evident in their every action.

edverb, that's exactly it--and it gives me hope. We believe in things--progress, equal rights, prosperity, community, etc. They don't. They can only attack, even over stupidity. They don't believe in a better, more inclusive America, and that's pathetic.
posted by amberglow at 9:52 PM on January 31, 2006


And all those people in Guantanamo and in Secret Prisons all over must have been arrested because of their tshirts, no?

They didn't get the "wear the obligatory Congressional Red Dress and make googoo eyes at the prez" memo.
posted by Devils Slide at 9:52 PM on January 31, 2006


you dirty, traitorous pig, you.

drama queen. cry for me, girlyman.
posted by quonsar at 9:57 PM on January 31, 2006


They didn't get the "wear the obligatory Congressional Red Dress

I thought such was a condition for attendance at tonight's event.
posted by ericb at 9:59 PM on January 31, 2006


wearing nothing but wifebeaters and boxer shorts is tiresome.

tom anderson screams, "now wait a minute" as he's dragged out of his rv in a lgf t shirt, right outside the capitol ...
posted by pyramid termite at 10:01 PM on January 31, 2006


drama queen. cry for me, girlyman.

*smooch* Not on the first conjugal visit.
posted by Rothko at 10:01 PM on January 31, 2006


Sorry ericb, I read your comment but the red dress part slipped by me.
posted by Devils Slide at 10:02 PM on January 31, 2006


you dirty, traitorous pig, you.

That's just the pig DNA talking, let your human DNA talk now...The president says we/us are so over.
posted by Oyéah at 10:05 PM on January 31, 2006


I think Cindy's decision was in bad taste, but I think her being removed/arrested is in bad taste as well.

Anyone else thinking about "Fuck the Draft" perhaps?
posted by adzm at 10:06 PM on January 31, 2006


While trying to minimize civil rights abuses by saying "it's not as bad as Stalin" is quite lame, it's equally lame to pretend that Bush is anything like a totalitarian leader.

Secret prisons, secret laws, torturing suspects, holding Americans without charge or attonrey for three years, fake terror alerts, free speech zones, spying on Americans without a warrant, aggression, disregarding the Geneva Conventions, withholding information from the Red Cross, lying to Congress, rampant cronyism and corruption...

Shall I continue?

OK, euqating dissent with treason, outing undercover CIA officers, retaliation against whistleblowers, mercenaries in American cities...

100,000 Iraqi dead, 2443 Americans dead in Iraq, 15000 wounded, God knows how many preventable deaths in New Orleans...

Someone said it better than me...the question isn't whether we're like (insert totalitarian here) the correct question is whether we're different enough.

You take exception on the night a Gold Star mother was arrested for wearing the wrong t-shirt. Good God man, What will it take to alarm and appall you? Where's your line?

Suing to stop the counting of votes? Suggesting constitutional amendments which deprive Americans of rights didn't do it? How about questioning the public debt? Or claiming that the "commander in chief" hat isn't only applicable to the Army and Navy, but to the populace? Where they claimed their "authorization to use force" enabled them to operate domestically without a warrant?

I read the Constitution (that's "read" in the present tense...I read it all the time.) Maybe you have as well. That would probably mean that if you, I and George Bush were together in a room, 2/3 of us would have read the Constitution.

Believe me, I like the comparison to Stalin as much as you...which is to say not at all. America is a better place than it's leaders behavior. Her leaders are treading a dangerous path which leads to disaster.
posted by edverb at 10:08 PM on January 31, 2006


If I have it correctly ... ever since Reagan ... female attendees to presidential addresses who seek recognition from the President when asking questions ... have been predominantly those who have "dressed-in-red."
posted by ericb at 10:08 PM on January 31, 2006


Sorry ericb, I read your comment but the red dress part slipped by me.

Humor (druken -- at best.)
posted by ericb at 10:12 PM on January 31, 2006


*drunk* :-|
posted by ericb at 10:14 PM on January 31, 2006


> Didn't leave your subtle homophobia behind, though, did you?
> posted by Falconetti at 1:07 PM ACST on February 1 [!]

When you get fucked you get fucked -- being non gender specific leaves me with with only a couple options.
posted by NewBornHippy at 10:16 PM on January 31, 2006


Edverb: Stalin was responsible for the deaths of somewhere between 10 and 50 million citizens of his own country.

Add to that the "Great Purge," where millions of people died and hundreds of thousands were executed by firing squad.

Bush is an ass, but he ain't Stalin.
posted by JekPorkins at 10:19 PM on January 31, 2006


And another thing...if Bush could meet with Jack f*cking Abramoff a half dozen times, he can meet with Cindy Sheehan. Talk about misplaced priorities.
posted by edverb at 10:19 PM on January 31, 2006


I haven't seen this asked in this nasty little thread yet:

Was anyone else in the chamber wearing a t-shirt?

If the answer to that is yes, then the objection of those responsible for her arrest was clearly not based on what she was wearing, but on the number that was on the front of it. Or on her presence in the first place.

Either of which is an indefensible position, I would say.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:20 PM on January 31, 2006


He did meet with her. Why would he meet with her again?
posted by JekPorkins at 10:21 PM on January 31, 2006


Equating Cindy Sheehan with MLK and Gandhi is when this thread kind of bottomed out for me, personally. Sorry.

We're at war under these circumstances and there's basically ONE public figure that without argument is clearly, vocally and perpetually speaking out against the war and getting press, and you find it hard to make a comparison between these people?

We're arguably in one of the most corrupt, regressive periods in US history, where 2,000+ soliders and untold thousands of civilians have died based on a war case made by lies. If you want to get annoyed at something, get annoyed that Cindy Sheehan is just about the only anti-war voice that has managed to be heard above the noise.
posted by VulcanMike at 10:21 PM on January 31, 2006


He did meet with her. Why would he meet with her again?

Because she asked him. And because he seems like a coward for not doing so. And because the explaination she demands, which she didn't ask for at the first meeting, we all deserve to hear.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:22 PM on January 31, 2006


He did meet with her. Why would he meet with her again?

That cannot be a serious fucking question.

Because things ain't the same as they were yesterday? Because no matter how many times you get behind a podium and earnestly stammer through some talking points, the world keeps changing, and maybe it would help everyone to acknowledge that?
posted by Cyrano at 10:26 PM on January 31, 2006


That cannot be a serious fucking question.

Because she asked him. And because he seems like a coward for not doing so.

So, if I ask him, should he meet with me, too? Why should he meet with everyone who asks?
posted by JekPorkins at 10:28 PM on January 31, 2006


My favorite part of this whole thing is the idea that, whatever you might think of Cindy Sheehan, and no matter how much you might think she was attention-whoring or trying to stir up trouble, she did so by wearing a t-shirt with the number of troops killed.

A t-shirt. With a number. That reflects the number of troops killed. And for that she was arrested.

Honestly, Cindy Sheehan or not, if that doesn't make your head explode, you deserve what you're gonna get out of this leadership.
posted by davejay at 10:30 PM on January 31, 2006


Bush is an ass, but he ain't Stalin.

Putting it mildly. Who does he compare favorably alongside? OK, he's better than Stalin, but considerably lower than his own father.

He's like the worst attributes of Nixon, two Hoovers (both J. Edgar and Herbert)...with a smattering of banana republican and totalitarian tendencies mixed in.

If he were merely an ass, (like say, Dan Quayle) that'd be superior to our current state of affairs. I've always said that if he remained the owner of a losing baseball team, I'd find him amusing in a Yogi Berra sort of way, what with the malaprops and all. But as President of the United States, a particualrly venal and corrupt one at that? I'd lay odds on the Constitution surviving him, but maybe not before he starts fringging WWIII.

You do realize they've chucked the NPT, and North Korea and Iran (the two "axis-of-evil" countries he didn't invade) are either nuclear or damn close to it on his watch? His history ain't over yet. He ain't Stalin. Granted. But the body count is still an open-ended question, and this f*cker's capable of anything.
posted by edverb at 10:30 PM on January 31, 2006


I'm impressed that our defenders of freedom are finally getting a chance to show their mettle. Now all Osama has to do is slip up once by showing up to a Presidential address, and, provided he dresses distinctively enough to be spotted, we've got him!
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:31 PM on January 31, 2006


So, if I ask him, should he meet with me, too?

He takes pictures with lots of people, right? No reason one of them can't be you.
posted by Cyrano at 10:31 PM on January 31, 2006


Not sure what about this SOTU speech hit a nerve, but I'm equally surprised at how people are being absolute dicks in this thread, and also how reading this thread after the speech makes me want to be an absolute dick as well.
posted by VulcanMike at 10:31 PM on January 31, 2006


Welcome to the new America, VulcanMike.
posted by Mijo Bijo at 10:33 PM on January 31, 2006


He did meet with her. Why would he meet with her again?

How many meetings did Ken Lay get? Why would he meet with him? Because he asked?

How about Abramoff?

Shit, for $10K, I could meet with him. What's a son worth?

Maybe if Sheehan were a fundraiser or a corrupt lobbyist, she'd get an answer to her question. He never answered it, did he?
posted by edverb at 10:35 PM on January 31, 2006


Yeah, I was surprised at the amount of outright hostility, too.

Then again, I suppose if you're in denial about something, and enough evidence mounts that you are about to face your denial...well, isn't anger and blame against others a good way to get yourself back on track?

Or the last defense before you implode. I forget which. heh.
posted by davejay at 10:36 PM on January 31, 2006


I guess Sheehan and Abramoff have one thing in common...the've both been arrested. But then, so has George Bush. Multiple times.
posted by edverb at 10:37 PM on January 31, 2006


edverb, if we're comparing him to foriegn leaders and U.S. Presidents throughout history, I'd say he's somewhere between Berlusconi (corruption, media manipulation, electoral manipulation) and Lyndon Johnson (escalation of Vietnam war, bumbling alcoholism in White House) with maybe a touch of Martin Van Buren (openly ignoring plight of domestic minorities and rigts of U.S. citizens).

I also think it's funny, in light of the actions of the previous adminsitration vis a vis privileges for donors, etc, that people here are making a stink about Bush's friends/donors having access to him.
posted by JekPorkins at 10:38 PM on January 31, 2006


posted by VulcanMike Not sure what about this SOTU speech hit a nerve, but I'm equally surprised at how people are being absolute dicks in this thread, and also how reading this thread after the speech makes me want to be an absolute dick as well.

I think it's the combination of hearing yet another speech full of the same lies and hollow platitudes and wishing someone in that room would stand up and say, "Mr. President, you're a goddamned liar."
posted by fandango_matt at 10:39 PM on January 31, 2006


Selected quotes from San Francisco Chronicle article.

"It stunned me because I didn't know in America you could be arrested for wearing a T-shirt with a slogan on it,' Woolsey said. "That's especially so in the Capitol and in the House of Representatives, which is the people's House.'

Woolsey said she thought the shirt Sheehan was wearing was from Veterans for Peace. Referring to the number of Americans killed in Iraq, the shirt read, "2,245 and how many more?'

"I'm still trying to find out why the president's Gestapo had to arrest Cindy Sheehan in the gallery. ... It shows he still has a thin skin,' said Rep. Pete Stark, D-Fremont.

posted by Mijo Bijo at 10:41 PM on January 31, 2006


From the Washington Post: (registration required)

She was also vocal, said U.S. Capitol Police Chief Terrance W. Gainer, and after she ignored instructions to close her jacket and quiet down, she was led out and arrested. Demonstrating in the House gallery is prohibited.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/31/AR2006013101521.html
posted by bugmuncher at 10:41 PM on January 31, 2006


Stark thinks the Capitol Police are the President's Gestapo? I'm sure they'll be glad to know that as they guard his office.

And Woolsey's a demagogue for even pretending that she didn't fully plan on the arrest.
posted by JekPorkins at 10:42 PM on January 31, 2006


Oh, come on. He's right up there with Nixon, Warren G. Harding, and William March Tweed.
posted by fandango_matt at 10:43 PM on January 31, 2006


America sucks more every day.
posted by wakko at 10:44 PM on January 31, 2006


He's the leader "of the free world." Yes, he should meet with the people that he presumably leads.
posted by PurplePorpoise at 10:44 PM on January 31, 2006


All of them, or just the ones who scream at him and call him nasty names?
posted by JekPorkins at 10:46 PM on January 31, 2006


She was also vocal, said U.S. Capitol Police Chief Terrance W. Gainer, and after she ignored instructions to close her jacket and quiet down, she was led out and arrested. Demonstrating in the House gallery is prohibited.

Given the ambiguity of all the other articles and how sloppily the one in bugmuncher's WaPo link is written, I'd think the jury is still out as to whether Cindy opened her jacket and started shouting, or she opened her jacket, was asked to close it, and loudly protested the apparent attempt to curb her right to wear a t-shirt with a number on it.
posted by VulcanMike at 10:48 PM on January 31, 2006


All of them, or just the ones who scream at him and call him nasty names?

Reversing cause and effect there.
posted by edverb at 10:48 PM on January 31, 2006


JekPorkins: you comment way too much.
posted by mr.marx at 10:49 PM on January 31, 2006


Stark thinks the Capitol Police are the President's Gestapo? I'm sure they'll be glad to know that as they guard his office.

Is that a threat?

And Woolsey's a demagogue for even pretending that she didn't fully plan on the arrest.

dem·a·gogue also dem·a·gog
(dm-gôg, -gg)
n.
1. A leader who obtains power by means of impassioned appeals to the emotions and prejudices of the populace.
2. A leader of the common people in ancient times.

I think you need to hone up on your English skills.
posted by Mijo Bijo at 10:50 PM on January 31, 2006


If you're talking to me Jek - all of them, each and every one.

To do otherwise is to prove himself a poor worthless leader.

Yes, it's not practical to do so, but has GWB ever faced his critic's questions and tried to answer those questions fairly?
posted by PurplePorpoise at 10:51 PM on January 31, 2006


JekPorkins:
"Demagogy is the set of methods used by demagogues. It is a strategy of obtaining power by appealing to the gut feelings of the public, usually by powerful use of rhetoric and propaganda."
Demagogy
posted by joegester at 10:52 PM on January 31, 2006


Sheehan is the intarweb equivalent of a troll. They only succeed when they get underserved attention. As such, she got exactly what she wants--people that can't stand her will maintain their opinion, Americans who think the Iraq War is a disaster (a majority, including me) will want to ask more questions.

Personally, I'm not a big fan of her's, but on her own terms--Mission Accomplished.

It's too late to get all media critical on the SOTU address, but it was interesting to see that there are now "acceptable" parents of war dead like the couple and their daughter who stood and smiled and choked back tears on Bush's cue, and, well, others like Sheehan who are persona non grata for not sticking to the (literal and figurative) script.
posted by bardic at 10:53 PM on January 31, 2006


FWIW, If I were in President Bush's shoes, I wouldn't meet with Cindy Sheehan until she apologized for saying that loud Texas accents are disgusting.

I have to wonder why she would choose something like an accent to be disgusted about. I mean, people have plenty of rational gripes against the president. To pick something arbitrary like accent or, say, sexual orientation just seems so 200 years ago.
posted by bugmuncher at 10:54 PM on January 31, 2006


Shoot. Beaten to the punch as usual.
posted by joegester at 10:54 PM on January 31, 2006


I'm surprised she could get a t-shirt on, what with all the forks stuck in her.
She wanted a response, and got a response, and in the end, did nothing more than reinforce the right's perception that the anti-war movement is nothing more than a pack of rabble-rousers who don't really have anything if substance to say and preach to her choir.
Status quo for everyone!
Mission accomplished.

Maybe the congresswoman who invited her should have made her own statement, instead of sticking her hand up the more than willing stretched anus of the left's very own Hand Puppet.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:57 PM on January 31, 2006


If I were in Cindy Sheehan's shoes, I'd demand an apology for Bush joking about the non-existent WMD, or his taunting insurgents to bring it on, or his "Mission Accomplished" stunt, or every lie about "turning a corner" or "desperation" or "steady progress"...

Her son died in this conflict. She deserves better. A real man would look her in the eye and answer the damn question, not dodge her and allow his proxies to attack her character for daring to ask it.

She's sacrificed more, and been more persistent than GWB has ever mustered in his entire sheltered, fratboy fortunate life. The difference is that no one is writing her speeches for her, she doesn't have teams of operatives to scrub every photo, or bury embarrassing records.

Bush off the cuff is easily as embarrassing as anything Cindy Sheehan has ever said, and everybody knows it.
posted by edverb at 11:01 PM on January 31, 2006


Alvy Ampersand: She wanted a response, and got a response, and in the end, did nothing more than reinforce the right's perception that the anti-war movement is nothing more than a pack of rabble-rousers who don't really have anything if substance to say and preach to her choir.

I think her getting thrown out of the SOTU address for wearing a shirt with the number of people killed during the war says something quite a bit stirring. I need my protesters to care about the issues and not to care about the way the opposition sees them. Heck, such advice would work for the Dems as well, given their general paralysis.
posted by VulcanMike at 11:01 PM on January 31, 2006


She wanted a response, and got a response, and in the end, did nothing more than reinforce the right's perception that the anti-war movement is nothing more than a pack of rabble-rousers who don't really have anything if substance to say and preach to her choir.

Really? I think outrage over this will be greater than you have estimated, just as responses to Sheehan's in general has been much greater than Republican talking points -- which have her as a dupe of the left and, at its most mean spirited, as a publicity seeking whote -- have painted them.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:03 PM on January 31, 2006


whore, not whote.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:03 PM on January 31, 2006


Maybe the congresswoman who invited her should have made her own statement, instead of sticking her hand up the more than willing stretched anus of the left's very own Hand Puppet.

Where the fuck do you people come from? Somebody was arrested for wearing a T-Shirt in America. edverb got it right with this comment earlier. Would it trouble you if somebody was arrested for wearing a fucking Dale Earnhardt T-Shirt? Do you not stand by the principles of your own country? Does the constitution only protect a few? What the fuck?
posted by Mijo Bijo at 11:04 PM on January 31, 2006


Best available picture thus far, via Kos:

posted by VulcanMike at 11:04 PM on January 31, 2006


Looks like more than a t-shirt to me. Looks like what would seem to be an acceptable black, long-sleve blouse. It has numbers on it, but that hardly seems arrest-worthy.
posted by squirrel at 11:09 PM on January 31, 2006


posted by Alvy Ampersandsticking her hand up the more than willing stretched anus of the left's very own Hand Puppet.

Goatsheehan?
posted by fandango_matt at 11:10 PM on January 31, 2006


Also, edverb rocks.
posted by squirrel at 11:11 PM on January 31, 2006


Is there any way we can innoculate against the virus that JekPerkins has become around here. For fucks sake STFU!
posted by Merlin at 11:12 PM on January 31, 2006


Point taken, Edverb. Both can be abrasive off-the-cuff. But surely there's nothing to be gained from a meeting when you know the other person has written you off.

I'd like to know how Cindy went from practically praising Bush in the Vacaville Reporter in June 2004 to become the protester she is today. Such a transformation would make an interesting story to read or watch. Either that or the Vacaville Reporter is not very ethical. (I don't live there, so I don't know either way...)
posted by bugmuncher at 11:12 PM on January 31, 2006


bugmuncher: The issue of her previous statements was addressed way back during the first protests that got her national attention, though I don't have a link handy. Basically, what I'm saying is that if you'd like to know, Google around, because it's been well-visited.
posted by VulcanMike at 11:15 PM on January 31, 2006



2sheets I'll wear what I goddamned please when and where I please.
It's my house.


yes. thank you.

though i do think it would've been better if the shirt simply had the number, not the "how many more". if had just been the number, the media would have a lot harder time simplistically calling it an "anti-war slogan.'
posted by lapolla at 11:15 PM on January 31, 2006


posted by bugmuncher I'd like to know how Cindy went from practically praising Bush in the Vacaville Reporter in June 2004 to become the protester she is today.

Well, her son was killed. That's probably when she began to wonder, "Wait, why are we fighting this war?" When she failed to find a good answer, she found herself in the company of the rest of us who opposed the war from the beginning.
posted by fandango_matt at 11:17 PM on January 31, 2006


oh and, edverb - you rock.
posted by lapolla at 11:19 PM on January 31, 2006


This thread is almost as pathetic as frogan's understanding of tags.
posted by Manhasset at 11:23 PM on January 31, 2006


Could it be that the administration has taken a page from this playbook?
posted by wsg at 11:33 PM on January 31, 2006


Astro Zombie: I think outrage over this will be greater than you have estimated...

I sincerely hope so, but I'm not holding my breath.
I'm 100% against the Iraq War, I'm just gut sick of the left's figurehead of the week, port in a storm mentality. No one person is going to turn this thing around; the Neo-Con/Hawks/War Criminals are a fucking machine, and to think that one person can throw a shoe in the cogs and bust it wide open is naive and counterproductive.
I don't see a machine when I look at the other side of the room. I see a bunch of people who can't seem to get their shit together long enough to build a snowman, so instead settle for writing their names in the snow while yet another blizzard rolls in.

Mijo Bijo: Sheehan arrested! Dog bites man! Rain is wet! Lynn Woolsey ejected/arrested may have actually meant something, but instead we get yet another sideshow.

And I apologize for using 'nothing more' twice in that run-on sentence.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:36 PM on January 31, 2006


Manhasset -- Happy now? Ya big meanie.
posted by frogan at 11:38 PM on January 31, 2006


Sounds like she should have consulted the BBC.


posted by thefreek at 11:50 PM on January 31, 2006


sdrawkcab writes I think there's a difference between stating your opinion via shirt or button when you are out in public, versus deliberatly [sic] drawing attention to yourself during the state of the freaking union address."

You are right! That's why I agree with Bull Conner siccing his dogs on that Nigger Martin Luther King! That damned nigger should never have called attention to himself!
posted by orthogonality at 12:01 AM on February 1, 2006


Why do you niggers have to get so uppity? Why can't you stay in their place and pick cotton like we told you to? Why do you have to be disruptive? If you'd just be patient we'd let you vote in three or four hundred years!

Damn it, niggers! Just keep your mouth shut unless you're singling "Mammy" and eventually we'll free you, by and by! This protesting only hurts you, niggers!
posted by orthogonality at 12:09 AM on February 1, 2006


Alvy Ampersand: I don't see a machine when I look at the other side of the room. I see a bunch of people who can't seem to get their shit together long enough to build a snowman...

Howard Dean's response laid out an excellent platform. These will be the talking points for this election year and they're all strong.

Message from Governor Dean on the State of the Union
Governor Dean sent the following message to Democrats across the country following the president's speech tonight.

Dear Fellow Democrat,

Remember this? "The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

Those are George Bush's famous 16 words from his 2003 State of the Union address, delivered less than two months before he sent troops into war in Iraq.

They were false. Three years later Americans are still demanding answers on the manipulation of intelligence by an administration eager to start a war.

Americans have a lot of questions that went unanswered tonight. When George Bush delivered his State of the Union address, he had a big megaphone and the world's attention. He had the opportunity to regain some degree of credibility with the American people -- more than half of whom disapprove of his performance as president. But he failed to answer the real questions ordinary Americans have about the state of our union:


When will we have a new strategy in Iraq that protects American lives? Violence is increasing, not decreasing there and the mismanagement of this war has cost the lives of Americans and billions of dollars in fraud. And when will we secure our ports and chemical and nuclear plants, which remain vulnerable?


When will the Republican Party put its responsibility to the people before its greed and thirst for power? The Republican culture of corruption in the executive and legislative branches has violated the law and cost taxpayers billions.


When will President Bush and the Republican Congress wake up to the economic crisis tens of millions of Americans face? Good jobs are leaving this country, and many of the jobs that remain exploit working families by denying them adequate benefits. Millionaires and corporations receive tax breaks while Americans can't afford to save, and the gap between rich and poor continues to widen to levels unseen since the 19th century.


When will we finally do something for the 46 million Americans who lack health insurance? Many have had their lives ruined financially when the worst happened, and many more no longer seek the care they need because they cannot afford it.


When will we make serious strides towards energy independence? We get a greater percentage of our oil from cartels and dictatorships now than we did in 2000.


When will he take steps to further ensure retirement security for every American? Growing old with dignity is a right, not a privilege, and dismantling Social Security in favor of private accounts is the wrong direction for our society.

If Bush and the Republicans would bother to answer these questions, the answers would be simple. But they won't answer.

That's because the answer to each and every one is "Never." Never as long as they control our government, never as long as they can execute the same incompetent, dishonest and destructive government without paying a price at the ballot box. The answer will be "never" until we grow the operation and build the infrastructure to beat them.

Part of that means telling people clearly and unambiguously what we stand for -- and I'll tell you right now:


Real security -- we will protect Americans at home by getting serious about homeland security, and address the real threats abroad by capturing or killing Osama bin Laden and focusing on actual (not imagined) nuclear proliferation. We will be prepared for the threats of tomorrow, and we will always tell the truth to our troops and the American people.


Honest leadership and open government -- we will end the criminal Republican culture of corruption and restore a sense of responsibility to elected office, and we will pass fundamental reforms that make government more honest, open, and accountable to the American people than ever before.


Economic prosperity and educational excellence -- we will keep good jobs from leaving and ensure that every job in America is a fair deal. We will balance the budget, ensure that the tax code is simple and fair, and invest in education to ensure that every American has an equal opportunity to succeed.


A health care system that works for everyone -- we will join every other industrialized country by making sure everyone has access to affordable health care. We will change a corrupt, inefficient system into one that makes sure the world's wealthiest country is also the healthiest.


Energy independence -- we will reduce our reliance on foreign oil by investing in cleaner and more efficient technology. We will treat energy independence as what it is -- not only a conservation issue, but an economic and national security issue.


Retirement security -- we will strengthen Social Security and make sure that a retirement with dignity is the right and expectation of every single American.

Tonight and tomorrow, Republicans will be out in full force, spinning, distracting, distorting and dividing. But don't be fooled. You know what you heard in Bush's speech -- and you know the reality.

When Republicans hurl insults and lies, we must be ready to stand up and speak the truth in response -- and to make sure our friends and neighbors are not afraid to do the same.

Please take the time to write a letter to the editor about what's wrong with the Republican priorities -- and what we'll do to put America on the right track:

www.democrats.org/sotu/rapidresponse

We cannot sit back and let them attack us. And we cannot sit back and let them attack the values and ideals we hold dear.

That's why we are investing millions of dollars and countless volunteer hours to build the Democratic Party everywhere. We're building a year-round, 50-state party capable of winning elections for every level of office.

Building our party everywhere isn't only about electing more Democrats. It's about bringing people back into the political process and ensuring that we have at least one political party representative of, and responsible to, the people.

These are not short-term investments, and we are not there yet. But we will only create lasting change if every single one of us takes responsibility for speaking out and organizing in our local community.

Over the next ten months, that's exactly what we're going to do.

Thank you.

Governor Howard Dean, M.D.
posted by wsg at 12:14 AM on February 1, 2006


So, basically he makes the same vague promises that the Republicans make. "We'll get Osama!" "We'll keep you safe!" "We'll bring honesty back to Washington!" blah, blah, blah.

Let's hear some real plans, and not just vague promises of how great things will be once the unidentified plans are put in place. What's really disgusting is that Dean's promises sound almost exactly like Bush's promises.
posted by JekPorkins at 12:20 AM on February 1, 2006


This had nothing to do with dress codes. I sure if you wanted to wear a Members Only jacket while watching a presidential speech you could. It has to do with free speech.

Does Cindy Sheehan have the right to make a political statement during the SOTU? I'm no lawyer but I'd guess she doesn't.

However, I applaud her getting her anti-war message out. Well done.

I hate Bush.
posted by Bonzai at 12:23 AM on February 1, 2006


I disagree, Jek, that's exactly what needs to be said, and how it should be said: Confrontational without being belligerent, confident without being smug.

Digression: I love it when folks point out the typos in comments they disagree with, as though the [sic] is further evidence of the quoted individual's fallaciousness: "Hmm... I was kind of on the fence, but that extra 't' he had in there confirms that he's wrong, Wrong, WRONG!"

Oh, and othogonality, it should be "Why can't you stay in your place and pick cotton like we told you to?".

(There's tons of errors in my comments, all placed there intentionally, natch. Find them all, and win a prize!)

posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:27 AM on February 1, 2006


Re: the accusation that Sheehan's an "attention whore"...do you who hold this position hold the same for Christopher Reeve, or Jim Kelly, or Cam Neely, or the parents of Adam Walsh, or Megan Kanka, or any one among countless people who've turned their personal tragedy into a crusade to prevent others from suffering the same fate? Do you realize how ridiculous you sound?

And those people went about crusading how? They started foundations, they testified before legislatures, they held informative fundraisers, sent out literature, started websites, used their connections to get high profile people invested in their causes and appealed directly to the public.well, anyb

What they didn't do was camp out in front of people's houses, making increasingly inflammatory statements to the media, seeking press however they could get it. They made their fights public but never base, they garnered positive attention for their causes by being positive, by staying on message, by offering something more than talking points and rhetoric and conducting themselves with a little bit of decorum, rather than being extreme, shrill, abrasive, demanding and profane, with a soupcon of anti-semitism tossed in for kicks. There's just no comparison.

Imagine if Cindy Sheehan had spent a fraction of the time she camped out in Crawford putting together a coalition of parents of dead soldiers who were united in fighting the war by speaking truth directly to power in a way that would actually be heard? Imagine if they got their anti-war elected officials on their side, and got the anti-war contingent in Hollywood at fundraisers and making TV ads or writing episodes of their TV shows promoting their perspective. Imagine if she wrote a book, paralleling her son's life with the life of an Iraqi of the same age who also died to illustrate that the war is destroying lives on both sides of the equation. Imagine that she got control of her emotions and could speak ten words about the president without using words that have to be bleeped out on commercial TV, so she was interviewed on Dateline and Anderson Cooper 360 and 20/20 and maybe even Oprah.

Now that would be power.

Should someone be arrested for wearing a t-shirt to the SOTU address? Hell no. However someone like Sheehan, with a clear agenda and a long and dismal history of agitation who comes into a carefully controlled event and acts provocatively cannot be trusted to not be a disruption, and once she showed herself unwilling to cooperate with authorities, she should've been thrown back out into the night to scream unheard invective, something she excels at.

My gut tells me that when Sheehan realized that getting thrown out wouldn't garner the media attention she wanted, she provoked the arrest. The sad thing is that she hasn't realized yet that if she's looking to change minds or inform, those who aren't already on her side, she's failing abysmally. She's polarizing, more and moreso with each new antic and that isn't saving lives, it isn't getting soldiers out of harm's way, it isn't making Iraqis more safe, it isn't doing anything but bringing more attention to her and she isn't the issue here -- or so she claims.
posted by Dreama at 12:31 AM on February 1, 2006


Well put, edverb.

...

I think one of the biggest problems with liberal-minded folks is cynicism. We're all getting totally turned off by the Administrosity, and every progressively-more evil thing they do gets written off as "predictable" or "tell me something I didn't know". We're all becoming the frog that steadily gets boiled alive because we keep saying "The water's hotter? Yeah, yeah, whatever. We all saw it coming." But we're not getting off the stove, and we're not trying to turn down the heat, just trying to out-cynical each other. "I'm more disaffected than you." "No, me!"

Alvy, your comments seem to me to be a part of this. Sheehan showed a lot of courage doing what she did, but you write it off as "status quo". It wasn't a perfect protest, but we have to start somewhere. We can't suddenly reclaim our country from the hate-mongers overnight.
posted by jiawen at 12:32 AM on February 1, 2006


Bonzai writes "Does Cindy Sheehan have the right to make a political statement during the SOTU? I'm no lawyer but I'd guess she doesn't. "

What in the First Amendment -- or anything else in the Federal constitution -- convinces you that people can be arrested for the clothing they wear?
posted by orthogonality at 12:32 AM on February 1, 2006


Somebody here need to read about time, place and manner restrictons.
posted by JekPorkins at 9:01 PM PST on January 31

Somebody here needs to read about grammar and syntax restrictions.
posted by kaiseki at 12:34 AM on February 1, 2006


Anyone else thinking about "Fuck the Draft" perhaps?

adzm's comment/link wins, but nobody noticed.

JekPorkins: you comment way too much.

JekPorkins jumped the shark weeks ago.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:35 AM on February 1, 2006


JekPorkins, see this post. You have made 465 posts in 39 days.
posted by wsg at 12:41 AM on February 1, 2006


wsg writes "JekPorkins, see this post. You have made 465 posts in 39 days."

JekPorkins is dhoyt -- or worse.
posted by orthogonality at 12:43 AM on February 1, 2006


Made in the USA
posted by rxreed at 12:43 AM on February 1, 2006


From the CNN article:
Peace activist Cindy Sheehan was arrested Tuesday in the House gallery after refusing to cover up a T-shirt bearing an anti-war slogan before President Bush's State of the Union address.

That to me says that there was no problem with her wearing the T-shirt. I mean she did make it into the gallery wearing the shirt. It was when one of the capitol police asked her to cover it and she refused that lead to her arrest.

I'm not too knowledgable about law, but I believe that constitutes "unlawful conduct". Which basically amounts to obeying a police officer. Kind of like when you get stopped for a traffic violation and the officer asks you to step out of the car and you refuse.

That's just me wanting to clarify though, and I'd welcome any additional information anyone might have concerning that law.

That being said . . . I've never agreed with that law. A citizen can be arrested just because they fail to do what a police officer instructs them to? Fuck that. Does anybody trust the police THAT much anymore?

Maybe you don't like Cindy Sheehan. Maybe she's annoying (sometimes, yes, IMO). But the fact that nobody had a problem with her shirt until they saw what was on it, and then asked her to cover it back up . . . and THEN arrested her because of her failure to do so, does indeed reek of uncertainty, fear and cowardice in this administration
posted by kaiseki at 12:48 AM on February 1, 2006


ah, MetaFilter, the usual liberal bastion...

let's see... last night Alito became a SCOTUS "justice" (ten-year old girls and pregnant women have reason to worry now), Bush the Texas oilman got so desperate that he tried to convince TV viewers that he's always been a friend of the environment, and what happens here? we discuss for 200+ comments a poor woman's choice of attire (to our fashion police: look at the picture that was linked: she wasn't wearing just a t-shirt but a long-sleeved blouse, so please stop lying about that. also, a pro-GOP 9-11 widow wearing a "9-11 NEVAR AGAIN" t-shirt would have been allowed to stay)

re: the number of dead GI's on her blouse. at dinner the other night, an acquiantance of mine pointed out (with some glee, I have to add, glee that I did not share with her) that the dead will soon be 3,000 -- and her argument was, George W. Bush will have killed more Americans than Bin Laden did on 9-11 by then. which is quite chilling when one thinks about it.

well, it's chilling for those of us who don't really nitpick "you don't wear a t-shirt to the State of the Union no no no tsk tsk tsk".

want to talk about tasteless? talk about Bush still using the 9-11 dead as political lubricant. talk about Alito's opinions and his choice of fraternity back in college. but probably, making fun of a grieving mother is way easier.
posted by matteo at 12:50 AM on February 1, 2006


Imagine if Cindy Sheehan had spent a fraction of the time she camped out in Crawford putting together a coalition of parents of dead soldiers who were united in fighting the war by speaking truth directly to power in a way that would actually be heard?

Like Gold Star Families for Peace? Or maybe The Camp Casey Peace Foundation?

Imagine if they got their anti-war elected officials on their side, and got the anti-war contingent in Hollywood at fundraisers and making TV ads or writing episodes of their TV shows promoting their perspective.

Like the ads she's made with MoveOn.org?

Imagine if she wrote a book, paralleling her son's life with the life of an Iraqi of the same age who also died to illustrate that the war is destroying lives on both sides of the equation.

Yeah, wouldn't that be something, though?

Imagine that she got control of her emotions and could speak ten words about the president without using words that have to be bleeped out on commercial TV, so she was interviewed on Dateline and Anderson Cooper 360 and 20/20 and maybe even Oprah.

I have read quite a bit by her, and have not found her to be profane, or requiring bleeping, unless you consider "chickenhawk" to be a curseword. You have anything to substantiate your claim? If not, maybe you should retract it.

Conversely, imagine Bush just looked her in the eye and answered her question. Imagine he didn't send her kid to die on a pack of lies in the first place. That's what's profane.
posted by edverb at 12:55 AM on February 1, 2006


posted by Dreama Should someone be arrested for wearing a t-shirt to the SOTU address? Hell no. However someone like Sheehan, with a clear agenda and a long and dismal history of agitation who comes into a carefully controlled event and acts provocatively cannot be trusted to not be a disruption, and once she showed herself unwilling to cooperate with authorities, she should've been thrown back out into the night to scream unheard invective, something she excels at.

How was Cindy Sheehan "creating a disruption"? All I saw was a black t-shirt with a number on it. Oh, wait, I forgot. It's disruptive because you disagree with the message.
posted by fandango_matt at 1:10 AM on February 1, 2006


dismal history of agitation

awesome
posted by matteo at 1:58 AM on February 1, 2006


I wonder if the t-shirt was even really necessary for either her or for "guest police".

On the one hand, she is Cindy Sheehan and clearly recognizable to all the media outlets and their viewers. If she'd just shown up in a black evening gown or whatever is considered appropraite to the event, you can bet that she would have garnered a certain amount of attention by her presence alone.

On the other hand, this has George W. Bush's advance team's fingerprints all over it. During the 2004 presidential campaign, they threw people out of campaign events because they didn't like the bumper stickers on the car the people drove up in.

Seems like a fairly forseeable event. I think she would have been better off without the t-shirt.
posted by hwestiii at 1:58 AM on February 1, 2006


matteo: she wasn't wearing just a t-shirt but a long-sleeved blouse

Indeed, and the man carrying her away is wearing an oversized yellow tie. And there's a woman with grandma's red cardigan in the background. And at least three men who are not wearing a jacket, only a white shirt. So any self-respecting Fashion Police would have to concede Cindy Sheehan in her black shirt and jacket and perfectly coiffed hair was a lot better dressed than much of the audience. Otherwise, you're no Fashion Police and you know nothing about dress codes.

and what jiawen said. I'm constantly amazed at how often people are sooo ready and willing to dismiss things like these like they didn't matter at all, because after all there's always something bigger to be concerned about, and oh lord will I sound shrill if I get all bothered by this when there's that going on. Each US citizen is only entitled to a limited quantity of outrage, as per Kyoto protocols. If they exceed that amount, the arctic ice caps will start to melt. So thank you to the great nonplussed for keeping climate change in check! We owe you.

But would you be so blasé about it if it had been Putin having someone arrested during a speech of his just because of wearing an anti-Puting t-shirt?

(Oh right, Putin would have them killed, so I guess an arrest is nothing to worry about in comparison! There's always worse! )

and the point that she probably welcomed the arrest as yet more publicity is neither here nor there; whatever you think of anyone and their chosen style of protest, publicity is what protest always thrives on, duh. That doesn't in itself justify the arrest, particularly if she did nothing more than wear a shirt.
posted by funambulist at 1:59 AM on February 1, 2006


You know the GOP loves this lady. As long as she is the public face of the anti war movement (and the hysterical-left in general) the liability that is GWB becomes much easier to manage.
posted by jaysus chris at 2:00 AM on February 1, 2006


The disruption was the arrest, not the T-shirt. Surely this must be obvious?

If highschool kids have a right to wear political messages on their T-shirts, against the wishes of school administrators, than surely Cindy Sheehan has a right to wear such a T-shirt to the SOTU. Where should speech be more free, than in Congress?!
posted by Goofyy at 2:02 AM on February 1, 2006


Regarding funambulist's remark vis Putin, there has been a real "boiling the frog" aspect to this whole administration, going back to the very beginning. Its been just a steady stream of incremental moves toward authoritarianism. An executive order here, a reintrepretation there, an election not to follow an established tradition,...and pretty soon we have a situation where the President of the United States can stand up on national TV and brag that he is breaking the law because it is simply inconvenient to observe it.

I've been down on the war with Iraq since they first started making noises about it in 2002, and I can remember having slightly paranoid fantasies about how "they" might come to take you away if things got bad enough and they didn't like your politics. I was surprised at just how easy and reasonable it seemed as long as the steps to get to that place were small and inoccuous enough. You see a lot of that going on right now.

It seems to me that it really has to do, fundamentally, with people's respect for authority, and fear of seeming different from others. If the people in authority can just keep pushing us off the dead center of what is now acceptable behavior in little increments, we never really notice that we've become something that we would have objected to mightily had we been asked to do it in one fell swoop. Look at how mushy people are about torture after having been pushed toward it little by little for the past couple of years, all accompanied by the clinical legalisms from DOJ.

No one wants to rock the boat and so we end up here. I'm certainly guilty of that. A lot of what has gone on in the past few years made me feel that a lot of what is good about this country is due to the virtue of its leaders. You get leaders with no virtue, you end up with what we have today. The Constitution is a wonderful document, but its only a procedural document and procedure can't tell you right from wrong.
posted by hwestiii at 2:42 AM on February 1, 2006


I hate when people comment on totalitarianism without really understanding the history. Mao wouldn't charge you 50 cents for the bullet. He'd make you melt it down in your backyard furnace.
posted by jb at 2:50 AM on February 1, 2006




By way of contrast, far from being arrested Katherine Hamnett wasn't even asked to leave the reception at Number 10 she'd attended wearing her anti-nuclear '58% Don't Want Pershing' T-shirt in 1984. In fact she recalls being 'the last to leave'.
posted by drill_here_fore_seismics at 3:11 AM on February 1, 2006


And this is allowed during the State of the Union address ????!????
posted by knutmo at 3:16 AM on February 1, 2006


Wow, this is sad. The American President is incapable of defending himself against a t-shirt so the heavies come in and sort it out. Pathetic.
posted by twistedonion at 3:32 AM on February 1, 2006


Ms. Sheehan's side of the story.
posted by EarBucket at 3:49 AM on February 1, 2006


MSNBC has a poll asking if you agree with the arrest or not. See the results and weep.
posted by funambulist at 4:17 AM on February 1, 2006


This is a lot of comments. What did we conclude?
posted by kingfisher, his musclebound cat at 4:23 AM on February 1, 2006


49% of America - Why do you hate America?
posted by twistedonion at 4:24 AM on February 1, 2006


What did we conclude?

that George W. Bush, for all his bluster, is afraid of grieving mothers who, underneath long-sleeved black blouses, wear t-shirts with the subversive "2245 Dead. How many more?" slogan. and he'll get them arrested, because he's afraid of the truth, of the enormity of what he has done.

enjoy your freedom of speech, children.
posted by matteo at 4:36 AM on February 1, 2006


drill_here_fore_seismics' I never thought there would be a positive contrast with Maggie in this post but you're right!
Compare Ms Sheehan's arrest for displaying information contrary to the regime's amour propre with poor Wolfie's arrest at the Labour Party Conference for heckling. I saw nothing disruptive or disturbing about this instance despite reading all the views on this thread. For non-USians this is truly scary. US influence worldwide is sold as democratic, trade-friendly, and for the most part it is. The vasy majority of non-USians who do not actively object to the war in Iraq basically see the US as the lesser of two evils.
In a boigraphy of Gengis Khan I was reading today the author was discussing the Muslim Holocaust and pointing out that it wasn't a religious thing, it was power - muscle-flexing. In parenthesis he informed the readers,
"Racism is selective, and this the Mongols were not. Absolutley everyone else owed them deference (an atitude shared by a few other peoples at the height of Empire, like the British around 1900, 18th C Chinese, neo-conservative Americans in 2003".
and worst of all, we see this arrest and know there is nothing anyone can do to influence this period of the decline of the US Empire.
posted by Wilder at 4:37 AM on February 1, 2006


I just read Sheehan's version of events linked by EarBucket above. This is a telling passage:

I had just sat down and I was warm from climbing 3 flights of stairs back up from the bathroom so I unzipped my jacket. I turned to the right to take my left arm out, when the same officer saw my shirt and yelled; "Protester." He then ran over to me, hauled me out of my seat and roughly (with my hands behind my back) shoved me up the stairs. . .

Now if her version of events is accurate (I do not doubt her attempt at truth, just at peoples' ability to perceive and recall events without distortion) it raises some questions. Is there a standing rule against protesting during the SOTU? How is it defined? By message only, or behavior? Why is there a rule and what makes it, in itself, an arrestable offense and not just grounds for eviction? For example, if someone starts yelling during the address, I can understand them being led out.

However, arresting someone for a t-shirt seems to fit the Bush tactical toolbox. First, it's a bit of a prophylactic strike. Second, it's excessive and meant to intimidate.
posted by kingfisher, his musclebound cat at 4:44 AM on February 1, 2006


Cindy Sheehan's description of the incident [ from a diary she posted on the Daily kos ] :

"I had just sat down and I was warm from climbing 3 flights of stairs back up from the bathroom so I unzipped my jacket. I turned to the right to take my left arm out, when the same officer saw my shirt and yelled; "Protester." He then ran over to me, hauled me out of my seat and roughly (with my hands behind my back) shoved me up the stairs. I said something like "I'm going, do you have to be so rough?" By the way, his name is Mike Weight.

The officer ran with me to the elevators yelling at everyone to move out of the way. When we got to the elevators, he cuffed me and took me outside to await a squad car. On the way out, someone behind me said, "That's Cindy Sheehan." At which point the officer who arrested me said: "Take these steps slowly." I said, "You didn't care about being careful when you were dragging me up the other steps." He said, "That's because you were protesting." Wow, I get hauled out of the People's House because I was, "Protesting."

I was never told that I couldn't wear that shirt into the Congress. I was never asked to take it off or zip my jacket back up. If I had been asked to do any of those things...I would have, and written about the suppression of my freedom of speech later. I was immediately, and roughly (I have the bruises and muscle spasms to prove it) hauled off and arrested for "unlawful conduct."

After I had my personal items inventoried and my fingers printed, a nice Sgt. came in and looked at my shirt and said, "2245, huh? I just got back from there."

I told him that my son died there. That's when the enormity of my loss hit me. I have lost my son. I have lost my First Amendment rights. I have lost the country that I love. Where did America go? I started crying in pain.

What did Casey die for? What did the 2244 other brave young Americans die for? What are tens of thousands of them over there in harm's way for still? For this? I can't even wear a shrit that has the number of troops on it that George Bush and his arrogant and ignorant policies are responsible for killing.

I wore the shirt to make a statement. The press knew I was going to be there and I thought every once in awhile they would show me and I would have the shirt on. I did not wear it to be disruptive, or I would have unzipped my jacket during George's speech. If I had any idea what happens to people who wear shirts that make the neocons uncomfortable that I would be arrested...maybe I would have, but I didn't.

There have already been many wild stories out there.

I have some lawyers looking into filing a First Amendment lawsuit against the government for what happened tonight. I will file it. It is time to take our freedoms and our country back.

I don't want to live in a country that prohibits any person, whether he/she has paid the ulitmate price for that country, from wearing, saying, writing, or telephoning any negative statements about the government. That's why I am going to take my freedoms and liberties back. "


I'm agnostic about what really happened, but I certainly don't have much faith at this point in the veracity of major network reporting, especially in politically supercharged climates such as a SOTU address.

Regardless of whether Cindy Sheehan "provoked" this arrest or not, Constitutionally questionable suppression of peaceful protest at public appearances by George W. Bush has long been routine.
posted by troutfishing at 5:03 AM on February 1, 2006


Point taken, edverb, so let me rephrase: what if Cindy Sheehan spent less time posturing and more time letting people know about her book and her foundation, etc. If someone who is quite plugged in doesn't know about them, I'm willing to lay large sums that Ma and Pa America who know her only as that woman outside the ranch have no clue, either.

I have read quite a bit by her, and have not found her to be profane, or requiring bleeping, unless you consider "chickenhawk" to be a curseword. You have anything to substantiate your claim? If not, maybe you should retract it.

Googling around, I found no fewer than a half dozen quotes with a deleted expletive, in context, it looks like she's fond of "fucking" as an adjective. You can se quotes as easily as I did if you wish to look. I retract nothing.
posted by Dreama at 5:15 AM on February 1, 2006


Yeah, I'm going to have to cast my vote with "wanted to get in trouble".

Of course she wanted to get in trouble. Of course she wants publicity. She's trying to end the war! Does anybody remember back when it was taken for granted that people who were for peace, civil rights, and other un-American things routinely "got in trouble"—caused a scene, disrupted events, got hauled away in handcuffs—and it was considered part of democracy?

And mathowie, you're talking in hushed reverent tones about "the State of the Union" as if it were some sacred ceremony that only a vile subhuman would dream of not honoring? You disappoint me.
posted by languagehat at 5:20 AM on February 1, 2006


This is a lot of comments. What did we conclude?

"I don't want to live in a country that prohibits any person, whether he/she has paid the ulitmate price for that country, from wearing, saying, writing, or telephoning any negative statements about the government."
--Cindy Sheehan
posted by a_day_late at 5:32 AM on February 1, 2006


Googling around, I found no fewer than a half dozen quotes with a deleted expletive, in context, it looks like she's fond of "fucking" as an adjective.

God forbid we forget about the proper etiquette for protesting a war that killed thousands of civilians and a couple thousands soldiers for reasons that were never justified, eh?

But what's that got to do with this arrest anyway? was the t-shirt saying "Fuck Bush"? did she yell "fuck the war" out loud? no. She wore a t-shirt with the number of soldiers dead and "how many more". To think there's security specially instructed to forcibly remove someone for that is just mindboggling.

So what if a bunch of people had stormed in with placards and yelling slogans? straight to Guantanamo?

How can an elected President be making grand speeches about exporting democracy and fighting tyranny abroad while at the same time taking such extreme measures for such an ultra-light super civilised extra polite form of protest? What does that tell to the actual tyrants and semi-tyrants of the world?
posted by funambulist at 5:50 AM on February 1, 2006


I ♥ MetaFilter and Cindy Sheehan. Long may you live.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 5:55 AM on February 1, 2006


You know what's funny? People here (and in the other SotU thread) are bitching and whining that the Dems aren't being up front and combative enough... but when a woman decides to be, in order to protest a war that robbed her of her son, she's an "attention whore" (thanks, HTuttle) and an "opportunistic bitch" (thanks, Rothko).

I find that very interesting.
posted by clevershark at 5:59 AM on February 1, 2006


Dreama writes "it looks like she's fond of 'fucking' as an adjective"

Well, she can chill with the Vice-President then.
posted by clevershark at 6:03 AM on February 1, 2006


Indeed. I'm intrigued by people who claim it's perfectly okay to wear a tshirt to the State of the Union address unless you have an "agenda", your message is "disruptful", or your name is Cindy Sheehan. Unbelievable.
posted by fandango_matt at 6:07 AM on February 1, 2006


Googling around, I found no fewer than a half dozen quotes with a deleted expletive, in context, it looks like she's fond of "fucking" as an adjective.

And I am fond of it as a verb. Though I tend to get more use out of the adjective lately.
posted by kingfisher, his musclebound cat at 6:28 AM on February 1, 2006


it looks like she's fond of "fucking" as an adjective.

Who are you, the fucking language police?

It's a great fucking adjective
posted by twistedonion at 6:33 AM on February 1, 2006


What does that tell to the actual tyrants and semi-tyrants of the world?

Nothing that they don't know already. Delusions of grandeur, moral self-righteousness and a belief in being 'the good guys' so hand in hand with Empire building. Look at the Romans, Greeks, British - they all loved liberating other countries, exporting their 'freedoms' and generally going on about how fucking great they are.
posted by twistedonion at 6:36 AM on February 1, 2006


so should be goes
posted by twistedonion at 6:37 AM on February 1, 2006


Adjective? I thought it was a participle.
posted by alumshubby at 7:10 AM on February 1, 2006


Did you know that in 1971, the Supreme Court said it was unconstitutional to arrest a man who wore a "F--- the Draft" T-shirt into the courthouse? (Cohen v. California, you can look it up.)
posted by amberglow at 7:17 AM on February 1, 2006


Adjective? I thought it was a participle.

A gerund, too!
posted by hangashore at 7:17 AM on February 1, 2006


opportunistic bitch" (thanks, Rothko)

i'm pretty sure rothko was ironically quoting a dios comment and that he doesn't actually think of ms. sheehan in that way.

if sheehan's version of the story is true, i think some of the people in this thread owe her an apology.
posted by lord_wolf at 7:22 AM on February 1, 2006


Did you know that in 1971, the Supreme Court said it was unconstitutional to arrest a man who wore a "F--- the Draft" T-shirt into the courthouse? (Cohen v. California, you can look it up.)

that was an activist court. mr Alito will take care of that, amberglow.
posted by matteo at 7:24 AM on February 1, 2006


But she has more of a right to talk publicly about this than anybody, including me or you.

No one has MORE or LESS of a right lumpenprole you self-righteous flaming asshole.
posted by HTuttle at 7:27 AM on February 1, 2006


More "attention whores" in the UK:

Vigils to mark 100th Iraq death
Diane Douglas told the BBC it was a "damn disgrace" that young people were being killed in Iraq, adding: "I don't think Tony Blair should have put any young kids out there."

Soldier's family speak of anguish

Corporal's death is tragic milestone in an unwanted war
Rose Gentle, from Glasgow, whose 19-year-old son, Gordon, of the Royal Highland Fusiliers, was killed by a roadside bomb in Basra in 2004, said: "How many of our boys are going to die before we say 'enough', and put an end to this bloody, illegal war?"

And the parents of the young Highlander killed on Monday joined in the condemnation, accusing Mr Blair of having their son's blood on his hands.

Walter Douglas and his wife Dianne, from Aberdeen, said it had been their son Allan's childhood ambition to join the army. But he was planning to quit, disillusioned with army life after his tour of duty in Iraq and his role in an "unjust" war.

Mr Douglas said: "There is definitely blood on Blair's hands. There is another family grieving today, the same as us. But it doesn't matter what you say - nothing changes."
posted by funambulist at 7:28 AM on February 1, 2006


Cindy Sheehan is the new Jesse Jackson.
posted by Danf at 7:44 AM on February 1, 2006


So..no..no..wait..let me see if I get this straight.
Generals and other military personnel can wear their military uniforms...The men can wear their business suits symbolic of their allegiance to one nation under Wall Street ("notice the powder blue tie") , and Laura Bush can wear that god awful wanna be Jackie O salmon colored disaster she had on last night..but God forbid someone wear something that is outside the agenda. Damn what the hell was she thinking. Burn her at the stake..either that or pray for us all.
posted by wyldeboi at 7:48 AM on February 1, 2006


Cindy Sheehan is the new Jesse Jackson.

i'm firmly of the belief that mr. jackson needs to stfuashpad, and i am quite certain that ms. sheehan is no jesse jackson: i don't see her being enriched to the tune of millions of dollars from her actions, while pretending that she still has a lot in common with the people she claims to be representing. in that respect, mr. bush and the modern crop of republicans are actually a lot like mr. jackson.
posted by lord_wolf at 7:52 AM on February 1, 2006


Some of you make me fucking sick.

meh, it was the state of the union address -- and she wanted to wear a tshirt?.

It would have been a great statement if she just attended in normal dress like everyone else, she might have gotten some screen time. This arrest looks like it was staged.
posted by mathowie at 8:04 PM PST on January 31


Matt, you go off half-cocked more often than James Caan at the Playboy Mansion. No shit she wanted to be arrested. No shit that's the point.

The day that people are no longer arrested for protesting, the day people aren't arrested for wearing a t-shirt, the day that you can see the President in public without signing a fucking "Loyalty Oath," the day that people are no longer confined to "Free Speech Zones," that's the day we won't protest anymore. What the fuck don't you understand about that?
posted by Optimus Chyme at 7:52 AM on February 1, 2006


I watched the whole thing on CNN and they said she was a "protestor" who "unfurled a banner" which was "against house rules" and that the Democratic party would be "embarrassed" for inviting her because she "unfurled" this "banner". Thats what they said. Would the effect on the audience have been different if they had said she was a grieving mother of a dead Iraqi soldier who was arrested for wearing a T-Shirt?
posted by tranceformer at 7:52 AM on February 1, 2006


Cindy Sheehan was arrested in the gallery of the State Of The Union address last night. She was charged with demonstrating, which is a misdemeanor crime. Fair enough. Even I don't think letting protestors run willy-nilly through the Congress is a good idea. But it's the nature of the protest that is troubling.

Cindy Sheehan was arrested for wearing a number on her shirt. 2245

And since the number was the protest, we can assume she'd have been arrested if the number had been an elegant gold and diamond broach. I tell you what, if Democrats want to grow a set they should all start wearing such broaches. Seriously.

As to the debate about Cindy Sheehan herself, I have this to say:

- Cindy Sheehan is just trying to get attention - This is a good thing.
- Cindy Sheehan is getting paid by the left - This is a good thing.
- Most on the left don't agree with her message - That doesn't matter.

Yes, she's an attention whore. So was Martin Luther King. So was Gandhi. This is how protest is done. And while I've heard many liberals make good arguments that she'd be more effective if she was spending her time organizing other mothers of dead soldiers, or sitting at home writing letters to the editor, rather than camp9ng beside the road and getting arrested, I disagree.

War protests are messy. And since most of the people who object to the Iraq war also support the troops and consider themselves patriots, it's essential to shake their world a little bit and lead by example. Cindy Sheehan is leading by example. Somehow the right has talked us into the idea that protests which lead to people getting arrested are silly and counterproductive. Again, tell that to Martin Luther King. Tell that to Gandhi.

Yes, she's probably getting paid by groups on the left. Why is that bad? Activists who travel around the country to protest are expected to also hold down day jobs? And with all the scandals involving special interest money corruption and influence peddling, I think the right might want to back off on that. At least she's being paid to speak her mind, rather than being paid to vote a certain way.

Of course she's getting money. Okay...... What the hell....... I just gave her some. Maybe you should too.

No, most of us don't agree with her specific message. Hell, most on the left don't even like her. Welcome to war protest. That's the way it goes. As someone who has been involved in war protests his whole life (no doubt my mother will add her story here about pushing me down the street in my baby stroller during Vietnam protests) I can assure you that such protests are filled with all manner of idiots you don't agree with. It's a freakin street protest. What do you expect?

As war protesters we don't hand you a sheet with talking points, and we don't screen people at the door to make sure everyone is in ideological lockstep. The right does that. The left doesn't. So if she wants to protest the war, good for her, even if she doesn't think the exact same way I do.

Cindy Sheehan got arrested for wearing a number. The number was the current dead soldiers in the Iraq war. One of those numbers was her son. Way to go Cindy. Carry on.
posted by y6y6y6 at 7:53 AM on February 1, 2006


What Really Happened... a message from Cindy Sheehan @ MichaelMoore.com.

I'm shocked, frankly.
posted by VulcanMike at 8:13 AM on February 1, 2006


Might as well quote the article, lest be buried by the wave of negative goo...

My ticket was in the 5th gallery, front row, fourth seat in. The person who in a few minutes was to arrest me, helped me to my seat.

I had just sat down and I was warm from climbing 3 flights of stairs back up from the bathroom so I unzipped my jacket. I turned to the right to take my left arm out, when the same officer saw my shirt and yelled, "Protester." He then ran over to me, hauled me out of my seat and roughly (with my hands behind my back) shoved me up the stairs. I said something like, "I'm going, do you have to be so rough?" By the way, his name is Mike Weight.

The officer ran with me to the elevators yelling at everyone to move out of the way. When we got to the elevators, he cuffed me and took me outside to await a squad car. On the way out, someone behind me said, "That's Cindy Sheehan." At which point the officer who arrested me said, "Take these steps slowly." I said, "You didn't care about being careful when you were dragging me up the other steps." He said, "That's because you were protesting." Wow, I get hauled out of the People's House because I was, "Protesting."

I was never told that I couldn't wear that shirt into the Congress. I was never asked to take it off or zip my jacket back up. If I had been asked to do any of those things...I would have, and written about the suppression of my freedom of speech later. I was immediately, and roughly (I have the bruises and muscle spasms to prove it) hauled off and arrested for "unlawful conduct."


...

I wore the shirt to make a statement. The press knew I was going to be there and I thought every once in awhile they would show me and I would have the shirt on. I did not wear it to be disruptive, or I would have unzipped my jacket during George's speech. If I had any idea what happens to people who wear shirts that make the neocons uncomfortable...that I would be arrested...maybe I would have, but I didn't.
posted by VulcanMike at 8:22 AM on February 1, 2006


Maybe a new panel should be added to this cartoon: "He's particularly quick to distance himself from Cindy Sheehan".

Seriously, I can understand the prowar right wingers hating her, but what's this woman done that is so particularly repulsive to those on the left-ish and antiwar like her and yet so keen to condemn her?

Now I am only superficially familiar with her campaign and what she said so I must have missed a lot. But I've heard her described as crazy, hysterical, incoherent, whatever, and yet I can't find any trace of that in her account posted on Daily Kos (in EarBucket's link). Or in the nature of her t-shirt protest itself, for that matter. Or in what I heard in the news about her picketing outside Bush's ranch and the White House and so on.

What is it? Isn't she the most effective spokeperson the antiwar left has in the US? who else had such a clear message and got so much national and international media attention? Or is that a bad thing?
posted by funambulist at 8:24 AM on February 1, 2006


Beverly Young, wife of [Republican] Rep. C.W. Bill Young of Florida — chairman of the House Defense Appropriations subcommittee — was removed from the gallery because she was wearing a T-shirt that read, "Support the Troops — Defending Our Freedom."Houston Chronicle
posted by gubo at 8:25 AM on February 1, 2006


She wasn't arrested though, it seems.
posted by gubo at 8:27 AM on February 1, 2006


For all those lefties on metafilter who seem to dislike Cindy Sheehan - why don't you get from your computer screens and do something yourselves? At least she is trying to affect change. Good on her and shame on you.
posted by twistedonion at 8:28 AM on February 1, 2006


First off, there are people here who need to understand the 1st Amendment. "Freedom of speech" does not mean that a person can say whatever they want, wherever they want, and whenever they want. There have always been limits on speech, and rightfully so. As originally understood, "freedom of speech" means that one cannot be arrested for the content of political speech. That is, I can't be arrested for advocating the abolition of the IRS---I can't be arrestd for the content of that message. I *can* be arrested for advocating the abolition of the IRS on a bullhorn at 4 a.m. in a residential neighborhood. And if I was arrested for that, it would not be an arrest for the content of the message; it would be an arrest for violation of some ordinance. As such, the First Amendment would not be implicated.

Similarly, here, Sheehan was not arrested because she was wearing a shirt with a number on it. She was arrested for violating some ordinance.

The First Amendment guarenttees you the right to make political statements without fear of being arrested for the content of those messages. The First Amendment does not guarentee you a platform for those messages.

amberglow cited to the Cohen case which would support this arrest. However, as will 99% of legal analysis on political blogs, the citation fails to understand the issue in the case and why it is distinguishable here. In Cohen, the guy was arrested under a statewide statute that banned offensive statements. By application, therefore, Cohen could never express his statement anywhere at anytime. That is why it was unconstitutional. But the Court in that case made it clear that certainly there could be a law which prohibited such disruptive conduct in the courthouse because the First Amendment does not guarentee free speech anywhere and anytime---just like the law whereby Sheehan was arrested.

To quote from the case... and something that people in this thread need to clearly understand before they start trying to proclaim what the First Amendment :

This does not end the inquiry, of course, for the First and Fourteenth Amendments have never been thought to give absolute protection to every individual to speak whenever or wherever he pleases, or to use any form of address in any circumstances that he chooses. In this vein, too, however, we think it important to note that several issues typically associated with such problems are not presented here.

In the first place, Cohen was tried under a statute applicable throughout the entire State. Any attempt to support this conviction on the ground that the statute seeks to preserve an appropriately decorous atmosphere in the courthouse where Cohen was arrested must fail in the absence of any language in the statute that would have put appellant on notice that certain kinds of otherwise permissible speech or conduct would nevertheless, under California law, not be tolerated in certain places. See Edwards v. South Carolina, 372 U.S. 229, 236-237, and n. 11 (1963). Cf. Adderley v. Florida, 385 U.S. 39 (1966). No fair reading of the phrase "offensive conduct" can be said sufficiently to inform the ordinary person that distinctions between certain locations are thereby created.



______________

That being said, Sheehan got the only thing she cares about: press.

Cindy Sheehan is an opportunistic lout. Just this past week, she was threatening to run for the Senate if Feinstein voted for cloture in the Alito debate. Now, I would love to hear what the hell cloture in the debate of a judge has to do with the grieving mother shtick or the Iraq war, and the answer is clear: nothing. The same week she was in Venesuela to help celebrate Chavez and his opposition to American. And in her recent acts we see the truth that this was never about Casey Sheehan or the rest of the soliders in Iraq: this is about a woman with a pre-established political platform who is using her sons death to push her views to the front.

This is a crackjob, unintelligent partisan operative who used her son's death as a way to try to parlay it into political clout--clout that she would have never enjoyed if she relied on her own political acumen. And that is why she is reprehensible.
posted by dios at 8:31 AM on February 1, 2006


The wife of a powerful Republican congressman was also asked to leave... wearing a T-shirt that read, "Support the Troops _ Defending Our Freedom."...

"They said I was protesting," she told the St. Petersburg Times. "I said, "Read my shirt, it is not a protest.' They said, 'We consider that a protest.' I said, 'Then you are an idiot.'"

They told her she was being treated the same as Sheehan...


Brilliant! bipartisan repressive idiocy! democracy is safe!

Man, this is reaching the proportions of a farce.
posted by funambulist at 8:32 AM on February 1, 2006


"This is a crackjob, unintelligent partisan operative who used her son's death as a way to try to parlay it into political clout--clout that she would have never enjoyed if she relied on her own political acumen. And that is why she is reprehensible."

Ummmm..... You lost me. Which part of that makes her reprehensible?
posted by y6y6y6 at 8:40 AM on February 1, 2006


"opportunistic lout"

nice editing there, dios.

I'm sure you also have readymade essays in legalspeak for the benefit of the uncouth masses to defend the existence of Guantanamo, the rationale for war in Iraq, and the adoption of extraordinary rendition.

Which means it's all ok. Glad to know that.

And in her recent acts we see the truth that this was never about Casey Sheehan or the rest of the soliders in Iraq: this is about a woman with a pre-established political platform who is using her sons death to push her views to the front.

Because she could obviously *not* have had political views before her son died?

She *is* using her son's death - to protest the war in which her son died. DUH.

So basically you cannot be politically opinionated or active until your son dies, but you cannot do it afterwards, either?

You demand a bit too much there.
posted by funambulist at 8:41 AM on February 1, 2006


"Freedom of speech" does not mean that a person can say whatever they want, wherever they want, and whenever they want.

God you people know how to mess up definitions of everything don't you. Freedom, Torture, Democracy. Why did you have to take our language and destroy it - invent your own if you want to misrepresent a language.

Newspeak indeed.
posted by twistedonion at 8:45 AM on February 1, 2006


this is about a woman with a pre-established political platform who is using her sons death to push her views to the front.

Heck, whatever works. I have public representatives working for lobbyists, fellow voters wallowing in stagnancy, a White House bent on absolute power, a senior staff with a global imperialistic vision...

The fact of the matter is she's the only voice that got to the core of the issues for many of us last night. The Democratic response was weak, and was lashed without hesitation by the conservative-stacked TV commentators. The President painted his standard vision of the world. Cindy's message was literally the only one that was clear.
posted by VulcanMike at 8:45 AM on February 1, 2006


posted by dios This is a crackjob, unintelligent partisan operative who used her son's death as a way to try to parlay it into political clout--clout that she would have never enjoyed if she relied on her own political acumen. And that is why she is reprehensible.

Ah, then you must find the Bush administration reprehensible--they're a group of crackjobs and unintelligent partisan operatives who have used the deaths of September 11 as a way to parlay them into political clout that they never would have enjoyed had they relied on their own political acumen.
posted by fandango_matt at 8:46 AM on February 1, 2006


And that is why she is reprehensible.

Are you done throwing stones, dios? Because I have something here that is way more reprehensible.

I have already said I several times on this site that I am a libertarian authoritarian. That is, I don't care where democratic majorities set the line, but wherever it is, you better damn well follow it. For all I care, a democratic majority could authorize public pedophilia sex while smoking crack in public squares as long as one doesn't wear a purple shirt (and if one does, its a life sentence). And I wouldn't have a problem with the person smoking crack and nailing a 5 year old in public, but if that fucker wears that purple shirt, his ass needs to go to the clink for life.
posted by dios at 12:56 PM PST on December 22

posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:47 AM on February 1, 2006


holy cow I just read this whole thread.
my eyes are bleeding.

Howard Dean's letter was awesome. That's all I have to say about that. Awe. Some.

Lefties who attack Dean, Moore, and Shehan do so only to gain momentary creedence with whatever right-wing sludge they're arguing with. They (the dissenters) are the Paynes of our day and will be remembered as such.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 8:47 AM on February 1, 2006


Wow...dios really wrote that?
posted by Baby_Balrog at 8:48 AM on February 1, 2006


nice editing there, dios.

Well, if you care to know: I received a polite e-mail and had a respectful exchange from a user regarding the perceived misogony in my choice of words in the comment you referenced, even though I wasn't intending to suggest any gender-based animus. In my experience, that term is used in a gender neutral way, but this person convinced me that some see it as a gender based attack. I didn't intend it that way, so I thanked the user for her e-mail and decided to not use the term because the effect was not what I intended.


Ummmm..... You lost me. Which part of that makes her reprehensible?
posted by y6y6y6 at 10:40 AM CST on February 1


Maybe you don't agree with me, but I view the use of the death of a person's son to advance their own political agenda to be callous, opportunistic and reprehensible.

Because she could obviously *not* have had political views before her son died?

No, I absolutely believe she had all of these political views before her son died in Iraq. (I think an interesting psychological question would be wonder whether her views drove her son to want to sign up for the military).

And that is why she is opportunistic. She had all of these views before hand, but she obviously couldn't get traction. The death of her son gave her the ability to get herself press for her views. She used her son's death for publicity. Anyone who thinks she is just some poor grieving mother who decided to speak out to protect the lives of troops is delusional.
posted by dios at 8:52 AM on February 1, 2006


Maybe you don't agree with me, but I view the use of the death of a person's son to advance their own political agenda to be callous, opportunistic and reprehensible.

What about using the death of 3,000 people?
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:54 AM on February 1, 2006


So dios...

That is, I don't care where democratic majorities set the line, but wherever it is, you better damn well follow it.

You would expect the Palestinians to follow Hamas even if it means every single one of them has to strap on a ton of explosives and march from Gaza into Israel... you would support that?
posted by twistedonion at 8:54 AM on February 1, 2006


Similarly, here, Sheehan was not arrested because she was wearing a shirt with a number on it. She was arrested for violating some ordinance.

Oh, O.K. That explains it.
posted by Otis at 8:54 AM on February 1, 2006


The death of her son gave her the ability to get herself press for her views. She used her son's death for publicity.

Hey! Maybe she killed her own son! That would make sense, huh? What an opportunistic lout!
posted by NationalKato at 8:55 AM on February 1, 2006


I love when dios speaks ex-cathedra. Too bad he is not the judge in charge of deciding why all those cases do not apply to all those other cases.

Obviously he is wrong in just about anything he says about Sheehan, because his political views can't stand for a dead soldier's mother being against the war - these women are supposed to silent suffering patriotic assets, guarded as icons of the greater good their sons and daughters fought for. A logic that fails when no greater good exists to be iconized.

But then again, if there is a law/rule/regulation forbidding any kind of protest in the House galleries, the arrest was bound to happen. Because we can't honestly twist the fact that wearing that t-shirt in that particular place in that particular occasion is a form of protest (as is the opposite case of the Representative's wife). Is there such a law?
posted by nkyad at 8:56 AM on February 1, 2006


Dios -
Please respond to twisted onion's question first -
But I want to know how you genuinely feel about this.
Should someone be arrested for refusing to cover up a piece of clothing that is offensive to the president?
posted by Baby_Balrog at 8:57 AM on February 1, 2006


I don't see where dress code has anything to do with it, especially when they allow animals into the SOTU event.
posted by NationalKato at 9:00 AM on February 1, 2006


"Maybe you don't agree with me, but I view the use of the death of a person's son to advance their own political agenda to be callous, opportunistic and reprehensible."

Well, no, I don't agree with you. No biggie. But I would love to hear you elaborate. Seriously.

I keep hearing people say basically the same thing you're saying, and I've never understood it. To *me* the death of her son makes her message and her protest more valid. And while rhetorically I can find plenty of logic in the argument that his death shouldn't give her more legitimacy than other protestors, I find it wildly odd that people are saying it's reprehensible. Or even opportunistic. And callous just seems off the map to me.

She's protesting largely because her son died in a war she's opposed to. That's not opportunistic. That's cause and effect. And if it's reprehensible for parents who have lost children in a war to protest that war....... Ummmmm.... Huh? They can't protest the war? Seriously? Everyone else can though? Or they can protest, but they need to keep their child's death secret? I'm clueless here. Please help me.
posted by y6y6y6 at 9:05 AM on February 1, 2006


Dios -
Please respond to twisted onion's question first -
But I want to know how you genuinely feel about this.
Should someone be arrested for refusing to cover up a piece of clothing that is offensive to the president?
posted by Baby_Balrog at 10:57 AM CST on February 1


Why should I respond to an insulting and trolling question when the answer is self-evident? My statement was made within the context of the United States and its Constitution. And within that context, I fully stand by the statement because it is system established by our Madisonian form of government. I used colorful lanaguage to get the point across, but the point is salient. Within this system, we have the rule of law and majority rule balanced by minority rights. Assuming minority rights aren't implicated, I don't have any problem with where the line is drawn, but those lines must be enforced where they are.

Again, I thought I made this clear, but people should be arrested if they don't follow the rules. Freedom of speech doesn't guarentee you the right to protest in the State of the Union. If there is a prohibition against it, then it can't be done. The First Amendment is not implicated in that situation (as I explained in my comment regarding Cohen above---did you even read that?)
posted by dios at 9:06 AM on February 1, 2006


She's protesting largely because her son died in a war she's opposed to. That's not opportunistic. That's cause and effect. And if it's reprehensible for parents who have lost children in a war to protest that war....... Ummmmm.... Huh? They can't protest the war? Seriously? Everyone else can though? Or they can protest, but they need to keep their child's death secret? I'm clueless here. Please help me.
posted by y6y6y6 at 11:05 AM CST on February 1


Your missing the point. She is protesting because she has always protested. She is merely using her son's death for more exposure by trying to play upon people's sympathy to get press for her cause.

It is absurd to think this is a lady who was sitting at home knitting, and when she got the news her son died, decided she needed to go do something about it.

She was always this way. But to play on people's sympathies to advance her cause is wrong. She is using sympathy for her loss to advance her message.

Perhaps I can't make you understand this. It is a personal view, admittedly. And it is an act that I find reprehensible.
posted by dios at 9:10 AM on February 1, 2006


The fact that she was arrested is:
A) ridiculous
B) unsurprising
C) offensive
D) all of the above
posted by exlotuseater at 9:11 AM on February 1, 2006


"She used her son's death for publicity."

I don't think anyone ever said otherwise. It's pretty obvious that's what she's doing. It still seems perfectly legitimate to me.

"Anyone who thinks she is just some poor grieving mother who decided to speak out to protect the lives of troops is delusional."

Well, she's a grieving mother. Right? And she protesting. We agree on that. So why am I delusional? Because she was against the war before her son died? I'm still missing it. She decided to speak out to end the war, right? isn't saving the lives of troops inseparable from that?
posted by y6y6y6 at 9:12 AM on February 1, 2006


Time for the obligatory Voltaire quote:

It's dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.
posted by davelog at 9:12 AM on February 1, 2006


I used colorful lanaguage to get the point across, but the point is salient.

So Dios, you're kinda like Cindy Sheehan, huh?
posted by NationalKato at 9:13 AM on February 1, 2006


I don't have any problem with where the line is drawn, but those lines must be enforced where they are.

Where IS the line drawn here? I'm honestly curious to know. And "some ordinance" doesn't really cut it.
posted by Otis at 9:14 AM on February 1, 2006


posted by dios But to play on people's sympathies to advance her cause is wrong. She is using sympathy for her loss to advance her message.

How is this different from the way Bush uses September 11 to advance his cause? Do you find Bush reprehensible, too?
posted by fandango_matt at 9:16 AM on February 1, 2006


"It is absurd to think this is a lady who was sitting at home knitting, and when she got the news her son died, decided she needed to go do something about it."

You made that up though. I have heard no one on the left say anything even hinting that she was sitting at home knitting, and when her son died, she needed to go protest.
posted by y6y6y6 at 9:17 AM on February 1, 2006


How is this different from the way Bush uses September 11 to advance his cause? Do you find Bush reprehensible, too?
posted by fandango_matt at 9:16 AM PST on February 1


Keep asking questions like that and you'll be on THE LIST as well, fandango.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 9:18 AM on February 1, 2006


Dios, I disagree that she was arrested "because she broke some ordinance", and so Free speech is still safe by implication.
Last year Maya Evans was arrested because she read a lit of names of the British dead in Iraq within 1 km of parliament. Of course reason for the arrest was that she had'nt secured the right permit, although that has been contested.
Last night, as news of the 100th UK soldier to die hit, protesters did it again. I'm guessing there was no time to get a permit and there is no news that they were arrested cos Tony knows it would be political suicide.
Yes, we need to have some controls, but it could be argued that they should not be on what we say but on how we say them. She didn't jump up and disturb the speech, this was a trigger happy overly officious busybody who hopefully was not packing a gun!
I would still like to see the law she broke referenced, please
posted by Wilder at 9:19 AM on February 1, 2006


Why should I respond to an insulting and trolling question when the answer is self-evident?

You have no need to respond to anything I say.

My statement was made within the context of the United States and its Constitution.

No, it wasn't.
posted by twistedonion at 9:21 AM on February 1, 2006


"But to play on people's sympathies to advance her cause is wrong."

Seriously? You're going to stand by that?

What color is the sky on your planet? Do they have politics and war there? Because here on Earth that just seems goofy.

Look, I've read lots of things you've posted, and we've never really engaged before. And I've read many here just go off on you for things they perceive as being wholly stupid. I've taken a pass on those slap fights because you seem sincere and intelligent. But what you are saying now makes no sense to me. War protests driven by or fronted by soldiers and parents are the norm. Hasn't it always been so?
posted by y6y6y6 at 9:25 AM on February 1, 2006


In my experience, that term is used in a gender neutral way, but this person convinced me that some see it as a gender based attack.

dios, that's very clever of you. But see, personally, I don't give a shit if you call a woman a bitch. I'm a woman and I've used that insult to refer to a few specimens of my gender too. Bitch to me is just the feminine of bastard or asshole. So it may be just me, but I don't particularly care about the gender issue in that choice of insult, at least not when it's clearly meant as insult and not rapping style shortcut for "women" in general. It's the fact of using the term "opportunistic bitch" for the mother of a dead soldier protesting the war in which her son died that is rather pathetic. No, of course, that doesn't mean she should be only be referred to as "The Holy Mother Of The Saintly Fallen Hero". But between those two extremes, there's a whole lot of choices for expressing your dislike of said person.

What the hell has she done to be called opportunistic bitch/lout/attention whore whatever?

Does that apply to all the other mothers of fallen soldiers, including the ones protesting in Britain yesterday? they never were in the public eye before their sons' deaths. Or before the war. OBVIOUSLY.
You don't protest something when it hasn't happened yet, do you?

And what about, to extend the field a little further in time and space, the mothers of the disappeared in Latin America? Opportunistic 'louts' too?

How the hell is protesting a political decision that affected you personally "opportunistic"? Your personal involvement only adds an extra emotional dimension to it. An extra sense of urgency for you personally. It also adds to the political protest a human individual element that gets so easily lost when talking of wars like soldiers are killing machines. At least she expects them to be treated like humans, and be sent out to fight when it's absolutely necessary, not against the law and for pretexts that are then proven to be wrong.

You have a very peculiar definition of opportunism.

She had all of these views before hand, but she obviously couldn't get traction. The death of her son gave her the ability to get herself press for her views. She used her son's death for publicity.

Again, what in God's name is wrong with that? She didn't use it for publicity for herself as some kind of media starlet or page 3 girl. She used it for publicity for a political campaign, for herself as part of an antiwar campaign to which she's given more prominence than anyone else, politicians included. A campaign to which the useless death of soldiers - and civilians alike - is very much relevant.

Please, tell me if you think all the above-mentioned of examples of women (or men, fathers, brothers, entire families) denouncing political events that affected them personally and tragically are also being opportunistic and immorally exploiting their grief? Or you just don't like her because she's so famous and has finally attracted attention to the fact that gosh, yes, there is an antiwar campaign in the US?
posted by funambulist at 9:25 AM on February 1, 2006


This thread:

Good near the start, nitpicking near the end. I'm considered the fastest reader of anyone I know, and it took me nearly half an hour to read this. And for what?

Some people here have brilliant points, but kept restating the same arguments. And some people just don't read the article. Why is it that Bush always gets a "367 posted" or whatever, when the issue is so miniscule?!

How often do these addresses occur? Is it by-invitation-only?

Meh, to hell with this.
posted by malusmoriendumest at 9:33 AM on February 1, 2006


Dios: "...I wasn't intending to suggest any gender-based animus. In my experience, that term is used in a gender neutral way..."

I call bullshit.
posted by wsg at 9:34 AM on February 1, 2006


I just want to applaud y6y6y6 for this eloquent and comprehensive statement. "This is how protest is done." Exactly.

And dios, I too fail to see what is wrong with "playing on people's sympathies to advance a cause." You are aware, I presume, that human beings are not robots and are not swayed purely by intellectual arguments; if one feels a public policy is terribly misguided and is killing people unnecessarily, surely one needs to appeal to "sympathies" as well as logic. (I presume you're willing to apply your principle to causes you believe in as well as Sheehan's, by the way.)
posted by languagehat at 9:36 AM on February 1, 2006


posted by Optimus Chyme Keep asking questions like that and you'll be on THE LIST as well, fandango.

Well, I've asked him twice and he can't/won't answer, so apparently I'm already on his "Debates I Obtusely Skip" list. Boohoo.
posted by fandango_matt at 9:39 AM on February 1, 2006


One last thing re: "playing on people's sympathies" - seems to me one has to consider the public completely stupid, deaf, blind, as well as emotionally inert, to imply that *before* Sheehan, no one even thought that soldiers could die and their families be grieving. Or that without Sheehan and her son's death, they wouldn't have had their own opinions about the war.

There's almost 3,000 of them dead now. That's a lot of mothers grieving. Each will have their own views on the war, they may have changed, or remained the same.

But Sheehan is only giving exposure to something far bigger than herself. Something shared by many, whether in terms of direct personal involvement or in terms of political views on the war or both. She's not the only person by far who expressed those views and/or sadness and anger for the loss of a family member in an unjustified war they didn't support. She's the only one, or most famous one anyway, who took it all the way to the White House, getting the highest level of attention from the media than any of those other people. That's the difference. And that's what, I get the impression, most pisses off those who'd like that kind of protest to be given less space. Because they know it reaches a lot of people.
posted by funambulist at 9:43 AM on February 1, 2006


And that is why she is opportunistic. She had all of these views before hand, but she obviously couldn't get traction.

Absolutely. In fact, all the war protesters are opportunists. They're callously using the war itself to call attention to their anti-war agenda. They obviously couldn't get any traction when there was no war.
posted by Western Infidels at 9:45 AM on February 1, 2006


the state of our union has been dictated by the states of our wardrobes

it's a bad sign for our country that we've been reduced to this level of petty squabbling
posted by pyramid termite at 9:47 AM on February 1, 2006


Western Infidels, so true, so true...

In fact, any protest of any kind is deeply opportunistic, as it needs something to protest against before starting off as a protest.

Oh why can't protesters be more coherent and original, rather wait for something to happen just to get the opportunity* to protest against it?

no, that's not what opportunistic means: exploiting chances offered by immediate circumstances without reference to a general plan or moral principle...
posted by funambulist at 9:52 AM on February 1, 2006


Cindy Sheehan is an opportunistic lout.

Why be coy, Dios? Just call her an "opportunistic bitch" like you did last time and get it out of your system.
posted by Rothko at 9:52 AM on February 1, 2006


Dios - please don't add me to the list - but this belief of yours - that when laws are established we should all toe the line, without question, isn't that a little un-american? I hate that word, but this is the first time I've been given an opportunity to use it as I think it's intended to be used.
What about civil disobedience? What about laws that are...wrong? Shouldn't we stand up against them? Isn't that what the whole "government by the people" thing is about?
I'm not trying to be dense, but do you really mean to say that when something is passed into law by our government, we should follow it without question? Even laws that might hurt other people?
Jim Crow laws, maybe? What if the government started using your tax dollars to finance free abortion clinics?

I don't understand.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 9:53 AM on February 1, 2006


Look, we are just going in circles here. You are asking me to explain why I think she is opportunistic. I already have in numerous comments. What exactly are you looking for here? I explained my personal view. You don't have to agree to it, but to demand of me proof or to continue to repeat myself is unnecessary.

She didn't use it for publicity for herself as some kind of media starlet or page 3 girl.

Oh, but she did and is. Do you really see a difference? She wanted fame. She is now threatening to parlay that into a run for the US Senate. How do you think she is any different than any other politician--seeking power through whatever means available.

The difference is that she is seeking popularity not for merit of her views or political ability, but by playing on the sympathies of those who feel bad for her loss.

It's clear that this is just a difference of opinion. I am not going to convince you that it is wrong for her to do that; you are not going to convince me that it is an appropriate thing for her to do. Because in the end, this is a personal value judgment.

It would be different, in my view, if the story was "Casey Sheehan left behind her activist mother, who has been advocating _____ for years." Any press she got for her loss and cause would be above-the-table and clear. But I resent is the way she is gaming the media. And the media always plays the card as if this is a poor mother who is so distraught by the loss of her son, that it has led her to start this crusade out of sorrow for her loss and the desire to prevent others. And this isn't reality. Nevertheless, she plays it up and uses it for more attention.

I think one difference here is that I am reacting to how she is treated in the popular press. Now perhaps at Kos and on blogs she is treated as a long time activist who just attention for her cause because of the death of her son. I don't know because I don't follow those things. But in the popular press she is treated as this poor suffering mother when, in reality, she is in her fullest glory. Grinning with Chavez. Potentially running for the Senate. Getting on TV by trying to actively get arrested.

If she wanted to respect her son's memory--the image that she plays up in the media--she wouldn't be doing these things. But this isn't about her son; she isn't a single issue advocate (I'd have some respect for her if she were). But this is all about her and her view of the world.

I personally find that callous to use your own son's death for your own political future. Just as I am sure people would find it callous if someone ran for Senate on the platform that they lost someone in 9/11 so people should vote for them because they will secure the borders (and legalize drugs and nationalize health care).

I am freely admitting that this is a personal perspective. And it has to be, because it is a value judgment.
posted by dios at 9:53 AM on February 1, 2006


Well, I've asked him twice and he can't/won't answer, posted by fandango_matt at 11:39 AM CST on February 1

For Christ's sake. Do you have to be a prick? I am trying to answer questions when I can. I do have other things to do. I have dozens of questions asked of me. I try to answer the ones I can that aren't redundant and insulting. If you think I missed something that was seriously asked, you can e-mail me.

Now what do you think you have asked me twice that I have refused to answer?
posted by dios at 9:56 AM on February 1, 2006


after finally getting an account from sheehan herself, anybody who can go on about this being anything other than the mark of fascism can again, go fuck themselves. she broke no law. police lied. she was wearing what she wore all day. it wasn't planned. and she wasn't treated the same as another ticket holder wearing a neocon t-shirt.
posted by 3.2.3 at 9:58 AM on February 1, 2006


I personally find that callous to use your own son's death for your own political future

I personally find it callous for Bush II to rape people's emotions and memories of 9/11 for his own political career. Actually, callous is not strong enough a word.
posted by Rothko at 9:59 AM on February 1, 2006


If she wanted to respect her son's memory...

Do you have children?
posted by Western Infidels at 10:00 AM on February 1, 2006


Now what do you think you have asked me twice that I have refused to answer?

See above.
posted by Rothko at 10:00 AM on February 1, 2006


It’s like fucking high school.

T-shirt. Man.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:05 AM on February 1, 2006


Dios - please don't add me to the list

If you ask me questions in a respectful tone, I will reply in kind.

- but this belief of yours - that when laws are established we should all toe the line, without question, isn't that a little un-american?

I didn't say "without question." One must follow the law. One can question it. One can petition their legislator to change the law. One can create an advocacy group to change the law. But as long as it is the law, it must be complied with unless one is willing to suffer the consequences. That isn't "un-american." It is completely American. It is the basis of a constitutional republican democracy that values the rule of law. The rule of law is one of the essential aspects of this country.

What about civil disobedience? What about laws that are...wrong? Shouldn't we stand up against them? Isn't that what the whole "government by the people" thing is about?
posted by Baby_Balrog at 11:53 AM CST on February 1


Absolutely people should endeavor to change the laws if they disagree with them. The way to do that is to try to build coalitions and public support and petition the legislators to change the law or vote for ones that will. That is, win in the marketplace of ideas.

But compliance with the law is not optional. One can't ignore them if they disagree with them.

Civil disobedience can be effective, but the salient point of civil disobedience is that one has to suffer the consequences of breaking the law. There is no "civil disobedience" exception to laws.

It is the way the system works. The rule of law is sacrosanct. But the laws can be changed and that is why we have regular elections and legislative bodies.
posted by dios at 10:05 AM on February 1, 2006


What exact law was broken? Repeating a lie does not make it true.
posted by Rothko at 10:09 AM on February 1, 2006


"I am a libertarian authoritarian."

Isn't that an oxymoron, like jumbo shrimp?
Doesn't libertarian mean "you do your stuff, I'll do mine, just keep your stuff out of mine and we'll all get along great."? At least that's what all the libertarians I've ever met stand on.
And doesn't authoritarian mean "sit down, shut up, obey the rules or be punished, I'm in charge, you are all subject to my will, your thoughts on all matters are irrelavent."?

That seems, um, just odd to me. Maybe it's the whole definition thing.

Let's examine that.

Libertarian; From Princeton's definition : someone who believes the doctrine of free will.

Ok, cool. I'm all for free will. Free will is great. A little loose, kind of edgy, not all that bad at parties, but a not the slut you thought they were. Usually pretty cool and open minded. Knows what they're comfortable with. Won't really judge you because they know you are judging them just as much.

On contrast we have this little gem.

Authoritarian; again from Princeton: characteristic of an absolute ruler or absolute rule; having absolute sovereignty; "an authoritarian regime"; "autocratic government"; "despotic rulers"; "a dictatorial rule that lasted for the duration of the war"; "a tyrannical government"
likened to a dictator in severity
a person who behaves in an tyrannical manner; "my boss is a dictator who makes everyone work overtime"
expecting unquestioning obedience; "he was imperious and dictatorial"; "the timid child of authoritarian parents"; "insufferably overbearing behavior toward the waiter"

Um. Wow.
Just, wow.

If you define yourself as such, please feel free to enjoy the self loathing. I'm sure it feels great.

On a side note, anyone ever read How to Rule the World : A Handbook for the Aspiring Dictator by Andre de Guillaume. It's listed in the comedy section of most bookstores, but it's actually more of a reference guide if you ask me.
posted by daq at 10:09 AM on February 1, 2006


dios, here are a few more questions for you, if you have the time and inclination to answer them, please:

- have you read sheehan's account of the events from last night?

- if so, did it change your view of her and/or what happened? if not, why not?

thank you.
posted by lord_wolf at 10:13 AM on February 1, 2006


Doesn't anyone give a shit about the rules anymore?

W doesn't. Oh wait, those are laws, my bad.
posted by Foosnark at 10:13 AM on February 1, 2006


posted by dios For Christ's sake. Do you have to be a prick?

Well, you certainly seem to have expressed it as your preferred form of etiquette here. I didn't realize you were so sensitive.

I am trying to answer questions when I can. I do have other things to do. I have dozens of questions asked of me. I try to answer the ones I can that aren't redundant and insulting.

Yes, we know you're a busy fellow, and I think I speak for the entire population of MetaFilter when I say we're incredibly lucky and grateful you choose to spend your free time dispensing your platitudes, intelligence and infinite wisdom while tirelessly working to educate a bunch of liberal morons.

Now what do you think you have asked me twice that I have refused to answer?

Here, and here.

posted by fandango_matt at 10:13 AM on February 1, 2006


"And the media always plays the card as if this is a poor mother who is so distraught by the loss of her son, that it has led her to start this crusade out of sorrow for her loss and the desire to prevent others."

I still say you made that up. Can you point to where "in the popular press" she is being characterized that way? I'm sure we can find some lefty wingnut who says that (probably not even that, but maybe), but the popular press?

I appreciate what she did last night so much that I just sent her some money. But even I have never felt like she was simply a poor mother who is distraught by the loss of her son.
posted by y6y6y6 at 10:14 AM on February 1, 2006


Those of you that say Sheehan is opportunistic and using her son's death to get to a position of power make me think of Carolyn McCarthy, who became a gun-control activist, and eventually became involved in politics.

Whether you agree with her platform or not, it seems to me that this is one of the ways that people try to make the world a better place; they experience something that really drives a point home, and they want to try to make changes-- whether at the grassroots level or through a potentially more influential position like a Gov't. office.

Was Carolyn an 'opportunist'? Perhaps. But I cannot believe that either her or Sheehan is driven purely by narcissistic forces, to just attain power for power's sake.

Of course they have agendas. No one is in politics to just hang out and go to parties- well, perhaps some. But both of these women and many other activists and politicians do what they do because their lives were directly impacted by traumatic events.

More power to her.
posted by exlotuseater at 10:22 AM on February 1, 2006


"The rule of law is one of the essential aspects of this country."

No. It's not. It's fun to say that, and it makes us all feel good. But it's really not. Our jails are overflowing, our politicians (on both sides) fight scandals non-stop, our corporations have entire departments of lawyers whose job it is to either find legal loopholes, defend against criminal charges, or sue someone into oblivion.

Prohibition, once fully part of The United States Constitution, was repealed in no small part because "the rule of law" turned out to be impractical if not outright stupid.

The rule of law is open to interpretation and is frequently bad. Right?
posted by y6y6y6 at 10:24 AM on February 1, 2006


Does anybody else think that bomb-sniffing dog was dressed inappropriately for last night's event. I mean, he was basically naked.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:24 AM on February 1, 2006


Isn't that an oxymoron, like jumbo shrimp?
Doesn't libertarian mean "you do your stuff, I'll do mine, just keep your stuff out of mine and we'll all get along great."? At least that's what all the libertarians I've ever met stand on.
And doesn't authoritarian mean "sit down, shut up, obey the rules or be punished, I'm in charge, you are all subject to my will, your thoughts on all matters are irrelavent."?


Perhaps. I am not sure I have the terms right, and I'd be more than happy to change it to whatever term fits it more accurately. I was spitballing with those two terms, and I may have misused both of them. The idea that I was trying to get across should be clear, however, since I took the time to explain what I meant by it.

I meant the "libertarian" part because I don't really care if drugs are legalized or prostitution or anything else that people feel like is a good use of their liberty. I have personal views about these various things, but I have policy inclination in the regard that I feel has to be institutionalized. So that is what I meant by "libertarian."

Of course, the authoritarian, I meant that people have to follow the rule of law.

That is all I meant by those terms. Is there a term for those? I think Madisonian might be a better one. But, as I said, I was just throwing out a term there trying to convey an idea. I hope that clears up any confusion my words may have caused.

have you read sheehan's account of the events from last night?

Yes. Or at least the one referenced here.

if so, did it change your view of her and/or what happened? if not, why not?

No, not all. I don't really believe here that it was an accident and she was intending to be on her best behavior. That is so clearly not her style. I think one has to engage in a willing suspension of disbelief to accept the fact that she was planning to sit there in her coat and listen.

fandango_matt: I really don't appreciate your insulting tone, and I ask you that if you want me to answer your question that you drop it. Because if you continue, I will no longer be responsive to you. But as an act of good faith, I will answer your question: yes, I think Bush is guilty of over-relying on the deaths of 3,000 people. I do find it opportunistic the way he uses it at time. Then again, I think there are perfectly acceptable uses of the event as well. One clearly has to acknowledge the lesson from the event and when he is referring to the lesson of it, I support that usage. I disapprove of the emotionalized view, when the emphasis is on the death.
_______
Whew... ok, I have to do some work now, but I'll try to check back later if I can get this thing done.
posted by dios at 10:28 AM on February 1, 2006


The way to do that is to try to build coalitions and public support and petition the legislators to change the law or vote for ones that will. That is, win in the marketplace of ideas.

Note that your opponents in the marketplace of ideas will call you nasty names, place you in jail, and deny your right to make a living. It's called Capitalism and nice guys finish last.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 10:29 AM on February 1, 2006


Right on, y6. If only more people were doing exactly what she was doing - showing up, getting arrested, being VISIBLE. Perhaps it would have more impact.

I'm proud of her for sticking with it, despite all evidence that it will do any good.
posted by agregoli at 10:33 AM on February 1, 2006


dios, I haven't the slightest interest in convincing you, it's just that I find your argument in support of your "opportunistic" qualification doesn't make any sense, isn't anywhere near realistic or logical.

Such as:

funambulist: She didn't use it for publicity for herself as some kind of media starlet or page 3 girl.

dios: Oh, but she did and is. Do you really see a difference?


Yes.

I can't believe you even have to ask.

She wanted fame.


See, we're going round in circles because you cannot even acknowledge the "fame" she is getting is for a political cause.

I doubt she wants to appear on a tabloid's babe gallery or the next Bruckheimer production.


She is now threatening to parlay that into a run for the US Senate.

And...? Why "threatening"? Wouldn't she have to get voted to get there?

And if she does, exactly what is wrong with her going from political activist representing a part of the antiwar campaign to political representative in the Senate? She'd have to answer to her voters about what she does then. What's wrong with democracy?


How do you think she is any different than any other politician--seeking power through whatever means available.

Yeah. I bet she's seeking power to launch the next military attack on the next rogue state and take full control of the military-industrial complex.

The difference is that she is seeking popularity not for merit of her views or political ability, but by playing on the sympathies of those who feel bad for her loss.

Broken record, dios.

You're not acknowledging her political views and her personal loss collided into a form of protest that's about as ancient as war itself. Even more so in modern democratic countries. Protesting a war both because of your political opposition to it and because it affected you directly.


So, third time I ask: what do you think of all those other mothers and families of fallen soldiers protesting wars? Are/were they disrespecting their sons too?

You don't have to answer but I'd be curious to know if it's just Sheehan you have a problem with or anyone who's done the exact same thing, albeit with less media resonance (or same but in another country).

It would be different, in my view, if the story was "Casey Sheehan left behind her activist mother, who has been advocating _____ for years."

Agh, her son didn't die in an unrelated car accident. Her son's death in that war and how she campaigned against same war and how a part of the public and the media responded to that campaign and what it represented ("she's gaming the press"? - come on, you don't think she is single handedly controlling the media in the US...) is exactly the reason she got so much attention.

Which you think is BAD and immoral. It's just really cause and effect. Sure she could have become an activist even without the personal loss. As happens most of the time. Activists protests based on ideas. She protests based on ideas and personal experience. She's not skipping the political views part.

Why should that be any worse than only joining a campaing out of ideological support?


And what I really don't understand is this. Why not just hate her because she's expressing a view you don't share, or despise, or because you believe the war is entirely justified and she is insulting that great enterprise of freedom and democracy? I'd disagree but I'd understand that. It'd be perfectly logical.

What you're doing here instead is trying to say she's really not qualified to even speak, or she's too incoherent or hypocrite, just because she is using her son's death ... so what is she supposed to do? go back to "sit around knitting" (cos that's what American ladies do, knit or picket the White House) and leave the spotlight to some other anonymous person who never had any personal involvement in the Iraq war? that'd get a lot of headlines right? Ms Jane Doe from Anonville calls CNN with the sensational news she strongly disapproves of this war. Stop press!

She's not taking space from anyone anyway. Others protest in different ways. Politicians who are at the opposition don't seem to protest very much, though. Maybe if the antiwar left had a proper political representation in the US, you wouldn't need the Sheehans.
posted by funambulist at 10:39 AM on February 1, 2006


No, not all. I don't really believe here that it was an accident and she was intending to be on her best behavior. That is so clearly not her style. I think one has to engage in a willing suspension of disbelief to accept the fact that she was planning to sit there in her coat and listen.

Good thing they arrested her before she actually broke a law. Thanks, Precrime!
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:48 AM on February 1, 2006


In a system that $ = free speech this system is gamed from the start by unequal representation, there can be no effective means to counter perceived authoritarianism by being polite. Protesting laws that seem unfair is a legitimate form of expression.

By Dios' own logic (rule of law is sacrosanct) black people should not have broken segregation laws in demanded civil rights, women should not have demanded the right to vote. India should have remained British (America too). This is an authoritarian starting point that puts the concept of law above the consequences people suffer. IMO it is unfeeling, inflexible, cold, unrealistic, static and exactly counter to everything I hold dear. People are messy, concepts and ideals do not work as envisioned, there are times and places for everything, including breaking the law. The law is NOT sacrosanct, but a tool to help preserve some form of social structure, and when society changes, but the law does not there is conflict.


If we can keep redefining where and when speech is allowed to be spoken where is the line drawn? Could we have "free speech" if you can only say what you want in a warehouse on the outskirts of town between 4am and 4:15am? because by ordinance you are disallowed to speak about topic X in all other public spaces in town?
Would this event have happened before television?

I, personally think, it is over equivocating to justify forcible removal and arrests of people who are not acting disruptively by saying it is NOT free speech.
posted by edgeways at 10:48 AM on February 1, 2006


dios, I realize I'm on your list of people you aren't smart enough to argue with, but please put aside your self-fasioned "libertarian authoritarian" rules for a moment.

What did you make of the Clay family (whose son died in Iraq last month)? Are that mother, father, and sister an "opportunistic bitch," "opportunisitc bitch," and another "opportunistic bitch" for using their son's death to make a point about the sacrifices being made by American families? Is Bush an "opportunistic bitch" for wanting using their loss to make a point about the need for long term resolve re: Iraq?
posted by bardic at 10:48 AM on February 1, 2006


So let me get this straight:

Fred Phelps has the freedom and right to protest a soldier's funeral, loudly proclaiming his hate-on and desire for death of all homosexuals...

...while Cindy Sheehan does not have the freedom and right to quietly wear a t-shirt?

What a fucked-up system.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:48 AM on February 1, 2006


This woman was asked to leave for wearing a shirt with a political slogan, as well. I seem to remember a flap about a guy wearing an anti-Clinton shirt being ejected from the SOTU back in the 90's--anyone have any detail on that?

Page 2 of this opinion is interesting, as well, particularly this part:

Congress decreed: “It shall be unlawful for any person or group of persons willfully and knowingly -- . . . to parade, demonstrate, or picket within any of the Capitol Buildings.” 40 U.S.C. § 193f(b)(7). The United States Capitol Police are responsible for enforcing this ban. 40 U.S.C. § 212a. Believing that the Capitol Police needed guidance in determining what behavior constitutes a “demonstration,” the United States Capitol Police Board issued a regulation that interprets “demonstration activity” to include:

parading, picketing, speechmaking, holding vigils, sit-ins, or other expressive conduct that convey[s] a message supporting or opposing a point of view or has the intent, effect or propensity to attract a crowd of onlookers, but does not include merely wearing Tee shirts, buttons or
other similar articles of apparel that convey a message.

(emphasis mine)
posted by EarBucket at 10:50 AM on February 1, 2006


I'd be more than happy to change it to whatever term fits it more accurately

Dittohead?
posted by alumshubby at 10:50 AM on February 1, 2006


You have to have money to participate in the marketplace of ideas, the more you have the more ideas and bigger ideas you can create and implement.
posted by edgeways at 10:51 AM on February 1, 2006


I wonder how dios feels about jury nullification.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:51 AM on February 1, 2006


Thank you, dios. I submit to you, sir, your characterizations of Cindy Sheehan as misguided and opportunitistic can be applied to Bush, and when you consider the misery, death, and financial repurcussions of the agenda Bush continues to push with September 11, his actions become far more reprehensible. Further, Cindy Sheehan seeks to end the war (in which her son lost his life) so no more lives are lost. Period.

Bush seeks to continue his war (ostensibly to destroy the networks of terrorism that brought about September 11 and hopefully save lives) but, as we've debated endlessly here, whether invading Iraq was a necessary component of that war is questionable at best; yet Bush continues to use September 11 to promote his agenda in spite of the overwhelming evidence he is wrong. Cindy Sheehan is right.

Thanks again for the reply.
posted by fandango_matt at 10:51 AM on February 1, 2006


(I'm trying to speak your language, since you think the phrase "Opportunistic Bitch" doesn't carry any baggage or anything. Just a couple of words, right?)
posted by bardic at 10:53 AM on February 1, 2006


I agree with dios that Sheehan is opportunistic for using her personal tragedy to promote her own political agenda. A few other opportunists come to mind, also:

Coretta Scott King
Elie Wiesel
James Brady
John Walsh
The Apostles
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:55 AM on February 1, 2006


EarBucket: thanks for posting that! very interesting.

You forgot the link for that opinion: here, in pdf -- here, in html (I just googled a phrase).
posted by funambulist at 11:00 AM on February 1, 2006


Dios is an opportunistic bitch.

He said it, therefore I can call him that.

Or is this post going to get deleted, too?

If it does you have to delete the dios post.

He's an opportunistic, whiny little bitch.
posted by nyxxxx at 11:02 AM on February 1, 2006


Hey guys--just wanted to chime in after 400 comments I haven't read and say that women and blacks really messed this country up when they got the right to vote. Why can't you Michael Moore loving KOS readers get over yourselves?

Gotta run--real busy today, and I'm having lunch at Olive Garden.

PS is you disagree with anything I say I'll ignore you because you don't respect my libertarian authority. kthxbye!
posted by bardic at 11:02 AM on February 1, 2006


It's Raining: You forgot Jesus.
posted by bardic at 11:04 AM on February 1, 2006


No - The Apostles cover Jesus. And yes - I know I Godwined the thread with Wiesel, but after 400 comments, who really cares? It fits the subject.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:07 AM on February 1, 2006


A lot of time, I think Dios gets shouted down for no good reason here, but for the love of [insert deity here] man...

Do you really think that when Cindy got that call from the DoD that she sat back and thought, 'Wow, this is great for me!'

I've only got one kid, and if she died because of a terrible, self-serving decision made by my government, I would become a literal fucking typhoon of media whoring if that's what it took to get the story out.

Christ, do you even have kids Dios? Do you have any fucking concept of what she is going through?
posted by WinnipegDragon at 11:09 AM on February 1, 2006


with the grieving mother shtick

you should have kept calling her a "bitch", dios. the "grieving mother shtick" is even worse, worse than the time you told amberglow to stop sucking y2karl's cock (and you got rightly banned for it, let us remember that)

see, I sincerely hope your mother is still alive, and I sincerely hope she'll never have to bury you (of course, you won't die in combat like Sheehan's kid did, your mother didn't certainly give birth to a brave man, so there's no risk there). but I really hope that, in the horrible circumstance that she has to bury you, I really hope nobody spits on her tears the way you're doing on Sheehan's.

you keep attacking those horrible liberals who are blinded by partisanship. instead, to show us what a great man you are, you disrespect a mother's grief. I'm convinced you're just a cheap troll who writes shit like that just to create a shitstorm. because, really, what kind of a man calls a grieving mother's tears a "shtick"

but, in the very unlikely case that you're not trolling and you really think that: shame on fucking you, dios. shame on fucking you. think of your own mother burying a dead son, before you go to sleep tonight.

and tomorrow, please tell us about your dreams.
posted by matteo at 11:11 AM on February 1, 2006


Why do MeFites allow Dios to derail a thread. Instead of arguing about the constitutionality of arresting somebody for peacefully wearing a T-shirt, instead it becomes a Dios hate-fest which he enjoys. The discussion is now about the semantics of using the word "bitch" and whether or not Cindy Sheehan is opportunistic. Don't take the bait and sink to his level of playing games in threads to shift the conversation over to Republican talking points.
posted by Mijo Bijo at 11:11 AM on February 1, 2006


What if Sheehan, sitting in her seat, had been disagreeing with the president in ASL?

What if she quietly leaned over to her friend, and whispered "Bullshit."

What if she was simply thinking, "bullshit", but her involuntary eye muscle twitches betrayed what she was thinking and "disrupted" the person next to her?

What if she had the number magic-markered on her hand? Inscribed on a golden pendant? On the tag of her authorized blouse, but you know how those tags tend to pop out?

What if she had done any of those things BEFORE the president actually started speaking?

Now, what is the bloody difference between such silent acts and wearing a T-shirt? That someone can read it? What if someone overhears her quietly whispering something that makes them uncomfortable, she can be thrown out?

If, after investigation, the law says this is legal, the law is in error. Let Bush try to insulate himself. See how well that has worked for "leaders" in the past.

(I'm trying to speak your language, since you think the phrase "Opportunistic Bitch" doesn't carry any baggage or anything. Just a couple of words, right?)

To some people, words (e.g. "bitch", "freedom", "war", "inherent rights") don't have any resonance, they don't mean anything except as tools to some end. You might as well be playing scrabble with them.
posted by sonofsamiam at 11:12 AM on February 1, 2006


Mijo - I know, I know, but he just infuriates me with his rhetoric on the Sheehan issue. I don't post much, but I just can't let him go on this one.

It's a classic lawyer trick. Attack the victim to reduce any compassion that the judge/jury may develop for him or her. Don't let him get away with it.

Next thing you know, he'll be telling us how Dick Cheney is from Endor, and that does NOT MAKE SENSE!
posted by WinnipegDragon at 11:16 AM on February 1, 2006


I think an interesting psychological question would be wonder whether her views drove her son to want to sign up for the military.

posted by dios at 8:52 AM PST on February 1


There are plenty of young people, post 9-11, who - perhaps simplistically - joined the military thinking that they were vowing to protect the USA and their parents supported them. Many did not believe they were signing up to invade countries which had not attacked or threatened us, in actions that have nothing to do with protecting the USA. The fact that Sheehan's son signed on to be a defender, and died being an invader, is something both she and her son, had he lived, would certainly be justified in finding fault with.
posted by onegreeneye at 11:19 AM on February 1, 2006


No, Cheney's from Tatooine! Cheney the Hutt.
posted by fandango_matt at 11:21 AM on February 1, 2006


And I wouldn't have a problem with the person smoking crack and nailing a 5 year old in public

*rummages around in old #mefi logs*

<dios> You know the best thing about fucking a 7 year old girl in the shower?
<dios> When her hair is wet she looks like a 5 year old boy!


moral: dios is trolling you people. always has been. that you continue to take him seriously is perhaps one of the more amusing aspects of metafilter.
posted by quonsar at 11:24 AM on February 1, 2006


Quonsar: Marry me. It's legal up here in Canada.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 11:27 AM on February 1, 2006


Personally, I don't feel the question of Sheehan's credibility is really a derail in this particular thread. Sure, it's an infuriating tactic, and has nothing to do with whether her rights were violated (a very tricky question, actually, requiring a great deal more evidence than any of us have at hand to honestly decide), but it is certainly within the broad reactions relevant to a one link newsfilter post to CNN stating that Sheehan had been arrested. "The constitutionality of arresting somebody for peacefully wearing a T-shirt," was not the explicit subject of this post.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:31 AM on February 1, 2006


Karl Rove is Sith, through and through.

And props to Mijo Bijo--that's a good point, but as someone upthread mentioned, this was a pretty good discussion of first amendment rights (with some stupid remarks, of course) until le dieu showed up a day late and a few thousand brain cells short. If he was a simple HTuttle one-liner troll, ignoring would be easy. But le dieu has enough linguistic acuity to willfully misrepresent what people say, along with his favorite tactic--inventing strawmen by the dozen ("Why do you defend Sheehan's right to throw zebra turds all around the House of Representatives during the SOTU while lobbing fragmentary grenades at the podium?").

And since le dieu put his junior psychologist hat on, I'll do the same--I'm sure he tells his friends how good he is at riling up them libruls like me while on the internets. And I feed that, and that's stupid. But as I said upthread, Cindy herself pulled off one of the greatest trolls of all time last night, God bless her.
posted by bardic at 11:33 AM on February 1, 2006


Some other opportunistic bitches and attention whores.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:42 AM on February 1, 2006


Hehe...best Dios impersenation, ever.

posted by a_day_late at 11:59 AM on February 1, 2006


Well, at least we see the results of the right's tendency to attack their opposition with all guns blazing. The sort of dirty tricks they use on everybody just look so despicable when applied to the mother of a dead soldier.

Look, we all recognize that Sheehan isn't the best anti-war protester ever. She's shrill sometimes, her politics are muddled, and, well, frankly, not especially politic, she can seem opportunistic, and her protests are sometimes ill-timed and poorly considered.

It's because she's a citizen, not a professional politician, and she's making her points as best as she can, because she honestly believes them, and is honestly grieving her dead son, and is honestly enraged by the unjust war that killed him and by our smug, hypocritical, uncaring President.

Sheehan is what it looks like when common citizens attempt to forcefully participate in a democracy, and all the smear tactics in the world are just going to make the smearers look like bullies, which they are.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:04 PM on February 1, 2006


Ack. Thanks, funambulist.
posted by EarBucket at 12:05 PM on February 1, 2006


I think an interesting psychological question would be wonder whether her views drove her son to want to sign up for the military.

posted by dios at 8:52 AM PST on February 1


Yeah, Sheehan totally got her son killed for being so anti-war.

Dios, you are a pig of a human being.
posted by Space Coyote at 12:09 PM on February 1, 2006


Using a terrorist attack to justify invading another country sounds like something a whiny, opportunistic bitch would do.
posted by iamck at 12:11 PM on February 1, 2006


Huh. I was wondering how this thread got another 150 comments.
posted by furiousthought at 12:23 PM on February 1, 2006


400+ comments, and there are still two questions that are really nagging me here:

1) Why was wearing this shirt against the law?

2) Why did CNN report on a banner being unfurled? Do they just make shit up and report it as fact?

**sweeps up floor, turns off lights**
posted by Otis at 12:46 PM on February 1, 2006


that you continue to take him seriously is perhaps one of the more amusing aspects of metafilter.

I don't think many people here take what Dios the Opportunistic Bitch says very seriously, when he can't answer a very reasonable question. Now if you'll excuse me, I have an Elks Club luncheon to attend.
posted by Rothko at 12:47 PM on February 1, 2006


moral: dios is trolling you people. always has been. that you continue to take him seriously is perhaps one of the more amusing aspects of metafilter.

dios trolling = duh.

quonsar's amusement at dios' trolling = huh?

here's something amusing: i hereby challenge dios to a fistfight at a time and place of his choosing. i have a go-anywhere flight credit after this year's holiday travel.

so when's it going to be, dios? I DEMAND SATISFACTION.
posted by Hat Maui at 1:16 PM on February 1, 2006


If violence was a reasonable solution to political differences, Cindy Sheehan would be wrong.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:22 PM on February 1, 2006


quonsar's amusement at dios' trolling = huh?

quonsar's amusement is "that you continue to take him seriously", but hey, that's just a minor comprehension nit, i'm probably a dick for pointing it out. by all means, continue to see what you think, not what you read.
posted by quonsar at 1:36 PM on February 1, 2006


1) Why was wearing this shirt against the law?

The shirt listed the number of soldiers killed. This number is illegal, in any representation (2,242 protestors in 2,242 hats, etc.). Luckily for Sheehan, the number 2242 will cease to illegal when the causalties increase, and the number 2,243 will then be illegal, and the charges will be dropped.
posted by iamck at 1:36 PM on February 1, 2006


1) Why was wearing this shirt against the law?

because cindy sheehan needed to learn something quite a few black males (and some others) already know about this country: you have the rights the nearest law enforcement official is willing to grant you, not the rights enumerated on a piece of paper somewhere.
posted by lord_wolf at 1:44 PM on February 1, 2006


My 2 cents - I don’t think more extreme personal attacks on dios are warrented. (Not to exuse the ‘bitch’ business or the derail)
Mijo Bijo’s got a point.

Looks to me like he’s honestly defending a point. I think he might have argued that folks marching during the civil rights movement might not have deserved being arrested, but it was a realistic expectation given the law at the time.

I’d make that analogy here. Sheehan is such a polarizing entity that she gets arrested if she crosses her eyes.

I don’t have dios’ love/respect of law, so that infuriates me. Given what’s right and what’s legal, I’ll take what’s right and I’ll fight the cops doing it.

Violence is indeed not a reasonable solution, but that “no justice, no peace” thing goes back past Hobbes.

(the fistfight challenge goes back to my initial comment about High School)

“What if Sheehan, sitting in her seat, had been disagreeing with the president in ASL?”

What if Sheehan had been sitting in her seat weeping?
That’ve been far more powerful and far less confrontational (’scuse me “confrontational” if you will be so kind as to take the meaning there) than wearing a t-shirt.

I’m far too cynical to think she did not have a good idea she would be arrested (for doing nothing wrong).
But y’know, that doesn’t mean they have to arrest her.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:53 PM on February 1, 2006


Quit hating on the bomb dog. He didn't say anything but "All clear."
posted by swerve at 1:57 PM on February 1, 2006


"We Screwed Up" -- Police say Sheehan Didn't Break the Law at Bush Speech
"...Capitol Police will ask the U.S. attorney's office to drop the charges [against Sheehan]. 'We screwed up,' a top Capitol Police official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

He said Sheehan didn't violate any rules or laws."
posted by ericb at 2:08 PM on February 1, 2006


This is my surprised face.
posted by bshort at 2:10 PM on February 1, 2006


y6y6y6 -- Cindy Sheehan was arrested in the gallery of the State Of The Union address last night. She was charged with demonstrating, which is a misdemeanor crime.

Wrong.
posted by ericb at 2:17 PM on February 1, 2006


Also --
"Beverly Young, wife of Rep. C.W. Bill Young of Florida — chairman of the House Defense Appropriations subcommittee — was removed from the gallery because she was wearing a T-shirt that read, 'Support the Troops — Defending Our Freedom.'

The Capitol Police official said officers never should have approached Young."
posted by ericb at 2:19 PM on February 1, 2006


My tinfoil instincts suspect that the powers that be want to kill this story ASAP. No arrest, no trial, no possibility of grandstanding in court.

That said, many of you owe her an apology--she didn't break a law, and she didn't even break a rule, i.e., accepted decor for the occasion.
posted by bardic at 2:21 PM on February 1, 2006


dios -- Again, I thought I made this clear, but people should be arrested if they don't follow the rules. Freedom of speech doesn't guarentee you the right to protest in the State of the Union.

And, wrong.
posted by ericb at 2:25 PM on February 1, 2006


"Wrong."

Heh. I am delighted to be incorrect on this point.

But to set the record straight - She was arrested because she had a number on her clothing.

"He hates these numbers! Get away from the numbers! Ahh!!! There's numbers in there too!"
posted by y6y6y6 at 2:33 PM on February 1, 2006


That Capitol Police officer who arrested Cindy was just an attention whore.
posted by effwerd at 2:33 PM on February 1, 2006


That Capitol Police officer who arrested Cindy was just an attention whore.

no, he was an opportunistic bitch.

kidding aside, i salute the law enforcement officials for admitting their error.

i will cut off and eat one of my dreds if all the people who impugned sheehan, accusing her of willfully breaking the law, apologize or retract their accusations.
posted by lord_wolf at 2:36 PM on February 1, 2006


from ericb's link:
"Charges against antiwar protester Cindy Sheehan, who was arrested after a scuffle over a T-shirt she wore to the State of the Union address, will be dropped, officials told NBC News Wednesday."
who "scuffled"? at best, it could be reported as a "dispute". to call it a "scuffle" is blatant mischaracterization. fucking news media just sucks right out loud.
posted by quonsar at 2:36 PM on February 1, 2006



But to set the record straight - She was arrested because she had a number on her clothing.

"He hates these numbers! Get away from the numbers! Ahh!!! There's numbers in there too!"


There are already many numbers in America which it is a felony to distribute or wear on a shirt.
posted by sonofsamiam at 2:38 PM on February 1, 2006


Why do numbers hate America?
posted by bardic at 2:41 PM on February 1, 2006


who "scuffled"? at best, it could be reported as a "dispute". to call it a "scuffle" is blatant mischaracterization. fucking news media just sucks right out loud.

Traitor. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a four-martini brunch to attend.
posted by Rothko at 2:42 PM on February 1, 2006


just hurry back, bitch. i must have your besotted face for target practice.
posted by quonsar at 2:44 PM on February 1, 2006


Can I wake up now? Please? I hate this nightmare.
posted by weirdoactor at 2:45 PM on February 1, 2006


Joan and Melissa Rivers have gone too far this time.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:47 PM on February 1, 2006


She was arrested for having a freakin' number on her shirt?

Keeeerist, your country continues to reach new lows on a daily basis.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:52 PM on February 1, 2006


We're very strict here, fff: No prime numbers after Labor Day.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:55 PM on February 1, 2006


that you continue to take him seriously is perhaps one of the more amusing aspects of metafilter

It's hardly dios being taken seriously, but dios nakedly embarrasing himself repeatedly that is perhaps one of the more amusing, and baffling, aspects of metafilter.
posted by juiceCake at 3:36 PM on February 1, 2006


but juiceCake, he's not embarrassing himself at all, because he's trolling us to provoke a reaction which amuses quonsar, quonsar's amusement being the sine qua non metafilter experience.

see? it's actually cool what he's doing, and funny, too. all we have to do is lighten up and not take him so seriously! why, it's not the end of the world if someone is a douchebag in EVERY SINGLE THREAD for his own/quonsar's/#mefi's edification. it's high-larity! WHOOT!
posted by Hat Maui at 3:46 PM on February 1, 2006


The Capitol Police official said officers never should have approached Young.

Shouldn't they also have never approached Sheehan, then? It seems like there's still a difference in how Sheehan and Young were treated.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:07 PM on February 1, 2006


When I read this, I thought, "hey, that's cool, but why the heck did it have to be Cindy Sheehan?" The times are screaming for a MLK Jr. or a Gandhi to rise to the occasion and this is the best we've got. Sigh. I wonder if we're just not lucky enough for such a star to be born into our generation, or if conditions (Apathy? Shallow media? A decentralized peace movement? Distrust in "celebrity"? Distrust in leadership?) have suppressed such a woman or man's rise.

Intentionally breaking an unjust law and gracefully accepting the punishment is the defining factor of historic civil disobedience. The other idea is to flood the prisons with bodies until they are overwhelmed (Of course, the USA has the most expansive penal system in history.) The current movement doesn't have the bodies and it doesn't have the poetics.

If I had to pick a t-shirt litmus test, though, I'd pick the "Support Our Civil Liberties" incident. That's a very clear sign of how Bush and friends view our Constitutional rights.

JB71: I'm not sure what your point is, but it's probably something trolly. Nevertheless, I think a lot of us are worried that the bullet to the head is within our lifetimes. Certainly the administrations' callous disregard for the dignity of (often wrongly accused) prisoners and their infatuation with warrantless domestic spying (often of obviously benign groups) are indications of a philosophical disregard for American values and individual human life.
posted by Skwirl at 4:09 PM on February 1, 2006


Soo, who ordered the police officers to act like they did? Or were they lone gunmen?

Let the conspiracy theories begin! Here's mine:

Opportunist Page 3 girl Sheehan bribes first officer to arrest her for publicity. Capitol Police realise faux pas too late and bribe Republican wife to show up with Republican t-shirt so they can boot her out too and prove they were fair and balanced. They then apologise and drop charges. Phew. Democracy is safe. But it was so close...

But seriously, what about the media that said she resisted the arrest and the rules she broke and all that? Poor little naive puppies, victims of the little lies of authorities? Or a little too eager to please them?

If tomorrow a cop were to shoot a man dead in an airport and then claim it was because he shouted he had a bomb, the media would print it just like that, without even questioning it.

Ooops.
posted by funambulist at 4:29 PM on February 1, 2006


Police Apologize, Drop Charge Vs. Sheehan.
posted by languagehat at 4:38 PM on February 1, 2006


Where are all the right wingers so full of self righteous fury last night but all gone now? I expected to try to return to this thread and have it take four minutes to load from all the traffic of them posting retractions and apologies.
posted by jperkins at 4:43 PM on February 1, 2006


From language's link:' "Young's shirt had just the opposite message: "Support the Troops — Defending Our Freedom."'

In what bizarro world is that the opposite message?
posted by jperkins at 4:45 PM on February 1, 2006


**turns lights back on**

Sorry. Try not to make a mess.
posted by Otis at 4:45 PM on February 1, 2006


Does this now enter the realm of unlawful arrest as well as a civil rights violation?
posted by Mijo Bijo at 4:51 PM on February 1, 2006


From language's link:' "Young's shirt had just the opposite message: "Support the Troops — Defending Our Freedom."'

In what bizarro world is that the opposite message?


"2345 - How Many More?" = "Support Terrorists - Destroying Our Freedom"
posted by Mijo Bijo at 4:54 PM on February 1, 2006


dios, two serious and respectful questions I hope you answer, but have no idea how you would:

If a person protests a war, and then their son is killed by that war, they can no longer protest the war? Having a stake in an argument means you can no longer argue in it?
posted by squirrel at 5:00 PM on February 1, 2006


Rules dealing mainly with what people can bring and telling them to refrain from reading, writing, smoking, eating, drinking, applauding or taking photographs are outlined on the back of gallery passes given to tourists every day.

However, State of the Union guests don't receive any guidelines, Hanley said.


Just quoting because I know this came up earlier.
posted by Remy at 5:10 PM on February 1, 2006


Bush's War on T-shirts
* In August 2004, John Prather, a mild-mannered math professor at Ohio University, was removed by security from a presidential event on public property because he wore a shirt that featured John Kerry.

* On July 4, 2004, Nicole and Jeff Rank were arrested at a Bush event in West Virginia for wearing T-shirts that criticized the president. (About the same time the Ranks were being taken away in handcuffs, Bush was reminding the audience, "On this 4th of July, we confirm our love of freedom, the freedom for people to speak their minds." The irony was rich.)

* In August 2004, campaign workers removed a family from a presidential event in Michigan because Barbara Miller, a 50-year-old chemist, carried in a rolled-up T-shirt emblazoned with a pro-choice slogan. (She wasn't even wearing it.) Miller later said, "I just wanted to see my president," and brought the extra shirt in case she got cold.

* In July 2004, Jayson Nelson, a county supervisor in Appleton, Wis., was thrown out of a presidential event because of a Kerry T-shirt. An event staffer saw the shirt, snatched the VIP ticket, and called for police. "Look at his shirt! Look at his shirt!" Nelson recalled the woman telling the Ashwaubenon Public Safety officer who answered the call. Nelson said the officer told him, "You gotta go," and sternly directed him to a Secret Service contingent that spent seven or eight minutes checking him over before ejecting him from the property.

* In October 2004, three Oregon schoolteachers were removed from a Bush event and threatened with arrest for wearing t-shirts that said, "Protect Our Civil Liberties."

In each instance, the "accused" had tickets to see the president. Moreover, none were disturbing the peace, disrupting an event, or causing a ruckus. Their crime was their shirt.

In this sense, Sheehan's arrest was predictable. The "war on T-shirts" has merely claimed its latest victims.
posted by ericb at 5:14 PM on February 1, 2006


nice links, ericb!

it's good to know that once bush has successfully wiped out all the terrorists, he'll be able to devote himself full-time to the "loom"ing threat of cotton shirts.
posted by Hat Maui at 5:29 PM on February 1, 2006


"We Screwed Up" -- Police say Sheehan Didn't Break the Law at Bush Speech
I suspect, come the next State of the Union, the authorities might accidentally forget again, only to issue another apology after the damage has been done. What might be nice for next time would be for another Dem to invite Mrs Sheehan, and for her to serve an injunction up front reminding them of the law, and forbidding them from coming within 20" feet of her unless she physically causes a disturbance by whipping off a tattoo saying "Bush Lied. My Son Died" or somesuch :)
posted by kaemaril at 5:29 PM on February 1, 2006


and yeah, i know not all t-shirts are cotton, but come on -- most of them are! if we didn't waste our time with random searches but instead profiled those most likely to attack, we'd be safer.
posted by Hat Maui at 5:33 PM on February 1, 2006


Every time I read a story like this I wonder what those guys in Washington think their cute l'il American Flag lapel pins stand for?

If this was the feel good movie of the year there would be a nice closing shot of the House during the 2007 SOTU and it would be jammed with visitors ALL wearing T-Shirts with the current number of Iraqi war dead.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:37 PM on February 1, 2006


First they came for the t-shirts.
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:38 PM on February 1, 2006


I look forward to Dios posting to this thread again to state that he was unequivocally wrong about Cindy Sheehan breaking the law/rules/ordinance or whatever the hell he thought the "opportunistic bitch" had actually done that deserved arrest.
posted by kaemaril at 5:49 PM on February 1, 2006


Secret Life of Gravy : Actually, what I'd like to see is a session of the House with every Democrat wearing a replica of the shirt Cindy Sheehan wore.
posted by kaemaril at 5:51 PM on February 1, 2006


She wasn't really arrested, it was just an example.
posted by Smedleyman at 5:52 PM on February 1, 2006


She was wrongfully arrested - can she sue?

I mean that is effectively depriving her of her rights. It seems like the same tactic used against protesters. Clear the streets, hold 'em for 24 hours or whatever until the point has passed, then let them go.

It's a misuse of police powers of arrest. Might be some legal wiggle room there, but it's wrong either way.
posted by Smedleyman at 5:56 PM on February 1, 2006



Crying, squealing, and running out and then back into your husband's Congressional hearing and wearing couch covers = This is Okay? This is good dress code? This is Washington decorum?

This was a move promoted as a PR move by the Swiftboat PR company: "The always-alert Creative Response Concepts, a conservative public relations firm, sent this bulletin: "Former Alito clerk Gary Rubman witnessed Mrs. Alito leaving her husband's confirmation in tears and is available for interviews, along with other former Alito clerks who know her personally and are very upset about this development."

In case that was too much trouble for the journalists, the firm also e-mailed out a statement from the Judicial Confirmation Network calling "for the abuse to stop."

Obviously Mrs. Alito couldn't follow decorum or a dress code. And Mrs. Alito's husband is alive.

In her first speech on the floor of Congress, Jean Schmidt (R) was screeching, screaming, and smearing a long-standing member of Congress and former decorated Marine (Murtha) a by calling him a coward while wearing a gymnastic sweatshirt = This is Okay? This is good dress code? This is Washington decorum?

Jean Schmidt, just said that (her opponent, Hackett) being an American vet from the Iraq war is the wrong kind of experience for a member of Congress. Jean Schmidt, the Republican candidate in the August 2nd Special Election, is funding her campaign in a manner that shows her place in the corrupt Republican Party. She's funding her campaign with PACs and dirty money from Tom DeLay. Jean Schmidt was also busted for hiding gifts from fat-cat lobbyists.

Obviously Mrs. Schmidt couldn't follow decorum or a dress code. And Mrs. Schmidt's husband and children are alive.



A Gold Star mother quietly wearing a black shirt with the number of young Americans that gave their lives for a war based on lies at the SOTU address was manhandled and ARRESTED = Crime? Non-Washingtonian dress code? Lack of Washingtonian decorum?

Like hell.

posted by Dunvegan at 6:35 PM on February 1, 2006


Smedleyman : Probably. Until Alito gets involved. He really doesn't like people having recourse to the courts.
posted by kaemaril at 6:36 PM on February 1, 2006


Cohen v. California


The ability of government, consonant with the Constitution, to shut off discourse solely to protect others from hearing it is, in other words, dependent upon a showing that substantial privacy interests are being invaded in an essentially intolerable manner. Any broader view of this authority would effectively empower a majority to silence dissidents simply as a matter of personal predilections.
posted by Megafly at 6:40 PM on February 1, 2006


NEW AS OF TODAY: Police apologize and drop any charges.
posted by mojabunni at 7:34 PM on February 1, 2006


Stark thinks the Capitol Police are the President's Gestapo? I'm sure they'll be glad to know that as they guard his office.
posted by JekPorkins at 1:42 AM EST on February 1 [!]


Oh please, I'm a British-born Canadian citizen, and even I know that the Secret Service, and NOT the Capitol Police guard the American (p)Resident's office.

And if she - or anyone else - wants to protest an illegal war started by the stupidest president ever, at any time or place, more power to her. It's not like she was screaming or blowing a whistle; she was wearing a t-shirt with a truthful fact on it.

Still, not every one likes to hear the truth, and certainly not Shrub and his buddies, or apparently lots of people here. It's very simple actually: Your president (and his friends) lied (and continues to lie) and as a direct result of his lies, thousands of people have died, and not just American soldiers, although for many, those are the only dead who count in this 'war'.
posted by TrinityB5 at 7:40 PM on February 1, 2006


In October 2004, three Oregon schoolteachers were removed from a Bush event and threatened with arrest for wearing t-shirts that said, "Protect Our Civil Liberties."

My mind boggles.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:55 PM on February 1, 2006


TrinityB5: Oh please, I'm a British-born Canadian citizen, and even I know that the Secret Service, and NOT the Capitol Police guard the American (p)Resident's office.

Congressman Pete Stark is the Democrat Congressman from the 13th District of California. He is not the (p)Resident of the United States. Among other things, the Capitol Police guard the House Office Buildings -- which is where Stark's office is. The Capitol Police are the incompetent boobs who arrested Sheehan in a ham-fisted display of keystone cops buffoonery and constitutional indifference. Apparently, Congressman Stark thinks that the Capitol Police are the "President's Gestapo."
posted by JekPorkins at 8:25 PM on February 1, 2006


490 comments. Do I win a prize or something for my first MeFi post?
posted by frogan at 10:57 PM on February 1, 2006


Wow, this thread has been.......amazing. I have so many responses to so many of Dios' comments that I can't begin to focus. My jaw has literally dropped reading some of his comments.

However, I do appreciate that he bothers, whacked though he seems to be. Dios = Anne Coulter?
posted by codeofconduct at 10:58 PM on February 1, 2006


~chuckle~

Incredible the sheer terror that a single grieving mother generates in the 101st Fighting Keyboarders.

Yeah, it's all about "dress codes", we're told. It's quite all right for Ze General Staff of Ze Amerikan Armed Forcez to wear their carefully polished little uniforms with their children's trinkety-medals all aglitter into the idiot's speech, but let a grieving mother dare to wear a T-shirt with the current death toll in that same chamber, and fucking hysteria results

I love my country, but many of my "countrymen" don't have clue one as to what America is really all about....witness "dios'" hysteria above.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 12:30 AM on February 2, 2006


i salute the law enforcement officials for admitting their error.

Heh. They only admitted any error because Kärl Rove realized what a PR nightmare the White House has on their hands with this fiasco and decided to try to cut their losses. The order went out: "Apologize and play it down."
posted by wsg at 2:15 AM on February 2, 2006


I too would be interested to see what dios has to say now.
posted by languagehat at 5:03 AM on February 2, 2006


1) Why was wearing this shirt against the law?

2) Why did CNN report on a banner being unfurled? Do they just make shit up and report it as fact?

posted by Otis at 3:46 PM EST on February 1


O.K. I have an answer to question number 1 now. Guess "some ordinance" was not being violated after all.

But I still would like to hear an explanation for this:

Image hosting by Photobucket
posted by Otis at 6:24 AM on February 2, 2006


I too would be interested to see what dios has to say now.

Don't hold your breath. Trolls always leave before the curtain call.
posted by Rothko at 6:39 AM on February 2, 2006


Next time I need a lawyer, remind me not to hire Dios.

Damn fool would have me pleading guilty, even when there isn't a law against what I did.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 6:47 AM on February 2, 2006


Rothko, you're being unfair. He said he was busy! he has other things to do. Can't you cut a busy man some slack?

Everybody else instead, me included, is just sitting around bored with life, drinking martinis and talking about the weather, until the next occasion to unfurl all their anti-american hating.

Anyhow, dios or no dios, I just wonder how widespread those ideas are and how the initial media reports will have stuck more than the apology. (Man this is starting to sound familiar).
posted by funambulist at 6:47 AM on February 2, 2006


initial media reports will have stuck more than the apology.

she had a big bulky coat and there wires trailing out of it!

she was running down the aisle screaming that she had a bomb!

they asked her to prove that she wasn't concealing evidence of having weapons of mass destruction program related activities!

etc....
posted by lord_wolf at 7:37 AM on February 2, 2006


Rothko, you're being unfair. He said he was busy! he has other things to do. Can't you cut a busy man some slack?

Apologist! ;) Anyway, I have an appointment at McDonalds to attend.
posted by Rothko at 8:10 AM on February 2, 2006


Secret Life of Gravy : Actually, what I'd like to see is a session of the House with every Democrat wearing a replica of the shirt Cindy Sheehan wore.
posted by kaemaril at 8:51 PM EST on February 1

While I would be overjoyed to see this as well, I think it is the Impossible Dream, because to take such a concerted action would require balls (metaphorical balls, of course, since many Democrats are women.) American politicians-- especially Democrats-- have become craven little titmice.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:49 AM on February 2, 2006


You guys are being mean to le dieu--Olive Garden has a 5.99 all-you-can-eat salad bar this week.
posted by bardic at 9:09 AM on February 2, 2006


I thought dios was a big enough person to at least respond to this. Could be he’s very busy. Could be he’s sick of taking shit.

But it doesn’t mean he has to reverse his opinion on anything else, just recognize that the initial (and obviously ambiguous) data and premise of the arrest were wrong.

That doesn’t change anything about Sheehan being an ‘opportunistic bitch’ as far as I can tell (although I vehemently disagree with that position).

I would concede that she has become iconic and could be considered provocative by her very presence.
And the cops, the man, the fuzz, the heat, the man, etc., might see that as a reason to eject her.
I disagree with ejecting her, but some folks are automatons sometimes. Especially low paygrade cops.

I’d also point out the irony that dios has become somewhat iconic and is (by some) considered provocative by his very presence. That blade cuts both ways.

It cuts dios for not seeing himself in the Sheehan side of the dissent against the majority.
And it cuts some folks on mefi who automatically lambaste dios no matter what he says.
(Not to discount the things dios has said that are actually provocative, the ‘opportunistic bitch’ thing pisses me off too - but I do find irony in abusing dios for expressing his opinion on behalf of Sheehan who is expressing her opinion)

I’ll go one step further - whether Sheehan planned to get arrested (I think it’s possible, but I don’t really think so) or not or whatever the hell other details are involved - without acts like this by the authorities she would have been forgotten a long time ago.

In many ways, opposition is true friendship.

Count yourselves lucky you have a coherent opponent with reasonable - often cogent arguments in order to better explicate and define your own position.

(and again not to discount disruption and noise on dios’ part)

Otherwise we might not have 500+ comments here and a richness of perspectives to read.

Of course - that’s maybe. I could be wrong.

I mean I thought he’d respond by now, but y’know, everyone’s human.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:11 AM on February 2, 2006


Everybody else instead, me included, is just sitting around bored with life, drinking martinis and talking about the weather, until the next occasion to unfurl all their anti-american hating.

This actually does describe me.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:13 AM on February 2, 2006


Looks like the discussion of Cindy Sheehan and Beverly Young may be shifting to a newly-posted thread.
posted by ericb at 9:27 AM on February 2, 2006


U.S. Capitol Police Chief Gainer claimed that, "The policy and procedures were too vague," but they seem pretty clear to me (my emphasis):
A 1946 law prohibits demonstrations within any of the Capitol buildings. But a subsequent U.S. Capitol Police Board regulation clarified "demonstration activity" to include "parading, picketing, speechmaking, holding vigils, sit-ins, or other expressive conduct ... but does not include merely wearing Tee-shirts, buttons or other similar articles of apparel that convey a message."
If I'm reading this correctly, in May 2002 the U.S. DC Circuit Court of Appeals found the regulation to be unconsitutional
posted by kirkaracha at 9:32 AM on February 2, 2006


Looks like the discussion of Cindy Sheehan and Beverly Young may be shifting to a newly-posted thread.

That thread has now been deleted with a request that posting continue here.
posted by ericb at 9:50 AM on February 2, 2006


Good link, ericb, I'd been wondering whether Rep. Young felt the "shame" should be extended to the treatment of Sheehan. I know I shouldn't be, but I 'm still suprised at the hypocrisy of GOP sometimes.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 9:57 AM on February 2, 2006


i think dios' briefs are slipping
posted by pyramid termite at 10:10 AM on February 2, 2006


Didn't the guy who started America's Most Wanted do do in response to having his young son kidnapped and murdered?

What an opportunistic lout. I bet he just wanted his own teevee show.
posted by terrapin at 10:26 AM on February 2, 2006


Wow, did he scuttle away in a hurry...

Like I said before, in a lot of cases I think Dios gets shouted down unnecessarily, but if he is going to run and hide after being shown to be provably wrong in this instance I'll be dropping my opinion of the man.

Come back and own up man, we all make mistakes.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 11:12 AM on February 2, 2006


“U.S. Capitol Police Chief Gainer claimed that, "The policy and procedures were too vague,"”

I’d fire him.
You either know you job and instruct your officers in the proper execution of their duty or - you don’t.
If you do, no problem. If you don’t than you get it straight and reprimand the person(s) responsible for the mistake (which could include you if you’re the Cheif) or you start making excuses.
If you take the hit and correct the mistake, no problem.
If you’re making excuses for failure than you shouldn’t be in a position with that much responsibility.

If I’m his boss I’m looking at him and the actions of his men as a liability which could cost the organization a lot of respect and money.

Apologies are like confessions, you have to stop doing it to show contrition. Making excuses only means it could happen again.

“The procedures are vague” - yeah? So what’s the fucking solution then?

Oh, I guess we’ll just keep dicking around and fucking up until someone else takes responsibility and straightens it out because my dick is too limp to do shit about it.

I guess we’ll just keep mistakenly arresting people until the entire department runs out of money.

Unbelievable lack of professionalism.

That’s always been my problem with political influence over the chain of command. Some guy somewhere suggests something and because he’s percieved as having juice people will go ahead and do it even though it’s against procedure and it fucks over other people in the unit.
Meanwhile Joe Politics is off eating cheese out of his boss’s ass while everyone else is taking the hit for it.

If I was a Capital cop I’d be kicking someone in the ass if they were thinking of their own glorious future in politics instead of doing their job and endangering our department’s cash flow.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:07 PM on February 2, 2006


Gainer is no stranger to controversy--he got his job when the former Chief was busted for being part of an illegal sting in which DC cops would write down the license plate numbers of expensive cars parked outside of DC gay clubs in order to blackmail local lawyers and rainmakers.

I'm not trying to justify anything here, but the DCPD (and the DC gov't in general) is as bad as it can possibly get. This is small fries compared to their usual activity (anyone remember that yuppie gal who got handcuffed to a *fucking mailbox* a few years ago? Gotta admit, those were funny pictures.).
posted by bardic at 12:26 PM on February 2, 2006


Did someone say something about an opportunistic bitch with a protest sign?
posted by If I Had An Anus at 12:56 PM on February 2, 2006


Gosh. Dios is certainly conspicuous by his absence... over a day since last posting in this thread.

You'd think he'd want to correct his prior assertion, and acknowledge that Cindy Sheehan did not, in fact, break the rules, any ordinance, or law... :)
posted by kaemaril at 1:01 PM on February 2, 2006


Cindy Sheehan was arrested for wearing a number on her shirt. 2245

People, don't you understand? It was a factual number. And to this Presidency, facts are kryptonite. How did Sheehan dare bring a fact into Congress? Into such a fact-free zone as the State of the Union Adress? Shame on that attention whore!

I'm with dios and I really, really can't understand how the Capitol Police is flip-flopping now in this way. How can they say that she did nothing unlawful? Facts are wrong! Black is white! Ignorance is freedom!
posted by Skeptic at 1:23 PM on February 2, 2006


Actually, the number should now read 2250. And don't expect le dieu to come back--he's a coward who wishes this thread had never happened.
posted by bardic at 1:51 PM on February 2, 2006


The DCPD and the Capitol Police are not the same thing.
posted by JekPorkins at 3:52 PM on February 2, 2006


DCPD and the Capitol Police are not the same thing

Exactly. The U.S. Capitol Police is a federal force "[w]ith the sole mission of providing security for the United States Capitol Building...responsible for protecting Members of Congress, Officers of the United States Senate, United States House of Representatives, and their families."

The MPDC (Metropolitan Police Department) is a "local police agency....for the District of Columbia."
posted by ericb at 4:24 PM on February 2, 2006


Whew... ok, I have to do some work now, but I'll try to check back later if I can get this thing done.
posted by dios at 10:28 AM PST on February 1


Five days and you're still working? Take a break and come back to this thread, you crazy man.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 1:31 PM on February 6, 2006


Optimus Chyme :
Five days and you're still working? Take a break and come back to this thread, you crazy man

Actually, he's already back and posting on other threads. But there's no way he'll come back here and withdraw his allegations. Dios is a drive-by troll, he's never in it for the long haul.
posted by kaemaril at 12:44 PM on February 7, 2006


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