From a letter in yesterday’s Des Moines Register:

I am a registered Democrat voting for John Kerry, but I thought it would be educational for my daughters and me to go see President Bush speak at the Davenport riverfront Aug. 4.

I wanted them to see that the president was supposed to be working for all Americans. Even if I didn’t agree with his policies, I could still show my children how elections and politics work.

I waited in line, picked up my Bush tickets and waited in line to enter the park to hear the president. When I got up to the front of the line, I was grabbed by security, pushed to the side (in front of my children and Republican friends) and my ticket was ripped. They said, “We don’t like your pin, so get out of here.”

I was wearing a small pin that said, “John Kerry 2004.” The worst part is the security team did this in front of my children. I want my daughters to understand that in America we have the right to free speech. We have the First Amendment, but that was blatantly violated.

I wasn’t making a scene. I didn’t even say anything. My daughters don’t understand why this happened. They thought in America people could express themselves without repression.

– Glen Wooldridge,
Davenport.

☞ Yesterday we had the folks with the LOVE AMERICA, HATE BUSH t-shirts led away in handcuffs in West Virginia . . . and reference to the South Carolina man with the NO WAR FOR OIL sign prosecuted by the U.S. Justice Department for displaying his sign outside a free-speech zone (guided by the belief, he argued, that all America was a free speech zone).

The May 4 Telegraph Herald tells the story of Bill Ward, a World War II vet, who tried to get tickets to see Bush in Dubuque, IA. ‘He waited in line for an hour, and when it finally came time to show his identification, campaign staff asked him if he had voted for Bush in 2000. ‘I didn’t vote for him then and I won’t vote for him now,’ declared Ward.’ Out he went.

In last Friday’s Saginaw News there was the story of the Millers – ‘husband, wife and daughter’ – who were removed from a Bush-Cheney campaign event because the wife, Barbara, had brought a pro-choice t-shirt with her.

A campaign worker confiscated the t-shirt informing the family that ‘We don’t accept any pro-choice, non-Republican paraphernalia.’ The campaign worker returned an hour later with another worker and a security guard and accused the Millers of ‘smuggling t-shirts.’ Barbara Miller, who brought the t-shirt because she was cold and had not considered the implications of its pro-choice logo, reports that a guard grabbed their three tickets from her hand and ripped them up ‘violently and told her, ‘They’re no good anymore.” A Bush campaign spokeswoman, Jennifer Millerwise, defended the right of the campaign to ask individuals who intend to ‘disrupt campaign events’ to leave. ‘These events are put on … for people of an open mind who are interested in hearing [Bush’s] positive message and his vision for a future,’ she said. Theresa Miller, the daughter, said that was what she was there to do. ‘I’m not an American? I can’t see my president?’ she asked.

NOW YOU SEE HIM, NOW YOU DON’T

Denise Nicholson: ‘With this Electoral College Tracking Map, you can click to toggle between the ‘with Nader’ and ‘without Nader’ views.’

☞ The map makes it abundantly clear why Nader is getting strong Republican support. Click here to watch one example of that . . . albeit through a whimsical lens.

And if you didn’t find time to watch yesterday’s suggested Daily Show clip, about the smear of Kerry’s military service, here it is again.

Monday I think I’ll write about money. Have a great weekend.

 

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