Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Criminal Bumper Stickers

Stone Soup Musings points us to this case about a Georgia woman who received a $100 ticket for having a "lewd decal" on her car.


Apparently, the cop thought the lewd decal law applied to a bumper sticker that read, "I'm tired of all the BUSHIT."


Apparently, the same cop also missed the memo that the lewd decal law had been held unconstitutional fifteen years ago.


I would chalk this up to the absurd if the implications weren't so troubling.  I don't buy the argument that this is an extended action of the Bush administration, and to my mind that makes matters worse, in a way.  Having seen firsthand how individual crooked police officers can use simple traffic tickets to create trouble for citizens (and increase the city's revenues), I have to think that this sort of development is worse because it is decentralized, and thus trends are nearly impossible to track.


I don't have a lot of sympathy for the way the message was conveyed.  The use of expletives is far from clever, and doesn't offer much insight into the issues. It's not an argument or an explanation, but a mere expression of frustration: one that is only a notch or two above a primal scream.


Nevertheless, it's protected.  An expression of frustration with the government that plays on a vulgar word for an excretory function is no less political than the Declaration of Independence itself.  Beyond that, we engage in qualitative stratification of speech at our liberties' peril, if not at our own.


Linked to Don Surber.


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3 Comments:

Blogger Kathy said...

Exile, you might be interested in this story from the same website. Homeland Security applied a double standard with this particular ex-veteran who wasn't going to put up with their nonsense.

I agree with you in one sense. I'm not sure we can chalk these actions up to the Bush administration either. I think its more a case of people over-reacting and becoming emotional at the expense of common sense.

6:13 PM  
Blogger Bostonian Exile said...

That story sounds familiar, though I don't recall where I heard it.

6:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Having seen firsthand how individual crooked police officers can use simple traffic tickets to create trouble for citizens (and increase the city's revenues), I have to think that this sort of development is worse because it is decentralized, and thus trends are nearly impossible to track."

Word. This is exactly what I thought too, when I read the story.

-Lady E

11:11 AM  

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