The 4th of July is nigh, and I’ll be doing double duty with my family during the day (loooong drive) and then with friends (choreographed pyrotechnics in a secret location with fire extinguishers). I am happy that sometimes America works–like the acquittal of the San Diego chalker (despite the judge banning the mention of the First Amendment):
Score one for Mayor Bob Filner in his continuing fight with City Atty. Jan Goldsmith — this time concerning Goldsmith’s prosecution of a man who chalked protest messages on the sidewalk outside branches of Bank of America…On Monday, a Superior Court jury sided with the mayor — acquitting 40-year-old Jeffrey Olson of 13 misdemeanor counts filed by Goldsmith’s office…
Olson had never denied writing slogans or drawing outside three bank branches.
One slogan said, “No thanks, big banks.” Another, “Shame on Bank of America.” In yet another, the bank was portrayed as an octopus grabbing at cash with its tentacles.
Courts have held that graffiti is vandalism even if, like chalk, it can be easily washed off, Goldsmith said.
That Bank of America had contacted the city attorney’s office to urge prosecution had become part of the dispute between the Democratic mayor and Republican city attorney.
At trial, however, Judge Howard Shore said Olson’s lawyer could not invoke the 1st Amendment as a defense. As the dispute flared at City Hall, Shore last week imposed a gag order on all parties. [emphasis mine]
In California we have marriage equality (and for gods’ sakes, could the mainstream media please stop calling it ‘gay marriage’?! According to the Federal law it’s “everyone marriage” ergo, it’s MARRIAGE! Gotta mention two people got married who couldn’t before? Please think about “marriage under passage of equal rights laws” etc.
Now if only every state could have equal marriage rights.
Speaking of equal rights and more, on Sunday FDL’s Book Salon has a great novel up for discussion, Christian Nation by Fredric C. Rich. JP Sottile of Newsvandal will be hosting. Imagine if John McCain was elected and died and Palin became became president. Full of real quotes from real and very scary evangelicals and Dominionists, this book is a horror story beyond measure.