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Saturday, October 5, 2002

Criminals and prayer

This morning I was riding my bike along Roger, west of 1st Avenue and felt a hard, painful whomp on my back, just below my left shoulder blade and then something wet. I struggled to keep control of my by bike and realized that some asshole had thrown something at me. All I could tell was they were in a black car heading west and my knowledge of cars from any direction is pretty poor. It was an unopened can of soda that had burst when it hit spraying everything with soda. Nasty.

I was a little shook but very pissed off. I called 911 and they asked if I wanted the paramedics and I said no. Then they asked what I did want. Excuse me! A crime has been committed. What a stupid question. I told them I wanted someone to come out and get fingerprints off the can of soda. Well evidently they didn't consider this an emergency. Some asshole is out there seriously endagering cyclists and they don't consider it an emergency. I was transferred to Tucson Police Department. They asked the same questions. Finally they said someone would come out so stay there.

After half an hour I was very hot, still very shaken and feeling a bit woozy, probably from being so upset, I had chocolate which would melt even though I was trying to keep it in the shade and the last time the police came out, which was when my computer was stolen, it was four hours. I picked up the can and put it in a bag without touching it and went home. Half an hour later I got a call asking where I was as the police were there and couldn't find me. I told them I was at home and shortly an officer showed up, told me they could get fingerprints from the can because it was wet and what did I want to do? Did I want to file a report? By this time I'd given up and told him no, what was the point.

I have a welt on my back and hope it won't be real sore tomorrow. I do not understand the mentality that would consider throwing things at people who aren't causing them any harm and never will. What's their problem? And people like that are the first and loudest to whine that they're being picked on if they are ever actually arrested for their fun. Why they were just having a little fun! They are criminals and seriously endanger people's lives. Scum buckets! Unfortunately I get the feeling from the police that they agree when the joke is against pedestrians or cyclists since they seem to think that we should all get off the street and into cars so that their life will be a little easier.

In the afternoon I went to the Common Cause forum. It's forum was One Nation Under God and was about the recent Newdow v. US Congress case where a guy in California said his daughter should not have to either say or listen to others saying "under God". It was very interesting. The first pledge of allegiance was in the late 1800s and was a commercial effort to generate flag sales. It was written by a guy who was a socialist. In the 1950s "under God" was added during Eisenhower's term as president. It was a very anti-communist effort but was explicity promoted to remind children that this nation is "under God".

This gist of the ruling saying that it was wrong to use the "under God" phrase as it is a constant reminder to children that they should believe this or they are not with the program. There was, of course, an insane reaction to this and the ruling is stayed for who knows how long.

First Jim Foley read the ruling by the judge and it was very interesting. Newdow wanted the court to tell the president and congress to remove the "under God" phrase but, of course, the court can't tell the president or congress what to do. The State of California said there was to be a patriotic thing each day in the schools but they did not tell the schools what it was to be. Even when "under God" was added by congress no one said anyone had to say it. The final point was that it was coercive for a child to hear everyone else say it, even if they did not say it, and since this was grade school it was too easily brain washing.

After Jim read the ruling there were comments and questions from everyone that covered the spectrum from rambling and incoherent to clear and concise. Everyone there seems to have strong ideas on the subject, most in favor of not having religion in the schools. Even the people who said they strongly believed in god did not want religion in the schools. It was a very interesting meeting and I learned a lot about how the law actually works and how the court makes it's rulings. Too often we hear a ruling and have an off the cuff reaction without realizing the basis of the ruling.

Rachel Aschmann 2002.
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