Maybe Sarah Palin was right – Can you see Russia from your house?

Sarah Palin said that she could see Russia from her house (or was that just Tina Fey playing Sarah Palin?). This video from Alaska makes it seem like perhaps Palin was speaking metaphorically. Heh… as if she knows what that means.

I’m certainly no fan of Lyndon LaRouche or the idiotic comparisons of Obama and hitler, but if this crowd had risen up and killed these security guards and cops, and I was on the jury for their murder trial, I wouldn’t have voted to convict.

Of course, the way our Federal Government behaves, maybe third reich comparisons are tired and tacky, but you can see how they might come to the surface of one’s imagination.

For those of you who travel on I-8 or I-10 (or even the back roads) in California and Arizona, these “border patrol checkpoints” are a regular sight. They’ve always pissed me off too, but I seem to get waved through each time I cross them. I guess they figure that a guy in a Porsche isn’t likely smuggling much.

I’m of course not advocating that we start killing cops when they trample on the Constitution… but I would like to ask a question: Why is it that we have thousands upon thousands of pissed off old white guys screaming about how Obama is hitler because he wants us all to have health insurance — but when things like this happen, we don’t see rallies, we don’t see Glenn Beck crying, we don’t really hear too much of an outcry? Every day we hear about some legislator wanting to pass a new law restricting our liberties, but we pretty rarely (if ever) hear about legislators trying to rein in this kind of behavior.

The fact is, I can see the Soviet Union from my house. Okay, maybe not from my house, but I can drive 40 minutes east, and as I approach that huge roadblock / checkpoint with armed guards and police dogs, I can see the Soviet Union from my car.

7 Responses to Maybe Sarah Palin was right – Can you see Russia from your house?

  1. MadRocketScientist says:

    I love how liberals cry out against such police abuses, but thanks to a single heavily biased Mother Jones article, think the Oath Keepers are a separatist militia, or something.

  2. Awesomesauce says:

    The second video seems pretty straight-forward. The guy was not refusing to comply, but rather trying to get answers that he had a right to obtain. He didn’t appear to be doing anything threatening, either.

    But with regards to the first video, I have a question. Is there no limitation on what people are allowed to do in public areas? I mean, couldn’t the “authorities” reasonably restrict a person who is carrying a banner that is 12 feet wide at a public park? Could they not reasonably require people not to yell and scream in the park? To clarify, I’m not talking about content restrictions, which I do not support in any way. I’m just talking about limiting the “nuisance factor.” (With restrictions applied equally regardless of the message.)

    I’m certainly not implying that the security (thugs) acted appropriately in this case. Like you, I would have been pleased if the crowd had intervened. (Maybe not “killed” anyone, though.)

  3. Jay says:

    Marc,
    While I’m a huge fan of free speech, the first video sounds like it starts too late, missing what happened before. This is what the Town says in its defense: http://www.anchoragepress.com/news/article_d63b1770-7f33-56d7-ba49-318c61645a44.html
    Just as you like the Casey Heynes video showing him retaliate, you would not like him if all you saw was the body slam without the initial bullying. Assuming what the Town says is true, that he was blocking the public way and they simply tried to treat him like everyone with a message, regulating time, place and manner, Sidney Hill, the Larouche supporter, was in violation of lawful regulations. He refused to obey a lawful order and would not peaceably remove himself. Ultimately, arrest was warranted. That, of course, is assuming quite a lot, but I’m prepared to withhold judgment. [I could not find the results of the criminal proceedings against him.]

    Pastor Anderson, however, was acquitted: http://www.myfoxphoenix.com/dpp/news/justice/pastor-civil-suit-against-border-patrol-8-16-2010

  4. Upper1 says:

    Just FYI, despite its name, the Alaska State Fairgrounds is private property. He was asked to leave, or obtain a permit, and he refused because he was standing in an area near the fair entrance where no tickets were needed, but still was on fairgrounds property. Here’s an article, although not the one I remember reading: http://www.adn.com/2010/08/27/1428432/statement-scuffle-caught-on-video.html

    He thought he was on public property, but he was wrong. This was a while ago, but if I remember correctly, Sidney Hill was arrested for operating a booth-like (I guess) installation without a permit and trespassing. As for Pastor Anderson, I coulda sworn one of the Border guards was Vladimir Putin for a sec…

  5. Mario says:

    I read several articles linked here by posters above. I do not trust them. The Anchorage press and others do not have any testimonials from bystanders who watched the incident, except for the recorder. In the Anchorage press article, the recorder is given only a few words very late in the article–he’s sort of buried. That’s telling to me of a bias or of inadequate research. Note the slippery passive voice leading the second paragraph in that article as well. I believe the author evinces a bias, and I do not trust the reporter to have done his or her job well.

    On the video, Hill did not seem to be blocking the public way in fact. Perhaps he was–perhaps we cannot see that in the video. Perhaps he was not. There are plenty of witnesses who could verify that, but we have no testimonials from observers–only hearsay from a single official, who I believe was not personally present himself.

    Facially content-neutral restrictions applied in a viewpoint discriminatory way still constitute viewpoint discrimination. Would security officers really have restricted Hill’s speech if Hill was shouting “Obama is Great and God Bless America,” and if his sign read, “Obama is Awesome and America is Too”? I am suspicious. Facially content-neutral restrictions applied in a viewpoint discriminatory way still constitute viewpoint discrimination.

    Further, TPM where the authorities have too much discretion can be impermissible because of the risk of content- or viewpoint-based discrimination. Note that the policy is “unwritten.” Is it really enforced in a content- or viewpoint-neutral way? How do we know if the policy is so informal as to be unwritten? How do we know that security officers actually have enough guidance to enforce the policy in such a permissible manner?

    In the alternative, if the officers were just too rough with Hill because of the content or viewpoint of his protected speech (not all his speech was necessarily protected, but some of it was for sure) then that would be impermissible retribution. It’s unclear why security officers were so rough with Hill.

    The Fair may be private property or there may be an entanglement issue with the not-for-profit owner. We don’t know, although that would be a plausible issue to investigate.

    At any rate, when the government suppresses political speech, the 1A is at its apogee. Although reasonable TPM restrictions are of course permissible, I am skeptical of an “easy out” here. I’d like to know more myself.

  6. Upper1 says:

    This article includes some more info, although not much. http://www.firstamendmentcoalition.org/2010/08/man-with-impeach-obama-sign-arrested-at-alaska-state-fair/

    A friend of mine is a public defender in Palmer. I wonder if Hill, who apparently could not make bail, qualified for free representation. I’ll try to find out from him if he knows any more about what ended up happening. I was wrong when I said he was charged with trespassing. Sorry, bad memory. He was charged with assault, disorderly conduct and criminal mischief. I wouldn’t be surprised if one of those charges resulted because they found a gun on the man. I do know that he tried to incite the crowd to join in and tackle the fat fuck guard.

    That gets me thinking: Wouldn’t it be nice if a group of people bum rushed a TSA airport “security” checkpoint?

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