And now the most interesting two minutes in television, the latest from the political grapevine:
Flying High Once Again
The Agriculture Department has reversed the U.S. Forest Service's order to a California man to take down the American flag he was flying outside his vacation cabin in the Eldorado National Forest. The department now says the forest service made an "honest mistake" when, citing regulations, it told retired policeman David Knickerbocker to haul down the flag he's flown for 23 years. And Agriculture Secretary Anne Veneman says she'll be sending him a flag that flew over department headquarters here in Washington as a goodwill gesture.
Meanwhile, out in Loudoun County, in the Virginia hunt country west of Washington, the environmental movement wants to stop what it calls "light pollution." A member of the county planning board is promoting a regulation to address "poorly designed outdoor lighting that creates nuisance glare, light trespass onto adjoining properties, and sky glow that destroys the ability to view star-filled night skies." This idea is backed by something called the International Dark Sky Association, whose web site has helpful links to such favored sites as Newrules.Org.
A student at American University here in Washington is on probation and faces charges of theft of intellectual property because he tried to videotape a speech on campus by Tipper Gore. The student, campus gadfly Ben Wetmore, says he thought there should be some record of the speech, especially, he says, since Gore was being paid. So he sat in the bleachers and quietly began taping it on his camcorder. Campus police arrived and demanded the tape. After a scuffle, Wetmore was arrested, handcuffed and required to testify against himself at a subsequent hearing. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education is backing Wetmore and has hired a lawyer to represent him.
Police Brutality Equals Terrorism?
And the Rev. Jesse Jackson has equated police brutality with terrorism and accused President Bush of "exploiting the fears of Americans and exaggerating incidents, playing the terrorism theme like a one-string guitar." In an interview with the black Chicago newspaper N'Digo Jackson then played the theme himself a bit, asking, "If terrorism is the shooting or killing innocent people, then the police that recently shot at an innocent black couple here in Chicago and were acquitted...were terrorists."