Saturday, May 26, 2012

And justice for all?

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." - First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

This head belongs to Texas middle-school student Patrick Gonzalez, who went to a very-talented barber and had the image of San Antonio Spurs forward Matt Bonner shaved into the back of his head. Despite getting the 'do pre-approved by school officials, the 12-year-old was sent home and told to remove the image from his head. The reason given was that the image was "distracting" to the teacher and other students.

When asked his reasoning for the $75 clipping, Patrick said the reserve is his favorite player because both are Gingers and the Spurs were in the midst of sweeping the Los Angeles Clippers in the second-round of the NBA Playoffs.

In other words, Patrick was using his head as a form of speech to express support for his favorite basketball player. And then he was punished.

This good-looking young man on the right was a child prodigy, gaining entrance into Harvard University at age 16, going on to earn a PhD and becoming a professor at Cal at age 25.

Theodore "Ted" Kaczynski is more widely known for being the domestic terrorist nicknamed "Unabomber." Kaczynski has made the Federal supermax prison in Florence, Colorado his home since 1998, where he is serving life without the possibility of parole.

In spite of his incarceration, Kaczynski was able to send his greetings to the Harvard University Class of 1962's 50th reunion. Kaczynski updated his entry in the Harvard alumni magazine - listing his current occupation as: prisoner, his residence as: the supermax and his awards as: his eight life-sentences.

The First Amendment right to free speech applies to all. In the responses in the above cases invokes a reminder from George Orwell's "Animal Farm" - "All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others."

Until next time ...

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