the changing of the seasons

In Late November, sunlight budges the clouds “NO CUTTING” hisses Autumn– the Politeness Police, apparently, protecting Clouds which were jaywalking to begin with Throwing looks (WHAT?) to the sky. All of them P.I.N.S, practically. “WALK, don’t run,” November says coldly. Meantime the leaves pause (Was the scolding intended for them? Is the interpretation optional?) They […]

the fort

The fort in the corner of the field was the safest place I constructed my whole life this far.  I was nine when I built it.  It blocked some of the wind, but not entirely.  The southeast corner of it held a shelf made out of a pine board that I had perched onto the […]

White privilege and free speech, or “The Brandenburg test is sturdy for a theater….when a man falsely cries FIRE! in a crowded theater, his speech is not protected.  Are there no blacks in this theater?  Are there no Jews?”

Tonight, I read about the First Amendment, especially freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.  I read the per curium opinion in Brandenburg v. Ohio. I read the concurrence by Black and Douglas. I read the Memorandum of Opinion of the judge who, over the objection of the city, granted the permit of the white […]

On search and seizure, sometimes

Did you know the Constitution gave you, once, freedom from unreasonable search and seizures, the government was required to get a warrant signed by judge, based on probable cause, before it could execute a search. Then if the government actor wanted to talk to you, by the same Fourth Amendment privilege, he had to tell […]

NeverWar

You get to the picture of the baby, hurting.  He’s inconsolable, he’s existing straight through the worst of it the way kiddos do. But you aren’t one, so you start to walk into the horror: A baby, skin burning from the inside out–napalm you run away from the horror, retreating to safety and soft pretty syllables […]

Free speech and democracy

#DailyDemocracy  This is a Brief of Whitney v. California, a 1925 case about the Free Speech of a Communist, Charlotte Whitney.  In later cases before the Supreme Court, the right of free speech would be strengthened more than the “imminent lawless action” test used on Charlotte Whitney Here, the mere idea that Charlotte Whitney’s speech […]