ALL ABOARD: Freedom: It’s more than just in the eye of the beholder
By JIM FREEMAN
South Whidbey Record Columnist
July 8, 2008 · Updated 5:09 PM
As the summer of 1969’s Kris Kristofferson-Fred Foster song “Me and Bobby McGee” sings, “Freedom’s just another word…” And what a word it is when put in action.
Like many of you, we stayed on South Whidbey for last weekend’s splendid-ness, saving on fuel, minimizing stress and reminding ourselves once again why we seldom leave the four-mile radius we call home.
How did you spend your Fourth?
While you are sharing your story, please allow me to interrupt with what we did to reassure ourselves last Friday that we are still living in the land of the free and the home of the brave, but on an island of self-amusement.
The morning of July 4, 2008 began quietly for us with a friend’s blown head gasket, evidencing our first amendment guarantee of the freedom of travel.
At coffee later, we watched confused tourists get antsy ordering their unknown beverages while locals sarcastically shook their lattes, evidencing our First Amendment guarantee to freedom of speech.
In need of cash during lunch time in Clinton, we swung by the ATM at Wells Fargo just in time to see what appeared to be another antsy tourist, but this dude was relieving himself in the bushes.
What did he care if he was in plain view while the ferry was unloading?
Mr. Antsy Pantsy was exhibiting another First Amendment freedom — the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Another insured federal deposit?
Maybe this fellow had just had enough of his previous three-hour ferry line wait?
Freedom of expression?
Wells Fargo may want to contact CSI-Clinton to check those outside camera angles on their bush administration.
The First Amendment to our United States Constitution was ratified by nine states in 1791, a mere 217 years ago.
Our founding fathers and multi-tasking mothers wanted to make certain that “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.”
Maybe that guy at the ATM was mixing his amendments?
He might have taken that Second Amendment “right of the people to keep and bear arms” a little too far.
Having majored in political science, I assure you that the Second Amendment may cover bearing arms, but not baring limbs.
Freedom, from Clinton to Freeland and beyond.
What a wonderful feeling it is.
Finally, be careful with those occasional ATM deposits as we recall the words of Nicholas Murray Butler, “The fifth freedom, the Freedom of Individual Enterprise, is the keystone of the arch on which the other Four Freedoms rest. This is what freedom means.”
You betcha Nicholas!
Like the song sings, “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose, nothing, I mean nothing, honey, if it ain’t free, no no.”