YOU'LL KNOW IT'S TRUE WHEN IT HAPPENS TO YOU
March 7, 2004
"Next week the U.S. Supreme Court will hear a case to decide whether or not all Americans must have identification on them at all times. The case has been brought by a cowboy in Nevada who was asked to show ID while leaning against his pickup truck on the side of the road near his ranch. The police officer did not offer any specific reason why he demanded proof of identity. Having committed no crime, Dudley Hiibel, the cowboy, refused -- and was arrested. He was later convicted for "Delaying a Peace Officer." In America, still a free country, citizens should not be required to provide identification papers at any whim of the authorities. " ("Your Papers, Please", published February 23, The Washington Times.)
This story brought to mind a similar incident which took place on the coast of Maine (fifty short years ago known for its "rugged individualism") which I have incorporated into a play entitled "You'll Know It's True When It Happens to You". State: Maine, which advertises itself, upon crossing the New Hampshire border, as "Maine, the way life should be." Town: Wiscasset on the Atlantic coast, which advertises itself as "the prettiest town in Maine". Date and Hour: January 31, 2004, 3:30 p.m. in the afternoon. The winter sun is commencing its descent turning the sky pink with red and gold streaks. The cast is comprised of two: Bill Smith, a handsome, tall, 50-ish, gentleman, attired in proper clothes, wearing a dashing Rembrandt-type hat, and walking alongside a two-way paved road which extends from Wiscasset to Bath, and a Wiscasset policeman by the name of Officer Jones.
Enter Smith, the gentleman, walking along the road as an an unmarked police car passes him. In four minutes Smith is startled by a Wiscasset Police car (obviously informed by the unmarked police car) which comes to a screeching stop four feet behind him. In response Smith, startled, stops walking. Officer Jones Inquires "Where are you headed" to which Smith responds "Bath" and tells him he is a Maine resident. Officer Jones then asks for identification. Bill Smith gives him his driver's license. Officer Jones puts it in his pocket, and orders Bill Smith to get in the police car and Smith obliges. Officer Jones says " I'll give you a ride to the city limits" during which he makes a phone call to report Smith's name and driver's license number. After three minutes driving Jones receives the report on Smith: "no problem...clean record."Upon arriving at the town limit Officer Jones lets Smith out and Smith continues his journey to Bath.
Had Smith, our friend, exhibited the independent spirit of Dudley Hiibel, the cowboy, he would have been arrested and convicted for "Delaying a Peace Officer." Instead, wanting to get to where he was going, our house, where dinner is on time and delicious, he opted for "going along to get along".
Is this America post-9/11? Is this Maine," the way life should be?" You'll know it's true, when it happens to you.
© 2004 Charlotte T. Iserbyt - All Rights Reserved
Charlotte Iserbyt is the consummate whistleblower! Iserbyt served as Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI), U.S. Department of Education, during the first Reagan Administration, where she first blew the whistle on a major technology initiative which would control curriculum in America's classrooms. Iserbyt is a former school board director in Camden, Maine and was co-founder and research analyst of Guardians of Education for Maine (GEM) from 1978 to 2000. She has also served in the American Red Cross on Guam and Japan during the Korean War, and in the United States Foreign Service in Belgium and in the Republic of South Africa.
Iserbyt is a speaker and writer, best known for her 1985 booklet Back to Basics Reform or OBE: Skinnerian International Curriculum and her 1989 pamphlet Soviets in the Classroom: America's Latest Education Fad which covered the details of the U.S.-Soviet and Carnegie-Soviet Education Agreements which remain in effect to this day. She is a freelance writer and has had articles published in Human Events, The Washington Times, The Bangor Daily News, and included in the record of Congressional hearings. Website: www.deliberatedumbingdown.com E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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