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"[Mark] Twain’s reason for inserting [The Morris Incident] into his autobiography was not because he felt it was important - but rather that it was the stuff of life. The stuff that consumes most of our time and attention, Twain is saying, may not be as important in scope as the events we believe invest our lives with meaning, but they have some importance because they illustrate the quotidian nature of existence."

While watching my DVR recording of last week's The Designated Survivor, the recording included a minute or two of the news that followed immediately afterwards on the station. The first item up for discussion was about Amy Hedtke being forcibly removed and arrested for video recording a public Texas State Committee hearing of an anti-abortion bill. The boots are cool, but the choice of jewelry....and the button proclaiming her stance on guns and abortion in a single sentence - her outfit tells you everything you need to know about her. I do applaud her mental acuity to confront things, even if I disagree with her ideologically. The only earlier article I could find about The Hedtke Incident, as I shall now call it, was on Breitbart, interestingly enough.

The news item instantly reminded me of Twain's mention of "The Morris Incident" in which Mrs. Minor Morris (what a name!) was forcibly dragged out of the White House in a manner that caused her dress to be torn, lacerations on her body, and supposed mental distress. I say supposed mental distress because there are questions regarding her mental stability before the incident, hence the need for such a forceful removal in the first place.

Now, Amy Hedtke did not struggle in the part of the video of her removal that is shown, aside from refusing to walk of her own accord and therefore having to be literally carried out of the building, which is why the resisting arrest charge has been dropped and only the criminal trespass charge still stands. Her mental state appears to be unchanged. This is her activist way.

So there are two things that come to mind as a result of this current Incident Report. As Twain mentioned, it is the news of today. It is the small thing that happened which garnered my attention enough that I'm writing about it in this blog entry, just as much as The Morris Incident was a small thing in the news that garnered enough of Twain's attention that it managed to make it into his own blog autobiography. It will be forgotten by the bulk of the folks who saw and paid attention to that news item in a couple weeks, if not a couple days. Twain surmised less than 6 months for The Morris Incident to no longer be recalled, but the timing of traveling news and gossip was much longer in his day. There were people rallying for the care and recovery of Mrs. Morris and for the President to openly apologize to her for how she was treated. Likewise, there's a Funded Justice campaign to raise money to cover the legal costs of Amy Hedtke's battle against the perceived similar abuses of power carried out by our elected government officials and their body guards law enforcement. The Incident, both of them, is a thing that happened, that made it into the news, and that therefore IS news, even if it's not the most important news. It is simply The News of The Day.

Which brings me to the second thought I have about this incident. I wonder what it would be like to be a jury member during such a trial. I wonder about how I think and feel regarding said elected government officials and law enforcement. In a full circle sort of way, these thoughts take me right back to the episode of The Designated Survivor that I watched, in which the character President Kirkman, played by Keifer Sutherland, gives a town hall meeting and answers questions from audience members. The main question and answer, which ultimately leads straight into the next plot point focus of the show, is about guns and gun control. Pres. Kirkman is a moderate independent, so he totes the middle ground of not wanting to take away the guns, but still wishing to control it enough to prevent needless deaths. How are the latest plot device and The Hedtke Incident related? It's all about the rights of the individual versus the limits we place on those rights by accepting that we live in a society that has elected officials and law enforcement. It's about not wanting a police state, yet not wanting to give up our rights that lead toward requiring a tougher police force. Our police carry guns because our citizens carry guns. Comparing our society to that of the Australian, British, and Canadian societies, all of which have shunned guns, shows that we are constantly walking a tightrope between freedom and safety, and the level of authority given to our police reflects that.

Amy Hedtke is an activist who stands right in the middle of that tightrope and walks it proudly. Do I agree with her? Based on the articles above, I would probably only agree to her means of civil disobedience about 25% of the time, and, as I already mentioned, my political ideology is much different than hers. Do I think she's wrong? No. I think it's important that there are people out there who are willing to always stand up to a police officer, even when I disagree that they shouldn't do so given certain situations. There's this constant give and take, constant boiling pot of ideologies mixing about with each other which forms the fabric of our society. We're not just the mixing pot of cultures, but the hot cauldron of witch's brew that constantly threatens to turn us all into frogs.

It'll be interesting to see what tomorrow's news will bring.
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