Culture

Tyrannical Government Bans Cartwheeling at Public Meetings

Dianne Barker / Arizona Republic
Dianne Barker / Arizona Republic

A Phoenix woman has been banned from performing cartwheels at a public meeting of a local government association, but Dianne "DD" Barker isn't taking this First Amendment violation lying down.

Give her gymnastics, or give her death.

Barker received a lawyer letter from the Maricopa Association of Governments demanding that she "immediately cease performing cartwheels at MAG meetings." Apparently, "DD" is famous for showing off her cartwheeling skills at the planning agency's regular meetings.

The letter, loaded with big government arrogance and condescension toward the common man, states: "You have from time to time suggested that MAG cannot prevent you from performing cartwheels during your comments. That position is incorrect."

Barker is fighting the power and fired off a letter of her own claiming the association's demand "was intimidating, threatening, and defaming." She claims she performs cartwheels to show the health benefits of walking and using public transit.

I can't disagree with Barker more on that last point. There is nothing healthy about riding the Metro, unless someone invents a full body, anti-bacterial suit. But I am prepared to fight for her right to proclaim her wrong-headed views on walking and health, especially if she wants to turn tricks while proclaiming them.

"No longer could I freely speak/express in such positive conviction, my continuing commitment, and unwavering support for MAG's transportation/air quality duty and directives!" Barker said.

AZ Central reports:

Mayor Michael LeVault, who recently became chairman of MAG's Regional Council, chuckled as he discussed the dispute, saying he had "never experienced anything like" Barker's cartwheel routine at a public meeting before. "It's not my intention to shut down public comment at all," LeVault said. "It was just really a safety issue, a liability issue for the attorneys."

Chuckled? He chuckled? The arrogance! Mayor LeVault "never experienced anything like" Barker's cartwheels, so he decided to ban them! Isn't this exactly how tyranny begins?

First they came for the cartwheelers, and I said nothing because I am not a cartwheeler.

I'm not sure how George Washington felt about gymnastics, but I'm pretty sure our young men didn't freeze their toes off at Valley Forge just so some mayor could ban a person's right to cartwheel in front of her elected representatives.

I'm pretty sure.