Posted by R. Neal

Vice President "Dick" Cheney emerged from his secure and undisclosed location for a rare public appearance over here in Knoxville this morning. He received a warm welcome:

Vice President Dick Cheney was heckled by protesters Tuesday as he spoke at the groundbreaking for a public policy center honoring former Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker.

During Cheney's brief remarks, about a half-dozen people protesting the war in Iraq yelled, "War, what is it good for?" and held up a large banner saying, "Peace Now."

Cheney continued speaking and didn't acknowledge the protesters, who were escorted from the ceremony inside the University of Tennessee's basketball arena.

About 50 protesters, most of them appearing to be college age, demonstrated outside the arena. Several carried signs, including one that read "Honor Baker, Impeach Cheney."

Go Vols! I wish I could have been there, but catching up with work program related activities after vacation prevented it. I note, however, the irony that Cheney of all people was on hand to honor Howard Baker, the former Republican Senator from Tennessee who helped bring down the corrupt Nixon administration. The article said about 400 people attended. If I'm not mistaken, the facility accommodates 20,000+.

I also note that protestors were forcibly removed. I wonder about the legality of that in light of the First Amendment and all, given that the event was held in a taxpayer funded public facility and open to the public. But I guess that shouldn't come as any surprise.

OK, then.