Drinking the Tigris: Old Glory

I was perusing flickr the other day and came across my buddy JR's latest photos. http://www.flickr.com/photos/paintedland/2446656346/

This one caught me off guard. From his notes:

"This is the massive face of the BP Hydrogen Refinery in Long Beach. It faces the 405 freeway; several thousand people see it every day on their way to and from work. It's a pretty provocative image made more so with each passing day. While I was shooting the plant, well within my rights, a security guard zipped up in his company truck and demanded I stop taking photos. He asked me to return to my car where I would meet him. By blowing through a red light, he beat me back to my car, which he had blocked in with his truck (it was the only car in a vacant lot on a Sunday afternoon). He wouldn't allow me to leave until I had given him my name, phone number, street address, place of business, and "reason" for being there. He claimed that "since 9/11, you can't shoot anything you want," and that I would need to check with the local police in order to find out what I was allowed to shoot. Unfortunately, this kind of misinformation about photographers' rights in the post 9/11 America is becoming more and more common. I eventually gave up trying to explain my rights as he seemed more intent on filling out his paperwork and keeping his job. It was a sad experience - his written english was very poor, and I ended up having to write the report for him. It's a hollow feeling to be forced to help someone take away your liberties; America in microcosm."