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Posts Tagged ‘protests’

Those dueling demonstrations in Moscow

Posted by Richard on March 15, 2014

I saw a brief story on the news tonight about demonstrations in Moscow both for and against Putin and Russian intervention in Ukraine. Not much detail. AFP had more information:

Around 50,000 people marched through central Moscow on Saturday in protest at Russia’s intervention in Ukraine, a day before the Crimean peninsula votes on switching to Kremlin rule.

Waving Ukrainian and Russian flags and adopting the chants of Ukraine’s popular uprising, prominent and ordinary Russians urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to pull troops back from ex-Soviet Ukraine.

Marchers carried placards reading “Putin, get out of Ukraine” and others comparing Kremlin’s decision to send troops to Crimea with the Nazi annexation of the Sudetenland as Europe rushed headlong into World War II.

Members of anti-Kremlin punk Pussy Riot compared Russia’s invasion of Crimea that plunged the country into a Cold-War style confrontation with the West to the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968.

“How can a referendum under the barrels of guns be legitimate and fair?” Pussy Riot member Maria Alyokhina asked during a rally after the march, a Russian flag in her hand.

The Blaze has the AP story and some of the pictures tweeted from the protest march. As for the pro-Putin counter-demonstration (emphasis added):

Not far away near the Kremlin, several thousand people dressed in matching red costumes marched in formation to show their support for Russian intervention in the region.

Sounds like a real spontaneous grass-roots demonstration, doesn’t it?

What’s the Russian word for “astroturf”?

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Obama Justice Department organized and promoted anti-Zimmerman protests

Posted by Richard on July 10, 2013

Wow. Just wow. Venezuela ain’t got nothin’ on us. We’ve truly become a banana republic (emphasis in original):

Document: DOJ Community Relations Service was deployed to Sanford, FL, “to provide technical assistance for the preparation of possible marches and rallies related to the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old African American male.” 

Washington, D.C. – Judicial Watch announced today that has obtained documents in response to local, state, and federal records requests revealing that a little-known unit of the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Community Relations Service (CRS), was deployed to Sanford, FL, following the Trayvon Martin shooting to help organize and manage rallies and protests against George Zimmerman.

JW filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requested with the DOJ on April 24, 2012; 125 pages were received on May 30, 2012. JW administratively appealed the request on June 5, 2012, and received 222 pages more on March 6, 2013. According to the documents:

  • March 25 – 27, 2012, CRS spent $674.14 upon being “deployed to Sanford, FL, to work marches, demonstrations, and rallies related to the shooting and death of an African-American teen by a neighborhood watch captain.”
  • March 25 – 28, 2012, CRS spent $1,142.84 “in Sanford, FL to work marches, demonstrations, and rallies related to the shooting and death of an African-American teen by a neighborhood watch captain.
  • March 30 – April 1, 2012, CRS spent $892.55 in Sanford, FL “to provide support for protest deployment in Florida.”
  • March 30 – April 1, 2012, CRS spent an additional $751.60 in Sanford, FL “to provide technical assistance to the City of Sanford, event organizers, and law enforcement agencies for the march and rally on March 31.”
  • April 3 – 12, 2012, CRS spent $1,307.40 in Sanford, FL “to provide technical assistance, conciliation, and onsite mediation during demonstrations planned in Sanford.”
  • April 11-12, 2012, CRS spent $552.35 in Sanford, FL “to provide technical assistance for the preparation of possible marches and rallies related to the fatal shooting of a 17 year old African American male.” – expenses for employees to travel, eat, sleep?

No, the documents reveal that the employees were “Thomas Battles, Regional Director, and Mildred De Robles, Miami-Dade Coordinator and their co-workers at the U.S. Department of Justice Community Relations Service,” so they were already stationed in the area, not “deployed” from Washington. The expenses (admittedly small potatoes as far as government expenditures go; but still …) were probably for things like meeting rooms, “working lunches,” and maybe sign printing.

Set up under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the DOJ’s CRS, the employees of which are required by law to “conduct their activities in confidence,” reportedly has greatly expanded its role under President Barack Obama. Though the agency claims to use “impartial mediation practices and conflict resolution procedures,” press reports along with the documents obtained by Judicial Watch suggest that the unit deployed to Sanford, FL, took an active role in working with those demanding the prosecution of Zimmerman.

On April 15, 2012, during the height of the protests, the Orlando Sentinel reported“They [the CRS] helped set up a meeting between the local NAACP and elected officials that led to the temporary resignation of police Chief Bill Lee according to Turner Clayton, Seminole County chapter president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.” The paper quoted the Rev. Valarie Houston, pastor of Allen Chapel AME Church, a focal point for protestors, as saying “They were there for us,” after a March 20 meeting with CRS agents.

Separately, in response to a Florida Sunshine Law request to the City of Sanford, Judicial Watch also obtained an audio recording of a “community meeting” held at Second Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in Sanford on April 19, 2012. The meeting, which led to the ouster of Sanford’s Police Chief Bill Lee, was scheduled after a group of college students calling themselves the “Dream Defenders” barricaded the entrance to the police department demanding Lee be fired.  According to the Orlando Sentinel, DOJ employees with the CRS had arranged a 40-mile police escort for the students from Daytona Beach to Sanford.

“These documents detail the extraordinary intervention by the Justice Department in the pressure campaign leading to the prosecution of George Zimmerman,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “My guess is that most Americans would rightly object to taxpayers paying government employees to help organize racially-charged demonstrations.”

I wonder if Department of Justice Community Relations Service employees will be “providing support” for the riots that many in the media are expecting when George is Zimmerman is (quite properly) acquitted.

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Colorado Christians outraged by Jesus art

Posted by Richard on October 5, 2010

An exhibit at the Loveland Museum/Gallery in Loveland, CO, includes a twelve-panel lithograph by Enrique Chagoya. One of the panels apparently depicts Jesus engaged in oral sex with a man, and it's sparked outrage among Colorado's Christian community.

On Sunday, police used tear gas to disperse a violent mob of Christians attempting to storm the museum. One man was killed and seven injured, including three police officers. In nearby Boulder, roving gangs of Christian youths vandalized storefronts, defaced a mosque and a Buddhist ashram, blocked streets, and torched at least a dozen vehicles. Riots have broken out in several other Front Range cities with large Christian populations.

The Loveland City Council is expected to address the issue at its Tuesday meeting, and more violence is feared if the artwork isn't ordered removed. Museum employees, city council members, and their families are under 24-hour police protection due to numerous threats. 


Of course, none of that's true (except the part about the lithograph). The outraged Christians are peacefully protesting with signs outside the museum — signs like "Would you portray Mohamad this way?"

I made up the part about rioting Christians. But you already knew that, didn't you? Because you know that Christians — at least modern Christians who come from a culture that, thanks to the Enlightenment, has largely embraced reason and tolerance — simply don't behave like that. Oh, maybe an isolated nut-case — but large, violent mobs of Christians? It just doesn't happen.  

Just as a reminder, here are the Mohammed cartoons that sparked massive riots throughout the world in which many people were killed. Not a sex act depicted among them.

Mohammed cartoons

BTW, I'm an atheist, so I don't have a dog in this fight. I'm just calling 'em as I see 'em.

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Breitbart makes fools of Astroturf protesters

Posted by Richard on September 22, 2010

The Other McCain is where I found this great 8-minute video of Andrew Breitbart outside of Right Nation 2010 challenging a group of protesters bused in by the SEIU. So I'll let Stacy introduce it. Enjoy.

My friend Andrew Marcus at Founding Bloggers produced this video, which I found via my friend Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit. To call Glenn Beck a “coward”? Easy. To claim that Tea Party activists are motivated by “hate”? Easy. But to call Andrew Breitbart a “faggot” while doing these things is to invite yourself to one of the greatest intellectual ass-kickings in history — as guest of honor:


[YouTube link]

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Sheehan still protesting war

Posted by Richard on August 19, 2009

Mama Sheehan (a.k.a. "Mama Moonbat") is going to try doing to Barack Obama what she did to George Bush:

Cindy Sheehan, whose son died in Iraq, will join hundreds protesting the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq at Martha's Vineyard where Pres. Obama and his family will be vacationing.

Sheehan will be arriving on Tuesday August 25, 2009.

Her statement was released from her home in California:

“First of all, no good social or economic change will come about with the continuation or escalation of the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. We simply can’t afford to continue this tragically expensive foreign policy.

“Secondly, we as a movement need to continue calling for an immediate end to the occupations even when there is a Democrat in the Oval Office. There is still no Noble Cause no matter how we examine the policies. …”

Byron York noted that, judging from the recent Netroots Nation conference (successor to YearlyKos), most of her former allies won't be joining, or supporting, or even paying much attention to her (emphasis added): 

The meeting didn't draw much coverage, but the views of those who attended are still, as they were in 2006, a pretty good snapshot of the left wing of the Democratic party.

The news that emerged is that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have virtually fallen off the liberal radar screen. Kossacks (as fans of DailyKos like to call themselves) who were consumed by the Iraq war when George W. Bush was president are now, with Barack Obama in the White House, not so consumed, either with Iraq or with Obama's escalation of the conflict in Afghanistan. In fact, they barely seem to care.

As part of a straw poll done at the convention, the Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg presented participants with a list of policy priorities like health care and the environment. He asked people to list the two priorities they believed "progressive activists should be focusing their attention and efforts on the most." The winner, by far, was "passing comprehensive health care reform." In second place was enacting "green energy policies that address environmental concerns."

And what about "working to end our military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan"? It was way down the list, in eighth place.

Perhaps more tellingly, Greenberg asked activists to name the issue that "you, personally, spend the most time advancing currently." The winner, again, was health care reform. Next came "working to elect progressive candidates in the 2010 elections." Then came a bunch of other issues. At the very bottom — last place, named by just one percent of participants — came working to end U.S. involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.

For many liberal activists, opposing the war was really about opposing George W. Bush. When Bush disappeared, so did their anti-war passion.

On an earlier York column about Sheehan, commenter RHO1953 said it rather nicely: 

I do not agree with Ms. Sheehan about anything. We probably couldn't reach consensus about the time of day, but I have to give her credit for consistency. She believes in her cause irrespective of whether a liberal or conservative is in power. At least she's not a hypocrite like Pelosi, Reid, Waxman, Murtha, Kerry and Durbin.

At, Rick Moore contrasted the effectiveness of the anti-war movement and the anti-socialized-medicine movement: 

The left has been strangely silent about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since rainbows and unicorns came into power in January, but our favorite ditch person, Cindy Sheehan, Mama Moonbat herself, wants the antiwar left to mimic the Tea Party protesters who are thwarting Obamacare. The antiwar left griped for years and held big rallies, but never had the kind of effect on national policy that the anti-Obamacare folks have had in a few weeks.

Why? Republicans knew she and her merry band of Code Pinkos were a bunch of kooks and they weren't intimidated. They just ignored the petulant outbursts. Obama knows he's not dealing with kooks, but people who could really make an impact on his presidency.

Well, the biggest difference is numbers. It's clear from the turnouts at tea parties and town halls and the recent poll numbers that public sentiment has swung fast and hard against socialized medicine, and the anti-Obamacare movement has the support of the majority already.

That didn't happen with the anti-war movement. For years, they were clearly a small minority. Eventually, as the sectarian fighting undermined support and war fatigue set in, a significant portion of the population became nominally opposed to the Iraq campaign, but for the vast majority of them it was never strong, strident opposition — just discouragement, disillusionment, and disinterest. We never saw mainstream America joining the whackjobs at the anti-war rallies. 

Anyone who's been to a tea party rally, on the other hand, knows that it's very much mainstream America. 

Moore added: 

Let's see if Obama is as tolerant of her protests as Bush was.

Oh, I think he will be. Most of her cohort have moved on, and the media are focused on the "right-wing crazies" who are killing health care reform and inexplicably failing to show the proper respect for our enlightened rulers in Washington. Sheehan will get little attention and pose no significant challenge to Obama on the war issue.

If anything, Obama may welcome such smatterings of dissent from the left. They permit him to position himself as attacked by extremists on both sides, and therefore clearly the voice of reason and moderation. Yeah, that's the ticket.

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More union thuggery

Posted by Richard on August 11, 2009

If it's the opponents of socialized medicine who are an angry mob, how come they're the ones who keep getting beaten? Via Gateway Pundit comes news of another assault by a union thug, this time in New Hampshire:

This is how Chicago-style politics are played out:

Obama: "They Bring a Knife…We Bring a Gun"
Obama to His Followers: "Get in Their Faces!"
Obama on ACORN Mobs: "I don't want to quell anger. I think people are right to be angry! I'm angry!"
Obama To His Mercenary Army: “Hit Back Twice As Hard”

A tea party protester was accosted by one of Obama's union thugs today.
He was just following orders.
GraniteGrok reported, Via Free Republic:

One of the Free Staters was accosted by either an SEIU or AFSCME union thug. The story, corroborated by several sources, is that the Free Stater said something that the Union thug did not like and hauled off and spit into his video camera and then kicked him in the groin.

The camera was running so hopefully it will surface soon. I have asked that if anyone knows the Free Stater to see if he would come over and talk with us.

At Confederate Yankee, a report about a union-sponsored health care town hall in North Carolina suggests that maybe the rank and file members aren't as sold on government-run health care as their leaders would like.

But inside the President's town hall meeting, everything was friendly and wonderful. Especially that adorable little girl asking Obama why the people outside had such mean things on their signs — the little girl that was a plant!

UPDATE: Speaking of plants, it looks like the guy with the "Obama as Hitler" poster was a plant, too. Before Rep. John Dingell's town hall meeting, he paraded the poster around for the media, providing "evidence" to back up Pelosi's absurd assertion. After the meeting, he was handing out Dingell flyers.

What are the odds that the swastika at the Georgia congressman's office was planted, too, a la the noose at Columbia University and numerous similarly faked incidents? I'd say they're pretty good.

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Hundreds rallied for Gladney at St. Louis SEIU office

Posted by Richard on August 10, 2009

The St. Louis Tea Party held a rally at the local Service Employees International Union office Saturday protesting the beating and hospitalization of Kenneth Gladney by SEIU goons on Thursday. The Tea Party's Bill Hennessey reported (emphasis added):

Over 300 people gathered in front of SEIU Headquarters on Pershing Saturday to thank Ken Gladney for taking punishment for our freedom.  On Thursday, thugs in SEIU uniforms beat and kicked Gladney.  The thugs hate black men who wander off the liberal plantation to speak their minds.  That hatred put Gladney into a wheelchair.  Unable to speak due to pain, medication, and heat, Gladney’s attorney, David Brown, read from a hand-written statement Gladney had prepared the night before. 

According to witnesses, an African-American man wearing an SEIU uniform approached Gladney Thursday about 8:30 p.m. as Gladney showed his buttons and flags to the wife of a minister.  The SEIU thug said, “Why is a n***** handing out ‘Don’t tread on me’ flags,” before punching Gladney to the ground.  According to video taken at the scene by numerous witnesses, other SEIU thugs joined in to kick and beat Gladney.  “Don’t tread on me,” has become a rallying cry for the Tea Party Movement.

Gladney was at the rally in a wheelchair.  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has an excellent 3-minute video (top left of page) that includes an interview with Gladney, followed by another black Tea Party member giving a great verbal smackdown to a leftist. 

Rush Limbaugh asked the question today, "Why isn't Kenny Gladney … the new Rodney King?" The answer, of course, is that the mainstream media and the civil rights leadership don't give a rat's ass what happens to a conservative or libertarian black man. 

The contempt and loathing of the left for this man is very much on display at the YouTube video of Saturday's rally, with comments like this: 

TOO FUNNY… This idiot started a fight, got banged up, and guess what… HE HAS NO HEALTH INSURANCE!!!

Right folks- the moron is working to destroy a program that would have given him medical treatment — now he has to take up a collection to pay his medical bills. He's as dumb as the rest of his ignorant friends.

The SEIU guys should've put him out of his misery. 

And this: 

wait until the teamsters get ahold of his ass lmao 

Of course, there are bad people on both sides. According to Jeralyn Merritt (TalkLeft), a "progressive" leader's car was vandalized at the Rep. Perlmutter event Saturday. But while union thugs beating and kicking a man is apparently a source of humor for many on the left, some lout breaking car mirrors evokes outrage.

Merritt wanted to know "What rock did these people crawl out from under?" — implying that such behavior is characteristic of "these people" rather than a rare exception. And at least one of her commenters, cpinva, went stark raving bonkers (and drew no criticism or censure; this comment is rated "topical") (emphasis in original): 

what we have here is a junior version(s) of the infamous bier hall putsch, to be followed by a new kristalnacht against the "others". i suppose at some point, we can expect a right-wing night of the long knives as well.

I mentioned Godwin's Law the other day regarding Pelosi's "They're carrying swastikas" remark. If Godwin's Law were actually enforceable, that comment would have ended all further discussion of the subject at TalkLeft for a very long time.

UPDATE: According to Bill Hennessey, one of the people who was arrested for beating Gladney is an SEIU director, Baptist minister, and (gasp!) community organizer: 

Tea Party researchers have discovered some interesting news on one of the people arrested for beating Ken Gladney.

Elston K. McCowan is a former organizer – now the Public Service Director of SEIU Local 2000 – and board member of the Walbridge Community Education Center, and is a Baptist minister, has been a community organizer for more than 23 years, and now, he is running for Mayor of the City of St. Louis under the Green Party.

McCowan accused the Mayor of setting fire to his van . . . because that’s what big city mayors do in their spare time, I guess.  He also called Slay a racist.  And, on election night, McCowan thanked the family who voted for him.  It was quite touching, actually.

McCowan is not a rank-and-file, card-carrying union guy.  He is a director with SEIU. He IS the union.  He ISSUES the cards.  Andy Stern himself might as well have kicked Gladney.

I guess that means McCowan has Obama's favorite book, Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals, in his library. 

HT: Sweetness & Light

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I’m reporting “fishy” health care information

Posted by Richard on August 6, 2009

I've decided to help the Obama administration identify the sources of "disinformation" about its plans for America's health care system. At the request of Linda Douglass (one of at least a dozen "objective" journalists who've quit shilling for the Democrats in their mainstream media jobs in order to take positions in the Obama administration doing the same thing for pay), I'm reporting Rep. Barney Frank for contradicting the President's assertion on June 15: 

What are not legitimate concerns are those being put forward claiming a public option is somehow a Trojan horse for a single-payer system. … So, when you hear the naysayers claim that I’m trying to bring about government-run health care, know this – they are not telling the truth.

Here's what Barney Frank told the Single Payer Action organization on July 27, when asked why not to push for a government-run single-payer system right now (emphasis added): 

Because we don’t have the votes for it. I wish we did. I think that if we get a good public option it could lead to single payer and that is the best way to reach single payer. Saying you’ll do nothing till you get single payer is a sure way never to get it. … I think the best way we’re going to get single payer, the only way, is to have a public option and demonstrate the strength of its power.

Here's the video (I'm sending a link to, as Linda Douglass requested, so they can add Frank to their database of "disinformation" disseminators): 

[YouTube link]

Who knew that Barney Frank was acting on behest of "high-level Republican political operatives" and/or insurance companies?

Note: Mary Katherine Ham uncovered the complete story of the "high-level Republican political operatives" cited by the DNC ad as orchestrating all the town hall meeting protests. It turns out to be a single libertarian, Bob MacGuffie (who insists he's never voted for a Republican), and four friends who set up a website and a PAC, Right Principles, with current assets of about four grand.

Ham also reports the parts of MacGuffie's memo on what to do at a town hall meeting that the DNC ad omitted, and she has a YouTube video of MacGuffie applying his own advice when questioning his own representative, Jim Hines. You be the judge of whether this is an "orchestrated, hateful action" by a member of a mob or a perfectly reasonable thing for a citizen to do in a representative democracy.

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Dissent is no longer patriotic

Posted by Richard on August 6, 2009

Lanny Davis thinks the spontaneous chants of "Read the bill!" that have erupted at town hall meetings are "fascist" tactics, and he wants such dissidents photographed and investigated.

The White House has a dedicated email address for turning in people who say something "fishy" about its health care plan. As Sen. Cornyn observed, this looks like they're compiling an "enemies list" (emphasis added):

I am not aware of any precedent for a President asking American citizens to report their fellow citizens to the White House for pure political speech that is deemed "fishy" or otherwise inimical to the White House's political interests.

By requesting that citizens send "fishy" emails to the White House, it is inevitable that the names, email addresses, IP addresses, and private speech of U.S. citizens will be reported to the White House. You should not be surprised that these actions taken by your White House staff raise the specter of a data collection program. As Congress debates health care reform and other critical policy matters, citizen engagement must not be chilled by fear of government monitoring the exercise of free speech rights.

I can only imagine the level of justifiable outrage had your predecessor asked Americans to forward emails critical of his policies to the White House. I suspect that you would have been leading the charge in condemning such a program–and I would have been at your side denouncing such heavy-handed government action.

The people who, with funding from George Soros, invented Astroturfing are trying to portray the ordinary citizens who attend Tea Parties and show up at town hall meetings as shills for the insurance industry. Barbara Boxer said she can tell they're not genuine because they're too well-dressed. I guess to be a genuine concerned citizen, you have to look like part of a Code Pink or freak show. 

Meanwhile, the Prez himself is directing the troops to create a real top-down, manufactured, Astroturf response. No indication of how the mobilized army of volunteers will be dressed. 

Count on Nancy Pelosi to jump in with a shark-jumping comment reminding us that Godwin's Law still operates (emphasis added):

Interviewer: Do you think there's legitimate grassroot opposition going on here?

Pelosi: "I think they're Astroturf… You be the judge. "They're carrying swastikas and symbols like that to a town meeting on healthcare."

Remember when dissent was the highest form of patriotism? When swastikas at protest rallies were all the rage? Don Surber remembers.

UPDATE: Robert Gibbs, the White House Press Secretary who's made Scott McClellan appear competent, has assured us that Sen. Cornyn's concerns about those "fishy" emails are completely unfounded. Well, sort of

"Nobody is collecting names," Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said at today's the White House press briefing. "Nobody's keeping anybody's email."

Asked later by THE WEEKLY STANDARD if the White House is required by law to save all correspondence it receives, Gibbs acknowledged, "Obviously, the National Archives documents correspondence with the White House." Gibbs also said he didn't know how many emails the White House has yet received yet.

So remember: "Nobody is keeping anybody's email," except the federal government at the U.S. National Archives.

What a relief.

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Troubled times

Posted by Richard on March 10, 2009

I know, I’m a pretty sorry excuse for a blogger. The country is going to hell in a handbasket, there are countless events deserving commentary and criticism, and I went AWOL for over a week. I’m sorry. I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed.

I guess it’s time for one of my relatively rare bouts of breast-baring, one of those very personal glimpses that’s the raison d’etre for some bloggers and the sole purpose of most social networking sites, but which I generally eschew. Another beer, and it will come easily.

First, there’s family. In two weeks I’ll be explaining to a judge that someone I used to love and care about has turned out to be a liar and a thief. The closer this gets, the more it weighs on me, disturbs me, and leaves me wanting to just pull the covers over my head and wish it all away.

Then there’s work. I have tough deadlines that aren’t helped by my impending trip to Knoxville for the court case, and I’m a bit stressed out from that, too.

Then there’s the economy. I’ve been saving about a third of my income for a while now — I had to because I started late in life. But that’s a damn good rate, and things were looking pretty good for a while. Now, after losing more than half of my savings, I predict that if the market turns around modestly within the next year or so, I may be able to retire when I’m 70. Or 72.

Or maybe not. All the news out of Washington suggests that the current administration is hell-bent on recreating the plotline of Atlas Shrugged. If they succeed, there’ll be no recovery, at least not in the near term. Their policies mirror Roosevelt’s, so the consequences may be like the 1930s — a decade-long depression. And I’ll never be able to retire. That weighs on me, too.

All in all, I’ve been pretty much in a funk.

The one hopeful thing I’ve seen lately has been the Tea Party rallies around the country. I haven’t been reading widely lately, but I still drop by Instapundit pretty frequently. And bless his heart, Glenn has been commenting on and linking to those Tea Party rallies with a vengeance. There have been several times in the past week when reading the latest Tea Party update or “going John Galt” reference has moved me and made me feel that maybe there’s hope for the future after all. Like this one, and this, and this, and this, and this one with a “protest babe.” But especially this. That Orange County Register story about 8,000 people protesting higher taxes and starting recall petitions actually moved me to tears.

Maybe there are still enough decent, hard-working, honest, productive, caring people in this country to make a difference. Maybe we won’t let them turn us into a banana republic — or France, or Sweden — without a fight.

Maybe the future will be better, and we’ll reclaim the vision of a shining city on a hill.

Maybe I’ll get through this dark period and return to my naturally optimistic self.

Stay tuned. Please. I’ll try not to disappear under the covers again for so long.

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Celebrate Carbon Belch Day!

Posted by Richard on June 12, 2008

Today is Carbon Belch Day. Did you register, like I suggested on Monday? As I noted then, increasing your carbon footprint could help protect our forests.

Using the Carbon Belch Calculator, I determined that my one-day carbon belch will emit about 129 pounds of CO2 (the average American's daily output is 41 pounds). Why not calculate your carbon belch? Then, be sure to register your belch by taking the Carbon Belch Day Pledge. Pledgers have already registered over 110 million pounds of CO2 to be released this day! 

Finally, if you can afford it, buy some carbon debits:

Perhaps the most absurd aspect of the entire Climate Alarmist agenda is the burgeoning "carbon credit" industry. To offset our green guilt, we are told to "buy" carbon credits to supposedly neutralize our CO2 footprint. Somehow, this bogus idea of environmental indulgences has become accepted as a real and valid way to deal with our Carbon Guilt.

That's why we've "created" Carbon Belch Debits (CBDs) — a meaningless term that will have just as much impact on Al Gore's "planetary emergency" as the carbon credits.

To increase my carbon belch, I'll be taking a longer lunch so I can run some errands (in an SUV! by myself!), and I'll eat beef. When I get home, I'll mow the lawn. It could wait until the weekend, but what the heck — it's for a good cause. Then I'll spend the evening doing about what I did on March 29 in protest of Earth Hour: maximizing my home energy consumption. (Now that I think about it, that 129 pound calculation is probably an underestimate because the Carbon Belch Calculator has no place to enter all the extra energy consumption I plan.)

As I said back in March, "My ancestors didn't survive the Black Plague and Dark Ages, create the Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution, and bring about the past two hundred years of astonishing scientific and technological progress so that we could huddle in the dark."

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Massacre anniversary

Posted by Richard on June 4, 2007

Today is the eighteenth anniversary of China's massacre of pro-democracy demonstrators in Tiananmen Square. I can't believe it's been that long ago. Gateway Pundit remembered, and has pictures and links.

If you're young and/or just don't remember the Tiananmen Square demonstrations, the revolution was, for a time, televised. Watch this short (1:12) YouTube video — it captures one of the bravest and most powerfully moving acts by a lone individual that you'll ever see. 


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The foolish and credulous among us

Posted by Richard on March 20, 2007

Four years into the struggle for a free, democratic Iraq, streets, plazas, and public places around the country were again filled by those who oppose that struggle (dwindling numbers of them, I'm happy to note). Gerard Van der Leun observed the demonstrators, and had trouble concealing his contempt:

Four years in. An inch of time. Four years in and the foolish and credulous among us yearn to get out. Their feelings require it. The power of their Holy Gospel of "Imagine" compels them. Their overflowing pools of compassion for the enslavers of women, the killers of homosexuals, the beheaders of reporters, and the incinerators of men and women working quietly at their desks, rise and flood their minds until their eyes flow with crocodile tears while their mouths emit slogans made of cardboard. They believe the world is run on wishes and that they will always have three more.

Four years into the most gentle war ever fought, a war fought on the cheap at every level, a war fought to avoid civilian harm rather than maximize it. Picnic on the grass at Shiloh. Walk the Western Front. Speak to the smoke of Dresden. Kneel down and peek into the ovens of Auschwitz. Sit on the stones near ground zero at Hiroshima and converse with the shadows singed into the wall. Listen to those ghost whisperers of war.

Four years in and the people of the Perfect World ramble through the avenues of Washington, stamping their feet and holding their breath, having their tantrums, and telling all who cannot avoid listening that "War is bad for children and other living things." They have flowers painted on their cheeks. For emphasis. Just in case you thought that war was good for children and other living things.

There were children and other living things on the planes that flew into the towers. They all went into the fire and the ash just the same. But they, now, are not important. Nor is the message their deaths still send us when we listen. That message is to be silenced. The rising brand new message is "All we are say-ing is give…." And it is always off-key.

Go. Read the rest. Please.

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