"Tens of millions of Americans, who neither know nor understand the actual arguments for or even against evolution, march in the army of the night with their Bibles held high. And they are a strong and frightening force, impervious to, and immunized against, the feeble lance of mere reason."-Isaac Asimov
I’m posting this article verbatim from TCIM in the hopes that people will read it and pass it along. Think what you will of activists and protesters but this, by any measure, is absurd. The original post can be found here at Twin Cities Indymedia. While it’s true that we don’t know what the true intent of these people was, these charges of plotting to kidnap delegates, attack police with explosives and sabotage the airport (under the guise of “terrorisim” no less) should be backed with some serious evidence. Guess what? There isn’t!
This has yet to develop so I’m staying a tad skeptical but it looks to me like they’re being made examples of. (any emphasis my own)
By all accounts day one of the RNC, though scaled way back and void of political rhetoric, went off without serious incident. Of the 15,000 some-odd estimated protesters in attendance (i’ve seen estimates as high as 20k and low as 10k so I’m saying 15k) the county’s final tally on arrests and charges for the days was:
I question that total being as there are reports of some people being detained without charges (still) and people being released shortly after arrest. Even if this number is incorrect by a significant margin it hardly represents a large percentage of those in attendance. That aside, the day wasn’t totally without significant incident.
The major news networks painted a fairly low-key picture of the goings on but those of us privy to local independant media outlets saw something very different; liberal use of pepper spray, tear gas, rubber bullets and even one report of flashbangs (someone even said ‘concussion grenades’, which I’m VERY skeptical of). Independant [neutral, non-aggressive] media and legal representatives have been arrested for merely being near the crowds, crowds of people gathered in parks being surrounded and searched, even walking down the street was apparently enough to warrant a search by whatever agency happened to pass you by.
It’s funny sometimes how quickly things can change. I recorded this show this afternoon with plans to go out later in the evening. I got behind schedule, became subject to an impromptu dog-sitting, had to scrap my plans and found out that John McCain had all but canceled the RNC activites for Monday…all in the course of about 3 hours.
Take this episode as you will. Being as my RNC plans have changed (see above link) since recording it earlier this afternoon it’s only about 2/3 relevant. I’m leaving it as is and providing all links as usual. The police and FBI round-up of protesters and self declared anarchists has been swift and frightening over the past 48 hours and I’ve provided a bit of info and local links on that situation.
I’ll be doing a few 10-15 minute shows this week as well. No politics, I promise!
ST. PAUL, Mn. – John McCain tore up the script for his Republican National Convention on Sunday, casting himself as above politics as Hurricane Gustav churned toward New Orleans. “We will act as Americans, not partisans”, he declared.
There is still going to be a rather large anti-[insert (proper)noun] contingent on site, potential protesters are still being rounded up by the police and the hundreds of national (and international) news agencies will be on hand but covering basically nothing. I imagine foot traffic down at the Mall of America will be insane…perhaps I’ll go hunting for Wolf Blitzer. I wonder which food court he’d hang out at…
Last week I started the “Amazing!” series off with one of the tiniest beasties nature has to offer so it seemed fair that I give this week to one of most impressive and gigantic mechanical monsters mankind has imposed on our little blue-green marble.
Pictures of this machine has been floating around the net for years and often gets written off as a well made Photoshop creation. The sheer scale and massive “saw” blade on the arm do make it look like a work of mechanical fantasy but it is quite real. It’s not a one of a kind either as the ‘288′ is part of a fleet of 21 such excavators operated by RWE Germany. The ‘288′ is the largest but several smaller versions are quite common in the industry.
Due to annoying social constraints and a nasty case of brain fry I didn’t have a show up last week (nor has this weeks “Amazing!” post made it up yet…It will tonight). Life sucks and we move forward, right?
This weeks episode, which will exist, I’m going to be talking about a few things that have popped up in the news recently that have splintered themselves firmly into my mind.
Firstly the issue of religious morals vs. workplace ethics. There’s a contingent in California whom seem to think their religious views are on trial because they’re being ‘forced’ to do things against what they hold spiritually sacred. Most of them are doctors whom work in family planning type clinics…so you can see where that ones headed.
Secondly the general state of politics in America. I made a blog post a while back condemning the DNC for ignoring the godless vote and I have a little more to say on the issue. Sarah Palin has been named the GOP veep nominee so I’ll be giving my two-cents worth on that, what it means for the McCaininites and the country overall, among other things.
I’ve got a few shorter bits as well but those will likely be the meat and potatoes.
Being as I live about 20 minutes from the Xcel Center I can’t help but go to the Republican Convention next week. I’ve mentioned in the past that I hope to get some good audio to use for the show (I’ll definitely have pictures if nothing else) and I plan to stick to that.
I’ve been poking around the web and making phone calls to find out who’s going to be where and at what time. It seems 11am Monday, on the steps of the capital, is the place to be. A number of groups have coordinated to meet, then march to the Excel and have a party later in the evening. I question the usefulness of protest in this day and age, especially at an event like this, so I’ll be there hanging out but not actively protesting beyond being another body in the crowd.
This was my plan until this morning: Go, talk to people, get some pictures and video, hang out and have a good time. That is still on the agenda but while trolling around the web it was brought to my attention that the westboro baptist cult is planning on making an appearance. They’ll have a contingent of loonies out there all week but from 12:30 to 2:30 PM on Monday falls right into my schedule…it’s an opportunity I can’t pass up.
I tend to humor conspiracy theory proponents. They’re typically quiet, generally decent humans and more or less harmless as far as I’m concerned. Getting into a debate with one has the potential to be as mind-numbingly painful (not to mention useless) as debating a fundamentalist christian but if you just let them ramble on and nod every once and a while you can escape without tearing out your hair. I don’t believe this brand of lunacy should go on unchecked but when they person you’ve come toe-to-toe with ‘knows’ they’re right and has ‘evidence’ it becomes an exercise in futility.
Quite frankly, if nothing else, it amuses the hell out of me. Reading pages upon pages detailing the secret presidential meetings with space aliens (wherein the pres trades citizens for alien technology) that have been going on since the 50’s is one thing but having someone whom honestly believes this stuff tell you all about it is nothing short of hilarious.
I stated very early on that it wasn’t my sole intent to make this blog a constant source of fundamentalist ridicule. I hold to that (see my post on Tardigrades) but being as the bigfoot scandal is over, the raelians are quiet and scientologists haven’t tried to kill anyone in a while…I’m at a loss. Some fairly interesting stuff happened in the Olympics this week but I imagine you’re just as sick of hearing about Phelps (not fred) as I am. That aside, and in my own defense, some of this stuff is just impossible to ignore.
Before I jump head-first into the merde de jour I feel the need to make sure we’re all familiar with the term “Poe’s Law” and what it means when someone ‘calls a Poe’.
A while back it was announced that the Democratic National Convention will be kicked off with what’s being called the “first-ever Democratic National Convention interfaith gathering“. The polarization among loyal democrats seemed nearly instant, some seeing it as a line in the sand and others writing it off as nothing but a show to win votes. The latter was my initial reaction; it just seemed to surreal. The overall weirdness of the ordeal never left my mind but I’ve been able to mentally write it off as a song and dance maneuver to get the fence-sitters until very recently. The Saddleback church event happened, my mind exploded and I saw things a little differently. It wasn’t just an issue of the DNCC alienating atheists, humanists and other generally godless folk anymore, it was all out assault on secular politics.
Keep in mind the difference between being an atheist and believing in a secular government. One is a political view while the other is a world view. You can be of any faith, worship any god you like and still believe in a secular form of government. I only point this out because there seems to be a common juxtaposition of the terms.