Archive for the ‘Protestors’ Category

Cop Arresting Cameraman for Filming Peaceful Protest: “I Can Do Whatever I Want”

October 27, 2008

I was looking through some news stories and came across this story from WCBS (CBS 2) in Newark, New Jersey (WCBS is out of New York City).  Watch the video and I’ll have some analysis below:

Whoa!  The most disturbing part of that was the police officer’s comment, “I can do whatever I want” in response to the reporter, Christine Sloan, saying, “You can’t arrest him.”  (I don’t have the officer’s name – if somebody could find it, that’d be awesome!)

After arresting the photographer, Jim Quodomine, the officer even threatened Sloan, saying, “[This is] none of your business.  Stay away or you’ll be sitting in the car.”

Latrice Smith, a witness of the incident, told WCBS, “He went to put the camera down.  Before he had the opportunity to [do so], the police officer came and knocked it down. … [The officer] just started grabbing him, putting handcuffs on him, grabbed him by the neck.  It was out of control for no reason.”

Another witness told WCBS, “I couldn’t believe how they grabbed him.”

Kudos to Councilwoman Mildred Crump for standing up for justice here.  The officer CLEARLY violated the the photographer’s First Amendment rights.  Hopefully the investigation goes through as Crump has demanded and the officer is fired.  I’m a Law and Order Conservative.  I can’t stand  criminals and I love police officers, but this guy clearly overstepped his bounds.  The cameraman was on public property, and thus had a right to videotape whatever he wanted (which is ALSO why it’s legal for the government to videotape YOU in public – it’s not invading your privacy – you’re out in public – just wanted to bring that up really quick).

This cop needs to be fired.

I’m honestly surprised that he still pressed charges against Quodonine for disorderly conduct.  I’m pretty sure that Quodonine will have those charges dismissed by the magisstrate (and if not, he’ll win an appeal).  If I were him, I would be outraged.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Central Michigan University’s 9/11 Memorial: Patriots, Professors, Protestors, and All

September 11, 2008

Alright, so today the College Republicans at Central Michigan University held our annual September 11th memorial, where we put out 2,998 flags on the lawn next to our library.  I’ll go ahead and put those pictures below, and talk about what all happened today after the pictures:

 

So, anyway, I had stayed up all through the night (English paper), headed over to set up at 5:45 A.M. EDT.  We started setting up at 6:00, and finished by 7:15, then had some Timbits and coffee.  I went back to my dorm, grabbed my backpack and headed to Calculus II.  My professor kinda made me angry in not observing the campus-wide moment of silence at 8:46 A.M.

After Calc II, I headed back over to watch the flags (it’s sad, but we actually need people to watch them to make sure they don’t get kicked over – it happened last year).  It was pretty uneventful until about noon, then 2 preachers who’ve been on campus all week showed up, and they were preaching stuff like, “Catholics are going to hell.  Homosexuals are going to hell.  Smokers are going to hell.  Obama is a Muslim.  Masturbators are going to hell.  I sinned in college, but I changed my ways.  Change your ways or you’re going to hell.”  We knew they were gonna be there, so me and one of the other College Republicans (CRs) went over and asked him if he could move, since we were trying to have a 9/11 memorial.

Just like I figured, he said, “9/11 was a sign and a punishment from God.”  So we just left and headed back to the flags (the preacher is that big clump of people in picture 4).

We then had a few people come by and pray by the memorial.  The first guy I saw was a Catholic priest who I could tell had a few tears fall from his eyes, and that was pretty powerful.  We had some professors come and tell us thank you for doing what we were doing.  We had a decent amount of people taking pictures.

It wasn’t too bad, but then some real Christians came along to try to drown him out, and that attracted a crowd.  I went on the Internet and tried to find any law he was breaking, but he was doing everything legally.  So, we just dealt with it.  So around 1:00 P.M., the crowd around the preacher(s) is so huge that it’s overflowing onto the grass where our flags are.  People are going around the group, since the sidewalk is blocked, and are stepping through the flags, trampling some of them.  So we move a corner of the flags to give people more space, and we had some CRs stand as a buffer between the flags and the crowd.  We asked whoever came through the flags not to step through the flags, and everybody said, “Oh, I’m sorry,” and didn’t do it again.

Then comes this guy – he walks through a LARGE part of the flags, way more than anybody else had, so one of the CRs says, “Can you please not walk through the flags.”  He replied, “I don’t support the troops.”  Well, I nearly lost it there.  First of all, how can you not realize what memorial this is?  This has nothing to do with the troops, this has to do with INNOCENT PEOPLE JUST LIKE HIM!  And even if you oppose the war, you don’t oppose the troops.  I wanted to just go after him and yell at him, but restrained myself and my mouth (had I have written this post right after that, it would’ve been in all caps and I’d be struggling not to drop swear words every 2 words).  That really angered me – how can somebody be so heartless as to step on American flags and then shrug it off because they don’t support the troops or remember the tragedy that happened today.

So, at about 1:50 P.M., I headed off to English.  I went back to my dorm to drop off my stuff and came back around 3:45 P.M.  At this point, I still haven’t eaten, so I’m beginning to ge a little bit hungry, but I just stayed and watched the flags.  At 4:50 I went to a meeting and got back around 6:30.  We started taking down the flags and rolled them all back up (we didn’t have too many broken ones this time – last year it was really cold and the ground was hard, so a lot of them snapped).  We handed a few flags out to people passing by, and had one guy stop and just start helping us, so that was pretty cool.

Then, we packed everything up, and I headed back to my dorm to write this.

Overall, it was a good day.  I couldn’t help but get teary eyed looking at all those flags, knowing that each one represented a life, a family who was now missing a loved one.  And I can’t help it now.

September 11, 2001 was a terrible day, but we need memorials like the one we did today to remind people of that date.  It was sad to see people not realize why there were flags there (yes, we had people actually ask what it was for), or see the hate of that one man who stepped on the flags.

America needs to remember today – we can never afford to forget.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Teachers Sue Detroit Public Schools for Firing Them Illegally and Disobeying a Court Order

July 17, 2008

Here’s a story that I wanted to break last night, but because I only heard 2/3 of the story when the 2 teachers went on the radio, I decided to hold off until a newspaper article was printed, so I could catch the whole story.

The husband and wife teachers, Steve Conn and Heather Miller are suing the Detroit Public Schools (DPS) “to finally put an end to the Detroit Board of Education’s witch hunt against them.”  They claim that they “have had to endure” a “yearlong attack … at the hands of the board and DPS administration and [violations of] their First Amendment rights of free speech.”

The pair was accused of allowing students to be put in danger during a protest against school closings that the pair participated in at Northern High School in May of 2007, according to (at the time) school board president Carla Scott.  DPS spokesman Steve Wasko said, “These are two individuals who knowingly and against parental permission took children out of school and put their safety at risk.”

Doyle O’Connor, an administrative law judge for the Michigan Employment Relations Commission, ordered DPS “to cease interfering with employees’ rights to pursue grievances, hold union office or participate in lawful public protests.” (Source: Detroit News)

DPS ignored that ruling and fired the teachers, who had previously been placed on administrative leave.

One quote that I did get while listening to the radio (WJR 760) was from Steve Conn: “DPS is not above the law.  They must follow the judge’s order and put us back into the classroom.  This is going to end up costing the district millions of dollars it simply cannot afford, all because a few board members want to silence us and stop us from exposing the conditions in the schools.”

And I ABSOLUTELY agree.  This is the reason that DPS is broke.  It’s people like Connie Calloway who refuse to admit when they’ve made a mistake (or when they’re wrong), and they’re driving the system into the ground.  They waste money on stupid court cases like this.  So they go more into debt, meaning that they cut more schools and teachers, meaning that more kids leave, so they get less money, so they go more into debt…

It’s a cycle that’s never going to end until Detroit as a whole gets its act together and shapes up.  Either that or annex it to Oakland County, give L. Brooks Patterson sole control over it (so no Detroit government whatsoever), but Detroiters would never go for that “because people like Kwame are our friends.”  Bull crap.  Half the Detroiters (the half that reelected Kwame after all the scandals he had in his first term), DESERVE what’s happening now.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Westboro Church Is Now Attacking Victims of NIU Shooting

February 19, 2008

The Westboro Church Cult makes me sick.  These people are VILE and HATE-FILLED.  I just get so angry knowing that there are people out there calling themselves Christians.

Here’s their latest picketing schedule:

Tomorrow at 1:15 in Oak Brooks, Illinois:

Christ Church 31st & York Road This is for the funeral of Dan Parmenter. He was one of those who were killed by the shooter of Northern Illinois University. God dispatched him into Hell, along with several others, because of the sins of the Doomed American people and the crimes that this nation has committed against Westboro Baptist Church. You have worshipped every idol imaginable, committed every filthy sex practice imaginable, hearkened to every false religious system imaginable, all in willful disobediance of God Almighty, and you vilify our people, putting us on trial FOR WORDS “protected by” FREE SPEECH, whereby you threw away your greatest blessing, the First Amendmant, and brought down the Wrath of the LORD OF HOSTS down upon your wicked heads. You have done this against your own interest: this is the vengeance of God, vindacating his people. And shall we not rejoice? Read Psalm 58:10-11. God is laughing at your calamity. Proverbs 1:26, Psalm 2. America is Doomed. Amen.

The bolded parts are what just shocked the crap out of me.

And here’s a clip from another planned protest description: “Last week, God sent a shooter to carry out His vengeance on Illinois and America for their grievous crimes against His Standards and His People.”

Now, let me explain how Westboro is a cult, just from the paragraphs above.  They say, “crimes that this nation has committed against Westboro Baptist Church,” whereas a true religion would talk about a nation straying from God, the focus is on the Westboro Church – this matches previous cults such as the Branch Davidians, Jonestown, or Solar Temple – the focus is on the cult, and a lot of attention is given to their leader Fred Phelps.

Look at this kid:

He’s what – maybe 8?

These people are freaks.  How long before they wind up doing something like the Branch Davidians, but instead of a mass suicide, they perform a mass homicide?

Now, back to my explanation of how they are a cult.  They claim that “God hates fags” and that he sends people to hell for supporting homosexuality.  Well, let me tell you something, as a hard core religious right conservative, God doesn’t send anybody to hell for one particular sin, it’s for not accepting his Son’s sacrifice.  I don’t care if you’re gay or straight, you can be saved (not that I think homosexuality isn’t a sin, but that’s another issue for another time).  So they have strayed from direct salvational doctrine, making them a false religion.

Now, on to their attacks against the Northern Illinois University victims.  I’m asking anybody in the area to go out and do like the Patriot Guard Riders and drown these people out.  Don’t get violent with them, but give the families of these victims some peace during the memorial service.  A copy of the picketing schedule is available here: http://www.godhatesfags.com/schedule.html.  I’m half tempted to start a www.godhateswestboro.com just to combat the evil that this cult puts out, but I’m a broke college kid with no time.

At this point, my prayers go out to the families and friends of the victims at NIU.  GOD bless you, as I know he will.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Violence Erupts in New Orleans Over Housing

December 22, 2007

I first brought you the story of the demolition of low-income housing in New Orleans in this post: http://inkslwc.wordpress.com/2007/12/14/low-income-housing-in-new-orleans-to-be-demolished/.  Now I come to you with an update (quotes and pictures from CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/12/20/neworleans.protests/)…

On Thursday, the City Council with Mayor Ray Nagin’s strong commendation (a smart move for once on his party) unanimously decided to demolish the old and dangerously damaged low-income housing that was damaged by Hurricane Katrina.  Many people opposed the decision because they think that the city will not replace it with as affordable housing, essentially pushing the poor people out (so they’d be pushing poor people out of a moldy and hazardous building onto the streets – ok, I don’t see much difference here).

Anyway, around 11:00 A.M., several protesters were escorted out of the City Council’s chambers after some fights broke out (wait, is this New Orleans or Detroit?  Oh – sorry – in Detroit it’s the members of the council who punch each other, not the audience).  A half hour later, a mob formed and wanted to be let in to the Council building, even though the chamber’s maximum capacity of 278 had been reached.

Superintendent of the N.O.P.D. Warren J. Riley said, “They were pulling the gate open, trying to come in.  They were allowed to stand there and protest peacefully.  Then they began to try and tear the gate down.  They punched a couple of civil sheriffs in the face.  They broke the gate open.  So, some of those officers did use Mace to defend themselves and also to regain control of the gate and close the gate.  It was clear that there were people there that had one goal in mind and that was to be disruptive, be disobedient and in some cases to actually start a physical confrontation.”

On the other hand, Peter O’Connell, a student from New Orleans said, “We were just trying to gain access to the City Council meeting, which we all feel and know that we have a right to attend.  We were denied access and, in the process, brutalized by the police,” after being pepper sprayed and nearly TASERed.  Sure you have the right to attend, if you’re the first 278 people there.  But you don’t have a right to break down a gate.  And don’t they broadcast these things on TV?

So – it’s obvious that these people in New Orleans are nothing but trouble makers and I honestly don’t see why the City Council would even care about giving them housing when they aren’t even civilized enough to not tear down a gate and start a fight in a City Council meeting.

Again – I say that the damaged parts of New Orleans need to be demolished and not rebuilt – it’s another disaster waiting to happen.  But if they do rebuild, they should allow for the same arrangements as was there before – just better kept – but if the people of New Orleans continue to act like this – I wouldn’t give them anything other than what the Constitution (state and federal) tells me I HAVE to give them.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Low-Income Housing in New Orleans to Be Demolished

December 14, 2007

I found out about this story here: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/14/us/nationalspecial/14orleans.html.

The plan is to demolish some of the low-income housing units in New Orleans that were damaged by Hurricane Katrina and replace them with either higher-class units as well as some low-income units.  Some of the buildings had been scheduled to be demolished before the storm hit.

Many protesters are saying that this is just the federal government’s way of kicking poor people to the curb.  Threats of arson and violence have even been made by some protesters.  James Bernazzani, special agent in charge of the F.B.I. office in New Orleans, said that the New Orleans’ domestic terrorism unit was investigating the source of posters that said,“For Every Public Housing Unit Destroyed a Condo Unit Will Be Destroyed.”

Here’s what I think:

  • These damaged buildings should be destroyed.
  • They should NOT be rebuilt at all.  As an amateur meteorologist and somebody pursing a degree in meteorology, I will be one of the first to tell you that ANY city built below sea level near the coast is a stupid idea.  The damaged buildings should be destroyed and we should slowly have people move out of New Orleans.  We were fortunate enough to have this long of a period without a disaster in New Orleans, but I doubt that our fortune will be that lucky in the future.  The government should not keep wasting money rebuilding a city that just doesn’t make sense.  I say that FEMA helps out the people who need it, give them some money that they need and give them a chance to either leave or stay.  But if they stay, I think they should be on their own next time – they know what can happen, so they need to live with the consequences of their decisions.
  • These protesters aren’t helping – how is it that these people think that they’ll get respect when they put up posters saying that they’ll burn down other buildings if these are destroyed.  It’s terrorism and these people need to be arrested and put in prison.

We need to learn from New Orleans – FEMA messed up, but you also can’t expect to live below sea level and survive a hurricane, so I suggest to people that they leave now before it happens again, and next time, it could be worse.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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