When I got home from work tonight, I found a disk in my mailbox containing photos of today’s Tea Party protest in Ypsilanti. What you see here are a few highlights from the event. The photos were taken by Oliva, who I’d like to thank for taking the time and going to the effort.
I thought that I’d said about all I had to say on the matter last night, but then my friend Steve started started goading me, reminding me of protests over the past eight years and how they were met by the party then in power. First, he shared this quote with me.
“How about a punch in the yap to these screaming banshees?”
- Ann Coulter on protesters
Then he reminded me of the so-called Free Speech Zones that law-abiding American citizens were corralled into, far away from the cameras of disinterested corporate news entities on countless occasions.
And, then he reminded me of this quote by Attorney General John Ashcroft, delivered on December 6, 2001, before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“To those who scare peace-loving people with phantoms of lost liberty… your tactics only aid terrorists, for they erode our national unity and… give ammunition to America’s enemies.”
That’s right – just a few short years ago protesters were enemies of the American people. Isn’t it amazing how far we’ve come since then? Now, not only are people allowed to stand in public and question the motives of their leaders, but they’re encouraged to do so by the very corporations, such as FOX News, who not so long ago questioned the patriotism of protesters.
But now, several years after falsified evidence was used to justify an illegal war in Iraq, illegal wiretaps were implemented against the American people, and the practices of extraordinary rendition and water-boarding became known – now is the point where we apparently stand up and courageously yell, “STOP!”
None of these people gave a flying fuck about the forged documents concerning yellow cake uranium that led us into a war in which hundreds of thousands of people have died, but here they are today, actually taking to the streets with signs, questioning the legitimacy of the President’s birth certificate.
It’s absolutely mind boggling.
Do I think that we still have problems? Hell yes. Under the Bush administration, our rights were systematically stripped from us, and my hope had been that Obama would be quicker about restoring them. But it’s only been a few months. And my sense is that he’s trying. And it’s laughable to me that now – now that the tide is finally turning – you get people like the Republican Governor of Texas proposing secession because of threat to liberty posed by the federal government.
I could go on and rant for hours, but in the interest of protecting what’s left of my sanity, I’m going to call it a night.
Thanks again for the photos, Oliva.
And I’ll leave you with this observation from Curt Waugh, who attended the Ann Arbor Tea Party:
I just stopped by the Ann Arbor “rally” in front of the post office. There are about 100 very well-behaved people standing around. Some have signs. They seem mostly to be chatting with each other and enjoying the day. At one point, they broke into a very lame version of “God Bless America”.
One guy in a suit had a 3×5 American flag with a big motorcycle on it. After staring at it for a while, I had to break down and ask him what it meant. He told me (I’m paraphrasing here): “I believe that global warming isn’t real and is just a way to send jobs to 3rd-world countries. I’m for burning more fossil fuels.” He wasn’t crazy-sounding or weird-seeming. He gave his position in two terse sentences and didn’t seem the least bit bothered that I asked. I thanked him and walked off.