21 May 2013

Stormy Politics

Shortly after a deadly tornado hit Moore, Oklahoma which has killed at least 51 people, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) ranted for 15 minutes against Republicans in Tornado Alley for denying the theory of anthropogenic global warming.  Whitehouse raved:

Why do you care? Why do you, Sheldon Whitehouse, Democrat of Rhode Island, care if we Republicans run off the climate cliff like a bunch of proverbial lemmings and disgrace ourselves? I’ll tell you why. We’re stuck in this together. We are stuck in this together. When cyclones tear up Oklahoma and hurricanes swamp Alabama and wildfires scorch Texas, you come to us, the rest of the country, for billions of dollars to recover. And the damage that your polluters and deniers are doing doesn’t just hit Oklahoma and Alabama and Texas. It hits Rhode Island with floods and storms. It hits Oregon with acidified seas, it hits Montana with dying forests. So, like it or not, we’re in this together.

To be fair, Climate Change has long been one of  Whitehouse’s pet policies.   But politicizing a natural disaster of this magnitude before recovery efforts even began was callous and unstatesmanlike. 

But Whitehouse’s rant may have been a barometer for a tempest of progressive politicos.  Social media strings questioned how conservative storm victims could be helped by what was characterized as unconstitutional FEMA assistance.  The comment seemed to have keyed on former Rep. Ron Paul’s critique of FEMA.  Of course, Rep. Paul was a libertarian more than a conservative and he argued that FEMA does more harm than good rather than the constitutionality of the agency.  But what do facts matter for a partisan progressive attack?

Later comments mocked the self-reliant instincts of flyover country folk for needing FEMA, as they should have had insurance.  The money line was “[It] certainly feels like conservatives believe Liberals are a bunch of tax dodging moochers, living off the government teat. who want to take their money, guns and behymens (sic).”

In the Age of Obama, politicizing tragedy is nothing new.  Families of the Newtown, Connecticut shootings were flown to the District of Calamity (sic) on Air Force One and paraded by the Obama White House before Congress to lobby for federal gun control, when the restrictions would do nothing to address what caused their loss.  And some political observers that Superstorm Sandy may have turned the tide in the 2012 election for President Obama.

One would hope that these piquant quips about natural disasters like the Moore OK F4 tornado  are isolated examples of liberal lunacy.  But as Glenn Beck sprang into action after the cyclone hit, corralling two tractor trailers with emergency supplies for the victims of Moore, OK, he was amazed at the hate which this storm brewed.  Beck noted that Twitter messages he saw spoke of God punishing evil Red Staters.  So this bilious progressive temperament from the fever swap seems widespread.

It makes me regret thinking of those on the other end of the ideological spectrum as “Bleeding Heart Liberals”.   Such cruel comments make me question which organ should be substituted as an appropriate descriptor.  

Michael Reagan sensed the stormy political atmosphere when he said:  

What will speak louder than words are actions. 

20 May 2013

DOJ Pride--Politically Correct Anarcho-Fascism

In advance of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Pride Month in June, the Department of Justice was internally circulating a document entitled “LGBT Inclusion at Work: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Managers.” 

Considering the Obama Administration’s appeals to progressive politically active homosexual activists and President Obama’s public shift in approval for same sex so called marriage, it is not surprising that the Executive Branch would push “DOJ Pride”which has been around since 1994   to encourage acceptance of non-traditional mores and alternative lifestyles. 

There are some sensible suggestions in the departmental policy propaganda,  such as avoiding offensive jokes (and cracking down on subordinates who engage in such off color humor).  But this extends to adjectives that might be considered pejorative, like “sissy” or “pansy”. 

The DOJ document mandates some double speak.  Managers are mandated not to use terminology like “trannny”, “the gay lifestyle” or “sexual preference” that some might consider offensive.  Manager are told that inclusive words like “partner” or “spouse” ought to be used rather than gender specific “husband” and “wife”.  

Aside from scrubbing language from common descriptive words that have no negative intent but are not inclusive or recognizing traditional social arrangements, DOJ Pride gives a place of pride to alternative lifestyle activists. The document “suggests” that employees should be allowed to attend LGBT-focused professional professional advancement activities, like the LGBT Bar Association and Out and Equal Workplace Advocacy conferences, presumably on company time and the taxpayers dime. 

What is really troubling is mandating what must be done if an employee comes out to you.  Rather than state the law or the Department’s presumed policy of non-discrimination or being judged on your work performance, the pamphlet notes that managers should not judge them or remain silent.  The document deigns that  "Silence will be interpreted as disapproval”.  The only correct response to such unsolicited sharing is “interest and curious.”  And managers are muscled to display LGBT paraphanalia in their office to let their subordinates know that it is a safe workplace.  So if a manager holds contrary mores, they must not state their preference or bite their tongue but ought to approve of their employee’s choices

DO assume that LGBT employees and their allies are listening to what you’re saying (whether in a meeting or around the proverbial water cooler) and will read what you’re writing (whether in a casual email or in a formal document), and make sure the language you use is inclusive and respectful.”

Of course professionalism is expected in conducting oneself in a workplace.  But it is a little troubling about having the expectation that “LGBT employees and THEIR ALLIES” (my emphasis) watching over one’s shoulder.   With the broad swathes of group-think (banishing husband/wife language, or references to sexual preference and the gay lifestyle), this is creating an adversarial environment which accusations of politically incorrect statements (not even using unprofessional expressions for an office place) could well be used as a cudgel against traditional Christians.  It could be an undefensible accusation which does not use a reasonable person’s standards but operates on the contingency if someone claims to be offended. 

This arbitrary and ambiguous standard sounds similar to the new Department of Education edict which lowered the standards of what constitutes sexual harassment”.   A joint letter from the Department of Justice and the Department of Education issued to the University of Montana on May 9th is intended to serve as a blueprint l for colleges across the country.  Sexual harassment is broadly defined as "unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature"—will now satisfy federal statutory requirements. This explicitly includes "verbal conduct," otherwise known as speech.  This enshrines the right not to be offended as a federal mandate.  

The Wall Street Journal notes that unsuccessful requests for a date, or having a controversial book like “Lolita” assigned to a student, a performance of “The Vagina Monologues” or even a discussion of “gay” marriage could now be construed as sexual harassment under a the low threshold of the “preponderance of the evidence” standard.   The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) believes that this resolution agreement will be impossible to enforce in an evenhanded and comprehensive manner.  

[A]  university must take immediate steps to protect the complainant from further harassment prior to the completion of the Title IX and Title IV investigation/ resolution. Appropriate steps may include separating the accused harasser and the complainant, providing counseling for the complainant and/or harasser, and/or taking disciplinary action against the harasser."

Aren’t you proud of the fabulous work of the Obama Administration’s Department of Justice? 

16 May 2013

Ship of Fools--Boston Bomber's Scrawled Confession

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev surrendering in boat after manhunt   [photo: AFP/CBS News]

While Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was held up hiding in a backyard boat in Watertown, MA after the Boston Marathon Bombing, he scrawled a confession.  The U.K.’s Daily Mail reports that the 19 year old thought that he was dying while hiding from the police.  Tsarnaev found a pen where he was hiding from the police and wrote on the interior wall of the boat.

The younger Boston Bomber’s apologia reveals that Dzhokar did not mourn his brother Tamerlan’s death as he was a martyr living in paradise.  Dzhokhar opined that he expected to join his brother soon.  Of course, Dzhokar may have been confused about his final destination.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev claimed that the bombings were retribution for American actions against Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The younger Boston Bomber claimed that the three innocent civilians killed and the 175 people maimed by the  Boston Bombings were “collateral damage”, like the thousands of Muslims who were victims of American violence.  Dzhokhar defiantly declared: "When you attack one Muslim, you attack all Muslims.”

 Abdul Ali Alharbi [photo: Okaz]
CBS News reported that investigators were interpreting this note as evidence that the Tsarnaev Brothers  were self-radicalized and that they were not Chechen stooges for a broader jihadist plot.  How convenient.  But what about the hub of strange activity surrounding Abdul Ali Alharbi, the well connected Saudi student hospitalized with burnt hands after the Boston Bombing who was then set to be deported by ICE under section 202 (3)(b) for “Terrorist Activities”?   Out of sight, (out of country), out of mind?

The confession could be key in prosecuting Tsarnaev, as it was composed prior to a Magistrate interrupting the FBI interrogation to read the perpetrator his criminal rights.  Of course, this note is riddled with bullet holes from Dzhokar’s action packed capture. 

Boat owner David Henneberry
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was discovered alive because David Henneberry went outside to smoke after the  the shelter in place order was lifted during the Boston Bomber  manhunt and he checked on his beloved boat.  When Henneberry noticed that his winterized boat had been disturbed, he checked out his vessel.  On the second inspection, Henneberry discovered the bloodied Dzhokhar.    

Between the scrawled confession and the bullet holes, Henneberry is not getting his boat back in the water anytime soon.   There was a social media drive to buy Henneberry a new boat.  But he considers himself an incidental hero.   

It makes me feel wonderful that people that are thinking like that, but it is my boat. People lost lives and lost limbs. I'd rather that (the money) go to the One Fund Boston. To buy me a new boat is a wonderful thing, I don't want that, really. I would wish that they donate it to the One Fund Boston. They lost limbs. I lost a boat.

Henneberry also seemed philosophical about losing his boat– "Slip Away is slipping away. But I say it did its job. It held a bad guy and is going away like a viking ship."  But considering the confession scrawled on the boat, it seems less of a Viking Ship and more of a Ship of Fools which should carry the caught conspirator to justice. 

If the Boston Bombing investigators are seriously pursuing the theory that the Tsarnaevs acted alone and letting other conspirators "slip away", they themselves are lost at sea on a ship of fools.  Unfortunately, such a pleasure cruise could run America’s ship of state aground.

15 May 2013

Impeach-Mint: A New Flavor for a Hot Summer in the District of Calamity

The summer of 1973 was a hot time in the District of Calamity when it seemed like every day news broke about scandals connected to the White House, which eventually lead to the resignation of President Richard Nixon.

 In the span of one week, three emerging scandals have embroiled the Obama Administration. The long festering Benghazi Bungle became critical, with the straight-forward testimony of three career diplomat whistle blowers before Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa's  (R-CA 49th)  House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.  The fact that Libyian Chief of Mission Gregory Hicks was a Hillary Clinton for President supporter and twice voted for President Obama  added fuel to the fire, as the Congressional probe could not be deftly dismissed as a partisan witch hunt.

Libyan Chief  of Mission Gregory Hicks testifying before Congress

On Friday at an American Bar Association meeting,  the head of the IRS Exempt Organization Division Lois Lerner apologized for targeting conservative groups for special tax-exempt scrutiny.  At first this was attributed to a couple of low level IRS agents in Cincinnati and was part of a Friday DC data dump.  But it became clear that such intimidation occurred all over the country for several years.  Then it came out that right wing groups teaching about the Constitution received the "special" treatment.  This was odd since the educational element was sine qua non for a 501(c)(4) organization.   The drip-drip continued when it was exposed that conservative Jewish groups were interrogated about their feelings about the State of Israel.

If that was not bad enough, the Associated Press reported that , Eric Holder's Department of Justice surreptitiously surveilled a score of journalist's phone records for two months supposedly to plug a leak about a planned terrorist attack.  The Obama Administration scrutinized reporters' home, cell and office phones for two months, without informing the Associated Press.   As the Associated Press was cooperative once it learned of the DOJ investigation which calls into question whether such a broad and secret warrant was necessar. .

With the daily drip of scandal, it seems like it will be a hot summer in the city.  It might be time for Ben and Jerry to craft a culinary creation to make this summer of scandal more palatable with Impeach-Mint.

It is dubious if this fanciful flavor would ever get off the drawing board, as progressives would waffle at profiting from the indiscretions of an ideology whom they idealized as a light worker of hope and change.

h/t:  Mad Magazine

14 May 2013

A Cellular Call For Change?

An important aspect of living in the Twenty-First Century is mobile communications.  Many have severed their ties to landlines.  People use the internet for e-mail, entertainment, information and productivity.  And cellular telephony allows people to take their pocket computers disguised as smartphones everywhere, with the expectation that the devices can be used ubiquitously.

Although the advances in electronics allow for incredible capabilities, the reliability is not perfect and seemingly every option of cellular providers has some disadvantages.

The American mobile telephone market has been dominated by a couple of corporate carnivores spawned from the breakup of Ma Bell in 1984.  Verizon Wireless (comprised of Baby Bells Bell Atlantic and NYNEX) and AT andT Inc (which started out as Southwestern Bell, but gobbled up Bell South, AT and T, Ameritech and Pacific Bell et ali).  

The nation’s third largest cellular telephony provider is Sprint, which started to deliver long distance as part of Southern Pacific (Railroad) Communications in 1978.  Sprint grew through successful  mergers with GTE and Nextel and soon be bought by Japanese Softbank.  The last of the big four cellular companies is T-Mobile which is a holding company for Deutsche Telekom AG.  The US Department of Justice blocked a merger with AT and T in December 2011.  Now T-Mobile is in process of acquiring MetroPCS.  

This colorful corporate history of American cellular companies can offer a bit of perspective on the carriers.  Verizon’s and AT and T’s lineage stem from Ma Bell.  It is not coincidental that Lennie Bruce once likened communism to being like a big phone company, as an all powerful Leviathan is not known to be responsive to consumers or have competitive tendencies.  Sprint has cobbled together disparate technologies (CDMA, iDEN) and is trying harder but does not have the leverage to break out of the third place showing.  T-Mobile’s European parent may influence the GSM technology (the international standard technology) and it explains why T-Mobile was the first cellular company to try to stop subsidizing handsets which required a two year contract. 

To compound confusion on choosing cellular providers, there are Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) which are companies that do not own radio spectrum or wireless network infrastructure but still can provide service by piggybacking on other cellular network’s overcapacity. In the U.S., these are generally prepaid plans which offer more economical rates without some of the frills that customers locked in a contract have.  For example, Virgin Mobile (a wholly owned subsidiary of Sprint) can offer a generous 1200 minutes a month for $45 with unlimited 3G data (and 2.5 GB full speed 4G data) and texting.  But a similar Sprint plan costs $20 more, but includes free nights and weekend voice minutes and unlimited data and texting.

It is unwise to think that there is only one answer for everyone on choosing a cellular provider.  Cost can throttle choice.  Coverage can vary widely.  People also use their phones differently.  The best advice is to know yourself and investigate thoroughly.

So many people are seduced into being locked into a carrier with the “New Every Two” mentality.  While wear and tear and technological improvements can make this replacement cycle appealing, the shiny new “toy” comes at a cost of another two year commitment and possible changes in contractual terms.  A couple of years ago, AT and T alienated I Phone owners by altering the “all you can eat” data plans.  New customers had a cap.  Some old AT and T I-Phone customers  also complained that when they wanted to upgrade that their grandfathered unlimited data plans not convey.  

One other calculus which consumers need to consider is convergence.  Cellular technology can act as a phone, a credible camera, a GPS system, a reading device, a mobile computer etc.  When calling for a cellular change, the savvy consumer will explore how his chosen plan and his handset can take advantage of convergence.  For example a usable hot spot capability can connect a laptop or a tablet making a separate device a redundant expense. 

Verizon has the best voice and data networks, but you pay a premium for that privilege and it is notorious for extras (e.g. texting and data tiers) and some hard nosed business practices.   AT and T used to have an I-Phone monopoly which has ended, but they brag that they have the largest 4G network (though AT and T is storied for complaints about coverage).   The big two’s data advantage might increase as they have leverage over low band WiFi. 

T- Mobile used to be know for their calling circle promotion.  Now they want to be considered the Simple Choice, which is an option to stop subsidizing phones in return no contracts and lower monthly costs.  But their network is spotty outside of major metropolitan areas.  Perhaps the MetroPCS will increase their network’s footprint.   

Even though Sprint completed its acquisition of Clearwire (which provided their 4G WiMax data), Sprint has declared that it will fully convert to the US standard of 4G LTE.  Which means that even the best cared old Sprint handset will need to be replaced to get 4G coverage.  But Sprint has been slow in rolling out the LTE by not making promised deadlines.

Personally, my household has been a contract customer with several of the big four cellular carriers, but we dote on the terms of the contract and will not take the phone upgrade temptation track.  As the market has changed, I am developing an openness to pre-paid models that have lower monthly costs but lack the subsidized phone.  Recently,  I was almost ready to switch, but I noticed that my chosen MVNO had a limited selection of phones which had LTE capability.   While I was willing to wait for LTE to officially arrive shortly in the District of Calamity (sic), the limited phone choice prompted me to investigate further.  

It was a good thing that I studied the details, as the only LTE phone did not provide a hotspot option, which was a deal breaker for me.  I was willing to pay $15 a month for a Hot Spot with 2.5 GB full 4G LTE, as I could drop a NetZero low capacity Hot Spot and get better service.   This plan has not been ruled out but tabled for better choices.

In the cellular industry, things can change pretty quickly.  It may be that Amazon puts out a Kindle Phone in which Amazon acts as a MVNO.  Like the Kindle, Amazon may sell their devices at near cost and bank on the ease of future purchases through Amazon to pull out the profitability.  This option is appealing as Amazon’s customer service has been top rate (unlike certain phone companies) and my prior Kindle ownerships have hooked me into their system.  But opting for Amazon would still require scrutinizing the calling plans and handsets and correlating  hem to my household’s needs. 

Choice is great but it can be confusing and requires some sacrifices.  Then again, there’s always  the  Obama phone.  

But Lifeline program is rife with abuse and Congress is considering cutting back on the program, which has tripled in size since 2009 to cost $2.2 Billion per year.   Considering President Obama’s troubles with surreptitiously seizing phone records of scores of Associated Press employees, cutting back on the Obama phones might be prudent.

09 May 2013

Understanding the Ascension Through Art

Ascension Thursday is the close of the forty day celebration of Easter.  Some dioceses have moved marking this Solemnity of this feast to Sunday.   To better celebrate the wonder and mystery of this event of salvific history, we can turn to art.

The Seventeenth Century poet John Donne tended to take an intellectual approach to spirituality in La Coruna. (1618).  The section dedicated to the Ascension offers conceits which prepares the person for acting in faith:

Salute the last, and everlasting day,
Joy at the uprising of this Sun, and Son,
Ye whose true tears, or tribulation
Have purely wash’d, or burnt your drossy clay.
Behold, the Highest, parting hence away,
Lightens the dark clouds, which He treads upon;
Nor doth he by ascending show alone,
But first He, and He first enters the way.
O strong Ram, which hast batter’d heaven for me!
Mild lamb, which with Thy Blood hast mark’d the path!
Bright Torch, which shinest, that I the way may see!
O, with Thy own Blood quench Thy own just wrath;
And if Thy Holy Spirit my Muse did raise,
Deign at my hands this crown of prayer and praise.
While Donne was raised as a Catholic, he converted to Anglicanism in his adulthood.  The verses reflect this sentiment as it uses quitessential Catholic symbols,such as light and dark, as well as the sacrifice of the innocent lamb.  But the final verse emphasizes the personal rather than communal aspect of faith.

Another distinctive feature of Donne's literary style are his metaphysical conceits. which uses imagery in an extended metaphor to combine vastly different ideas into a single notion.  Hence, the ascension is likened to both a strong Ram to break down the door of faith to heaven and as a mild lamb in a blood sacrifice to show the path.

Three hundred and fifty years later, Salvador Dali painted "The Ascension of Christ" (1958) as Jesus is rising toward an energized and electrified heaven.

Dali's surreal style of juxtaposing images one would not ordinarily associate in order to create a deeper meaning requires going beyond a rational exposition of faith.  But Dali's depiction is not devoid of reality, as the prominent feet would have been the last thing that the Apostles who witness the Ascension would have seen.

Dali attributes the inspiration for "The Ascension of Christ" to a cosmic dream that he had in 1950 full of vivid color where he saw the nucleus of an atom.  Dali was an ardent atheist but he later re-embraced his Catholic faith (perhaps after an exorcism) but Dali often fused his conceptions of Christianity  with science. Dali realized that the nucleus was the true representation of the unifying spirit of Christ.  This nuclear mysticism is meant to connect everyone.

Dali's "Ascension of Christ" does have some incongruities.  Dali was inspired by the atom but it looks like a sunflower or perhaps a stylized depictions of the sun.  Dali was often intrigued with continuous circular patterns like a sunflower floret as it followed the law of logarithmic spiral, which Dali explained to  Mike Wallace in 1958 was associated with the force of spirit in chastity.

While the dove ready to descend from the clouds seems like an allusion to the Pentecost liturgically celebrated in 10 days.  But why is Gala (Dali's wife and artistic muse) peering out from the clouds?  In other Dalian religiously inspired paintings, Gala represented the Virgin Mary. Historically, the dormition of the Theotokis happened long after Christ's ascension into heaven.  However,  Mary is often considered the Queen Mother of Heaven and as the resurrection transcended time and space, it could show the Mother of God weeping at her son's departure from the Earth from her prospective place in heaven.

Other  aspects to appreciate in Dali's depiction of Christ's glorified body ascending to heaven is his hands and feet.  Aside from the positioning of the foot, notice how the soles of his foot were soiled, as reminders that our Messiah walked among us.  Also the Jesus' fingers are curled, which lends some visual drama to the painting but combined with with electrified heavens hints at power.

Whether we are spoken to by Donne's metaphysical conceits or dazzled by Dali's depictions of nuclear mysticism, the Ascension of Christ into heaven is a foretaste of what the faithful may expect in our eventual heavenly home.

h/t:  Salvador Dali Society

02 May 2013

RGIII is not PC in DC

Since the City Council in the District of Calamity has nothing better to do, Councilman David Grosso (I-At Large DC) has proposed a non-binding resolution to prompt the Washington NFL franchise to change its name from the “Redskins” because Grosso finds it racist and offensive.  The councilman claims that a majority of DC City Council  will support the resolution.

The politically correct clamor from the DC City Council is meant to bolster efforts by aboriginal American groups who are suing to deny the football franchise from keeping trademark protection for their famous Redskins moniker.  

Grosso proffered his solution to change the name of the team to the Redtails.   Grosso observes that : “You can still sing the song and everything...you can still keep the feather.”  How generous! This solicitous solution sounds as weak as changing the Washington Bullets to the Wizards.  

While the Clash sang about Washington Bullets referring to weapons, the Washington Bullets name derived from a shoe manufacturer.  The American Basketball League Baltimore Bullets were named after Bata Bullets athletic shoes named near Baltimore.  Washington kept the name Bullets of the NBA franchise from 1973 when the team moved to DC until 1995 when owner Abe Pollin wanted to change the name after the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzah Rabin.  While there was a contest to narrow the name list and the Wizards moniker was chosen.   But that was the free market working by a capitalist choosing to rebrand to suit himself.

Now it seems that politically correct politicians and attention seeking pressure groups want to dictate how private companies can market themselves.  No wonder why DC can be considered the District of Calamity (sic). 

What is remarkable about this politically correct pogrom is that a prominent community leader took a stand against social tyranny.  Robert Griffin, Jr (a.k.a. RGIII), the first year Washington starting quarterback who lead his team from the wilderness into the NFL playoffs dared to speak his mind and buck the PC powers that be.  RGIII tweeted “In the land of political freedom, we are held hostage by the tyranny of political correctness.”  

It did not take long for RGIII’s Twitter statement of independence to draw fire from those who would otherwise champion diversity (as long it conforms to their mores).

It seems that the ‘Skin’s star quarterback is not only agile and inspirational but also courageous.  But now the ire of liberal sports writers will be waiting to heckle him.  RGIII may be treated slightly better than dog killer Michael Vick before he was convicted.  However, if RGIII stumbles in his comeback from season ending knee surgery, he might be considered like a PC sports pariah ala Tim Tebow.   

h/t: The Blaze

Red Twilight-- May Day Protest at the White House

As May 1st drew to a close, a strange sight was seen at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, as a small wave of red flags paraded toward the White House.
Mayday Protest Banner
May Day Protest in front of White House   [Photo: BD Matt]


It turns out that a coalition of lefty groups gathered together to demonstrate for May Day in front of the Peoples’ House.

The group looked very caucasian, pretty privileged (lots of smart phones, I-Pads and expensive cameras to capture the moment).  Presumably, these would be the same useful idiots who would be part of an Occupy experience, except they have recently bathed. 
Crowd shot of May Day White House Protest
Meager May Day Protest in front of White House  [Photo: BD Matt]


While scenic shot may look like the Red Twilight Protest to look like a mass movement, there were less than two hundred participants, mostly youthful individuals who probably  should have been studying for finals.
May Day Obama Gitmo puppet
Obama Giant Puppet at May Day Demonstration in front of White House  [Photo: BD Matt]

What leftist protest would be the same without giant puppets?  Since this was more of a mobile protest, the caricature of President Barack Obama looked pretty two dimensional.  
Code Pink Street Theater
Code Pink Guantanamo Street Theater at White House May Day Protest  [Photo: BD Matt]

The Guantanamo Street Theater part of the show looked like it was sponsored by Code Pink.  They should be happy considering Mr. Obama’s renewed push to close Guantanamo.  But didn’t President Obama sign an order on his first day in office in 2009 to do so?  Imagine President Obama not keeping his word!
Wobby Red Flag before  White House
IWW demonstator waving Wobbly Flag at May Day Protest at White House  [Photo: BD Matt]

The “wobbly” Red Flag is from the Industrial Workers of the World, a “one big union” organization which was established in America in 1905.   As of 2005, the “Wobblies” have about 5,000 members in their anti-free market union, whereas the AFL-CIO has 13 million members.
Parade of Red Flags
Parade of red flags at May Day protest in front of the White House  [photo: BD Matt]
Media Scrum
Media moment at the May Day protest at the White House   [Photo: BD Matt]
There was a media scrum for a vocal agi-prop individual.  During these encounter, liquid was being thrown toward the police as the demonstrators periodically chanted “Pigs go home.”  It sound be noted that anarchistic protesters often fill water bottles with urine as projectiles for police.  

No wonder Concord, Massachusetts recently banned bottled water --“The Acquafina is coming.”  This is a sad indictment of the cradle of liberty, when patriots defended their freedom from a tyrannical British government who were going to disarm them. 
Police Ready
Police keeping order at the White House May Day protest  [Photo: BD Matt]

Law Enforcement Officers looked ready to stop the charade by taking out plastic handcuffs for the persistent protestors without a permit.

While the White House May Day Protest looked like it was a made for media moment, the violence in Seattle for May Day may be more telling.