op/ed: Bush rally was sad day for democracy

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by zimv20, Aug 4, 2004.

  1. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #1
    link

     
  2. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #2
    I believe the quote says it all...

    As a note to those who might think this was merely to keep "order", I do not hear of any similar events happening to Kerry at his rallys (and I looked)...

    debate ensue...
     
  3. Spizzo macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Our democracy died when the Patriot Act went into effect. :(
     
  4. Leo Hubbard macrumors newbie

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    #4
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=82996
     
  5. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #5
    I noticed your thread leo...and if you can't tell the obvious difference in both meaning and substance between the two, then no amount of me (or anyone) trying to explain it to you will do any good...
     
  6. Leo Hubbard macrumors newbie

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    #6
    So if it comes from a left wing media source its an unbiased site, but if it doesn't its obviously biased and doesn't count. No I don't know if the Springfield news service is left wing biased, but apparently people only care about those news sources that make Bush look bad while ignoring any news stories by calling them biased or whatnot if they make Kerry look bad. :confused:
     
  7. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #7
    I dunno why it's so hard for people to understand that the Secret Service teams for protection of the president have absolutely no sense of humor, or (as near as I can tell) trust of any person who's physically near any "El Prez".

    They were pretty serious before the JFK assassination. Squeaky Fromme and Hinckley pretty much created quantum jumps in the SS negative attitudes.

    Most folks who post here seem reasonably common-sensical, but I've seen some pretty vituperative posts about Dubya. This ain't DemUnder, but there've been some pretty rough comments. Just think what the daily input of "You're gonna die!" garbage is into the White House, and then remember the job of the protection team is to keep the president upright and breathing, not democracy.

    I don't like being shunted away from a logical place from which to shout my displeasure. But how do we tell a nutzoid from a legitimate protester?

    'Rat
     
  8. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #8
    By the way they spit up blood when hit in the stomach with a nightstick?
     
  9. Taft macrumors 65816

    Taft

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    #9
    Good points, but here's what I don't understand...

    Let me start by asking you a question: if you were going to try to kill a top government official, would you go around protesting him and shouting protests at him? Would it not make more sense to pretend to be a supporter of that official? Or better yet, avoid the for/against scene alltogether and try and get him some other way?

    There seems to be an implicit assumption that those protesting the President are more dangerous to his safety than those who appear to be in support of the President. This story suggests that protesters had legitimate tickets to the rally and were denied access because they were protesting. The easy excuse for the denial is that those protesters could have been "out to get" the president, but why is that anymore likely than one of his supposed supporters being "out to get" him?

    I liken it to the racial profiling issue since the Sept. 11th attacks. People say, "Of COURSE we should apply racial profiling because the 9/11 attackers were all Muslims with Arab lineage." Thats true. But, in a historical context, that attack was but one of many against the US. Timothy McVeigh wasn't Muslim and he attacked our country. So have countless other white-boys, blacks, etc. etc. Further, there are Islamic fundamentalists on every continent in the world. Islam is a very popular religion in Africa. If the real threat is from radical Islam, then RACIAL profiling will do no good, as there are so many races which espouse radical Islamic beliefs.

    To me, both of these situations reek of scape-goating and the use of a real threat to limit the voice and position of opponents. If you can prove to me that Arabs as a whole, or protesters as a whole, represent a greater threat than the rest of the population through statistics, then I'll accept this. However, I have a firm belief that this is NOT the case.

    Taft
     
  10. mischief macrumors 68030

    mischief

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    #10
    Taft has a point.

    There's also likely an element of a PD being caught out of their element.

    Police agencies that aren't adequately trained for crowd, protest and riot duty often create riots and use unneccessarily agressive tactics because they're intimidated by the size of the crowd, quickly becoming all-too aware of their lack of contextual training.

    California POST studies have found that most riots are, in fact initiated by the appearance of Riot gear on the scene and the initiation of more traditional crowd control tactics. The current training at POST is that if you want a riot, show up decked out for one. If you don't, keep your gear handy but under wraps.

    This sounds like a similar, if less severe version of the same form of phenomenon. I'm sure the command staff on the scene and the officers in general were quite nervous: intimidated by the presence of a higher-ranked police agency, the size and volatility of the crowd and their own lack of context.

    Cops get pretty highly tuned to each other's moods so if a few get nervous it spreads pretty fast. Normally that's OK, even good but in a crowd-control situation it can be catastrophic.
     
  11. LeeTom macrumors 68000

    LeeTom

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    #11
    Do me a favor, let's not get started on the left-wing/right-wing media thing. We're not discussing an Iowa newspaper's reporting, or the media as a whole. What's at stake here is much more important. Where do we draw the line between security and freedom? Can we draw it, in this case, across party lines? The security of our president is a serious matter, even if you hate him, but on the other hand, these "Free Speech Zones" are a horrible joke to me.
    Welcome to 1984 people, 20 years late, but that ball is rollin'.

    Lee Tom
     
  12. Bobcat37 macrumors member

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    #12
    So you think it's bad that people of the opposite spectrum had to stay 200 feet away from each other? Man, I don't. Just yesterday I went to see a speech by Vice President Cheney and of course, there were Kerry supporters on a few street corners waving their signs (this is besides the point, but do these people seriously think by waving a sign I am going to miraculously change my mind about who I'm voting for? Riiiiiight) and there were Kerry supporters at the entrace to the place where the speech was being given, but there weren't any Kerry people up waving signs where the long line was gathered. Why? I'm going to assume it's because they weren't allowed to be (police were everywhere of course). So, why wouldn't this be a good idea? Do you seriously think it would be wise to let 10 Kerry supporters (this is how many were gathered at the entrance to this place yesterday) get within 200 feet of about 1000 Republicans? No, that probably wouldn't be the greatest idea...

    Anyway, the whole riot thing reminds me of the lyrics to a song... "you want riots, get your riot gear, you want violence, then shoot some tear gas in the air". Of course, I don't think that statement is always true, but it raises some valid points.
     
  13. Taft macrumors 65816

    Taft

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    #13
    Not to divert this thread too far from its topic, but I thought this bit of news from today's Chicago Tribune was relevent to this point I was making.

    (This link requires registration. Sorry.)

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-040805arrest,1,6713315.story?coll=chi-news-hed

    Racial profiling wouldn't have helped much in this case, would it?

    Taft
     
  14. Taft macrumors 65816

    Taft

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    #14
    Nor do I. But they could have set up a seperate section for these people inside the rally, couldn't they?

    The reason they don't (which, incidently, is the same reason Kerry doesn't allow protesters into his rallies) is to keep the fact that people are protesting under wraps. Its bad PR.

    Care to pour a little of that cynicism over the Bushies with their placards? Or the anti-abortionists? Or the anti-gun-control crowd? Or the gun-control crowd? ...

    EVERY "side" of EVERY debate has members willing to make signs, charge up their bullhorns and yell at members of the opposing side. On a small scale it is surely useless. But on a large scale, it can definitely influence public opinion. THAT is what these people are going for, even if it is unrealistic that they will ever acheive it.

    Taft
     
  15. Bobcat37 macrumors member

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    #15
    Oh I know, like you said, on a LARGE scale (like a rally, or large organized protest), it definitely can have an affect. I was merely referring to the fact that there were like maybe a total of somewhere between 15 and 25 kerry supporters on 3 different corners waving signs. THAT will probably change no one's mind. It was a situational comment, if ya know what I mean.
     
  16. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #16
    Whether or not a particular grouping of protesters has any effect (regardless) of size, is it not within their rights to protest? To organize peacefully? In my mind, everyone pro or anti-Bush (in this instance) has equal right to attend the rally and be treated the same, provided they bought a ticket (if needed) and in the course of any act of demonstration, do not incite violence or an extreme level of disruption to the rally's discourse . It seems that in this case, the Bush handlers acted pre-emptively, which while perhaps preventing a major disruption, definitely impinged on regular people's liberties...

    You can draw a larger parallel if you wish...
     
  17. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #17
    Love it! :D
     
  18. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #18
    uhh...you know what I meant...let me rephrase (see edit)
     
  19. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #19
    I wasn't particularly thinking of Arabs/Al Qaida or Bush/Kerry in the context of protesters and locations at political events.

    Squeaky Fromme came out of the crowd and tried to shoot Pres. Ford. Hinckley did the same on Reagan. These two were purely nutzoid; no amount of profiling would have helped. Basically, they looked "just like us".

    Something that keeps paranoia in the hearts and minds of the protection folks is the knowledge that if a guy has a knife in his hand (ceramic, e.g.; no XRay signal) and is within some 21 feet, the attackee is stabbed or cut and it can't be reacted against in time.

    How far can somebody throw a rock--or a grenade?

    All this sort of stuff goes into setting up the where-and-when around VIPs.

    As to cop-induced riots, are any of you old enough to have watched the live TV of the Democratic Convention problems in 1968? While the cops, themselves, didn't actually begin things, they "lost it" when being assaulted with balloons of urine and feces, and with tennis- and golf-balls studded with nails. IMO, the National Guard guys were so terrified, themselves, that they were more of a problem than most of the rioting protesters...

    'Rat
     
  20. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

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    #20
    Clint Eastwood asked the same question in In the Line of Fire, where, IIRC, the assassin was a campaign donor at a fundraising dinner.
     
  21. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #21
    So anyone who doesn't agree with the propaganda machine is to be viewed as the enemy?

    I understand that presidential security is a big deal and needs to be taken seriously, but this is obviously a case of rove telling the secret service what to do. If the SS is forced to continue in this vein I don't think its far off from being the SS of yore, if you get my drift.

    I was six in '68, so no clear recollection of what went on, although for some reason, Kent State sticks in my mind. Perspective is good but I think it's important too, to remember what led to those demonstrations. It wasn't just a bunch of whacked out potheads, but people who seriously thought, and rightly so that something was wrong with the system. Cause and effect, cause and effect....
     
  22. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #22
    'Rat, my question to you is: What makes an apparent Bush supporter any less dangerous than a Bush basher? As Taft pointed out, wouldn't it make more sense for a potential asassain to pretend to be a Bush supporter if that gets them closer access?

    The real problem is how both campaigns deal with protesters. If they were herding everyone off into seperate 'free speech zones' I wouldn't be as upset, but both camps seem intent on showcasing the supporters and banishing the detractors. That's not how it's supposed to work IMHO.
     
  23. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #23
    "What makes an apparent Bush supporter any less dangerous than a Bush basher?"

    From what I'm reading on the Internet, it's about six of one and a half-dozen on the other. This campaign go-round seems about the most rabid and polarized of any I can recall. There are crazies who are as likely to go after Kerry as Bush, and I'd not be surprised if an alleged supporter of either turned out to be an enemy...

    "...both camps seem intent on showcasing the supporters and banishing the detractors. That's not how it's supposed to work IMHO."

    Pardon my cynicism, but it comes across to me as all show and no go. Both camps would have us believe they mostly have beaucoup supports, but few detractors.

    I ain't a happy camper.

    'Rat
     
  24. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #24
    So why should one get treated any differently than the other? Unless, of course the primary motive isn't presidential security...

    Isn't that what I said?

    And what if you wanted to express your unhappiness, per your 1st Amendment rights? And when you tried to express your displeasure you were herded off to an area where you wouldn't be seen by the person you are unhappy with? Do you see any problem with that?
     
  25. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #25
    It only matters what is seen on the evening news....

    the RNC and DNC must go. They are only concerned about their pockets.
     

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