Saturday, 24 March 2007
THE ANTI-WAR 'MOVEMENT'
How do you feel about anti-war protesters burning the American
flag? That's pretty much what you'd expect? Ok.
Then how do you feel about anti-war protesters burning a US soldier in effigy?
Is that worse to you? I hope so.
Now let's go one step beyond. How do you feel about an anti-war
protester dropping his pants and crapping on the American flag -- to the cheers
of at least some of the other protesters and with no one saying a word against
it or trying to stop him? How does that sit with you?
Ridiculous, right? They wouldn't do that, would they? Well, read
this editorial from the Portland (Oregon)Tribune - which is a solidly leftward
paper that does not like Republicans in general, President Bush in particular or
our policy in Iraq at all (bold print is mine):
Rudeness mars peace
But then there was a smaller
group of demonstrators if they can even be called that who engaged in
numerous actions that violated the sensibilities of ordinary people and damaged
the very cause the activists claimed to endorse.
This splinter group of
protesters showed its support for peace by burning a U.S. soldier in effigy.
It exhibited its supposedly pacifist nature by knocking a police officer off his
bike an action that brought out the police riot
Perhaps the most
disturbing scene of the afternoon, however, involved the man who pulled down his
pants in front of women and children and defecated on a burning U.S. flag. This
disgusting act actually elicited cheers from some members of the crowd,
but we hope that the emotion it produces in the community is one of
Offensive behavior does not
advance peace and justice in the world. Rather, it undermines the moral message
of peace demonstrators. It leads people to believe that its not possible to be
both patriotic and opposed to the war in Iraq.
If the goal of peace
demonstrators is to influence public opinion and encourage an end to the war,
the activists must connect with their fellow citizens not repel
Most of the people who marched
on Sunday fully understand this. And by singling out the few who didnt, we
dont intend to place thousands of demonstrators under one label. But the
actions of a few do create a public perception that at least some advocates for
peace are anti-American, anti-police and far out of step with mainstream
demonstrators who behaved responsibly this past weekend have an obligation to
denounce and distance themselves from those protesters who purposefully
offend others and consequently destroy the intended message of
Where to begin?
---First of all, this is "RUDENESS"????? If
burning our soldiers in effigy and defecating on our flag is "rude", maybe someone at the
Portland Tribune would like to tell me what vulgar and disgusting is (yeah,
they said the defecation was disgusting, but apparently nothing else was);
---How does the Portland Tribune know how
many protesters were and weren't in sympathy with the thugs who
did these things? Was there booing when the soldier was burned in
effigy? When the policeman was assaulted? When the two-legged animal relieved himself on
the flag? Did anyone try to stop them? The only palpable reaction they
can report is that there was CHEERING. How dare they assume
it was not acceptable to more than a small number of
protesters? Based on what?
The editorial hopes that this act elicited revulsion. That's
very nice, I'm sure. But hoping for something doesn't make it
---The anti-war demonstrators may have an obligation to denounce these sick
actions. But DID they? The march was almost a week ago. If
there were denunciations of what was done, it seems to me the editorial would
have mentioned them. But they didn't mention any, which tells me there
FInally, here's a question I ask over and over again when despicable acts are
perpetrated by the left: Did you see it in mainstream media? In the
NY Times? On the Today show? Was it featured on the keith olbermann
left-fest? On chris mouthews' softball show? No, no, no, no and
Do you believe media in this country are neutral, or that they report
the whole story? If so, think harder.
ENVIROWACKINESS SUPREME (YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS STUFF UP)
Here is the first part of an article in Thursday's New York Times. It
is neither satire nor an attempt at slapstick comedy. Trust me, you'll
need to remind yourself of this several times as you read it. Bold print
Year Without Toilet Paper
Bengiveno/The New York Times
Dim Lights, Big City The Conlin-Beavan family
experiment requires that lights be low in their Fifth Avenue apartment.
DINNER was the usual affair on Thursday night in Apartment 9F in an elegant
prewar on Lower Fifth Avenue. There was shredded cabbage with
fruit-scrap vinegar; mashed parsnips and yellow carrots with local butter and
fresh thyme; a terrific frittata; then homemade yogurt with honey and thyme tea,
eaten under the greenish flickering light cast by two beeswax candles and a
Bengiveno/The New York Times
rides her scooter, even in the snow. Rain is worse, she said.
A sour odor hovered oh-so-slightly in the air, the faint tang, not
wholly unpleasant, that is the mark of the home composter. Isabella Beavan,
age 2, staggered around the neo-Modern furniture the Eames chairs, the brown
velvet couch, the Lucite lamps and the steel cafe table upon which dinner was
set her silhouette greatly amplified by her organic cotton diapers in their
enormous boiled-wool, snap-front cover.
visitor avoided the bathroom because she knew she would find no toilet paper
Meanwhile, Joseph, the liveried
elevator man who works nights in the building, drove his wood-paneled, 1920s-era
vehicle up and down its chute, unconcerned that the couple in 9F had not used
his services in four months. Ive noticed, Joseph said later with a shrug and
no further comment. (He declined to give his last name. Ive got enough
problems, he said.)
Welcome to Walden Pond, Fifth Avenue style. Isabellas parents, Colin Beavan,
43, a writer of historical nonfiction, and Michelle Conlin, 39, a senior writer
at Business Week, are four months into a yearlong lifestyle experiment
they call No Impact. Its rules are evolving, as Mr. Beavan will tell you, but to
date include eating only food (organically) grown within a 250-mile radius of
Manhattan; (mostly) no shopping for anything except said food; producing no
trash (except compost, see above); using no paper; and, most intriguingly, using
no carbon-fueled transportation.
Mr. Beavan, who has written one
book about the origins of forensic detective work and another about D-Day, said
he was ready for a new subject, hoping to tread more lightly on the planet and
maybe be an inspiration to others in the process.
Also, he needed a new book project and the No Impact
year was the only one of four possibilities his agent thought would sell. This
being 2007, Mr. Beavan is showcasing No Impact in a blog (
with links and testimonials from New Environmentalist authorities like
treehugger.com. His agent
did indeed secure him a book deal, with Farrar, Straus & Giroux, and he and
his family are being tailed by Laura Gabbert, a documentary filmmaker and Ms.
Conlins best friend.
Why there may be a public
appetite for the Conlin-Beavan family doings has a lot to do with the very
personal, very urban face of environmentalism these days. Thoreau left home for
the woods to make his point (and secure his own book deal); Mr. Beavan and Ms.
Conlin and others like them arent budging from their bricks-and-mortar,
Mr. Beavan looks to groups like
the Compacters ( sfcompact.blogspot.com), a
collection of nonshoppers that began in San Francisco, and the 100 Mile Diet
100milediet.org and thetyee.ca), a Vancouver couple who
spent a year eating from within 100 miles of their apartment, for tips and
inspiration. But there are hundreds of other light-footed, young abstainers with
a diarist urge: it is not news that this shopping-averse,
carbon-footprint-reducing, city-dwelling generation likes to blog (the
paperless, public diary form). They have seen An Inconvenient Truth;
they would like to tell you how it makes them feel. If Al
Gore is their Rachel Carson, blogalogs like Treehugger,
worldchanging.com are their
Whole Earth catalogs.
I'll leave it to you to come up with the jokes about no toilet paper.
I'm sure you'll have no problem at all doing so.
But while you're at it, remember that these people, ludicrous and
pathological though you may find them, are not alone. There are entire
groups of nutcakes just like them, and just as likely to be given a golden
platform to espouse their nutcakeian lifestyle by media such as the New
I think the Times considers
this cutting edge journalism. Without toilet paper, it sure isn't perforated edge journalism. You can do some
more of your own jokes now, I did mine (yeah, I'm flushed
Come to think of it, I wonder if they use their toilet bowl. Being
environmentalists, the waste of all that water would be
appalling. Maybe Beaven can do a chapter about his conflict over this
issue: he could call it "Beaven and Butt-head". Yikes
thought: If Beaven is writing a book about this lifestyle, what will they print it
on? Will they use the trees he saved by not wiping his
Maybe he can use pages from the book after it is
published. Now THAT would be perforated edge