There is a normal tendency, when faced with an event as vast and overwhelming as Hurricane Harvey, to, while not denying the disaster’s scope, pare it down to incidents and individuals more easily managed. The person helping a person; the rescuer with a beloved pet under each arm, wading through flood waters as he or she carries them to safety. These images we can digest, expanding outward from them to, as best we can, envision such a natural disaster’s immense scope.

Another normal tendency is, when events as momentous as what has besieged Houston and other cities in Texas, Louisiana, and elsewhere take place, kindly but firmly suggesting to others perpetually enveloped in their own personal drama that while (quoting Shakespeare) the quality of mercy is not strained (quoting no one I’m aware of) the amount of available sympathy is most likely severely rationed. It’s not that anyone stops caring about others when something heavy comes down, but you might have to accept a rain check and realize you’re not the universe’s center this week, with next week also in question. Spock noted in the second (and easily the best) Star Trek movie that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the individual or the few. This is a hard saying in today’s society, where self-definition demands the same glorification as self-glorification. Problem is, when everyone believes and acts like they are the star of the movie, the supporting cast is nowhere to be found and John Donne’s statement that no man is an island takes on a whole new meaning. The one-man or woman band quickly becomes a one-note samba providing no motivation for dancing.

This ties into the simultaneous beauty and horror of the Internet in general and social media in particular: fortunately, everyone can participate; unfortunately, so can anyone. Whether trolling others with differing views, hiding behind a screen name’s non-existent anonymity and deliberately provoking people in order to play the victim when they react, or constantly trolling for attention and/or sympathy while playing to the hilt the role of World’s Only Bereaved™, perpetually screaming online “look at MEEEEE” is the modern version of the boy who cried wolf: eventually, even if your complaint is legitimate, everyone else will have grown so tired of it and you that when you really need someone there will be no one around.

It may be utterly shocking to some – well, many – that were they to unplug once in a while the sun would rise the following morning. Equally astounding is the notion that there are other people in the world and they matter too. We all have our sorrows and our battles, this explaining why far more often than not pity party invitations are marked returned to sender. Even as it is improper to tell someone who is suffering they should get over it, it is inconsiderate to insist others allow themselves to be dragged with you as you wallow in your inability to get through it.

Loving someone is not manifested by there there-ing their perpetual plea for attention. It is manifested by knowing where sympathy is demonstrated via support. Don’t feed the attention-hungry trollers. Instead, suggest they shut up and go do something to uplift themselves other than be emotional vampires. Watch a Woody Woodpecker cartoon. Listen to some Grateful Dead. Turn off Facebook and Twitter in favor of feeling some sunshine on your face and listening to the birds tweet. Do something for someone.

There is enough rain falling on us all. Refuse to indulge your perpetual individual cloud. Embrace the sunshine daydream. Please.

Every self-respecting and freedom-loving person on the political right should unequivocally oppose white supremacist groups like the KKK and NeoNazis. We hear this a lot, particularly in the current atmosphere of volatility in America. On the flip side, there should be no support from the political left for groups such as Antifa.

Anyone reading this who disagrees will say that I am equivocating by lumping in Nazis with Antifa. This is the straw man argument that I’ve faced often in recent weeks. It comes from both sides, but mostly from those who want Antifa to somehow be akin to the actual anti-fascist Allied soldiers who fought the original Nazis in WWII. Even those who don’t make that illogical leap will say that what the KKK does is truly bad while what Antifa does is only a little bad.

Here’s the thing. Antifa has been in a constant state of acceleration since they hit the media’s radar. They learned the lesson that every journalist learns in college: if it bleeds it leads. They discovered that the more disruptive, loud, destructive, and violent they are with their protests and counterprotests, the more attention their “movement” will get. We witnessed this yesterday as a surprisingly organized group of “anarchists” made short work of a massive police presence to wreak havoc at a pro-Trump demonstration.

Hundreds of officers tried to maintain calm in and around Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park before the 1 p.m. “No to Marxism in Berkeley” rally, putting up barricades, searching bags and confiscating sticks, masks, pepper spray and even water bottles. The goal was to head off the type of clashes that sprang from similar rallies in the city earlier this year.

But once again, counterdemonstrators frustrated efforts by police, who numbered about 400. As the crowd swelled to several times that size, officers stepped aside and allowed hundreds of people angered by the presence of the right-wing rally to climb over the barriers into the park, said Officer Jennifer Coats, a spokeswoman for Berkeley police.

The masked counterprotesters, often referred to as antifa or antifascists, significantly outnumbered the people who had come for the rally, many of whom wore red clothing indicating support for President Trump. The anarchists chased away the right-wingers, and in one case four or five pummeled a man with fists and sticks before a radio host for Reveal, Al Letson, jumped in to shield the victim. Anarchists also attacked reporters who documented their actions.

This is only going to get worse if it’s not bottled up very soon. The problem isn’t just with the violence. Their targets should worry us all. They’ve broadened their labeling of others to the point that anyone can be a fascist. If anyone can be a fascist, anyone can become their target.

Fascism to Antifa isn’t what most people would call fascism. To Antifa, anyone who is not properly aligned with their ideology is a fascist. They aren’t just going after Nazis. They’re not even simply targeting pro-Trump groups or individuals. They’re targeting conservatives in general. It doesn’t matter if you hate the Nazis and oppose President Trump. If you espouse conservatism, you’re a fascist in their eyes and must be dealt with accordingly.

They must be disavowed by the left. Notice that I’m not just referring to Democratic politicians or community leaders. They need to be disavowed by every left-leaning citizen with the same ferocity that most right-leaning citizen opposes them. They’ve crossed over from being a nuisance yelling at people walking into conservative event venues and embraced a cult-like indoctrination that is approaching domestic terrorism. Some call them terrorists today and by definition, they are. However, my concern is that they won’t be satisfied with sneaking into events and causing chaos. Someday in the not-too-distant future, they will turn to actual terrorist attacks.

Antifa may be the greatest domestic threat to freedom the nation has ever seen. I’m not being overly dramatic when I make this warning. Their anger is clear. Their methods are becoming more sophisticated. Their willingness to destroy property and harm people is expanding. Those on the left must first stop drinking the Kool-Aid and then prevent others from doing the same. Otherwise, they’re going to own this when Antifa ramps up the violence a notch or two. Or ten.

Deplorable me
In between reports on Hurricane Harvey the press is managing some outrage over the pardon of Sheriff Joe Arpaio who had been jailed for criminal contempt.

While the pardon was not a huge surprise (and the timing on a Friday evening during a Cat 4 Hurricane makes the ultimate news dump) rest assured that by the time we get to the Sunday News shows there will be experts on the left beating their breasts over it and insisting that it’s a sign of racism on the part of Donald Trump and his supporters and breathlessly predicting their fall.

He’re why that effort will fail in a single headline:

Trump pardons controversial
Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio after he was
convicted of contempt for refusing to stop
targeting illegal immigrants for arrest

The american voters who gave Trump his majorities in 29 states understand that an illegal immigrant is, by his very presence, breaking the law, and the very idea that it’s “controversial” to target those breaking the law for arrest is so asinine and so nakedly political that sensible voters reject it out of hand.

To be sure in the blue media this will be yet another sign of the apocalypse and the never trump forces in the GOP will find themselves prominently featured by the press condemning this.

However that willingness to make this move and telegraph it in advance knowing the reaction it would cause will only reinforce the solid support this president has among his base of deplorables who will see the media reaction and realize they still don’t get it.

I think Trump already has his path for 2020 mapped out and intends to have the media and left pave it for him.

They just haven’t figured it out yet.


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I speak to singer Marie Bellet at the Catholic Marketing Network Event in Chicago

Her latest album is here

Her web site is here

The Rest of my Catholic Marketing Network posts are here.

In a world seemingly gone mad, finding something or someone worth praising can be difficult. The old adage regarding the news media, namely “if it bleeds it leads,” has seldom been more accurate than it is today. Be the blood literal or figurative, the latter shed by those living in Perpetual Butthurtsville shaking with fear over killer statues, the crazies are crowding the stage. Those practicing normalcy, or working toward the betterment of others, receive scant if any attention. So let’s pay them some.

In Florida, there resides a household featuring three sisters, ages of same being seventeen, sixteen, and thirteen. (I’ll save you troubling yourself with the math; their collective age is twelve years lower than mine. Ouch.) As is easily imagined, said household can get a mite loud. Seriously loud.

Welcome to Gold Frankincense & Myrrh, three young women on a mission.

While the notion of three teenage girls playing and singing blistering metalcore (or, as they not inaccurately call it, beautycore) might seem a tad odd, they are not the first female hard rockers. However, they are one of the very few featuring substance rather than sex appeal and style. Tongue in cheek, quite modest cheerleader outfits are the band’s standard stage apparel, and offstage the members stay modest in all areas. Also, Gold Frankincense & Myrrh (GFM for short) might be the first all-woman metal band to include a mission statement on their website that would warm even the most cantankerous fundamentalist’s King James Version-bound heart.

Thankfully, mom is cool with her daughters musical adventures. In fact, she’s so cool she works with the band, her collegiate studies in finance and investment doubtless proving quite handy as she reps for them. And moms them without stage moming them, instead keeping the focus on her remarkable trio of offspring.

While I freely admit my current listening habits lean far more toward my beloved classic Christian rock plus excursions into Grateful Dead and Gentle Giant territory, I rather like GFM’s mix of muscle and meaning. It warms my heart to see young woman serving Christ without doing the same ol’ same ol’ worship recipe cut and paste pablum. Three plus decades after it started, there are still artists proclaiming the Message without compromise either spiritually or artistically. You better believe I’m going to do what I can to let people know they’re out there and need our support. GFM won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. But for all believers, they are beautiful examples that the Spirit is still cranking it up to 11.

Saruman:  Victory at Helm’s deep does not belong to you, Théoden Horse Master, you are a lesser son of greater sires.

The Lord of the Rings:  Return of the King (extended version) 2003

Christie:  What’s the quietest Island in the area
Virgil:  I’d say Kemo
Gruber: Yep Kimo, Quiet like a library.
Christie: Well When we land on that quiet little Island what do you think happens?
Ensign Parker: I dunno?
Christie: Binghamtom run smack into a Japanese Scout, he engages him in combat. He saves our whole crew and we send him back to the Officers club a hero!

McHale’s Navy, The Captain’s Mission 1963

I’ve been thinking about what what the results of events this weekend on the Boston Common will be.  There will be significant consequences politically both locally and nationally (although not in the way some might think) But there is one perspective that I want to address because it is independent of the various political agendas out there.

As I mentioned in my post Sunday.  Saturday’s events drew a large amount people who while non-activists have spent their lifetime in the media/academic bubble of liberalism.  I suspect for such people, attending this event was something of critical importance to their self image.

For their entire lives they have heard the stories of those who had come before them.  Their grandfathers and great grandfathers who had fought in World War two,  risking their lives to check the advance of a murderous fascism on the world.  They saw their stories lionized in history and media for (oddly enough the story of those same folks stopping the advance of murderous Communism in Korea thus securing the ability of South Koreans to live modern lives didn’t make the lionization cut). Their parents or grandparents lived in the civil rights era where people actually risked life and limb to secure basic civil rights for those oppressed by Jim Crow also celebrated in media and academia.

Furthermore in that same media bubble they have been told for over a decade that the Gay Marriage debate is not a matter of debate (at least not since Obama’s 2012 election year epiphany) and the Transgender debates that followed were yet another chapter in the civil rights.

They have been assured of all of these things, and have looked at their comfortable lives with the latest phones, and gadgets, entertainment streamed to their homes on demand, attending universities where the going rate for their education is larger than the per capital income of most of the countries of the world an what they spend on cable and Starbucks annually alone is more that the per capita income in different 30 countries.

Yet what had they done or sacrificed or risked to get these things?  What had they done to be worthy of those who came before them?

For such people the events on the Boston Common were a godsend.

For the cost of a train ticket, parking and making a sign they could be seen and counted as standing up to one of the great historical evils at risk to themselves.  Instead of fighting computer generated Nazis online, you would be putting yourself out there for the cause of right and justice and be celebrated for it by the media, by your fellows, and online for doing so.

Yeah I know things weren’t as iffy as they might have been led to believe

Sure the mayor of Boston made sure the police would be there in force keeping deadly weapons out of people’s hands and mitigating the actual risk to nearly zero

Sure the number of people who in the crowd on your side outnumbered those you were counter protesting by a factor of anywhere from 100-1000.

Sure despite the assurances of the media and activists that you were opposing Nazi and the Klan the presence of Nazis and Klansman on the Boston common was more theoretical that actual

Sure the nasty looking guys in black wearing mask were on your side and only a danger to Police or people who dared walk though the Boston Common wearing Trump banners or Israeli Flags.

and I’m sure some who were there seeing facts (which they in fairness had no control over anyway) beyond their bubble world and laugh at their worries.  But a lot of others will go home,  post selfies on instagram and point out the news coverage to family talking about being there in Boston confronting the Nazis.

And in the weeks and months to come in that bubble world they inhabit they’ll, around a beer on the college common, or at their local Starbucks or over a glass of wine at a party or cookout talk about that fateful day on the common to their fellow bubble dwellers sounding something like this:

Captain Binghamton: Oh I tell you it was rough gentlemen rough I don’t care what actions you’ve seen unless you were at Kimo.

To them it will be simple truth because no matter what actually happened on the common that day, they had gone to Boston to prove they they were just as willing to put themselves on the line as those people who came before them and the feeling they made a difference was real and authentic.

That was the emotional victory they had fought for and those who share and depend on that bubble world will celebrate that victory with them for as long as they can keep that bubble intact.



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By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – If you have not yet done so, please read DaTechGuy’s post on the Saturday protests in Boston.

I’m a college educated, professional woman and I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around all of this.  The irony is too great.

I’m trying to allow for the fact that I may have bias (my ancestors fought for the Confederacy), and certainly I don’t expect everyone to agree with my point of view.  Over a decade in blogging will teach you that right quick.  I support and even applaud your right to have a differing opinion and certainly support the right for everyone to be able to peacefully protest and express their opinion.

For me, from my perspective, I can’t help but tie these protests to New Orleans and the fact that Mitch Landrieu opened the door by moving the monuments there.

In Charlotte last week:

The group had gathered to protest plans to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, and others arrived to protest the racism.

And we know what happened: the protest turned violent and a man ran into the crowd with his car, killing one woman and injuring others.

This could have easily happened in New Orleans as well; protests there during the removal of the Jefferson Davis monument were terribly intense and many protesters on both sides had visible weapons.  What happened in Charlotte could happen anywhere.

What’s this all about, though?

Is it about statues?

Is it about Trump?  What does Trump have to do with monuments that have stood for over a hundred years?

Why do we all hate each other all of a sudden?  Can’t we differ without hating each other?

I’m not a tree-hugging liberal singing Kumbaya by any means. I’m a Reagan conservative and I support leaving these monuments where they stand because they are part of our history.  You can’t change history.

Here in Shreveport, Louisiana, our city has been embroiled in the Confederate monument controversy as well, although thankfully without these ugly protests.  A committee of local historians and officials was formed and they voted to keep the Confederate monument in its place on the courthouse grounds; they’ve also voted to erect flaking monuments to Civil Rights and Reconstruction and to erect signage with a lengthy denouncement of the monument, including this language:

“This monument, erected in 1905 is in memory of those who defended the cause of 1861 to 1865 and the cause itself. That cause was the attempt, beginning in December 1860, in South Carolina, by Louisiana and twelve other states unilaterally to withdraw from the United States of America and establish the Confederate States of America in order to preserve the institution of slavery of Africans and their descendants. …

…It was erected after the Civil War ended, after slavery and involuntary servitude had been ended by the 13th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America (“except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted”), after the abridgment of the right to vote “on account of race, color or previous condition of servitude” had been prohibited by the 15th Amendment, and after the attempt at establishing state and local governments inclusive of former slaves and their descendants known as Reconstruction had failed due to their being disenfranchised by poll taxes and literacy tests, and by terror and threats of terror, including lynching, by whites. Thus, although they constituted 47 percent of Louisiana’s population in 1900, former slaves and their descendants had no say in whether or not or where the monument would be erected.”

Well.

There are some factual errors in that language and clearly some editorializing and bias, but the opposing side has the right (should the Caddo Commission approve this) to pay $10 a letter to put up this sign.

But why all this sudden fuss about monuments and statues?  Where does it end?

And why are we all of a sudden all fascists, Nazis, and white supremacists if we voted for Trump or if we support monuments?  THAT offends ME.

As DaTechGuy said in his post:

I was completely beside myself over this first of all Donald Trump won the majority of voters in 29 states. If a man can’t safely walk through Boston Common with that banner [“Make America Great Again”] no matter who is there that’s an incredible escalation as it is the dubbing of any person supporting Trump a fascist or a Nazi.

That’s just sad and frankly, wrong.

These protests happened all over the country during the weekend.  One in Dallas, “against white supremacy,” required police to chase protestors out of a Civil War cemetery which holds a Confederate monument:

Dallas police are using horses to try to break up a scuffle at a cemetery between people rallying against white supremacy and supporters of Confederate monuments.

Officers riding on horseback had waited as the confrontation became more intense, but they moved in to break it up around 9 p.m. It happened at Pioneer Park, a Civil War cemetery that houses the memorial to Confederate soldiers.

But wait – I thought the protesters wanted monuments out of courthouse squares and into museums or cemeteries!

The rules have changed?  Just that fast?

Where will it end?

Are we heading to another civil war?

It’s all too crazy for me.  As long as it was peaceful protests and working things out through legal channels, we can have that discussion. But when ANTIFA starts roping monuments, toppling them, burning them, without judgment or prosecution, things have gone off the rails.  Everyone does not get a trophy, you do not always get your way, and sometimes compromise is necessary.

We need a return to common sense and civility or our nation is finished.  We have to work out our differences peacefully. There is no other way.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

Characters in Broadchurch

By John Ruberry

A few days ago I finished watching season three of Broadchurch, a British mystery series which is broadcast in the United Kingdom on ITV–and here on BBC America–starring David Tennant as Detective Inspector Alec Hardy and Olivia Colman as Detective Inspector Ellie Miller.

Tennant of course is best known as the Tenth Doctor–and the second one of after its revival–in Doctor Who. Except for the first half of the “Tooth and Claw” episode, Tennant uses an English accent as the Doctor, here his natural Scottish accent is utilized for his Hardy character. One of the supporting characters in Broadchurch is Jodie Whittaker, who will accede to the Doctor’s role in the next Christmas episode of Doctor Who and become the first female Doctor, to the horror of some longtime fans, including the founder of the blog you are reading now.

The creator–and sole screenplay writer, save for one episode that he had a co-writer for–of Broadchurch is Chris Chibnall, who has been executive producer of Doctor Who since last year and who will be showrunner for the feminized edition next season. Chibnall was a co-producer and screenwriter for Torchwood, the sexualized “grown-up” spinoff of Doctor Who.

The fictional town of Broadchurch is where this particular show is set, it sits on the Jurassic Coast of Dorset in southwestern England. Broadchurch is a tightly knit–perhaps too much so–small town that, in season one, is wracked by the murder of 11-year-old Danny Latimer (Oskar McNamara). Whittaker portrays his mother, Beth, and Andrew Buchan plays his father, Mark. The suspects are numerous and there are plenty of plot twists to keep you on the edge of your couch for all eight episodes. Season two, which also consists of eight episodes, splits time between being a courtroom drama and the re-opening of the investigation of a murder and disappearance in Sandbrook, which presumably is near Broadchurch. The botched handling of that investigation is what led Hardy to take the DI position in Broadchurch, which Miller assumed was already hers.

In the third season, which is said to be the final one, Hardy after time away from Broadchurch, returns and again is teamed with Miller. Their relationship has always been tense–but by this time they carry on like elderly spouses, albeit there is no physical side of it. When Trish Winterman (Julie Hesmondhalgh) calls the police a few days after being raped at the 50th birthday party of a friend and co-worker, Hardy and Miller oversee another investigation that tears the town apart. This season is just six episodes long.

There are many fabulous performances in Broadchurch, beginning of course with Tennant and Colman, but also by Hesmondhalgh, Eva Myles (Gwen Cooper in Torchwood), David Bradley (Walder Frey in Game of Thrones and the new First Doctor in Doctor Who), Arthur Darvill (a onetime Doctor Who companion), who portrays a vicar attempting to heal the town of its wounds while preaching to mostly empty pews, as well as Carolyn Pickles. She plays a rarity–an honest journalist searching for the truth who goes out of her way not to hurt anyone.

I didn’t include Whittaker in that list, but perhaps not much was asked for her by directors of Broadchurch, although as the mother of a murdered child, that doesn’t make very much sense. Based on what I saw in the program, all the performers listed in the previous paragraph would have been better choices as the Thirteenth Doctor, not that I would expect Tennant to return to Doctor Who. My choice would have been Bradley as the next–the first shall be the latest–Doctor. But perhaps a septuagenarian as a lead character in a classic television show is too broad of a bridge to cross for our youth-worshipping culture to cross.

All three seasons are top-notch, but I’ll give my nod to the first one, which was re-done as Gracepoint for Fox in the United States. I haven’t seen that one and from what I’ve heard, it isn’t worth my time or yours, despite Tennant reprising his role as Hardy and Chibnall’s involvement.

Broadchurch is available on DVD, on Amazon, and Xfinity On Demand. Seasons one and two can be viewed on Netflix.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Saturday Morning ,much to the concern of DaWife and some of my friends I got in the car and headed to Boston to cover the protests/counter protests going on in Boston post Charlottesville.

I left early enough that the traffic was fairly light and getting to Alewife station went directly to the 4th level to park. It was fairly empty at the time I got there before 10 AM.

When I got on the Subway train I found my surrounded by large groups of people carrying signs, some homemade some not. They varied from hit Nazis to attacking the “alt right” to the standard “love Trumps Hate” and “Black Lives Matter” I quietly sat and listened. It was my impression that the folks
who had come to Boston from out of town were mostly people who wanted to “make a difference”. Their grandparents had fought in World War 2 and they saw themselves as doing what they did. This was a theme I got a lot from a certain segment of the crowd once I got to Boston, a feeling that they were emulating the “greatest generation” by going to Boston to stand up to the Nazis, Fascists and Klansmen That meme was common among the people I ran into on the train and in the crowd once I got there and my primary goal in going to the event was to not only report on what I saw, but to find out if their assessment was true.

There were a fair amount of masked folks in the crowd, some wearing green who were organizing things (they seemed distinct from the ANTIFA folk who I saw later) I asked one young lady why she was wearing a mask and she replied that it was to keep her from being doxxed which seemed to be the standard line, which frankly didn’t seem all that credible to me.

At the time I got there the crowd was comparatively large but not massive as it would later become there was a large crowd by the Statehouse, that was the Marty Walsh event and various groups to the far side where the free speech rally was supposed to be. It was at this time I saw a familiar group go by.

As I continued to head deeper into the common I saw a group of folks sitting down on a bench who consented to an interview

I found the remarks about people losing their jobs ironic after the doxxing stuff the masked lady had said, but from there continued on. At this point I spotted a group of State Police and spoke to one about them.

He said they would do their best to protect everyone’s first amendment rights (and from what I saw there was a large enough police presence to do so. I asked him about the masked ANTIFA folks, he mentioned that they were a worry but as there was no law against wearing a mask on the common all they could do is keep an eye on them.

I walked all the way to the far end where the pond was and then doubled back to get to the gazebo. All this time the crowd continues to grow as more and more folks showed up as the weather continue to get better but hotter.
When I got to the Gazebo area I found the entire section was cordoned off. Only people specifically on a list were invited in and that included the press

This was a large blow to my plans as the primary thing I wanted to do is record the speeches and see what they were saying to answer the question: Were these guys actual Nazis, White supremacists et/al or were they just conservatives that because they supported Trump were considered all of these things?

Of course to the crowd none of this mattered. It was a matter of faith that these guys were Nazis but it seemed to me also a matter of faith that President Trump was also a Nazi/White Supremacist as was anyone who supported him and this was evident by some of the chants

The attendees were very good at the whole repetitive chanting thing which requires very little thought.

the attendees were very good at repetitive chanting

I tried to find some other angles to get a better view of the bandstand but there was no place where I could get close enough and the fence lining it was filling up

All of it seemed like overkill to me but the crowd seemed rather enjoying themselves as I walked through them.

The crowd itself consisted of the following groups:

Group one:   The well meaning folks standing up as I mentioned at the start (worth interviewing)
Group two:   The college kids finding something cool to do while establishing their liberal credentials (worth interviewing)

I’d say those two groups at least at the time I was there was a solid 1/3 or more of the crowd

Group three: The mayors folks also establishing both their anti-trump and liberal cred (spinning pols no interest to me)
Group four: The various activist groups there to push their specific causes (again professional protesters spinners mostly not worth my time)
This was I’d guess about half the crowd or slightly less. When you report they are very noticeable and you could see the polish in how they carried themselves and their organization.

Group five:  The freaky guys like the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence (drag queens dressed as nuns) and Vermin Supreme (folks looking for attention but not getting it from me)
And Group six:  ANTIFA violent thugs who I had no intention of associating with.

Despite how different they were all of them were all united in two propositions:

Donald Trump is a bad evil racist.

If you voted for Trump you are as are as bad or worse than he is.

The effects of that unifying idea was interesting,  particularly interesting how well the Masked Antifa crowd was being received by said crowd

That really shocked me I figured either they had no idea the type of people ANTIFA was (groups 1 & 2) , pretended they didn’t (group 3) or didn’t care (groups 4 & 5).

It was around this time that everyone got an education concerning them from an event that was to me, the defining event of the time I was there.

I noticed people swarming and went to check it out and was disgusted by what I saw

Two men one wearing a Trump, Make America Great Again and another wearing an Israeli flag being greeted by cries of “fascist go home” and quickly surrounded. At least of the organizers recognizing that the potential of something that would shatter the image they wanted portrayed to the press and to some of the more innocent people there who had no idea what company they were keeping so one of the folks who had been coaching some of the masked folks on one side and two members of the highly radical “veterans for peace” did their best to make sure nobody threw a punch but it didn’t stop people from getting in their faces and surrounding them.

I was completely beside myself over this first of all Donald Trump won the majority of voters in 29 states. If a man can’t safely walk through Boston Common with that banner no matter who is there that’s an incredible escalation as it the dubbing of any person supporting Trump a fascist or a Nazi.

But what set me off even more was the vitriol against they guy wearing the Israeli flag and the crowd joining in on the chants against him. The irony of people carrying anti-nazi signs and lowly proclaiming their opposition to hate driving out a person wearing the Star of David flag seems to have been completely lost on the people there and frankly I was outraged.

What was even more amazing were those calling em cowards those two guys were the bravest people there and I found myself wishing that I had a Trump banner or an Israeli flag and was standing with them.

To me this was a turning point, it is a moment that in my opinion will get replayed over and over in states that Trump carried and I can’t think of anything else that would infuriate and energize Trump supporters more.

On the bright side there were some signs of sanity and plurality in the crowd this one stood out.

But then again one would expect Quakers to be expressing this kind of thing.

By this time it was getting clear that unless I was willing and able to stay very late there wasn’t going to be much big news and I noticed people starting to leave so I started to leave but found some interesting sights like the Panda crowd that I saw earlier

That the people signing were basically saying “take away my freedom” never seemed to occur to them.

There was Gary who had an interesting quest

Four nice folks from Plymouth who seemed to have experience in this sort of thing without being professional activists

A catholic poet and musician who bought my book

and my favorite person Gary who while not liking the right had my favorite sign of the day as embraced his opinions while defending the 1st Amendment

Finally a large crowd came by marching and I filmed them for five minutes

then a few minutes more

which couldn’t help but make me think of the famous scene from Monty Python’s Life of Brian where the crowd chants in unison “yes we’re all individuals, we’ve all got to work it out for ourselves”

Finally it was time to leave and I headed for a T station as Park Station was closed. Because of this I missed some violence that took place later (conveniently after the regular people who might have objected had already left) but ran into the nice young ladies that I’ve already mentioned.

As for the object of these protests they became an afterthought but the real irony is, if there had been no protest they would have gotten even less attention but most of the people there seemed happy at what they felt they achieved and proud of their actions. What did they achieve? Well that’s an analysis post for later this week.

We’ll finish with a few assorted images and clips

And My photo gallery follows my tipjar pitch


This report is an example of what independent journalism outside of the MSM produces. Less fancy, less polished but very trustworthy.

If that’s the type of reporting you want I ask you to please help me secure my next paycheck ($370 to go) by hitting DaTipJar below.




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This is one of those “to tell the story I first have to tell you this story” posts, so please bear with.

During the early months of last year (February, to be precise), I posted a lengthy dissertation on my personal blog about my favorite guitar and its assorted adventures since coming into my possession a few years ago. Said guitar is a 1976 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe, which as noted in the aforementioned post is pretty much the absolute low end of desirability among electric guitar players/collectors in general and Les Paul aficionados in particulari. This holds firm even with the Les Paul being rivaled only by the Fender Stratocaster in terms of popularity among six-string gunslingers. Nevertheless, it is my instrument of choice.

In my case, I bought my Les Paul off of ebay (some hard-earned wisdom when it comes to guitar buying and ebay: don’t mix the two). It arrived sorely in need of some tender loving care, which after being applied transformed the guitar into a genuinely superb instrument despite all the slagging said model, made during said time period, usually receives.

Although it seems impossible given how you cannot find a rock’n’roll band of any stripe from the past forty-five years without a Les Paul being close at, if not in, hand, there was a time when Gibson dropped it from its product line due to years of steadily declining sales. Throughout nearly the entirety of the 1960s, not a single one was built. It was only in 1969 that demand created by the Eric Claptons and Jimmy Pages of this world among others reached a sufficient level for the guitar’s reintroduction, and even then haltingly; it would be two decades before new ownership both rescued Gibson from imminent demise and brought the Les Paul back in anything close to its original, highly prized form. How highly prized? The ones made from 1957 to 1960, after which production was halted, routinely command six figures, often with a crooked number leading the way.

Which leads from this story to the story, namely A.J. Delgado.

Ms. Delgado was, until the end of last year, a longtime member of conservative new media’s upper echelon. The daughter of Cuban immigrants, Ms. Delgado was an established lawyer before she started routinely gracing assorted high flyer publications and becoming a regular guest on political television. In last year’s Presidential election – which, by the way, is still over – she threw her support to Donald Trump, going so far as to directly work for his campaign. It was during this time period she met a man who also worked for the campaign, and as happens (not excusing it, just stating the facts) an office romance ensued. Yes, the man was married, but he swore to Ms. Delgado that he and his wife were separated. It later became apparent the man’s interpretation of what entails being separated from one’s spouse was quite different than the norm, as when Ms. Delgado informed him she was unexpectedly expecting, he responded with, “So is my wife.” Awkward.

After dropping a few quite unsubtle hints about what had been/was going on, Ms. Delgado went silent on social media for several months while most everyone who had feted her just weeks before dropped her like a hot potato. No more writing gigs. No more television appearances. It got to the point where a now thoroughly unemployed Ms. Delgado was forced to move in with her mother. She recently gave birth to a son, and has now re-emerged on social media talking not politics, but personal matters related to being a new, single mother.

A third element now enters the story, that being a story in and of itself: Jesus and the woman caught in adultery. When you read John’s account, note that there was no question of whether the woman was being falsely accused. She was guilty. The penalty for adultery under Mosaic law was being stoned to death. The law called for both guilty parties to be stoned to death, but apparently the man involved in this affair was either considered insufficiently guilty or was deemed inadequate for this exercise’s primary purpose which had nothing to do with following the law. It was an effort to trap Jesus in His own words. Say let her go, and Jesus would be violating the law. Say stone her, and all of Jesus’ words about forgiving sin and such would be exposed as hollow rhetoric. Let’s see you get out of this one, carpenter boy!

Jesus, rather than responding, said nothing; instead (depending on which translation you read) stooping over or sitting down on the ground and beginning to write in the dust with His finger. What He wrote was not recorded. Most theologians and such over the ensuing centuries have surmised Jesus was writing down a list of the sins committed by the would-be rock chuck gang. Could well be. Could also be He was writing, “Get ready to be disappointed, boys; you’re about to get the first and last word in mic drop a couple of thousand years before there are any mics to drop.” At this point Jesus stood up, said His famous few words about whoever was there that was without sin could go right ahead and start turning the adulteress into a miniature quarry, and resumed his writing as the crowd one by one dropped their stones in more ways than one and walked away, eventually leaving only Jesus and the adulteress.

Jesus, doubtless thankful that Richard Rosenblatt and Ritchie Cordell had not yet written “I Think We’re Alone Now,” asked what to the woman most likely seemed like a bizarre question: where are your accusers? Has no one condemned you? She stifled the temptation of responding, “Uh … don’t you see there’s no one here? Why are you asking me the obvious?” Instead, she replied with a simple, “No, Lord.” Presumably she had heard of Jesus before this moment; He was the talk of the nation. Perhaps she had even heard Him speak, or heard one of His disciples when Jesus sent them out to evangelize. Perhaps not. Nevertheless, even in her utterly terrified state – remember, just a few minutes before this moment she was going to be brutally executed – she realized the Man before her was far, far more than just another itinerant preacher. Jesus had done what no mere man could have done. He had saved her life.

Jesus then said, “Neither do I (condemn you). Go and sin no more.” Mull this over for a moment. Jesus neither condemned the woman for her actions nor condoned them. Instead, he offered mercy and grace accompanied by a stern warning: leave your past life behind. No more adultery. You should be dead right now. Instead, this is your chance to begin life anew. Don’t blow it. (It has long and often been surmised the woman was Mary Magdalene, who would later reappear in the Gospels, but there is no hard Scriptural evidence for this either yea or nay.)

By now, the logical conclusion is, “Ah-HAH! He’s comparing the story of Jesus and the adulteress to A.J. Delgado’s story!” Actually, no, although it does serve a purpose of illustrating why people should lay off the judgmental junk. The real comparison is between Ms. Delgado and the Les Paul guitar in general, my Les Paul Deluxe in particular.

Like the Les Paul, Ms. Delgado’s glory days, if you will, came before she went offline to focus on her new role as a single mom. Like the Les Paul on its first go-around, Ms. Delgado was shunned. Like my Les Paul Deluxe, since her reentry into the public realm Ms. Delgado has been considered as quite the lesser to her former self, having had an affair with a married man and having birthed a child out of wedlock. This time last year she was the hot hand, the prominent feature. Now, she changes diapers in solitude, the cameras and clamor having long departed.

It is easy to say Ms. Delgado is reaping what she has sown, thus eliminating the need to extend any of that love, grace, and mercy stuff. Sure, give her credit for not murdering … er, aborting her son when it would have been all too easy to do so, deny all rumors of an affair, and carry on with everything as before. Other than that, forget about it. And her.

There is another option.

One could try the neither condoning nor condemning tack. You know, what would Jesus do. Or, in this case, did. He offered the adulteress a fresh start, bringing her back literally from the brink of death and telling her you have another chance; don’t throw it away by throwing yourself into the wrong man’s arms again. He offered her grace and mercy. All she had to do was accept it and, going forward, walk with Him figuratively by her side, following His teachings and allowing herself to be transformed by His love. You know … like my Les Paul Deluxe when it was properly treated, changing it from a somewhat battered and thoroughly unwanted relic to something of immense value. At least to me. And certainly Ms. Delgado is of infinitely greater value than any guitar.

So what do you say? Maybe extend the same love, grace, and mercy to her God has extended to each of us? Maybe send her some encouraging words and lift her up in prayer? Maybe, just maybe, acknowledge that in devoting herself to her son Ms. Delgado is doing something of great value, something that deserves a tip of the cap to the person doing this thing?

C’mon. We can do it.

Let’s do it.