Today we have two big events. First, a wrap up of the goings-on in Chicago at the NATO/G-8 summit. Following that, we look in the old mail-sack for some delightful and insightful correspondence.
Here are some of the stories that emerged from Chicago.
- Before the protests even took place, police raided a house and arrested nine activists without a warrant. The National Lawyer’s Guild condemned the police’s actions. Ultimately, three of the arrestees were held on charges of planning to use explosives at protests, a not entirely wise move. The defense alleges that undercover agents coerced the suspects into this scheme.
- On Friday morning, the first big event was a nurses rally. Although the permit for the march following the rally was revoked, thousands took to the streets and marched anyway. Police followed demonstrators closely, but largely did not intervene on the protesters at this point.
- That night, police appeared to target citizen journalists. In one case, police pulled over a car holding a few prominent livestreamers, handcuffed them and collected their information before letting them go.
- In retaliation, hacktivist group Anonymous took down the Chicago Police Department’s website.
- By the following day, riot cops were out in full force, as were protesters.
- The heavy presence on both sides led to skirmishes. Reports indicate that at least police officers required medical attention, though it is unclear how many protesters needed the same. Video footage shows police attacking protesters with batons on several occasions throughout the weekend.
- Additionally, batons weren’t the police’s only weapons of choice. The Uptake has footage of officers striking protesters with their bicycles as well.
- Despite the physical conflicts, Chicago’s Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said today, “These are peaceful protesters. That’s what we expected.” However, the National Lawyers Guild strongly condemned the police’s actions. “Police completely overreacted to protesters approaching the security perimeter and unleashed a violent attack on them without an ability to disperse,” said lawyer Sarah Gelsomino in a statement.
- Believe it or not, even a Fox News segment called out the police for potentially entrapping activists on charges that won’t ultimately stick, as well as purposely intimidating people from expressing their First Amendment rights.
- While police did not permit protesters to come too close where NATO officials met, at least some anti-war vibes were flowing there, too. At the summit, President Obama proposed a two-year timetable to stop the war in Afghanistan.
Before we conclude another broadcast day here at PhilroPost, it feels like the right time to dip into the mailbag and pull out a few gems written in response to a recent post that appeared here just a few days back, oh my children, young and old. The piece in question was called A Better World and you can check it out by clicking on the aforementioned title, unless of course you remember it from back on May 17 of this here mighty fine year. I should have started reprinting the letters we've received a lot sooner than this but (a) I didn't think to do it, and (b) two of the best letters to make their way to my desk just happened to be diametrically opposed to one another and about the same exact subject.
Anyway, I'll just shut-up and let these two pieces of excellent correspondence speak for themselves. No, wait. There is one last thing I need to mention. I know how some of you get when you think that somebody out there disagrees with me. You feel some twisted need to jump to my defense and much as I appreciate that I have to ask that we keep our heads about these matters which means that we don't engage in calling one another names or questioning the birthright of those who hold opposing views.
With that said, let's get into the mail.
From Deb Leckrone McCunney:
Phil, can't say I agree with everything in your blog "a better world". . .I'm not a member of any particular church or faith. . .I sort of pick and choose what I believe from a variety of faiths. . . I'm not a lamb to blindly follow where others lead. . .but you did come across as being mean to those who don't share your opinions, especially to the reader you mentioned in your blog. That reader believes what she believes just as you do. . .It sort of came across that she is not allowed to have an opinion because her opinion does not agree with yours, so therefore she and others that simply believe or hold tenant to a faith are inherently bad, evil and wrong. . .and the cause of all injustice in the world. I'm sure that isn't how you meant to come across, but it bothered me.
The answers to so much of the world's trouble is to do away with greed . . .(it was around far before the Christians. . .remember your mythology). I don't see that happening Bullying people to bend them to anyones will doesn't work either; it's been tried too. Mob mentality seems to work for a while, until the bullied and repressed feel fed up with being bullied and fight back. How many times has that happened in the past and look what is happening now. Dictatorships are being overthrown--not that some of the religious leaders that take power are going to be any better.
No one wants to accept what is forced upon them, that is how populations end up dead, and it is possible that can happen even here. Socialism is a fine idea but has not worked out in the past. What is the reason to work for something if the reward of your labors is taken from you and given to others that do nothing to earn it? Look at the moron who made news today having 30 kids with 11 different mammas and he can't afford to pay his child support. I can't tolerate just plain stupid. People are going to bitch in TN about their taxes supporting all of them but I bet they wouldn't support free birth control to all. A strong leader is one who shares what he earns and listens to the advice of others and gives them the recognition and reward they are due. This applies to his workers too. It is from their backs he or she has earned the rewards. That is where in my opinion the re-distribution of wealth should begin. The employer should take care of his people. Is the person who came up and implimented the idea or product due more? Yes, but the smart person looks to make sure the people that made the idea grow and earn riches get the monitary benefit too. Corruption and greed will never disappear. It has been around since the beginning of time."Social equality" is all about the balance of power, not removing all power. That would be a disaster. Even in the communist countries the rulers were the power and they didn't live like their so called "equal" citizens. . . I understand the fear some have of religion being outlawed. . .not just the Christian. . .which seems to be the one under attack at this time. It's the trendy thing to do. I even know a few liberals who have stopped worshipping because it was frowned upon if they wanted to further their social and political standing.You would be suprised at the places I've seen this happen and the real shame is it effects innocent children because of the adults and their conceit that they are the only ones who could possibly be right, but they don't care. These so called enlightened bullies feel it is their right to force their beliefs on others because of the current political atmosphere. I'm sorry but that is just wrong. I won't change my mind. War between faiths has probably killed more than wars over politics in a way, but they are joined. Faith can be politics. The words of faith may have been originally from God but the mistake was when man got a hold of them and wrote them down. Political action reeks through some but not all of them. Anyway, politics is about money.There is no transparency. It is BS. I know this firsthand, I worked for a lobbyist and it was the worst job I ever held. . .there are no ethics in politics. They pretend there are but it comes down to the almighty dollar. Occupy is being used as are the gays. . .it's an election year and the money is flowing and after the election no matter who wins, there will be backslapping and congrats to the elected who will use the people again in 4 short years. So, even though on this particular issue we don't see eye to eye, I generally enjoy reading your blog.Just so you know, I consider myself a conservative, a moderate, and a liberal depending on the subject. I also consider myself Christian even though I fail to align with one particular church...I've cried in awe at the Vatican, and just as hard in the Rockies in God's natural cathedrals. I've served proudly in the military and support what they do, and how they do it too.I've been wanting to carpet bomb a few countries but really don't want to destroy all the history.Do you remember the neutron bombs of the 70-80's? ( I wanted to get a tee shirt that said fuck the people...save the buildings.I'm pretty sure it was from an ad in rolling stone.I was in the service at the time and well, lets just say I know a lot more about the old nuke programs than most.) Kind of reminds me of the folks who want to rewrite all the old books because..."they were racist!" So were the times...and now some want to remove God from the founding father's papers...Sorry..about to go off on my own tangent...lol.. Feel free to messsage me about military issues you'd like to debate.lol...The cold war vs now. It's not that different.Phil...there is some scary shit that may still be out there in the middle east. The old soviet block countries too. Right now there is a battle going on with political correctness and the military training about how "the Islam faith" ....sigh...there is a reason they have been battling it out for 2000 years or more and a reason shit is kept from the press( as I often reminded my father). General Swartzkoff? What thime is the sneak attack going to take place?...lol... Let me know.
This is Phil writing again. In the interests of full disclosure, I should mention that Deb and I knew one another in high school and I have nothing but the highest regards for her, past, present and future. Matter of fact, I thought it was darned nice of her to take the time and trouble to write that letter which, even though I certainly disagree with certain parts, I think makes a good case for her position. It's a heck of lot more decent than some of the letters I have not reprinted because some of those made references to my alleged ethics being somewhat akin to those of a grifter and my manhood being somewhat similar to that of an orangutan. Both observations may be correct but they sort of miss the point of the argument.
Okay. Now we visit a letter from Joyce Renee Porter-Mott who, again in the interest of full disclosure, is a friend of mine from college who went on to become a writer and a mom and all kinds of other dandy good things. It's a genuine pleasure to be friends with her for all these years. Anyway, here is what Joyce had to say.Great post! I am at a loss when it comes to understanding how seemingly educated people cannot understand these things.
I recently received a phone call from a relative spouting like sophmoric religious aphorisms. When I pointed out to her the inherent problems with her arguments from a historical viewpoint, I found myself on the end of a very terse good-bye. Obviously, trying to convince someone that being a good and tolerant person who listens rather than parrots select sound bites was an object lesson in futility for me. I'm sure she's convinced I'm going to hell from her religious viewpoint.
Ah, well, in her theistic view, I'm a heathen child. So be it. I know better.
One last thing I need to mention is that you will be sure to want to catch our post on May 30 of this mighty fine year because that is the day when some wise and worldly folks will be sharing with the readers of PhilroPost their choices for our Summer Reading Spectacular. You won't want to miss it because, after all, this is a great blog.