by Gary Fouse
This week, several abortion rights protesters were arrested outside the Supreme Court in Washington DC. They included the group of madcap congresswomen who refer to themselves as the Squad (Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Alexandria Ocasio Cortez). While handcuffs were slapped on Tlaib and Omar, no handcuffs were placed on Ms. Ocasio-Cortez. Yet, she made a point of acting as if her hands were cuffed behind her back (taking a short break to wave to her supporters). When mocked about her fake handcuff pose, Ms. Ocasio replied that she was just making the event safer for all concerned by placing her hands behind her back.
I don’t know where she got that lame excuse because any law enforcement officer (or retired like myself) will tell you that when they are confronting a suspect or someone they are about to arrest, the first thing they want to see is the person’s hands. After all, why do you think we see all those videos with cops shouting, “Let me see your hands?”
That is because if a person is going to harm you, it’s going to be using their hands (exceptions are kicking or driving a car at someone.) If the police can see your hands, they know if you are holding a weapon, as well as pretty much what you are capable of doing or are about to do. So, if I were confronting a suspicious person whom I may or may not be placing in custody, having their hands behind their back is not good enough for me. I want them out front and in plain sight. If you are stopped by police for suspicion of committing a crime while driving, they want to see your hands on the steering wheel, certainly not behind your back.
So as with everything else coming out of this woman’s mouth, she doesn’t know what she is talking about though she presents herself as an expert on everything. She is a silly woman who has yet to grow up. Along with her fellow Squad members, she represents everything that has gone haywire in our government. Once again, she deserves all the ridicule she gets.
I got around to reading up on that incident at the Arizona Capitol, Mr. Fouse. Apparently, what took place is the following. A crowd of protesters gathered in front of the main entrance to the state senate building. Some of them began banging on the glass windows and kicking at a set of automatic doors, which naturally got the security people concerned. They (rightfully) hustled the lawmakers that happened to be inside that evening to a safer part of the building as a precaution, and then drove the protesters away from the entrance with tear gas. After the crowd was gone, it was discovered that some nearby memorials had been vandalized with graffiti.
Since you were arguing that their actions were as big a deal as what occurred on January 6th, 2021 in DC, let me tell you what the one video of the incident in Phoenix shows. It’s taken from inside the building and shows the protesting crowd standing outside the doors. Out of the five sets of glass doors visible, only one set (the automatic doors) is being kicked at or struck in any way. Although some individuals can be seen banging on the windows, it mostly sounds as if they’re doing it in time to their chanting. The crowd, although clearly worked up, is simply standing about, and there is quite a bit of room between the bodies. It hardly looks as if they’re pressed together at every entry, intent on storming the castle.
There are also photos of the vandalism. While obviously reprehensible, it clearly looks like the work of individuals, as opposed to the thorough defacing of a multitude.
So in answer to the question you posed in your submission, no, what took place in Phoenix isn’t as large a magnitude an event as the Trump followers’ storming of the Capitol. Not even close. The former was misbehavior by a few unruly individuals, while the latter was a determined attack incited by the President of the United States and his cronies. There is one video of the former event, while there are many hundreds (that’s just one archive, taken from one source) of the latter.
The attempt by the Arizona Republicans (incidentally, I’m guessing that’s where you got the inspiration for your contribution) to equate a door being kicked and some vandalism with the January 6th mob is a dishonest cry of “wolf” and a cheap attempt to make political hay.
Moving on to the subject of this submission, while I’m not much of a fan of Miss Ocasio-Cortez myself, it would be nice if you could introduce a little variety and say a ridiculing thing or two about some of the political crazies on the right, like Lauren Boebert, Madison Cawthorn, or Marjorie Taylor Greene. This place is so oversupplied with criticism of Democrat types it’s coming out of our ears, meanwhile the latter are an untapped reserve the contributors here all seem determined not to tap.
Purely by chance this morning while researching something unrelated, Youtube offered me a second video of the protest at the AZ Capitol, which it might be best to mention.
This one is a bit lengthier, but it’s from the same location as the first. The worst thing it shows is some members of the crowd banging on the glass and a couple of young men testing its strength (rather feebly) before high-tailing it out of there. A third young man likewise gives the glass some bangs and kicks before he notices the camera and suddenly becomes much better behaved.
Although I was mistaken about there being just one video, my main point still stands. As protests go what happened in Phoenix was pretty tame. I can’t believe you’d find it even close to comparable to the Trump loyalists’ pepper spraying the police and heaving with all their might to storm the Capitol’s entrances on January 6th. That day will be remembered for a long time.
(PS. I forgot to mention, the 2nd video contains some profanity)
You really need to go back and read what I wrote. I was very clear that the Arizona incident paled in comparison to January 6, and I was very clear that I condemned what happened on January 6 insofar as those who went into the Capitol and engaged in violence and vandalism. So what is your point?
As for this particular post on Ocasio-Cortez, I am not a fan of any of the three people you mention, but so what? In my own blog, I have criticized Republicans, but I am an independent conservative, and naturally, I tend to take aim at the left just as liberals take aim at the right. You have the right to respond and take your own positions, and I am glad that NER respects free speech and posts your comments. By the same token, I am glad I live in a country where I don’t get handcuffed (no pun intended) for criticizing a member of Congress like Ocasio-Cortez.
“here is my point: Will the reactions to Friday night be similar to the January 6 reactions? In other words, will there be a US Department of Justice investigation, and will charges be brought against the protesters in Arizona-those that can be identified after an exhaustive investigation? […] Will there be Congressional hearings? Will our news media, led by CNN, spend the next year or so condemning what happened in Arizona?
“…if what happened in Arizona Friday night has disappeared from the news in a couple of days […] then somebody is guilty of hypocrisy.”
No I don’t, I read your piece pretty carefully. Like I said, you’ve made out what happened in Phoenix to be a much much bigger deal than it is. It doesn’t merit any of the things you mentioned.
Re video evidence of malfeasance, were all copies of the video and audio of Ray Epps’ rabble-rousing at the Capitol disappeared along with Ray, or separately?
When will public spanking be instituted for bad behavior?
Ray Epps didn’t make thousands of people book flights across the country. He didn’t convince them to pack helmets, bulletproof vests and other combat gear, and he sure as hell didn’t have the power to make a peaceful crowd take it into its head to storm one of the seats of our national government(!). The belief that a crowd, which is an incredibly complex thing, can be directed to do something like that is completely absurd.
I choose to believe the common sense explanation, namely that a lot of fanatics who were eager to commit violence descended on the Capitol. Among them was Ray Epps, who did what he could as an individual to agitate for a fight, but also (perhaps because he was older) wanted to save his hide, and stayed out of it once it kicked off. The rest is a foolish conspiracy theory, end of story.
I’m not into trans personal pronouns so my delving into ze-bras is not something I keep abreast of. Your previous reply indicates you do not want to give up Ray’s location if known to you. The deadly effect of one person’s actions on a crowd is well known; ask survivors of sports, concert, religious events where on person falling in a moving crowd causes panic and trampling to death of many others. The attendees to J6 were not all angels, I agree. However where is the confiscated weapons inventory of the scores (100’s) of protestors still being held illegally without trial. Howzit they were not interviewed at the J6 jolly folly? How come J6 committee permitted no cross-examination of the hearsay speakers? Was this a dry pilot run for a Moscow Show Trial American series. And we poor saps are supposed to believe that the 20,000 National Guard troops were available but found unnecessary by Pelosi et al, this after 2020’s summer of deadly multi-deadly riots due to refusal to use adequate, available police forces?
Some of us are not useful idiots, imbeciles, morons, simpletons, or dummies.
Your equating mass panic with a crowd allegedly being directed by an agent or agents is not a good argument. I could hypothetically cause you, an individual, fright or alarm in any number of ways, but if you’re even remotely sane I doubt I’m going to find it easy to convince you to do something as wild and foolhardy as attacking a national landmark. Now think of how much harder my task is if there’s a thousand of you and one of me. No, there’s no evidence at all that the crowd was directed by “government agents”, whether one, a dozen, or a hundred (the more there are, the more indicators there would be of what was going on). If you’re agreeing that “they weren’t angels”, then I’m not sure why you’re finding it so difficult to accept that the people who attacked the Capitol did so because it’s what they desired to do.
The claim that arrestees are being held without charge or trial is another foolish (and shameless) fabrication. Every single person arrested in connection with the Capitol attack has been charged. George Washington University even has a website that lets you read up on the status of their cases, down to every last individual. With all due respect, if you really find it plausible that in the United States of America it’s possible for people to be held in custody without charge, then yes, you are a dummy and ought to be ashamed of yourself because you don’t know Article One, Section 9 of the United States Constitution.
Regarding the DC National Guard, that’s yet another right wing falsehood that refuses to die. Donald Trump never ordered or offered the activation of National Guard troops. Neither would jurisdiction over them have fallen to Nancy Pelosi (the speaker of the House of Representatives) if he had.
The question you should be asking is why he spent three entire hours in the White House watching television and ignoring pleas from his aides and family to do or say something to stop the attack, before finally making a half-assed statement.
Last and least, I really don’t care where Ray Epps is or what he’s doing because he’s not important. If you’re that fascinated by him the NYT did a story a few days ago after tracking down where’s he’s moved to and obtaining an interview. Go read about the regrets of an old geezer who thought doing the right thing meant supporting a demagogue and his calls to violence.
First, thank you for correcting me re actual lawful treatment of the J6 arrested protestor. You are also correct in that I was a dummy for believing otherwise.
Mobs don’t behave like, or retain the ethics of their individual members,. That’s why the 2020 rioting produced about 20 deaths of innocent non-rioters. Not all groups that protest are catalyzed to violence, obviously. To believe the J6 protestors came to commit violence, unless there is an inventory and description of confiscated weapons of the arrestees, you are stretching too far to make your case.
Otherwise, I hold to my questions and criticisms, and reject your allegation that Trump called for unlawful and/or violent protest, but in fact called for adequate policing of the expected activists. [Just The News website, “Trump gave order to ‘make sure’ Jan 6 rally was ‘safe event,’ Pentagon memo shows.”]
Kudos for Lax Occasional Cortex for caring enough to act consistently, publicly, honestly, and wrongly frequently, with gusto.