This is from The Agitator and it's a photo of police protection for the Republican National Convention. It actually says State Trooper" on the unis and faceshields, but it could as well be storm trooper.
Here's Roger Simon on the situation:
If there’s one thing that has dominated the talk, not to mention the hearts and minds, of most people here in Tampa for the convention, it is the tremendously stringent security, far worse than what I remember from St. Paul in 2008.
Only two routes, roughly a mile and a half apart, give you entry to the convention facilities. All other streets are blocked off with staggering numbers of security personnel — soldiers, police from various venues, Secret Service, other security services, private services, etc. — on horseback, motorcycle, bicycle, automobile, and, of course, on foot. There appear to be vastly more of them than there are of us, media and delegates. At some angles from the convention perimeter, Tampa resembles a military encampment.
One insider in a position to know told me that over 60 security organizations were involved. What could be the reason for this? It’s hard to believe it’s the threat of those so-called anarchists who seem to be nowhere in evidence (or washed down a drain). Or is it?
There's a thing that the media are calling "optics". You can't tell me that this looks good to anyone. It's not helping the coverage either, here's The Other McCain about just picking up his journalist credentials:
You don’t want to hear about my wasted morning — the attempt to drive downtown to the Sheraton to pick up my media credentials, the godawful gridlock caused by the lunatic security, being turned around at the barricaded intersection, forced to drive back to Ybor City, pay to park the car, call a cab to take me downtown again, then discovering that my credentials were in the possession of Jim Antle who, contrary to our previous discussion about the topic, was not downtown to meet me.
Getting a cab out of the security perimeter was obviously impossible.
You don’t want to hear about my mile-long walk back to Ybor City, in a muggy sweat-soaked heat, to retrieve the car, then drive here to this McDonald’s, logging on to get directions to where Jim Antle is staying, and discovering that it’s 10 miles south of here.
So far there have been 3 arrests of rioters - 1 evidently disturbed fuckhead openly carrying what was described as a "machete" :
Actually that's a Kukri, beloved of the Ghurkas and sharp on the inside edge of the curve, as opposed to the outside edge for the standard machete. Trust me on this, I know both. For cutting through thickets, damnit, not for removing heads. You think I' m some sort of Musselman fundamentalist or something? I've known some Sikhs who carry them to clean their fingernails (and very well manicured men they are, indeed), but for my very own personal part, I think that there is a huge over-reaction here.
The GOP, for all its failings (and believe me they are huge and manifest) is just the smallest bit less in favor of oppression of the individual.
Stop laughing, I'm serious here. There's a Libertarian wing of the Republican Party. There is not a Libertarian wing of the Democratic Party. Q.E,D, (Quod Est Demonstratum, or thus it is demonstrated, for you who missed classes in Latin, Math, and Law all on the same day).
The dood could have just been an activist for the Florida Open Carry movement, but had a personal...thing about firearms. Some of my best friends here in Texas are 2d Amendment activists who don't own guns. "Too noisy" they say. "I'll be the sharpshooting archer on top of the campus tower, and by the way have you ever heard of flaming arrows, heh heh heh'".
Ok. I really don't believe that the dood nabbed with the kukri was just a 2A activist, but I also don't believe that the riot squads are needed, either. Riot squads should be reactive, not pre-emptive. It brings (to my mind at least) images of State Troopers defending KKK marchers from the po folks through whose neighborhood they're marching. Sure, the KKK have a right to march anydamnwhere they want to. They also have the right to be beaten to a pulp for being stupid assholes. Self-punishing crime, you might say. Or "offsetting penalties"..
Ooh, but they found bricks and pipes on the top of a building!
Big whoop. More than a week before the event - So far as I can tell, the "arms depot" wasn't on any parade path. The top of a building is where one expects to find leftover pipe from antenna masts, vent pipes, and such. Bricks and cinder blocks are regularly kept on rooftops to serve as weights and anchors for guy lines and covers. Every highrise I've ever worked on has had them. You leave them on the roof so you don't have to carry them up the damn stairs the next time you have to put a tarp over an exhaust duct, fresh air makeup chase, or hole that some dumb fuck has made dropping a hammer through the membrane.
The smart thing was doing the graffiti - that SCARY Guy Fawkes Anonymous bullshit. One dood with a stencil, a can of spray paint, and a palette knife can shut the thing down. (A palette knife works better than a credit card for loiding locks). And go to the link - damn that's a poor strategic position. All of - what - 2 stories above the street? With an exterior walkway protected by a hip-high bar? Looks to me like a parking lot, to tell the truth. Essentially shickenchit (South Texas pronunciation of the word "chickenshit)
This has gotten out of hand, and I think that that is probably the point. The fact that this demonstration is launched at the Republican convention is non-trivial. And also chickenshit.
I'll believe that they're real anarchists when they go after the Democratic convention as well. I really can't see this as anything but the acts of provocateurs, agitators wanting to provoke disproportionate response. And the response has been provoked. You did see the photo at the top, right?
The real bummer is that I don't like Mitt Romney. Not one little bit. He's a gun-stealing, tax-raising, medicine-socializing Masshole; a time-serving, rent-seeking, big-government RINO, whose time has come after two generations of political service and buttloads of money.
Now don't get me wrong. I'd trust the man with my daughter (my hypothetical daughter, for some reason my family breeds over 85% sons). I'd love to have him as a neighbor. There is no spot on him as an individual. For that matter, I've never met a rude LDS, and good lord you know I've tried. Years ago, when I lived in a second story duplex, I would answer the door naked and with a gun in hand (all visible from the door - first the feet, then the muzzle, then the rest) and the Mormons were unflinchingly polite. I would have run away screaming, but they would stand politely and arrange themselves so as to give a good sight picture, with their Schwinn bicycles behind them, and listen politely while I explained that I am a Catholic Goddammit and what the fuck did they mean interrupting my Saturday morning fornications and exacerbating my hangover. OK, not really. I lied about the hangover. But I was young, and my liver was too. And they were not chickenshit.
One time I got morbidly curious and followed them a couple of blocks over. To the Sikh blocks. Now let me tell you. If I would trust the Mormons with my (hypothetical) daughter, I'd trust the Sikhs with that same daughter and her weight in gold bullion. In that neighborhood there was the Sikh Block. You could tell it. Every lawn perfect. Flagpole in every lawn, The streets and gutters were immaculate, and they used brooms not yard blowers, 'cuz yard blowers just move the trash, and we don't want it anywhere near here. Pick it up and bag it. Zero crime neighborhood. Very not chickenshit.
I worked some jobs with a couple of them - there was a group of residential contractors, and some of the best automotive mechanics in town, I'd been doing remodel work with ESL (English as Second Language) labor, and gotten used to something less than half-assed quality. I'm pretty damn good, but the Sikh walked out because they thought my standards weren't high enough. On explaining the "rough draft" concept that many people have on remodeling (Oh, let's try it like this...no, move that wall and paint it another color - and yes, I've had customers like that) they thought the customers were crazy, but the Sikhs still worked their asses off. They thought it was chickenshit, but put up with it. If you can get them to work for you, 2 Sikhs = 10 ESL for any skilled trade. They don't do lawns.
Where was I? Oh yes, the SCARY Anarcho-communist terrorists. Fuck 'em. If they were anarcho-communist LDS terrorists, I might be concerned. Anarcho-communist Sikhs? I'd be scared shitlesss. But you know what? That's not the way of their people. "Cuz that's chickenshit.
Now the chickenshit - that scares me.