When it comes to the latest hot topics of the day, one will not learn anything new by watching the talking heads on cable news or the networks. Fortunately, technology has come a long way, and all one has to do is browse the Web for perspectives and information that will most certainly raise the bar on the water-cooler dialogue at the office.
To that end, you will find ready-to-go video clips about the following stories that you won't find anywhere else:
April 15 Tea Parties
The Quad Cities hosted two Tea Party protests on the infamous Income Tax Day. More than 500 people attended the Davenport protest, and more than 300 people assembled that afternoon in Moline. The Reader was at both events and has posted a nine-minute video segment that includes interviews with seven people, including an 11-year-old.
The mainstream media picked up on the Tea Parties as a simple way to continue polarizing the masses along strict left/right and us/them party lines. No single outlet could help itself. As a guest on Keith Olbermann's show on MSNBC, Janeane Garofalo described the protest attendees as the "Klan demographic" and "tea-bagging racists who hate having a black man in office." To which Olbermann rhetorically asked, "What happens if at one of these things somebody hurts somebody?" And Fox Noise talk-show host Sean Hannity picked up the banner of the downtrodden tax payer and promoted the Tea Parties as if he had some solidarity with any disenfranchised citizens other than staunch neo-conservatives just like him. It was appalling. The really sad part is that many Americans fell for the "party baiting" hook, line, and sinker, and the only loser in that game was the level of discourse in America.
The bias in the media was no more apparent than when the reporter from CNN accosted a man holding a sign and his two-year-old child. The man's sign was about how his two-year-old was already in debt, and the reporter berated him, demanding whether he knew he was entitled to a check for $400 under the new regime. She wouldn't let him answer her questions, and things got worse from there when she finally claimed, "It is clear this crowd is anti-CNN and anti-government." The clip went viral for a short period, then CNN forced YouTube to take it off the air over copyright issues. Fortunately, FoundingBloggers.com was on-site in Chicago and filmed the dialogue that happened after the CNN cameras were off, and a suburban small-business owner takes the reporter to task, pointing out that CNN failed to show signs such as "Republican's Suck Too. End the Fed."
The reporter keeps trying to pigeonhole the woman as part of a group, and finally the woman explains that both the Democrats and Republicans are to blame for all our ills and that they "all need to go." Too bad that didn't make it to CNN's broadcast. You can watch the clip that CNN had YouTube pull and the off-camera fun below here.
In Minnesota, the blogger "The Grace Kelly" posted this account on the decidedly liberal Daily Kos Web site: "At a protest, normally, one sees the very hardcore support. However, what I saw was widespread disillusionment. In the video, notice how people are blaming politicians on both sides. Note that even though we now have President Obama, there is still acknowledgment that the problems started in the President Bush administration. So unlike other reports, talking to people at the Minnesota tax tea party gave me hope that these people value 'fiscal responsibility' and are actually open to persuasion." You can watch her insightful interviews about fair tax and the Federal Reserve at our Web site.
The SHA (Swine Human Avian) Flu Virus
The front page of the Wall Street Journal on Monday read, "The federal government is releasing 12.5 million courses of its emergency stockpile of potentially effective antiviral drugs to states that need them." Since when does anyone "need" something that is "potentially effective," especially when the risks of the drugs may be higher than the virus? To the WSJ's credit, they refrained from referring to this latest scare as "swine flu," but they did give us unique insight into what the future may hold for you at your airport. Pictured was "Scanning for feverish passengers at an airport in South Korea," showing bio-scans of passengers by their body-heat index. One can imagine the abuse and fear such a vetting process could engender. But don't take my word for it; listen to Dr. Ron Paul, an 11-term congressman from Texas and an MD. He and a Georgia congressmen, Larry McDonald (also an MD), were the only two "no" votes back in 1976 when the government ramped up a similar "swine flu" pandemic scare and mass-vaccinated thousands of people, including military, by force, resulting in 25 deaths and hundreds becoming sick ... from the cure no less. You can watch Paul question why Homeland Security is getting involved in medicine at our Web site.
As always, your feedback about what you read in these pages and online is encouraged. Write us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Over 500 people gathered from Noon to 2pm in downtown Davenport, IA as part of the nationwide protests against excessive government spending and what many perceive as threats to citizens' rights as guaranteed by the US Constitution. This video includes seven interviews with protest attendees including an 11 year old whose sign read, "Even an 11 year old knows Obama is wrong." When asked what Obama was wrong about, the young person replied that taking money from those that work and giving it to those that do not work.
One protester carrying a sign that read "Democrats are spending our grandchildren's future." He is asked what he would say to critics that point out the Republicans spend just as wildly when they were the majority. One protester claims that Obama is a puppet of the Bildeberg Group, Trilateral Commission and Council on Foreign Relations, and that Americans who voted for him have been "bamboozled."
A diverse crowd of protesters gathered at the corner of Brady and Locust streets in central Davenport today, unified in their contempt for last year's bailouts and this year's stimulus bill approved by Congress and signed by Obama last week. (The bill is the H.R.1?American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, and can be read at http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-h1/show. The following story includes a 4 minute video log of interviews at the protest.)
Between 60 and 75 people, in all age brackets from 10 years old and up, gathered with handmade signs signifying their disapproval of the recent legislation that they believe seriously threatens and undermines the country's future. Protesters came from Davenport, Bettendorf, and Buffalo, Iowa, and from as far away as Hampton, Silvis, and Rock Island, Illinois, to participate. The protest signs ranged from "Bailout is Robbery" and "Commander in Thief" to "Teaser Mandates" and "I Love My Country But am Afraid of My Government." Many people stressed that this was the first time they have ever attended such an event.
Between noon and 1pm, many drivers and passengers in cars honked and waved to the cheering crowd who were making their presence known on this sunny, but cold February Iowa. Occasionally, passing cars rolled down their windows screaming "Obama, Obama!" One Davenport Police officer appeared briefly to remind people to stay off of private property and out of the street. Protesters were present on all four corners with the majority on the southwest and south east corners.
Anti-stimulus protest rallies have been popping up nationwide ever since CNBC's Rick Santelli's harsh criticism of congress' out-of-control-spending was heard around the world last week. He unleashed his rant from the Chicago Board of Trade floor, calling for a Chicago Tea Party ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEZB4taSEoA ) to protest the bailouts in July.
Susan Frazer, a Scott County resident, said she had planned to go to Chicago in July for the Tea Party, but was excited to hear that communities were already organizing their own Tea Parties this weekend, including one in the Quad Cities. Word about the protest was primarily spread via blog postings and email networking. When asked what she would have happen other than the bailouts and stimulus bill, Ms. Frazer said, "I would like a return to the Constitution."
One Rock Island man's sign read, "Braley Hare Out in 2010", referring to Bruce Braley, Iowa's First District congressman and Phil Hare, Illinois' 17th District congressman. "I see several long time democrats I know here. They have had enough too," he observed.
Chris Sweatman recently moved here from South Carolina for a new job and had only been in the Quad Cities for a month. He held a sign that read: "Obama Stimulus Destroys Dollar." "I think the economy has proven that it will rebound on its own, if the government stays out," said Sweatman. He encouraged people to read the book The Forgotten Man as evidence of Roosevelt and Hoover's mistakes and their prolonging of the Depression. "To say that we need to do what Roosevelt did is a big mistake," he warned.
Iowa Senator David Hartsuch, Davenport 5th Ward Alderman Bill Lynn and 2nd Ward Alderman candidate Bill Edmonds were the handful of politicos present amongst a mostly non-partisan protest.
Local artist John Bloom said, "All my so called Liberal artist and musician friends... they think they're all liberal. But they know this is wrong, they're really moderates." Bloom pointed out his friend's sign as a good summation of how he thinks most people feel. It read: "I love my country, but fear my government." "That's true," said Bloom. "I do. Right now, I really do."
One protester stated, "The lean towards socialism is so obvious. To not respond in some way [is wrong]. The irony is at my age, I retire and then do this? I got money, I don't need to be here. There's something wrong. To not see it, to not smell it?"
His friend stated, "I look after my kids and grandkids. I can't see them having this burden on their shoulders. They say no taxes, but you know it's coming. Somebody's got to pay for this. There's no free lunch."
Many people questioned out loud if there was going to be another Tea Party protest and how could they find out when and where. James Getmann and Mike Angelos shared with several attendees that their local group, SuperLiberty.com, meets the first and third Saturday's of each month to educate citizens about the Constitution and encouraged Tea Party protesters to come to the next meeting.
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