Skip to comments.Inaugural Parade & W2 Ball Report, Audio, and Photos (large file warning)
Posted on 01/23/2005 2:43:27 PM PST by BillF
SKUNKS AND BLUE BRACELETS AT CHECKPOINT CHARLIE
The 7th Street security checkpoint ("Checkpoint Charlie") for the inaugural parade was closest to the American Sector established by the DC Chapter of Free Republic. Waiting there, I coincidentally ended up near DC Chapter member, bmwcyle, and Flora McDonald, a Richmond-area FReeper of long-standing. As we waited in the crowd (it wasn't orderly enough to be a line), pro-Bush people mostly tried to stay quiet in the face of some leftists (maybe ten percent of the crowd) occasionally and individually shouting anti-Bush or anti-war slogans. However, numerous Bush supporters and people who just came to watch a parade would shout back every now and then.
On one occasion the crowd started singing God Bless America. The song's title has three words, each word representing a concept antithetical to many of the leftists.
I told one leftist waiting in the security line near me to "swim to Cuba, free healthcare, free education," much to the amusement of most nearby people. (Some of the other, regular parade-watchers started chiding leftists. I heard one later say "go to Cuba" to another leftist.)
In response to my "swim to Cuba" line, he said "why did you come to annoy us today?" The leftist was serious. He and many of his leftist friends truly believe that the world revolves around them. It's all about them.
I said: "Get real. We won. You lost. We're here to celebrate and watch a parade. You are the skunk at the parade." Seeing his discomfort at that characterization, I started referring to all of them as "skunks at the parade."
That particular skunk, stung and not used to being verbally challenged, retreated about 25 feet from his original location that was a couple people away from bmwcyle and me.
When I laughed at another skunk, he complained that he had a right to criticize "Bush," but said that I was violating his First Amendment rights. After laughing at that absurd comment, I said, "I'm not interfering with your rights. I'm just using my First Amendment rights to criticize and ridicule the way that you use your rights."
Bmwcyle and I left after waiting for about 20 minutes at the security checkpoint, but Flora McDonald decided to stay. BMW and I didn't think that we would get in because there had been little movement towards the entry gate.. Also, there was an ugly incident when some leftist was shouting slurs against President Bush into a news camera and a conservative (not a FReeper as far as known) quickly charged 20 feet through the crowd, getting into the guy's face. It had not gotten physical, but appeared to be on the verge when we left.
We later returned and waited again at the "Checkpoint Charlie" that was a couple blocks north of our intended American Sector destination. Some of the sound files which are linked below are from the first time waiting and some are from the second time waiting, but I'm not sure which ones go with which time.
Click here for a SOUND FILE (regular left click to play the WAV-format file, right click if you want to download it for later listening; 188 K, 17 sec.). This is some leftist saying "stop the Nazism, we don't need another Hitler." In response, bmwcyle says, "Yeah, Clinton is out of office." More back and forth is in the audio.
Click here for a SOUND FILE ( 853 K, 78 sec.) that begins with bmwcyle and a leftist arguing ("sore loser" vs. "sore winner") and ends shortly after I tell a guy wearing a Che Guevara button that he should "swim to Cuba."
Click here for a SOUND FILE (679 K, 62 sec.) that begins with a woman telling the leftists "if you don't like it here, you can leave" (paraphrase). Later the audio has a guy who had not voted for Bush. The guy wanted to see the parade, but was disgusted at the leftists. He was asking a leftist "where is your political cadre." However, the guy told me that, as disgusting as the leftists were, it was appropriate for the leftists to be exercising their First Amendment rights there.
Although I agreed that the leftists had the right to demonstrate (i.e., be skunks at the parade), I argued that it was not appropriate. It was uncivil, rude in the extreme. Suppose a Democratic Senator had led a filibuster of a Bush Supreme Court nominee, it would be our First Amendment right to protest on public property adjacent a wedding reception for the Senator. I'm sure that FReepers would not hold such a classless protest, despite it being within our rights.
As bad as the leftists' conduct was, I believe that the leftists are digging a hole for future Dem candidates. Like the guy who didn't vote for Bush, but was disgusted by the leftists, many Americans will turn away from the Dems upon becoming aware of such conduct.
A leftist climbed up a Jersey barrier and stood 3 feet higher than the crowd. He started shouting leftist inanities to the crowd. Ridiculed by bmwcyle, me, and others, the leftist soon realized that the crowd was overwhelmingly against him. He abandoned his perch.
Some guy, who had been given a blue wrist bracelet (i.e., Blue State emblem), asked if anyone wanted it. The man was a Bush supporter and didn't really want it, but apparently had accepted it from a guy handing out dozens and dozens of them. The man had previously not felt confident enough to "out" himself as a Bush supporter by turning it down. After he heard several of us ridicule the leftists, he realized that he was not in enemy-occupied territory.
I warned the nearby leftists that the blue bracelet might be misinterpreted as a sign of willingness to perform a sexual act. I explained that National Review online had linked to a site which explained the sexual significance of various bracelets. As delicately as possible in view of the young ears not far away, I said that Monica would have worn the blue bracelet to go with the blue dress that was the legacy of our last President.
When a leftist accepted the blue bracelet, I suggested that he should avoid the possible misinterpretation of the bracelet as a sex signal. Instead, I said that he should have a blue letter "L" tattooed on his forehead. He didn't like that idea.
With the one exception when the conservative interrupted the leftist's interview, this was great fun. Nothing had come close to physical confrontation, probably because the leftists were so outnumbered. Most of my comments were made with a laugh and a smile. Indeed, bmwcyle shook hands with one of the better behaved leftists.
This was a great day to celebrate. Our side had won and could afford to laugh at the pathetic losers.
BARBARIANS AT THE GATES
Between our first time waiting at the security gate and our second time, bmwcyle and I drank some beer at a brew pub a few blocks away.
[Click on a photo to see a full size photo in a new window, except where noted. PROBLEMS SEEING PHOTOS OR HEARING SOUND FILES? You may want to try TEMPORARILY turning off Zone Alarm or other firewall and trying again.]
As I drank, I looked out the window and saw a black wave moving down the street. Like the hordes of barbarians or Vikings that storm establishments in the Capital One credit card ads, the anarchists had taken to the streets. Grabbing my camera, I went just outside the door of the restaurant and took these photos.
Two waitresses from the brew pub had stepped outside to watch the garbage pass. One said, "that is so cool." Obviously, she was highly sympathetic to them. I could have taught her a lesson by shouting "hey, this chick here is a Bush supporter," but it would have been wrong.
The anarchists looked like they were spoiling for a fight. Hundreds, possibly over a thousand, moved by very quickly and turned the corner on the way to the security checkpoint that bmwcyle and I had left 20 minutes before.
A few police cars trailed the anarchists. A short time after they had passed, at least ten police cars and ten police motorcyles zoomed by. They were going a different way, but apparently planned to head off the anarchists.
ANARCHISTS , OFTEN CALLED "BLACK BLOC"
|Returning to my beer, I would later hear about the anarchists' further exploits from witnesses.
The anarchists moved towards the crowd at the checkpoint, apparently hoping to create a stampede. The anarchists probably wanted the crowd to flee the anarchists by breaching the security gate. The anarchists could have walked across the bodies of the injured people and used the chaos to get into the secure zone without going through the checkpoint.
Fortunately, police vehicles swooped in to block the anarchists from getting too close to the waiting crowd.
The police vehicles protected the crowd from the anarchists, but some people at the edge of the crowd had to quickly get out of the way of the police vehicles. This created a big crush in the crowd, causing many to fear for their safety, especially those with small children. Many of those people gave up on the parade and left the area as soon as they could.
The anarchists got a Protest Warrior on the ground and kicked him. Fortunately, he was not seriously injured.
CAMERA-SHY GUY THAT YOU DON'T WANT
[THIS PHOTO, NOT HYPERLINKED TO LARGER ONE]
SKULL AND BONES, BUT NOT IN HONOR OF THE
The anarchists threw snowballs at people. Then they took the signs and flags off their support poles. When they threw the poles at officers, the police responded with a canon that fired pepper spray on the anarchists.
After about an hour in the pub, bmwcyle and I went back to the gate and started our second wait. It took us about an hour to get in. Separated from bmwcyle during the security processing, I made my way to the American Sector. Unfortunately, I missed President Bush by about 5 or 10 minutes, despite the fact that security concerns had delayed the start of the parade at least an hour. (The anarchists' lawlessness and near-riot described above MAY have been the security concern that delayed the start of the parade.)
At the American Sector, I talked with kristinn, trueblackman, staytrue, Flora McDonald, Rabidralph, the Sarce, BufordP and DCBryan1, among others.
Sad to say that my camera didn't work all the time. At the parade and at the ball, I "took" photos that never registered, but I didn't realize it until later. Some of the better parade photos are below.
TRUEBLACKMAN ON RIGHT AND ANOTHER
PROUD MOTHER FLORA McDONALD
BUFORDP HOLDS ANOTHER OF HIS GREAT SIGNS
LURKER (L) AND DCBRYAN1 HOLD SIGN
RESCUE DOGS AND HANDLERS MARCH AS POLICE SCAN CROWD
IMPRESSIVE TEXAS FLOAT
TWO ROWS OF BARRIERS (ONLY ONE ROW VISIBLE HERE)
WYOMING FLOAT WITH STATUE OF COWBOY
The Capitol Offense Band with Gov. Huckabee, the comedian/impressionist singer Billy Finch, the program, Sauropod's video, and Jimmy Valentine's brother as Saddam Hussein in prison stripes dancing onstage as the band played Jail House Rock, it was all great. Meeting old friends and making new ones and proving once again that FReepers are the greatest!
SIGNS NEAR THE MAIN ENTRANCE
PHOTOS OF VARIOUS FREEPERS AND RELATIVES IN OUR MILITARY
JIMMY VALENTINE'S BROTHER AS SADDAM HUSSEIN
PHOTOS OF PAST FREEPER ACTIONS ON WALL WITH
KRISTINN INTRODUCES CAPITOL OFFENSE BAND
KRISTINN AND TGSLTAKOMA
TWO MORE SIGNS THAT STAYTRUE
MUDBOY SLIM, HELMS, SAUROPOD, AND IRONMAN
MORE FREEPER SIGNS USED IN FREEPS
BUFORDP MADE THE SIGN ON THE LEFT AND
Yeah there's a horizontal bar but it's only for the imgs and at least on my computer there's maybe about 1" to 1 1/2" of moverment.
Don't sweat it.
Thanks for the info.
I hate that. I had limited the size of the photos to try to avoid the dreaded horizontal scroll for others.
Guess I'll have to make the photos smaller next time. Since most of them are hyperlinked and you can click to get a full size, limiting their size is not that big a deal. On the other hadn, I do prefer that the embedded photos are large enough that clicking is not needed unless you want to see fine detail.
Just don't put them side by side.
Everyone who has met BillF in person already knows that he is a true gentleman and I would like the rest of FReepdom to know it also.
Not only did he take the Birthday Card photo for me (my camera was stolen somewhere in the crush at Checkpoint Charlie) but he kindly escorted me to the Metro when we finished watching the Parade. Thank you so very much, BillF.
HEY MUD!!!! You look swell in that tux!
Here's to 4 more history-changing, freedom-loving years!!!!
Additional threads to cross-reference.
Pictures from Inaugural Parade (the American Sector) and the W2 Inaugural Ball by Shethink13
Listen to FR Ball Simulcast LIVE 7:30 ET TONIGHT on RIGHTALK.com with RadioFR Host Doug From Upland! by Bob J
Tgsltakoma is wearing a gorgeous gown BTW. That is a great photo of her and kristinn.
You got me blushing.
I just wish that was your camera that I spotted lost in the security tent.
I think I can speak for DC FReepers and say that we all love you and love to have the honor of your company at FReeps. You're a great person and one of the greatest sign-makers in FR (thinking especially of your "Code Pinkos" sign and the sign with the 7 or 8 Dem candidates as different heads on a monster).
I agree that Kristinn and tgslTakoma looked great together, but I wish my photo skills had allowed me to avoid the terrible red-eye.
Right, but putting them side-by-side makes for a better layout, less wasted space on the screen, etc. It may come to no side-by-side photos, but I'll probably try slightly smaller photos first.
No horizontal bars on mine. My monitor resolution is 1024 X 768 pixels.
His eyes are just reflecting all those red-staters at the ball.
Scanning my pics now for upload to webshots
Thanks for the ping!
Thanks. It was great to see you again.
Please ping me when have them on this or another thread.
It was great to meet you.
Your photo is included in the photos of the first post on this thread.
1 Thanks for the post. (you done good..REAL good!)
2 "When I laughed at another skunk, he complained that he had a right to criticize "Bush," but said that I was violating his First Amendment rights. After laughing at that absurd comment, I said, "I'm not interfering with your rights. I'm just using my First Amendment rights to criticize and ridicule the way that you use your rights."
It really is like shooting fish in a barrel isn't it.
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