The G-8 comes to my neck of the woods


Frederick County, Maryland, USA. It’s a relatively normal place…normal being relative anywhere, I suppose. It’s home to about 235,000 souls, and is roughly 670 square miles in area. You can drive from one end of the county to another in under 30 minutes, whether it’s north-south or east-west.

I’ve call FredCo home for 13 years now. As with most who moved here in the 90’s, it was the only place in the Baltimore/Washington corridor where we could afford a larger house with a yard.

But FredCo has within its borders something that sets it apart from other mostly rural counties in Maryland. Just outside of Thurmont, a mere 15 minute drive from the city of Frederick, is a little place called Camp David. And, suddenly, this weekend Frederick County is on the map.


 This morning a few G-8 protesters were gathering in Thurmont, painting signs and gathering on street corners to share their thoughts about world affairs.

Richard Ochs and Donna Plamondon, two members of Occupy Baltimore, expected to be joined by about a dozen others from their group. They prepared signs near the Weis grocery at the southern end of the city.

Outdoors, reporters and law enforcement outnumbered residents and protesters before 11 a.m. Protesters said they had no plans to be destructive, but wanted to let government officials know that they are dissatisfied with the status quo. Nine Occupy New Haven members arrived by car after camping nearby.

Barbara Barbe was out front of Brown’s Jewelry & Gift store watching the morning’s activity.

“Every other car’s a police car,” Barbe said.

She and police shared the opinion that all seemed to be calm and friendly under the sunny skies.


Notwithstanding the nonchalance of the local paper, the truth on the ground is that there is great deal of apprehension around FredCo. The local hospital is on high alert, with mandatory on-site staff presence and a makeshift triage – “just in case” – in the cafeteria. The local news-talk radio station is sending out special emails reminding listeners to tune to 930 AM for the latest information.

Anyone who has followed the news, even casually, over the past decade knows that a G-8 or G-20 summit usually means riots in the host city. I’m not sure where the protesters could riot in FredCo. Thurmont is a spec on the map, and Frederick city is not exactly Metropolis. Maybe they can meet at FSK Mall, or Baker Park. I dunno.

If anything of interest happens, I’ll make a follow-up post. Otherwise, you’ll know that it was just another ordinary, quiet weekend in the sticks.

Huge win for freedom


There are some, among them a certain troll who likes to hijack my blog’s comments for his small-minded rants, who are of the opinion that journalists must be accredited and licensed in order to hold that “lofty” title. I disagree wholeheartedly; had that sort of constraint been in place 250 years ago, individuals such as Patrick Henry would have been proscribed from publishing their treatises against the King of England, and we might still be no more than ragtag pommy colonies.

Apologies in advance to any Brits offended by the preceding paragraph. I was just being cheeky.

No, the tradition of the citizen-journalist is at the very bedrock of rights the founding fathers held most dear. Troll-boy’s protestations to the contrary, the reporting of news and spouting of opinion by mere commoners is of vital importance to the health of a republic.

And now a federal judge agrees.

Boston lawyer Simon Glik was arrested on October 1, 2007 when he used his cell phone to record officers making a drug arrest, and later sued the city and the officers for violating his rights. After the officers tried to having the lawsuit dismissed on the basis of qualified immunity, a Federal Appeals Court denied the motion last week and ruled that filming and photographing police is in fact protected by the First Amendment. They also note that the rights extend not just to professional news gatherers, but ordinary citizens as well:

“[...] changes in technology and society have made the lines between private citizen and journalist exceedingly difficult to draw. The proliferation of electronic devices with video-recording capability means that many of our images of current events come from bystanders with a ready cell phone or digital camera rather than a traditional film crew, and news stories are now just as likely to be broken by a blogger at her computer as a reporter at a major newspaper. Such developments make clear why the news-gathering protections of the First Amendment cannot turn on professional credentials or status”.

How big is this news? Beyond big.

As I reported well over a year ago, it is a felony crime in the State of Maryland People’s Republic of Maryland to take video of the Maryland State Police Schutzstaffel in the course of executing their duties (such as shooting pet dogs, for example). Or, should I say, it was.

Now that we can confidently record the jackbooted jagoffs in action, I’m willing to bet that their behavior toward we mere commoners might just be a little less strident. We can only hope.

Come On! Don’t Hold Out!


Does anyone know if it was the owner of Channel 7, Kerry Stokes, who purchased the Victoria Cross that was awarded to Lieutenant George Mawby Ingram for bravery and initiative in the battle of Montbrehain on October 5, 1918?

I’m very curious to know if Mr Stokes has again bought a significant medal and donated it to the Australian War Memorial, as is happening with this medal.

My curiosity is rightly fed by this piece of fantastic news.

Mr Stokes,

SALUTE!

Iowahawk: Still An International Wonder


Iowahawk makes an appearance in Perth’s major newspaper.

Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet!

Newsly Items


Will someone please take this guy out the back and fuckin’ shoot him?

This is a contender for the Best Headline Ever Award.

Spot, grab some tissues, because not even a grown man could not be saddened by this.

Vote Howard! Since you guys couldn’t vote in the election, you can at least do your duty to give some ABC staff small strokes.

I’m definitely moving to Queensland!

What’s the bet that this guy is sentenced harshly?

Another week, another stupid article from Paul Keating.

Posted in Miscellaneous, News. Tags: . 3 Comments »

Dick Quest Tangled Up


This is just so funny. It really is. There’s just something about some “celebrities”…

CNN personality Richard Quest was busted in Central Park early yesterday with some drugs in his pocket, a rope around his neck that was tied to his genitals, and a sex toy in his boot, law-enforcement sources said.

Quest, 46, was arrested at around 3:40 a.m. after a cop spotted him and another man inside the park near 64th Street, a police source said.

Link via the only Likeable Lawyer. And as said lawyer notes “…with this sort of arrest on his record, he might as well just run for Congress. He’ll fit right in!

Huh?!


This is a new one on me.

Posted in Australia, WTF. Tags: , , , . 5 Comments »
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