Sunday, August 21, 2005


No, wait. Allow us to wipe our glasses. It must be a typo. Surely we can't be talking about Utah:
Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson called for "the biggest demonstration this state has ever seen" to protest President Bush's appearance Monday before a national veterans convention.

"This administration has been disastrous to the country," Anderson said Friday. "If people could organize and speak out in an effective manner from the reddest state in the country, that would garner a lot of attention."

In an e-mail Wednesday to about 10 activist leaders, the maverick mayor of Utah's capital called for a diverse demonstration to greet Bush when he speaks to the Veterans of Foreign Wars at the Salt Palace Convention Center. The mayor plans to join the protesters.

"There should be a collaboration of health-care-provision advocates, seniors, the [gay, lesbian and bisexual and transsexual] community, anti-Patriot Act advocates and other civil libertarians, anti-war folks, pro-Social Security advocates, environmental advocates, anti-nuclear-testing advocates, and anti-nuclear-waste-shipment-and-storage advocates," the mayor wrote in the e-mail.

The mayor's message drew a howl of outrage from Mike Parkin, senior vice commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars Atomic Post 4355 in Salt Lake City.

''Excuse my French, but - that son of a bitch!'' he said. "It makes the mayor look very, very unpatriotic. It makes him look despicable."

Parkin said such demonstrations, particularly against the Iraq war, give comfort to America's enemies and will be particularly offensive to the 13,000 to 14,000 veterans gathering at the convention.

"I voted for the son of a bitch and I'll never vote for him again," said the Vietnam War veteran.

Anderson disagrees with that measure of patriotism.

"Patriotism," the mayor said, "demands that people speak out when we see our government officials acting in such anti-democratic and deceitful ways to the people of our country."
(Thanks to Zemblan patriot J.M. for the link.)

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