The Verdict is in: Protesting is Just Plain Dumb

Filed under:Media, D. Sirmize, Web Log (Blog), Politics, Opinion — posted by D. Sirmize on August 31, 2006 @ 9:21 am

[UPDATE: Right Wing Rebel offers further insight on defense attorney Robert Breeze.] 

Rent-a-Protesters, Dueling Demonstrators, and a Heartening Sight

Some quick sidenotes to yesterday’s post:  Turns out Robert Breeze’s posse was composed of rented bums!  That may explain why these guys holding the Death to Israel signs looked so uncomfortable yesterday.  Hey, I’ll give this to them- they saw a job opportunity and jumped on it.  They were probably the only people in Washington Square yesterday besides us and the police that had jobs!

Also, to be clear, the Rocky-fest and the Death to Israel rally were two separate demonstrations.  Rocky Anderson was not affiliated with Mr. Breeze’s demonstration.  I made a clear enough distinction between the two in yesterday’s post, but maybe posting the pictures of both events so close together unintentionally gave the wrong impression.  Ok, now that I re-read yesterday’s post, it really was pretty clear which was which. 

Also, to be fair, Rocky’s buddy Cindy “This-Country-Is-Not-Worth-Dying-For” Sheehan’s anti-Israel statements are well documented and are echoed by many of her cohorts.  If Rocky doesn’t want to be accidentally associated with antisemitism, he should pick better friends.

Back to the protests.

So my curiosity got the better of me and I returned to Washington Square yesterday evening to see how the protests were going.  I didn’t have a lot of time (still at work), but I saw enough idiocy to convince me that protesting (really, of any kind) is just plain dumb.

The crowd there was smaller and consisted of anti-Bush protesters and Bush supporters, or anti-antibush protesters.  Note to self:  Never, never leave home without a camera again!  The anti-Bush group consisted mostly of kids dressed in gothic-style apparel.  The anti-anti group was made of of families with young children, a group of Boy Scouts, and a few regular joes that were clearly new to this protesting thing.

The crowd was bunched together and each group had a “spokesman” who were yelling in each other’s faces at the top of their lungs.  Both were making complete fools of themselves.  After a while, they’d switch out spokespeople and continue the rant/counter-rant.  There were a few times I thought a fistfight would break out.  I think the cops did too, because they looked uneasy.

ANTI-BUSH PROTESTER:  This country is f***ed up!  Stand with us and fight!

ANTI-ANTI-BUSH PROTESTER:  People like you make me worry about the future of America.

ANTI-BUSH PROTESTER:  We are the f***ing future of America!

I sympathized with the poor man countering the anti-Bush protester.  He looked like he was somebody’s dad, like he just got off work.  He wasn’t a proffessional protester.  And he wasn’t making any headway.  But I appreciated his effort.  It all led me to the conclusion that protesting is just plain dumb.

As I was walking away I passed a uniformed Marine on his way to the mosh pit.  Pissed as hell.  I paused to see the crowd’s reaction to this man.  But he was stopped before he got to the main crowd by a young man who shook his hand, and then by a woman who thanked him for his service.  I never got to see him walk into the crowd, but I’m glad some rational people stopped him to shake his hand.  I wish I had done the same.

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“Death To Israel” Rally in Salt Lake City

Filed under:D. Sirmize, Media, Guest, Web Log (Blog), Religion, Politics — posted by D. Sirmize on August 30, 2006 @ 12:19 pm

[UPDATE: I moved the concluding text of this post to before the Ant-Bush protest photos, so as to better distinguish between the two separate protests.] 

Just back from diversity training at the Salt Lake City anti Bush/Jews/Sanity protests staged to oppose President Bush’s arrival here to speak at the American Legion convention. Angry Left starlet Cindy Sheehan was supposed to be here, but due to a recent surgery she couldn’t make it. Man, am I bummed. Rumor has it they may have her call in and broadcast her message to the crowd. Unfortunately, unlike most of the protesters, I have a job to get back to.

The Salt Lake City/Country Building is Mayor Rocky Anderson’s castle, and leftwing demonstrations there are commonplace. Rocky’s rallies are a dime a dozen, we were more interested in the much publicized “Death to Israel” rally.

Organizer Robert Breeze told the Salt Lake Tribune that the purpose of the rally is to protest “the torture and murder inflicted on Muslims by Israel and the penetration of the U.S. media by Israeli intelligence.” Those barberic Israelis! Excuse me, Mr. Breeze, but last time I checked, it wasn’t Israelis who cut off heads, kidnap journalists, hide amongst human shields, and bash babies’ heads in with rifle butts.

The rally was actually quite a disappointment. The rag-tag group of protesters was set up across the street from the main demonstration. I thought I’d get upset, but I ended up mostly laughing. Breeze himself looks like a creepy grandpa you wouldn’t want to leave your kids with, and his followers look like average street beggars. Tyler snapped some pictures. Breeze is on the right in this shot:

I had a brief conversation with him:

D. Sirmize: What’s your name, sir?

PROTESTER: Robert Breeze- Breeze like the wind.

D. Sirmize: So this is a “Death To Israel” rally. I’m Jewish. Do you want me dead?


2ND PROTESTER: There’s a difference between Zionism and Jews.

D. Sirmize: Well you say “Death to Israel.” I would think that implies death to Jews.

BREEZE (LIKE THE WIND): Well you’d probably be wrong.

D. Sirmize: Probably?

BREEZE (LIKE THE WIND): Do you see “Death to Israel” on any of our signs?

D. Sirmize: I haven’t read any of your signs. But you applied for a demonstration permit under the title “Death to Israel.” It doesn’t need to be on your signs, it’s on your permit!

2ND PROTESTER (to Breeze): You signed us up as “Death To Israel?”

BREEZE (LIKE THE WIND): Look, if I said “Death to Whales,” would you take that to mean I want to kill whales?

D. Sirmize: Uh, yeah.

This lady says she herself is a Jew. Interesting.

I found it amazing that all the local news agencies reported on a “Death to Israel” rally so matter-of-factly. Other than over at Michelle Malkin’s place, no detectable outrage anywhere. When exactly did anti-semitism become culturally acceptable?

Below are some of Tyler’s shots of the main anti-Bush demonstration (not affiliated with the Death to Israel rally):

Notice the nazi thunder/lightening bolts in ‘Bush’

Rocky Anderson: The man of the hour


Holy Bucket Brigades

Guys have uteri? I need a checkup!

Just in case you forgot your protest sign

This guy has spoken his peace and he’s blowing this joint.

D. Sirmize

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An Inspiring Speech by an Inspired Man

Filed under:Guest, D. Sirmize, Inspiring, Web Log (Blog), Politics, Video, Opinion — posted by D. Sirmize on August 15, 2006 @ 12:04 pm


The following is the partial text of graduation speech at the completion of Infantry training of the Army 2nd Battalion, 58th Infantry at Ft. Benning, Georgia. The Colonel’s speech echoes the feelings I have for my country, my respect for our military, and my frustration with the disrespect that is shown both by the liberal establishment and the mainstream media.  In these times when patriotism seems to be on the decline, this speech gives me hope.  The date is April 21, 2006.  The speaker is LTC Randoph C. White, Jr. 

These men are special for many reasons but the fact that they stood up and said “send me” at time of war speaks volumes as to their character. Becoming a member of the military is always a big decision, but to do so at time of war speaks well of a young man who could have easily opted for a safer existence.

You out there on the parade field- Don’t ever think that the kids running around on some college campuses protesting and whining have anything on you. you are privileged to have the one advantage that all covet… you will know many of life’s truths – you’ll know about the goings on in Iraq, Afghanistan, Djibouti, the Philippines, the Balkans and many other places. You won’t have to guess or base an opinion on some bespectacled so called expert, or Hollywood “professional pretender” who defines danger as crossing the street, leaving campus, or having a decaf latte instead of a regular. Your head will not be filled with the empty theory of the old pathetic slackers who teach on many campuses… the ones who ran to Canada, or hid out in Europe, while many of the vets with us here today put it all on the line in a place called Vietnam.  The snide arrogant crowd who spend the day blaming America for every wrong in the world before going home to sleep at night under the blanket of freedom provided by better men.

You’ll see more in the next 5 years than many will in a lifetime, and because of this you will know some of life’s hard truths and some of its purest devotions. You’ll never have to guess.

I know that these complimentary words may come as a surprise to some of you because we have tried to be hard on you…hard because what lies ahead will be tremendously challenging and for many the defining chapter of your lives. Life as an infantryman is not easy, and the collective goal of those of us charged with your training has been to make sure that you understand that. Your drill sergeants and commanders have humped the steep mountains of Afghanistan with a 120 pound rucksack on their back — grasping for breath in the thin mountain air in pursuit of the enemy — quadricep muscles screaming — back aching, sleep and rest not forthcoming…your drill sergeant has chased the enemy through the streets of Baghdad or Ramadi… reacted to IED’s, and fought the enemy from 10 feet away.

Don’t let the pessimistic television talking heads, high browed newspaper writers, Hollywood idiots, or any other faction of the “blame america first” crowd get you down! I’m speaking of the “latte biscotti crowd”. They are simple background chatter men….and will always exist on the periphery of any endeavor that requires selfless service or loyalty. They are not worthy of your concern and truth be told – in the pit of their cowardly hearts – they wish they could be like you.

I for one will never…ever… apologize for being an American and don’t you ever feel that you have to. We’re not perfect but I can think of no place better. We didn’t become the great country that we are by accident….we earned it! —- And while we were at it— we kept and continue to keep a large portion of the world free. American blood and sacrifice is the indisputable part of the world equation. More people in this world are trying to come to our shores than any other country. We remain the beacon of hope for many, and god willing it will always be so. We’re number 1…don’t apologize for it – be damn proud.

Full text of the Colonel’s speech is here, video here. I recommend the video.

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Windows Live Writer works with WordPress

Filed under:Web Log (Blog), Opinion, Family — posted by Tyler on August 13, 2006 @ 10:09 pm

I’m taking a quick look at Windows Live Writer which was released today to the public. It installs on your machine and allows you to compose your blog post without the need to be online. I could see how this might be useful, but will it be more useful than just firing up notepad and then copy and pasting once you get an internet connection? We’ll find out.

So far I can already tell that it’s done a decent job of automatically picking up my blog settings, including font colors and background color. For the non-html inclined, there are plenty of WYSIWYG tools that help you compose a good looking post but you can still access the HTML if you’re so inclined.

Spell checking is a bonus and publishing seems to be a breeze. There are also tools to insert a link, picture or map. I might as well take the opportunity to insert a picture of my sweet family, just so I can see how this works. My family at Lagoon

We went to Lagoon the other day. This is my family on the train. Some of the options when you insert a picture are to do a “drop shadow”, photopaper (like I chose here), or you can inherit the style that is set forth by your blog style sheet (CSS). You can also add effects (overlays and transformations) to pictures and custom margins are a breeze as well. So far I’m really liking it.

It also imports your tags or “categories” as they’re called. I guess I’ll find out more features as I use it, but it looks like I will be using it until I find a reason not to. Hopefully it will prompt more frequent posts since, as of late, I’ve been somewhat absent.

Looks like another feature is the ability to add multiple accounts to Live Writer. This will come in handy as I publish posts to “Sami Lee Stories” for my daughter on

Editing a post is easy, too. Just hit publish again and it knows that it’s not a new post, but an edited post. I forgot to spellcheck, so I did (found 3 misspelled words) and re-posted no problem.

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On the Subject of Journals...

Filed under:Journal, Friends, Family — posted by Tyler on August 5, 2006 @ 12:12 am

I haven’t been the best blogger this summer. I guess I’ve been busy. Committing to write in my own personal journal certainly takes away from time to blog, but I think it’s really important. I’m still going strong; you could safely say I’m back in the habit. It feels good.

I haven’t read my old journals in a very long time. So I hauled the box up tonight and started reading through a couple of them. It was fun to remember things that I had forgotten and I got this bold idea that I could quote from one of them each day here on this blog. It’s bold because journals are generally a private thing. But I think this could be entertaining and it would give me a reason to have written instead of just waiting to die before great-grandchildren have their way with them. I might as well get some use out of them. Tonight I’ll quote from each entry dated August 4th. Side comments being made in the present are indicated with [this style of writing] and are there for the purpose of background and explanation. Here goes nothing…

8/4/1992 (16 years old)

I went to work again for Brock’s this morning [I worked on a farm picking and selling produce from the time that I was 12] at 7:00 A.M. I got home by 9:30 A.M. Jeff [Jeff Walk, my best friend] called me at 10:30 A.M. and then came and picked me up. I spent the day with him. Some of our activities included eating pizza and tacos and working out!

At 6:30 P.M. we came to my house. I called up some people to see if they wanted to go to a buck flick. The only two that were able to were April [April Reese] and Vanessa [Vanessa Ackerson]. I picked them up at 7:00 P.M. after visiting Andrea [Andrea Homer] real quick. We went to the mall and bought tickets for “Encino Man”. We went to Golden Spoon real quick to say ‘Hi’ to Lynette [must have been Lynette Anderson who didn’t go to Granger High School but I knew her from West Lake Jr. High]. Then we watched the movie which was very funny.

8/4/1993 (17 Years Old)

I woke up at 6:30a.m. to get ready for a dentist appointment at 7:00a.m. to get a cavity filled. I got home from that by 8:00a.m.

At 9:30a.m. I called Heather [Heather Stokes who is now my wife but at that time she was my High School sweetheart] and at 10:45a.m. I went to get her. It was so good to actually see her again. It’s been a few days. We went bowling at Delton’s and I bowled a 141. Not very good. We bought fries and a drink, too. That was good.

We came back to my house after but my mom wasn’t home. So we sat outside forever until my mom finally got home. Then she left again so we went in my backyard and played basketball. [Obviously we had some rules about girls not being in the house when my parents weren’t home. Good rule.]

At 3:20p.m. i had an appointment to get my picture taken for this year’s yearbook and activity card. When I was done Heather called and then I did the paper route with her. Then she took me home and I got packed for East Canyon. At 9:10p.m. Heather picked me up and then we headed up for East Canyon with her father. That’s where I am now. We played games with her family and now we’re going to bed.

8/4/1994 (18 Years Old - Graduated from High School - Preparing for a Mission)

I woke up at 2:20a.m. and was a little bit late for work [I worked at UPS at the time]. I got home at 8:00a.m. Heather called me on her break and told me what time her lunch was. I headed out there on my bike and got there in time for lunch. [She worked at some telephone company and it was located out past the airport! That’s a long bike ride just for lunch, especially after an early morning of hard labor at UPS!] We sat and talked for a half hour and then it was time for my long journey home.

I mowed Heyrand’s lawn [she was a neighbor] and she paid me $10.00. At 4:15p.m. Heather called right off of work. [At his point in the journal entry my writing starts to get sloppy. It’s obvious that I’m falling asleep and some of the handwriting is barely legible. I’ll do my best at translating.] At 5:00p.m. I picked her up. I had to tell her about a Lagoon date I just got asked to go on tomorrow night with Amy P. [Amy Pett]. She wasn’t exactly thrilled about it, but she took it well.

We went to Roundtable Pizza for an all-you-can-eat buffet. Then we went on a hike up to the Salt Lake Overview. It was in Millcreek Canyon up the Desolation Trail. We watched the sunsent and hiked down in the dark.

8/4/1995 (19 Years Old - On a LDS Mission in Dresden, Germany)

Today has been a weird day. I woke up at 6:30 a.m. and got ready to go to Leipzig. We cancelled a Termine [appointment] with Herr Paul [if I remember correctly, he was an old drunk man that we finally convinced to give up alcohol. He was hospitalized so that his body could handle the shock, but he gave it up!] Then we bought tickets and went to Leipzig. It was a 1 1/2 hour train ride.

Once we were in Leipzig, we went to Mission Büro [office]. We got there at 11:30 a.m. We were a little late. He asked us if we got lost and went to Poland. [I probably wrote that because it was something we had discussed doing at some point which would have been against the mission rules.]

We were welcomed and we ate lunch at their house upstairs. It was chicken with potatoes and carrots. It was really good. President Johnson made it.

After that he talked to Elder Riggs [Aaron Riggs, my companion at the time] for a couple of hours. I had no idea about what though. In the meantime I helped sister Johnson make tortillas. She’s an awesome lady. I love her a lot more now.

Then it was MY TURN! I slowly stepped into the office. I looked around to see who was watching. I could feel the cold breeze of death upon my neck. I entered the cold, dark room and the door slammed behind me and locked. [Obviously, or not so obviously if I feel obligated to comment, I was being funny. I must have felt that I was in trouble for something and after looking at the previous entry, we were speculating that we got busted for being over at the sister missionaries apartment making them mexican food. That would be a no-no, just like going to Poland.]
Anyway, we had a talk. It turned out to be about the following things:

  1. Missing DSV [District Meeting] on 8/3/95.
  2. Staying up past 10:30 p.m. and coming home late.
  3. Members seeing us in P-Days [preperation day clothing - jeans and such] on a working day.
  4. A fight in the apartment with Elder Theurer about cookies.
  5. Listening to music that was against mission rules.

It turned out that we weren’t ina huge amount of trouble, but President did want to get it cleared up. He wondered if it wouldn’t be better to ship the both of us out of here and put us in a new apartment without Theurer. I didn’t that that was the best solution. I thought we could just work it out like adults.

I had a really goot talk with him though. I have a new respect for President Johnson. H has a really strong testimony. He explained to me tonight that free-agency really isn’t free. Jesus Christ paid for it. That’s the first time i’d seen it that way. He also told me that the Holy Ghost goes to bed at 10:30p.m. out here on the mission. He reminded me of the “Return and Report” principle and also told me the difference between practices and Eternal Principles. I learned a ton! [We ended up getting moved out into our own apartment, something I wasn’t very happy about in the beginning but that I got used to in a hurry.]

8/4/1996 (20 Years Old - Still on a mission, now in Magdeburg, Germany)

Church went good. I had to play the piano for church again. Jacklyn Gehrke isn’t coming anymore. [She was the regular piano player.] I don’t where she is. Sergej came to church again. He asked his Seven-day Adventist church if they’d give him the Gift of the Holy Ghost by laying on of hands and they said that wouldn’t be a problem even thought they don’t usually do that. That funny as heck!

After church we hurried over to Winklers. We had to eat really fast because they wanted to visit Sister Gehrke in the hospital at 2:00p.m. We ate and left in 1/2 hour. It was my fastest eating appointment ever. But it tasted good.

On the way to Winklers I made a card for Sister Winkler. It was pretty funny if I do say so myself. We introduced ourselves to the Millet Family on a tape that Sister Millet gave us. We made it exciting and fun.

8/4/1997 (21 Years Old - Married)

I cleaned the house today and watched some recorded stuff. When Heather came home we went to LakeView Hospital in Bountiful after I shaved my head again. We went to see Stephanie’s new baby that was born today at 3:12p.m. It was a little baby girl and so adorable, too. They named her Madison.

We came home after that and went to the movies with Jeff and Christy [Jeff Walk and his wife]. We saw “My Best Friends Wedding”. It was ok. [Meaning I hated it.] We came home and Heather and I went at it a little bit tonight. We have our little disagreements every once in a while.

There are no journal entries after that for 8/4 because I stopped writing regularly. I’m glad I was so consistent during that time in my life. I probably should have gotten consistent again when Samantha came into our lives. Oh well. Live and learn. (Some say “live and let die.”)

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