On May 19, 2010, Nina Easton reported the following on CNN.com:
Last Sunday, on a peaceful, sun-crisp afternoon, our toddler finally napping upstairs, my front yard exploded with 500 screaming, placard-waving strangers on a mission to intimidate my neighbor, Greg Baer. Baer is deputy general counsel for corporate law at Bank of America (BAC, Fortune 500), a senior executive based in Washington, D.C. And that -- in the minds of the organizers at the politically influential Service Employees International Union and a Chicago outfit called National Political Action -- makes his family fair game.
Waving signs denouncing bank "greed," hordes of invaders poured out of 14 school buses, up Baer's steps, and onto his front porch. As bullhorns rattled with stories of debtor calls and foreclosed homes, Baer's teenage son Jack -- alone in the house -- locked himself in the bathroom. "When are they going to leave?" Jack pleaded when I called to check on him.
By now this story has been linked and reported on in so many places I can no longer remember where I first read it. But I remember clearly what it immediately reminded me of:
On February 24th, 2008, a University of California at Santa Cruz researcher and her family- whose names have not been released- were the victims of an attempted home invasion. The family was hosting a birthday party for one of their young children when six masked attackers began trying to batter down the front door of their home. The husband ushered the rest of the family into the rear of the house and then returned to face the attackers. They struggled briefly with him before they fled.
Someone inside the house tried to place a call to 911 during the attack, but all the operator could hear was a woman screaming and children crying.
That is an excerpt from a post titled Unsafe in Any Generation that I put up on March 20, 2008. That post was one of several describing attacks on scientists conducted by animal rights terrorists. Like this demonstration, the terrorists attempted to frighten and intimidate scientists (they called them 'vivisectors') in their homes.
Fortunately for the Baer family, the 14 busloads of demonstrators did not arrive equipped with the firebombs or molotav cocktails used by animal rights terrorists.
Not yet, anyway.
The SEIU organizers limited their press coverage to inviting a single blogger from the Huffington Post to cover the event. They also published their own account of the demonstration on the official SEIU blog:
Ms. Easton uses her article to criticize the police for their "belated" response time and says they were too scared to arrest us. The truth is, the police actually followed us to the event to help keep the peace. They were on the scene when we were. The reason they didn't make any arrests is because nobody did anything illegal. In fact, the police went on record as saying it was a "very peaceful" event.
She also seems to suggest that we shouldn't have tried to talk to Baer because he is a "lifelong Democrat." This is ridiculous. The foreclosure crisis has nothing to do with political party and everything to do with banks and their lobbyists using their influence ($$$) with politicians of all stripes to keep things the way they are.
That's why we were there and why people will continue to stand up to the banks and their lobbyists, who continue to do everything they can to keep Wall Street profiting at Main Street's expense.
This would all sound very noble except for one tiny detail:
The only person the demonstrators "talked to" was Mr. Baer's 14-year-old son, who locked himself in a bathroom in terror.
And for an extra dose of irony, here's a link I ran into while reading about this incident:
It is extremely discouraging to see people treating one another like this. And it's a reminder of how GOP scare-tactics ("the government will kill the elderly,!" "the government will choose your doctors!" or "the government will ration care!") use fear to overpower the truth.
We are at a turning point. To succeed, we will continue to elevate this conversation, distinguish ourselves from the opposition, and speak to our fellow Americans with respect and dignity. Where we disagree, we'll invite discussion. And when we agree, we'll work together toward a solution.
That's the only way we're going to solve our nation's health care crisis. When it comes to quality, affordable health care, the stakes are too high to let shouting run the show.
(If their rhetoric gets any richer, I'll need to hunt up some Alka-Seltzer before I finish this post.)
By invading private property, the demonstrators were not "elevating the conversation." Five hundred (some sources say 700) angry strangers with bullhorns, chanting slogans and literally standing at the front door of a private residence are not conversing.
In fact, they are moments away from convulsing. How long can a tactic like this remain 'peaceful' before someone decides to "take action" and the crowd becomes a mob? What then?
I'd like to repeat some remarks I posted in the past about the home attacks perpetrated by animal rights terrorists:
All terrorist movements either begin with or develop a messianic belief system. Call it the Paradox of Extreme Virtue: having ascended to a higher moral plane, the terrorists are now entitled- no, enjoined- to Promote Virtue and Prevent Vice among us lower beings. It becomes their priestly calling. They don't consult other people to see if they agree with their definition of Virtue; Virtue does not consult. Virtue exists for itself and is so obviously superior that it compels obedience.
So the Virtuous Terrorist begins to make decisions. Selective ones. This should be smashed. That should burn. Like herding cattle, the terrorist seeks to shape the path of society with clear and forceful examples. Ideally, after much careful correction, just the snap of a whip next to an ear should be enough to direct the herd.
The urge to coerce behavior by means of violence should never be ignored. Once a person or group decides that their need for revenge and control trumps law and order, a kind of moral milestone has been passed. The law no longer applies to them. They will abrogate it. They will replace it with their own improved version.
They develop a will to power.
It is this will to power that should concern us. Terrorists acting in the name of animal rights, Islamofascism or government reform aren't interested in what the rest of us think. They have convinced themselves that we should all be frightened and punished into implementing their "improvements" to society.
Let's hope the current situation never reaches the point described above.