Friday, November 11, 2005

Not Out on a Limb: Ghoul "Protestors"

They are ghouls... if in fact these folks are for real. I mean, the thing happened, but you can't even begin to imagine who would do such a thing.

Local news outfit, KSTP (from the vast Hubbard empire), aired a story on a soldier's funeral in Hudson disturbed by some protestors. Who in the flamming hootie-hoo are these folks?

Joe Soucheray talked about it on Garage Logic in his first hour, and at least some of his second hour. I've been trying to track down the text of the story (or another report... somewhere, anywhere)... if I can find something I'll post it, or even transcribe the story.

Apparently one of the protestors (or more) claim to be Baptists... enough listeners of Joe's called in to say (essentially), "I'm a Baptist, and that guy ain't no Baptist."

I can't even say these folks are mere Leftists. I don't know a single Leftist who I'd think (for even a moment) that this kind of protest (if you can even call it that) is anything but beyond the pale.

11:00 AM News on Eyewitness News, KSTP Channel 5 (ABC affiliate for Minneapolis/St. Paul): Army Specialist Benjamin A. Smith

Mike Binkley (studio anchor): A traveling band of protestors disrupts a funeral for a U.S. soldier. Good morning, I'm Mike Binkley.

Vineeta Sawkar (studio anchor): And I'm Vineeta Sawkar. A fringe group from Kansas caused a scene outside this morning's service for Army Specialist Benjamin Smith of Hudson. Smith died last week while serving in Iraq. Jessica Miles is live in Hudson with more. Jessica.

Jessica Miles (live in Hudson, WI): Well Vineeta, Veterans' Day has a whole new meaning for the family of Army Specialist Ben Smith. He is, uh, was killed rather in Iraq about a week and a half ago. His funeral, right now, is going on in this church behind me. While there has been a lot of support out here there has also been a lot of anger and protest as well.

Video package:
(Protest sign says, "THANK GOD FOR DEAD SOLDIERS".)
(Protest signs say, "THANK WMDs" and "GOD HATES YOU".)

Protestor: Fear God and keep his commandments.
(Motorcycle revving drowning out the protestor.)

(Protest sign says, "THANK GOD FOR DEAD SOLDIERS".)
Jessica Miles (VO): With signs in hand, protestors stand on what would typically be a quiet corner in Hudson. Voicing verses from the Bible and slaming dead Army Specialist Ben Smith.

(Protest signs say, "FAGS DOOM NATIONS" and "YOUR PASTOR IS A WHORE".)
(Protest signs say, "THANK GOD FOR 9/11".)
(Protest signs say, "GOD HATES THE U.S.A.".)

Steve Drain, Protestor: This maudlin show of mourning and weeping and wailing, it's just a show. They hate that boy. They raised him with the devil. That's the truth of the matter.

[Voice drowned out by the sound of a motorcycle revving nearby.]

Jessica Miles (VO): Occasionally drowned out by the bike, it was more than difficult for family and friends to hear.

Andrew Dew, Soldier's Friend: It's kind of upsetting and angering. I mean, someone just died. I mean, if you're going to protest do it somewhere else this isn't the time.

(Sign says, "You're in our prayers! GOD BLESS YOU!!".)
Jessical Miles (VO): Dozens of people, many who never knew Ben Smith lined the streets in Hudson today waving flags and wiping tears, showing their support for a 21-year old killed by a roadside bomb.

Kurt Schoenrock, Supports Soldiers: It, its such a heavy burden our, our young people are carrying, that we have the day off. It is the least we could do was come down and show our support.

Jessical Miles (VO): Kathy Metcalf even brought her children, saying this is better than any message ever taught in school.

Kathy Metcalf, Supports Soldiers: Ben, Ben had died in service to our country and I felt it was important for myself and the kids to come out and honor him and the sacrifices he made for the Iraqi people and fighting the war against terror.

(Protest signs say, "USA = FAG NATION" and "GOD HATES THE U.S.A.".)

(Video of protestor standing on the American flag.)

Jessical Miles (VO):
Police had no problem with the protestors other than removing one sign. They were here for thirty minutes and then gone.


Jessica Miles (live in Hudson, WI): Well Army Specialist Ben Smith will be buried in the Northern Wisconsin Veterans' Memorial Cemetary later on this afternoon. We are live in Hudson, I'm Jessica Miles, 5 Eyewitness News.


On a related note, a Tennessee county bars protests near funerals.

Sounds like the same gang.
The Rev. Fred Phelps, founder of Westboro Baptist, contends that American soldiers are being killed in Iraq as vengeance from God for protecting a country that harbors gays. The church is not affiliated with a larger denomination and is made up mostly of Phelps' children, grandchildren and in-laws.

Of course, the guess-who-gang says this is a no-no.
"While most of us would be offended by a funeral protest, individuals do have a right to protest. Clay County can't pick and choose who the First Amendment applies to," said Hedy Weinberg, executive director of the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.
You have a right to speak. You don't have a right to be heard, or to be heard by a specific group of folks... especially grieving folks.

Either way, it's a win-win situation. If a county or city bans such protests near funerals then the grieving folks are given peace. If a county or city allows such protests near funerals then the whole world will see what jackasses they are.

WQOW features the story on their website:

Funeral Services Held for Soldier from Hudson


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