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Mayor Rocky Anderson on Bush and Patriotism

How did I spend my day? I was protesting Bush and the merry band of lying, warmongering, treasonous bastards he calls advisors. As you know George and the criminals are here in Salt Lake to speak at the American Legion Convention to speak to the veterans. Condi, Donald, and Dick have spoken and Bush arrives tonight and will speak tomorrow. Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson was the main speaker at the anti-war and anti-bush rally I attended and he really gave em hell. Here is a portion of his speech. Here is a pdf of the entire speech and here is your chance to say thanks Rocky



Quicktime Video 16.2MB 12'11
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Comments

I'm amazed that this guy was elected in Utah. Maybe the state is [slightly] cooler than I thought.

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Damn, that's good to hear. Thanks for posting it, Norm, and for gettin' out there in support of this!

"Blind faith in bad leaders is not patriotism." Amen.

Wooowww.... is this guy really in Utah? The one in the midwest? Here is a miracle for all you athiests! ha ha... But on a serious note, I really really wish some of our east coast "liberals" had half the spine as this remarkable gentleman!

Salt Lake City proper, not the metropolitan area, is maybe a little left of center. The rest of the state is 90% wingnuts.

This is amazing. Not because it is anything I have not thought myself of felt I knew, but because it is one of those rare occasions when a politician makes a speach in which it really sounds like he believes in what he is saying and has a true passion for truth and justice. I am Canadian, and this reaffirms my belief that there are really honest and good Americans out there, Americans who feel the same way about their present government as do so many people from other countries.

Thanks for being there!

Why does Rocky embolden the terrorists? He does nothing but give aid and embolden those who wish to do us harm (I'm of course refering to Rove, Rumsfeld, Cheney and their faithful flock).

I'm not trying to provoke anyone but... Ultimately this is not a very good speech. To me it only restates that we have only two choices: this side or that side. Maybe it was not included in the clip but did he actually provide a bit of info or advice on what needs to be done? Local politicians putting themselves on the national stage and quoting old (“old” = “good”?) republicans over and over again doesn’t do anything for me. Is this supposed to give some kind of hope to rational people because it comes out of Utah which is and will always be a wingnut state? America and Americans are far from recognizing what really needs to be done.
Sorry. But this depresses me even more.
-tgs-

SLC is really cool. Shhhh, don't tell anyone. Rocky is destined for much bigger things than mayor. I can't wait to see what he would do if a dem get elected and puts him in charge of the EPA. He should be all American's example to speak out when things suck. He's my hero.

Outspoken atheist Norm lives in Salt Lake City!?

Must be lonely.

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Nice speech, just wish it was given and heard about 3 years ago as opposed to now when it's far too late. The democrats, and indeed anyone who thinks that this presidency has messed things up need to direct more energy into possible ways of solving the current problems rather than continuing to bash Bush. At this point anyone and everyone rational enough to understand current events knows that the Bush administration completely botched the Iraq invasion and lied to boot...the problem is, what now? Maybe thats the real problem, no one really knows what now, its like Vietnam all over again, we lose either way. If we pull out, we lose, if we stay, we lose.

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Nice speech, just wish it was given and heard about 3 years ago as opposed to now when it's far too late. The democrats, and indeed anyone who thinks that this presidency has messed things up need to direct more energy into possible ways of solving the current problems rather than continuing to bash Bush. At this point anyone and everyone rational enough to understand current events knows that the Bush administration completely botched the Iraq invasion and lied to boot...the problem is, what now? Maybe thats the real problem, no one really knows what now, its like Vietnam all over again, we lose either way. If we pull out, we lose, if we stay, we lose.

I'm with Tommi. While it is a relief to hear anyone say that the Emperor has no clothes, we need more. Democrats are addicted to saying "Bush is bad. Vote for us." That's about all most of their fundraising letters do. We need leaders who have some idea, that they can convey to us, about what they would do differently. And we need to be sure we don't issue them any blank checks until they tell us what they're going to do with our support if we give it to them.

It's the same problem I had with V for Vendetta. It's a helluva lot easier to tear something down than it is to create something better to put in its place. Dems are phoning it in. I'm concerned that they won't know what to do with the reins of power once they have them.

I'm with Tommi. While it is a relief to hear anyone say that the Emperor has no clothes, we need more. Democrats are addicted to saying "Bush is bad. Vote for us." That's about all most of their fundraising letters do. We need leaders who have some idea, that they can convey to us, about what they would do differently. And we need to be sure we don't issue them any blank checks until they tell us what they're going to do with our support if we give it to them.

It's the same problem I had with V for Vendetta. It's a helluva lot easier to tear something down than it is to create something better to put in its place. Dems are phoning it in. I'm concerned that they won't know what to do with the reins of power once they have them.

(Hope this is posting only once. Server is messing with me. Apologies for multiple posts if they happen.)

Fanastic!

"No more of this "God is on our side" religious nonsense to justify the war..."

@Ghyl Tarvoke: :-D

Why Quicktime 7? Not everyone has the hippest newest OS that it, QT7, requires! I know Apple has said "screw backwards compatibility for less than OS X.3.9" but really! If you want people to see this.... consider those of us with budgets for our I.T.

@Ghyl Tarvoke

:-D

I understand what you are saying, Tommi and Phidippides, and even agree with the idea you are promoting, in general.

But, I think you must consider the context. This was not a campaign speech. The mayor wasn't pretending to put himself forward as a solution nor was he presenting a platform. This was a protest. A direct response to a visit from our nasty little president.

Now, if Rocky decides to run for president, then we will need to hear a lot more from him than what's he's against.

This wasn't about him or electoral politics. It's about this administration, this president, and his demand that the country should be silent while he and his cronies destroy the country and dump the bill on the backs of the very people they claim to 'serve'.

I was struck in this speech by the fact that Mayor Anderson was at such pains to emphasise that his protestors (and he himself) are patriots and support the troops. Obviously this is because the right wing have a tendency to say that their detractors are anti-American.

Here in the UK, I don't think that's an issue in political debate. The right wing never accuse anti-war protestors of being unpatriotic. It's (I think) an interesting difference between our two nations.

@Ghyl, he doesn't look lonely at all in the video :D

Bush Shifting Public Focus to Terrorism and Iraq War

By ANNE E. KORNBLUT Published: August 31, 2006

NASHVILLE, Aug. 30 — With the midterm elections approaching, President Bush is beginning an extended tour to draw attention to the threat of terrorism and the Iraq war, quickly pivoting to more comfortable territory after the focus on the Hurricane Katrina anniversary....

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/31/washington/31bush.html?th&emc=th

=======

Bush clearly wants to quickly divert people's attention from the anniversary of the New Orleans disaster to the only issue that Bush thinks he still has some credibility.

The Democrats should keep banging on Katrina to show how inept Bush is when it comes to homeland security and protecting ordinary Americans, at least the 99% of the US population who does not make it to Forbes' list of rich people.

with all due respect to the positions laid out by tommi and norm, but i think what is important here is to understand that if rumsfeld and cheney and rove can use the pulpit, the podium, the office to make such partisan, vile attacks against dissenters, then it's HIGH TIME we have a more vociferous response. these are not times for polite, wonkish, bloviating speeches. the public's ear is not attuned so much to the quality of the policy change as to change itself. i fear that some dems are succumbing to the idea that we must somehow offer a viable, constructive package of reforms and policies to oppose those presently in place - i could not disagree more. the public wants change and change alone. unless you tell me that 'staying the course' is somehow more palatable than 'changing course, whatever course that may be' then i just don't see how these kinds of speeches could possible hurt the democratic cause....

i'm sorry - i must have meant phidipiddes as opposed to norm...

Chris Murphey, I think its because the concept of 'patriotism' is not as highly valued in your country or mine. Recently in my country some on the right have been trying to push for 'citizenship tests' or value examinations on new immigrants, the Prime Minister tried to play the 'support the troops' in Afghanistan, and attempts to run down protestors as 'anti Canadian'. Those kinds of voices are seen as on the cusp but outside of the mainstream political thought. You don't have those kinds of comments being made nationwide on all sorts of sources of information, and when they are spoken many people will responed "that is not what Canada means to me". In the US, they have a historical legacy of patriotism, in the image of a fighting army bringing 'justice' through its armed conflicts. And while I think there is some of that in Canada, through the years since WWII, the public conciousness has shifted from a killing army to a humanitarian army. The Americans have a grand notion of always fighting for liberty and justice, American patriotic values, its is difficult to imagine otherwise, Vietnam doesn't seem to fit into the national conciousness. So to criticise the war, you criticise the national values that the armed struggle supposedly brings - its a historical legacy in the US and it ties all political commentary up.

For the other nations of the world, I think it remains extremely frightening, there is not the questioning of whether American military might should be used, but how it should be used. American liberals disagree with the Iraq war because the US acted alone, without allies and UN authority, not that they acted at all - many American liberals still see a place in the world as a 'police' not realising that this is part of their international problem.

I can see why hearing an American antiwar protest is such a different experience from a Canadian or British one. We never have to defend ourselves as 'patriots', first because that is never questioned by anyone but the lunatics in our countries, but secondly the term doesn't carry the same significance.

Here in the UK, I don't think that's an issue in political debate. The right wing never accuse anti-war protestors of being unpatriotic. It's (I think) an interesting difference between our two nations.

I think that's because our left wing is to the right of your right one. Our right one is full-on fascistic (the real, ultra-nationalist kind).

Thanks, Norm. I'm surprised and pleased to see that this report got on the mainstream news in Utah, and was reported so fully.

I live in Salt Lake City (and I'm atheist...) and just for people's information, this was not a campaign speech as Rocky Anderson is not running for another term and as far as I'm aware of, he's not running for any other government office position. The Salt Lake Valley is somewhat liberal, but like the previous poster says the rest of the state is mostly wingnuts. Rocky also protested Bush last time he was here and he's gotten lots of flack for it. He has been outspoken about many things he doesn't like about the way the current Federal Government is being run. He's implemented policies like complying with the Kyoto treaty even though there is no Federal requirement to do so, getting rid of the D.A.R.E. program because it was ineffective, and required living wages of contractors working for the city. He now has an actual forum that will listen to his opinion 'cause public sentiment has changed since the lock-step march to war mentality of the public, congress, and the administration 3 years ago. He's a dang good guy, and I'm sad to see him go but the altruist in me is proud of him not becoming career mayor of Salt Lake City.

Norm, I could not be there in person but I was there in spirit yesterday. I'm a wingnut in my own way but I do think your 90% value is exaggerated a bit. I truly believe there might be more of a 50-50 split of wingnuts and sensible people. (So...I'm a chronic optimist.) I am starting to see a crack in their armour in some of my ardent republican co-workers. I think they see past the obvious media hype and lies we have been told for these past 6 years. There are indications they are starting to question the 'facts'.

I can't beleive that there are so many Athiests in Utah that read this blog. I thought my wife and I were the only athiests in Utah. It's amazing to watch the "Power of Nightmares" Documentary that Norm recommended a few posts back, and then watch Bush and Rummy talk about these "facists". I honestly think anybody who wants to have an intelligent, well informed debate about the subject of Neo-con's and why the country is the way it is right now, you really should watch the "power of Nightmares". Utah Athiests! Vote pete ashdown

Wow! How refreshing. This speech demonstrates the differences between politicians and statesmen.

As Trevor said above, it's amazing to hear a speech which comes from someone's gut rather than a PR committee.

"Chris Murphey, I think its because the concept of 'patriotism' is not as highly valued in your country or mine."

That's pretty obviously incorrect. While Canada has a well-documented problem of national identity, Canadians are very vocal about being Canadian and you can't shut them up about their country. Your political channel constantly shows your government figures bickering about which of them loves Canada the most (the best being when it becomes an argument about who is more pro- or anti-American).

I think one of the differences is that we allow people who do hate the US to intermingle with those who just want to criticize the administration or our policies, and they poison the well - kind of like the few violent people who show up at a protest and ruin it for everybody. Also, if one person says something like "If you're against the war you're against America" it's blown out of proportion and made into this supposed epidemic of fascist thinking, because one thing a liberal truly loves is throwing the word 'fascist' or 'Nazi' into a conversation.

But you can't tell me with a straight face that nobody questioned the 'Canadianness' of those who opposed gay marriage in Canada - I was there and heard the whole debate - or any other major issue in your country. People from Montreal and Ontario are always arguing about devotion to country, both original and current.

And the British have a very strong sense of identity and country as well. It just depends what issue you are arguing about. And I'm really not that anxious to hear more about how superior the British are when they were just as culpable in this whole Iraq fiasco. Strange how they get a free ride, like the Japanese or Italians in WWII.

When most of the country is against an action, obviously you'll hear less of the 'unpatriotic' stuff. Which is why it's so funny that the Bush administration uses it to try to silence war protesters - the vast majority of this country is now against the war in Iraq. Are we all unpatriotic?

All I can say is this: on the prime time news last night on NBC the reporters were making fun of Rumsfeld for his ridiculous comments. They've been mercilessly pouncing on Bush on the anniversary of Katrina. So while it's fun to wring your hands and pretend the country is turnin' all red-state on you, the numbers just don't support the theory.

I can't beleive that there are so many Athiests in Utah that read this blog.

It might be more amazing that a Lutheran living in Salt Lake City would be reading this blog. :D

A decent speech, rarely heard in the media; I couldn't put it more succinctly, or politely: "The worst president our nation has ever had to endure."

But, to say that we support our troups for "protecting our freedom" is simply absurd. The orders that the troups take are never to DEFEND the U.S. of A., but to OFFEND (i.e., bully) other nations, and to flex our muscles. There is not a nation or a group of people in the world who gives a god damn about our so-called (and highly-questionable) "freedom". Even al Quaeda's objective is (or at least originally was) simply to get america to leave the Arab world alone and stop supporting the rougue nation of Israel. (BTW, I'm Jewish.)

Average_Joe, I didn't mean to imply that the British are "superior". I agree with you that the British government (in particular Tony Blair) also share responsibility for the current situation in Iraq.

But I am curious what you mean by "a free ride" in this context. It seems an odd choice of phrase. There have been terrorist attacks here in the UK, and the government is under a lot of criticism. This hardly seems like a free ride. And did Japan get a "free ride" in WWII? What about the nuclear attacks?

If you mean that the worldwide criticism of current events seems centred on the US more than anywhere else, I agree. But to imply that other countries aren't suffering the backlash is wrongheaded.

Rocky Anderson for President! He speaks up, he speaks out, he speaks for all of us who are disgusted and frustrated with our so-called government. Is the NSA going to begin to monitor my e mails now after writing this? Probably so.

"But I am curious what you mean by "a free ride" in this context ... If you mean that the worldwide criticism of current events seems centred on the US more than anywhere else, I agree."

That's exactly what I'm stating - and, more to the point, I am stating that there are a lot of Americans who for some reason take great comfort and pride in denigrating their own country while ignoring the faults and foibles of everyone else in the world. That's the "free ride" I'm speaking of.

And although I'm sure some parrot will immediately regurgitate the same stupid lines they've been saying over and over, I emphasize that I am not saying we are guilt free as a nation, or by any means perfect. No place is perfect. I am not trying to equate how America has screwed up with the screw-ups of others, or say that we should have some screw-up contest where each error is ranked and scored or making any global value judgment of any type. I'm just tired of Americans who bash their own country.

It's some weird cultural guilt we have in this country that causes this endless self-flagellation and "We're not worthy" nonsense. We are worthy. We're the best nation on the planet. That's why so many people leave those other countries and come here.

It's just funny that so many people here use the line that it's possible to love your country and criticize it, then forget about the first part.

Although it's a bit off-topic, it is definitely the case that Japan and Italy get a free pass for their crimes during WWII. Nobody even remembers Italy was part of the war. And all students today hear is that evil US nuked poor peaceful Japan when the war was already over because we're evil and mean.

You kind of expect to hear this from foreign people who learn anti-US propaganda in school ... but when your own people start believing and repeating that nonsense, something is seriously wrong.

To Average_Joe: I see. I know you have a bit of a reputation on this site but thank you for your considered (and courteous) response.

I too believe America is a great nation, as do many people here in the UK. I realise this is now wildly off-topic, but I just wanted an opportunity to round off our dialogue.

"I'm just tired of Americans who bash their own country.

It's some weird cultural guilt we have in this country that causes this endless self-flagellation and "We're not worthy" nonsense. We are worthy. We're the best nation on the planet. That's why so many people leave those other countries and come here.

It's just funny that so many people here use the line that it's possible to love your country and criticize it, then forget about the first part. "

But Joe, what about the moral significance of one's personal work and personal actions? Is it not a more constructive and worthwhile decision for a citizen to criticize thier own government than to go along with nationalism/propaganda that degrades other nations?

I am not advocating any other governing body, I think that all governments should be criticized and questioned...but again, what is a more proactive use of our citizenship?

Example: Criticism of the Soviet Union and the US.

If an intellectual/citizen in the USSR criticizes the government of the US, thats of little moral significance, it doesnt contribute to the wellbeing of humanity...it just emboldens and adds credence to centralized power. If the same person criticizes his own country and its policies, that is of moral significance, as it questions the legitimacy of that governing body that is of closest proximity, and is a more productive stance.

"But Joe, what about the moral significance of one's personal work and personal actions? Is it not a more constructive and worthwhile decision for a citizen to criticize thier own government than to go along with nationalism/propaganda that degrades other nations?"

I have tried to make it clear that there is a distinction between criticism and negativity. It's not criticism I mind - if we didn't have people criticizing our administration, this wouldn't be a nation worth caring about. It's the people who endlessly deride and tear down their own country for some personal gratification ... I just don't understand the mentality.

I think it's possible to be critical of your own country without deriding it. Constructive criticism is by definition based upon the concept of building and improving, not tearing down or destroying.

And frankly I prefer talking about things to having shouting matches, too. It's just sometimes the whole "we suck" attitude really grates on me.

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Did everyone who was concerned that this is just a negative speech read the transcript? While the end is phrased in the negative, it still points to positive action (to paraphrase, since I can't snip a PDF file):

  • No more illegal wiretapping
  • Not more torture
  • No more faux science on global warming
  • No more marriage=man+woman nonsense
  • etc. ... see Norm's link above

He also does a great job of taking us through the administration lies ... and showing why it's necessary to do so. The National Commander of the American Legion still thinks there is a link between Iraq and al Qaeda!

Great speech & thanks for being there, Norm! This is as riveting a speech as the one that made me go volunteer for Howard Dean (back when he still had a spine -- remember "the Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party"?).

What do you think about Rocky Anderson for President?

I read Rocky Anderson's speech with interest. A friend emailed me this link. I am beyond distressed by the current administration's inattention to all the issues Rocky lists at the end in his speech. He is, sadly, "on target". I just saw Al Gore's film about Global Warming and was very impressed by the integrity of his speaking up to us all and the urgent need for ACTION. It is not just global warming but global warning, because what's happening is affecting us all in deep ways. We are all of us connected and what is more visible than this, these days of the "WEB"? What are we waiting for?

Can I get a copy of this so I may distribute this to some of my friends in the Christo Faciest Zombie Brigade

We voted for President Bush and we also wanted to go to war. We may not like the war but we need to stand behind our President until he is out of office.

You may have voted for President Bush and you may have wanted to go to war. We don't need to stand behind our President we need to impeach the incompetent, dishonest, stupid son of a bitch before he causes any more damage.

Talk about wingnuts. You left wingers are insane. Go ahead and idolize Rocky if you will. Make fun of conservatives and people that actually have values. The image of Rocky spitting all over and frothing at the mouth at his latest " I'm a loser liberal" protest had me laughing for hours. The good news is, if jihadists ever make a concerted effort to attack within our country the first people they'll eliminate are you godless, immoral libs.

Talk about wingnuts. You left wingers are insane.

Oh yes, wanting to hold people accountable and upholding the Constitution. Yeah, real stoners!

Make fun of conservatives and people that actually have values.

Nothing says value more than supporting genocide of foreigners (under false pretenses no less!), let alone persecuting ethnic and sexual minorities here at home. (cue to wave flag and Jesus cross)

The image of Rocky spitting all over and frothing at the mouth at his latest " I'm a loser liberal" protest had me laughing for hours.

I agree. I mean, the man is a joke! Who does that, honestly? Going up in front of a podium and demanding that the president be brought to justice for war crimes. Puh-lease! Who in their right mind wants our troops to be used only when absolutely necessary and not as pawns in a senseless war? LMAO, Rocky! What. A. Joke.

The good news is, if jihadists ever make a concerted effort to attack within our country the first people they'll eliminate are you godless, immoral libs.

Oh? You didn't get the memo? Fuck! I told my secretary Dawkins to forward it to you but maybe you didn't receive it. Um, your God Yahweh isn't Allah. So you'd be pretty much fucked yourself. Now if in fact you are correct in your prognostication of the future attacks it probably won’t be because of Bush's “intelligent” plan of invading the wrong country, rather because we've incited horrid destruction to the point of madness in the area. Think of it this way: It would be like if you step on my toes repeatedly. If I punch you in the face and you then blame it on your neighbor who was telling you to stop stepping on m foot, would that constitute a reasonable argument? For the love of your cruel and inhuman God stop the madness! By the way, when you said that you hope we'll all be eliminated, is that part of the love and compassion you hear Christians rambling on about? If so, don't bother sending me the subscription.

Oh and thanks for stopping by. Don't hit your head on the browser on your way back to your hick state. <smile>

"Oh yes, wanting to hold people accountable and upholding the Constitution" If you wanted to do that you would have sought the prosecution of Jefferson for keeping all that money in his freezer. Guess you guys pick and choose the parts of the Constitution that you like.

"Nothing says value more than supporting genocide of foreigners (under false pretenses no less!), let alone persecuting ethnic and sexual minorities here at home. (cue to wave flag and Jesus cross)" As I recall, Dems also voted (for the most part) to support the war in Iraq. They don't get a pass just because they want to give up now. They worked off of the same intel the rest of the world had.

"I agree. I mean, the man is a joke! Who does that, honestly? Going up in front of a podium and demanding that the president be brought to justice for war crimes. Puh-lease! Who in their right mind wants our troops to be used only when absolutely necessary and not as pawns in a senseless war? LMAO, Rocky! What. A. Joke." Don't know what to say about that one except that you sound as insane as he is. How about Bill Clinton who thought-during his administration-that Iraq was the biggest threat to the US at the time. Given enough time in office, he probably would have done the same. If muslims want to kill each other by the thousands in suicide attacks, good for them. Blame them, not Bush.

"Oh? You didn't get the memo? Fuck! I told my secretary Dawkins to forward it to you but maybe you didn't receive it. Um, your God Yahweh isn't Allah. So you'd be pretty much fucked yourself. Now if in fact you are correct in your prognostication of the future attacks it probably won’t be because of Bush's “intelligent” plan of invading the wrong country, rather because we've incited horrid destruction to the point of madness in the area. Think of it this way: It would be like if you step on my toes repeatedly. If I punch you in the face and you then blame it on your neighbor who was telling you to stop stepping on m foot, would that constitute a reasonable argument? For the love of your cruel and inhuman God stop the madness! By the way, when you said that you hope we'll all be eliminated, is that part of the love and compassion you hear Christians rambling on about? If so, don't bother sending me the subscription.

Oh and thanks for stopping by. Don't hit your head on the browser on your way back to your hick state.

No, my God isn't Allah. But, I bet I know a hell of alot more about the muslim faith than you. Your immoral ideals represent everything they hate about western culture. And since libs won't stand up and fight, you'd be easy pickings. Especiialy an atheist pig like you. And, I may be a christian. But if an atheist scum like yourself gets in my face you'd better believe I'll call you on it. I love that because atheists have no code they aren't held accountable for not having "Christ-like qualities". But, you try and tie the hands of christians behind their backs by saying "that's not christian behavior". At least you admit you have no moral compass to live by. It's just like a lib dem to think that anybody who doesn't see the "error of their ways" is from a hick state and unintelligent. By the way, I attended one of the top-ten private schools in the country and have several degrees including my most recent degree-a BS in nursing. So much for unintelligent, you arrogant ass!

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