Sarah Palin Speaks to a Tea Party Rally in Madison
A lot of interesting things happened on the sidelines, with counter-ralliers from Madison's union supporters outnumbering the "Tea Partiers" by about three to one. The most interesting thing to me didn't become clear until I looked at the pictures I took of the event. Three of either Palin's or the "Tea Party" security detail wandered away from the stage area to linger among the counter-ralliers. I was in a picture-taking mood, and took a couple of shots of them. Curiously, as I was lining up my shot from the front, one of them got camera-shy and started to slink away. He wasn't fast enough, and I got the picture before he slipped away. In the picture of "Security" from behind you can see him glaring at me. He didn't like having his picture taken.
As I was getting photos together for posting on this blog I found the security detail more curious, and especially the guy who was so camera shy. I zoomed in on his hat, and it says "Los Angeles Police Special Weapons and..." I couldn't make out the rest, but it would seem to have been the word tactics.
Could a guy from the Los Angeles Police Department SWAT team come all the way to Madison, Wisconsin to provide his talents? What might he have had in mind? And why were he and his partners in security lurking among the counter-ralliers? Did his camera-shyness have anything to do with his curious background?
The likeliest thing is that the guy isn't or wasn't on the LAPD SWAT team at all. You can buy Los Angeles Police gear at a number of websites, like this one, and it is likely the hats can be bought at gun shows and gun nut conclaves like National Rifle Association meetings, or in ads in Soldier of Fortune Magazine. In other words, the "Security" man with the SWAT hat is in all likelihood not a law enforcement officer, but a fugitive from justice, who would have good reason for being camera-shy.
I don't have any certainty as to who the SWAT guy might be, but the times are certainly very weird, and Madison seems to be a big draw right now for strange people of all kinds with questionable of agendas. Here's an example of the kind of person the "Republicans" have hired to collect signatures for petitions to recall "Democratic" state senators.
This guy asked me to put this picture on the Web, so here it is. He was at the official counter-rally at the opposite side of the Capitol. He epitomized for me the best type of activist - soft-spoken, humble, sincere, someone who would rather be doing something else.
Here's a video of part of Palin's speech. Here's another.
This video of Michelle Shocked with the Madison Firefighters bagpipe group is priceless. It was at the Wisconsin State Capitol on April 4, the anniversary of Martin Luther King's assassination. Jesse Jackson spoke afterwards. I managed to squeeze into a space behind the stage and get a few pictures. Jesse Jackson is at left in the picture at right, and one of the Memphis sanitation workers of 1968 is behind him.
I was going to blend these stories in a different post, but didn't. They're worth reading:
Fire the Rich
Anatomy of an Afghan War Tragedy
Budgetary Savings From Military Restraint
Walker's Budget bill is really about hurting unions
Here's a bit of old news.