Via the Concord Independent Tribune:
CONCORD, N.C. — All of Concord stopped briefly Wednesday afternoon to honor a fallen soldier.
PFC James McClamrock returned home from Iraq to cities that closed up shops, cleared an interstate and stood silently on the sides of the roads to pay tribute to him and his family.
McClamrock, 22, was killed on Sept. 7, when a man dressed in an Iraqi army uniform fired on American soldiers. He was one of two killed after major combat operations were declared over on Aug. 31.
Hundreds of people lined the streets as the mile-long procession drove from Charlotte-Douglas International Airport to its final destination at Hartsell Funeral Home on Branchview Drive.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg authorities closed down northbound Interstate 85 from the airport to Dale Earnhardt Boulevard as the processional passed. On every overpass I-85 in Mecklenburg and Cabarrus counties, firefighters lined bridges, running their emergency lights and displaying large American flags to passersby.
Residents slowly made their way onto several of the overpasses, paying their respects as the long line of Patriot Guard Riders, emergency personnel and others in the processional snaked north to Dale Earnhardt Boulevard.
As the cavalcade reached surface streets, it was again met with an outpouring of community support. School children from Beverly Hills Elementary School lined Church Street.
Alongside the children, many of the businesses people stopped working to step onto the sidewalk and salute the fallen soldier. Others stood silent, waving flags or covering their hearts with their hands.
In downtown Concord, storefronts closed about noon and people lined the sidewalks on Union Street as the procession rolled through.
Business owners passed out small American flags to bystanders as they waited for the procession. The Lions Club left out flags from Labor Day on the sidewalks.
About 12:45 p.m., the procession came around Cabarrus County Courthouse on Corban Avenue and slowly made its way up to Concord City Offices. The Patriot Guard Riders — 100 strong — rode ahead of the hearse and the family van, the noise of their motorcycle engines reverberating off the buildings.
Then the hearse stopped and the van stopped in front of city hall.
A Concord Fire and Life Safety honor guard stood in the street, flanked by city council. Mayor Scott Padgett and Dr. Hector Henry quietly spoke to the family, presenting them with a key to the city.
Henry, a colonel in the Army Medical Corps who served six months in Iraq last year, was dressed in his fatigues.
All activity stopped in downtown Concord for five minutes as the mayor made the presentation. There wasn’t a sound, save for the van engine and a distant news helicopter. Then the family boarded the van to continue the trip to the funeral home.
Battalion Captain Ed Shaver, commander of honor guard, broke the silence, calling a troop of police officers and firefighters to attention. They saluted as the hearse and family van drove on.
God bless the McClamrock family, and may Army Pfc. James McClamrock RIP.
“Never in the history of the world has any soldier sacrificed more for the freedom and liberty of total strangers than the American soldier. And, our soldiers don’t just give freedom abroad, they preserve it for us here at home.” – Former US Senator Zell Miller (D-GA) – 2004 Republican National Convention
…in three hours:
Drug-related violence continues to consume Ciudad Juarez in northern Mexico, just across the border from El Paso. Last Thursday’s toll of 25 killed over a three-hour period rattled a city that is already accustomed to numerous deaths a day.
It was the highest single-day toll recorded in the border city since the violence erupted there more than two years ago. Victims in Thursday’s shootings range in age from 15 to 67. They were mostly ambushed inside their homes, reports the El Paso Times.
Ciudad Juarez Mayor Jose Reyes Ferriz said the killings were believed to be acts of retaliation by the Juarez cartel for an alleged kidnapping of a child by the rival Sinaloa cartel. What’s not clear is what all those victims had to do with the alleged kidnapping.
Does it matter why, anymore? Public safety is all but nonexistent in several Mexican cities thanks to the gang wars and the government’s failures to rein them in. Reynosa, at the other end of the Texas-Mexican border from Juarez, is described as being under the open control of the Gulf and Zeta cartels, which are battling over the city like pirates over a captured woman, while the Mexican Army sits by, impotent.
Not only is there the human tragedy of people living in fear of their lives from bloodthirsty criminals, but what happens on their side of the border affects us, too. Not just from illegal immigration as people understandably look for a safer place to live, but also physical security. Already cartel violence is spreading into our cities. Do we have to wait for another raid on Columbus to take our border problems seriously?
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)
Naches community members are outraged at a Tea Party parade float in the Sportsmans’ Days Parade last weekend which featured a man dressed as President Barack Obama whipping a teenager with a riding crop.
Last weekend was the Naches Lions Club’s annual Sportsmans’ Days celebration. The three-day event featured everything from a fishing derby to a hot rod show to a teen dance. At 10 a.m. Saturday the grand parade got underway, but dozens of people who attended the parade were witness to something they didn’t quite expect.
Local members of the Tea Party sponsored a float, decorated to look like a Radio Flyer wagon, pulled behind a truck. In that truck a number of people sat holding signs that read everything from “Obama Care” and “Healthcare Take Over” to “Wasted Tax Money.”
But the thing that got people upset was a man in shirt and tie wearing a mask of President Barack Obama. In one hand he held a sign that read “Hey Kids! Thanks for paying out debt!” In the other hand he held a horse riding crop which he snapped at a young teen in front of him pretending to pull the wagon by the handle wearing a shirt that read “Future Tax Payer.”
“It certainly came across as very racist to me, and really bad manners, bottom line, lack of manners,” Katy Uhlmer said.
Uhlmer was outraged over the float, saying that the float was seen by dozens during a parade meant for fun, not political agendas.
“A lack of respect for our presidency and our government, just everything down the line, it was really quite disturbing,” she said.
Some say that instead of talking about government overspending, people are focused instead on how the Tea Party’s message was in bad taste.
“If you have people calling in that were thinking it was racist and not liking the message as it was promoted, then I would say you’re not too effective,” John McGowan said.
Not to be outdone, the liberal gang at Think Progress featured this story at their website, emphasizing this part:
In one hand he held a sign that read “Hey Kids! Thanks for paying out debt!” In the other hand he held a horse riding crop which he snapped at a young teen in front of him pretending to pull the wagon
The writer of the Think Progress “piece” – Ben Armbruster – was slick enough not to include his own opinion on whether or not he thought the float (seen in the video below) was “racist,” but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out the clear insinuation. Liberals don’t know how to do anything else anymore outside of either implying or suggesting racism is the root behind any and all opposition to Barack Obama, or outright accusing the Tea Party of it, as we’ve seen the NAACP, prominent politicos, etc do.
The Yakima-Herald also did a “feature’ on the “controversy” surrounding the image of the man dressed as BO cracking the whip over a white youth:
Criticism has arisen over a float in the annual Naches Sportsman’s Days parade that some are calling offensive and in bad taste.
Sponsored by a local group that’s part of the tea party movement, the float resembled an oversized red wagon. Riding on it was a man wearing a President Obama mask, cracking a whip over a youth pulling the wagon.
Several people on the float carried signs critical of federal spending, Wall Street bailouts, tax increases and U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, who is locked in a re-election battle with Republican Dino Rossi.
Organizers of the Sportsman’s Days event said they’ve received complaints that the float and its depiction of Obama was “over the top” and involved a racial stereotype from the slave era more than 150 years ago.
And they say conservatives are obsessed with race?
Ladies and gents, I hate to sound like a broken record, but this is exactly how the media sets the narrative. They already have it in the backs of their minds, courtesy of not only their preconceived notions about conservatives but also the politicos and pundits who have falsely characterized the Tea Party as racists, and they wrote a story from that angle. The focus wasn’t on the Tea Party’s anti-big government message, it was on … Obama’s color. You can watch the video and see for yourself that there was nothing “racist” about “Obama” cracking the whip on the white youth. In fact, that’s in effect what he does now to people of all colors in this country – it’s just that the “whip” is excessive taxes, excessive regulation, government mandates on health care, more restrictions on your personal freedom, etc. If the liberal/politically correct nitwits upset over the Tea Party float had a one THINKING brain amongst them, that’s what they’d be really offended about – the fact that this President thinks an expanded centralized federal government better knows how to run your life than you do.
But instead, once again, we see folks who just can’t move beyond the color issue. Are they suggesting they would have been less offended had the youth pulling the wagon been black? Would they have been ok with it if a white president had been depicted as cracking a whip? The bigger problem here, beyond the race card being played, is that they’re offended that anyone would dare criticize President Obama. “Dissent is patriotic” – but only if you’re criticizing a Republican president. There are people out there, mostly on the left, who standby at the ready, waiting to be offended and sure enough, that’s what happened here. Washington is a liberal state, of course, so this isn’t exactly surprising, but it doesn’t make it any less infuriating.