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A weblog about the politics and affairs of the old and glorious City of Albany, New York, USA. Articles written and disseminated from Albany's beautiful and historic South End by Daniel Van Riper. If you wish to make a response, have anything to add or would like to make an empty threat, please contact me.

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January 21, 2018

Photos Of The Albany Women’s March

January 20 2018, one of many around the country

Men like me were welcome so I brought my camera.  At the start of the rally in front of the State Capital there were maybe 5 or 6 thousand people, while more people continued to arrive.  There was another march about 40 miles south in Hudson and of course a really big one down in New York City, and there were some smaller ones up north in Glens Falls and Saratoga.

The crowd was fired up and fed up and ready to do something.  I saw a lot of people who didn’t look like the usual suspects that you see at political rallies, just like at the Science March last April Earth Day.  If all the other Women’s Marches around the country are as enthusiastic and well attended as this then the rad righties who are destroying this nation had better start looking for someplace to hide.

At The Start Of The Rally Before The March, People Still Arriving
At The Start Of The Rally Before The March, People Still Arriving

The occasion, of course, was the first anniversary of the degradation of our country by the Filthy Brat in the White House and by the Anti-American Re-pub Party that he leads.  (I’ve cleaned up my language here considerably, you should all be proud of me.)  It was clear from the attitudes of the participants here that the numb horror felt by patriotic Americans a year ago has given way to a fierce determination to seize back control from our country’s enemies.  And evidently women are the ones determined to lead the way.

At The Start Of The Rally Before The March, People Still Arriving

The crowds were so dense I couldn’t see the speakers, the best I could do was to hold my camera over everyone’s heads and point and click and hope.  But the sound system worked fine, no problem hearing anywhere in the plaza.  Not that there was much to say that hasn’t already been said.  But no one attends rallies like this to gather information, they attend to show each other that they are not alone.

I Couldn’t Even Get Close To The Speaking Podium
I Couldn’t Even Get Close To The Speaking Podium

And that is particularly important because I saw no evidence of the Corporate Media during the rally.  The Wife saw Time Warner pointing a tripod at the actual march, and she also saw a couple of photographers who may or may not be employed by the local rags.  But of course there was no comprehensive coverage in evidence. What little mention of this event by the Corporate Media has been and will probably continue to be reluctant and tending toward negative, along with the usual gross underestimations of attendance.

Keep Your Filthy Laws off my Silky Drawers

One of the best parts of a rally like this are the signs.  The best are carefully home made and express an idea or sentiment that gets to the point.  

All I Really Need to Know About Making America Great I learned from the Declaration of Indepencence
You Don’t Have To Spell Right To Know What’s Right


Nolite te Bastards Carborundorum!
That’s From The Handmaid’s Tale


Saw This Surprising Image Several Times:  "We The People Are Greater Than Fear"
Saw This Surprising Image Several Times:
"We The People Are Greater Than Fear"


No sign is BIG enough to express my OUTRAGE!

Now, some people are troubled, perhaps rightly so, that this current debate over the lack of competency and patriotism by the people who currently have seized power is being expressed in terms of the two party system.  In other words, no one with a lick of sense would consider the Re-pub politicos to be anything other than corrupt Anti-American jerks.  But does that mean we would be significantly better off handing our country to the Democratic Party?

Assembly Members Pat Fahy And John McDonald, Senator Neil Breslin, Mayor Kathy Sheehan Peering Over Shoulders At Right [Photo Cathy Fahey]
Assembly Members Pat Fahy And John McDonald, Senator Neil Breslin, Mayor Kathy Sheehan Peering Over Shoulders At Right
[Photo Cathy Fahey]

The local Democratic elected officials were all in attendance with the exception of Congressman Paul Tonko, who wanted to be present but was stuck in Washington DC dealing with the Re-pub Party’s latest government shutdown (which I hear means that members of the military receive no paychecks but the members of Congress continue to do so.)  Such an alignment of the Democratic officials with the Women’s March is natural.  But is it, as some feel, a hijacking of a political movement?

Fire Faso

Or to put it another way, once the Democrats take power again will they go back to their old routine of shuffling behind the Re-pubs and presenting themselves as the not-as-bad alternative to the Re-pubs and nothing more? Is the participation in this rally by the Democratic officials little more than a cynical bid for votes in the next election?  

We deserve the government we allow

Well... it will be if the people at this rally and at rallies across the nation go back to quietly accepting what the authorities hand to them and blindly believing what the Corporate Media tells them.  That’s how the vast majority of people in this country have behaved since the 1970s.  Maybe this is wishful thinking on my part but I don’t think that’s going to happen for a number of reasons.

Vanguard Of The March, Banner Sewn By Martha Harnausz Of McKownville
Vanguard Of The March, Banner Sewn By Martha Harnausz Of McKownville

First, the shock of the 2016 election appears to have woken a lot of people from their slumber.  While the Democratic candidate in that election was less than ideal to say the least, no one with any sense disputes that she had the competency and the drive to run this country sufficiently well.  The realization that all of our lives are now in the hands of an irresponsible bratty sniveling turd and his party of shameless grifters appears to be having the same impact on people as a massive natural disaster or a terrorist attack.  People are not going to simply forget that it happened, that is, if we survive this crisis.

Second, the old boy Democratic politicians who for decades have been little more than Re-pub Lite have been scrambling to get away from being identified with the radical right fringe and have been trying to act more like Americans.  An excellent example is NY State governor Andrew Cuomo, who has been giving the appearance of backing away from his virtual Re-pub attitudes and as a consequence has seen his poll numbers rise steadily.  I doubt that anyone will ever love Andrew, but as long as he understands what the majority of people want and works to please them then he will retain power.

Can We Admit We Took This "Anyone Can Group Up to be President" Thing Too Far?

Third, and perhaps most important of all, the Corporate Media has been fractured beyond repair.  The once mighty monopolistic propaganda machine, while still very influential, can no longer simply frame issues and dictate political orientation like they once did.  There are several reasons for this, but the result is that minds are opening up, more and more people who have been letting the Corporate Media do their thinking for them are learning how to think for themselves all over again, or for the first time.

And here’s the thing about that.  Since the 1980s the Democratic politicians have been terrified of the Corporate Media, afraid to so much as scratch their butts because a video of them doing so will be played endlessly on TV. Literally.  They’ve been trained to do whatever the owners of the Corporate Media allow them to do and nothing else.  They are showing themselves to be slow learners, but since November 2016 they have been realizing that the Corporate Media, while still a powerful threat, can no longer simply destroy their careers instantly at a whim.

Grab 'Em by the Midterms

But when and if the Democrats gain power (assuming there will not be a violent political purge of the general population and a nuclear war by then) will the Democrats do the most important thing immediately, repeal the massive Re-pub Tax Hike and giveaway of trillions of our dollars to the lazy layabout welfare queen billionaires and foreign corporations?  Are they capable of ignoring the Koch Boys and the Waltons and the Mercers and the Sacklers and all the other dynasties built upon our backs?  Do they have the ability to exclusively serve the American People instead?

Marchers on State Street

Some say that the only solution to our troubles is to get rid of the two party system and replace it with something more representative such as a parliamentary system or some other system that encourages multiple parties. I agree, who wouldn’t?  But how is that going to happen?  By magic?  Does anybody seriously believe that the ruling Re-pubs will willingly cede power to the people of this country just like that?

Me Too

Before we can enact such positive reforms we need to deal with the immediate crisis.  The one and only mechanism that we have available at present to effectively oppose and hopefully bury the Re-pub Party is the Democratic Party, flaws and all.  I say, if a small group of obnoxious rad righty Teabaggers financed by stupid billionaires and propped up by the Corporate Media can seize control of the Re-pub Party and turn it against our nation, then surely the overwhelming majority of the American People can seize control of the Democratic Party and use it to chase off the Re-pub societal cancer and begin the process of making this country a decent place to live.

But it’s important to point out one thing about this rally and march.  While there was a strong opposition to the Filthy Brat in the White House and to his filthy party, this was most definitely not a Democratic Party event. Perhaps this is what frightens the authorities and the Corporate Media the most, that The People here were not neatly subjecting themselves to the two party system.  We were here on this day to subject the two party system to our will.  Or at least, that is our desire.

You Can't Comb Over Racism

So like the Science March last April, when the rally at the Capital ended marchers circled around the State buildings, a short route.  I left before that, but The Wife stayed (despite her lingering pneumonia) and at my request took pictures of the march.  She said, “People kept coming and coming,” as she dashed (staggered, really) from one side of the plaza to the other trying to take decent photos with her phone.

She had to abandon the banner she and another person had been holding, something about Muslims who were being persecuted by the FBI.  I‘m sure that confused a lot of people, the thought right now is that the FBI is some sort of heroes because they are openly battling the miserable incompetent administration currently squatting in the White House.  The FBI is actually fighting to preserve their own special privileges and could give a damn about the rights of The People, but never mind.  Folks will learn the truth soon enough.

This is Not OK

We will see if this rally and march actually leads to anything, I think it will. The participants had a focused determination about them like they were ready to do whatever it takes.  This was no confusion of purpose, the understanding was that what we have is not acceptable and must be replaced.  After today I have a feeling that things are going to be different because The Women have decided they will be so.

Kids Playing In An Icy Muck Puddle
Kids Playing In An Icy Muck Puddle


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