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September 17, 2004

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Ohms

The jury's still out one this one, at least as far as I'm concerned. The fact that Parlock's been to rallies and whatnot and has been roughed up before doesn't mean this was staged event in need of debunking. If a "professional protestor" got roughed up by the police outside the RNC, I wouldn't assume it was staged just because he'd had run-ins with the police at previous protests.

Did he put his daughter at risk? Maybe, maybe not. If it was a setup, then there was no danger. If it wasn't a setup, and the folks that claim to support free speech and dissent actually practiced what they preach, then there was no danger.

If it wasn't a setup, he pulled one of the oldest tricks in the protestor's book; get the opposition to make themselves look bad. If this was the case, and he drug his daughter into it, he should be ashamed of himself. Then again, that does not excuse the attack.

The Kid

On my drive today from VA to SC today I heard Glenn Beck’s follow-up (second) interview with Phil Parlock, wherein Beck questioned the wisdom of Parlock’s attendance at the rally with his daughter while clearing up the noise Atrios injected. Parlock - apparently the father of ten kids ranging in age from three to twenty or so – said that he is quite active in politics and does like to “stand witness” at rallies.

Politics is a contact sport in West “By God” Virginia, as this 9/8/04 article from the Huntington, WV The Herald-Dispatch shows:

Someone egged the Republican Headquarters in the 1400 block of 4th Avenue early Monday, just four days after someone fired a bullet into the building.
[Snip]
Thursday night, someone fired a bullet into the headquarters as nearly 25 people gathered to watch televised coverage of the Republican National Convention. President Bush had been speaking for about two minutes when people inside the headquarters heard a pop and shattering glass. Aside from a glass shard that nicked a Huntington woman’s neck, no injuries were reported.

Though an HPD incident report listed a pellet gun as a possible source, investigators said initial evidence suggested the hole in the glass was too large to have come from a pellet gun.

The bullet hole, which remained Tuesday, is located a little more than 6 feet high and to the right of the main entrance on 4th Avenue. It is surrounded by several "Bush/Cheney ‘04" political signs, as well as signs for local candidates.

The shooting is still under investigation, and no arrests have been made, said Capt. Steve Hall of the Huntington Police Department.

Though no one reported the egging to police, Morris said he is firmly convinced that it and the shooting are politically motivated.

Figger the odds…

You may find this hard to believe, but some union folks are quire forceful in exercising their rights to free speech, free assembly, and free intimidation, especially in an area like WV where unions are losing membership. In a way, Mr. Parlock’s silent witness practice, if that’s what it really is, is admirable and quite a contrast to some of the protestors in New York. As for involving his three-year-old daughter, he should have had every expectation that in her company none would molest him.

There’s often a fine line between courage and stupidity, but I’ll let someone else – perhaps the union mullah will step up to the plate – cast the first stone.

Jumbo

okay, I've acted all outraged at the union, etc. But I started thinking: what kind of man stakes his 3-year old out as provocation bait? It probably happened, but I don't think I like this guy or his methods.

Gerry

Glad to see that some levity has been injected here. I was disturbed at the frenzied back slapping that occured earlier when someone "exposed" Mr. Parlock as a habitual rabble-rouser with pictures of the man's family and pointing out that one of Mr. Parlock's sons resembles the "attacker" in the picture with the little girl crying.

I think that was way out of line - even if it was accurate. A little too quick on the draw if you ask me. When someone wants to slam a person like that, take the time to get all the facts straight, and maybe even try to get a statement from the "accused". We can all learn from the CBS/Rather situation.

Gerry

Two Gerrys in a row. What are the odds.

He was on the Glenn Beck program twice today. The first time to tell his tale. The second time to be confronted by the fact that this has happened to him before, and what the hell was he thinking bringing his kid (and was that her brother?).

He said he had been to a few other events, and when I say a few I mean 1 or 2 other events sans problems.

He said the other events were full campaign rally type things where they screen what you are walking in with. He'd hide signs in his pants (Sandy Berger, call your office). He knew there would be trouble at those.

He said since this was outside, at an airport, without really any sort of controls, he'd be fine with his daughter.

Beck pretty much said he was nuts for putting his daughter in the middle of it.

Gerry

soybomb

I agree, exposing your children to Democrats is a form of child abuse!

The Kid

Gerry II –

I’ve thought about this all day – I did hear Beck’s second bit with Parlock and his remarks afterwards and now conclude that 1) intimidation works and 2) there are two Americas.

If I attend a Bush rally anywhere in the US and hoist a “Kerry / Edwards” sign, with or without a three-year-old, I will, at worst, be asked to move to a different area, one quite unlike the cage set up for protestors in Boston during the Democrat convention. This is almost what America should be.

Yet Captain Ed and many other usually right-thinking individuals know full well the risks associated with hoisting aloft a “Bush /Cheney” sign at many Kedwards rallies.
There are more than a few who claim that their cars with “Bush /Cheney” bumper stickers have been damaged or had “Bush /Cheney” signs removed from their yards. This is Putinesque; is it Kedwards’ America? Or does one have to sue?

Shall we blame this too on Ashcroft?

And another thing, our host here has pointed out another of the wonder things about the blogosphere – currency. The WaPo column “Reality Checks” was posted at 11:04 AM today and left off with the now obsolete Atrios post ending with “What are the odds.” Twelve hours later, we’ve learned a lot more, no? I’m pretty sure that the WaPo receives more currency than the humble host of this blog. I guess he’s just easily intimidated…

BTW, Beck has posted the audio of his two calls with Parlock here.

blah

If I attend a Bush rally anywhere in the US and hoist a “Kerry / Edwards” sign, with or without a three-year-old, I will, at worst, be asked to move to a different area, one quite unlike the cage set up for protestors in Boston during the Democrat convention.

Or, alternatively, you will get arrested. Or kicked to the ground. And that's if you manage to get in, loyalty oaths and all. Get real. Parlock is an agent provocateur who has the local paper on speed-dial.

Ohms

"Parlock is an agent provocateur who has the local paper on speed-dial."

Again I ask, so what? If this wasn't a staged event, mind you, then he used the "the other side is abusing me" tactic to make the other side look bad. You're telling me the protestors on the left don't employee this tactic?

Again, if this was not a staged event, many question if it was a wise thing taking a 3 y/o into a situation that he knew could turn violent. It speaks to his commonsense as a parent, as many point out, but it speaks more to the regression of political discourse in this country. Especially on the part of side that claims to support free speech and decries the "eeevil VRWC" of silencing dissent.

If this wasn't a staged event, the apologists on the left can say anything they want, but they can't erase the fact that a "union thug" ripped a poster out of a 3 y/o girl's hand because he didn't like her exercising her First Amendment rights.

Patrick R. Sullivan

I'd say the odds are pretty good. We've got physical evidence in two of them. In addition to the picture of the crying little girl, in one of the articles atrios linked to, the reporter describes "red abrasions" on his face.

Also, see some decidely impolite Bush haters here:

http://www.citizensunited-interactive.org/c41.11/

Josh

A republican visits a democrat rally: provocation.

The other way around? Doubtlessly free speech enabled by the first amendment, and a civil right. Hell, stirring up feelings in "rethuglicans" is a civic duty to (unemployed) anti-war-but-on-the-other-side protestrs. Didn't that right wing murderer know he was supposed to go home and kill his children?

/blah

Xrlq

It seems pretty clear Parlock acted like a jerk, but I don't see why that makes the union guys any less culpable for their actions. Is this the liberal activist version of the "bitch asked for it" defense?

Thomas J. Jackson

Let me understand this correctly, this man may have been in the habit of protesting Democrat rallies so that allows the Democrats to engage in Brownshirt tactics? Gee I guess the next time I terrorize a 3 year old I can say it was the child of a Democrat partisan?

The Kid

This report comes via Drudge.

A Bush-Cheney campaign sign yanked from the hands of 3-year-old Sophia Parlock and ripped into pieces was the focus of all the attention. The incident occurred Thursday evening at Tri-State Airport during Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards’ campaign stop. [Snip] Lois Pauley of Huntington said she saw part of the incident at the airport. Pauley said she was there with her father, sister and son.

"At first he was being quiet and nice," she said of Parlock’s actions. Parlock was not being rude or obtrusive, Pauley said.

As Edwards neared the spot where Parlock stood, he reached into his pants legs and removed his Bush-Cheney signs, Pauley said.

Some materials, such as large handbags, umbrellas and signs, were banned from the event. The only signs that were allowed by the Kerry-Edwards campaign staff were the signs the campaign itself provided.

"The only thing I saw that happened was I saw people trying to cover up his signs with Edwards signs," Pauley said. She said she saw Parlock hoist Sophia onto his shoulders so she could hold a Bush-Cheney sign above the crowd.

Pauley said she moved away from Parlock at that point because she feared something bad was about to happen.

Parlock, the brown-shirt fascist, is, without doubt, a deficient parent whom the county child welfare authorities need to counsel. How dare he attempt to exercise his right to free speech by intruding on those exercising their right to assembly? He may claim that he’s trying to introduce his kids to the concepts embodied in our declaration of independence and constitution, but he needs to be taught the lesson that such instruction belongs solely within the purview of the unionized public schools.

Kedwards’ message is clear: there are two Americas:
- Democrat America may and should protest loudly, enthusiastically, and with sufficient intimidation against the Republican oppressors.
- Republicans should be silent and docile, and just keep on working to increase the GNP while the Democrats enjoy their perpetual adolescence.

Ari Tai

What a telling incident. Heaven forbid, say the child had been pushed during the altercation, fallen on her head and died. Would we still be blaming the victim? If she were holding a sign or not? Trampled to death in the rush to abridge the father's rights on public property? Remember the children that marched with MLK? "Oh, that was different." How soon we forget.

Jumbo

"Would we still be blaming the victim?"

No one is blaming the victim, at least as far as I can tell. There is principle, and there is sound practice; and sometimes they're not the same.

Given - Parlock had every right:
1) To attend a Kerry rally
2) With his 3-year-old
3) While displaying Bush/Cheney stickers
4) In the very heart of things.

But as my grandmother said, just because you can, doesn't mean you should. As the father of used-to-be 3-year-olds, I resent Parlock using his child as a prop in a provocation that he not only knew was likely, but also probably hoped, woudl turn ugly. Hell, everyone in conscious America knows that the Dem base, particularly union Dems, merely pays lip service to free speech, and will stifle opposition in just about any way it can.

This doesn't mean I'm "blaming the victim". It doesn't mean I think the union guys were justified (they absolutely weren't). It means I think Parlock is a shithead for engineering a situation which caused his child to be in great fear.

And since I'm on a roll and getting a little hot about this, I'll tell you something from personal experience. I had the misfortune a few years ago when taking my 8-year-old daughter home from a soccer practice to be side-swiped by a 3/4-ton pick-up as the driver did a last-minute lane change to get to the exit ramp he suddenly decided he wanted off at.

As the guy got out of car I could smell beer all over him. I told him he was a blind idiot. His first words to me were two quick punches to my temple. Now, I was a big, strong guy, 6' 1" 260, once a major-college football player, but almost 45 years old and getting flabby. This guy was taller by a couple of inches and maybe 30 pounds lighter, but 15 years younger, and he hit me hard. Very, very hard. My glasses broke and cut a 2-inch gash above my eye. It was on, and ugly. It was a bloody rolling-around-in-the-dirt gouging, bitng, kicking, choking fight. I've never had one like it.

And all the time I could hear my daughter screaming, "Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!" from my car. Even though it was dawning on me I might have to fight for my life, it broke my heart to hear my little girl terrified. I eventually just beat the jerk down, and he said he was done. I turned to go tend to my daughter when he hit me again from behind. My daughter was still scrraming in terror.

This time I got a choke-hold on him and put him at the point of unconsciousness. I told him, in a sanitized version, that I would kill him if he made me, but I didn't want to have to kill someone in front of my child. He waved that he was done, and again I stumbled back to see about my daughter. And then she screamed again, and I turned just in time to avoid being hit in the head by a long-handled shovel he was swinging like a bat.

For a couple of minutes I had to run and dodge as he tried to kill me with the shovel, hittng me a couple of times on the arms. He finally went down after a swing and I was able to run to my vehicle, and open the driver's door. He was right behind me, and I had time for a choice: try to hop in before he hit me and then drive away, or put my hand on the S&W 9 I always had stuck between seat and console, and kill the bastard.

I made my decision in an instant. I knew it would be a clean shoot, because several cars had stopped by now and the drivers had seen this crazy man trying to kill me. But there was no way I wanted my little girl to see me have to kill a man, however justified. I hopped in and closed the door just as he hit it with the shovel. As I turned the key in the switch he slammed the shovel again at my window, hitiing the doorpost and putting a 4-inch long gash a half-inch deep in the metal. As I roared away he pounded my rear quarter panel for good measure. He got in his truck and went the other way, but the police caught him a quarter-mile down the road. He's now finshing a 10 yr sentence for felony assault and destruction of property.

So I have a little experience in seeing my young child in a very fearful situation. It made me physically ill when the danger was past. I cannot believe any good father would willingly subject his child to that, whatever his "rights".

Raven

Gerry writes:

...someone "exposed" Mr. Parlock as a habitual rabble-rouser with pictures of the man's family and pointing out that one of Mr. Parlock's sons resembles the "attacker" in the picture with the little girl crying.

I think that was way out of line - even if it was accurate.

You could be right.   On the other hand, isn't it odd that this one person keeps having the same experience wherever he goes?   Shouldn't the perpetrator(s) get some critical attention?   Shouldn't there be photos showing his face (or their faces), too?   And if it turns out to be the same perpetrator(s), time after time — and especially if the resemblance to a family member is so striking — shouldn't someone wonder whether this was all a travelling show?

That's why these photos deserve consideration.

And the candidate's family photo was made public by the candidate himself, so there's no invasion of privacy.   Just comparing pieces of public information... though perhaps he didn't expect they would be compared.

Ohms

Raven's right. I don't think it's out of line to wonder if this is a setup. If this was not a setup, I do think it's out of line to to "blame the victim" no matter how many times this has happened to him in the past. Again, if this was not a setup I don't think it's out of line to question the father's wisdom in bringing a 3y/o into a potentionally hostile environment.

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