Protesters greet Obama on S.F.'s Billionaires' Row
But not all of the protesters were of the "Obama, we love you but please please please could you be just a teensy more left-wing?" type. A few freelance protesters did not get the memo about the how the collusion works and instead were overtly — and I mean overtly — hostile. Like this sign spelling out OBAMA as an acronym for "OILMEN & BANKERS ARE MY ALLIES."
Or this one equating support for KXL with treason.
Or this one depicting Obama as a military dictator.
Reminiscent of the days when LBJ was called a "baby-killer."
Will somebody please pull these people aside and explain to them how faux protesting is supposed to work?
Remember the "Occupy Wall Street" movement from a few years ago? Something about banks, fetid encampments — it's all a blur by now, to be frank. Wonder whatever became of them? Well, the few survivors seem to have fractured into a succession of "working groups" with various leftie-flavored titles like "Environmental Justice" and "Patriarchy" and so forth. Not that anyone cares. The best thing about becoming irrelevant is that no one mocks you anymore.
Yes, Virginia, there are people out there still obsessed with George Bush, Blackwater, Condoleezza Rice and depleted uranium, and who think 9/11 was a Republican conspiracy. This all may have seemed quaint and amusing in 2004, but at this stage in history it's evidence of severe mental illness.
Speaking of which.... Another inescapable feature of every Bay Area "progressive" protest, whatever its purported theme, is the presence of anti-Israel activists who troll for converts in what they accurately assume is a crowd of like-minded Israel-haters.
I followed the contingent of painfully ignorant young anti-Zionists as they parroted their spiel to anyone who would listen. They received disturbingly positive feedback, several donations, and many promises to attend an upcoming lecture by Marxist militant revolutionary Sherry Wolf calling for the destruction of Israel.
The tragedy was that the anti-Israel canvassers very obviously had no idea what they were talking about, and had merely memorized a series of deceptive talking points designed to press all the right victimhood buttons in the progressive brain. They seemed utterly unequipped to actually defend their "views" in a real debate, but since their assigned interpersonal task never brings them into contact with someone who might contest their lies, they breeze along through the progressive ecosystem unchallenged.
In the middle of all this, a rare sight at an environmental protest: A Muslim woman wearing a full niqab showed up to agitate against the Canadian and American oil project. One wonders: Does she also protest against the vastly larger oil-export industry in Arabia? Or is the problem with Keystone XL not the petroleum industry in and of itself but rather the fact that the pipeline allows America to be less dependent on Middle East oil?
She was not alone. Nearby, another niqab-wearer joined the rally as well. One can only speculate as to motivations, but at least it increased our protest's diversity factor from 0.0001% to 0.0003%.
Across the street, someone was wearing what might be called the "progressive niqab," having just shown up from Kansas City specifically to inform us of Keystone's fecal aspect.
CREDO had learned of a small oil spill in Arkansas a few days earlier, and were milking the incident for all it was worth, trying to whip up hysteria with chants and signs which tried to exaggerate the spill into a major environmental disaster, or at a minimum hold up the spill as proof that oil pipelines are not safe as a concept.
The environmentalist hysteria machine is already in full swing over the Arkansas spill — conspiracy theories are running wild as we speak — but unfortunately for CREDO the spill was simply too small to arouse much interest from the general public.
Eventually most of the protesters gave up on the original mass-gathering spot at Pacific and Baker and migrated down to Divisadero and Broadway, from which it was at least possible to see the Presidential Tent.
But the police were much more touchy at this corner, since this is where vehicles entered through the security cordon. Consequently, the cops would periodically sweep down the street on their motorcycles and push everybody back onto the sidewalk.
Now I was on the other side of the Presidential Tent, where preparations for Obama's arrival continued apace. And this is the only clear photo I could get today of the Getty mansion (the yellow-and-white building on the right), where the fundraiser was being held.
The whole point behind stationing ourselves at Broadway and Divisadero is that it was the entrance point through which Obama's guests would be admitted to the Forbidden Zone around the Getty mansion. Little by little the invitees showed up — usually in very fancy cars.
Each arrival was forced to run a gauntlet of taunting protesters.
As the cops opened the barriers to admit each arriving billionaire, Credo Action's Alinsky-in-Chief (seen here with the black hat and orange t-shirt) greeted them with a disapproving glare.
It was only after this car passed me that I realized it was a Tesla Model S, the ultra-deluxe all-electric roadster manufactured by Tesla Motors, thanks largely to a $465 million low-interest loan to Tesla greenlighted by the Obama administration. Of course, such guilt-alleviating eco-vehicles are only available to the super-wealthy: This particular model costs $94,900, but you get to knock $7,500 off that due to an Obama-approved special tax credit which only benefits the kind of people who drive Tesla Model Ss to Obama fundraisers.
Later it dawned on me that the car's driver might very well have been Elon Musk himself (net worth: $2.7 billion), the owner of Tesla Motors and beneficiary of Obama's largesse — and who is known to drive a grey Model S. Judge for yourself if it's him with this close-up from the first car photo.
Did it matter to the brainless protesters that Musk (if indeed it was him) promotes solar power and electric vehicles? No — they harassed him anyway.
This corner wasn't nearly as much fun as the earlier protest area, where we occupied an entire intersection; now, we were split into four separate zones, one on each corner, while the streets were generally kept clear. This fact, combined with encroaching chilly fog and the accurate rumor that Obama was still not due to show up for two more hours, and even then most likely though a different entrance (always keep 'em guessing!), convinced most of the protesters, including yours truly, to drift away as night fell.
On the way home I whistled
It's a Barnum and Bailey world,
Just as phony as it can be,
But it wouldn't be make believe
If you believed in me.