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OAS supporters tout fake photo of event

If you do a Google Image Search on the following image, it may be described as a “Tea Party event” perhaps because it has appeared today on the Internet as an Operation American Spring attendance photo.

That copy comes from Before It’s News and linked from Birther Report. That’s quite a crowd! Unfortunately for the OAS folks, it’s not from today or yesterday. That’s really a photo of the 50th Anniversary of the March 8, 2013 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington and the iconic “I have a dream” speech from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

It’s not cool to fake images and try to mislead people. Tsk, tsk.

Fox News leads media blackout of Operation American Spring

I ran a Google query to find out what Fox News Channel is saying about Operation American Spring. They aren’t saying anything–the only hits were from Fox Radio’s token liberal, Alan Colmes.

I will admit that sometimes Fox News makes editorial decisions based on its Republican bias, but in the case of Operation American Spring, I think that the lack of coverage at Fox (and CNN and MSNBC and the hometown Washington Post) is not a matter of editorial bias, but that it’s just not a real story. I even checked the US Capitol Police web site, and there’s nothing there about OAS.

It’s always useful to keep in mind the difference between real law enforcement, real lawyers, real forensic document examiners and real journalists—compared to citizen bloggers like me.1 I expect that real journalists have made some calls to people in the know to find out whether there is anything to “Operation American Spring” beyond some web sites and social media. The fact that there’s no media coverage probably means that they have found that there’s no national mobilization and that there is going to be no event of note. If even 10,000 protesters were coming, not to mention the 10 million fantasy league fans, it would be big news.

Dog bites man v. Man bites dog

I understand that there is somebody in front of the White House protesting something every day, so that in and of itself protest is not news. In order to be news, something special is required, such as the presence of a celebrity, like actress Maria Conchita Alonzo.

image

Organizers

One cannot argue with the fact that Obama supporters can organize. They make phone calls, they knock on doors, they raise big money, and they motivate people. I get the impression that the right-wing types behind Operation American Spring are more in line with the movie cliché, “if you build it, they will come.” Reports on OAS web sites say that they haven’t even applied for demonstration permits (required for groups of 20 or more).2 They say that the 10,000,000 people coming will not be in groups that large—sounds to me like a lame excuse for a lack of organization.

Of course, the Operation American Spring folks aren’t building anything, but rather are trying to tear something down, something that for all it’s failings, is much beloved by my country folk: the Constitution, the ballot and the rule of law. Most Americans don’t want to be Egypt.


1It’s also worth noting the difference between real community organizers and keyboard astroturfers.

2Here, by the way, are the areas where demonstrations are permitted.

Where do we meet if we get separated?

This will be the Operation American Spring thread for the event scheduled to start May 16. I was looking at one of the official web pages for OAS and couldn’t find where folks are supposed to meet. Perhaps they figure that there would be so many people there, that finding each other wouldn’t be a problem:

One million or more of the assembled 10 million must be prepared to stay in D.C. as long as it takes to see Obama, Biden, Reid, McConnell, Boehner, Pelosi, and Attorney General Holder removed from office.

I wouldn’t be so sure about those numbers. The OAS site further says:

A duck cannot be turned into a fox; an elephant cannot be turned into a flea; the laws of nature will not permit.

Nor can a bunch of keyboard warriors be turned into the largest crowd ever to assemble in Washington, DC.

Web cams in Washington DC:

OAS Web Sites:

Reader Poll:

Were the moon landings faked?

  • No (96%, 141 Votes)
  • Yes (3%, 4 Votes)
  • Undecided (1%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 147

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Looks like it might rain.

Update:

I have deleted the links to the Washington Monument webcam pointing to the National Mall. It appears not to be changing, but displaying an archived image. If anyone knows of a good webcam to use, please leave a comment. I included a link to traffic cams in DC.

Operation American Spring v. Lymanfest

Blogger predicts small-town festival will out-draw national protest

imageI’ve lived in Lyman, South Carolina, for 6 years now but so far I’ve not actually made it to Lymanfest, the annual town celebration. I tried to go one year, but I couldn’t find it (they never mention on the web site exactly where it is), and I’ll miss it again this year because I’ll be attending the Obot meetup in Philadelphia that weekend.

I feel pretty confident that Lymanfest will significantly out-draw the Obot meetup, but Operation American Spring I’m not sure about. I give Lymanfest the edge. All three events are scheduled at the same time.

Neither Operation American Spring nor Lymanfest is getting much media coverage beyond niche Internet sites and social networking. On Facebook, Lymanfest is trailing OAS by a considerable margin. The official OAS Facebook page has 5,611 “likes” as of this writing compared to 65 for Lymanfest. There are OAS splinter group pages (here and here) that are doing better.

imageI am trying to get estimates on Lymanfest attendance. The original claims from OAS organizer Col. Harry Riley (US Army ret.) said that there “1.8 million definite militia members” coming (reported Mother Jones back on January); however, that number has been called into question since it exceeds by several orders of magnitude the total number of militia members in the United States. The Vocativ web site published an informative article on OAS yesterday titled, “A Former Colonel Plans to Overthrow the U.S. Government on May 16,” subtitled, “The founder Of Operation American Spring is planning a million-man march on D.C. But will anyone show up?”

Unlike Lymanfest, which is a single-day event, Operation American Spring envisions persons camping out in the Capitol until President Obama, Eric Holder, and the Congressional leadership resigns. President Obama will leave office January 20, 2017.

My personal prediction is that Lymanfest will be the attendance winner. I don’t think that many Americans want to turn the United States into Egypt.