Claire McCaskill @clairecmc
In honor of the life lived, the sacrifices made, and the principles embodied by my friend John McCain, my campaign will suspend all activity today. #MOSen 6:24 AM – 1 Sep 2018
For others, not so much:
Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump
Report: There were no FISA hearings held over Spy documents.”It is astonishing that the FISA courts couldn’t hold hearings on Spy Warrants targeting Donald Trump. It isn’t about Carter Page, it’s about the Trump Campaign. You’ve got corruption at the DOJ & FBI. The leadership…. 7:26 AM – 1 Sep 2018
The story of the funeral of Corporal Jacob Carver in Harrisonville, Missouri last Tuesday had national import. This is true for obvious reasons for the family of Jacob Carver and his friends, but also for the community around Harrisonville. The story of a service member who lost his life in Afghanistan and those who mourned him came to the attention of the nation because a hate group decided to protest at his funeral and a community decided to stand up to that hate group. And that community did so very effectively when hundreds, if not thousands, showed up.
We have a cordial relationship with the Warrensburg Daily Star-Journal – most of the time. Over the past few years we’ve given and gained a grudging respect to each other in covering politics and government in Missouri. On occasion we’ve exchanged photographs for publication. That was the case with this story. I contacted Jack Miles, the editor of the Star-Journal, and offered him photographs I took at the protest and counter protest in Harrisonville. He selected one photograph and ran it to accompany an editorial in today’s paper.
The editorial page in today’s Warrensburg Daily Star-Journal. The paper also ran the photograph in color online.
First in Weston, then in Harrisonville, one group of protestors with strong feelings showed how to defeat the message of an opposing group of protestors – a group that also showed strong feeling – without violence and without stepping on the U.S. Constitution….
….Outrage amplified tremendously only after the Phelps clan targeted military members as a way to get across his anti-gay beliefs. His message is this: The United States is tolerant of gays and for that sin God allows American servicemen and women to die in Iraq and Afghanistan….
….The Constitution is designed to protect unpopular opinions. Pandering lawmakers who try to curry short-term favor with a majority of voters by disregarding the Constitution risk cracking the foundation that supports all of our freedoms.
That is why I say thanks to the good people who waved Old Glory at military funerals at Weston and Harrisonville over the past few weeks to hide the Phelps clan. As shown in Michael Bersin’s Harrisonville photo, supporters of Cpl. Jacob Carver’s family did a fine job of obscuring and marginalizing Phelps legally.
The anti-Phelps protest did not keep the Phelps clan from carrying signs, but did keep them from being seen and causing needless pain to grieving families, and did so without trampling on Phelps’ right – and the right of all Americans – to express unpopular, even profoundly ignorant, views.
The point is well taken. If we all cherish the Constitution and freedom of expression then we need to do something about it, not by diminishing someone else’s rights, but by exercising our own.
That’s what happened in Harrisonville, Missouri last Tuesday. A half a dozen members of a hate group showed up and left earlier than they probably intended because a community decided to speak up, too.
That’s the way it should be.
The gave us a photo credit. See how it’s done, large daily Missouri newspaper owned by a greedy downsizing corporation?
Army Corporal Jacob Carver died in action in Afghanistan on November 13, 2010. He was from Freeman, Missouri. His funeral was held in Harrisonville, Missouri today.
Members of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas had stated their intent to protest at the funeral (we’ve covered them in the past). The community around Harrisonville, Missouri stated their intent to shield the funeral from that protest.
….America isn’t easy. America is advanced citizenship. You gotta want it bad, ’cause it’s gonna put up a fight. It’s gonna say “You want free speech? Let’s see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who’s standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours….
I drove into Harrisonville from the north on Highway 7, arriving at about 8:30 a.m. The location for the funeral, Our Lady-Lourdes Catholic Church, is on the highway. As I drove past the church there were already hundreds of people, dressed for the cold, many holding American flags, lining both sides of the highway. I drove about a half mile beyond the church and parked in a shopping center parking lot.
I walked back toward the church.
The crowd lining the highway near the church was a mix of young and old. Their demeanor was respectful – most engaged in quiet conversation. Some appeared curious as I took photographs, though when they saw my identification they went back to their conversations. They were unfailingly polite.
Television satellite trucks in the background, parked in the lot at a neighboring church.
There were two helicopters from Kansas City television stations flying over the crowd. A reporter standing with a cameraman in the crowd along the highway smiled at me, probably spotting my identification, as I was taking photographs.
After taking photographs of the crowd near the church I walked back toward my parked car. About halfway there, at Elm and Mechanic, the Westboro group was surrounded by large crowd of people.
Two huge American flags were displayed at the corner of Elm and Mechanic (Highway 7), about a quarter mile from the church.
There was more of a circus atmosphere around the Westboro group. The crowd surrounding them was vocal. Apparently, at one point, there was a scuffle:
…There appeared to have been some shoving between some of the protesters and church members.
Police were able to break up the incident. At one point, the van belonging to Westboro members was surrounded. But they were able to leave the area without any further confrontation…
You can barely see the Westboro group’s signs.
As I made it back to the shopping center where I parked my car law enforcement stopped traffic to make way for the funeral procession. In those few minutes while I waited to cross the highway I spoke with an individual holding an American flag. He told me he was there because his grandson is a Marine – he was doing this for him. I almost replied, “You’re doing this for yourself, too.”
The funeral procession about a half mile from the church.
As we continued our conversation I stated, “Maybe the good thing is that good people showed up today to speak out.” That’s a start.
As the procession approached and passed a state trooper saluted and held his salute.