I took Larissa on our daily stroll today. I didn't realize that the goons from the Westboro Baptist Church were in town, protesting near Brooklyn Tech, at a local intersection already choked with construction. There were five of them (including earnest-looking teens), about two dozen cops who weren't about to let things get out of hand, and at the time we were there about 100 protesters, mostly students (that figure is said to have swelled to 200-400). It was a pretty jovial demonstration, actually--the church is so extreme it's (almost) difficult to take seriously, as repellent as its signs and literature are. But I was glad to see the neighborhood come together to shout down the voices of bigotry, which manifest themselves more subtly elsewhere and always need to be denounced.
Here's Westboro's picket schedule, which takes them to several Brooklyn synagogues this weekend. Show up and shout them down. God hates fanatics.
I stood up for my own principles today. As I was taking the baby upstairs I noticed someone fumbling with the intercom system in our building. I went back down to see if I could assist. It turned out to be a campaign worker (also earnest-looking, the calm, unruffled face of belief) for David Yassky, who's in an election runoff for comptroller. I took the pamphlet he was offering, the one he wanted to slip under everyone's doors. Thanks, he said--and could he come upstairs to deliver the rest? "No, you cannot!" I barked--I detest Yassky, one of the term-limits turncoats perpetuating the Bloomberg years. It's bad enough that I have a Bloomberg campaign office around the block without having a rep from one of his spineless would-be lackeys accost me in my home. I'm sure another of Yassky's drones will be back before next Tuesday. But in the meantime, and this goes double for the Westboro bunch: Go sell crazy someplace else.