Massing For America
: Glenn Reynolds is right
that it's notoriously difficult for anyone (especially non-experts) to estimate crowd sizes. His corespondents probably did better than most people would do I suppose, but usually for dispersed crowds, amateur estimates tend to be high rather than low (seems like more people than there is).
However, either way - even if the estimates he posted were on the mark - I am struck by one thing. There will be more people at the NFC and AFC Championship games today than apparently showed up at any of the "major" protests.
What does that say about the country's priorities when more people are showing up for a game
than are massing under the banner of World Socialism and defense of dictatorship? Even if you don't like football, it says that our priorities are pretty good.
I'll have observer viewpoint reactions as I watch these mass gatherings of the American people today. But I probably won't post them.
Also via Glenn, proof of Saddam's non-compliance and a reasonably large anti-Hugo Chavez rally in Miami that got zero coverage (not enough aging hippies re-living their glory days and unreconstructed Bolsheviks involved in the Miami Chavez protest, I suppose. Remember! The only protests that are newsworthy are progressive protests).
Update: Watching live news reporting on today's events on ESPN, the crowds gathering in Phillidelphia seem more lively, upbeat, and happy than the crowds at yesterday's events. And I'm talking Philly here. If a crowd in Philly is more attractive than thou, you have a problem.
We'll have to see if the Oakland crowds are more impressive and less bizzare than the crowds were yesterday across the bay in San Francisco. I'm betting that even the denizens of the Black Hole will look normal compared to many of those at the San Francisco event yesterday.
Additional Update: The reporting on today's events so far seems more in-depth and concerned about the details of the organizations involved than reporting on yesterday's events (which were often superficial bordering on cheerleading and promotional, more like writing press releases than honest reporting). Today's has included critical analysis of the flaws of some of the participants and their past records. I wonder why "pure news" reporters look down on sports reporters.
Further On Today vs. Yesterday: The signs, t-shirts, body painting, and songs are better today. Also, the children in today's group look like they actually want to be there, rather than having been dragged along as props by their parents.