What kind of “right wing” protester am I anyway?

April 15 Tea PartyI forgot to bring a sign.  I’m not exactly an expert at this.  
I was also carting kids across town to this and that during this particular protest. 

Should the 2-15 year old black belts have skipped Tae Kwon Do lessons yesterday to attend? Terribly Korean though ..what are we thinking? Violin lessons and the library visit….There must be a move you can make with used violin strings that can cause serious harm. 
Clamping fingers in a Newt Gingrich book?  I’m just not an expert on being a "right wing" protester, but many in the media seem to think they have it figured out.

This post could also be titled:  A New Lesson Learned Today

What lesson?  There seems to be a powerful media agenda that doesn’t tell the truth.  I know many friends and family who would say: Where have you been?! 

I just need to see it with my own eyes a time or two.

Update: The real story, as opposed to the media’s message.  Upon review and once again, on a grassroots level:

Time for Tea– Life on the Planet

Tea Party: We Stand Here This Day . . .-Ragamuffin Studies

About the media….The Big Lie– Ragamuffin Studies

Paul Krugman of the NY Times starts with this: Tea Parties Forever

"This is a column about Republicans — and I’m not sure I should even be writing it."

So true. (The part about whether he should be writing it, that is.)
I am not a Republican. 

I might be a member of the Tea Party; a grassroots organization filled with people of various sorts. 

But I’m not anymore sure about that then I was when we became part of the homeschooling community many years ago.  We were doing it on our own, without the expert labeling and interpretation. 
When we started out, those people who didn’t say anything, likely didn’t have anything good to say about homeschooling and kept it to themselves. (Dead silence can speak volumes too.)  The Krugman types, who did have a snooty thing or two to say about homeschooling, were not looking and listening to our particular family story.  Those family and friends who said, "Good for you and best of wishes", were people we knew we could count on through thick and thin.  They were reliable.

If my kids had wanted to skip lessons to attend the Tea Party, I would have obliged.  Instead, they came for a bit to see what a civilized protest is about. We had a lengthy discussion about the purpose of this movement while walking around the perimeter of the park.  As one of our neighbors said to me yesterday, it’s a good civics lesson for the boys. 

Another Krugman gem:

The tea parties were promoted by FreedomWorks, a conservative nonprofit advocacy group based in Washington and led by former Republican House Majority Leader Dick Armey of Texas, who is now a lobbyist.

Dick Armey?  The midnight hacker of vaccine bills?  If anyone knew anything about me, they’d know Dick Armey has no positive effect on my life.

MSNBC seems to speak with the same Krugman voice:

Anti-tax ‘tea parties’ being held across U.S.

The tea parties were promoted by FreedomWorks, a conservative nonprofit advocacy group based in Washington and led by former Republican House Majority Leader Dick Armey of Texas, who is now a lobbyist.Dillon and Susan

I went to a Champaign Tea Party in the same park down the street from our old house. I took my little ones there to swing and slide and play when they were babes.  It was great to be in my old stomping grounds and see hundreds of people who are concerned about this country.  Nothing wrong with being concerned about our country and having an opinion.

Far as I can tell, this was a grassroots effort with various individuals who might be involved with various organizations.  We’re in 4-H and the kids play in a String Band.

MSNBC did actually come up with some original fresh fluff, but it doesn’t seem any more accurate:

While FreedomWorks insisted the rallies were nonpartisan, they have been seized on by many prominent Republicans who view them as a promising way for the party to reclaim its momentum.

I don’t believe most Republican politicians were encouraged to speak at these events.  My neighbor to the east, Indiana Jane, had this to say, and that’s what I saw too:

They are not anti-Obama. There may be some people who are stridently anti-Obama in attendance, but that isn’t the purpose. I would venture a guess that you would find as much disgust with Republican politicians and congressional Democrats among the protesters as with Obama. When I go to our local tea party on Saturday, one of our signs will be questioning our Republican congressman and his vote for the bailout.

Huffington Post says this:

National Republican figures have been trying to attach themselves to the growing anti-tax "Tea Party" movement — with limited success. Requests from politicians to speak at tea party events around the country have been rebuffed. "We’re not a function of the Republican party,"

One’s head could spin.

I enjoyed it.  It was wonderful running into Rhonda Robinson and meeting some of her good lookin’ kids.  I remembered yesterday how women like Rhonda held steady through thick and thin protecting Illinois homeschool rights. 

Illinois native, Elisheva,  made some wonderful signs for their
Albuquerque tea party.  (I don’t think Elisheva likes to be typecast any more than I do.)
I like this sign below from our Tea Party yesterday.  My sons and I have been having a continuous conversation about what freedom means.  Dillon thinks I might have a different freedom interpretation than he does.  I’m going to keep trying to tease some written thoughts out of him.  I’ve learned a lot from him, as he’s coming from a decidedly different angle.  Our children had the freedom and education to make up their own minds.  I want to keep that.

  Freedom: Give it Back

Here’s some Consent of the Governed suggestions for After Tea Party – What YOU Can Do

Update: Press release from Representative Jan Schakowsky, Senate Candidate # 3

Schakowsky Statement on ‘Tax Day Tea Parties’

Schakowsky Calls Parties "Despicable’ and "Shameful"

CHICAGO, IL (April 15, 2009) – Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-IL, released the following statement in response to “tea parties” being held on Tax Day.
“The ‘tea parties’ being held today by groups of right-wing activists, and fueled by FOX News Channel, are an effort to mislead the public about the Obama economic plan that cuts taxes for 95 percent of Americans and creates 3.5 million jobs. It’s despicable that right-wing Republicans would attempt to cheapen a significant, honorable moment of American history with a shameful political stunt. Not a single American household or business will be taxed at a higher rate this year. Made to look like a grassroots uprising, this is an Obama bashing party promoted by corporate interests, as well as Republican lobbyists and politicians.”

They love her in Chicago. Schakowsky, whatever her political bent, is part of the problem.  From Wikipedia:

 On March 11, 2004, Schakowsky’s husband, lobbyist Robert Creamer, the executive director of the Illinois Public Action Fund, was indicted in federal court on 16 counts of bank fraud involving three alleged check-kiting schemes in the mid-1990s, leading several banks to experience shortfalls of at least $2.3 million[8]. "He is innocent," Schakowsky said in a statement [9]. In August 2005, Creamer pleaded guilty to one count of failure to collect withholding tax, and bank fraud for writing checks with insufficient funds. All of the money was repaid. According to USA Today Congresswoman "Schakowsky has not been accused of any wrongdoing." [1] Schakowsky served on the organization’s board during the time the crimes occurred [10] and Schakowsky signed the IRS filings along with her husband[9]. U.S. District Judge James B. Moran noted no one suffered "out of pocket losses" and Creamer acted not out of greed but in an effort to keep his community action group going without cutting programs, though Creamer paid his own $100,000 salary with fraudulently obtained funds. [2] On April 5, 2006, Creamer was sentenced to five months in prison and 11 months house arrest [11]. Creamer served his 5 month incarceration at the Federal Correction Institute in Terre Haute, Indiana and was released on November 3, 2006.


What kind of “right wing” protester am I anyway? — 11 Comments

  1. ‘Decidedly different angle’ =p you have a gift for tact! In all seriousness, I believe that in many ways we are seeking the same end. The ‘decidedly different angle’ is usually the difference in our means to an end.

    Considering that, I feel as though the protests expressing outrage over a loss of freedom derived from these recent bills is misplaced. While being totally ignorant of what specific freedoms the sign-bearers feel that they are losing, (namely, YOU) I’m comfortable with making some assumptions (correct me if I am wrong!) given the context. From where I’m standing (a place most likely under surveillance thanks to the Patriot Act, and protected thanks to Obama’s most recent ploys. 😉 , to protest against the stuffed-down-the-throat nature of these bills as they are passed is akin to Prometheus complaining that birds smell funny.

    Our freedom is encroached upon everyday, for example: Google tracks your every move (on the net and on the streets apparently, haha) while Facebook is the owner of every status update and picture in your profile. We are all asked to identify with 1 of 2 parties in the Fed gov’t, and if you dare to consider the one viable alternative you are painted as a ‘wacko’ by the media..

    While I agree that an outrageously over-sized government is a culprit here, nearly all of our major issues (societal and personal) are derived from corporate greed. This includes all the scuzzy ‘public servants’ such as the one that you mention here.

    Given the societal and financial pressure for us to homogenize into one single super-demographic, it remains difficult yet critically important to consider the many ways that this system as it stands is propped up everyday by our routine actions. This is one thing that I think falls to the wayside in the face of partisan politics (or maybe just politics in general) Obviously this is one point that we can both agree on considering our family’s background! 🙂

    Anyway, you’ve already heard me rant about what I view as possible solutions so I’ll save you from any further distress by refraining from writing about it here..

    I hope this clarifies what I meant about freedom yesterday! Love ya

    One should respect public opinion in so far as is necessary to avoid starvation and to keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny, and is likely to interfere with happiness in all kinds of ways
    -Bertrand Russell

  2. Why thank you, oh son of mine. Btw,your dad says: You’re Grounded. Whoops…that went by the wayside, didn’t it.
    I don’t think that most were there *just* because of recent bills. The escalating mega-bill passage before Bush left, along with the continuous creeping of government infringements over decades is ridiculous at best, and tyrannical at worst.

    Example: Why can’t those folks at the Urbana farmer’s market sell their goods anymore? No one was sick and they were accountable to their customers. BUT state law was passed that said mom and pop need a health permit and can’t use their own kitchen anymore and sell goods.
    These laws are not about food safety, so who needs all these stinkin’ laws? Not us.
    “Corporate greed” indeed. Your mom and pop and most others’ mom and pop were not lobbying for commercial grade kitchens for farmer markets and church bake sales.

    The economy on top of the double talk and assumptions about how different this prez is from the rest seem to have caused people to head out the door and gather together. Not a bad thing…this prez is no different and it’s always good when citizens get together in a civilized manner, listen and network.

    My very favorite book right now is Joel Salatin’s (you ran into his stuff when you were researching chicken tractors). Everything I Want to Do is Illegal

  3. http://illinoishomepage.net/content/fulltext/?cid=79821

    URBANA- Mom and pop bakers are being told to get a license or keep your pies at home.
    Champaign-Urbana Health District sent out a letter last week. It said they can’t sell at a farmer’s market without a valid health permit.
    ….. That’s why these vendors are furious. You cannot get a license if you’re cooking in your home. They’re used to spending summers at the Lincoln Square Mall. But now that tradition is over.

  4. I think it is always good when citizen’s come together to raise their voices. I just wanted to add that I appreciate your inviting Dillon’s good viewpoints as well.

    We all have a stake in this and I applaud your welcoming ways. Freedom is not about left or right, but it is about American’s realizing this is our problem and big business/big government have nothing to fear unless we all come together and claim what is ours, not as “parties” but as grass roots activists and citizens. The name calling you refer to above and that which continues from all sides does nothing but cause division and prevent some from hearing important truths.

    Thanks for giving the lovely peek into your day in Champaign.

  5. Thanks, Mary. I’m learning that negatively displayed, strong emotions tend to be harmful to any cause. It sure hasn’t been helpful to me (or my kids) in child rearing.
    One woman walked around the perimeter of the crowd yelling this and that during speeches. It was incredibly rude and obnoxious and she definitely had a purpose. Sure enough, the “woman in purple” got her interview on the local news station.

    The only thing I heard her do was dis her dad, “a millionaire”, who was “not a compassionate man”. That was strange to me…coming to a protest to disrupt it, while publicly venting about her father. Channel 3 managed to pick the most obnoxious person in the crowd and gave her time.
    Not surprising, as it’s always about the sell.

    Many were apprehensive about the news reporters’ spin and rightfully so. Most news reports got in “angry”, as that does come off as scary.

  6. Hey Aunt Susan / Dillon,

    I often wonder why some of the elements of the left and right (the standard definition of each) don’t come together more on certain issues. Like Dillon I believe that the number one threat to civil liberities (and any type of liberty) is the mixing of public and private interests. The idea of deregulation of critical sectors of the economy (finances, energy etc.) almost always has catastrophic results. This is not to say there isn’t a happy medium where business can exist happily, but let’s not pretend that big business is hampered in anyway from doing exactly what they want, whenever they want with the current structure. Risks have been socialized, profits have been privatized, and the last administration presided over the wholesale deconstruction of our constitution.

    I find it odd that Fox “News” wasn’t making a big stink about these sorts of movements before Bush was out of office, and in fact would ignore Ron Paul completely during the primaries.

    The problem I have with some of the right is that government does have a role to play, a very important one, and they should be strong enough (and well funded enough to do it). For the last 30 or so years, this nation has been on a spending binge that unfortunately is going to be up to Dillon’s and my generation to pay back.

    Taxes need to go up and not just on the rich (though especially on them since income distributions are really messed up, which causes very unstable economies), maybe not during this depression, but eventually, and spending needs to be cut, especially in the big areas of defense spending and medicare, earmarks are a distraction. The idea that taxes are always too high I think is wrong, especially when this country is in debt up to its eyeballs. A starting point might be rolling back our wars on tactics (terrorism), plants (drugs) and economic status (poverty). Just a thought, and I’m rambling.

    See you guys soon!


  7. Hey Jase, I’m going to have to bring in reinforcements…namely your dad, as we have obviously failed miserably in brainwashing you and your cousin.

    Public and private mixing in education has been unfortunate, from what I’ve seen. Many of K12’s virtual schools mixed in “homeschooling” to the public school system and the two just aren’t the same. Independent Homeschooling ≠ public school
    Bill Gates with his moneyed hands in the universal preschool pursuit stinks. The Tony perm guy, Irving Harris, with his universal screening of kids’ mental health is spread all through IL school systems now. The push for 0-whenever programs is insidious with both parties, it seems. Creepy, as parents and their influence are lost in that institutional shuffle.

    I definitely agree that most of the media has done no favors in getting out real information. Dillon (and your Grandma) have told me to watch Democracy Now, and I did. But I thought it was a bit biased in information too.
    I started (finally) doubting Fox’s credibility in this last election. Paul was not just ignored, he was sneered at, starting out with McCain, along with the Fox News ‘experts’. ABC’s George Stef…was betting on Paul not winning.

    I’m afraid I can’t support more taxes for anyone until there is accountability for the current taxing.

    The twins and I are in a Constitution class and I led the Article 1 piece of it last week. Learned a lot (I did).
    Article 1, Section 9:
    No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.

    That just ain’t happenin’.

    Love you too!

  8. Your Tea Party in Champaign sounded alot like ours in Albuquerque: Most of the “protesters” were novices (unlike me), and this was their first protest. Almost everyone was happy and polite. We got a lot of joy out of standing together. One sign was brought to our area that had a vulgar word on it; we asked the person carrying it to turn it around as there were children present; he agreed. We had a few incidents of people giving us the finger from their cars, and one incident of water balloons, but we stayed pleasant, upbeat and happy.

    In fact a policeman who directed traffic to let an ambulance through told us that we were the politest protesters he had ever seen: we thanked him for all his help making our party a success.

    And you are right–I don’t like to be typecast, and I am certainly not a Republican.

  9. We got a lot of horn honks around the block, which I assumed were supportive. The one perturbed person who showed up to get on tv was the only one I saw. But comments in the News-Gazette seem to tell others’ attitudes that had an opinion (or their own message to pass along).
    http://www.newsgazette.com/news/local/2009/04/16/hundreds_turn_out_for _tea_party_rally_in_champaign
    I am amazed at the mis-information, and I’m amazed that people so readily accept it as truth.

  10. The tea parties, at least to me, were not about Obama, Democrats or Republicans. It was about an entire Legislative and Executive branch that is spending our money! If the stats were to be believed when the stimulus package was voted in, over 50% of Americans disagreed with it. So why did it get voted in? The money. That is what the Tea parties were about an attempt to get Washington to listen to those of us who will have to pay the bill.
    God bless
    Heather L