Teabags for Freedom

How does anyone justify blogging, net surfing, enjoying oneself when there are dishes to be washed and the front yard has been designated a wilderness zone because it’s easier that way?

That’s not even including being late to work because you got up early and couldn’t resist just checking your mail and an hour later you’re in a fascinating discussion of the cultural bias of a British razor ad campaign (trust me, it’s obnoxious).

I’m not sure if anyone beyond the blogosphere knows or cares about some mania that the right wing is running around waving tea bags on April 15th.

All I can say is–thank the gods it’s tea bags and not bullets. Too many people lately have tried to make a statement by murdering unsuspecting, unarmed fellow-citizens.

I don’t understand why it is considered brave to buy a lot of guns and shoot at random people who were only minding their business. I think these ‘heroes’ would be less likely to attack random people unarmed. Even an ancient woman with Alzheimer’s might punch back.

Anyway, if the mode of expression is tea bags we are making progress.

Yes, patriots, let’s see you launch a protest like the Boston Tea Party. Except that the Boston Tea Party was aimed at an occupying colonial power. And you are protesting paying taxes to your democratically elected government.

“I don’t need no stinking government” you might say, “I’ve got guns.”
That’s cool. Until your toddler swallows a gumball. As she turns blue you call 911. But they’ve been cut for lack of taxes. You Heimlich her and, thank the gods, get the gumball out. But her throat is swelling and she needs to get to the emergency room. The roads outside of your gated community are rutted for lack of taxes. It’s a rough ride for a sick baby. When you finally get there you have to push to the head of the line. Desperate people with sick babies are blocking your access. You wave your insurance card. To the head of the line you go, but there’s a stall in the reimbursement guarantee.
No problem, you wave your teabag and they take your baby in right away.

Is this the better angels of our nature, the dream of democracy?

No readers, the dream is the government of the people, and a well-informed and literate citizenship that demands our tax dollars be spent wisely and transparently. Wisely and transparently to build a society that meets minimum standards of decency.

It occurs to me that the Boston Tea Party occurred in Massachusetts. The blue state that legalizes gay marriage. The state where traditional marriages succeed very well. Okay, they only stay together to spite you.

Boston is a great city. A destination for immigrants since before we were a nation. A diverse city since before we invented Diversity. So drink your tea. Myself, I’m a coffee drinker. It fuels blogging.

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24 responses

  1. Jesse from Cranston | Reply

    It takes a special kind of hypocrisy and ignorance to promote a Tea Party-style “protest” to stand against restoring the tax rate of the 90s on the wealthiest 1% of the American public.

    And the right wing just got a little smaller…

  2. I trust the teabags being waved won’t be your run of the mill Lipton, Tetley, Shaw’s/Stop&Shop/Price-Rite brands either. Perhaps something more exotic, errr expensive–“lovey could you pleeease pass the spiced pekoe, it’s next to the grey poupon”…

  3. Idiots (read as right wingers) abound in Kansas, and they always vote against their own best interests. Apparently this state is run by a large and pwerful tribe…THE IDIOTS.
    Some of them are ‘tea-bagging’ here in this town of about 12,000. I plan on being there to laugh out loud at them.
    First Fred Phelps, now this.

  4. I really enjoy the intolerant attitude shown by all you champions of free speech and protest.
    Comparing people protestintg irresponsible spending and other aspects of this administration that they don’t like to a cbigoted creep like Fred Phelps is ignorant in the extreme.
    As far as the gun issue,I think there will never be a way to prevent mass killings with or without guns,but I am always saddened when one of these incidents occurs and people are mowed down like sheep because of the ridiculous nanny state laws relating to carrying concealed firearms.
    The states with the least restrictions also are among the safest in the nation.Vermont and New Hampshire to name two.
    Maybe the ambient conditions in the societies of those states are the factor that matters way more than who is carrying a gun.
    In 26 years carrying a gun as a law enforcement officer,21 of them on the street,I never fired a shot a another person.I was attacked with vehicles,firearms,hands/feet,a toxic chemical,machetes,a linoleum cutter,scissors and blunt objects.
    I relied on my hands ,flashlight,and blackjack.I still carry a firearm legally and intend to until I am physically unable to handle one competently.
    I’m 62 and within the last two weeks qualified expert on three different caliber handguns to maintain my legal right to carry firearms in any state pursuant to HR218.
    I do plan to attend the tea party event with my wife.We aren’t rich plutocrats,but ordinary family people from blue collar backgrounds with a simple lifestyle.
    I don’t like a lot of what’s going on right now,and if it’s okay with you people I plan to voice that.Even it isn’t okay with you either on second thought.
    I certainly don’t begrudge left wingers their right to demonstrate peacefully.

  5. Richard-if you really want to know,we use the “elite” barand of tea-Salada black.

  6. Joe, where were you in 2002 when Bush was pushing us into a misguided, misbegotten, foolish, stupid, and very, very expensive war?

    Did you protest then? Did you raise any objections?

    If the answer to those questions is “no,” then your selective perception is staggering.

    If you’ve been keeping score, this is my big complaint with you. Not that you disagree with me, but that you are so quick to point out the Dem/Liberal issues while seemingly unwilling to acknowledge why we are where we are.

    Your support for McCain, for instance. Which was, as far as I could tell, due to the fact that he had been a POW. Fine. But that fact–and that fact alone doesn’t qualify him to be leader of the free world. Maybe Obama wasn’t any more qualified, but let’s have the discussion on those terms, and not use his POW status as some sort of trump card while completely ignoring the twists and gyrations this supposedly “honorable” man went through while lying through his teeth.

    Joe, no one is intolerantly condemning the right to free speech. What we oppose is the utter lack of principle shown by the Repub party, the sheer, blatant, unabashed hypocrisy of these ‘tea parties’ and the intolerant, bigoted opinions of the sponsors of these parties, who have been telling us for 8 years that anyone who disagrees with them is a traitor.

    Yes, I’m talking about Fox News, which is calling these “Fox News Tea Parties” in the crawl. Fox is shamelessly promoting them. And now there are corporatate sponsors.

    These things are not the spontaneous outpouring of patriot fervor; they’re staged by RW propagandists and their corporate masters.

    God forbid we change the top marginal tax rate back to 39%. God forbid that we pump money into the economy to avoid a rerun of 1932. It could happen, Joe. The only reason it hasn’t is that we have enough of a safety net left–barely–in place and leaders who realize that this is when the gov’t has to spend like there is tomorrow.

    Meanwhile, the Repubs have all found their inner Hoover, and want to cut spending and cut taxes and drive us down into the hole, just like they did in 1932. The Repubs are advocating exactly the same policies that brought us the Depression. Why, oh, why would we want to do that again?

    Those are the people who are sponsoring these tea parties.

    So go, Joe. Enjoy yourself. But in your heart you had better thank whatever power you respect that we had an election when we did and that we didn’t elect John “Five Year Spending Freeze and Tax Cuts so Just Call Me Herbert” McCain.

    Or we’d all be getting re-acquainted with a whole lot of Woodie Guthrie music.

  7. Joe you’re a dandy! Congradulations on your pride in your own tolerance, I would urge you to look at the actual numbers in the budget. The Obama budget is .6 billion more than the BushII budget, which did NOT take into account ANY of the cost of the war in Iraq. Not bad for the mess that the new admin is left with.
    And now what’s the rant about guns for, I thought this was about the rich and cranky getting taxed, not you, a retired lawman.
    Are you making more than 250,000 a year?
    Congradulations!
    Knowing that you are a lifer in law enforcement explains your self-rightous indignation.
    Take your meds and be happy in the fact that I actually supported concealed carry in Kansas.
    Lastly, check your facts before you rant.

  8. Furthermore…….
    Let’s examine a couple of the contentions that have a basis in fact. The current administration’s budget that just passed is $3.6 trillion, a whole lot of money. The budget for 2008, passed by the last administration, was $3 trillion, still a whole lot of money. The difference is the 2008 budget did not include the cost of the Iraq war. It was held off budget and paid for with supplemental spending. So let’s do some basic math. The cost of the Iraq war in 2008 was $144 billion, roughly. That makes the 2008 budget about $3.15 trillion. So if the accounting had been done accurately, the difference in the two budgets is about 10 percent. What a whopping increase!

    Considering the mess we’re in, most economists are concerned that the spending increase is not enough, rather than too little. The economists all argue about whether the spending is in the correct place, but the overall consensus is that more would be better. Over the eight years of the previous administration, the deficit doubled, from approximately $5 trillion to $10 trillion. These are facts. But I guess it’s OK when “conservatives” borrow and spend the money. Yes, the budget projections for 10 years out are horrific. Do a little research and see where those come from. The budget accuracy at four or five years out is about as accurate as the weatherman predicting the temperature five years from now.

    Let’s examine the “poor will be very poor and only the super elite will be very rich.” Income disparity has never been greater in this country. It’s been the robber barons of the 1890-1920’s writ large. “The top 10 percent, roughly those earning more than $100,000, also reached a level of income share not seen since before the Depression. The new data also shows that the top 300,000 Americans collectively enjoyed almost as much income as the bottom 150 million Americans. Per person, the top group received 440 times as much as the average person in the bottom half earned, nearly doubling the gap from 1980.” This is from The New York Times, March 29, 2007.

    I don’t begrudge anyone making a lot of money by being smart, working hard, or creating a business. I want to do that one day. Don’t we all? I think the facts verify that exactly what was ascribed to the current government is exactly what has been happening for the last 20 years, more so over the last eight. Famous tactic in politics, project your tactics and failures onto your opponent.

    Please feel free to check the facts before protesting.

  9. sekanblogger-the asinine comment about taking meds shows that you’re not worth answering in any serious way
    klaus-you should have read what I’ve written here before about Bush 2 and the Iraq war-do you even bother to read replies?
    Apparently not,because if you did,you’d have your answer.
    I have a lot of problems with this administration-a tax cheat for Treasury;Janet Napolitano at DHS deciding to effectively end immigration enforcement in the interior of the country;an attorney general whose history includes enabling terrorists and international swindlers;a deputy attorney general who has a very questionable view on child pornography;spending that is already riddled with dubious earmarks;and a foreign policy that seems unfocused and dangerous in the face of various despotic regimes that look for any hint of weakness or lack of resolve.
    Obama seems unprepared for anything but a continuation of his campaign mode.He hasn’t yet buckled down to the daily grind of his job.
    I don’t need corporate types or Fox news to think for me.
    I think the deciding factor for me was Obama’s intent toscrew disabled veterans with regard to their medical care.Bill Clinton was the best in this regard.Obama wants to throw us onto private insurance for care due to disabilities incurred while serving this country.
    I don’t know if you’re a military veteran.If not,don’t even think about lecturing me.
    And spare me the Woody Guthrie crap-something tells me you’re pretty comfortable.
    The income tax issue doesn’t bother me that much,since I will never get close to even $100,000/year.

  10. Fair enough Mr. Lawman, good luck with your teabags! Bitter much?

    I do suggest meds. Zoloft or maybe even Xanax would really help.

    And now you admit it’s not even about taxes, but you’re going to a tax protest?

    I can’t take you seriously either!

    I beleive Geithner and others from the wall street bunch may even be lawbreakers, but that’s not the issue here.
    Obama hasn’t ‘buckled down’..HUH?
    BushII spent 1/3 of his tenure basically on vacation bicycling, jogging, and pretending to be a cowboy rancher.

    Thanks for sharing your vitriolic rant at all things progressive….

    By the way, I hear the attorney general has several terrorsists at home right now, probably setting around watching reruns of ’24’.

  11. Joe, can you give some specifics on the plan to throw disabled veterans on to private insurance? I really thought that the trend was the other way, to increase programs like the Vets, Medicare, Medicaide and to reduce the cut that insurance companies are taking from our health care budget.
    And what is the impact of eight years of the Bush adm on the vets?
    I visit a number of veterans, and a lot of them use a combination of private and veterans doctors.

  12. Joe’s a bit short on supporting facts.
    Good luck there. He’s dead-on with a gun but missed with the facts completely.

    My father is a quadraplegic veteran on a ventilator and homebound. The VA has done quite well by him.

    Woody Guthrie stuff? more vitriol.
    My house is valuated at $35,000 and my car is a 1977 Plymouth Volare’.
    I have worked hard all my life to get what I have. I want nothing I can’t earn.

    Now I will spend my morning caring for my father so that mom can go to easter service.

    Enough about me, have a happy easter.

  13. Nomi, at I Dreamed I Saw Grace P. Last Night
    http://neverdied.blogspot.com/2009/04/teabagging-independent-man.html
    has the word about a teabag protest at the state house on wednesday. I don’t know whether to go with her suggestion to dress up like an acorn to scare them, or do what is scarier–ignore them.
    i remember being in the gay rights march one year when we didn’t even get hecklers. i felt so invisible. it was hurtful.

  14. We have worked very hard to keep Phelps invisible at every protest.

  15. Nancy-I have nothing but the highest regard for the VA healthcare system.They have always provided me excellent treatment.
    Since I am 50% or more disabled I also receive treatment for non service connected conditions without copays.I don’t consider that a handout since I,like other veterans paid up front when we were young men and women.
    Obama had a meeting with among others,the head of the American Legion and he stated his intention to bill private insurers for service connected disability medical treatment.The VA already does bill private insurers for non service connected treatment costs if the veteran also has private insurance.
    Obama’s proposal would impact veterans’ families by putting so much cost on the private insurers that if a family member got seriously ill they might not receive benefits because the lifetime limit on the policy would be exceeded.
    The individual from Kansas who resorts to calling me mentally ill ought to look in the mirror,because for me the protest is not about taxes,but about a lot of other issues.I’m a little tried of you “progressives”ranting about Bush.he was a losy president.Agreed.
    The smartass remark about Holder hiding terrorists isn’t funny.It’s close to the truth.
    I have no problem with giving credit to Bill Clinton on veterans issues.He was good in that area.Bush sucked on the same issue.
    I’ll just be blunt-I don’t have any confidence that Obama can do the job any better than Bush.I think his appointments have been largely bad choices and will continue in that vein.
    I think he’s another Jimmy Carter.

  16. “The smartass remark about Holder hiding terrorists isn’t funny.It’s close to the truth.”
    Where’s the supporting evidence for tis outrageous statement?

    I’m proud to be a smartass.
    Of course the opposite is a dumb-ass.

  17. By the way, Zoloft and Xanax are for anxiety, you know, the kind that causes nonsenical rants and rage.

    More ignorance on your part.

    Facts, Joe, facts!
    Find them, use them.

  18. I think I will stop posting here.I notice that while Kiersten was so quick to 86 my accusations against Steven Brown,it is apparently good form here for “progressives” to make personal attacks on other posters.If either Klaus or that malcontent from Kansas would like to present their credentials as mental health professionals it would be appreciated before they start accusing me of being mentally unhinged on one hand or psychoanalyzing me on the other.
    I try to be courteous to other people here,but asside from you and Kiersten,I find it not worth the effort.

  19. Anxiety is not a mental illness. Nobody needs a degree to spot somebody with that problem, especially when they are spinning in circles killing imaginary snakes.
    Once again sherrif joe,
    Facts, man facts.
    You bring none.
    You were not couteous from your first word on this thread. FACT.
    You were offended when you began your rant here. FACT.
    I’m sure they’ll miss you here.

  20. Nothing personal Joe. We just want facts.

  21. Relax, everybody. These people are practicing their constitutional right to demonstrates. It applies to all sides.
    If you know somebody who went and goes on at length about it, just ask them how the teabagging went.

  22. Indoor voices please. Kiersten is probably out doing some normal Easter thing, so I want to ask you all to remember that civility is what keeps this site interesting.
    I appreciate Joe’s contribution, and the fact that he doesn’t just preach to the converted.
    I hope Sekanblogger will stay too.
    You both have interesting things to say, and unexpected takes on the issues. Please stay, and can’t we just all get along?
    Or if we must disagree, let’s be creative and really explain our point of view. We have varied experience, and that’s where the in depth and unique perspectives come from.

  23. Regarding Nancy’s comment number 13 (above). The author of “Teabagging The Independant Man” is Thomas Kalinowski of Newport, RI (from Delaware originally) whose writing reminds me of Mark Twain.

  24. I guess Joe must still be looking for the missing facts.

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