Sunday, July 5, 2009
Saturday, July 4, 2009
This is not directly activism, but it is of note. I thought people here would be interested, so forgive me if I am taking liberties.
If you, like me, cannot make it to Boston, I think you can still hear the Objectivist speakers!! The Tea Party will be broadcast live, or so I think, from what is said in the UStream video on this page: http://bostonteaparty.ning.com/
Dr. John Lewis said the scheduled times and speakers are:
12:15 Dr. John Ridpath
4:30 Dr. John Lewis
6:00 Dr. Yaron Brook
for information on the live broadcast.
Sunday, May 3, 2009
(Unfortunately, I spotted no signs in the crowd that referred in any way to Ayn Rand or Atlas Shrugged. If I had, this newsworthy occurrence mostly likely would have made my lead paragraph.)
Local taxpayers join nationwide series of protests By Joseph Kellard
For Frank McQuade, it was a tough decision to skip his annual trip to the gala dinner at the New York State Republican Convention in Manhattan last week and instead have some tea. The Long Beach attorney joined about 350 protesters who lined the sidewalks of Sunrise Highway at the Massapequa train station in a Tax Day Tea Party, one of hundreds held across the country.
The sign-wielding, American flag-waving Nassau County protesters voiced their discontent with what they called government’s burdensome taxes, ongoing bailouts, massive spending and pending inflation, as rush-hour motorists honked in solidarity.
“Duty really calls to be at the tea party, because the answer at this point is not parties, not the entrenched,” said McQuade. “… Taxation is choking off initiative, watering down the free market system and is going to burden us with debt that is going to change the face of this country not as we anticipated when [President] Obama was elected.”
For the protests, tea became TEA, standing for “taxed enough already,” and the gatherings — on April 15, for obvious reasons —were likened to the Boston Tea Party of 1773. There were some 25 protests on Long Island alone, from Hicksville to East Hampton, and according to one estimate, there were more than a half-million participants nationwide.
In Massapequa, some voiced their concern with what they described as their fellow Americans’ loss of personal responsibility and can-do spirit, while others characterized Obama, former President George W. Bush and Sen. John McCain as fundamentally alike on economics, and a few expressed alarm that Obama had pushed out General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner.
Many flashed hand-made signs reading, “No taxation without representation,” “Dump the tea, dump the tax,” “We the people, not we the government,” “Foreclose the White House,” “I am not your ATM” and “No socialized medicine.”
Mike Friechter, a Bellmore attorney who held a sign that said “Obamanomics: Trickle up poverty,” said he believes the president is governing as a socialist.
“Growth is unlimited by imagination, hard work and the American spirit,” Friechter said. “The idea of punishing people for being successful in life is counterproductive. It just makes everyone equally poor, and that’s what we’re protesting against. We want the politicians to know that we won’t be silent about this outrageous spending.”
Tom Walsh, owner of a home-inspecting business, called politicians at all levels “tax crazy,” and said that while he is forced to cut back, they continue to expand government budgets. “We’re committing suicide and they’re spending us into oblivion,” said Walsh, a Syosset resident. “People have no idea what a trillion is, and we’re never going to pay this money back.”
While a few politicians were in attendance, including the Nassau County Legislature’s minority leader, Republican Peter Schmitt, the Massapequa organizers made it a point not to invite government officials. “This is not an affiliation with any political party,” said organizer Laura Gill. “This is really just American taxpayers on Long Island coming together who are just looking to be really vocal about our displeasure with what is going on.”
Gill, who works in insurance, said she organized the event mostly through word of mouth and a Web site, and got involved because Obama’s stimulus bill “will take a heavy toll on hardworking American taxpayers,” she said. “They feel that their American dream and the future of their children is going to be gone.”
Another party-goer, Charles Hapaey, said he is most concerned about the impact increased government spending will have on future generations. “We have to stop it now,” said Hapaey, noting that his property taxes have risen $9,000 since he bought his West Islip home in 2002. “Otherwise they’re going to have a problem that they’re not going to be able to deal with in the years to come.”
Hapaey, who was holding a “Don’t punish success” sign, said his wife works as many as 70 hours a week on her own local newspaper, and he fears that Obama will reverse President Clinton’s “workfare” programs, which took people off the welfare rolls. “If she’s going to put in that time and be successful, why should I be paying for someone who wants to put in 30 hours a week, not put in the time and do just enough to get by, and then I have to supplement their income?” Hapaey said. “I’m not happy with that.”
A nationwide protest is planned for July Fourth. Gill said she plans to keep in touch with other participants, and discuss ways to effect change, from becoming watchdogs of Washington to voting together. “I think what the tea parties will do is make people realize that this is not what the American people want, and nobody is behind it except for the very small few who are going to benefit from it,” she said. “Let’s get back to the American dream. You reap the benefits of working hard, and no more handouts.”
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
When I hear things like this, I don't get angry; I burst out laughing. These people are blinding themselves to what is really going on, and they aren't going to know what hit them.
Meanwhile, here are a few more reports from TIA Daily readers on their experiences with local tea party protests. Howard Jenkins writes:
I attended the tea party in Wilmington, NC, on April 15 expecting 100 people to
show up, but over 1,000 people attended! Most impressively, it was not a
gathering of an organized group of activists protesting one idea like abortion,
war, animal rights, or even taxation. This was a group of spontaneous
individuals, truly grassroots, who each brought their own ideas on posters—Stop
Spending, Taxed Enough Already, Atlas is Shrugging, Don't Tread On Me, Protect
My Child's Future, Read the Constitution, Vote All the Bums Out, etc. The common
theme was dissatisfaction with our government's growing power, not just
And I believe this sentiment is bigger than we realize. The
gathering was 5-7 PM at Wilmington's busiest intersection. I was astounded by
the overwhelming, enthusiastic response by the drivers and passengers who honked
their horns and gave us a thumbs-up as they passed by.
I really believe the American people have wanted to speak out against growing government and have now found a way to do it. Tax Day, April 15, will never be the same! There is no
question in my mind there will be more events like this. Next time I am not only
bringing an "Atlas is Shrugging" sign, but I am encouraging many of my
like-minded friends to attend. I believe many others will be doing the same.
Charlotte Cushman writes:
My husband suggested I write and tell you what happened at the tea party in St.
Paul [Minnesota]. Here is what I emailed friends a few days later:
All my life I have watched our country deteriorate. Now I feel energized. Americans are
starting to wake up.
The turn out in St. Paul was great. The media said 2,000 but there were more. The crowd was animated and responded frequently to the speakers. There were a few people walking around with "Who is John Galt?"
T-shirts. People came up to us and asked about Atlas Shrugged or said they had
or were going to read it. There were signs quoting Thomas Jefferson and Thomas
There was a sea of signs and they were all good. Some good ones were:
"Next time read the bill." "Give me liberty, not debt." "End global warming,
stop breathing." "Save the earth, save the trees, quit printing money." "Work
without compensation is slavery." "Socialism sucks."
Our next rally is on May 2nd. We Objectivists will be there with our T-shirts and signs and a table
with flyers and information.
Scott Clarke reports from Oregon:
I attended one of 20-odd tea parties in this liberal state, driving 120 miles to
the one in Salem, held on the steps of the capitol building. My guess at
attendance was 500 or so, but the estimate reported in the news was 1,000-2,000.
This was obviously grass-roots. Just-plain-folks, well-mannered and upbeat,
mostly Republican, conservative, or right-leaning. Some religious-right. Lots of
signs, no opposition infiltrators, one TV news truck (never saw a reporter). Not
very well organized: The sound system was shaky, a minister turned the opening
prayer into a rambling sermon, and 3-4 politicians spoke, moderated by a local
talk show guy. They said the right things, but mostly negative against taxes and
big government and Obama socialism. Some articulation of broad positive ideas:
Individual rights, capitalism, freedom (many signs addressed them, too). My
thought was [the politicians] ought to be listening: Not speaking, pretending to
be leading the parade, or trying to tell us what we're thinking.
Overall it was fun and interesting and felt right to be there. First time at this sort of
thing for me, and for most of the others I would guess. I will go again on
Memorial Day, the Fourth, or whenever the next wave happens.
Fred Johnson adds:
In their wildest dreams, who would have imagined that a placard bearing a photo
of Ayn Rand would have appeared in a nationwide rally (in a Chicago
demonstration aired on Fox) comprised of those on the left and the right
opposing monstrous taxes and big government?
What I find most interesting about this last observation is that I'm pretty sure the person holding up that poster of Ayn Rand was a fellow TIA Daily subscriber. Injecting Ayn Rand's name and ideas into these protests—and even her face—is by far the most effective use of our efforts. The tea parties bring the motivated opponents of statism together in one place, providing a receptive audience that is open to learn more about the moral and ideological foundations of capitalism and a free society.
In that regard, I was happy to hear from several readers who have participated in Jeffrey Small's campaign to send copies of Atlas Shrugged to politicians. David Hall writes:
Just bought four copies of Atlas Shrugged: two for my senators, one for my rep,
and one for Obama. I spent 20 years in the Navy. I'll buy another copy for Chief
of Naval Operations, Admiral Mullen. Thanks for the info about Jeffrey Small's
I should note that if you follow the link to the website for the campaign, there is good information on the best places to buy copies of Atlas at a low price.
As I wrote before, "the purpose of this campaign is not so much that politicians will read Atlas and see the light. They are, after all, politicians. The immediate political purpose is to send a message about the depth and strength of resistance to socialism in America, striking fear into the hearts of congressional statists and emboldening congressional defenders of free markets."
The statists are still attempting to evade the message of the tea parties. They're going to need as many reminders as we can come up with.
"Tea Party Animals Not Boiling Over," Mark Steyn, Orange County Register, April
To Paul Krugman of The New York Times, the tea party is a movement of
"crazy people" manipulated by sinister "right-wing billionaires." To the briefly
famous Susan Roesgen of CNN, the parties are not safe for "family viewing."
Which is presumably why the Boston Globe forbore to cover them last week. The
original Boston Tea Party was so-called because it took place at Boston Harbor,
which I gather is a harbor somewhere in the general vicinity of the Greater
Boston area. So there would appear to be what I believe the journalism
professors call a "local angle" to Wednesday's re-enactment….
the tea parties, President Barack Obama responded that he was not aware of
them…. Talk-show host Michael Graham spoke to one attendee at the 2009 Boston
Tea Party who remarked of the press embargo: "If Obama had been the king of
England, the Globe wouldn't have covered the American Revolution."…
percent of the rest [of government spending] is not just "special interests" but
social engineering—a $400 tax credit for falling into line with Barack Obama and
Susan Roesgen. That's why these are Tea Parties—because the heart of the matter
is the same question posed two-and-a-third centuries ago: are Americans subjects
or citizens? If the latter, then a benign sovereign should not be determining
"your interests" and then announcing that he's giving you a "tax credit" as your
Monday, April 20, 2009
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
The event was non-partisan. There were lots of anti-Obama signs, but not a one pro-Bush that I saw. Nor did I hear any religious right propaganda; the only mention of abortion was the assertion that a doctor who does not want to do an abortion should not be forced to do it. The overriding message was outrage against the growth of government power.
My own talk focused on the moral aspects of the crisis. I contrasted the elevated view of man and his rights that is enshrined in the American founding documents, versus the cancerous view of man and the phony rights that dominate today. I noted that those who think that such events must be financed by billionaires have no conception of autonomous individuals with independent minds, and thus cannot understand people who come together out of love for liberty.
The video of my talk is here:
My mention of Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" brought cheers. Afterward, at least two dozen people told me that Atlas was their favorite book. The crowd was hungry for ideas; I passed out hundreds of pieces of literature, and talked to dozens of people about the nature of this crisis.
These tea parties are expressions of an emotion, outrage, that is directed against a rising tide of taxation and increasing government coercion. But emotions are not guides to life, and will not tell a person either how to oppose a motivated socialist movement, or how to formulate a rational alternative. Unless some intellectual focus is brought to these events, they are likely to fade into irrelevance.
Thanks go to Andy Clarkson for the video, to Matthew Ridenhour for organizing the event, and to Lin Zinser and Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights.
Dr. John David Lewis
Visiting Associate Professor of Political Science,
Author, Solon the Thinker and Early Greek Lawgivers
esse quam videri
The part about Ayn Rand is about five minutes in, quote:
You have to remember that all of this is laid out in Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand—what is it?—number 7 on Amazon or something.
People are really noticing that some of the stuff about the glory and the power and the morality of capitalism has to be thought about again.
People are noticing this, and people are noticing that it is important to say at the Alamo that all of this can be done with non-violence.
It can be done with people deciding in their hearts what is right and voting and working together....
And it is very important to stress that this is a movement of morality and freedom, and not of some nuts who are going to get violent. (Thanks to TIA)
Thursday, April 16, 2009
From hot air Blog:
A seamless conclusion to the smear job heard ’round the world, thanks to some amazingly fortuitous timing by Founding Bloggers. On a day when the grassroots came out to protest the establishment, it’s fitting that a small indie outfit like FB would end up putting the screws to CNN this way. What’s most striking is how savvy the protesters are about the game Roesgen’s playing: They know exactly why she zeroed in on the guy with the Obama/Hitler sign, and it ain’t because of his grasp of economics. Stick with it until the end or else you’ll miss the astounding nerve of this disingenuous moron, who just spent three minutes on national television sneering at the people around her, to say to the woman who’s yelling at her, “You know, you really don’t need to be so antagonistic.”
See also: Mark Levin Interviews Man Interviewed by Hostile CNN Reporter
and: (UPDATED) Founding Bloggers Exclusive! Our Footage Of The CNN Chicago Tea Party Throwdown
EL Rider wrote: (16, 2009 8:46 am) "I was standing in that crowd taking photographs, Susan from TASS, er CNN was a joke. She clearly had an agenda to make people attending that event look bad so she found the guy with a picture of Obama made up as Hitler and then interupted an interviewee with tax advice. What the? Taking tax advice from a journalist could lead to prison. Ms. Roesgen is also clearly not bright enough to understand either the link between taxation and freedom or the reality of the current fiscal situation.
I posted some thoughts and photos of the incident yesterday but I will embed your video and link to this page, thanks for the great follow-up video!"
Tea Party. He was the highlight!
This link will get you to the YouTube playlist that contains his
speech and a post-speech interview.
We all felt it was great to be out there, speaking our minds - and most ofall, getting the message about Ayn Rand and the Ayn Rand Center out to areceptive audience. All of us had numerous people come up to us throughoutthe event, talking about how Ayn Rand should be read by everybody. I had achance to make a few brief comments - and received loud cheers at themention of Ayn Rand, and her quote about taking up the moral fight forcapitalism. We also passed out about 200 flyers, promoting Atlas Shruggedand ARC editorials on the financial crisis and Ayn Rand's relevance - tovery receptive recipients.
Overall, I think this was a very successful first event for the re-launchedGGO - and I look forward to doing more of these, and having more of youparticipate.
Enjoy the attached photos, as well as a short amateur video we shot &edited.
The news that the news doesn’t take the news seriously is not news.
I didn't attend the event here in Boston, though I would have liked to at least stop by. I've been debating whether this whole Tea Party "movement" will be successful at all (see yesterday's post). However, Myrhaf made a comment on the post about the Dallas event (see link below) that is interesting food for thought.
Read more >>>
Thousands of American taxpayers turned out across the country today at "Tax Day Tea Parties" to protest high taxes and accelerated government spending. Named after the famous Boston Tea Party rebellion of 1773, the spark for the loosely coordinated protests was provided back in February by CNBC television correspondent Rick Santelli when he and fellow investors at the Chicago Board of Trade vented frustration on the air over taxation, bailouts, and creeping government power.
Read at the The Lucidicus Project - here
Matt went on mingling in the crowd, while we found a strategic high-traffic location, waiting for people to come to us. And they did! At least one in five people were drawn to the “Atlas Will Shrug”/”Ayn Rand Was Right” sign, and told us their stories about when they first read the book. Many were reading it now or had just finished it, but there were a few who read it over 40 or 50 years ago, and an even smaller minority who had read it several times, as well as the rest of Rand’s work. Several others took photos of our signs, or pointed and smiled.
The response to our signs was quite remarkable, and there were even multiple people who said, “nobody is going to get the reference.”
After the Canton event, we grabbed a bite to eat - steaks all ’round at the Longhorn Steakhouse, and mine was bacon-wrapped! We got to Cleveland early and took shelter at a local bar to talk about the Canton event and what to do differently for the Cleveland one. We decided that seeking people out was a better strategy, particularly because the crowd was expected to be larger.
At the Cleveland event, there were several other people with signs referencing Rand - several “Who is John Galt?”, some “Atlas Will Shrug”, and shirts with “John Galt 2012″ and “I am John Galt”. We made several laps around the crowd, and sought out such people to give them business cards and booklets, and let them know about our future meetups and other events. It was a real surprise to meet a self-professed Objectivist couple at the event; hopefully we’ll see them at a future meetup.
My favorite moment at the event was when a guy, who had brought his young son, said that he met his wife over Atlas Shrugged - they were both reading it at the same time. It was his favorite book, and he hoped his son could read it when he gets older. Thad immediately pulled out a copy from his bag, and the kid’s eyes lit up. We tried to limit our distribution to people who said they had heard about the book and wanted to read it. Everyone who got a copy was excited and couldn’t wait to read it.
In all, we handed out over 20 copies of Atlas Shrugged, over 40 copies of our booklet, and dozens of business cards. We got on a couple radio shows, one local TV news segment, and were interviewed by a small local newspaper, all to spread our name. And it’s working - the emails are already pouring in, with people interested in future meetups, book reviews, etc.
For Objectivists interested in attending future protests - such as the Independence Day Tea Party - the one thing we recommend is to bring a nice clear sign that mentions Atlas Shrugged and Ayn Rand. If you build it, they will come.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Pajamas TV Interviews Yaron Brook on the Tea Parties
We are writing to let you know that once again, ARC executive director Yaron Brook has appeared in an extended interview on Pajamas TV. The discussion is about the tea party protests taking place nationwide today.
Yaron Brook has been appearing regularly on Pajamas TV recently; previous interviews include "A Rally to Come on Wall Street," "Is the Government in the Car Business," and "Is Atlas Shrugging?" The Ayn Rand Center has created a Pajamas TV interviews page to hold links to these videos; we encourage visitors to check this page often, as future appearances on Pajamas TV will appear there as well.
Copyright © 2009 Ayn Rand® Institute. All rights reserved.
On a related note, this conservative group Reagan.org wanted to offload a million bags of tea at the party. They received all the proper permits, but when the truck arrived at Lafayette Square park police told them to take their tea someone else. They drove around DC for two hours before finding someone (CEI) willing to house their tea.
Competitive Enterprise Institute is now the proud owner of one million bags. So, if anyone is thirsty...
If you've ever been curious about what a half million bags of tea look like (the other half is still in the truck) see that photo ~Michelle MintonThe Competitive Enterprise Institute
Obama got elected, now there is no end;
The Democrats wanna tax and spend,
Tax and spend us into bankruptcy,
With a tax-cheat runnin' our Treasury.
You spend two trillion bucks, and what do you get?
No recovery but deeper in debt.
St. Peter better call me fore it's too late;
I owe my soul to the welfare state!
Obama is a leftist, as he can't deny;
Govern from the center, was a great big lie.
Karl Marx Manifesto is his playbook,
And you and me soon will be on the hook.
You spend two trillion bucks,
in unsecured cash;
Soon the dollar will be pure trash.
Our bond holders we have to appease;
We owe our soul to the Red Chinese.
Obama and his people are makin' a mess,
Bernanke's fired up the printing press,
Printin' money that don't exist,
No wonder America is gettin' (peeved?)
You spend two trillion bucks,They aint done yet!
Obama and Pelosi are pilin' up the debt.
I work hard for the money, this I don't deserve
We owe our souls to the Federal Reserve!
"We went out today to the G20 protests in London, to fight for the side of Capitalism, because we live in a mixed-economy, full of regulations which steered us into this mess. This article on the event does a very good job of summarising our point:http://translate.google.com/translate...I should note, however, that there were not "hundreds" of us as this article makes out. We were ten strong at best. We put on a damn good show though, I thought, and we attracted a lot of attention.I'm all geared up for Tax-Freedom Day now.Find out more here: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid...