Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Tea Party Politics Commentary by Robert Tracinski

The best gauge of the political impact of the tea party movement is the hysterical, evasive reaction of the left-leaning political establishment. The Mark Steyn article linked to and excerpted below describes the refusal of big newspapers to cover the event, as well as Barack Obama's preposterous claim not to be aware of them, and Nancy Pelosi's assertion that they are "Astroturf," i.e., fake grassroots manufactured by yet another Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.

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….
Asked about
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."…
But 95
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
pocket money.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Atlas Shrugs: NYC Tea Party April 15 2009

Coverage of the NYC tea party by Pamela at Atlas Shrugs

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Friday, April 17, 2009

Tea Party at Charlotte From Dr. John Lewis

On April 15 I had the pleasure of addressing a tea party at Charlotte, North Carolina. Attendance was probably 3,000 people, and they were well equipped with signs, placards and tee shirts bearing messages of outrage against the present state of government. Every individual came not by some orchestrated plan, but by a desire to support liberty.
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,
Duke University
Author, Solon the Thinker and Early Greek Lawgivers
esse quam videri

Penn Jillette's recommendation of Atlas Shrugged at the Alamo Tea Party

The video from Glenn Beck's broadcast of the tea party at the Alamo.

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

CNN visit to a Tea Party

Susan Roesgen (alleged reporter for alleged news channel CNN) visit to a Chicago Tea Party -The news that the news doesnt take the news seriously is not news. Susan and the CNN Just can't (UNDER)stand it...

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!"

Scott at Dallas Tea Party 2009

Ayn Rand books at Houston Tea Party

An estimated 10,000 people attended the Houston Tea Party. 150 of them got a free copy of Atlas Shrugged, courtesy of members of the Houston Objectivism Society. We also gave away 150 copies of several pamphlets. All of this was in less than 90 minutes, and we weren't well organized at the start due to the logistics of the tea party site. My goal is to hand out 500 copies of Atlas at the July 4th tea party.

Brian P.

Dr. John Lewis at Charlotte, NC

Dr. John Lewis of Duke University and ARI spoke at the Charlotte, NC
Tea Party. He was the highlight!

This link will get you to the YouTube playlist that contains his
speech and a post-speech interview.

From the coordinator of the Golden Gate Objectivists

Yesterday, about a dozen of us participated in the Tax Day Tea Party in SanFrancisco. We showed up with flags, and a half dozen coordinated posters. Iwould guess about 600-800 people were at the event, which was very peacefuland outright beautiful, on a nice sunny day in a wonderful setting.
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 Rational Capitalist: We're not Laughing

C. August write: Doug Reich at The Rational Capitalist posted a reaction to the pitiful media coverage of the protests. He began the post with a sentence that I think should be the standard intro to any piece that catalogs the sad state of our biased media:

The news that the news doesn’t take the news seriously is not news.

Tea Party Roundup at the "Titanic Deck Chairs"

Lots of updates are coming in from Objectivist bloggers about their experiences at Tea Party protests around the country. They're both inspiring and informative, so I'm going to collect as many as I can find and post them here.
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 >>>

Denver Tea Party

Yesterday, I was able to stop by the Denver Tea Party for about 45 minutes on my way to Boulder. I was surprised and pleased by the large turnout. A Denver Post article estimates a crowd of "more than 5,000 people" in attendance. Ari Armstrong has more details, including a slew of great pictures. From what I saw, he's right to call the event "a limited success," I think.

Tax Day Tea Party '09 By Jared M. Rhoads

Tax Day Tea Party '09
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

Representing The Lucidicus Projectat
the Boston Tea Party, April 15 2009

Amy Peikoff's "Ayn Rand was Right" sign

We wrote on the flip side of the sign, "Waste Your Own Money!" :-)

Spend Two Trillion Bucks and Whadda Ya Get? Jim Gossett and the Lars Larson Show

Jim was kindly offering this sound track for public use at your tea party - remember to give the credit to Jim Gossett and the Lars Larson Show.

Albuquerque, New Mexico Tea Party

From Sylvia Bokor
Here in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the Tea Party crowd was estimated at around 4,000. Protests were also being held in Las Cruces, Santa Fe and Farmington, who had the fewest---estimated at a hundred or so, the radio announcer reported.
Although the rally was scheduled to start at 4:PM I arrived at 1:38 to see if I could help out. Even so, the area in front of Independence Grill (HQ for the TeaParty) was already starting to fill up. By 2:PM vehicles starting to run east and west on Montgomery Blvd. At 3:PM I and a small group were asked to head out to Montgomery with our signs and line up. By 3:30 the place was packed, and a huge bus-load of people flocked in. By 4:PM it was a near mad-house with vehicles continuously streaming by on Montgomery Blvd blowing horns accompanied by a lot of cheering and thumbs up. By 4:20 the crowd of protestors spilled onto Montgomery going east and west for about a half mile in both directions on both sides of the street, plus some standing on the middle curbing. Bullhorns blared and one big vehicle with a marvelously horsey and loud roar came by a couple of times. Most of the vehicles carried sympathizers with their own signs or thumbs up and horns blasting.
A radio station or two broadcasted live and continuous coverage. They interviewed some of the protesters and a couple of pols. The radio commentator stationed in front Independence Grill was sympathetic to the protest and explained it accurately. I also spotted a TV camera or two.
I saw only one person carrying an opposing sign. Someone told me they saw two people who rode by and made an obscene gesture. Otherwise, no opposition to speak of.
I left a 5: PM to see what the media was reporting. KOB, the local affiliate of NBC and KOAT, the affiliate of ABC, both had photo coverage of the protest and light comment, none derogatory; another news station (I think it was CBS) reported that the rally was going to go on until 7:PM.
Most of the signs showed comments on fiscal responsibility, taxes and taking money from earners and giving it to non-earners. Several of us had signs supporting capitalism and against socialism. Several others showed signs with Atlas Shrugged and Ayn Rand on them. I also handed out flyers with that kind of message. The tenor of the crowd was positive and friendly.

Atlanta Tea Party, April 15th 2009

You can't see the image, but you can hear it pretty clearly. My speech starts about 1:12 in. I'll post a link to my blog soon, but I have eleventy zillion things to do before I'll get to it.

Tea Party Summary from the Ohio Objectivist Society

We at the Ohio Objectivist Society had a great time attending both the Canton and Cleveland tea parties. There were at least a thousand at the first, and at least twice that at the second. We brought about 60 copies of our booklet of reprinted essays, The Portable Objectivist, and 30 copies of Atlas Shrugged to hand out to interested individuals. I also made a few signs: “Ayn Rand Was Right” — “Atlas Will Shrug”; “Who is John Galt” — “Read Atlas Shrugged”; “Free the Market” — “$” [big green dollar sign].

First up was the Canton Tea Party. It had been raining all morning, but finally stopped when we arrived in Canton. It was still cold, and threatened rain all day. As soon as we got there, Matt, our executive director, started mingling in the crowd - he has a real knack for that. The rest of us walked around the perimeter, and it wasn’t long before we got a request from a local radio station - Ron Ponder’s show on WHBC 1480 AM - for a live interview. We rushed to get Matt, and he was live on the radio within minutes. He covered who we are, why we were there, what we stood for, how we were different from the rest, etc. Here is a photo of us holding up signs during the interview:

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.

Jonathan Hoenig with Ayn Rand in the background!

Ayn Rand at FOX tea Party

As seen on FOX in Israel today....

Boston Metro Tea Party Pictures

Hi Boaz,

Please see the attached - taken around noon on 4/15/09 just below the State House in Boston.  The gal with a John Galt sign is a local area objectivist - I didn't catch her name.

Dan McAllister

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Yaron Brook Interviewed on the Tea Parties at Pajamas TV





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. 

Philadelphia’s Love Park today

Arthur with friend protesting in Philadelphia’s Love Park today

Atlas at the Alamo

The DC Tea Party is over

The DC Tea Party is over after someone threw bags of tea onto the White House lawn.
On a related note, this conservative group 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


TWO TRILLION TONS As heard on The Lars Larson show. Parody of Sixteen Tons about our exploding federal deficit. Lyrics by Jim Gossett and Lars LarsonTo listen click here

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!

2009 Tea Parties - Find your Local Tea Party

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The Mike Church take on the Simon & Garfunkel classic, "Mrs. Robinson".

Mike Church can be heard on Sirius Patriot 144 and XM America Right 166.To Download an MP3 go to: you would like a copy to show at a Tea Party contact u:

Ayn Rands fans - Voices of Reason at the G 20

Voices of Reason at the G 20 - to see more from the hero of this story visit: is a tiny part, showing the enlightened side, from channel 10 coverage in Israel for the G20 riotes.

"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: 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: