Friday, February 27, 2009

UPDATE: Atlanta Tea Party

In spite of the weather today, I was able to make it to the Atlanta Tea Party. It looks like there were a number of these events from across the nation. People are mad at President Obama and Congress for the spending of the last thirty days.

The event here in Atlanta was met with a, "...monsoon style downpour...". Despite that, I would guess there were around 200 people there. Here are links to the AJC and to 11 Alive news. Both of these articles are pretty accurate based on what I saw. Here are a few pictures I snapped before the great downpour:

This was my favorite sign. If you look close at the umbrella's, you start to get a feel for the rain. I shot this from my chest hiding under my own umbrella:

Freedom Works seems to be doing a lot of work on these protests. If you are interested in the assorted tea parties, or want more information, check out their website.


Renee said...

looks like quite a, chris and I are sitting here watching the TN basketball game and got a kick out of seeing these signs during half time.

the anonymous guy said...

Yes kids, when the economy was crashing, when the planet was being covered in the ash of fossil fuel, when people were losing jobs and being evicted from houses, I was there... pouring tea and trashing the U.S. government, telling them just to cut taxes for the wealthy and to stop spending money on helping people.

Jindal, Limbaugh, Palin: y'all are a party of nihilism.

Ask conservative David Brooks.

Andy D said...

First, David Brooks isn't a conservative. He is an opportunist, so take anything you read from him with a grain of salt.

anonymous guy, do you really believe the government is the only group out there that can help people? Congress and Obama can only give people money they first take from others.

The huge increase in spending is only going to make people dependent on the government and on welfare. It won't help those people. It will only hurt them.

Andy D said...

I just reread your comment, and I can't let one piece go unanswered. Neither I, nor anyone at the tea party was trashing the government. We are condemning the actions of people in that government. I believe in the Constitution and the founding principles of our Nation. Paying states to add more people to their welfare rolls and destroying our medical system in favor of providing a much worse system that everyone has to suffer through were not part of those principles.

My wife points out the old saying "Teach a man to fish, he eats for life. Give a man a fish,and he eats for a day." The Democrats aren't interested in people learning to help themselves. They only want people dependent on them for their daily fish (and their votes).

the anonymous guy said...

The Boston Tea Party was an act directed against the British government by people who were in rebellion against that government. They were very clearly "trashing" their government. They wanted it overthrown. That was the whole point of the Tea Party.

The "Tea Party" motif makes no sense apart from its historical symbolism.

So if you don't want to be accused of trashing the government, don't use symbols of revolution, war, and armed uprising.

Where was Andy when we needed to band together to save our country from a new depression? He was pouring the tea out, yes, trashing our government.

pack04 said...

Anonymous guy: What???

The tea party was in protest to the Tea Act from Parliament. Colonist were angry that their government had overstep their bounds. Yes it is historic symbolism. People are currently angry that their government has overstepped their bounds.

I hate to bring this up because finger pointing over who did what first is annoying and pointless but over the last few years it has been said that protesting President Bush is the highest form of patriotism. Now you are saying this is trashing the government (ie unpatriotic). It does not go both ways. These new tea parties are good and necessary.

My wife says I am wasting my time with you. She is correct. The bottom line is you feel the best way to help this country become the best it can be is to allow the federal government to do everything for the people. I feel that it is unacceptable and hurtful to have the federal government do everything for the people. You feel that the government should tax the hell out of the doers and achievers. I also feel taxes are needed but we disagree in amount and taxable people. All that being said I am fine with a differing opinion. Right now more people are thinking like you do. Soon enough more people will start thinking more like me. That will be when they realize that taxing families who make $250,00 close to 50% is not enough. When that gets kicked down to $150,000 and lower. You can't tell me it won't happen. How else do we make up this President Obama deficit? By the way, how does he one day say we are cutting the deficit by cutting spending and then the next day introduce a new budget with a huge increase in spending? I guess those people are stupid. He is kissing everybody's ass and telling them what they want to hear, "less debt" and "more money for you" but those people are not putting things together.
Back to the point. We might disagree in governmental philosophy but I WILL NOT stand by and let you trash me or condemn me for "trashing" my government for speaking and acting on my opinions. It is my RIGHT to do. Having the government pay people for being lazy or fixing their bad decision is not a right it is a nicety and a waste of money my money.

the anonymous guy said...


I am simply pointing out that the Boston Tea Party--the event from which last week's tea parties draw their symbolism and their name--was a significant symbolic event leading directly toward violent overthrow of our own government.

I assume that you would critique flag-burning as an act of protest because it suggests the destruction of our government and possibly our country.

I am pointing out that "Tea Party" against our own government carries similar historical symbolism. The Boston Tea Party was one of the most important events leading to the armed overthrow of our government.

But I support your right to dump tea, or burn a flag. And I support your right to disagree with me, Obama, and the stimulus package.

I just think y'all ought to be honest about the symbolism of "Tea Party," because it wasn't chosen by accident.

Andy D said...

Anon, do you really think people participating in the Tea Parties across the country last week support armed uprising against the U.S. government? At this point you are just trying to antagonize people, you aren't really trying to carry a debate.

The Constitution guarantees citizen's certain rights. People were exercising their right to protest something our government did. Would you prefer they simply sat quietly at home and kept their opinions to themselves? Is that what you would do if you disagreed with something the government was doing?

the anonymous guy said...

Andy asks: do you really think people participating in the Tea Parties across the country last week support armed uprising against the U.S. government?

I don't have to "think" about it, it's a fact. I'll demonstrate.

The Free Republic has a "Tea Party" banner at the top of its home page.

Here are some user comments posted there:

And let's face it: all the speculation about 0bama being the actual Antichrist will either be confirmed or denied if someone gets off a lucky shot at the SOB.

please, someone get this trojan virus in the crosshairs, and soon.

Traitors. I want justice, and now I want revenge against these traitors. Obama and the dems must completely fail.... for America to survive.

Yes he is an enemy of the state. A traitor within the white house. Feeding agitprop to the world to justify a continued jihad against the US. And this from the Commander in Chief.

My main point is that the *symbolism* of "Tea Party" is about armed revolution against our government. But, since you asked if I really thought there were *actual* people supporting actual armed revolution against the U.S., I showed you that, yes, there are.

If, God forbid, something happens to our government or our president at the hand of one of your "Tea Party" buddies, everybody who stoked the "violent revolution" imagery bears some guilt.

My recommendation--from one patriot to another: cool the armed revolution imagery. And challenge it when you hear others use it. Go out and work to defeat us politically--and play hard; we need that in a healthy democracy. But the rhetoric and imagery of violence gives power to an evil spirit that could destroy much among us.

Andy D said...


You are taking a fringe example and holding it up to judge everyone else by. You are quoting comments from users on a website. Someone could quote your comments on this website to try and attack me. I don't agree with most of your comments.

I don't know much about the Free Republic. I skimmed their site after your remarks and didn't see anything that jumped out as offensive. I think the comments you quoted are entirely inappropriate. I don't know anyone who is calling for armed rebellion against our government. I am also very tired of people threatening me and others who dissent from this administration with the "threat" of an assassination attempt. The Left said for the last eight years that it is patriotic to question the President. Numerous left groups including Code Pink and Move have demonstrated against President Bush. You didn't have any problems with that. A movie was made showing a fictional assassination of President Bush and arguing that the world might be better for it, yet the Left thought that was an exercise of free speech. With the Tea Parties, I and others are exercising our 1st Amendment rights to question our government, the very reason the First Amendment was created, and you want me to knock it off because you believe we are promoting armed rebellion. How many times do I have to tell you that isn't the case, and that the Original Boston Tea party wasn't about overthrowing the government before you start to believe it?

You are trying to paint President Obama's critics as guilty by association. The funny thing is, you didn't believe in that when it came to President Obama and terrorist William Ayers or racist Jeremiah Wright. Why the sudden change of heart?

You sound like a smart guy from your comments on here. However, for this post, you seem to be simply argumentative. I can't believe you would suddenly feel the First Amendment should be suspended because of some insane comments from a website.

saint said...

I'm sorry, but I don't see the Boston Tea Party as a violent act to overthrow the government. Were there people that wanted to overthow British rule, yes. Were there people that were protesting an unneccessary and damaging tax, yes. I would argue that many of these people were there to protest against the tax, not the government. Don't forget, at the time this was going on, other cities in the colonies were also taking action against any tea the British Empire sent in, the others were just not as dramatic about it.

Also, to say this action "was a significant symbolic event leading directly toward violent overthrow of our own government" is somewhat misleading. Yes, the British rule of the colonies was overthrown, and I am grateful for that.

However, using the quote I copied implies that the colonist were only thinking about overthrowing their government when this happened, which is historically inaccurate. Also, it fails to point out the many transgressions and acts of aggressive nature by the British Government. You can not over look that. Also, there were many other acts by the colonist that were just as offensive to the British Crown. If it had just been the Tea Party, and Britian hadn't respond the way the did, there would not have been a revolution. Also, based on the behavior of the Crown before this event, even without the Tea Party, the revolution would have still happened.

In short, the Tea Party was significant, but violent conflict with the Crown would have happened anyway. The Tea Party alone did not cause the Revolutionary War (my evidence for this is that the war didn't start for another 3 years), nor did it alter the course of history forever.

I do not find a group using the name of a Tea Party threatening to our government, nor do I fear them as a group who want to violently, or peaceably overthrow Congress. I see it as a group of people who are upset about the current tax situtation, and willing to say so in public.

And please, can we not do better than taking the comments of a few, or one web site, and making that representative of a whole group? Seems like our country has tried stuff like that before, and it didn't work well. Even the dems would agree with that.

the anonymous guy said...

Andy: You're not serious.

You asked a simple question. I gave a simple answer. You changed the subject.

This much is clear:

-The Boston Tea Party is certainly considered by historians to be one of the central catalyzing events leading to armed revolution against our government.

-Some (not all) of the people at the "Tea Parties" call for the assassination of President Obama and armed revolution against the U.S. government. I cited comments from the Free Republic, who organized and promoted some of the Tea Parties. (Andy is the one who brought up this question, btw, suggesting that *nobody* at the "Tea Parties" had these sympathies. He was wrong, but won't admit it so far.)

-In no way did I ever suggest taking away anybody's First Amendment rights. Our former President, George W. Bush, however, did. (I have repeatedly stated that I actually think it's healthy for people to protest against Obama and the U.S. government.)

-I protested a lot against George W. Bush. I distanced myself from and strongly critiqued those who called for violence against Bush or our country, however. I realized that it was important for my protesting not to be misunderstood as calling for violence against my own country or leaders. I'm simply asking others to do the same when protesting against our new president.

But maybe you play by different rules. I suspect that the kind of rage you all are using for fuel right now can't handle nuance or self-criticism. I'd love to be proven wrong on that.

Andy D said...

I am not trying to change the subject Anon. You seem to be convinced that most of the people who participated in the Tea Parties last week are seeking and armed revolution. We are not. Can I speak for 100% of the people? No. No one can. I can say that the vast majority of people involved do not want to overthrow the U.S. government. We want our elected officials to start listening to us. You found some oddball, fringe comments. Those comments don't reflect the opinion of any real percentage of the people associated with this movement.

I agree with Saint's assessment of the Boston Tea Party, so I won't repeat it here. You state :

I'm simply asking others to do the same when protesting against our new president.

But maybe you play by different rules. I suspect that the kind of rage you all are using for fuel right now can't handle nuance or self-criticism. I'd love to be proven wrong on that.

I do not want to be associated with people arguing for violence against President Obama. I have said that a number of times in a number of different posts on this site. I am offended that you can't pay attention to my comments to recognize that. I am fine with self-criticism when it is warranted. I think by any standard, the participants of the Tea Parties last week conducted themselves legally and ethically. They were exercising their rights under the constitution. Please stop trying to insult those participants by arguing they are promoting violence when they aren't. You say I can't understand nuance. Surely you understand the difference between a few comments on one website and the voices of thousands across the nation who were at these rallies.

the anonymous guy said...


I agree that the Tea Party wasn't only about armed revolution against the Brits. I hope you can agree (with me and most historians) that the Tea Party was a major event on the road to armed revolution. And it functions today in many minds as a symbol of armed revolution.


Glad to hear you challenge threats of violence against the president and the rest of our government.

I would guess that most people at your rallies don't support violence against Obama or our government, but I frankly don't believe that it is simply "fringe." The Free Republic has been at the *center* of organizing the Tea Parties. If you read the first page of comments on their site you'll find more than a few suggestions of violence and revolution. You could start with comment #6. (But remember, the only reason I brought that up is that you asked if I thought "people" at the rallies sanctioned violence against the U.S. government. The answer, obviously, was "yes, some do, and emphatically so.")

I am, also, glad for the dialog here, even if it stumbles around at times. Important dialog is rarely easy.

Andy D said...


You understand that you continue to paint everyone at these rallies as violent? You say "fringe" in one sentence, and "people" in another. Why do you continue to paint this as a movement to overthrow the government? The vast majority of people involved in these tea parties don't want that.

If you are really interested in a dialog, you need to admit that. If you don't agree with the issue, if you support the spending and taxing of Obama and this Congress, that is fine, but don't insult the people who are using their rights legally and without any intent to harm others.

the anonymous guy said...

Andy, you wrote that I "continue to paint everyone at these rallies as violent."

If you were one of my buddies sitting in my living room, I'd ask, "Dude, are you drunk?"

I have very clearly and repeatedly stated that "some" but "not all" people at these rallies support violence against the U.S. government. What part of that have you not understood?

Andy D said...

My problem is that I believe the word "some" even is a bit much. We are talking about so few people it isn't worth mentioning. I my be to sensitive on this, but I believe you are continuing to insult people you should be defending.

the anonymous guy said...


the anonymous guy said...

The Pittsburgh guy who had stockpiled a bunch of guns, ammo and food, and was wearing a bullet proof vest who shot and killed three police officers, wounded two other officers, and killed five other people sounds like he was ready to party, revolution style:

Reporter: Did he ever say anything to you? Like, ever indicate any signs that made you concerned, or made you...

Friend: He just basically told me he didn’t like the Zionist control over our government, he didn’t like that there was about to be military policing, he didn’t believe in the fact that there was about to be a gun ban. He didn’t like anything that was going on in the political forefront, and he was basically very politically active, and he didn’t agree with what was going on right now in the United States of America.

Poplawski also was busy posting Glenn Beck video clips from Fox "News" on Youtube--about how FEMA was setting up concentration camps in the US.

These are the kind of people Andy dismissed as "fringe." But they're taking in all of the right wing talk about Obama and revolution--straight from Fox "News" and Tea Parties. And they're literally armed and dangerous.

We've got a right to talk revolution. But some people actually take it seriously, y'all. Ask the Pittsburgh PD.

Andy D said...

I continue to be amazed that you associate being politically active against your personal political beliefs as revolutionary. Their were fringe movements while Bush was President wanting him killed. Movies and books were written about it. No one in the Democratic party thought that was terrible. They all protected it as free speech. Now when private citizens protest what Democrats are doing, they are all labeled as "revolutionary" or "dangerous".

the anonymous guy said...

Uh, bro: if you read any of the left-leaning blogs during the buildup to the Iraq War, you would have seen a lot of strategizing about how to *protest* Bush's war, and how at the same time to *avoid* stirring up or empowering the lunatic fringe, who wanted to do violence to cities and people in the U.S.

We did a lot of thinking about keeping our passion from being fuel for other peoples' violence. The right wing, however, broadcasts revolutionary language and conspiracy theories to the masses and then is "amazed" when someone makes the connection.

In fact, it's not a theoretical connection. The domestic terrorist's best friend spelled it out:

The dude shooting cops on the street did it b/c people like Glenn Beck kept telling him about the totalitarian schemes Obama is hatching.

I wrote this earlier in the thread:

If, God forbid, something happens to our government at the hand of one of your "Tea Party" buddies, everybody who stoked the "violent revolution" imagery bears some guilt.

I'm standing by that, and standing with the officers dead in the street.

Andy D said...


there is only one person responsible for this guys actions: the shooter himself. Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and Karl Rove had nothing to do with what this guy did. You should be ashamed of yourself for trying to silence legitimate debate by claiming people will take up arms and kill others after hearing concerns over taxes.

You have taken a step down a very slippery slope. The next thing step is you will be arguing to limit public debate on taxes in the name of the public good.

the anonymous guy said...

Just b/c I point out that Glenn Beck has stupid, paranoid, violent delusions *does not mean* that I think the government should keep him from broadcasting that crap.

It's fascinating that you right-wingers always accuse us liberals of this. The ACLU will work to protect Beck's idiot rants from any government censorship--and I will, too.

The problem seems to be that you right wingers don't understand real debate. When I say I disagree with you, it doesn't mean I think you should be arrested or tortured or censored. It's called an argument, and its essential to democracy.

So give up the "slippery slope" argument: the guy who killed those cops got some of his anti-government ideas and paranoia straight from Glenn Beck. That's one reason a lot of us are arguing with Beck--because we don't want more dead cops.

But we don't want Glenn put in jail, or Gitmo, or censored. Ya dig?

the anonymous guy said...

Bring on the teabag rhetoric. These guys are all ears.

Andy D said...

Don't worry. I will be at one of the demonstrations on the 15th. I will give you a brand new post to talk about your fears.