Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Saturday, April 17, 2010

A Deeply Disturbing Story

Former President Bill Clinton had no sooner intoned his warning of “deeply disturbed”, angry, anti-government rhetoric leading to violence, than his prognostication was borne out by the headlines.

A white supremacist group, demonstrating on the lawn of the Los Angeles town hall, was attacked by counter-protestors who hurled rocks and bottles at the American and Nazi-flag toting demonstrators.

Who does President Clinton think were the “deeply disturbed people” in this picture? In my opinion, it was one deeply disturbed group facing another, with the Los Angeles Police Department doing their best to protect the First Amendment rights of both parties.

I hadn’t realized rocks and bottles were protected modes of free speech. The Nazi flag is hardly the symbol of First Amendment free speech, either. Maybe that’s why the white supremacists had to carry the American flag, as protection.

The supremacists certainly slid down the slippery slope Clinton was warning about. But the counter-protestors went right down the hill with them. Only the counter-protestors had to be arrested for violence, though.

The white supremacists always have to carry things one step too far. Where Tea Partiers only want illegal immigrants sent back to where they came from, the Nazi guys want everyone who isn’t white sent back.

The L.A. Police should be grateful that’s never happened. Every time they have to put on their tear gas masks to break up extremist-fueled riots, they can thank Garrett Morgan.

In his teens, Morgan had to quit school in order to go to work. But he had saved enough money to hire a tutor to help him continue his studies.

A successful businessman, he invented the forerunner to the gas mask, a safety and respirator hood which was used in 1916 to save miners trapped in a tunnel under Lake Erie.

Good thing he wasn’t sent back to Africa, or wherever he came from.

No, wait – Morgan was born here, in Paris, Kentucky, in 1877, a fact some people will certainly find deeply disturbing. White supremacists will find it disturbing because he wasn’t white.

They can take comfort, though – the Carnegie Institute refused to recognize his achievements.

Liberals will find his story disturbing because he was a successful, self-educated black man - who was born here.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I Told You So

Unlike last year when it was so cold, snow flurries whipped through the air on the Morristown Green, the weather this year was absolutely gorgeous, a flawlessly beautiful spring day.

The tulips stood at attention, the cherry blossoms were at their pinkest, and the sky was that soft April blue that makes you so glad to be out in the fresh air.

Likewise, the tea partiers were polite, well-mannered, and attentive. The speakers were on message. And there were only a handful of tea party crashers – three with signs and the kids from Drew University in back - who enjoyed no success in disrupting the rally.

Nobody paid any attention to the party crashers, though. They were too busy listening to the speakers and cheering to care what they did. Everyone was so well-behaved – being all adults and then some, there was no reason to expect otherwise – that anyone who got out of line would have stood out like Uncle Sam at an anti-war rally.

The one sign was pretty funny. I couldn’t tell whether the sign bearer was a party crasher or not. She was certainly dressed like everyone else. She was carrying one of the “Kenya” signs (“A village in Kenya is missing it’s [sic] idiot”).

The incorrect punctuation was probably the tip-off. While I’m no birther (as I’ve often written), I still found the sign a good belly-laugh. That’s the thing about us partiers – we don’t let nonsense like that bother us. The sign was harmless, as far as any of us were concerned.

If someone wants to believe in a Kenyan birth certificate, or UFOs, or the Tri-Partisan Commission (or whatever it’s called), leave them alone. 9/11 Truthers are troublesome idiots, but it’s not worth arguing with them.

So, no one disrupted anything, although the crowd was ready for them, if they tried. A delivery truck driver shouted something unintelligible out his window, and it looked like some of the partiers were going to run out of the park after him – some of the women partiers.

The male partiers looked shocked. But he drove on and that was the end of the one and only incident in Morristown.

For my part, I was glad to have nothing more to do than relax, take photos, and listen to the wonderful speeches. The last speaker, the chairman of the Tea Party’s Small Groups initiative, was terrific.

He urged the crowd to talk to their friends and neighbors, that we couldn’t do it alone. That’s’ what I would have said. That’s what I’ve been saying from Day One. But he was a much better speaker and I was glad he and the others were on message and delivering it so well.

If I had gotten up to speak, I think would have spoken about taxes, something I skirted around when I was on the podium last year.

Critics seem to think we object to paying any taxes. They also say that our taxes aren’t as high as we claim they are. But looking at some of the porkulus earmarks, it’s obvious the government has WAY too much of our money to spend.

A shellfish conference in Missippi? Turtle research in Hawaii? A teapot museum in North Carolina (this was BTP – Before Tea Parties, in 2007)?

My brother’s ex-wife had a porcelain fetish. She stuffed porcelain plates, bowls, cups, vases, figurines into every corner, every cabinet, every nook of their 2,400 square foot center hall colonial home.

When she left and we helped my brother clear his house of all the junk, we were just amazed by all the waste. Nature abhors a vaccum, and so did his ex-wife, my brother would joke. She also couldn’t stand to an empty space go to waste.

If only our problems with Washington were that simple. We focus on the senselessness of these pet projects and don’t look beyond them. We don’t itemize the bill of sale. People don’t realize that these porkulus items are kick-backs.

Reading the news articles, you discover that all these pet projects involved huge campaign contributions. The politicians received kick-backs for bringing home the bacon. A political friend notes both parties are guilty.

Democrats are fond of research studies, Republicans, of employment-propping business contracts – corporate welfare. We need to pay attention to the government credit card bill when it comes in to find out just what our politicians are buying.

We also need to put a stop to the unfair redistribution of wealth. It’s very easy to say, tax my more affluent older brother in favor of my struggling younger brother, with me in the middle.

But who he gives his money to should be up to my big brother, not Big Brother. The government needs to mind his own business. We shouldn’t be providing unconditional support to people we don’t even know and can’t hold accountable for the expense.

We’re busy bailing out consumers who went way beyond their credit card limit, and now we’re picking up the bill, just as my brother had to pay the freight for all those empty porcelain bowls.

Crazy people have the strangest way of making you feel guilty for the crimes they’ve committed. It’s time to stop letting the crazy people run the asylum. We’re on the hook for an awful lot of money we have little hope of repaying.

I watched a commercial about an organization that helps indebted consumer get their hands on that free moo-lah that gets them off the credit hook, blaming the credit card companies for charging usurious interest (instead of cutting off their credit after the third month of non-payment).

These are the crazy people who voted for Obama. Why wouldn’t they? But even my younger brother didn’t vote for the Big O in the hopes of picking our olders brother’s pockets. Even has more integrity.

It’s long past time for Americans to turn off the spigot. Turn off the dripping government faucet, cut off their lifeline, turn out their lights. Slash the government’s credit card. Now.

Anyway, that’s what I would have said today, had I spoken. The pictures tell the rest of today’s stories.

The Tea Party – it’s a beautiful thing. I’m so proud of the tea partiers who fearlessly donned their tricorn hats (I wore mine), their Betsy Ross and Statue of Liberty costumes, their tea bag earrings.

They held up their signs, behaved like ladies and gentlemen, and cheered like good Americans.

  They don't look like party crashers to me.

Morristown Tea Party Prez Richard Luzzi

Young, younger, and youngest, they were patriotic

If only Liberals had a sense of humor...

Or a sense of justice....

or just plain ol' common sense

Instead, they worry about buttons, hats, and tea bag earrings.  The very imaginative things we love.  God bless buttons, hats, and tea bag earrings!

This lady's wonderful - she's been with Morristown since the beginning.

In summary, it was a beautiful Tax Day Rally on the Morristown Green!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Signs of the Times

Bernardo: Who’s there?
Francisco: Nay, answer me. Stand and unfold yourself. [Hamlet, Prince of Denmark]

With great tidings, the Liberals have announced they will “infiltrate” tomorrow’s Tea Parties.

This is hardly news to the Tea Parties who have been battling them this past year. The Liberals have come with racist, homophobic, misspelled signs to unhinge our movement, to little effect.

During the last year, our Tea Party sent out card readers to urge the extremists to remove themselves and their signs, spell checkers with white-out and magic markers to correct spelling, and an Intervention Squad to isolate the malcontents.

They claim they’ve infiltrated the general meetings. But the indoor meetings are nothing like the rallies. Our rallies, at any rate, were set up precisely to discourage disruptive behavior by inviting speakers to address the crowd.

This gave the crowd a focus and limited the opportunity for misbehavior. The real Tea Party crowds are a law-abiding group, polite, well-mannered, and focused. Anyone who interrupts one of the speakers will soon find themselves with more attention than they ever intended, of the wrong sort.

You’ll know immediately who the real Tea Partiers are and who the party crashers are.

The real intent of the party crashers is to have the signs removed and to cast doubt and confusion among the Tea Party crowd. The Liberals have read the signs of the times and they’re duly frightened.

For last year’s Tax Day rally, I had an idea for a comedy skit about the Porkulus bill. At first, it was well-received. But by the day of the rally, the humor simply didn’t fit in with the angry mood of the Tea Party crowd.

They don’t mind tricorn hats, for those are authentic, historic symbols of the American revolution. Mine was a symbol of rebellion against a communist history professor in high school.

I will wear it again tomorrow, though all the world may paint me a fool. I’m proud of my hat, of that rebellion against tyranny some 34 years ago, and of today’s mutiny against socialist tyranny.

Anyone who rebels against the Tea Party, at their own events, mimicking the behavior they think represents the Tea Party, will only find themselves performing in an echo chamber spotlight, “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Of Dandelions and Defiance

Brave little Dandelion!/Fast falls the snow/Bending the daffodil's/Haughty head low

Children grow so quickly, parents quickly forget the antics of one age when new escapades replace them. They only remember all many years later, when they can dare to laugh at the antics that gave them gray hairs.

I was reminiscing with our band’s snare drummer about an antic of his daughter’s that I had not even witnessed. I’d only heard about it second-hand. But it stuck in my memory longer than his.

We were discussing his seven year old’s first communion. He and his wife were worried what the girl would do when she tasted the sacramental wine. Would she maintain her ladylike composure or spit it out all over her snow-white communion dress, staining it a grape color?

Happily, he reported, she did not spit it out, much to her mother’s relief.

I then reminded him of an episode several years ago, when she was about four or five. Our band had traveled to a seaside resort for our annual summer holiday trip. I had already returned home.

However, this family and another, complete with grandparents in tow (one of whom told me this tale), returned to the amusement pier for one last fling. As they went along the street, the drummer’s daughter and his friend’s daughter spied dandelions in the grass.

The snare drummer’s daughter, “Sylvia”, plucked up one of the golden weeds. “Joanna,” his friend’s daughter, picked one, too.

His friend said to “Joanna,” “No, no, 'Joanna.' That’s nasty. Put that down.”

The girl regarded the flower for a moment. When her father insisted further that it was yucky, she replied, “Oh, all right” and tossed it away.

The snare drummer took his friend’s cue.

“No, no, ‘Sylvia.’ That’s nasty. Yucky. Put it down.”

“Sylvia” pondered the flower then looked up at her father, towering over her. She did not put the dandelion down. Instead, she put the weed blossom first into her mouth and proceeded to chew it down. With slow, careful determination, and very big bites, never taking her eye off her father.

The dandelion disappeared, chomp by chomp, down her gullet, until all that remained was the stem. She let the root dangle for a moment, for effect, and then consumed it, too.

Anyone who knows anything about this weed, knows what a bitter morsel it is and what pluck it took for this little girl to eat it with such relish.

When she finished, she took a step forward, stomping her foot at her father. “Sylvia” gave him one, last triumphant look and smacked her lips.

After a moment of stunned silence, I’m told, the entire group broke into hysterical laughter.

Tonight, her father couldn’t recall the incident.

“Usually, we fathers,” he said, “try to remember the good stuff, the good stories.”

I assured him it was a very good story and that I was only sorry I hadn’t been present to witness this mutinous act first-hand. When I first started my blog – when it had its original name, before I changed it – that was the very first tale I told.

I retell it now, near the eve of the Tax Day Tea Parties, so that the Tea Partiers may benefit by “Sylvia’s” splendid example of rebelliousness and fearlessness (when she was 18 months old, to her mother’s horror, she plunged headlong into the deep end of the motel pool and swam its entire length).

If anyone tells you they object to your home-made sign, or that you shouldn’t criticize Obama, or that you’re a right-wing conspiracy theorist, or that you’re a racist, homophobe, etcetera and so forth, that you should volunteer to redistribute your wealth, tear up the Constitution, and become a citizen of the world….

Tell them to go eat a dandelion.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Fifth Column

During the 1936 siege of Madrid at the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), Nationalist General Emilio Mola broadcast a message that four columns of his forces outside the city would be supported by a “fifth column” of supporters inside the city whose purpose was to undermine the Republican government from within.

Madrid held out for three years amidst heavy fighting and eventually fell to Generalisimo Francisco Franco’s Nationalist forces in March 1939.

After the failed coup d’etat in July 1936, the Republican government wasn’t sure what to do. While it wanted to put down the coup, the leaders didn’t know if it could trust the armed forces. Nor did they want to arm the trade unions. And indeed, later in July, the government sent the Guardia Civil to put down a rebellion in Seville.

However, the guardias defected to the insurgents upon reaching the city. Meanwhile, a military general within Madrid, sympathetic to the Nationalist movement, was preparing to launch the military rebellion in the city. Yet, when he tried to march out of the barracks, his 2,500 troops were forced back inside the compound by hostile crowds.

The Nationalists were supported by Nazi Germany and Italy; the Republicans, by the Soviet Union. Franco declared he would bomb Madrid to pieces rather than allow the Marxists to occupy it.

So it is with this threat of fifth column action that the Liberals threaten this year’s Tea Party movement.

By definition, a fifth column is a group of people who clandestinely undermine a larger group from within to aid an external enemy. Within Madrid, the fear of this column was so great that many nationalist prisoners were executed.

Though the term was coined in the 20th Century, the notion of a Fifth Column, the infiltration of an enemy city is nothing new. The Greeks tried it, successfully, with the Trojan Horse.

There’s nothing new about the Liberals’ attempts to infiltrate the Tea Parties from within. From within the organizations themselves. Like Mola’s Fifth Column, they’ve only had limited success.

From the early days of the Tea Party with which I’ve been involved, they made such attempts. They found people like me waiting for them. My father, you see, had instructed me well about the dangers of Fifth Columns when I was a child and I was ready for them when the battle ensued, years later.

How ironic that the Liberals should threaten us with Fifth Column action, a term coined during a conflict between a government that relied on communist assistance even as it feared its own labor unions, and a national-socialist insurgency.

Always, it’s the moderate people in the middle whom such extremists wish to either subdue or conciliate. Even as they prepare for battle, they plan their strategy for manipulating these pawns of peace.

If you suppose that the Tea Party people were grateful for my defense of their cause, you’d be wrong; they were horrified. They castigated me for insulting these “ambassadors” from the other side.

I was cast out of their website (which eventually was shut down anyway) for taking on the enemy. As late as last week, a Liberal had infiltrated the general meeting. I spotted her immediately, and though I knew who she was, and she knew I knew, I said nothing.

This past week, the Tea Party declared that there was no necessity for being quite so “nice.” If the enemy would infiltrate their ranks, they would have to bear the slings and arrows of outrageous insults when they were discovered.

Bravo for that Tea Party!

Now the Fifth Columnists threaten to show up with right-wing signs, advocating racism and homophobia and who knows what else. My tea party has already had experience with these Fifth Columnists. The adversary claims to know how to counter them.

Fifth Columnists wish to cast doubts in the minds of timid middle-of-the-roaders who fear the Media’s portrayal of the Tea Partiers is accurate. They count on the fact that Conservatives are, by nature, timid and view anyone who would attend a public rally as “outlandish”.

They count on the Media to portray the Tea Parties as they have done this past year – unfairly. Only last week, Gary Trudeau in his Doonesbury cartoon, portrayed a Tea Partier as a clown with a red nose wearing a tricorn hat.

Trudeau’s portrait did not ring true and his jokes fell surprisingly flat. Even when you hate Trudeau, you have to admit his humor. Yet, in this series, that sense of humor failed him.

He didn’t pay attention to his background for one thing. An artist should know better. In the background were angry Tea Partiers, normal American men and women, among whom his clownish Tea Partier singularly stood out.

Then he attacked the Tea Partier as “The Man” whom his character has always protested against. “The Man” has had various incarnations, but he started out as the heroin pusher of the ghetto. This charge comes from Doonesbury’s main drug pusher character, Zonker Harris. Who should be wearing the clown nose?

Finally, Trudeau and the Liberals underestimate the “hatred” average Americans have for them. It’s not hatred of gays or blacks or legal immigrants that brings them out onto the streets. It’s hatred of Liberals and the havoc they’ve wreaked upon America, most notably in the last 50 years or so.

So how will bystanders be able to tell the difference between Tea Partiers and the Fifth Columnists?

The Columnists will be carrying signs that say: “We hate [fill in the blank]!!”

The Tea Partiers will be carrying signs that say: “We love America!”

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Tea Party Conspiracy Theories

Wow.  Even Fox News is worried about the fringers who stand at the borders of the Tea Parties.

The top three conspiracy theorists Fox fears Tea Party foes will use against this grass roots movement are:

1. The Birthers, who don’t believe Obama was born in the United States

2. The Muslimists, who think Obama is a secret Muslim

3. The Socialists, that is, “fringers” who think Obama is a socialist

The best way Fox News could silence the Birthers is by publishing the truth, instead of shying away from it. The story is Hawaii destroyed all its original, long-form birth certificates in the 1960s and put them on microfilm. They now use an online, short form for certifying births.

However, the state will print out the microfilm, long-form version for earlier birthdates with permission from the individual in question, or a family representative, if they’re deceased.

Obama refuses to release permission, which is within his purview. In any case, his mother was born in the United States, so at least one of his parents was born a U.S. citizen.

Newspaper notices from that period in 1961 also published the birth. Finally, astrologers world-wide are convinced of the authenticity of his birth certificate. If astrologers are convinced, you can be sure the certificate is the real deal.

Astrologers don’t care about politics. They want to know the truth, the facts, the real date, not conspiracy theories.

Item Number Two: Obama is a secret Muslim. Well, he claims he’s a Christian. Many people claim they’re Christians. They don’t say whether they’re good Christians or bad Christians. Or secret Christians.

What’s really in his heart is a secret known only to Obama and God. We won’t know whether we’re really Christians until we get to the Pearly Gates. If our pass works, we'll know we were good Christians. If not…

Whether Obama will renounce Christianity in favor of Islam is the matter to be studied. We will only know that if and when it happens. Obviously, many fringers are betting their last wills and testaments that it will happen.

Finally, there’s that outrageous accusation that Obama is a secret socialist. What will the fringers think of next? How did the right wing wingnuts ever get that into their addled skulls?

Could it be the universal health care reform law that he just rammed through? The stimulus bill? Telling Joe the Plumber that he wanted to spread the wealth around.

Or is just the imaginings of iron-cross toting fringers?

Maybe they got the idea because of Obama’s heavy leaning towards labor unions. (Actually that would make him a meliorist – a radical theory that holds that industry and government should be run by labor unions).

Much is made over the labels of Liberal and Socialist, but they’re pretty much synonymous. Meliorist is one of those labels sandwiched in between Socialist and Marxist.

If you don’t believe Obama is a socialist – that just because he hung out with Stalinists and Leninists and Marxists – even though he admitted he went out of his way to be befriended by radicals – let’s go to the source: The Communist Manifesto.

Marx and Engels had the organizational foresight to provide a sort of “To-Do” list for their followers. They’re sometimes referred to as “The Ten Planks of Communism.”

Let’s see how we’re doing on the checklist.

1. Abolition of [private] property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.


2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.


3. Abolition of all right of inheritance.

Nearly checked off. The death tax is helping us along that route.

4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.

Wasn’t sure about this one until the government forced the Swiss banks to reveal U.S. holders of off-shore accounts.

5. Centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.

Bingo! Obama’s claim to fame.

6. Centralization of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the state.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. AMTRAK. Just to name a couple. And of course, Obama’s wealthiest supporters sit on the boards of directors of the nation’s major liberal newspapers and media outlets. Net Neutrality is also on its way.

Check, check, check!

7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state; the bringing into cultivation of wastelands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.

Can anyone say “GM – Government Motors”? By the way, that soil improvement deal didn’t work out too well for Communist China, did it? CHECK!

8. Equal liability of all to labor. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.

Look for the union label and the union organizer who will put a stop sign through your windshield if you don’t sign up. Card CHECK!

9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equable distribution of the population over the country.

Thanks to the Liberals strong-arming the banks into making sub-prime loans, now your suburban neighborhood can look just like Camden, N.J. Thank you, Barney Frank. Check!

10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production.

This almost sounds noble. But as always, you have to watch out for that word “free”. There’s always a catch and always a price to pay. When you combine education with industrial production, you get kids learning to pound nails instead of the books. They learn to read auto manuals instead of Shakespeare, and recite Communist propaganda instead of the Declaration of Independence.

Fox News, instead of cringing at home-made signs accusing Obama of being a socialist, ought to be cringing at the Tea Party leaders quaking at the signs. They should also be more amazed at the critics who are complaining about such “accusations” of socialism.

Methinks the critics doth protest too much.