KTEC is intermittently streaming HERE
Buried beneath the company town indentured servitude of modern capitalist life is the fundamental, tripartite freedom-power-capacity that defines being human:
.....you can think,
.....you can use language to communicate,
.....and you can work with others, from one other to multitudes, to get things done, make things happen, and create things.
You can think, you can talk, you can work with others. Together these three abilities constitute the fundamental human freedom and power to CREATE REALITY through shared language and values
– and that freedom is always there
– it doesn't go away
– and it's radical, "to the roots"
and these three freedoms/powers constitute the always-there potential for a starting-at-the-roots sociocultural revolution that, over time and in cooperation with others, constructs new social realities in which the participants use their freedom and accept their responsibility to work together to create the best possible societies they can at any given point.
So RIGHT NOW, if we choose to, we can use our human freedom to start creating new societies and new realities. All we have to do is identify some shared values about what it means to be a good person and to have a good society, and then determine to start trying to live according to those values, including, over time, seeking out others who are on the same path and creating society with them. Revolution is really and truly that simple -- live it and it is on! -- right here in the interstices of the company town.
Drawing on the Enlightenment tradition of which we modern citizens are a part, I propose the following five, interrelated social-civic values as good ones upon which to start creating true democracy:
(a true democracy credo)
Step 1) HUMAN DECENCY At birth, every human being is equally deserving of respect and equally deserving of a society where she or he can live a good life.
Step 2) THE GOLDEN RULE / MORALITY Good citizens and decent people live by the following principle of morality and freedom: do unto others as you would have them do unto you, or your children or grandchildren or mother or whoever you care most about in the world. The golden rule demonstrates that morality ("the way a person should act") is social; it's about how you treat other people and the extent to which you consider how your actions will affect other people. *
Step 3) DEMOCRACY With golden rule-morality as the starting point, the ideal political form is what can be called "true democracy," which is to say that people govern themselves – any governing is by and for the people being governed in any particular situation. Wouldn't you want to participate in any decision that affects you? The golden rule demands we extend that right to all. And that is true democracy. **
Step 4) JUSTICE Within the open-honest-thoughtful discussions that make up the political process of true democracy, good citizens and decent people will consider the good of everyone affected by the decision to be made, as called for by the golden rule. If people try to argue for a course of action based on selfish self-interest, good citizens and decent people will recognize and critique such positions as anti-democratic.
Step 5) FREEDOM Live and let live; look kindly on people, both generally and specifically; feel free to find and create ways to be happy and enjoy life any way you can without hurting or infringing on others.
We have the freedom and the power to create true democracy. 'All' we have to do is believe in it (concur with the credo) and then start finding ways to enact it, especially in cooperation with others who are on the same path. It won't always be easy, but it's the right thing to do.
* Important aside (1): In other words, morality is not a code laying down specific "don't dos" and "do dos" in order to be a good person. If you personally want to ALSO live by some code of ethics with strict rules of what you can and cannot do, that's your business, you are free to do so as long as it does not interfere with anyone else. We have the right to expect people to act morally, but good citizens and decent people do not try to impose their particular ethical code on anybody else who does not choose to live that way.
** Important aside (2): Fundamental respect for our fellow humans, and the consequent application of the golden rule, means that decisions in true democracy are not determined by 51-to-49 votes; they are decided through open, honest, thoughtful discussions aimed at consensus, and if no consensus can be reached, when about 2/3 of the people agree on a course of action, the other third should accept the democratic decision and go along, or else break away.
Is Dennis Linthicum ignorant, or is he the typical (wannabe) politician who is willing to distort reality to fit his ideological preconceptions?
He writes that advances in Klamath County "do not stem from any government program, strategic plan, or collaborative policy effort." Has he not heard of the Bureau of Reclamation, a government agency responsible for the possibility of about 95% of the agriculture in this county? Does he think the highways and roads that connect our communities to each other and the outside world are unrelated to our development? And then there's the sheriff and police and fire departments, the schools, the community college, OIT. If Linthicum really wants to be a leader, rather than another ridiculous conservative spewer of ideology, he needs to step back and think about what he says before going public with it. This editorial is a serious strike against Linthicum being a serious leader for our community in these troubled times.
Right, so elect Republicans and enjoy the "freedom" to be a serf in the service of the corporate plutocrats. The Democrats are lame; the Republicans are evil. The only REAL agenda of the national Republican Party, as opposed to bogus distractions like imposing religion on others (e.g., outlawing abortion), which they never do even when they have power (see 2002-2006), is to advance the wealth and power of the wealthy and powerful. What is good for the wealthy corporate ruling class (such as "free trade" and "outsourcing") is NOT good for the vast majority of Americans. If you're not wealthy (i.e., worth more than a million dollars) and vote for Republicans in national elections, you are a dupe. Unions built up and protected the working middle class; Republicans and plutocrats destroyed the unions and now the rich get richer and everyone else sinks. People need to wake up before the plutocrats and their Republican toadies utterly destroy our nation. (For a little preview, see financial collapse under Bush, 2008.)
And yet the statistics show that crime has gone down in Arizona in recent years. Maybe the problem is one of people believing things that sound like what they want to believe rather than find actual facts and basing one's analyses on those. Some actual facts about Arizona crime is available here: http://www.opportunitygreaterphoenix.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5325
The desire to have "the news" reflect one's ideological proclivities is a sign of intellectual and moral weakness, which has, unfortunately, reached epidemic levels in America at a time when we can least afford it.
Cowboy -- those are excellent, pro-democracy sentiments that I totally agree with. The problem is that certain of "us" have almost all the wealth/power, so that a small minority (less than 5% of all households) control the politics, the economy, and the mass media public discourse. The obvious fact is that the rich run the United States, and government by and for the rich is called plutocracy. Currently, we have plutocracy, not democracy. Ultimately (as a whole), all the wealthy ruling class cares about is maintaining and extending their wealth and power. And as we have experienced over the last 30 years (under Republicans and Democrats), when government is run in the interest of the wealthy, the rest of us sink. That's how "free market capitalism" works -- wealth is steadily concentrated at the top, leaving less everywhere else. (For instance, worker productivity is up over the last 30 years, but wages are down -- where did the profits from the increased productivity go? Record-level corporate profits and luxury living among the plutocrat class.) So the point is that any accomplishments we make as a country benefitting the large majority of people will be based on taking control of our nation away from the wealthy and powerful minority who currently control it and instituting democracy (not, as the conservative scare-mongers prefer to call it, "socialism").
More evidence Linthicum is a lightweight who is unfit to serve in any significant political position. But since he calls himself a "conservative" and mouths the kind of dimwittery Fox News dupes are trained to appreciate, he will most likely be elected as one of our three County Commissioners, and get to work further snuffing out Klamath County's potential to overcome the current crises we face.
Mrs. Fairfield, I think you need to broaden your reading list. Conservative Republicans are not answer to our country's problems because they support plutocracy (rule by the wealthy), which is the biggest source of our problems. Thus, if elected, Mr. Huffman can be counted on to follow the lead of other "Conservatives" in the Senate and advance the interest of the wealthy over the great majority of Americans with votes like this: "Senate Republicans beat back an effort by Democrats Tuesday to end tax breaks for companies who send jobs offshore only to import products back into the United States." See, Republicans LIKE outsourcing of jobs because it helps the wealthy make more money. The fact that outsourcing is bad for regular working Americans doesn't matter to Republicans in Washington. If you don't have a net worth of over a million dollars and an annual salary over $250,000, and you vote for Republicans for national office, you are being taken for a ride. THEY DON'T CARE ABOUT YOU!
So, the " Klamath Conservative Voters Political Action Committee" shamelessly distorts reality in order to advance its ideological interest. I guess I was wrong -- the local "conservatives" are no less intellectually and morally bankrupt than the national-level Republicans whose success depends on a population of dumbed-down Fox News viewers who believe anything that fits their disgustingly self-righteous biases.
I note that this letter includes not a single actual example of how the current administration has trashed the Constitution (there actually are some examples, all of which are continuations of Bush/Cheney policies). And then to hold up Bush 43 as an example of what a good president was like? That is just delusional. Where were you when Bush was violating the Constitution with warrantless wiretapping, issuing signing statements to undermine legislative intent without the veto called for by the Constitution, precluding judicial review with bogus "state secrets" excuses, exposing CIA agents for political gain, torturing and starting a preemptive war in violation of international treaties to which the US is a signatory (see Article 6, Sec. 1, clause 2)? Those were all impeachable violations of the Constitution. Oh, but since he was a Republican, it was okay, right? You obviously don't care about the Constitution. This letter is truly a sorry commentary on the state of United States citizenship in the year 2010. With people like this in any significant percentage, America has no future.
Notably, this letter does not contain a single fact (as opposed to the letter writer's opinions) to support the assertion that removing the dams would have negative consequences. In this way, the letter is an example of one of the biggest problems in American politics today -- facts no longer matter to some portion of our population, including most of the people who call themselves "conservatives." What matters to them is affirmation of their own self-righteousness. Unless this trend is corrected and people make the effort to engage with reality, instead of just believing what they want to believe, the United States is doomed.
Mr Jefcoat -- I get the joke. I can tell you are really a good-hearted person who is trying to parody the Alice-in-Wonderland, up-is-down Fox News Tea Party disengagement with reality. But to be honest, I think you overplayed it -- not even Klamath County conservatives are as delusional and backwards-thinking as portrayed in your letter.
QrtzCam -- your explanation is a much more honest representation of the typical opposition to the KBRA in Klamath -- it's all about making sure the Indians don't get anything. That's what "conservatism" is about among non-wealthy people -- finding "others" to despise and blame for our problems. That's why conservatism is in direct opposition to the teachings of Jesus and is, in actual fact, anti-Christ. You can't be a Fox News Tea Party conservative and also follow the teachings of Jesus as related in the New Testament. Fox News Tea Party conservatives who purport to follow the Ten Commandments need to stop calling themselves Christian because by doing so they are taking the Lord's name in vain.
So "it is time" to put Republicans in every office? The party that's only real concern is advancing the interest of the wealthy minority ruling class? The party that ran the economy into the ground following that path? The part that votes against unemployment insurance and food stamps and tax cuts for 98% of the population if the plutocrat overlords don't get their own tax cuts? What would Jesus do, Ms. Kerns? I am not a member of the Democratic Party, and I vote for the person I think best regardless of party affiliation, but there can be no doubt among thinking, good-hearted people that the contemporary Republican Party and those prancing around calling themselves "conservatives" preach and practice the opposite of the teachings of Jesus. It's time to lay it on the line: conservatives and the Republican Party are anti-Christ. If these people purport to follow the Ten Commandments, they need to stop calling themselves Christian because by doing so they are taking the Lord's name in vain.
It's interesting that as the election draws closer, local "conservatives" are increasingly unable to hide their true beliefs. This guy doesn't even want to be part of the United States! Very "patriotic"! And, given your concern with "sovereignty," and since I am sure you are not a hypocrite, you are not going to use any services provided by government medicare, no deposits in FDIC-insured banks, right? And you must surely oppose tax dollars going to the very bureaucratic armed forces, right? If you are really so concerned with your "sovereignty", I suggest you move out to Sycan Marsh and let the rest of us move on without your misery.
Why get rid of the dams on the Klamath River? Because they have messed up a crucial natural ecosystem and they don't provide that much power. (Some reasonable conservation would more than make up for the power lost by taking out the dams.)
You accidentally revealed the real issue for most of the anti-KBRA people in the Klamath Basin at the end of your letter -- it's not about green power, it's about making sure the Indians don't get anything. (That's the sorry state of morality among "conservatives" in Klamath [WWJD?].)
HEiz -- it is clear you know nothing about the teachings of Jesus. Those are the red letters in the New Testament. You should really read them for some education based in reality rather than the plutocrat propaganda crafted to elicit hate-filled self-righteousness that you have obviously based your views on to this point. People who think like that are objectively against Christ -- it's right there in the red letters of your New Testament! But it's not too late, HEiz -- Jesus will forgive and welcome you with open arms!
Wow -- the Jesus who says words in the Bible would not recognize himself in HEiz's post. Most particularly, HEiz, you write that Jesus "simply gives us a way to separate ourselves from sin." There is nothing simple about the path Jesus lays out (check out those red letters). The kind of "easy does it," pseudo-Jesus theology you propose may be helpful to assuage the guilt and advance the interests of the ruling class (as they accelerate their self-enrichment and immiserate more and more of the global population), and therefore be profitable, but it has nothing to do with the prophet whose words are marked by red letters in the New Testament.
I have read your archive and I know you can't see this, but it is psychotic hate -- it really and truly is. Even so, I think there may still be hope we can all come together and create a good society if you would be willing to acknowledge and adopt the following principles if they pass the "What would Jesus do?" test.
[*CREDO*, edited out here, reproduced below]
Now let's work together to create a better society!
Other words not in the Constitution: God, Jesus, Christian, Christianity, marriage, individual, corporation, capitalism, free market, stock market, federalism, police, agriculture, labor, ... The semi-subtle point is this: If people would only take the responsibility to think about things with a little independence and heart, rather than constantly absorbing and regurgitating the Rush Fox News Tea Party line (always specially crafted to advance the interest of the ruling bankster elite by eliciting hate-based self-righteousness from the media-ted mass), we could take a significant step toward restoring good will among ourselves as citizens, a necessary step if we want to be a democracy, which I, for one, do.
The idea that somehow there has been some increase in "tyranny" since Obama took over after the most authoritarian president in American history (the beloved Bush, whose authoritarian policies surpassed even those Lincoln imposed during the Civil War) is totally totally ludicrous. It is literally deranged: so disengaged from reality that I don't know whether to laugh or step up the stockpiling of shotgun shells. People who think Obama has instituted tyranny or is a Socialist or a Muslim are so WILLFULLY disengaged from reality that it is IMMORAL -- they are bad citizens and a threat to democracy based on their susceptibility to plutocratic propaganda.
Here's the key point: Obama and the Democrats WON the right to govern in democratic elections -- this means that until the next election, they get to define "the will of the people". That's how democracy works, right? When the other side wins, they get to govern, right? Or are you an authoritarian and only people who believe the same things you do get to rule? For instance, you Conservatives don't have some exclusive right to define the meaning of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution -- WE ALL GET TO! -- that's democracy -- love it or leave it -- and don't tread on me! And we anti-conservatives can read "fairness" and "privacy" into the meaning of those documents as easily as you can read God or the free market or anti-immigrant hate into them.
Now there's an election and you have the right to win back the part of the government up for vote. I can't wish you luck, but that's democracy. (And if you succeed, I have no doubt any power the conservatives have will be used to become even better tools of the ruling bankster elite.) But take a slightly longer view and the perspective changes -- the time during which "conservatives" have that much say in the federal government is running out fast. The demographics of the United States will make Whites a minority before 2050 (less than 40 years!) and half of those Whites are not "conservative" anyway. In other words, it's too late, Teabaggers! It's only a matter of time before you become a small, angry minority left behind by the tide of democracy (one person, one vote!). Better start brushing up on your Spanish!
What's on my mind: Apparently my most recent comment (which was, I daresay, a devastating critique of the Fox News Tea Party "conservative" world-view) has been excluded by the Herald and News. (And, presumably due to an unrelated software limitation rather than editorial intent, several of my most recent comments are not included on the "my recent comments" page.) I note that the H&N's invitation to comment says "no rants," and the definition of a rant includes "speech that incites anger." So I can only presume my comment was banned because it surely would have "incited anger" among the "conservatives" whose sub-par and anti-democratic citizenship was exposed therein. Well, it's your "community" and, since you aren't the government, you actually have the right to create your community by banishing free speech. But it must be acknowledged that by doing so you are enacting an extreme version of political correctness in a transparent effort to protect local "conservatives" from having to confront the ugly, abased position they occupy as the hate-rallied shock troops of the bankster overlords, the plutocratic/authoritarian ruling class whose core values of greed and power are the exact antithesis of those advanced by Jesus (whose own speech, by the way, "incited anger" [see, e.g., Mark 10:18, John 5:18]). Anyway, I will accept the "banishment" represented by the refusal to post my comment and take my message elsewhere. So let it be known: I tried to bring the good news to Klamath conservatives but you couldn't hear it, distracted as you were by the shrieking on Fox News and the shouting-style anger and self-righteousness it creates in your head. But, again, the voice speaking in this letter, this bit of unwelcome-here freedom-speaking, will happily move on (more and more in Spanish, by the way), with one last well-intentioned reiteration of the fact that you, Klamath "conservative," still have the chance to save yourself even though I'll be gone. Here, again, is the first and fundamental lesson of the good news: the path to being saved, the path to light after death, requires you adopt and strive to put into practice the following basic principles of morality and freedom:
Step 1) HUMAN DECENCY --- At birth, every human being is equally deserving of respect and equally deserving of a society where they can live a good life.
Step 2) THE GOLDEN RULE --- Good citizens and decent people live by the following principle of morality and freedom: do unto others as you would have them do unto you, or your children or grandchildren or mother or whoever you care most about in the world. The golden rule demonstrates that morality ("the way a person should act") is social; it's about how you treat other people and the extent to which you consider how your actions will affect other people.
Step 3) DEMOCRACY --- With golden rule-morality as the starting point, the only acceptable political form is what can be called "true democracy," which is to say that people govern themselves cooperatively – government of the people by the people and for the people, whoever the people happen to be in a particular situation. Wouldn't you want to participate in any decision that affects you? The golden rule demands we extend that right to all.
Step 4) JUSTICE ---- Within the open-honest-thoughtful discussions that make up the political process of true democracy, good citizens and decent people will consider the good of everyone affected by the decision to be made, as called for by the golden rule. If people try to argue for a course of action based on selfish self-interest, good citizens and decent people will recognize and critique such positions as anti-democratic and immoral.
Step 5) FREEDOM --- Live and let live; look kindly on people, both generally and specifically; feel free to find ways to be happy and enjoy life any way you can without hurting or infringing on others.
Living by these principles is a necessary precondition to being welcomed to the light after death. Put another way, if you decline to adopt and live by these five principles, you will not be shown the way to the Kingdom of Heaven. But it is up to you.
Vivan la democracia y la luz! Adios.
Conservatives! It is surprisingly easy to get rid of your soul-killing fear of and hatred for those you think are not enough like you and, at the same time, stop being a brainwashed tool of the plutocrat fat cats who rule the country with the sole aim of maintaining and increasing their own wealth and power!
Here – absolutely free of charge! – is an easy-to-follow, five-step ladder out of the Fox News Tea Party sludge pit and into the light of being a decent person and good citizen.
You can deprogram yourself very simply by understanding and accepting the following principles (every one of which, by the way, is more in accord with the teachings of Jesus than the anti-Christ gospels of greed and resentment spewed by morally-bankrupt scam-artists like Pat Robertson and Sarah Palin [for some, it might be helpful to ask "What Would Jesus Do?" when considering the steps up the ladder]):Step 1) HUMAN DECENCY At birth, every human being is equally deserving of respect and equally deserving of a society where they can live a good life.
Step 2) THE GOLDEN RULE Good citizens and decent people live by the following principle of morality and freedom: do unto others as you would have them do unto you, or your children or grandchildren or mother or whoever you care most about in the world. This golden rule necessarily makes the point that morality is social; it's about how you treat other people and the extent to which you consider how your actions will affect other people. (In other words, morality is not a code laying down dos and don'ts for how to be a good person. If you personally want to ALSO live by some code of ethics with strict rules of what you can and cannot do, that's your business, you are free to do that so long as it does not interfere with anyone else. Good citizens and decent people do not try to impose their particular ethical code on anybody else who does not choose to live that way.)
Step 3) DEMOCRACY With golden rule-morality as the starting point, the only acceptable political form is what can be called "true democracy," which is to say that people govern themselves cooperatively – government of the people by the people and for the people, whoever the people happen to be in a particular situation. (Wouldn't you want to participate in any decision that affects you? The golden rule demands we extend that right to all.) Decisions in true democracy are not determined by 51-to-49 votes; they are decided through open, honest, thoughtful discussions aimed at consensus, and if no consensus can be reached, when about 2/3 of the people agree on a course of action, the other third should accept the democratic decision and go along, or else break away.
Step 4) CITIZENSHIP Within the open-honest-thoughtful discussions that make up the political process of true democracy, good citizens and decent people will consider the good of everyone affected by the decision to be made, as called for by the golden rule. If people try to argue for a course of action based on selfish self-interest, good citizens and decent people will recognize and critique such positions as anti-democratic and immoral. (In this way, true democracy adopts the theory of justice proposed by American philosopher John Rawls who asserted that the most just decisions would be made by people who did not know how the decisions would affect them personally.)
Step 5) FREEDOM Live and let live; look kindly on people both generally and specifically; feel free to find ways to be happy and enjoy life any way you can without hurting or infringing on others.
Welcome to the light, citizen! Now let's work together to create a better world!
This trend, combined with growth among non-Christian faiths and race-ethnic trends, will ensure that in very short order we will no longer be a white Christian nation. Even today, only about 55 percent of adults are white Christians. By 2024 that figure will be down to 45 percent. That means that by the 2016 election (or 2020 at the outside) the United States will cease to be a white Christian nation. Looking even farther down the road, by 2040 white Christians will be only around 35 percent of the population and conservative white Christians (a critical part of the GOP base) only about a third of that—a minority within a minority.
Burning fossil fuels releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that traps heat below the atmosphere.
Increasing the heat under the atmosphere causes climates to change -- it won't necessarily be warmer everywhere, but climate will change, become unpredictable and chaotic.
Klamath County is notoriously conservative – 70% for Bush in 2000 and 2004 and almost that much for McCain (or maybe Palin) in 2008. Like others around the country, the Klamath Tea Party people held a rally on April 15, 2010, on the little plaza in front of the County Government Center on Main Street downtown.
I didn't go out of my way to go by there; I was on my way to the library about a block away to sit at a table and get some work done. But as I was walking on the other side of the street, one hand-scrawled-on-cardboard sign grabbed my attention. It said: "No taxation without representation." That was, of course, the rallying cry of the original Boston Tea Party, which occurred before the Revolution, in other words before the United States existed and while Massachusetts was still a colony of the British Empire, under the ultimately absolute power of the King. Back then, the people in the American colonies were taxed, but they actually had no democratic representation – they did not get to vote for Parliament, the body that made many of the laws with which they had to comply, including the Stamp Act, a tax on tea. In other words, the people at the Boston tea Party had a point – they paid taxes to a government that did not allow them any democratic representation. Maybe you can see where this is headed. . . . In 2010 in the United States of America, we have, it is true, taxation; but we also have representation – specifically the Congress people and Senators and President elected in regularly-held, more or less democratic elections. Of course it is also true that many people live in States or Congressional districts where they did not vote for the people who are the representatives in Washington at any given moment. I, for instance, did not vote for the currently-serving congressman representing Oregon's 2nd District, which includes Klamath Falls. Of course that does not mean we are not "represented." Even though I did not vote for Greg Walden, he is my representative in Congress; that's how American democracy works. This system does mean that our representatives might not vote on issues the way we want them to (mine doesn't). But that cannot mean we are not "represented" or the idea of American democracy, as constituted through the Constitution, would collapse. In American democracy, we have the individual right to vote for representatives in democratic elections, but we do not have the individual right to pick our representatives; that right belongs to the democratic majority in any particular election. What thinking person could disagree with this? I went over to the guy with the sign, pointed at it and asked, "What does that mean?" He looked at the sign, then back at me, and said, "No taxation without representation." "Well you are represented; you have a congressman, right?" "Not my representation; they're not doing what I want." "You don't support Greg Walden, he's your congressman, he's a republican." "I voted for Greg Walden." "Well then you have representation, right?" "Well, not in the Supreme Court [?], not in the White House." "Well that's how democracy in American works, right? You get to vote for representatives-" His scraggly wife interrupted: "Well none of the Senators [both in Oregon are Democrats], not the President." "Well that's how democracy works right? You have elections and whoever wins is your representative, and they probably vote along the lines of the people who voted for them, right?" The wife then suggested I go read another sign. As I was walking away I looked at the husband and suggested he try using his brain.
At least 90% of the crowd was over 40 years old, at least 75% was over 50, and at least half seemed clearly to be of retirement age. At least 95% of the crowd was white, with a few people who looked possibly Hispanic or Native American. The crowd was, not surprisingly, mostly composed of the kind of folks we call "Klamath people" (and whom I call "Crew Cabs"): flannel shirts, jeans, sun-faded baseball caps with agricultural company logos printed on the front. These are the stereotypical "ranch culture" people who have long held the cultural center of gravity in the Klamath Basin (but whose grasp is slipping as more and more "Subarus" arrive, depressing the percentage of "Crew Cabs"). About half the signs people held were hand-made and half were apparently paid for and handed out by some person or group. Almost all expressed resentment over taxes.
Shortly after I walked away from brain-dead husband and wife, a white man about 60 years old, wearing a flannel shirt, and apparently one of the organizers of the rally, got up to the microphone on the steps above the plaza and started talking. He reassured the crowd that they were good people, good Americans, and that if there were people there who opposed the tea Party movement (I didn't see any that were obvious), well, that just proved they were having an effect on American politics. He then reminded the crowd how good they were, told them that the United States was founded "based on the Bible, and then launched into a not-short prayer requesting that God intervene in upcoming elections, so as to assure their "freedom." At that point, I am reminded of my one-time realization that I am not ultimately the journalist type. I have a very hard time sitting quietly and documenting what people say when what they say is based on ignorance or lies. It's why I gave up listening to Rush Limbaugh years ago. I am interested in what is being said, in what is going on in America, but not to the point I can sit there and take it without talking back, and since there is no talking back to the radio, I just can't take it. So I left the rally and went to the library where rather than work on what I should have been doing, I typed this up instead. By the time I decided I should go back, about an hour later, people carrying little American flags were streaming away from the Government Center. The rally was over and the people were off to wait for their tax refund checks...
Some core features of the 2010 Tea Party:
1) Ignorance of the contents and history of the Constitution.
2) A political philosophy holding that if the government institutes policies they disagree with, the government is thereby illegitimate – a philosophy that is flagrantly anti-democratic and subtly authoritarian (i.e., the people they deem "real Americans" get to decide government policy, as opposed to a government elected by a democratic majority)
3) A selfishness and unjustifiable self-righteousness that is the opposite of morality and could not be more anti-Christian.