Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tea party, Lancaster, PA, 4/15/09

I attended the Tea Party this afternoon in Lancaster (Pennsylvania). Met some interesting people, saw many hundreds of peaceful and respectful tax paying citizens listening to speakers and voicing their opinions. Not professional protesters, but people with real jobs who pay taxes and support our communities and nation.

I suspect these would be the last people in the world to attend a 'protest', but clearly they have suffered their limit of being pushed around and taken for granted.

It was 45 degrees this afternoon, raining, and had been raining all day. My impression was a turnout of 1000 to 1200 people. I tried to do a rough estimate by sampling, but I'm afraid that is beyond my skills.

Two thoughts surfaced as I looked at the crowd....

There were no counter protesters. Not a single one. I did see a plethora of Obama stickers on cars parked around the area of the protest, but from what I could see those folks were part of the crowd and carrying the same signs! I watched people with 'Stop taxing me!' protest signs getting out of a Prius sporting Obama campaign stickers. Search me..... guess they woke up.

Another point..... although there were two large media transmission trucks there, one from the local TV station.... nobody cared about the camera crews. I mean... Did... Not... Care. It was as if they just did not count for anything. Nobody lined up for the camera, and more to the point nobody moved out of their way either. They just blocked them off as if they didn't matter anymore. Interesting....

I was asked if I was covering the event for the local paper, as I took photos and watched the crowd rather than the speaker (second time this week I was asked that question!). I replied I was just a private citizen, doing my own reporting on a blog. Curious response... the person asking immediately warmed and began talking about the event and why he was there.

In any case.... it was a fascinating social event, and well worth the time. Now, it's late and I am tired. I'll post more photos, and more commentary, in a few days. For now, here's a video of the crowd in the rain as they listened to speakers, and some photos:


Christina LMT said...

Thanks for an excellent (preliminary) report. LOVE the picture of the two ladies laughing!
Very nice candid shot.
Good job!

Xavier said...

Another thing that I noticed was the real swe;ll of people began after 5:00 PM. these were working folks afterall. Some of them drove thirty to fifty miles after work just to be heard among their peers.

Change is coming, and it's not what the senator from Illinois thought it would be.....

Crucis said...

It was sunny and in the high 60's in KC. I posted a few pics on my blog and links to where more pics could be seen.

KC had four Tea Parties in different parts of town and at different times. My wife and I attended the one at the Liberty Memorial. Attendance was estimated to be between 5K and 10K.

Jeff B. said...

Thank you for this video blog. You've done a great job and your leading comments are superb! My father and I proudly attended this gathering of great Americans. It was the first protest either of us has EVER attended. Still, we are basking in the aura of freedom and liberty we experienced in Lancaster, PA yesterday.

Judy K said...

The pictures are wonderful. Thanks for opening my eyes to this. Here's a question... I could be wrong, but it seems to me like people feel like their liberty is threatenend by the excessive taxes. What about the liberty to healthcare? To shelter for those who can't afford it? You wrote elsewhere that many gov't programs should be left to churches and charities...but how can you then insure liberty to those with no voice? I agree that many gov't programs are wasteful and excessive. But it would likely be similar with any other organization running those programs. Don't our citizens have a right to adequate healthcare? Is there is a way to provide healthcare to all without a government-funded system?

I have been involved with one government service, namely children and youth services. I know first hand that there is numerous waste and mismanagement in this system. But at the same time, this system protected the person who is now my son. Without government programs, who will insure the safety of these children? Will we be leaving babies on church doorsteps wrapped in a blanket?

Carteach0 said...

Judy, good questions, and I don't have all the answers. I do know that government is not the answer to every question.

Does government have a role in our society? I believe it does. Are some safety nets appropriate? Yes, I believe so. Is the government the best route to provide those nets? I don't think so.

Think about it in larger terms... what exactly does the federal government run, that it runs well?
The military is not an optional answer on this, as it mostly runs itself despite congressional bungling. Private charities serve people far more efficiently, and fairly, than government welfare does. I believe this has been shown true in many studies. It's also been shown that the American people are the most giving of any in the world.

On a more personal level... riddle me this.... Suppose we say government has a role in these areas, and it's right for us to pay taxes to support these activities.
All well and good... now tell me... what is the highest percentage I should have taken from my wages in taxes to do so?

100%? Should I pay every penny I earn? No?

How about nothing? Should I get all the services the government has to offer, and pay nothing at all?

Someplace in between those two extremes there must be an answer, but no politician will name it. Their only answer is.... 'More', if they think they can get it.

Morally.... ethically.... what is the most any one person should have to pay? How about when they are forced to do so against their will?

Do you know what total percentage of your earned wealth goes out in taxes? Do you give it willingly, or do you look for tax deductions to lesson your burden? Do you approve of the way your wealth is spent for you?

This discussion could go on for years :-)

Crucis said...

I live in one state and work in the neighboring state. I have the priviledge of paying taxes in two states!

The sum of all my state(s), local and federal income tax is nearly 60% of my total income. Why should I work more, earn more, when it will only be taken from me? What is my incentive? You want to know about unintended consequences?
Read Atlas Shrugged. It's amazing how much that 50 year-old novel accurately portrays activities occurring now.

Crucis said...

The discussion above with Judy K brings this quote from Robert A. Heinlein to mind.

Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded---here and there, now and then,--- are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as "bad luck" RAH.The core liberal assumption is that people with needs would be abandoned if the government didn't force taxes from people to pay for those needed services. How were they cared for before the great socialist drive starting in the last century? Was there widespread starvation and death as some would like us to believe?


Those in need were cared for my their families, their churches, their local communities.

Did some fall through the cracks?


Is that sufficient reason to take my earnings from me at the point of a gun? No, it is not. I would give freely to assist those whom I believe are worthy of my help. I will resist coercion from the government to take that choice away from me.