San Diego Coffee Party Percolates – Turn-Out So Large Four Groups Formed

by on March 14, 2010 · 61 comments

in Election, Organizing, Popular, San Diego

coffee party 3-13 meet-ed

People started showing up early. I was standing outside Lestat’s – the famous Adams Avenue coffeehouse in Normal Heights twenty minutes before the noon meeting was to start. A half dozen older folks had joined me in front.  I joked – to laughter: “Is this going to be a gray-haired movement?”

One woman replied “And I spent all this money trying to hide my gray.” Even though I had been joking, I did have the thought that the meeting would consist of fifty and sixty-something year olds only. But I was wrong. By the end of the meeting two hours later, my joke was answered with a resounding ‘no’.

It was March 13th – the national coffee party meeting day – hundreds of meetings were going on across the country, most in coffee houses. And it was the very first time anybody in San Diego had met under the new grassroots banner of java.

We later learned that actually, there were 392 Coffee Party meetings yesterday, March 13th.

The Coffee Party started when Annabel Park, a thirty-something professional and sometimes volunteer with the Obama election campaign, had become so upset, frustrated and fed-up with politics and the Tea Parties that she expressed herself on her facebook.  She had called for forming a “coffee party movement.”  That was in late January – less than two months ago!  Today, there are close to 400 chapters forming and over 120,000 people have signed on as fans to the coffee party website.

As soon as we had heard about it, Mike James, Patty Jones and I had agreed to host the first get together and begin a local Coffee Party.  We contacted “the national office” – which is in somebody’s kitchen or garage – coordinated with them and called Lestat’s coffee house and set it up.  We were to meet in their “theater” space next door to the busy and roomy establishment.

Mike James had been a long-time OB resident, and back in the eighties, he and his brothers – including Pat James – opened up James Gang on Newport. Mike moved out of OB years ago, but still makes frequent appearances at the beach. (Pat and his wife Susan still run the busy shop on Bacon.)

Patty and I work on this blog website, and we had been involved in organizing the counter rally to the Tea Party gathering held on that tsunami day, Feb 27th, down at San Diego Harbor.

In an earlier post discussing the then-upcoming rally against the Tea Partiers, I had called for a “coffee grounds movement” – totally independent of what else was going on under the java cup concept. Here’s what I said in a post asking “should progressives confront the Tea Party rally?” back on February 17th.

Hey, don’t tell the Tea Party activists, but their use of the tea bag symbol is totally upside down. American patriots stormed those English ships in Boston harbor and threw the tea overboard. They would be aghast if they knew modern-day citizens were using the tea bag as a positive icon. The tea was thrown overboard, and that’s when American colonists turned to coffee.

To counter the Tea Baggers, progressives need to start a “coffee grounds” movement.

“Coffee grounds” , “coffee party” – same thing. Then a good friend sent me a link to the brand new coffee party movement – and snap – we were on. Mike James had also caught wind of the new java trend and contacted us. Once we connected, our efforts zoomed.

Mike set up a local facebook and website. The “national office” sent us forms and “how to” packets, as well as mainstream media coverage of the movement. Mike sent out a press release and we all began sending out emails. We figured at most there would be fifty that would show up.

We were in for a surprise – and a pleasant one at that. By the time we were a half hour into the meeting – it was standing-room only. The hall was packed. 75 people ended up signing our sign-in list.

Mike had asked me to moderate the meeting, so I welcomed everyone and talked a little about the history of this new movement – and it was brief as there’s not much history – as I kept reiterating, “this movement has just begun.”

We then went around the room and everyone had a chance to explain why they were there. I heard a lot of frustration with the current state of things – frustration with Obama, with the Republicans, with the partisanship, with the tea parties, the screaming and lack of civility – and even fear.  Fear had definitely been one factor in bringing people to Lestats. Fear of the right-wing extremists, fear of the Tea Baggers, fear of the corporations taking over our democracy. But it was mainly the frustration that was the over-riding current in the room.

Even though we had sent out press releases, there hadn’t been much pre-event coverage in local media about our meeting. CityBeat had run a small blurb on their events page, and there had been an article on the OB RAG. And of course Mike and I had sent out emails. But some people spoke of how they had just found out about our meeting. Just yesterday. Just two hours ago. One guy had showed up only after reading somewhere on the web a half hour earlier.

From what people said, I could tell there were a lot of disenchanted Democrats, some Libertarians, leftists of different persuasions, a former John Anderson follower, a former Ross Perot campaign worker, independents – one guy said he was there to balance out the fact that his brother was a Republican consultant – people laughed at that. One draw back with the turnout was that it was mostly white – hardly any people of color showed up.

In general, even though people had frustrations, they were upbeat, friendly, a lot of smiling faces, easy to laugh fellow citizens. People were supportive of each other.  One woman was in her eighties and one young guy was 13. More than a third of the room was under 40, and the rest were between 40 and 65.

Going around the room took a while, but not only did it give everyone a moment to speak, it also helped create community, as heads were nodding when people spoke of their frustrations, and it helped to create unity, a real-life sharing of ideas, values and frustrations. We were coming face to face with other San Diegans who felt the same way we did – fed up. It was actually uplifting.  When we had finished with this round of personal statements, we gave ourselves a round of applause.

I then read the Ground Rules -‘respect everyone’, ‘we’re a big tent, not a pity party’, and ‘act like your mama raised you right!’, etc,  (see below) and asked everyone if they could accept them – and everyone did.

We briefly went over  the purposes of the National Coffee Party Day, and the movement’s “plan,” – this Spring we’ll be talking to Congressional reps, maybe a march on Washington in the Summer, and non-partisan voter mobilizations next Fall.

I had everyone raise their hands while the Civility Pledge was read:

As a member or guest of the Coffee Party, I pledge to conduct myself in a way that is civil, honest, and respectful toward people with whom I disagree. I value people of different cultures, I value people with different ideas, and I value and cherish the democratic process.

We all agreed with the pledge. In fact, civility – or the lack thereof, continued to be a big issue in our discussions over the remainder of the two hours.  At one point, a sign was made that said: “San Diego – Civility” – made for our photo shoot at the end.

Then, in unison, we all recited the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide fro the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

It was kind of awe-inspiring listening to us recite this statement together, our strong voices filling up the hall.

At some point during our meet, Channel 8 News showed up, filming the crowded room and interviewing some participants outside.  The report the news team filed, broadcast last night, was fairly accurate and positive.

As moderator, I realized that the acoustics of the room and size of the crowd did not make it very conducive for deep political discussions. We had to break down into more manageable groups  – and as we had been advised to do. I thought it prudent to break down into geographical areas – as San Diego is so very large and spread-out.

So, groups were formed.  A “coastal” group of nearly 20 – ‘west of 5’ bounded, met by the front door, two different “mid-city” groups formed, one on the small stage, and a larger one positioned itself in the middle of the small hall, and the fourth group “eastern San Diego” – met in a corner, about 7 or 8 people.

Staying with the coastal group, we began discussing what was most critical to us as issues and what were some  solutions.  There was at least a half dozen folks from OB, another half dozen from La Jolla, and a scattering from PB.

Interestingly enough, the primary focus at first within the ‘coastals’ was “mis-communcation.”  People felt upset with the misinformation and managed news of mainstream and corporate media, of how information was used to manipulate people. “What can we all agree on as a solution?” I asked the group. A list of things was drawn up. Everything from meeting with Congressional representatives, writing letters, petition campaigns to marches were suggested.

And for about half an hour, the hall was filled with voices from all different corners.  It was loud at times, yet it all remained civil, constructive, and people stayed with the process.

Shane Finneran moderated the largest group of mid-city residents.  Patty stayed with the east batch of Coffee Partiers, Mike and I stood with the Coastals, and a couple of people, Ginger and Dan, stepped forward and kept the other mid city group lively.

At the end, I asked each group to figure out a coffee house and time to meet again for their group.  In accordance with the rest of the movement, I asked people to meet on March 27th.  One group was so excited that they’re meeting next Saturday.

Here’s the breakdown of the next wave of San Diego Coffee Party meetings:

  • The first Mid City group will be meeting at Lestat’s again on March 20th, at noon. This was the smaller of the mid-city groupings and I believe it included many from the actual mid city.
  • The second Mid City group will be meeting March 27th at noon at a coffee house called Latte Mi Corazon, at 129 25th Street. (This is the former Chicano Perk coffeehouse.)
  • The Coastal group will be meeting noon on March 27 at Jungle Java, a coffeehouse in Ocean Beach at 5047 Newport Avenue.
  • Finally, the eastern San Diego group is meeting also on March 27th at noon at the Living Room at 5900 El Cajon Boulevard near San Diego State.

As the meeting broke up, about half of the attendees went outside and posed for our group photo – which has been posted on the national website, CNN, and here.

The turn-out had been amazing, the conversations civil – and although, granted – we didn’t have enough time to go into too many issues in depth – enough community was developed that I believe not only will people stay with the Coffee Party, next time they’ll bring their friends.  The media coverage was good, and the fact that within two hours, we broke down and formed four different Coffee Party chapters is simply astounding. Beyond our wildest dreams for a first meeting.

Once at home, I received an email from one of the organizers at the Oceanside North County meeting – they had 56 people turn out. At this point, we have not heard from the Ramona folks.

But the nation-wide Coffee Party has been born. Our San Diego gathering was one of the largest turn-outs. This is another amazing thing, as our region is so conservative.

Stay tuned for future developments.  Here is one of the documents passed out at the meeting:

Coffee Party Rules

{ 61 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Sarah Bond March 14, 2010 at 5:13 pm

If “civility” is your new mantra, please refrain from using the highly offensive term, “Tea Bagger,” (as used at least once in your article above). It will do wonders for opening up an honest dialogue with your conservative counterparts.

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avatar PSD March 14, 2010 at 9:52 pm

Come on now, Frank! Virtually all teabaggers are far too prudish or closeted with their sexuality to acknowledge the wonders of a maneuver like the tea bag…therefore it is seen as strongly offensive (or just too ticklish to bear).

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avatar barbara c March 14, 2010 at 7:59 pm

If a person affixes tea bags on their clothing to adorn themselves,they are Tea Baggers. I have yet to encounter a civil tea bag person. Not once, anywhere. And I have been to several town hall meetings here, in AZ, and in TX. Not one. Most of the signs they bring are uncivil, racist, (Obama in African clothing with a bone in his nose) and FLAT OUT WRONG. So maybe the tea bag people should clean up their act.

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avatar PSD March 14, 2010 at 9:57 pm

Werd.

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avatar Dave Sparling March 15, 2010 at 9:39 am

Let us face facts folks. Never no way are progressive people who believe in freedom of speech, gay rights, human rights, responsible government, drinking without wrist bands, going to agree with conservative right wing born more than one time DITTO heads. This is a twain shall never meet situation.

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avatar barbara c March 15, 2010 at 9:51 am

Dave Sparling, that is exactly what I was trying to say! My only brother and formerly best friend is a ditto head and has not spoken a word to me since I supported Kerry in 04.

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avatar Sarah Bond March 15, 2010 at 2:03 pm

So only “civility” to like minded progressives? The rest of us are to be treated rudely? We have not such mentioned “racist” materials on our website or personal attacks against politicians. It’s about idea and principles. We will never agree on principles, so that justifies the name-calling? Interesting.

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avatar barbara c March 15, 2010 at 2:19 pm

I don’t care what is on your website. I was at your rally downtown a couple of weeks ago and frankly, your group was disgusting. We were peacefully singing and your group had the aforementioned signs besides screaming across the roadway. More than one person said we were possessed by satan. We remained civil while some of your people were about to have a stroke. Further, at the Midway, your group had even more offensive signs. The rhetoric from the stage was vile. One woman completely melted down and said “she hoped people without health insurance died!” I refer you back to Dave. Don’t even get me started on the Susan Davis town hall! Both of them actually. You can say whatever you want about civility but we have seen first hand your kind of civility. I am not representing the COFFEE PARTY, if they want to reach out they should do that. Obama spent the better part of a year reaching out and the tea bag birther people have only gotten more vitriolic against him.

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avatar barbara c March 15, 2010 at 2:26 pm

Here is a very nice sampling of your civil signs that would really go a long way in promoting dialogue.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdyGhE7zH6U&feature=related

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avatar Sarah Bond March 15, 2010 at 3:58 pm

NOTE: we did not support the Tea Party Express…they are a GOP fundraising PAC and do not represent the legitimate non-partisan grassroots tea party effort (the coalition of California Tea Party Patriots groups did not participate in their find raising junket through the state last year). I was not at the event at the Midway, did not support it, and cannot comment on anything you saw or heard there. If you are going to attack groups, know who is hosting what event.

I’ve tried reaching out a few times here in order to at least put faces to names. But if you are going to hold the movement responsible for a few stray signs here and there I don’t know what to say. Every time there is a leftist event there are stray “fringe” types who equate Bush with Hitler and other profess other extreme positions. Its the nature of public rallies and protests.

Our focus is issues. We reject racism, personal attacks and conspiracies. If you got to know the organizers, the core membership and our agenda you’d see that. I would never expect you to agree on principles, but clarity never hurts.

If you ever want to talk about the issues, my door is always open.

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avatar Mike James March 15, 2010 at 4:33 pm

Hi Sarah,
I hope you can come to one of our meetings of the Coffee Party. I really believe in order to succeed as a movement we must listen to all opinions be it in a civil matter.
We probably agree that the media and pundits tend to mostly feature the extremist of the political spectrum.
At the end of the day we might not change each others minds on issues but maybe we can change the way we treat each other.
Sincerely,
Mike James

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avatar Mutnodjmet March 15, 2010 at 5:06 pm

Mike James: I am Sarah Bond’s friend, and co-founder of the Southern California Tax Revolt Coalition with her. I am also a registered Democrat.

The emphasis of the SoCal-TRC is on fiscal responsibility, stream-lining bureaucracy, savvy tax policy, free and fair enterprise, and politician accountability. I have never experienced anything other than respect, courtesy, and honest discourse on any matter I gave chosen to chat about with the other citizens in our group — which comprise other Democrats, Independents, Libertarians and dissatisfied Republicans (our membership is 40% non-GOP and we are not affiliated with either Tea Party Express or the East County Tea Party.

I may be a Blue Dog Democrat, but I have several dear friends who don’t see things the same way I do. My goal is to persuade, not berate. I, and most other members of my group, manage quite nicely to be respectful, civil, and friendly to liberal-oriented citizens.

However, reviewing the past OB-Rag posts and comments, I am afraid that the hearts of many of your members may be hardened to the point there can be no civil dialog.

Your team organized the counter-protests to our Feb. 27th event. If you had attended the event, instead of tried to create a distraction, you would have found speakers and topics geared to promoting a sound California economy that most citizens could agree on — no matter what the political stripe. Instead, it was your participants who shouted “Tea-baggers” at our people and used a bull-horn to drown out our speakers.

To compare and contrast, did we disrupt your Coffee Party? No. We were well aware of it, but saw no need to distract fellow San Diegans from hearing your message.

We ask nothing more than this same civility in return.

If I am to accept it is the earnest desire of OB-Rag to engage SoCal-TRC in a civil manner, I think I can speak for my other co-founders and many other of our members, and say we would welcome it. Ultimately, holding politicians accountable and informing citizens of their actions, is good for us all.

In exchange, we would like your team to:

* Stop using the term “tea-bagger” in the formal posts describing our citizen participants (comments are not included).

* Do not organize a counter-protests to one of our events again.

I think the two above action items would go far to seal the breach, and I would be delighted to prepare a post on your group’s Coffee Parties in the future if the staff of OB-Rag are agreeable to my two simple terms.

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avatar Patty Jones March 15, 2010 at 6:29 pm

I’m kind of confused… Sarah says she was not at the Midway event and did not support it, you say you don’t want us to organize counter-protests to one of your events again… But you’ve confused the Coffee Party and the OB Rag, so I’ll try to set the record straight like you have tried to do. Some of us are involved in the movement, but we are diverse and many that write or read here are not. I will agree to not use the term you find offensive.

I’m glad that some Tea Party folks came to the Coffee Party kick-off meetings, and that’s what they were, meetings. To compare and contrast, they were not “on the street, sign waving, loud speaker, campaigning events”. We appreciate that those who came to our meetings conducted themselves the same way the rest of us did.

I came to your site after the “event” a few weeks ago, left a comment directing you and your readers here, to our site, to show our take on the event. My comment was deleted without reply from you. There was nothing uncivil in my comment. I was, in fact, trying to show that there were more than a few “socialists” present.

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avatar barbara c March 15, 2010 at 7:20 pm

Patty, thanks for thinking to point out those false comparisons. Pretty obvious that a planning meeting is not the same as a public rally. Tea baggers have come to our antiwar protests to call us dirty hippies, traitors and worse.

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avatar Ian Rammelkamp March 16, 2010 at 8:40 am

Do you teach your kids to name call also?

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avatar Frank Gormlie March 16, 2010 at 9:23 am

Ian, there ya go again. It is soooo easy to sit behind your keyboard and bang out those comments. But we were the ones – that PSD, Patty and Barbara have described – that were yelled and yes, even screamed at. We were the ones called names and told to leave the country, pay taxes, get jobs. We did not yell back or scream at them. There was a little half-hearted chanting from our side, but mostly what we did was stand there and sing American songs plus “Imagine”. I have found that progressives are in general very well mannered and minded. We continue to believe that discourse and discussion of issues can be civil. It’s the responses we get that force some of us to think otherwise.

Yes, the OB Rag is NOT the Coffee Party, but there is a mix in both. Folks from the OB Rag helped start San Diego’s new Coffee Party, but so did others.

Okay, Ian – you and others say you cannot be responsible for what other factions of the Tea Party do and say. Yet you all happily use the same umbrella name. And until progressives see an honest attempt on your part to get rid of the derogatory names, insults, screams and racism and outright lies, we’ll be at a standstill. Yet there is no such thing as Tea Party clean water, or Republican clean water, or Democratic clean water, there’s just clean water. No matter what our political and ideological orientation, the issues we all face – are just that – all our issues.

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avatar Mike James March 15, 2010 at 6:39 pm

While some of those who protested your event have joined the Coffee Party,
I would not personally support the Coffee Party as a group doing the same. I also agree it is counter-productive to use the label tea-baggers and goes against our pledge of civility. Yet I would never assume to tell the O.B. Rag on how do it its business. You are right in stating that there are those “who may be hardened to the point there can be no civil dialog” , I think we both can agree that exists on both ends of the spectrum. I’ll end with our Pledge:

As a member or supporter of the Coffee Party, I pledge to conduct myself in a way that is civil, honest, and respectful toward people with whom I disagree. I value people from different cultures, I value people with different ideas, and I value and cherish the democratic process.

I hope to meet you and Sarah to see if we can find some common ground.

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avatar Mutnodjmet March 15, 2010 at 7:45 pm

Mike: I hope you do not think I would presume to tell OB-Rag or any other blog site how to do something, or what to do. I am offering you choices for your group to make.

I am a nationally-known blogger, and my post on that Tea Party event generated 25000 plus views; and it was promoted to my formal media sites as well. I was not inclined for OB-Rag to leech off the hard-earned PR that my diligent efforts had won. Therefore, I deleted ALL of your groups posts.

Furthermore, that comment to which Patty Jones that was posted on my Tea Party report was condescending referred — in my opinion . Perhaps she is so used to commenting here, it would not strike her as something worthy of the “delete” key. A more polite tenor would have inspired me to make an alteration on that attendance item; a more accurate tally taken from a W.C. Varones photograph was used in another post I did.

If you want some form of detente with SoCal-TRC, then I would urge you to consider adopting my 2 simple suggestions. In terms of the counter-protest item, let me clarify: I mean this — do not stage an event at the same time and location of a special rally for which SoCal-TRC holds the sole permit. Sarah Bond can guide you on this matter. Frankly, I think my request is reasonable and a show of good faith.

If OB-Rag wishes to dialog with citizen activists in our Tea Party group in a “civilized” fashion, then I also think dropping the term “tea bagger” from formal postings is warranted. I tune out anyone who uses this as someone, deeming them someone unwilling to listen to my ideas fairly. The other members of the Tea Parties do likewise.

Let me ask you this, Mike: How would it have been if I had shown up with one dozen counter-protesters to your event, laden with signs that demeaned core issues you valued? And what if we had yelled “socialist coffee grounds” during your event.? Then, to top it off, used a bull horn to drown out your guest speakers?

Ob-Rag can opt to ignore my 2 reasonable requests. I will simply describe our dialog in my post, and let our fellow citizens be the judge as to the degree of “civility” actually practiced by the Coffee Party.

I do not presume to tell Ob-rag what to do. However, the choices you make have consequences. Your team can decide the degree of dialog that you wish to pursue.

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avatar PSD March 15, 2010 at 9:54 pm

I am a locally-unknown blogger, and my post on that Tea Party event generated 25 or so hits. About ten of those were from me coming back to read people’s comments. I don’t claim to represent the Coffee Party in any fashion, nor do I adequately represent the OB Rag, though they occasionally post my drivel.

I do use the term ‘teabagger’ when I write, though I do admit it’s probably off-putting for those who wish to open a meaningful dialogue. However, before attending the counter-rally, I did attend the primary gathering and put forth an honest effort to engage several individuals. Likewise, afterward I tried to talk to a few other people – I had prepared a half-page statement explaining why I took issue with the Tea Partiers in general, and how I believed that they could gain widespread support from the middle by distancing themselves from the openly racist element that many of us in the progressive camp see as being at the forefront of the movement.

I was unable to engage a single individual, though I was called a socialist, a communist, a druggie, a welfare cheat, and other less-mentionable names. Throughout these encounters I kept a civil tone (admittedly my tone grew more callous as the day went by). I was told to go home and “smoke some more pot, leave important things to the grown-ups,” and someone threw a dig at me about my illegitimate children. She probably wasn’t aware that I’m indeed not the biological father of the child in my house, but I’m doing my best to raise her to be above such put downs.

In general, I found the behavior of the crowd to be very childish, so I feel likening them to a sophmoric prank like rubbing one’s scrotum on another’s face to be a fitting comparison. Regardless of my personal experiences however, I agree that it’s probably not in the best interest of a publication trying to be taken seriously to use such childish insults, so if I write another piece that’s actually intended to stand on its own as an article, I’ll try to refrain from ‘teabagger’ references.

I don’t think it’s appropriate, however, to demand that citizens be deterred from voicing and/or demonstrating opposition to Tea Party rallies. The intent of the organizers (and in the interest of full disclosure I had nothing to do with organizing the opposition) was to be peaceful and upbeat, thereby illustrating a clear distinction between the crowd waving racist, anti-immigrant, anti-poor signs. Our bullhorn did not drown out the crowd on the other side of an eight lane thoroughfare with a ten foot wide center median, as a matter of fact it hardly drowned out the group of twenty or so that crossed over from their event to stand on that median and hurl foul-mouthed insults at us. I was one of a small handful that got involved in responding to their catcalls, for that I’m regretful and wish I could’ve remained in sync with the majority that simply chose to wave American flags and sing patriotic hymns.

I thank you for the generally civil (if slightly condescending/self-aggrandizing) response – this is the kind of dialogue we need to bridge the gap and bring together everyone who’s dissatisfied with the current state of affairs to effect any discernable progress.

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avatar Mutnodjmet March 16, 2010 at 11:00 am

PSD: I am sorry if you found my remarks “self-aggrandizing”. Sometimes it is hard to convey tone in a post, which is a critical aspect of communication. I meant to convey the magnitude of my readership, who I protect from unfair critiques — rather motherly-like (per my handle which translates to “Sweet mama” in the language of ancient Egypt).

That being said, in your comment to me — “peaceful and upbeat, thereby illustrating a clear distinction between the crowd waving racist, anti-immigrant, anti-poor signs”. In my opinion, that denotes that the tact your group is taking on the entire matter of voicing citizen-concerns is superior to our groups (and all your opinions more worthy than ours). I can’t read your mind, nor examine your conscience, so I can only ask you to look back in circumspection — is this “superior” attitude something you displayed while talking with TP’rs”. You were going to “show us” you were right.

Here is the thing: By nature, a counter-protest is confrontational. Therefore, everyone’s hackles are raised, and it is hard to truly listen openly to eachother. Your people could have done a separate rally at another location or another time …” thereby illustrating a clear distinction between the crowd waving racist, anti-immigrant, anti-poor signs”. This would have been polite, courteous, respectful of our group’s right to assemble peaceably. It would have accomplished all you wanted without the needed tension.

You said the “bullhorn did not drown out.” I disagree. I have a hearing impairment, and that made it difficult for me to hear our speakers clearly. We have a lot of seniors in our group, some of whom had the same issue. That may be something your group wishes to consider in the future, too.

Sarah has explained the sign issues better than I could, so see her comments. I will only add by throwing the term “racist” around to encompass anyone who disagrees with you will only diminish the term. Talk a look around, with fresh eyes, next time. In our past events:

* We work closely with the Hispanic Community on the Central Valley water crisis.
* On my website, I have pictures and stories from people of all different ethnic backgrounds who participate in our events.
* We have had guest speakers of different ethnic backgrounds at our events.

Is this the fruit of an organization that is racist?

You said that you were confronted with “childish behavior”. Perhaps. But here is a list of acts perpetrated by activists on your side of the issue:

* Lila Rose assaulted by Planned Parenthood escort
* Protester beaten by union goons at town hall speaks; Update: SEIU releases attack ad against “teabaggers”
* Finger bitten off during California health protest
* It Has Begun… Father of Handicapped Son Receives Threats After Confronting Dem Congressman

Again, I stress — I am not telling anyone what to do in terms of counter-protesting. However, I think it would have been more worthwhile for your team to have listened to our speakers, than had a separate event. Here are the topics that we specifically addressed:

* Support and prayer for the military.
* Petition for a Part Time California legislature.
* Petition for San Diego service contracts to go out to competitive bids.
* Citizen Power Campaign initiative — California Paycheck protection act.
* My comedy skit in which I play Sarah Palin and poke fun at Arnold Schwarzenegger [the highlight of the show, I might add (/sarcasm)].

I think this event had bipartisan appeal, and your team entirely missed information that is useful to all Californians.

If the “Coffee Party” truly wants discourse, then I have given you our perspective to consider. I have numerous media contacts, and would be delighted to share stories related to honest exchange and engagement. I hope I have clearly expressed why it is my desire, as a SoCal-TRC co-founder, to not have our special events be targeted for counter-protesting. It creates a tense atmosphere needlessly in which no one can truly dialog.

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avatar Frank Gormlie March 16, 2010 at 11:09 am

Don’t forget, that at least two people from the OB Rag went on your Mut blog and left comments, only to have them deleted. What signs of civil discourse is this? Plus, your blog’s account of the counter-rally was inaccurate – and if it was intentionally inaccurate – that’s called lying. Your blog said there was a dozen socialist counter-demonstrators where your own vid and pics showed many more. I commented to give you an accurate count and it was removed.

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avatar Mutnodjmet March 16, 2010 at 11:41 am

Frank: Our tally numbers were backed up by:

* A professional event coordinator.
* Harbor Police
* An independent media source. (http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-10317-San-Diego-County-Political-Buzz-Examiner~y2010m2d28-Tea-Parties-mark-their-oneyear-anniversary–rain-or-shine)

We also note that we have been in that venue before, and that was the largest group we had had — our last “high” being 600. We have no reason to lie, as the attendance numbers are immaterial to our group’s efforts.

To be honest, this is hilarious. At 10 am, 1 hour before the event, a gust of wind totally knocked over a main tent. Our organizers were drenched and cold. It one point I remarked that it could be the case there were more counter-protesters than us! :)

And you can see my initial post above as to why I excised your comments from my Tea Party blog. Your use of a significantly smaller number was viewed, by me, as an attempt to diminish our hard work in the eyes of Californians — so I stand by decision to delete such comments.

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avatar Frank Gormlie March 16, 2010 at 12:09 pm

Egyptian Princess: two of our people separately and independently counted your participants; they came up with 250 and 320. One of your blogs also counted 300 at your event. Yet your Mut blog announced there had been a 1,000. Plus your blog stated there were only a dozen “counter-protesters” whereas your own video and photos showed many more than that. Honesty in reporting is something that must be adhered to if you wish civil discourse. We counted over 60 on our side of Harbor Drive.

Oh, and yes, the Examiner you cite is so trustworthy in its news accounts – c’mon, it rarely does its own reporting and usually it’s a joke!

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avatar Mutnodjmet March 16, 2010 at 11:31 am

Two additions:

1) I talked to a participant at one event who had one of those “racist illegal immigration” signs. It turns out he was a former Marine, who lived near the border. His son was badly beaten and robbed by a large group of Mexican men coming across the border illegally. He was in despair as he told the story, as he served his country to make it safe for his family — yet, because of the current situation, his son was a victim of violence. I would urge you to consider that each individual has a story, and perhaps your team perhaps not be in such a “rush to judgement”.

2) One of the guest speakers we featured was Bryan Bloom, a San Diego businessman leading the fight to repeal a set of regulations related to diesel emissions. The law was based on bad scientific data provided from a California Air Resources Member with a fake pHD. This law is so detrimental to California business that BOTH Democrat and Republican representatives are pushing back on it. Something further to consider, I should think.

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avatar Frank Gormlie March 16, 2010 at 12:12 pm

Of course, Egyptian Princess, we saw those anti-immigrant signs: they were professionally printed up – hardly the work of a lone, hurt ex-Marine. Hey, we all have our stories of hurt, but we at least don’t fault other victims for our pain. (gays, immigrants, the poor)

Bottomline: we applaud your efforts to reign in the extremists and racists. But stay truthful in your reporting, and if yhou wish dialogue, quit removing our comments FROM YOUR BLOG. You continue to leave comments on here.

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avatar Mutnodjmet March 16, 2010 at 7:36 pm

I will follow the comment policy of my blogsite on my blog:

“I blog as a hobby, not as a career. I am here to support and promote my world view and information I find relevant and interesting. I do not judge the success of my little blog by the number of comments I generate. I judge it by the joy it gives me and my compatriots.

“If you comment, please note that I will immediately delete any that insult me or another reader promptly. I will also delete items that condescendingly undermine my positions or are otherwise hostile. So, if you feel the need to waste time and electrons ranting, please take it to another blogsite. …..!”

If you chose to post there, then follow those rules and I won’t have an issue. If you do not feel you can follow that, then you are welcome to delete my comments from this site.

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avatar Patty Jones March 16, 2010 at 8:50 pm

You are prolific.

I read your comment policy after you deleted my comment. I think you actually said something up there somewhere about how it is sometimes hard to convey tone in a post, so you can put your tone in my comment and make what you want of it. I get it that it’s your place and you will do what you want. I won’t be back to your site so won’t have to worry about your rules.

Please take your tone and go back to your temple.

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avatar PSD March 16, 2010 at 9:59 pm

The second point would’ve been of interest to me if I hadn’t been chased off to “go smoke more pot” (I had to wait until I got home anyway, since I didn’t bring any with me) – I’ve been an ardent advocate of diesel technology, as I’ve detailed in some of my other posts here. Too bad…

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avatar PSD March 16, 2010 at 9:53 pm

Mut – I didn’t see the comments in question, so I can’t say whether or not the critiques posted were unfair or legitimate, or either way whether or not your readers needed protection from them. But you’re right, tone is hard to convey via the written word unless one is accustomed to another’s style of prose – I know I frequently grimace at my choice of words after re-reading a post once it’s gone public. If there was a legitimate challenge of your numbers based on photographic evidence, and you chose to hide that evidence due to your perception of an inappropriate tone on behalf of the person providing that evidence, I hope you at least redacted your initial false statement. If not, hey, it’s your website, but in my view that choice says something substantial about your character.

As far as the behavior of “my group” being superior to that of “your group,” in this case I think it was. I’ll grant you that it might not have been polite to choose to peacefully assemble at the same time and near the same public venue as you, but we did not initiate the inappropriate exchanges that occured there, nor did we come close to matching the intensity or vulgarity of your group. And I’ll remind you that the only side that attempted to escalate the situation to physical violence was yours – though it was one isolated incident and the TPer was quickly counseled by police on appropriate means of expressing disagreement.

My basic pitch when trying to engage the main rally attendees was something along the lines of “Hey man, I wrote up a few bullet points on some things that I think would make your movement appeal to a lot more of the moderates and liberals that don’t like our current state of affairs either, could I leave a copy with you to check out sometime later?” I wasn’t originally there as a member of one side or another, and before even going over to see the counter-protest I spent some time with the big group. I wasn’t dressed weird, I didn’t have any offensive signs, just a handful of half-page slips of paper. I really wasn’t trying to be smug or condescending, and I tried to approach other normal-looking people, because I obviously wasn’t going to get anywhere trying to talk to some of the extremists with the Obama = Hitler type signs and to even try and engage them would’ve been inviting conflict, which wasn’t my purpose at all.

Again on the “peacably assemble,” part, when people are openly calling for violence against government, immigrants, or fellow citizens, I don’t necessarily call it peaceful.

I’ll concede to you on the bullhorn, while my eyes have already failed me I still have my ears, so its volume could’ve been disruptive to others and perhaps I misunderestimated its effect. It wasn’t pointed at me, so that could’ve been a difference maker, but from my point of view about fifteen feet away from it, the screams from the center island in the road fifty or more feet away were considerably more audible.

Sarah did indeed do an excellent job of responding to the comments about your comrades’ signs. On the racism allegation, I sincerely hope that your group as a whole isn’t hateful toward minorities and appreciate that you team with them where you have aligned interests. But please take a look around and realize that the more vocal and visible supporters of the Tea Party do indeed push an openly anti-black and anti-Mexican agenda – it’s quite possibly a small minority staining the reputation of your organization as a whole, and I believe making it clear that this isn’t a position that will be supported going forward would do a lot to legitimitize your group to the non-Fox News crowd.

Most of your bullet points about topics covered sound like interesting items worthy of discussion. A few questions though, on the first one – “support and prayer for the military.” First, is the cost of waging pre-emptive war and maintaining a standing army (the single greatest cost our federal government is incurring today, drastically dwarfing all social safety net programs combined) one of the government expenditures you want to limit, or do military budgets get a free pass when it comes to smaller government? Second, are you advocating for social conservatism (specifically the Christian religion, and “prayer”), or are you strictly a fiscal policy group open to all religious believers and non-believers? Sarah seemed to think social policy was off the agenda unless it had a measurable fiscal cost. Third, since one of your group’s rallying cries is against “socialized medicine,” do you support a complete and immediate repeal of VA benefits for veterans and service members, since the VA is the purest form of socialized medicine in the Belvedere mold in existence on the earth today? If not, do you feel conflicted advocating that a capitalist citizenry be defended by a socialist army?

Sorry, this post sucks, I had written up a better one but then clicked on one of your links and lost it. Apparently a decision has since been made to moderate your posts in a way that allows you to speak your mind while preventing you from using this site’s considerable readership to pump up click-throughs to your own sites. After all, when you Google “San Diego Tea Party” the OB Rag comes up seventh, just ahead of Temple of Mut…

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avatar Patty Jones March 16, 2010 at 10:07 pm

you’re brilliant. thanks for standing on this side of the street.

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avatar Mutnodjmet March 17, 2010 at 9:10 am

PSD: Thank you for the cordial reply. I would feel more comfortable addressing your questions on my website. If it is OK with you, please cut/paste (perhaps in my tsunami Tea Party Post?) or allow me to do so in a new post dedicated to this matter.

If not, I understand. And your post doesn’t “suck” — it was excellent. :)

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avatar Sarah Bond March 15, 2010 at 5:32 pm

James, I appreciate the invitation and look forward to meeting you at a future meeting. I did want to stop by before you started on the 27th to introduce myself, but I lost the sitter for my toddlers. One thing we certainly have in common are the crazy hours and commitment to activism. I’m sure you are already buried with thousands of emails and ideas from eager new participants. Some days it’s wonderfully inpsiring, and other exhausting and overwhelming. From one leader to another I wish you luck.
Best Wishes,
Sarah

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avatar barbara c March 15, 2010 at 6:51 pm

Sarah and your friend. You both do sound very reasonable and your stated aims appeal to me. I am curious if you were offended by the civil liberties that were corrupted under bush? Telecom act,sweeping info gathering on people who had done nothing, Patriot Act, checking your library books, entering your home without warrant, threatening your neighbors if they tell you you are under scrutiny, opening first class mail. Were you guys upset by the willy nilly growth of Homeland Security,money squandered by the billions. Did the hundreds of thousands of contractors taking the jobs of soldiers bother you the last 8 years? Many of us were in t he streets protesting the growth of government, walking the walk getting arrested. This whole mess did not start with Obama, (I’m no fan of his) but I am intrigued as to what got you guys motivated now and not 8 years ago. I speak as a lifelong independent.

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avatar barbara c March 15, 2010 at 9:47 pm

As has been pointed out by 4 people, OB Rag and Coffee Party are not the same entity. The tea bag people continue to conflate the 2. A public rally, highly advertised is not the same as a kickoff meeting. I have zero inclination to dialogue with any tea bag, tea party or tea anything. I respect and applaud my friends for having the decency to try again in spite of the way we have been treated while protesting the wars and the bush administration shaming this country and violating the bill of rights these last 8 years. If some one showed up at my rally with those disgusting disrespectful racist signs, I’d ask them to leave or put the signs away. Implicit consent

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avatar Sarah Bond March 15, 2010 at 9:54 pm

Good questions, Barbara. We are asked this often. I and most other tea party participants were long frustrated by the overall growth of government…especially when aided by Republicans…going all the way back to the Clinton years and the failure to stick to the Contract for America. As we grumbled and complained to Republican lawmakers and party leaders we were told to shush and trust that the only way to keep Republicans in office were for them to play the big government game. Frustration simmered under the surface for a decade. Many of us liked Bush a lot as a person. He seems to have an honest and kind heart. But his affection for spending and expanding government programs of all kinds drove us nuts. And then came the bank collapse at the end of 2008….and TARP. That was the straw that broke the camels back. 80% of calls to the white house and law makers offices demanded that the government NOT bail out corrupt and reckless banking institutions. They needed to fail and be replaced with the smaller, more responsible companies. John Boener, minority leader, held a press conference and tried to justify the need to so “something”…God knows they didn’t know what it would do, but it would be something. And the worst was Newt getting on Fox and saying the same thing. The architect of the Contract for America supporting a massive taxpayer funded bailout of reckless banking institutions…many of whom were multi-national!!?? We all realized that the Republican Party and its top lawmakers had abandoned the taxpayers once and for all. It was going to be up to us to find a way to have a voice and reign in the wayward GOP if we had any hope of ever returning to balanced budgets and responsible government. Not to mention stop the gross infringement of personal freedoms and rights that had been growing and ongoing for decades (I certainly liked having my car photographed by a government agent at our Tax Day Tea Party last year. I just assume the DHS has a nice file started on me since I fit Nepalitano’s description of a domestic terrorist in the making).

“Conservatives” have long believed that it was impolite to be public with their politics and we have mostly been silent in terms of street protests and rallies. But when TARP passed we all realized we HAD to shake off the old paradigm and step out of our comfort zone. 90% of tea partiers never attended a political protest before Feb. 2009…myself included. And I’m not proud of the fact that I was complacent for so long. It’s a hell of a lot easier to tune out and not do this.

Our goal at SoCalTRC, and the goal of most other tea party groups, is to be a platform for the people to tell the lawmakers what we need them to hear. We have a no-politician policy under most circumstances. We consider ourselves a watchdog for the core principles of fiscal conservatism and individual liberties…regardless of which party needs a slap on the wrist.

The GOP is not happy with the tea party movement because we openly criticize RINO’s. They don’t understand leaderless activism or why people are frustrated by their slow, outdated bureaucracy. They are currently trying to co-opt the movement and that is our biggest headache at the moment. The California GOP is being particularly aggressive, with Ron Nehring regularly rumored as saying he is going to take us down or take us over.

There is a very real reason voter registration is on the rise for Independents and Decline To State in California.

So I welcome the Coffee Party…at least we know where it stands. Facing off with folks on the opposite side of the fence is easy…everyone knows what team we’re batting for. It’s the battle to win back supposedly like-minded lawmakers that is the hard part of this game.

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avatar PSD March 15, 2010 at 10:01 pm

Well stated, Sarah. One question I’ve posed before, and that I hope you can elaborate on – does your group stand primarily for fiscal conservativism, or for social conservatism as well? It’s one thing to be anti-tax, and I can see how the small-government mantra would cause some to paint your group as anti-poor because a main tenet of small government is ending or dramatically downsizing the public safety net that serves to benefit the poor. But some of the most public illustrations of TPers (can I say that instead of ‘teabaggers,’ or do I have to type out Tea Partiers?) are of people who are overtly anti-black, anti-Mexican, and anti-gay…and I don’t see how any of these beliefs correlate to fiscal conservatism…

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avatar Sarah Bond March 15, 2010 at 10:18 pm

Really good question. And I like TPers…may take that up myself!

We are strictly focused on fiscal conservatism. Smaller, more responsible government is a unifying concept. It transcends party lines. We intentionally avoid social conservatism (although some local groups swerve into it here and there). People are pretty entrenched in their positions on gay marriage, choice, etc. People’s social perspectives are a matter of life experience and heart felt principles. And to focus on them divides us as a culture.

We are not anti-poor, or anti safety net. But we do think there needs to be limits on how long a person is cradled by the government at the expense of his fellow taxpayers. There is a sort of sweet spot where taxpayers can afford to live the live’s they chose via the freedoms inherent in a capitalist society while paying a moderate level of taxes to provide for public safety, infrastructure and basic public services. TPers feel that we have gone WAY past that point. We are so far in debt to employ and endless number of public employees, provide for their outrageous pensions, and care for folks from cradle to grave that our children…my two and three year olds, already have a $30,000 federal tax burden they will have to absorb for what we are spending NOW.

It is about bringing back balance to the system and believing in the power and productivity of the individual.

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avatar Kristin C. March 16, 2010 at 12:07 am

Honestly, I’m conflicted as to both the new “Tea Party” and “Coffee Party.” I am a Libertarian and a young “hippie-ish” OBcean, and as such, I feel that our gov’t needs to be smaller, but that they need to cut spending on stuff like the failfailfail Drug War, which is none of their business and cannot, will not work, but KEEP money towards programs that make sure we don’t have Americans dying of starvation or malnutrition. I really think that allocation of funds is the biggest problem we face, and if we take care of that, then taxes will be down for all.

But for those who think programs that “my tax dollars pay for” that help the less fortunate should be done away with…. well, I think of the tax dollars I pay for other people’s kids to go to public schools. I don’t have kids, and don’t intend to, but I still have some of my tax dollars going to the schools that educate other people’s kids. And I don’t usually object to that until the parents of those kids start saying that poor and hungry folks don’t deserve any help from the government. (Rant over.)

I think both “parties” have some valid points, but I do strenuously object to the hateful, racist, classist signs and slogans that the Tea Party has put forth. (BTW – I do accept the fact that those are from some super-hateful members of the group, and not necessarily the views of the movement as a whole.)

I guess I need to go to some of these meetings and maybe put my 2 cents in there.

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avatar Sarah Bond March 15, 2010 at 10:06 pm

Barbara…per your second post about signs. We do our best to ask people to keep their signs to issues. And we have asked some folks to remove inappropriate signs (one guy even got so mad at us he now calls us the censorship nazis’ and started his own “tea party”). There is only so much you can do on a public sidewalk…and the fringe types know their rights in that regard. The two times anyone posted racist material at our facebook site it was removed and those folks were banned.

I’ve been assaulted, screamed at, and had my signs (which said “Hands off my Healthcare) destroyed by leftists at the healthcare town halls…without provocation. But I don’t think those folks represent the core of the progressive community. Public rallies and protests are organic and attract unwelcome elements from both sides.

I don’t expect to win you over or convince you we’re reasonable people. But I do hear you and understand where you are coming from.

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avatar barbara c March 16, 2010 at 6:30 am

This is a good string of comments. One thing jumps out at me, however. All this talk of fiscal conservatism yet not a single response about the thing which is KILLING this country, losing respect in the world through torture, Afghanistan sucking us dry and supporting a war lord, Karzai. Iraq, the BIG LIE. Let’s start there. Why do supposed fiscal conservatives want to cut social programs, education, etc but not endless war. At last count we have over 800 bases all over the world. The other thing which bothers me is that you did sit quietly by and supported bush for 8 years. You allowed our soldiers to be sent to war without proper gear and then criticized us when we protested this. You learned early (bush gave a press conference and stated HE NEVER SAID OR IMPLIED SADDAM HAD ANYTHING TO DO WITH 9-11) that the whole war was based on a lie yet you continued to attack us when we protested the war, the spending, the lie. Billion , hundreds of billions missing and nary a peep. The difference between us is that you march in step and watched the country be destroyed. We voted for Obama but have been protesting him since last summer as we saw the handwriting on the wall.

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avatar Ian Rammelkamp March 16, 2010 at 9:10 am

There are many of us, purveyors of limited government, who where/are against the war(s), and the US military industrial complex. Just because we were not holding signs on the side of the road, doesn’t mean that we don’t exist.

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avatar barbara c March 16, 2010 at 9:18 am

Your silence is/was your complicity in the unwarranted murder of 5,000 American soldiers and for your silence I personally will never forgive you.

As all three of the tea bag, party,tax people have stated similarly, I might remind you of this which was on my sign for years

BLIND OBEDIENCE TO BAD LEADERSHIP IS NOT PATRIOTIC

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avatar Chris Moore March 16, 2010 at 11:04 am

I think that’s rather unfair, there are other ways to speak out against wars than street protests. What makes you so sure he was silent about it?

I am an ex-Libertarian myself, and while over time I have developed strong differences with the LP (mainly WRT economics), their anti-war credentials are pretty solid and consistent – note that the LP formed in part to oppose the Vietnam-era draft in addition to Nixon’s wage and price controls.

The Coffee Party idea seems to be that people can discuss their differences without name calling and demonizing one another.

It’s a good idea, we should try to practice it.

Some people really aren’t interested in a civilized debate, others are.

From the tone of Ian’s posts here, he clearly belongs in the latter category, agree with him or not.

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avatar barbara c March 16, 2010 at 12:50 pm

All three of the tea bag, party, tax people who have been in the conversation stated they did not protest the war although they disagreed with it. That is where my comment came from. Sarah said republicans/conservatives don’t speak publicly??? Keep their internal stuff internal???? In any case, it was clear from about 2004 on that the war was a lie, that soldiers had Vietnam era helmets, did not have safety glass etc, so while they were calling us traitors for protesting we were raising funds to buy helmets. I have yet to hear a single word of remorse from any of these people. It rings hollow that only when Obama was elected did they realize how bad things were, economy, war, jobs,infrastructure

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avatar Ian Rammelkamp March 16, 2010 at 3:47 pm

Making signs and standing on the corner is not the only form of protest. There are other, IMHO, more effective ways to communicate a message.

It seems you have more in common with the Tea Partiers that you seen on the cable news networks than you thought….

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avatar Ian Rammelkamp March 16, 2010 at 3:44 pm

Standing on the street with a sign means nothing to me. You might as well stick your head in a pillow and scream at the top of your lungs. It might make you feel good, and it might make you think that you are doing something, but it really means nothing. It convinces people of nothing, it doesn’t raise the level of debate, and it changes nothing (as is evidenced by the level of your discourse in your posts).

I find that actually engaging people in conversations and debates, becoming informed and informing others is much more powerful than making signs and yelling at people.

You might want to take the advice of your own sign, and inform yourself about the corporate welfare and continuance of the status quo that your leader is engaged in.

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avatar PSD March 16, 2010 at 10:03 pm

Damnit Ian, why do you have to make such damn good posts?

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avatar Frank Gormlie March 17, 2010 at 11:17 am

Ian, it means nothing to you to demonstrate your opposition to haters. I’m tired of arguing with you. You are unwavering in your stance – yet you state here that it is more meaningful for you “engaging people in conversation and debates” but you haven’t moved one iota in your positions since coming on here. Have you at all been “informed” here? If so, what has it been?

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avatar jettyboy March 16, 2010 at 9:35 am

Boo-hoo, the poor TEA PARTIERS. All along they have done nothing to deserve any respect. They are hypocrites at best, and all I have seen from them is hatred towards anyone who calls them on it or any of their stupid positions. They say they want lower taxes, but hate Obama, who LOWERED their taxes. Every time I have attempted any civil dialog with them on any of their websites, I am trashed or called names, or just deleted from the site’s comments. None of them have been able to answer a few straight forward questions such as — they continue to scream that Obama is/has taken away their freedoms, when I ask for ONE specific example they go blank, as they do when confronted with any truth or fact. They want their country back? An obvious code word for we don’t want any *igg** as president. They want to return to 1950’s when white men controlled everything, women stayed in the kitchen, and segregation was an acceptable truth. Any of the bloggers here that want to have dialog with them they should do so, I encourage each to think for themselves on this matter. As for me, it’s a non-starter. They cast the die, and threw the first stones, until I see some definitive proof of change from their movement, I will have nothing to do with them or the filth and lies they spew. And don’t give me that tired old shit about judging individuals within the group by the actions of the group. If you don’t approve of some of the things they do, say, get the hell out, then you won’t have to be included in any criticism of the group. That’s an easy fix for your poor misunderstood self.

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avatar barbara c March 16, 2010 at 1:02 pm

Can I mark your comment as FAVORITE? :)

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avatar Joe Ryan March 23, 2010 at 9:52 pm

Why do you have to use clever versions of a word most sensible people hate in your posts? Were you trying to be cool? Fail. I was enjoying reading the comments here until your hateful stew overboiled. Like the word doesn’t ring thru my head when I saw it, just becasuse you put little *** around it. What the hell is wrong with you!

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avatar barbara c March 16, 2010 at 1:05 pm

Look at these nice pictures from a tea bag rally today in TX

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/16/the-most-outrageous-march_n_500842.html

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avatar JPinSD March 16, 2010 at 2:36 pm

What’s so outrageous about these signs? Maybe 1 of them???

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avatar PSD March 16, 2010 at 10:19 pm

Which one was that?

“KILL The Bill” with Obama in a casket?

“I (heart) my carbon footprint” t-shirt?

“Russia called, they want their SOCIALISM back?” Really? Really?!?

“Bury Obamacare like Obama buried his BIRTH CERTIFICATE?”

“Obama Bin Lyin Agin (sic)?”

“NO TO SOCIALISM’S health care, we need FREEDOM NOT FACISM (again sic)?”

The guys handing out the “Impeach” handbills with the Hitler ‘stache drawn on Obama?

All I really got from those pics besides a reinforcement of my current view of the TP is a belief that our public education system (and our English teachers particularly) failed them miserably.

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avatar barbara c March 16, 2010 at 6:39 pm

Congressman Louie Gomer-t , guest of the tea bag people in dDC today said the capitol has been taken over by DEMONS. One tea bag is not the same as the other but just sayin

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/16/texas-republican-goehmert_n_500805.html

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avatar jettyboy March 20, 2010 at 7:10 pm

Here are some of the “wonderful” people the Tea Party allows to represent them. As I have stated many times, this movement isn’t about taxes at all, it’s about angry uneducated white old people who are terrified their country is no longer tolerating their love of “Jim Crow Laws”. Under all their bullshit about taxes, socialism, etc. they are simply bigots and racists, who the madder they get the more they expose themselves.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/20/tea-party-protests-nier-f_n_507116.html#s74982

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avatar barbara c March 20, 2010 at 8:22 pm

I wondered if anyone was going to comment of this disgusting display of those lovely, caring tea bag people in dumbf*ckistan! A few hundred of them were in the capitol rotunda and screamed the n*gger word at several Black congress members, spat on some of them too. Screamed faggot at Barney Frank. Gosh, I’m waiting for the tea bag organizers to disavow this putrid behavior. chirp chirp chirp On Wednesday, the tea bag people assaulted, ridiculed and harassed some poor guy with Parkinson’s. I guess their god and his son in the wild blue yonder think it is cool to scream obscenities. Trailer trash, white trash, ignorant hillbilly’s, that’s your tea bag movement.

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avatar PSD March 21, 2010 at 1:42 am

Nut jobs exist on both sides. Fortunately for the left, at the moment I feel like we’re doing a better job of herding the cats and staying on message, something the right has excelled at over the last decade or so. Now that the rational right has ceded control to the racists, the naturalists, the birthers, and the religious fundamentalists, the progressives have a chance to rally the troops and make some of the progress that their name implies. Unfortunately, it seems the Dems are determined to piss away this opportunity, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

I’ve been attempting to communicate with some of the ‘teabaggers’ lately – apparently they’ve picked up on the meaning of the phrase and find it offensive. I’ve taken to calling them TPers, which, while still referring to activity taking place around the groin, seems more acceptable. I guess it could be taken as an act of grassroots rebelliousness, as when we organized as kids to take on “the man” we’d often coat his bushes and trees in bathroom tissue. And one could easily draw a comparison between today’s politicians and the evil old man up the street we lashed out at for keeping us off his lawn.

Back on topic, I think that the rational core of their group makes some valid points – the government today is spending money irrationally in ways that directly cause harm to its citizens. Beyond that, I take issue with the people that paint Obama as a clown, liken anyone opposing their viewpoints to socialists, communists, fascists (though I’ve seen some of the spell it ‘facists,’ not sure if that’s just a display of their illiteracy or a new class of anti-capitalists I’m not yet familiar with), or even terrorists, or that push any other viewpoint designed more to encourage conflict than dialogue. If the center-right can distance itself from the right-wing extremists and the center-left can silence the most out-of-touch radicals on its side, maybe the vast majority of America can get together and try to figure out what it’s gonna take to get this country back on an uptick. Sad that I don’t see that happening anytime soon…

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avatar barbara c March 21, 2010 at 5:50 am

Good luck on the effort at dialogue. My question is this: To the so called rational core, “When did the epiphany occur? When did you become concerned about deficit spending? Bush spent more than any other president ever! The wars were always off budget, never paid for. And then there was the crime against teh American people called TARP! Yet you never said a word, not a peep out of you all until Obama was elected.” That’s what I want to know.

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avatar PSD March 21, 2010 at 7:54 pm

A lot of these people were never all that enamored with Bush. They’re certainly to the right of us, but they’re not all card-carrying Republicans – a lot are Libertarians, and while they’ve been pissing and moaning for a long time, they’re taken about as seriously as the Green Party. It could be they’ve been crying for a long time and we’ve just never bothered to listen to them because they never got any mainstream media attention, kind of like a lot of our side’s protests.

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avatar barbara c March 22, 2010 at 8:15 am

After using the “N” word and calling Barney Frank a faggot, here is the latest from those sweet tea bag folks, calling for the outright crime of murder of a sitting president

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