Dear Madam Speaker Pelosi,
I would first like to introduce myself. My name is Heather Winn. I am a 23 year old single mother of a two year old little girl. In three short weeks, I will also be a nurse. I currently work as a waitress, and have put myself through college while supporting my daughter by myself, with no financial help from my family or from her paternal family.
When not in school or at work, you can find me at home playing with my daughter or at Chuck-e-Cheeze chasing her around a maze of tunnels. I also enjoy baking, reading, dancing and playing baseball with my daughter, although with my busy schedule, these leisure activities are very limited.
My favorite color is pink, and my favorite author is Johanna Lindsey. I am absolutely fascinated by wolves, and I really respect Native American history. I love to travel, although in these economic times that passion has been placed on the backburner. My favorite holiday is the 4th of July, because I love America, and I value a day in which the entire country comes together to give thanks and respect to the greatest country on earth.
I have never been considered wealthy, or even middle class. Because of this, I took the initiative to go to college so that I could give my daughter things that I did not have as a child. In three short weeks, I will successfully move myself from the lower to the middle class. I really think that this accomplishment is the true essence of the American Dream.
So I ask you, Ms. Pelosi, what in the above description of me depicts to you someone who is an UN-AMERICAN, swastika carrying, right-wing extremist with a mob mentality?
Perhaps I forgot to mention that I do not support the current 1,017 page health care reform bill supported by President Obama and Congress. I do not believe that a bill that will increase the national debt by at least 1.6 trillion dollars, as well as ration healthcare, increase the payroll tax, decrease competition, and ultimately eliminate personal medical choices will benefit a country already in economic crisis. Perhaps these views qualify me as irrational; I don’t know. In these days, I don’t know which way is up and which way is down.
Or maybe I am Un-American because I attended a tax day tea party in Columbus, Ohio on April 15th of this year. I took several hours out of my extremely hectic schedule to make hand-made posters and to join thousands of concerned Americans in a PEACEFUL assembly to show my apprehension of not only the growing federal spending, but the growing role of the government into once private sectors. I guess I misunderstood the first amendment when it said we as Americans have freedom of speech, peaceful assembly and a right to petition the government for a redress of grievances. Instead of being hailed as a patriotic American for embracing my constitutional rights, and I would argue, obligations, I have been mocked by my president, my elected officials and the media. Janeane Garofal called me a teabagging, racist redneck who hates black people (although that would mean I hate members of my own family) and I have yet to hear one national figure come out and rebuke her comments. And of course, we can’t forget that you diminished my concerns by claiming that my grassroots effort, which I can assure you, was homegrown and not sponsored by a single group or entity, was “astroturfed”. I have to say, Ms. Pelosi, that’s pretty offensive. Just because I don’t agree with you does not mean that I allow others to think for me. I may be young, but I am completely capable of forming my own opinions and educating myself on political, social and economic issues that affect not only me, but the future of my toddler, as well.
Or perhaps I’m a “CRAZY RIGHT WING EXTREMIST”, as a recent homeland security memo claims, because I value certain fundamental rights such as the right to life. I think the author of this statement must be an extremist as well: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Yes, I have to say that John Hancock must be a swastika-carrying, un-american, lunatic as well.
If I could, Ms. Pelosi, I would like to tell you what I think is Un-American. I think it’s Un-American to criticize your own constituents and marginalize their concerns simply because they disagree with you. I think it’s Un-American to call informed citizens “political terrorists” because they attend town hall meetings and don’t just sit and nod, as some on the left have said. I think it’s un-American for the president to tell opponents to basically shut-up and get out of the way, and to go on an apology tour across the world apologizing for the actions of his own country. I think it’s un-American to try to spend our way out of debt, and to attempt to make the poor rich by making the rich poor. I think it’s un-American to vote for bills you have not even read. I think it’s Un-American to try and pass a 550 million dollar bill to purchase jets for congressional use when I counted out change yesterday to put in my gas tank.
Ms. Pelosi, we Americans, democrats and republicans, young and old, rich and poor, are watching you and the rest of the ELECTED officials on capital hill disregard your own constituents. We are listening as you mock and belittle American citizens while you defend the contrived rights of international terrorists. We have seen how you embrace the radical actions of organizations such as ACORN and yet call every day Americans “crazy mobs.” We are watching. We are listening. And when the time comes, we will be the ones who are voting, and no one will have to pay or bribe us to do it.
My concern is not contrived. My efforts are not organized. I am not a mouthpiece for the RNC, and I have not been fed talking points from Michael Steele. I am not an extremist. I am not a nazi or a racist. I am not an heiress with an agenda and I most certainly am not Un-American. I am a mother. I am a daughter. I am a nurse. I am a contributing member of society. I am patriotic. And I love my country. And I will not be deterred because you and your colleagues unrightfully label me as something that I am not. I will not back down; the governments place is not in my pocketbook or in my doctors office. The recent actions of congress are inconceivable, but every action has a reaction. We will not sit down and shut up; instead we will rise up and vote. It is the AMERICAN way.
By SGP member Tom T.
The Belmont Complex in Kittanning, PA, was the site of a town hall meeting this afternoon with Arlen Specter. There were already a couple of thousand people waiting in the parking lot to get in when I arrived an hour-and-a-half early. The crowd against Obamacare vastly outnumbered (I’d estimate about 10-to-1 based on those standing near me) those for it, though there were a few pockets of pro-Obamacare folks there in SEIU and other union shirts. Most of those present seemed to be retirees. The young man passing out literature from the AARP was literally laughed at, especially when he claimed that the AARP was “non-partisan.” The older folks near me almost blew a gasket when he said that.
Despite the fact that the venue was capable of holding many more than that, they only let 200 people in before closing the doors. That left lots and lots of people out in the parking lot baking in the sun. The protesters on both sides loudly expressed their points of view, though the pro-Obamacare crowd had a bullhorn and began chanting “What do we want – health care?” over and over, amplified by the bullhorn. Nonetheless, the anti-Obamacare crowd responded by chanting “freedom!” in answer.
I left about half an hour later. It was a loud but calm crowd as long as I was there, but there was a very strong police presence. There was also a lot of media there, with news helicopters circling overhead.
By SGP Member Katie
I attended Zoe Lofgren’s District 16 Townhall meeting at the Almaden Community Center in San Jose, CA on Monday August 10th. I live in this extremely liberal, yet highly educated district. I had heard from my Father-in-Law that the meeting was occurring, it was posted in the little neighborhood paper. I couldn’t find any other advertising for it anywhere online or otherwise. I called the community center and they confirmed.
Fortunately, I got there early and overheard one of the center employees say to get one of the 200 seats because they are closing the doors once those seats are full. Well, they proceeded to do what they warned and closed the doors on about another 150 people standing outside. Some of those inside began taking pictures of the maximum occupancy sign that had “567 standing” posted on it and began asking staff why they don’t let the people in to stand in the back. (There was plenty of standing room in the back.) The meeting started and two gentlemen in the crowd stood up and very loudly began reciting the Pledge of Allegiance with others joining. The fabulous SJPD finally had the doors opened for those standing outside.
Zoe gave her 15 minutes of propaganda and opened it up to questions. Things were relatively orderly, and unexciting which will explain why you haven’t seen the youtube videos for her meeting on the news. My estimate of the crowd in this educated, upper-middle class neighborhood was about 95% against, 5% for the House Health Care Plan. I can only guess that 5% since they wouldn’t dare say a word for it, or the crowd would get very hostile. This was an extremely informed crowd with possibly a collective average IQ a good 20 points higher than Congress. There were the usual good questions of tort reform, payment of abortions, (which she admitted would be paid for and she agreed with that decision) and the crowd favorite of why does Zoe think the Feds can get this right when Oregon, Massachusetts, and Hawaii couldn’t. The question got a standing O. People continued to dispute some of her answers with actual facts. It was fabulous being part of American History.
It’s posted on youtube in 3 parts. The videos are long, boring, and pretty raw, but Zoe shows her true colors and is really sweating. No good fights or much yelling. The main message from this meeting was that we have informed ourselves, and we are not having it. It wasn’t about clarifying the “misinformation” that’s out there. She was finally escorted out by the SJPD to shouts of “Vote No”. We’ll see if she can get re-elected.
On Fox News just now: Mike Sola, whose son has cerebral palsy, was visited in the night by a thug after the town meeting where he challenged Rep. Dingell about healthcare. Is this what we have to look forward to? Any disagreement will be met with people with threats coming to our homes??
Original post here.
Original article posted here.
The Vicksburg, Mississippi Tea Party meeting
After Faye Gambrell opened in prayer, this day’s Tea Party meeting was kicked off with an inspirational speech by Betty Stout. Stout explained her personal experience of sitting back and remaining quiet in previous years, and as she said, we’ve all been doing this for FAR too long. She talked about how we’ve remained idle as God has been taken out of our country and we need to “put God back into it.” She says, “It’s because we the people have allowed it.” Is there no other explanation? How can the government know what the people want (and refuse to stand for) if no one is speaking nor standing? Betty Stout firmly states: “We WILL take America back. We WILL put God back into our Country.”
“It’s time to wake up, get up, and start DOING something”- Betty Stout
Stout says the tea party is not about republicans, independents, nor democrats. “The tea party is about…we all think alike.” New York Times writer Paul Krugman disagrees (as do many other non tea party members). In his article “Tea Parties Forever” from April 12th 2009 Krugman says, “They’re AstroTurf (fake grass roots) events, manufactured by the usual suspects.” Krugman admits, “AstroTurf has worked well for Republicans in the past”-he then pointed out the successful ‘shutdown’ of the presidential revote count in Florida in 2000. Well, Krugman and all others against the tea party are entitled to their own opinion, but I’d like to highlight that we are indeed grassroots and make no claims to be anything but ‘Americans taking a stand for what we the people think is right.’ Stout says “We don’t need them to think for us. We can think for ourselves.” The tea party is made up of Americans who have come together to use our voices and our constitutional rights to assemble peacefully. We’ve gathered because we see America drowning and we’re not going to wait for someone else to save it- together we can. We the people are the cure for the disease that’s fallen on America- whether it is our fault that government has taken so much control- or that we haven’t realized that we could do something about it- we are standing for what we believe is right…
The next speaker was the manager of the Mississippi Tea Party site, Julia Hodges. Right off the bat Julia hit her listeners hard with: “There’s something happening in my country and (pardon my French) it scares the hell out of me.” Just as Stout previously stated, Julia pressed the need for the American citizen’s involvement. “You have to be willing to take a stand.” Hodges warned of the opposition that may come to those who stand. She also pointed out that yes, the constitution ensures us of our rights as American’s, but she reminds us: “It doesn’t guarantee us anything but opportunity.” We have the right to speak…the opportunity to speak…but until we the people speak (and in large number), our voices will remain silent. Everyone has his/her own inspiration for taking our “opportunity” and turning it into an action that brings success. Hodges’ is her father. Taking a moment to catch her breath and fight back passionate tears, she thinks of her father and says “He would expect me to stand up and fight- so that’s what I’m doing.”
America…that’s what the tea party is here to do-
Rev. Bob Conrad spoke a few brief words before leading us in our closing prayer. He reminded us: “a law isn’t a law just because the house passes it.” There is much more to be done than that. “My doctor has told me to stop watching the news,” he says. Reverend Conrad lightened the mood with laughter, but held a look of compassion as he encouraged us to pray for our country. The Reverend asked God to “help us to be and do what is right.” I believe especially in his words when he said “to be…what is right,” because if we only do what is right…we forget that the problem lies not only in our country- but in ourselves. I hope to see all of you at the next meet, at all of our future protests, marches, and rallies
Original article published here.
Democrat Representative Scott Murphy’s claim to fame outside of New York is probably that he very narrowly won the Congressional seat held by Kirsten Gillibrand before she was appointed to take Hillary Clinton’s seat in the Senate. Murphy held a town hall style meeting today, and he spoke well and without much fanfare. SmartGirls were there.
The number of attendees was impressive. My non-scientific estimate would be 200-300 people; not bad for a crowd gathered in the parking lot of an apple orchard/fruit market! We knew that MoveOn.org was pushing its members to be there and they (and those on their side) made a pretty good showing. We still outnumbered them, though. 🙂
As expected, a few instigators tried to provoke the opponents of Obamacare. One classy leftist waved a huge, handwritten sign that said something like “Black President, Latina Supreme Court Justice, Get Used to It.” Nice. A few people attempted to argue with him, but it was pointless and they literally “moved on.”
I waited in line for over an hour to ask my question. However, as luck would have it the man directly in front of me was the last person permitted to ask a question. Murphy took around 20 questions, and the Obama fan behind me in line pointed out that “my side” got to ask a good majority of the questions. I think he was right. A few on “their side” asked why Murphy was not supporting a pure single-payer option, and two were senior citizens who claimed they were happy with their Medicare coverage. Must be the only two senior citizens in the country who feel that way, and even Murphy made a joke to that effect!
I will give credit to the MoveOn-ers. They have professionally crafted Pepto-Bismol pink signs, and some wore matching t-shirts. I saw a few “AARP” t-shirts, and a few “Obama/Biden” t-shirts. You know, for those who just can’t separate the Messiah from the substance of this particular issue.
Overall, it was a peaceful, yet boisterous, town hall meeting with a large turnout. Our side was well represented with many intelligent questions and comments. We were all ages, genders, races, and ethnicities. We are sunburned, but I think we can feel good about what happened in District 20 today.
And five SmartGirls were there.