BE SURE TO SEE NOTE AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE !! -- SEE MY PHOTOS AS WELL. -
There was comment at the July 28 planning meeting in Northville that we never got any coverage from local newspapers especially The Detroit News and The Free Press. I'm happy to report that I saved the articles from the April 16th edition of the Detroit News.
News about the April 15th Tea Parties in Michigan from the April 16 Detroit News [mostly positive and encouraging]
EDITOR’ S NOTE: NOLAN FINLEY
Tea party reflects anger of regular workers
Don’t buy the Democratic spin that it is only conservative elitists who object to the White House’s new tax-and-spend approach. Roughly 5,000 people from all walks of life showed up Wednesday at the Lansing Tea Party. It was part of a nationwide protest. Here’s the cool thing: When the noon hour was over, so was the demonstration. These folks all had to get back to work. (from Detroit News 4-16-2009 Page B-02)
Rally should reinforce state lawmakers’ promise to solve budget problems without new taxes
The annual tax day rally at the state Capitol also was a TEA party — as in Taxed Enough Already. One of 25 such rallies across Michigan and many more around the country Wednesday, the Lansing protest drew about 5,000 vociferous anti-taxers and was billed as the “start of a second American revolution” — against big government.
It would be a stretch to declare the mostly older gathering a representative sampling of Michiganians. But when that many people show up to chant so enthusiastically, elected officials should take heed of the protesters’ intensity.
Speakers, including “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher, railed against wasteful spending and Michigan’s anti-competitive tax structure. Property taxes are too high, the state income tax is excessive, speakers said, and the Michigan Business Tax, with its 22 percent surcharge, is a monster.
In a state with high unemployment and declining personal income, such arguments can be expected. Lawmakers and Gov. Jennifer Granholm have vowed to make painful cuts and avoid a tax increase solution to the $1.8 billion shortfall in next year’s budget.
The message they can take from Wednesday’s festivities is that they need to follow through on that vow. (From the Detroit News 4-16-2009, Pg B-02)
Thousands protest taxes ‘Tea Parties’ across Mich., U.S. denounce higher levies
BY CHARLIE CAIN
Detroit News Lansing Bureau
Lansing — A restless but behaved crowd of more than 4,000 jammed onto the grounds of the state Capitol on Wednesday, toting signs and chanting anti-government slogans during the Michigan Taxpayer Tea Party protest.
Thousands joined in cities across the state and nation, expressing anger over taxes and growing government spending.
The star of the show in Lansing was “Joe the Plumber” who spoke of the need to get government off their backs.
“I’m here because I love Amer-ica,” said Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, a former plumber’s assistant from Toledo who catapulted to fame during the presidential race when he questioned candidate Barack Obama’s tax plan.
“The mainstream media paints us as a bunch of extremists,” he said. “We’re just practicing our First Amendment rights.”
Wurzelbacher, 35, was mobbed before and after his speech by fans and the media.
The Lansing event was sponsored by the Americans for Prosperity, a national free market advocacy group, and the anti-tax group Michigan Taxpayers Alliance. Bloggers and conservative commentators fueled interest.
At a similar rally in Plymouth, about 1,000 people packed Kellogg Park and about 2,000 lined Big Beaver in Troy in front of the Civic Center.
“We feel the arrogance in D.C. is at an all-time high. We’re hoping this is a rebirth of patriotism, that one person can make a difference,” said Maribeth Schmidt, 39, of Salem Township who helped organize a Livonia event attended by about 400.
Elizabeth Becker, 46, of Auburn Hills attended two rallies, one in Lansing and one in Troy. She said government thinks most voters are the silent majority. (From the Detroit News 4-16-2009, Pg A-05) “They’re hearing from us now,” Becker said.
Detroit News Staff Writer Christina Stolarz contributed.
Anger boils among Michigan militia members
Bancroft — The coordinator of the Southeast Michigan Volunteer Militia is a postman. The corpsman of the Lenawee Volunteer Militia works in the paint and hardware department at Wal-Mart.
He earns $11.25 an hour. His son, the major, works in a group home for the developmentally disabled.
He earns $9.50 an hour. Their comrade, the commander, was laid-off from his job at a vitamin store. He earns nothing.
“Am I angry?” asked the unemployed commander, with a semiautomatic rifle strapped across his pectorals. “Yeah, it sets you off a little bit.”
Come to a Michigan Militia picnic and you realize the commander is not alone. The farm where they rallied was chockfull of people like him, people boiling on the back burner, struggling to make ends meet, carrying around a knapsack of resentment for a government that they claim has taken almost everything from them and given nothing in return.
“Liberty,” says the commander, 33, whose Christian name is Matthew Savino, of Adrian. “You cannot take my liberty. Eventually a man draws a line in the sand.”
And so, more than 100 people like Savino converged on the farm of Frank Stasa, who militia literature says “kicked Hitler’s a--.”
The militia held its annual field day on Stasa’s farm, about a 20minute car-drive west of Flint, and threw in a tea party and tax revolt for good measure.
The militia’s party included hamburgers, Please see Militia, Page 9A
“They take yourwork away.
You’ve now put a man in a corner.
The government worries about him being idle and so they begin to crowd his liberty. Here is where you have a problem.”
Mike Slomkowski, 50, a former factory worker who now teaches firearm training (From the Detroit News 4-16-2009, Pg A-05)
Continues from A05
Continued from Page 5A
sausages, soda pop and a .50 caliber carbine rifle and a firing range. Kids were admitted free.
With the economic meltdown, the complaints of the militiamen are beginning to sound less like paranoia and more like the topic of Manhattan cocktail parties: a socialized economy, a ballooning debt and wars on two fronts.
“What are we leaving the children?” asked Rob Soldenski, a 49year-old unemployed delivery driver from Warren. “A legacy of debt and an infringement on their civil liberties. We got to push back when the time to push comes.”
“I’ve seen a 35 percent reduction in pay,” said his ex-wife Cyn Soldenski, who brought along their 7-year-old daughter Tessa. “I bought a house 18 months ago. The interest rate is going to reset and I’m so far underwater I’m going to drown. We’ve got to take the stupid government and throw it out.”
If you listen to this group you begin to realize that they cannot take over the world; they probably couldn’t take over their brother’s trailer payments. They are a restless and frustrated group:a hodgepodge of ex-farmers, ex-military, ex-truck drivers, ex-factory workers, wipers of other people’s bottoms. Many are firmly among the state’s 20 percent unemployed or underemployed.
They turn to the Bill of Rights, though most people here could not recite those 10 amendments. They prepare for a war to defend them. No one can say — not even the militia members themselves— how many people sympathize with their movement.
“OK, you work all day long and you sell your liberty to survive,” said Mike Slomkowski, 50, a former factory worker who now teaches firearm training. “They take your work away. You’ve now put a man in a corner. The government worries about him being idle and so they begin to crowd his liberty. Here is where you have a problem.”
The militia is not alone in placing their faith in the gun and bullet. Consider that there is a national shortage of ammunition, blamed in part on the election of Barack Obama. The NRA has warned its millions of members that the Obama Administration wants to restrict gun ownership and tax ammunition. FBI firearm background checks have increased more than 30 percent since he was elected president.
Still, the picnic goers railed about George W. Bush, too. In fact they believe there is little difference between a Democrat and a Republican. Bush, Clinton, Obama. Stick them in a bag. Shake it up. And the same rapacious thing crawls out: a creature from a smoke-filled backroom.
“They’re all the same thing,” Cyn Soldenski said. “Corporate tools.”
Ever since the Oklahoma City bombing of 1995, the Michigan Militia has been branded a hate group of fringe crazies. But the militiamen at Stasa’s farm were quick to point out that Timothy Mc Veigh and Terry Nichols, the perpetrators of the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building that killed 168 people, were not Michigan Militia members but rather curiosity seekers. Naturally, the militia blames the media for this misconception.
“The press has given the militia a bad name,” said Jim Gulliksen, 59, the Wal-Mart worker from Adrian.
“Untrue,” said this reporter. “Timothy Mc Veigh gave the militia a bad name.”
“OK, he kind of gave the militia a bad name,” retorted Gulliksen. “But the people in the militia hated him. They didn’t want him. He came to one or two meetings before we told him to get out of here.” Mc Veigh notwithstanding, the militia provides a release valve for a frustrated class, said Lee Miracle, a postal worker from Sterling Heights, and coordinator of the picnic’s shooting range.
“In the end, I hope we’re mitigating anger by teaching people to shoot,” Miracle said. “Hey, I work at the post office. The boss asks why I go out to the range every month. I tell him: ‘You want me to go to the range every month.’ It blows off steam.”
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So as you can see, we can be encouraged and thankful that we do get some news coverage about our Tax Protests (Tea Parties) and the like. All of the above is from one day in The Detroit News (April 16th 2009)
FOR SOME GREAT PHOTO COVERAGE OF THE TAX DAY TEA PARTY EVENT ON APRIL 15TH BE SURE TO GO TO MATTHEW WILSON RODRIGUEZ'S PAGE! IF YOU CLICK ON VIEW ALL AND THEN CLICK ON VIEW SLIDESHOW, YOU WILL SEE THE SLIDESHOW IN FULL SCREEN VERSION WITH A BLACK BACKGROUND. I DISCOVERED THIS METHOD OF VIEWING BY ACCIDENT.