You Can Never Have Too Much Tea

I attended “Constitution, Candidates, & Your Vote” presented by The Georgia Tea Party this evening. I had an awesome time mingling with my favorite candidates, listening to Herman Cain, and chatting with good friends.

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The event was held at Jim R. Miller Park in Marietta, from 5pm to 9pm. I arrived just after 5:30 and wasted no time getting to the candidate “bullpen” to see who I could photograph.

The first candidate I saw was Kira Willis, Libertarian candidate for State Superintendent of Schools. She got my vote earlier today when I left all of the choices for superintendent blank on the primary ballot.

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According to the news media, Karen Handel is doing well in the polls, and it looks like the primary may come down to a run-off between her and Nathan Deal.

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I didn’t see Eric Johnson at the event, I am not sure if he was able to attend, but you couldn’t miss seeing John Oxendine. Everytime he opened his mouth there was a bright glow in the bullpen. Is it me or are his teeth un-naturally large and artificially white?

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By far, the most disgusting experience of the evening was when I was greeted by another candidate who had abnormally sticky and slimy hands. The next time I attend an event like this, I am bringing a gallon of Purell. I can put up with a lot from people, but this is just disgusting.

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Of course, there were many bright spots (and I am not talking Oxendine’s teeth) in the candidate’s area. Gerry Purcell, candidate for Insurance Commissioner, was there. He was greeting people, answering questions, chatting with supporters, and posing for photos.

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The next Attorney General for the state of Georgia, Max Wood, was on hand to listen to voters and remind people why we need someone like him in that office.

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I spent far too much time in the bullpen, but as soon as Ray McSlimy shook my hand I had to leave in search of hot water, or at the very least someone with a bottle of Purell. I quickly took my seat in the bleachers with the gals from the Douglas County TEA Party, Brenda, Beth, and Teresa. We listened to Herman Cain as he did his live show, and spent the evening chatting about all things “local”. Or was that “loco”. Hmm. I forget.

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So I am sitting here tonight, at almost midnight, and I just realized I have to be out the door around 7am for a camera club field trip. You can see the rest of the photos I took on my Facebook page or my Flickr page. If you need the link, it’s at the top of the page.

Serving Up TEA In Douglas County

DCTeaParty018Have you ever attended an event and known that you were part of something truly historic? That’s the way I felt when I attended the Douglas County TEA Party back in September of 2009, but it was nothing in comparison to what I felt last night at the latest and greatest Douglas County TEA Party, dubbed “Only In America”.

Having attended a few TEA Parties since that first one (for me) in Douglas County, I thought I knew what to expect, but apparently I didn’t get the memo and I had no clue that things were going to be completely different this time around.

DCTeaParty002As a volunteer for the event, I had been part of all of the planning meetings. I knew (by way of those meetings) how much work was being put into this event, and I knew this TEA Party was going to be awesome. I just didn’t realize how awesome it was going to be until I arrived at the Clinton Nature Preserve yesterday afternoon.

As I parked the truck I could see that some politicians had already shown up and set up their booths. Iron Horse BBQ was set up and preparing to serve some of their delicious BBQ sandwiches, and the organizers, Maureen Miller, Brenda Bohanan, and Teresa Ott were running around making final preparations.

DCTeaParty010Members of the band, The Constitutionalists, were warming up, and you could feel the electricity in the air. Some say it was the storm that passed by just hours before the official starting time of the event, but I know otherwise.

There was so much energy in the air, you could feel it. From the volunteers helping with parking to those helping to decorate the stage, everyone had an upbeat attitude and was working hard to make sure everything went off without a hitch.

So, what was different this year? Everything. Well, almost everything.

Last year there was an issue with sound equipment and people in the back could not hear the speakers, this year Sound Effects took care of the sound and made quite an impact. Needless to say, no one had a problem hearing the speakers, even from the booths farthest from the stage.

DCTeaParty027Max Arnold gave a moving invocation to start things off and Dakota Kuykendall, keyboardist for The Constitutionalists, performed the National Anthem.

Maureen Miller welcomed everyone to the TEA Party and then The Constitutionalists performed live. The band played some great music and really got the crowd fired up.

By this point, the park was really filling up. Having been in the middle of the crowd last year, I could tell things were going to be much bigger this year. Why wouldn’t they be? At the last TEA Party some people were still under the illusion that the problems we were facing in our nation couldn’t get much worse. This time people knew better, so it was only natural that more people would show up for the event.

DCTeaParty045Sharon White, a local Douglas County citizen with a clear message was the first speaker of the night. I’ve listened to a lot of people at a lot of political rallies, and Sharon rivals many of the best speakers I have heard in the past. Her speech was heartfelt and full of passion. She is a woman determined to make sure people know what their government is doing. Sharon’s speech was the perfect way to start the evening, and if Herman Cain would have been unable to appear as the keynote speaker, I have no doubt that Sharon could have handled the job quite handily.

Current Douglas County District 4 Commissioner, and owner of Bud’s Benz, David Latham was the second speaker on stage. With a lot of thought, David decided not to seek re-election this year. He is walking away from his political position because it’s someone else’s turn to make a difference in the community.

The people of Douglas County are lucky to have had someone as down to Earth as David Latham serving them for the past eight years.

DCTeaParty059At one point toward the end of his speech, David asked “Where are the patriots”?

As far as I could see, there were about 3,000 of them sitting in the crowd at the Clinton Nature Preserve, listening to him. Both Sharon and David spoke about the problem with big government. The TEA parties are held to protest big government, excessive spending, and out of control politicians.

One big difference this year, was the lack of any mainstream media. The WSB Radio truck was there to record The Herman Cain Show, but none of the Atlanta based media outlets were on hand to cover the event. I was all over the park, all afternoon, and If they showed up I didn’t see them. Of course, last year the local Fox affiliate didn’t do a very good job reporting about the event, so maybe it’s a good thing none of them showed up this year.

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I was a fan of Herman Cain’s long before he spoke at last year’s TEA Party, and I was excited to find out he would be our keynote speaker again this year. One small detail escaped me, however, until he arrived at the park. I was right there by the stage and I was going to get the chance to meet The Hermanator!

DCTeaParty071Sure, he’s just another citizen like the rest of us. Sure, he’s just a “local boy” there to support the TEA Party movement. Sure. Whatever. I was as nervous as ever when I got the chance to shake hands with someone as REAL as Herman Cain. It doesn’t get any more real than meeting a man like Herman Cain.

Herman took the stage, the crowd went wild, and we were suddenly at the beginning of The Herman Cain Show. That was another big difference this year.

The original plan was to air The Herman Cain Show live from the park, but due to technical problems, they had to record the show instead. It will air during the week of June 7-11, so make sure you listen this week. If you have listened to Herman’s show in the past, you know that Friday is called “Rapid Fire Friday” where callers have one minute to ask a question and Herman has one minute to respond.

DCTeaParty100After a brief speech about the ongoing problems with the current administration and the reality slap that things are indeed much worse now than any of us thought they could get, Herman began the Rapid Fire segment with members of the audience.

Those asking questions did not have to submit their question in advance, they weren’t screened beforehand. No one knew what each person would have to say, let alone what they would ask, when it was their turn at the microphone.

Concerns over Social Security and Medicare, a government out of control, and veteran’s issues were some of the questions at hand. A couple people, including a young boy, asked whether or not Herman would run for President.

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As things were winding down with the Rapid Fire segment, the last person to come to the microphone was a former Marine whose name was Lewis. He was worried about what we would teach our young people and began singing the final stanza of the Star-spangled Banner.

 

You could feel the emotion in the air as people stood and placed their hands over their hearts. As I said before, you could feel the electricity in the air. As soon as he finished, Louis disappeared back into the sea of people, and many of us were left to dry our eyes. There are, in fact, four stanzas in the original version of the Star-spangled Banner. It’s a shame that most people do not know this, let alone the words in the other stanzas.

DCTeaParty128No one could have planned a better end to the TEA Party than that. But it wasn’t over quite yet. As he wrapped up his speech, he explained what he meant by the fact he was in “prayerful consideration” in deciding whether or not to run for the highest office in the land.

There is no doubt that Herman Cain is one of the most eloquent and intelligent speakers of our time. It was awesome listening to him, photographing him, and most of all, meeting him. I’ll be praying that God sends him the message he is waiting for, because in reality, we need more people like Herman Cain in public office. If there were, we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in now.

Last year I took over 200 photos and posted 33 of them to my Flickr page. This year I took more than 550 photos and 128 of the best ones are on Flickr. There are photos of the candidates and vendors, various shots of the crowd, and a few of Maureen Miller presenting “Brewmaster” Herman Cain with a jacket of appreciation.

DCTeaParty117When I walked in the door after the event, I was exhausted. I was all over the park, all afternoon, and my feet were killing me. I had a headache for most of the day too, but I wouldn’t have missed the this Douglas County TEA Party for anything.

I believe the only way real change can come to our country is to start at the local level, and it doesn’t get more local than a TEA Party, or any other political event, organized by local citizens. I truly believe that we, as ordinary citizens, can and will make a difference.

Someone asked me the other day why I was involved in the TEA Party movement. I simply asked them if they were happy with the current state of our nation. As they shook their head in disagreement, I asked them why they weren’t.

Do You Want To Look Cool?

The Douglas County TEA Party will be held June 4, 2010 from 6pm until 9pm at the Clinton Nature Preserve on Ephesus Church Road in Villa Rica, Georgia. The keynote speaker for the event is Herman Cain who will be broadcasting his show on WSB Radio LIVE from the TEA Party!

There’s going to be LIVE music, professional sound, vendors with food, and lots of information for everyone! Make sure to bring your lawn chairs and blankets!!!

I know the economy is in shambles and money is tight, but if you were saving your money in hopes of buying the coolest TEA-Shirt on the planet, then have I got a deal for you!

You can order one of these 2010 Commemorative Douglas County TEA Party TEA-Shirts directly from the Douglas County TEA Party website. They cost $15, with an additional $4 for shipping.

If you’re like me, you can’t wait, so I have some more news for you.

The day after tomorrow, May 15, the Douglas County Tea Party will be holding a “pre-TEA Party” sale from 12:00pm until 3:00pm in the front office of Ott Gun Works in Douglasville. They are located at 5493 Westmoreland Plaza, Suite B-500. (View Map).

If you come to the pre-sale you can get your shirt well in advance of the TEA Party and make everyone else jealous because they don’t have one. All of the shirts are black but come in sizes small to 2x.

The best part about the pre-sale is that you save the $4 shipping charge!!!

Make sure you get your shirt soon! You never know how long these awesome shirts are going to last!!!

All of the proceeds from the sale of the shirts is being used to offset the cost of supplies and equipment required to stage the TEA Party.

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Spreading The Word, At Home

While many people I know talked about the TEA Parties in Washington, D.C. and Atlanta, I was focused on our local TEA Parties because that’s where the real change and momentum will come from. The local communities. You can’t change things on a national level if you ignore the issues in your own backyard.

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I had several things that I needed to get done today, but I made sure to stop by the Carroll County TEA Party. They had a great lineup of speakers for the event, and I’m glad I took the time to participate even if I wasn’t able to attend the entire event.

I arrived as Gerry Purcell, Republican candidate for Georgia Insurance Commissioner, began his speech. I’ve been wanting to meet him in person for a couple months, and it was awesome to get that chance when he concluded his speech. He even made sure I got a yard sign, which is now standing proudly in my front yard.

Gerry Purcell Speaks at the Carroll County TEA Party

 

The next person to take the stage was Dr. Deborah Honeycutt, who is running for the Georgia District 13 Congressional seat. I thought her speech was great, and she did a good job energizing the crowd when she spoke about the Fair Tax.

Dr. Debra Honeycutt Speaks at the Carroll County TEA Party

 

Dr. Honeycutt has been on my radar for a couple months now, and my only regret is that I don’t live in her district (not that I would trade Rep. Phil Gingrey anyway).

Carroll County Sheriff Terry Langley followed Dr. Honeycutt, and he delivered another great speech about the last line of defense being local law enforcement.

Sheriff Terry Langley Speaks at the Carroll County TEA Party

 

When Sheriff Langley wrapped up his speech, I needed to head back home. I still had a couple things I needed to get done, and it was getting hot. I didn’t want to make my headache any worse than it already was. I posted more photos on my Flickr account, if you want to see them.

The Douglas County Instant TEA, which was held at the corner of Chapel Hill and Douglas Blvd. was another instant “hit”. A small group of TEA Party die-hards (including myself) met on the grassy knoll to remind people that we’ve been Taxed Enough Already.

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While many people were focusing on the larger events held in large cities, others were making sure the message was getting out at the local level. The very place it needs to be sent.

When all is said and done at those larger TEA parties and people drive 20, 30, 50, or even 100 miles to get home, what message was sent to the people who stayed home in their communities? How many of their neighbors got the message from that grand TEA party in downtown Atlanta?

While they were attending those large parties, hundreds, if not thousands, of their fellow hometown citizens drove down their local roads on their way home from work.

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Our group may have been small today (you can see more photos at my Flickr account), but we carried a loud message, and based on the people honking and waving their support I’d say we got the job done.

I hope everyone else had fun at their big city TEA parties, because we had a blast here on the homefront.

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The Night Before Tax Day

I don’t have much to write about tonight. The boys helped finish getting the garage cleaned out, so all we have to do is paint, and I am sitting here tonight with another headache.

I need to get my rest because I have quite a few things I have to do tomorrow, and headache or no headache, I have to do them.

So, for tonight, you get a cartoon. I didn’t post one on Sunday, so I owe you one anyway.

 

Don’t forget to attend a TEA Party tomorrow. Whether it’s a local one in your own county, or in a neighboring county, make sure you attend one.

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Enough Is Enough

As I said the other night, I was busy with a project.

Last Friday, after an organizational meeting for the Douglas County TEA Party, I began production of a new website for the organization. At 11:00 pm this evening, I put the finishing touches on it, and put it live.

You can view it at www.douglascountyteaparty.com.

I need to acknowledge all of the hard work that the organizers of the Douglas County TEA Party have done. The upcoming TEA Party will be the best one yet, so you might want to keep June 4th free on your calendar.

In a world where most people used to care less about what’s happening in Washington, let alone right outside their own door, I have to thank President Obama, Speaker of the House Nanny State Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Scary Harry Reid for awakening Americans across this great nation. If it wasn’t for their insane economic and political policies, people would still be oblivious to what’s happening around them.

Now that they are awakening it’s our job, as fellow citizens of this country, to educate and inform them. It’s time we all stand up and say “ENOUGH!” It’s time to stop the spending. It’s time to stop increasing the role of the government. It’s time to stop trampling the Constitution. Enough is enough!

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