Name the One Tea Partier in the Race **CLARIFICATION**

Reading Time: 4 minutes

I’ll save you some time: it’s Ed Martin.

Please Consider

I’ve met the former Missouri GOP head and former US Ambassador to Luxembourg a couple of times. Ann Wagner is smart, funny, and engaging. I think she’d make an outstanding Republican candidate for the US House. If elected, she’d serve Missouri well.

Missouri and the tea party won’t be the big winners if Ann Wagner gets the nomination, though. That distinction would go to the Missouri Republican establishment—the same establishment that the tea party hopes to reform or replace.

The Tea Party vs. The Establishment

I’ll tell you straight: I did not give over my life to the Tea party two and a half years ago just to satisfy the GOP establishment. Far from it. I joined to save the damn country from both parties.

The very first Tea party on February 27, 2009, was a big gamble for politicians. Showing up meant endorsing an unknown. No one knew who I was or what this Tea party protest was about.

To attend the Tea party was to thumb your nose at the GOP.

Only four Missouri politicians braved the weather and risks that cold day to stand with the people on the steps of the Arch. Those four were John and Gina Loudon, Jim Lembke, and, of course, Ed Martin.

No, Ann Wagner wasn’t there that day. Nor was she, as far as I know, on April 15, 2009, or April 15, 2010. I did not see her at the dozens of rallies and protests throughout the area in 2009 and 2010.

That’s why I say Ed Martin is the only original Tea Partier in the race.

Ed Martin Was There

Ed Martin at St. Louis Tea Party HQEd knew nothing about Bill Hennessy on February 27, 2009. Nor did he know anyone who knew me. He knew Dana Loesch a bit, but Dana had never met me.

By taking the stage that on February 27, Ed, Dana, Lembke, the Loudons, Jackie Smith, and everyone else took a chance. I could have been a racist or anarchist. I could have been a problem.

But they came anyway.

Both the Loudons and Ed Martin told me later that they understood the personal career risk of showing up at the Tea Party Protest.

They also understood something else: “This country is going to hell in a hand basket, and if we don’t stop the slide right now, we won’t have a country to run for office in.”

So Ed came down and spoke. He also gave me advice in the days just before the event. Ed had been among the first to offer his help, but among the last to get my request for help. It took me until Wednesday to figure who Ed was.

In my book, that makes Ed Martin the only original Tea Partier in the race.

Republican Dirty Tricks?

I wanted you to know my thoughts on this race early, so there’s no confusion. I’ve been told that the Missouri GOP establishment plans to run a very dirty campaign against Ed and against his supporters.

We’ve been warned. Threatened, might be a better term.

Well, the Left’s been after you and me for over two years. Some in the Missouri GOP have hated us almost as long. When we come under attack from both sides, just remember to duck; they’ll take out each other.

Easy Wins

I know that some Tea Partiers will support Ann because they want to rack up an easy win. They figure that supporting the Republican Establishment’s candidate locks in victory. That’s fine. I want a big win, too.

But I want to win the war, not just a skirmish. And I want to win one for America and for the Gipper, not for the Establishment.

If I wasnted to please the GOP, I could have found a part time job in 2009 and sent all the money to the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee. If I wanted an easy Republican win, I could have supported Dede Scozzafava in NY23 and claimed that victory. But I didn’t. I’ve worked too hard on this Tea party gig.

Ed’s a Winner

Ed Martin ran a brilliant campaign against Russ Carnahan last year, coming within 1 percentage point in a Democrat +7 district. No one in my lifetime had come so close. Running in the new Republican +5 2nd District, Ed Martin would blow Carnahan out of the water, all other things being equal.

Jeanette Cooperman wrote in St. Louis Magazine:

Martin came closer to winning than anyone predicted, taking rural areas and outer suburbs, Ste. Genevieve County, and Jefferson County before losing the city.

Besides, Ed Martin is the only original Tea Partier in the race.

Only One Tea Party Candidate

Ed Martin for CongressWere there no Tea Partiers in the race, I’d probably back Ann. But there is one, and only one, Tea Partier in the Republican race for Missouri’s new 2nds District. He earned that title, not by paying some organization for its endorsement, but by helping to organize the first events—before Tea partying was cool.

We asked Tea Partiers “Why Do You Tea Party” in 2009. When I read their answers, I realize that there is only one of us running for the 2nd District, and that’s Ed Martin.

CLARIFICATION

This editorial–posted to my personal blog–is my opinion. It does not represent the official position of St. Louis Tea Party Coalition. I am sorry I did not make this clearer in the original.

 

Stand With Israel

Reading Time: 1

israel_flag

Dear friend,

In the wake of President Obama’s reckless comments directed
towards Israel, I have just added my name to Grassfire Nation’s
“I Support Israel” petition, and I’m urging you to do the same.

Click here for more and to add your name to Grassfire Nation’s
“I Support Israel” petition by clicking below:
http://www.grassfire.com/159/petition.asp?PID=31372586&NID=1

Sincerely,
Bill

P.S.  I find this site interesting, but I don’t know much about the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. Please share your knowledge in the comments.

Who’s Lucky?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

There’s a “special” school in St. Louis County. Its seniors graduated on last Friday.

BenGraduating

How sad it must be for those kids. They’re not graduating from the district’s “normal” schools with their peers. For various reasons, they’ve been relegated to a school for misfits.

Seeing the building makes the bad feelings worse.  It’s a former grade school, crammed inconveniently behind a bank and a Taco Bell. Its Eisenhower era architecture stands out  amidst its Mortgage Boom surroundings like a dandelion on golf course. And the high school kids—some in their early 20s—appear freakishly large in the building.

The clown car impression intensifies inside the gymnasium. Its small, undersized basketball court barely holds the families of sixty or so graduates.

The scene was such a contrast for me.

I graduated with almost 600 other kids. Of them, I knew only a small percentage, really. At my high school graduation in the cavernous Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis – which I and all locals will forever call “The New Cathedral” – we sat in alphabetical order for the first time ever.  I had never met the two girls sandwiching me.  (One of them I would have remembered, trust me.)

I was lucky.  I graduated on time with my peers. I was never set back. I got by with a lot—a lot of misbehavior that earned expulsion for other kids. Like I said, I was lucky.

Or was I?

The ceremony at Fern Ridge High School moved me. Me and everyone around me.

Mr. Chris Oliver, an English teacher moving onto a new career after this year, served as the key note speaker. He talked about the wretched state of factory education in America, of course. He talked about the graduating seniors, too.

And he cried.  He paused to compose himself three, four, five times.

I cried, too.  It’s been a while since I’ve had a job that moved me. Chris’s job surely does.

Or did.

Chris said, “Fern Ridge should be a model for all schools in America.” I think he might be right.

At Fern Ridge, Chris was freed from the strictures of a “safe” curriculum handed down like divine instructions on granite tablets. Instead, this school expected him to use his skills and his heart to reach the students—students who have already rejected the factory model of education.

Chris was free, as he said, to “say something crazy” in his classroom.

That means Chris’s students were free to learn and to think. Fernies, as they’re called, do not memorize and regurgitate. 

After his talk, Chris kicked off a Fern Ridge tradition. Teachers stood, one by one, and read an original Tanka to a student.

More tears, but lots of laughs.

(You can’t read Tankas to every student in a class of 600.)

The administrators and teachers on the dais beamed throughout the ceremony. Why shouldn’t they? I said that this was no factory high school. The kids were no factory products. They were, as one of the Tankas described a girl in the class, round pegs in a square world.

America’s education system couldn’t hold these kids.  Most were too intelligent and passionate to make it in regular schools where conformity, anonymity, and banality earn non-descript praise from a faceless bureaucrat.

Education in America—regular, factory education—banished creativity, expression, and brilliance long ago.  Like all socialist schemes, public education “covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd [source].”

Students with the courage to cut through that network of rules and stand above the crowd are sentenced to places like Fern Ridge,  or to Missouri’s Options program, where they can earn a diploma without corrupting the numb kids in the regular schools.

When my son accepted his diploma from the principal, I was proud, of course. I was even more humbled and a embarrassed. Not because my son graduated from an alternative school for kids who refused to conform, but because I didn’t.

Way to go, Ben.

3 Reasons to Pre-Order “Weaving the Roots”

Reading Time: 1

1.  You’ll learn how to have a bigger impact through social media.Weaving the Roots: How to Maximize Your Social Impact

2.  You’ll learn all kinds of cool back-stories about the St. Louis Tea Party (including some embarrassing things about me).

3.  You’ll promote conservative book publishing through Broadside Books, HarperCollins’ new imprint.

Book Description

New from Broadside Books’ Voices of the Tea Party. In Weaving the Roots, you’ll learn how even tiny grassroots organizations can make big impacts on the world through smart use of free or inexpensive social media tools.

First you’ll learn the major tools, like Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, Google Buzz, blogging, talk radio, and SMS text. How they work, how they work together, and how you can maximize your impact with a small team.

Next, you’ll explore five key activities for social networking and which tools work best: recruiting, informing, activating, advocating, coordinating

Finally, you’ll find out the science behind social media. You’ll get answers to questions that many don’t know to ask, like what time of day to tweet or post on Facebook, which day of the week is best for which social channel, and how to announce an event to get lots of attendees without lots of time-consuming questions.

Available May 31, 2011, but you can pre-order today.


Pre-order today!

UMSL Killing American Males

Reading Time: 2 minutes

David Brooks—the former conservative—skewered the University of Missouri St. Louis yesterday.  Brooks wasn’t aware, and UMSL administrators don’t read. But some of us caught it.

Brooks wrote of The Missing Fifth. Did you know that 20 percent of American men in their primes don’t work?

Americans should be especially alert to signs that the country is becoming less vital and industrious. One of those signs comes to us from the labor market. As my colleague David Leonhardt pointed out recently, in 1954, about 96 percent of American men between the ages of 25 and 54 worked. Today that number is around 80 percent. One-fifth of all men in their prime working ages are not getting up and going to work. [Emphasis added.]

How sad. How embarrassing. I’d say “how shameful” except the Supreme Court ruled shame unconstitutional, or so it seems. We’ve had that feeling, shame, removed from our souls.

Men who do nothing are deadbeats, much more so than people who try to pay their bills and can’t.  We’re talking about able-bodied men who simply choose to sit on their asses and sponge of others—off of foolish women, in many cases.

Brooks errs in his proposed solution, of course.  Brooks thinks American education the solution. He hasn’t been paying attention. I have some other ideas.

Higher education isn’t the solution to our problem; education is the problem.

The University of Missouri’s wing schools, UMKC and UMSL, offer the course “Introduction to Labor Studies.”  This course is why 20 percent of men believe that sitting on their brains is their right—nay, their duty—as young, able-bodied American men.

Leaving aside the communist party recruitment activity for a moment, UMSL’s Labor Studies course is a lesson in lying, lazy, and license.

In Labor Studies, professional derelicts Don Giljum and Nancy Ancel teach students how to avoid work, how to destroy a company’s profits, and how to harass and intimidate managers.

Think about this: the state of Missouri uses tax dollars to teach Missouri students how to rip off employers.  Knowing that, why would you hire someone who went to a public university in Missouri?  Why would you open an office or business in the state?  What could be more foolish than to expect Missouri to encourage business?

Here’s a solution.  It’s a tiny, tiny step, but it’s a step in the right direction: Shut down the damn Labor Studies course in the University of Missouri system.

An alternative solution if that’s too radical for our legislature: rename the course “Introduction to Deadbeat Studies.”

But do something before "Men at Work" becomes nothing more than a trivia question.

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