Saturday, February 28, 2009

Paul Harvey, R.I.P.

Decades before Rush Limbaugh's career took off, there was another conservative radio voice broadcasting heartland conservative values to Americans looking for the rest of the story.

The Chicago-based broadcaster died today at his winter home in Phoenix at the age of 90.

To use one of Harvey's favorite phrases...."It's true."

It's also sad, but the Oklahoma native had a full and productive life.

One of the ironies of Harvey's death is that just a block away from the stretch of Wacker Drive that was renamed in his honor, the hometown edition of the Nationwide Chicago Tea Party took place.

It's true.

In a way, Paul Harvey was at that party.

Rest in peace.

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Round two of the Nationwide Chicago Tea Party, Tax Day, April 15

Friday's successful Nationwide Chicago Tea Party has inspired a sequel. The next round of Tea Parties will be on the worst day of the year, April 15, the day federal income taxes are due.

I will be at the hometown edition in Chicago, I'm hoping for warmer weather, although snow is possible in mid-April in northern Illinois.

Already about a dozen other cities are planning Tea Parties on tax day.

Important links:

Tax Day Tea Party

Nationwide Tax Tay Tea Party Facebook group

Chicago Tax Day Tea Party Facebook group

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Friday, February 27, 2009

Pitchfork populism at the Chicago Tea Party

Amidst biting winds and a smattering of snow flurries, the hometown edition of the Nationwide Chicago Tea Party kicked off at 11:00am this morning at Daley Plaza in the Loop.

It was an enthusiastic group of patriots, and by the time it ended about 400 people were in attendence, many of them chanting "Dump the Tea," "Don't Tread on Me," and "Socialism Sucks!"

The Tea Party movement last week started with an on air rant in Chicago by CNBC's Rick Santelli.

And today there were more forty Nationwide Chicago Tea Parties.

A few impromptu speeches kicked off the rally at the plaza, including one by Sam Adams, pictured on the right, who Wikipedia claims died in 1803.

Then the group, some of whom had tea bags dangling from their hats, marched up Dearborn Avenue to 401 North Michigan, under the watchful gaze of those Midwestern icons from Grant Wood's American Gothic.

Taking inspiration from the farmer and his pitchfork, WLS-AM's Dan Proft, Cook County Commissioner Tony Peraica, and Sam Adams lit a prairie fire of populism among devotees of smaller, less intrusive government.

In my opinion, the rally was a huge success. Getting conservatives to do something along these lines is very difficult, "like herding cats" is how cartoonist Chris Muir described it on Andrea Shea King's show not too long ago. More importantly, there is talk having more Tea Parties, one is scheduled for Chicago's Grant Park on July 4.

One big surprise was that there was no counter protest. After all, this is Barack Obama's adopted hometown. Oh, there were a few cranks out there: Michelle Jacobsen of Freedom Folks was called (On what grounds?) a racist by a passerby. And a woman with an Obama pennant flying from the roof of her car, who should have been paying attention to traffic, thought it was worth her time to yell at us--I couldn't make out what she was babbling about--but luckily she rolled up her window and managed not to hit another car or a pedestrian as she drove away.

By the way, it just occurred to me that none of Obama's predecessors had their own flag.

There were no troublemakers, the Chicago Police mainly kept an eye on traffic, and I saw only two incidents where the cops had to tell someone to stop doing something. One guy tried to climb up the American Gothic statue--and quickly descended when the police told him to.

And your humble blogger was told to get off a median--but after I got some great pics.

I can't wait for the next Nationwide Chicago Tea Party. I'm sharpening my pitchfork.

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Me and an NPR interviewer at the Chicago Tea Party

Just got back home from the Nationwide Chicago Tea Party--the Chicago edition. Got to meet up with some great bloggers including Tom Mannis of the Chicago News Bench, Anne Leary of Backyard Conservative, Jake and Michelle Jacobsen of Freedom Folks, Lorraine Swanson of the Chicago Journal, the writer (whose name I didn't catch) of There Are Crooks in Illinois, as well as filmmaker Andrew Marcus.

Pictured is your humble blogger walking down Wacker Drive being interviewed by an NPR reporter.

Thanks to Marathon Pundit reader Pete for the photograph.

I have some errands to run, but more photos are on their way.

UPDATE 10:30pm CST: I forgot one blogger, El Rider of Flying Debris.

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I'm on my way to the Nationwide Chicago Tea Party

I'm on my way to the Nationwide Chicago Tea Party. For those people interested in meeting me, I'll be wearing a black Cleveland Marathon hat--the same one I wore at the Ward Churchill protest in 2005--and a long black quote, black pants.

We've been asked to wear black

Look for me at Daley Plaza a little before 11:00am, then we'll march to the Michigan Avenue bridge.

See you there!

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