Tea Party Returns to Court Square

Jeremiah Knupp -- April 16th, 2010

April 15. Tax Day. Many spent the day scrambling to get their taxes in the mail by midnight. Others sat back and made plans for the refund check they’ll be receiving. For others, it was an occasion to make their voices heard. Several hundred anti-tax protesters gathered on Court Square in Harrisonburg Thursday evening to demonstrate their disdain for a government that they feel is fiscally irresponsible and out of touch with the common people. 


The Tea Party movement, which started a year ago, has spread throughout the nation. A recent opinion piece in The Economist  labeled it as “America’s most vibrant political force” and a New York Times poll this week found that 18 percent of Americans identify themselves as Tea Party supporters.

The Virginia Tea Party Patriots is an organization comprised of 31 local chapters. The Shenandoah Valley Tea Party Patriots (SVTPP), who organized Thursday’s Harrisonburg rally, is based out of Staunton and serves members in the central Valley. There are also chapters in Roanoke, Charlottesville, and Winchester. According to Scott Batten, founder and former director of the SVTPP, the organization is a 501(c)4 non-profit, so it can’t charge members dues, but it has 1,000 people signed up on its e-mail and phone lists.

“What we are is strictly cutting spending and trying to get the taxes down so that we can compete on a global scale,” Batten said. “If we just let this continue to go we’re going to end up with either the Weimar Republic, which is what happened in Germany, you’ll end up with Argentina or you’re going to end up with a Great Depression.”

Supporters of the Tea Party claim it is a grass roots movement, a populist uprising against an out of control Federal government. Critics say that the Republican Party and corporations are “astroturfing” by instigating the protests on a national level and claiming that they are grass roots. The Tea Party organizers label themselves as non-partisan, but Thursday’s event had a strong Republican presence, from the featured speakers to the “Miss Me Now?” George W. Bush t-shirts.

Those who were expecting the raucous, loud and confrontational events that have defined Tea Parties around the nation would have been disappointed. Thursday’s crowd, estimated at between 300 to 500 people, was comprised of elderly attendees wearing patriotic t-shirts and sitting in camp chairs, office workers and who stopped by on their way home from work, and families with children spread out on the Court House lawn as if they were attending a summer concert.

“It’s a chance to introduce my family to the political process and political ideas,” said Adam Chewning of Harrisonburg, who was attending with his girlfriend and seven month old son Conner. “I have two sons and by the time they get to college I don’t know if I will be able to afford it. At the rate things are going I’ll hate to see what’s left.”

Beside baby Conner sat a miniature sign that read “Take your hand out of my piggy bank.”

Counter protesters showed up. Their signs were drowned out by “Don’t Tread on Me” banners and made-for-the event signs which proclaimed “November is Coming.” Their presence, with the exception of one altercation that resulted in a police intervention, was peaceful.

The event’s keynote speaker was former Republican U.S. Senator George Allen, who told the crowd that the government is “as clueless as a hog looking at a Timex.” Also speaking were Ben Marchi, Virginia Coordinator for the organization Americans For Prosperity, Republican state senator Mark Obenshain, and Kate Obenshain, a political commentator and Vice President of Young American’s Foundation.

Thursday’s Tea Party rally ended with attendees producing blank IRS 1040 forms and tearing them in two, their symbolic way of throwing British tea into Boston Harbor. The crowd dispersed in the fading light of a brilliant spring day, either as the patriots of a new revolution or common people whose anger is being co-opted, as it has been so many times in history, for political purposes. Only time will tell.

Video by Brent Finnegan. Photos by Holly Marcus.

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76 Responses to “Tea Party Returns to Court Square”

  1. Lowell Fulk says:

    From Jeff Mellot’s DNR article about the Tea Party anti tax protests:
    “Lost in the rhetoric was that taxes have gone down under Obama. Congress has cut individuals’ federal taxes for this year by about $173 billion, leaving Americans with a lighter load despite nearly $29 billion in increases by states.”

    • Thanks, Lowell. Important point.

      Organizer Scott Batten was very clear:

      “What we are is strictly cutting spending, trying to get taxes down so we can compete on a global scale. Right now, our big corporations pay 40 percent tax … We can’t compete when we’ve got a 20 to 30 percent tax increase on our guys …”

      He was saying that corporate taxes need to come down. Most of the other participants seemed more worried about personal taxes (they tore up 1040 forms at the end) but as Mellott points out, the fact that personal taxes have gone down seemed to be moot.

    • Rob Layne says:

      That is a great point, however, please correct me if I’m wrong here… Isn’t individual fed. income tax down because the Bush tax cuts on individual income have not expired yet? What, specificly, has this administration done to lower personal income tax? (maybe I missed this)?

      Furthermore, I don’t think these folks are protesting the taxes they’ve paid for this year, but protesting, among other things, the increased taxes very likely to come. IMO, I think it’s absurd to believe that taxes, across the board, including what you may or may not use as a deduction in the future, will remain at the current level considering the legislation that has been signed into law, and what’s likely to become law down the road as well.

      This movement is more about the current administration and powers that be in congress forcing through and passing unpopular legislation, and out of control spending. These folks, I feel, believe the government is no longer working for the “people”, but, rather, special interest groups and big unions.

      That’s my two cents…

      • Rob Layne says:

        I fogot to add – where’s the transparency, the cutting back of the federal budget with the scalpel? As Obama promised in his campaign? Another issue that angers the so called tea-baggers.

  2. Emmy says:

    I have no issue with this event but since I’m liberal anything I say will be taken as some sort of attack, but I’m going to say this anyway.

    “Beside baby Conner sat a miniature sign that read “Take your hand out of my piggy bank.””

    This is appalling to me. I have two young children and I DO NOT have them display or wear MY politics. Perhaps it’s because I’m liberal and their father is conservative and I respect the fact that he will want the ability to share his views with his children too, but until a child is old enough to make these decisions on their own I find it very wrong to use them as a political image. If the father held a sign that said “Take your hands out of my sons piggy bank” that’s different. While I am not suggesting that I won’t share my views with my kids, I won’t put words into their mouths and give them opinions that are not their own.

    Everything else I think about this event I’ll keep to myself.

    • Frank J Witt says:

      that’s cool Emmy, but please remember that you are feeding your kids on YOUR HUSBAND’s dime……if that is not pushing the agenda on them, then what is ?

      • Lowell Fulk says:

        You’re really classy aren’t you Frank? Your behavior towards those who don’t share your opinion borders on grouchy poetry. You’ve readily chosen to forget those who have treated you decently and with respect based on what riles your ill temper. Emmy has only ever been respectful of people in penning words to her opinion, especially you. You owe her an apology big boy…

        • Emmy says:

          Frank, while your words never deserve a response.

          I have a job. Not to mention that my children are his children as well so he is feeding his own children. I have never been on any form of public assistance nor have my children and I voluntarily take almost $900 a month less in child support than was court ordered.

          I could spend my time telling my children to believe everything I believe and try to talk them out of everything that their dad tells them. Instead, when I tell them something I believe, I make sure I tell them to ask their father what he believes about the situation. He does the same for me. Some people are respectful to each other like that.

          But like Lowell said…classy as always.

      • David Miller says:

        Compared to what Frank, the father of her children not helping to feed THEIR kids so that Emmy had the right to her politics? Do you really want to go there online, publicly? I may be over reacting because I was raised by a single mom so guess how angry I can get in a millisecond by people who harp on mothers who receive child support, sounding in their comments “but please remember that you are feeding your kids on YOUR HUSBAND’s dime” like the mothers should defer to the breadwinner. You know, like in the 50’s!

        • Emmy says:

          Thank you David. My ex husband is a great man and a great father. He could be like so many others out there who don’t take care of their kids at all.

          Frank just doesn’t like me because of what I believe and doesn’t bother to pay any attention to things like facts…of which when it comes to my life, he knows none.

  3. I wasn’t at last year’s Tea Party for very long, but I certainly don’t remember all these Republican leaders being there (See Jeremy’s post from last year).

    Last year, I saw no stage, no PA, no glossy signs from Americans For Prosperity, or “most wanted” playing cards for sale targeting congressional Democrats and centrists.

    If George Allen, Ben Marchi, or the Obenshains spoke on Court Square last year, I must have missed it. At last year’s event — organized by different people; Donna Davis and Lisa McCumsey — what I saw had all the markings of a populist uprising fueled by Fox News, and fear of what Obama was going to do.

    On a more subjective level, this year the energy seemed gone, the movement co-opted. If there is a difference between the Tea Party and the conservative wing of the Republican Party (as opposed to the centrist wing) I don’t see it.

    • Rob Layne says:

      You may not see that in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Although, some of the coverage I’ve seen has shown that democrats and (even moreso), independents are turning out for these in other areas across the country, mostly the bigger cities. I’ll also add that it ain’t all white folks either. There are some minorities coming out as well.

      • Some of the participants probably were independents (and Libertarians, and Constitution Party members, etc) but the official event might as well have been sponsored by the RPV.

        I’ve read a lot about the Tea Party, but I’ve never come across anything that indicates a trend of Democrats participating in Tea Party rallies.

        Yes, there were a handful of minorities at the event on Thursday (less than five percent). I don’t think I indicated that there weren’t any. (Did I?)

        • Rob Layne says:

          I don’t know, I’m just going by your last post from Friday morning. (I am a bit late to the discussion)

      • Interesting point on non-whites at the local rally – with one notable exception, the only non-whites I saw were high school kids there to get extra credit for government class.

        • I’m assuming the notable exception was Luis Padilla.

          I saw a few other (non student) Latinos and maybe two black men, but it was unclear if they were participants or onlookers.

          • Sebastian says:

            Another Latino here, couldn’t be at Court Square on Fri afternoon, but still support the Tea Party (and Ted Byrd for the 26th)

        • Delataire says:

          From Wikipedia


          “As of the census[8] of 2000, there were 40,468 people, 13,133 households, and 6,448 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,304.4 people per square mile (889.8/km²). There were 13,689 housing units at an average density of 779.5/sq mi (301.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 84.84% White, 5.92% Black or African American, 0.19% Native American, 3.11% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 3.35% from other races, and 2.57% from two or more races. 8.85% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.”

          Maybe this is why the majority attending were White people. Ever consider that?

    • Scott Batten says:

      Perhaps you also noticed a complete lack of any follow up from the mentioned people as well in the last year, while in Staunton, where I was last year, we went from 150 to over 800.

  4. David Miller says:

    Taxes for 95% of Americans decreased this year. This years tax burden relative to the deficit is the lowest its been in 50 years. Sure we all want to decrease the deficit, what else does this group want? Are they scared or do they have solutions?

    • Delataire says:

      Dave this is interesting:


      As a person in the other 5% I suppose I’m (insert metaphor).

      • Deb SF says:

        5%? or do you mean other 50%

        This link

        describes how most of the increase since the mid-1990s in the number of people who owe no income taxes is the result of the child tax credit. This policy was created by Congressional Republicans and expanded with Republicans in the lead.

        The vast majority of people who pay no federal income taxes still pay other taxes, including federal payroll taxes that fund Social Security and Medicare, and excise taxes on gasoline, aviation, alcohol and cigarettes as well as state or local taxes on sales, income and property.

        • Delataire says:

          Deb, Dave wrote:

          “Taxes for 95% of Americans decreased this year”

          Therefore taxes increased for 5% of Americans.

          Those who do not have children are (insert metaphor)?

      • It’s strange that people who usually complain about taxes being too high and the middle class paying too much are now going bonkers over the thought that half the middle class doesn’t pay taxes at all, largely thanks to tax credits and deductions that are and have been a major part of Republican (and Democratic) platforms for years. Let’s be clear here, it’s not the tax brackets that keep so many households from paying income taxes; it’s things like child tax credits, IRA contributions, and charitable giving deductions, among many other deductions and credits offered.

        Throw into the mix the news that major corporations like GE and Bank of America receive more in credits than they pay in taxes, and it’s really hard to understand why people would flock to a banner called the “Taxed Enough Already (TEA) Party”.

        • Delataire says:

          Jeremy, I have no idea why someone might go to the Tea Party, or the alternative Coffee Party. I am not with them, nor am I with the Democrats or Republicans. As for corporations, I expect that they do what they can to have the highest profit margin and largest market share without being decried as predatory and attempting to create a monopoly.

        • Jeremy Aldrich says:

          Correction – “that half the middle class doesn’t pay *income* taxes at all.” Sorry I left that word out before.

    • Scott Batten says:

      Aren’t George Bush’s tax policies wonderful(they don’t expire until the end of 2010) Obama gets no credit for this one. All he did was give up to $800 dollars back in SSI, which is already broke and needs all the funding it can get. This was a one time thing as well, so whoopiee for $800 once. That’s not a tax break, its a bribe.

      • That’ why you have no credibility. Bush’s tax cuts sucked up the Clinton surplus and set America on the road to record deficits. So while teabaggers wine about “deficits” they refuse to admit that they cheered on the disasterous economic storm.

        And they do so while collecting their Federal entitlements.

  5. David Miller says:

    “what I saw had all the markings of a populist uprising fueled by Fox News, and fear of what Obama was going to do.”
    Yeah, its all prearranged through the RNC and FOX, its really no secret, except to FOX’s audience.

    Also,I just can’t believe that anyone who has ever questioned anything in their life hasn’t fact checked every word Michelle Bachman said. She was on the Court House steps?! Seriously, anyone who disagrees with me we’ll sit a coffee shop and watch her speeches and then meticulously fact check every claim she makes.

  6. republitarian says:

    I spoke with Scott on the phone last week. I asked what was happening with their increasing ties to the republican party. He said, “sometimes you have to dance with the devil.”

    What he said about Emmett Hanger was awful and untrue. It’s obvious he’s let Lynn Mitchell influence him.

  7. Eric Gregory says:

    I have lots of thoughts on this event (or, more accurately, on the entire Tea Party movement), but I wanted to communicate something different:

    I really appreciate news coverage like this, and I am really proud to have hburgnews in the city. The facelift to the site and the new LLC was a surprise to me, but a welcome one.

    In fact, the coverage and conversation here is far superior to Kai’s new site. I wish him well, but I think I’ll remain an hburgnewser.

    Thanks again, and keep up the good work!

  8. Bell says:

    This morning I was awoken by my alarm clock powered by electricity generated by the public power monopoly regulated by the US department of energy. I then took a shower in the clean water provided by the municipal water utility. After that, I turned on the TV to one of the FCC regulated channels to see what the national weather service of the national oceanographic and atmospheric administration determined the weather was going to be like using satellites designed, built, and launched by the national aeronautics and space administration. I watched this while eating my breakfast of US department of agriculture inspected food and taking the drugs which have been determined as safe by the food and drug administration.

    At the appropriate time as regulated by the US congress and kept accurate by the national institute of standards and technology and the US naval observatory, I get into my national highway traffic safety administration approved automobile and set out to work on the roads build by the local, state, and federal departments of transportation, possibly stopping to purchase additional fuel of a quality level determined by the environmental protection agency, using legal tender issed by the federal reserve bank. On the way out the door I deposit any mail I have to be sent out via the US postal service and drop the kids off at the public school.

    After spending another day not being maimed or killed at work thanks to the workplace regulations imposed by the department of labor and the occupational safety and health administration, enjoying another two meals which again do not kill me because of the USDA, I drive my NHTSA car back home on the DOT roads, to ny house which has not burned down in my absence because of the state and local building codes and fire marshal’s inspection, and which has not been plundered of all it’s valuables thanks to the local police department.

    I then log on to the internet which was developed by the defense advanced research projects administration and post on freerepublic.com and fox news forums about how SOCIALISM in medicine is BAD because the government can’t do anything right.

    thanks reddit

    • Annie Layne says:

      Bravo Bell, this made my day.

    • Bell,

      Nice lists, but some things on it are not run by the government starting with USPS (see comments below), although there remains a government role. Others include the “regulated electric monopoly,” now deregulated, and the Federal Reserve Bank, which is technically privately owned, even if it was established by an Act of Congress. And the internet is now private, even if it was invented at DARPA.

  9. Josh says:

    I enjoyed this local blogger’s coverage of the tea party event:


    A firsthand account by a proponent.

  10. seth says:

    i don’t know about the budget figures for all of the agencies you mention, but i did hear this morning that the usps lost $297 million in the first quarter of the year. at least they’re too big to fail, eh?

  11. seth says:

    and in response to all the talk of taxes having gone down for 95% of america and what not, i’d like to register my confusion as to why i paid more this year when i made less money and didn’t change my tax situation w/ regards to witholding, filing status, etc.

  12. David Miller says:

    Seth; You need a new accountant. Reality is just that, 95% of Americans paid less in taxes this year because Democrats control the majority. Just because you’re not in the 95 percentile doesn’t dispute the numbers as whole. Math is real! Unless we should dust off our foil caps

    • I thought the same thing David, I suppose in some people’s world, the President is also responsible for the quality of their tax preparation?

      • seth says:

        so as best i can tell, that 95% figure that’s getting thrown around as gospel refers to the fact that “95 percent of working families…will or have received tax credits in the range of $400 to $800.” this is huffpo’s wording, not mine. if i were a legitimate news organization, i feel like i’d be inclined to say something like “95% of working americans received or will receive the president’s ‘making work pay’ credit,” as opposed to distorting the context of it in order to support the notion that the overwhelming majority of us paid less this year.

        i’m interested in whether anyone has anymore information about where that 95% number comes from (or really any objective comparative figures at all).

        dave, i don’t mean to be cheeky, but it’s kind of unreasonable to expect obenshain or anyone else to support their numbers when you’re telling me that i’m an anomaly in the fact that i paid more and supporting that with an unclear and likely misconceived assertion that 95% of us paid less this year (and attempting to place the burden of proof on me).

        • seth says:

          bubby, i really do appreciate your snark.

          let me give it a shot:

          in my world, i do what i do because i think it’s important, not because i’m trying to make so much money that i need to have an accountant to tell me how little i can get away with giving to the federal government (and i’d like to take this opportunity to say that i happily pay my taxes). as a result, i fall into the bracket that allows me to efile for free. now i might be overlooking one thing or another (i’m certainly no expert in tax preparation), but one would assume that if one used the same filing software for several consecutive years with fairly consistent results (as i said above, witholding, filing status, etc remained constant), that in a year where one made less money than the previous year, they would reasonably expect to receive a similar (if not slightly larger) refund. so i found it strange when i started hearing that 95% of us paid less this year.

          you guys can keep playing the telephone game and kicking out statistics that would make the cuban ministry of propaganda blush, but i’m more concerned with the reality and facts dave was paying lip service to earlier. let me know when you’re able to reasonably present something like that.

          • Lowell Fulk says:

            Seth, look in a mirror.

          • David Miller says:

            OK Seth. You’ve inspired me to do some further research. I’ll get back with you because I respect that we can discuss this using facts. I find you reasonable (normally, at least as often as myself) and would like to figure this out. It will be a relief from my attempts with others on facebook.

          • David Miller says:

            Here’s a start for a good read on it

            Congress cut individuals’ federal taxes for this year by about $173 billion shortly after President Barack Obama took office, dwarfing the $28.6 billion in increases by states.


            Now I’ll try to get their facts checked.

          • David Miller says:

            This sums it up nicely. The tax codes are relatively unchanged for individuals except with the $400-$800 credit.


          • JGFitzgerald says:

            Wild guess: Less was withheld. Too much less. Presumably to get more money into the economy in spring of 2009.

          • Seth, The tax code has traditionally favored people who make jobs and generate wealth. Uncle Sam want’s you to be a businessman and hire people. And folk who make less pay a higher percentage in tax because so much of their income goes to local and state taxes, sales tax, meals tax, utility taxes, and user fees. If Gov. Haircut has his way, you’ll be paying tolls on the interstates – for roads your income, sales and gas taxes have already paid for. Ain’t that special.

          • Lowell Fulk says:

            Now see, this is where I and my friend Bubby can disagree, and yet still be friends.

            I personally think tolls are the way to go on our road system. I don’t think sales, income, real estate tax etc… should be used to build the roadways that everyone depends upon for travel to and from work and to keep the shelves stocked…

            Transportation costs what it costs.

            If asphalt, steel, concrete, equipment, and roadbuilding labor go up, then the tolls should reflect that increase, and the price of goods and transportation dependent benefits reflect the increased cost.

            This is in no way reflective of a household budget.

  13. seth says:

    i’m not the only person in the sub 30k bracket i’ve heard of this happening to (also not the first i’ve seen met with condescending assumptions that they must be doing something wrong). i’m familiar with the president’s comments on it and i can read what you wrote. i agree that math is real but i think that it’s probably more important to recognize that often, it really is manipulated in creative ways so that we can say what we want while maintaining that we speak the objective truth.

    i don’t mean to generalize and say that because somehow i didn’t benefit from taxes decreasing for 95% of the population, that there must not be any conceivable way that one could make such a claim, only to say that what the reality is in my situation is rather strange and confusing when those kinds of assertions are flying around.

  14. David Miller says:

    Seth, my apologies. I’ve been overwhelmed lately by people claiming things that are obvious mis-truths. Knowing you I know you’ve done your due diligence on your taxes and it was rude to insinuate you hadn’t. My point was that if you think a statistic is false then please disprove it instead speculating on its legitimacy. Speculation benefits no one, that’s all

  15. Brandon says:

    Correction: USPS is not government owned.

  16. For the record, “josh” is deleting comments presenting data that does not accord with his line about 47% not paying taxes. This is pretty typical of the fantasyland most of the supposedly well educated tea partiers live in. The 47% figure refers to people paying the federal income tax, but for 75% of the population it is the payroll fica that is the biggest tax they pay, although most do not notice it because it is deducted and unless self-employed do not have to mess with it on Tax Day. Nobody gets out of paying fica because of being low income, indeed people above a bit above $100,000 pay no more than anybody else above that cutoff. It is highly regressive towards the poor paying more.

    Also, the largest source of revenue for state governments overall is sales taxes, which are also regressive, with no breaks for poor people when they buy things. Josh is just repeating more phoney Fox News propaganda.

    • Jonathan says:

      I don’t delete comments. They have to be “approved” for spam reasons. Anyone who runs a WordPress blog will tell you this.

      Everyone’s comments make it. I encourage it.

      • I apologize for my critical remarks directed at Jonathan over his blog. He has now fixed it so that if a comment is made and is awaiting moderation, one can see it there as being in that status. That was not the case when I first commented there. There was nothing and for some time.

        It remains the case that he has not answered the substantive issue, that he misrepresents the situation regarding who is paying taxes and who is not, irregardless of whether he got his distorted information from CNN or Fox News. It is distorted, and he does not seem to be willing to own up to that.

  17. Whoops! Big correction. That is not Josh, but Jonathan Woods, to whose blog a link was made above.

  18. OK, I’m venting. But what strikes me about these people is that for all their rhetoric about freedom and their ranting about Obama being a fascist-nazi-socialist-communist, they exhibit the worst sort of petty dictatorial and repressive tendencies one can imagine. So, on top of their rank ignorance, add a rather large serving of rank hypocrisy. Jonathan Woods, you are a pathetic joke, and all I have said applies to you.

  19. Lowell Fulk says:

    Barkley, ditto… :o)

  20. David Miller says:

    I got into a similar situation on Mark Obenshain’s facebook thread accusing Obama of raising taxes by 680 billion dollars. Facts are irrelevant when hate is prevalent.

  21. Although Lowell dittoed me, I am a bit embarrassed at having written so strongly. I do not know Jonathan Wood at all, but he simply seems to be part of a larger syndrome. What is frustrating is that I know some very libertarian people who are principled and deal with facts as they are. I just spent some time this week defending some of them in another totally different venue (they are professional economists) where they were under what I considered to be unfair and personalistic attacks. This sort of stuff goes on from both sides. But it makes me aware that people like Wood and others really do not need to lie, although often we do not know if they are lying or just ignorant.

    People can disagree about what should be done about problems, but the discussion is just completely polluted when this sort of distortion of the truth goes on and goes on constantly as if it is just normal. This is what is really annoying, how deeply entrenched this sort of garbage has become and how it is supported by so much self-reinforcing media and repetition. We have people, many of them perfectly nice I am sure, wrapping themselves in the flag and all this tea party stuff, with well-known politicians speaking to them, and they are just in la la land with utter nonsense. It has been going on a long time, and I suppose I should just get used to it, but somethimes one just has to speak up, even if one pokes at someone one does not know and does not know if they are one of the conscious liars and hypocrites or is just a pathetically ignorant idiot who id full of themselves.

    • David Miller says:

      My frustrations vented by another, thanks for taking the time to communicate the points.

  22. bazrik says:

    My two cents –

    Comments like Frank’s that attack on a deeply personal level – striking low blows re: private matters in a public forum – should be removed by the moderator whenever possible. That stuff makes me sick.

    …oh, and Frank, you’ve proven yourself to be a coward hiding behind a computer with this latest. Debate within the boundaries of civilized discourse, or just leave please.

  23. Jamie Smith says:

    Dr. Rosser is right on so many aspects of what is happening, but we simply can’t get used to what is going on in this country. We will be Greece; make that “Big Greece” if we keep running huge deficits and keep increasing the national debt as we are currently doing.
    The people we are sending to represent us at the national level are not listening to us. Our current path will ensure our demise at some future date. There has to be a better way!
    I also wonder what the definition of the “middle class” is currently.

    • Jamie,

      Well, we were running a surplus when President Clinton stepped down. Bush was the first president in US history to be so irresponsible as to cut taxes while initiating wars.

      Most of the current deficits are due to the recession. As we get out of it, the situation will improve substantially, although something will need to be done further once we get out of it. But we are very far from being Greece.

  24. David Miller says:

    “The people we are sending to represent us at the national level are not listening to us. ”

    What do you mean, like the 8 years spent under Bushy bs? People act like there is some big movement against Obama’s agenda, they couldn’t be further from the truth. That’s the beauty of propoganda

  25. Jamie Smith says:

    Dr. Rosser, I am not looking to lay blame, just stating what should be obvious to our nation’s leaders. Our current course cannot be sustained, period.

  26. Dave Briggman says:

    Why are there no black people who are regular bloggers on here?

    I mean, I don’t think your views of liberalism could possibly represents the views of blacks because you don’t have any blacks blogging on here.

    I think I could even go on to say that you people probably hate blacks because there aren’t any blogging on here.

    Just a thought…makes as much sense as any observations you may have about whether minorities choose to attend a Tea Party function in a community where minorities are a tiny fraction of the total population.

    My pastor wasn’t out there, so obviously Presbyterians…

    • “Why are there no black people who are regular bloggers on here?”

      How would you know that?

      “makes as much sense as any observations you may have about whether minorities choose to attend a Tea Party function”

      The topic was raised by someone trying to support the Tea Party as being more diverse than pictured. See Rob Layne’s comment
      from April 18 at 3:51 AM.

      “in a community where minorities are a tiny fraction of the total population”

      As of the 2000 Census, 5.6% of the people in Rockingham County were races other than non-Hispanic white, and in the city it was 19.9%.

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Announcements & Press Releases
  • Friendly City Grand Opening Set for July 9

    Friendly City Food Co-Op, Harrisonburg’s consumer-owned grocery, invites the community to come see its new destination for natural, organic and locally-produced products at the store’s grand opening 11 a.m.-5 p.m. July 9 at 150 East Wolfe Street.

  • Friendly City Becomes Member of National Cooperative Grocers Association

    HARRISONBURG, VA — Friendly City Food Co-op, slated to open this month in Harrisonburg, Va., has become the newest member of the National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA), a business services cooperative serving 120 consumer-owned food co-ops nationwide.

  • Harrisonburg Recognized as a Bike Friendly Community

    May 2: Harrisonburg was honored when the League of American Bicyclists announced the latest round of Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) designations over the weekend to kick off May as National Bike Month.