Correction: Greg Aldridge was not vice-president of the Tea Party. This post has been corrected to reflect that.
My Sunday column is about the Roanoke Tea Party, and their obsession with the do-gooding environmental group ICLEI — the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives — and their demands that Roanoke County disassociate itself from that group.
So Thursday night I went to the Tea Party’s meeting the Holiday Inn Tanglewood to do some reporting for the column. But some other interesting stuff came up at the meeting that I couldn’t really fit into the newspaper version. So here it is.
1) One of RTP’s legislative priorities this year in Richmond is a bill by Del. Bob Marshall, R-Manassas, that would assure the continued availability of incandescent light bulbs in Virginia. A bipartisan bill Congress passed in 2007, and signed by President Bush, and which the light-bulb industry pushed for, is phasing these energy-wasting dinosaurs out.
Marshall’s bill would essentially exempt Virginia and allow for their manufacture here. It could require Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli to sue the feds for the right to have those old bulbs in the commonwealth.
“The point is, the federal government has no right or authority to determine who can build 100-watt light bulbs who can buy them,” former Tea Party President Chip Tarbutton told the crown of about 45 people.
There was much applause.
2) Another new windmill the Roanoke Tea Party is tilting at is the Virginia Standards of Learning, commonly called the SOLs. These were adopted under former Gov. George Allen. Essentially, they dictate the information in public schools that students are taught. There are legitimate reasons to criticize the SOLs, but the Tea Party has come up with some of the most bizarre ones imaginable.
A guest speaker ran down a horrifying list of these things, and among the outrages was that America has a democratic form of government. This is considered outrageous because the term “democracy” is a dirty word in the Tea Party movement. Our government is “a Republic, NOT a democracy,” they say. The truth is, it’s a representative republic in which those representatives are democratically elected. I think they’re finding insult where there’s little, if any injury.
The speaker suggested that schoolkids are being taught this to soften up their minds so that they will accept the day when one-world government comes to the Earth. I’m not making this up at all.
3) Chip Tarbutton, the longtime Tea Party president, and Greg Aldridge, the sergeant at arms, have temporarily stepped aside from their leadership roles in the Roanoke Tea Party.
This is so they can take paid positions with the U.S. Senate campaign of E.W. Jackson, a Tea Party favorite who’s among the candidates vying for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate. Among his challenger is former Sen. George Allen. Jackson reminds me a lot of perennial Senate and presidential candidate Alan Keyes (who is from Maryland but challenged Barack Obama in 2004 in a Illinois contest for U.S. Senate. Keyes went down in flames, like he always does).
The new president, at least for the time being, is Greg Honeycutt.
So there you go folks: All the stuff I couldn’t fit into Sunday’s column. Make sure you stay tuned for that!
UPDATE: In the comments below I’ve expanded on the some of the revelation the Tea Party’s guest speaker made about the SOLs. I’m reprinted that here to give it a added prominence.
The guest speaker was a mom who got involved when one day one of her kids came home from school with a crossword puzzle that had “acid rain” and “global warming” in it.
- “I don’t agree with global warming and acid rain,” she said. You know, GW is still (in some quarters) debatable. But acid rain is not. Not agreeing with it is like not agreeing with sunshine.
- Some of the other objections the guest speaker cited as outrageous in the SOLs were that students are taught to be active citizens, the SOLs mention human rights, as opposed to natural rights (which is part of the socialist one-world government agenda), and that the SOLs “idolize” native Americans for living peacefully and in harmony with the environment.
- She also made a big deal out of the fact that when she went to school, she learned that that humans “adapted” to their environment. Now (shudder) the SOLs instruct schools to teach that humans “relate” to their environment.
- Schools are collecting information, via survey homework assignments students did, on whether families are recycling and how much, and how long parents lets the water run when they’re brushing their teeth.
- The SOLsmention the world court, in the form of a question, and that suggests “They’re pushing our children to accept that the world court knows what’s best for us, because they want to take down our borders.”
- She vociferously objected to all the mentions of democracy in the SOLS. “They just want to stick democracy in as much as they can.”
- She made a real big deal out of the fact that the SOLs refer to the government of the United States as a “national” government rather than a “federal government,” although she conceded that in at least a couple of instances they had left “federal” in.
She concluded her presentation with these remarks.
“This is not an education!
This is social engineering!
This is indocrination!
This is a progressive agenda!”
To which one Tea Party member shouted fervently:
“Progressive like cancer!”
Now if there are any TPers who were there and are reading this, they can confirm it’s true. They wouldn’t dare dispute it, because they know it’s true. I’m not making it up at all.