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Strasburg residents gather together to protest government's outsourcing, wasteful spending

By Preston Knight -- pknight@nvdaily.com

STRASBURG -- Sunday came a day early this past weekend for some residents.

Franco Ryan waves a flag
Franco Ryan, 52, of Strasburg, waves a flag during the "Tea Party" event in Strasburg on Saturday. Rich Cooley/Daily

Dick Chapman listens to a speaker
Dick Chapman, 69, of Stephens City, listens to a speaker during the "Tea Party" held Saturday afternoon in the town lot behind the Strasburg Fire Department. Rich Cooley/Daily

Kim Bishop speaks
Strasburg resident Kim Bishop speaks during the "Tea Party" held in Strasburg on Saturday. Rich Cooley/Daily

Strasburg resident Kim Bishop
Strasburg resident Kim Bishop speaks during the "Tea Party" held in Strasburg on Saturday. Rich Cooley/Daily

Spectators listen to speakers
Spectators listen to speakers in the shade behind a wall of quoted posters during the "Tea Party." Rich Cooley/Daily

Al Houston listens
Al Houston, 80, of Strasburg, listens to Kim Bishop speak during the Tea Party held in Strasburg on Saturday. Rich Cooley/Daily

Speakers at the Strasburg "Tea Party" rally Saturday afternoon were basically preaching to the choir, receiving some "amens" in the process, as they demanded that government just stay out of their lives.

Former Town Council member Carl Rinker, the recipient of one particularly loud and unifying "amen" from the audience that filed in and out during the three-hour event, spoke passionately about the government passing too much cost onto employers and other Americans, outsourcing too many jobs and spending too wastefully in trying to save other countries.

"We're in deep crap right now," Rinker said. "When government's got their hands into it, it's not going to go the way we want it to go. ... Self-preservation starts today. Right here, right now, in this town."

The theme of the party was "Constitutional Correctness, Not Political Correctness." Its organizer, Kim Bishop, was adamant that the nation needs to revert to living as its Founding Fathers had designed -- with a limited government.

"It's all about control," she said, referencing the topics of health care and cap and trade. "They want to control you."

A large sign near the stage read "Taxed Enough Already," and had several short phrases written around it. "Unite or Die" and "Freedom is not Free" were among the slogans. Some people carried signs, waved flags or wore shirts asking for, among other things, term limits.

The party's purpose was to give the opportunity to people who work and supply taxes to government to stand and let those in Washington know that limited government and personal control is what they want, Bishop said in a press release. Labor Day weekend was a fitting time to do it, she added.

On Saturday, the message will be taken all the way to Washington. Mt. Jackson resident Suzanne Curran said that from Staunton to Strasburg, six busloads of people have signed up to head to the nation's capital to participate in a march on Pennsylvania Avenue. A seventh bus may even be added.

"It's to complain about the exorbitant spending Congress leaves on you and, ultimately, your great grandchildren [to pay]," Curran said. "I'll be dead. I don't have to pay it."

The deadline has passed for anyone who is interested to sign up for a bus now.

D. Eric Wiseley, a town attorney, chastised President Obama and Congress for their desire to spend money on "cool things" the country does not need and criticized their thinking that taxing the rich, such as Warren Buffett, would do any good.

"The best tax shelter today is unemployment," he said.

Bishop, meanwhile, also bemoaned the fact that too much emphasis is put on children going to college, which serves to shine certain jobs, like picking crops in a field, in a negative light.

"We need to quit telling kids who don't go to college that they are stupid," she said. "Congress is [a bunch of] complete and utter morons, and they all have Ivy League degrees. What's that say about Harvard?"

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kim bishop

So sad that the daily chose to misrepresent this TEA party. It was a lot of fun and there were many people who learned new things they didn't know before including the Constitution and quotes of our founders.


The politics of resentment are impervious to facts. The combination of unrestrained partisanship and the corrosive influence of big money have all but paralyzed the political process.

Actually turning this country around is going to take years of siege warfare against deeply entrenched lobbying interests who are intent on defending a deeply dysfunctional political system.

Partisan condemnation is not the answer when fault lays equally with both political parties. The answers sought must correct the deficiencies of our political system.

Beware of the personalities who protest the dangers of seeking freedom from the burden of democracy and the stress of seeking higher education to become an educated citizen.

Knowledge is real power.


I'll give you an amen to that one Whoopee. When we as a people start to hold our eleced officials accountable for the votes they cast and the money they accept, we will see a change.
Republican or Democrat, left or right, our politicians are more concerened with who is lining their pockets or relection campaigns. The average salary for these "public servants" is 175000. Not to mention the benefit packages associated with them. I could stand to be a "servant for that".
We need to quit taking sides and come together for a common goal. They can't speak on the house floor without acting like 5 year olds, and we can't hold a simple rally without doing the same.
And we wonder why our kids can't get along.


"So sad that the daily chose to misrepresent this TEA party"

Misrepresent the TEA party? This article consists of 14 paragraphs, four of which were quoted directly from you, 6 paragraphs contain quotes from your colleagues, and the remaining four paragraphs contain factual information about the event and an upcoming bus trip taken directly from your press release. Would you care to elaborate on your allegations of misrepresentation? Your only specific gripe related to a lack of coverage of the Constitutional lessons and quotes from our founding fathers. In my opinion, these topics, and your devotion to them, were adequately covered in the sentence "...Kim Bishop, was adamant that the nation needs to revert to living as its Founding Fathers had designed...". If you want additional publicity for your political agenda, consider starting a blog instead of accusing the Northern Virginia Daily of bias.

Whooppee, if this is what you believe than you should have been at the TEA party. There was no partisanship, everyone was opposed to the special interests and fighting the dysfunction of the current system and taking it back to the small government envisioned by the writers of the Constitution.

I am all for getting educated, but if everyone was a manager who would do the work. Our TEA party was about the people who work hard not just those who go to college and talk about problems and fixing them, but the people who actually do the hard work and pay the taxes. Knowledge is more than books it also comes from experience. When we quit looking down on those who don't have degrees and realize that they are just as important and just as intelligent as those who do, we can stop all the silly class warfare that is dividing us and start building the unity that you and so many others say you desire.

It was a peaceful assembly of citizens voicing their educated opinions as well as their ideologies, and you might be surprised to know that we didn't agree on everything but managed to get along. There were no tin foil hats or uzi's, so perhaps before you disparage a whole group of people you don't know, maybe next time you should check out the truth for yourself.

Polls suggest the events promoted as tea parties have had little or no effect on changing public opinion to favor Republican positions on any issue, whether it be taxes, economy, health care, or foreign policy. Replace civility with acrimony and your supporter base shrinks to the hard core true believers, the ones wearing the tin foil hats and the far away gaze.

The tactics of aggrandizement of flawed minority ideologies using obstructionism, coupled with obfuscation by lying and misrepresentation, has proven to be a poorly planned, infantile strategy. Rejection of these tactics is widespread. Acceptance, as mentioned by the reporter writing this article, Mr. Knight, is limited when the proponents preach to the choir. By default, these like-minded supporters have become the only audience enjoying the spoon fed, vitriolic, fact free propaganda.

Tin hat folks will not embrace any idea, including their own, if it seems politically more attractive to scream ‘socialist’ at their adversaries. Considering what Republicans have to offer, people have left the party, (myself included) leaving behind not a pragmatic coalition but a group of ideological naysayers who are against universal health care, immigration reform, and renewable energy. When your side of the ideological debate lacks substance, you can not regain lost ground by obnoxiously yelling louder.

As for you, Ms. Bishop, I will refrain from personal attacks. However, I firmly believe there are some people in this world who deserve to be insulted.

I agree Whooppee! I watched President Obama's empowered speech last night and the man just moves and inspires me as he strives to bring about healthcare reform and calm the fear of those who listen to too much Fox News. Of course, I am not so naive that I think his speech really reached the brains of the small minded, mean spirited, fear mongering, misrepresenting-the-facts few, but I have no doubt that he did reach a lot of people!

That shameful outburst from Rep. Joe Wilson last night as he shouted "You lie!" as the president was speaking is proof of how low the Republican party has sunk!! Big deal he apologized to the President...the damage was done! Words are like stones, once thrown, they cannot be taken back!

I have voted Republican at least 90% of the time, but I prefer to vote for the candidate, not the party which is why I voted for President Obama. After watching all of these tea parties, town hall meetings, Fox News, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and certainly reading a lot of these blogs not to mention the asinine Republican booth at the Shenandoah County Fair last week with their idiotic t-shirts, I am absolutely ashamed of the Republican party!! I will still vote for the candidate BUT if the candidate happens to be Republican...I'll just stay home! I denounce any further affiliation with the Republican party!

What can I say except that I'm stunned. I guess whooppee and Tstar don't ever read anything I write. I am not a republican. I actually had Republicans refuse to come to the TEA party because I said I wouldn't let any pundits speak. I don't know why I should be insulted for using my first amendment rights. I guess if I'd gone to a NE college then I would be allowed to have a thought. Those of us who chose to serve our country or work in the factories should just shut up and let you "educated" (and I use that word loosely) people decide our fates, huh? Well not anymore.

You call those who disagree with Obama small minded, mean spirited, fear mongering, misrepresenting the facts few (let's not forget tin foil hat wearing), but in fact it is you who fit those descriptions because you will not engage in any form of debate. It's agree with you or shut up, well the fact is we're not the "few" you are which is why the congress is thinking of taking up the nuclear option. If they had the support of the majority there would be no problem getting the 60 votes needed. Anyone with an ounce of common sense can see that Obama did lie all throughout his propaganda speech last night and that government run anything fails! Tell me one social program that isn't bankrupt or on its way. If you're so right and we're so wrong how about using some real life, practical arguments to convince us rather than statistics and paper argumentsthat can and have been spun to suit the speakers will. Hopefully common sense will win the day.

We must have been listening to different speeches last night! I was listening to President Obama address Congress about healthcare reform and you were listening to a propoganda speech he was giving in which he was lying? What channel were you watching?

After Obama's adversaries were called out last night and fictious excuses for "free speech" was replaced by facts such as #1 there is NO death panel as stated by Ms. Palin, #2 there will be NO federal healthcare coverage for illegal aliens #3 there's nothing remotely suggesting in any one of the several versions of healthcare bills out there now that abortion will be paid for by this insurance #4 medicare will stay, but that the doughnut hole in place now will be reduced or eliminated...now we are going to switch the conversation to nuclear options?? No substance to the first argument so we just switch topics we think we can win or that will just deflect from the loss of the first argument? Unreal!

According to your post, you consider those who serve our country as not receiving as much education as college students? I will have you know that my husband served our country and the training and education he received while doing so would surely equate to a college degree and then some!! The only one that ever calls you and yours stupid is you! You are the one that thinks college is overrated, but an idle mind is a dangerous mind. With today's economy and rising healthcare costs one cannot afford NOT to go to college, vocation school or at the very least graduate from high school! President Obama tried to give that same talk to our nation's children Tuesday, but some thought it was too politically motivated and kept their kids home or some schools decided not to air that speech. If any of the opposition actually saw that talk, I would hope they would feel a bit foolish for being so paranoid over nothing!

What will it take to get the opposition out there to realize that we are all in this together and the tactics of pitting one idea against another and dividing our citizens as they are now is ridiculous?!!! We have a basis for healthcare reform. President Obama admittedly stated that it is a work in progress, but at least he and others are trying to get this done! Best idea would be for it to be a bipartisan effort. Wonder if the Republicans have ever heard of brainstorming? You know, help become part of the solution instead of the problem?

If you use common sense and look to other nations that have done these things you will see that everything Obama said won't happen will. You just refuse to see it.

As for me saying military people aren't educated, I said no such thing. I said people who chose to enter the military instead of going to college are not stupid. Pay attention. I also never said people shouldn't graduate from high school, vocational school or college, what I said was that people who choose not to go to college are not necessary stupid or idle minded. Do you have to go to college to read or learn? I don't think so.

Finally what do you consider a bi-partisan effort? From what I've seen Republicans have been kept out of the discussions on health care and it's the democrats fighting within their own ranks. You don't need one republican vote to get this nightmare passed. The republicans and some democrats are standing up for what the majority of their constituents want and that is health care reform but no public option. You are the one who won't be a part of the solution by continually calling me the opposition. I'm not opposed to change, but you will never accept that because I think bi-partisan means to you, anyone who doesn't agree with you needs to shut up. I've never asked you to stop stating your opinion, I've simply been stating mine while disagreeing with you and yet I'm the one whose the problem? PLEASE!

In almost every post I have read of yours, you ASSUME to know what someone is saying even though the words never materialized on their post. Your spin on things is incredible!

All I know is that this is a waste of time and effort to even try to reason with the obstinate. Oppose all you want! As for your snarky and insulting remarks, I have become immune since it is so frequent. Speaks a lot about a person's character though.

The only thing I saw that I assumed was that you think bi-partisan means the opposition should shut up. If I'm wrong could you please tell me what your definition of bi-partisan is and how the republicans or myself could ever say anything against the public option that could be considered bi partisan. I really would like to know. And before you demean my character perhaps you should re-read your comments. They were alot more insulting and snarky than mine.

Always be mindful the far right is a discredited minority of angry hooligans who are habitually wrong at the top of their lungs. The anti-tax tea parties have morphed into a catch all forum for every pet peeve gnawing away in the far right's bag of gripes. Town hall meetings have been invaded with mob mentality shout downs proposing fairy dust solutions intended to prevent serious exchanges of ideas and views working towards democratic solutions.

Rank, willful stupidity and prideful wrongness, not terrorism, are the greatest threats to this country. Democracy's freedoms require responsible, appropriate responses from its citizens to refuse to stand idly by and allow unchallenged hogwash, misrepresentations, deceptions, distortions, and willful lies easily proven false.

The anti-tax tea party promoters all claim to champion the weak and helpless as a stepping stone to achieve credibility. However, they fail to realize they are so self-righteous, so ill-informed, and so dogmatic that nothing can be said, nothing can be done, to change their minds so entrenched by siege mentality.

Unfounded stubbornness turns the stomach. Appeasement is not possible. There is no level of achievement sufficient to escape the stultifying bonds of their 'we are good, you are bad' bigotry. It is impossible to be smart enough or accomplished enough to earn their respect for intellectual honesty, however well reasoned and presented. Lost in translation within their murky mind is the idea of big emotions do not originate with big words.

Suddenly these hideously pompous denizens of the far right are all concerned about inequalities due to education, or lack of it? This concern expands in a style reminiscent of McCarthyism to allow finding it in places where it doesn’t for a moment exist. Not just finding it, but being outraged by it to the point of apoplexy. Oh, they tell us, this is a bad thing. No, straw man arguments are a bad thing. Straw man arguments create the illusion of refuting an opponent’s argument by mischaracterizing it and then knocking down that mischaracterization.

Another favorite ploy is wrapping themselves in flag waving patriotism, waving this banner on high as proof their position is offered for the good of all mankind. Having our well being standing at the forefront of their concern for the underprivileged and downtrodden everyman masks their desire to be recognized by their tin foil hat wearing peers as a 'somebody'.

Tin foil hat viewpoints are incredibly different than the American opinion as a whole, and like a child having an emotional breakdown in the supermarket as mom passes by the candy aisle, the attention they have brought upon themselves is skewed out of proportion to the actual importance of their self-generated drama.

The vast majority of citizens don't buy into the bogus tea party minority viewpoint, this fallacy represented and espoused as our salvation. This protection is unneeded and unwanted. We are told all we need do is believe in their unfailing ability to have our best interests as their core belief, much the same as the fox in the hen house having a sincere interest in the longevity of the chickens.

Whooppee, while I can agree with alot of the points you make I'd like to make one. I don't consider myself to be on the right, but I do share some of the same beleifs. What I notice is that there are these same extremists at both ends of the spectrum, left and right. Alot of the ones on the far right behave in the ways you listed. Those that are far to the left respond in similar ways. Labeling the far right as bible toting southern rednecks, or uneducated morons. I think its far time we left these partisan actions and their pompous representatives to the far ends and brought our country back to the middle. As you said before, thats where a bulk of the people are. So let them have their tea parties, let the other side have their signs on times square that say 911 was an inside job. Lets put our efforts to something a little more productive, like civil, meaningful, debate.

"I don't know why I should be insulted for using my first amendment rights."

wait, didn't you start this string of comments by trying to deprive the article's author, Preston Knight, of his first amendment rights? I am still waiting for you to clarify your venomous accusations against the NV Daily.

"Those of us who chose to serve our country or work in the factories"

Are you trying to say that everyone who works in a factory or serves their country is uneducated? Speak for yourself.

OK ryank I will try and answer you question, since no one ever answers mine. You are right, Preston did a fair job on his article and I liked his quotes, I guess I had just hoped that he would've pointed out the non-partisan nature of it and perhaps used some of the ways people can use their first amendment rights. I honestly thought your question was rhetorical.

Second, I did not in any way say that military or factory workers were uneducated. I said that elitists and the "educated" look down on those jobs as has been seen over and over the last 8 years when the Democrats ran down the military and tried at every turn to pit the lower and middle classes (of which I am one) against the upper classes. Why did Whooppee point out her/his NE education if she/he didn't think it made her/him more important? Why does tstar call all the tea party people small minded, mean spirited, fear mongering, misrepresenting the facts few when she's never even been to a TEA party or talked to any attendees?

I tried to explain that I'm not a Republican NUMEROUS times and yet I still get accused of being one. I've asked TONS of questions and never gotten answers just name calling. I'm civil, I've tried to bring up what I think and what I feel, but never have any of you, with the exception of the Irishman, ever had a civil discourse with me. You all either ignore my questions or accuse me of being republican or mean spirited or tin foil hat wearing (which I never have nor do I know any one who has or does). Perhaps before pointing the finger at me you could look to your comments first. Does that answer your question?!?

Ms. Bishop, did you not understand my comment about your use of 'Straw Man' arguments? You stated above:
"Why did Whooppee point out her/his NE education if she/he didn't think it made her/him more important?"

Copied below is my posted comment you made reference as indicative of imagined importance. More important than what? You? If that were not true, what does that information do to your perspective on my opinions?

"Whooppee replied to kim bishop | September 3, 2009 10:10 AM | Reply
What if I told you I am an ethnic minority female, born and educated north of the Mason-Dixon line. What does that information do to your perspective on my opinions?
Republican President Eisenhower saw you and the John Birchers coming when he said, " ... possessing no standing or expertness as they themselves claim it, attempt to further their own ideas or interests by resorting to statements more distinguished by stridency than by accuracy.”"

Clearly, in this instance you have misrepresented my comments, cherry-picking content to fit your contrived agenda. It is a tremendous leap to imagine an 'ethnic minority female' thinks this label made the wearer 'more important". More important than what?

No, if anything, my attitude towards you in particular is 'condescending', You confuse yourself with imagined inferences made by imagined tormenters. I believe this condition is commonly called 'delusional'.

What if I told you I only completed the 9th grade of a formal education. What does that information do to your perspective on my opinions?

This is my final comment on this topic. Whooppee, Tstar and Ryank, call us whatever you want but as of 12:30 the DC police had the estimated number of people marching against wasteful government spending at 1.2 MILLION with many more still coming. It was peaceful and jam packed. You could hardly move. A few? I don't think so! God bless America! We the People!

It sounds like you must have eaten a thesaurus during your 9th grade year to me. Words with four syllables do not necessarily make you sound intelligent.

1.2 million? Poppycock! Authorities in the District do not give official crowd estimates. You have simply misplaced the decimal. It is "point one two million" - 120,000 -

Washington Post quote: "...Saturday's throng appeared to number in the many tens of thousands."

NY Times quote: "The demonstrators numbered well into the tens of thousands, though the police declined to estimate the size of the crowd."

This weekends 'big protest' was organized and paid for by Freedom Works, the K Street lobby group headed by former House majority leader Richard Armey (R-Tex.), the same outfit that brought us this summers town hall meeting shout downs staged by the unclear far right minority rage of the tin foil hat disciples. Co-sponsors of this weekends event were the Tea Party Patriots and ResistNet. These are the same tin foil hat patriots who love their country so much they want their state to secede from the union. Secede from the union? Wasn't that issue settled by the outcome of the Civil War?

Some people just can’t believe a black man is president and will never accept it. South Carolina's Joe Wilson is the new middle-aged white guy poster boy for reborn racism. I did not hear him say the word, but I believe he wanted to say it, "You lie, boy."

Which brings me to ask the question, where did the motivation and money come from to pay for Strasburg's tea party? Dick Armey? I hope the kids college fund was not depleted. Do college degree credits normally include credit transfers for home schooling? Probably not.

You are one sad sad close minded individual. Where was the outcry when President Bush was booed and heckled by the left side of congress? Where was the outcry when a movie was made about his possible assassination? If a movie like that were made abour our Savior Barack Hussein Obama, the director would be tarred and feathered. It seems to me that any dissenting voice that you liberals hear is automatically equated to be racial. Get a life or move to Canada.

The estimated number of attendees to Saturdays 'protest' has fallen from make-believe-pie-in-the-sky 1.2 million all the way down to 70,000 +/- like minded individuals, pleased and proud to be enjoying their 15 minutes of notoriety.

Does this 70,000 include the 5 or 6 bus loads from Shenandoah Valley? The question becomes who paid for the busses? Dick Armey? Perhaps tickets were sold to pay for the round trip?

Someone stated the purpose of the 'protest' was to debate the issues concerning health care and taxes. Very little, if any, of Saturday's happenings had to do with health care or taxes. Perhaps symptomatic of the attendee's collective mind-set was one big sign with big red letters carried by a man from Montana and shown on TV news programs that said, "We came unarmed.....this time."

The vast majority of the home-made signs being displayed contained messages of threats and hostility, fomenting a climate of violence to provoke weak minded people. Saturday's event had little to do with policy differences over health care or taxes and everything to do with racial bigotry and threats of violence. A rose by any other name is still a rose.

Strong language can poison weak minds, as it did in the case of Timothy McVeigh.

Everyone exaggerates numbers, ie Million Man March, Million Mom March, its an accepted deception. Touting racial bigotry as the primary reason for the assembly is a statement thats embedded in that same bigotry. We as a people have the right to assemble, for whatever reason we choose. It could be to protest government spending and taxes, civil rights, or the anti-Bush rallies that took place over the last eight years. I don't know if you were so outspoken about those rallies where the people acted like uneducated bigots or not, but I'd say it's safe to assume they come in all shapes, colors, and sizes. Quit being devisive and antogonistic in youre statements and try suggesting a solution to the problem.

Try suggesting a solution to the problem? OK. Lies left unchallenged are not acceptable in a democracy.

Accepted deception? Only if limited to tall tales by fishermen and Don Juan Saturday night exploits with the fair ladies.

Speaking of Bush and lies left unchallenged are not acceptable in a democracy, how long should we wait to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?

Did Bush tell America an accepted deception?

I wouldn't call it an accepted deception and I also would never expect to hear the completed truth from either side. In my opinion we acted hastily in regards to Iraq, and only Iraq. I beleive it was a kneejerk reaction in response to alot of bad blood. The problems with Iraq should have been handled over the 8-10 years prior to the later Bush. Enough said on that.
Solutions are what I'm interested in, along with a majority of the American public. One senator acts like a child and interrupts the president. It was stupid, we all, correction, most of us know it. He apoligized to the president, move on. Now congress wants to waste time with a meaningless slap on the wrist.
Why can't they get past it and get to work. Put something together from both sides, make a compromise, and get something accomplished.
Why don't we as a people quit splitting hairs and looking at ways to put the other side down and come together with a common goal. Make our legislators responsible to us and not to the corporations and special interests that feed the reelection campaigns. Maybe then we can get true reform and not just another way to pad someone elses pocket.

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