I have been encouraged to resume blogging by a major league blogger who described my efforts as "good stuff". Since I greatly admire the particular blog, I was definitely flattered.
Now, I'm not doing anything quite so exciting as disaster relief or a medical mission to the former USSR, but I still manage to keep busy.
I have taken up working in what are called "locum tenens" jobs, temporary duty practicing cardiology to fill in as needed. Last year and the year before my wife and I were in Virginia. This year I decided to give Hawaii a try. I know, it's dirty work, but somebody's got to do it.
I'm starting with posting some photos of the April 15, 2009 Tax Day Tea Party in Honolulu. The organizers estimated about 2,000 people there, which is pretty
good for a state with only six Republicans in the state legislature.
1. Here's the front part of the crowd. It was quite well organized, good PA system, but most importantly a very enthusiastic crowd--probably for many of them, like me, their first protest rally in many years. I remember my last one--it was a Civil Rights march (in a very safe northern town) in 1964.
2. A number of years ago when my wife and I wanted a flag like this we had to make our own. Now it's a very popular flag once again. Unfortunately that says a lot about the state of our country.
3. This was a very family-friendly group, I was happy to see.
There were no roughnecks, no agents provocateurs, no troublemakers. There were a lot of different political persuasions, though, including a fair number of Ron Paul supporters and other libertarians.
I saw one man protesting in favor of civil unions, a current controversy in Hawaii.
4. A very popular theme--and it would be mine as well: the tsunami of debt that is inevitable if the Obama administration has its way.
One theme I wish had been hit harder would be something like I wrote on a petition:
"Recessions come and go, big government is forever".
I'm not nearly as worried about "the flagging economy", as today's NY Times described their interpretation of the main reason for the protests around the country. We can deal with bubbles and recessions--the market will handle them as it always has, and far quicker than the government can respond. The real danger is the "don't ever let a crisis go to waste" mentality of the new administration: pass the entire leftist dream agenda, and blame it on the "crisis".
5. Easily the cutest costumed group were the kids in their chain gang outfits (debtors' prison??). Great theater--AND they responded snappily to the questions posed by the emcee.
"Why are you here?"
"I don't want my piggy bank robbed," said the 9-year-old.
6. The Second Amendment had a small but enthusiastic group of supporters. Hawaii gun laws are among the most unfriendly to gun owners in the country. And I thought California was bad.
7. No blog post on a protest for freedom is complete without a protest babe--well, in this case a protest mom; I liked the sign too.
Message: It took a lot of time and trouble to come down here today, but our freedom is worth it.
8. OK, this time a real protest babe, and definitely the cutest one of the day.
9. Honk if your taxes are too high. The main theme of the official speakers was the current session of the Hawaii legislature, which is planning to raise taxes on just about everything. But the signs and the impromptu speakers focused on the problem at the national level, which is what most of are really worried about. It will have the most effect on our lives, and our kids' and grandkids' lives.
10. A trio of imaginative and
effective signs. I was pleasantly surprised by this in general. A lot of citations by speakers of Reagan's favorite sayings. In theory it may have been nonpartisan, but if I had to put the crowd into a political category it would be Reagan Republicans--and Democrats.
Of course the up-to-date razzing of Barney Frank brought a smile to my face as well.
11. The entire chain gang of convict kids, together with Uncle Sam. Patrick Henry and his wife also made an appearance. The convict kids had a 14-year-old spokesman who gave a nice talk. His Mom and Dad must be proud.
Hats off to the organizers, to all those who made their signs and costumes, to all who got off work early to come down to show the flag, and the many who just honked as they drove by. We felt very good about being able to participate in an historic occasion. Conservatives protesting on the streets! What next??!!