Read 24th State’s “Tea Party Meets with Circle of Concern” as part one of this story.
You might have heard that Circle of Concern’s board of directors recently voted to stop collecting food at Tea Party events. The Tea Party learned of this decision from two Circle of Concern volunteers, one of whom is a member of the board. His was the lone dissenting vote.
Dana Loesch and I attended a meeting between Circle of Concern executives and Richard and Mimi, the pair who told us about the Circle’s decision to distance itself from the Tea Party. Blogger Jim Durbin came along as a citizen journalist and made a damn fine arbitrator into the bargain.
Tax Day Tea Party
Tea Party Patriots donated over 6,000 pounds of food and more than $600 cash at the Tax Day Tea Party. What Circle of Concern could not handle directly, Operation Food Search gladly accepted. With 10,000 people descending on Kiener Plaza, one organization simply couldn’t collect the food as fast people arrived. By any measure, the drive was a success.
In fact, according to Executive Director of CofC, our combined contributions to CofC and Operation Food Search fed nearly 100 families of four for one month.
Tax Day Aftermath
According to CofC, sometime after April 15, Executive Director Glenn Koenen found two photos that linked the Tea Party and Circle of Concern to extremists. In one photo, someone held a sign with a swastika. In both photos, according to CofC, a portion of the Circle of Concern logo appears somewhere in the background. (As of this posting, no one from the Tea Party has found the photos, and CofC has not responded to our requests for proof or copies.) CoC Board President, Jerry Caesar, claims that a person could piece together the two photos to form enough of the group’s logo to lead someone familiar with the logo to conclude that Circle of Concern is somehow associated with skinheads.
Koenen and Caesar claim emphatically that they have not received any complaints from donors or the public about their collection at the Tax Day Tea Party, which is understandable. Normal people don’t read FiredUp.
Circle of Concern Deserves Better
Circle of Concern works hard to be seen as nonpartisan, non-denominational, neutral, and helpful. They want to be the community charity. Their deeds and their works scream “middle of the road.” Moreover, they are probably the most efficient charity of their kind in the area. Food donated today reaches a family tomorrow. The staff of 150 includes only 3 paid professionals—the other 147 are volunteers.
Director Glenn Koenen is a champion for the needy. Googling Glenn will find links to recent and past interviews with just about every news outlet in the Midwest. It will also return some very unfortunate news about Glenn’s recent heart problems while attending his daughter’s college graduation at Drake. (Our prayers for Glenn’s full recovery from a surgery planned for this week.)
Bottom line on the people at the Circle: they live to help, and they are damned good at helping.
Unfortunately, CofC has fallen prey to the leftists agenda of hatred, isolation, marginalization, and destruction all in support of a pathological patronage system where some fat cat at the top calls all the shots—including who gets food and who doesn’t. When you remove the rule of law, you get patronage.
Patronage in America
Four hundred years ago, most of the world operated as a vast patronage system. Nobility and royalty called all the shots. Want to start a food bank? Kiss some royal butt. Want to stay out of jail? Have some prince write a get-out-of-jail writ in exchange for a poem extolling the prince’s hunting prowess. You get the idea. Merit had no meaning, nor ambition—unless you used those tools to please the king. According to USAToday, the White House is guiding stimulus money (your children’s future earnings) to counties that voted for Obama in the 2008 election:
Counties that supported Obama last year have reaped twice as much money per person from the administration’s $787 billion economic stimulus package as those that voted for his Republican rival, Sen.John McCain, a USA TODAY analysis of government disclosure and accounting records shows. That money includes aid to repair military bases, improve public housing and help students pay for college.
Again, you must please the Prince if you hope to suckle at teat of government.
America was the answer to all that. For 400 years, people have fled oligarchies, monarchies, and theocracies to live and die according to their own rules. Alexis de Tocqueville chronicles the drastic differences between France’s monarchy and America’s meritocracy in his 1839 collection called Democracy in America. Read it.
Today it’s different. America is rapidly returning to a patronage system. Piss off the President, get fired. (If you don’t believe me, ask Rick Wagoner, former CEO of GM.) The US government now controls the automotive industry, the banking industry, the finance industry. With the passage of Cap and Trade, it will soon own all of energy. Healthcare will turn all of medicine into a socialist empire. In other words, there are very few places left where you can be your own person, compete freely against others, and state your opinion openly. Instead, you’ll be judged by how well you kiss up to the ruling class. Obama’s national service program is just a collection of stoolies to report back to the Prince on who the malcontents are.
Circle of Concern
What does all this have to do with Circle of Concern? Well, CofC gets a lot of food from a central bank called Operation Food Search (which also collected 3,000 lbs. of food at the Tax Day Tea Party). OFS gets a lot of funding from the federal government and is tightly connected to community service organizations that are little more than Democrat fund raising machines: Want food? Donate to Obama.
Clearly, the Prince and his apparatchiks don’t want charities associating with or benefiting from the Tea Party movement. Koenen and Caesar can’t afford to upset the Prince. Therefore, it’s safer for CofC to stay clear of the Tea Party movement altogether.
Please don’t take it out on Circle of Concern or their clients—the people who need the services that CofC so willingly and lovingly and ably gives. FiredUpMissouri and the Southern Poverty Law Center have already hurt CofC’s ability to feed the hungry by effectively cutting off donations from Tea Party events. As Jim Durbin points out, the Tea Party movement and charities go hand-in-hand.
Instead, take out your frustration on the leftist organizations that will gladly starve kids in order to feed the leviathan government. In fact, this story serves as an example of the runaway government we’re fighting against. Once the Prince controls all the levers, no one will be able to “do good’ unless the Prince permits it. If the Prince turns out to be a Hitler or a Stalin, then the whole idea of “good” becomes really skewed and dangerous.
I also urge you to donate to Circle of Concern and to encourage them to stand up to the beast that threatens them. That beast is not patriotic Americans concerned about freedom, liberty, and prosperity for us and for our kids, it’s people like FiredUp and the SPLC who are concerned only with stealing more from the hardest working, most innovative, and most successful in order to please the Prince.
[Revised on 7/8/2009. The editor released a draft erroneously on the evening of 7/7/2009. I apologize for any confusion.]