Oh Terri!

To hear local patriot Terri Tyson describe this community, it's a wonder we don't have a Taliban party primary for Orange County Commissioners. Her diatribes in the local media are truly a last ditch effort to save Chapel Hill's soul. But unfortunately the backs of our cars reveal that it may be too late:

Every politically successful conservative position gets twisted. Now peace is patriotic and the phrase "God bless America" has been corrected to include a blessing for every nation on earth.
...
One bumper sticker proclaims that the real axis of evil is Bush, Cheney and Ashcroft, not the terrorists. This is blatantly anti-American.
...
The village in Texas that is missing its idiot, according to one bumper sticker, should admit that the Yale graduate, professional baseball team owner, Texas governor, and two-term president has gone a long way.
- Terri Tyson, letter to the Chapel Hill News, 5/7/06

Good on her for sticking it out here with us "hostile and extreme" types and even having the courage to send her children to school with ours. There's no telling what crazy ideas they might get from hanging around with the spawn of so many "radical liberals."

Issues: 

Total votes: 115

Comments

Terri should think more and react less as she drives around Chapel Hill. An expanded reference from this letter:

Every politically successful conservative position gets twisted. Now peace is patriotic and the phrase "God bless America" has been corrected to include a blessing for every nation on earth. If you follow what some of the leaders of some nations in this world are threatening toward our country and Israel, this philosophy seems ludicrous and naive.

Open response to Terri: asking God to bless Iran is not necessarily asking Him to help them destroy Israel. Think hard about some other possible outcomes. Maybe that hope is what you call naive, but I don't. As long as the only solution to conflict we can imagine is the destruction of our enemies, we'll keep repeating our mistakes over and over again. As we have been.

And it is just too cliche to say that condemning Bush & Co is anti-American. We have free speech here. What America do you live in?

Why do bumper stickers elicit a letter to the editor? Did the newspaper publish them? Should I write a letter to the paper because of a hideous orange t-shirt someone wore to Harris Teeter on Sunday which bore the legend:
"What happens in Gitmo, Stays in Gitmo, www.rushlimbaugh.com" ??

That's far more offensive and inflammatory than anything I've seen on a bumper sticker lately-- perhaps that's why the wearer had to keep his Ipod on while shopping?

What could be more patriotic that opposing those who would limit our freedom,lie to the world ,use a national tragedy for politcal gain, misuse the trust of the American people and go to war based on a fib?What could be more Christian then demanding an end to war? My bumper sticker reads-Jesus is a Liberal
I am having a bumper sticker made that reads SUPPORT THE TRUTH.How come everytime the left makes use of the right to free speech the right accusses us of hating America.
We are not the ones who hate America or freedom
Peace be with you
JAcquie

What really offended me about Terri's letter was the (usual these days) mis-portrayal of Christianity as being only for America. The Bible says Jesus ministered a LOT to the sinners. And commanded us to do the same. As a sinner myself, I surely hope this is the case. I don't see in the New Testament (which should be the majority of our views on Christianity) how Iran's stance towards Israel is a criteria for God's blessing. God is much bigger than our nationalism. And "Christians" who claim otherwise diminish our religion.

PS - just saw the best bumper sticker of the day: "Women make great leaders; you're following one." Made my day, but perhaps that says more about my day than the sticker.

on truthiness, without truth dimmockracy is bankrupt, it all becomes politcal gamesmanship. Why I voted for Kanoy, I want Price buggering on for the truth, not playing the game.
My favorite bumper sticker sighting in Chapel Hill is "plants die and animals die for your big fat ass"

How about:

"In The Event of The Rapture, May I Have Your Car?"

Why should God, if you believe he exists, bless the people of America more than he would bless the people of any nation? Are they not all his children? What hubris.

The thing that makes our nation great is our system of government, not that we are better people, primarily our First Amendment rights, including free speech and separation of church and state.

Ironically, if Terri had her way, we would going against the beliefs of our Founders, not towards them.

And she calls herself a conservative?

My favorite bumper sticker:

Stop Continental Drift

I gave up trying to make any sense out of Terri's mindless rants a long time ago. I'm just glad that she represents a small minority of our town.

On a friend's car: "Don't make me release the flying monkeys."

Yeah, I wondered why folks in other nations deserved God's blessings less than 'murricans...

As to the Kerry stickers still on cars--she must be young. I remember cars with McGovern stickers on them when CARTER was president.

Wouldn't it be more productive to spend time talking about Carrboro's efforts to engage residents in tax discussions? Or what did/didn't happen last week at the CN meeting? Or the transfer of development rights meeting tomorrow night in Hillsborough?

Melanie, there is at least one car around town that still has a McGovern sticker on it, but the car doesn't appear old enough for the sticker to be an original.

She's so filled with hate. How does she get through life with such a dark heart? I feel for her children. But the worst part about Terri is that she is such a terrible, terrible writer. Yes, her ideas are looney and not based in any semblance of reality. But she can't even coherently convey her thoughts. Oy.

Maybe it means the Herald's letters aren't online anymore so no-one sees them? That's my explanation anyway. ;-)

"Political" bumper stickers, right or left, are obnoxious. As must be the people who display them. I can always gauge the level of extremism by the number of stickers.

My favorite is "my kid beat up your honor student" or something like that......

Actually--for YEARS I had a bumper sticker for the following KY State park: http://parks.ky.gov/stateparks/bb/index.htm

Seemed to be the source of much amusement to people.

Alas--though my husband tried to transfer it from our former van to the current one, it shreaded into little pieces.
Now the only thing adorning my car are a Xavier sticker and a Flying Spaghetti Monster emblem. http://www.venganza.org/

melanie /may you all be touched by His Noodly Appendage

Melanie, I like their mailing address too! Too funny.

At Internationalist Books we now carry some of the whitehouse.org stickers:

"I Support Quasi-Fascist Automotive Fads"
"I Support Our Troops More Than You Do"
"I Support Meaningless Jingoistic Cliches"
"My president can drink your honor student under the table"

plus the usual selection of anarchist & lefty sentiment.

I honestly question the sanity of anyone who uses a bumper sticker to espouse a philosophy, political or otherwise. I mean seriously---is an "Is it 2008 yet?" bumpersticker any less unctious than one of those assinine fish thingies?

I mean are you really thinking you're going to change someone's mind? Silly, I tells ya.

Bumper stickers aren't about changing minds. They're about announcing who you are, in the same way that clothes might. Think of them as clothing for your car.

That said, it's getting to the point today where you don't really need a bumper sticker for your car to announce your ideology. With the exception of the few on the right with an environmental conscious, and the few on the left with a work-related need, the vehicle split falls pretty closely along party lines. I saw a study back during the 2004 election, and whether you drove a Mercedes or a SUV; or a hybrid or Volvo, was as good an indicator as anything else.

Personally, I drive a bike, with a bumper sticker. :) "Proud Orange County Democrat" with the names of our local elected delegation, and a few splotches of conspicuously place Sharpy over a name or two to keep the “proud” part accurate.

I don't know why I didn't think of it until I read Gilbert's message above disparaging bumper stickers, but did you know that in addition to many brilliant progressive slogans, you can adorn your vehicle with an OrangePolitics bumper sticker?

There were a few of these floating around last year. I have found they are surprisingly effective at getting the word out. And I have just created a brand new design! (I had to update it because I lost all of my old stickers with my old bumper.)

In fact I'm not sure yet if I love this design, so buy it quick before I change it. ;-)

The whole OP "store" of promotional stuff you can buy is at http://www.cafepress.com/orangepolitics

$1 (or less) of each purchase goes to support my time on OP. The rest is to manuafacturer.

Fair enough, Jason.

I guess I fail to see the point of anouncing 'who you are' to people driving behind you that you'll likely never meet and never interact wih in any meaningful way. Seems goofy to me.

Now this isn't saying people cannot have their "My kid is an honor student at ..." or a band logo or some other. It just seems like the person who needs to espouse their political or religious philosophy in that way might be a little insecure.

Good luck with your bumper stickers Ruby. I hope you sell a million.

It's probably unimportant either way. My point was that bumper stickers are for the car's owners, not for the masses. I feel better because my van still sports a Patsy Keever bumper sticker, even if the engine is dead and the damn thing hasn't moved in a year and a half.

Personally, I feel better by putting things that appeal to me in my environment. I hang posters from campaigns I've worked for on my walls as well. I'm not trying to convince the handful of visitors I ever get that they should have voted for these folks, I'm just declaring the space mine with something meanful to me. Along those lines, political bumper stickers are meaningful to me.

There is one use I can think of for these sort of bumper stickers benefitting others: morale boosting. Drive through Weaverville or Cullowhee or Waynesville, NC for a few years, and the lone liberal bumper stickers may stand out as a beacon of hope. ;)

Your point is valid, though. Not everyone feels the need to espouse who they are via what they drive. But looking at the number of shiny new Corvettes, Hummers, and other status-symbol cars on the road, I think more people try to say something with their car than would readily admit it.

Nothing puts me on edge so much as someone who claims that questioning our country's leaders is un-American.

One Thanksgiving a few years ago while our extended family was sitting at the dinner table, my father recounted how at 15 years of age I had my first heated argument with him. He confided to us that after the fight he went to his bedroom and cried--not because we had fought or because of the substance of the fight. He cried because in my rebellion he saw the seeds of my adulthood.

America deserves mature citizens who are willling to question the actions of its leaders. There is nothing more American than principled dissent.

I consider it a personal insult for someone to imply that it's un-American to question the direction our leaders take us.
As a soldier I seethe when those like Terri Tyson step on the graves of men and women who sacrificed it all to secure liberties the very exercise of which Tyson labels un-American.

Not sure what it really means but the same Tyson letter appeared in the CHH in mid-April and I don't think that I have seen a letter in the Herald about it yet.

> Maybe it means the Herald's letters aren't online anymore
> so no-one sees them? That's my explanation anyway.

Seems reasonable. Some of us on a poor college budget can afford a newspaper subscription OR an internet connection, and as much as I like to read the newpaper, the latter seems a little more utilitarian.

On an unrelated note, it would be great if the local papers would wise up and adopt a business model which appeals to readers like me. When I can't access content from a paper, I don't pay to subscribe; I get my information elsewhere. They aren't forcing me into subscribing, they're losing a customer who they could otherwise be showing valuable ads to. If I'm really inclined to read a paper copy, I go to a local coffeehouse and find yesterday's which is always lying around for free. If I can't find it there, David Library's got it for sure. Paying for content incredibly similar to that which is available for free is so last-millenium. :)

Don't ever change, Terri! You're much more entertaining this way.

Worse yet, Jason, folk like me that populate my content (comments and blog posts) with HS links will start to shie away from linking to their content because the links eventually go stale.

Media folk in the know, like the Indy, understand that link density is a "good thing". The more inbound links the better.

I've just about had it with the paywalled Heraldsun. Ray Gronberg's print-friendly backdoor (the closest thing they had to permalinks) has been closed.

I look forward to seeing the CHN and other outlets increase their inbound links by adopting saner policies.

Ruby's explanation may have merit, but with over 13,000 subscriptions to the CHH, it hard to support the "so no-one sees them" idea about the letter. Maybe those subscribers who read the letter in the CHH back in April didn't feel like expending any energy to respond, where as those who read it in the free CHN wanted to respond. Could the CHH have received letters and decided not to publish them?

Not sure at all, but just thought it was interesting that the same letter in two different papers produced such different outcomes. Could OP's coverage of it be a factor?

I have an inkling of how Richard Cohen of the Washington Post must have felt after receiving over 3500 e-mails in response to his criticism of another liberal (registration required, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/08/AR200605...). His column is titled “Digital Lynch Mob”, he says that it convinces him that the anger of the far left is back in full force like in the days of the anti-war protests in the 60's. He says it contributed to the election of Richard Nixon.

All of this might backfire and result in a Republican victory in 2008 if the far left alienates the middle ground Democrats. If all they have to offer is hatred of Bush, but no plan on how to solve some really tough problems like North Korea and Iran, then I predict a victory for moderate and conservative voters in 2008.

It's eerie how well Ruby expresses my sentiments about the schools, even though they do provide a good education. The school system's philosophy is ted by a liberal viewpoint, exposing our children to horrific things in the belief that it will prevent these things from happening to them. This worries the children and in effect steals their childhoods.

When I'm dismissed as a mindless ranter, it means that the person's mind is closed to any conflicting views. I have noticed that when I express opinions I get lots of ad hominem responses, and people make up things that I did not say. Debra Beller poses as someone who is highly qualified to judge my writing skills, but does not refute any of my points. She only makes ugly personal attacks and says I am a “terrible, terrible writer.” This is redundant, I would suggest a thesaurus. I doubt my writing skills would be criticized if I was uttering the usual liberal pieties.

I continue to believe that preferring enemy nations in wartime to our nations' leaders is unpatriotic.

Terri,

I don't believe ANYONE "prefers" Iraq to the US...even those folks whose bumper stickers wish God's blessings for the residents of all nations. But then, I don't REALLY know--because it's a BUMPER STICKER. And you don't KNOW either...unless you've spoken with the owner.

I don't recall the schools "exposing [my] children to horrific things in the belief that it will prevent these things from happening to them." I DO recall them LEARNING about historical atrocitites and such in MS and HS...and having to do current events in fourth and fifth grade. (Two kids--all the way through CHCCS--The Boy graduates in a month.) My boys started reading the newspaper, all on their own, in third grade, so perhaps an early exposure to reality prevented them from being traumatized by history and current events.

If the CHCC schools are trying to indoctrinate children to be good, liberal democrats--they failed. At least as far as my guys go. Both are registered to vote "Unaffiliated."

melanie

Don't worry Terri. There are plenty of nations whose citizens think we do a better job than them. If I'm not mistaken we take in about as many legal immigrants as the rest of the world combined. And then you have folks in Mexico realizing they'd rather live here. Is it any wonder we've recently adopted a policy of going to the less fortunate instead of them having to come to us?

And yeah, I'll say that ugly phrase: God bless America. Why? Because we *are* the best. Anyone who seriously thinks otherwise is free to move to whatever country they think is better. I'm sure everyone in Chapel Hill can afford the plane ticket, but you're all still here. You realize this *is* the best place in the world, even if you're not 100% happy with every detail.

Chris,

Why the hyperventilation? Who is denigrating America?

Hang on - if all the people who didn't think America was the best country in the world bought plane tickets and moved to some other country, wouldn't that make them illegal immigrants? It's unbelievably hard to get citizenship in most European countries, for example. In oil-rich nations like Kuwait, citizenship is impossible to get. By your logic, illegal immigration not only bolsters America's ego, but could rid it of dissenters as well. What a bargain.

Of course Americans should be able to exercise the freedom of criticizing our leaders. This is different than preferring enemy nations during wartime over our leaders, which is unpatriotic. It appears that the left freely accuses its opponents of being un-American, but takes great umbrage when the accusation is turned on them. It came as a big surprise when I found out that my kids were not reciting the pledge of allegiance or singing the national anthem in the Chapel Hill schools. Only one teacher had them pledge allegiance.
In fact, I would like to take this opportunity to criticize our local leaders. The Town Council unanimously voted to pass a resolution to impeach Bush. I've been needlessly alienated by this gesture. Surely, one member could have voted against it, since there are many citizens in Chapel Hill who would not like this action and wish they had some representation. Once again, there's that little issue of purview that keeps tripping us up, but is easy to ignore when it's politically advantageous to do so.
I've seen the poll numbers for Bush. The surprising news is that they have shown a direct correlation with gas prices at the pump (up) and the poll numbers (down).
See http://heavylifting.blogspot.com/2006/04/gasoline-prices-iraq-or-both.html

Terri,

There may be an inverse correlation between gas prices (up) and Bush's poll numbers (down) but there seems to be a direct correlation between Bush's leadership (negligible) and Bush's public support (negligible).

Terri, please name a few of these "leftists" who prefer enemy nations over the US.

72% of U.S. troops think the U.s. should be out of Iraq within the next year. 25% think we should exit immediately.

US military troops with severe psychological problems have been sent to Iraq or kept in combat, even when superiors have been aware of signs of mental illness.

Starting in 2007, Bush's budget cuts funding $10.0 billion below the level the Congressional Budget Office estimates is needed to maintain purchasing power at the 2006 level.

Last week the Government Accountability Office announced that "less than one quarter of the US military's Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans who show signs of post-traumatic stress are referred for additional mental health treatment or evaluation, according to a government study."

Terri - that puts us in a bind. Should we be "politically correct" and support our leader Bush or should we support the troops? Any advice?

Paul,
Get your Chapel Hill telephone book, go to any page, place your finger on one of the names, and you've probably found a “leftist”. Repeat until you've found enough names!

From my letter:
One bumper sticker proclaims that the real axis of evil is Bush, Cheney and Ashcroft, not the ists. This is blatantly anti-American.

What if there was a bumper sticker during WWII that said: “The real Axis enemies are Roosevelt, Wallace, and Hull.” Does this sound patriotic?

Mark,
What exactly did Bush cut by $10 billion? My impression is that he spends very “liberally”. I thought “politically correct” was a pejorative term used by conservatives to mock the liberal left. I don't see why you are in a bind, if you are against the war.

I recall that active duty military voters heavily supported Bush in 2000 and 2004. Remember how the Democrats did not want to count the military absentee votes in Florida in 2000?

Terri - you rock!

Oh Terri! as Ruby headlinded this, I thought your response would be as weak as it was.

Too many conservatives like you like to set up these "straw men" just so you can knock them down. It seems to me you could have come up with ONE NAME of a "leftist" who prefers "enemy nations" over the US, but you can't even do that! Instead, you judge the town by bumper stickers!

A few inappropriate bumper stickers doesn't make an entire town, or even a good part of it, a bunch of "America haters" and you know it, but it is of course in your interest to portray it that way.

You are a classic right-wing demogogue.

And Terri, as usual, you tell only part of the story: Republicans in FL didn't want to count military ballots from heavily Democratic counties either!

How convienient of you to "forget" this, my dear!

Paul- Ironically, in Florida each candidate argued for the counting strategy that was worst for them. Bush's win margin would have been even thinner with the strict interpretation about hanging chads, etc, and Gore's arguments to be very forgiving in interpreting votes would have led to Bush's win perhaps hitting four digits. At least, that's what the ever-reliable media said after a private firm recounted the votes after the election.

Chris, you are correct. Neither side distinguished themselves in the FL recount.

Recognizing what you see as a problem with the leadership of the country you love and trying to correct it, even with a gesture as small as a bumper sticker, is as patriotic as you can get.

And not to mince words, but not being patriotic and being anti-American are not the same.

daniel

Good point Daniel.

Terri seems to confuse love of one's country with support of its current government.

As Mark Twain said "Loyalty to the country always. Loyalty to the government when it deserves it."

This Administration doesn't deserve it.

> Paul- Ironically, in Florida each candidate argued for the
> counting strategy that was worst for them. Bush's win margin
> would have been even thinner with the strict interpretation
> about hanging chads, etc, and Gore's arguments to be very
> forgiving in interpreting votes would have led to Bush's win
> perhaps hitting four digits. At least, that's what the
> ever-reliable media said after a private firm recounted the
> votes after the election.

And, ironically, had they actually counted all the votes in every precinct in Florida, Gore's victory would have been even more pronounced, regardless of whether they went with a strict or lenient interpretation of the chad issue. See: Consortium news, the Miami Herald, or the LA Times for verification - they ran the numbers in early 2001. I look forward to the sweeping reversal of the entire Republican party in 2012, when Al Gore runs for re-election, stating that he in fact won in 2000 and is ineligible for a third term.

But I won't say anything further on this, because other than slashing our local funding and making it just about impossible to find federal cash for any municipal project, the 2000 presidential election doesn't have much to do with Orange Politics.

A couple of nice bumper stickers Terri would hate:

"What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance?" --Thomas Jefferson

"The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first." --Thomas Jefferson

I call Bull Hockey on the "no one says the pledge of allegiance things." My kids said the pledge EVERY MORNING in gradeschool, at Carrboro AND Estes. Didn't spend as much time in the classroom once they were out of Elementary School--so I can't comment on MS.

Pretty certain they DIDN'T do it in HS.

As to leaving the country--I DO love my country. Doesn't mean I love the current administration.

And I couldn't move to Canada or New Zealand if I wanted to. I don't want to be an illegal alien.

One of my favorite Ben Franklin quotes--ought to FIND it on a bumper sticker:

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

melanie

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